Bernie Sanders spells out a progressive foreign policy

Sometimes you never realize how broken something is until you try to fix it.
That's what happened when Bernie Sanders finally addressed foreign policy today.

At the heart of his speech was the argument that the divide between domestic and foreign policy is not only artificial but also counterproductive. An expansive view of foreign policy—not merely as the idea of what happens over there, but also as part of who we are here at home—challenges us to enlarge our own thinking. Foreign policy, in Sanders’s argument, is not just about whether we go to war or not. It is about our democracy at home; it is about climate change; it is about global oligarchy; and it is about how American leadership can come together and solve the challenges we face through diplomacy.
Sanders rightly connects the dots between an exploding Pentagon budget and Republican attempts to take health care away from tens of millions of Americans in the name of fiscal responsibility. He makes clear that a progressive foreign policy also means that “We cannot convincingly promote democracy abroad if we do not live it vigorously here at home.” And in the way he does so well, Sanders reminds us that no progressive view of the world can tolerate the massive wealth inequality both here and around the world.

Sanders' speech was far from perfect.
In fact, his speech was so much better than mainstream thought in Washington and in the media that you couldn't help but notice that in a sane world Sanders' speech still came up far short of even minimum acceptable levels of morality.
It's ironic that speaking some truth, as Sanders did, exposes just how far we still have to go.

Democrats have been silent to the point of cowardice when it comes to America's foreign policy since 9/11, if not decades earlier.
This has cost the Democrats dearly.

The pretense that the main thing the government does is of no import when campaigning to be elected to the government is not working out very well. Like wars, it loses again and again and again, but just keeps trying.
And, even as the Democrats ape their Republican opponents on many issues, their silence on foreign policy is their own creation for which they deserve the credit. The three Republicans who defeated Quist, Thompson, and Ossoff, all had fear-mongering, pro-war, pro-military, anti-immigrant, and (in two cases) pro-Israel propaganda on their websites...
In a country with two pro-war parties, the party that admits what it is out-loud is always going to have an advantage. If you can’t imagine a way out of that, ask Jeremy Corbyn for advice.

Jeremy Corbyn actually dared to not be a warmonger during an election campaign, and even dared to point out that the West was losing the GWOT and that there was a link between an aggressive foreign policy and terrorism.
The media pundits assured us that saying this was insane.
The voters disagreed with the pundits.
Yet the establishment Democrats seem to have learned nothing.

On issue after issue, from the war in Afghanistan to the rise of China, Democrats have little exciting to offer. Democratic members of Congress are happy to give fiery speeches condemning Trump’s policies on terrorism or Russia, but that’s not very different from what Republicans did on health care while President Barack Obama was in office.
...When Trump announced his decision to keep fighting in Afghanistan in late August, for example, the party had no unified alternative plan for the country. Leading 2020 hopefuls like Sens. Cory Booker and Kamala Harris didn’t even issue a statement on America’s longest-running war. The most recent Democratic Party standard bearer, Hillary Clinton, sounded very similar to Republicans on foreign policy. On Syria, for example, her plan — imposing a no fly zone over a swath of the country and increasing US support for rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad — is strikingly similar to ideas you hear today from congressional Republicans like Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham.

The Vox article points out that Democrats simply don't have a single major think tank that is progressive and non-interventionist on foreign policy.

The absence of this kind of detailed policy work on the left makes it difficult for left-leaning politicians, like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, to translate their general left-of-center principles into actionable policies. Without ready-made policies to pull from, it’s harder for them to engage on foreign affairs in the same way they do on domestic issues.
That’s the concrete way that the lack of left-wing foreign policy think tank work pushes foreign policy to the right.
“This is the iron law of ideas: You can’t beat an idea unless you take the time to think of a better one,” says Dan Drezner, a professor at Tufts University’s Fletcher School and author of The Ideas Industry, a book on think tanks. “At least on foreign policy … there’s not a lot of nitty-gritty [on the left].”

The environment for progressive political values in foreign policy today is like progressive political values in domestic policy before OWS.
The words and ideas don't even exist to most Americans. What Sanders is doing today is trying to begin a discussion that will take years to fully form.
Establishment Dems will be no help.

Opposition to Trump has been framed in ways that supports the agenda of the Democratic Party—but not the anti-war agenda. Therefore, anti-Trumpism does not include a position against war and U.S. imperialism.

This is a big deal, because you can bet that Trump will start a major war in the next few years. Congressional Democrats will fully support him when he does.
It is up to progressives to develop an alternative foreign policy vision before that happens.

Progressives should worry about how quickly military action could occur under a fickle, erratic president. “With the Iraq War, there was a months-long buildup—cases made to the U.N., State of the Union addresses,” Wikler told me. “Trump could start a war without that kind of lead time.” Zaheed alluded to the generals surrounding the president. “Trump is leading a regime that’s out of control and almost thirsting for war,” he said. “It really behooves the progressive movement to prepare accordingly.” That preparation can’t be simply about opposing Trump’s foreign policy, said Khanna. “In a philosophic framework we have to have a critique of where neoliberal and neoconservative foreign policy has gotten us,” he told me. “I’m not sure we have the consensus in Congress.... If we wait until there’s a crisis without having a coherent philosophical framework then it could look like it’s just partisan attacks.”
up
49 users have voted.

Comments

divineorder's picture

up
28 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

@divineorder
I think the political establishment underestimates how sick and tired the public is of war.
Washington is waaayyy behind the curve on this.

up
36 users have voted.
gulfgal98's picture

@gjohnsit pointless losing war, but it is more about how the empire views other human beings. Those in foreign lands are viewed as dispensable. And now we here are finally beginning to realize we are dispensable too.

Losing wars are being waged on purpose. They are not losing in terms of corporate profits.

up
31 users have voted.

"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West "...isn't the problem here that the government takes on, arbitrarily and without justification, an adversarial attitude towards its citizenry?" ~CantStoptheMacedonianSignal

dkmich's picture

@gulfgal98

People are no longer an asset, they are a liability to be managed and used for the benefit of the empire. It is true regardless of geography, color, and class. The only exception is the ruling class of the US empire.

up
15 users have voted.

*donate *follow us on Twitter *like us on Facebook

Wink's picture

@gjohnsit
on most everything.

up
11 users have voted.

the little things you can do often are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. All about building progressive media. (-1.9) On Twitter @winkradio.

the elephant in the room to healthcare. I haven't watched yet or read his speech but I guess in good old Murka we must have a conversation before we get any traction. Never a bad thing. Too little too late, maybe. But better late than never? If he can get that issue wedged into the collective psyche that's a good thing.

I once mentioned the cost of the wars to a co-worker who pooh-poohed single payer. While I doubt I changed her mind there was a look for a minute or two. She's a fellow finance puke after all, and really, it is just math. $700B on "defense" while wanting healthcare is demanding a pony? Please.

up
28 users have voted.

@lizzyh7

I get tired of hearing how we can't afford things like health care or free tuition at public colleges and universities. We're accused of wanting "free things."

We pay taxes. Its up to our legislators to set priorities in their budgets. The problem is that our current legislators seem to think that war, tax cuts for the wealthy, and incentives to enable their corporate donors to make even more money are "priorities."

The 99% has a different set of priorities and they're currently not being met.

up
19 users have voted.
gulfgal98's picture

@lizzyh7 when talking to people who would stop by is the enormous cost of these wars. Moralizing can be off putting to many people, but talking dollars and cents is something everyone can understand. In my four and a half years of weekly Peace vigils, I found that nearly every person we talked to had zero idea of how much money is being thrown away in these senseless wars. When told, they were shocked.

This Peace vigil was in a small town in NC. Many of the people we interacted with were self described conservatives and yet the majority of them were opposed to all these wars. Many stated that they wanted the money to be spent domestically. I keep reading all these polls that say the majority of Americans support these wars, but my personal anecdotal experience was the opposite based upon the people I talked with at the Peace vigil. That included some who were initially angry thinking that we were somehow unAmerican or anti-military personnel because they had friends or family in the military.

up
17 users have voted.

"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West "...isn't the problem here that the government takes on, arbitrarily and without justification, an adversarial attitude towards its citizenry?" ~CantStoptheMacedonianSignal

@gulfgal98 members really truly believe that this country only spends something like 16% of revenues on "defense." All one need do is download a US budget and it's all there on paper.

As for the supposed liberals among us, same deal. We all hear and absorb by osmosis just how much this country spends on war, how can one not hear about the BILLIONS and not make that connection? Propaganda. Lies. Willful blindness. Supreme reluctance to really see that this country does indeed act like the Great Satan to the rest of the world. And now "we've" gone full psycho, not even bothering to hide the illness anymore but proud of it.

up
6 users have voted.
dervish's picture

@lizzyh7 to $825 billion, plus another 60-75 for the black budget. If so, then we're at somewhere between 20-25% of the budget going for war activities.

up
3 users have voted.

"Obama promised transparency, but Assange is the one who brought it."

divineorder's picture

@gulfgal98 Vigils. Thanks for sharing them.

Did you see that this month marked some 'in your face actions' and conferences in DC.

up
6 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

gulfgal98's picture

@divineorder We disbanded after we dwindled down to just two of us. I was willing to continue, but Don (the other remaining member) made the call. I felt I had to respect it since he was a founder of the Peace vigil. He was 86 years old at the time and we had lost our 81 year old due to health issues.

Every Saturday at noon, I still miss it. I am being selfish about it because I felt I got far more out of it than what I gave to it. It was only one hour every Saturday and the conversations we had were amazing. I met some very thoughtful human beings, some as young as fifteen. The kids are alright. It is the system and those in charge that stink.

I was heartened to see a letter to the editor from my friend Don this past week. He wrote about the wars and how the wars were being fought in the name of GOD. Not the divine being but, Guns, Oil, and Drugs. How true!

up
7 users have voted.

"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West "...isn't the problem here that the government takes on, arbitrarily and without justification, an adversarial attitude towards its citizenry?" ~CantStoptheMacedonianSignal

has never been an anti-war Party. I see no evidence whatsoever to indicate that it is about to become one. Sanders is just barking at the moon here. He wants to promote a rational foreign policy, at the same time he's running with a pack of rabid Russophobes? Good luck with that, Bernie.

up
23 users have voted.

native

@native that is and the terrible odds. But IF, big if, he can at least plant that idea into people's consciousness, maybe, maybe. It won't be overnight, and I doubt it does much to stop the current madness. Sigh. There just are no words for me with the warmongering anymore. It is disgusting and chilling. It points to my worst dystopian thoughts lately of what this country and world will become. I don't hold out much hope, but maybe a tiny bit. I think that's survival instinct really, not much more.

up
21 users have voted.

@lizzyh7
is better than no hope at all, I suppose. Personally, I have abandoned all hope for an anti-war Democratic Party. Instead I've been hoping that the entire political Duopoly will collapse, leading to... well, who knows? Something different, anyway.

up
21 users have voted.

native

dervish's picture

@native for as long as the dollar is intact enough to pay for them. Nothing short of that will stop them. The same thing happened to Rome.

up
23 users have voted.

"Obama promised transparency, but Assange is the one who brought it."

Pluto's Republic's picture

@dervish

as long as the dollar is intact, the wars will continue.

It is utterly pointless to pay attention to word salad spinners from either party. Although the point Bernie makes is true — not everyone in America can receive health care because the government burns through half its revenue on either preparing for death and destruction or actually executing it. So there's no money left to spend on health care for all Americans. Some must be thrown away.

There are ultimate strategic goals for all the military money, of course, which comes down to one thing: Continuing the hegemony of US Dollar control over all nations of the world via control over oil sales. It's hard to identify any other overarching purpose to US existence. The practical goal behind all of it has never changed: To enrich the impenetrable corporations and protect the founders who run them, perfectly fused, as they are, to the US government.

It's the greatest achievement in fascism on the planet, in the classical meaning of the word.

Unless the world takes down the US Dollar. That would bring the expensive global nightmare to an abrupt end.

up
20 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@Pluto's Republic

Hatch bragged that he got millions for a military project in Utah. I don't remember the details, but I thought that if Hatch got extra money for a project here, how many other congress members did the same thing for their state?
Trump asked for an extra $54 billion in the budget, but congress gave him more than he asked for.
Almost 3/4 of a trillion dollars for the wars just for this year alone. How many trillions has our country spent since 9/11? Or since the end of WWII?
And yet congress continues to tell us that we can't afford single payer.

up
25 users have voted.

good grief

gulfgal98's picture

@Pluto's Republic is the isolation of or collapse of the US dollar as the world's reserve currency.

up
16 users have voted.

"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West "...isn't the problem here that the government takes on, arbitrarily and without justification, an adversarial attitude towards its citizenry?" ~CantStoptheMacedonianSignal

Pluto's Republic's picture

@gulfgal98

…my first essay when I arrived here, that was my fervent prayer.

I've been waiting and watching since then. I truly believe that prayer was answered three weeks ago, when China announced to the world that oil now can be bought and sold with the new convertible Gold/Yuan (global reserve currency) that can be immediately exchanged for gold. (To sell oil to China, the Gold/Yuan must be accepted.) Such transactions cannot be monitored by the US, effectively destroying US sanctions on other sovereign nations. (Harming a nation's domestic economy is a war crime.) This immediately redefines the global economy and modifies most existing trade agreements.

Being the whores they are, JP Morgan signed right up to profit from the gold/yuan. Heh.

Essentially, forex brokers around the world are telling central banks that they no longer need to hold vast Dollar Reserves for international trading. Singapore, the largest money exchanger in the world is instantly facilitating all such exchanges. China has ample gold to back the currency 1:1. It cannot devalue or default.

It looks like the Saudis are going to go for it (China is their largest customer) which means goodbye OPEC for the US. And goodbye PetroDollar recycling for US weapons of war, one of the leading causes of global terrorism.

And those naked shorts against gold the the US floods the market with every month or so to suppress the price of gold? We all want to buy them and take delivery at bargain rates. The US will soon be drowning in those global Dollars flowing home to roost. This is a good use for them, buying a piece of whatever's left in Fort Knox.

The End, I hope.

PS: I've written an exclusive on this for C99, but I've been holding back on publishing it, waiting to see if and how the US media is going to report it to the American people (always the last to find out). Plus, it doesn't seem real, even though it is deeply sourced, which bothers me.

up
7 users have voted.
dervish's picture

@Pluto's Republic and on another note, the security state may take a hit too. Russia (specifically Kaspersky) is coming out with untraceable smartphones. The poobahs and gate-keepers likely won't let us peasants buy one, but the rest of the world will certainly hop on it.

up
6 users have voted.

"Obama promised transparency, but Assange is the one who brought it."

Pluto's Republic's picture

@dervish

…security products on government-related servers and computers — because they are too Russian-ish sounding. Of course, their products are all over US servers and are considered among the finest of their kind. Yet at the same time, 17 US Intelligence Agencies have surrendered their brains to whacky CrowdStrike — a Ukrainian-flavored help desk of hysterical Putinophobe techs — to serve as their eyes and ears on the forensics of the DNC "hack." Which was debunked yet again two days ago by an elite global consortium as an obvious pile of malicious bullshit.

From this day forward, for me, there are only two kinds of people in the world. Those who were completely bamboozled by embarrassingly lame propaganda. And those who were not.

I'm making a list.

up
7 users have voted.
dervish's picture

@Pluto's Republic @Pluto's Republic But Crowdstrike is definitely from the rogue state of Langleystan.

Those who were completey bamboozled are mostly those "some of the people" who were also fooled before the Iraq War. Others weren't fooled, but they're whores whose careers depend on parroting/believing the lies (this includes most of the press, Congress, bureaucrats and the consulting class). Those who don't believe? Well they're mostly traitors or enemies of the state...

up
6 users have voted.

"Obama promised transparency, but Assange is the one who brought it."

TheOtherMaven's picture

@dervish
Broken cuckoo clock just might be right this time.

up
2 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.

snoopydawg's picture

@native

able to change our foreign policy and stop the wars, many people would say that they are making this country less safe.
Remember the uproar when Obama pulled the troops out of Iraq? To this day many people say that he should never have done that because now we are less safe. And that ISIS became more powerful because Obama called them the junior varsity team.
This mindset is another thing that needs to be changed. A great place to start is stopping all the military crap at sporting events. Imagine how much money they could save if they did that.

up
18 users have voted.

good grief

@snoopydawg

If we only spent 6 times as much as the next country on our military instead of 12 times as much as the next country.

up
9 users have voted.
Wink's picture

@native
that's made the same call. Exactly. Nobody. And, true, it may not amount to d!ck, to jack, but at least he has stood up and made the call. Not one of those other futhermuckers has the backbone. And, maybe Bernie just doesn't care. After all, he's 75, ain't going any further politically, so he's not got a damned thing to lose by standing up. I give him props, though, for the sermon. All Americans need to hear it, especially those inside the Village bubble. They won't of course. But maybe a few more Americans will. And, for me at least, it provides one more Tweet where I can rub it in the faces of all those Hillbots that still kiss her lame ass, still hanging on to hope that 2016 will be overturned and Her installed on Her rightful WH throne. Fine, Hillbots, but while you're celbrating Your Highness' book Hillsplaining how BernieBros and Russians stole Her crown, Bernie actually out there, still working it, attempting to start a fire.

up
22 users have voted.

the little things you can do often are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. All about building progressive media. (-1.9) On Twitter @winkradio.

dkmich's picture

@Wink

I am terribly disappointed he didn't, but I have to give him credit for what he did and does do. As you point out, there isn't another politician willing to go as far as he does. While he is the "most popular politician in the country", he has a pulpit, and he is using it. When my fantasy gets the better of me, I picture Bernie (or me) as President (Queen) declaring martial law, locking up the current batch of crooks, using RICO to go after the Kochs, Clintons et al, tearing up bad trade deals, breaking up the monopolies, and dismantling the MIC. Or, I simply move to another country. If things don't change, the long arm of the Kochs will destroy that as an option too.

up
13 users have voted.

*donate *follow us on Twitter *like us on Facebook

Wink's picture

@dkmich
had charged the hill. Or (Capitol) Hill. I'm sure he thought about it, had an army of supporters. I guess he surmised the smarter move might be just to get back on the circuit, attempt to keep the momentum going with personal appearances, let the "kids" carry the torch. Is ultimately up to us, as he's often said.

up
4 users have voted.

the little things you can do often are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. All about building progressive media. (-1.9) On Twitter @winkradio.

TheOtherMaven's picture

@Wink
Moses could lead the Jews out of Egypt, but it took the next generation to get them to the Promised Land. (Moses got a glimpse of it from a mountain top when he was a very, very old man.)

Just a thought for Rosh Hashanah....

up
1 user has voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.

Nobody is saying it but Bernie.
No matter I despise his Russia bull shit, and his unfailing support of Israel, I understand he gets attention, starts people asking questions.
He just might get people to hesitate before they act badly.
"He who hesitates is lost" might keep us from war.

up
30 users have voted.

Agree that his BS about Russian hack of the election was done to not be too far out to the establishment dems

When we are a military empire, and don't know it since we are God's gift to the world, and even Hillary explicitly said that we are Exceptional. (The fact that she said it proudly is yet another of the hundreds of times she demonstrated that she is out of touch.

What do you think about this?

At the heart of his speech was the argument that the divide between domestic and foreign policy is not only artificial but also counterproductive. An expansive view of foreign policy—not merely as the idea of what happens over there, but also as part of who we are here at home—challenges us to enlarge our own thinking. Foreign policy, in Sanders’s argument, is not just about whether we go to war or not. It is about our democracy at home; it is about climate change; it is about global oligarchy; and it is about how American leadership can come together and solve the challenges we face through diplomacy.

Sanders rightly connects the dots between an exploding Pentagon budget and Republican attempts to take health care away from tens of millions of Americans in the name of fiscal responsibility. He makes clear that a progressive foreign policy also means that “We cannot convincingly promote democracy abroad if we do not live it vigorously here at home.” And in the way he does so well, Sanders reminds us that no progressive view of the world can tolerate the massive wealth inequality both here and around the world.

If the democrats were not the other war party, and the other neo liberal economic party, they could have said this years ago.

It took OWS to bring income inequality onto the table.

Maybe this speech will be a step for politicians to bring the war issue onto the table. Before that, as Bernie said right from the start, need millions of Americans engaged.

Glenn Greenwald wrote an article within the last couple of weeks that anti war sentiment was a big part of Trump's win. The whole presidential campaign was so sick and stupid that it is hard to make sense of any of it, but for sure, Hillary the Hawk was for wars all the way. And she might have been able to even pull off a war with Iran because those who fund her want it. And the Republicans sure wouldn't stop her.

Just 2 more paragraphs. I am not saying that this is the speech that I would have wanted, but how many other politicians would say this?

After reframing the issue, Sanders dives into the meat of the matter in a way that should ring true for every progressive. He reminds us that hundreds of millions live in poverty, dying of preventable diseases, while arms makers rake in trillions from weapons of war. He reminds us that America’s history of interventions—from Iran to Chile to right now in Yemen—have a habit of having devastating results. And he reminds us that there is a path between endless war and isolationism, that America’s greatest successes came when it helped support not just our allies but also our former enemies, as we did with the Marshall Plan.

To bring this all home, Sanders points to two diametrically opposed visions of American foreign policy that played out in recent years. In reminding us of the horrors of the Iraq War and juxtaposing it with the unbridled success of the Iran nuclear deal, Bernie helps make clear that this is not some esoteric debate. These are debates happening right now, here in Washington, about just what path our nation should choose to confront the challenges we face abroad.

Bernie Sanders Just Gave the Progressive Foreign-Policy Speech We’ve Been Waiting For The senator powerfully linked domestic and foreign policy in the context of massive global inequality.

up
34 users have voted.
dkmich's picture

@DonMidwest

Trump won because he"said" he was anti-Wall Street, anti-war, anti-trade, anti-establishment, and too rich to be bought.

As someone up above said, god damn Hillary and the Democrats. Bernie was no savior, but he sure the fuck wasn't Trump. At the very least, Bernie would have been a tourniquet on a nation be bled out.

up
9 users have voted.

*donate *follow us on Twitter *like us on Facebook

@DonMidwest

And I hope that Bernie isn't shut down in any way and keeps his media access to the corporate-media restricted people.

The Dems hate the way he uses the way they tried to use him to essentially remind the pyblic that America belongs to Americans, not to their public servants or a relative few of the wealthiest... but Bernie was to be their token human face and without him, they were nothing but a destructive and pathological corporate machine.

But they'd better hope very, very hard that Bernie and his family don't as much as break a toenail, or a lot of people will be looking very, very hard at them.

up
2 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

Damn you, Hillary, for selfishly preventing the change we so badly need now:

up
23 users have voted.
Pricknick's picture

that working with demonrats is the way forward.....maybe then he will have my ear.
Talk is cheap in the land of political corruption.
Reforming the parties is long, time consuming and useless. Incrementalism is a disease we don't have time for.
Here stands a man who could give extreme power to a third party. I just don't see him do it.

up
14 users have voted.

Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

@Pricknick
Successful change is very expensive.

The last new party successful at the national level was the Republican Party active in 1856 and winning the presidency in a 4 way race in 1860--followed by the Civil War. In the time since, the Democratic and Republican Parties have changed their positions substantially many times. Lincoln could barely restrain the radical Republicans who became the party of business until Teddy Roosevelt, Bob Lafollette and others created a powerful progressive wing. The Democrats cobbled together an opposition of immigrant northerners and southern racists who had little in common. But the Democrats evolved into the party of FDR and made their final break with the traditional southern portion of their coalition with the passage of the Civil Rights Act under Lyndon Johnson. With a great deal of planning the financial sector took back the Democratic Party on issues involving money.

Dramatic changes in the positions of political parties are far more common than creation of successful new parties. And if Bernie were to win where would his support in congress come from. You'd have Democrats and Republicans still tied to the financial interests of the powers that be.

Finally, a large number of Bernie's supporters, admittedly not so much at C99%, took his pledge not to be a spoiler very seriously. Do you think they all would have followed Bernie into the promised land?

The most likely result of Bernie running third party would have been stronger Republican majorities and an even more fragmented set of splinters in what is now the Democratic Party.

up
4 users have voted.
detroitmechworks's picture

@FuturePassed are the fault of the Democrats.

If they had anything other than "Same Shit, but you can close your eyes when eating it" they'd be cleaning up.

Bernie's pledge was made under an assumption of fair play that did not occur. It was a promise made under duress and should have been treated as such.

up
4 users have voted.

I don't Blame Christians. I Blame Stupid. Which Sadly, is a much more popular religion these days.

Wink's picture

@detroitmechworks
and I do - that he's done far better by tucking tail and biting tongue last July, and throughout the G.E. Campaign. I'm not sure he'd still be America's favorite politician (lame and meaningless as that might be) had he stormed the Bastile. Might still have been, but not guaranteed. America views him today in a positive light, I suspect, becuz he kept his word and played by the rules, despite the other side fucking him every which way but Sunday. And, while that approach is taken as a sign of weakness by many on the Left (when he had earned every right to storm the Bastile, and had the army), he apparently looked at his options and chose this path instead.

up
4 users have voted.

the little things you can do often are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. All about building progressive media. (-1.9) On Twitter @winkradio.

detroitmechworks's picture

@Wink Bernie got off at the Democrat's stop, and lots of people want to keep going. We don't know which stop we're gonna get off at, but it ain't gonna be business as usual.

When every discussion ends with, "And that's why voting against Rethugs is more important than anything else", they lose me.

It's always the eternal crisis. Last week we were talking about Medicare for all, today, suddenly it's all about how we have to stop Trump from destroying what we already have.

Talks about ending the war? BOOM, Time for everybody and their cousin to talk about nuking North Korea.

up
3 users have voted.

I don't Blame Christians. I Blame Stupid. Which Sadly, is a much more popular religion these days.

@detroitmechworks
So what? If Bernie ran in the general Trump would still be president and would have won the popular vote as well as the electoral college. Opposition to Trump would be splintered. The "left" would have been blamed for Hillary's defeat in ways that make the Nader explanation look mild. The last thing we need in the midst of Trump is a splintered Democratic Party.

Bernie hasn't been able to build a statewide party in VT. The best the Progressive Party can do is work out a kind of truce with he Democrats. Prime directive: Democrats do not run against Bernie. (Sometimes someone gets on the ballot, but receives no party support. At one rally Bernie was on the stage with the Democratic candidates while the technical Democratic nominee was in the audience.) And the Progs get a few seats in the legislature.

up
2 users have voted.
Pricknick's picture

@FuturePassed

The last thing we need in the midst of Trump is a splintered Democratic Party.

I don't want them splintered. I want them annihilated.
I would rather fight one enemy than fight two.

up
3 users have voted.

Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

Pluto's Republic's picture

@FuturePassed

...that the people who voted in November 2016 would be the same group of voters who would go to the polls if the candidates had been Trump vs. Sanders. And that these votes would be divided differently, in that case:

If Bernie ran in the general Trump would still be president and would have won the popular vote as well as the electoral college.


Conversely, the entire time since the Democratic National Convention until just now, it would never occur to make that hypothetical calculation inside the zero sum arena of those specific voters. I dare say, if that were the case, you could be right. It's a novel thought.

I would wager, however, that well over half of the extraordinary mass of humans who emerged out of the shadows into the political light — and learned Bernie Sander's name for the first time, listened to his words, supported him at his enormous rallies, funded his campaign, and guilelessly believed that he could become the President of the United States — I would wager that more than half did not vote at all in November 2016. They melted back into the shadows before the race between Hillary and Trump began in earnest, and took their votes with them.

They represented the unimaginable power of an idea whose time has come, and they were neutralized just in the nick of time. The political establishment were well aware that they had dodged an historic bullet. I believe that's why they decided to campaign on only one single note, their strongest appeal. They were NOT Donald Trump. Why risk discussing any issues? I probably would have done the same thing.

As for the remainder, it's hard to imagine a more splintered Democratic Party. I don't think the splinters are visible, though; they've been edited out of the media and Google is busy ridding the Internet of their voices. In a few more months the Democratic Party should look as cohesive, robust, and unified as it has ever been. There are simply fewer of them.

up
4 users have voted.

@Pluto's Republic
I'll let you check some polling results before accepting your wager. How much were you thinking of?

In an interesting side note, several studies of the vote indicate the a higher portion of Hillary supporters in 2008 voted for McCain than Sanders supporters in 2016 voted for Trump. That's why its so hilarious, or irritating depending on your perspective, to hear how Berniebros cost Her the election.

up
1 user has voted.
Pluto's Republic's picture

@FuturePassed

In the interest of fair play, I should disclose that I had a gig reporting on the Trump primary campaign up to the time of the RNC. We were all binging on polls.

One interesting thing about that time, which marked the rise of the outsider in global politics, epitomized by the Brexit vote, was that people started lying to the pollsters. There was a fear over the land. For the first time, lawn signs and bumper stickers were not part of an American election. Families were estranged, or worse. The workplace became a political minefield. A lifetime of friendships ended forever.

Every major pollster got the Brexit vote wrong. Same with Trump. This was true for the celebrated Pundits, as well, whose predictions were 100 percent wrong throughout the Primaries and into the general. I've long relied on Allan Lichtman's system for that sort of thing, so I had outcome awareness and looked at the polls differently.

The wager can't be proved, can it? Did more half of Bernie's supporters not show up on election day? A huge number would have been first time voters, followed by independents. I respect that you have strong feelings about it, though, which moves the wager into Schrodinger's Cat territory. All we can do is take potshots at it and try to collapse the waves of probability surrounding the hypothetical election of Bernie v Trump.

That race would have been unique. They were both outsiders to the Parties. It was the Race that the American people wanted to see. I can tell you this: many, many Trump supporters were there because he promised no more war spending and no more cold war. He would make Israel pay for us to fight their battles in the Middle East, and no more free cash, either. He would make NATO pay for their own crap and make the world pay for our Navy guarding the world's shipping lanes. He would fire the heath insurers and go single payer to lower the costs, and he would build a 21st century infrastructure in the United States to make America great again. That's what the left-leaning people who listened to his speeches heard. That's what I read and what he said. The right heard the dog whistles. They all ignored what they didn't want to hear. It was the art of psychopolitics, which actually is a Russian thing. But the American fascists do it so much better.

up
2 users have voted.
dervish's picture

@Pluto's Republic and I'll do it again.

up
1 user has voted.

"Obama promised transparency, but Assange is the one who brought it."

@Pluto's Republic The polls you are talking about focus on what people will do. The election data I'm talking about asks about what people actually did. Typically, exit polls track results very closely. When they don't people start to wonder about fraud as we did when exit polls matched results in primary districts with paper ballots and Clinton overperformed exit polls in districts with electronic ballots and no paper trails.

How do you get Bernie v Trump? It's Bernie v Trump v Clinton. I think it's fair to assume Clinton would take more votes from Bernie than from Trump. Or Bernie would take more votes from Clinton than Trump depending on your perspective.

Peace.

up
1 user has voted.
Pluto's Republic's picture

@FuturePassed

If Bernie ran in the general Trump would still be president

My misunderstanding. But a three-way election that you describe, with the same pool of voters from Trump v. Hillary thus excluding the committed Bernie supporters who abstained or threw their votes to third parties — I get your point entirely. Bernie would have drained a few voters from both, especially those voting for the wars to stop or seeking guaranteed health care they can afford. But I believe it would have ended as you say with such a partisan voting pool.

up
0 users have voted.
Not Henry Kissinger's picture

In a country with two pro-war parties, the party that admits what it is out-loud is always going to have an advantage. If you can’t imagine a way out of that, ask Jeremy Corbyn for advice.

Trump makes an world wide ass of himself at the UN slavering on about over hyped threats from Iran, North Korea and Venezuela, the so-called opposition Dems respond with Hillary slavering on about the over hyped threat from Russia.

And the Dems wonder why they lose.

up
22 users have voted.

I am waiting for you, Vizzini.

Big Al's picture

with health care there's no use in trying to discuss a solution other than a nationalized socialist health care system and with foreign policy there's not use in trying to discuss a solution other than ending U.S. imperialism and Empire. Let's see, how many times did Sanders mention the word imperialism? I didn't listen but I would bet none, nada, zero, zilch.

He's also lying and perpetuating some false narratives such as mentioning drone strikes as a root cause of terrorism without saying what the real cause is, which again, are U.S. foreign policies themselves, particularly starting in the late seventies in Afghanistan with Al Qaeda.
He also states that "we cannot convincingly promote democracy abroad", which is another dangerous Orwellian false narrative/lie because that's not what the fuck is going on and he knows it.

Coming from Bernie Sanders, this is more harm than good and will only serve to keep his faithful in a useless and fatal compromise regarding the role of the U.S. government and those controlling it on the planet. Combine that with his lies about Iran and Israel and his support for Russiaphobia, and you've don't even have a single payer level effort on foreign policy when contrasted to the health care issue.

up
9 users have voted.
eyo's picture

@Big Al at least he copped to the U.S. role in overthrowing democratically elected leaders to install vicious dictators in Iran and Chile, that's as far as he can go without being assassinated I think. Blowback sucks, but here we are.

Where is the evidence on Russia interfering with 2016 election? Did I miss it? Bernie calls out Putin by name, so where is the evidence that Putin did it? Classified? Top Secret? I'm serious someone please tell me. It is sad to see him lie in front of everyone, just like every other sleazy politician trying to gain favor.

That speech played pretty well in Peoria I think, sounds like he is running for President 2020. I guess that is what millenials want for their future, Sanders/Gabbard or something like that. More money for D politicians and their consultants. And lobbyists! Don't forget the revolving door, multiple coalitions abound. Abbondanza! Clintonites behind every curtain cashing in, still pulling strings. Ni!

good luck

up
11 users have voted.

On a blog.

@Big Al @Big Al And this feels like another "conversation" started.It's always some incremental/11th dimensional chess sort of conversation that never evolves beyond meaningless chit-chat and somehow usually ends up pushing our goals further out of reach. I can't help but feel like this is more of the same.

Good on Bernie for saying a few things that really should have been said ages ago. But I agree with you Big Al that it looks like a few nuggets of truth wrapped in the parts of the narrative Sanders buys into, wrong as they are. It's like watching Warren grandstanding against a banker. There's a little red meat for the faithful, but nothing so radical that anyone gets their fee fees hurt (or stops the financial contributions.) And ultimately TPTB can pretend talk is action and nothing changes.

I know others are more patient with Sanders than I am, but Obama used up my tolerance for speeches based on incrementalism, especially when I feel the goal is moving the Overton window by conceding a few things but framing it all in business as usual.

up
12 users have voted.
Big Al's picture

@Dr. John Carpenter we've been having these conversations for years and every president says the same shit. People forget Obama got the Nobel Peace Prize for "starting a conversation" then went on to start more wars and continue the others. People were weeping at the Nuremburg Gate because they thought world peace was just around the corner.

Some people need to get past the starting the conversation part and into a hell no we won't go mode.

up
9 users have voted.
Wink's picture

@Big Al
can get five Libs to agree to anything. I'm on three or 4 "Bernie Boards," as well as one or 2 on FB. Hundreds of members on each board. Usually 3 or 4 Comments on each post. From hundreds of members. "Wink, we want a pony. We just don't want to work for one. That's what Bernie's for."
Reality check, Bros: Bernie is 75. What's your excuse?

up
4 users have voted.

the little things you can do often are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. All about building progressive media. (-1.9) On Twitter @winkradio.

Lookout's picture

is pretty disgusting. Despite T-rump UN rant that we respect other nations sovereignty we sure are going after other regimes and using tax dollars to do so...
Hundreds of millions for Israeli missiles and Ukrainian troops’ medical care, at U.S. taxpayers’ expense. http://www.alternet.org/grayzone-project/military-spending-israel-ukraine

Bernie's weakness has always been his foreign policy stance, and I for one am glad he's stepping up to deal with it. Criticize him if you want, but he's the one that has the country seriously considering single payer. Perhaps he will force us to face up to our insane wars? The media has brainwashed people into thinking our aggression is what keeps them safe. If Bernie convinces them it is our aggression that makes them less safe then maybe, just maybe they will awake.

up
11 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

mimi's picture

@Lookout

up
7 users have voted.

"History is what the present chooses to remember" - Carl Becker