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Member since: Sun Sep 30, 2012, 08:51 AM
Number of posts: 22,632

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What Bernie Won

Aug. 31, 2017, at 3:30 p.m.


Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., may have lost his presidential primary challenge to Hillary Clinton last year. But he's winning the long game. Case in point, Sanders plans to release a single-payer health care plan in September, and whereas he bore the brunt of a lot of bad press and intra-party fire during the 2016 campaign for his desire to see a national health care system, he's now gaining supporters left and right. On Wednesday, in fact, Sen. Kamala Harris – the California Democrat who has been on the receiving end of a lot of 2020 speculation already – endorsed Sanders' still unreleased plan.

There is little doubt in my mind that any of this would be happening if Sanders had not had the success he did in 2016, which showed that a version of left-wing politics, long assumed to be dead and in its grave by the chattering class, may have a constituency after all.

Polling backs up the notion that Americans are at least single-payer curious. Kaiser's health tracking poll in July found that a majority favor it, an uptick that has "largely been driven by an increase among independents." An Economist/YouGov poll from the spring found majority support for expanding Medicare to everyone. A Morning Consult/Politico poll from around the same time found plurality support for having one government-based plan for everybody. Per the Pew Research Center, a full 60 percent of Americans "say the federal government is responsible for ensuring health care coverage for all Americans."

Not that I think a single-payer plan is necessarily going to happen in the short term – or that implementing such a system doesn't have its own set of big challenges, or a cast of opponents who aren't all as unsympathetic as Big Pharma – but talking about it moves the national discussion in a positive direction, toward the aspirational and rational goal of having a system that works for everyone and that doesn't throw tons of money down into the maw of big insurance companies.

All that said, whether it's for ideological reasons or pure political expediency, Democrats today clearly feel the need to put single payer on the national stage. That's a win for expanding the limits of political possibility – it'll be up to the voters who care about these things to hold them to it when they're back in power, to push back on the tendency Democrats have to back big, progressive goals only when they can't happen. Even if he doesn't run for president again or ever have another substantive achievement to his name, Sanders will always have that.


2009 Bernie Sanders: "Medicare For All Single payer will eventually prevail"


DECEMBER 16, 2009
Senator Sanders After Amendment Withdrawal Senator Bernie Sanders spoke about withdrawing his amendment to create a single-payer health care system by expanding Medicare to all. He made the move after Oklahoma Republican Tom Coburn required that the entire amendment be read. Senator Sanders stopped the reading nearly three hours into it.

Video: An Evening with Bernie Sanders: Riverside Church, NYC 8/28/17

Published on Aug 28, 2017
Bernie comes home to the Big Apple.

We're All In This Together - Bernie Sanders

Published on Aug 24, 2017
This week I went to Indianapolis and Detroit, cities that voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton, and Portsmouth, Ohio, a community that voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump. At each stop, I met people of all backgrounds who had an enormous amount in common.

Video Link: How a young Bernie Sanders learned about the value of money


SATURDAY, AUG 26, 2017 08:30 AM EDT
Lessons from Brooklyn: How a young Bernie Sanders learned about the value of money

Steve Slavin, a college roommate of Sanders, as well as the author of the new book “The Great American Economy: How Inefficiency Broke It and What We Can Do to Fix It,” talked to Salon’s Jeremy Binckes to share a few stories about a young Bernie Sanders.


Twitter Video: Bernie's message to Our Revolution one year on


Facebook LIVE Link: Conyers Sanders Town Hall - Detroit, Michigan


Conyers/Sanders Town Hall 8/22/2017 — in Detroit, Michigan.

Twitter Photo: Running the selfie gauntlet


Jane Sanders: Dick Gregory and @SenSanders spent the night in jail together for protesting ...


Bernie Sanders' Political Revolution Is Gaining Ground

Michael Sainato • 08/18/17 7:00am


During this month’s Senate recess, Sanders has showed no signs of slowing down. He is scheduled to speak at town halls in Indiana, Ohio and Michigan next week on a variety of issues, including jobs, labor union rights, and Medicare for all. On Labor Day weekend, he plans to stop in New Hampshire for an AFL-CIO breakfast and will be in Iowa on August 31 to promote his book for teens, a guide for political revolution.

Sanders has continued his grassroots campaign style into Trump’s presidency, connecting with voters, making appearances at town halls and supporting other progressive candidates across the country. While it remains to be seen if Sanders will run for president in 2020, he is continuing his campaign’s style of talking directly to voters about meaningful policy issues.

Sanders’ political organization, Our Revolution, which was founded in August 2016, has already achieved significant victories, against both Republicans and establishment Democrats. At the local level, the organization has seen success with Chokwe Lumumba winning his election for mayor of Jackson, Miss., and Christine Pellegrino won a New York State Assembly race in a district that voted for Donald Trump in 2016. Our Revolution backed several successful first time political candidates in city councils across the country, including Ali Dieng to Burlington’s City Council in June 2017 and Khalid Kamau to South Fulton City Council in April 2017. The organization endorsed 59 successful candidates in 2016 and 16 so far in 2017. Further, in two special congressional elections, James Thompson’s campaign in Kansas and Rob Quist’s campaign in Montana, progressives outperformed expectations, helping to mitigate the false narrative that progressive candidates can’t compete against Republicans in Republican strongholds.

Due to his presidential bid, Bernie Sanders and his supporters now have a massive grassroots infrastructure that they can use to mobilize supporters. Trump’s presidency has emboldened Sanders’ political revolution; Sanders’ popularity has surged and organizations have emerged out of his movement. While establishment Democrats continue to denigrate progressives and insist that it isn’t the right time for progressive politics, Sanders‘ political movement is prevailing because it offers hope for a better America. Millions of Americans are standing up in support of a political revolution that seeks to improve the lives of every American, challenge the status quo, and push for policies that leave no one behind.


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