Tag Archives: Bernie Sanders

Well, Mitch? What about ‘need’?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I am not a particularly avid fan of Sen. Bernie Sanders, the democratic socialist from Vermont, the independent who pretends to be a Democrat.

However, grouchy ol’ Bernie has posted a message on Facebook that I must share here. I cannot express the outrage over Sen. Mitch McConnell’s duplicity any better.

Take it away, Bernie:

All of a sudden Mitch McConnell is “worried” that someone in America might get a $2,000 check “who doesn’t need it.”
Funny. He had no problem giving a $1.4 billion tax break to Charles Koch and his family with a net worth of $113 billion.
He had no problem giving a $560 million tax break to Sheldon Adelson, the casino tycoon who is worth $34.3 billion.
He had no problem giving a $104 million tax refund to Amazon over the past three years combined after it made $30 billion in profits.
He had no problem giving a $1 trillion tax break to the top one percent and profitable corporations.
Tens of millions of Americans have lost their jobs. They have lost their incomes. They have depleted their life savings. They are going hungry.
And they are scared to death that they will be evicted from their homes.
I say to Senator McConnell: Start worrying about the people in this country who are hurting and not just your billionaire campaign contributors.
Stop blocking legislation from coming to the floor which would provide a $2,000 direct payment that the working class of this country desperately needs.
Let the Senate vote, Mitch!

Why hasn’t Obama weighed in for Biden? Here’s why

Donald Trump chided Joe Biden this week, wondering out loud why Barack Obama hasn’t endorsed the former vice president who now wants to run against Trump in the 2020 presidential election.

Well, Trump knows why, but I’ll offer my belief here.

President Obama has chosen to take the conventional route in presidential primaries. He didn’t want to enrage loyalists for other candidates still running by backing the man who served with him for eight years from 2009 until 2017.

The last candidate facing Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, has bowed out. Now the road is clear for the former president to weigh in.

Earth to The Donald: There it is for you. Spelled out.

Trump, of course, doesn’t adhere to that playbook. He has weighed in repeatedly during Republican primaries in 2018 and again this year. Some of the endorsees have won, others have lost their primary fights. There’s been plenty of GOP backbiting after the votes have been counted, with Republicans arguing with each other over the impact that Trump’s endorsement might have brought to the result.

President Obama doesn’t want to get involved in that sort of intra-party squabbling.

It’s been a time-honored strategy.

I am pretty certain now that Joe Biden is the last man standing in the once-huge Democratic Party primary field that Barack Obama will cut loose.

It will be fun to watch.

DNC did not conspire to torpedo Bernie’s bid for POTUS

I do not believe in conspiracy theories.

Therefore, I do not believe the Democratic National Committee conspired to deny U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders the party’s presidential nomination for this year’s election.

What undercut Sanders’ bid to run against Donald John Trump was the quality of the ideas he was espousing. Sanders is an admirable man in many ways, but his far-left political platform was too far out of the mainstream for most Democratic primary voters to swallow.

That’s it, man! Medicare for all didn’t fly because it’s too expensive; nor did free college education; nor did his notion of vast wealth redistribution. Yes, he appealed to younger voters who became attracted to his tuition-free college education plan. They constitute a fraction of the total voting population.

Sanders had to surrender his bid for the party nomination because he lagged too far behind the guy who so far has gathered far more convention delegates, Joseph R. Biden Jr.

I happen to be a firm believer in the value of the “marketplace of ideas.” Biden’s ideas, which tilt more toward the middle, are more to the liking of Democratic primary voters. He wants to enhance and expand the Affordable Care Act rather than providing Medicare for all Americans; Biden believes granting free college education to every student in the country is too expensive; and he won’t buy into the wealth redistribution notion that Sanders has sought for as long as he has served in the U.S. Senate.

Conspiracy? I don’t think so. The former vice president’s ideas play better to a broader audience that those of the “democratic socialist.”

Let’s cool it with the conspiracy nonsense. That means you, too, Donald Trump.

Bernie calls it a campaign

The long and winding road to the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination has begun finally to show signs of straightening out … even as it is paused for a time while the nation wages war against the coronavirus pandemic.

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ decision to drop out of the race leaves the nomination wide open for former Vice President Joe Biden, who now becomes the party’s presumptive nominee. I had hoped Sanders would have made this call sooner, but then again no one is talking overly seriously just yet about politics while the nation is essentially shut down during this health crisis.

Sanders did put up a valiant fight. I’ll give him credit for that. The 78-year-old independent senator from Vermont has written a significant chapter in the nation’s 21st-century political history. He helped push forward some important progressive ideas and possibly dragged much of the Democratic Party along with him.

Many of those ideas, though, were non-starters with mainstream Democrats: Medicare for all comes to mind, as does free public college and across-the-board college debt forgiveness.

Indeed, the self-described “democratic socialist” cannot claim too many legislative victories during his lengthy time in Congress.

He fought hard and now it’s time for him to rally his legions of supporters behind the remaining candidate who can rid this nation of the Liar in Chief who masquerades as president.

Sanders and Biden share the same overarching goal: defeating Donald Trump. Any sort of third-party effort from the left is certain to produce a second term for the man many of us consider to be the most fundamentally unfit human being ever elected to the U.S. presidency.

I’m glad to hear the news that Sen. Sanders has called it quits in his bid to become president. It soon will be time to get to work to usher Trump out of the Oval Office for the final time.

But … first things first. We all have to wage this difficult fight against a killer disease.

Hey, Sen. Sanders, stop the delusion!

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders apparently is clinging tightly to an illusion, which is that he thinks he still can win the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination this year.

Earth to Bernie: No! You cannot!

The democratic socialist/independent senator from Vermont who masquerades as a Democrat has no path to the nomination. Former Vice President Joe Biden has trounced Sanders in a series of party primary elections and has piled up an insurmountable lead in delegates selected for the Democratic National Convention this July in Milwaukee.

Sanders cannot overtake Biden. Yet he continues to stay in the hunt, continues to insist that while the path to a nomination is “narrow,” he can walk it carefully. I have to ask: How in the world does that happen?

Joe Biden has emerged as the overwhelming favorite among Democrats whose main mission this election year is to defeat Donald John Trump. Thus, this nomination is all but in the bag for Biden.

I realize at this moment that virtually no one is talking seriously about the presidential election. The nation is fixated instead on more pressing crises presented by the coronavirus pandemic. Thousands of Americans have died already from the virus; many thousands more are expected to succumb to it.

Indeed, the crisis has frozen the election in place … for the moment. Which makes me think that the stalling of the nominating fight is the only thing that is preventing Sen. Sanders from making the patently obvious decision to drop out of the race and endorse Joe Biden.

Bernie is deluding himself if he actually thinks what he has said publicly, that he can still be nominated by the Democrats to take on Donald Trump. Get real, Bernie. End it now.

Now … what about Bernie’s political future?

It seems oddly petty to talk about U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ next big political decision while Americans are fighting hammer and tong against the coronavirus pandemic that has sickened many thousands of us.

Still, I have to ask: Why doesn’t Sen. Sanders call it a campaign, step aside, cede the Democratic Party presidential nomination to Joseph R. Biden Jr., endorse the former vice president … and then make good on his pledge to do all he can to defeat Donald John Trump?

Sanders cannot win his party’s nomination. Biden has too many more convention delegates lined up than Sanders. It is impossible now for Sanders to catch up.

His campaign insists that Sanders is staying in, yet we hear of reports that the senator is “assessing” the status of his campaign. He can assess all he wants, but many of us already has issued our own assessment, which is that the fight is over.

Sanders fought hard. He has argued, with some justification, that he has won the argument over ideology. Biden has drifted a little to the left, but he’s nowhere near where Sanders is perched on the far-left end of the Democrats’ ideological ledge. That’s more than all right with me. I want a centrist to take on Donald Trump, not a candidate who calls himself a “democratic socialist” and who would be smothered by a Trump slime machine.

I don’t know what Sanders hopes to accomplish by staying in the fight. I do know what he has said is his No.  goal, which is to defeat Donald Trump. Where I come from, it looks like the better way to fulfill that mission is to bow out and line up alongside the candidate who can lead that fight.

‘No’ on tuition-free college

That ol’ trick knee of mine is telling me something I hope is true, but something I cannot predict will happen.

It’s telling me that Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders are negotiating an exit from the 2020 Democratic Party primary campaign for Sen. Sanders.

The way this deal might play out is that Sanders might seek to demand certain elements of his campaign end up as part of the Biden campaign going forward. I want to express my extreme displeasure with one element of the Sanders Mantra: the one that seeks to make public college and university education free for every American student.

No can do! Nor should it happen. It’s a budget-buster for the national treasury not to mention for colleges and universities that depend on students’ tuition and assorted lab and book fees to stay afloat.

Former Vice President Biden has broken the Democratic primary for the presidency wide open. The nomination is now his to lose, to borrow the cliché. Sanders, though, isn’t likely to bow out quietly without making some demands on the nominee-to-be.

Sanders isn’t even an actual Democrat; he represents Vermont in the Senate as an independent. He is a “democratic socialist.” To be honest, I don’t quite grasp the “democratic” element in that label as it applies to granting free college education.

The free college plank has been critical to the support Sanders has enjoyed among young voters. How does Biden mine that support for himself? He could call for dramatic restructuring of student loans, making them easier to pay off. I didn’t accrue a lot of student debt while I attended college in the 1970s; I had the GI Bill to help me out. As a parent of college students, though, we were saddled with “parent loans” that took a long time to retire. There must be a better way to structure those loans.

Making public colleges and universities free, though, is a non-starter. Is it a deal-breaker if Joe Biden adopts it as part of his platform? Would that compel me to vote — gulp, snort, gasp! — for Donald Trump? Not a bleeping chance.

The former VP must not be bullied into embracing the free college idea as his own.

Bernie faces the final stop on his valiant journey … perhaps

You know by now that my political prediction habit has been set aside because of poor past performance.

So, when I offer a possible scenario playing out I usually cover my posterior by saying that “I won’t be surprised” if such-and-such happens.

With all of that laid out there for you, I want to offer a brief look ahead at what I think could happen in the next bit of time as four more states conduct Democratic Party presidential primary elections on Tuesday.

Florida, Ohio, Illinois and Arizona Democrats are voting for their party’s presidential nominee. Two main candidates are still standing: former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Sen. Bernie Sanders; a third pretender remains, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. It’s down to Joe and Bernie.

What could happen Tuesday? Let’s try this: Biden scores huge victories in all four states and collects about 300 (give or take) more delegates to the national nominating convention. He builds a gigantic delegate lead over Sanders. He slams the door shut on Sanders’ path to the nomination and tosses the key into the drink. What does Sanders do?

In my mind, Bernie needs to then call a halt to his campaign. It was a valiant effort but there’s no way on God’s good Earth he gets the nomination. He concedes to his “good friend Joe,” and then endorses his candidacy, vowing to make good on what he said Sunday night at the debate he and Biden staged, that he will work to “defeat the most corrupt president in modern U.S. history,” Donald John Trump.

Biden and Sanders share a common goal, to boot Trump out of the Oval Office. If Sen. Sanders is a man of his word, and I believe that’s the case, then he will realize that with no path forward, any effort to continue is futile.

Does he extract some concessions from Biden? Sure. That’s what politics is all about. Dare I call it seeking a quid pro quo? Sanders could offer to leave the race and throw his support behind the victor, but only if the other guy, Biden, buys into some of the more progressive planks in his platform.

Will any of this happen? I certainly hope it does. I hope the party unifies behind the winner of the fight, gathers its wits about it and then goes straight after the man who never should have been elected to the presidency.

‘Yes!’ on presidential debates without audiences

I hereby endorse the notion that all joint appearances with presidential candidates occur without audiences.

Tonight we heard from former Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders. They went after each other at times with vigor and even a bit of annoyance at what the other guy was saying.

However, there was none of the cheering, jeering, hooting and hollering we hear too often from audiences. CNN, which played host to the debate, shunned the audience. The network moved the debate from Arizona to its New York studio; the change was made because of the coronavirus pandemic and the threat of potential exposure to audience members.

In the process, CNN has served the cause of serious discussion among presidential candidates. Biden and Sanders didn’t fire off applause lines … because there was no one in the room to applaud.

The debate focused on issues. How would they deal with the pandemic? How would they deal with climate change? How would they provide health care insurance for Americans? How would they govern? How do feel about autocratic governments around the world?

So there. No audience to distract us from the issues or to distract the candidates from the matters that should concern them.

Let’s have more of these kinds of political events.

Debate to go on without crowd noise … good!

Here we go … former Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders are going to debate each other on Sunday.

It will be a precursor to what is looking more and more as if Biden will finish Bernie off when the ballots are counted the following Tuesday. Biden will win big in many of the states that are having Democratic presidential primary elections.

Here, though, is a bit of good news for those of us who are interested in this upcoming debate. It will be staged without an audience of faithful supporters. Yes, it’ll be just Joe and Bernie answering questions in a quiet and empty room standing or sitting before a panel of journalists/moderators. The coronavirus pandemic has mandated this move, which I happen to applaud.

This is good news for yours truly. Why? Because I have stated before on this blog my distaste for cheering, whooping and hollering at these joint appearances. They serve to distract us all from the issues being discussed. The candidates too often prepare laugh/applause/cheering lines aimed only at eliciting the kind of responses that move public opinion polling needs in their direction.

Sanders today seem to turn the debate into a sort of open-book test by previewing the questions he intends to ask Biden. He made his first public statements this morning after the drubbing he suffered at Biden’s hands Tuesday night. Fine. Let the debate go forward.

I look forward to seeing and hearing the two major finalists for the Democratic Party presidential nomination. Moreover, I look even more forward to hearing them without the crowd noise that has become associated with these events.