Home | About | Donate

Why Bernie Sanders is Still Standing


#1

Why Bernie Sanders is Still Standing

Bill Blum

According to the conventional wisdom, the quixotic presidential run of Bernie Sanders should be over. In fact, by conventional standards, his campaign should barely have gotten off the ground.


#2

CD, are you sure this is the whole article? Seems like the author is only part way through.


#5

In the final analysis, it is that movement that has sustained Sanders’ candidacy, more than the other way around. Even in the face of entrenched opposition, it will survive, with fits and starts, setbacks and successes, even if Sanders himself eventually fades from the political scene. (Citing last paragraph of the full article at Truthdig.com.)

This is good analysis for the public at large, if they actually read it. Nothing new here though; all of it has been discussed on these comment threads before. When it's all said and done, there are some real thinkers in this community, who also take action. Thanks fellow commenters and CD for helping to sustain my hope for the democracy movement taking root. On to the "budding" in Philadelphia!


#7

Surprise! People are so sick of capitalism they aren't too worried about his Democratic socialism. In fact, he is not a Socialist in the true sense of the word and people get that. The Dem's are so scared of Bernie they offer up ideas to Republicans to hit him on, except they are so out of touch with real people they still don't get that it's not a scary word anymore. Capitalism is.
Go Bernie


#10

Bernie is honest and wants nothing from people except a positive vote for healthy people living in a free and fair country on a clean and healthy Earth.


#12

Sanders has really emphasized some important issues that often tend to get ignored. So even though he is obviously not going to win the nomination unless something really dramatic happens he has provided a valuable contribution. Unfortunately, many of his supporters are going to wind very frustrated but that is part of politics. As in sports someone has to lose.


#15

The rest of the article:

True to McCaskill’s warnings, Republican operatives, while staying primarily focused on Clinton, have begun Bernie-bashing, too, and they’ve been at it for quite a while. The “Sandinista” and “Soviet” slurs invoked by Anderson Cooper against Sanders actually originated with Breitbart News, which publicized them as a set of talking points in a twisted May 2015 review of his 1997 political memoir, “Outsider in the House.”

As Sanders’ White House bid accelerated, the “socialist” epithet and the jeers about his unelectability were picked up and repeated by prominent conservatives, including Lindsey Graham, John Kasich and GOP strategists like Ryan Williams, who worked as Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign spokesman.

“There’s no mystery to what the attack on [Sanders as the nominee] would be,” Williams explained to Bloomberg reporter Sahil Kapur in April. “Bernie Sanders is literally a card-carrying socialist.”

Along with the old-style red smears, there has also been a new, post-modernist line of denigration, delivered mostly—and shamelessly—by Democratic officials and affiliated pundits, who have repackaged the classic affronts into more nuanced, contemporary forms.

Thus, we’ve been instructed by party mainstays such as Sen. Barbara Boxer of California and by Clinton herself that Sanders isn’t a “real Democrat.” Instead, we’ve been urged to believe by Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank that he is this election season’s Ralph Nader, whose Green Party candidacy allegedly tilted the 2000 presidential election in favor of George W. Bush, bringing us the disastrous invasion of Iraq.

Taking a slightly different tack, fellow Post columnist Eugene Robinson has accused Sanders of conducting a “scorched-earth campaign” within the Democratic Party by remaining in a race he can’t win. Sanders’ obstinacy, Robinson charges, “will succeed in only one thing: electing Donald Trump.”

Whether old-school or newfangled, the aim of the takedowns remains the same: to insulate the political status quo from any credible threat of fundamental change, even of the entirely peaceful, small “d” democratic and reform-minded genre offered by Sanders. And still, Sanders’ poll numbers, particularly as reflected in hypothetical match-ups against Trump, have continued to climb while Clinton’s have shrunk.

Seeking to comprehend why the Red-baiting, in all of its iterations, old and new, has fallen short, I reached out to Yeshiva University history professor Ellen Schrecker, considered by many the nation’s foremost authority on the subject.

Now 78 years old, Schrecker lives in New York City and is the author of numerous essays and books, including her highly praised interpretive monograph, “The Age of McCarthyism” (1994), and more recently, “The Lost Soul of Higher Education” (2010). A longstanding socialist, she voted for Sanders in her state’s primary.

The key to understanding why the current attacks have failed, she told me in a phone interview, lies with young people, Sanders’ primary base of support. “I think Red-baiting is losing its bite, particularly among the young, because they don’t know what communism was, and, as a result, baiting has lost its Cold War sting,” she said.

“The fragmentation of American politics [in the Internet Age] is also a factor,” she continued. “In the ’50s, we had three TV networks and a few major newspapers. It was easier to marginalize left-wing figures. Now, we have a proliferation of outlets. There are so many other things today people can be made to fear besides being a socialist: terrorism, transgenderism, guns or the lack of them.”

Recent public-opinion research bears out Schrecker’s views. A Pew poll from June 2015 found that 69 percent of voters under 30 were willing to vote for a socialist presidential candidate. A YouGov survey, conducted this January, found the same demographic had a higher opinion of socialism than capitalism, by a ratio of 43 to 32 percent.

“Bernie Sanders has made it safe to be a socialist in American politics,” Schrecker added. “That could very well be his most important long-term achievement. He has offered a way of thinking about politics that we haven’t considered in 50 to 60 years. And he’s done so in sync with what people feel at a gut level. The Occupy Movement brought the issue of income inequality to the forefront, and it has stayed there. Sanders has given the issue a public face.”

The vital task now, Schrecker said, is to build an enduring movement for progressive change, especially considering the prospect of a Trump presidency, which she termed both “terrifying” and “crazy.”

The people I joined last week to hear Sanders speak seemed to know this only too well as they stood shoulder-to-shoulder on the football field at Santa Monica High School after waiting in lines stretching three city blocks.

They were, as they have been at other Sanders events, predominantly but not exclusively young. They were equally divided between women and men, and included large numbers of Latinos, Asians and African-Americans, whom Sanders has sometimes failed to reach. Judging from the conversations I had with a few of these supporters—and the chatter I discerned among others—they were smart, well-informed and hardly the stuff of naive stereotypes, much less the commie dupes of yesteryear.

As Sanders railed against sexism and economic, racial and environmental injustice and made his trademark pitch for “political revolution,” it occurred to me over the cheering of the crowd that something genuinely transformative was indeed happening, and that a new movement of the left was being born, if it had not already arrived.

In the final analysis, it is that movement that has sustained Sanders’ candidacy, more than the other way around. Even in the face of entrenched opposition, it will survive, with fits and starts, setbacks and successes, even if Sanders himself eventually fades from the political scene.


#17

People are aware that politics as usual will not cut the emergency problems that our planet is facing. Insulting people while dodging the issues won't cut it. Incremental change won't cut it. Getting money from fossil fuel industry won't do it. We need big change now. People are sick and tired of hearing why we can't do it, and want to know how we can.

The whole lesser or two evil garbage ain't going to cut it either. We are going to have to vote to do something about the climate, the banksters, and the endless idiotic war. It can't wait.


#18

Yes we have to vote for someone and something. At present I am hoping that people will support Bernie for real and not just with their mouths. The rigged game can be fought with non violent protest and show the superdelegates that if they force Hillary on us that there will be hell to pay later. It will create a weak Democratic Party that won't recuperate from this debacle. Protest at the convention in Philly and save your democracy!

This is the worst time for the Dems to have done this! Even if they succeed in forcing Hillary on us as the nominee, it is likely that she will lose to Trump. Who are they kidding. She isn't trusted and may be indicted no less. Call this a Pyrrhic gamble by the Dems. Which ever way it ends up they will lose by backing Hillary against the public's choice.

People who say nothing on Earth could make them vote for Hillary are looking at six feet of sea level rise in their lifetime and saying nothing can make them vote against a climate change denier (Trump). It is insanity!

Yes all the comments about corruption and warrior queen and all the rest are real but will that hold back the rising seas? Hillary is smart enough to battle against the sheer destruction that catastrophic climate change will cause. Trump and the climate change denier republicans will not.

That fact trumps Trump.

You know people we could avoid all this if lots of people demonstrate in Philly at the convention! I think the superdelegates are looking for an excuse to switch to Bernie and see the Democratic Party surge in popularity instead of sneaking about in the shadows fending off accusations of impropriety and corruption. They were forced by Debbie Wasserman-Schultz to back Clinton before Bernie had even gotten started and they see how people are supporting Bernie in greater numbers (let's not forget the independents) than Hillary and I bet most are wishing that they could be part of that popularity as Dems.


#20

Yeah, great, I'm happy he's still standing too but what is his game plan? Is it just to get some statements on a DNC platform which is meaningless?


#21

Does it not occur to you to change the rigged game before it is too late? The superdelegates can and do choose as was shown with Obama. Now is the time for action before the convention.

Now we stand for real democracy or we do nothing and the complain endlessly that we no longer have a real democracy and gee isn't it sad that the children live under a permanent oligarchy.

Waiting for Bernie to do it all won't work. How much more can he do? Now it is up to people to support him and to support their own democracy!

Do something besides waiting for him to do something! Bernie has done the impossible... I kind of think this last step is really up to us.


#22

I admire you so much for this. Thank you


#23

Let's hope its HRC that goes to jail for her "approved" email server handling CLASSIFED data.....

By the way.... Classified data is "CLASSIFIED" by it's content and almost ALWAYS at its inception. It doesn't magically get classified 4 YEARS later. The FBI needs to s..t or get off the pot.


#24

Lets hope that Hillary gets indicted soon enough that Sanders can take her place as front runner.

The Obama Justice Department, Democratic Party and GOP are doing everything they can to delay indictment. The GOP doesn't want it to happen so soon that Sanders has a chance to run against Trump.


#27

A popular joke in Russia a few years after the fall of the USSR:

Before the fall of the USSR, we thought that some of the things the media told us about Communism were false.

But now we know that everything they told told us about capitalism was true.


#30

RE REDBAITING SANDERS: SHOULD INCLUDE SHUTTING DOWN IDEAS AS UN-AMERICAN

During the first Democratic debate, Clinton derided Sanders's use of Denmark as an example of single payer healthcare as feasible. In the following article, notice:

1) the chauvinism implicit in Clinton's statement - the implication that the great U.S. could learn nothing from Denmark, because...well, 'cause WE'RE US! YEA! (are you US? are ya? huh?);

2) how the patriotic breast-beating had the effect of denigrating the idea as un-American, and, thereby, shutting down speech on nationalistic grounds; and

3) how the NYT ignored the crude jingoism, and, instead, praised it's ostensibly "stinging assessment of [Sanders's] logic."

From the first Democratic debate:

"Mocking Mr. Sanders’s admiration for the health care system of Denmark, she interrupted a moderator to offer a stinging assessment of his logic, suggesting he was unprepared to grapple with the realities of governing a superpower.

'We are not Denmark,' Mrs. Clinton said, adding with a sly smile, 'I love Denmark. We are the United States of America.'

The crowd erupted in applause." (From the NYT, October, 2015)


#31

"Martin also quoted McCaskill as saying: “The Republicans … can’t wait to run an ad with a hammer and sickle.” To which Sanders freplied with a photograph of a single F-22 Raptor fighter plane with the caption "300 millions apiece, thjanks to the Military-Industrial-1%-Complex"


#33

No problem but tell them that now before the convention if you want to help Bernie!


#35

Bernie isn't really a socialist and we've known that in Vermont for a long time. What he is is a caring person who attracts most of this state with his heart and his fire. If I had to place him, I would say a not-reluctant FDR.


#37

I doubt the FBI is sitting still. If you figure they completed work on the preserved email last fall, with a proposed resolution of October, 2015, then they must have found some dynamite in the "deleted" messages they discovered. I suspect that is what they're investigating, and Comey seems to be suggesting they're near completion. He's also said he and other agents would resign if they propose indictments and are denied.