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Wed Feb 3, 2016, 12:26 PM

It remains to be seen if Bernie's tepid benchmark for a 'revolution' meets even those goals

Last edited Wed Feb 3, 2016, 01:38 PM - Edit history (1)

IN his after-caucus speech to supporters, Bernie Sanders pointed to his hair's breadth loss to Hillary Clinton as evidence of a political revolution in the making, but for what his candidacy promises for the voters it represents, it's still a far sight from a successful political revolt to finish neck to neck with your own party's rival in a caucus, to something that can credibly be defined as 'revolutionary'.

Sen. Sanders:

Let me conclude by saying what no other candidate for president will tell you. And that is that no president—not Bernie Sanders, not anybody else—will be able to bring about the changes that the working families and the middle class of this country, that our children, that the seniors, our seniors, deserve. No one president can do it, because the powers that be—Wall Street, with their endless supply of money; corporate America; the large campaign donors—are so powerful that no president can do what has to be done alone.

...what Iowa has begun tonight is a political revolution, a political revolution that says when millions of people come together, including those who have given up on the political process—they’re so dismayed and so frustrated with what goes on in Washington—with young people who before had never been involved in the political process, when young people and working people and seniors begin to stand up and say loudly and clearly, "Enough is enough," that our government, the government of our great country, belongs to all of us and not just a handful of billionaires—when that happens, we will transform this country.

Today, on Morning Joe, Sen. Sanders pointed again to voter participation, and engagement in the political process beyond the election, as the primary element he expects would propel his progressive agenda into action. It's a credible pitch, if not a new one. If record voter participation by disaffected Americans fed up with politics as usual represents a political revolution, the primary contest in 2008 between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama would appear to be the hallmark of a revolutionary campaign. record numbers voted in that Democratic primary:

Wiki: Voter turnout on Super Tuesday was at 27% of eligible citizens, breaking the previous record of 25.9% set in 1972. Turnout was higher among Democrats than Republicans, with Democratic turnout surpassing Republican turnout even in traditionally red states where the number of registered Democrats is proportionally low. Many states reported high levels of Democratic voter registration in the weeks before primaries.From January 3 through February 5, Democratic turnout exceeded Republican turnout, 19.1 million to 13.1 million.

Fortunately, for the Sanders campaign, there's a dynamic to be tested between Hillary's reassuring pitch as the competent manager of an institutionally-corrupted and prevaricating institution, and Bernie's call to knock down the doors of influence and do away with politics as usual.

As 'The Fix' put it in a Jan. 25 editorial...

... it's impossible not to think that the disadvantage of being as thoroughly D.C. as is Hillary Clinton extends far beyond her campaign being "more prose than poetry." It feels, at times, like a very educated, thoughtful sales pitch for dial-up Internet service: A good sales pitch, but precisely not what people are looking for. Obama's campaign was that of a new voice who promised to reshape a disliked Washington. Clinton's is that of an established voice who knows the ins and outs of a despised one.

That's the most appealing promise of a Sanders bid, the prospect of literally storming the gates of the White House with a true progressive believer. Outside of the dubious achievement of trouncing a fellow member of the Democratic establishment (an establishment which he's voted with over 98% of the time), an unapologetic, progressive Sanders presidency would be an untested commodity.

Yet, there needs to be something more to a political revolution than just 'voter participation.' Indeed, President Obama took full advantage of social media during his presidency, and his political team has worked throughout to advantage their political agenda of the unprecedented network of supporters they'd generated, beginning with the record support he received in his campaign.

If there is to be a serious effort at changing the debate and voting pattern of Congress, there needs to be a 'revolutionary' focus on congressional and Senate elections with a focus and drive to elect progressive candidates who are as unabashedly progressive as his own agenda.

One needs to look no further for evidence of the complexities in running against the D.C. political establishment as a whole, rather than a traditional focus on the republican opposition, than to the Congressional Progressive Caucus (founded by then-congressman Bernie Sanders) where all but two members have endorsed his rival.

I read a comment here right after the Iowa caucus suggesting that anyone supporting Hillary wasn't a progressive. Unfair, or not, that's the message I get from most Sanders supporters here. I think it's a losing proposition to seek to divide our party among ourselves. The Democratic party has always been a coalition of disparate interests from myriad regions of the nation. We bring our diverse interests and concerns to the political table and are challenged to reconcile those to transform our ideals into action or law. Our elections are always going to reflect that diversity of interest and opinion.

Both of our Democratic candidates have the potential to enact progressive change which would transform the nation; they just have different notions of how to get to those. Make no mistake, though, we can't afford to lay either of these Democrats to waste, given the clear and urgent need to maintain the gains we've made over the decades(and recent past) and to protect the institutions under direct assault from anti-government foes in the republican party.

In a '92 convention speech entitled, 'Change: From What, To What?', Barbara Jordan spoke of our need, as Democrats, to convince Americans that we can govern. She also spoke of the need for our efforts to be led and advocated by the people, as Sen. Sanders is counseling. A little for both campaigns...

"We must leave this convention with a determination to convince the American people to trust us, the Democrats, to govern again; it is not an easy task, but it is a doable one.

Public apprehension and fears about the future have provided fertile ground for a chorus of cynics. Their refrain is that it makes no difference who is elected President. Advocates of that point of view perpetuate a fraud. It does make a difference who is President. A Democratic President would appoint a Supreme Court justice who would protect liberty not burden it. A Democratic President would promote those policies and programs which help us help ourselves: such as . . . health care and job training.

Character has become an agenda item this political season. A well-reasoned examination of the question of character reveals more emotionalism than fact. James Madison warned us of the perils of acting out of passion rather than reason. When reason prevails, we prevail. As William Allen White, the late editor of the Emporia, Kansas Gazette, said, “Reason never has failed man. Only fear and oppression have made the wrecks in the world.”

It is reason and not passion which should guide our decisions. The question persists: Who can best lead this country at this moment in our history?

I close by quoting from Franklin Roosevelt’s first inaugural address to a people longing for change from the despair of the great depression. That was 1933, he said: “In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. Given the ingredients of today’s national environment maybe . . . just maybe, we Americans are poised for a second ‘Rendezvous with Destiny.'

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Reply It remains to be seen if Bernie's tepid benchmark for a 'revolution' meets even those goals (Original post)
bigtree Feb 2016 OP
cali Feb 2016 #1
bigtree Feb 2016 #2
99th_Monkey Feb 2016 #3
bigtree Feb 2016 #4
99th_Monkey Feb 2016 #5
Armstead Feb 2016 #6
bigtree Feb 2016 #8
Armstead Feb 2016 #9
Jefferson23 Feb 2016 #7
bigtree Feb 2016 #10
bigtree Feb 2016 #11

Response to bigtree (Original post)

Wed Feb 3, 2016, 12:30 PM

1. Wait, so hill is a progressive today?


Why it seems like only yesterday that she declared she was a moderate. Oh, right. It was only yesterday.

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Response to cali (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 3, 2016, 12:31 PM

2. you're responding with something I've not said here

..so I'll just leave you to it.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Wed Feb 3, 2016, 12:36 PM

3. I must take issue with several of your premises


1) You appear to be suggesting that the ONLY people who would be likely to vote for Bernie in the GE
are those who are ALREADY part of our Political Revolution, and voting for him in the Primary. Is this
what you're suggesting? If so, your assumption suggests that Hillary supporters will either stay home
or vote 3rd party in the GE; so what happened to "party loyalty"?

2) You also appear to be taking at face value Hillary's claim to be a "progressive" and a 'fighter' for
progressive values and issues; even to the point of simply conflating Bernie's and Hillary's positions on
issues as "six one, half a dozen the other" i.e. pretty much the same across the board. i.e. the only
"real difference" being HOW they go about advancing a progressive agenda they "share".

I strongly take issue with the veracity of both of these assumptions, upon which you build your case.

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Response to 99th_Monkey (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 3, 2016, 12:42 PM

4. reading carefully

...you'll find that I believe Hillary would enact progressive changes in office. That's far from defining her overall political persuasion, which I decline to do here. I stand by what I wrote.

The former question you have doesn't appear in anything I wrote, so I'll just take your point and agree that Sen.Sanders will bring in many new, disaffected voters previously turned off by the political system. I would note, as I did in the op, that Barack Obama also ushered in a new generation of progressive voters and maintained a network of supporters throughout his presidency, much like Sen. Sanders envisions.

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Response to bigtree (Reply #4)

Wed Feb 3, 2016, 12:59 PM

5. Perhaps


I may have responded too hastily to your OP. I have re-read it carefully and decided that it's actually
a fairly well-reasoned and respectful commentary. I still don't agree that it means Hillary's the best
choice, but I appreciate you taking the time to put together the OP and its tone of "we're in this

I especially like this statement:

we can't afford to lay either of these Democrats to waste, given the clear and urgent need to maintain the gains we've made

On Edit: Describing Bernie's call for a political revolution as "tepid" makes no sense to me, even after reading your entire OP. If there's anything that's 'tepid' about the Dem Primary it's Hillary's tepid calls for 'change' and her tepid claims to being a progressive, and other times calling herself a "Moderate", and proud of it.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Wed Feb 3, 2016, 01:08 PM

6. This will sound nebulous -- But we're basically talking aboiut shiftuing the Zeitgeist


I remember the Reagan Revolution.

It brought about very quickly a paradigm shift from a demoralized country to one that rallied around his idealistic vision. It was a shift to the right that was very noticeable within a very short period of time. And it had ripple effects on many levels that continue to this day.

Reagan was also considered "fringe" and he had to struggle to be taken serious by his own party initially.

Also, it was still a divided country, and Reagan had to do some horsetrading with Democrats, and there were period of gridlock. But in an overall and specific sense, the Reagan Revolution was successful in mobilizing a political revolution based on shifting the zeitgeist.

Now, obviously the basis of that "revolution" was bogus, and we are now paying the piper.

But as an example of what is possible when a politician and a party unite for a common and forceful vision for substantive change, it is a good illustration.

It's what we can emulate to begin to swing the pendulum in the opposite direction.

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Response to Armstead (Reply #6)

Wed Feb 3, 2016, 01:22 PM

8. you make a good point, Armstead

...although I'm not certain Reagan is a good example. He did succeed in giving the republican party a script (strong on defense, social values, etc.), but that script took the course of most demagoguery and devolved into the clown show so ably performed by Trump today.

But, I take your point that there's the potential of a transformational effect in the nation with an able and committed champion for progressive issues and concerns advocating at the helm.

Of course, the Reagan 'revolution' spawned a progressive opposition which also remains today.

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Response to bigtree (Reply #8)

Wed Feb 3, 2016, 01:37 PM

9. Today, IMO, the script is playing itself out -- That creates an opportuinity for a political reboot


As they say on Broadway, it had a successful run, but it's time to close the show.

That's why I think the time is right for the Dems to offer a bold new script based on positive progressive values.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Wed Feb 3, 2016, 01:17 PM

7. Clinton will maintain the SCOTUS to be a viable institution for crucial decisions by an otherwise

conservative activist court....I have no doubt on that score.

That aside, she participates as an enabler of WS through donations
she welcomes and has courted. Her administration would make it
harder not easier to build a grass roots movement to address
gerrymandering and turning Red states Blue.

When the meme becomes, be realistic and or practical as a response to her received
monies from the main culprit you have to have a leap of faith that requires
a head in the sand approach to politics. That is also leaving out her world view
on foreign policy, which is a hawks position..well documented beyond the Iraq

If Sanders wins, his supporters have been already informed by him that success
and gains will be hard fought..probably hell like, as we focus on eliminating money
in politics as we know it today.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Wed Feb 3, 2016, 09:20 PM

10. kick

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Thu Feb 4, 2016, 09:54 AM

11. kick

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