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Wed May 6, 2015, 08:07 AM

"The Problem with Bernie Sanders," by Ashley Smith

Ashley Smith, from socialistworker.org, believes that Bernie's running as a democrat will help Hillary Clinton more than it will help the plight of workers in this country.

http://socialistworker.org/2015/05/05/problem-bernie-sanders

It is a long article, and any summary would not do justice to the numerous points it makes.

50 replies, 4719 views

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Reply "The Problem with Bernie Sanders," by Ashley Smith (Original post)
Koinos May 2015 OP
mmonk May 2015 #1
cali May 2015 #2
Adrahil May 2015 #3
DemocratSinceBirth May 2015 #4
calimary May 2015 #26
stevenleser May 2015 #5
octoberlib May 2015 #7
stevenleser May 2015 #29
YoungDemCA May 2015 #47
stevenleser May 2015 #49
okaawhatever May 2015 #12
99Forever May 2015 #14
jwirr May 2015 #35
m-lekktor May 2015 #6
DemocratSinceBirth May 2015 #9
m-lekktor May 2015 #21
okaawhatever May 2015 #13
m-lekktor May 2015 #16
Hiraeth May 2015 #18
DemocratSinceBirth May 2015 #25
m-lekktor May 2015 #28
Starry Messenger May 2015 #15
m-lekktor May 2015 #19
jwirr May 2015 #36
Starry Messenger May 2015 #37
KingCharlemagne May 2015 #17
TBF May 2015 #46
Koinos May 2015 #8
cali May 2015 #23
Koinos May 2015 #27
cali May 2015 #33
Koinos May 2015 #38
DanTex May 2015 #10
SteveG May 2015 #22
okaawhatever May 2015 #24
DanTex May 2015 #32
JaneyVee May 2015 #11
KingCharlemagne May 2015 #20
Marr May 2015 #44
stillwaiting May 2015 #30
jwirr May 2015 #40
procon May 2015 #31
Koinos May 2015 #34
olddots May 2015 #39
Koinos May 2015 #41
DemocratSinceBirth May 2015 #42
Koinos May 2015 #43
daredtowork May 2015 #45
Koinos May 2015 #48
Koinos May 2015 #50

Response to Koinos (Original post)

Wed May 6, 2015, 08:12 AM

1. Has this person considered what not running as a Democrat might mean for the workers?

It means Bernie wouldn't probably be allowed to be in any debates at all. How would that help?

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Response to Koinos (Original post)

Wed May 6, 2015, 08:13 AM

2. I read it this morning. incredibly moronic.

 

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Response to Koinos (Original post)

Wed May 6, 2015, 08:13 AM

3. Yeah... NO.

 

Form the article:

"If Sanders had his heart set on national politics, he could have run for president like Ralph Nader as an independent, opposing both capitalist parties, the Democrats and Republicans. He would have been appealing for a protest vote, rather than any real chance to win, but Sanders rejected this possibility out of hand for a different reason. "No matter what I do," Sanders said in January, "I will not be a spoiler. I will not play that role in helping to elect some right-wing Republican as president of the United States."

In other words, Sanders refused to consider an independent presidential campaign not because he had little chance of winning, but because he didn't want to compete for vote with the Democrats' eventual nominee. "

Apparently Ms. Smith wants a replay of 2000, where the "protest vote" would put another right wing nut job in the White House.

Fuck. That. I've seen this movie. It resulting in 2 wars, over a million people dead, a couple trillion dollars spent, and collapsed economy.

All for a protest vote. WTF is wrong with people like her!?

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Response to Koinos (Original post)

Wed May 6, 2015, 08:20 AM

4. The author wants Bernie to start a third party and not get involved in Democratic politics./NT

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Reply #4)

Wed May 6, 2015, 09:16 AM

26. Well, that would certainly "divide and conquer."

Just the thing that our poor battered mixed-up country would need. A neatly-paved path for the GOP straight into the Oval Office while our side splinters out of power and into nothingness.

Who's writing this? Some stealth GOPer?

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Response to Koinos (Original post)

Wed May 6, 2015, 08:23 AM

5. An interesting POV but it along with other posts in support of him dance around the real issue

 

if there was significant grass roots support for policies further left than that which the typical current Democratic candidates offer, we would see that in the form of victories by candidates espousing these views at the local and state level.

How many socialist party incumbents are there in state legislatures around the country?

The answer is you can count them on your two hands. There are extremely few in even the most progressive states in the country.

These races don't require a lot of money to win and you can get around and meet with most of your constituents to let them know your policies. If there was support for these kinds of candidates such that we can imagine a realistic chance of a Presidential candidate getting to 270 electoral votes, you would see a lot of victories at the state and local level by candidates with these views.

And to be sure, these candidates are out there competing for these races. They just dont get a lot of votes.

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #5)

Wed May 6, 2015, 08:32 AM

7. I haven't seen ANY candidates espousing these views at local or state level.

Of course, I live in North Carolina. Most of them campaign like they're afraid of offending corporations or billionaires and act like the ACA is too far left for them.

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Response to octoberlib (Reply #7)

Wed May 6, 2015, 09:23 AM

29. Everywhere I've lived, Colorado Springs, Tampa, St. Pete, NYC, Los Angeles we've had

 

socialist and green candidates for most races.

They just don't get a lot of votes.

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #29)

Wed May 6, 2015, 11:29 AM

47. How many people even know about most races in their own area?

 

Let alone that even at the state and local levels, there are socialist and green candidates (whom I'm sure get plenty of media attention and campaign contributions! )

The right-wingers are the most reliable voters, and it's not just in national races. Add the fact that the money (which could just be local business groups i.e. the local Chambers of Commerce) and the media are almost always on their side, and it's a totally uphill battle.

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Response to YoungDemCA (Reply #47)

Wed May 6, 2015, 11:38 AM

49. That's the responsibility of the candidate. State legislature race candidates can beat the pavement

 

and get their message out to most of the constituents in their districts.

There is no excuse there.

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #5)

Wed May 6, 2015, 08:45 AM

12. +100 nt

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #5)

Wed May 6, 2015, 08:48 AM

14. Meanwhile...

.... Here on Earth.

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #5)

Wed May 6, 2015, 09:52 AM

35. Agreed. I suspect that on his trips around the country he was testing the waters of running both

ways. He did not find the support and money he needed to run as a Socialist and since he is a democratic socialist I am not sure he would have anyhow.

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Response to Koinos (Original post)

Wed May 6, 2015, 08:26 AM

6. yes this came through my facebook newsfeed yesterday.

they believe Bernie's "job" is to eventually, in the end, deliver the left to Hillary rather than build a strong 3 party movement outside the two capitalist parties. the far lefties i know do not like Bernie. the socialist worker paper is the ISO (international socialist organization) they have a reputation for being "doctrinaire". I don't know much about them otherwise, I have just seen them at protest events.

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Response to m-lekktor (Reply #6)

Wed May 6, 2015, 08:35 AM

9. I met a member who was handing out newspapers at the North Hollywood Station

He was an adjunct professor at a local college. I told him I had a grad degree and was sympathetic to socialism in theory but I don't see socialists getting elected to statewide or nationwide offices and that third parties be they on the left or right invariably hurt the party closest to them...

Earnest fella though...It's hot in the Valley in the Summer... At the Noho station you have the street preachers and the Jehovah's Witnesses.

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Reply #9)

Wed May 6, 2015, 09:04 AM

21. yup. we have to work with the system we have

and the realities of that system, or remain outside of it. I vow every election i am done with what i consider the lesser evil thing because i truly am a far leftie, but , in the end, I vote for the Democrat. always. I live in a blue state and could get away with voting 3rd party but i don't.

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Response to m-lekktor (Reply #6)

Wed May 6, 2015, 08:47 AM

13. Probably because Bernie considers himself a Democratic Socialist, so he may not pass the

purity test.

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Response to okaawhatever (Reply #13)

Wed May 6, 2015, 08:56 AM

16. that's it exactly, imo.nt

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Response to okaawhatever (Reply #13)

Wed May 6, 2015, 08:59 AM

18. ^ exactly this ^

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Response to okaawhatever (Reply #13)

Wed May 6, 2015, 09:11 AM

25. I don't like labels just for that reason...

If you like at his policies he's just a left-liberal...

Socialist is just a boogeyman...

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Response to okaawhatever (Reply #13)

Wed May 6, 2015, 09:19 AM

28. let me add, they might overlook his "impurities"

if he DIDN'T run as a Democrat. the running as a Democrat thing annoys them because those Bernie votes will ultimately go to Hillary if he loses (and they know he will lose because that is part of the "plan".

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Response to m-lekktor (Reply #6)

Wed May 6, 2015, 08:53 AM

15. I have a few like that on my list too.

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Response to Starry Messenger (Reply #15)

Wed May 6, 2015, 09:00 AM

19. I have a few that won't support anybody that runs as a Democrat.

they could be the most "left" person ever.

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Response to Starry Messenger (Reply #15)

Wed May 6, 2015, 09:59 AM

36. I think the country has to be a lot hungrier before they will vote pure socialism. But Bernie is

going to teach us that it is not a bad word. Many of us consider ourselves to be socialist but we are realistic.

As to the plot to help Hillary. Bernie has already said he will not be a spoiler. I respect him for that. We are in big trouble in this country and we cannot afford another 8 years of corporatism.

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Response to jwirr (Reply #36)

Wed May 6, 2015, 10:03 AM

37. For some, I think any excuse to not participate in elections

is enough. This article in the OP is a classic stance. The ISO is more like campus cult that exists to sell newspapers.

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Response to m-lekktor (Reply #6)

Wed May 6, 2015, 08:59 AM

17. Probably b/c Sanders is a SINO (Socialist in Name Only) who ultimately believes that

 

capitalism is worth preserving. Most socialists think capitalism needs to be jettisoned either quickly via revolution or slowly and incrementally through the electoral process.

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Response to KingCharlemagne (Reply #17)

Wed May 6, 2015, 11:26 AM

46. Right ~ she is not so off-base in her analysis

but unfortunately we are here in the USA with a 2-party system. As Emma Goldman stated, if voting changed anything they'd outlaw it. My view as a socialist is that where we can do some good with voting we should (and voting for someone like Bernie could in fact help a great many people through taxation etc so it's worth it) as we fight the larger battle of ousting capitalism. Through movements, protest, strike, educating & changing opinion etc.

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Response to Koinos (Original post)

Wed May 6, 2015, 08:33 AM

8. Governor of Vermont

According to Ms. Ashley, Bernie should have run for governor of Vermont:

"But if Sanders really wanted to participate in mobilizing millions to resist the status quo in U.S. politics, he had other options to launching himself into the circus of a Democratic presidential campaign as the designated marginal renegade. And he rejected them.

"For one, he could have set a very different example, with a far greater chance of success, if he ran for governor in Vermont against the Democratic Party's incumbent Peter Shumlin, who has betrayed promises to implement a single-payer health care system, create green, union jobs and much more.

"Faced with a budget crisis, Shumlin and the state's Democrats refused to raise taxes on the rich to fulfill their promises. Instead, they imposed cuts in social services, education, and environmental programs, and laid off scores of state workers. Shumlin even went so far as to call for the banning of teachers' right to strike.

"Sanders is Vermont's most popular politician. With the backing of the Progressive Party, he could have run for governor as an independent and easily defeated both the Democratic and Republican nominees, and never faced the accusation of being a spoiler that is inevitably thrown at any third-party challenger.

"A victory for a truly independent campaign by Sanders would have been even bigger than Kshama Sawant's election to the Seattle City Council as an open socialist. In so doing, Sanders could have built momentum for a national third party alternative to represent workers and the oppressed."

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Response to Koinos (Reply #8)

Wed May 6, 2015, 09:06 AM

23. so much bullshit.

 

Democrats in both houses tried to raise taxes on the rich. Straight out lie that they went along with Peter. As single payer, it's complex, but though I'm no fan of his, this wasn't entirely the guv's fault. Cuts to environmental programs? Nope, another stupid lie. And the guv actually has instituted programs to create green jobs. Medicaid, food stamps, and welfare programs were not cut.

I could go on. Why bother? That rag consistently LIES.

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Response to Koinos (Reply #27)

Wed May 6, 2015, 09:41 AM

33. uh, I don't like shumlin, but the SW piece was filled with LIES

 

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Response to cali (Reply #33)

Wed May 6, 2015, 10:05 AM

38. Errors?

I prefer the word "errors" to the word "lies." Errors are discrepancies between statements and facts. Lies are discrepancies between what a person believes to be true and what that person says. Not every mistake is a lie.

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Response to Koinos (Original post)

Wed May 6, 2015, 08:40 AM

10. She's right, it will help Hillary Clinton. And that's a good thing.

THE DEMOCRATIC establishment can breathe a collective sigh of relief. It doesn't, in fact, fear liberal Democrats like Kucinich or Sanders, but third-party challenges like Nader's that have the prospect of breaking their stranglehold on votes from workers and the oppressed, as several local and statewide campaigns have shown over the last few years.

Hillary Clinton certainly doesn't regard Sanders as a threat. She knows that the election business follows the golden rule: Whoever has more gold, wins. Clinton is expected to amass a war chest of more than $1 billion, mostly from Wall Street and Corporate America, to pay for advertising, an army of paid staff and Astroturf support. This will overwhelm Sanders' fundraising goal of $50 million and his underdeveloped volunteer infrastructure.

In fact, Clinton regards Sanders as an asset to her campaign. He will bring enthusiasm and attention to Democratic primaries that promised to be lackluster at best. He will also help her frame the election on populist terms that have widespread support. That benefits the Democrats and undermines the Republicans, who have little to say about inequality, except that they like it.


This is an accurate analysis. The only thing the author is wrong about is that this is somehow bad. Would she prefer a Republican president?

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Response to DanTex (Reply #10)

Wed May 6, 2015, 09:06 AM

22. exactly

That was my thought exactly. Third parties that are left of center, become spoilers for Democrats and give the election to Republicans. I will vote for Bernie in our state primary, but if he were running as a third party and managed to get on my states ballot, I would not vote for him. One thing that is certain is that if the Republicans win the presidency, it will be held by a neo-fascist reactionary (they all are) and that would be disastrous to this nation.

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Response to DanTex (Reply #10)

Wed May 6, 2015, 09:08 AM

24. This statement isn't true:

It doesn't, in fact, fear liberal Democrats like Kucinich or Sanders, but third-party challenges like Nader's that have the prospect of breaking their stranglehold on votes from workers and the oppressed, as several local and statewide campaigns have shown over the last few years.


Nader voter's demographics show that he only had 1% more support from those making under 15k than he did of those making over 100k. Also, half of his votes in Florida came from moderates and conservatives.

http://www.amarkfoundation.org/pdf/ralph-nader-potential-impact-2000-election-mar-17.pdf

I haven't seen a socialist website or article yet that focused on facts. They are all propaganda.

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Response to okaawhatever (Reply #24)

Wed May 6, 2015, 09:35 AM

32. You're right.

Third-party challenges don't have "the prospect of breaking their stranglehold on votes from workers and the oppressed," but they do have the prospect of throwing elections to the GOP.

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Response to Koinos (Original post)

Wed May 6, 2015, 08:45 AM

11. I agree. Bernie will fire up the race, Hillary will get all the benefit.

 

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Response to JaneyVee (Reply #11)

Wed May 6, 2015, 09:03 AM

20. They haven't even fired the starting pistol and already you're

 

calling the race?

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Response to KingCharlemagne (Reply #20)

Wed May 6, 2015, 11:18 AM

44. lol, Hillary's fans called this race for her before she'd even finished losing the last one. /nt

 

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Response to JaneyVee (Reply #11)

Wed May 6, 2015, 09:24 AM

30. Bernie will bring a good and credible voice to left-wing policies even if he loses the Primary.

Without him in the race millions of Americans wouldn't even be exposed to the ideas he espouses and many of us share. Bernie expresses these policies in tangible, practical, action-based, no-nonsense terms that no one else running for President does. So, AMERICA will benefit if Bernie runs by being exposed to great left-wing ideas. Not just Hillary.

Even if Hillary ultimately benefits (if she wins the nomination), that's clearly better than Jeb Bush or Scott Walker in the Executive Office. And, I do believe if Hillary wins the nomination she's going to need more help than is currently believed by some around here to win the Presidency. The enthusiasm that Bernie brings to this election will be great for her, and Bernie will support her if he loses the Primary no doubt.

So, Bernie running as a Democrat is great. Bernie running as an independent is a nightmare.

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Response to stillwaiting (Reply #30)

Wed May 6, 2015, 10:07 AM

40. And it would not be the first time that a losing candidate's ideas changed the direction of the

country. IMO just the idea that we are going to have a REAL issues oriented debate is exciting to me. I am tired of half answers and side stepping.

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Response to JaneyVee (Reply #11)

Wed May 6, 2015, 09:30 AM

31. That's my takeaway too.

A two way race is always more interesting because there is the potential for conflict and contrasting views that attract more media coverage, which in turn generates voter interest. Sanders views will tug Clinton's policies toward the left, and that will make her an even more appealing candidate to social progressives.

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Response to Koinos (Original post)

Wed May 6, 2015, 09:44 AM

34. Tad Devine

Found this interesting, but would like to know more about him:

"In jumping into the Democratic Party primaries, Sanders appointed a quintessential corporate party insider, Ted Devine, to be his campaign manager. Devine has worked for a series of Democratic presidential campaigns, stretching back to Walter Mondale and running through to John Kerry."

Here's a bit from the Washington Post:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/11/11/tad-devine-signs-on-to-work-with-bernie-sanders-on-potential-2016-run/

Edit to correct: "Ted" Devine should be "Tad" Devine. Author's typo led to my misspelling.

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Response to Koinos (Reply #34)

Wed May 6, 2015, 10:06 AM

39. please Bernie stay away from Devine

 

n.t.

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Response to olddots (Reply #39)

Wed May 6, 2015, 10:10 AM

41. What do you find troublesome about Devine?

I would like to know more, olddots.

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Response to Koinos (Reply #41)

Wed May 6, 2015, 10:13 AM

42. The author doesn't like him because he's a insider...

The author also called Senators Kerry and Boxer lackeys.

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Response to Koinos (Original post)

Wed May 6, 2015, 10:17 AM

43. Has Devine managed a winning campaign? Is that the issue?

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Response to Koinos (Original post)

Wed May 6, 2015, 11:21 AM

45. Sad to think of Bernie as "bait for the hook". nt

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Response to daredtowork (Reply #45)

Wed May 6, 2015, 11:33 AM

48. I am convinced that Bernie does not believe or realize that he is being used.

I am also convinced that Clinton does not fear Bernie and has her reasons for "welcoming" him into the race.

There are always forces at work that we are not privy to, and they are almost always linked to money.

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Response to Koinos (Original post)

Wed May 6, 2015, 12:16 PM

50. Bernie Sanders and Tad Devine

Last edited Wed May 6, 2015, 12:57 PM - Edit history (1)

Found this (for those who are interested) about Bernie Sanders and Tad Devine:

http://www.nationaljournal.com/politics/this-is-how-bernie-sanders-will-run-for-president-20141113

Edited to correct "Ted" to "Tad."

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