Tag Archives: Bernie Sanders

Socialist could do HRC a huge favor

Bernie Sanders’s campaign for president next year is likely to produce a huge favor for the Democratic Party’s frontrunner, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Sanders is an unapologetic socialist. He’s an independent U.S. senator from Vermont. He’s going to attack Clinton from the left as the two of them seek their party’s presidential nomination.

The favor? It will be that Clinton will be seen as the mainstream candidate and — perhaps — more palatable to the vast middle-of-the-road sea of voters who dislike extremists on either end of the political spectrum.


Republican candidates and members of the TEA party wing of the GOP try all the time to label Clinton as some kind of “closet socialist.” Well, she’ll be running for her party’s nomination against the real thing.

Sanders has no qualms about extolling the virtues of wealth redistribution, which is a socialist tenet. Clinton doesn’t say such things — out loud, at least. That doesn’t stop her fervent critics from hanging the socialist label on her.

So, look for Hillary Clinton to welcome Sanders’s attacks. She’ll parry them easily and possibly deprive her Republican foes a key weapon in their own arsenal against the probable Democratic presidential nominee.


Sanders to fight for Democratic left

Pundits all across the land have been talking about the Republican base and the core values it seeks for its party.

Meanwhile, the Democratic base has been relatively quiet … until now.

On Thursday, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent, is going to announce his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination.


Hillary Rodham Clinton will get her first real challenger in her campaign for the same nomination.

Sanders will run from the far left wing of his party, kind of like the way Ted Cruz is running from the far right wing of his Republican Party.

Wow! Think about this: What if Sanders and Cruz win their parties’ presidential nomination next year?

Sanders is a hard-core socialist. He favors wealth distribution, wage equality, marriage equality, universal health care and massive cuts in defense spending.

He thinks Hillary Clinton is too cozy with Wall Street and likely is going to hold her Senate vote in 2003 in favor of going to war with Iraq against her.

Does the maverick independent stand a chance at winning the Democratic nomination? You have to say “no.”

Then again …

No diversity on Democratic bench? C'mon!

The Hill newspaper has a headline that shouts that actual and potential Democratic candidates for president lack “diversity.”

The Democratic “bench” is too, um, bland … or some such thing.

Hold on here.


The trio of mug shots that accompany the news story attached here tell me something quite different.

* Hillary Rodham Clinton is, quite obviously, a woman. She was first lady for eight years from 1993 until 2001. She served in the U.S. Senate and then as secretary of state. Enough said there.

* Jim Webb is a former U.S. senator from Virginia. He’s a Vietnam War veteran. He saw combat as a Marine. He served in the Reagan administration, not exactly a bastion of progressive principles.

* Bernie Sanders is an independent U.S. senator from Vermont. He’s a card-carrying, say-it-loud-and-proud socialist. He makes no bones about his share-the-wealth philosophy.

I won’t mention Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who keeps saying she isn’t running.

Oops. I just did.

Those three individuals look pretty diverse to me. They each bring a different set of governing principles to a presidential campaign.

Only one of them, Clinton, has declared her candidacy. Webb has formed an exploratory committee, while Sanders is keeping his options open.

I get what The Hill means, though, about the lack of “diversity.” It refers to the Republican field that so far has two Hispanic candidates — Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. There well might be a woman, Carly Fiorina, in the mix as well. An African-American, Ben Carson, is likely to run.

Let us not dismiss the potential Democratic primary field as being bland and one-note boring.

Among the possible field of three — Clinton, Webb and Sanders — one can find plenty of ideological diversity.

Sanders sounding like a non-candidate

It’s not a stretch to equate running for president to deciding to get married.

You’d better be all in on both counts, or else you’re doomed to fail in both endeavors.

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent who sounds like a left-leaning Democrat, now says he’s not so sure about running for president, which many liberals in his party want him to do.


Don’t hold your breath on this one, lefties. I don’t think Sanders is going to do it.

“If I run it has to be done well,” Sanders said in an interview with POLITICO this week. “And if it’s done well, and I run a winning campaign or a strong campaign, it is a real boon to the progressive community, because I believe that the issues I talk about are issues that millions and millions of people believe in. On the other hand, if one were to run a poor campaign, didn’t have a well-funded campaign, didn’t have a good organization, did not do well, because of your own limitations, then that would be a setback for the progressive community.”

Sanders is sounding, with those comments, as if he’s full of doubt about whether it’s worth it.

Politico noted that he hasn’t raised much money, has hired virtually zero key campaign advisers, has done next to no groundwork in any of the early crucial primary and caucus states.

Now he’s talking like someone who seems to question whether he has the fire in his gut to go all the way.

The late Sen. George McGovern once said that the first thing a presidential candidate needs is a huge ego. Sanders likely possesses the requisite ego to mount a campaign. He needs the rest of it — all of it — to make it a reality. I’m talking about commitment.


Vets health reform stalled by … yep, politics

If you’ll recall when the veterans health care scandal rocked the nation, you’ll also recall high-minded statements by politicians proclaiming veterans’ health care to be their top priority.

By golly, they wouldn’t let politics stand in the way of improving the delivery of health care to veterans.

Fast forward to today. Politics is standing in the way. This is outrageous in the extreme.


U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., has co-authored a bill along with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., that would enable veterans to get non-VA health care if the nearest Veterans Administration health facility is more than 40 miles away.

It’s hit a roadblock. Where? In the House of Representatives, where penny-pinching Republicans control the place. They are bickering with Democrats over how to pay for this bill.

There now seems a realistic chance that Congress is going to adjourn for its lengthy summer recess without approving this needed reform.

The veterans health care scandal rocked the nation to its core. Remember that? Remember when we got all twisted up over news of veterans dying in Phoenix, Ariz., because the agency couldn’t deliver health services in a timely fashion? How about the news that the VA was cooking patient logs to cover the backsides of administrators? Didn’t that news send pols and pundits and orbit?

Those lofty declarations of wanting to improve health delivery to vets have given way to the usual partisan bickering, backstabbing and bloviating.

Sanders wants to negotiate a deal with the House. House leaders are critical of Senate Democrats for boycotting meetings to discuss possible changes.

Congress’s approval ratings are low enough as it is. The politicians who serve in both congressional chambers know the consequence of those poll numbers. They could cost them their jobs this fall. And for what? Because they cannot settle on legislation that four months ago everyone said had to get done … no matter what.

Get it done, ladies and gentlemen of Capitol Hill.