Bernie Sanders won’t play the game

The lefty aggregator Reader Supported News put up a video Tuesday of Sen. Bernie Sanders taking a few press questions while campaigning in Iowa. I’ll link to it below. If you have five minutes, take a look. It’s sort of a glimpse into the whole other way of doing politics that Sanders represents.

He’s campaigning in Dubuque, Iowa. He’s just given a speech in which he said he’s not interested in attacking Hillary Clinton, although he is happy to talk about issues, on many of which he disagrees with her. The first question he gets, from a Wall Street Journal reporter, strikes Sanders as an invitation to go after Clinton, perhaps a little more personally, perhaps a little more harshly. I’m not sure the reporter really does anything that bad but Sanders interrupts the reporter thus:

“Time after time, I’m being asked to criticize Hillary Clinton. That’s the sport that you guys like. The campaign is doing well because we’re talking about the issues that impact the American people. I’ve known Hillary Clinton for 25 years. I like her. I respect her. I disagree with her on a number of issues. No great secret. I oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership. I want to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. I am opposed to the Keystone Pipeline. I voted against the war in Iraq. I voted against the USA Patriot Act. These are issues we will discuss. But the issue I want to be talking about is the collapse of the American middle class. The need for millions of decent-paying jobs. The obscenity of the kind of wealth and income inequality that we have today. The reason our campaign is doing well is that people are responding to those issues. So I am not gonna get into the game of attacking Hillary Clinton. We disagree. If I have anything to say about it, we are going to have a respectful and intelligent debate…”

The conventional wisdom is that Sanders has little chance to be nominated and even less to become president. He’s too radical, not too mention old, Jewish, irascible and speaking with a New York accent and having essentially no chance of raising the kind of money it takes to be a serious candidate. I don’t particularly doubt this conventional wisdom (CW), although I do note that the CW has been wrong about pretty much everything so far this year.

Sanders holds positions that, according to the CW, are left of where a presidential candidate can go and still succeed. Maybe the CW is right about this, too. According to the CW, Sanders mostly represents an awkward problem for Clinton. She’s going to need the party’s activist left to support her in November, so she can’t be too dismissive of the left-left positions Sanders represents. But she can’t adopt those positions either. If she did that, the eventual Republican nominee would use them against her in October when both parties are fishing for swing voters in the middle.

But if Sanders has anything to say about that, the party of the left in this country might have to have a respectful and intelligent debate about the issues that divide the left-left from the center-left. What are the odds of that happening?

Oh, yeah. The video of Sanders’ “media availability” is here:

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Comments (79)

  1. Submitted by joe smith on 08/19/2015 - 09:17 am.

    Just wait until the Clinton machine comes after Bernie. Hillary and her crew were the ones who brought up Obama and his citizenship. Up to this point Bernie has not been a threat but with the email server problem hanging over Clinton’s head she will go into attack mode. Let’s see if in 6 months Bernie and Hillary are still being civil to each other. My bet is no.

    • Submitted by Maria Jette on 08/19/2015 - 12:28 pm.

      Sorry– you can’t blame “birtherism” on the Clinton machine.

      Mr. Smith, unless you’ve got some hard evidence to reveal, you’re wrong about your claim (“Hillary and her crew were the ones who brought up Obama and his citizenship.”) Take a look at this (http://www.factcheck.org/2015/07/was-hillary-clinton-the-original-birther/), which notes that while the original goofy idea seems to have been thrown out there by anonymous, rabid Hillary supporters, there’s zero evidence that she or her campaign had anything to do with it. I realize that’s a cruel disappointment for the anti-Hillary crowd, though.

  2. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 08/19/2015 - 11:47 am.

    I like Sanders

    I might even vote for him if I didn’t think that it would give the presidency to the Republicans.
    But the question is still, when the ‘real’ campaigning starts and the superPAC Citizens United money kicks in would he be able to mount an effective run.
    Most voters choose on the basis of familiarity and affiliation.
    Sanders has been getting a lot of free publicity, but will that be enough.
    And you’ve detailed his affiliation problems (he’s a lot like me: from New York, Jewish, irascible, and holds what are now radical positions (although 50 years ago they would have been moderate).
    It will be interesting.
    One possible outcome: he gets the nomination, and while his own campaign continues its retail funding strategy, the Democratic National Committee and other supporters manage the SuperPACs.
    In other words, to win the election he’d have to manage to have it both ways.

    • Submitted by Henk Tobias on 08/19/2015 - 01:04 pm.

      Sanders has a very large volunteer base..

      he doesn’t spend huge piles of cash on Pollsters and Political consultants. Plus, the majority of Americans support his positions. When polls are done and questions are asked fairly people support what he’s saying. Left and Right.

      • Submitted by Dan Hintz on 08/19/2015 - 01:51 pm.

        Pretty much worthless

        Sorry, but if he can’t or won’t raise the several billion dollars it will take to get elected, he has no chance. His very large volunteer base won’t make a difference.

        Money is far from the only problem with Sanders, though. The fact that he describes himself as a Socialist and has taken positions significantly to the left of the electorate will allow the right to tear him apart with ease. You will see down-ticket Democrats distancing themselves from Sanders once that happens. The damage from his candidacy will go well beyond losing the presidency. Sanders is a good guy, and he’s right about a lot of what he’s saying, but he would be a horrifically bad presidential candidate.

        The fact that the “conventional wisdom” is sometimes wrong doesn’t mean Sanders is viable. A lot of the examples here aren’t even real examples of that. Obama was a moderate and prolific fundraiser and an exponentially stronger general election candidate then Sanders.

        • Submitted by Matt Haas on 08/20/2015 - 11:45 am.

          Oh no, not that, anything but that

          I’m far from as liberal as Bernie on some issues, but you are honestly going to use “the right will tear him apart as a socialist” as an argument? Tell me, which democratic candidate will they NOT be labeling a socialist? I’d rather at least the candidate they label such actually BE what they claim, so as to illustrate the difference to those less politically astute. Or I suppose we could keep cringing in terror every time a right winger calls us a “liberal” too. Put on the big boy pants, it’s time to stop being afraid of people with ideas so odious as to be unmentionable in open political debate. The right might yell loudly, they might try to bludgeon opposing views from the conversation, but they are at their core weak. They are the champions of failed ideas, and the purveyors of pain on the vast majority of the populace. Please don’t mistake this as the old “the truth will set them free” idea of liberal enlightenment to an ignorant, politically lazy group of “mainstream voters”. We liberals need to be just as blunt, just as loud, in proclaiming the rightness of our cause as the right has been for decades. This is why Bernie draws my support at least, instead of mealy mouthed, poll watching triangulation, he just speaks what he thinks is correct, not necessarily what the audience might want to hear. As for Obama, who I also supported, how much of his support www based on his moderate reality, as opposed to his hopes for liberal transformation. While those in the know might have understood his true nature, how much of the groundswell support he received did? Why did so many liberals, who supported him all along, push back against the moderation. Do you think it’s because they wanted somone LESS liberal? Its time to quit cowering in the shadows afraid of a bogeyman that won’t go away if it’s ignored.

          • Submitted by Dan Hintz on 08/20/2015 - 01:19 pm.

            Big difference

            There is a huge difference between the right labeling a candidate a socialist, and a candidate self-identifying as one. He’s done their work for them, and is not a viable candidate as a result.

            People have to get past the fantasy that what the American electorate really wants is a liberal candidate. Its no different than conservatives who think that what America wants is an extreme conservative one. That kind of thinking appeals to activists and people who are clued in a year and a half prior to the election. Obama governed as a moderate (and Clinton is running as one) because that is what it takes to get elected. What you call mealy-mouthed, I call understanding the electoral reality of this country.

            • Submitted by Matt Haas on 08/20/2015 - 04:53 pm.

              Hogwash

              And a cop out to boot. Why is it then that nearly every single “liberal” policy proposal, when put to the polls scores favorably. Is your suggestion that the voting populace is just too stupid to identify which candidate supports which ideas? Misanthropic much? To suggest that centrism is what the general populace desires would be to say the the status quo is all that’s desired as well. Find me a poll, any poll, from anyone, that’s suggests that most folks think NOTHING should change from our current societal situation. That’s all a vote for moderation is at this point, the same players, playing the same games, leading to the same crappy outcomes for the vast majority of folks who aren’t independently wealthy. THAT’S what you think the country wants? THAT’S what you are looking for in your government?

              • Submitted by Dan Hintz on 08/20/2015 - 06:21 pm.

                No

                First, centrism and compromise are not the same thing as the status quo. People want change (or say they want change) but don’t agree on what it is.

                If people really wanted all of Sanders’ proposals, we’d have them. We don’t have them and they don’t want them.

              • Submitted by John Appelen on 08/21/2015 - 07:32 am.

                Want vs Pay For

                Back when I was trying to create requirements for new models of mobile equipment, we faced a challenge. People wanted lots of things until they learned what the consequences of adding them were. (ie higher cost, reliability risks due to complexity, longer period of development, etc) Therefore people will say many things when polled and change their mind when they learn more.

                Like “yes everyone should have health insurance”… That is until they find out that it will limit their choices and cost them more. This applies to most of the things that Bernie supports.

                By the way, I was talking to my co-worker from Sweden yesterday about their single payer healthcare plan. He said he does not like it because of long lines and he needs to carry extra coverage to ensure his family is fully covered. Some things apparently look better from afar.

                • Submitted by Dan Hintz on 08/21/2015 - 09:30 am.

                  Good point

                  The problem with polling the things Sanders supports (or really any poltical positions) is that the support changes once the details and costs come in. If you asked me “do you support secure borders” or “do you support protecting Israel” my answers to those basic questions would be yes. But that yes doesn’t mean I support the policies conservatives would attach to those questions.

                  Its delusional to think this country supports Sanders’ positions and just needs a messenger like Sanders to deliver that news.

                • Submitted by jason myron on 08/21/2015 - 11:02 am.

                  Right, John…

                  One guy that you spoke with doesn’t like his heath care. That’s the devotion to empirical data that we’ve all come to expect from today’s conservative.

                • Submitted by Bill Willy on 08/21/2015 - 12:59 pm.

                  Did you mean to say “care”?

                  “Like ‘yes everyone should have health insurance’… That is until they find out that it will limit their choices and cost them more.”

                  You meant to say, “access to health care,” instead of insurance, right?

                  And when it comes to “cost them more,” why is that? Why is our monthly cost of health insurance tens of times more than our monthly cost of water and electricity, even though most of us utilize the health care system infrequently, while all of us utilize water and electricity constantly?

                  Point being, before you start in about supply and demand, market forces, choice, and, of course, “government and taxes driving up costs,” why is health insurance (and health care access) priced at the luxury level while those two other essential services are price at the “affordable for all” level?

                  • Submitted by John Appelen on 08/22/2015 - 08:16 am.

                    Maybe

                    Well ACA aimed at everyone having healthcare via everyone having health insurance, Even single payer is a form of insurance, the premiums and benefits are just handled differently.

                    As for cost factors… Here are some them I identified over the years.
                    http://give2attain.blogspot.com/2011/03/health-care-cost-control-5.html

                    Simple summary: in healthcare we want perfect quality, unlimited coverage, highly educated providers, etc. Also, I am pretty sure the utilities don’t have to pay multi-million dollar settlements every time something goes wrong. All this does not come cheap.

                • Submitted by Theo Kozel on 08/24/2015 - 09:51 am.

                  Conservative memes

                  Having lived in both France and Germany and experienced their health care through scores of friends and acquaintances, then coming back to the US and hearing conservative rhetoric, here is what I know from experience: single payer is more popular than the mixed market system in the US. In fact, America’s healthcare system is downright embarrassing to try to justify.

                  Of course you find in a nation of millions that there are some people that don’t like some aspect of the system they are under. One person not liking the system is meaningless because it is inevitable in any system. The conservative meme about people not liking single payer begs a question: why have nations that been using single payer not adopted something else? Why has the only industrialized nation (the US) which does not have single payer recently taken a baby step in that direction?

                  People not liking single payer is a dishonest meme peddled by conservatives in hopes of convincing people ignorant of the truth. Every healthcare system is messy, every healthcare system has horror stories. But overall the single payer approach used for decades in every other industrialized nations is popular, and America’s system has been regarded with near-universal horror.

                  Here’s a study from 2007 comparing health outcomes in 7 countries. Nobody’s particular thrilled with their healthcare system (seriously, how excited can you get about shots, surgery, etc?), but the percentage of Americans who wanted the system at that time completely scrapped and rebuilt was double what it was in any other country-

                  http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/26/6/w717.abstract?ijkey=btmwgHzAr9YPo&keytype=ref&siteid=healthaff

    • Submitted by Solly Johnson on 08/19/2015 - 04:57 pm.

      Publicity

      “Sanders has been getting a lot of free publicity”

      Where? Actually, he has been getting very little publicity, much less than any other candidates. When a crowd of over 27,000 people were in attendance for his rally in Los Angeles, only two news trucks were there. The corporate media chooses to give him little or no attention.

      • Submitted by Dan Hintz on 08/19/2015 - 09:21 pm.

        Everywhere

        Sanders has had an absurd amount of media coverage, especially for as inconsequential as his campaign is.

  3. Submitted by charles thompson on 08/19/2015 - 09:29 am.

    cw

    Poor CW is light years behind the population. Electable or not Bernie needs to be heard.

    • Submitted by jason myron on 08/19/2015 - 04:29 pm.

      Good point.

      I like Bernie a lot, but as an admitted socialist, he’s unelectable. However, his campaign is doing wonders for the long term health of the Democratic party. The more people connect with a populist message, the worse it’s going to be for the GOP. They have some REAL problems.

  4. Submitted by Steve Titterud on 08/19/2015 - 09:30 am.

    Maybe if numerous political writers, like Eric here, seek to…

    …marginalize Bernie Sanders the way this column does, he might in fact be swept to the sidelines as a Quixotic candidate in an essentially frivolous campaign.

    However, he is raising only serious issues and speaking plainly about them. He is drawing FAR bigger crowds than any other candidate in either party. He has the respect of many, many Americans.

    Sanders introduced his answer to the reporter with – “The corporate media talks about all kinds of issues except the most important issues.” – of which this column is a great example, even if MinnPost and the author might protest they are not “corporate media”. A column like this hauls their water for them.

    The so-called “conventional wisdom” that Eric finds so compelling here is mere chicanery.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 08/19/2015 - 11:50 am.

      Like Trump

      Media attention and big crowds may indicate a dedicated core of support, but they don’t necessarily translate to a majority of voters. There’s a difference between thousands at a state fair and millions of voters.

      • Submitted by jason myron on 08/19/2015 - 04:31 pm.

        Things haven’t even ramped up yet.

        Besides political wonks like us, the majority of the population doesn’t care about an election that’s still a year and a half away.

  5. Submitted by Bill Kahn on 08/19/2015 - 09:42 am.

    Conventional wisdom pretty much belongs to the one percent who hold all the marbles for this rotten campaign game.

    We should all strive for real wisdom, something those playing the game eschew.

    Perhaps 2016 will be a year of the outsiders like Donald Trump, an unapologetic member at the top of the one percent blathering about ‘those people’, and Bernie Sanders, a wise man of the Left reaching out to anyone who will listen.

    Listening seems to be the key. Listen to Trump and you are relieved, either because you believe and see a bright future through his leadership or because you are flabbergasted at the ridiculous nature of what you hear and see no leadership in his future. Listen to Bernie Sanders and you are or can be transported to a place where you can work to benefit yourself as much or more than benefiting someone like Trump.

    I really would like to see these guys going at it in October of 2016, but CW says it will be two other folks you listen to and are not moved to much of anything. Or maybe folks will start distinguishing themselves from CW by showing real wisdom.

  6. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/19/2015 - 10:30 am.

    Thank you

    I appreciate an article about the one candidate who insists upon discussions of substance rather than style.

    As for CW, they said the exact thing about Franken, Dayton, and Obama. CW is about control, not prediction. Those who produce CW have long track record of being to the right of American People and wanting the political system stay to the right of the American People.

    As for Clinton, her problem is that she has hard time producing policy that makes more sense than Sander’s. Her recent attempt at announcing a “fix” for college debt for instance is a typical neo-liberal market fix that saves lenders and over-priced universities at taxpayer expense for instance and does little to help those who are already saddled with crushing debt. It’s a TARP for college debt.

    Basically, my problem with Hillary is that she hails from the era of New Democrats who decided that no real problems were left to solve, all we need to do is “tweak” the system here and there. This has left us with completely insufficient policy initiatives like the original health care plan of the early 90s. They also made room for rolling back incredibly successful liberal policies in education, market regulation, and environmentalism. Furthermore, democrats like Hillary let their fear of losing keep them out of the fight far too often. I can’t think of a single big liberal initiative that Hillary or Bill Clinton ever even fought for, let alone won. The Health Care plan they championed was mish-mash of market tweaking, a REAL liberal initiative would have been single payer, simply moving everyone into Medicare.

    The fact is liberal initiatives work, and we need politicians who will introduce those initiatives and show up for the fight, not dodge it because they’re afraid they might not win. Sander’s is THAT guy, and by the way so was Franklin D. Roosevelt, the most successful democrat in history. If Hillary had a record of introducing big workable liberal initiatives and fighting for them, win or lose, I’d be a lot more comfortable with her. As it is, I don’t trust her, even if moves her rhetoric to the “left”.

    As for Sander’s, I think this might be exactly the year and the election cycle a guy like him can win. Forget Hillary, look at who Sander’s is running against? The republicans are imploding, unable to produce a single candidate that isn’t goofy in a very basic way. The republican clown show opens an opportunity for a candidate like Sander’s, the likes of which we haven’t seen in decades. It’s kind of like the post-Hoover republican implosion of the 1930’s.

    Furthermore, the American People are getting fed up with the inequities of our economic system, even the BBC Business guys are wondering if “Capitalism” is still viable? People are tired of endless crises generated by the refusal to deploy common sense policy initiatives off the shelf. It’s been almost 40 years since we’ve moved the ball forward in any meaningful way and there’s simply no excuse for that. The initiatives Sander’s is talking about literally sell themselves, we just need a candidate that will step up and pitch them.

    Finally, I hear you thinking: “Yeah but Sander’s has to deal with a republican congress”. Two things: First, the republicans are going to start losing congress, they had their shot and blew it. Second, Sander’s, unlike Obama, isn’t going to expect cooperation from incalcitrant republicans and blue dog democrats, if they want to fight, he’ll fight. Roosevelt faced the same issues when he introduced the New Deal, neither party was really enthusiastic, but you fight for it and you chip away at the opposition until you win. It’s like Howard Zinn used to say: “When it comes to peace and justice and equality, you always lose before and until you win.”

    The real question, and Sanders gets this, is when and whether the media will give him the attention he deserves. This is no third party candidate, he’s out polling Hillary in some instances. We have one guy who actually saying absolutely nothing and literally refuses to discuss and substance (Trump), and another guy who refuses to discuss anything but substance… and who’s in the news every day? Sanders needs to break through that barrier and I think he knows it, I just don’t know if he can pull it off.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 08/19/2015 - 11:55 am.

      FDR

      Actually, FDR during his first term tried mostly incremental changes, despite the demands of the Depression, and even in 1937 nearly blew out the economy by trying to toll back much of the New Deal.
      It was WWII that finally made major changes in the social support system possible.

      • Submitted by Steve Titterud on 08/19/2015 - 04:13 pm.

        A summary of FDR’s first 100 days of his first term.

        (begin quote)
        FDR quickly won congressional passage for a series of social, economic, and job-creating bills that greatly increased the authority of the federal government—the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, which supplied states and localities with federal money to help the jobless; the Civil Works Administration to create jobs during the first winter of his administration; and the Works Progress Administration, which replaced FERA, pumped money into circulation, and concentrated on longer-term projects. The Public Works Administration focused on creating jobs through heavy construction in such areas as water systems, power plants, and hospitals. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. protected bank accounts. The Civilian Conservation Corps provided jobs for unemployed young men. The Tennessee Valley Authority boosted regional development. Also approved were the Emergency Banking Act, the Farm Credit Act, and the National Industrial Recovery Act.

        In all, Roosevelt got 15 major bills through Congress in his first 100 days. “Congress doesn’t pass legislation anymore—they just wave at the bills as they go by,” said humorist Will Rogers.

        “Never before had a president converted so many promises into so much legislation so quickly,” wrote historian James McGregor Burns in The Lion and the Fox .
        (end quote)

        …from http://www.usnews.com/news/history/articles/2009/02/12/the-first-100-days-franklin-roosevelt-pioneered-the-100-day-concept?page=2

        There is certainly no doubt that the huge demands for human resources and materiel of WWII brought about significant change, but it seems inaccurate to describe the above accomplishments as “incremental”.

        Another thing about FDR is that he felt just about any kind of solution could be tried, and if it didn’t work, move on to trying something else – until you found something that DID solve a problem. This is an approach that guarantees a certain amount of failure, but also proves to be a sure-footed way to success.

        • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 08/19/2015 - 05:55 pm.

          I agree

          that these were significant pieces of legislation, but most of them dealt specifically with the Depression and are not still in existence (off hand, the FDIC and the TVA are the two exceptions).
          They were not the permanent changes in our social support system that Social Security was and is.

      • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/20/2015 - 08:34 am.

        Thanks for filling in the history

        Steve and Paul.

      • Submitted by Bill Willy on 08/21/2015 - 03:26 pm.

        Gov/FDR/DFL-created jobs, growth, prosperity

        When it comes to that part of the contemporary “CW” that says, “Government can’t create jobs, growth and prosperity; only the private sector can (so give us more tax breaks so we can get at that),” there are few, if any, discreet private sector projects that have created as much of those things as the construction of the Boulder (Hoover) and Grand Coulee dams.

        Besides the immediate depression era work and income relief involved, how many jobs, how much growth and widespread prosperity (for all) was created in Nevada, Arizona, and California in the years following Boulder’s completion in 1939?

        Grand Coulee, “one of the largest structures ever built by mankind,” was finished in 1942, just in time to provide “the enormous electrical power necessary to make aluminum, so essential for World War II production of planes and ships,” not to mention powering Boeing Aircraft Works near Seattle and shipyards in Vancouver, Washington, and Portland, Oregon.

        Besides doing the same thing in terms of creating thousands of badly needed Great Depression jobs, the Grand Coulee did the same thing for the job creation, growth and democratic prosperity of the “Great Northwest” the Boulder dam did for the “Great Southwest.”

        And both are still helping those things along to this day, 75 years later.

        And both were the same kind of “infrastructure investments” Obama and Democrats have been advocating since his election but the GOP has opposed at every turn. They control the House and the Senate but can’t even come up with a way to put together a mutually beneficial transportation bill to fill potholes (using already-collected fed gas tax money).

        “Pathetic” doesn’t come anywhere close to describing the way Republicans have been wasting American’s time and stunting their economic growth while shilling for the handful of people Bernie Sanders is talking about.

        Don’t vote Republican. No need to vote for Democrats, but do America a favor by just sitting the next one out if you just can’t imagine doing that.

    • Submitted by Solly Johnson on 08/19/2015 - 05:12 pm.

      Nice job

      You and Richard Owens below have written good, factual summaries. Thank you.

  7. Submitted by Mike Hicks on 08/19/2015 - 10:32 am.

    Hillary has a dynasty problem

    I can’t support Hillary for president, since she’s already lived in the White House. I can’t support the dynastic trend we’ve had with father and son Bush presidents, with another son/brother also taking his shot this year. I’ve felt that many reporters love the idea of a Clinton vs. Bush story too much. Let’s just make that go away.

    I’m a fan of most of Sanders’ positions, but I have to acknowledge that I probably wouldn’t be as interested in his candidacy if not for the fact that he’s not a Clinton.

  8. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 08/19/2015 - 10:41 am.

    I respect Bernie Sanders

    because he’s honest and principled.

    And you can tell he’s having difficulty adapting to the new democrat emphasis of racial and gender politics, as his dustup with the Black Lives Matter group the other day indicates. As an old leftist, his message is about economics and how the government should play a large role in tilting the labor marketplace in favor of labor. He’s into class, not race. The party’s race and gender-based constituencies are all new to him. And he was a bit taken aback when the BLM folks challenged him to take up their cause. I respected him for his reaction to that nonsense.

    Some interesting fantasy matchups:

    Sanders vs. Trump – the quintessential labor v. management debate
    Sanders vs. Rubio – old socialist versus young Cuban anti-socialist
    Sanders vs. Carson – white liberal vs. black conservative (only because it would take race out of the race)
    Sanders vs. Fiorina – Same debate as Sanders vs. Trump only different industries (union vs. non-union)

    But I hope Mrs. Clinton hangs around until next year, frankly. The longer she stays in the race the better it is for the GOP.

  9. Submitted by richard owens on 08/19/2015 - 10:46 am.

    Compare Senator Sanders’ platform to the bloviators’ “platforms”

    [from http://www.sanders.senate.gov/agenda/

    1) Rebuilding Our Crumbling Infrastructure
    2) Reversing Climate Change
    3) Creating Worker Co-ops
    4) Growing the Trade Union Movement
    5) Raising the Minimum Wage
    6) Pay Equity for Women Workers
    7) Trade Policies that Benefit American Workers
    8) Making College Affordable for All
    9) Taking on Wall Street
    10) Health Care as a Right for All
    11) Protecting the Most Vulnerable Americans
    12) Real Tax Reform

    This guy is wide awake about “what ails America”.
    This guy does not take bribes or make alliances with Billionaires.
    This guy is INFORMED.
    This guy is PRACTICAL.
    This guy will truly represent ALL AMERICANS.

    Let’s see the other folks’ platforms, even if it takes space away from that photo of a porkchop on a stick.

    • Submitted by Henk Tobias on 08/19/2015 - 01:00 pm.

      And…

      The majority of Americans, left and right, support all but two or three of those 12 issues.

    • Submitted by joe smith on 08/19/2015 - 01:59 pm.

      Someone has to pay for all the “free” stuff Bernie wants to give the folks!! He is a socialist, the chair of the DNC couldn’t tell a MSNBC host the difference between a socialist and a democrat. Until we get someone in the office that understands we can’t keep piling on debt to our children, we will be in trouble. Between Bush and Obama we are moving towards a Greece type of reckless spending and entitlement society that has never been able to stand. I heard steady when Bush took the debt from 4 trillion to 8 that he was un-American, not hearing much about Obama taking it to 19 trillion. They both were reckless spenders, we need some sanity in the fiscal arena.

      • Submitted by Bill Kahn on 08/19/2015 - 03:35 pm.

        The national debt

        The large national debt under Obama is there because of the Bush/Cheney ‘free’ wars. We might lower that if we can manage world peace and economic stimulus less anemic and targeted more reasonably than most Republicans will allow.

        • Submitted by John Appelen on 08/19/2015 - 05:42 pm.

          Source

          These folks agree with Joe, both Bush and Obama get part of the never ending deficit credit…
          http://www.factcheck.org/2012/06/obamas-spending-inferno-or-not/

          By the way, I do like Bernie’s character. To bad he is such a big fan of government control at the expense of personal freedoms and responsibility.

          • Submitted by Bill Kahn on 08/19/2015 - 10:50 pm.

            Your link is irrelevant because you confuse deficits with the National Debt; it is also pretty old, dealing with claims made during the 2012 campaign.

            Simply look at the National Debt during Bush’s last term through Obama’s first and it is obvious what causes the increase.

            • Submitted by John Appelen on 08/20/2015 - 05:32 pm.

              Perfectly Clear

              I am perfectly clear regarding deficit and national debt. Obama had full control in 2009 and 2010, he chose to focus on his legacy (ie ACA) rather than on cutting spending or raising taxes. After that, thankfully he had the GOP to force the sequestor that no one liked…

              Is this a better source.

              http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2015/apr/09/rand-paul/rand-paul-debt-has-tripled-bush-took-office/

              • Submitted by Bill Kahn on 08/20/2015 - 06:23 pm.

                If you were clear on the difference you would not have used the first link.

                If you had any notion of proving your point, you would not have used the second. Executive policy has very little to do with the national debt unless you run up big tabs for things like deploying our armed forces in war and we can thank Bush/Cheney lies and the gullibility of Congress at the time for that.

                My point is that we are still paying for Bush’s war on Iraq (and other way over price War on Terror policy) and if we elect any more Republicans to the White House or Congress we will probably see the national debt double or triple due to their new wars and trade giveaways.

                Do you actually read the stuff you use to support your positions?

                • Submitted by John Appelen on 08/21/2015 - 09:44 pm.

                  Yes

                  Joe noted that Bush and Obama both were responsible for the massive national debt . I have provided 2 sources that agree with him. Whether you agree with them or not is for you to decide. Yearly deficits add to the National Debt and Obama had 2 years of Democrats having full control. Yet the rich are still not paying “their fair share”.

                  Please remember that we were spending money in the middle east before Bush was President and will likely br doing so after Obama is gone. Also, please don’t forgot all those innocents who died in NY.

                  • Submitted by Bill Kahn on 08/22/2015 - 07:16 am.

                    Agree with him? All you too can do is spout Republican talking points and mischaracterize what you read as supporting them. I give up. You take your last distortion of you must.

                    • Submitted by John Appelen on 08/22/2015 - 07:52 am.

                      Source

                      My sources were factchecker and politifact, they are about as centrist as I can find. What are your thoughts why Obama and the Democrats didn’t raise the taxes on the rich when they were in full control? Bush and Obama are just people, one isn’t the villain and the other a hero, I am okay with that.

                    • Submitted by Bill Kahn on 08/23/2015 - 07:03 am.

                      Double down on an argument with false premises? Your sources do not matter when you misrepresent them as supporting your argument. You ask, essentially, to be ignored, and that is what voters should do to all Republican political candidates since they all have the same problem.

                      You can only do so much, even if you have “control,” as you put it (“full control” of Congress is a contradiction of terms). Re-instituting a progressive income tax so that all of the rich reinvest rather than hoard, is a good thing to do, and if we continue to elect sensible people who solve problems rather than folks who cause the problems and blame everyone else for them, we will get around to it and the national debt will start going down again (regardless of deficit or surpluse).

                      We are all just people, but people with different ideas, some factual, some not so much. I could, like Bush try to quote Lincoln and wind up quoting The Who, but as long as people stop getting fooled again, it does not matter. One sure way you “don’t get fooled again” is to never vote Republican.

                    • Submitted by John Appelen on 08/24/2015 - 02:08 pm.

                      Please explain how this would work…
                      “the national debt will start going down again (regardless of deficit or surpluse).”

                      From my simple understanding, Deficits make the National Debt bigger and Surpluses make the debt smaller. Or am I misunderstanding something here?

                      http://www.cbpp.org/research/federal-budget/policy-basics-deficits-debt-and-interest

                    • Submitted by Bill Kahn on 08/25/2015 - 04:27 pm.

                      You need me to explain how a healthy, strong economy brings the national debt down?

                    • Submitted by jason myron on 08/25/2015 - 04:35 pm.

                      Apparently.

                      But remember, he;’s also the guy that thinks there’s massive welfare fraud but no waste in the military budget. Best of luck…

                    • Submitted by John Appelen on 08/26/2015 - 02:10 pm.

                      Yes please explain how one reduce the size in dollars of the Debt while running Deficits.

      • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 08/19/2015 - 06:01 pm.

        Given the current interest rates

        the national debt is costing us less than it did under Bush.
        And of course the economy itself is bigger.
        The interest rates are the key — we’re not paying the interest rates that Greece was.
        There are many other differences in the two economic situations — productivity, for instance; ‘Greece’ has become a conservative swear word with little real meaning in economic terms.

      • Submitted by Karen Sandness on 08/19/2015 - 06:19 pm.

        How to reduce the national debt

        (which right-wingers never worry about when advocating useless wars or corporate welfare).

        1. Pass a Constitutional amendment forbidding the U.S. to send foreign troops overseas unless the U.S. or one of its treaty-bound allies is directly threatened, and even then, only with a formal declaration of war and a 2/3 vote of Congress. Additionally, if such a vote passes, that immediately triggers a nationwide draft, with the first-degree relatives of the president, the Cabinet, and Congress first to go. (Would George W. Bush have been so eager to invade Iraq if it had meant that Jenna and Barbara would be headed for boot camp?) This will immediately cut down on military expenses.

        2. Restore the income tax brackets (adjusted for inflation) to those of the Reagan era, or better yet, those of the Eisenhower era. Remember, these are marginal rates. No one is going to lose 70-91% of his entire income, no matter how much the AM radio demagogues like to deceive their audiences on that point.

        3.Institute an alternative minimum tax for corporations. That is, if they show an on-paper loss due to stupid accounting tricks but are still thriving in real life, then it’s 10% of their gross revenue—which may actually cost more than declaring a profit and paying the standard rate on that. And no, unless they’re really stupid, they won’t raise prices to pay their income taxes, since raising prices would only increase their taxable income. However, they could lower their taxes by paying their rank-and-file employees more, contributing to charity, conducting R&D programs, and all those other things that have been sacrificed to please the Almighty Shareholder.

        4. No-bid contracts, such as the ones Cheney’s good buddies received during the invasion of Iraq, are a form of corruption and should be treated as such. Bidding should be competitive, and companies should receive preference based on how much of their workforce is in the U.S.

        Yes, the Big Money Boys will kick and scream. So what? There are more of us than there are of them.

        • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 08/19/2015 - 08:06 pm.

          Good points

          Especially #2.
          If you cut taxes enough, we can’t afford anything (see North, Oliver, bath tub).

        • Submitted by joe smith on 08/19/2015 - 09:54 pm.

          Reduce debt

          How to reduce the national debt:
          1. Spend less
          2. See 1
          3. Stop the automatic increases in Federal programs, only in DC is a 3.5% increase called a cut because it is not 4.5% as the prior yr.
          4. Cut redundancies in Federal programs
          5. Let corporations bring back the trillions of dollars from off shore back at a low % tax rate
          6. Lower corporate tax rate and incentivize companies to manufacture in USA
          7. Use our natural resources ( mining, logging oil, gas) to create jobs, create wealth and make us less reliant on foreign oil
          8. Reduce regulations on small businesses that prohibit growth
          9. No more bailouts of banks and auto makers.
          10. Spend less
          On a side note about our military, we need a strong military on the ready to protect America. You may have noticed that the world is not playing nice right now. To say we will organize a military after a strike on us is not practical at all. Protecting America is the one thing our constitution calls for our Govt to spend money on.

          • Submitted by Joel Fischer on 08/20/2015 - 08:36 am.

            Indeed

            Let me see if I have this right:

            1. Ignore inflation
            2. See 1
            3. See 1
            4. Starting with the Military
            5. Give free money to corporations
            6. See 5
            7. Rape and pillage the countryside
            8. Allow businesses to do whatever they want, citizenry be damned
            9. Hey. Something that makes sense!
            10. See 1

            Our defense spending is more than the next how many countries combined?

            • Submitted by joe smith on 08/20/2015 - 05:04 pm.

              What planet do you live on when endless spending is good, creating jobs is bad, no one uses lumber, steel, cars, electricity, copper, nickel and 1 million other everyday items that our natural resources give us? Bernie will always get votes with Minnesotans, thank goodness the the majority of Americans are not yet ready to vote for a socialist.

              • Submitted by Bill Kahn on 08/21/2015 - 08:37 am.

                Unfortunately, our planet will always be the same one. If we could have access to another to move to or send Republicans to spoil instead of ruining Earth, that might be an answer, but that answer is the stuff of science fiction now.

                Spending money is how modern economies work. Governments should spend more money when others cannot in order to drive the economy upward until they can again; they should not spend in places it will not recirculate, like giving it to rich entities who bank it and wait for a better economy to invest, they should give it to only those who spend or invest it on things that drive our economy up.

                Creating low wage jobs is bad. Business will create them, but they will always go begging and cost us in the damage they do.

                The other stuff you mention aside from lumber and electricity–I mean sustainably harvested lumber and the kind of electricity you can get without fossil fuels or destroying our land and rivers–are finite, unless you get it off world in another science fiction fantasy.

                America is ready for a lot more than most Republicans can think of or fear. We are ready to show those who serve themselves at our expense, the sidelines, forever I hope. Bernie may not lead us there, but it will not be some Tea Party member or smarmy politician courting those who don’t know much of anything about the planet Earth or anything else they might speak of. It may rankle those libertarians among us, but we are essentially a species of socialists, and Bernie Sanders is a good one, however one perceives the word.

                Our new president will do what has to be done and spend what is necessary to do it.

          • Submitted by Jon Kingstad on 08/20/2015 - 09:08 am.

            Spending and taxing

            The national debt is not a problem. Economists have shown that the deficit has shrunken because of growth of the economy. That was spurred on by the deficit spending after 2008.

            The problem today is that the government is not collecting enough taxes from those who have profited by all the policies enacted over the past 30 years. There’s not much more that can be cut from spending that will not have disastrous consequences.

            The mind set about cutting spending is not helpful when you cut the means to collect the taxes actually owed. Last year, the Republican Congress gutted IRS tax enforcement to “spend less.” I don’t think we’re going to see any great movement to recapture corporate or other money from offshore tax havens.

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chuck-marr/house-gops-irs-budget-cut_b_5589335.html

          • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 08/20/2015 - 10:11 am.

            Explanations, Please

            How would 5-8 help reduce the national debt? The only place one still hears the “lower taxes will increase revenue” bit is open mic night at a political comedy club.

            In fact, how would any of these reduce the national debt? The national debt has already accrued, and is money that is supposed to be repaid to the nation’s creditors? How many holders of Treasury bills are going to be happy with getting a “We cut spending!” as the return on their investment?

  10. Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 08/19/2015 - 11:03 am.

    How refreshing Bernie Sanders is!

    And, how shameful it is that the establishment press cannot seem to bring itself to do the work of actually following and articulating issues, rather than make up “war stories” about candidate rivalries based on nothing except the press’s invented conflicts.

    The video here was super-revealing: here’s a very intelligent man who knows America and what ails us as a society and a body politic, trying to get us to focus on the nature of our problems and possible solutions, not on the nature of other candidates’ personal attributes or failings. That’s refreshing!

    The economic divide that we now suffer is something Americans don’t know enough about, and Senator Sanders understands how the right, and the wealthy, have usurped most of the rhetorical space in which the public might have some chance of learning about it, and acting in their own interests. He is insisting on opening up that rhetorical space for the people and their real issues. Bravo!

  11. Submitted by Sheldon Gitis on 08/19/2015 - 11:47 am.

    no chance of raising the kind of money it takes to be a serious

    $15M in a couple months, from more donors than will give many times that amount to Hilary Clinton or Scott Walker, sounds like serious money to me.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/07/02/bernie-sanders-fundraising_n_7715180.html

    • Submitted by Dan Hintz on 08/19/2015 - 02:15 pm.

      Nope

      In the wake of Citizens United, its not serious money. Not even close.

      We live in a plutocracy now.

      • Submitted by Matt Haas on 08/20/2015 - 04:56 pm.

        So then, the answer is?

        Just give up your principles and hope the compromise candidate you choose doesn’t screw things up as bad as the other guy would. Inspiring.

        • Submitted by Dan Hintz on 08/20/2015 - 06:14 pm.

          Compromise

          I don’t see compromise as a dirty word. Compromise is how people with different interests get things done. Sanders supporters have this idea that you can only be principled if you take extreme and inflexible positions. I don’t think that’s true at all, and really makes them no better than the Ted Cruz types in the Republican party.

          Sanders has a long record of introducing legislation that goes absolutely nowhere. It makes him seem ideologically pure, but that purity has never done much for anyone. To me, the politicians with integrity are the ones who do the hard work to get legislation passed, which involves compromise. When the ACA was upheld in court, Sanders response was to criticize the law because it wasn’t single-payer. Well, that wasn’t and isn’t going to happen, but the bill that did pass benefitted millions of people. I reserve words like prinicple and integrity for the people who did the work to pass that bill. I have no idea why people think they apply to Sanders and his grandstanding.

          • Submitted by Matt Haas on 08/20/2015 - 09:48 pm.

            Furthermore

            “Really makes them no better than the Ted Cruz types”
            So all policy is equally of merit then? To equate Bernie’s preferred approach to Randian social Darwinism is ludicrous. If compromise would weaken legislation to the point of irrelevance why should Sen. Sanders (or anyone in similar circumstances) accept it, the difference between passage and not becomes meaningless. Are there no lines which should not be crossed on principle?
            “Those who do the hard work of getting legislation passed”
            So you’d support a bipartisan effort to dismantle the ACA and replace it with some conservative smoke and mirrors simply to “get something done” then? Compromise for the sake of optics (the vast majority of what passes for “bipartisanship” these days) is meaningless. There needs to be a rational set of opposing actors to work with. Perhaps you believe there is something left of value within today’s version of conservatism and its practitioners. Many of us believe it’s nothing more than a cancer, its continued existence a threat to the foundations of our society. What benefit can come from capitulation to it in any form?

            Centrism doesn’t really exist, in and of itself. It is simply a reflection of the mix of liberal and conservative positions an individual finds themselves drawn toward. Bernie’s lack of faith in the conservative side of the equation isn’t necessarily borne out of rigidity, a simple look at the last thirty years of history should be enough to persuade anyone (outside the plutocrat set) of its merit, and to dissuade anyone from the notion that conservative mythology is in any way relevant or desirable to anyone except the plutocrats.

            • Submitted by Dan Hintz on 08/21/2015 - 09:17 am.

              No

              My comparison to Cruz is only in approach – I support most of what Sanders supports and I find Cruz’s positions abhorrent. But I recognize that there are people who believe the exact opposite. My point is that taking extreme positions and being unwiling to compromise is not a good approach no matter where you are on the ideological spectrum.

              I do not support compromise and bipartisanship (which are not necessarily the same thing) for the sake of optics or “getting something done.” Compromise is a means to an end and not vice versa. I would prefer not to compromise – the ACA could have been a lot better. But the bill that did pass was a huge improvement over the status quo. Bill Clinton (who I’m sure got it somewhere else) used to say something like don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

              In saying that compromise can be a good thing, I am not necessarily saying that centrist or conservative positions have merit. Rather, I am recognizing that those positions – regardless of merit – are supported by a lot of people (and politicians) and that has to be taken into account in trying to pass legislation. Sanders can reject conservative or centrist positions as having no merit all he wants, but they still exist and need to be addressed. Its the difference between the real world and fantasyland. Its not relevant or desiresble, but its reality.

              • Submitted by Matt Haas on 08/21/2015 - 11:51 pm.

                Reality

                Let me explain reality as I see it. The House is likely in conservative hands at least until 2022, the result of liberal complacence in the wake of Obama’s election. This means that 1. Barring something unforeseen, little, if any, meaningful policy is forthcoming from the legislative branch. 2. Continued brinksmanship on matters like the debt ceiling, and budget proposals can be expected for the same period. 3. Continued electoral success in the presidential race by Democrats will drive the GOP even further right than at present.
                This leaves us with a quandary, in order to get anything passed, your compromise approach will require the acquiescence of an increasingly hard line conservative representative base. This would require any legislation to likewise take on a more hard-line conservative essence. To get things done with your model we’d essentially need to cede ground, continue the rightward slide that’s been occurring since Reagan. This would be the approach I foresee with someone like Hillary, so concerned with the optics of appearing centrist as to sell the farm and lose the long-term fight.
                Bernie on the other hand, I see refusing to be pushed, willing to let the conservative base hang itself with its mythological narrative. It really becomes an issue not of compromise itself, but of knowing what compromise can be allowed without sabotaging the ultimate aim. As most real progress during this time will by necessity come in the form of executive order, who would you rather be issuing them, the guy whose positions you claim to support, or the lady whose positions may be OK, or which might further enthrall us to plutocracy that threatens our society. Should we gain the Senate, would you rather the person appointing the next Supreme court justice be interested in justice for folks like you and me, or in justice for corporate benefactors. I don’t mean to sound Pollyannaish, but we aren’t likely to get many more shots to turn this ship taround, at least in our lifetimes. Why play it safe now, when the opposition is so weak?

                • Submitted by Todd Hintz on 08/25/2015 - 12:23 pm.

                  Points For Style

                  Nice analysis, Matt.

                  Hilary is the safe choice, if you want more of the same. Bernie is a more radical option, but also more pragmatic in my opinion. Personally, I’m tired of the former as it’s got us some progress in terms of the ACA and some environmental initiatives, but I see too much of the same ol’ when it comes to military spending, free trade agreements, and domestic spying.

                  At the end of the day the wealthy don’t need yet another one of their own in the White House passing bills that favor their buddies. We need someone who will level the playing field and give the middle and lower classes a break so we can get something to eat, cover health care costs, and send our kids to college with the hope that they’ll have a better future than us.

                  • Submitted by Sean Olsen on 08/25/2015 - 01:11 pm.

                    A lot of the moderation in what Obama was able to accomplish, though, was the result of Democratic opposition in Congress. Can Bernie Sanders be more effective than Barack Obama in breaking through that (assuming Dems can retake the Senate)?

      • Submitted by Matt Haas on 08/20/2015 - 04:59 pm.

        By the way

        I understand the pragmatism you speak of, I practice it with local and state election all the time. But we’ok never get out from under the plutocracy you speak of if all we aspire to do is elect different plutocrats to office.

    • Submitted by Karen Sandness on 08/19/2015 - 04:42 pm.

      CW forgets one important thing

      In order to get elected, money is nice, but in November 2016, the eventual winner will need VOTES. Look at all the money Mitt Romney spent. Going back farther and more local, look at how much of his own money Mark Dayton spent in his first unsuccessful run for the Senate against Dave Durenburger in the 1980s.

      Say a candidate needs $10 million to win. He can get it from 2500 individuals each contributing $2000 plus $5 million from his party and various PACs. Or, he can get it from 1 million individuals, each of whom contributes $10.

      Which tactic will bring in more votes?

      There’s a reason that the extremely popular Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio goes around the state giving low-cost fundraisers. When I lived in Portland, between 1993 and 2003, he used to rent a brew pub for $30 pizza and beer fundraisers, and I went, even though his district is centered on Eugene and Springfield, simply because I liked the idea of a Congressman who was willing to let people talk to him without paying a month’s income for the privilege.

      A person who can be persuaded to contribute ANYTHING to a candidate is more likely to vote for that candidate and to persuade friends to vote for that candidate than is someone who has only seen attack ads on TV.

      • Submitted by Dan Hintz on 08/19/2015 - 09:18 pm.

        Money will bring in more votes

        Money does not guarantee you will win, but it is a requirement to win. Sanders is not running in a safe Democratic district in Oregon – he’s running for president, and his fundraising is grossly inadequate.

  12. Submitted by colin kline on 08/19/2015 - 12:02 pm.

    I am voting for Bernie Sanders because he is the best candidate.

  13. Submitted by John Edwards on 08/19/2015 - 12:08 pm.

    Origin of “Conventional Wisdom”

    My recollection of this phrase is that it originated as a very creative description of the massive speculation surrounding the Gerald Ford-Ronald Reagan competition for the presidential endorsement at the 1976 Republican convention in Kansas City. Ford had more primary delegates than Reagan—but not a majority—leading to much backstage manipulation, which was fodder for pundits.

    The clever wording has been used so often it has lost its original context—that a true political convention has to be involved.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 08/19/2015 - 01:13 pm.

      Nope

      The term was popularized by John Kenneth Galbraith in his book, The Affluent Society, some years before 1976. It refers to accepted, and predictable, ideas.

      • Submitted by Karen Sandness on 08/19/2015 - 06:24 pm.

        Yes, I think it’s even older than that

        Most of the time, conventional wisdom is simply conventional, not right or even provable. It’s what people tell one another to reassure themselves about the status quo.

  14. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/20/2015 - 08:43 am.

    Meanwhile note that…

    This article about Bernie Sander’s has gotten nearly 8 times the number of Facebook “likes”, and twice the number of “tweets” as any other Black Ink article in the last couple of weeks. It’s not scientific but don’t tell us that liberals aren’t interested in Bernie Sanders. And don’t tell me the media isn’t covering Sanders because there’s no audience. I’m guessing for instance that this article has generated a similar multiple in page visits for Minnpost, and I would point out that Sanders trounces Trump 7 to 1. If I’s you guys in the media I’d take note that Sanders gets more eyeballs than Trump and cover accordingly.

  15. Submitted by beryl john-knudson on 08/20/2015 - 09:44 am.

    One for the money, two for the show?

    It is a hard sell for a public that admires money and power in any unacceptable form and expect them to vote for a candidate who may not win in this most confused society?

    Who’s the culprit here, destroying the voting booth and turning it into an expensive lottery that awards the money kings and tramples any ounce of democracy… in a society where, it seems, voter/citizens openly or secretly admire the likes of Trump?

    I will vote for Bernie Sanders and tell myself, win or lose, he is/ was out there for me and how many others who recognize that the nation as we know it has compromised its ideals so many times lately… in war and peace by adopting or at least recognizing a form of ‘cultural imperialism’; as ‘CI’ too often sways our leaders to act as tyrants on the world stage and call it ‘intervention’ and “necessary collateral damage” etc…all this to be so carefully or carelessly justified?

    Then tying it all up with a ribbon; a quick fix on questionable intention? One way to after the fact, after the act, rhetorically clean up our ‘past interventions’ as necessary protection of ourselves no matter what the honest scenario that created that bloody search for oil and power…all the deeds that the Cheney’s and the Bush men and the Rumsfeld’s of this world respect?

    Obama did what he could under one very restrictive congress. He will be remembered well if our history books tell the story, yet who knows?

    I say Bernie Sanders is our conscience – win or lose – if we as citizens of a most wounded democracy have the capacity to hear? You may think otherwise but this one still has hope laced with much cynicism…so it goes

    Most of the candidates words rustle like dead leaves, brown leaves scattered by the winds…words heard so many times they are rendered brittle,lifeless; meaningless now in the autumn season

    It is not a good year for leaf nor politician as the days shorten and the air grows colder…this gullible world for too long now has shed leaves and blood; leaves and blood…one to honor the season – the other to shed life without reason.

  16. Submitted by Joe Musich on 08/20/2015 - 09:07 pm.

    Bernie Sanders ….

    President Bernie Sanders ! He has been speaking truth to power since first being elected. The electorate in the major has caught up to him or more importantly what he values. It has been a painful education for the American Electorate. However the “Silenced Majority” has now arrived. To borrow Cornell West’s phraseology we are leaving the ice age of politics. Good for us.

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