Wednesday, April 29, 2015

So Bernie is stepping up to challenge the Clinton coronation ...

Thanks Bernie. It would be great if the Vermont independent Senator sticks out the primaries until California votes on June 7, 2016. I would have someone to vote for. It's hard to imagine he'll last that long. Running and not winning is expensive and he's not likely to attract his own sugar daddy.

Vermont Public Radio reports he'll announce Thursday. Since he's been haunting early primary states like Iowa and South Carolina, this is no surprise.

Sanders' basic message will be that the middle class in America has been decimated in the past two decades while wealthy people and corporations have flourished.

His opposition to a proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal (T.P.P.) shows how he plans to frame this key issue of his campaign.

"If you want to understand why the middle class in America is disappearing and why we have more wealth and income inequality in America than we have had since the late 1920s, you have to address the issue of trade,” Sanders said in a phone interview on April 23.

Oddly enough I once worked on a campaign in which Bernie was one of our opponents. He lost. So did my guy, a former governor and antiwar Democrat, Phil Hoff. Vermont sent an undistinguished incumbent Republican named Prouty to sit in the Senate. Prouty died in office the next year, 1971. Vermont continued its drift to the left, giving the Senate its only "democratic Socialist" in 2006.
I'm particularly glad to see Sanders stepping us as events in Baltimore are spotlighting Martin O'Malley's history as the guy who brought "zero tolerance" policing to that unhappy community. When you empower the police to stop, frisk, arrest, and harass and occasionally kill Black citizens, eventually you get riots. That's just the way of world.


Damon said...

You worked on that Senate campaign? Did you live in VT then, or was it just something you got drawn into.

My wife and I were discussing last night how much money we can afford to give to Bernie's campaign, doomed as it probably is. Maybe he can at least shift the conversation away from corporatists and warmongers.

Rain Trueax said...

I would vote for Sanders if it gets to our state-- it usually doesn't. But then I voted for McGovern and know something about lost causes. The problem with Sanders is he cannot win a national election. I get the concern of O'Malley but he has a lot of other powerful issues where he was right. We have to expect the Clinton machine to tear into him as they have been Warren. It's what they do. O'Malley might win a national election because he isn't so far left that he will lose the middle.

I don't blame zero tolerance for Baltimore right now. I think it comes down to inadequate training for police, not paying high enough salaries to draw quality people and frankly a small group of people who take any opportunity to burn down houses and loot. Read about the black woman who begged them not to burn her home and how they also destroyed where she worked with the pharmacy. They acted like animals. Obama said they are criminals and they are. They are part of why the police may overreact when they have to deal with that. Not saying the police are all right but I am saying that nobody should be breaking the law and zero tolerance means just that-- all laws matter. Now picking on just blacks would be more of an issue but if you look at the statistics, the police are overreacting with a lot of people including whites. I will never say what the blacks have done in Baltimore can be justified or if the police overlooked small infractions, it wouldn't happen. So yeah Sanders would get my vote if it comes down to it but O'Malley first if he gets this far. I want us to win the national election. Looking at the goals of the right, having any Republican as president will be a disaster. We need the Senate back and a democratic president, even if there are things they did that we aren't thrilled with. They are still far better than what this country will get with any of the possible Repub candidates!

Hattie said...

Too many whites still treat black people in this country as if they were an unfortunate mistake and harbor a notion of superior white virtue.Jeez.
Easy to point the finger when you aren't the target of racism.

janinsanfran said...

Rain -- re Baltimore. Obviously, I'm not there. But I can only urge you to read this article from the Baltimore Sun last fall. The police there have been treating Black people abominably for years with very little accountability except for the taxpayers who have had to pay out $5.7 million in damages since 2011. This sort of thing happens when the culture of policing is rotten to the core and that can be the fault of pols who thought there was a short cut to being "tough on crime." Too often that has just been a synonym for locking up young Black men when what people need is economic development as well as police. And then the police become uncontrolled enforcers in their own right.

janinsanfran said...

Damon -- yep, I'm that old. I ditched grad school in the summer of 1970 and worked the election. Not a resident of Vermont (or much of anywhere) but I had spent 10 summers in the state.

I ended up in charge of getting out the (scant) Democratic vote in the small towns of Wyndham and Windsor counties, a job for which I had no particular training and few skills, but the locals taught me a lot.

What I remember most from that campaign was I was doing advance work for Phil (he scarcely needed it; he'd been Governor two times) and visited mill towns where the clothing and woolen factories had only recently decamped for the South. What despair! Phil was great with those folks.

That year, Bernie's support was greatest in Putney. He needed to move to Burlington and prove he could govern before he broke through.

Rain Trueax said...

I still say putting O'Malley out of the running only benefits Hillary. It reminds me of the Clinton machine.

The blacks that live in inner cities grow up very differently with a different set of values. I have black friends. They have had dinner with us until they moved. We never had anybody look after our farm with more trustworthiness than them. My brother's best friend is a black. I am not ignorant of the fact that education and upbringing make a huge different in anybody. With schools that give up, then we leave it to the police to deal with the problem. The most usual victim of black violence and crime, petty or otherwise is another black as we just saw again. What happened, after the days of peaceful demonstrations, were a few hooligans. And when someone acts like a hooligan, they get the name, whatever color they are. I admire Obama for calling it what it was but also suggesting changes. There are some I'd like to see also besides better pay and more training for the police.

If whites care about the issue in black communities, start with the schools. Then make it possible for everyone, who goes to high school, in this whole country, to get a reasonably priced college education. Give anyone who works for it hope for something else-- and also legalize pot. Decriminalize it totally. When youths can make more money selling drugs than they can at a real job, it takes only ethics or fear to stop them from doing it.

What bothers me with the far left who say these young men had no choice, is with no choice, there is no hope.

And you will never win an election with only the far right or far left. The middle is what it takes and that can be swayed by things like riots and looting.

I am not familiar with O'Malley beyond his stands on some key issues that matter to me but the fact that he's being blamed for the riots sounds so Clintonian that it scares me. Someone is trying the same dirty tricks on Warren-- digging up anything they can find and filtering it out. Anybody with a memory knows how this works.

The fault of what happened in Baltimore may go to brutal, reckless police officers. it may have just been an accident, but the idea that petty crime should be ignored seems a lousy way to run a city or state. Do you disobey small laws? jaywalk? go against the stop signals? run red lights? steal small stuff from drug stores? I bet you don't. The first time my son stole something really small, he was maybe 4 years old and it was a tiny toy sword. We took him right back to the store and made him return it and apologize. That teaches responsibility and that small stuff matters too. I won't say it's the last thing he stole before he got the message, but now my kids are like me, if we get something by accident in our grocery cart that we realize didn't get checked, we go back and declare it. Small stuff does matter. Teach that and we are all ahead.

Rain Trueax said...

I should add that if Sanders gets as far as Oregon, they usually don't, I could see myself voting for him. I have never heard him speak that it hasn't been like a breath of fresh air to me that he goes beyond emotion to facts and ideas. I think he is an honorable man. Naturally if he won the nomination, he'd get my vote. I am just not sure if the Repubs put up someone like Bush that he could beat him with so many people scared of far left ideas. And Bush would be no better than his brother, maybe worse with his religious zealotry. The Cems have to win or a lot of steps forward will be sent back with a Repub president. So Clinton or whatever Dem it is in '16, they will get my vote even if I have to hold my nose to do it.

Racer X said...

Rain - completely agree with your assessment. I am on Bernie's email list and will be contributing. I handed out flyers for McGovern when I was 12 - I guess I'll never learn.

Brandon said...

Lincoln Chaffee is appealing, but I don't think he'll get far, unfortunately.

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