Thursday, April 21, 2016


We're being told that Bernie Sanders is not going to become an independent again:
On “With All Due Respect,” Jeff Weaver, campaign manager for Bernie Sanders, discusses the New York primary, superdelegates and the future of the Vermont senator’s presidential run. Asked by host Mark Halperin if Sanders now will be a member of the Democratic Party “for life,” Weaver responded, “Yes he is, yes he is.”
This despite the fact that, as Politico notes,
Sanders’ Senate office has identified him as an independent as recently as April 1.
Well, typing "(I-VT)" is probably a reflex for his office staff. I don't care. In any case, his declaration of Democratic loyalty isn't new. This is from a November article in The Boston Globe:
When a reporter asked Sanders his party allegiance after he filed, Sanders responded, “I’m a Democrat.”

He then called on [Raymond] Buckley, the [New Hampshire] Democratic chairman, who confirmed the senator’s party allegiance. Sanders added that he would run as a Democrat in any future elections.
Do I believe this? No. Sanders is up for reelection to the Senate in 2018. If Democrats are in trouble that year -- as is usually the case in midterm cycles when there's a Democratic president -- I assume Sanders will do what's worked for him in the past: He'll call himself an independent again and run that way. And so what? I'm sure he'll still caucus with the Democrats if he's reelected. He'll continue to be a progressive senator. Where's the harm?

I don't care what he calls himself now. I just don't want this campaign to do net harm to Hillary Clinton (we're still not sure she's going to face a beatable Donald Trump) and the Democratic Party, regardless of how deeply flawed Clinton and the party are. They're all we're going to have in November standing between us and the infinitely worse Republicans. If Sanders can help beat back the Republicans in a way that doesn't require loyalty to the Democrats, fine, go for it. I'm all for that. But I don't see a wave of progressive indie candidates out there, so we're stuck with the Dems, and trashing Clinton and the party isn't helping. Sanders should critique them, but do it with an eye on the near-term electoral goal as well as his longer-term goal of moving American politics to the left. That's what matters.Apart from that, as far as I'm concerned, he can call himself whatever he wants.


Gerald Parks said...

Here here Steve!!

I don't give a flying whatever about what Sanders wants to do or be called in the future ...I just want him and Clinton to REMEMBER ...that THEY are the ONLY thing that separates US(America) from the horrific and disastrous GOP/Republican governance.

With THAT said ...I will vote for Clinton!

And if by some miracle Sanders is the nominee ...I will vote for him!

Philo Vaihinger said...


The problem is that many Sanders supporters don't feel that way and have already said, at the Liberal Values site for example, that if Hillary is nominated they will stay home, vote for a minor party candidate, or even vote for Trump.

Sanders has got too much Nader in him, and always has.

Philo Vaihinger said...

By the way, Trump has done more than its author ever did to make it obvious that the ideology of Pat Buchanan in all its parts is a threat to America and the world.

NATO expansion and the threat of Putin in Europe, US membership in NATO, the US alliances with Japan and Korea, US efforts to contain a non-nuclear Iran and keep Israel safe, global anti-terrorism, non-proliferation, trade war and protectionism, immigration, the embodiment in law of Christian moral tradition, white nationalism, entitlements and liberal government - every tiniest piece of Buchananism on any of these topics is wrong and a terrific threat not only domestically to America but to American national security and the safety of the world.

And that covers the very, very big slice of Buchananism that Donald Trump is running on as well as the bits that he is not running on.

Jesus Christ, the most popular thing in that idiot's agenda is the ethnic cleansing of 11 million people, and about equally popular is nukes for the Saudis, South Korea, Japan, and in fact all comers.

Never mind.

The lunacy is more than any comment could capture.

Feud Turgidson said...

Would Bernie have the same position on guns if he were a US Senator for New Jersey, or for any of number of other states that would seem at least theoretically open to the idea of electing a Jewish-born ahteist who chooses to run for public office on the label "socialist"?

Would Bernie have ever run qua "Socialist" if he were running from SoCal, or South Florida, or Montana?

Would Bernie ever even get elected to public office above local council swimming in his own lane with 3 hippies and a retired Irish poet if his residence had an address in Chicago? Or Seattle? Even Portland?

How many states are there where silent "c" communitarian values embrace an old ex-Jew ex-hippy atheist running on a personally modified version of what it means to be a socialist?

This isn't about me. I"ve lvied in a few quite different places, some where no pol I supported was ever elected or possibly ever could be. Yet I could see me voting for Bernie in all those places. What I can't see is him WINNING in all those places.

We live in a country where the current head of the national government is the most job-appropriately gifted one we've had i almost 8 decades, unarguably one of the top 10 and very arguably among the top 5 we've had in that position in over 2 centuries. But he was UNELECTABLE in that role for probably all but the last quarter century, if that.

Bernie's only "electiable" because, holy farking supernovae, look at what the opposition has on offer.

Bernie's got One Job now: his job is continue on this campaign trail while conducting himself in ways that don't defeat the candidate of the party under whose banner he's chosen to run.

IF BERNIE HAS GREATEST IN HIM, he has an opportunity to do something more. At a mininum, to qualify as Not A Waste of Our Time, then he can get up at the DNC and deliver a keynote speech titled I Am Bernie Sanders I Called Myself A Socialist But I Am Now A Democrat And Why I Will Stay A Democrat.

But he will max out on the Worth It and Greatness measures IF he managed to do the first, the second, and then get his Berners out to vote Dem, ALL of them, EVERYWHERE, up and down every ticket.

Shott of that, Bernie, you've wasted my investment in you.

KenRight said...

Vaihinger has some sugar coated words for a policy which since W Bush's invasion of Iraq and inclusive of Obama's NSA/Patriot Act/ reckless drone bombing, failed surging in Afghanistan and helping Saudi wipe out Yemen, not to mention bringing jihad anarchy to Libya, checkmated by Putin partially in Syria....this policy, again, resulting in polling showing throughout the world that the US...and not coincidentally Israel are rated the two most out of control hated and feared nations by the man and woman on the street from Russia to China to the Mideast and Europe.

And he says we have brought stability and peace and prosperity to the world and the status quo must be maintained. Guess he'd have millions more fleeing refugees flooded into Europe by more failed US non-Buchananite policy.

That's imperial fever run wild.