Sunday, June 5, 2016

A Democratic Senate: Bernie's Real "Revolution"?

Guest post by JoAnne Tybinka Blasko

Some time ago, Hillary HQ posted an entry about Bernie Sanders supporters circulating a draft proposal calling on the senator to get out of the presidential race after the final burst of Democratic primaries on June 7, and concentrate on building a national progressive organization to stop Donald Trump.

The piece included this quote from Politico: “Operating under the assumption that Sanders will win the California primary but still fall far short of amassing enough delegates to claim the Democratic nomination, the document calls for the Vermont senator to exit the race and launch an independent political group far larger than any other recent post-campaign political operation, such as those started by Howard Dean or Barack Obama.”

When I first read that, I thought “Damn, what is it with Bernie that he always has to do the independent thing and can’t simply get behind the winner like Hillary did in 2008?” And now, in light of recent events like last month's Nevada debacle, I’m sadly convinced that Bernie can only do the independent thing. He doesn’t know how to be part of something larger than himself. Compromise is not in his nature. He’s very good at being “against” but doesn’t know how to be “for.”

Bernie has an incredible opportunity ahead if only he will grab it. While he has clearly demonstrated that he is not presidential, he continues to be a commanding speaker capable of addressing the angry mood of a significant portion of the nation. The trick is to transform that anger into action that will lead to changing the system that he increasingly abhors. So far, he has failed to do that.

What if his entire group of supporters were encouraged to get behind progressive candidates for senate? Electing a Democratic majority in the senate would be a revolution complimentary to electing our first Madam President and a goal worthy of Bernie and his supporters.

By carefully targeting democratic senatorial candidates that have a good chance of winning and using that extraordinary fundraising capacity, Bernie and his supporters could turn the senate blue again. And with Hillary in the driver’s seat appointing excellent candidates for the Supreme Court, ratification would come quickly and we’d be well on our way to overturning Citizens United and getting big money out of politics. Isn’t that one of Bernie’s dreams? Isn’t this his quest? He could accomplish it if he encouraged his supporters to focus on a battle they can absolutely win. It will take a lot of effort to fight the money pouring into the senate race from the likes of the Koch brothers, but Sanders has often been the king of fundraising. Can he get his ego out of the way and instead get his supporters interested in moving the system forward instead of fighting the system? That is the real question.

Hillary will certainly need a Democratic senate to forge ahead with her solid proposals for:

Child care, equal pay, and paid leave
Preschool for every four year old
A K-12 education for every child
Free community college tuition
Affordable student loans
Scholarships for parents juggling school and work
Affordable healthcare for all including prescription drugs
Expanded medical leave

As well as defending:

Planned Parenthood and a women’s right to choose
LGBT rights for equal treatment under the law
Marriage equality
Racial equality
The rights of Veterans when they return home
The rights of Muslim Americans to be safe
The right to vote and register without difficulty
The right of women to earn equal pay for equal work
The rights of HIV/AIDS patients to live long productive lives
The rights of the mentally ill to safe treatment and support
The right to treatment for those struggling with addictions

And addressing issues of income inequality:

Increasing the minimum wage safely and systematically
Balancing CEO and employee pay
Increasing middle class income
Reforming taxes so the wealth/corporations pay their fair share
Investing in manufacturing
Revitalizing communities who have lost jobs
Increasing small businesses
Securing Social Security and Medicare

And that's not all:

Insuring safe drinking water for everyone
Investing in infrastructure; safe roads, bridges, public transit
Initiating comprehensive gun control legislation
Preventing gun violence
Reforming immigration
Reforming our justice system including prison reform
Alternatives to incarceration
Reforming the federal reserve to include full employment
Building coalitions with other nations around the world
Keeping us safe
Addressing climate change
Moving toward a sustainable economy

Surely these are Hillary and Bernie’s joint goals. Aren’t they? I once thought so.

It will take a lot of Democrats in congress to achieve these lofty goals. And a Democratic Senate could help pave the way for a Democratic House in the perhaps not-so-long run.

If Bernie plans to keep income equality front and center in this election cycle, getting his young new voters interested in the full spectrum of politics would be a worthwhile goal, nothing short of a revolution. Is Bernie this charismatic guy who excites large crowds and moves them to action? Or is he this angry guy that can only be “against.” I want to believe he will do the responsible thing and harness that power of persuasion for the common good.


  1. Bernie is not going to win California.

  2. it's money, he'll stay in even if he loses California big, because he is in debt and he wants to trade suspending for a blank check.

    He can continue to fund-raise only until he drops out, so he won't drop out, and because he's not trustworthy and because it's impossible to know how bad off he is, because of taking illegal donations that will have to be returned, he will not get that blank check.

    He will stay negative for his own nasty personality reasons too, that's why he's not trustworthy, his response to her foreign policy speech was envious, he claimed she had no standing to take down Trump by misrepresenting her record, the way he always does, claiming she favored the Iraq invasion.

    But we don't have to bother with bernie anymore, he's in for the money, that's all, it's as craven and sad as that, his revolution is now against the Democratic convention to convince them to kiss his butt and pay off his campaign debt with a blank check. And if they were stupid enough to agree, he's bank it and demand more.

    Bernie has to demand the impossible, so that he can rail against the establishment for fund-raising purposes. For guys like Bernie, if something is possible it's, by definition, not enough, not even close

    forget him, he's nobody

  3. Also, Warren didn't wait until California voted, she started by her wonderful Donald call-outs, that he has to answer, he can't help but answer and since Hillary's speech she's gone positive on Hillary.

    Now the heads are reporting she didn't endorse Bernie, not that she hasn't yet endorsed Hillary.

    Because she's getting clearer.

    I love Elizabeth, for many reasons, but also because she has played this very well, she'd kept her creds with bernie's rational supporters who are now leaving him in droves, but she isn't shaming any who are taking a bit longer.

    He has not released his fund-raising number from last month and maybe because he didn't get much and maybe because he's already in negative territory whatever was scooped up with his 'another outrage donate here' one click's.

  4. Money is the key. Once Hillary Clinches and makes her victory speech the only TV Sanders will get will be his concession speech or if he supports another candidate for office. If I were the GOP I would give Sanders money to keep him going.

    1. their pac's have been helping him, but they don't have much either.

      if his past donors start asking for refunds based on, for example being misled about the targets and goals of his revolution, they'd thought it was against conservatives and had claimed to be for one person one vote, not elites over-ruling the will of the voters. Or just because he's now a spoiler and don't want to have funded his ego.

      Send refund requests to:

      Bernie Sanders 2016 Campaign
      131 Church St
      Burlington, Vermont 05401

      Attn: donation refund request

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