Tag Archive: Bernie Sanders

Can Hurricanes Harvey and Irma bring Democrats together?

Citizens cleaning up in Sebring, FL after Hurricane Irma

During the recent disastrous Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, one thing has stood out: Americans came together to help each other in life and death situations, both on the ground and through generous donations to those in need. In most cases, those providing such help didn’t know the people they were helping, much less their political persuasions. Compared to such inspirational American spirit, the current intra-party squabbling on the Democratic side, colloquially between the “Bernie people” and the “Hillary people,” seems to pale. Perhaps, therefore, this is a good opportunity for both sides in the squabble to have a reset, and to focus on what’s really most important.

Donald Trump’s dangerous endgame

Anti-Trump protesters in Dallas, Texas

Anti-Trump protesters in Dallas, Texas

Not long ago, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders had a well-organized, unifying end to their Democratic Party primary battle. Both sides acted like adults, sat down and negotiated over the party platform and the Democratic National Convention. The result was a hugely successful convention and a more unified Democratic Party, after which Clinton took the general election lead from Donald Trump. As new revelations about Trump’s sexually predatory behavior pile up, Clinton’s lead has extended to the point where nearly no one, including Republicans, says that Trump can win. The question now becomes, how will Trump lose, and what will he do afterward? Unfortunately, the signs thus far point to an ugly and dangerous electoral withdrawal from Donald Trump.

Avoiding Donald Trump’s pigsty

Message to Clinton voters about Donald Trump

Message to Clinton voters about Donald Trump

Playwright George Bernard Shaw is quoted as saying:

I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.
That’s good advice for Hillary Clinton. When she climbs into the mud with Donald Trump and his supporters, she gets dirty, and they seem to like it. For example, at a New York City fundraiser on Friday, Clinton said:
You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it.
There’s plenty of evidence that a portion of Trump’s supporters really are deplorable. However, the problem with these remarks (which Clinton has since walked back a bit), isn’t their truth, it’s that Clinton shouldn’t be the one making them.

U.S. political media on life support after NBC Matt Lauer forum

NBC's Matt Lauer with former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders

NBC’s Matt Lauer with former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders

Wednesday night’s NBC News “Commander-in-Chief Forum” has been roundly criticized. In particular, moderator Matt Lauer is taking the heat for his biased, amateurish performance. However, the NBC forum is just one of many examples of the U.S. Beltway media tipping the scales against Hillary Clinton and for Donald Trump in this election, and failing to do their job. One Twitter user even started the hashtag “#LaueringTheBar” to describe this trend. With the first presidential debate just days away, time is quickly running out to cure the problem.

News media recycle Clinton/Sanders playbook in Clinton/Trump race

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders at unity rally in July 2016.

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders at unity rally in July 2016.

Hillary Clinton is in trouble.” “The race is close.” Those are the types of statements we heard from the news media during the Democratic Party primaries between Clinton and Bernie Sanders earlier this year. In truth, the Democratic primary race wasn’t that close. Clinton won by hundreds of delegates and millions of votes, and her victory arguably came as early as the New York primary on April 19, followed the next week by the Connecticut/Pennsylvania/Maryland/Delaware/Rhode Island primaries, when Sanders lost by many delegates, which he failed to gain back thereafter.

Yet the mainstream corporate media did everything they could to create an artificially close horse race between Clinton and Sanders. One key tactic the media employed was to play up phony scandals against Clinton, play down similar stories against Sanders (his illegitimate son, he and his wife’s possible financial shenanigans, his failure to show his tax returns as his campaign had repeatedly promised, etc). Now that Clinton is battling Donald Trump in the general election, the national press are doing the same thing to make for a phony horse race between them.

Raucous unity at the Democratic National Convention

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders at recent unity event in New Hampshire

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders at recent unity event in New Hampshire

The diverse, outspoken and sometimes raucous Democratic Party was on full display on Day 1 of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania yesterday. This is the party whose unity is likened to “herding cats.” On the other hand, the outbursts from some delegates at the convention hardly spelled doom and gloom, as some chattering heads on the cable TV news networks intimated. Rather, if you caught the unfiltered convention proceedings via live stream or C-SPAN, you saw a political party reach a noisy state of unity, as only the Democrats can do.

Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and the Democrats unite against Donald Trump

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders during primary season.

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders during primary season.

Today in New Hampshire, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders held a remarkable unity rally in which Sanders enthusiastically endorsed Clinton for president. Standing in front of a giant American flag with his beaming former rival, Sanders said:

Secretary Clinton has won the Democratic nominating process. And I congratulate her for that. She will be the Democratic nominee for president, and I intend to do everything I can to make certain she will be the next president of the United States.

Sanders went on to say, “I have come here to make it as clear as possible as to why I am endorsing Hillary Clinton, and why she must become our next president.”

Both Clinton and Sanders gave substantial speeches at the boisterous event, which highlighted each of their strengths and interests. For example, Sanders focused on economic issues, while Clinton spoke passionately about gun violence, saying, to big cheers, “surely we can agree that weapons of war have no place on the streets of America.” However, one area on which Clinton and Sanders both clearly agreed was the need to defeat Donald Trump in this year’s presidential election. For instance, Sanders said that Trump’s position on health care is the “same old Republican contempt for working families,” while Clinton said, “Donald Trump thinks wages are too high. . . . He does want to get rid of the federal minimum wage altogether.”

Hillary Clinton snoozes to victory

Hillary Clinton campaign truck.

Hillary Clinton campaign truck.

The above headline is exactly what the mainstream media have been trying to avoid for a year and a half. If you’ve ever watched a one-sided sports event, you’ll know the reason why: viewers will tune out, and that’s bad for business. So what we all need to remember is that the mainstream media’s goal during this entire election season is to create more drama, which leads to higher ratings, and money for themselves. This business incentive can be seen in the coverage of Hillary Clinton‘s use of a private email server as Secretary of State, which the FBI just cleared as not a criminal offense.

Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders take a beating at Politicon 2016

Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson delivers keynote address at Politicon 2016.

Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson delivers keynote address at Politicon 2016.

The second Politicon began yesterday in Pasadena, California and continues today. Politicon is billed as “an unconventional political convention” which brings together the most diverse array of political and entertainment figures this side of the White House Correspondents Dinner, including comedians Larry Wilmore and Lizz Winstead; U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer of California; political consultants James Carville and Paul Begala; conservative media figures Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck; Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson; former Mexican President Vicente Fox and many more. Perhaps the mere fact that this diverse group was featured at Politicon makes them all “establishment” in a way. If so, that might explain why, at yesterday’s event, criticism of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders was widespread.

The Democrats’ day of unity

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton at 2008 Orlando, Florida rally

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton at 2008 Orlando, Florida rally

President Barack Obama formally endorsed Hillary Clinton for President of the United States via video on Thursday. The video was released after Obama met with Bernie Sanders at the White House, at Sanders’ request. Obama’s endorsement of Clinton was part of a dramatic series of events orchestrated to celebrate and build upon Clinton’s clinching of the Democratic Party’s nomination for president, and to showcase a newfound unity in the Democratic Party in support of Clinton.