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      Previous: Identity (Introduction and Table of Contents) Politically active groups form because of ideology and identity: they have beliefs about how the world should be; those beliefs are emotional and create both identification with other people who have the beliefs and shared desire to change the world or keep the world in line with how the ideologies pres […]
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A Tale of Two Ads: Bernie and Hillary





Today, Katiebird caucuses in Kansas for Bernie Sanders. I talked to her last night and I’m so excited for her. And she seems really happy and enthusiastic about her choice. I know what is driving Katiebird. Her priority is healthcare reform. But I think she also wants to be part of something bigger and she feels the Bern. I can’t wait to hear what her caucus was like and who won.

I’m comfortable with my choice as well. I’m going with my head, not my heart so I identify with Al Franken’s point of view. But I would be remiss if I didn’t admit that I wish Hillary was running a campaign like Bernie’s. I think she will get there eventually. Rebecca Traister in a recent interview at Fresh Air made the same observation. Hillary can stir the emotions and project her vision.

Anyway, I’d just like Bernie fans to know that they are more than welcome here. We have so much more in common than we have differences and I can’t imagine us not being friends. Every time Bernie wins a state, I feel good. It’s a very good sign that Americans are waking up.

And I’m not counting Bernie out. It’s still too early, you never know what’s going to happen and I think he makes the party stronger in a year that feels ripe for real change.

So, Go, Katie! Go Katie!



19 Responses

  1. I agree with this, excluding those Bernie supporters who treat Hillary as evil incarnate, and say they won’t vote for her if she is the nominee. I’ll certainly vote for Bernie in the (imo increasingly improbable) case he is nominated.

    • I have found out from 2008 that trying to invalidate a person’s vote before they have even cast it by casting aspersions on their candidate’s electability is not a good strategy. It certainly doesn’t lead to warm fuzzy feelings and party unity down the road.
      Just sayin.

  2. I guess what Al Franklin politely saying is that Sanders can talk the talk but can’t walk the walk. That’s is my problem with him. His message was mine all my life. But for someone who declares his socialism and running on it and wins I don’t see actual accomplishments there. For all the time he was in public office in Vermont it should by now full with flourishing co-ops, free education or at least strong educational or advocacy organizations to accomplish that. It’s a tiny state and they love him there. Instead he catered to their gun fetishes and when they needed he sponsored a bill to dump their wast in poor Hispanic neighbourhood. Socialist my ass.

  3. I don’t expect to convince you, and you are supporting Hillary,for which I am glad. But here are some of my major objections to Sanders as a candidate.

    He has raised exactly zero dollars for Democrats out of his state. The statistics will say,$1,000, but that was money the DNC gave him for a start of a matching fund. Sanders has absolutely no interest in supporting any other Democrats. Hillary has raised about $26 million for Democrats. The Democrats are desperately in need of strength in Congress and across state legislatures, or we are going to have a Republican hegemony, even independent of whether we can sometimes win the presidency. What has happened in Flint is directly a result of the people of the Midwest somehow being induced to vote for Republican governors and state legislatures.

    I don’t even know that Sanders even cares about the Democratic Party. And your unsettling recounting below of the absolute dreadfulness of what happened in 2008, at the convention and before, makes a good case for the Democrats and the DNC not deserving much suport. Except–that the other side is infinitely worse in all respects. And we have a two party system. And even if one passes by the issue of electability; if Sanders won, he would be a party of one, railing against the Republican Congress. And it would be a total standstill. There is absolutely no way that he could get one thing passed through Ryan and McConnnell and that Congress. Now, it would be hard enough for Hillary to do it, but I think she could help Democrats take back the Senate, a big deal. And she has vowed to rebuild the party at the state level. This is also crucial. That kind of nuts and bolts thing is not exciting to the Sanders supporters, as they can’t be bothered. But it is how changes are made in government and in society. Not some would-be knight galloping around the field waving his sword around, but with no support behind him.

    And also, Sanders seems to have very little concept of foreign policy, as evidenced by his debate comments, almost all of which I have seen. I cannot imagine him being able to deal effectively with world leaders. Hillary has very good relationships with nost of them. We might well disagree with various aspects of her foreign policy, but she certainlyknows what she is doing, and she would have excellent people to help in that regard. And one more thing: Sanders plans would raise middle class taxes substantially. Once that gets more coverage, his numbers would plummet. Nobody is going to vote for higher taxes on themselves just to allow people to go to college for free.

    • William, I know you mean well but all the arguments against Sanders in the area of foreign policy experience etc could and did get said about Obama in 2008. We elected Obama anyway and he couldn’t hold a candle to Sanders years and years of experience in government.

      The point of this post is not to argue for or against a particular candidate. I mean, you can if you want. I’m not going to stop you.

      No, my point is to stop for a moment and really listen what the voting public is telling people this year. They are fed up with establishment candidates. I kinda feared this was going to happen during Obama’s first term. He was not the change agent everyone was hoping for and he was giving Liberals a bad name. Now, that plus the Citizens United ruling that allowed a s^&*storm of money into politics has jaded everyone. No one is believable anymore.

      It should be truly astonishing that Sanders is viable at all this year, given the right’s propensity to go after socialists hammer and tongs. But I have met people who like Trump AND Sanders. Think about that. This has nothing to do with the qualifications of the candidate, a reality that Hillary is slow to wake up to. In the end, she is the best candidate we have running and have had running for 2 decades but her timing is off.
      She is embracing Obama to her peril. She should be running from him like he was radioactive. It has nothing to do with rejecting his race. It has to do with the fact that even the people who didn’t vote for him expected him to do something and he will go down in history as having presided over the grand scale decimation of the middle class in terms of assets and income stability.

      I don’t know what it’s going to take to get her to plug in to this zeitgeist but she’d better start thinking about it because this is a serious problem.

      BTW, on the tax thing, I’ve gone over this before. My French colleagues told me they were shocked that when they came to work in the US that the taxes are so high BUT THAT WE GET ALMOST NOTHING FOR IT. No healthcare, no college, no child care centers, nothing. You have to pay for that out of your own pocket ON TOP of all the other taxes. When you think about it, our taxes plus the expenses for everything else Europeans take for granted means we actually pay more for the same services than they do and we have less disposable income. And vacations. And a poorer quality of life.

      Please, do not make the anti-tax argument to me. It makes you sound like a Grover Norquist Club for Growth member.

      • Oh, I remember Grover Norquist, and his infamous “pledge.” I am not against raising taxes, not at all. I just noted that people are not going to vote for it, not for such things as making college free. The Mondale lesson is not that long ago. Now, saying that you are going to raise taxes to be able to fund a single-payer health program is much more reasonable. But I don’t think that people are going to vote for that, either. ACA only passed because Obama had to make all sorts of deals with the pharmaceutical companies. And Hilary would have had a much better plan. But in 1993, people didn’t want that, either; of course goaded on by the hundred million dollars spent by insurance companies against her. So yes, raise taxes, but if you tell the voters that you are going to massively raise them, you lose, every time.

        As to the rest, I would simply suggest that even you are holding Hillary to an almost impossible standard as far as campaigning and positioning. Hillary was always going to have 40% or so of the Democrats, the anti-Hillary faction, against her. She had it in ’08, and she had the more liberal programs than Obama, but it did not matter to the Kos people and all the others. So she cannot run to the left of Sanders, and it wouldn’t help her in the primaries or the general election. No one would believe her, or they would hate her because she used two adverbs in a sentence, or something. These are anti-Hillary zealots.

        So how does Hillary run her campaign? Remember, there has not been a Democrat who followed a two-term or longer Democrat, and won an election ,except for Truman, and that was very barely, and also Truman was already President. Basically, the only time the Democrats win the presidency is following a Republican administration which has driven us to a serious recession or worse. This is just political history. Maybe the demographics have changed, but you wouldn’t know if from looking at the Congress

        . So Hillary has to have a “rationale,” a “narrative” for her campaign. It can’t be, explictly or implicitly, “Obama did not do a great job, but I will do a lot better, because I disagree with him on many matters.” I share your disappointment that she seems to be embracing Obama’s presidency, but I have a lot of confidence in her intelligence and ability, that she will certainly chart her own course. But first she has to win. And with Sanders to her left, and making all these “promises” about free tuition, and single-payer, and raising rax rates to ’50’s levels, she didn’t even have the space to distance herself. She could have, more so, except that the Left, which hates her, pre-empted that by running someone to her left. Because they hate her. Already, any good policy she has is derogated by the media and by the Left as something that Sanders’ campaign pushed her into. Which is completely untrue. So given Sanders’ presence in this race, she almost has to stick pretty close to Obama’s policies, and continue to say that she will improve on what has been done.

        In the national election, she will run differently, as her own person. She always was her own person. But she has this very deplorable unpopularity with many people; maybe because of her gender, or her being a Clinton, or various things. So she will always have criticism for everything she says. She won’t be like Obama. She might have to keep ACA, because if you take that away, the Republicans will make sure that there is no health care plan. And you are right that had she won in ’08, we would be a lot better off. But that is not her doing, that the DNC and the Left rigged it so she could not win. And now we might get to enjoy her for eight years; and we are now in a position to redo the Supreme Court, and all sorts of other things. That is exciting for me. Sanders can run all he likes, as long as he does not run as an Independent, because then he and his followers would elect Trump or Cruz. And I also would hope that he stops staying that “she is untrustworthy,” because it is not true.

        • I remember reading in someone’s comment on Naked Capitalism that community and technical college is already tuition-free ( actually taxpayer-prepaid-for) to entrants above a certain grade and scores level and below a certain family income-wealth level in the conservative state of Tennessee.

          So it would appear there is at least one stateload of conservative voters who would, and have, accepted their taxes going to pay tuition for a fraction of wannabe college-goers.

          A Renew-The-Deal movement would have to make the slow painfull tedious case one state at a time that this is what states used to do . . . paying taxes to support students going to school even at state universities, on the understanding that enough educated young people would come back out and stay in the state to get its economy functioning at a higher more-taxpaying level enough to make the excercise worthwhile. Somewhat in the spirit of the GI Bill after WWII and the Land Grant University concept to begin with.

          There can be no progress towards a goal until the goal is stated to begin with.

  4. Just got a pic from Kbird at her caucus site. Looks like a gym. Filled to capacity standing room only. Dems only. Hopefully, we’ll get the full story from her later.

  5. The far, far right and far, far left are more similar than different, and what they may do in the next several months concerns me more than just about anything this year. Whether or not the changes candidates call for can actually happen is unimportant to them, because they are not reformist. They are rebellious.

    Rebellious people do not want change; they want to be heard–these are very different things.

    They want to change the minds of the Big People, so they can be considered Big, too. “You are so right! You are absolutely right! And we are going to do what we can to get your needs met responsibly, but you know, all of us Big People may take a little while to do that, there are considerations, such as the needs of others,” is a tough campaign strategy.

    There is also, ‘sit down or I will beat you,’ which will likely be a strategy for the GOP convention (2K riot kits on order in Cleveland): ‘Stop laughing, Dems! As the GOP goes down in flames, your post-Bernie civil war is almost here’ (Salon); and ‘President Trump? Pass the Smelling Salts’ (The Globe & Mail, UK). Sobering.

    • All the non-Republican-minded people in Cleveland who can possibly evacuated the city should make plans to do so for the duration of the Republican convention. Those who own small bussinesses should close their bussiness and give their workers the time off so they and their workers can all flee the city. That would be the most effective protest I can think of . . . to let the Republicans convene in a semi-ghost city.

  6. Another update from katiebird. There were so many people at the caucus site that the Bernie people were relocated to a field. Atmosphere much friendlier than the ugly caucus she went to in 2008.

  7. Hi Rverdaughter and friends… Just one tiny correction to RD’s post, I am totally voting my pocketbook this time. I am desperate for Medicare for Everyone. It was not an easy decision ti make but once made, I am comfortable with it.

    I guess you could say I am ruled by greed.

    • Greed? Or brute survival? I see nothing terribly greedy in wanting CanadaCare for everyone here.

      By the way, I am still on the workplace plan at University of Michigan Health Systems. It is a much better plan than the smelly crap engineered for those people thrown into the wood-chipper of Obamacare with its bronze-silver plans for the non-rich masses . . . with narrow networks, high deductibles, etc. The Mighty U will hold out against dropping its plan and flushing us all down the Obamacare toilet as long as it can.

      But even the Mighty U plan may have out-of-network defficiencies. I am about to find out. I was visiting my brother here in Saratoga Springs, New York in late January, and the day I was supposed to go back, a pneumonia I had been unkowingly culturing in my left lung made its presence suddenly felt for real. I went to ER and they admitted me right into the hospital. After surgery for collapsed-lung correction and a 2-week stay for recovery and IV antibiotics and then discharge to my brother’s house for several more weeks of recuperation before I go back to Michigan and back to work, I will see how much my Mighty U plan pays for my treatment here in New York. If it leaves a major percentage unpaid, leaving me to spend all my painfully accumulated savings on the uncovered part, I will consider it just more argument for CanadaCare over the whole country, so you can be anywhere in the US and never be Out Of Network. And that’s with a GOOD plan, the kind of plan which the Obamacare Conspirators want to destroy for everyone who still has one.

      • God . . . I hate President Obama with a hatred fierce and true. But I do have to give him credit for the Iran deal. And he gets along badly with Netanyahu of Israel, so there it that .

      • !!!! R U Ready! That is horrible. I hate it that you not only have to be so sick but you have to worry about how much it will cost you for being in the hospital and everything else. One of the (many) things I hate Obama for is when he said that we must have “Skin in the Game” with and health insurance plan. Like being sick isn’t skin enough!!!!!

        Get well! And drink lots of liquids xxoo

      • What Kbird said

        • Thank both of you! I don’t know for a fact yet that a chunk won’t be covered for being out of network. I merely suspect that it is so. When I get back I will find out.

          And if so, one must remember that this is with a good plan, the sort of plan that Obama wanted to attrit into extinction so as to force everybody into Ocare. People on the Ocare plans won’t have to go out of state to be out of network.

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