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Member since: Sat Sep 15, 2012, 01:49 PM
Number of posts: 43,505

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No, he isn't

Not even close. What the author mentions in terms of Roe and PP is standard for any Democrat, even on the furthest right of the party. It is not "better;" it is a base line minimum. Casting a vote when it is put in front of you does not constitute "fighting for women's rights." On his website, his reference to women's reproductive rights points to a bill that stalled in committee over a year ago. That would seem to be enough for some. He hasn't even bothered to make one of his showboat legislative proposals as he has done for a number of other issues.

Sanders hasn't been proactive in defending Planned Parenthood from the RW sting operation as Clinton has. She has clearly been far stronger on this issue, has a much more active history before she became First Lady, while in the White House and certainly as Secretary of State. It was Clinton who in Beijing in 1993 made the memorable statement that "human rights are women's rights and women's rights are human rights once and for all." As Secretary of State, she elevated key issues like human trafficking--slavery--to international importance. She doesn't sit back and wait to be asked about PP or reproductive rights. She doesn't tell men who oppose reproductive freedom that "we'll agree to disagree." She stood up for reproductive rights before a Republican Senate Committee with the power to deny her confirmation, and she told them in no uncertain terms that she would actively promote reproductive healthcare, including abortion. Women's rights are central to Hillary Clinton is, just as Sanders' economic platform is central to who he is.

That the author then points to issues not at all specific to women--single payer (which I would love to see but if wishes amounted to anything we'd already have that and much of the other reforms Sanders promises, knowing full well he has no possibility of implementing them, which I don't appreciate at all) and of course the defining issue of the white liberal bourgeoisie, TPP. Yet the author of the article doesn't even bother to look up Clinton's voting record on trade agreements--that she twice voted against CAFTA--and falsely insists she is somehow bound by her husband's policies from the 1990s.

If women's issues is defined as throwing out the Kochs as red meat to his base and feeding into
the anger of the $80k+ a year demographic https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/wtuckrpu76/econTabReport.pdf
against the $450k a plus demographic, then I suppose that's better. Few Americans, however, live in that rarefied world. That is an ideology that expresses the conflict of the white, majority male upper-middle class against the super rich. If you are a privileged Associate Professor at Fordham university married to another upper-middle class wage earner which gives you a combined household income in the upper 5-10 percent $150-195k yr), then you're right in Bernie's demographic.

The author quite erroneously assumes that economic reforms intended to create better paying jobs will magically help women. How? Why would justice for women trickle down anymore than racial equality or economic wealth? Let's pretend the fairy dust works and all Sanders promises about infrastructure jobs are magically approved by the GOP congress. How does that help women when those industries are 82% male because of sexual harassment and hostile work conditions, the sort of thing I have seen described here as "freedom of speech"? Saying one is for equal pay amounts to nothing. That is already the law of the land. What proposals does he offer to address disparities that continue despite those laws? I saw nothing on his website or in the article above. Clinton has a proposal to require that companies make wages known to their employees, which would give women the ability to file a claim of unequal pay.

What if you're one of those women threatened by an abusive partner, who the gun lobby is ensuring has access to guns to do away with you? How does Sanders refusal to speak out for gun control help those women?

And while Dr. Gautney can access the best gynecologists in America from her home in New York City, regardless of which party occupies the White House, the women throughout Texas and the rest of the South still have to travel hundreds of miles to access reproductive care. And if Sanders should become the Democratic nominee and the GOP wins the White House, the women throughout the red states will see their reproductive rights stripped away, and they will be enabled by a Tea Party DOJ.

The only areas that the author cites that would be better for women and men are reforms that have no possibility of passing given the fact we have a GOP congress, and given gerrymandering there is no way the House will go to the Democrats in 2016. Gautney condemns Clinton for talking about what is politically possible. Apparently for Dr. Gautney thinking about what could actually become law suggests a "lack of enthusiasm." I see the issue quite differently: I resent empty promises. I like the fact that Hillary Clinton treats voters seriously, that she carefully considers what she can actually implement. She knows that when she makes a promise, she faces a good chance of actually having to follow through on it. Sanders seems unencumbered by such considerations. My life is not improved by fairytales and empty promises, and I do not trust politicians who make them.

If Sanders were really better for women, why then would his supporters here become so angry when asked about his positions on women's issues? Why would they accuse those who have the audacity to even ask of being "divisive" and "calling him sexist"? That communicates quite clearly they see the question as illegitimate and the issues as inconsequential, just as they responded to similar questions by African Americans. All of that paints quite a clear picture of what to expect from a potential Sanders presidency. One member insisted that Sanders would not forget his supporters, that he would appoint some of them to key positions in his administration. That was meant to convince everyone he would not be like the POSUCS Barack Obama. Given the hostility with which mere questions about Sanders' policies and plans toward the subaltern have been met, the message communicated by the actions of his supporters throughout social media is far from comforting in terms of the potential for our concerns to be addressed by a Sanders administration.

Ultimately, if Sanders were really better for women, he would be attracting more women as supporters.


Each woman, like every other voter, will make her own decision about which candidate best represents the entirety of their concerns. I myself will be voting in my own gender and class interests rather than in those of Professor Gautney.

There are Super Pacs for Sanders

Including Billionaires for Bernie and Bet on Bernie 2016. He has also refused to rule out taking advantage of that money.http://www.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/sanders-shifting-stance-on-super-pacs/Content?oid=2759783
I get tired of posting this. The information is public and you could find it out, and you could also find out that no candidate takes money from Super PACs because it is in fact illegal. You repeat promises the candidate makes that plays on the ignorance of the public about campaign finance law. He also has an authorized PAC he has for years taken money from, run by his current Field Director. It was fined last quarter for failing to file the basic paperwork, a simple requirement of the all too meager campaign finance law. The man continues to work for Sanders. Violating campaign finance law evidently wasn't enough of a concern for Sanders to fire him. http://www.timesargus.com/article/20150704/NEWS03/707049936

I find it interesting that Clinton's wealth is unacceptable whereas the Kennedy's and Roosevelts are treated with great admiration around here. It seems like Clinton's problem is having earned money from book and speeches and thereby exceeding what some clearly see as her place in life, having what for some reason is perfectly acceptable for men, like Bill Mahrer, Ben and Jerry and the multi-billionaire Elon Musk. Sure, we might live in a capitalist nation where gun corporations require protection from awful victims families who might sue them for knowingly allowing guns to wind up in the hands of felons, and Lockheed Martin might just deserve the $400-700 billion it's receiving for the flying death inferno called the F-35, but a woman just shouldn't be taking vacation in the Hamptons, and she certainly shouldn't have the nerve to think she should be president.


Relevant facts

He twice voted against the Brady Bill, THE principal gun control legislation of the past several decades.

He voted against mandatory background checks at gun shows.

He voted FOR the Manufacturers Firearms Protection Act that granted gun corporations immunity from liability from victims families, a bill that enables gun makers to get away with knowingly selling to illegal arms dealers without facing any financial consequences. He recently defended his vote for that law and repeated the gun lobby spin on the bill that it merely keeps them from being sued from illegal use of their weapon. That is a false representation of the law, which has been widely used for full-scale immunity. The Sandyhook families now must pay a huge amount of money to gun corporations as a penalty for daring to attempt a suit. It is corporate privilege, a privilege that does not extend to other sectors of the economy--not Wall Street or makers of automobiles or knives--just Big Gun.

Here are his full list of votes on guns.

He voted to ALLOW loaded guns in national parks.

He voted for an amendment to ACA that prohibits medical providers and insurance companies from collecting data on gun ownership.

He voted to prohibit funds in the Indigenous Health Bill (S 1200) from being used to "carry out any anti-firearm program, gun buy-back program, or program to discourage or stigmatize the private ownership of firearms for collecting, hunting, or self-defense."

His ratings on the gun issue are inconstant. He has F ratings, but he also had a 25% rating from the NRA and 50% from the Gun Owners of America, whereas pro-gun control Democrats have a 0 percent. I read that he had a C- at one point, but that rating is not reflected in the chart below.
The Brady campaign recently gave him a 100% rating but in the past have given him 66% and 71%. He is not a gun nut, not in the pocket of the NRA, but he has voted against crucial gun control legislation. He is not the candidate for someone who makes increased gun control a high voting priority.

Compare him with, for example, Hillary Clinton whose ratings are consistently F- from the NRA, 100% from the Brady Campaign and 0% from the Gun Owners of America. http://votesmart.org/candidate/evaluations/55463/hillary-clinton/37#.Vd5xwrTydUQ

As Cali pointed out, the NRA ran ads against Sanders opponent in a House race in VT. There is no shortage of evidence on that subject in the press, including summaries of the ads telling conservatives to vote for the socialist who protects gun rights. The NRA operates by running ads for or against opponents because they are regulated by the same campaign finance restrictions of direct contributions to candidates as every other lobbying group.

Those are the relevant facts, complete with links for anyone who cares to inform themselves on the issue.

No, she should not have defended Sanders against the strawman created by his supporters

Neither Sanders nor his supporters are victims. They are not being murdered by police. Those who vilified BLM should be condemned, not defended. It is interesting that you think words from Hillary Clinton would have altered the behavior of thousands of people, as though you see her leadership as more influential than Sanders.

No, great numbers of Clinton supporters would not have done the same thing because we are not the same people. Someone tried to insist we should be upset by BLM critiques of Clinton, saying "it's uncomfortable" when the shoe is one the other foot. No, it wasn't uncomfortable in the least, and many Clinton supporters said so. Then when someone else posted a poll asking if Clinton should do more to address racism, Clinton supporters voted yes. Naturally many of the Sanders supporters who insisted Bernie had no obligation to address the issue voted yes too because no issue or principle matters as much as promoting one man's career. I have theorized that is because they see him as a perfect political reflection of themselves, hence the frequent confusion between criticism of Sander's supporters and the candidate himself.

People don't behave as some of those Sanders supporters did unless that is who they are. I would sooner shoot myself in the head that carry on that way, particularly in order to defend a member of the political elite, which is among the least important reasons I can possibly imagine. Moreover, not all Sanders supporters behaved that way because that is not who they are. And some very good people decided they could no longer stand alongside such behavior and quit supporting Sanders as a result.

Your OP asked why there wasn't a fuss. There was a fuss about Bernie because many of his supporters chose to make everything about him and themselves because that is the sole focus of their political consciousness. When BLM protested Netroots, O'Malley was protested too. His supporters did not engage in conspiracy theories and harass black people on Twitter. Nor did they make it all about O'Malley. That is reflective of a certain mentality. It wouldn't have occurred to me in a million years to come up with anything like that, and I couldn't live with myself if I engaged in such behavior. As far as I'm concerned, Bernie, Clinton nor any other member of the political elite will never be as important as human rights and social justice, as black lives. It would seem that the people who attacked and continue to attack BLM see the issue differently.

If Clinton had stepped in to defend the white bourgeoisie from themselves, I would have been completely repulsed and could not continue supporting her. If she were to have done anything, it should have been to condemn it, but that of course would only have played into the conspiracy theories.

I learned a lot following Netroots and Seattle, principally who people are and why I share no common values with them. The reactions also confirmed my view that the anger many feel is about the decline of white, male middle and upper-middle class privilege, which is why it was so easy for them to attack leftist social activists working to save black lives.

I can tell you with absolutely certainty I would never in a million years behave that way; nor would I vote for a politician who would speak out in defense of that kind of behavior rather than black lives. It is not a two way street. It is a red-lined, $80k+ a year street, one I am very glad that I live no where near.

Do over: Who can protest where?

Sorry folks. I made a major mistake in my first version of this poll so I have to do a new one.

Apologies to all concerned.

What's wrong with supporting a movement to stop police killings?

What's wrong with anti-racism, support for human rights, social justice and equality? Absolutely nothing. What is wrong is putting one politician's career about that, what is wrong is putting the comfort of the few over key issues of human rights and human lives. I will stand with Black Lives matter every day, any day, all day, always. I do so because I am a leftist who cares about equality and justice in American society, not just for the white middle and upper-middle class but the subaltern, especially for those hunted like animals, whose lives are threatened and whose true revolutionary movement to stop that killing is degraded.

No politician comes before human rights. No politician is more important than social justice and black lives. None.

Absolutely not

I support their protests because I believe their cause is essential, and anyone who thinks one politician is more important than those lives is not someone who can claim to be leftist, progressive or a liberal.

I disavow people who claim BLM needs to sit down and shut up because Bernie and his supporters are their allies. Clearly you and others like you are not their allies. You have made clear you see them and their cause as far less important than the comfort--this is what we are talking about, simple comfort--of one politician.

I disavow white people who show callous disregard for the epidemic of violence against black people. I stand with social justice, racial equality and human life over white entitlement. I am ashamed to have any association, if only by accident of posting on the same message board or sharing the same skin color, with people who advance such views.

You want to proclaim Black Lives Matter the enemy, then you also make me your enemy. I will stand with social justice over crap like this any and every day of my life. That is what it means to be a leftist, to care about justice, human dignity, and equality.

If Bernie is courting progressive voters, why Liberty University?

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont will address a convocation next month at Liberty University, the evangelical school where the firebrand Senator Ted Cruz kicked off his own presidential campaign.

Liberty University, in Lynchburg, Va., was founded by the Rev. Jerry Falwell and has been a requisite stop for many Republican presidential candidates over the years, and for some Democratic gubernatorial candidates in the state. But it is not typically a place that Democratic primary candidates have sought to visit.

“Liberty University was kind enough to invite me to address a convocation and I decided to accept,” Mr. Sanders said in a statement his spokesman provided. “It goes without saying that my views on many issues — women’s rights, gay rights, education and many other issues — are very different from the opinions of some in the Liberty University community. I think it is important, however, to see if we can reach consensus regarding the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality in our country, about the collapse of the middle class, about the high level of childhood poverty, about climate change and other issues.”

Could this be why?

Hillary 57% overall support
64% identifying at very liberal
58% identifying as liberal
59% identifying as moderate
37% identifying as somewhat conservative
27% identifying as very conservative

Sanders 22% overall support
26% identifying at very liberal
19% identifying as liberal
16% identifying as moderate
31% identifying as somewhat conservative
42% identifying as very conservative


THE sure-fire way to predict who will win the Presidency

Forget the polls, statisticians, and odds makers. There is one incontrovertible fact in modern American politics. The candidate with the best hair always win the presidency. Here is the proof:



Here you may be thinking, Gore has more hair than Bush. Alas, the bad dye job did him in. Strategery. Keep it natural.


And who could forget the originator and master of the modern political do, Ronald Reagan.


So you ask, what does that mean for our current crop of Democratic candidates. Who will come out on top?

Hillary Clinton, blond and expertly coiffed.

Martin O'Malley, trim and all-American


Or Bernie Sanders, the fringe* candidate?

*Brilliant graphic by the late and much beloved Jackpine Radical.

But wait. You think you've got a handle on the current crop of contenders? You do not. The election season is still young, and the Beltway is a buzz with news of impending entrance into the race by a candidate whose hair puts all pretenders to shame. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you our next president of the United States:

What did that poster just say?

What do people here say all the time? That thread about if not now, we have to wait until 2024 to save America from corporatism and oligarchy. Voting for Clinton, they insist, is a vote for oligarchy, like society rises and falls based on a president? What complete bullshit. The notion that anyone who doesn't support Bernie is a "corporatist" a "neoliberal" or "neo-con." That only Bernie can save black people, even as those same supporters are denouncing Black Lives Matter as a Koch conspiracy. I see a lot of hyperbole and empty claims from Bernie and bizarrely exalted expectations and insults from far too many of his supporters.

I also listened to that conference call last night to see precisely what he said. He said it's not about me, but then what it was about was getting volunteers to get him elected. To fight the "Koch brothers." To my mind, it's demagoguery, and I don't trust it for a second.

I found this the other day, and it captures much of what I see as behind the Sanders candidacy.

Ordinary workers won’t rise up against ultras because they take it as given that “the rich get richer.”
But the hopes and dreams of today’s educated class are based on the idea that market capitalism is a meritocracy. The unreachable success of the superrich shreds those dreams.
“I’ve seen it in my research,” says pollster Doug Schoen, who counsels Michael Bloomberg and Hillary Clinton, among others. “If you look at the lower part of the upper class or the upper part of the upper middle class, there’s a great deal of frustration. These are people who assumed that their hard work and conventional ‘success’ would leave them with no worries. It’s the type of rumbling that could lead to political volatility.”
Lower uppers are doctors, accountants, engineers, lawyers. At companies they’re mostly executives above the rank of VP but below the CEO. Their comrades include well-fed members of the media (and even Fortune columnists who earn their living as consultants).
Lower uppers are professionals who by dint of schooling, hard work and luck are living better than 99 percent of the humans who have ever walked the planet. They’re also people who can’t help but notice how many folks with credentials like theirs are living in Gatsby-esque splendor they’ll never enjoy.

I have always known the notion of meritocracy is a lie. The American dream has never been more than an illusion for the majority. This is a nation founded on deep inequality, which is essential to its fabric as a capitalist state. Liberty for some was made possible by slavery for others. The only difference now is that it effects the white upper-middle and middle-class, who in the past benefited from that inequality. Bernie nor his supporters address the profound structural inequality that has characterized this nation from its inception. Instead, they situate it in time recently, just as their privilege has begun to decline. They openly and repeatedly long for the days when the rest of us were denied basic rights and lived in crippling poverty. And we are all supposed to stop everything because they feel a bit of what it's like to live in America.

Sanders base of support is overwhelmingly white, male and middle to upper-middle class for a reason. If I hear one more person prattle on about how $5k a month is so exploitative for interns or an "entry salary" or how hard it is to get by on $150-$250, I'm going to lose it. I do not care how hard it is to get by on amounts of money 90 percent of Americans will never, ever earn. My goal is not to restore them to what they see as their rightful place atop the capitalist world order. They go around insulting everyone who doesn't see the world through their narrow class-and race-bound lens. It's an incredible display of entitlement. The insults toward other DUers, toward the voting public, toward black activists, have made very clear they see far too many as inferior to them. They sure as hell are not getting my help restoring their privilege. Bernie isn't talking about me. He's longing for a time when my family could barely put food on the table, when I was working from age 10 to be able to pay to do laundry and buy school clothes and pencils. Those were the great days of "real Democrats." No. They were not.
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