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Home Main Forums General Discussion Is Bernie Sanders helping or hurting the Democratic Party?

  • UnicornOnTheCob (1858 posts)
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    Is Bernie Sanders helping or hurting the Democratic Party?

    Is Bernie Sanders helping or hurting the Democratic Party?
    Paul Waldman
    The Week

    He generated some controversy on Wednesday when he explained his lack of enthusiasm for Georgia congressional candidate Jon Ossoff, who the day before had fallen just short of the 50 percent vote he needed to avoid a runoff in a special election. “If you run as a Democrat, you’re a Democrat,” Sanders told The Wall Street Journal. “Some Democrats are progressive and some Democrats are not.” Asked directly whether Ossoff is a progressive, Sanders responded, “I don’t know.”

    One way to interpret his reticence is that Sanders is a hedgehog, not a fox. In the philosopher Isaiah Berlin’s metaphor, the fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one thing. Sanders knows that the grip of millionaires and billionaires on our national life has to be loosened, and agreeing with him on that is the beginning and end of what he considers “progressive.” Which is why he could dismiss Ossoff and then head off to campaign for Heath Mello, a candidate for Omaha mayor who as a state legislator sponsored multiple anti-abortion bills and was endorsed by Nebraska Right to Life. That, apparently, doesn’t disqualify you from being a progressive.

    Sanders has every right to take what is essentially a semi-hostile stance toward the Democratic Party, one that says that those Democrats who meet his test of economic ideology are worthy and those who don’t should be dismissed with a wave of the hand. That’s what he thinks will produce the best substantive outcomes in the long run. He might be right.



    HubHeaver, Jefferson23, KarenS and 6 othersdjean111, ThouArtThat, xynthee, Scuba, Gracchus, daleanime like this

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13 replies
  • oldandhappy (4322 posts)
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    1. Bernie is speaking his truth.

    Whether he helps or hurts a specific party depends on how that party responds to his truth.  From my front porch, it looks as if the Dems do not want Bernie anywhere near them.

    I do not care if he helps or hurts.  I am no longer a Dem and I still listen to Bernie and that is where I stand.  Others make different decisions.

    Invest in people.  Seek TRUTH.
  • Gracchus (1262 posts)
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    2. Bernie is trying to reorient the party toward economic populism.

    Given the cultural divide on social issues like abortion the Democrats might have to allow some more socially conservative but economically populist candidates to campaign in deep red states where social liberals will have a hard time winning. But really this is not about abortion. The Democrats were fine with Blue Dogs who were pretty much Republican lite on everything, socially conservative and economically right-wing. But now that Bernie is supporting populists who are not liberal on every issue it is a problem and we need purity tests apparently. Even Jimmy Dore supported Foster Campbell who was conservative on social issues but an economic populist because Dore understood that Campbell was running for U.S. Senate in Louisiana not New York! And people say us Bernie supporters are unrealistic purity ponies!

    Really though, this is not about ideology but about trying to put the economic left back at the kiddie table. Sorry Third Wayers, we are crashing the party and there is no turning back now.

  • Scuba (5181 posts)
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    3. He's trying to save it.

    Some of us are trying to help him.  Some of us aren’t.

  • BillZBubb (3135 posts)
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    4. Hurting them, I hope. That's the only way to help them.

    The Democratic party needs to go through a painful transformation. It has lost its way, bought off by big money.

    The more they hurt, the more they’ll be forced to change or go the way of the Whigs.



    DemExit! Don't give the Democrats a dime. Don't identify as a Democrat. Drop Democratic identification below 20%. Only then will they support true progressive policy. Until then, corporate money rules.
  • ThouArtThat (6893 posts)
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    5. For The DNC DLC Third Way Corporatists He Is Their Worst Nightmare


    "In America Today, Power Corrupts and Money Corrupts Absolutely" - Anonymous  
  • Charles (2401 posts)
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    6. Unless you consider continued corporate control of the party a good thing

    Bernie is doing a great service for the Democratic party. He is promoting progressive issues that are extremely popular with the American people while trying to get the corporate money out of politics.

    He’s encouraging the his supporters to run for office as Democrats and make the party a grass roots one with people involved at all levels of government.

    The short term will be bumpy and the future of the Democratic party is uncertain. But the political philosophy that is the basis for the issues Bernie champions transcend traditional party line thinking as they are very inclusive ideals that would help the vast majority of working and middle class Americans.

    80% of Democrats have a favorable view of Bernie Sanders. That number is HUGE! If Bernie wasn’t doing the right things he wouldn’t garner such overwhelming support from the Democratic base.

    The Democrats should be excited to have Sanders on board and working to secure long term sustainability for the party by promoting grass roots politics and many very logical progressive issues that the polls continue to show the majority of Americans support like single payer, campaign finance reform, union support, climate change & renewable energy, and raising the minimum wage

    Bernie is doing an awesome job for the Democrats. And please don’t underestimate Bernie. He’s been in politics for decades and he understands what’s going on around him. Bernie’s just found a way to fit in and it’s driving some establishment Democrats a bit insane….



  • Flygirl (3018 posts)
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    7. What Democratic Party? You mean the one that stole the Primary?

    the party that does not believe in “One Person, One Vote” and give Congress people and people of influence in the establishment Two Votes..by making them Super Delegates so they can Negate “The Peoples Vote”

    Or the Democratic Party that runs a Candidate who is under FBI Federal Criminal Investigation, then steals the nomination for her..as if we were all supposed to Ignore the fact that She was the First Candidate to run for President Under Federal Criminal Investigation by the FBI!!

    You mean the Democratic Party that eliminated Delegates that represent “The People and their Primary Votes “according to each State law..at the So Called “Democratic ” Convention, if they did not go along with the utter corruptness of the party , and replaced them with actors or seat warmers, therefore not only disrespected the Voters of this nation but not allowing their Vote to be represented…

    do you mean That Democratic Party?


    Bernie is the only Kind of Democrat..representing Democracy, that I recognize anymore..the rest are dead as a doorknob to me!

    According to the DNC I am a Wife of a Taco Bowl Member!
  • INTJ (3567 posts)
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    8. Of course that depends on the meaning of 'Democratic Party'

    Extracting the decaying and aching molar that is third-way’s presence in the democratic party is likely to cause a bit of pain before the great relief is realized.


    Consider the policy?  Hey, choosing to run on Identity Politics -IS- a policy decision.  
  • Rozinante (4338 posts)
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    9. Bernie is trying to remove a large cancerous tumor from the party.

    It’s not known how much he’ll be able to remove, or if the patient will survive.


    My own thoughts… I’m pro-choice and progressive on all the SJ issues. But my main issue is economic populism and cleaning out corporate control of Congress. To that extent, I was happy to back SJW on their issues, had they backed mine. They have refused, to date, so I’m fine with building a coalition without them.

  • mick063 (2362 posts)
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    10. How could he help them the most?

    Give them his donor list.

    Now hear me out on this.

    The only way the Democratic leadership will understand that Bernie is a function of a movement, not that our movement is a function of Bernie, is if they attempt to solicit money and support from Bernie supporters.

    Only with complete and utter rejection will they understand that Bernie cannot deliver us. Indeed it is us that is delivering Bernie, and when Bernie gracefully retires from politics, the void will be filled with yet another Berniecrat. Bernie is a man that was in the right place at the right time.

    Similarly to the notion that if the Wright brothers had not successfully completed their first flight, than there were others throughout the world that would have done so in relatively short order. The reason is that the time was right for the technology of flight to begin.

    The time was right for a movement to counter Oligarchy and Bernie just happened to be the message bearer when the time was right to produce one. If there was no Bernie, there would have been another to take his stead. Perhaps Elizabeth Warren. Perhaps someone else.

    People that embrace a slogan like “I’m with her” cannot possibly begin to understand this concept. The concept that “I’m with an ideology” is completely foreign to personality dependent partisans addicted to identities as opposed to policies. The first clue to this is that they sincerely believe Bernie can manipulate his followers or that his donor list would be a reliable source of support.

    "I welcome their hatred"    Franklin D. Roosevelt
    • Jefferson23 (7274 posts)
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      12. Well stated.

  • Jefferson23 (7274 posts)
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    11. Why are his critics complaining? I thought they loved INCREMENTALISM! LOL

    Why did Planned Parenthood of Nebraska give Mello a 100% score in 2015?


    snip* “Heath is a strong progressive Democrat, and he is pro-life, and you can be both things,” Kleeb said, adding: “What Heath did actually was stop a bill to make ultrasounds mandatory by getting Republicans in our legislature to agree to make them voluntary.”

    snip* “I fully stand by Senator Sanders because he does champion women’s reproductive rights and he has never wavered there,” said Lucy Flores, a board member for Our Revolution, which has also endorsed Mello.

    Flores added that while she personally would not support any candidate who does not fundamentally support a woman’s right to abortion “the fact that this one issue didn’t disqualify his support of Mello just speaks to the complexity of what it means to be a progressive champion during a time when many within the Democratic Party are still trying to figure out what that means.”

    As for Ossoff, Flores said, the candidate “has not taken a definitive stance on some progressive issues” including advocating a single-payer universal health care system, or raising the minimum wage to 15 dollars an hour, and believes that “may be part of the problem for Senator Sanders.”


  • Scuba (5181 posts)
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    13. Considering the party's recent record, just how could he hurt it?