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Will Bernie Sanders unseat Donald Trump?

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, February 8th, 2020 - 52 comments
Categories: Bernie Sanders, Deep stuff, Donald Trump, elections, us politics - Tags:

It will take a full renewal of democracy in the United States. But not in the Queensberry Rules-regulated affair that got Omaba there. No, this is going to be the political equivalent of an MMA fight (think George St Pierre v Matt Serra).

The Sanders premise is that in the general election he will turn out voters who have never participated before, swelling the electorate in an unprecedented way which sweeps the incumbent president aside. Yet the turnout in Iowa this year barely matched the turnout of 2016. There was no surge. Bernie is no Obama.

But he’ll then do great in New Hampshire. All those loser candidates hanging on: Balkanisation benefits Bernie.

The Boston Globe reports: “Some Warren backers have suggested that liberal groups are afraid of raising the ire of Sanders’ fiercest online defenders by endorsing Warren, making Sanders a safer choice.” The Globe quotes the head of a prominent progressive group: “It takes extra boldness to endorse Warren because of the vitriol from Bernie Twitter…” OMG man up Sister. It’s not going to be handed to you.

If you think this sounds really similar to every other hard left candidate in the last 50 years who got put up there by a wonderful band of ideologically certain supporters … you’re right. But then, if being vituperative and certain is a bad thing in politics, tell that to the Trump supporters who got him there. This is no election for politesse. If Bernie wins the Presidency, it will be because his entire massed supporters pulled the bloodied lever of power out of the cold dead hands of Trump’s equally feverish supporters.

Progressive activists who don’t back Bernie will indeed feel the Bern. Convention won’t get to Chicago 1968 levels, but it might look something like Louisiana politics of the 1930s, or Texas Senate politics where LBJ’s bad bad boys got stuck in. People are going to get hurt. But that’s because there’s the most to lose.

Let’s stop worrying about whether the American public will allow a gay married man like Pete Buttigieg to get into power. They won’t.

Bernie’s supporters need to generate as much rage and vengeance as the winning Republicans do. It’s a great moment for the left to understand the bile and invective needed to reverse the great sweeping tide of the right across the democratic world. It’s not revolution. But: There Will Be Blood. Democracy such as it remains has come to this.

Hopefully, for vengeful Sanders supporters, summoning mass venom is easy. The Washington Post reports that since the beginning of 2019, nearly 3,000 active Facebook pages supporting Sanders have generated more than 290 million interactions. This breeds a unique capacity to spread hatred and disinformation. “No other Democrat’s supporters,” reports the Post, “are engaged in behavior on a similar scale, which is more characteristic of the online movement galvanized by Trump.”

That’s the way you start to win.

I sure hope we see the last of Warren (who I used to like), mostly because I hate weak candidates who plead the virtues of their gender as the reason to win, and then fold like origami when their supporters get hit. Democracies that still function need to go back and read Elias Canetti’s Crowds and Power.

That’s the bible to win here.

Sanders trolls did not invent internet sewage. They are a minority of his supporters. Unlike Trump, Sanders does not overtly incite their corrosive incivility. Sanders is decent. But his core team need to be war pigs that prepare for the real fight against Trump.

The only thing that will win against Trump now that he has been cleared by the Senate majority and revealing in the full froth of Republican triumphalism and an economy that is outstandingly strong,
is rage. Well orchestrated rage. In this new form of democracy, only rage can beat rage. Preaching kindness and goodness – particularly the supine facile mildness that our own Prime Minister pipes up with – is just fucked.

It is important to distinguish between mindless bullying and ardent
support. Sanders’ adherents have some reason to dislike the status
quo—for instance, the rich Democratic bundlers they understandably
despise, who often expect to purchase obeisance from their candidate.
And the outpouring of small online donations to Sanders is healthy for
democracy.

Sanders needs the same kind of fever swamp as Trump has carefully tuned for six years. That’s the only way the right will respect the left again – because Republicans know that is the way to win over and over and over again. Fuck virtue and fuck restraint. Probably only Sanders’ supporters have the mongrel to do it.

This is the wrong time to worry about a President Sanders having little hope of passing most of his agenda; or that in advancing his own agenda a President Biden or a President Buttigieg would have to please a party whose center of gravity is moving left.

Quite reasonably, sentient Democrats worry that, should Sanders lose the nomination, a significant segment of his followers will refrain from voting in November—or actively boost the next Jill Stein. Non-sentient activist majorities don’t give a damn.

Righteousness and victimhood carries your candidate a fair old way. Grudge is good. Trump’s success out of political nowhere tells you that. It just may be Sanders is the reliable outsider that perfectly mirrors Trump:

  • No political record: tick.
  • Ideological extremism: tick.
  • Feverish activist base: tick.
  • Loathed by the establishment: tick.
  • Uncosted proposals: tick.

It’s worked before, if the Dems are already for it.

With some justice, moderates see the way that Democrats flipped the House the 2018—running moderates in swing districts—as a prototype for an Electoral College win in 2020. None of the Democratic Party left movements won anything of note. Maybe party insider officials are too frightened to say that Sanders is too extreme. Because it forces unity, fear works quite well both inside and out. Like the NeverTrump faction of the Republicans, Dem-moderates will matter less and less as we head to Convention. Fear is the key.

Sanders supporters may well be happy with an Iowan majority of a few hundred votes. But even the gap between Bernie’s votes and Biden’s is about 20,000 votes. For comparison’s sake, the average attendance at a regular season Cubs game is about 38,000. It’s a bit early to start hyperventilating on inevitable surges to victory.

Part of the party’s unspoken dilemma is that Sanders has never been truly tested as a presidential candidate, a point that his opponents in 2020—like Hillary Clinton in 2016—refrain from raising for fear of infuriating his followers. Asks Dartmouth political scientist Brendan Nyhan: “How do you warn your party that its potential nominee is vulnerable in a general election without sinking your own campaign?”

Answer: if Trump can do it, so can Sanders. Trump is the Overton Window for Sanders and Trump has made him viable.

The Democratic Party face a vetting problem about as big as that which they forgot to have with Hubert Humphrey and George McGovern. They won the Convention, then Nixon just smashed them after all the hidden stories came out.

How many Americans know that Sanders is not just an avowed democratic socialist but a former supporter of the Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party, which wanted to abolish the federal defense budget and supported “solidarity” with revolutionary regimes like Iran’s and Cuba’s? Do people know that he spoke positively about Fidel Castro and the Cuban revolution (“a very profound and very deep revolution”) and even praised the Soviet Union and criticized the United States during a honeymoon trip to the USSR?

The good news is on all of that: Trump has had far worse outed and come out just fine. In fact, they’ve just had a massive investigation over a year and then a further Senate trial. If you were a voter employed by any of the US military or intelligence families, whose name would your pen hover over?

Trump emerged stronger from both investigations. A Sanders President will get the same treatment.

Closer to Conference, this is what to watch for:

  • Sanders’ agenda starts to get criticized in depth including its’ real costs for actual people.
  • Sanders’ history of achievement and loyalty to the party will get probed.
  • Sanders’ vulnerability to southern and Californian demographics gets tested in reality not in theory.
  • Sanders’ need to take on moderates as well as hard activists, the old as well as the young will be truly measured by voting delegates.
  • Sanders and supporters either does or does not convincingly unite every single soul of the Democratic Party.

All the lessons Corbyn failed on.

At this point, winning Convention will have hard tactical lessons, but that’s the fight he and his supporters must deploy in the unseating of Trump.

52 comments on “Will Bernie Sanders unseat Donald Trump? ”

  1. James 1

    The people that think he will (on here) are probably the same people who thought Corbyn could unseat Boris.

    we are going to get the same outcome. If Sanders wins the nomination he’s going to get crushed by Trump.

    • Cinny 1.1

      IMHO….. If Sanders gets the vote he will mobilise the youth like never before.

      Bernie is engaging, inspiring and motivating (three important qualities that sadly, Corbyn lacked).

    • georgecom 1.2

      wouldnt be so sure on that. Sanders is one who doesn't care so much about the establishment. When Trump tries to repeat his 'drain the swamp' lines Sanders can say yes, lets do that. How would you do it Trump? rather than protect the status quo and the establishment, grab Trumps rhetoric and reframe it. Show Trump up for what he is, a 1%er and expose his BS. If American voters actually want real change then they have an actual doer with ideas and a vision as opposed to a self agrrandising current president.

    • soddenleaf 1.3

      Clinton's mistake was not embracing a part of Sanders platform, this left disgruntled voters to seek actual change. Work is easier to find, things are looking up, any candidate going up against Trump has to take that off the table, nullify the economy by buying into what Trump is doing. Trump success without the relented noise etc. Trump is very weak, if only you remove his few strengths left, and emphasis his weakness. Age, competence, stability.

      • Phil 1.3.1

        Clinton's mistake was not embracing a part of Sanders platform, this left disgruntled voters to seek actual change.

        Hillary Clinton was perceived by the general electorate as being one of the most left wing candidates in modern history.

        As the policy platform of the Democratic party was being hashed out at the 2016 convention, Sanders got major policy concessions from her.

        Hell, even Hillary's own voting record as a senator indicates she is as liberal, if not more so, than Obama.

  2. SPC 2

    I'd vote Warren in the primaries, then for the nominee.

    That Sanders was once a real socialist and now only what passes for one in the USA is sort of funny. It's like a real democracy and what passes for one in their constitutional republic.

    I listened to Michael Moore mansplaining warren lying, or if not lying not knowing when to be quiet – because her truth was an inconvenience to campaign Sanders. He and his supporters sounded just like the GOP Senators at a certain confirmation hearing, tone deaf.

    They and Trump’s supporters deserve each other.

  3. Sanctuary 3

    "…OMG man up Sister. It’s not going to be handed to you…"

    EXACTLY.

    Politics shouldn't be a polite conversation amongst the elite about muggins turn in office. Americans can be extraordinarily precious about their so-called democracy. The sanctimonious carry on over Pelosi's theatrical tearing up of the SOTU address has been mind boggling, when you consider this is a country that regularly uses robots to conduct extra-judicial murders without blinking an eye.

    "…Let’s stop worrying about whether the American public will allow a gay married man like Pete Buttigieg to get into power. They won’t…"

    It not that they won't elect him, it is just they won't elect him just they love the fact he is gay. But try telling that to a self-righteous identity warrior who also loved Hillary mainly because she is a woman.

    Sanders is the only candidate in the current field who can get close Trump. The trouble is the DNC is behaving like the UK PLP, it would rather stay in charge of the losing side and preserve it's privileges than lose control of the winning side.

  4. Dennis Frank 4

    An absolutely spiffing rant, what ho! And I love that the first few commenters didn't notice it was satire. 🤣 Push the extreme left button & partisans will salivate on cue like Pavlov's dog.

    Too many liberals in the US establishment for Bernie to succeed, methinks. If Biden fails to get traction in the next few primaries, watch them get behind dark horse Bloomberg. Has the US had a jew president already? I doubt it, and that the time has come…

    • Bill 4.1

      Hmm. I get the "spiffing rant" bit. But satire? Is your comment irony or some such?

      Fck it. I need to start my day…

      • Dennis Frank 4.1.1

        Yeah, grab another coffee. I do irony early morning no problem but am aware of the likelihood that it may roll off many readers. Too bad. Thought it was obvious that Ad was doing OTT deliberately tho… 😎

  5. Bill 5

    If you were a voter employed by any of the US military or intelligence families, whose name would your pen hover over?

    Buttigieg. I mean, have you seen the shopping list of endorsements from the intelligence community he has?

    Are you serious in this attempt to resurrect the silly Bernie Bro meme of 2016 Ad? I agree that 'the left' has a problem with being too polite and reasonable, but this characterisation of Sanders supporters as thuggish is just Clinton script b/s.

    btw. More Clinton supporters voted for McCain in 2008 than did Sanders supporters for Trump in '16 – jist sayin (Ryan Grim). So the supposed "fear" of "sentient democrats" ain't really much of an anything on the intelligence scale. That, and on the flip side, prominent liberal media pundits have already indicated they'd vote for for Trump over Sanders.

    Anyway. An odd mix of hit piece and sense you've penned.

    • No political record: tick.
    • Ideological extremism: tick.
    • Feverish activist base: tick.
    • Loathed by the establishment: tick.
    • Uncosted proposals: tick.

    Sanders has a political record going back 40 years. He's a social democract, and so hardly extreme. And the Bernie Bro thang 🙄 Yes. He is feared and loathed by the establishment. And in these days where pro and anti establishment has replaced the left and right divide, that's no bad thing. As for uncosted proposals, well…you'd need to be precise in what your talking about. The Green New Deal gets funded by taxing Wall Street. Medicare gets funded from general taxation. Both those sources of tax are malleable,

    Didn't you originally suggest Biden was the obvious candidate for the Democrats to put forward after Trump's '16 victory? When did you shift to "ultra-woke" Warren and why? (just curious)

  6. Anne 6

    Sanders trolls did not invent internet sewage. They are a minority of his supporters. Unlike Trump, Sanders does not overtly incite their corrosive incivility. Sanders is decent. But his core team need to be war pigs that prepare for the real fight against Trump.

    The only thing that will win against Trump now that he has been cleared by the Senate… is rage. Well orchestrated rage. In this new form of democracy, only rage can beat rage. Preaching kindness and goodness – particularly the supine facile mildness that our own Prime Minister pipes up with – is just fucked. (My bold)

    Well said – with a small caveat on the PM description – bit unfair.

  7. RedLogix 7

    Great OP Ad, as is so often the case. As a bernie bros myself since 2016 it's a reality check. To my simple minded thinking there are roughly three reasons why people will vote for Sanders:

    1. Loyalists like me who like his policy agenda

    2. Tribalists who will vote for him just because he's got the magic 'D-letter' behind his name

    3. Swingers from across the political spectrum who will vote for him because he's not Trump

    The first group is not enough to get him across the line, the second group will be conflicted between loyalty to the party and fear of socialist policies they may not like.

    The third group is going to be key. In my experience many, many people voted for Trump knowing full well his gross shortcomings, but did so anyway because he projected the mongrel to give the establishment the middle finger. These are the people who look at the impeachment debacle and take real pleasure in watching the Washington elites hyperventilating over it. (Incidentally this morning's events may prove interesting, Trump may have jumped the shark in firing Vindman.)

    These people aren’t going to vote for polite.

  8. weka 8

    I had to stop at the supine paragraph. Arden actually won the last election here, so bang goes that premise in the post and the Ardern comment just comes across as unexplained personal emotion antipathy.

    Have you spent much time on twitter Ad? Even been in a pile on? Or watched a campaign against a tweep that ranges over multiple accounts and lasts for months or years and never goes away? There are situations where it's just not possible to man up and stay involved. I'm seeing left wing people being radicalised away from the left over this shit.

    I don't have too much of a problem with discussing the idea that Sanders' people need to be war pigs to beat Trump. But that doesn't inherently meaning abandoning kindness, and we should be examining what the trade offs are. If Sanders' people trash other Dems in the nomination process, how will that affect the election campain?

    I'm curious if you have examples of where war pig political campaigning has worked for the left/centreleft.

    • Ad 8.1

      Try harder to see through Ardern. Trotter is on point today:

      http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.com/2020/02/jacindas-political-faith-broader-than.html

      An aggressive campaign doesn't aways work, why is why I checked Chicago Democratic Convention 1968 for you.

      Sometimes it does, as noted above in the campaign to get Huey Long into Louisiana. He's about as far left as elected politics has got in the USA.

      Also, in the 1920s and 1930s the formation of unions in Chicago, Detroit, most of the big mines. Violence and death, to get rights, and to form great roots for the Democratic Party to build on.

      Same for the formation of the NAACP. Plenty more recent variants have built movements with big political impact.

      Also, of course, the Suffragette movement to actually get the vote in the first place.

      Also noted above, many of the big revolutionary and anti-fascist democratic movements in Crowds and Power.

      Also noted above, LBJohnson, one of most effective Presidents they've ever had. Do a little digging around how he got through Texas and into the Senate. It's real dirty.

      In the 1980s, the Solidarnosc movement in Poland which accelerated the fall of the Soviet empire. Good muscle in there.

      I know it's hard to imagine, because we've had it so good here for so long. The last protest that did anything was the Foreshore and Seabed march which led to the formation of the Maori Party, and that's a wee while ago now.

      Not so in the USA. They are going through a full-fledged upheaval.

      • WeTheBleeple 8.1.1

        You're right, Trotter nails it.

        There is so much common ground on which we might heal divisions in our populace. A mantra of inclusivity, taken to its logical conclusion, would not exclude the marginalised. Next election cycle will be telling. This one, so far as I can (optimistically) see, is stage setting.

        Once some trust is built, dog-whistling sounds like what it is. Simon is cooked. National, one would hope, burnt by proximity.

    • RedLogix 8.2

      I find myself sympathetic to both points of view. Different times call for different tactics; NZ is in a place where it can respond to Ardern’s style of message, but I don't think the USA is at this moment.

      I'd suggest that Ad goes overboard a bit when he speaks of 'warpigs' and 'vile and invective' … that to me implies an out of control cultural war that will have only bad consequences.

      Perhaps it might be better to think of it like this; your opponents have to know that you mean business and that if threatened you can and will respond forcefully. At the same time the strongest leader has this force under control; their sword is sharp but it's kept sheathed because it's not needed.

      This is maybe the psychological need that attracted so many to vote for Trump, they wanted someone who was not only anti-establishment … but crucially had the mongrel to take it on. And Trump instinctively projected this in spades. A large fraction of the US population feel deeply betrayed by both the 2009 banking crisis and the loss of good jobs due to chaotic globalisation undermining what they had achieved. People are much more sensitive to loss than they are to a potential gain, and they want leaders who they sense care capable of standing up for them. That is what Sanders needs to project, the ability to fight for what he believes in.

  9. Poission 9

    And then there is the physics .

    Another important finding from the study is the phenomenon of “negative representation.” This is when an overall shift to the left in voter opinions results in a rightward shift in the election outcome, or vice versa.

    This can happen, for example, if voters are faced with a choice between a center-left candidate and a far-right candidate. If the overall sentiments of the electorate move further to the left, that may result in more far-left voters deciding to stay home on election day because the centrist candidate’s views are too far removed from their own. As a result, the far-right candidate ends up winning. Or, if a rightward swing in the electorate leads to the nomination of an extreme far-right candidate, that may increase the odds of a more liberal candidate winning the general election. “This negative representation undermines the entire purpose of democratic elections,” Siegenfeld says.

    • Dennis Frank 9.1

      Wonderful! As a physics grad from way back I deeply appreciate any attempt to apply that type of thinking to politics – when it seems to actually work.

      My take is that the binary psychodynamics are flipping into multipolar systemic indeterminacy. Just as chaos theory predicted in the '80s for complex systems as a general rule. The third of the electorate who are centrists (or non-voters) are having that alchemical effect on the left/right. Both dinosaur tribes believe centrists can be persuaded via escalating hysteria. They can't. 😇

    • Ad 9.2

      It's been known and practiced for a while in US presidential campaigning that algorithms that tap into fear are more effective than algorithms that tap into hope, because more people share content when feeling fear.

      https://ssir.org/articles/entry/the_algorithms_of_fear#

      So the point of using physics is not as an analogy. It's to use it as a programme which has mappable and predictable effects on mass voter intent.

    • Phil 9.3

      This study absolutely reeks of panicked 'overfitting' of a single data observation from 2016 and trying to articulate a trend from it.

  10. Sabine 10

    I find it really funny that people here still believe/hope that the US is a democracy. It ain't. Its now the place of Kind Trump and his handler Mitch McConnell.

    As Stalin said so many years ago, it matters not who votes, it matters who counts.

    So no, Bernie, Mayo Pete, Warren, Biden etc at all will not unseat Trump.

    we live in interesting times.

  11. WeTheBleeple 11

    Hilarious. The left here have made a centrist out of me. Weka nails it.

    • Sabine 2 11.2

      well our current government is centrists, the leader is middle of the run, and so are her ministers. That does not mean they don't get a few things done, here and there a crumb to keep the 'left' silent or at least muffled. But nothing in terms of real reform, real lifting of people out of poverty yada yada. However that does not mean that they are not the lesser evil, and imo that is all they are, the lesser evil.

      So yeah, maybe that makes supporters of this current government centrists. Lukewarm, 'kindness bullshit' that translates to nothing muhc in real terms. But it feels good, like 'recycling' like 'electric cars' like unidentified' plant based meats' and such.

      And there is nothing wrong with being centrists either. It got us a Labour governement.

      • weka 11.2.1

        Sabine, can you please confirm if you are the regular Sabine on The Standard or not? Seeing a different IP and email address. If you’re not the regular Sabine, please choose a different handle and let me know. thanks.

        • Sabine 11.2.1.1

          Sorry i just saw that. No idea what happend! i have no two next to my name. One is enough already.

          • weka 11.2.1.1.1

            I put the 2 there so I could tell the difference between the two Sabines. Are you using two different email addresses to comment here? (and two different ways to access the internet). Maybe you are on two different devices?

  12. WeTheBleeple 12

    Well, I might be left leaning in my centrism but that's the ecologist in me. Understanding how natural systems work, and supply everything else… I'd be mad to go right and vote to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.

    Politics has been hijacked by bad faith actors at both ends of the spectrum and both of them are repugnant calling for violence and smashing the system and bla bla bla. intransigent a-holes.

    Now we have evidence that political persuasion is genetically coded. How you like them eggs. Arguing with extreme views is pointless, it's like trying to attempt speech based genetic engineering. Doesn't stop us trying though.

    Media, or once-were-media love these shrill assholes and print everything they've got to say. We all pile on to the left and right sides of the debates and waste tremendous resources and time backing or vilifying views we don't specifically care for, so long as we get to stick it to THEM.

    There's got to be a better way.

    Oh yeah, go Bernie! I did hope to see Tulsi in the running, never mind.

    • RedLogix 12.1

      Now we have evidence that political persuasion is genetically coded.

      Which I've been arguing serves a useful evolutionary purpose, it means as a group some of us will thrive on novelty and innovation, while others do better in circumstances of threat and stress. We seem to be roughly split 50/50 in this regard.

      But to draw a parallel with another powerful instinct, our sex drive, while it energises much of what we do, humans have also evolved the capacity to control and direct it for more complex, broader social purposes. Another example, most mammals exhibit co-operation between genetically related individuals up to a certain limited scale, but humans transcended this limitation by extending co-operation from a purely genetic basis to a more complex one based on abstract notions of reciprocity and fairness. This enabled us to build much larger and more complex societies than chimpanzees ever have.

      While genetics and evolution can provide powerful insights into how and why humans got to be the way we are, it's doesn't help if we reduce ourselves to pure biology either.

      Arguing with extreme views is pointless

      There are obviously extremist views on both the right and the left, but the left is typically not so good at boundaries. We tend to make them too flexible so they extend and wander all over the map causing much confusion and squabbling.

      But otherwise yes, I agree with most of what you’re saying here. Nicely put.

      • WeTheBleeple 12.1.1

        Thanks. In critique of my own post – I've really got to stop using the vernacular so freely. It might be a sign of intelligence (so some research suggests) but it doesn't sound like it, and probably puts folk offside needlessly.

        Trying to adult…

        As we delve deeper, the genetics of politics will reveal that it's not black and white/left and right at all, but a spectrum from one extreme to the other. Do we go full PC and make hundreds of political categories hehehe.

        I think the real lesson here is that we need to learn to build on common ground, as our differences may be hard wired. I think I've heard Dennis and yourself say very similar. It made a lot of sense then, and even more now. Interestingly, higher IQ factors toward more political flexibility, and environment can be major (in potential change of heart) as well. So, despite the biology, in the nature vs nurture debate, both count for something.

        For me it's time to stop looking to the extremities and seek common cause. Human needs are relatively simple. Greed a by-product of the rat race model. A model of kindness and inclusivity (wellbeing) has real potential. We all want to belong, that's how all this tribal kerfuffle kicks off. Can we walk the talk? I really hope so.

        • RedLogix 12.1.1.1

          We all want to belong, that's how all this tribal kerfuffle kicks off.

          But belong to what? Chimpanzees are limited to 'belonging' to their small band of related family; humans however have created abstract notions such as sports teams, ideology, religion, culture and nationhood to belong to. Each of these loyalties has a specific character and place in the complex societies we have built.

          But each still has boundaries, each of these will have insiders and outsiders.

          A model of kindness and inclusivity (wellbeing) has real potential.

          Now what if we were to extend our current basket of things we can 'belong' to? What if 'belonging to the whole human race' became a concept we layered on top of what we have already achieved? This would be (at least while we remain a planetary species) a belonging with no outsiders, and by definition the ultimate inclusiveness.

          I think this aligns with what you're saying, and from it flows some pretty obvious challenges and questions. (And btw vernacular is perfectly fine with me. Don't mistake my politeness for competency, it's just the mode I'm most comfortable with by nature.)

          • WeTheBleeple 12.1.1.1.1

            'But belong to what?' – interesting aye. If belonging entailed a tribe of chimps for mates, well, it worked for Jane Goodall… gangs, political parties… This need to belong can lead us astray, or home.

            The common ground is broad. Housing, education, healthcare, wages, environment. Respect, dignity, community.

            But somehow we take these needs and turn them into issues to browbeat one another. Again I think extremes are hijacking the narrative and pissing in the pool the rest of us are trying to swim in.

            Feedback as we try build society is great. Hardcore resistance for the sake of resisting. So passe.

            Bernie is an interesting man. Considered the outsider and you know, a communist… he's the only one with a message of inclusion, the only one welcoming one and all. He's looking at society, while others list their pet causes. Making very general statements here. But, putting people in boxes is problematic. They gave him a label to hate, and failed to see the man.

            Wrest control from the billionaire class, the world might stand a chance of getting it together. Lynching not required. Regulation? Oh hell yes.

    • florabunda 13.1

      From what you can hear ( another D malfunction?) of course Sanders talks sense, but sense never cut the mustard in the US and Sanders will never beat Trump – we're not talking about a rational nation, so Bloomberg just might.

      • RedLogix 13.1.1

        Which is the whole point of Ad's OP. Having a policy agenda that makes sense is by itself insufficient. And Obama taught them that great speeches aren’t much use on their own either.

        The Sander's team is going to have to fight every inch of the way; this is what American's understand that good things don't come to weak people who just stand around looking useless.

  13. xanthe 14

    With the backing of the DNC Bernie Sanders certainly can and is the only one who can beat trump.

    In the real world Trump will be re-elected.

  14. Chris T 15

    Bloomberg is about the only one that can win against Trump.

  15. mosa 16

    " Sanders needs the same kind of fever swamp as Trump has carefully tuned for six years. That’s the only way the right will respect the left again – because Republicans know that is the way to win over and over and over again. Fuck virtue and fuck restraint. Probably only Sanders’ supporters have the mongrel to do it "

    Turnout , turnout , turnout

    That will be immensely important too Bernie winning the presidency.

    It is a message he continues too enforce and there was an increase of 6000 votes in Iowa compared too 2016.

    Momentum after New Hampshire and if he does well in Super Tuesday will have a huge impact on convincing people too get out and vote with a real prospect of change happening.

    The next two months will be critical for all the remaining candidates and where their support goes as they drop away.

    Bloomberg with all his billions and his ability to buy his way too the presidency is exactly what Bernie has been promising too put an end too and is a cornerstone of his campaign against big money in politics.

    • Bill 16.1

      So who do you think a good cross section of the population turn out for most? (Not going to hunt down the link showing a big increase in turnout among younger voters and Latino voters that kind of undermines the blanket "turnout down in Iowa" meme being run by msm)

      According to The Hill…

      Iowa demographics.

      Non-white women.

      Sanders 45%

      Buttigieg 17%

      All non-white

      Sanders 39%

      Biden 17%

      Buttigieg 12%

      Women aged 18-44

      Sanders 43%

      Warren 24%

      Buttigieg 19%

      All aged 18 – 44

      Sanders 43%

      Warren 20%

      Buttigieg 19%

  16. Rocco Siffredi 17

    "No political record: tick."

    Quite right. Bernie has been in political office for 40 years and he has no political record.

  17. sumsuch 18

    Don't really care but it will place reality up to the face of the main benefiters of the industrial revolution.

    I care about a realistic stance to deal with reality, but a very good chance America will shit Bernie out. Land of salesmanship. So comeuppance built in, hopefully to others. Their real ideal.

  18. Cinny 19

    Watched the full debate yesterday, fascinating, especially how different NZ is from over there.

    Many ideas Bernie and Elizabeth want to put in place make sense, because that's how we do things here, and it works. But their views seemed almost radical for some of the other candidates. Free health care, cashless bail and the abolishment of state run prisons are a few off the top of my head.

    Biden looked very old in the debate, stuttered a bit and spend most of his time speaking about how important he felt he was and name dropping. 'I was there when….' that type of thing.

    IMHO Biden has had his day and would be better suited to doing speaking circuits.

    Bernie is a force to be reckoned with, to see him and trump debate would be off the hook.

    Here's a link for the full debate, it's long but well worth a listen especially while multi tasking 🙂
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JCTY6MxJ4I

  19. Tiger Mountain 20

    The traction gained since the 80s by post modernist philosophy, in tandem with neo liberal “dog eat dog” individualist psychology, may explain this post somewhat–such brittle whimpery I guess can hardly be called an “attack” on Bernie Sanders campaign, more passive aggression with a side of slander regarding “rage and vengeance”.

    Pick the “guy” who can win–why, if that guy is an establishment brown noser bound to leave the 1%ers bloated profits unmolested? It is time for a circuit breaker in US politics and if you investigate some of the people currently in action there is a movement under way that will very likely continue well after Bernie’s time.

    I can’t be arsed rebutting all the obvious bollocks ADVANTAGE puts out there, but it is on record that Bernie did almost 40 meetings for Hillary in 2016. He delayed conceding initially to try and make some policy gains. It is on record that the Clinton campaign refused to supply yard signs for parts of Michigan in 2016, they did not make a mistake with the rust belt, it was the plan. Some of Clinton’s campaign team are involved in Mayo Pete’s campaign this time around. Mr Sanders rise and support is only possible because of the disparate social movements that have arisen particularly since Dubya’s era of early 2000s, and those movements have coalesced around the Sanders campaign–a mutually beneficial situation so far. If you can’t support Bernie’s “Not me. Us!” campaign despite the obvious difficulties and multiple fronts it is being fought on, what are you in left politics for really?

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