What Winning Looks Like

Bernie Sanders won’t be the Democratic nominee. But he’s winning something more important.

Ed Brayton has the best–and most succinct–analysis of the challenge faced by Bernie Democrats. Over at Dispatches from the Culture Wars, he writes:  

It’s time for Sanders fans — and again, I’m one of them — to shift their focus from winning the presidency to building a real movement to accomplish his primary goal, which is to get the influence of big money out of our political process as much as possible. So what does that entail?

First, it means supporting Hillary Clinton in the general election. What is it that is currently preventing us from passing any meaningful legislation to limit the influence of big money? The Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling. If the Republicans win, any hope of adding a liberal justice to the Supreme Court that could help overturn that ruling dies for at least the next generation, maybe more. On the other hand, a Democratic president gets to replace Scalia and there would then be a liberal majority on the court and overturning that ruling becomes entirely plausible. Bernie voters who refuse to vote for Clinton, even if they have to hold their nose to do it, will be cutting off their nose to spite their face and dramatically reducing the chances of achieving Bernie’s top policy priority.

Second, it means building up an organization that can recruit, train and fund candidates who share Bernie’s vision of not only reducing the influence of big money, but also favors stronger regulation of big business — the very thing that the outsized influence of their money seeks to prevent. Overturning Citizens United is just the first step. The second step has to be electing people to Congress who will vote for serious campaign finance reform, not the weak sauce that was McCain-Feingold. This requires money, organization, and professionals who know how to run campaigns and how tothink strategically in politics.

You can rage all you want about how unfair the system is, but that rage doesn’t actually change anything if you can’t translate it into effective legislative action. So yeah, Bernie is going to lose the Democratic nomination. That doesn’t mean he’s going to lose the larger battle. Winning that battle is up to his supporters and those who share his vision, but if all you’re going to do is kick and scream and cry about dark conspiracies, you won’t achieve a damn thing. So if you want Bernie to win something more important than the White House, get your heads out of the clouds and get to work.

Bottom line: Sanders faces a challenge. He cannot win the Democratic nomination. Will he do a reprise of the disastrous Nader “If not me, no-one” ego trip–a position that gave the U.S. eight years of George W. Bush and a vastly more dangerous world, or will he be willing to spend the time and political capital to lead the Democratic party to a more progressive place?

I think he has signaled his willingness to do the latter, because I think he cares about the issues he has raised more than his own importance. At a campaign rally in Oregon, he said

“We need to plant the flag of progressive politics in every state in this country.”

Echoing Howard Dean from an earlier campaign, Sanders also insisted that the Democratic Party as a whole must forge a 50-state strategy focused on restoring civic vibrancy and fueling meaningful outcomes on the key issues people care about.

“The Democratic Party has to reach a fundamental conclusion: Are we on the side working people or big money interests? Do we stand with the elderly, the children, and the sick and the poor, or do we stand with Wall Street speculators and the drug companies and the insurance companies?”….

Now our job is not just to revitalize the Democratic Party—not only to open the doors to young people and working people—our jobs is to revitalize American democracy.”

If Sanders can set the Democratic party on the road to realizing that goal, he–and the American political system– will be the ultimate winners.


  1. It will be a monumental dog fight and bloody, but worth the struggle. We need youngsters leading this with guidance from some older and wiser minds.

  2. “Bernie Sanders won’t be the Democratic nominee. But he’s winning something more important.”

    Sorry Sheila but…if we give up the fight for Bernie and he does not contest at the convention – we are not winning s#*t! We are no better than Cruz and Kasich if we don’t keep fighting till the last dog dies, we will be turning America over to Trump. I have more respect for the young Republican delegate who dropped out because he cannot support Trump than I do for Bernie supporters who drop out and do not continue the fight against corporate ownership of this state and country.

    Ed Brayton may be more knowledgeable and have more insight “behind the scenes” but has less understanding, common sense and no heart if he tells us to discontinue our support at this time. We will be giving this election to Trump and I refuse to do that. As much as I do NOT want to vote for Hillary Clinton – which will continue and increase corporate ownership of this country – it will be with less racism, bigotry, anti-Semitism, will SLIGHTLY lower the chance of continued and additional wars, fewer jobs sent out of the country and we now face the possibility of her appointing her husband to a White House job and more of our tax dollars going into the Clinton coffers. We don’t know how many of those coffers are off-shore banks.

    “If Sanders can set the Democratic party on the road to realizing that goal, he–and the American political system– will be the ultimate winners.”

    With either Hillary or The Donald in the White House we will have no more Democratic party than we have of the Republican party and the total American political system as we know it will be gone. There will be no ultimate winners in this current lottery we call our 2016 presidential election. Citizens United will rule through either Hillary or Trump; they will NOT “cut off their nose to spite their face” nor will they cut their own throats by returning to a fair tax rate on the wealthy, close those tax loopholes on business (they own those businesses) and they have no understanding or interest in supporting Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid or raising the minimum wage or anyone’s wages.

    Our “job” is NOT to revitalize the Democratic party – our job is to SAVE THIS COUNTRY from the 1% who currently own it.

  3. I do not see much in Hillary Clinton’s past that gives me any confidence that she will be a fighter when it comes to removing the influence of big money over our political system. She is of this system, has used every tool in its arsenal and moved to where most of the decisions to flood our system with corporate cash are made. They are her friends. this class of people feels a certain entitlement. It really is no different than the system of Super-delegates. She has never mentioned a word about that system that says hey, you have money and influence, we’ll give you a vote that is equal to 16000 primary voters. She grabbed onto that concept and has nary a criticism of it due to her membership in the entitled class. Its like the 21 million she has pocketed speaking to these various corporate interests. These are our employers, that claim to many of us that they are too poor to pay a living wage to those at the bottom but, do not bat an eye about stuffing mountains of cash into a politicians back pocket. That is why us Sanders supporters fight on. This strangle hold of big money over our political process is like a deep rooted weed, we can tug at the top of it and hope to have an effect but, it will truly take all of us pulling it out by its roots to make a difference. By its roots I mean over-turning Buckley vs Valeo, outlawing gerrymandering, closing the revolving door, and bringing in the bright light of transparency to any political spending. Hillary Clinton won’t even take the most obvious step and have a litmus test for any Supreme Court nominee when it comes to Citizens United.

  4. Nice interview with Sanders this morning on NPR. It appears Sanders is in it until the last primary vote is cast and most importantly his “sound bites” are always promoting his progressive agenda. He knows the nomination is pretty much decided and his staying in the race will hopefully continue to bring light to what he is promoting.

  5. I doubt that Hilary will be an effective president; she will be obstructed just as much as President Obama because she is despised almost as much, possibly more so. I also have a personal antipathy towards Bill (despite voting for him twice) so I’m not exactly neutral in this regard, but I believe I’m right in expecting eight years more of triangulation, all of which will fail.

    However, in order not to waste those 8 years, work needs to be done in getting people into congress that aren’t completely detestable. Even a moderate Republican is better than the, uh, creatures, that are getting elected. Obviously I need to move to a Red State and start agitating – I’m in an entirely blue state, so while I can help with money, the recession hit hard and when I open my wallet I hear crickets, to mix a metaphor. As usual Sheila, you are the voice of reason.

  6. JoAnn and Robert – I appreciate your sentiments, but when given the choice of idealism and winning, I choose winning. I much prefer Incremental, progressive change to Trump’s version. Our 2-party system was designed to foster incrementalism. It is not as exciting as Bernie’s revolution, but it beats the status quo or worse. We’re on the right trajectory, but I worry that Bernie has become more fascinated with his celebrity than actually changing the system in a way that will last.

  7. Hillary only has to win 18% of the remaining delegates to win the nomination. Democrats apportion delegates by percentage of the vote in each state. Do Bernie supporters actually believe that she won’t get many more than that?

    Let me say that Hillary is NOT the devil. Corporations are NOT evil. The world is NOT black or white. Nothing is as simple as the “Good vs Evil” scenario that the Bernie supporters proclaim.

    If we don’t get a Democratic President, we face the prospect of another generation of a Supreme Court in the hands of the right wing nihilists. It’s not just the Scalia seat, it may very well be the Bader Ginsberg seat in the next 4 -8 years. Is this really what you want?

    If it’s a movement you want, get those young people working on the down ballot races as hard as they have worked for Bernie. Take back the House, the Senate, and even more importantly, the state legislatures.

  8. Bernie has done something far more significant than winning the Presidency. He has energized a very large group of people, and armed them with the facts. And that’s a mighty force to continue his message. I’m with Bernie all the way, but I’ll vote for Hillary. Let’s not let the air out of the momentum because of politics. #BernieTheWatchdog

  9. I’m with you, Joanne Green. Funny how the more states Sanders wins the more he is discounted. Keep the faith. I have no intention of voting for Humphrey, er, a, Clinton under any circumstances. She has a trail of blood as thick as Madeline Albright’s.

  10. I don’t disagree with anything Bernie has to say (other than a mild disagreement on gun liability of the manufacturers). I was blogging them long before I heard his views on such issues. However, I voted for Hillary in the Florida primary and will, of course, vote for her again this fall. I am as idealistic as the next liberal, but I have never forgotten old Governor Cuomo’s advice from years ago, i.e. “you gotta get a seat at the table.” He was and is right.

    We have the upcoming election to win and I fear that Bernie (though right to a fault on the issues) cannot get a “seat at the table,” thus giving us a blustering and bullying ignoramus just nominated by the Republicans for four years of unmitigated national horror. Hillary (with all her political warts and moles) can win and even win big per the latest poll. I fear greatly that Bernie (after Fox News and the Wall Street Journal get through sticking the hammer and sickle all over him) would not get a “seat at the table,” with consequences one can scarcely imagine.

    To my fellow liberals: Half a loaf is better than none (especially considering the hideous alternative). Hillary looks like an FDR by contrast with the loose cannon the Republicans have allowed to win their nomination, who must be defeated at all costs. Let’s be Democrats secure in the knowledge that we are going to have the assistance of many Republicans this fall not only at the presidential level but also with the down-ticket of the Senate and House given Trump’s toxic effect at all electoral levels.

  11. JoAnn,

    “Sorry Sheila but…if we give up the fight for Bernie and he does not contest at the convention – we are not winning s#*t!”

    The problem with Bernie Sanders is “you’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t.” That’s because this presidential election without a SUCCESSFUL PRIOR ENCOUNTER with the TEA PARTY will be a disaster for democracy, no matter who wins.

    Hillary Clinton won’t be able to do anything even if she wins. That’s the problem you’re concerned about if Bernie Sanders drops out. And you’re absolutely right. But if he doesn’t there is more of a chance of Trump winning. Which is worse?

  12. Looks like you are getting a lot of flack from Sanders supporters. I think they are justified. The DNC line Sanders can’t win. I think he is the only one who can beat Trump. There is so much anger against the establishment in our country it dooms their candidate, Clinton. I wish the intellectuals, media people and political pundits could climb out of their bubbles and understand Trump appeals to the anger against them and the only candidate who has a chance of beating him has to address that anger. Clinton cannot do that but Sanders can.

  13. Bernie witnesses the enthusiasm for his ideas everywhere he goes. He is rallying the younger generations to vote for changes to our corrupt political system. By staying in the race he will continue to create a movement that will demand change. He is encouraging those voters to get involved and start creating positive changes by voting for progressive candidates for Congress and for their own state legislatures. I am so glad that he is going the distance to spread his message. Until the older white privileged males are gone, only the younger generations will be able to create the changes that we need.

  14. Nancy,

    “Until the older white privileged males are gone, only the younger generations will be able to create the changes that we need.”

    You’re 100% right. Unfortunately, there’s a white male problem on both sides of the aisle. That’s really hard to overcome. You can even see it played out in this blog.

  15. I was born and raised a Republican, but I got over it. I’m an old, white man … 89 years of age and a big fan of Barack Obama, but not because he’s a Democrat. He’s an incredibly bright man, and has a fantastic sense of humor. ( Republicans take great pride in identifying Ronald Reagan as their favorite president, and his main claim to fame was that he had a good sense of humor.)

    I’m a long-time Rotarian. Most Rotary Club members are Republicans. Most of my friends are Republicans. Most cannot stand Donald Trump and have been saying for months that they would not vote for him. Two other candidates my friends cannot stand are Bernie Sanders ad Hillary Clinton. This week’s Indiana Primary Elections should prove that a great many Republicans have changed their minds. They’re now willing to be identified as Trump supporters.

    After reading many of today’s responses to Sheila’s blog, I don’t think there’s any doubt Donald Trump is going to be our next President. The Bernie supporters have their noses out of joint and are not going to vote for Hillary. They don’t seem to remember that Hillary threw her support to Obama after she lost to him in the Primaries. Sheila described the route Bernie supporters should take. They would do well to follow it.

  16. I fully expect Bernie to continue the fight to the end. Then What? I hope that he will give a hearty and heart felt endorsement of the entire Democratic party. All up and down the ballot. And then work his butt off for the remaining months to get Democrats elected. If Bernie and Sen Warren come out loud and strong and smart in their appeal to the reform minded people, young and old, to get behind the party, we might have a brighter future. This can have a wonderful ending. We all need to work together. We all want the same things. Only pride and small thinking can divide us. Time for people of good will to unite and get busy.

  17. Nancy and JoAnn,

    I’m on your side. Bernie should stay in. It can cause problems, but if he withdraws that will even cause a greater problem. I can now see that damn “white maleness” is still getting in my way. Seriously.

  18. This article is inappropriately early. I fear you have fallen into theft dug by the media by assuming that Sanders can’t win. It is not over until it is over. Talk this strategy AFTER the convention.

  19. Whatever his chances for being the Democratic nominee may be, Sanders has done much already. He has pushed Clinton to the left on significant issues and she has made changes to reflect his positions.

    Bernie supporters, besides continuing to fight for his election, need to work hard to see that the Senate majority is reversed. Should Hillary not be elected, that would be some consolation. Justices appointed to the SCOTUS would be subject to Democrat approval. There is even a remote possibility of taking back the House. It is Bernie’s interest and that of his supporters to be supportive of that.

  20. I have read over the months that Bernie can beat Trump whereas it will be tight with Hillary. I’ve been a Sanders fan for all of the above reasons my fellow Bernie-ites have mentioned. I will vote for Hillary but as someone who had been feeling good the Bernie for over a year I am pissed with the DNC’S, the media, and how so many have discounted him. He and his supporters have been an annoyance because the entitlement class anointed Hillary. She reminds me of when McCain ran…I got the impression that they are owed the presidency, they were entitled to it.

    Either way I am hoping the Revolution that is in its infancy continues and if Hillary is the anointed one better allow it.

  21. Paul; I totally support Bernie and am aware of the fight ahead but I am also an intelligent old white woman – 79 years old – and I will HATE, HATE, HATE going to the polls in November and casting my vote for Hillary Clinton. But; I will do it if she is nominated because it is the right thing to do even though it is a very weak attempt to salvage what remains of America and Americans.

    When I went to work for the City of Indianapolis under Mayor Richard Lugar in 1972; it was out of need for a job due to crumbling marriage and 5 – that’s FIVE – children. To obtain that job, my take-home pay was $64 weekly, I had to have the written approval of the local Republican Chairman (can’t remember the exact title), had to sign the Republican Loyalty Oath to support and work for the Republican party. We were required to “donate” 2% of our bi-weekly paycheck, in cash by the end of every payday. I was TOLD when and where to work the Nixon campaign; I was afraid NOT to vote for him because I have never believed that politicians cannot learn who you vote for if they want to know. I will go to the polls to vote for Hillary Clinton with the same anger, disgust and hatred I went to the polls to vote for Richard Nixon all those years ago. I finally see that old adage, “What goes around, comes around.” come to fruition…but with the opposite party and for totally different reasons. I am sick of this entire mess but ignoring it will not make it go away so I stay, hanging onto that slim thread of hope with Bernie Sanders.

  22. Shame on Ed Brayton and those who deploy his insults and condemnation toward fellow Democrats and Independents. What is wrong with Hillary Democrats that they see attacks on one’s maturity and reason as a way to change minds? Ya, works great. ·Eye Roll·

    Sanders’ success demands that the policies he champions be given voice in the national platform. Why is it that Democrats for Hillary continually resort to talking to his supporters as if they are “kicking and screaming” children when trying to secure a vote? She and her supporters have some serious courting to do and maybe, just maybe, a stronger stance from her in a few deficient policy areas might help. This constant deployment of belittlement is worthy of a Trump arsenal and will accomplish nothing.

    You won’t shame his supporters into supporting her. Assuming she isn’t indicted by the FBI before the convention. Honoring the serious issues and showing respect for the legitimate concerns they have made central is a far better approach.

    You want to lose the general? Keep attacking Sanders’ supporters with shame and talking to them like children. Let us know how that works out for you Hillary. Hint: It won’t.

    It is an idiotic approach that will return exactly what it dished out. Zero respect. It’s high time the hard core party people understand the message the people are sending on all sides of the aisle. They would rather let it implode on itself and rebuild from the ashes than slowly be crushed by the weight of inequality in a slow merciless death. Wake up and start treating people with respect and deference to the issues Sanders has championed if you want their support. This current strategy of shame will get Democrats nothing – including the White House.

  23. I think the point that is being made is that we need to continue Bernie’s message no matter what stage it is on. It’s our only chance for the future. Hillary Clinton’s PRESENT RHETORIC will get is NOWHERE.

  24. Bernie is representing a movement of people, if there is such a thing, insofar as he has given tens of millions of people a focal point for real solutions they have been wanting and seeking for a long time. They are simply Americans who want a country and society that treats them and other people fairly. And yeah, Bernie’s campaign can and is doing the delegate and political math. So to repeat what the Bernie people are plainly saying there is a real possibility that Bernie will win almost all of the remaining primaries. There is a chance that Democrats at the convention, the super delegates included, will conclude that Hillary’s chances of beating Trump are far lower than Bernie’s since he is continuing to grow his support and positives among the electorate throughout the country. So the full primary and convention process should be played out. Otherwise, we risk getting a candidate nominated by the Democrats who is not the best candidate for winning in November.

  25. Whatever happens in the presidential election, it’s way past time for the Democrats to get busy at the state level. The Kochs bought state after state after state before the last census, and so were able to control redistricting, which gave them perpetual control over two-thirds of the state legislatures plus the House of Representatives. Can this be overcome before the next census? (Insert a hopeless and helpless shrug here.) My grandson’s generation still feels hope, while I’ve turned into an old cynic. The one thing Trump proves is that unpredictable things can happen, so maybe a tiny glimmer of hope — that Bernie can lead a movement for change, either in or out of the Oval Office — is justified.

  26. As long as we are discussing the premature suggestion of one biased blogger, how about this retrospective look at Hillary from Doug Henwood at the Left Business Observer (https://lbo-news.com/2016/05/04/hillary-quotes-conservatives/)? “Although Hillary fans discount her early enthusiasm for Barry Goldwater, she did say this in 1996 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h15-tiVWk-0): ‘I feel like my political beliefs are rooted in the conservatism that I was raised with. I don’t recognize this new brand of Republicanism that is afoot now, which I consider to be very reactionary, not conservative in many respects. I am very proud that I was a Goldwater girl.’ (Her distinction between ‘reactionary’ and ‘conservative’ is hard to parse; Goldwater voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act, wanted to privatize Social Security, and once suggested that we ‘lob one into the men’s room at the Kremlin.’)”

  27. Marv,

    “I think the point that is being made is that we need to continue Bernie’s message no matter what stage it is on. It’s our only chance for the future. ”


  28. Watching Trainwrecks: You have voiced what I am unable to compose so thank you for sharing that bit of wisdom. The DNC better wake up and show some respect or the party will implode from within. I will not vote for Trump and frankly, I will have to wait until November before I can say if I will vote for this Hillary shark. She really is someone I cannot trust or depend on. Of course, I don’t want Trump in the white house but damn it, we independents need to be heard (because we outnumber both the GOP and Dems) or else we’re going to create a whole new separate party that will take the White House.

  29. Hillary Clinton has been as outspoken for campaign finance reform as Sanders. But neither Hillary nor Sanders will be successful if a recalcitrant Congress is elected. Hillary also calls for voters to elect a sympathetic Congress and raises money for supportive congressional candidates. She’s even raised funds and given them to Bernie Sanders’ past Senate campaigns.

    Sanders acts as if electing him is enough. It’s not. If the current Congress is re-elected, we can expect more of the same gridlock and hyper-partisanship and acceptance of the Citizens United decision. I voted for Hillary for several reasons, not the least of which is that she not only wants campaign finance reform, she’s also worked for years to get us there including helping elect Members of Congress who also want campaign finance reform. Sanders has won his own elections in Vermont and he’s made the speeches but that’s not nearly enough. It’ll take electing a majority of Congress – a subject on which he’s mostly silent and absent.

  30. This idea or myth that Ralph Nader “lost” the election in 2000 for Gore is bogus. Let’s not forget Gore selected Joe Lieberman as a running mate. Joe Lieberman would endorse in 2007 John McCain for President. Gore performance was so wooden he earned the moniker – The Gorebot. Gore also had to deal with the toxic smoke from Bill Clinton’s sex scandals.

    As a Sanders supporter I am supposed to buy into the notion that all of Hillary’s spinning to the Left is for real. If we had a Parliamentary System Sanders would have big voice in policy. We do not it is winner take all. The Democratic Establishment in the Pocket of Wall Street will see a Hillary Victory as vindication of their influence and control over the Party. The DNC did it’s best to stack the deck in favor of Hillary, with few debates scheduled and at odd times, plus the Super Delegates.

    There are some interesting polls on Favorable vs Unfavorable ratings. In a variety of different polls going back to early April Hillary has not had a net positive rating. Her unfavorable ratings since 2009 as trend have continued to climb. Only one candidate has worse unfavorable ratings and that is the Trumpter.

    These same polls have Bernie Sanders in 9 out of ten recent polls with net favorable ratings, and in eight of ten polls his net favorably is in double digits. The latest Poll I have found by Morning Consult showed Sanders with a plus 13% net favorable. The same poll shows Hillary at negative 11%. http://elections.huffingtonpost.com/pollster

    So here we go our “system” is set to nominate Trump and Hillary and hold your nose or select your poison, if those are your choices.

  31. http://www.nytimes.com/elections/results/indiana

    Click on the above link from the NY Times and scroll down a bit until you reach the two Indiana maps by counties, both interactive maps where dragging your cursor over the individual counties will display the actual votes received by the candidates.

    Of course, this is only a snapshot of one state, Indiana, on one particular day, primary election day May 3. For whatever they’re worth, these interactive maps give us a more valid view of voter inclinations than any telephone poll.

    The Indiana Republican voters on May 3, pretty much dismissed the current thought that all Hoosiers are evangelical Christians who vote with their Bibles in their hands. Cruz, the apparent establishment candidate, was rejected by all Republican voters in Indiana with the exception of five counties in Northeastern Indiana. From that, I’d imagine that Gov Pence is realizing that his backing is not as strong as he’d thought.

    On the other hand, the Indiana Democrat primary election voters pretty much announced by their votes that Ms Clinton, the heir apparent according to the DNC, to Ms Wasserman Schultz, and to the established old-line party faithful, is not their choice.

  32. As a Bernie supporter,I will not vote for Hillary Clinton. The Democratic Party has taken my vote for granted for over thirty years. I will no longer enable the party to do that any longer. For this voter and a supporter for the Democrat Party of FDR,I will not support the candidate who stands with Henry Kissinger. The candidate that has created a foundation (slush fund) to enable the billionaires,dictatorships and monarchies to continue their pillaging and flaunting of the laws. The candidate that extolled the virtues of sending away millions of good American jobs to offshore lands so the investor class could reap gargantuan windfalls at the expense of American communities.

    No more. The enabling and complacency and acceptance of being taken for granted by the party is over for this voter.

  33. The idea that Hillary is for Campaign Finance Reform seems to me very hollow. Her Pac – Priorities USA Action has taken from Soros Fund Management $7,025,000, Euclidean Capital $7,000,000, among others.

    There is the myth about Hillary helping to fund State Democratic Parties. It turns out like a lot of things Hillary it is a Mirage. It is quite a “slick” set up -“But less than 1 percent of the $61 million raised by that effort has stayed in the state parties’ coffers, according to a POLITICO analysis of the latest Federal Election Commission filings.”

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/04/clinton-fundraising-leaves-little-for-state-parties-222670#ixzz47nnQU7Zw
    Follow us: @politico on Twitter | Politico on Facebook

    Or you can read – BUSTED: Hillary Clinton Caught Hoarding 99 Percent of Funds Raised for State Parties – http://usuncut.com/politics/hillary-clinton-bilking-state-democrats/

  34. AgingLGrl; the feasibility of remaining an Independent voter in this country is long gone and has been for almost 20 years. I still resent the fact that I cannot safely, and with clear conscience, vote for any Republican but am forced to vote straight Democratic ticket. This gained us our weak specimen of a Democrat, Joe Donnelly, but kept Mourdock out of the Senate. Checks and balances; often weak these days but we need to take every inch we can till better days – this applies to both parties.

    William is another one who will not vote for Hillary if Bernie isn’t nominated with no conception that he is giving his vote to Trump. What will he, and the others who have posted that comment here, do if Bernie is not the nominee and asks all of us to back Hillary? I believe more Bernie supporters will honor his request than Hillary’s supporters would follow her’s and support Bernie if he gets the nomination. Corporate America sticks together to protect their lower tax rate and all of those tax loopholes in business. As Bernie’s supporters have only ourselves to protect by standing beside him in his campaign to return government to the people.

  35. Look at the Clintons tax return the first time Bill Clinton ran for office, over $400,000 sure. But HRCs partial tax return shows $30,000,000. What is her motivation for getting big money out of politics again?

  36. JoAnn, you are not alone when you wrote “The feasibility of remaining an Independent voter in this country is long gone and has been for almost 20 years. I still resent the fact that I cannot safely, and with clear conscience, vote for any Republican but am forced to vote straight Democratic ticket.”

    In Hamilton County where I live and vote, if I don’t request a Republican ticket, I basically have no vote in our local elections. The same situation was true when living in West Kentucky; if I didn’t request a Democrat ticket, I was locked out of voting for my local county officials.

    The Independent Voter Network supports voter rights fully. In fact, a May 3 article from IVN outlines a scary thought from the DNC Chair. http://ivn.us/2016/05/03/dnc-chair-independents-wouldnt-allowed-vote-primaries/ I’m sure there are an equal number of Republicans who feel the same as Wasserman Schultz.

  37. I am a Bernie supporter. I pretty much agree with all the sentiments expressed here. But the overriding issue is who gets to fill Scalia’s seat. If it is Trump, that seat will be lost and so will the cause. If it is Hillary, we have a chance. If it is Bernie, we’ll have won. Take your pick!

  38. Gail,

    Thanks. Hillary is going to be a disaster for democracy even as a candidate whether or not she is even elected. Can you imagine what Donald Trump is going to do with that tax return. I’m not going to support her. This whole stinking mess we’re are now in was encouraged by Bill Clinton’s strategy of TRIANGULATION. Otherwise interpreted as CAPITULATION. Supporting Hillary Clinton will only diminish Bernie Sanders. At least there will be some leadership and organizational structure after the Democratic Party is destroyed by her nomination.

  39. The above statement is my position. It wasn’t necessarily meant to encourage others. I can see a good argument for backing Hillary Clinton, if she is the only alternative. But I like protecting my soul. Just taking the easy way out. That’s all.

  40. The USA people have no government “sides” anymore than do the inhabitants of the other 195 countries with formal voting members (not us) in the United Nations international security council and the general assemblies at NYC. What are the sides of the official basketballs put in play each time the NCAA players meet in our assembly halls?

  41. Re: JoAnn;

    If Trump wins because of my lack of support for Clinton….Well,let the chips fall where they may.

    Some of us are sick of being told to capitulate. Many of us are sick of accepting incrementalism. Wall St and Defense Contractors are not given to incrementalism. (Btw,both interests are big donors to Clinton). They receive bailouts and their lobbyists write the legislation that receives the utmost of urgency from our representatives. Can you say Big Pharma? Max Baucus can easily.

    As far as the Supreme Court is concerned,two names….Joe Biden and Clarence Thomas.

    How Biden treated Anita Hill is how the Democratic Party really feels about the women on the lower rungs of the ladder. Actions from members of the party speak louder than hollow commercial soundbites.

    Hillary embraces women of the petite bourgeoisie,the women working on the factory/shop floors not so much.

    Hillary is a bad candidate. Biden is just as bad. Yet,we’ve been told brand names as the aforementioned are the most progressive choices we have to choose. Hogwash. The party of FDR is dead and fevered egos such as Biden and Clinton are a large part of the problem wrt the Democratic Party. And shame on our host for clutching her pearls and suggesting we must abandon genuine Democratic values and support the candidate the party elites have chosen. A candidate that is bought and sold by Wall St,MIC,Big Pharma and an admitted Goldwater Girl.

  42. I am a Bernie supporter who likes Hillary as well and actually finds her more presidential. Whether she can get the republicans to cooperate with the rest of congress to accomplish anything is another matter but I think she is more likely to succeed at that.

    One thing that I noticed about the post from which you are quoting Sheila, is that his “headline” is unlikely to attract any Bernie Sanders supporters to read his post because it is negative and belittling. And the post is positive and directed at them. Writers really need to think about what their headline says; it may turn off the very readers it is trying to attract.

  43. William, I’m certain Sheila did not ask us to abandon our genuine democratic values — quite the opposite, in fact. Re-read what she wrote, not what Ed Brayton wrote (his words are in the indented paragraphs). She uses Bernie’s own words to make a very good case for sticking with Bernie in the short term, and for giving him a prominent seat at the table after the general election.

  44. Sometimes the problem is visible in the big picture before it shows up in the details.

    We are obsoleting both our culture and civilization by changing our environment, our climate. The past holds no solutions to our problem.

    We will essentially start over again.

    We are between the rock of having to adapt to a new environment and the hard place of the slower we do it the more adaptation will be required.

    The cleverness that got us here has the potential to get us out but the politics holding us back will just make things worse.

    For Republicans these facts show up as nothing they do based from the past works anymore. They are fighting the fact that they are obsolete by using obsolete strategy and tactics. There is only one direction for them to go.

    Democrats are only marginally better prepared. President Obama was a rabbit pulled from a hat from the standpoint of getting us out of the the darkness. Pure good fortune. Having Hillary in the batters circle is an extension of that.

    She has none of the answers either but is a strong leader who can keep the wheels on the wagon while we navigate rugged roads.

    Bernie is my hero for being willing to take on the old problems but hasn’t shown me the creativity necessary when all of the problems and solutions change from what’s known to what’s unknown. He’s an amateur who would do wonders in the old world but when all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail.

    We are on the Titanic and are full speed ahead without regard for the icebergs. We will sink and what’s left for us to do is to save as many passengers as possible.

    Republicans will save nobody because their collective heads are in the sand.

    With Hillary manning the lifeboats and a supportive Congress and SCOTUS some will be saved. Hopefully most.

    Only one thing is clear. Divisiveness in the water or the lifeboats will make things worse.

    Mostly bad news. But some will be saved.

  45. Pete,

    “We are on the Titanic and are full speed ahead without regard for the icebergs. We will sink and what’s left for us to do is to save as many passengers as possible.”

    I agree that we’re in dangerous waters, but I strongly disagree with you that we can’t avoid the icebergs. There’s information out there to avoid the icebergs. It’s just very difficult to communicate. As more and more of us see the danger, it will become easier to sound the necessary warnings. That time is rapidly approaching. Hopefully, the threat of Donald Trump being elected President will be the necessary catalyst.

    I understand your fears but don’t forget you have no experience in negotiating through Iceberg infested waters. There are people who do have that experience. Also, don’t forget that the Titanic didn’t have sonar (especially political sonar) like what is available now. That’s the big game changer.

    Remember the old saying: “It’s not over until it’s over.”

  46. What Marv said to Pete at 5:55p EDT: Thanks for that, Marv. Don’t you dare bail out of this blog. Your opinions are very important.

  47. Marv, we talk mostly about politics and culture here but, believe it or not they’re not our biggest problems. They are our biggest limitations though.

    They will have to up their game to be part of solving our biggest problems: mitigation of and adaptation to climate change.

    The slower that we mitigate the more we’ll have to adapt – whoever of the 7.4B survive.

    No matter when we mitigate the size of that job is the same. We need to change almost our entire system of making and utilizing energy. Mankind has never ever taken on such a prodigious project as energy is the most pervasive product in our lives.

    All the while that we are doing that project the climate will be changing away from what we built civilization suited for.

    We may well not have to fix Jacksonville because it will be under the sea.

    Clearly our culture and politics are nowhere near up to an absolutely unavoidable set of projects.

    As we dither the consequences grow. As we mitigate, adaptation grows. There’s not the slightest maybe involved in this.

    Can we save civilization or do we start all over again?

    We’ve shown no indication yet that we have the will to survive.

  48. Pete,

    “Marv, we talk mostly about politics and culture here but, believe it or not they’re not our biggest problems. They are our biggest limitations though.”

    I agree with you on the long term problems. More than likely we won’t be able to mitigate the adaption to climate change at the rate we’re going. But that doesn’t mean we should “roll over dead” and not continue the best we can. You can’t do that if you give up hope for the present.

    Sometimes miracles do happen–like competent leadership. Many of us have been benefited by your optimistic take on democracy. We need you to continue to be there. It’s not that easy to be positive these days. We can’t afford to lose your voice.

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