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Author Topic: Sen. Bernie Sanders  (Read 320 times)
Power User
Posts: 34195

« on: June 02, 2015, 12:37:51 PM »

From 4% to 16%?!?
Power User
Posts: 34195

« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2015, 01:45:09 PM »
Power User
Posts: 34195

« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2015, 10:29:11 AM »

As polls now show Bernie beating Hillary in NH, , ,

People who follow politics probably know that Bernie Sanders, the U.S. senator from Vermont who is challenging Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, is a socialist. Whether they give a fig is a separate matter, which may tell you something about today’s Democrats.

Mr. Sanders is currently drawing the largest crowds of any candidate in either party. On Monday, he drew a crowd his campaign estimated at 27,500 to the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, including those in an overflow area outside, watching on giant video screens. Over the weekend, 28,000 people turned out to see him in Portland, Ore., and a campaign stop in Seattle pulled 15,000. The conventional wisdom is that Mr. Sanders’s bid is destined to fail. His progressive base is too white and too small for a party that places a premium on “diversity,” and the Democratic establishment has already settled on Mrs. Clinton.

All true, perhaps. The disruption of his Seattle appearance by “Black Lives Matter” protesters suggests that challenges lie ahead for him. But it is also true that no one is saying Bernie Sanders can’t win because America isn’t ready to elect an avowed socialist as president, which might have been the case not too long ago.

Mr. Sanders, a New York City native, moved to Vermont in 1968 after becoming involved with the radical left while attending the University of Chicago. He first ran for Senate in 1972 as the candidate of the socialist Liberty Union Party and garnered just 2% of the vote. He lost a few more statewide races, and then eked out a 10-vote victory in 1981 to become mayor of Burlington. In 1990, running as an independent, he became only the third socialist ever elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. The one preceding him—Victor Berger of Wisconsin—left office in 1929.

Berger was a founding member of the Socialist Party of America, which nominated labor leader Eugene Debs for president five times between 1900 and 1920. The first part of the 20th century was socialism’s heyday. Debs never won a state but he did win almost 6% of the popular vote in 1912, and the party elected about 1,200 candidates to local offices during that period. The socialists, however, with their calls for income redistribution and the nationalization of resources, were never able to compete with Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s coalition of Big Labor, blacks and rural whites in the South.

In 1932, the Socialist Party won just 2% of the vote, and in 1936 it managed less than half of 1%. Depression-era Democrats wanted economic growth, not a cradle-to-grave welfare state. When a 1935 Gallup poll asked voters to assess the amount of government spending on relief and recovery, only one in 10 said spending was too low, and the respondents who said spending was too high outnumbered those who said it was adequate by 2 to 1.

“Socialist parties blossomed in every important country in Europe in the second half of the nineteenth century, mobilizing mass support for expanding the power of the state, both to provide welfare services (such as pensions) and to restrain the power of the market,” write John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge in their 2004 history of U.S. politics, “The Right Nation.” “But in America socialists cast their seed on barren ground.”

Notwithstanding FDR’s New Deal and Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society programs, the authors note, when Ronald Reagan won the presidency in 1980 “on a wave of resentment against ‘big government,’ the United States had a lower tax rate, a smaller deficit as a proportion of GNP, a less developed welfare state and fewer government-owned industries than any other western industrialized nation.”

If the Democratic Party once felt the need to distinguish itself from socialism, that no longer seems to be the case. When Mr. Sanders entered Congress in 1991, “Democrats initially balked at accepting a Socialist in their caucus,” according to the “Almanac of American Politics.” Eventually, however, he was granted seniority status as a Democrat, and he used it to push a progressive agenda that included tax increases, single-payer health care, a 50% reduction in military spending and a national energy policy.

It was working-class voters who backed Debs a century ago, but Mr. Sanders’s socialism appeals mainly to upper-middle-class professionals and fits neatly within the parameters of mainstream, income-inequality-obsessed Democratic politics in the 21st century. He may have an affinity for a political ideology that has given the world everything from the Soviet Gulag to modern-day Greece, but in this age of Obama, the senator is just another liberal with a statist agenda.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the head of the Democratic National Committee, was visibly rattled when MSNBC host Chris Matthews asked her recently to explain “the difference between a Democrat and a Socialist.”

Her nonresponse: “The more important question is, ‘What is the difference between being a Democrat and being a Republican?’ ”

Mr. Matthews pressed her: “I used to think there was a big difference. What do you think it is? A Democrat like Hillary and a Socialist like Bernie Sanders.” Ms. Wasserman Schultz refused to answer. And why should she? These days, it’s largely a distinction without a difference.

Mr. Riley, a Manhattan Institute senior fellow and Journal contributor, is the author of “Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed” (Encounter Books, 2014).
Power User
Posts: 34195

« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2015, 09:49:39 PM »

Take Bernie Sanders Seriously
Originally published at the Washington Times

It is time to take Bernie Sanders seriously. It is increasingly possible that the 73-year-old socialist from Vermont could be a real contender for the Democratic Party’s nomination for president.

For months observers have scoffed at the idea.

Now we have a poll in New Hampshire which shows Sanders ahead of Hillary Clinton by 44 to 37.

Granted, New Hampshire is next to Vermont. Granted, it is only one poll.

In March, however, Sanders had 8 percent to Clinton's 44 percent. Clinton appeared to be among the most inevitable nominees ever for a non-incumbent.
This is quite a turnaround.

Furthermore, in the same period that Sanders overtook Clinton in New Hampshire, we learned that Clinton had been subpoenaed and forced to turn her email server over to the FBI. The very stories of corruption, sloppiness, and arrogance which have been dragging down her campaign for months are guaranteed to continue. Every day there is another example of Clinton problems.

Sanders, however, is much more than simply the anti-Clinton candidate. This week he drew a crowd of more than 27,000 people in Los Angeles. That is extraordinary.
The reason has less to do with Clinton than with the large and growing left-wing of the Democratic Party which dislikes compromise, Wall Street, big money, and politics as usual. As Matt Bai reported in his brilliant book The Argument, the Democrats have a powerful anti-war, hard-line environmentalist, social activist wing that helped defeat Clinton in 2008.

Bernie Sanders is a genuine socialist and that makes his messages very clear and very direct.

Sanders also has been a practicing politician for a long time. As Mark Steyn has noted, Sanders has spent years building a political machine as a socialist without a party or a large interest group to back him.

As a student, Sanders was a member of the Young People's Socialist League. He began running for public office more than 40 years ago. Finally, in 1981, he was elected mayor of Burlington, Vermont. As mayor of the state’s largest city he had a base on which to build his career. In 1990, he defeated a Republican to become Vermont’s lone congressman. Since Vermont has only one representative, the district is the same as a Senate seat. In 2006, after 16 years in the House, Sanders won the Senate seat.

This is a man who has been winning elections for 34 years. He is serious, energetic and determined.

He is also a good organizer.

As the Washington Post reports, he has been using the internet to build amazing crowds.

In three days he had 70,000 supporters show up in three west coast states, a long way from Vermont and New Hampshire.

He is doing all of this without spending much money.

And as Hillary Clinton gets weaker, he is getting stronger.

The left wing of the Democratic Party is not afraid to nominate a socialist. The left wing of the Democratic Party is socialist.

Everyone should realize that with six more months of Clinton corruption and confusion and six more months of pleasant, steady, and positive ideas from Bernie, the Democrats could easily find themselves on the edge of nominating a self-described socialist for President.

By then it may be too late for someone else to compete.

The last time this happened to the Democrats, they nominated George McGovern even though Hubert Humphrey and others tried to step in at the last minute.

The time to take Sanders seriously is now.

Your Friend,
Power User
Posts: 12694

« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2015, 08:00:07 PM »

It's nice to see the dems embrace their true socialist core.
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