Senator Bernie Sanders could do himself — and his campaign — a big favor if he ended his war against the Democratic Party. This isn’t about his policies, or even the words “Socialist” or “Socialism.” My home state of Wisconsin is the proud home of the American Socialist Party. Janesville, WI to be exact. Google it. It now votes for the likes of Paul Ryan, but over 100 years ago American Socialists got together and formed a party in Janesville.
Most Democratic Party voters agree with Sanders on universal health care, relief for student debt and the climate crisis, to name but a few of the important issues facing our nation today. If you ask Democratic voters if we should reverse the disastrous Reagan policies that have been decimating the middle class for the past 40 years, most, if not all, would say yes. Same with some of the Nixon era policies, like the ones that ushered in 401k accounts that in turn were used to replace pensions — or this little chestnut: The National Health Insurance Partnership Program which created HMO’s and gave the for-profit health care industry a rocket to ride. If we explain how the Republican Party put them in the health care insurance hell they are in right now, most voters, left and right, would be in strong favor of reversing that policy. And in the spirit of being completely truthful about it, there were a lot of Democrats that went along with Nixon’s ideas. Remember, in 1972 Nixon crushed McGovern in the presidential election and that had consequences.
Sanders can make that case to Democratic voters, including those that consider themselves to be moderates, and win their support, easily in some cases. But why isn’t he doing that? Because a big part of his message is that he would rather piss on the “establishment” of the Democratic Party, than curry their support to win the nomination to represent their party in the 2020 election. And a lot of those voters support the establishment of the party, especially when the voters hear that party leaders supported Hillary Clinton in 2016 and more than likely Joe Biden this year.
The dominant voting blocs in the Democratic Party are the African-American communities and Bernie Bros and Sisters need to acknowledge the fact that their candidate gets very little support from them. African-Americans came out in record numbers on Super Tuesday for Joe Biden. That’s just a fact and another fact is no Democrat is going to win the White House without those voters.
Most Democratic Party voters like the people who represent the party; former Obama cabinet member and current party chair Tom Perez, former party chair Donna Brazile, David Plouffe (former Obama campaign chair) and even former Bill Clinton advisor James Carville. He’s one of them that pisses me off, but on the other hand he served in the Marines during the Vietnam War so I give him a pass.
At any rate, most of the Democratic base likes these people because those party leaders represent the times we won the elections. And they like the media icons who support the party’s candidates: Joy Reid, Lawrence O’Donnell, Rachel Maddow, Brian Williams and even Chris Matthews. More on him later.
So when Senator Sanders talks about his revolution and that he opposes the party leadership, he is in essence telling the vast majority of Democratic voters he doesn’t like them.
In essence his message to the majority of Democratic voters is, “I want to be your nominee for president, but I want to piss on you while you make it happen.”
That just isn’t going to win him the nomination and it isn’t going to gain him enough supporters at the convention if he doesn’t reach the threshold of 1,991 delegates to win the nomination on the first ballot. If the convention goes to a second ballot, Joe Biden will be the nominee. Biden could do it on the first ballot if enough delegates from other candidates decide to flip their allegiance from a non-viable candidate to Joe. As it looks now if Biden isn’t in the delegate lead, he will certainly be well within striking distance.
The rancor between the Democratic Party and the Bernie Sanders campaign needs to stop. The “establishment” needs to stop treating Sanders as an invader. He may only have a third of the party’s support, but that’s a big portion to try and ignore. Sure, Bernie has been an Independent, a Democratic Socialist who happens to caucus with the Democrats in the Senate, but he has the support of a large part of the Democratic Party.
It’s time the party leaders own it and stop working against him. He might have more delegates when the convention convenes in Milwaukee and if that is the case they need to get right with it and support the idea that Bernie Sanders may be the Democratic nominee in the 2020 general election. And Sanders needs to make peace with the establishment of the party he wishes to represent, if he wants to be our candidate for president.
There are differences of opinion on policies, but Bernie Sanders can be marketed to the voters in a way that makes him successful and brings the down ballot along. We will fight to restore the Affordable Care Act and make it stronger with broader ideals that give health care to millions more while reducing the cost. Work our way to universal health care, in other words, Bernie’s idea of Medicare for all.
We can set ourselves on a path to relieve student debt and start working to mitigate the consequences of the climate crisis — immediately. We can make all immigrants feel welcome again.
I’m tired … tired of the Republican Party and Donald fucking Trump. And I’m tired of the sniping in the Democratic Party primaries. We need to come together as a party because the only way we put Trump out of office and take the Senate away from the GOP is if we are united. And it is that same unity that will flip state houses and governor mansions to end the voter suppression we’ve seen in Texas, North Carolina and Wisconsin. The latter has a Democratic governor, Tony Evers, but the assembly is controlled by the GOP and when Scott Walker was governor they enacted some of the worst voter suppression laws in the nation.
All of that needs to change. California is pretty blue, but there is a strong influence from the business community that wants to pave over as much of the pristine areas as possible. They will put up with a few regulations if they can build expensive condos and shops on some undeveloped beach frontage.
I’m also tired of hearing the talking heads gleefully yapping about Joe Biden’s come back on Super Tuesday. Yep, Biden did well, actually pulling ahead of Sanders by 80 delegates. But that was before the California delegates were counted. As of now we know Bernie will win the Golden State (he got my vote), but we don’t know by how much and how many delegates he will earn because Biden cut into Sanders’ lead out here.
Just an aside: Donna Brazile was on Fox News Tuesday night and slammed the RNC chair Ronna Romney McDaniel. “For people to use Russian talking points to sow division among Americans, that is stupid. So Ronna, go to hell! This is not about — No, go to hell! I’m tired of it!”
As Brazile accurately pointed out, this rift between the Democratic “establishment” and the progressive Bernie wing is a Russian talking point. It’s meant to divide the party. So, let’s stop doing Russia’s bidding and start coming together, stop sniping at Bernie, stop sniping at Joe and start going after Donald Trump and the Republican Party.
Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski, Willie Geist and their various guests are gushing about Biden’s surprising win on Super Tuesday. They keep saying California is too close to call, but the Los Angeles Times called it for Sanders before midnight our time. Yeah, the delegate count is still unknown, but Biden isn’t going to win California. Get over it Morning Joe. Sanders has a lot of support around this nation.
Now, about Chris Matthews. On Monday he abruptly resigned from the program that set the standard for cable political shows, Hardball. Apparently he had made inappropriate remarks to women guests off air. Coupled with the inappropriate comments he made on air Matthews had to go. I have been watching Hardball for over 20 years and I’ve probably disagreed with Matthews as often as I have agreed with him. But lately his tenor, especially against Senator Sanders, was getting extremely bad, like comparing Sanders] Nevada win to the Nazi invasion of France in WWII. I thought it was time for him to get off the air, but now that he’s gone I will miss his energetic personality and his zest for talking politics. May he have a long and fun-filled retirement.
Top photo is a YouTube screenshot of Sen. Bernie Sanders in Vermont on Super Tuesday
Tim Forkes started as a writer on a small alternative newspaper in Milwaukee called the Crazy Shepherd. Writing about entertainment, he had the opportunity to speak with many people in show business, from the very famous to the people struggling to find an audience. In 1992 Tim moved to San Diego, CA and pursued other interests, but remained a freelance writer. Upon arrival in Southern California he was struck by how the elected government officials and business were so intertwined, far more so than he had witnessed in Wisconsin. His interest in entertainment began to wane and the business of politics took its place. He had always been interested in politics, his mother had been a Democratic Party official in Milwaukee, WI, so he sat down to dinner with many of Wisconsin’s greatest political names of the 20th Century: William Proxmire and Clem Zablocki chief among them. As a Marine Corps veteran, Tim has a great interest in veteran affairs, primarily as they relate to the men and women serving and their families. As far as Tim is concerned, the military-industrial complex has enough support. How the men and women who serve are treated is reprehensible, while in the military and especially once they become veterans. Tim would like to help change that.