We Need to Prevent the Democratic Party–and the U.S.–From Being “Berned…”

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I just can’t seem to help myself. Pretty soon I’ll get back to happiness and haiku. I’m much more comfortable seeking common ground and expressing optimism—and not preaching against a particular Democrat (or Independent running as a Democrat). After this post, I hope to leave this topic.

But for now, with the President’s awfulness mounting, and the chances of his removal from office practically nil, I feel I must use my little platform to try to help prevent a giant case of Buyer’s Remorse.

I think the evidence is strong that if the Democrats nominate Bernie Sanders, we will see him lose—big time. And with the very nature of our democracy hanging in the balance, that’s a scenario I feel compelled to address.

My overarching goal, like most Democrats and a goodly number of Independents and former or current-but-disgruntled Republicans, is to defeat Donald Trump. But I will vote for whoever wins the Democratic nomination for President—unlike some of the above. And there’s the problem.

In my previous warning about Bernie Sanders, I concluded by saying I hoped the press would do their job. Well, some of them are. You may not be seeing these stories in The New York Times, The Washington Post, or on CNN, but there are writers out there warning us quite clearly.

Here are links to a sampling of the articles, which I encourage you to read in their entirety:

—“Bernie Is the Opponent Trump Wants,” by William Saletan, Slate, January 28, 2020.

“Bernie Can’t Win,” by David Frum, The Atlantic, January 27, 2020. (Frum is a very thoughtful guy, a former conservative Republican, now a “Never Trumper.”)

—“Running Bernie Sanders Against Trump Would Be an Act of Insanity,” by Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine, January 28, 2020.

These articles stress that Sanders’ past has never received the scrutiny it will get from Trump, that his present includes some questionable decisions, that most voters aren’t zeroing in on the implications of his socialist plans (as distorted by the Republicans, who call every Democrat a socialist, and now would have a real one to attack), and that the victorious 2018 women elected to Congress show where this election can be won.

In The Atlantic, Frum elaborates on a point that was the focus of the 2016 Newsweek article I cited previously.

“Bernie Sanders is a fragile candidate. He has never fought a race in which he had to face serious personal scrutiny. None of his Democratic rivals is subjecting him to such scrutiny in 2020. Hillary Clinton refrained from scrutinizing Sanders in 2016. It did not happen, either, in his many races in Vermont.”

Frum refers to a 2015 Politico profile by Michael Kruse, asserting that Sanders had

“benefited from ‘an unwritten compact between Sanders, his supporters, and local reporters who have steered clear’ of writing about Sanders’s personal history ‘rather than risk lectures about the twisted priorities of the press.’

(That sounds a bit Trumpian, doesn’t it?)

But there will be no such niceties from Trump and his campaign, Frum writes.

“It will hit him with everything it’s got. It will depict him as a Communist in the grip of twisted sexual fantasies, a useless career politician who oversaw a culture of sexual harassment in his 2016 campaign.

“Through 2019, Donald Trump and his proxies hailed Sanders as a true voice of the people, thwarted by the evil machinations of the Hillary Clinton machine.

“They will not pause for a minute before pivoting in 2020 to attack him as a seething stew of toxic masculinity whose vicious online followers martyred the Democratic Party’s first female presidential nominee.”

And if you think Trump won’t get away with such charges because of his own horrendous behavior, you are applying rationality and a sense of justice to a man who has successfully defied both.

That toxic masculinity charge lurks not far beneath the surface: Sanders appears at best to be indifferent to misogyny (a trait that’s fairly apparent in some of the devoted Bernie Bros).

Frum cites the Sanders’ campaign’s video celebrating the endorsement of “the mega-podcaster Joe Rogan,” apparently an icon among white men who are pretty sensitive about their status these days.

The Sanders’ embrace came despite Rogan’s mocking of many of the causes dear to the left, as well as “dancing around conspiratorial thinking of the left and right fringes: 9/11 denialism, Obama birtherism, and speculation about dark deeds concerning Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation.” (emphases mine throughout)

Is this Sanders’ idea of how to reach the Trump voters? If any of his fellow candidates had embraced such an endorsement, would he have simply shrugged and said, “OK, ya gotta do what ya gotta do”? I think not.

And how will that play with the angry white suburban and African-American women who were such an important part of the 2018 Democratic House victory? They won’t vote for Trump, but will they stay home in disgust?

Jonathan Chait notes in New York Magazine,

“the totality of the evidence suggests Sanders is an extremely, perhaps uniquely, risky nominee. His vulnerabilities are enormous and untested. No party nomination, with the possible exception of Barry Goldwater in 1964, has put forth a presidential nominee with the level of downside risk exposure as a Sanders-led ticket would bring.

“To nominate Sanders would be insane.”

He notes that because the socialist label isn’t as unpopular as it had been [especially among young people], “many people have gotten the impression ‘socialism’ is actually popular, which is absolutely not the case.”

Saletan, writing in Slate, makes the same observation, noting that Trump uses the word socialism at every rally to make the Democrats look “radical and scary.” As an avowed Socialist, Sanders is the opponent of Trump’s dreams.

Saletan cites poll after poll in which voters as a whole state their opposition to socialism. In a HarrisX survey asking “Would you ever vote for a Socialist for elected office?,” liberals said they would, but 72 percent of registered voters, including 64 percent of Democrats, said they would not.

The term “Democratic Socialism,” which Bernie espouses, draws fewer negatives (52 percent) but they include 25 percent of Democrats and 29 percent of voters who “lean liberal.”

[I stress here that I personally see the urgent need for greater government intervention to redress our current shameful economic disparities, which are the worst they’ve been since the 1930s.

There were compelling reasons for the New Deal, and too many Americans are hurting today. I do not regard socialism as the incarnation of evil. But I’m looking at the larger picture here, and I strongly believe Trump will persuade enough Americans of that supposed evil to defeat Bernie.]

Chait discusses Sanders’ “web of creepy associations” that will make it easy to depict him as a dangerous radical, reinforcing “attack narratives” that will stick in portraying his world view just as surely as pictures of Dukakis in a tank or Romney’s dismissal of the 47% did for theirs.

He adds:

“Sanders has never faced an electorate where these vulnerabilities could be used against him. Nor, for that matter, has he had to defend some of his bizarre youthful musings (such as his theory that sexual repression causes breast cancer) or the suspicious finances surrounding his wife’s college.

“Democrats are rightfully concerned about attacks on Hunter Biden’s nepotistic role at Burisma, but Sanders is going to have to defend equally questionable deals, like the $500,000 his wife’s university paid for a woodworking program run by his stepdaughter.”

Interestingly, after my previous Bernie post, a Vermont friend (a progressive who said no one she knows supports Bernie), wondered why there hadn’t been discussion by the media of Jane Sanders’ financial fiasco, which some in Vermont regard as mere stupidity, but others view as fraud.

Most important to me is Chait’s exploration of the 2018 winning of the House. Citing various progressive voices claiming how wrong the Dems were to run the kinds of candidates they did, he notes the following:

“As we now know, it was a good strategy to win the House. Democrats flipped 40 seats. Tellingly, while progressives managed to nominate several candidates in red districts…any one of whose victory they would have cited as proof that left-wing candidates can win Trump districts, not a single one of them prevailed in November.

“Our Revolution went 0–22, Justice Democrats went 0–16, and Brand New Congress went 0–6.* The failed technocratic 26-year-old bourgeoise shills who were doing it wrong somehow accounted for 100 percent of the party’s House gains.”

And here I think Chait makes an interesting observation. If the Democrats hadn’t won the House, their critics on the left would have said they’d been vindicated.

But instead of considering their broad losses in various geographical areas, they focused on the left-wing candidates like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, “who defeated center-left Democrats in deep-blue districts.”

In this effort, they were helped by the conservative media, seeking to make AOC and her small band the face of the Democratic party.

“The fact that the party had just run a field experiment between two factions, and the moderate faction prevailed conclusively, was forgotten.”

Chait emphasizes that:

“Trump has serious weaknesses on issues like health care, corruption, taxes, and the environment, and a majority of the public disapproves of Trump’s performance, but he does enjoy broad approval of his economic management.

“Therefore, his reelection strategy revolves around painting his opponents as radical and dangerous. You may not like me, he will argue, but my opponents are going to turn over the apple cart. A Sanders campaign seems almost designed to play directly into Trump’s message.”

How do we address the electorate, then? Are there lessons we can learn from Bernie that will help elect a more broadly acceptable nominee?

Frum has some important points for the Democrats to consider. The issues that matter most to “highly online and very well-informed anti-Trump voters”—such as preserving our democracy, cleaning out corruption, applying the law to those in power—are easier to focus on when you have good health insurance, a solid middle class job, and the potential that your kids will get a college education.

But millions of Americans lack those things, and they may well decide the election. That’s something that Sanders has recognized and to which he’s given voice. Thus, says Frum:

“If the Oval Office is to be cleansed of Donald Trump, it will not suffice to defeat Sanders’s candidacy.

“The ultimate winner will have to plagiarize from his campaign, copying not Sanders’s literal ideas, but his themes: the practical over the theoretical, the universal over the particular.”

In a nutshell, I think that means stop fighting over whether the key health care issue is improving Obamacare or Medicare for All. Focus instead on how many people who had health insurance have lost it under Trump, and that he wants to take away your protection for pre-existing conditions.

Emphasize that his promises not to cut Medicare and Social Security are now being revealed as questionable. Stress that he never built those roads and improved those bridges. The needs are great; the list is long.

So maybe this time around the operative slogan is not “It’s the economy, stupid.” Rather, it’s “How well are YOU doing, you who are not among the 1 Percent?”

Annie

46 thoughts on “We Need to Prevent the Democratic Party–and the U.S.–From Being “Berned…”

    1. I am hoping that Amy Klobuchar will do surprisingly well in the Iowa caucuses to finally gain the necessary momentum. She has a really good record of accomplishment in getting legislation passed in the Senate, has never lost an election, and has gained some important endorsements (NY Times, New Hampshire Union Leader, etc.). She’s pragmatic and witty and is a uniter, and she’s knowledgeable and sensible about foreign affairs. Plus, I know several thoughtful Republicans who say they could vote for her. But she’ll need to gain more support among people of color. A strong VP pick would be important. Thanks for asking. What do you think?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It will be interesting to see what happens on Super Tuesday. The long time it took him to apologize for advocating “stop and frisk,” which was a very damaging policy, is a drawback. But here’s an interesting tidbit from my hairdresser/friend: three women who frequent his salon and are ardent trumpies say they’ll vote for Bloomberg instead.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Can you hear me sighing deeply? Can you hear me weeping for our country? All that will last exactly 60 seconds, and then I’ll go to work for the Democratic pick, as the alternative is just too awful.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. My thoughts almost exactly. Sanders has no chance of beating Trump. By the time the Trump sewer machine gets through with him he will look like a combination of Stalin, Pol Pot and Mao Zedong. He will be labeled a “communist, communist, communist” and a radical who wants to destroy mom, apple pie and baseball.

    Now, to be sure, the Trump sewer machine will dirty up any candidate out forth by the Dems, but it will be pretty easy to use Sanders “radical” ideas and inflate them.

    Not so with Biden or Klobuchar. (Although we already see the Biden game plan).

    Of course the big problem with Sanders is his supporters. They have an BLIND allegiance to Sanders very similar to the blind allegiance of the Trump supporters. A personality cult. We don;t need another personality cult. We need a clam, sensible, real dealmaker who can speak to both sides of the political spectrum.

    I collected nominating petitions for Amy Klobuchar to get her on the NY primary ballot. In my very rural neck of the woods most people are either Trump supporters or Sanders supporters. In other words, personality cultists. Dangerous for either party.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Did you see The Times article about Klobuchar today? The smear campaign has begun. It’s very peculiar—and I’d love to know who’s behind it. But we’ll see how Amy handles herself under this kind of scrutiny and pressure.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree that it is curious how little attention Bernie has received from the press – but I guess this is a response to your previous post on the topic.

    As an outsider to this process, I am more curious than anything. In my view the Democratic Party has been working overtime to drive out the “dissenters”. And it hasn’t been just the Democrats, either. You and I are old enough to remember a time when there were liberal Republicans who were supporters of Planned Parenthood and conservative Democrats who were defense hawks. Remember when New England elected moderate to liberal Republicans and Indiana elected moderate to conservative Democrats?

    The problem for Democrats is that they have been in a radicalizing phase. Catholics (once a foundational part of the party) are persona non grata, at least the ones who actually go to church. Ditto most Christians. Jews who support Israel? African Americans who are unwilling to embrace gay culture and anyone unwilling to acknowledge that sex is a spectrum rather than a binary? Ditto. It isn’t just about disagreement, but about banishment, if not annihilation. The problem is there are not enough true believers left to win a national election. And Republicans are not guiltless here – but suddenly along comes Trump who blows up the whole thing into a party that is hardly recognizable to an onlooker who fit fairly neatly into the old order.

    Is Bernie that guy? I have no idea. Personally, I think someone like Tulsi Gabbard would have wiped the floor with Trump, but she got nowhere. Someone who is reasonable and not a slave to the whole “intersectionality” thing, someone who sees an “us” worth trying to unite. Biden may be the closest there is, but he is also what everyone hates about politicians – the guy who has been around long enough to prove that he has no real core belief beyond getting elected.

    As a Republican who lived through the 2016 primaries on my own side of things, I feel your pain.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, JP. But not surprisingly, I see the Republican Party as the one that’s changed so dramatically, becoming a cult of Trump, unwilling to cross him. Though there still are some moderate Republican governors, eg, Charlie Baker in MA and Larry Hogan in Maryland. The Dems have always been a big messy party with internal tugs of war. I am reading an interesting New Yorker article by historian Jill Lepore about democracy, and it seems that we struggle with the same issues again and again.
      I don’t quite get your attraction to Tulsi Gabbard, who strikes me as a very confused young woman with an outsized ego. I don’t know why she met with Assad when she did. And the people who know her best—the voters—made it clear they wouldn’t re-elect her, so she ran for President. I wouldn’t be surprised if she ran a third party campaign, thereby wiping the floor FOR Trump.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I will confess that my knowledge of Gabbard is quite thin, you probably have a better read on her. And I agree that both parties have changed dramatically over the last 100 years. It is interesting that Trump’s positions on trade and world engagement are actually heading back in the direction of where Republicans were before WWII. Which I personally do not consider a good thing.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Thanks for the thoughtful post. I guess I don’t see the Dems the way you do. It is true that Fox news gives all their Dem airtime to AOC . (LOL) So, the right wing has tried to cast the Dems as some radical organization or one being torn apart. But, being on the inside I don’t see it. It is true that compared to the GOP the Dems seem less organized, but that is only because the GOP has stopped being a political party in the traditional sense. As Congressman Amash learned, if you don’t toe the party line you are booted out.

      For example, the GOP has shut down the primary process in some states so the members of their own party cannot even vote for the nominee for the party in 2020. The Dems , on the other hand, have representatives from a wide variety of viewpoints. From Sanders and Warren to Klobuchar and Biden to Gabbard and Bloomberg and Yang. They have had open debates on the issues. That is the strength of the Dem party.

      Watching the debates I have seen no insults or ripping into each other on a personal level, as we saw in the 2016 GOP debates.by Mr Trump. The Dems are smart and civil. The party is a “big tent” that welcomes all points of view except racists , xenophobes and misogynists. Those people are not welcome. But they have another place they can be heard and accepted. And they are a very small minority of Americans.

      The real issue, in my opinion, lies with how the Sanders folks will respond when Bernie does not win the nomination. I think that the particular support for Bernie may end up being a divisive factor. As it was in 2016.

      When thinking of the Dems I am reminded of Will Rogers who was supposed to have said:” I do not belong to any organized political party. I am a Democrat.” Perhaps that is still true today!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I appreciate your perspective. My own is that of a midwesterner who was raised as a Lutheran but who became Catholic as an adult. Catholics were once not at all welcome in Republican/Methodist/Episcopalian strongholds of the midwest who controlled the levers of power. They were the backbone of the Democratic party around here, even in the pre-FDR era when most African-Americans voted Republican. But today, at least from what I can see, you have to choose: Are you going to be a Catholic or are you going to be a Democrat. Because if you actually believe and practice what the Catholic church teaches you will not be welcomed or supported in the Democratic party of today.

        There are lots of Catholic Democrats like Biden, Pelosi, and a host of others. They are 1) old, 2) products of a culture that grew up in an era where Catholic and Democrat went together like ham and eggs, and 3) do a lot better job of being a Democrat than of being a Catholic. If the Democrats would become agnostic on the abortion issue, there are loads of Catholics who would support Democratic candidates who are either pro-life or at least of the old “I don’t believe in abortion but recognize that not everyone agrees with me.” But as of now they write off a lot of potential voters who might agree with them on a number of issues when they run nothing but full-throated supporters of restriction-free abortion and Planned Parenthood.

        I love that old Will Rogers line. It reminds me of another I heard, and cannot recall where I heard it. It goes “Catholics vote Democrat. Catholics who go to church vote Republican.” 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  4. I was raised as a Catholic and have long since left the church . I think you need to consider that there are different kinds of Catholics. Which is not unusual for any religion.

    There are Hasidic Jews and liberal Jews. There are liberal Protestants and fundamentalist Protestants. There are Liberal Muslims and fundamentalist Muslims. Look at Iraq which has large populations of both Sunni and Shi’a Muslims, who really don’t appreciate each other very much!

    Now, traditionally most religions in each country were fairly homogenous. Catholic Italy, Protestant England, Shi’a Iran, etc. But in the US, since we have such a diverse population we also have a greater diversity among our religions. When I was growing up the Catholic Church was being ripped apart by modernization. Many Catholics, who supposedly did what the Pope commanded, balked at the changes. These traditional Catholics have more in common with fundamentalist Protestants in that they are “authoritarian” oriented. Most other Catholics are more “social” oriented.

    So, you can be a Catholic and be a good Democrat, focusing on the social message of the church OR you can be a good Catholic and be a Republican focusing on the authority of the church. Same with any religion.

    You comment that if you believe in the Catholic church you cannot be a Democrat, but I disagree. The social message of the church is directly in line with catholic tradition. Help the poor. Feed the hungry. Clothe the naked. Isn’t that the message of Christ? Also, the message is TOLERANCE. Tolerance of those who have different views. That is the catholic church (also from the midwest) that I grew up in. So, it is not at all wrong for a Catholic like Biden or Pelosi or others to be PERSONALLY opposed to something (like abortion) while supporting the right of citizens to have those freedoms. Otherwise they would be violating the constitution which seeks to keep the nation as a secular, not religious nation.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have very mixed thoughts on this. It almost seems to me that Bernie is being demonized and I have to wonder if to some extent the Trump propaganda machine is behind some of this. I will do some digging this week and some serious assessment. The bottom line is that the democratic nomination is 99% likely to boil down to Biden, Sanders, Warren, with Warren coming in last. That leaves Biden and Sanders. Both have some baggage. Sigh. Still, I’d vote for Attila the Hun if he were running against Trump! Thanks for all your research and thoughts here … I will have to take some time to think on all you’ve provided.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Jill,
      As I mentioned, I took no pleasure in preparing these two posts about Bernie. And if he is the nominee, I will support him.
      As to your feeling that he’s being demonized and it might be a trump effort,
      I’ll respond to the second part first. Trump would love to run against Bernie, so he’s been talking him up at this point—“Poor Bernie—the Democrats are against him.” But what he has been doing at all his rallies is demonizing the Democrats uniformly as socialists who will ruin the country. So Bernie, the true socialist, would be his dream opponent. That’s my greatest concern.
      As to the sudden attention, Bernie’s never received the scrutiny that I and many others believe is essential. He has attacked other candidates about their errors in judgment, but he’s never had to answer for or explain his. It’s the Buyer’s Remorse worry I’ve previously expressed. Let’s see how he does when people know more about him.
      I also do not see him as a unifying, healing figure, and his lack of willingness to compromise suggests to me that if he were elected, he would be ineffectual at best. How realistic do you think his promise of a “political revolution” is? And if he’s said anything about the importance of a Democratic Senate, I missed it.
      I am also deeply concerned about the environment created by the Bernie Bros, including the blatant misogyny. I don’t know if you read Barbara Boxer’s account of how she was treated in 2016 when she went to make peace between the Hillary/Bernie camps (Bret Stephens’ article in The NY Times a few days ago), but it is quite frightening. They are a cult, and I believe Bernie has an obligation to try to rein them in, but he doesn’t seem to care.
      We’ll see what happens in Iowa; there may be some surprises.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Trump may have an easier time smearing Bernie, but he and his minions are going to make every effort to smear (via alternative facts and outright lies) whoever the a Democrats nominate. Here’s hoping that neither Gabbard nor anyone else mounts a third-party campaign, and that the nominee is better able than Hillary to counteract misinformation and use the words “you’re lying” whenever appropriate.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Trump is going to slime anyone who runs against him. The Dem candidate had better be willing to throw some mud back at Trump. Taking the high road only works if it leads to victory. It doesn’t. The Dem candidate needs to attack Trump on a very personal level. Forget policies. Call him stupid. Call him fat. Call him a racist. Call him a rapist. Call him a criminal. Call him a liar. Call him the Impeached President.This election will not be about issues. The Trump campaign will see to that. Unless a candidate is willing to go low, he or she has no chance. Not saying I like it, but that’s the situation we are in.

      Biden has no chance. It is not in his personality to go low. Neither does Warren or Buttigieg. Sanders, Klobuchar and Bloomberg all have the personality to go after him . Just my opinion.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Joseph,
        While I understand your gloves off sentiment, I worry if it’s too extreme, it will disgust a lot of tentative voters and discourage them from voting at all. And I think people are looking for glimmers of hope. Yesterday’s NY Times had a lengthy homage to Yang that made me wish he had more experience. He’s found a way to appeal to trumpies and Bernie folks too.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Well, it is not in the genetic makeup of the Dems to go down the road of insults and cruelty. With which I concur. A friend of mine says: “Don’t get into a pissing contest with a skunk.” Which I tend to agree with. Except in this case the skunk is going to keep pissing no matter what the Dems do.

        Like

      3. @ Annie,

        I like Yang and Gabbard as well, they are both personable and have integrity, both can easily stand up to Trump’s bullying. However they are not well known, lack experience, and polling low, shadowed behind Bernie’s popularity. There’s talk of Tulsi Gabbard becoming Bernie’s VP if he’s the one. That would be interesting!

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      4. I’m afraid I don’t share your enthusiasm for Gabbard. In addition to Joseph’s point that she punted on impeachment, I find her a confused young woman with an enormous ego and very few accomplishments. And the people who know her best—her voters—were not going to re-elect her; thus, she’s running for President.
        Your mention of her suggests to me another problem with Bernie as nominee. Since he’s so rigidly anti-establishment, he can’t pick someone who would appeal to the broad swath of voters needed to win—because doing so would alienate his base. And if he doesn’t pick a moderate progressive, there simply aren’t enough anti-establishment voters to defeat trump.
        The video you feel shows trump’s fear of Bernie makes sense in this context too. Hillary was the establishment candidate who would, and did, get the mainstream vote. Bernie may or may not have helped her. But thinking trump is afraid of Bernie as the nominee now is, I believe, applying a tidbit from four years ago to a vastly different situation today.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Regarding Gabbard. She was the only member of Congress to vote “present” on the articles of impeachment. Being a leader is all about making tough decisions.She could not even make a decision on that most important issue.In my mind that all but disqualifies her. Making tough choices is what leaders do.

        Liked by 2 people

      6. Hi Annie,

        You bring up valid points about Gabbard and Yang, I will re-evaluate my position about Gabbard being Bernie’s VP (much speculation about them being the anti-establishment dream team).
        Bernie’s camp was counting on moderate Hillary supporters to return the favor, since Bernie endorsed & campaigned for Hillary extensively in 2016.
        Bottom line if Democratic voters, establishment or not, refuse to unite around the chosen nominee for whatever reason/ excuse, then no one is defeating Trump. United we stand, divided we fall… and that’s what Republicans are counting on!

        Liked by 2 people

      7. Hi Joseph,

        Tulsi Gabbard voting “present” wasn’t due to indecision. She was very deliberate in explaining her reason: as a conscientious objector against participating in this extremely toxic, politically partisanship show trial.
        Impeachment is a political process, not a criminal or legal matter. If convicted, Presidents never go to jail or pay a price for their misdeeds, they’re simply removed from office.

        Her decision, she said, came down to not being swayed by the evidence of misconduct collected by the House Intelligence Committee during the impeachment inquiry and laid out in a lengthy report. “After doing my due diligence in reviewing the 658-page impeachment report, I came to the conclusion that I could not in good conscience vote either yes or no.”

        She went on to say she believes Trump is “guilty of wrongdoing,” but that she had serious concerns about the process itself, calling it “a partisan process, fueled by tribal animosities that have so gravely divided our country.”

        Ms Gabbard is not as clueless as you think, if fact she’s quite principled in her action and speech. She does not play well within the Democratic party, which invites the Press to criticize her incessantly.

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      8. I’m sorry, but I don’t buy her reasoning. All the constitutional scholars and other experts weighed in, and she wasn’t convinced? I think she’s playing the worst kind of politics with national security.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Perhaps… but why would she play fast & loose with her own party if not to set the record straight? Certainly she doesn’t stand to benefit with all the animosity directed at her from Establishment Dems. She’s still polling at the bottom, so why vote “present” if there’s nothing to gain? Perhaps she’s uncompromising that way, just expressing her disappointment with the whole political system.
        Either way, she’s irrelevant as a viable candidate and she knows it. Her only chance at power would be to VP for Sanders… heck those are just rumours.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. My only point about the Gabbard vote. IF she did not see enough evidence for impeachment she should have voted against it. If she saw enough evidence she should have voted for it. Refusing to vote shows a lack of leadership in my opinion. In the Oval Office, right or wrong, you have to be willing to make tough decisions. That’s all I will say about her.

        Liked by 2 people

      11. @ Joseph,
        I do see your rationale about Gabbard’s decision, or lack there of. She’s trying to make a point, that this show trial is not worthy of her vote. It’s her way of protesting the destructive partisanship that’s tearing apart our nation. History will determine if she’s correct or not.

        Like

      12. I believe she feeds the destructive partisanship—as does Bernie. The Iowa results are incomplete, but Buttigieg appealed to people of all ages, as well as independents and some Republicans—while Bernie did well only among the young. I don’t dismiss that—they are the future—but they’re not enough to vanquish trump.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m a Bernie supporter myself, and I believe the mainstream media press is doing a huge disservice to the voting public by denouncing Bernie Sanders because he is not the traditional establishment candidate.
    Right now Bernie is leading the primaries, yet Obama and Hillary refuse to endorse him, short of calling him a Russian asset. It’s sad that the Democratic party cannot unite around a socialist Democrat who only want to make the lives of American citizens better. Yet corporate Democrats led by the Clintons are only beholden to their big money donors and neglect the welfare of their own constituents.
    If Bernie were allowed to run unencumbered from his own party, I know he stands an excellent chance of winning! There’s talk that DNC leadership secretly would prefer Donald Trump getting re-elected rather than having Bernie win and upset their apple cart.
    Curious if long standing Democratic voters will rally around Bernie if he actually becomes the nominee?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Greetings. 1EarthUnited. I’m pleased to welcome your voice here, and I apologize for not thanking you for your previous likes of a few of my comments.
      I don’t doubt that many Establishment people oppose Bernie because of his socialist views—although if you read Kurt Eichenwald’s 2016 Newsweek article (I have a link to it in my posts), I think he makes a compelling case that Bernie’s blaming the DNC for his loss to Hillary doesn’t hold up. I would be interested to know if you find it at all persuasive.
      I have given my own reasons for opposing Bernie in both my posts and my comments above, so I won’t take your time to reiterate them. To sum up: Apart from my belief that he’s not a uniter who could accomplish any of his ambitious plans, i would never have written these two posts if he’d be running against any other Republican (except maybe someone like David Duke!). I feel the stakes are too high for the Democrats to run a nominee whom I see as so vulnerable. Trump has already shredded our Constitution; I can’t imagine what would remain of our imperfect democracy if he were to be re-elected.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hello Annie, very nice to hear from you. I’m happy to debate the finer points of our list of potential Democratic nominees. And like you, I’m more than happy to support whoever the DNC choose as the front running candidate. At this point in time I don’t see a predominantly strong candidate who could oppose Trump effectively come Nov 3rd. That is a big concern.
        My research of the candidates (none are perfect) lead me to conclude that Bernie stands an excellent chance at becoming President because he appeals to the growing discontent among voters who are sick of establishment politics.
        There’s also a secret recording of Trump stating that he was relieved that he didn’t have to face off against Bernie Sanders in the 2016 election. Bernie has a strong social and economic platform to run off of, sadly lacking among the other nominees.

        https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/01/25/only-one-i-didnt-want-her-pick-secret-recording-trump-admits-fear-clinton-picking

        Like you, I just want the strongest candidate to oppose Trump, who has the best chance of winning because the future of our country depends on it. Thanks for hearing me out.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hi, and here’s my official welcome to annieasksyou. I’m so pleased to have you join me. I responded to the secret recording issue just now. Here’s to more lively and civil discussions. Cheers!

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Sorry to hear the same old “poor Bernie” arguments. Sounds like great talking points for Trump.

      First, Obama did not endorse anyone in 2016, Why should he endorse someone before the people vote in 2020? He stays out of it until we have a nominee, which he should. He didn’t endorse Clinton in 2016 when she was ahead in the polls. Only after she won the nomination.

      Second. You talk about “uniting” behind the candidate? When in 2016 many Bernie supporters stayed home or even voted for Trump or Stein? There is still a lot of residue left over from that campaign and what Bernie supporters didn’t do to help defeat Trump.

      Third, The idea that the Democrat leadership would rather see Trump than Bernie elected is beyond responding to. Sounds like a GOP talking point designed to divide he Dems.

      Fourth. You say Bernie could run as an independent? Why didn’t he? Why does he think he deserves all the money and manpower and voting lists and donor lists of the Dem Party when he won’t even commit to that party? Did you know he registered as an “independent” in his next Senate race? As far as I am concerned he is lucky the Dems let him run at all.

      As you can see, I am not a Bernie fan. I don’t like cults. That said, if he is nominated I will support him, as will the rest of the party. Hopefully they will give him more support than his followers gave Clinton in 2016.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I totally understand your POV, and glad to hear your support for Bernie if he becomes the nominee, that’s all I can ask for. As for the party giving him full support… I have my doubts. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

        Liked by 2 people

  8. ONLY a so-called moderate will win against the monster. Klobuchar and Buttigieg together pulled in more votes in Iowa and NH. We do not need a “political revolution,” we need someone who can pull in independents, former Republicans who can’t stand Trump, and all Democratss to win the election, AND get things done. We cannot afford 4 more years of tyranny. I’ll vote for Sanders if he is the candidate but I don’t think he is the one to beat Trump.

    Liked by 2 people

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