Tag Archives: Bernie Sanders

How can Bernie speak for Democrats?

I am struck by the media’s continuing infatuation with Sen. Bernie Sanders, the independent from Vermont.

They keep asking him how Democrats can win elections, how Democrats can topple Republican opponents, how Democrats can do this or do that to benefit their party.

Hold on! Sanders isn’t a Democrat. He caucuses with Democrats in the U.S. Senate. However, he doesn’t belong to a political party.

Is this guy the right man to speak for a party of which he is not a member?

As long as we’re insisting on resignation …

Three U.S. senators — two Democrats and an independent who sides with Democrats — have broached a subject that’s on the minds of millions of Americans.

If we’re going to demand and accept the resignations of senators and House members over allegations of sexual abuse, assault and harassment … how about demanding it of the groper in chief, Donald John Trump Sr.?

My distaste for Donald Trump as president of the United States is documented quite thoroughly on this blog. He has behaved like a slug and a boor among women. Moreover, he has actually bragged about it!

Now we hear from Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Corey Booker, D-N.J., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., all of whom have said that the president should resign just as Democratic Sen. Al Franken, Republican Rep. Trent Franks and Democratic Rep. John Conyers have done.

I won’t climb aboard that hay wagon just yet. However, Trump and his acknowledged misbehavior — and the myriad complaints and allegations that have been leveled against him — do suggest one of the more profound ironies of the “Me Too” movement that is swallowing powerful men.

Trump’s recorded voice has him boasting to a TV host about his grabbing women by their genitals. He boasted about how his celebrity status enabled him to kiss women whenever he felt like it. He has talked about how he was able to walk in on half-dressed beauty pageant contestants because, by golly, he was the boss.

Trump’s “punishment”? He was elected president of the United States. The election does not absolve him of anything. Instead it brings it all into sharp relief when juxtaposed with the allegations that have forced other politicians to walk away from their public service jobs.

I’m not prescient enough to know where this “Me Too” movement is going from here. Perhaps it will gather even more steam. It well might explode inside the Oval Office. Or … it might fizzle and die.

If it does expand and if it does reach even more deeply into the president’s personal behavior, well … then I believe we need to take these resignation suggestions from Sens. Sanders, Booker and Merkley quite seriously.

So, too, should the president.

With a ‘friend’ like this, Hillary’s in trouble

You know already that I supported Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2016. So it is with more than a bit of chagrin that I am hearing some bad news about her failed bid for the White House.

The weirdest part of it is that it is coming from a fellow Democrat who I always presumed was on her side. Silly me. That’ll teach me for presuming too much.

Donna Brazile, a long time Democratic operative who served for a time as interim chairman of the Democratic Party, has come out with some stunning news about Clinton’s campaign.

One is that Clinton’s campaign “rigged” the party nominating process in her favor. It used underhanded tactics to torpedo the campaign of Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders. Brazile alleges that Clinton didn’t consider Sanders to be a real Democrat; he represents Vermont as an independent in the U.S. Senate.

This rigging allegation, of course, adds fuel to the fire that continues to burn that Clinton is “crooked,” “ruthless” and will do whatever it takes to win, no matter who it harms.

I will concede that I do think less of Clinton than I did a year ago, or even a week ago.

What’s worse, though, is what the revelations from Brazile reveal about her, not Clinton.

We also have learned that Brazile has written that she contemplated replacing the Hillary Clinton-Tim Kaine ticket with one led by then-Vice President Joe Biden.

Think of the ham-handed nature of such a decision were it to come to pass. The Democratic Party had nominated a candidate nearly every political analyst in America believed was a lock for the presidency. Then she stumbles along the way. Her campaign went into a form of intellectual vapor lock. Brazile was so upset she was going to engineer an ouster of the party’s nominee?

I surely get that Clinton’s foes are going to seize on this as proof — as they see it — that she is Satan’s daughter. I won’t go there.

Yes, these are disturbing things to hear from an ostensible ally of the woman thought to be the next president of the United States.

Are they deal breakers? Do they make me rethink my support for her in 2016? Given the choice we faced nearly one year ago … not for a single second!

That’s not very ‘populist’ of you, Mr. President

Stock Market up 5 months in a row!

So said Donald J. Trump via Twitter today.

I share the president’s enthusiasm about the Dow Jones Industrial Average. It speaks to burgeoning investor confidence in the nation’s economy and, presumably, about the president’s vision for the future.

We actually have some skin in that game. Our retirement portfolio contains holdings in the stock market. So I happen to be as glad as the president about the Dow’s performance for much of 2017.

However …

Didn’t the president campaign as a “populist”? Didn’t he tell us while winning the 2016 presidential campaign that he was for “the little guy”? He tried at times to sound more populist than, say, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, the independent U.S. senator from Vermont and self-proclaimed “democratic socialist.”

A true-blue populist, by my definition of the term, should be skeptical, wary, even alarmed that the big ol’ rich guys are profiting so handsomely as their stock portfolios rocket skyward.

So, is the president a populist or is he a Populist in Name Only — a PINO?

My gut tells me I should go with the latter.

Sanders is right: Trump is a liar

Bernie Sanders is correct: The president of the United States is a liar. He might even be a pathological liar.

He has lied continually. He does it on purpose, which defines someone who lies.

Donald J. Trump needs to produce evidence to back up his latest lie, which is that “it is a fact” that Barack Obama ordered the wiretap of the president’s offices in Trump Tower.

He hasn’t done so. He didn’t produce any evidence of his previous lies. Not the Muslims cheering the Twin Towers collapsing on 9/11; or that Ted Cruz’s father might have been complicit in President Kennedy’s assassination; or the millions of illegal immigrants voting for Hillary Clinton.

He has lied every time he has said those things.

To “lie” is to willingly, knowingly tell a falsehood.

That’s what Sen. Sanders, I-Vt., has said. He stands by his statement. He is right. Trump is a liar.

And this is the guy who got elected president of the United States of America?

Spare me, please, the rejoinder that “all politicians lie.” Trump’s troops kept telling us that their guy “tells it like it is.” That’s different, presumably, from pure lies.

And also you may spare me the red herring that Bill Clinton “lied” about his affair with the intern, which got him impeached by the House of Representatives. I know that he lied under oath to the grand jury; I also know that was the ostensible reason for his impeachment. He paid his dues for lying.

Trump, though, hasn’t paid anything for these lies he has told. He got elected even as he lied his way all along the campaign trail.

He is lying now by suggesting that Barack Obama ordered the wiretaps.

And for that reason, Bernie Sanders should stand his ground.

Big crowds don’t necessarily equal big votes


I’m enjoying listening to and reading comments from Donald J. Trump’s fans — some of whom are friends of mine — boast about the size of the rallies he is attracting.

The Republican candidate for president’s rallies, they keep saying, are far bigger than those who listen to Democratic candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton.

That’s proof, they say, that Trump is making a comeback. That he’ll win in the end and be elected the 45th president of the United States.

I feel the need to remind them all of this indisputable fact … which is that big crowds don’t necessarily translate into big vote totals.

* George McGovern drew big crowds in 1972. They were loud, boisterous, enthusiastic and dedicated to their man. I know. I was among them. He lost the election that year by 23 percentage points to President Nixon.

* Gary Hart drew big crowds, too, in 1984 as he campaigned for the Democratic nomination. His fans were zealous. He didn’t even get nominated. The Democrat who did, Walter Mondale, lost “bigly” to President Reagan.

* Twenty years earlier, Barry Goldwater had the fervent support of the GOP’s conservative movement. They packed auditoriums and stadiums to hear their guy. Goldwater lost the 1964 election to President Johnson; yep, that was a landslide, too.

* Bernie Sanders just this year was drawing huge crowds. The crowds loved him. Did he win the nomination? No. Clinton did.

This election will decided by which candidate has the better “ground game.” Who between them has an organization ready to mobilize voters? Who is better equipped to target voting blocs? Which of them is going to develop the better ad campaign?

Crowd size? Sure, it’s nice to speak to more than just family and friends. The size of the crowds or the decibel level of their cheers, though, do not guarantee a thing on Election Day.

What a difference a day makes


Let’s see … today is Tuesday.

Democrats opened their presidential nominating convention a day earlier. They had been rocked and rolled by allegations that their lame-duck national party chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, had sought to rig their nominating process in favor of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Schultz quit the chairmanship. Democrats opened their convention amid signs of open rebellion by delegates loyal to Sen. Bernie Sanders, who battled Clinton throughout the primary process.

Then came those rousing speeches by first lady Michelle Obama, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Cory Booker and, oh yeah, Sen. Sanders.

What happened to that dissension? What happened to the insurrection?

Well, today is a new day. And Democrats proceeded to make some history by nominating Hillary Rodham Clinton as their candidate for president of the United States.

What’s more, the roll call of votes cast on the convention floor ended with Sanders himself calling for a “suspension of the rules,” which the convention chair interpreted as a call for nominating Clinton by acclamation.

The delegates cheered loudly as they endorsed the acclamation vote.


Just as the party made history eight years ago by nominating the first African-American to run for president, it did so again today by sending its first woman nominee into political combat against the Republican nominee, Donald J. Trump.

Will the anger subside over the shenanigans of the former DNC chair? Oh, probably not. Republicans will make sure to keep it roiling along with the dedicated Sanders supporters who might have to be dragged kicking and screaming to vote for Clinton this fall.

Former President Bill Clinton is going to speak tonight.

This is just a hunch, but my gut tells me he’s going to bring the house down, just as he did in 2012 when he lit up the convention hall in Charlotte to exhort the delegates to fight for Barack Obama’s re-election.

It’s been said many times that “a week is a lifetime in politics.”

So, too, it appears is a single day.

FLOTUS gives ’em some tough love at DNC

FILE -- In a Nov. 12, 2011 file photo first lady Michelle Obama listens during a visit to  MA’O Organic Farms in Waianae, Hawaii.    Michelle Obama cajoled Jay Leno into nibbling on apples, sweet potato fries and a pizza made with eggplant, green peppers and zucchini on the "Tonight Show," Tuesday Jan. 31, 2012.     (AP Photo/Susan Walsh/file)

Did you hear what I heard first lady Michelle Obama say to the Democratic National Convention delegates?

I’m pretty sure I heard her deliver a tough-love lecture to the Bernie Sanders supporters who earlier in the day were booing the sound of the name “Hillary Clinton.”

The first lady had the courage to inform them that Clinton did not walk away and sulk after losing the Democratic presidential primary in 2008 to Sen. Barack Obama. She informed them that Clinton joined the team that helped elect the young senator as president.

My hunch as I listened to her speech tonight was that the message was not lost on the Sanders legions who stood in front of her on the convention floor — let alone those at home who might be feeling a bit down and out.

Her message? Get over it.

Schultz gets tossed; the recriminations continue

dem chair

Debbie Wasserman Schultz has violated one of the fundamental tents of running a major political party.

You’re supposed to be neutral while your party seeks to nominate candidates for high office.

She wasn’t. Schultz, as chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, has the bad taste to say negative things about Bernie Sanders as he battled Hillary Rodham Clinton for the party’s presidential nomination.

What’s been the impact of that revelation as Democrats have convened their gathering in Philadelphia? It has energized the Sanders supporters. They’ve been booing any mention of Clinton’s name. Even their guy — Bernie himself — has been booed and jeered for encouraging his delegates to rally behind Clinton … as he has done himself.

Then came the amazing mea culpa from the DNC. It has apologized publicly to Sanders, effectively tossing Schultz under the proverbial bus.

She has earned the hoots and jeers she is getting at this convention. Schultz this morning got the bum’s rush from her own home-state delegates in Florida.

Did she rig the primary campaign, greasing it for her friend Clinton? It is beginning to feel that way.

Schultz, though, is gone. Her resignation from the chairmanship is effective at the end of the convention. The reality, though, is that she’s done.

The task for Clinton’s team — and for Sanders — is to bring the delegates together. We’ll see if Schultz’s resignation and the apology from the DNC will be enough to calm the storm.

Let’s toss ‘boring’ out of describing Democrats’ convention


It seems as though Democrats’ wish for a “boring” national presidential nominating convention has been flushed away.

It remains an open question, though, whether the lack of boredom bodes ill for the Democrats as they battle Donald J. Trump and the Republicans for the presidency of the United States.

The raucousness of the GOP convention last week now seems a bit quaint.

Democrats have convened their gathering amid a lot of tumult over some e-mails that included unflattering language from DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and her open disdain for Bernie Sanders and his insurgent candidacy for the party nomination.

Someone, I suppose, needed to remind Schultz that party chairs are supposed to at least put on the appearance of neutrality. Not so with the chairwoman, who has quit her job.

Hillary Clinton is going to be nominated this week as the Democratic presidential candidate. Tonight, Sen. Sanders will speak to the delegates. Yeah, he’ll get a lot of cheers. He’ll get some boos, too, when he tells his supporters he intends to back Clinton and will work hard to get her elected.

He’ll endorse Clinton — again tonight. It’s a certainty he won’t draw the kind of boos and jeers that Ted Cruz did when he declined to endorse Trump during his big night at the GOP convention.

This convention, though, won’t be boring.