Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 20, 2020

Sanders Wins Democrats Primary Debate

The various reflections of last night's debate between Democratic party primary candidates give a consistent picture.

  • Bloomberg lost. He had brought a wallet to a knife fight and made a generally bad impression. Even the news service that carries his name headlined: Bloomberg Hammered.
  • Buttigieg was again exposed as the soulless fluff he is.
  • Biden is frail, confused and talks too much.
  • Warren gets some points for hammering Bloomberg. But that is it.
  • Klobuchar gets points for hating Buttigieg but is otherwise too robotic to attract votes.
  • Sanders ably defended his positions against attacks from all sides.
  • Tulsi Gabbard was unfortunately not invited.

This impression seems to be correct:

Carl Beijer @CarlBeijer - 3:01 UTC · 20 Feb 2020

Bernie Sanders is debating like a frontrunner, confidently advancing his agenda and fending off attacks.

Everyone else is frantically trying to make some kind of game-changer happen, throwing up one-liners and cutthroat attacks like Hail Marys with the clock winding down.

The Democrats will likely have a brokered convention. If there is no candidate who gets a majority in the first round, hand selected 'superdelegates' will also vote. They will select the candidate the party's paymasters want. They may even try to rerun Hillary Clinton through this backdoor.

Op-eds that argue for such sham democratic processes are already getting published. Even under the slogan "Democracy Dies in Darkness":


(The Washington Post changed the above headline after it had caused an outrage on social media.)

All candidates but Bernie Sanders seen to be fine with such anti-democratic schemes. When the moderators asked if the candidate with the most delegates should automatically become the party nominee the answers were:

- Bloomberg: No
- Warren: No
- Biden: No
- Buttigieg: No
- Klobuchar: No
- Sanders: Yes, the inclusion of superdelegates is not indicative of a democratic process.

Sanders economic and domestic policies seem generally okay to me. But his foreign policies are still too aggressive:

In Hungary, far-right authoritarian-nationalist leader Victor Orban models himself after Putin in Russia, saying in a January interview that, “Putin has made his country great again.” Like Putin, Orban has risen to power by exploiting paranoia and intolerance of minorities, including outrageous anti-Semitic attacks on George Soros, but at the same time has managed to enrich his political allies and himself.

Where please is Putin "authoritarian"? When has Putin "exploited paranoia and intolerance of minorities"? When he opened the Grand Mosque in Moscow? And to put the dully elected Duterte of the Philippines and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un into one "authoritarian leaders" pot, as Sanders does in other parts of that speech, makes little sense to me.

Sanders current foreign policy advisor is an aggressive know-nothing:

Matt Duss @mattduss - 1:37 UTC · Feb 20, 2020

"It should come as no surprise, therefore, that those who understand Putin’s kleptocratic system – such the leader of the Russian opposition, Alexei Navalny – are now rooting for Sanders."

Guardian: Hawks say Sanders will be weak on Russia. But Putin should fear a President Bernie

Navalny is a xenophobe and racist nutter. He compared Muslims to cockroaches who should be killed. He does not lead anything and certainly not the Russian opposition. Polls in Russia have him at 1%.

Still - Sanders foreign policy is probably the least aggressive in the field with the exception of probably Gabbard's. Sanders should select her for the vice president position. As a woman of color she would also tick off two now necessary categories.

But first he will have to win the big fight to become the nominee. The powers that be will do their best to prevent that.

Posted by b on February 20, 2020 at 16:50 UTC | Permalink

next page »

I agree to the Gabbard as vice idea.

Posted by: Pnyx | Feb 20 2020 17:00 utc | 1

Good analysis of the debate. Pithy remarks was all it was worth. Trump won 'yuge' last night. Bloomberg showed that Trump would crush him in the debates.

The key to the 2020 election is now the Senate race. Can the Republicans hold their majority?

Trump will spend most of the campaign working for Senate candidates. He must hold the majority to prevent his second impeachment and removal.

All the strategy for re-election is based on the Senate now.

Unless something remarkable occurs with the Dems, they lost the election last night. A Minor League lineup.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Feb 20 2020 17:03 utc | 2

Bloomberg bought everybody - but he forgot to fix himself.

Posted by: vk | Feb 20 2020 17:06 utc | 3

Bloomberg knows the price of everyone, but the value of nothing.

Posted by: bjd | Feb 20 2020 17:14 utc | 4

In reading of conservative websites, a number of commenters are saying they will vote for Bernie in the Primaries, hoping he will get the nomination. Their reasoning is that if it is a race between Trump and Bernie, they will be resigned if Trump loses, but ONLY if he loses to Bernie. Most are against Gabbard as she is seen as anti-2ed amendment.

Posted by: frances | Feb 20 2020 17:19 utc | 5

Its all about show.. the electoral college selects the president.

Posted by: snake | Feb 20 2020 17:22 utc | 6

"But his foreign policies are still too aggressive"

Aye, too aggressive by far to make him any kind of improvement over any other Admin. Remember, Obama, the worst warmaker of the last imperial dynasties, started as a self-declared upholder of international law, a Nobel prize-winning one at that.

Now to my point: if foreign policy is imperial, all other improvement is irrelevant.

Health care, better pensions, affordable mortgage, a free hamburger every week, etc. for the population of the Empire that murders, plunders and generally threatens the health of the whole world seems like something one should avoid, not cheer for.

Posted by: Piero Colombo | Feb 20 2020 17:22 utc | 7

A good assessment and I would add that Gabbard won by not being there. The dog and pony show conducted by corporate news has adult political aspirants panting like sixth graders for teachers attention. Demeaning to all involved. Sanders needs stronger vetting on foreign policy. It should be remembered that he twice voted for Clinton’s wars and the AUMF which gave presidents the power to conduct never ending wars of choice.

Gabbard is clear on her position and Sanders is not.

Posted by: dbrize | Feb 20 2020 17:26 utc | 8

If the DNC and its bosses screw Bernie, which they obviously want to do, they'll certainly re-elect Trump. They prefer Trump to Bernie anyway. But they'll also rip apart the Dem Party. I anticipate violence if they do. If Bernie is elected, we'll find out how much of his foreign policy he believes in and how much he has said to get along with the neocon Dem establishment. His base certainly is to his left on foreign policy.

Posted by: NoOneYouKnow | Feb 20 2020 17:26 utc | 9

They call them super delegates and I call them Dem-Ayatollahs or politburo members who decide who people can vote for.

I am completely with b on Sanders’s stand on foreign policy. The good thing I can say about this is that he has been slowly but continuously moving in the right direction. He is still not where I want him to be. But I could persuade myself to vote for him IF the Dem-Ayatollahs and the politburo members allow him to run AND if he chooses Tulsi as his VP.

Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | Feb 20 2020 17:44 utc | 10

Many of Sanders supporters on Twitter will tell you that his foreign policy utterances are what "he has to do" so that the media doesn't increase their attacks on him. They say it is a con. A lot of others like the people at WSWS disagree completely. I don't know for sure, but it does make sense to play along with the establishment while you don't have power. And Tulsi is part of the Sanders Institute. As for Tulsi being VP, there would be unanimous outrage like you have never seen from so many liberals because Hinduphobia is rampant among so many of them. This explains how they have have been conned by a smear psy-op against Tulsi Gabbard: Anatomy of A Smear: How Liberals Have Become Willing Dupes of Foreign Political Psy-Ops

Posted by: Kali | Feb 20 2020 17:54 utc | 11

That headline is interesting:
It's time to give elites a bigger say in selecting president.

Could someone actually be so absorbed in own perspective as to not realize how provocative that is - pretty much poking finger in someones chest? I don't think so. It was meant to provoke. Perhaps Bezos is threatened by other rich people.

Posted by: jared | Feb 20 2020 18:01 utc | 12

The Hail Mary used to be the comfort-food of prayer.

Posted by: ChasMark | Feb 20 2020 18:01 utc | 13

I find some of Sanders' answers about foreign policy extremely hawkish:

The most extreme thing is that Sanders would consider military force to prevent even just a missile test.

He also says he would "consider" "humanitarian interventions" without saying anything about those "humanitarian interventions" based on lies that led to deterioration of the humanitarian situation.

Under normal situations, I would think that Sanders' foreign policy positions should disqualify him. But we are talking here about the United States of America, a country with extreme disregard for international law, and it is probably correct that all other candidates who have a chance of being elected would be even worse (compared to the extremists Biden, Bloomberg, Klobuchar, and Buttigieg, Sanders' hawkishness and aggressive rhetoric against Russia seems relatively harmless). Compared to Trump, Sanders is probably the lesser evil.

But I doubt he will be inclined to go against the neocons who dominate the foreign policy establishment and the secret services.

I used to think that if Sanders is president, Gabbard could be Secretary of State or vice president. But now, I think this is unlikely. First because of many jingoistic statements by Sanders, but second also because polls show that Tulsi Gabbard seems to be quite unpopular among the US population. It seems that, while in Sanders' case the smears in the media don't work well because people already know Sanders well enough, in Gabbard's case, the smears seem to have worked. Sanders probably will not want to burden his administration with someone who is so hated by a large part of the Democratic electorate.

I think Tulsi Gabbard will be needed for something else if Sanders is elected, for pressuring Sanders from outside the government.

Posted by: Adrian E. | Feb 20 2020 18:08 utc | 14

During the debate, Sanders clubbed Bloomberg over the head for his "immoral" amount of wealth:

"'Mike Bloomberg owns more wealth than the bottom 125 million Americans,' said Sanders. 'That's wrong. That's immoral. That should not be the case when we got half a million people sleeping out on the street. When we have kids who cannot afford to go to college. When we have 45 million people dealing with student debt.'"

But the amount of disparity Sanders announced was likely overstated--reality is actually worse:

"In the Federal Reserve's latest Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) data, Bruenig noted, 'the bottom 38 percent of American households have a collective net worth of $11.4 billion, meaning that Michael Bloomberg owns nearly 6 times as much wealth as they do.'

"'The definition of wealth used in the official SCF publications includes cars as wealth,' wrote Bruenig. 'But academics that study wealth inequality, like Edward Wolff, often do not count cars as wealth because they are rapidly-depreciating consumer durables that most people can't really sell for the practical reason that they need a car to get around and live. When you exclude cars from the definition of wealth, what you find is that the bottom 48 percent of households have less combined wealth than Michael Bloomberg does. This is 60.4 million households or 158.9 million people.'

"'Regardless of which measure you use,' Bruenig concluded, 'the upshot is clear: the United States is simultaneously home to some of the wealthiest people on Earth and to a large propertyless underclass that have scarcely a penny to their names.'" [My Emphasis]

The description of Bloomberg as an Oligarch is correct. That he's also a kleptocrat is also likely true. What's certain is he didn't "work hard" to attain his loot; he's a Rentier just like Trump.

In a related development, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden has proposed to change the tax codes to "Treat Wealth Like Wages", something strongly advocated by economists like Hudson, Keen, and Wolff and would start to slowly change the disparity. George Will wrote a column about it yesterday. And although he's mistaken about that wealth being turned into productive (entrepreneurial) Capitalism as proven by Hudson, Keen, Wolff, and others, he does agree that something must be done about the problem.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 20 2020 18:14 utc | 15

I wish he would pick Tulsi, but the media has already done a good job
of getting clueless Dem voters to turn on her

Posted by: Danny C | Feb 20 2020 18:18 utc | 16

The most important, and most illusive issue is E M P I R E. But we won't hear much about that in US Presidential elections.

  • New Cold War with Russia

  • Participating in war / acts of war against: Syria, Venezuela, Iran, Yemen

  • Long-term occupation of Afghanistan

  • Weaponized trade

  • Militarizing space

  • War economy

  • Militarized police

  • War on whistle-blowers and civil rights (e.g. privacy)

  • Etc.

EMPIRE touches every part of our lives and pollutes domestic politics. The Empire mafia's protection racket costs us a bundle, erodes our civil and human rights, and makes us less safe. But the mafia that runs the Empire don't want any scrutiny. And the controlled media is happy to oblige.

EVERY candidate for US President is a Zionist NWO Empire-builder (yes, Bernie too).

If they were all secretly billionaires or secret members of a racist club there would be OUTRAGE. But that they are all Zionist NWO Empire-builder ... silence.

Only a genuine independent Movement for Democracy will change anything. Instead, we are sleep-walking into WWIII and dystopia.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 20 2020 18:19 utc | 17

Bill Clinton, 1992:

It's the economy, stupid.

Jackrabbit, 2020:

It's the Empire, stoopid.(tm)


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 20 2020 18:21 utc | 18

I don't think we should be delving on Sanders' foreign policy too much.

Obama was elected on a "hope and change" platform - mentioning removing troops from Iraq, Afghanistan, closing Guantanamo etc. and then, boom, Libya, drones, private contractors and Syria happened.

Also, we have the Deep State, which is the true dictator of American foreign policy. This is the team of "experts" and "advisers" who will "educate" whoever is newly elected to the WH. So it doesn't really matter what the candidates state about foreign policy at this point.

It really doesn't matter what Sanders says on the FP front.

Posted by: vk | Feb 20 2020 18:22 utc | 19

the first headline by the WA Post opinion piece is better and truer in that it is more indicative and exact of what the Elites think, want, and believe in - more Elite control

hell they already have substantial backroom control via the hack Media - see exclusion of Gabbard critique of aggressive US foreign policy aka imperialism for further proof; not to mention of course the overwhelming role of money in this election, in all elections (Citizens United consolidated this), and in the very fabric, functioning and meaning of the 'society' at large.

the Elites are afraid of the insurgent wing of their party for a variety of reasons, and are once again trying to rig the system against any chance of Sanders getting the nomination

Posted by: michaelj72 | Feb 20 2020 18:42 utc | 21

If Hilary jumps in and steals the nomination Trump will relish the opportunity to beat her up again.

If Bernie gets the nod (miraculously) the Democratic right will ensure he loses the general. Hilary would rather McGovern him and lose the House, lose ten Senate seats, than tolerate an usurper.

Anybody else gets the nomination Trump needn't bother to pretend he has an opponent.

Posted by: oldhippie | Feb 20 2020 18:44 utc | 22

A Brokered Convention?

Sadly, Bernie isn't doing everything he can ...

  • ... to win
  • - and/or -

  • ... to prepare for a brokered convention.

<> <> <> <> <> <>

To win outright (so there's no brokered convention):

Bernie should be confronting the Party and lapdog media that uses identity politics to pit people against each other. Instead, he plays the game: simply stating and restating his policy positions.

It's clear by now to any savvy political observer that the Party hopes to use identity politics to divide the votes and thus deny Bernie an outright win. This results in a brokered convention where an establishment candidate will prevail.

Sheepdog Bernie will then be thrown a bone so that he can say that his "democratic socialist' insurgency made a difference. Then Bernie and all the demobots will implore everyone to defeat the "greater evil" of Trump.

To prepare for the convention:

Bernie must abandon his pledge to support the Democratic Party candidate in the general election. To prevail in a brokered convention, Bernie must be able to bring to bear the full extent of the power of his Movement.

Bu..Bu..But what evidence is there that Bernie is not sincere?

Bernie's 2020 run is shaping up to be essentially a re-run of his 'sheepdogging' in 2016. In 2016 Bernie wouldn't do what it took to win and thus allowed Hillary to win - then he supported her in the General Election.

Bernie wouldn't attack Hillary on 'character issues' ("Enough with your damn emails"), pulled punches (neglecting to say how Hillary HAD changed her vote for money), and was largely silent about media bias.

Why might Bernie NOT be doing what he needs to?

Because at heart he's a Zionist (like every other candidate for the Presidency), who supports the Zionist US political establishment and is good friends with Empire power brokers like Hillary and Schumer.

<> <> <> <> <> <>

Zionism, neoliberalism, and neo-conservativism are fundamentally anti-Democratic but these are the ideologies of the Empire's ruling class. Only a genuine independent Movement (like the Yellow Vests in France) will change this.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 20 2020 18:48 utc | 23

Its all about show.. the electoral college selects the president.

Posted by: snake | Feb 20 2020 17:22 utc | 6
the process -
first - it's the main street voters who, on November 3rd, Election day will select the State electors to the electoral college. The State electors will vote for the president on December 14, 2020. On January 6, 2021 the Senate counts the electoral votes and declares who has been elected President and Vice President. That's how it works.

So, these guys and gals running for the office of president need to garner the votes of the main street voters...jim and jane.

Posted by: Likklemore | Feb 20 2020 18:56 utc | 24

Here is Bernie Sanders Foreign Policy platform. In my opinion the details will prove better than interviews and not aggressively campaigning yet on foreign policy issues. This is because he has been in this game a very long time and can not swallow a fire hose worth of condemnation at one time.

The U.S. must lead the world in improving international cooperation in the fight against climate change, militarism, authoritarianism, and global inequality. When we are in the White House, we will:

Implement a foreign policy which focuses on democracy, human rights, diplomacy and peace, and economic fairness.

Allow Congress to reassert its Constitutional role in warmaking, so that no president can wage unauthorized and unconstitutional interventions overseas.

Follow the American people, who do not want endless war. American troops have been in Afghanistan for nearly 18 years, the longest war in American history. Our troops have been in Iraq since 2003, and in Syria since 2015, and many other places. It is long past time for Congress to reassert its Constitutional authority over the use of force to responsibly end these interventions and bring our troops home.

End U.S. support for the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen, which has created the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophe.

Rejoin the Iran nuclear agreement and talk to Iran on a range of other issues.

Work with pro-democracy forces around the world to build societies that work for and protect all people. In the United States, Europe, and elsewhere, democracy is under threat by forces of intolerance, corruption, and authoritarianism.

Posted by: linda amick | Feb 20 2020 18:57 utc | 25

@ Red Ryder | Feb 20 2020 17:03 utc | 2

”Unless something remarkable occurs with the Dems, they lost the election last night. A Minor League lineup.”

I watched a few moments at a time of that childish squabble, during the first hour. After that I couldn't stand any more.


@ dbrize | Feb 20 2020 17:26 utc | 8
”The dog and pony show conducted by corporate news has adult political aspirants panting like sixth graders for teachers attention. Demeaning to all involved. Sanders needs stronger vetting on foreign policy. It should be remembered that he twice voted for Clinton’s wars and the AUMF which gave presidents the power to conduct never ending wars of choice.”

He also apparently has, like Hillary before him, his public positions and his private positions, depending upon whom he's talking to. He told the NY Times (he seemingly is unaware that the Times is read by the general public) that he would willingly launch a military assault on North Korea, would willingly launch a military assault on Iran, and would be willing to continue the absurd policy of treating Russia and China as enemies of the US. And let's not forget that he once referred to Hugo Chavez as “a dead communist dictator,” and also recommended that Saudi Arabia be put in charge of the war against Syria.

I do believe, though, that his absurd foreign policy positions are based on ignorance, and not on imperial impetus.

He's still the best of that entire lot.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Feb 20 2020 18:57 utc | 26

Sanders's economic and domestic policies are economically illiterate and anti free market - so are Trump's generally. The only possible, slight positive about Bernie Sanders is that he's...sometimes less hawkish than others. The same is true for Tulsi.

Posted by: Rusty Shackleford | Feb 20 2020 18:57 utc | 27

Sanders would never want Tulsi in his cabinet. And vice President is a total do-nothing position. Secretary of State, or Secretary of Defense, even Ambassador to the United Nations is much more significant than Vice President. Sanders is a pro-war imperialist, clearly.

Posted by: SharonM | Feb 20 2020 18:57 utc | 28

“I’d like to talk about who we’re running against: a billionaire who calls women fat broads and horse-faced lesbians. And no, I’m not talking about Donald Trump. I’m talking about Mayor Bloomberg,” Warren said to gasps from the audience.

“In my foundation, the person that runs it is a woman, 70% of the people are women,” he said. “In my company, lots and lots of women have big responsibilities.”

Warren allowed to add one liner: “I hope you heard what his defense was: ‘I’ve been nice to some women,' "

Bloomberg clobbered some more “we have very few nondisclosure agreements. None of them accused me of doing anything – except, maybe they didn’t like a joke I told,” [boo!]

Bloomberg countering Sanders: “You don’t start out by saying I’ve got 160 million people I’m going to take away the insurance plan they love,” Bloomberg argued." That was his high points. All members of the audience who love their insurance stood in applause. Or perhaps one person stood up, looked around and sat back.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 20 2020 19:10 utc | 29

Sharon M @28
"Sanders would never want Tulsi in his cabinet. And vice President is a total do-nothing position."

All that changed when Dick Cheney became VP. The list of his "accomplishments" (including Wars, promoting torture, promoting support of Al Qaida (and ISIS) in Iraq and Syria, plus so many more that we don't know of).
Hardly a "do-nothing" position.

Posted by: naiverealist | Feb 20 2020 19:20 utc | 30

linda amick @25

The fact is, Bernie doesn't need a great foreign policy platform to win. Americans would vote for Bernie's domestic platform in overwhelming numbers.

That's why the establishment will do everything possible to defeat Bernie.

But is Bernie doing everything possible to win? And/or cause his Democratic Party insurgency to prevail?

He won't criticize the Party and he has stated many times that he'll support whomever the Party nominates (even if he is cheated).

<> <> <> <> <> <>

With that said, Bernie's record on foreign policy is not as good as his aspirational policy positions and his preference for Israel is clear (despite his concerns about how the Palestinians are treated). This has been discussed in detail at moa in recent weeks.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 20 2020 19:21 utc | 31

The question is not if Sanders should choose Gabbard as V.P., the question is why he wouldn't, and that my friends will tell you all you need to know about Sanders and his genuine interest in leading this country.

If Gabbard is left off his ticket he will lose. If he chooses her, it will excite the left like nobody's business and he will cruise to victory utilizing the antiwar vote that got Trump into office. do have the establishment left who may not want anything to do with the antiwar and populist conjoinment of Sanders/Gabbard. It may be too world-shaking for them and they may throw their lot in with Trump.

Either way, I think we are in good shape, barring a full Neocon push to colonize Trump's presidency.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Feb 20 2020 19:35 utc | 32

It is very curious that there seems to me something approaching unanimity-among the commenters- that Sanders is the candidate who is least trustworthy.
I note that Jackrabbit even wheels out his old "Bernie the sheepdog" routine despite the fact that the rest of the Democrats continue to do all that they can to sabotage his campaign, ensuring that his supporters, when cheated in Convention, are going to walk out. Which, for those unacquainted with the logistics of pastoral agriculture, is not what sheepdogs-employed to gather the flocks together and deliver them to be clipped or butchered-do.
Of course the issue is imperialism. But imperialism is not an ideological but a material matter: among the material bases of the Empire is the superstition that the United States is under constant military threat and that, unless Americans voluntarily impoverish themselves, by giving vast sums to the MIC, they will lose everything. And the world will disintegrate. To undermine imperialism in the United States it is necessary to empower the only forces that can defeat the MIC-the masses, taxpayers working hours a week for the trillion dollar defense budget and workers afraid to stop making the rich ever richer and themselves poorer, less secure and more vulnerable.

Sanders challenges this view. And he does so from a very old-fashioned position. He is arguing that social and economic security should be the first priorities of government and that, in order to defend the constantly threatened benefits that exist and to extend them to such popular areas as healthcare and free tuition, it is necessary to restore the freedom to organise that existed before Taft Hartley.
The DNC and the anti Sanders forces are the current iteration of the coalition of Republican reactionaries and the Tammany/Jim Crow bosses that brought about Taft Hartley and the Cold War, the twin foundations of imperialist politics in the United States for more than seventy years.
As to Israel Sanders' position is one that is utter anathema to the Zionists- a clue being the enormous resources they are mobilising against him. A call for 'peace' and an end to the 'conflict' being the one policy that not only appeals to public opinion but cannot be countenanced by any of the Israeli parties all of which have committed their all to eradicating all traces of Palestine and dominating the middle east.

Posted by: bevin | Feb 20 2020 19:40 utc | 33

In the Nevada debate I noticed how the candidates other than Bernie at many times were talking into the cameras and over the heads of the people in the audience while garbling out their resumes about how they are the best candidate to beat Trump as if that was the debate question put to them. In doing so, I think they are really out boot-licking for super delegates.

Posted by: Robert Shule | Feb 20 2020 19:44 utc | 34

Sanders is a pro-war imperialist, clearly.

Posted by: SharonM | Feb 20 2020 18:57 utc | 28

Sanders does not seem a pro-war imperialist, and he has SOME positive statements on foreign policy now, and according to my observations in 2016, we is not interested in foreign policy and he wants to fight on one front. He also detests the leadership of Israel, but given his roots etc. he did not want to say anything on that, just some isolated statement when confronted in meetings with voters.

Now that he expected to be a front runner he hired the most progressive chaps from the mainline Democratic think tanks, and clearly, you can take them from CAP etc. but you cannot totally remove CAP etc. out of them. Coming from environment where "muscular liberals" keep taunting "so do you love dictators", after few years you prepare "appropriate defenses".

"Yes" on "Would you consider military action if Iran or North Korea did X" was a typical weaseling. "Not considering war under ANY circumstances" is still a third rail in American policies. So one "Yes" was placed in the questionaire. But he also had a long paragraph about diplomacy first, last resort, requesting advise and approval from Congress, so it was formal "considering", not "willingness". Your can interpreted differently, and that was the whole purpose.

I would ask something about economic warfare, sanctions etc., like how he would weight "applying pressure on regimes" versus "welfare of the population", how much of deprivation is too much. And selection criteria for the list of "regimes". Do absolute monarchies get exemption, perhaps on the account of reigning by the grace of G..d? When do we "worry" about events during vote counting (no worry on Honduras, grave concern on Bolivia). And so on.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 20 2020 19:46 utc | 35

bevin @33: It is very curious ...

Well, it's very curious that Sanders accepts the party line on Russiagate/Russian meddling.

And it's very curious that Sanders attacks Maduro as a Dictator that must be removed.

And it's very curious that Sanders' bill to prevent US support for the war on Yemen had big loopholes.

And Sanders' 2016 campaigning was also very curious for his amazing deference to Hillary.

Also curious: how Sanders' candidacy is used as Democracy Works! propaganda to shore-up a corrupt. EMPIRE-FIRST political system.

<> <> <> <> <> <>

If WE can all see that the Democratic Party is scheming to have a brokered convention, WHY CAN'T BERNIE SEE IT? Well, of course he sees it. But he doesn't do anything about it. He plays into it by stressing his support for 'party unity'.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 20 2020 20:05 utc | 36

Gabbard as VP would be Sanders's best insurance against being assassinated.

Posted by: lysias | Feb 20 2020 20:05 utc | 37

Jackrabbit, are you quoting someone or yourself, you use quotation paragraphs without attributing to anyone.

Concerning tactical advise, I do not think that you tested it on "focus groups" or in any other way. Identity politics is a third rail in the territory to the left and center of the political centrum. Some aspects are OK, like changing attitude to work place sexual harassment or even demeaning. Shaming homosexual is medieaval (going back to a ancient Greek attitudes could be a step to far).

But there is a need to avoid alienating working class people who do not ascribe to political correctness. But what would you like to give up as an issue? The right to terminate pregnancy? Sanders made a choice that I fully approve: prying guns from the hands of the working people is a futile, alienating, and he did not win so many elections in a rural state full of hunters by trying that. He is correctly accused of never advocating gun control. But you cannot run in Democratic party AGAINST gun control, not because of DNC and other sinister powers (although they love the issue) but there is a wide constituency for it. As a hiker, I appreciate extensive state forests and game reserves created because of the wide support from the hunters, and the fact that the hunting in my state is forbidden on Sunday. "And on the seventh day thou shall hike".

Once I thought about a compromise good for running in the South, namely, why not agree to hand some commandments in public building, say, 5 out of 10? One could make a referendum choosing the "top 5".

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 20 2020 20:05 utc | 38

Piotr @38: are you quoting someone or yourself

When quoting someone I will always use italics (rarely, I might forget to).

So when there are no italics, then I'm indenting for readability.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 20 2020 20:10 utc | 39

Finnian Cunningham weighs in with an excellent article about Bloomberg as symbolic of the demise of the Outlaw US Empire's nationwide electoral political system, "With Bloomberg Entering Race, U.S. Oligarchy Takes Stage". A portion of the juicy meat:

"In a nutshell, the political party is bought. It has become a vehicle that is patently the political property of an oligarch. And not just this one oligarch, but the entire oligarchic system of super-wealth in the United States. Hillary Clinton, the Democrat candidate in 2016, was despised by voters because of her solicitous connections to Wall Street and Big Business. That corruption has now only become starkly manifest in the form an oligarch-in-person taking the political stage instead of a politician-surrogate. The same can be said for the other side of the oligarch coin, the Republicans.

"It is rather fitting too that Bloomberg stood as a Republican when he was elected Mayor of Gotham (er, New York City) between 2001-2013. Since leaving that office be flipped to the Democrats, no doubt sensing a more expedient route for buying his way to the White House. That again demonstrates how hollow the party names are of any substantive meaning regarding policy.

"In the 2018 mid-term elections, Bloomberg donated $100 million to the DNC to promote 16 new female lawmakers to Congress. Enamored by that superficial progressive benevolence, the party bosses are in his pocket."

Cunningham concludes with an observation that many of us arrived at long ago:

"The only 'superhero' that can save Gotham (er, the U.S.) from the oligarchs is the American people themselves finding the strength and independence to rise up against the endemic two-party corruption, and voting for real change.

"That, however, requires mass organization, mobilization and a class consciousness about the predatory capitalist, oligarch-ridden system that the U.S. has descended into." [My Emphasis]

The bolded sentence above provides us with our task and goal, that is if we--non-Americans included--wish to save the nation and the world from Oligarchical Ruin. Our only chance is to provide Sanders with 1991+ delegates so he can gain the nomination outright on the first ballot before the corrupt delegates can enter the fray. Yes, he has issues with his foreign policy record; but it's his domestic record most voters will want to know about since so many are struggling. And it's on that part of his record that I intend to focus upon, while I'm certain the naysayers like the rabbit will focus exclusively elsewhere.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 20 2020 20:24 utc | 40

@35 Piotr Berman

There's no way to sugarcoat Sanders' pro-war imperialism. This is a good article about it:

"Not on Our Side: On Bernie Sanders and Imperialism"

You said this:

"He also detests the leadership of Israel..."

And that claim is shot down in the linked article. Here:

"Sanders’ support for protecting Israel was not just in terms of words, but by votes to provide billions in military hardware and aid to the Apartheid state in 1997, 1999, 2004. When Hamas won the Palestinian elections in 2006, Sanders voted in favor of imposing sanctions in order to remove them from power. He has also voted for resolutions in favor of Israeli military actions against Lebanon in 2006 and Gaza in 2014. At a town hall meeting on Gaza, Sanders was heckled for defending the Israeli actions, telling the audience to “shut up.”"

Bernie Sanders belonged on that stage with the other pro-war imperialists. With him, we get affordable healthcare, while millions of people around the world will suffer through coups, invasions, bombings, mass murder, and mass displacement. There is absolutely nothing for an anti-war advocate to get excited about with a Sanders Presidency.

Posted by: SharonM | Feb 20 2020 20:29 utc | 41

@ 30 Naiverealist

That's a good mention about Dick Cheney. But it was an anomaly.

Posted by: SharonM | Feb 20 2020 20:34 utc | 42

bevin @33--

Thanks for that bit of analysis!

I'll forever argue that the United States of America's government was designed to be a social democratic republic. Proof of this deliberate design is found within the rationale for the federal government as stated in the Constitution's Preamble:

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

I'll argue that establishing Justice and insuring domestic Tranquility means not to promote policies that result in economic divisiveness and massive disparities of wealth--what that hell's tranquil or justified about Bloomberg owning as much wealth as @160 million people: almost 1/2 of the populous?!?! How is it possible to secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity in the face of such unjust, immoral disparities?! And I could go on and rant a lot more, but I think my point's made. Clearly, the best political weapon and campaign asset Sanders could deploy is the Preamble and argue that the Oligarchs and their Establishment are UnAmerican at best and Traitors at worst. As I wrote the other day echoing Solomon and Sanders, it's a Class War, and we need everyone to come to the barricades and the polling stations!! And the naysayers better get the hell out-of-the-way or be trampled underneath the masses clamoring for a huge change in direction, which we might call back to fundamentals.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 20 2020 20:43 utc | 43

And Sanders' 2016 campaigning was also very curious for his amazing deference to Hillary.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 20 2020 20:05 utc | 36

I will not defend Sanders from basing his foreign policy on the progressive outliers of reactionary CAP. There is a distinct danger that he would be malleable on foreign policy, but also a hope... The hope is that he collected a lot of supporters who are less deferential to DC consensus than himself.

The deference to Hillary was a good tactical choice in my humble opinion. He leads the insurgents who do not favor the current DNC and party apparatus. To win a national elections he does need cooperation across party spectrum. PUMA is a real danger against that (search PUMA 2008 election). So he can (a) challenge and shame possible repeaters of PUMA (b) give good example (c) rely on his feared supporters who are guaranteed to be suspicious and grumpy.

Bloomberg as the champion of moderate democrats reminds me the candidate for Polish presidency that Nationalists put forth in 1922. He was the top aristocrat, with vast holdings. Nationalists had hopes of attracting the larger and very moderate peasant party, but moderate as they were, they just could not vote for Aristocrat Number One. A lot of Democrats prefer Sanders over Bloomberg, even the moderate ones. If Sanders becomes top in delegate count and Bloomberg second, brokering the convention against Sanders will be hard.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 20 2020 20:43 utc | 44

It is a sign of the bankruptcy of the USA'system that the best hope on both left and right are Bernie and Trump. The system suffocates true statesmen.

Posted by: Steve | Feb 20 2020 20:44 utc | 45

It is a sign of the bankruptcy of the USA'system that the best hope on both left and right are Bernie and Trump. The system suffocates true statesmen.

Posted by: Steve | Feb 20 2020 20:44 utc | 45

yep, death by entertainment.

and please someone at RT or OAN or FOX please hire Tulsi, the poor thing needs a job.

Posted by: Sabine | Feb 20 2020 20:49 utc | 46

@karlof1 | Feb 20 2020 20:43 utc | 43

"As I wrote the other day echoing Solomon and Sanders, it's a Class War, and we need everyone to come to the barricades and the polling stations"

Karlof1, I admire your knowledge. That being said, can you tell me of any instance in the history of mankind, wherein a national government has changed its behavior due to the results of an election? As far as I can see, governments have only changed their ways after catastrophic war, economic or foundational collapse or a peasant revolt.



Posted by: b4real | Feb 20 2020 21:11 utc | 47

@ 42 sharon... who are you able to vote for presently that isn't on side with usa foreign policy? i am curious.. do they have a chance in hell of winning?

Posted by: james | Feb 20 2020 21:16 utc | 48

Undoubtedly Sanders will be a compromised politician when it comes to Israel. But Lesser of Two Evils 2020, isnt even a close contest.

Posted by: Turk 152 | Feb 20 2020 21:18 utc | 49

Sanders plus Tulsi Gabbard, the ultimate ticket indeed b, but as for anti Putin statements one has to bear in mind the new cold war thrust America's elite have foisted on the masses and it's significant degree of success as illustrated in polls taken over the past the past few years following the Russia Russia Russia campaign asking what country is a threat to America. As the new McCarthyism got into full swing, Americans were once again reminded of the cold war rhetoric that had been so deeply ingrained in them by the American led Propaganda Divisions, and like the sheep folks so often are, followed along with a pip pip hooray!

But all that doesn't mean Putin isn't an authoritarian. America elects authoritarians because they are presented with a choice of 2 people it's Oligarchs offer. Both are fronts for the Authoritarian Oligarchy system. A system rife with corruption that not only allows authoritarianism, it offers no alternative.

Which brings me back to Putin's Russia. Not disputing his value to his country which to me seems obvious, but opposing voices and movements aren't exactly welcome. Sadly, said movements often have roots in the ZioAmerAnglo hierarchy / multiple NGO's, that aren't really non governmental but have very deep tax payer funded pockets and partners like Soro's Open Society. But I digress.

I think free discussion of Putin's Russia should be given equal accommodation to that of scrutiny of America's ongoing Imperial Regimes, for the sake of balance.

ie Putin's Russia can build a pipeline wherever they want, whenever they want. I hope brighter minds can catch my drift.

The best argument against Democracy is a 5 minute conversation with the average voter.

Winston Churchill

Democracy is the worst of forms of Government, except for all the rest.

Also said by the Winnie. But the Winnie was always a man for Aristocracy first, even though his Pa another leading member of the Gov't and Servant of Empire had contracted syphilis while 'serving' the Empire in India and became an embarrassment to his family and the Party he served with his rambling speeches in Parliament as the disease he contracted overseas ate out his brain.

Personally I believe Donald Trump has contracted syphilis of the brain as a result of delusions of grandeur while in service of the Kosher Nostra and needs to be put out to pasture forthwith.

Bernie and Tulsi may, and I reiterate may, be able to restorith a Soul to America. A gargantuan task that may be, the alternative is spreading your legs and liking it.

Some folks here call me Bubblehead, sort of like a dreamer I suppose. I would say unto them, nothing of value comes easy, and the Oligarchs intent is to make you compete with the power of the 1.4 billion Chinese and other slave wage/ no social cost jurisdictions they so whole heartedly embraced to build their own fortunes and power over joe the plumber, the dirt farmer which I was one of in past life, and even the resistors in far away lands like Syria, where the majority of Assad's military are Sunni's.

Posted by: Bubbles | Feb 20 2020 21:21 utc | 50

I started out to say that Sanders can't compete in the American Political sham reality if he goes ball to the wall against Israel's aggression's and totally illegal behaviour which is supported by Democrats and Republican's alike because of the monetary power the Zionist fifth column in America wields with their "Benjamins"

Hat tip to that tiny girl born in Somalia for calling a spade a spade. Courage should be rewarded, not attacked by those who disrespect truth and decency.

Posted by: Bubbles | Feb 20 2020 21:30 utc | 51

But all that doesn't mean Putin isn't an authoritarian. Bubbles | Feb 20 2020 21:21 utc

But it does not mean that he is an authoritarian. His main strength is to choose popular policies and execute them competently. When he sees a need for unpopular reforms like increasing retirement age and introducing highway tolls, he defers to public opinion and proceeds very gradually (Macron could learn something). One can accuse him of cultivating friendly media, but I do not see outright repression of opposing media, one can read at websites of anti-Putin news outlets etc. In that he differs from Chinese and Turkish policies of muzzling and censoring. Cultivation of friendly media and legal system that is harsh on dissidents can be observed in countries like UK or USA.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 20 2020 21:41 utc | 52

Tulsi would be a great Vice President!

Posted by: michael lacey | Feb 20 2020 21:42 utc | 53

Sanders/Gabbard is my "make a wish" ticket, but alas, it'll never happen. The forces(big organised $) arrayed against that happening are just too strong. I'd be happier if Sanders
would utter the phrase "mixed economy" to explain his Democratic Socialist roots. After all, the American voting public, for the most part, equates Democratic Socialism with Communism. And, virtually all the countries we're taught are Socialist, are, in reality Mixed Economies. Even Venezuela, who's demonized daily as an evil Socialist country, is a Mixed Economy.

Every time Bernie is demonized as a Socialist, he should mention Mixed Economies. It's the economy of the U$A, an most of the industrial world..

Posted by: ben | Feb 20 2020 21:43 utc | 54

This week I drove to South Carolina and did the knock on doors for Bernie. The neighborhood was in a downtown area that was fairly run down. The community was mixed race and multi cultural. Here are my take aways. 1) the Sanders campaign is extremely organized. After I signed up for a slot I received a phone call in about 10 minutes with details. 2) the volunteers were given a run through and some very nice collateral that was given out or left on porches. 3) there were GPS phone maps identifying the houses to be canvassed as these folks were registered to vote.
In a 3 hour period 2 people canvassed 96 houses. Of course since it was during the day probably 1/2 were not home. The people that were home were overwhelming either leaning towards Bernie or were a definite for Bernie. There were 2 voters for Biden who became more open to Sanders after hearing and seeing his platform. There were 2 Trumpers. Both of them were obviously religious as they thought Trump had Christian interests (!!) There were no Pete, Warren nor Buttigieg interests.
I plan to do another town next week before their Primary.

Posted by: linda amick | Feb 20 2020 21:58 utc | 55

I suspect that none of them will pull out before the convention in order to divide the vote and keep the Sanders delegate count as low as possible. That way they can pool their votes and keep Sanders out.

Sanders is targeted by AIPAC and there are two AIPAC darlings up against him as well as a young Anglo American Empire trained Rhodes scholar. I bet that the three of them combine to keep Sanders out.

That leaves one former VP and a gentile fake native American. Hillary will fit in perfectly at the convention to this disaster.

Posted by: dltravers | Feb 20 2020 22:01 utc | 56

@ Posted by: naiverealist | Feb 20 2020 19:20 utc | 30

Poppy Bush also ran most of Reagan's presidency (after the first three months) out of the VP's office.

Posted by: AshenLight | Feb 20 2020 22:12 utc | 57

Posted by: SharonM | Feb 20 2020 20:34 utc | 42

"That's a good mention about Dick Cheney. But it was an anomaly."

Actually, not. I agree that the VP position is identified in the constitution as the President of the Senate, but this has been conflated by events of history.

Cheney professed that the VP was not bound to the executive or to the legislative branch, thus was able to take on a nebulous aura of not being answerable to either Congress or the President (or to "We the people". Thus he considered himself able to take on the foreign policy affairs of the "shrub", to the prez's agreement.

This is not the first time this has occurred. I have noticed that when there is a strong president, there is often a weak VP, and vice versa. Examples? Take Ronald Reagan, who was exhibiting Altzheimer's symptoms as early as 1976. He had a strong vice president (Bush, senior) who skated through those years with no mention in such things as the Iran Contra Affair, even though he was the director of the CIA during Iran Contra. And when Bush Sr. became president, who did he make his vice president? The lightweight Dan Quayle. The same argument could be made about other presidents.

Anyway, the point I was trying to make is that we have a precedent for the VP position being a virtually "unseen" state actor who can operate without oversight. Even Biden was involved up to his neck in Ukrainian corruption, but we wouldn't know about unless he opened his big mouth. So, it is just as important to have someone in the VP position who is ALSO honest and answerable to the American public.

Posted by: naiverealist | Feb 20 2020 22:19 utc | 58

On Sanders' foreign policy: we shouldn't forget that democracies are belligerent, that the link between war and high citizen participation in decision-making was the hallmark of classical antiquity. More recently, the icing on FDR's New Deal was ww2. It doesn't surprise me that a shift to social democracy does not imply a decrease in external belligerence. In fact moderate right-wing libertarians tend on the whole to be the least fond of war, unless it's about protecting their interests. But when the interests at stake are understood by the deliberative citizen body (e.g. SPQR or ὁ δῆμος) to be those of the collective citizen body, then war is endemic. I am reminded too that one of the most left-wing institutions (in spirit at least) in the US is the Marine Corps: the polis is a warrior-guild (Max Weber)

Posted by: Patroklos | Feb 20 2020 22:30 utc | 59

Bernie would prove to be such a disappointment. The other parrots on the perch not so much as they have brought nothing and will offer the same.
Tulsi was not invited. She has been denied oxygen in the press, denied a platform in the debates and generally airbrushed out of the picture. No surprise there. By speaking out against the forever-wars and against the prison gulag she committed the cardinal sin in US politics: You don't rock the boat, especially when pretending to do so! But how refreshing has her presence been in an otherwise dreary, dreary and predictable, landscape.

Posted by: Hal Duell | Feb 20 2020 22:36 utc | 60

Bernie would prove to be such a disappointment. The other parrots on the perch not so much as they have brought nothing and will offer the same.
Tulsi was not invited. She has been denied oxygen in the press, denied a platform in the debates and generally airbrushed out of the picture. No surprise there. By speaking out against the forever-wars and against the prison gulag she committed the cardinal sin in US politics: You don't rock the boat, especially when pretending to do so! But how refreshing has her presence been in an otherwise dreary, dreary and predictable, landscape.

Posted by: Hal Duell | Feb 20 2020 22:36 utc | 61

b4real @47--

Thanks for your comment and question. Within US History, there are several such changes of direction, the first coming with the elections that ratified the 1787 Constitution. Second would be the 1800 election that elected Jefferson and ended what's known as the Federalist Era; it's extremely unlikely the Federalists would have made the Louisiana Purchase because of their enmity toward France. In 1828, General Jackson gained the White House amidst the Battle of the Bank, the importance of which is touched on in most survey US History classes but never examined as deeply as it demands. 1844 brought in Polk dedicated to expanding slavery who showed Congress couldn't stop the executive thus showing the vast--and foreseen--problems of an unregulated president as he provoked Mexico and stole 1/2 its territory; Polk was clearly the model for GW Bush. The 4-way election of 1860 showcased the break-up of the National Democratic Party into two factions; brought Lincoln, and the nascent Republican Party, who goaded the South's Fire Eaters to commence the Civil War. The 13-15th amendments greatly altered the national social fabric. In 1896, D-Party candidate WJ Bryan's "Cross of Gold" speech elaborated the concept of Trickle-down Economics and firmly placed the D-Party as the party of the working-classes, which further compounded the D-Party's internal strife between its Northern urban political machines and Southern Segregationist politicos. 1912 again saw a 4-way race as T Roosevelt's split of the R-Party allowed Wilson to win and transfer the management of the government's financial affairs from the Treasury where they belonged to the privately controlled misnamed Federal Reserve Board, the woes of which we feel daily. 1920 saw the reversion from Wilsonian Internationalism to "Normalcy" as traditional US unilateralism regained ascendency with the rejection of the League of Nations. Although not perceived during the 1932 campaign since FDR didn't really know what he was going to do, a return to the social democratic republic commenced with the New Deal Era. 1944 didn't see an immediate change in policy course, but by June 1945 it was clear Truman was no FDR or Wallace; and by October, the Outlaw US Empire was born when the UN Charter came into force which was already being violated by Truman's government--we most certainly wouldn't have the CIA as a result of the 1947 National Security Act if Wallace had continued FDR's term, nor would there have been a Cold War. The only other change in direction (if it can be called that) was the adoption of Neoliberalism by Carter in 1978 and its rapid acceleration by Reagan/Bush which resulted in the Outlaw US Empire being even more aggressive than it was previously, a pace kept alive by the ascension of the Neocons in 2000.

Some of the directional changes occurred due to economic or social strife, but not all, nor arguably were they most important, IMO--1800, 1828, 1860, 1912, 1944. In 1932, if Hoover had regained his office, he would have had to get experimental just like FDR, and the evidence shows he was trying to get things to improve; it's been acknowledged by historians that neither had the intellectual tools required to fix the Depression. Here's a basic listing of the POTUS and there years in office. I should add 1876 as that election marked the end of Reconstruction and the beginning of big money corruption of the federal government. The loss by Bryan and the fused D- and Peoples Party in 1896 informed Conservatives like T Roosevelt and Taft that they had to listen to the people's demands for at least basic regulation of American Capitalism--remember, the first Progressives were Republicans, not Democrats.

Given more time to meditate on the question, I could probably cite further diversions in policy from one administration to the next. But the above provides a good overview. I should highlight Fedrick Jackson Turner's 1893 elucidation of his Frontier Thesis--"The Significance of the Frontier in American History"--before the American Historical Association at Chicago's Colombian Exhibition since it made a huge impression on that era's elite and certainly prompted policy changes. A week's usually spent in grad seminar's discussing Turner's thesis.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 20 2020 22:38 utc | 62

Bloomberg bought his way onto the debate stage by getting the rules changed in exchange for money to the DNC (and assorted Dem big shots).

He could’ve, and should’ve, paid them to not change the rules, even as he pretended to clamor to be included, thereby keeping the initial bubble in his popularity going until after the big Super Tuesday primaries, while playing the victim for being excluded from the debates.

He still would have been exposed eventually, but only after having had a shot at collecting a large number of delegates, strengthening his position.

But Bloomberg was too engorged with the knowledge he can pay these corrupt Dems to do anything he wants to realize that this was a case where it was better not to (or rather, to be seen not to be able to).

He’s a pisher.

Posted by: David G | Feb 20 2020 22:48 utc | 63

"Soulless fluff". That's a new one. But he does have courage. Remarkable that he has come this far and done so well in polls. He's done a public service for gays and those bachelor presidents of yore and former fascist FBI directors. What Yang has done for UBI & automation is also very good indeed. Campaigns every 4 years are a good idea. But a parliamentary system is better.

Posted by: jadan | Feb 20 2020 22:52 utc | 64

My cynical inner self advises that the DNC is so corrupt they will engineer a brokered convention and Hillary or Chelsea or a some flunky will be proposed and get the support.
Then they will lose the election to Trump and the madness will continue. More impeachments, less prosecutions of Democrat flunkies.
Hate Russia China, hate Russia China, hate Russia China.
Barr appointed to Supreme Court.
Sinai given to Israel. etc etc.

But then on a good day I can see change in the air and I trust Bernie will make a fair President.
So it goes.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 20 2020 23:04 utc | 65

My prediction - which is based on nothing, to be sure:

Neither Sanders nor Gabbard have any chance of getting the nomination, whatever the DNC establishment and Democratic elites have to do to prevent it, as they did in 2016.

If either are nominated - or any other of the current crop of losers - the Democrats will lose against Trump, despite Trump making all kinds of incredibly stupid statements during the campaign. Because, let's face it, Trump will do stupid stuff all during the election race - and his supporters will no doubt ignore them or praise him for them.

In other words, US "democracy" is a joke and a sham, and I don't expect to pay much attention to the election as the end result will be the same for the rest of us.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Feb 20 2020 23:13 utc | 66

Bubbles @50:

The best argument against Democracy is a 5 minute conversation with the average voter.

Winston Churchill

The best argument against plutocracy is a 5 minute conversation with the average oligarch.

- Jackrabbit


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 20 2020 23:16 utc | 67

Warren is the Reactionary, Man-hating, Pathological Liar-Victim.

Don't think America is going to Vote in Someone who Defrauded Others with Claims of being Part Native American.

Maybe Bloomberg may have been Out of Line a few times. A "Horse Faced Lesbian" - what if it were an accurate description? A "Fat Drunkard" - to someone who is correctly described - is it really that offensive?

If it were said in an inappropriate context - say for job interviews - we can see the error; but reading about Warren calling an Male Actor as "Eye Candy" puts her brand of Sexist Comments in the same Boat.

What was Fauxahontas' Native American Name, anyway?
"Doesn't like Horses“?

Posted by: IronForge | Feb 20 2020 23:23 utc | 68

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 20 2020 23:16 utc | 67

Don't cherry pick and spin. It's so Podesta / il duce trump like. Focus on the intent, the greater picture, if you can.

Posted by: Bubbles | Feb 20 2020 23:33 utc | 69

Posted by: SharonM | Feb 20 2020 20:29 utc | 41

"Bernie Sanders belonged on that stage with the other pro-war imperialists. With him, we get affordable healthcare, while millions of people around the world will suffer through coups, invasions, bombings, mass murder, and mass displacement. There is absolutely NOTHING (nothing) for an anti-war advocate to get excited about with a Sanders Presidency."

Exactly! I'm surprise even Tulsi Gabbard not invited to the debate many here still wanna her for VP. I an't voting for anyone but Tulsi Gabbard, I hates the Democratic more than Trump and will vote for Trump if necessary.

Posted by: JC | Feb 20 2020 23:37 utc | 70

Inside Bernie

Forgot to include Brother Nathanael

Posted by: JC | Feb 20 2020 23:41 utc | 71

@ RSH 66
[If] either are nominated - or any other of the current crop of losers - the Democrats will lose against Trump, despite Trump making all kinds of incredibly stupid statements during the campaign. Because, let's face it, Trump will do stupid stuff all during the election race - and his supporters will no doubt ignore them or praise him for them.

There is that Great Silent Majority made up of Independents, RINOs, DINOs, and Moderates who are embarrassed by and are tired of Trump. Also, throw in those who will refuse to participate in the rigged system. In 2020 this time it's different.

And then there is Mike Bloomberg who told the New York Times he is open to spending up to $1 billion to defeat Trump in 2020. and that he'll put the force of his operation behind the 2020 nominee whether or not it’s him.

Posted by: Likklemore | Feb 21 2020 0:02 utc | 72

@ karlof1 | Feb 20 2020 22:38 utc | 62

"Given more time to meditate on the question, I could probably cite further diversions in policy from one administration to the next. "

Thanks for your reply. It would however, take me a huge amount of time to parse all of the information you provided in order to get the answer I am seeking. I should have been more specific.

I can readily accept that changes among the previous administrations have brought policy changes. I am trying to identify an instance where an election changed the course of society. Not a minor change, but major significant change. For example, in american history, we had the passing of the 16th amendment along with the creation of the federal reserve. We had the emancipation proclamation freeing the slaves. We had the 19th amendment, womens right to vote and then the civil rights act of 1965. These (I think) were monumental changes to american culture.

Of the examples I have given, they fall into the three categories I labelled earlier. War, economic/societal collapse or peasant revolt. The passage of the 19th amendment could be excepted, but of the three, it is change that was brought about through regular people petitioning government. I doubt people were lobbying to be taxed, it is fact that freeing the slaves began a civil war, and the voting rights act being passed was a combination of armed black militants on the west coast and peaceful protesters being horribly treated in the south.

The change being sought by voters today is at this level. Bernie wants to put several 100 billions of dollars worth of companies out of business, and completely re-align the health care system in the u.s.a. This is large and my brief description does not begin to cover the society/cultural level changes required to make this a reality. Asking my question again, and should you have the time, is there an instance you can cite where people properly petitioning their government for change that would benefit the common man via the electoral process has been answered in the affirmative? Doesn't have to be in the USA, because I am sincere in my belief that organized government doesn't give a damn about the governed.

I thought you would reply with Brexit, but the jury is still out on what the people are actually going to get out of leaving the E.U. I noted a lot of people saying England would not ever leave the E.U. even after the people won that vote; I did not agree with that prognosis but being naturally suspicious, the devil is always in the details.

So with the facts I have on hand, the only societal change I can see that was not the result of war/economy/revolt was the passage of the

Apologies that my understanding of U.S. history is not so great that I can readily respond to each date you have articulated and respond accordingly.



Posted by: b4real | Feb 21 2020 0:03 utc | 73

There were 2 Trumpers. Both of them were obviously religious as they thought Trump had Christian interests (!!) There were no Pete, Warren nor Buttigieg interests.
I plan to do another town next week before their Primary.

Posted by: linda amick | Feb 20 2020 21:58 utc | 55

A post most worthy.

"There were 2 Trumpers. Both of them were obviously religious as they thought Trump had Christian interests "

A society void of moral values, led by a huckster who is completely void of any moral compass and is all about reaping he rewards the Kosher nostra he serves will grant, is a society doomed by it's own wanton desires. Russia's ex KBG guy seems to understand that.

The fellow who honest Historians recognize as the first Czar of Russia sought out Greek Orthodox leaders to draw the diverse citizens of his burgeoning empire into a empire with some sort of unity, power based on giving the masses a common religion.

But that was so yesterday. Or was it?

Posted by: Bubbles | Feb 21 2020 0:06 utc | 74

Thanks b for watching the debate for us :)

Even if sanders gets the nomination (a very very big if), don 't expect him to go all anti-systemic at all, more the opposite I would say. So Tulsi for VC is like a red herring, he would probably choose a "moderate" for VC.

The following article is a very interesting one, showing the type of socialist sanders is. His ideas about socialism are closer to the european socialdemocratic system after the 90s , and we all know what a trainwreck that is.

Posted by: waste | Feb 21 2020 0:06 utc | 75

bevin #33

Thank you. YES to every word of that.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 21 2020 0:11 utc | 76

>>his foreign policies are still too aggressive

>>Where please is Putin "authoritarian"? When has Putin "exploited paranoia and intolerance of minorities"?

Oh please b.

US jews are the most anti-russian group in the US according to various polls, so there is nothing "surprising" in that.

Israeli jews have better relations with Russia.

Leftists and rightists can have some relations with Russia, but liberals by definition can not. Russia has always been illiberal, whether in leftist or in rightist incarnation. These (Russia and liberalism) are two totally incompatible forces, and only one of them shall remain.

Posted by: Passer by | Feb 21 2020 0:11 utc | 77

karlof1 @62, b4real @73

Whether he realizes it or not, karlof1 is exposing a version of the establishment-friendly "best of all worlds" (BOAW) political theory

BOAW was popular when Obama the deceiver was President. It fits well with his neoliberal hucksterism aka "social choice theory".

BOAW says that if something is wrong or can be improved, it will get attention and be addressed because people will get behind the change necessary to make it happen.

But the Empire and great wealth disparity has distorted democratic processes into something garish - like fun house mirrors. BOAW is now recognized as simply hopium propaganda and is hardly ever even mentioned anymore.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 21 2020 0:27 utc | 78

@58 Naiverealist

Cheney and Bush Sr. are two excellent examples for your position, but the conditions for the VP having such power are completely non-existent in a hypothetical Sanders-Gabbard run.

Posted by: SharonM | Feb 21 2020 0:48 utc | 79

Tulsi won't be getting the hypothetical VP nod. Conservative voters may like her, but true-blue Democrats absolutely despise her. (You can thank the Clinton faction for both.) If Sanders picked her, the noisiest elements of the media would scream RUSSIA until their throats bled.

Sanders won't move very far rightward on the policy front as the general election approaches, which means he needs to appease the Sensible Liberals through other means. Bellicose rhetoric w/r/t Russia serves that purpose, and allows him to push back against insinuations that he benefited from or abetted Russia's Great Election Heist of 2016. Today's rhetoric may not become tomorrow's policy, though I won't be holding my breath.

The Jackrabbits who think Sanders doesn't stand a chance of being nominated are underestimating the ineptitude and unpopularity of the Democratic Party, the depth of which may somehow overcome even the most strenuous attempts at fixing the race's outcome. Sheepdog though he may be, I'm hoping to see Sanders herding politicians instead of voters come next February.

Posted by: M | Feb 21 2020 0:52 utc | 80

Jackrabbit @17 (2020-02-20 UTC 19:42) and all:

What would you consider an "independent Movement for Democracy"?

Would you accept, as a starting point, an organization which . . .

* Counts Grassroots Democracy as one of its core values?

* Opposes all the EMPIRE issues you list?

* Has navigated the maze of ballot-access laws for 20 years or so, and is already on the ballots of more than half the nation's voters with an active effort to qualify for the rest this year?

* Has eight other declared candidates for the Presidency?

* And will come back here in July and officially nominate one of them the week before the Democratic wing of the Imperial Party finalizes its machinations?

Would you consider this at least a candidate (pardon the phrase) for as good a start toward that "independent Movement for Democracy" as anything else around?

Posted by: jalp | Feb 21 2020 0:53 utc | 81

M @80

I hope you're right.

But it's not rational to thing it will really happen.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 21 2020 0:57 utc | 82

(Sorry -- hurried in finishing the post so as to get to dinner, edited out a reference to an upcoming Michigan state meeting where all eight candidates plan to join us, and forgot to change the "back here" to match.)

Posted by: jalp | Feb 21 2020 0:59 utc | 83

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 21 2020 0:27 utc | 78

Once a GOP boo bird .. ffs

Posted by: Bubbles | Feb 21 2020 1:00 utc | 84

Here is an updated current money-line position. This reflects completely the analysis b provided; Sanders was the outright winner of the media's showcase debate event. Bloomberg and Sanders swapped position as front-runner.

uncle tungsten @ 65 - Your poignant cynical assessment of the corrupt DNC is also reflected in the booking adjustments since last week (MoA thread 2/15/20). Clinton as a brokered candidate has attracted some attention, going from 66/1 to 50/1. Warren also gained from attacking Bloomberg, being 100/1 last week, while currently 50/1.

I believe changes in gambling odds more accurately portray reality than political polling.

Posted by: psychedelicatessen | Feb 21 2020 1:03 utc | 85

@82 Jackrabbit

I doubted Sanders would win Iowa and New Hampshire, and I was...Not exactly wrong, but not right either. If the Dems are so far gone that they can't even fix these states completely, then anything is possible.

Posted by: M | Feb 21 2020 1:05 utc | 86

jalp @81

Green Party is still a political party. Though IMO they are much better than the duopoly parties.

An independent Movement is less susceptible to being compromised by money or being associated with issues that some voters find distasteful. Of course, they still need to beware of being co-opted.

Example: Yellow Vests in France are not a political party and want to strengthen French democracy.

<> <> <> <> <>

Greens have struggle for many years as a Party. Too many Americans are too accepting of the establishment shell game known as "lesser evilism". Perhaps the Greens should separate into a Movement and a Party?


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 21 2020 1:06 utc | 87

could we stop jackrabbit from hijacking the comment thread with his paid astroturfin posts ? we all know he was paid per post but this is getting ridiculous watching him execute the most basic Astroturfing 101 in here , which is spreading nonsense and try to hijack the comment thread by repeatedly did this..

Posted by: milomillo | Feb 21 2020 1:15 utc | 88

I'm inclined to agree that movements help keep political parties true to their principled roots. Greens have worked, and keep working, to do both; OTOH, that can be wearing even on a small group which hopes to change the world (a la Margaret Mead).

Maybe if you don't want to jump right into building the Green Party with both feet, you could start by building the movement side.

(There's already been one split, if you prefer. Look up "The Greens/GPUSA".)

Posted by: jalp | Feb 21 2020 1:16 utc | 89

I say limit voting rights to those who have a net worth of over 100 million Democracy was only ever intended for the property class anyways. The peasants should not vote for President. The founding fathers would be horrified to know they vote for President.

Better yet, forget elections. Lets have a king or queen and let them rule us. No more voting. That chap King George III wasn't all that bad when you look back on it. Lots of freedom, low taxes, etc. Lets recruit Prince Harry or is it William.

The whole election process gives my peasant brain a headache. So much wasted energy in molding public opinion to a predetermined end. Surely it can be directed elsewhere

Posted by: Pft | Feb 21 2020 1:40 utc | 90

I agree to the Gabbard as vice idea.

Posted by: Pnyx | Feb 20 2020 17:00 utc | 1

Isn't Sanders too old to have a vice like Gabbard? (being slapped on the face by all women and Tulsi followers)

More seriously, I would make Gabbard the ambassador to UN and member of National Security Council.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 21 2020 1:52 utc | 91

“it's the main street voters who, on November 3rd, Election day will select the State electors to the electoral college. The State electors will vote for the president on December 14, 2020. On January 6, 2021 the Senate counts the electoral votes and declares who has been elected President and Vice President. That's how it works.”

Actually this is not technically correct…

US Constitution Article 2 Section 2
“Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.”

For a deeper understanding on so called “elections” see:

Posted by: Krollchem | Feb 21 2020 1:55 utc | 92

The fellow who honest Historians recognize as the first Czar of Russia sought out Greek Orthodox leaders to draw the diverse citizens ... Bubbles | Feb 21 2020 0:06 utc

Wiki: The first Russian ruler to be formally crowned as Tsar (emperor) of All Rus (Russian: Царь Всея Руси) was Ivan IV, until then known as Grand Prince of all the Russias ...

because he married the daughter of the last Byzantine emperor, hence proclaiming Moscow to be the 3rd Rome.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 21 2020 2:13 utc | 93

New York City has been fortunate to have some capable mayors in recent years: Koch, Gulliani, Bloomberg. I would say that Bloomberg would rate third in that group but still very decent. I would say each of those mayors was known for tough talk and action. It is kind of a requirement to get things done in a massive corrupt bureaucracy such as NYC.

I think the media (and possibly actors behind the media) fear him because he is immune to their jibes.

He is being attached for superficial issues.

It is probably true however that he would not fare well in battle with trash talking Trump. He would attempt high road and that does not pan out.

How about Bloomberg/Gabbard - thats the ticket!

Posted by: jared | Feb 21 2020 2:17 utc | 94

@48 James:

I voted Jill Stein last election, but I'm not going to vote for Howie Hawkins of the Green Party this election. True antiwar people can't vote for Republicans or Democrats, so I'm going to see if there are any antiwar parties to vote for where I live:)

Posted by: SharonM | Feb 21 2020 2:19 utc | 95

Did Sanders really say in a recent WSJ interview he was in favor of preemptive War?

Posted by: Ronald DeMarco | Feb 21 2020 2:24 utc | 96

For all the virtues of Yellow Jackets, shouldn't they vote for Jean-Luc Antoine Pierre Mélenchon when they had a chance?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 21 2020 2:28 utc | 97

@96 Ronald DeMarco

"Sanders tells New York Times he would consider a preemptive strike against Iran or North Korea"

Posted by: SharonM | Feb 21 2020 2:30 utc | 98

@psychedelicatessen (85)

Is there empirical evidence that betting odds are a good predictor of election outcomes?

Posted by: Rob | Feb 21 2020 2:46 utc | 99

John Nance Garner, one of FDR's Vice Presidents described the office as "Not worth a quart of warm piss."

If Sanders gets shafted again by the DNC, I will write in "Vladimir Putin" in the space on the ballot for President.

And if the Hildebeast should be squirreled in as the nominee, I will vote for the Orange Man.

Antoinetta III

Posted by: Antoinetta III | Feb 21 2020 2:49 utc | 100

next page »

The comments to this entry are closed.