Bernie's answer to GOP opposition if he were POTUS is more Bernie rallies. Really. https://t.co/bZxQGbqwzt
— Martha Jackovics (@BeachPeanuts) May 31, 2016
Why, so can I, and so can any man; but will they come, when you do call for them?
Public figures are commonly warned against believing their own press releases. Senator Sanders seems to have gone beyond mere belief, to discover in the Bernie Sanders described by his supporters one hell of an amazing fella, capable of feats no mortal politician could claim. He will quell the rebellious Repubs by the might of his loyalist mill-yuns, and accomplish historic progress by the sheer genius of his executive orders. From the Rolling Stone interview:
…To put it in terms that you were talking about tonight at the rally, I think the critique is not blaming Bernie Sanders for thinking too big, but critiquing Bernie Sanders for sweeping the “unpleasant truths” of our political system right now – the way it ties everything up in knots – “under the rug.” Many people say you’re right as rain on the policy and the objectives, but “Boy, I just don’t think he can do it.”
So how do you do it? What are the specifics that allow you to—
What are the specifics about how I, personally, all by myself, do what nobody in American history has done? And I’m being criticized? Why don’t you do it? Why doesn’t the editor of Rolling Stone do it? Look. You know. With all due respect, that’s an absurd question.
Hopefully, we will end up winning the nomination and winning the general election. If we don’t do that, which is certainly a possibility, we will have accomplished an enormous amount. Could we have done better? Could I do better? Of course. I’m not quite sure what the—
The question is: Assuming you’re president and you’re dealing with a Congress that looks like the one we have today…
Let me just comment on that. If I am elected president, the odds of the Senate remaining Republican would be minimal. You’d have very large turnout helping Democrats up and down the line.
But you’d still likely face Paul Ryan as your negotiating partner. And I’m trying to figure out how you get something like public-college-for-all passed with Paul Ryan as your counterpart. Given that you just said today that they won’t play ball.
To answer that question successfully requires us to think outside of a zero-sum game. You’re saying to me, and it’s a fair question: “Bernie, if you sit down with Paul Ryan and say, ‘Paul, I want a tax on Wall Street speculation to make public colleges and universities tuition-free and to lower student debt,’ the likelihood is that Paul won’t say, ‘Hey, Bernie, why didn’t I think of that? Fantastic idea! Let’s go forward together.'” So what’s the strategy? The strategy – which is unprecedented, and this is where we’re talking about thinking outside the box – is to have a president who actually, vigorously goes around the country and rallies the American people, who are in favor of this idea. This is not some sort of fringe idea. The American people want it. And [the president] rallies the American people and makes it clear that people in the Republican Party – or Democratic Party – who are not sympathetic will pay a political price. That changes the dynamics.
Everything that I campaign on – they’re not fringe ideas. They’re not radical ideas. They’re ideas that the American people support. What we’ve got to do now is close the gap that currently exists between the American people over here [gestures to one side of the table], who have needs and goals and desires, and a Congress [gestures to other side], which in almost every instance is ignoring what the American people want…
Because, of course, we have no recent Democratic presidents — for example, the man now occupying that position — who were willing or able to “actually, vigorously go around the country and rally the American people, who are in favor of this idea.” Only a superior political intellect like Bernie Sanders could have imagined so powerful and lambent a tactic! One part Bully Pulpit, two parts Green Lantern…
Matt Yglesias, at Vox, has convinced himself that “Bernie Sanders will drop out and endorse Hillary Clinton soon”…
… While Sanders’s hypothetical campaign would be premised on the idea of winning superdelegates over to his side, the reality is that after California and New Jersey vote, the opposite is going to happen… [T]he small number of Sanders supporters who are also elected officials — most important among them Reps. Keith Ellison and Raúl Grijalva and Sen. Jeff Merkley — will abandon him on the same grounds. They’ll say the campaign accomplished a lot and proved people-powered politics is the wave of the future, but Clinton won fair and square and now it’s time to unite for a higher minimum wage, making the rich pay their fair share, comprehensive immigration reform, and all the rest.
At the same time as the more establishment-oriented wing of the Sanders movement abandons him in favor of Clinton, the more radical wing will also abandon him. Sanders’s core voting base in the primary has come from young people who probably didn’t participate in the 2000 campaign. But several of Sanders’s more prominent surrogates — people like Cornel West and Susan Sarandon — are longtime critics of the Democratic Party who backed Ralph Nader back then…
At the end of the day, Sanders is a Democrat
Decades ago, when America’s political parties were less polarized and when Sanders was more invested in anti-anti-communism as a foreign policy, Sanders was truly a political independent. He won a tough third-party campaign to be elected mayor of Burlington, and he tangled with Democrats on the city council early in his term…
But once in Congress, Sanders settled into a comfortable modus vivendi with the formal Democratic Party. He caucused with the Democrats for the purpose of obtaining committee seats and seniority, and Democrats stopped running candidates against him. In 2006, when a Senate seat opened up in Vermont, the party’s national leaders — everyone from Nancy Pelosi to Chuck Schumer — cleared the field for him so he could win the Democratic nomination unopposed. Having won it, he then officially declined it in order to run as an independent in a race with no Democratic nominee…
I read this history and see an opposite future: Sanders was happy to accept all the benefits of being a Democrat, and even to cast his very precious extremely independent vote with that less-elite gang, as long as he wasn’t required to lower himself to the grubby moil of vote-trading and donor-coddling. But if the benighted Establishment Democrats are not willing, at this shining moment, to acknowledge his singularity and step aside for his nomination… he will NOT BE IGNORED.
Frankly — and I hope he makes a liar out of me — at this moment, I’m predicting a future for Senator Sanders as the Joe Lieberman of a new generation. Come 2019, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him on Pete Peterson’s payroll, in the latest incarnation of #NoLabels “sensible centrism”, decrying the coarse anti-American partisanship of the party in power… especially if (goddess please make it so) that should be the Democratic party.
Supplementary sniping below the fold…
Does Sanders think that his winning coalition lies outside of the 52% currently approving of Obama?
— Bob Schooley (@Rschooley) June 1, 2016
— Yuge Ass Tortoise (@Tyler_Tortoise) May 31, 2016
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) May 31, 2016
Bernie thinks talking to 16,000 people who are already voting for him constitutes almost the entirety of campaigning https://t.co/fTgWLVYn6X
— Dana Houle (@DanaHoule) May 31, 2016
Worse, he thinks raising the cash needed to keep Trump from making SCOTUS nominations isn't a worthwhile endeavor. https://t.co/QB6awj6vec
— Presumptive Nominee (@HalloweenBlogs) May 31, 2016
I do think that we can fulfill the legacy of presidents F.D.R., Truman, and L.B.J. and guarantee health care for all people as a right.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) June 1, 2016
— Candice Dayoan (@candicecd) June 1, 2016
— Michael Lampers (@LampersMichael) June 1, 2016
It's not that I disagree with Bernie's stump speech but once you've seen Gallagher smash enough watermelons, you're ready for something new.
— Bob Schooley (@Rschooley) June 1, 2016
— Al Giordano (@AlGiordano) June 1, 2016