Showing posts with label Bernie Sanders. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bernie Sanders. Show all posts

Thursday, July 28, 2016


Progress is often slower than we'd like.  I never thought I'd see an African-American as president in my lifetime, but I thought I might see a woman. The order will be reversed if Clinton is elected, but boys and girls growing up will know the reality that African-Americans and girls can grow up to be president. That may not be a revolution, but it's enormous progress.

Also, I never thought I'd see a 74 year old senator lead a movement that drew many enthusiastic young people into politics to work hard and contribute to his candidacy. Bernie Sanders will not be the nominee of the Democratic Party, but I hope Sanders supporters do not view their efforts as having failed. The platform is the most liberal/progressive in history, thanks to their hard work. Sanders will be a force in the Senate working to implement his policies.

From now on, the campaign is not about Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, but rather about the people of the country working together for the election of politicians, from the presidency, to the Congress, to state and local offices, who are focused on implementing liberal/progressive policies, which the president cannot do alone. Last night on MSNBC, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) reminded us that some of President Obama's legislation was blocked even during the two years when Democrats had a majority in both houses.

Also, the Supreme Court could have as many as three vacancies during the term of the next president, and a Democrat in the White House is vital to prevent a conservative court that could pull us backward for decades to come.

UPDATE: Sanders announced he will return to the Senate as an independent, because he was elected as an independent.  My thought is he could have effected more change from within the party, but he was only a Democrat for the sake of convenience, so I'm not too surprised.

Saturday, May 28, 2016


Bernie Sanders was allowed to choose five members of the Platform Committee, and Clinton was allowed to choose six.  In the past, the chair of the DNC picked all 15 members, but Sanders is still dissatisfied.  His lawyers sent a letter to the DNC demanding that the co-chair of the Platform Committee, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy, and the co-chair of the Rules Committee, former Rep. Barney Frank, be removed from their positions because they support Clinton.

Good grief!  Nearly everyone at the convention will support either Clinton or Sanders, and the candidate who seems to have little chance of being named the nominee will have fewer supporters than the candidate who has the most votes and the most pledged delegates.  What this latest move amounts to is more whining from Sanders, and haven't we had enough of that?  I know I have.  The two leaders were mean to him, so he wants them removed, or else he threatens to obstruct the business of the convention.  For someone who so recently became a Democrat, this latest action is astonishing.

For me, it is now a question of character for Sanders to threaten to make mischief at the Democratic convention with Donald Trump as the GOP opponent. I hope he's soundly trounced in Pennsylvania and California. And yes, Bernie, I supported you at the beginning of the campaign, but I switched to Hillary months ago. I was yours to have, and you lost me.  If I had not switched to Clinton back then, you would have pushed me away many times over since then.

Here's the link to the video from Rachel Maddow's show on MSNBC.  The segment on the letters from Sanders' lawyers starts about 5 minutes into the video.

And the link to the text of the letter sent to the DNC.

Sunday, May 22, 2016


Hillary Clinton, 1992
Excellent and eloquent piece by Savannah L Barker that expresses what I think and feel about Hillary Clinton. I emphasize once again that I'm not in love with Clinton, but I see her as the best choice in this election. I've learned it's best not to fall in love with politicians, unless you plan to marry them. All are human and imperfect, and, if you're in love, they will break your heart. Read it all, but only if you want to.
The question as to why many Millennials —and millennial feminists in particular— seem to have turned their backs on Hillary Clinton has been explored at length this primary season. The Daily Beast, Huffington Post, and Los Angeles Times have all come to varying conclusions: Hillary is “not feminist enough,” Hillary is “part of the establishment,” and Bernie’s youthful idealism is more appealing than Hillary’s less sexy pragmatism.

All of these factors undoubtedly play a large role in the overall negative perception some Millennials have of Hillary Clinton, but the more obvious answer is simply this: we Millennials are coming to know Hillary Clinton after 20 years of relentless personal and political attacks.

Whatever you may think of her, you cannot deny that no other public figure has been subjected to the kind of merciless scrutiny that Hillary Clinton has endured throughout her career. It has become nearly impossible to distinguish fact from fiction with respect to the many accusations that have been leveled at Hillary Clinton. To put it blatantly, we Millennials aren’t familiar with the Hillary Clinton that our parents know.
Keep in mind that Sanders has, thus far, been only mildly attacked.  The ugly vetting process by the GOP would begin only if he is the nominee, because they'd much prefer to run against Sanders, than Clinton.  There's much to be explored in Sanders' background, and that's not counting the lies that will come from the Republicans.

The money quote:
At the end of the day, no matter how aggressively her opponents have tried to destroy her, Hillary Clinton is still standing and that means something.
Clinton is still standing.  Her strength, stamina, and composure in the face of 25 years of attacks are amazing.  If Clinton seems guarded and lacking in spontaneity, she has reason, and her demeanor has little to do with what she will accomplish if she is elected.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016


Josh Marshall in an editorial at Talking Points Memo:
For months I'd thought and written that Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver was the key driver of toxicity in the the Democratic primary race. Weaver has been highly visible on television, far more than campaign managers tend to be. He's also been the one constantly upping the tension, pressing the acrimony and unrealism of the campaign as Sanders actual chances of winning dwindled.

But now I realize I had that wrong.

Actually, I didn't realize it. People who know told me.

Over the last several weeks I've had a series of conversations with multiple highly knowledgable, highly placed people. Perhaps it's coming from Weaver too. The two guys have been together for decades. But the 'burn it down' attitude, the upping the ante, everything we saw in that statement released today by the campaign seems to be coming from Sanders himself. Right from the top.
Josh Marshall is spot on.  Even as my concern about the Sanders revolution had risen over several months, last night I lost all respect for the senator when I watched his lame commentary about the disruption of the Nevada Democratic convention by his delegates and his absolute refusal to take responsibility.  The disrupters were not people off the street; they were Sanders' delegates to the convention, and he is indeed responsible for their actions.

Later, I  watched parts of Sanders' speech at the rally in California.  He continues to lie to his supporters and tell them he has a path to win the nomination of the Democratic Party.  Not for one minute do I believe Sanders can control his Sandernistas, now that he's whipped up their emotions about the coming Sanders revolution, nor do I think he wishes to.  I won't hold my tongue any longer for fear of alienating the extremist obstructionists among his supporters, because I expect none of them will vote for Clinton; they will either stay home or vote for Trump.

Though he doesn't mention her by name, rather than scale back his criticism of Hillary Clinton, who will be the nominee, in order to unite the party, Sanders upped the nastiness in his speech, pitting himself against her though he has no chance to win.  If Sanders ever campaigns for Clinton, I'll be surprised.  Perhaps he will eventually pay lip service to endorsing Clinton, but by then it may be too little, too late.

Sanders took advantage of the Democratic Party to run for president, and now he is determined to have his way or destroy the party.  It's obvious that however he labels himself, he is no Democrat.  At first, I thought he served the party well by highlighting issues that need attention.  Now I see him as a sore loser and a spoiler.  Whatever you think of the Democratic Party, and it is far from perfect, it is the only institution that stands in the way of a Trump presidency.

Sen. Sanders and Sandernistas, good luck with the revolution.  Sadly, it will be Trump's revolution, not your revolution.  Enjoy.  The rest of us will pay the price for your recklessness.

Thursday, April 21, 2016


Atrios makes a good point at Eschaton.
If Bernie had dropped out a month ago (or, frankly, if he dropped out yesterday), there would be no horse race to cover, and no "both sides" (on the Democratic side) necessitating some balance between critical pieces of Clinton and critical pieces of Sanders. So any press coverage of Clinton would be one sided and critical, elevating nonsensical stuff into front page news.
My comment to the post:
Probably no reason to leave the 819th comment, but you make a point, Atrios.  If Sanders left the race, the media and Republicans would continue to minutely pick apart Clinton's every statement and bash her at every opportunity.  With Sanders in the race, the media will focus on the horse race and give the two candidates equal scrutiny and picking apart.  Republicans leave Sanders alone now, because they see the handwriting on the wall and also because they'd prefer their candidate to run against Sanders.  If Sanders should surprise us all and become the candidate, of course, the GOP will be merciless.
When I posted the link on Facebook, one of my friends who is a Sanders supported noted that the GOP will be merciless to either candidate.  The difference is that Sanders has not yet been scrutinized for 25 years, as Clinton has. Does anyone see the GOP bashing Sanders now? I don't. Why is that? I'd hope he and his family and his campaign are prepared if he is the nominee, because the attacks won't be pretty.  Also, a candidate who has less to lose feels freer to make negative comments about his Democratic opponent, comments that will attract the attention of the media and keep him in the spotlight.

Thursday, April 14, 2016


Jane Sanders told CNN that she thought the candidate's hour-long interview with the tabloid's editorial board was "odd."

"We commented on that afterwards, that it was more of an inquisition, hurry, hurry, interrupt, let's ask the questions don't let you even finish your answers," Sanders said. "We didn't realize they had planned to release the transcript. So it became a little bit more evident what they were trying to do."
The media is mean, and they ask probing questions, even gotcha questions, alas.  Welcome to the world of presidential politics. I'd have thought Sen. and Ms Sanders understood that transcripts happen when public figures give interviews.

What the hell. I'll pile on.  Dr Paul Song, a speaker at the Bernie Sanders rally in Washington Square last night:
"While I agree with Secretary Clinton that Medicare for All will never happen if we have a president who never aspires for something greater than the status quo.
Not true.  Clinton aspires to build on the status quo.  See?  Not the same thing.  
Medicare for all will never happen if we continue to elect corporate Democratic whores who are beholden to big Pharma..."
Yikes!  The tone deafness in the Sanders campaign is appalling. Of course, Song was not referring to Clinton. No, not at all.  More than half the voters in the New York primary are women.  To women: nothing to see here.

The rally attracted quite a large crowd, between 15,000 and 27, 000, depending upon law enforcement estimate or campaign estimate.  In any case the large number of supporters at the rally should have been the Sanders news story today, but attention is now focused on the offensive comment, on Sanders' repudiation of his out-of-control speaker, and on Song's lame, tweeted non-apology apology.
I am very sorry for using the term "whore" to refer to some in congress who are beholden to corporations and not us. It was insensitive.
— Paul Y. Song (@paulysong) April 14, 2016
Who is Dr Paul Song?
Thursday afternoon, Courage Campaign, a California-based progressive group that Song chairs, distanced itself from his remarks in a statement.

"Courage Campaign does not endorse political candidates. Dr. Paul Song, acting in his own capacity as a health care advocate, and separate from Courage Campaign, made comments at a rally in New York for Senator Bernie Sanders last night that are contrary to the values of Courage Campaign," the statement said. "These comments were unacceptable and that sort of rhetoric has no place in our political dialogue."
Do we know him?

Dr Song is also one half of a celebrity couple.  He's married to Lisa Ling, host of This Life with Lisa Ling on CNN.

Post inspired by Rmj at Adventus, but he is in no way responsible for the content.

Monday, April 4, 2016


Several weeks ago,  I decided I would not write anything negative about either of the Democratic candidates for president, but I'm on my last nerve with Bernie Sanders.  Sanders is not clean, and he's not pure. No candidate is.  He's beginning to sound like a Republican when he criticizes Clinton, and I've had enough. If Sanders ends up as the nominee, I will vote for him, but I've reached the point where it will be hold-my-nose-and-vote.

Sanders does not campaign for nor does he contribute to down ticket candidates, but he is trying to woo super delegates to support him. I guess he doesn't know that a number of super delegates are running for reelection to Congress or for governor of their respective states.  Sanders is about Sanders and how he will save the country because millions will rise up. If his millions don't rise up to elect Democratic candidates, then he will accomplish nothing if he is elected. He is not and never has been a team player. He became a Democrat to run for president, because it was to his advantage.

Michael A. Cohen says it well in the Boston Globe.
The candidate who pledged last May that his campaign would not be about Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton, but “about the needs of the American people”; the candidate who boasted he’d never run a negative political attack in his life; the man who said he would be “driven by issues and serious debate . . . not reckless personal attacks of character assassination,” has begun to run a very different race.

Sanders is increasingly embracing the tactics he once decried. Rather than trying to unify the Democratic Party behind its almost certain nominee, Hillary Clinton, he is ramping up the attacks against her. While once Sanders refused even to mention Clinton’s name, now he doesn’t go a day without hitting her.
When Rachel Maddow asked Sanders in an interview about Trump's comments on punishing women who have abortions:
SANDERS: But because media is what media is today, any stupid, absurd remark made by Donald Trump becomes the story of the week. Maybe, just maybe, we might want to have a serious discussion about the serious issues facing America. Donald Trump will not look quite so interesting in that context.

MADDOW: Are you suggesting, though, that the media shouldn't be focusing on his call to potentially jail women who have abortions? Because that's another stupid --

SANDERS: I am saying that every day he comes up with another stupid remark, absurd remark, of course it should be mentioned. But so should Trump's overall positions. How much talk do we hear about climate change, Rachel? And Trump? Any?
Now Sanders is whining that Clinton took his comments about whether abortion is a serious issue out of context. The senator didn't pay much attention to Louisiana during the primary, but I'd like him to know that ongoing efforts to limit access to abortion and health care provided by Planned Parenthood to both women and men is a deadly serious issue in my state.

Sanders is on the right side on many of the issues, but his Medicare for All plan as described on his campaign website is no such thing.

As a patient, all you need to do is go to the doctor and show your insurance card. Bernie’s plan means no more copays, no more deductibles and no more fighting with insurance companies when they fail to pay for charges. 
Our primary health care provider is Medicare with supplementary insurance from the State of Louisiana, as my husband is a retiree.  We pay both deductibles and and co-pays, so the information on Sanders' campaign website calling his single payer plan Medicare for All is deceptive.  I'm surprised neither the media nor the Clinton campaign has picked up on the mistake.

I could go on, but my post is long enough to explain why I'm losing patience with Sanders.  At the beginning of the campaign, I supported him and contributed to his campaign, but, more and more, I came to see a number of his promises as pie-in the-sky that will not happen if he is elected president, and I switched my support to Clinton several months ago.  Since then, nothing has changed my mind, and I'm even more convinced that I made the right decision.

Friday, February 12, 2016


The debate tonight was the best thus far in the presidential campaign, in no small part due to the excellence of Gwen Ifil and Judy Woodruff as moderators and that the sponsor was PBS.  The two asked intelligent, probing questions without venturing into easy gotcha territory.  The contrast between Democratic and Republican debates is stark.  What I saw on the stage were two adults engaged in a civil debate.  I admit that with only two candidates in the race, the appearance of a free-for-all is easier to avoid, but, even if the GOP narrows the field down to two, I doubt we'll see a debate of this caliber.

To me, Clinton looked strong and won the debate, though Sanders got in a few good licks about her vote in favor of the Iraq war and her reference to Henry Kissinger's compliment on how well she ran the State Department.  By now, Clinton probably hopes young people don't know who the hell Kissinger is.

Once again, Sanders answered a number of questions by turning away from the substance of the question to commentary about Wall Street, thus reinforcing the impression of a Johnny One-Note.  Of course, he is not, but, with the Wall Street repetitions, he's beginning to remind me of Young Marco Rubio and his repetitions about President Obama.  Clinton scored with the reference to Sanders' votes on gun regulations and his recent and not-so-recent criticisms of President Obama. Though Sanders often caucused and voted with Democrats, he remains a newly-minted Democrat.

Clinton appeared calm and composed, while Sanders seemed impatient and even agitated at times, waving his hands with his face turning red.  A number of people call Clinton cold, and I understand how calm can translate to cold, but I'm not looking for a BFF for president, and I prefer calm to agitation. When Sanders repeatedly raised his hand as a signal that he wanted to speak, I couldn't help but think, "Teacher, teacher!  Call on me!"

Both candidates favor health care coverage for everyone, but they have different approaches to get there.  Of Sanders' plan for a single payer plan, economist Paul Krugman notes that the numbers don't add up.

Also, while Sanders calls his plan "Medicare for All", it is no such thing because on his campaign website, he says:
As a patient, all you need to do is go to the doctor and show your insurance card. Bernie’s plan means no more copays, no more deductibles and no more fighting with insurance companies when they fail to pay for charges. 
Sounds great, but Sanders' plan is not "Medicare for All".  I know because my health insurance coverage is through Medicare, and I pay deductibles and copays, even with a supplemental insurance policy. So, is it "Medicare for All" or something entirely different?  Also, as Krugman notes, getting a single payer plan through the House of Representatives is likely to be a non-starter, even if Democrats regain a slim majority in the Senate.  The GOP will retain a majority in the House after the election because so many hold safe seats due to gerrymandered districts.

Clinton's health plan takes a more gradual approach, building on Obamacare to universal coverage, rather than replacing it and starting from scratch. Though there is no guarantee that her plan will pass in Congress if Clinton is elected, it seems somewhat more possible and definitely more realistic.

Clinton's closing statement was powerful and served to define her campaign.  A quote is below:
We agree we've got to get unaccountable money out of politics. We agree that Wall Street should never be allowed to wreck main street again.

But here's the point I want to make tonight.  I am not a single-issue candidate and I do not believe we live in a single-issue country. I think that a lot of what we have to overcome to break down the barriers that are holding people back, whether it's poison in the water of the children of Flint or whether it's the poor miners who are being left out and left behind in coal country, or whether it is any other American today who feels somehow put down and depressed by racism, by sexism, by discrimination against the lgbt community against the kind of efforts that need to be made to root out all of these barriers, that's what I want to take on.
Below is a quote from Sanders' closing statement, which also defines his campaign.
This campaign is not just about electing a president. What this campaign is about is creating a process for a political revolution in which millions of Americans, working people who have given up on the political process, they don't think anybody hears their pains or their concerns.
 Young people for whom getting involved in politics is as, you know, it's like going to the moon. It ain't going to happen. Low income people who are not involved in the political process.
 What this campaign is not only about electing someone who has the most progressive agenda, it is about bringing tens of millions of people together to demand that we have a government that represents all of us and not just the 1 percent, who today have so much economic and political power.
Yes, "like going to the moon."  In the real world, the only revolution we're likely to see in the near future is if Republicans take the presidency, the majority in the Senate, and the majority in the House (which is certain), and it will not be pretty.

Keep in mind that when Sanders first entered the race, I favored his candidacy and contributed to his campaign, but, over the course of time, I've come to favor Clinton.  I still believe that having Sanders in the race is a net positive, but I hope the supporters of the two candidates don't tear each other apart before the election.  From my experience, Sanders supporters have been much more intemperate in their criticism of Clinton and her supporters than the other way around, even to the point of declaring that if she is the nominee, they will not vote, or they will vote for Trump.  That, in my opinion, is madness.  The stakes in this election are high, and the country will be in a very bad way with Republicans in control of Congress and the presidency.  Make no mistake: If Sanders is the nominee, he will surely have my vote.

Friday, October 16, 2015


After reconsidering his first impression following a storm of disagreement from his readers, John Cassidy at The New Yorker still thinks Hillary Clinton won the Democratic debate. Clinton had the most to lose going into the debate, because her numbers were down due to the persistent media focus on the private email server "scandal". Her performance in the debate was stellar, and she came across as much more likable than in previous media appearances.

Bernie Sanders was Bernie Sanders, the same person we know (and love?) from his frequent speeches and media appearances, and few, if any of us, expected him to be other than the man we already know. He was himself, and he performed excellently in the debate.

My less than expert opinion is that neither of the two principal candidates won or lost, and both did very well. Sanders gave Clinton an enormous boost when he said:
 The American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails!
Martin O'Malley had several good moments in the debate, and his final statement was superb. In a few words, he summed up the difference between the candidates in the GOP and the Democratic candidates. I like having him on the stage as a foil for both Sanders and Clinton.

I'm not sure why Jim Webb and Lincoln Chaffee were on the stage, but neither gained from their inclusion in the debate.