From the time Bernie Sanders threw his hat in the ring, and announced a “political revolution” — a movement to replace the USA’s legalized bribery system with revitalized democracy — various cold water brigades have been trying to douse his campaign. Among them are:
- The nightly network news, which, for the first 11 months of 2015, had given the campaign of the non-establishment Republican candidate, Donald Trump, 234 minutes of coverage, compared to 10 minutes for the campaign of Sanders — the non-establishment Democratic candidate.
- The Democratic National Committee, which, seemingly striving for a no-muss coronation of Hillary Clinton as nominee, tried to limit the candidates debates to just a few during non-prime viewing hours. Remarking on the debate scheduled for Saturday, December 19th, a Sanders campaign spokesman said, “I guess Christmas Eve was booked.” The Clinton camp later agreed to more debates.
Persons like Rossario, my friend and fellow canvasser for the George McGovern campaign in ’72. Rossario argued that Sanders’ “socialist” label would lead to a McGovern-like result in the general election, that is, winning only one state. But Sanders parries by likening his “democratic socialism” to the New Deal policies of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He said:
So the next time you hear me attacked as a socialist, remember this:
I don’t believe government should own the means of production, but I do believe that the middle class and the working families who produce the wealth of America deserve a fair deal.
And during one debate, Sanders, in answer to a question, said that he favors a top tax bracket less than the 90% one of the Eisenhower administration. “I’m not that much of a socialist compared to Eisenhower,” he said.
- What now passes for the Republican establishment, such as John Kasich, who said, “We’re going to win every state if Bernie Sanders is the nominee. That’s not even an issue.” But for April, all five polls surveyed by Real Clear Politics showed a victory for Sanders in a presidential match-up with any of the Republican candidates, including Kasich — who has since dropped out of the Republican race.
- The mainstream media punditry, such as Chuck Todd. Interviewing Sanders at the beginning of his run, Todd steered away from asking any serious policy question. And after a recent interview, he mused, “Did we just hear … the Bernie Sanders exit interview?” Todd got his answer just one week later when Sanders announced that he was taking his campaign all the way to contest the party convention.
- Worried Democrats, such as Rachel Maddow and several blog commenters I’ve seen. These persons want Sanders to throw in the towel, because his chance for the nomination is such a long shot. And they are aghast that he should actually contest the convention, afraid that it would tear apart the party or tarnish the eventual nominee. But whatever the odds, there’s nothing wrong with fighting the good fight. And besides, the contested convention would be far more engaging than another choreographed coronation like the two parties have been giving us lately. And, as always, when the four-day convention is over, the ticket and platform will be set and ready for three solid months of campaigning.
Despite the cold water cast his way, Bernie Sanders has over the past year become well-known and a strong contender. He has won 45% of the primary delegates so far, and finished on top in 19 out of 44 primary votes and caucuses. He has pulled in as much money as Clinton, but unlike his rival, virtually all of it comes from individual donors, with an average donation of about $27. And Sanders has by far drawn the largest crowds to his rollicking rallies.
But, as Sanders keeps saying, “[T]his campaign is not just about electing a president. It is about making a political revolution.” And clearly, what’s best for the political revolution — for democracy, for economic justice, for a livable planet, for peace — is to carry the campaign forward through the remaining primaries, right on through the convention, and into the party platform.
And looking beyond the convention, given the strength and resilience of the Sanders’ campaign so far, the political revolution may well roll on, as a great many that now #FeelTheBern will #KeepOnBerning.
Image credit: Bernie Sanders HQ, Lane County, Oregon
announced a “political revolution” “Bernie’s Announcement” – BernieSanders.com;
MAY 26, 2015
legalized bribery system “Chance of a Lifetime — Vote Bernie!” – The Paragraph;
March 14, 2016
234 minutes of coverage “ABC World News Tonight Has Devoted Less Than One Minute To Bernie Sanders’ Campaign This Year” – ERIC BOEHLERT, Media Matters; December 11, 2015
tried to limit “Hillary Clinton coronation and data breach debate: Darcy cartoon” – By Jeff Darcy, Cleveland.com; December 20, 2015
spokesman said “Bernie Sanders spokesman slams Saturday night debate slot: ‘I guess Christmas Eve was booked'” – Becca Stanek, The Week; December 18, 2015
later agreed “Bernie Puts Debate On The Hook, Hillary Finally Bites” – Nancy Bailey, Inquisitr; 2016-03-30
likening his “democratic socialism” “Senator Bernie Sanders on Democratic Socialism in the United States” – BernieSanders.com; NOVEMBER 19, 2015
favors a top tax bracket “Bernie Sanders: I’m Not Much Of A Socialist Compared To Eisenhower” – Daniel Marans, The Huffington Post; 11/14/2015
who said “John Kasich Predicts What Will Happen If Bernie Sanders Is The Democratic Nominee” – Amanda Terkel, The Huffington Post; 01/14/2016
all five polls surveyed “General Election: Kasich vs. Sanders
” – Real Clear Politics; 2016-05-07
Poll Date Sample MoE Sanders (D) Kasich (R) Spread RCP Average 4/11 – 5/1 — — 46.8 43.5 Sanders +3.3 CNN/ORC 4/28 – 5/1 890 RV 3.5 50 46 Sanders +4 IBD/TIPP 4/22 – 4/28 814 RV 3.5 46 42 Sanders +4 USA Today/Suffolk 4/20 – 4/24 1000 LV 3.0 44 43 Sanders +1 FOX News 4/11 – 4/13 1021 RV 3.0 47 43 Sanders +4 CBS News 4/8 – 4/12 1098 RV 3.0 46 41 Sanders +5
any “General Election: Cruz vs. Sanders” – Real Clear Politics; 2016-05-07
Republican “General Election: Trump vs. Sanders
” – Real Clear Politics; 2016-05-07
steered away from asking “Bernie Sanders and Chuck Todd’s ‘Meet the Press’ fiasco: 50 shades of bad” By Matthew Dickinson, Christian Science Monitor; JUNE 1, 2015
he mused “Chuck Todd Says Bernie Knows It’s Over: ‘Did We Just Hear The Bernie Sanders Exit Interview?'” By David, Crooks and Liars; 4/24/16
Sanders announced that “Prepared Remarks – National Press Club, MAY 1, 2016” – BernieSanders.com
such as Rachel Maddow “Clinton turns sights to general election” – Rachel Maddow Show; 2016-05-02
blog commenters I’ve seen “Why Sanders Must Fight for a Contested Convention (A Response to Rachel Maddow)” By brilyn37, Daily Kos; May 03, 2016
fighting the good fight “Bernie Sanders won’t let Democratic National Convention throw his supporters under the bus” – By Ken Thomas, Associated Press; 05/06/16
four-day convention 2016 Democratic National Convention – Philadelphia, July 25-28
He has won “Delegate tracker” – Associated Press; last updated 2016-05-06
finished on top “Delegate tracker” – Associated Press; last updated 2016-05-06
pulled in “Bernie Sanders (D) Candidate Summary, 2016 Cycle” – Open Secrets; as of 2016-05-07
his rival “Hillary Clinton (D) Candidate Summary, 2016 Cycle” – Open Secrets; as of 2016-05-07
has by far drawn “Bernie Sanders Is Drawing Massive Crowds Around the Country—No Big Deal, Says Washington Post” BY MICHAEL TKACZEVSKI, In These Times; 2015-08-21
largest crowds “How Today’s Bernie Sanders New York Rally Compared to Hillary Clinton’s (PHOTOS)” by Tom Cahill, U.S. Uncut; April 18, 2016
his rollicking rallies “Seven Biggest Cheers at Bernie Sanders Rally in Cleveland (video clips)” The Paragaph; November 21, 2015
long shot “Delegate tracker” – Associated Press; last updated 2016-05-06
Sanders keeps saying “Read Bernie Sanders’ Speech on Super Tuesday” by Ryan Teague Beckwith, Time; March 1, 2016
into the party platform “ A Contested Convention Is Exactly What the Democratic Party Needs” By John Nichols, The Nation; MAY 3, 2016
may well roll on “Why Bernie Will, Should and Must Stay in the Race” By Jim Hightower; April 27, 2016
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