Bernie Sanders on income inequality
June 17, 2015 10:02 PM   Subscribe

 
TLDR: He's against it.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:03 PM on June 17, 2015 [12 favorites]




This is the guy no-one's going to vote for, right? Because $SOCIALISM.
posted by prismatic7 at 10:08 PM on June 17, 2015


Love his optimism and positivity. That's what progressivism is. Cynicism is for chumps.
posted by notyou at 10:11 PM on June 17, 2015 [39 favorites]


A market economy works better when there are more people participating in the market. Income inequality and wealth accumulation effectively price people out of the market. Having effective upper and lower bounds on wealth - by, say a minimum guaranteed income and progressive taxation - leads to a robust, vibrant market and "lifts all boats".

I believe in (and try to practice) kindness and support the empathetic and human dignity arguments against poverty, but it continues to baffle me* that I so rarely hear the economic argument against income inequality.

* Yeah, maybe not really. The field of economics is kind of at the point of the practice of medicine pre-Pasteur - where it did as much harm as good. I can't really fault the lay-people for having dumb ideas about the way things work when college professors can throw around ridiculous phrases like "free-market" with abandon.

TLDR: Harrumph!
posted by Anoplura at 10:16 PM on June 17, 2015 [46 favorites]


Will I succeed? I can't guarantee you that, but I can tell you that from a human point of view it is better to show up than to give up.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 10:41 PM on June 17, 2015 [29 favorites]


I need to remember to reregister to vote while I'm visiting family in America this summer so I can actively vote FOR someone instead of always simply voting against the worse candidate
posted by DoctorFedora at 10:44 PM on June 17, 2015 [15 favorites]


I need to remember to reregister to vote while I'm visiting family in America this summer so I can actively vote FOR someone instead of always simply voting against the worse candidate

And...that single comment reminds me why I post on Metafilter...
posted by HuronBob at 10:50 PM on June 17, 2015 [7 favorites]


He's definitely my favorite person in the campaign at the moment, but he's got a bad case of a syndrome lots of left activists have seen: White Guy Who Insists the Real Issue is Class disease. I'd be much more enthusiastic about the guy if not for his class reductionism. Emily Crockett of RH Reality Check has a good article on the topic.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:12 PM on June 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


Are you guys talking about voting in the primary or in the general election? Because Sanders can't win the primary unless people register Democrat and vote Sanders in the primary.
posted by Blowin_In_The_Wind at 11:20 PM on June 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


I thought being permitted to vote in the primary required being "in" with your party? Usually through doing legwork on local campaigns?

I'd kill to see Bernie Sanders win the primary, but I'm working 14-17 hours a day, six days a week. So, like, I could slot a single killing into my schedule during a full project recompile but contributing a significant chunk of time to a political party is absolutely never happening.
posted by Ryvar at 11:30 PM on June 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


I can't decide if I want to vote for Sanders or Trump in the primary. I hope both beat the odds and win their respective party primaries. That would be swell.
posted by ryanrs at 11:30 PM on June 17, 2015 [5 favorites]


I would also kill for that particular matchup, twice, because it would probably mean an extra year of Jon Stewart. I seriously think he might come back for that.
posted by Ryvar at 11:36 PM on June 17, 2015 [4 favorites]


A market economy works better when there are more people participating in the market.
But a feudal economy doesn't and Corporations aren't just people, they're modern feudal Lords.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:00 AM on June 18, 2015 [10 favorites]


The dirty tricks are starting early.
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:05 AM on June 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


But a feudal economy doesn't and Corporations aren't just people, they're modern feudal Lords.

Come on now, that's unfair to feudalism. Noble lords provided much more protection to their vassals than corporations do to their employees. /s
posted by Rangi at 12:09 AM on June 18, 2015 [23 favorites]


Bernie Sanders' own article on Medium is pretty great. "We must not condemn young people, especially in our minority communities, to lives that are even harsher than those of their parents. It is time to declare once and for all: Black lives matter — on the streets, and on the job too."
posted by Arbac at 12:11 AM on June 18, 2015 [22 favorites]


Oh Bernie. I wish we could take your heart and implant it into Martin OMalley. The left doesn't need another gadfly. We need a winner.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:43 AM on June 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


The only prerequisite for primary voting is being registered with a party that has primary candidates. You can't be registered Green and vote in the Democratic primary.
posted by sio42 at 1:45 AM on June 18, 2015 [5 favorites]


Between 2013 and 2015, the wealthiest 14 people saw their wealth increase by $157 billion. This is their wealth increase, got it? Not what they are worth. Increase. That $157 billion is more wealth than is owned by the bottom 40 percent of the American people. One family, the Walton family, owns more wealth than the bottom 40 percent.

In 2013, the official poverty rate was 14.5 percent, down from 15.0 percent in 2012. This was the first decrease in the poverty rate since 2006.

Democrats used to talk about poverty and I think that had pretty broad appeal. All of this churlishness about "inequality" might rile up the Marxist Tea Party but attacking the Waltons and Kochs seems to me pretty thin gruel for the rest of the population. And it's BS. Both Democrats and Republicans have a cozy relationship with the 1%. Isn't that right former Senator Clinton?

I don't get why Bernie runs as a Democrat other than as a Judy to Mrs. Clinton's Punch. I guess he has the mission to make her look sensible and centrist, but it seems both a waste of his talent and a gross overestimation of it.

Run as the Independent you are Bernie. Give the people a real choice. You only compromise your principles pretending to be a Democrat.
posted by three blind mice at 1:47 AM on June 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


The rules for primaries vary from state to state
posted by Jacqueline at 2:21 AM on June 18, 2015 [7 favorites]


Run as the Independent you are Bernie.

"I will not play the role of spoiler."
posted by box at 3:42 AM on June 18, 2015 [13 favorites]


Because Sanders can't win the primary unless people register Democrat and vote Sanders in the primary.

I think Jacqueline is referring to places where anyone can vote in either party's primary, without registering as a member of that party. In MA, for instance, unenrolled and Republican voters can vote in the Dem primary.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:44 AM on June 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


And it's BS. Both Democrats and Republicans have a cozy relationship with the 1%.

Both sides do it! Both Sides Do It! So...we're done here, please move along, please disperse. Do not discuss this topic, because Both Sides Do It! Please do watch Sunday talk shows for confirmation of this!

Again, to reiterate: BOTH SIDES DO IT SO DON'T TALK ABOUT IT!
posted by zardoz at 3:45 AM on June 18, 2015 [23 favorites]


I thought being permitted to vote in the primary required being "in" with your party? Usually through doing legwork on local campaigns?

No! You just have to be registered to vote. Jacqueline is right that primary voting rules vary, but most only vary in "can people registered as independent vote in party primaries". You don't have to be an active campaign volunteer tear or canvasser or anything like that to vote in a primary - you're thinking of party convention delegate, I think.

This country has a bad enough voter turnout - the primaries, though, are even worse; New York reported only 11% turnout for the last national primaries. So if you're thinking that you have to have been volunteering with the campaign to vote in the primary, you are almost definitely wrong. (I have never worked for anyone's campaign in my life, and I always vote in primaries.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:48 AM on June 18, 2015 [9 favorites]




I'd vote for Sanders if he was running as an independent. I'm not a registered Democrat and won't be voting in the primary or supporting his primary campaign. He's ruled that out, so I'm left out.

I do agree with Pope Guilty that his neglect of race, particularly of Black Lives Matters, is a huge problem. (I'm a Marxist, but the kind that tries to avoid class reductionism.) I think there are other problems in his voting record, particularly on national security and Israel/Palestine.

I tend to think running to the left in Democratic primaries is a poor strategy, and that building an alternative party from the ground up - running for local, county and state offices - is a better strategy overall. I think Sanders is going to lose as a foregone conclusion, and that this will be an interesting experience but ultimately a loss of time, money and energy for people supporting him on the left.
posted by graymouser at 3:51 AM on June 18, 2015


#FeelTheBern
posted by Golden Eternity at 4:09 AM on June 18, 2015 [9 favorites]


I used to be registered as an Independent, but I changed my affiliation to Democrat just so I could vote for Heather Mizeur in the Maryland gubernatorial primary. She lost to Anthony Brown, the establishment candidate, who went on to lose to the Republican Larry Hogan in the general.

I don't like the two-party system any more than you do, but Sanders is right: if he tried to run as an Independent or third party right now, he'd be nothing more than a spoiler. In recent years the Tea Party has dragged the Republicans so far to the right they're almost unrecognizable compared to fifty years ago, and the establishment Democrats (including Obama), for some unknown reason, have decided that the best way to counter this is to move rightward themselves. By running as Democrats, candidates like Mizeur and Sanders can move the whole party leftwards and create the space between the parties that we desperately need.

#BERNIENATION
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:13 AM on June 18, 2015 [32 favorites]


I'd consider voting for Sanders but since my state's primary is so late in the season, he'll surely be gone from the race by that time. I really hope that he doesn't run as a spoiler independent in the general election, we don't need another 2000 election.
posted by octothorpe at 4:14 AM on June 18, 2015


Democrats used to talk about poverty and I think that had pretty broad appeal. All of this churlishness about "inequality" might rile up the Marxist Tea Party but attacking the Waltons and Kochs seems to me pretty thin gruel for the rest of the population. And it's BS. Both Democrats and Republicans have a cozy relationship with the 1%. Isn't that right former Senator Clinton?

buhhh wage stagnation for the 99% and huge income gains for the 1% over the last 30 years have nothing to do with each other guhhh
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 4:36 AM on June 18, 2015 [7 favorites]


Hillary Clinton will almost certainly win my state's Democratic primary, and the Republican candidate will almost certainly win my state's six electoral votes, and the winning candidate's margin of victory will almost certainly be more than six electoral votes.

I'm voting for Bernie in the primary anyway.
posted by box at 4:38 AM on June 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


The dirty tricks are starting early.

Fucking Diane Rehm - want to know what center-right, wealthy Washington liberals slavishly in love with power think? She's their voice.
posted by ryanshepard at 4:52 AM on June 18, 2015 [9 favorites]


There can be space between the parties. Whomever grabs that space wins the election.
posted by JPD at 5:07 AM on June 18, 2015


I do agree with Pope Guilty that his neglect of race, particularly of Black Lives Matters, is a huge problem.

Read this.
posted by NoMich at 5:13 AM on June 18, 2015 [5 favorites]


Run as the Independent you are Bernie.

Man, I dunno. The last time that I was excited about an independent candidate was when Ralph Nader ran in 2000. He got three percent of the vote, and Gore lost to W. by considerably less than that. I'm not sure I want to be a part of that again.
posted by nushustu at 5:14 AM on June 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


In MA, for instance, unenrolled and Republican voters can vote in the Dem primary.

In Minnesota, you show up at your chosen party's precinct caucus, because there is no presidential primary.

Also no such thing as "registering as a member of a party" in Minnesota for the purpose of voting in an election. There are primary elections for state and local offices later in the year, pre-registering as a member of a certain party is not required.

To pull this back to the main discussion, national strategies are complicated, and have to mesh with specific, state-by-state campaigns run in different ways. My armchair guess is that Hillary will win the Minnesota caucuses, Sanders will make a strong showing (winning a few urban precincts, maybe getting up to 1/3 of caucus-level support), nobody else will get anything out of it.

Energy around the Sanders campaign could help DFL base turnout overall, have an effect on state/local races in some places, have an effect on party platform and policy issues. Showing up and supporting Sanders here is not a wasted effort, even if he doesn't get the nomination.

All this is still months away, of course. I'm not sure who I'll be supporting yet (other than it'll be in a DFL caucus) . I do think that out of the two main candidates, if I support one and the other wins, I'll still be okay with it.
posted by gimonca at 5:43 AM on June 18, 2015




When I opened the RS article, an ad popped up for some beer using a campaign slogan "I am rich." The group of people that ad campaign would appeal to who are also interested in Sanders cant be very big.

Also,from that article: "But Sanders genuinely, sincerely, does not care about optics.." That's not a great quality for someone attempting to be president, even if they morally sound. To me, that is a bigger problem for his potential than his policies.
posted by lownote at 6:03 AM on June 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


I donated a nice chunk to him as soon as his site was up. My issue with Hilary is that I never feel like there are genuine, unambiguous words coming out of her mouth. Everything is like "what will donor X or Twitter follower Y think if I say this" ... cue some crappy soundbite created by 8 zillion little beltway flacks with Ivy League English degrees and MBAs. I think she's a good person but it's all lost deep down in there somewhere. I am a very forthright person and I want people to say things that make logical sense and are heartfelt and compassionate, and I just don't get that. In contrast if I listen to an hour interview with Sanders I'm like "yep", "correct", "well put" ... "damn straight!". I think he's way more likely to give believable, thoughtful answers in a debate than she is. Hell, I don't agree with Rand Paul but even he comes across as more genuine and clear about his views.

I'll vote for H in the general if it comes to that, but I'm not super excited about it. I hope Bernie at least gets some good points in during the debates.

As far as the idea that he'll ultimately fail, winning isn't everything. Should I tell my kid to not be in the spelling bee because she will probably not win? The sun's gonna burn out someday and *poof* to humanity. Might as well do what we think is the right thing in the meantime.
posted by freecellwizard at 6:10 AM on June 18, 2015 [13 favorites]


I can't decide if I want to vote for Sanders or Trump in the primary.

Deeply badly want to see a one-on-one nationally televised debate between these two.
posted by sammyo at 6:21 AM on June 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Wow, I never fully understood the meaning of "If X happens, I'll eat a hat" until now.

If Bernie Sanders is elected President, I'll eat a hat. I don't care if it kills me, I'll eat that hat.
posted by Sphinx at 6:24 AM on June 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh Bernie. I wish we could take your heart and implant it into Martin OMalley. The left doesn't need another gadfly. We need a winner.

Bernie's been winning elections for 35 years.
posted by the_blizz at 6:39 AM on June 18, 2015 [13 favorites]


If Bernie Sanders is elected President, I'll eat a hat. I don't care if it kills me, I'll eat that hat.

Not that I think it's likely, but in that event I remind you that you can easily bake an edible hat with unleavened or lightly leavened bread dough. If you have access to a large fryer, you could even make a Simpsons-style tortilla hat and be a nacho nacho (wo)man.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:45 AM on June 18, 2015 [7 favorites]


Will I succeed? I can't guarantee you that, but I can tell you that from a human point of view it is better to show up than to give up.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 1:41 AM on June 18 [18 favorites +] [!]


So far that's all I've seen Bernie do..show up. He has been in DC since 1991 and has had three pieces of legislation pass into law. Two of them were to rename post offices!.
posted by Gungho at 6:54 AM on June 18, 2015


The dirty tricks are starting early.
In an unusual exchange in the middle of the interview with the recently declared 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, Rehm said she got the information about his alleged citizenship from a "list." Rehm's show is heard on National Public Radio-affiliate stations across the country.

"Senator, you have dual citizenship with Israel," Rehm began, before Sanders interrupted.

"Well, no I do not have dual citizenship with Israel. I'm an American. I don't know where that question came from. I am an American citizen, and I have visited Israel on a couple of occasions. No, I'm an American citizen, period," Sanders said.
...
Rehm said in a statement she had read that Sanders was a dual citizen in a Facebook comment but that she's happy to help put "this rumor to rest."
...
Rehm also apologized on her show on Thursday. She explained that a listener suggested via a Facebook comment that she ask Sanders about Internet speculation that he has dual citizenship with Israel.

"But instead of asking it as a question I stated it as fact, and that was wrong," she said.
So the "list" was "a list of things people on Facebook asked me to pose to the Senator"? Sigh.
posted by filthy light thief at 6:59 AM on June 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


He has been in DC since 1991 and has had three pieces of legislation pass into law. Two of them were to rename post offices!.

What was the 3rd item? How many other senators have had "personal" pieces of legislation pass? It's not like he has been quite while in DC: Sponsored Legislation: 762; Cosponsored Legislation: 5,331.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:03 AM on June 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


Ryvar: "I thought being permitted to vote in the primary required being "in" with your party? Usually through doing legwork on local campaigns?"

Yeah, oh God no! Generally in states with primaries (caucus rules may be different), the only requirement is either that you be a registered voter, or that you be a registered voter registered as a member of the party whose primary you want to vote in. My state is an open-primary state, so a registered Democrat can go pick up a Republican ballot and vote in the GOP primary. (The only rule is, you can only vote in one primary -- typically Democrat, Republican, or "non-partisan races only." Our primaries are all on the same day and all run by the state election board, so you just tell the election judge which ballot you want.)

One of the reasons open primaries are good is that primaries for national office are actually really tough to "raid" -- it's hard to get enough Democrats to go vote in the GOP primary to, say, make Donald Trump come in third instead of second-to-last. But in local races, the primary may BE the effective election -- if I'm a Democrat who lives in a very Republican town, where half my town council races are Republican candidates only and all the judicial races are between two significant Republican candidates and one scrounged-up Democrat, I definitely should have primary-day input on which Republican I want representing me! I can still turn up on election day and cast my protest vote for the Democrat who will lose 732 votes to 12, but the primary vote is frequently the vote that "counts" in local elections.

I've pulled a GOP ballot a couple of times -- once when it was clear the state's attorney's race was between two GOP candidates (I can't recall if the Democrats even stood a candidate) and after 25 years of mismanagement under one guy who was retiring, who got elected mattered a LOT and one of the candidates was a COMPLETE NUT JOB (but very popular). I've also pulled a GOP ballot when there was nothing significant on the Dem ballot but I had a friend running for judge on the GOP ticket and I wanted to support her. I've never done it in a presidential year; I think by coincidence I've only done it in odd-numbered years (i.e., no Congressional races, just local).
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:14 AM on June 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


The 3rd item was a veterans benefit bill. Sponsoring legislation is an activity, not an accomplishment. Lots of people sponsor legislation, it does not qualify them to be president.
posted by Gungho at 7:15 AM on June 18, 2015


ryanrs: I can't decide if I want to vote for Sanders or Trump in the primary. I hope both beat the odds and win their respective party primaries. That would be swell.

I now view Sanders as the Anti-Trump. Both get people talking about politics, but while Trump says stupid things and people react, Bernie is saying smart, tough things (for the most part), which people can't ignore in future discussions. Someone can now say "Senator So and So, you're campaigning on a return to Christian morals. Bernie Sanders said that the issue of income inequality goes back to the Bible, what's your take on that?" Or something like that.

People can retweet comments from Sanders and make his speaking points into trending topics, which news programs love because they don't really have to search very hard for the next topic. "Hey, everyone's talking about this now, let's jump on the bandwagon!"
posted by filthy light thief at 7:18 AM on June 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


In other words, he's polarizing for the right reasons. Instead of saying kooky stuff about bicycle races and how much his company spends on websites that do or don't require significant staffing to maintain, Sanders comes out and says his SCOTUS nominees must pledge to overturn Citizens United. That can be spun into a question to someone else: what would your nominees do, and what is your stance on Citizens United?
posted by filthy light thief at 7:26 AM on June 18, 2015 [6 favorites]


I think it's ridiculous to consider Sanders and Trump equivalent or mirror images of each other. Sanders has knowledge and experience when it comes to government and public policy. His campaign platform consists of proposals that, while considered outside of the mainstream in present-day U.S. politics, would offer practical solutions to tangible problems faced by millions of Americans. Trump is a celebrity; he's been much more successful in the entertainment industry than he was in the business world, and he has no expertise or interest in government or public policy. His campaign platform consists of calling immigrants rapists and insisting that he can beat China and ISIS.

Sanders deserves to be taken seriously; Trump does not.
posted by Asparagus at 7:51 AM on June 18, 2015 [11 favorites]


So is no one concerned about Sanders' age? He'd be 75 before he took office and 83 if he served two terms. "Old" Ronald Reagan was only 69 when he as inaugurated. Admittedly, Hillary would be the same age as Reagan but I don't know how I feel about a president in his eighties.
posted by octothorpe at 7:51 AM on June 18, 2015


I saw Bernie's town hall speech in Iowa City some weeks ago. Well, 'saw his speech' isn't quite true -- the auditorium he was speaking in was packed to capacity when I got there before the scheduled start time, and soon the atrium area was also at capacity, but he stopped for a minute or two to greet us on his way in to the auditorium.

His speech was broadcast through the speakers so everyone could hear. What stood out was not just that income inequality is a problem, but that he has an actual plan with specifics. He specifically spoke against TPP, and in favor of single-payer healthcare and campaign finance reform. He specifically spoke about the problem of not just youth unemployment, but black youth unemployment and massive incarceration rates. It was a good 45 min, hour ish speech that was lacking in the usual bootstrappy-family-regular-folks generalities.

It's such a foreign feeling to be excited again about someone who might be President.
posted by nicodine at 7:53 AM on June 18, 2015 [11 favorites]


So is no one concerned about Sanders' age?

I had been mildly concerned until I saw him in person. He isn't young, sure, but he seems mentally and physically quite healthy. His mind is sharp (at some point there was some audio feedback from the speakers, and he joked that even the sound system was reacting to the injustice of income inequality) and from what I could see he walked to and stood for his speech without assistance, which is more than previous presidents have been capable of. So I'm no longer worried.
posted by nicodine at 8:00 AM on June 18, 2015


The dirty tricks are starting early.

That was exactly my thought when I heard about it.
posted by entropicamericana at 8:28 AM on June 18, 2015


It's such a foreign feeling to be excited again about someone who might be President.

I remember many people saying exactly this during the first Obama campaign.
posted by ryanshepard at 8:31 AM on June 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


As far as the idea that he'll ultimately fail, winning isn't everything. Should I tell my kid to not be in the spelling bee because she will probably not win? The sun's gonna burn out someday and *poof* to humanity. Might as well do what we think is the right thing in the meantime.
freecellwizard

But winning literally is everything in the American Presidential election system.

You don't get brownie points for trying, or doing well but coming up second. Only one person can be President, and it's the person who gets the most electoral votes. That person is going to be a Democrat or a Republican.

And the problem with the "everything will end some day anyway" argument, or the "we may lose this cycle but by voting for this perosn we'll pull the party in the right direction so things will be better in four or eight or twenty years" is that people have to live and experience those intervening years.

Since winning is everything, if the Democrats lose you're going to have 4-8 years of a President Bush or Walker or God forbid Cruz. You can't just imagine the glorious future and skip to it, you have to consider what will happen in the meantime, and one of those clowns being President would be devastating for workers, women, minorities, the environment, etc.

I'm pretty tired of seeing this stuff repeated. It's unfortunate, but we live in the world we live in, not the one we want, and you can't just ignore that as if it doesn't matter at all how much a Republican President and Congress could strip away worker rights, protections for women and minorities, or the environment, as long as you can pat yourself on the back for "doing the right thing".
posted by Sangermaine at 8:48 AM on June 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


So I forget, why can't he win?
posted by MtDewd at 8:53 AM on June 18, 2015 [7 favorites]


You don't get brownie points for trying, or doing well but coming up second. Only one person can be President, and it's the person who gets the most electoral votes. That person is going to be a Democrat or a Republican.

You don't get brownie points, but you get a policy plank or two, and a speech at the convention, and you push the party to broaden its policy space to include your policies, and you bring a lot of people to the polls who might sit it out who also vote in the down ticket races, and you give volunteers and staffers an opportunity to gain experience in a national campaign, and you inspire some other hopeless optimists to run for mayor in their little backwaters. And then you win.
posted by notyou at 9:02 AM on June 18, 2015 [13 favorites]


Okay, and in the meantime President Bush, Walker, or Cruz has abolished unions, the EPA, and done what he can to roll back abortions and gay rights, and most importantly has probably put a few new Justices on the Supreme Court. This isn't a game, there will be consequences for losing elections.
posted by Sangermaine at 9:09 AM on June 18, 2015


So I forget, why can't he win?

He can, and would, so there's going to be a huge media-driven effort to continually remind everyone that Hillary is unquestionably going to win the primary, and ignore any facts that state otherwise.
posted by odinsdream at 9:18 AM on June 18, 2015 [12 favorites]


So I forget, why can't he win?

Exactly. Talk about Bernie. Talk about his ideas. Wrestle the conversation away from this cult-of-personality bullshit.
posted by eclectist at 9:27 AM on June 18, 2015 [8 favorites]


Oh Bernie. I wish we could take your heart and implant it into Martin OMalley. The left doesn't need another gadfly. We need a winner.

Martin O'Malley couldn't get his lieutenant governor elected to succeed him when running against a Tea Party Republican. In Maryland.
posted by wintermind at 9:28 AM on June 18, 2015


I read freecellwizard's "can't win, but run anyway" in the context of the nomination, not the general. If Clinton wins the general, it will be in no small part due to the votes and energy Sanders' campaign will have brought to the election.
posted by notyou at 9:31 AM on June 18, 2015 [5 favorites]


So I forget, why can't he win?

Him winning doesn't violate any known physical laws of the universe, so of course he can.

But he won't, because not enough people are going to vote for him, and because not enough people are going to give him enough money to continue running an effective campaign, and because not enough elite actors are going to throw their support and effort behind him. All tied up together in one big endogenous loop.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:41 AM on June 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


So... does anyone have an opinion on what kind of President he would be?
posted by MrVisible at 9:57 AM on June 18, 2015


That's another thing. It seems like Sanders is the Ron Paul of the left, in that he has a small group of very enthusiastic supports promising the Moon if he wins that is optimistic to the point of immunity to reality. Even in the extremely unlikely event that he gets the nomination and wins, he'd be facing a Republican Congress that would never in a million years give him anything near what he's calling for. Even a Democratic Congress wouldn't.

This is Ron Paul 2016.
posted by Sangermaine at 10:02 AM on June 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh, another big difference between Sanders and Trump? Sanders is attracting large crowds of people who are coming to hear him speak just because they feel like it. Attendees at Trump's speeches, on the other hand, are receiving compensation for their time.
posted by Asparagus at 10:07 AM on June 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm sort of taken aback by the tone of "don't bother having any hope for any other candidates" in this thread. Yes, it's probably unlikely Sanders will win the nomination (though I would love for him to), but it's dispiriting that we are supposed to accept the inevitable winner.
posted by Kitteh at 10:10 AM on June 18, 2015 [10 favorites]


Even in the extremely unlikely event that he gets the nomination and wins, he'd be facing a Republican Congress that would never in a million years give him anything near what he's calling for.

He ... actually points that out in other articles. That he is not a savior but that he will run because it is important that someone actually talk about these issues and *try*. That you may not get everything you want but if you don't even attempt anything, then people will just keep drifting away because no one stands up for them.

I don't understand what all you "real talk" people want from leftists other than for us to shut up and go away. "Don't vote your conscience because you will ruin EVERYTHING! Run people in the primaries!" Ok, Sanders runs in the Democratic primary, promises not to be a spoiler and run independently. "OMG he will never win!" Well maybe he tries. "IF HE WINS YOU STILL WILL GET NOTHING!!!!"

Other than devote my life to tiny races in New York, which isn't going to happen because politics is not my hobby and there are other things that I think are important in my life — including the personal politics of being the only black woman in a place where no expects me and kicking ass at those things — what do you all think is a reasonable course of action that isn't keep voting for center-right Democrats? What is the message they are going to get?

I don't register Democrat because I want it to be clear that I don't actually support the mainstream of the party and their assumption they deserve my support despite not actually doing anything I want. (I will to vote for Sanders, this time, though.) I often vote for the leftist third-party candidate because I live in Brooklyn and the Dems don't need my vote. If I vote for a Dem, I do so on the Working Families ticket, so leftist opposition gets some money. I try to make my desires known so the Dems know there are votes on the left to pickup, if they ever get the stones to go for them. But what else would you have people do?

Or is it just "life isn't fair" / "oppression will continue" / "you can't complain if you won't devote your life to it"? Because if that is all you got, then yes, Bernie "At Least Let's Talk About It and Try Stuff" Sanders is going to be the guy I hope for. Even if that hope is dashed.
posted by dame at 10:17 AM on June 18, 2015 [31 favorites]


I'll tell the people who are telling me not to vote Sanders because it's Hillary's time the same thing I told them when they were telling me not to vote Obama: Go fuck yourselves.
posted by entropicamericana at 10:20 AM on June 18, 2015 [15 favorites]


But he won't, because not enough people are going to vote for him, and because not enough people are going to give him enough money to continue running an effective campaign, and because not enough elite actors are going to throw their support and effort behind him. All tied up together in one big endogenous loop.

Don't even bother. Stay in your house. Draw the curtains. Order delivery. Lose your job. Stop paying bills. Sit in the dark. Give up. Leave the back door open. Let the wolves in. Let them feast on your bones. Never try to do the right thing.
posted by GrapeApiary at 10:38 AM on June 18, 2015 [21 favorites]


Other than devote my life to tiny races in New York, which isn't going to happen because politics is not my hobby and there are other things that I think are important in my life — including the personal politics of being the only black woman in a place where no expects me and kicking ass at those things — what do you all think is a reasonable course of action that isn't keep voting for center-right Democrats?
dame

I think the answer to your question actually is that first part. I think the mistake is putting everything on these giant elections that come up every four years when the stakes are way too high. If the Republicans win this election, not only do they completely control the government for at least the next two years, they'll likely get to put a few Justices on the Supreme Court which means people will be fucked for decades.

It's in between elections where people should be aiming their efforts. The boring shit hardly anybody cares about like joining your local, county, state party organizations, going to meetings, trying to get what's important to you on the agenda and maybe into official positions. Because no one but a tiny group ever gets involved in the machinery, the machinery hardly ever moves in the ways you want.

Those small local elections also do matter. The Republicans are really good at this, capturing state and local governments, and honestly most of the time it's those local positions that can affect your day-to-day life a lot more than who is in the White House.

People in this thread are snarkily implying that a "realist" position means burying your head in the sand and doing nothing, but it's a false choice between inaction and making the least-worst choice. There are tons of ways to get involved and influence politics that aren't the presidential election. It's just that in the presidential election there's no such thing as "trying" or "taking a stand". It's win or loss. You'll either get someone who will give you something of what you want, or someone who will give you nothing. The perfect is the enemy of the good (or less bad) in this case.
posted by Sangermaine at 10:53 AM on June 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


It's in between elections where people should be aiming their efforts.

See also: The Koch brothers, who are heavily influencing "small" elections routinely now.
posted by odinsdream at 11:06 AM on June 18, 2015


Asparagus: I think it's ridiculous to consider Sanders and Trump equivalent or mirror images of each other.

Not an equivalent, but definitely mirror. Perhaps "bizarro Trump" is a better term. Trump has no real political experience; Sanders has been in politics for decades. Trump is a solid Republican capitalist, while Sanders is a self-described democratic socialist. Both are so far from centrists that they draw more public and media attention and they get people talking, Trump about the potential that he is in fact the mythical King of the Oompa Loompas (plus stuff about immigration and business support), and Sanders will get people really talking about campaign finance, health care and income inequality.

Both are long-shots, but Bernie is the one I hope goes far. There's speculation he has a decent chance in Iowa. I'm excited for the Anti-Trump, the older candidate that all the kids want in their selfies.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:22 AM on June 18, 2015 [4 favorites]


I am so tired of electability politics, I could just scream. It's interesting to see that Clinton thinks "I'm inevitable!" is a winning campaign strategy again, and I always love to see centrist Dems haranguing people who don't want to vote for their candidate about how "electable" they are - "nobody wants to vote for her but she's the only one who can get the votes, dammit!" All I can ever think of is John Kerry in 04 - the inevitability/electable thing has just never really worked for me. Someday maybe Democrats will realize there are other votes to chase besides the mushy David Brooks middle.

I'm going to campaign like a madman for Bernie. I think he really does have a chance of getting a bunch of apathetic folks involved who would otherwise never trust politicians - I've talked to quite a few such people already who are really excited about Sanders. And even if he doesn't have a chance in hell, he'll surely be able to pull the party a little further to the left, hold Clinton's feet to the fire on economic/1% issues, and try to make a full-throated liberal argument for government. And I still believe that he might surprise everyone and get a lot more votes than anyone expected.

There's speculation he has a decent chance in Iowa.
From that article: There is a very real prospect that Senator Bernie Sanders wins an outright victory in the Iowa caucus and pulls off one of the most stunning upsets in modern political history.

And New Hampshire is one of his strongest states too, so the early primaries might even give him a little momentum/narrative/whatever horseshit the media want to make up and call it. That "early momentum" factor was so huge for Obama in 08. Fingers crossed, and I'll be out canvassing.
posted by dialetheia at 11:33 AM on June 18, 2015 [15 favorites]


And even if he doesn't have a chance in hell, he'll surely be able to pull the party a little further to the left, hold Clinton's feet to the fire on economic/1% issues, and try to make a full-throated liberal argument for government.

This is what I am hoping for if he doesn't get the nomination. That he actually pulls the Democrats left of center, instead of feeling like "Democrats: I mean, at least we're not straight up Republicans, right?" I am hoping his platform will raise enough discomfort for the safety of the Clinton platform, enough where she will actually start looking like a progressive candidate instead of an inevitable one.
posted by Kitteh at 11:37 AM on June 18, 2015 [8 favorites]


He's definitely my favorite person in the campaign at the moment, but he's got a bad case of a syndrome lots of left activists have seen: White Guy Who Insists the Real Issue is Class disease. I'd be much more enthusiastic about the guy if not for his class reductionism.

Might be nearer the mark to say that class is A real issue, rather than implying there can be only one at a time. To my mind, racism/sexism/classism all come under the heading of Tribalism, the Us vs. Them syndrome. I can't fault Bernie for drawing attention to tribalism just because he doesn't take the time to enumerate all the ways people get divided up into tribes.
posted by Flexagon at 11:57 AM on June 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


There's a whole lot of realist/defeatist "forget about Bernie, vote for Hillary, HILLARY HILLARY HILLARY" stuff going on here. But are there actually any Sanders supporters in this thread who, in the event that Clinton does win the nomination, won't vote for her in the general? If not, then who is everybody talking to?

It's the oldest rule of thumb in two-party representative democracy: Vote your heart in the primary and your head in the general.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:00 PM on June 18, 2015 [9 favorites]


From a pragmatic perspective, because of our two-party shit-show, it doesn't make much sense to not vote for Hillary in the general just because you supported someone else in the primary.
posted by odinsdream at 12:02 PM on June 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


"But are there actually any Sanders supporters in this thread who, in the event that Clinton does win the nomination, won't vote for her in the general?"

I will vote for Sanders in the primary and have already signed up to volunteer. I will not vote for Clinton in the general. However, I live in California and know that the dem candidate will win here, so I can feel confident that throwing my general vote away to voice disapproval of Clinton is safe. If I lived in a competitive state, I would vote for Clinton.
posted by Arbac at 12:17 PM on June 18, 2015


But you're still going to vote in the downticket races, right, Arbac?
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:25 PM on June 18, 2015


I thought my earlier comment was pretty clear, but yes, I was talking about the primary. The idea of a general election with Hillary, some Republican, and Sanders as an independent is totally hypothetical and contradicts Sanders' statement that he will not run as a spoiler. So, are people arguing I should vote for Hillary in the primary because ... what, it's inevitable? I don't get it.

Also, the reason stuff like the Nader-spoiler thing happens is actually:

* around 50% of people who vote don't want a Democrat or other progressive, ever, and just love love love greed, racism, stepping on the little guy, etc. Apparently.
* the various shenanigans regarding money in politics, two-party system, etc. etc. Which ironically Sanders would try to do something about if he won, but Hillary will almost certainly not do.
posted by freecellwizard at 12:26 PM on June 18, 2015 [4 favorites]


Don't even bother. Stay in your house. Draw the curtains. Order delivery. Lose your job. Stop paying bills. Sit in the dark. Give up. Leave the back door open. Let the wolves in. Let them feast on your bones. Never try to do the right thing.

Honestly, I don't care who you vote for or whether you vote in the primaries at all. By all means, if Sanders is still a candidate when your primary rolls around, vote for him if you prefer him to the other Democratic candidates.

He's extremely unlikely to win, but that's just a prediction, not some suggestion of how you should behave.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:28 PM on June 18, 2015


Other than devote my life to tiny races in New York, which isn't going to happen because politics is not my hobby and there are other things that I think are important in my life — including the personal politics of being the only black woman in a place where no expects me and kicking ass at those things — what do you all think is a reasonable course of action that isn't keep voting for center-right Democrats?

Write checks to the campaigns of people you like. Totally boring and unsatisfying, but the most effective thing you can do. If you don't want to think about which of the hundreds of candidates out there you ought to like, just write a check to any of the various progressive PACs and let them worry about it. Even more boring and unsatisfying, probably even more effective.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:34 PM on June 18, 2015


Write checks to the campaigns of people you like.

Is there an option that doesn't involve capitulating to the idea that money is the one and only thing that matters or will ever matter in US politics? Last I checked they did still need our votes at some point in the process. Not that I fundamentally disagree with you, even, and what you're recommending is basically what worked to propel Obama past Clinton in 08 - I just can't stand the idea that the only way to make a difference is with money and that personal persuasion and voting are basically worthless these days.
posted by dialetheia at 12:53 PM on June 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


But they're connected. How do you motivate people to vote for you? How do you tell people where you stand, what you'll do, get your message out? Counter attacks and smears? Launch your own if needed? All of that costs money.
posted by Sangermaine at 1:17 PM on June 18, 2015


This discussion motivated me to contribute $ to a political campaign for the first time.
posted by GrapeApiary at 1:20 PM on June 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


"But you're still going to vote in the downticket races, right, Arbac?"

Of course.
posted by Arbac at 1:22 PM on June 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


The races dame can vote in are unlikely to be competitive, so her voting doesn't make much difference.

Since you raise personal persuasion, other people can do more effective persuasion than you can if you give them money, for the usual boring reason that professionals are generally better at their jobs than untrained and unpracticed amateurs. Even doing canvassing is probably more effectively left to people who have practiced skills at doing it. Likewise, progressive PACs are very probably going to do a more effective job of choosing candidates to support than you are, because that's their job and they can afford to spend lots of time and effort doing it.

It's totally boring and unsatisfying, I know. But most of the time the most effective thing you could do, if you had that kind of job, would be to take the time you would have spent doing some satisfying political activity where you really felt like you were helping... and work some overtime instead, and send the extra money to campaigns or PACs you like.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:23 PM on June 18, 2015


This discussion motivated me to contribute $ to a political campaign for the first time.

Same here, as much as I hate how money-driven our political structure is, I recognize it's a reality and hope the Sanders campaign uses my $50 wisely.
posted by odinsdream at 1:31 PM on June 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


So is no one concerned about Sanders' age?

Only if he picks Sarah Palin as a running mate.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 1:35 PM on June 18, 2015 [5 favorites]


Ok, I've been studying (as a fun hobby, no less) modern political discourse a lot in the past several years. I do come from it with a slightly skewed, non-academic view. First off, a lot of the things said in this thread are extremely troubling and alarming to me, but sadly, not in the least bit surprising.

First off, the whole idea of "image" for a presidential candidate. There are some really good documentaries about the evolution of marketing and PR as it became closely tied into politics and the political process in America. Oddly enough, most of them date back to the 1980's, and starting documenting the trend quite early on with varying degrees of accurate predictions about the effects of marketing and PR on society. The one that seemed to most outlanding, yet ended up being the most correct, is that society is directly affected by the form in which a narrative is discussed in the media. This is part of the reason why most debates around political races today have almost nothing to do with anything a candidate says, or the ideas they may or may not espouse, and almost everything to do with how the media describes how the candidate looked when saying something, or how the crowd or audience surrounding them reacted.

Political coverage in the media has been likened to a "horserace", where the pundits will talk about how someone is doing in the polls, rattling off numbers and making everything they say about how the poll numbers and the war chest of a politician is the best, most rational way in which to decide who you should vote for, because it is all rigorous polls and sciencey because they are using numbers and percentage points and talking about who has the most money.

And now this is the narrative we are stuck with. Not the actual political positions, not the kinds of policies they would support or the ideas they have for trying to address the problems our society faces today. No, it is all about money.

And I really hope they are wrong about us. I really hope that people can actually be smart enough to listen to what the candidates say and use our own judgement to see when someone is telling us what they think we want to hear, or when they are actually talking to us about what they believe.

I do want to respond to several things, particularly things posted by Sangermaine:

I think the mistake is putting everything on these giant elections that come up every four years when the stakes are way too high.

This is not the electorates fault. This is the fault of the DNC leadership, and their failure to work with the smaller election campaigns. There really is a huge disconnect between local politics and the national conventions. But if they really wanted this to work, they would be doing a lot more than just sending me fundraising requests. They should be doing what every local Republican campaign office does, which is sending out detailed information about the local elections and giving people the information they need to go and vote. I swear, sometimes the democratic party people I talk to are some of the most privileged and socially blind people I've ever met. Tel me when and where to vote and I will show up (well, in Oregon I don't have to, we do voting by mail WHICH IS SO AWESOME). But they don't. The Republicans did (which, at least for my one vote in Nevada at the time, backfired on them, but that's just because I'm a really awful human being).

If the Republicans win this election, not only do they completely control the government for at least the next two years, they'll likely get to put a few Justices on the Supreme Court which means people will be fucked for decades.

This is a single issue, and one that most people do not see as having a direct effect upon their lives, especially if they are a center-leaning democrat. And given how poorly most people understand how our government works, you cannot expect them to care one way or the other, if it does not directly affect their lives. That is "realist" politics 101 stuff. Don't sell me a chicken if I have no pot to cook it in.

Yes, I understand a lot about how modern politics thinks things should work. I think they are wrong and it has corrupted our country and our society with this "cult of celebrity" and will lead to the downfall of the United States of America (not kidding either). It allows money to trump civil society. It is also a self re-enforcing feedback loop. The amount of money needed to run a national campaign did not start to sky rocket until the 90's, when PR firms and political marketing became a hugely lucrative career track for people who collect and sell polling data. And Bill Clinton is the first president to utilize that to the fullest extent, willing the 1992 election. And every election since has ramped this up more and more, until we get to the point where people are basing their votes on what they read on 538.org, trying to "vote rationally" rather than voting for what they actually might believe.

There was a great sci-fi book by Neal Stephenson and George Jewsbury called Interface, where he extrapolated this idea about how polling and PR firms would eventually use technology to be able to manipulate voter response and reaction to candidates by giving the handlers the ability to know instantaneously how the audience was reacting to a speech. This technology now exists, and was used during the 2008 election.

There is a major problem with the way our politics and media are now so intractably linked.

I intend to use the one thing I have, my vote, to try and prove otherwise. I hope other people will too.
posted by daq at 2:40 PM on June 18, 2015 [6 favorites]


and work some overtime instead, and send the extra money to campaigns or PACs you like.

Honestly, you're probably 100% right, but I want to unpack why that message feels so incredibly discouraging (not just boring), why that idea actively makes me want to participate less. I'm a seriously zealous voter and no joke, hearing that money is the only thing I can do anymore makes me not want to even vote (n.b. I will still vote, including downticket, everyone chill out). I think the people who bankroll our politics benefit from that discouragement and it forms a positive feedback that only serves to increase the power of money in politics, and I wonder if there is really a way to stop that feedback cycle using more money in politics. I think collapsing everything down to who "does a better job" at campaigning completely elides the value of direct participation in government, not to mention community building and strengthening values. I think that professional campaigns often overlook unlikely voters, and that the potential for the greatest change comes from mobilizing those people, not convincing mushy likely-voters. I think donating raises a bunch of difficult questions about whose values are represented by those campaign activities; if I'm out talking to my neighbor, I'm sure I'm talking about the things that matter to me and the values we have in common. If I'm donating to the Democratic party, I'm honestly not sure my values will be represented at all, and in fact they've baited and switched me plenty of times before. I'm also unconvinced that people (especially people who haven't voted much before) are truly open to persuasion from people they perceive to be political operatives, including paid canvassers, and I think there is more value in neighbors talking directly to each other than is usually accounted for (though maybe there are studies that prove me wrong). Fundamentally I just think that more "just leave it to the experts" is the last thing American politics needs.

I also get that the usual answer here is to just get involved in local stuff and leave the federal stuff alone, but so many of the structures that govern my life are federal that it feels like giving up on democracy altogether to say that I can have no part in that beyond throwing money at it. I'm not at all convinced that my local actions are able to have any impact whatsoever on national politics, so I don't feel that local activity is sufficient. I guess I'll just keep looking for that rare middle ground of actual progressive national grassroots activity that needs funding (like Sanders' campaign), and continuing to refuse to give any money to the Democratic party itself. But I really wish there was an answer that would give people even a tiny shred of personal agency in federal politics beyond what their money can buy.
posted by dialetheia at 2:41 PM on June 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


I would vote Sanders but if he doesn't win the Democratic nomination I am going to vote for the Green Party candidate. It's really that simple. If you are a person of consciousness there is no way anyone can vote Clinton or Republican.
posted by Blowin_In_The_Wind at 3:11 PM on June 18, 2015 [4 favorites]


I think collapsing everything down to who "does a better job" at campaigning completely elides the value of direct participation in government, not to mention community building and strengthening values.

Sure. That just means that your goal is something other than to influence the outcome of the election.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:12 PM on June 18, 2015


If you are a person of consciousness there is no way anyone can vote for anything but a tactical choice to prevent a Republican president appointing Supreme Court justices. It's really that simple.
posted by scrowdid at 5:42 PM on June 18, 2015 [7 favorites]


"But are there actually any Sanders supporters in this thread who, in the event that Clinton does win the nomination, won't vote for her in the general?"

I don't know if I would describe myself as a "supporter" so much as someone with an interest, as I can't vote for Bernie Sanders in his primary because I am a registered Green voter. However, if he were selected for the general campaign, I would strongly consider voting for him-- something I have never done for a national Democrat. I can tell you right now that if the nominee is Clinton, I will be voting for the candidate from my own party as I have always done in the past.
posted by threeants at 8:05 PM on June 18, 2015


I'm not really a Sanders supporter, but he will likely get my primary vote in the unlikely event he is still relevant by the time PA rolls around. I won't vote for Hillary in the general.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:23 PM on June 18, 2015


But are there actually any Sanders supporters in this thread who, in the event that Clinton does win the nomination, won't vote for her in the general?

Me!
posted by ryanrs at 1:15 AM on June 19, 2015


I'll vote for Sanders in the primary here in Georgia, and if Hillary wins, I'll vote for her in the general, and then Georgia's electoral votes'll go tp Jeb!, Walker, or whomever else survives that shitshow.

Of course, I'm one of those "center-left" voters (I think I'm really an extinct political species: a "Rockefeller Republican," who distrusts political dogmatism of any sort. I believe if were alive 40-50 years ago I probably would have been a Republican, but the Reagan disciples drove people like me out of that party.) So that I'll vote for Sanders and then Clinton is not too surprising. Also, I don't think Bernie is really all that radical. It seems to me he's a mainstream Liberal; he's certainly less extreme on the left end of the spectrum than a whole host of Republicans on the right end, IMHO. And I think Hillary has a lot more liberal positions than some give her credit for. Of course, she's mainly a politician, so we have to take that into account. She'll move with the wind, which is a good thing becauae I do think country is swinging back politically from where it has been since Reagan.

And if you don't want in good conscious to vote for Hillary due to the Iraq War vote, her ties to Wall Street, etc., I for one totally get and respect that. I do think, though, that she'll be a good president, if elected, that it will be great to elect a woman, that she'll probably handle the Republicans in Congress more adriotly than Obama did, for various reasons, and, among other things, that she'll piss a whole bunch of people on the right & left off,
posted by JKevinKing at 4:53 AM on June 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


A new poll by Gallup points out the societal biases and limits on the national acceptance of candidates, such as Bernie Sanders.

Socialists provoke the widest gap, with 74% of the nonreligious being open to supporting a well-qualified socialist, compared with 46% of Catholics and only 28% of Protestants. Similarly, 9% of the general population wouldn't vote for a well-qualified Jewish candidate, but that number rises to 14% amongst Catholics.

This hints at *very* strong regional differences in the acceptance of a Sanders candidacy, with significant regional resistance in the South, Midwest, Southwest, and Appalachians.
posted by markkraft at 1:09 PM on June 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Fuck it. Let's vote for Sanders.
posted by Golden Eternity at 1:11 PM on June 28, 2015


A new article by the LA Times points out some of the regional and sociological barriers that Bernie Sanders faces as he campaigns outside of his base of primarily white, less religious voters.

Hillary Rodham Clinton was mobbed by fans when she spoke this week before a big crowd of Latino government officials from across the country. When another Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, took the same stage here Friday, the room was about half-empty.

"I haven't heard of him, to be honest," said Luciana Corrales, a school board member from San Ysidro, Calif. And anyway, she added, "I'm a Hillary supporter."

Talk of a Sanders surge has enlivened the campaign in recent weeks, as bigger-than-expected crowds turned out for his fiery speeches about taking on the "billionaire class" amid promising polling in the early-primary state of New Hampshire. But the enthusiasm gap on display at the nation's largest gathering of Latino policymakers highlights the reality of the major demographic challenges Sanders faces as he wages his long-shot bid for the presidency.

"His name recognition in the Latino community is somewhere in between zero and extremely low," said Matt Barreto, a pollster who focuses on Latino voters. "And you're not going to win an election without Latino support."

posted by markkraft at 1:32 PM on June 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


“Radical Rapper Killer Mike Just Endorsed Bernie Sanders for President,” Miles Kampf-Lassin, In These Times, 29 June 2015
posted by ob1quixote at 2:31 PM on June 29, 2015 [1 favorite]




I have to say, I'm pleasantly surprised at how popular Sanders is on my young-person social media these days. He's regularly upvoted to the top of the front page on reddit (e.g.) and he's become really popular on tumblr too. I know a lot of folks don't think this counts as real political engagement, and they may be right, but I still don't think there's been enough coverage of how well Bernie is doing with young voters.
posted by dialetheia at 4:59 PM on July 6, 2015


Bernie Sanders gets slimed by the New York Times: This is what a smiling, condescending hit job looks like

Over the past few years I've become more aware of the way newspapers shape their presentation of events. Perhaps it's just because I read a lot of articles from the NYT, but I associate biased presentation with that newspaper in particular. Not coincidentally, they seem to run many stories ascribed to "a senior administration official" or "a White House spokesperson". I understand their desire to have special access, but there's an implicit quid pro quo involved: report the way we like or the tap gets turned off...
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:05 PM on July 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm glad Bromwich pointed out how horrible that NY Times article was. I'm sure his background will be problematic, and the GOP is surely praying for Bernie to win the primary. Lack of sex causes cancer? Ah, the sixties. It seems to me Bernie will be most vulnerable on the economy. He needs to get coherent heavyweights behind him like Krugman and Stiglitz and put together a solid plan to help the lower middle class. I think people may underestimate how much his populist message could appeal to some GOP voters. All that said, if Bernie loses the primary and runs as an independent he should be shot.

@virginia4bernie: "NYTimes finally turns on comments 4 a Hillary v Bernie article today. Check out how many #FeelTheBern"
posted by Golden Eternity at 6:46 PM on July 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


“Radical Rapper Killer Mike Just Endorsed Bernie Sanders for President,”

The article doesn't mention that the Sanders campaign retweeted Mike's endorsement. I was trying to find it to post here, but it's Goddamn impossible to find a Twitter post older than a couple of days and I give up. I just give up.

I know Obama's spoken about his fondness for old school hip-hop, but I wonder if Sanders is the first Democratic candidate willing to associate, however small, with a contemporary rapper.
posted by riruro at 7:50 PM on July 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


riruro: “The article doesn't mention that the Sanders campaign retweeted Mike's endorsement.”
Thanks for pointing that out. I had no idea. This was the retweet from the campaign account (@BernieSanders),
“It’s official I support @SenSanders! His call 4 the restoration of the voters rights act sealed the deal for me.”— Killer Mike (@KillerMikeGTO) June 29, 2015
Although I don't know how to show that it was retweeted by the campaign account via link. I guess that's why people take screen shots, so I made one.

Somebody in the replies said, "This is Bernie's plan. To round y'all up and feed you to Killary." To which Render replied,
@skye2earth @Redzillah @TristanHerzog @SenSanders I wud NEVER vote a Clinton or Bush back in office.”— Killer Mike (@KillerMikeGTO) June 29, 2015
Then, a couple of days later the campaign account tweeted,
“Thanks @KillerMikeGTO for supporting the political revolution. Let‘s work together to stop cowards from suppressing the vote! #VotingRights”— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) July 1, 2015
posted by ob1quixote at 9:16 PM on July 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


The article doesn't mention that the Sanders campaign retweeted Mike's endorsement.

Dumb question - why were you expecting they would mention that? "Retweeting good stuff people said about you" is sort of like "Social Media 101", isn't it? So it strikes me that an article mentioning that Sanders retweeted Mike's endorsement would be kind of like an article mentioning that "by the way, Sanders is also in the habit of wearing shoes".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:45 AM on July 7, 2015


Well, isn't Social Media 102 'retweeting good stuff good people said about you'? Do you think the Trump or Huckabee or Paul or Cruz campaigns would have retweeted a Killer Mike endorsement?

He's a rapper, with the word 'Killer' in his name, who released a song that ends with the words 'I'm glad Reagan dead'. I mean, there is some possibility of controversy there--it was just a few years ago that the Fox News crowd shat their pants when Common was invited to a White House poetry event.

While I will readily admit that I am more of a fan of rap (and horse-race political coverage) than the average In These Times reader, the fact that someone in Sanders' camp decided to retweet the endorsement does seem notable to me.
posted by box at 5:38 AM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh, that's a fair point. Gotcha.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:43 AM on July 7, 2015


Wired seems very much in the anti-Hillary camp. I don't have a good read on US politics, but I have a feeling that their writers are only strategically pro-Bernie. None the less, I liked this article:
A Transcript of All Hillary Clinton’s Non-Answers in Her First Cable TV Interview of the Race
posted by Joe in Australia at 11:12 PM on July 7, 2015




I think if he wins Iowa and New Hampshire, that would be a game-changer. His name recognition is terrible most places right now, but that would change very quickly if he won those primaries. His record with social justice issues is pretty fantastic, certainly better than Clinton's (since so many folks hold her husband's politics against her, at least) - I see a lot of grumbling and distrust about Clinton in non-white communities that I follow, and folks have been very taken with Sanders once they're introduced to him and his record.

Here's some rad video of a Bernie Sanders rally in Maine. He's getting much better turnout and enthusiasm than I ever expected. And his fantastic stump speech is music to my ears - quoting Frederick Douglass! Talking up unions! Calling out racial apartheid in America! Feminist heroes! LGBTQ progress! Calling out economic inequality and corporate Wall Street 1%er bullshit! God I love him.

Either way, I'm going to enjoy the shit out of this brief period before the elections start when I can savor this alien feeling of having a candidate I actually support.
posted by dialetheia at 1:07 PM on July 8, 2015 [6 favorites]




Bernie Sanders is the Perfect Fit For Millenials (from USA Today - not sure if the College imprint is a separate publication or what though):
According to the Panetta Institute of Public Policy and the Pew Research Center, it appears Millennials will be looking at four major policy areas come 2016: independence from the Washington establishment, support for climate change mitigation policies, job creation and student debt reform.
posted by dialetheia at 3:11 PM on July 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think if he wins Iowa and New Hampshire, that would be a game-changer.

He's likely to do well in IA and NH, but that's about it. He has little support in the mass public outside of white liberals and very little support among other Democratic elites, period. Him taking the nomination wouldn't violate the laws of physics or anything, but it would more or less mean taking everything we know about presidential primaries and throwing it out the window. Or, it would mean that something huge happened between 2012 and now that fundamentally altered how presidential nominations work... but that whatever it was was also totally invisible.

FWIW, I really don't care who you support or who you plan to vote for in either election. Honestly, it just makes me a little sad to watch people setting themselves up for, in all probability, crushing disappointment on 20 Feb when South Carolina rolls around.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:26 PM on July 9, 2015


He's likely to do well in IA and NH, but that's about it.

Eh, that's what everyone said about Obama too - Clinton was the Only Responsible Shoo-In Choice at this point in 2008 too. I get that they are different candidates, and especially that their bases of support in the South are likely very different, but again I think a lot of this is name recognition and that Clinton doesn't have a lot of trust there either. Either way, his lack of support among "Democratic elites" is exactly what I hope will help him mobilize unlikely voters like millenials and poor people who lack trust in politics.
posted by dialetheia at 3:30 PM on July 9, 2015


But that's verifiably false. Nationwide polling in July 2007 had Clinton at 35-40\% and Obama at 25-30\%. Nationwide polling now has Clinton at 58-65\% and Sanders at 12-15\%. It's just not the same ballgame.

Either way, his lack of support among "Democratic elites" is exactly what I hope will help him mobilize unlikely voters like millenials and poor people who lack trust in politics.

I don't see how lacking support from the sorts of people who actually win Democratic elections will help him do anything. But anyway, young people almost certainly aren't going to turn out in substantial numbers this year, just like every other year. Likewise, people with low efficacy are virtually certain to remain very unlikely to vote.

Again, I do not care who you support or vote for. By all means work hard for Sanders if you want; nothing but good can come from it. If you're as enthusiastic for his candidacy as you seem, you should seriously consider donating to his campaign (if you can afford to and are American etc) or, if he's still in the race when your primary rolls around, volunteering for it. But all the available data and everything we know about presidential nominations says that he is almost certainly going to lose. And when he does, it won't be because of a corporate conspiracy or other nefarious forces. It will be because he only has substantial support from a small part of the Democratic electorate.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:12 PM on July 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


Bernie Sanders is the hottest presidential candidate right now, and the unlikeliest — a grouchy socialist from Vermont who has built his message around biting the hand that feeds the political system (Rolling Stone):
In many ways, the most boring question about Sanders' candidacy is the horse-race question. ... Sanders, though, believes these odds only hold true if the existing electoral reality remains unchanged — which is to say, extremely low voter turnout, a focus on personality rather than issues, and the rank corruption of outside campaign spending. So the far more interesting question becomes: Does Sanders have a shot at changing what have come to be accepted as the fundamentals of modern presidential campaigning? If you are willing to risk sounding naive or unsophisticated and entertain the notion, as Sanders does, that it's possible to upend the system entirely if you mobilize enough grassroots support, well, then, who knows? Seven years ago, Barack Obama broke all previous records when it came to small-donor fundraising and African-American voter turnout. Sanders looks to the way activism by fast-food workers agitating for a $15 minimum wage, a demand taken seriously by very few members of the elite early on, has entirely changed the national debate on what a living wage should be (and has actually become law in major cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle).

To that end, Sanders, as much as possible, wants to disassociate his own ego from this most egocentric of public exercises and exploit the platform given presidential candidates in order to tantalize voters with a heretofore unoffered possibility of true radical change. "The evolution of American politics has resulted in a major, multibillion-dollar effort to tell the American people the government can't do anything for you, and you should pin all of your hope and faith on corporate America and Wall Street," Sanders tells me. "I often say, 'You should think about why the Koch brothers are going to spend a billion dollars in this campaign. If they think politics is pretty important, maybe you should as well.' "
posted by dialetheia at 12:05 AM on July 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


"But that's verifiably false. Nationwide polling in July 2007 had Clinton at 35-40\% and Obama at 25-30\%. Nationwide polling now has Clinton at 58-65\% and Sanders at 12-15\%. It's just not the same ballgame."

Indeed. Obama had the fundraising lead too, which was essential for competing in large states and in areas where he didn't have the same amount of time to campaign as he did in Iowa and NH.

Sanders is polling at about 9% support from minority Democrats. That, frankly, is godawful. He's also polling quite negatively amongst females, religious Democrats, older Democrats, and basically most of the Democratic Party. The NYT's new number-crunching poll wunderkind has made it clear that Bernie Sanders is going to hit a wall soon -- the mainstream Democrat... and Nate Silver agrees. Others are using the word doomed to describe his candidacy.

The thing about the race is that once you get past the first four states -- including Nevada and South Carolina, both of which strongly lean Clinton -- you then get a huge flurry of states on Super Tuesday, without enough time to actually campaign for them all. Grassroots won't work well in most of these states... you need ads. This is especially important, because early voting can basically cement the advantage of Hillary Clinton before people even find out who Bernie Sanders is. Getting votes in early can easily put these states out of Sanders' reach.

Bernie basically lacks all of the advantages that Obama had demographically that gave him the South on Super Tuesday, and, as a result, the election. Hillary could easily create ads that highlight her ties to Barack Obama and minority voters, flood the Southern states with ads that Bernie couldn't match... and that, as they say, would be that.

A race that Obama narrowly won -- and lost, as far as popular vote is concerned -- would be Hillary's, while Bernie would basically be put into the position of stumping for her.
posted by markkraft at 2:37 AM on July 10, 2015


STEPHANOPOULOS: So if you lose in this nomination fight, will you support the Democratic nominee?

SANDERS: Yes. I have in the past.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Not going to run as an independent?

SANDERS: No, absolutely not. I’ve been very clear about that.


Sanders campaigning for Hillary will no doubt make a lot of his supporters more than a bit apoplectic.
posted by markkraft at 2:52 AM on July 10, 2015 [1 favorite]




Bernie Sanders on CBS' Face The Nation today:
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) says he has a plan to actually win the Democratic presidential nomination: Take his message to conservative states.

"I will be able to deliver in Washington," he said on CBS' "Face The Nation." "I will be able to win the election, and I'll tell you why. Because we are going to bring more people into the process."

Sanders, who is drawing large crowds in his long-shot presidential bid challenging Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton from the left, said he plans to take his populist message on poverty and income inequality to states like Alabama and Mississippi.

"We're going to get young people, working people excited and involved in the political process," he said.
Here's a better article with video of his appearance.
posted by dialetheia at 4:54 PM on July 12, 2015 [2 favorites]




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