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Should Bernie Run

DCblogger's picture

Andrew Torre

By every statistic, our economic system is failing most of society. Yet, to question that system – capitalism – has always invoked the knee-jerk fear of "socialism." But this may be changing. In every poll, the majority opts overwhelmingly for increased taxation of the rich and the corporations, universal health care and the preservation of Medicare and Medicaid, free public education and relief of student debt, increased Social Security benefits, and raising the minimum wage. These are in essence "socialist" policies – so apparently socialism is losing its sting. And well it should, since "socialism" denotes no more than that which benefits the majority in the most egalitarian way possible – something most people yearn for regardless of what it's called. The Democrats' losses in the 2014 mid-term elections are attributed to their failure to advocate the economic policies for which the people expressed the need.

In order for Bernie Sanders to win everything has to break his way. He has to win the NH primary, he probably has to win Iowa, and then he has to figure out how to sustain the momentum of that on a very low budget. The nominating process is front loaded, which means Sanders has to have an organization in place in states like SC and Nevada before Iowa and NH, because there will not be time to put together an organization afterwards. Everything has to break his way, but he could beat Hillary.

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a little night musing's picture
Submitted by a little night ... on

Probably, hell, no doubt, yes.

I'm qualifiedly glad HRC is running, but the last two decades of American politics have totally soured me. (The only thing that has given me hope is, amazingly, a stage performance of Hamilton!)

Bernie should run. Yes, he should. Winning is not even the most important reason. Making people think that their vote matters is even more important. (Your vote can matter even if your candidate does not win. Why do I need to say this?)

DC blogger, keep up the fight.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

Thanks for the encouragement. I notice in his TV appearence that Sanders is more careful to have his hair properly trimmed, so I think he is planning to run.

Submitted by lambert on

So Bernie's staff is capable of something. (I'm dubious about the Sanders staff; something that's scoped for Vermont might not scale up nationally, where big things happen very fast. Are they capable of taking advantage of the breaks? We'll see, though your point about front-loading working for a small operation like his is a good one.)

jo6pac's picture
Submitted by jo6pac on

He will be a distraction only, with progressives following him until he drops out and instead of progressive voting Green they'll fall back to the less of 2 evils as the norm. Just saying.

nippersdad's picture
Submitted by nippersdad on

Respectfully, I have to disagree with your analysis. 2016 is on track to look just like the past two mid-terms, with people voting with their feet. Even O's first term "landslide victory" was only by around 7%, and he has actively screwed those demographics that put him over the top. The voting electorate is pretty thin on the ground these days, and only getting smaller.

O has poisoned the well of goodwill for LOTE candidates like HRC. Once TPP, TSIP.... etc. pass over the objections of the Democratic base they are going to remember that they voted against the wars, wanted single payer and wanted the bankers and war criminals prosecuted. At that point there will no longer be a viable Democratic Party, and it would be wise to have a back up bench in the wings when it splits.

Submitted by lambert on

... chief among them ballot access. I'm not clever enough to figure out how to split the party and seize them, but it would be interesting to see it done.

(But to split the party you have to be inside it. I see no essential difference between undermining the Democrats from without, from within, or seeking to drag them left (because I think they will split if that is done.)

nippersdad's picture
Submitted by nippersdad on

that the Party would prolly split sooner rather than later were an establishment candidate to win the Democratic Party nomination. O managed to slip through with some really slick lying, but the effect has been the same. At the time such speculation was met with hoots of derision, but now they are having to run a "socialist" to keep people in the veal pen in spite of their having co-opted most of the lefty blogosphere sites.

Never say never. Maintaining the illusion of inclusion is coming at an increasingly high cost.

nippersdad's picture
Submitted by nippersdad on

I would say that an unqualified hell's yeah is in order here. I cannot imagine a situation in which I could bring myself to vote for HRC. She represents everything I despise about the existing system.

I'll be sending money to them all: Jill Stein, Sanders and that-guy-from-Maryland, what's-his-name, for good measure. The more the merrier as far as I am concerned.

I see no downsides to his entering the race. If we are going to get a Republican anyway, I at least don't need one claiming the right to speak for me.

nippersdad's picture
Submitted by nippersdad on

It never ceases to amaze me how such as yourself know these things in advance! Where do you find out about them absent riots in Baltimore? I would have never known......And herein lies the value of reading sites like this...

Anyway, I think you are right. When his complicity in the formation of the structures which brought on riots within his former jurisdiction(s) become fully revealed he will be toast.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

what is an apparent move to hinder the inclusion of "real"--read anti-Wall Street/Establishment] third party candidates--like the Greens, Libertarians, etc.--from participating in the 2016 Presidential elections.

Here's a brief excerpt--also rather cryptic, but I'll post more background material later--from a longer post on the topic of Dem/Repub-lead attempt to change the Presidential Debate rules.

A corporatist neoliberal cabal of Dems and Repubs are petitioning the CPD (Commission on Presidential Debates) and the FEC (Federal Election Commission) to put a 'cap' on the number of non-legacy party candidates (no more than one, IOW) who could possibly participate in the 2016 Presidential Debates.

Many of those who are seeking this rule change, are known fiscal austerians, or deficit hawks, and are members of "No Labels." (Jon Huntsman, former Comptroller General David Walker, etc.)

Here's an excerpt on this rule change from (I believe) a Libertarian blog opposing this change:

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., former CIA director Gen. Michael Hayden, former Sens. Bob Kerrey and Joe Lieberman, former Gov. Christine Todd Whitman and retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal are all among the 50 high-profile signatories of Change The Rule’s open letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates.

They are advocating the inclusion of a qualified third candidate in the debates. Change the Rule is a project of Level the Playing Field, a successor effort to Americans Elect which is also funded by billionaire Peter Ackerman.

Like the Our America Initiative lawsuit against the CPD from Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, and the Libertarian and Green Parties, CTR says the current process is rigged against the inclusion of a third candidate, unfairly dominated by Republicans and Democrats, and that the starting point should be which candidates have secured ballot access in enough states to represent a possible winning majority of 270 Electoral College votes. Four candidates- Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Gary Johnson, and Jill Stein- met that threshold in 2012.

Unlike the Our America Initiative lawsuit however, Change the Rule would not include all such candidates in the debate.

Instead they propose to include only a single independent or third-party candidate, based on which one gathered the most petition signatures in their ballot access drive.

This is a rule which would effectively guarantee the inclusion of the weakest alternative candidate who is on the fewest ballots, among those who make it over the 270+ EV threshold.

It would severely handicap existing parties like the Libertarians and Greens for having performed too well in previous elections.

IMHO, this is an incredible move--especially since No Labels pickup almost 60 US Congressional seats in just the 2014 midterms!

(BTW, I never got around to following-up on the 9 "too close to call" races, so there may have been even more than approximately 58 seats won by this toxic organization.)

My question is: Where is Senator Sanders on this matter?

It is difficult to imagine any move more "anti-democratic" than this one.

I'm considering attempting to ask Sanders' campaign, if/when there is one, to state their stance on this matter. I hope others will join me.


Oh, here's a link to the 'Change The Rule' letter.


Download Exhibits

Administrative Complaint filed with the FEC
Petition for Rulemaking filed with the FEC
Opinion Survey: Americans Want an Independent in the Debates
Research Study: The 15% Polling Rule Excludes Independents
Explanation of a Signature Drive Competition

The language of their petition/letter is intentionally deceptive. So, if I can find an audio podcast of the interview that I heard with one of the members pushing this initiative, I will post it. Of course, the blog excerpt pretty much spells out their true mission.

This may be a little scattered--sorry! Sorta pushed, but wanted to share this 'news' ASAP.

nippersdad's picture
Submitted by nippersdad on

You will prolly have a lot of opportunities to ask questions about this of Bernie. Insofar as he has eschewed big donors, he is going to have to be disproportionately high profile in the lefty blogosphere (his ads are following me around the web!). Something like this would make a big splash! An awful lot of people are counting on ultimately voting for the Greens this cycle. Luckily, it looks like the Democratic Party knows it!

Finding pressure points and exploiting them is always a good thing.