Bernie has already won the future of the Democratic Party

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Bernie Sanders You are our hope!

 

As the Democratic presidential contest reaches the third state, what began as a coronation is now an exciting dead heat. Yet by one measure, Bernie Sanders is ­already a clear winner.

Regardless of whether the senator from Vermont captures the actual nomination, he has won the future of the Democratic Party.

Sanders is demolishing the last remnants of the old order, as represented by Hillary Clinton and her split-the-difference triangulation. It is Sanders, not she, who is the true heir of the radical politics of Barack Obama.

Calling a paradigm shift is like forecasting a recession — predict it often enough and you’ll eventually be right. Yet the developments unfolding before our eyes suggest the Democratic Party is undergoing a massive change. And a 74-year-old socialist is the architect.

A major piece of evidence is the enormous youth vote he attracts. In Iowa and New Hampshire, he beat Clinton by about 70 points — 84 percent to 15 percent — among voters under age 30. And despite the nasty demands by Madeleine Albright and Gloria Steinem that women must support Clinton, Sanders got 82 percent of the young female vote.

By contrast, Obama in the 2008 primaries typically beat Clinton among young people by about 20 points. With studies showing that most people stay in their first political party for many years, the young, ultra-liberal voters who turned out for Obama, and who are being joined by the Sanders wave, could dominate the party for a generation.

The implications are huge. Sanders’ call for a single-payer health-care system is a fantasy now, but it will outlive the campaign. His call for tuition-free public colleges won’t be forgotten, nor will his demands for enormous tax hikes on upper incomes. They’ll all be back as platform planks no matter what happens this year.

A second piece of evidence about Sanders’ impact is the way Clinton is jettisoning her incremental approach and embracing his anti-Wall Street, populist agenda. She’s calling herself a “progressive,” a word no one ever used to describe her, while also insisting that she is better able to get things done.

It would be an understatement to say the approach needs work. In New Hampshire, she urged voters to “bring both your heart and your head” on primary day — and promptly lost by 21 points.

There is, of course, an irrational dimension to the Sanders phenomenon. Obama is the most far-left president in memory, with his liberalism mixing higher taxes, an explosion of regulations and an expansion of social programs with a weak foreign policy.

The results everywhere are ­awful: The economy never fully recovered from the recession, and looks ready to slip back again. The world Obama tried to withdraw from is on fire, with talk of a global war growing louder.

America doesn’t need a double dose of the same bad medicine, but that is what young Democrats want. They believe Obama has been too moderate and see Clinton as even more old-school.

The party made this mistake before. After Lyndon Johnson ushered in the Great Society, a new generation furious about Vietnam pushed him aside for successors who were radicals at home and doves abroad.

Fortunately, most did not win the White House. Hubert Humphrey and George McGovern were rejected by voters, and Jimmy Carter probably would have been, too, were it not for the backlash over Watergate. After Carter’s disastrous term, the GOP won the next three thanks to Ronald Reagan’s pro-growth agenda and muscular foreign ­policy.

Dems won four of the last six elections, but Obama overplayed his hand. He scoffed at the center-left policies of Bill Clinton, and forfeited both houses of Congress. Now Sanders is going further by trashing the Clinton era in much the same way LBJ was trashed. He’s also daring to say Obama is not progressive enough.

Hillary is caught between Obama and Sanders, and, with the FBI probing her secret server and other issues, is under a cloud. ­Because of her trust deficit among voters, Sanders has more enthusiastic supporters.

Her message makeover is telling. Clinton initially hoped to build on her husband’s “third way” compromise between left and right, but no longer. Wall Street has gone from her piggy bank to her piñata.

Her husband, regarded affectionately by many African-Americans as the nation’s first black president, finds his welfare and criminal-justice record the target of angry young liberals. To save herself, Hillary last week discovered “systemic racism” in ­America.

Even if Sanders does not become president, the movement he unleashed is here to stay. So buckle up, America, the Dems are taking another hard left turn.

There’s a Rikers for a reason

City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito is on a mission to decriminalize many quality-of-life crimes, and hopes to close Rikers Island.

Her proposals are long on sympathy for people caught up in the criminal-justice system, but fall short on sympathy for the victims of the criminals she’s slobbering over. To her, only cops are bad.

Mark-Viverito, who engineered a raise for herself, from $137,192 to $164,500, is pushing legislation to wipe off the books 700,000 outstanding warrants for offenders who didn’t show up for court. They got initial summonses for urinating in public, breaking park rules, idling a vehicle, creating unreasonable noise or littering.

She called the move a continuing “quest for reform,” which might be true if the goal wasn’t a wholesale whitewashing of misdeeds.

Similarly, in her bid to close Rikers, she sounds as if the complex is another Abu Ghraib, the infamous Baghdad prison where American soldiers abused Iraqi detainees.

Top cop Bill Bratton negotiated with Mark-Viverito over her plans to stop many low-level arrests, and instead issue warnings. Bratton’s bottom line is that cops must retain the discretion to make arrests when they judge that appropriate.

In theory, that keeps a key policing tool intact. But cops already complain that City Hall undermines them, and the fear is that political pressure not to make arrests will lead the police to pull back on enforcement, as they have in other cities.

Gosh, ya think so?

Round up the usual denials. That was law enforcement’s first reaction when a Somali man named Mohamed Barry used a machete to slash four customers at an Israeli restaurant in Columbus, Ohio.

“There’s nothing to lead us to believe this is anything more than a random attack,” a police spokesman quickly told a local paper.

“Random.” That’s what Obama said about the slaughter of four Jews by a Muslim in a kosher market in Paris. “Random.”

Thankfully, the FBI soon took over the Ohio case and suggested terrorism was the motive. No kidding.

The one place they like Mike

Reader Ray Arroyo answers my challenge to identify a single state that Michael Bloomberg could win in a presidential bid. Referencing the former mayor’s campaigns against butter, salt and sugar, he writes:

“Bloomy wins the Nanny State…by a landslide!”

 

Why nearly 100,000 people are calling for Bill Clinton’s arrest

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Bill Clinton’s arrest for violating Massachusetts election law on Super Tuesday by campaigning close to — and even inside — polling places.

 

 

Nearly 100,000 people have signed an online petition calling for Bill Clinton’s arrest for violating Massachusetts election law on Super Tuesday by campaigning close to — and even inside — polling places.

The drive was launched by supporters of Bernie Sanders, who accused Bubba of stumping for his wife, Hillary, within 150 feet of a polling location in New Bedford and inside others in Newton and Boston’s West Roxbury neighborhood.

“This is a call for the immediate arrest of President Bill Clinton for clear, knowing and egregious violation of the campaign laws to swing an election in a significant way. It could not be any clearer in the Massachusetts General Laws,” the petition states.

Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin’s website says, “On Election Day, certain activities are prohibited within the polling location and within 150 feet of the polling place,” including the “solicitation of votes for or against, or any other form of promotion or opposition of, any person or political party.”

The Sanders supporters said photos prove the ex-prez violated the law by attending a rally outside a polling place in New Bedford and entering polling stations in the other two communities.

“Although the spokesperson for Bill Clinton denies that he was ever inside a polling place, photos and video show him clearly greeting and talking up election workers inside,” the petition reads.

Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin’s website says, “On Election Day, certain activities are prohibited within the polling location and within 150 feet of the polling place,” including the “solicitation of votes for or against, or any other form of promotion or opposition of, any person or political party.”

The Sanders supporters said photos prove the ex-prez violated the law by attending a rally outside a polling place in New Bedford and entering polling stations in the other two communities.

“Although the spokesperson for Bill Clinton denies that he was ever inside a polling place, photos and video show him clearly greeting and talking up election workers inside,” the petition reads.

Galvin, a Democrat, downplayed the controversy.

“He had the right to go into the polling locations, and say ‘Hello’ to workers who were there. The issue is, you can’t go inside and say, ‘Vote for my wife,’ or ‘Vote for Hillary,’ ” Galvin told the Boston Globe.

The Globe reported that’s precisely what Clinton did.

“Pull the lever for Hillary,” he told one voter at the Boston polling place, the paper reported.

In New Bedford, he thanked his wife’s supporters with a bullhorn just outside a polling place.

“Thank you all for participating. I especially thank those of you who are supporting Hillary,” he shouted, the Globe reported.

Petitioners fired back at Galvin’s dismissal of the complaints.

“Bill Clinton does not vote in Massachusetts, and would have no other business in a polling station on election day besides campaigning for his wife,” the petition on Change.org states.

 

Confiscating the African American Vote? How the Clinton Media Machine Blocked Sanders Civil Rights Play

 

Inside the Takedown of Bernie Sanders’s Civil Rights Record

The evil on the inside eventually shows itself.

 

Hillary-Clinton-300x300Inside the Takedown of Bernie Sanders’s Civil Rights Record

When the history of the 2016 presidential race is written — if it is written well — it will note the remarkable role played by the African American vote.

It will also note the role of the establishment, including well-placed allies and a significant portion of the media, in keeping the African American vote in a pre-ordained slot: Hillary Clinton’s camp.

Hillary Clinton had a fact, an opportunity, and a problem. Bernie Sanders was surging in national polls, but she was managing to hang on to a huge majority of the black vote, which plays a large and increasingly important role in the Democratic primaries and caucuses.

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Young Bernie Sanders speaks to students on the first day of a sit-in at the University of Chicago in 1962. Photo credit: Photographer Danny Lyon’s official blog: BLEAK BEAUTY / Bernie Sanders / YouTube

If she could retain the black vote in overwhelming numbers, she could hold back Sanders’s surge.

But there were a few big problems. Bernie Sanders’s issues go to the heart of what ails much of Black America. The Bill-and-Hillary record on a number of critical matters, from the incarceration of black youth to the best way to aid struggling black families, youths, single mothers and the unemployed, was at best mixed.

In contrast to Sanders, she is saddled with her closeness to the financial community that has wreaked havoc with the lives of African Americans who are struggling economically. This coziness with representatives of the One Percent goes well beyond delivering well-paid speeches to Goldman Sachs.

Clinton also has been a pumped-up, eager hawk on military action — a position generally unpopular with African Americans, for whom military service has often been a job opportunity of last resort, with the obvious consequences to life and limb. Many other reasons for African Americans not to identify closely with Clinton can be found. She knows this: that’s why she worked so hard to publicly associate herself with President Barack Obama and his policies — though in reality she and the president differed on a number of key points, including her avidity for foreign intervention.

The clincher, though, was surely the revelation that, at the same time the young Hillary Clinton was a proud Goldwater Republican in the early-mid sixties, the young Bernie Sanders was getting arrested as a supporter of civil rights.

The contrast between the candidates’ history on this issue posed a potential disaster for Clinton: if she could not hold onto the African American vote, according to almost all calculations, it was hard to see how she could win the nomination.

And so the Clinton PR apparatus, as formidable as any, went to work.

***

The media keeps saying that “Black folks just love Hillary.” And the Super Tuesday returns from certain southern states seemed to bear this out. Yet these victories in states that Clinton is unlikely to carry in the general election may not necessarily carry over to potential battleground states such as Virginia, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio, where African Americans are a sizable part of the Democratic electorate .

If a big turnout of African American voters did not materialize for Clinton in those states, her candidacy would be in deep trouble indeed.

So instead of just repeating the blacks-love-Hillary mantra, the media should look deeper into the question of what each of these candidates offers to African American voters. And such an examination might begin with their respective relationships to the civil rights movement of the early 1960s

The record shows that young Bernie Sanders was a dedicated civil rights activist. He gave speeches in the freezing Chicago winters, he demonstrated for desegregated schools, he participated in Martin Luther King’s march on Washington. And, in 1963, he was arrested while protesting segregated housing at the University of Chicago.

The Perfect Iconic Moment

Let’s focus for a moment on that arrest — which happened at a time when Hillary Clinton was a Republican, and would soon be supporting Barry Goldwater for president

Here’s the background to Sanders’s arrest, as summarized by Kartemquin Films, a Chicago-based maker of socially conscious documentaries:

Education protests in Chicago have been making national headlines for the past few years, but the roots of these protests can be traced back to the early 1960’s and the citywide school boycott that emptied half of Chicago’s schools. It was one of the largest Civil Rights demonstrations in the north. Despite the mandate of Brown vs. the Board of Education, Chicago Public Schools remained segregated and inadequately resourced. Overcrowded black schools sat blocks away from white schools with empty classrooms. To deal with the overflow but avoid integration, CPS Superintendent Benjamin Willis ordered the installment of mobile unit classrooms on the playgrounds and parking lots of these schools. Dubbed “Willis Wagons,” they outraged the community, leading to a massive boycott by 250,000 students. Other cities soon planned similar demonstrations.

It’s not hard to imagine the impact that news of Sanders’s front-line presence in the great civil-rights confrontations of the 1960s might have on African American voters who, until now, have had no reason to think of him as involved in that arena. Nor is it hard to imagine how important it would be to Clinton backers to neutralize that impact.

Here is a blow by blow account of the dispute over Sanders’s civil rights credentials:

June, 2015: The Sanders campaign puts out a video with an image of the young Sanders leading a sit-in at the University of Chicago to protest segregated housing for students (the campaign ad was premiered in June/July to Iowans but published online July 25th).

November 12, 2015: Time publishes “Exclusive: College Alumni Raise Doubts About Bernie Sanders Campaign Photo.”

February 11, 2016: Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart writes a piece titled: “Stop sending around this photo of ‘Bernie Sanders’” (with Sanders’s name in quotes to emphasize the idea that the photo was not Sanders). That same day, Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), a legendary civil-rights leader (and close to the Clintons), also questions whether Sanders was involved with the civil rights movement (see below).

February 11, 2016: Clinton-supporter Lewis is asked about Sanders’s involvement in civil rights. He replies, “Well, to be very frank… I never saw him, I never met him… But I met Hillary Clinton. I met President Clinton.”

February 11, 2016: Mother Jones publishes an article with photos of vintage news articles from The Maroon (University of Chicago) and the Chicago Tribune, confirming Sanders’s arrest.

February 13, 2016: Time is forced to reverse itself (it couldn’t have been very happy about that) — and publishes an article titled: “Photographer Says 1962 Photo Really Does Show Bernie Sanders.” (Of course, in such battles, the initial denial or claim that something is false often resonates the loudest, and many people may have already tuned out.)

February 13, 2016: The CBC (Congressional Black Caucus) PAC publishes a reversal from Lewis: “The fact that I did not meet him in the movement does not mean I doubted that Sen. Sanders participated in the Civil Rights Movement, neither was I attempting to disparage his activism.”

February 21, 2016: Boston.com publishes “Newly found video shows Bernie Sanders getting arrested in 1963.” You can view it here.

This reminds me of something I covered in my book Family of Secrets: how the Bush family reacted when backers of Vietnam War hero-turned-peacenik John Kerry attacked George W. Bush, architect of the Iraq invasion, for having disappeared when he was supposed to be doing his (safe, stateside) military service during the Vietnam War.

The Bush campaign — with brilliant dirty tricks performed at a safe distance for deniability — turned around a difficult situation and buried an inconvenient fact about W. that could have cost him key support in battleground states. Is the Clinton campaign doing the same thing?

This little skirmish over a 52-year-old photograph may seem inconsequential on its face. But it touches on an issue that is central to the nomination fight. If Sanders did protest on behalf of the interests of black people while Clinton was a young Republican supporting the subtly racist campaign of Barry Goldwater, and if Sanders’s lifelong crusade on behalf of the poor and the oppressed was fully communicated to black and Latino voters, Hillary Clinton might find her base not so dependable.

And, as reported by the New York Timesalthough African Americans are turning out for Clinton in very high percentages in the primaries, high enough to damage Sanders, they are not turning out in high numbers — heralding a crisis that could devastate the Democrats in November.

Expect even greater efforts by the Clinton camp to prevent Sanders from getting this story out as the campaign reaches break-point. But will the media provide the analysis voters deserve?