Wednesday, April 27, 2016

For many, Bernie will be a folk hero. For everyone, Hillary will be a president.


A couple of months ago, I had this reaction moments after Bernie and Hillary wrapped up a South Carolina town hall:
I meant it then and I still mean it now.

That town hall occurred in the wake of Clinton’s crucial win in Nevada and with landslides looming in South Carolina and several Super Tuesday states, so it was already becoming clear where the race was ultimately headed. That night I once again saw a man who was a powerful spokesman for crucial issues of our day...and a woman who was going to be our next president.

A smart, competent, tough, progressive and historic Democratic president.

Some people don’t believe me when I say I’ve liked Bernie for many years, but it’s absolutely true. Even though I’ve always steadfastly believed that Hillary would be the best possible president, I attentively listened to his entire announcement from Burlington as well as another big rally speech shortly thereafter. At that time, I didn’t think he would be a real threat to my candidate (boy was I wrong) but I was definitely interested in what he had to say. Because I liked him.

And by the way...even when it was clear that he was making a real run for it late last summer, I was still posting stuff like this.

Since Sanders entered the race, my main problem really wasn’t with him but rather the slash-and-burn campaign against my staunchly Democratic candidate propagated by a lot of his supporters online. For instance, if I never see another misleading chart comparing a Bernie “perfect score” Sanders to Hillary “Bush 2.0” Clinton, it will be way too soon. Over the course of the past year, we simply haven't seen near that level of vitriol aimed at Sanders from Clinton supporters. Maybe it’s because we liked him?

Recent negativity from the senator himself (particularly the whole “she’s unqualified” thing) have certainly put my long-running fanship of him to the test, but I don’t expect these feelings to last. As I clearly remember from the ‘08 Democratic primary, things can get unexpectedly overheated when the stakes get really high, but it doesn’t mean that the opposing candidate is no longer one of the good guys.

Ultimately, we’re all part of the same progressive team and we will win or lose our fight for the future together. But we have now reached a key pivot point in the 2016 race.

As expected, and as his own campaign has now acknowledged, the past two Tuesdays have effectively put the nomination out of reach for Bernie Sanders. That’s the bad news for him, but here’s the very good news: After doing everything in his power to help Hillary defeat the Republican nominee (as he promises to do), the movement that Bernie has built will go beyond one man or even one election.

What does that mean for the senator, specifically? Nothing but good stuff, if you ask me...

Bernie Sanders will likely remain in the Senate for at least nine more years, where his influence on policy will increase exponentially.

Bernie Sanders will write one hell of a book about this election and his lifelong causes, and millions of people will read it and take it to heart.

Bernie Sanders will continue to inspire a whole generation to take up his decades-long fight for economic equality, and as a result he’ll be a political rock star of the highest order for the rest of his life.

Bernie Sanders will become an influential folk hero for future generations of progressives long after he’s gone...changing the course of our nation and the world in the process.

Deservedly so.

13 comments:

  1. I liked him too and I didn't think he'd go negative, but I think I just didn't know him. I don't predict folk hero, I predict obscurity with a bad taste. Since Vermont could replace him with a Republican if we ran a Democrat, I expect he'll keep his job until he croaks. But I don't think he'll take that chance, I think he'll stay a Democrat now, so he won't have to face a challenge, to make sure he keeps his job.

    I predict he'll be known as the guy who ran on veiled misogyny, who knew he had nothing to lose personally, and who would not release his tax returns. He'll give us the "sander's rule" - - only release one year, whichever one you chose, and not before April 15.

    I predict we won't see the last of him until she is actually elected, he'll be trotting himself out to try to force his agenda, and after that we'll only avoid him if we also avoid MSNBC, where he will brought out to brag on himself, he'll call himself Bernie Sanders, and he'll run 'she' down.

    I would like to be wrong.

    I will write to MSNBC and ask that they give a 'warning,' Sanders will be on, or warning 'we'll be talking about Sanders' so their loyal viewers who can't stomach him can make sure to not tune in.

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    1. I know this is an optimistic post. But I think and hope that Bernie will realize what's at stake, keep his word to help defeat Trump, and bask in the fame and glory of being BERNIE while making a difference in his awesome job as senator from Vermont. Nothing but good stuff can come his way if he makes the right choices in defeat.

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    3. Agreed. He lost me when he went negative and could not answer questions about how he intends to implement his grandiose promises.

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  2. we all hope that, but we can fairly predict the future only by the past, and his behavior, while at first perplexing, is actually consistent when you look into his past. Fortunately we don't need him, he's already spoiled her reputation with his most consistent donors, and they'd have to admit he'd tricked them to get them to see her factually, and it seems he has no interest in that, he is very interested in getting more donations, playing the victim to get more, and if he dropped out he'd have to stop and if he changed the 'wrongly accused, or lies again, or cheated' messages they wouldn't donate.

    So it does look like money drives him; he's been accusing her of being in it for the money, and that should have been the sign, he claims he thought she was looking at his donor base, so he'd have been a chump to not steal her donor base and demographics.

    In the same way he probably thinks he'd be a chump to get out sooner than he has to, before he's milked his donors to the bitter end. Let's find out how much he's paid his wife to be his senior advisor, except we won't, because it won't ever be public. He hasn't been an awesome senator, he's been lazy one. He makes hippies look bad, he's the worst example.

    he says he'll do whatever he can to beat Donald, but to him that means staying in and trying to grab it at the nomination.

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    1. Well, as far as I'm concerned...he only has one option: Help Hillary win with all his might. Not doing so would be a huge mistake on multiple levels.

      Also, this post is a sincere personal shift toward reconciliation with the Democratic opposition. It's time.

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    2. this will have an answer, and I appreciate your sincerity and I share your wish, as I share the wish for world peace.

      As far as the principle of Democratic unity, that only started with Hillary and Barack, it's new to those two, just like running on competence is a new idea for a president. Just like spelling out the agenda is new to Hillary (and is a girl thing).

      Even Kerry made sure Hillary wasn't invited to speak at the '04 convention, and Gore had earlier made sure he'd distanced and it's widely thought that cost us the election. And I think it did.

      Kerry invited his wife, who gave the famous 'i love myself so much' speech, but not Hillary.

      And while we are very lucky that Obama is the man he is, they didn't know that when they ran him, and he was run to stop Hillary. That's why Kerry gave him the keynote speech slot in '04. And in '08 the DNC ought to have spoken about the sexism, Howard Dean ought to have and they stayed silent. Turned out Obama is great, and he didn't make Kerry SOS first. And that's what Kerry wanted. He didn't promote those who supported him over those would be better for the job.

      And it was Barack who invited Bill to speak at his convention and Hillary who offered to nominate him and who released her delegates so as to make it unanimous.

      And Bill and Hillary who took to the campaign trail, to help him get elected.

      It was Bill Clinton who did not pay his wife but said it was two for the price of one, the first husband in history to acknowledge his wife as an equal partner. Bernie is old school, putting the nation first over personal ambition and personal inclination isn't yet a tradition.

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    3. Everthing you say about Bernie is exactly what I think. A lazy, cynical senator who is still in this campaign because of all the opportunities it affords him- adoring fans, a free trip to Rome, lots of money for himself and his family. And he can tear down Democrats, whom he seems to like only a little better than Republicans.

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    4. I hear what you're saying...but here's the bottom line: He lost. And he knows it.

      Bernie can do what he wants with his career later on, but the only goal now is to unite the party and make Madam President a reality. That means being kind and gracious in our victory. I certainly feel that Bernie has deserved plenty of criticism, but I don't see how it is helpful to Democratic unity to do so after his defeat. A divided party isn't an option. Bernie and his supporters should feel proud of what they accomplished...but then all of us together need to turn our attention to making sure Hillary beats Donald this fall.

      Know what I mean?

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    5. Rebecca and Annibannani are exactly right about Mr. Sanders. He is a destructive force for the Democratic Party at this point and shows no indication of pulling for Hillary Clinton. I am so very glad that Pres Obama and VP Biden will be campaigning in the fall. Then will Mr. Sanders fade out of our memory because he has never demonstrated any inclination to get down and work to bring about change. PS: I wondered why I never liked Kerry; now I know the backstory ... Thank you, Anni!

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  3. I'm trying really hard to picture Bernie giving an enthusiast endorsement of Hillary, and working with Democrats, and I'm not succeeding. I am going to give the benefit of a doubt, however, and hope that he will. And it's really not worth a lot of speculation, because we don't have long to wait before we find out. As far as becoming a "folk hero", no doubt! Some people already talk about him like he's Jesus or even Reagan. (snark) That's why I'm actually REALLY GLAD he never coughed up the tax returns! Years from now, when some Bernie-Worshiper is nitpicking President Rodham Clinton, saying "Bernie would never have made that mistake!" I'll hit them with: "Just what was in those tax returns that Bernie didn't want to talk about? Maybe he's not as pure as you think."

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    1. It might take some persuading. But he's already talked about how Hillary on her worst day is far better than any Republican, and that he will do everything in his power to defeat the Republican nominee. I think he will come around, perhaps after a few more hissies.

      And again, the point of this post is reconciliation...bringing the whole team together. Bernie is defeated for the nomination, and going after him doesn't make sense anymore. But even in defeat, Sanders has won a lot...and if he plays his cards right, he'll be a very positive figure in the progressive movement for generations. I think that would be great for everyone, but the choice is his.

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    2. going after him makes no sense, but then it's never made sense, it was only when he started to go negative that anyone from our side took any notice of him.

      And at first it was just to defend Hillary, what he'd roused in his supporters but hadn't yet explicitly charged, and only after his demeaning and sarcastic demands to see the transcripts did the demands to see his tax returns emerge. And only then was it clear he has something to hide, since Jane is saying no tax returns before speech transcripts. And of course they wouldn't then either, Sanders already said he would, and he clearly hasn't been true to his word.

      When he claimed she was for the war, then it was a good idea to point out his own votes as well as his decision to have war protestors arrested rather than just listen to them over a conference call, like everyone had.

      And when he fundraised on claiming she was really smearing him by saying she's Democrat, it made sense to point out he'd been a Democrat once before, during his first senate primary, and then switched back to Independent for the general.

      Which shows his character and undermines his 'honesty' and since it's his supposed 'honestly' that makes his supporter believe him when she says she's dishonest, and since he'll never admit it .....

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