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Chitown Kev

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Member since: Thu Aug 20, 2015, 08:59 PM
Number of posts: 2,197

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By request...some comments from Bernie Sanders 2014 NPR Interview

Number 23 requested that I remind people of NPR's 2014 Interview with Bernie Sanders...I will only be commenting, briefly, on the bolded portions:

On why he says Democrats are losing white voters

Well, I am focusing on the fact that whether you’re white or black or Hispanic or Asian, if you are in the working class, you are struggling to keep your heads above water. You’re worried about your kids. What should the Democratic Party be talking about, Steve? What they should be talking about is a massive federal jobs program. There was once a time when our nation’s infrastructure — roads, bridges, water systems, rail — were the envy of the world. Today that’s no longer the case.

I would say if you go out on the street and you talk to people and say, “Which is the party of the American working class?” People would look to you like you were a little bit crazy, they wouldn’t know what you were talking about, and they certainly wouldn’t identify the Democrats.

On African-American support for Democrats

Well, here’s what you got. What you got is an African-American president, and the African-American community is very very proud that this country has overcome racism and voted for him for president. And that’s kind of natural. You’ve got a situation where the Republican Party has been strongly anti-immigration, and you’ve got a Hispanic community which is looking to the Democrats for help, but that’s not important.

You should not be basing your politics based on your color. What you should be basing your politics on is, ‘how is your family doing?’ … In the last election, in state after state, you had an abysmally low vote for the Democrats among white, working class people. And I think the reason for that is that the Democrats have not made it clear that they are prepared to stand with the working class people of this country, take on the big money interests. I think the key issue that we have to focus on, and I know people are uncomfortable about talking about it, is the role of the billionaire class in American society.


What you got is an African-American president, and the African-American community is very very proud that this country has overcome racism and voted for him for president. Personally, I think this is poorly stated. I get the gist of what Sanders attempted to say here. Inarticulately stated, though.

You’ve got a situation where the Republican Party has been strongly anti-immigration, and you’ve got a Hispanic community which is looking to the Democrats for help, but that’s not important. Uh, yes that IS important...otherwise, the Dems would not be getting the share of the Latino vote that they have been getting. Remember, George W. Bush was able to get a decent share of the Latino vote but his own party rebelled against him when Mr. Bush attempted to handle the immigration bill.

You should not be basing your politics based on your color In an ideal world, I would agree with that sentiment but many white people that now vote republican, white people, do vote based on their their color and vote to uphold white supremacy as opposed to voting for their economic interests. White supporters are not supporting Donald Trump because he has favored single-payer health care in the past.

In the last election, in state after state, you had an abysmally low vote for the Democrats among white, working class people. And I think the reason for that is that the Democrats have not made it clear that they are prepared to stand with the working class people of this country, take on the big money interests. To put it bluntly, many white working class people vote that way because of racism and Sanders was either clueless or simply didn't care about that well-documented fact. These white-working class people didn't seem to mind that many (if not most) blacks got a raw deal on The New Deal.

Now I agree with Mr. Sanders that the Democrats don't do enough to uphold the interests of the working class; hell, I don't think that the Democrats, by and large, do enough to uphold the causes of racial/gender justice.

But we really don't need to look very far to find the source of the the idea expressed in this abominable thread.

Sanders, himself, has articulated a version of this very idea.

And I have heard many white progressives lament the loss of the "working, hard working American, white American vote" while, at the same time, purposefully ignoring the black/brown elephant in that particular room..

The Religious Right has been quite blatant

about wanting my gay ass dead. (I trust that I don't need to provide links for this)

And some Bernie Sanders fanboy wants to join in coalition with them?

HELL NO!

Now let me get back to celebrating a DOMINANT performance by my Michigan Wolverines today.

Thank you for your time.

Bernie Sanders on Marriage Equality October 23, 2006

http://www.c-span.org/video/?c4548262/sanders-gay-marriage

Discuss.

UPDATE: Look, I really don't have a problem with Sanders' answer in 2006. He gave a politician's answer; for all I know, he did support full and unconditional same-sex marriage rights in 2006.

But he didn't say that. Could it be because of the fact that he was running for the U.S. Senate seat in his state?

By Number 23's request- My first diary here at DU

Some background first:

At the time this essay was written, I was rather exhausted by some of the more, shall we say, overzealous supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders who have taken to browbeating black people and, to a lesser extent, LGBT people about Bernie Sanders' civil rights record.

A Black Kos member tipped me to a well-researched 4-part series by Aphra Behn at Shakesville; research that led me to some of the conclusions that I drew in this essay written for Daily Kos about Bernie Sanders opinions and statements on marriage equality.

Bernie Sanders and Marriage Equality

To hear some Bernie Sanders supporters here at the GOS tell it, Senator Sanders is more than capable of walking on water, parting the Red Sea, and has fought hard for the civil rights of all people and maybe even a few of those extraterrestrials over at Area 51. For his entire life.

And those of us "others", who choose to simply play "identity politics," do not show sufficient appreciation for all that Senator Sanders has done for us.

Senator Sanders' actual record, however, is a bit murkier.

Let's take marriage equality, for example.

Aphra Behn over at Shakesville did a highly detailed 4-part series on many aspects of Bernie Sanders' record that should be required reading. In Part 4, she reviews Senator Sanders record on gay rights, with an emphasis on the fight in Vermont over civil unions in 2000.

Simply put, Seven Days political columnist Peter Freyne lit into Saint Bernie's ass.

U.S. Sen. Pius J. Leahy, er, sorry, Patrick J. Leahy, belongs to the flock that has Most Rev. Kenneth Angell as CEO. But St. Patrick’s not marching to the drumbeat of Vermont’s Bingo Bishop. Nor is he marching with fellow Democrats Backus and Flanagan.

According to a finely crafted statement issued by St. Patrick’s Washington, D.C., office Tuesday afternoon, “The Vermont Supreme Court produced a thoughtful and well-grounded decision. I believe the best solution now would be legal protections through a comprehensive domestic partnership law, but I respect those who support other remedies.”

At least he took a position.

Obtaining Congressman Bernie Sanders’ position on the gay marriage issue was like pulling teeth...from a rhinoceros. Last month, shortly after the decision of the Amestoy Court was issued, Mr. Sanders publicly tried walking the tightrope — applauding the court’s decision and the cause of equal rights without supporting civil marriage for same-sex couples.

This week we were no more successful getting a straight answer. All we did get was a carefully crafted non-statement statement via e-mail from Washington D.C. And Bernie’s statement wins him the Vermont congressional delegation’s Wishy-Washy Award hands down.

Once more he “applauds” the court decision but won’t go anywhere near choosing between same-sex “marriage” and domestic partnership. “By all accounts the legislature is approaching this issue in a considered and appropriate manner and I support the current process.”

Supports the current process, does he? What a courageous radical!

That’s as far as Ol’ Bernardo would go. It’s an election year, yet despite the lack of a serious challenger, The Bern’s gut-level paranoia is acting up. He’s afraid to say something that might alienate his conservative, rebel-loving rural following out in the hills. Something that could be interpreted as “Bernie Loves Queers!”



As can be expected, this diary was not well received by some of the Bernie Sanders supporters at Daily Kos, in spite of the fact that I went out of the way to clarify:

I will be the first to admit that Sanders' has a great record LGBT on issues. Behn suggests that the "regressive nature" of Don't Ask, Don't Tell was the reason for Sanders' "nay" vote on the 1993 measure. And Sanders did vote "nay" on the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (then again, both of my United States Senators voted "nay" on DOMA, although my representative at that time was a "yes" vote for DOMA).


I went on to research for affirmative statements that Bernie Sanders made about marriage equality:

Let's take note of Senator Sanders' April 28, 2015 statement urging the Supreme Court to rule in favor of same-sex marriage.

In the 4/28/15 press release, Senator Sanders notes his support of both the 2000 civil unions law in Vermont and the landmark 2009 law legalizing same-sex marriage. I have no doubt that he supported both measures. Yet I do not see any 2009 press releases from Senator Sanders' office urging then Vermont Governor Jim Douglas to sign the same-sex marriage bill passed by the Vermont legislature (Douglas vetoed the bill), no press release congratulating the Vermont legislature for overriding Governor Douglas' veto, or any statement celebrating the commencement of marriages in Vermont September 1, 2009.

That does not constitute the "fierce advocacy" of gay civil rights (at least on the same-sex marriage issue) that Bernie Sanders supporters claims that it does.


Now at no time was I actually criticizing Bernie Sanders' record on LGBT issues other than he seems to have been more of a reliable vote (a leas in his time in Congress) rather than the "fierce advocacy" that some Sanders supporters claim for him.

Now, of course, I can pull up years of his "scores" from various groups like the NAACP and the Human Rights Campaign that show that Sanders is a reliable vote but that he has rarely sponsored or even co-sponsored various pieces of legislation related to civil rights.

Nevertheless, the mere suggestion that Mr. Sanders is anything less than a civil rights "diva" is ridiculed by Mr. Sanders supporters.

So the reaction to some of what I researched and learned at an LGBT forum here at DU was not surprising. At all.

Some Bernie Sanders supporters that I have encountered both here a DU and "back home" at DK cannot seem to bear the slightest criticisms of Bernie Sanders record (or Dr. Cornel West, from the looks of today's posts).

It seems as if the job of a small sector of Sanders supporters is to get the rest of us "low-info voters" to assimilate or to be insulted...and for the record, I am an uncommitted voter at this time.
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