Sanders, the Windows 95 of Progressive Politics

Senator Bernie Sanders

Senator Bernie Sanders

As the Democratic primaries came to an end Tuesday night, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton met. Mr. Sanders presumably made a strong case that the ideas and ideological direction of his campaign should be incorporated into her campaign and, if she wins, her presidency.

Earlier in the day, in anticipation of the meeting, he said, “I think the time is now — in fact, the time is long overdue — for a fundamental transformation of the Democratic Party.”

Mr. Sanders’s achievement has been to show the leadership of his recently adopted party that Democrats and many independents under 35 — that is, those who weren’t adults during Bill Clinton’s administration — are eager for a full-throated progressive agenda and are unafraid of backlash. While Democrats in the 1990s — notably Bill and Hillary Clinton — worried about the party’s mistakes of the 1970s, many in this decade worry more about triangulation and the cautious politics of the 1990s.

What will a post-Sanders progressive agenda look like? The first stop will be the official party platform. But for all the work and squabbling that go into them, platforms have long been throwaway documents.

The real progressive agenda will be written over the next few years, either to push the Clinton administration or to shape a challenge to a Republican president and Congress. But it’s unlikely that this new progressive agenda will be Mr. Sanders’s agenda, specifically, or that Mr. Sanders himself will be the leading advocate and arbiter of progressive policies in the way that Senator Edward M. Kennedy once was. Mr. Sanders is still running the Windows 95 version of progressive politics.

For one thing, he has never had the kind of influence with his colleagues that he found with the grass roots this year, in part because he never defined himself as a Democrat. No one expects that he’ll run for president again at 78 or 82, so he won’t have the clout of a senator who is seen as a potential president. And any institutional power he may gain as chairman or a ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee sounds a lot bigger than it really is. The committee’s main job is to produce a nonbinding budget resolution, and in many recent years, it hasn’t even done that.

But the biggest reason that Mr. Sanders won’t shape the next progressive agenda stems from a little-noticed aspect of his campaign: His policy proposals were consistently out of step with the ideas that have been emerging from progressive think tanks like Demos or the Center for American Progress or championed by his own congressional colleagues.

For example, many liberal Democrats would agree with Mr. Sanders, in theory, that single-payer health insurance could be fairer, more efficient and cheaper than our fragmented system. But the president and Congress made the decision in 2010 to build on the private insurance system, in the form of the Affordable Care Act, in part because single-payer wasn’t politically viable. A Democratic administration’s next moves will be to expand and strengthen the Affordable Care Act, not start over.

Like many of Mr. Sanders’s policy proposals, single-payer is an all-or-nothing proposition that creates few openings for legislators who want to do something incremental that could lead to a bigger goal. Congressmen like Senator Kennedy or Representative Henry Waxman of California often put forward ambitious ideas, too, but with manageable steps to build a structure that could be expanded later or that could attract enough support to pass.

Similarly, while progressive organizations such as the Roosevelt Institute have developed fairly complex visions for strengthening regulation of Wall Street and banks and reducing the overall “financialization” of the economy, Mr. Sanders continued to fixate on restoring the Glass-Steagall Act, which separated investment and commercial banking but had become outdated long before it was repealed in 1999. His plan to “break up the big banks” sometimes seemed to consist simply of ordering the Federal Reserve to break up the big banks. The real progressive agenda has moved well beyond that to focus on raising and strengthening capital requirements, or the amounts that banks are required to keep as cash or safe investments.

Mr. Sanders made the $15 minimum wage a cornerstone of his campaign, probably accelerating the momentum that led to its passage in two states and the District of Columbia. But his campaign barely focused on other issues related to work, such as the challenges posed by new employment models in the on-demand, or “gig,” economy, a topic of a speech by Senator Elizabeth Warren in May. Ms. Warren called for a new social contract under which “all workers — no matter when they work, where they work, who they work for, whether they pick tomatoes or build rocket ships — should have some basic protections and be able to build some economic security for themselves and their families.”

This difference is part of a larger gap between Mr. Sanders and other progressives in their approaches to economic inequality. Where Mr. Sanders talks about “redistribution” of wealth from “the billionaires” to the middle- and low-income classes through high tax rates, others, such as the economists at the Economic Policy Institute, have focused more on what is sometimes called “predistribution,” wages and the conditions of work. They would reduce the gains at the top — such as by putting some meaningful constraints on executive pay — but also make sure that workers got a greater share of the profits, not only in the form of money, but also time, flexibility and predictable scheduling. If the initial distribution of benefits and money is badly skewed, it will be hard to use tax and transfer policies alone to redistribute it.
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Mr. Sanders’s achievement in 2016 deserves respect: He has been the first insurgent Democratic candidate to emerge from the true left of the party since the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s two campaigns in the 1980s, and by far the most successful. That success points the way toward a new and more vigorous progressive agenda.

But he’s shown in his campaign that he’s unlikely to be the agent who fills in the details of that agenda. No doubt Senator Warren, with her ever-widening vision of economic fairness, will play a Kennedy-like role, whether she remains in the Senate or becomes Mrs. Clinton’s running mate.

Other Democratic senators, some almost as young as the Sanders enthusiasts, will play their part, as will outside organizations. If elected, Hillary Clinton will either join this new progressive wave or will be nudged and challenged by it. As Mr. Sanders finally steps back, the next era can begin.

Mark Schmitt is the director of the political reform program at the research organization New America.

As the Democratic primaries came to an end Tuesday night, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton met. Mr. Sanders presumably made a strong case that the ideas and ideological direction of his campaign should be incorporated into her campaign and, if she wins, her presidency.

Earlier in the day, in anticipation of the meeting, he said, “I think the time is now — in fact, the time is long overdue — for a fundamental transformation of the Democratic Party.”

Mr. Sanders’s achievement has been to show the leadership of his recently adopted party that Democrats and many independents under 35 — that is, those who weren’t adults during Bill Clinton’s administration — are eager for a full-throated progressive agenda and are unafraid of backlash. While Democrats in the 1990s — notably Bill and Hillary Clinton — worried about the party’s mistakes of the 1970s, many in this decade worry more about triangulation and the cautious politics of the 1990s.

What will a post-Sanders progressive agenda look like? The first stop will be the official party platform. But for all the work and squabbling that go into them, platforms have long been throwaway documents.

The real progressive agenda will be written over the next few years, either to push the Clinton administration or to shape a challenge to a Republican president and Congress. But it’s unlikely that this new progressive agenda will be Mr. Sanders’s agenda, specifically, or that Mr. Sanders himself will be the leading advocate and arbiter of progressive policies in the way that Senator Edward M. Kennedy once was. Mr. Sanders is still running the Windows 95 version of progressive politics.

For one thing, he has never had the kind of influence with his colleagues that he found with the grass roots this year, in part because he never defined himself as a Democrat. No one expects that he’ll run for president again at 78 or 82, so he won’t have the clout of a senator who is seen as a potential president. And any institutional power he may gain as chairman or a ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee sounds a lot bigger than it really is. The committee’s main job is to produce a nonbinding budget resolution, and in many recent years, it hasn’t even done that.

But the biggest reason that Mr. Sanders won’t shape the next progressive agenda stems from a little-noticed aspect of his campaign: His policy proposals were consistently out of step with the ideas that have been emerging from progressive think tanks like Demos or the Center for American Progress or championed by his own congressional colleagues.

For example, many liberal Democrats would agree with Mr. Sanders, in theory, that single-payer health insurance could be fairer, more efficient and cheaper than our fragmented system. But the president and Congress made the decision in 2010 to build on the private insurance system, in the form of the Affordable Care Act, in part because single-payer wasn’t politically viable. A Democratic administration’s next moves will be to expand and strengthen the Affordable Care Act, not start over.

Like many of Mr. Sanders’s policy proposals, single-payer is an all-or-nothing proposition that creates few openings for legislators who want to do something incremental that could lead to a bigger goal. Congressmen like Senator Kennedy or Representative Henry Waxman of California often put forward ambitious ideas, too, but with manageable steps to build a structure that could be expanded later or that could attract enough support to pass.

Similarly, while progressive organizations such as the Roosevelt Institute have developed fairly complex visions for strengthening regulation of Wall Street and banks and reducing the overall “financialization” of the economy, Mr. Sanders continued to fixate on restoring the Glass-Steagall Act, which separated investment and commercial banking but had become outdated long before it was repealed in 1999. His plan to “break up the big banks” sometimes seemed to consist simply of ordering the Federal Reserve to break up the big banks. The real progressive agenda has moved well beyond that to focus on raising and strengthening capital requirements, or the amounts that banks are required to keep as cash or safe investments.

Mr. Sanders made the $15 minimum wage a cornerstone of his campaign, probably accelerating the momentum that led to its passage in two states and the District of Columbia. But his campaign barely focused on other issues related to work, such as the challenges posed by new employment models in the on-demand, or “gig,” economy, a topic of a speech by Senator Elizabeth Warren in May. Ms. Warren called for a new social contract under which “all workers — no matter when they work, where they work, who they work for, whether they pick tomatoes or build rocket ships — should have some basic protections and be able to build some economic security for themselves and their families.”

This difference is part of a larger gap between Mr. Sanders and other progressives in their approaches to economic inequality. Where Mr. Sanders talks about “redistribution” of wealth from “the billionaires” to the middle- and low-income classes through high tax rates, others, such as the economists at the Economic Policy Institute, have focused more on what is sometimes called “predistribution,” wages and the conditions of work. They would reduce the gains at the top — such as by putting some meaningful constraints on executive pay — but also make sure that workers got a greater share of the profits, not only in the form of money, but also time, flexibility and predictable scheduling. If the initial distribution of benefits and money is badly skewed, it will be hard to use tax and transfer policies alone to redistribute it.

Mr. Sanders’s achievement in 2016 deserves respect: He has been the first insurgent Democratic candidate to emerge from the true left of the party since the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s two campaigns in the 1980s, and by far the most successful. That success points the way toward a new and more vigorous progressive agenda.

But he’s shown in his campaign that he’s unlikely to be the agent who fills in the details of that agenda. No doubt Senator Warren, with her ever-widening vision of economic fairness, will play a Kennedy-like role, whether she remains in the Senate or becomes Mrs. Clinton’s running mate.

Other Democratic senators, some almost as young as the Sanders enthusiasts, will play their part, as will outside organizations. If elected, Hillary Clinton will either join this new progressive wave or will be nudged and challenged by it. As Mr. Sanders finally steps back, the next era can begin.

Mark Schmitt is the director of the political reform program at the research organization New America.
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Posted by Ainhoa Aristizabal — Unruly Hearts editor

Berning down the House, A Dance Party & Benefit for Bernie Sanders

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Berning Down The House: A Dance Party & Benefit for Bernie Sanders
Friday 20 May 2016 9:00 PM
in a day

Come out and socialize/party/drink/dance/be merry/etc. to dance hits from the 70s/80s/90s in honor of our man, Bernie!

$5 minimum donation.

100% of the door money will be donated to help the Bernie Sanders campaign. To find out more about Bernie’s campaign and how you can directly donate check out his official campaign website:
https://berniesanders.com
The Voter Registration Brigade will be registering any last minute voters!

Big thanks to The Maltese for letting us party for Bernie!
If you have any questions/comments/concerns/ideas email them to: missmollyroberts@gmail.com

Why Bernie Sanders Should Stay in the Race – —and How He Can Win

By Kevin Zeese and Patrick Walker
Global Research, May 16, 2016
truthdig 13 May 2016
Region: USA
In-depth Report: U.S. Elections

Ainhoa Aristizabal — Unruly Hearts editor

Senator Bernie Sanders

Senator Bernie Sanders

Make no mistake: Settling for Hillary Clinton means abandoning the political revolution that Bernie Sanders has inspired. It means unconditional surrender after overcoming many obstacles in a rigged primary. That’s why the revolution must continue through November and beyond, and the Vermont senator’s supporters must urge him to keep fighting.

The West Virginia primary on Tuesday illustrates why. After his victory there, Sanders wrote: “There is nothing I would like more than to take on and defeat Donald Trump, someone who must never become president of this country.”

Unfortunately, he is unlikely to get that opportunity from the Democratic Party. If Sanders does not remain in the race until the end, he will very likely be helping the Republican candidate. Why? Because nearly half of his voters in West Virginia said they would switch their vote to Trump in November. In fact, we will explain why the best way to prevent Trump from taking the Oval Office would be for Sanders to run on a ticket with Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate.

Sanders’ current plan is to get some of his policies into the unenforceable Democratic Party platform and then simply endorse Clinton for president. But because that platform is unenforceable, it will have little value and is belied by the reality that the Democrats serve big business.
Clinton has a long history of representing Wall Street, Wal-Mart, weapons makers and insurance companies. She is in many ways the opposite of Bernie Sanders. The CEOs on Wall Street—and even the Koch oil barons—want her as the nation’s chief executive because her vision and political views align so perfectly with their own. The global 1 percent will be relieved if, when the revolution ends, they are still in charge and the oligarchy lives on. We can’t let it end that way.

The Corrupt and Unfair Democratic Primaries

Sanders was an independent for more than three decades until joining the Democratic Party last year, and he knew going into the primaries that he would be fighting establishment Democrats who are closely tied to everything he opposes. No insurgent has won a Democratic primary since the current system of superdelegates was put in place in 1982 to stop them.

Bernie_Sanders_supporters_(25826842075)

This year, that anti-insurgent system also included a plan to have a limited number of debates (and independent and third-party candidates are blocked from participating in them). The number of debates dropped from 25 in 2008 to less than half that numberthis election season—and many were scheduled at times when few voters would be able to watch them. Clinton gave in to pressure for more debates when she thought it was in her interest. Ironically, in each of those face-offs, Sanders at least argued Clinton to a draw, and many saw him as the victor. Thus, the debates did not stop his revolution; in many ways, they grew it.

Another part of the establishment’s anti-insurgent plan is to front-load the primaries and caucuses by having 39 states and territories vote all in the month of March. This strategy usually destroys insurgents because they do not have the money to compete with well-funded, big-business establishment candidates. The Sanders revolt overcame that obstacle by raising millions in small donations.

Closed primaries are also a feature of that anti-insurgent plan, disenfranchising millions of voters who don’t want to join the Democratic or Republican parties. More than 6 million people were deprived of such a vote in New York and Florida alone.

In addition to these anti-democratic tactics, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Democratic National Committee chairwoman, was the national co-chair of Clinton’s 2008 campaign. Such an in-the-face conflict of interest shows audacious hubris, and the Democrats clearly thought that they could get away with anything to nominate Clinton. Wasserman Schultz has been consistently biased in Clinton’s favor, as indicated by her action to deny Sanders’ campaign access to the voter database just before the Iowa primary.

In August 2015, Clinton set up an agreement with 33 state Democratic parties for a joint fundraising agreement with the Hillary Victory Fund. This was before the first primary in a contested nomination. Not only was the DNC headed by a Clinton operative, but state parties were tied to Clinton’s fundraising, creating an unbreakable bond between her and the party. This allowed Clinton’s wealthy donors to multiply their donations astronomically. “A single donor, as Margot Kidder wrote at Counterpunch, “by giving $10,000 a year to each signatory state could legally give an extra $330,000 a year for two years to the Hillary Victory Fund.

“For each donor, this raised their individual legal cap on the Presidential campaign to $660,000 if given in both 2015 and 2016,” Kidder said. “And to one million, three hundred and 20 thousand dollars if an equal amount were also donated in their spouse’s name.”

Clinton’s superdelegates are chairs of key standing committees as well.

Sanders has complained to the DNC that the way these funds have been used violates federal election laws. He also wrote a letter to Wasserman Schultz, saying that she is tipping the scales for Clinton’s benefit.

Throughout the primary process, there have been voting irregularities. There are too many to review in this article, but they involved the erasing of voter registrations, an insufficient number of polling places, polls that opened late, and so on. In New York and Arizona where some of the worst problems were reported, investigations are ongoing.

Now, Sanders is heading into a Democratic Convention that is rigged against him, and he has more than enough reason to reconsider his previous plan to endorse Hillary Clinton. The 2016 election is historically unique and presents a perfect storm for an independent candidate. As a third-party candidate, Sanders could win the popular vote as well as the 270 electoral votes necessary to take the presidency—and his campaign would actually hurt, not help, Donald Trump.

Jill Stein of the Green Party has indicated that she is open to discussing how she can work with Sanders. By choosing her as his vice presidential running mate and becoming the Green Party nominee, Sanders could get on enough ballots to pose a solid independent challenge to two of the most unpopular major-party candidates in recent memory. It is a historic opportunity that should not be missed.

A General Election More Favorable to an Independent Than Ever Before

Sanders, the longest-serving independent in U.S. history, is well-positioned for a general election campaign because, for the first time, independents make up the largest group of voters. According to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, 50 percent of Americans consider themselves independent, and fewer than 30 percent align with either major party. Only 21 percent identified as Republicans and 29 percent as Democrats. A 2015 Gallup poll similarly found that a record high number of Americans—43 percent—consider themselves to be independents.

Since 2008, many more Americans have come to reject the two-party system because voters recognize that both the Democratic and Republican parties represent the interests of big-business donors. Gallup also reports that 60 percent believe a third party is needed “because the Republican and Democratic parties ‘do such a poor job’ of representing the American people.”

In addition, Sanders’ views on the corruption of the American economy and other issues have become the national consensus. A 2015 poll found 83 percent agree and nearly 60 percent “strongly” agree that “the rules of the economy matter and the top 1 percent have used their influence to shape the rules of the economy to their advantage.”

Americans agree that policies enacted since the economic collapse have benefited Wall Street, big corporations and the wealthy—but not the poor and middle class. By a factor of 2-to-1, people in the United States oppose corporate trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership and, by a factor of 3-to-1, believe that such deals destroy more jobs than they create.

Three-quarters of Republicans favor a steep rise in the minimum wage. Four out of five voters, including three-quarters of Republicans, want to expand Social Security benefits. On Sanders’ top issues—Wall Street regulation—pollster Celinda Lake reported that 91 percent of those asked agree that financial services and products must be regulated to ensure fairness for consumers. Lake also found that 79 percent agree that financial companies should be held accountable with tougher rules and enforcement for the practices that caused the financial crisis.

The influence of Wall Street on candidates is also near the top of voters’ minds, with 84 percent of likely 2016 voters saying that they are concerned and 64 percent indicating that they are very concerned. Majorities across party lines say they would be less likely to vote for a candidate or member of Congress who received large sums of campaign money from big banks and financial companies, and 72 percent of Democrats, 54 percent of independents and 52 percent of Republicans say they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who favored tough rules on Wall Street to prevent irresponsible practices and abuses.

It is hard to imagine a better political climate for a Sanders-Stein general election campaign.

Sanders Would Be Running Against Unpopular Candidates From Divided Parties

Sanders, if he stays in the race, would be running against the two most disliked major-party nominees in history. Donald Trump is viewed favorably by just 24 percent of the voters and unfavorably by 57 percent, making him by far the least-liked major-party front-runner since CBS began tracking such ratings in 1984. Hillary Clinton is viewed favorably by 31 percent and unfavorably by 52 percent.

Sanders’ results are the opposite: His 48 percent favorability rating is by far the highest ever recorded. In the previous eight presidential cycles, there has never been a poll showing both major-party candidates with negative net-favorability ratings, let alone double-digit ones.

On top of that, Sanders would be running against two divided parties. The last two Republican presidents and the last two Republican presidential nominees have said they will not even attend the Republican National Convention, and House Speaker Paul Ryan has said he is not ready to support Trump. The Hill newspaper has published a list of the top 99 Republican leaders who do not support Trump, and a CNN/ORC poll shows that one-third of Republicans would be dissatisfied or upset if Trump becomes the nominee. Trump recognizes these deep divisions and is telling the media he does not need a united party.

Even the Koch brothers are saying that they prefer Clinton to Trump, and Clinton is embracing this development. The New York Times has reported that “Clinton’s campaign is repositioning itself, after a year of emphasizing liberal positions and focusing largely on minority voters” and is making “a striking turn … hoping to gain the support of Republican voters and party leaders including former elected officials and retired generals disillusioned by their party’s standard-bearer.” If Sanders endorses Clinton, she will have cover to move further to the right.

According to the Times, Clinton is “confident that the young people and liberals backing Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont will come around” to support her in November. But the reality is that the primary season has revealed a great divide within the Democratic Party. A McClatchy-Marist poll found that 25 percent of Sanders supporters will not vote for Clinton, and a Wall Street Journal poll found that 33 percent of Sanders supporters will not vote for Clinton. Many Sanders supporters describe her as Sanders’ opposite: He opposes Wall Street, and she is a Wall Street Democrat.

A Trump Victory May Be More Likely Without Sanders

The big fear is that a run by Sanders would result in a Republican victory for Donald Trump. People always hark back to the Gore-Bush-Nader race of 2000, but that is the mistake of fighting the last war and not the current one. (It is also a myth that Nader cost Gore the election.) Things have changed drastically in the 16 years since then. The risk of a Trump victory may actually increase if Sanders does not run.

In the Nader era, independents and the two parties almost equally divided the electorate. Now the two parties are below 30 percent (the Republicans at 21 percent), and independents are over 43 percent. Not only do fewer voters consider themselves Republicans or Democrats, but even many of those who do are not enthusiastic about their party or their likely nominees.

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey found 7 percent of Sanders voters could see themselves supporting Trump. These Sanders supporters share a strong dislike of Hillary Clinton and see both Trump and Sanders as outsiders who understand their economic hardship.

Trump is now pursuing Sanders voters. According to AlterNet’s Steven Rosenfeld, Trump has “recited Sanders’ critique of trade deals, the Iraq war, Clinton’s Goldman-Sachs speeches, and even slammed Medicare prescription drug price gouging as he paints himself on the side of frustrated Americans.”

“As he said on the eve of Indiana’s primary,” Rosenfeld continued. “ ‘I think a lot of theBernie Sanders young people are going to join my campaign.’ ”

Trump may be right. “Forty-four percent of Sanders supporters surveyed said they would rather back the presumptive GOP nominee in November,” an exit poll after the West Virginia primary found, “with only 23 percent saying they’d support Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.” Moreover, “31 percent … would support neither candidate in the likely general election match-up.”

Without Sanders in the picture, Trump could run to Clinton’s left, broadening his support base and capitalizing on Clinton’s weaknesses. On Wall Street corruption, Trump will be able to say that he did not take funds from Wall Street while Clinton has. Trump hasproposed taxing Wall Street, whereas Clinton protects the investment class. Trump has come out for raising the minimum wage while Clinton has been slow and hesitant to support raising it to $15 an hour. Sanders has already taken these popular positions, making it harder for Trump to benefit from them if Sanders were in the race.

Even on the issue of militarism, where Clinton is weak, Trump has made some sensible statements against wars that contrast with Clinton’s militarist positions. Sanders has run to her left on Iraq, Libya, Syria and Israel, as well as on regime change and military engagement. Jill Stein would bring an even stronger view against intervention and militarism, leaving little room for Trump to take advantage of Hillary’s penchant for war, militarism and intervention.

The dynamic of the race would also be different if Sanders is running. Both Sanders and Clinton would have a common opponent in Trump, and each would echo the other’s criticism of him. Together, they could prevent Trump from growing his base of support.

Sanders-Stein Could Win 270 Electoral Votes

In April, after the New York primary results came in, Sanders described his winning coalition:

“The reason we are doing so much better against Republican candidates is that not only are we winning … Democratic votes, but we are winning independent votes and some Republican votes as well. That is a point I hope the delegates to the Democratic convention fully understand. In a general election, everyone—Democratic, independent and Republican—has the right to vote for president. The elections are not closed primaries.”

Sanders has defeated Trump by more than 14 points in the last 10 polls measuring who would win if they ran against each other. And Sanders and Clinton are neck and neckin national polls. Sanders, the most popular politician in the country, does best among independents and youth and is the strongest general election candidate.

Positive or negative ratings often determine the outcome of the election. Sanders is the only candidate who is generally viewed positively.

“Overall, a clear portrait of Sanders emerges that is different from those of the other candidates,” Gallup reported. “He has a generally positive image, wins on the ‘softer’ dimensions of leadership and is above all else seen as caring, enthusiastic and consistent.” Further, Sanders “does well across all the [leadership] dimensions, with a more even distribution of perceived leadership characteristics than is the case for the other candidates.”

In comparison, The Wall Street Journal found that 56 percent of both Trump and Clinton voters said they would cast their vote simply because they didn’t want the other candidate to win.

Sanders does better among independents, the new plurality that will decide the election, than Clinton or Trump. In the primaries, he beat Clinton among independents by 29 percent. She has done poorly with independent voters in the primaries thus far and has been unable to win the independent vote in any state other than Alabama.

New voters, especially young ones, are also likely to be a big factor in the outcome of the election, as a Harvard Institute of Politics poll shows. Jill Stein takes strong positions on college debt and tuition, even stronger than Sanders. She is calling for confronting youth tuition debt, not just the current cost of college.

The Sanders-Stein team would excite youth because its agenda would positively impact young people’s lives. While more difficult to reach, even the poor who have been disenfranchised by the two Wall Street parties may even see hope and come out to vote. Finally, Sanders-Stein could unite all the parties on the left, including Green, Socialist and Progressive parties.Sanders would also do well enough in polling to ensure the duo’s inclusion in the presidential debates.

Standing side-by-side with Clinton and Trump would position Sanders well and reach an audience of 60 million. Everything could change with those debates, and the legitimacy of the Sanders-Stein campaign would be solidified. Once people see their potential to win, their numbers would increase. Sanders has already built an impressive national organization of volunteers and donors, and his campaign as a Green Party candidate would be seen as viable by the media and by voters.The other claim being put forward is that no candidate would get 270 electoral votes and that the Republican-led House of Representatives would then decide the election.

History shows this is more fear than reality. As Lawrence Tribe and Thomas Rollins wrote in The Atlantic in 1980—when there was a similar fear that the Reagan-Carter-Anderson race would leave the decision to the House: “[E]xperience teaches that our fears may be more a product of reflex than reflection.”There have been many multi-candidate races in American history, but the last time the House decided the outcome was in 1877—and that was not even because of a multi-candidate race. In fact, the losing candidate won more than 50 percent of the vote. The result got pushed to the House because of fraud. Before that, the House stepped in in 1824, when we had a very different electoral system. Fast-forward to 1992, when Bill Clinton won 40 percent in a three-way race and got 270 electoral votes.

In the unlikely event that nobody received a majority of electoral votes, Clinton and Sanders could negotiate before the Electoral College voted on Dec. 15 and avoid a House decision. Tribe and Rollins wrote that “a candidate might simply persuade the electors chosen to support him on November 4 to cast their ballots for someone else. Indeed, electors could do so on their own, since the Constitution makes them free agents.”

Each candidate could ensure control of how his electors voted by signing a contract with them, as George Wallace did in 1968. Two days before the election, Nixon and Wallace were negotiating on the electors, but then Nixon won the Electoral College and no deal was needed. Imagine what a Sanders-Clinton negotiation could produce.

In the unlikely event that nobody received a majority of electoral votes, Clinton and Sanders could negotiate before the Electoral College voted on Dec. 15 and avoid a House decision. Tribe and Rollins wrote that “a candidate might simply persuade the electors chosen to support him on November 4 to cast their ballots for someone else. Indeed, electors could do so on their own, since the Constitution makes them free agents.”

Each candidate could ensure control of how his electors voted by signing a contract with them, as George Wallace did in 1968. Two days before the election, Nixon and Wallace were negotiating on the electors, but then Nixon won the Electoral College and no deal was needed. Imagine what a Sanders-Clinton negotiation could produce.

Sanders and Stein could be a coalition that could not only win a plurality of popular votes in a three-way race but could also win 270 electoral votes. (Here is one possible map of how Sanders could pull it off.)

Their campaign would also bolster the campaigns of progressives who are running for Congress and share the Sanders-Stein agenda; and it would open space for future independent party challenges to the corporate political duopoly.

The Path to Ballot Access Across the Nation

This late in the game, there is only one path to getting on the ballot across the nation, and it cannot be done by running as an independent. Sanders would need to create an alliance with the Green Party, which is currently on 21 ballots (including some of the largest and most difficult states) and is on a path to being on almost all ballots.

Twelve states have deadlines for ballot access for independent candidates before the Democratic National Convention, which will take place July 25-28. Some important states are in that group, including Florida, Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina, Texas and Washington. By Aug. 15, 18 more states are due, among them California, Colorado, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Thus, it is impossible for Sanders to run an independent campaign after the Democratic National Convention.

But there is an alternative: Jill Stein, the presumptive nominee of the Green Party, wrote to Sanders after the New York primary to discuss “ways they and their campaigns could work together to win a progressive political revolution in the United States.” Stein sought to “have a conversation to explore possible collaboration, in this hour of unprecedented crisis and potential for transformative change.” In an interview with Dennis Trainor Jr., she said she would even be open to running as the vice presidential nominee if Sanders wanted the Green Party presidential nomination.

Sanders should meet with Jill Stein to determine where this could lead. Even if Sanders decides not to do anything further, meeting with Stein would strengthen his hand in negotiating with Clinton. The Democrats would then realize that Sanders has somewhere to go other than the Democratic Party, and the alternative path is consistent with his history as the longest-serving independent in the Congress.

Electing President Sanders

Those who want to see the Sanders campaign continue through Election Day need to urge Sanders to meet with Jill Stein and to not endorse Clinton. Sanders will only change course if he is pushed from the grass roots. In addition to massive petition, email and social media campaigns, people need to plan to come to the Democratic Convention and protest outside and inside, saying: “No Endorsement for Hillary” and “Sanders, Run Green.” If grass-roots activists succeed in doing so, the 2016 electoral revolution could end with President Sanders in the White House.

Patrick Walker, a veteran anti-fracking and Occupy Wall Street activist, is co-founder of Revolt Against Plutocracy and co-creator of the Bernie or Bust pledge, which spawned the nationwide Bernie or Bust movement. This article represents both his personal views and the official standpoint of Revolt Against Plutocracy.

Kevin Zeese has worked on multiple Green and independent campaigns, including as spokesman for Ralph Nader in 2004. Zeese is co-director of Popular Resistance, which grew out of the Occupy movement. This article represents his personal views.
The original source of this article is truthdig
Copyright © Kevin Zeese and Patrick Walker, truthdig, 2016

Ainhoa Aristizabal — Unruly Hearts editor

Iraq, Trustworthiness, and the FBI Investigation Make Bernie Sanders More Qualified Than Hillary Clinton

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - APRIL 07: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) speaks during the AFL-CIO Convention at the Downtown Sheraton Philadelphia on April 7, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania primaries will be held on April 26. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – APRIL 07: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) speaks during the AFL-CIO Convention at the Downtown Sheraton Philadelphia on April 7, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania primaries will be held on April 26. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)

imagesizer

Bernie is going to the Vatican to give a speech 4 days prior to the most important primary so far, NY. Bernie is not receiving $225,000 for his speech and a transcript will be available.

04/08/2016 09:40 am ET | Updated Apr 08, 2016

Before addressing the differences in their Iraq votes and favorability ratings, Democrats should take a trip down memory lane and revisit the 2008 Democratic Primary. Now that Bill Clinton has displayed his true feelings towards Black Lives Matter, months after Southern states helped Hillary take an early lead, it’s important to remember that the Clintons utilized racism against Obama. In 2008, Bob Herbert wrote a New York Times piece titled Of Hope and Politics documenting Hillary Clinton’s use of race and Islamophobia:

I could also sense how hard the Clinton camp was working to undermine Senator Obama’s main theme, that a campaign based on hope and healing could unify, rather than further polarize, the country.

So there was the former president chastising the press for the way it was covering the Obama campaign and saying of Mr. Obama’s effort: “The whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I’ve ever seen.”

And there was Mrs. Clinton telling the country we don’t need “false hopes,” and taking cheap shots at, of all people, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

We’d already seen Clinton surrogates trying to implant the false idea that Mr. Obama might be a Muslim, and perhaps a drug dealer to boot.

…He was drawing young people into the process and exciting people across party lines.
The big deal was that Senator Obama, defying every stereotype, was making it easier for people, frustrated by the status quo, to dare to hope and believe in the country again.

…Pride, the nuns told me in grammar school, goeth before a fall. It may not be fair that the Clintons seem to be forgiven every sin while Mr. Obama’s margin of error is tiny at best.

Indeed, Bernie’s “margin of error” this year is tiny, while Hillary Clinton expects to win the White House alongside a year-long FBI investigation.

Not long ago, as Mr. Herbert pointed out, Clinton even took “cheap shots” at Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr; another forgotten fact of her 2008 campaign. The former New York Senator did everything possible to portray Barack Obama as unrealistic, a closet Muslim (utilizing Fox News Islamophobia), and undermine Obama’s theme of hope and change.

Sound familiar?

Who’s drawing young people this election, offering hope and change, and appealing to the ideals of the average American?

It’s certainly not the person under FBI investigation. I explain in the following appearance on CNN New Day with Victor Blackwell that Hillary Clinton is able to get away with this style of politics, in part because of white privilege.

In terms of trying to crush hopes, dreams, and any genuine attempt at altering the status quo, Hillary Clinton is doing to Bernie Sanders what she and Bill tried to do against Barack Obama. The same complaints about tone (CNN reported “Bill Clinton complains about Obama’s attacks”) and attempts at vilifying Obama in 2008 are today being witnessed by Bernie Sanders. Ultimately, aside from the racism and Islamophobia, Hillary Clinton has used the same playbook against Bernie Sanders in 2016.

Hillary Clinton has always tried to embody pragmatism, despite the fact most Americans (67% of Americans, 30% of Democrats, 74% of Independents, and 64% of women according to Quinnipiac) find her “not honest and trustworthy.”

Hillary Clinton has negative favorability ratings nationally, with negative ratings in every major national poll, and this is before potential indictments from the Department of Justice.

In contrast, Quinnipiac writes “Sanders has the highest favorability rating of any candidate and the highest scores for honesty and integrity, for caring about voters’ needs and problems and for sharing voters’ values.”

Bernie’s interview with Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks highlights exactly why Sanders has the highest scores for honesty and integrity in 2016.

Experience, without trust, is worthless.

A resume, listing an ongoing FBI investigation, wouldn’t get you a job at McDonalds.

In terms of Iraq, Bernie Sanders voted against the Iraq War, using the same intelligence that Hillary Clinton used to vote for the tragic invasion. Also, her view of Iraq in 2004 speaks volumes. A CNN piece in 2004 titled Hillary Clinton: No regret on Iraq vote highlights her thoughts of Saddam and weapons of mass destruction:

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said she is not sorry she voted for a resolution authorizing President Bush to take military action in Iraq despite the recent problems there…

“Obviously, I’ve thought about that a lot in the months since,” she said. “No, I don’t regret giving the president authority because at the time it was in the context of weapons of mass destruction, grave threats to the United States, and clearly, Saddam Hussein had been a real problem for the international community for more than a decade.”

“The consensus was the same, from the Clinton administration to the Bush administration,” she said. “It was the same intelligence belief that our allies and friends around the world shared.

Interestingly, Bernie Sanders vehemently opposed the Iraq War, even though “the consensus was the same, from the Clinton administration to the Bush administration.”

To all the revisionists who’d vote for Clinton, knowing that Bush’s neoconservatives might advise her if she wins, Clinton stated “No, I don’t regret giving the president authority because at the time it was in the context of weapons of mass destruction.”

Clinton, like Dick Cheney, utilized the weapons of mass destruction defense.

In fact, Hillary Clinton used the same myths perpetuated by the Bush administration to justify her vote. A 2007 New York Times piece titled Hillary’s War explains how Clinton helped perpetuate the myth of Saddam Hussein being linked to Al Qaeda:

…Clinton continued, accusing Iraq’s leader of giving ‘’aid, comfort and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members.’’ This statement fit squarely within the ominous warning she issued the day after Sept. 11.

Clinton’s linking of Iraq’s leader and Al Qaeda, however, was unsupported by the conclusions of the N.I.E. and other secret intelligence reports that were available to senators before the vote…

Nevertheless, on the sensitive issue of collaboration between Al Qaeda and Iraq, Senator Clinton found herself adopting the same argument that was being aggressively pushed by the administration…

Yes, Hillary Clinton adopted Bush’s talking point and continued to perpetuate this myth.

As stated in the 2007 New York Times piece, “Senator Clinton found herself adopting the same argument that was being aggressively pushed by the administration.”

Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, voted against the Iraq War, and possessed enough wisdom and foreign policy knowledge to foreshadow every deadly consequence of the invasion.

Experience must correlate to wisdom and good judgement, if qualifications warrant becoming the most powerful person on the planet.

Wisdom and judgement certainly aren’t the hallmarks of Hillary Clinton’s email controversy. The ongoing FBI investigation is highlight by The Hill in a piece titled Report: FBI moves to interview Clinton over emails :

Hillary Clinton and her top aides might be questioned by FBI officials about her private email server within the next few days, according to a new report from Al Jazeera America.

The news outlet reported that the FBI has concluded its examination of Clinton’s email server and is in a “critical stage” of its investigation into concerns that the former secretary of State or her top aides mishandled classified information.

Since when was it ever a good idea to vote for a candidate being interviewed by the FBI?

I explain in this appearance on CNN International that Hillary Clinton faces the risk of indictment by the FBI. Also, I highlight in this YouTube segment why basic logic dictates Clinton “knowingly” sent and received classified intelligence from her private server. Thus, Bernie Sanders is infinitely more qualified to become president than Hillary Clinton, primarily because he voted against Iraq and isn’t linked to any FBI investigations. Most importantly, the American people trust Bernie Sanders, and he’s earned this trust while his opponent relies solely on the aura of political power to justify her candidacy.

Remember, Bernie Sanders beats Trump by a much wider margin than Clinton, and that’s all that counts in 2016.

Follow H. A. Goodman on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/HAGOODMANAUTHOR

Posted by Ainhoa Aristizabal — Unruly Hearts editor

Bernie Sanders’ Legacy: The Left may no longer need the rich

bernie-sanders-undemocratic-plan-primary

FILE — Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders greets supporters during a walk throughout City Center in Philadelphia, April 26, 2016. Sander’s success with working class voters in the primary race so far may mean the progressive left of the party may no longer need rich liberals, who tend to support Hillary Clinton, to compete nationally. (Mark Makela/The New York Times)

News By Nate Cohn – The New York Times

When Bernie Sanders started gaining in the polls, it was easy to place him in a long line of idealistic insurgents like Barack Obama, Howard Dean, Bill Bradley or Jerry Brown.

They built strong bases of support among white liberal voters, excelling in places like Boulder, Colo., and Vermont, but their chances of being nominated hinged on building a broader coalition that included nonwhite voters. Only Mr. Obama managed it.

Mr. Sanders, despite his success in Indiana this week, has effectively lost the Democratic nomination, and for a familiar reason: He didn’t do well enough among black voters. But he gained the enthusiasm of a subtly different — and potentially larger — coalition than his liberal predecessors.

His brand of progressivism played far better among white working-class voters than that of past liberal outsiders. At the same time, he fared far worse among the affluent Democrats who represented the core of Mr. Obama and Mr. Bradley’s coalitions.

Mr. Sanders’s weakness among affluent Democrats and his strength among working-class Democrats might seem unsurprising, given his class-focused message. Mr. Sanders himself anticipated it in an interview with The Upshot in July.

But in broader historical terms, it might be something of a turning point in Democratic politics: the moment when the party’s left no longer needs an alliance with wealthy liberals to compete in national elections.

Connecticut, which held its primary April 26, vividly illustrates the huge difference between Mr. Sanders’s coalition and that of past liberal challengers.

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In 2000, a flagging Mr. Bradley lost the state by 13 percentage points to Al Gore. He lost badly among nonwhite voters — losing cities like Bridgeport and Hartford by more than 40 points. He lost by more modest margins in the rural, white, working-class eastern part of the state. But he won many of the state’s affluent areas — like Greenwich and New Canaan, along with much of the traditionally liberal western and northwestern part of the state near the border with New York and Massachusetts.

Mr. Obama won almost all of the same areas in 2008, but then added strong support from nonwhite voters — enough to give him a narrow victory over Mrs. Clinton in the state. He won places like Bridgeport and Hartford, even as he fared similarly to Mr. Bradley in places like Greenwich and New Canaan. He fared little or no better in the white, working-class parts of eastern and central Connecticut.

The Sanders-Clinton race reversed this map. Mrs. Clinton lost almost all of the white, working-class areas of rural eastern Connecticut to Mr. Sanders, even though she had won most of it in 2008, as Mr. Gore had in 2000. But she beat Mr. Sanders by huge margins in the affluent parts of western Connecticut where Mr. Obama and Mr. Bradley fared well. She won back the nonwhite voters she lost to Obama in 2008, giving her wins in Bridgeport and Hartford that nearly matched Mr. Gore’s victory in 2000. It was enough for a clear if modest 5.4-point victory.

It’s a pattern that has repeated itself across the country. Mr. Sanders was routed in the wealthy, liberal parts of New York where recent progressive heroes such as Bill de Blasio or Zephyr Teachout fared well — like the Upper West Side, Greenwich Village and parts of Brooklyn.

In Massachusetts, Mr. Sanders lost the affluent, liberal voters in the Boston area, and he might well lose the Bay Area, another enclave of the wealthy and liberal.

This is the first time since 1992 that there’s been a real split between the progressive left and affluent liberals in a Democratic primary. In that race, an iconoclastic outsider, Mr. Brown, excelled among liberals in places like Ann Arbor, Mich., with a progressive message (including opposition to trade agreements), while a more technocratic candidate, Paul Tsongas, won in wealthy liberal areas like Montgomery County, Md., which includes many suburbs northwest of Washington. Bill Clinton easily prevailed over a divided left-liberal wing of the party with strong support among working-class white Democrats and black voters.

Why did affluent liberals support Mrs. Clinton?

But the left might have a better opportunity to reassemble the left-liberal coalition with a different progressive candidate if the problem were Sanders, not his views.

Equally important to the future of progressives in the Democratic Party is Sanders’ strength in the white working-class areas where Bradley, Obama, and both Brown and Tsongas faltered. It was Sanders’ strength among these voters that let him stay fairly competitive, even though he lost half of the traditional left-liberal coalition.

Sanders won white voters without a college degree by a double-digit margin in Connecticut, as he did in Maryland, Wisconsin, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Illinois, Oklahoma, Indiana, Vermont and Michigan. He probably did so in Rhode Island as well (no exit polls were conducted there).

Outside the South, Clinton probably won white voters without a college degree only in Ohio (the exit polls there show she prevailed with that group by 1 percentage point).

One possible explanation, again, is policy. Income inequality has become a vastly more important issue to Democrats since the Great Recession, and it is reasonable to assume that white working-class Democrats might be especially drawn to the issue. This is the best case for the progressive left; it would mean that a future progressive populist could count on similar levels of support with a strong, class-oriented message.

The evidence for this view is somewhat mixed. According a compilation of exit polls, about 40 percent of white voters without a college degree wanted more liberal policies than those of Obama, and Sanders won these voters handily. The highest number was in Vermont, where 46 percent of white voters without a degree wanted more liberal policies than Obama’s.

That is a big bloc that progressives can count on in the future, but it is not a majority, and it is less than Sanders’ share of white voters without a degree. That is in part because Sanders also won among those white working-class voters who wanted less liberal policies than those of Obama, a fact that makes Sanders look as much like a protest vote against Clinton as the harbinger of a new Democratic socialism.

According to exit poll data, liberals represented a majority of white Democrats without a college degree in nearly every primary contest. It is a huge change from just a decade or two ago, when so many white working-class Democrats were conservative. Clinton tended to win “moderate” white voters without college degrees in these states, but she lost among the self-described liberals.

A lot of this is a generational divide. Clinton won among white voters without a college degree who were older than 30, but she was pummeled among those who were younger.

Whether Clinton was so weak among young white voters because of her weaknesses or the appeal of Sanders’ policy message will probably decide whether the “Sanders Coalition” can be replicated in a future Democratic primary.

The exit polls, again, send a mixed message. About half of young white voters did not think Clinton was liberal enough, or they wanted policies that were more liberal than Obama’s. But Sanders also won among those younger voters who thought Clinton and Obama were liberal enough; her weakness might have had as much (or more) to do with questions about ethical governance as about policy.

One possibility is simple class politics: Mr. Sanders’s class-oriented message didn’t resonate among this group. If true, a candidate of the progressive left would struggle to reunite the left-liberal coalition against an establishment challenger in future Democratic primaries.

But the left might have a better opportunity to reassemble the left-liberal coalition with a different progressive candidate if the problem were Sanders, not his views.

Equally important to the future of progressives in the Democratic Party is Sanders’ strength in the white working-class areas where Bradley, Obama, and both Brown and Tsongas faltered. It was Sanders’ strength among these voters that let him stay fairly competitive, even though he lost half of the traditional left-liberal coalition.

Sanders won white voters without a college degree by a double-digit margin in Connecticut, as he did in Maryland, Wisconsin, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Illinois, Oklahoma, Indiana, Vermont and Michigan. He probably did so in Rhode Island as well (no exit polls were conducted there).

Outside the South, Clinton probably won white voters without a college degree only in Ohio (the exit polls there show she prevailed with that group by 1 percentage point).

One possible explanation, again, is policy. Income inequality has become a vastly more important issue to Democrats since the Great Recession, and it is reasonable to assume that white working-class Democrats might be especially drawn to the issue. This is the best case for the progressive left; it would mean that a future progressive populist could count on similar levels of support with a strong, class-oriented message.

The evidence for this view is somewhat mixed. According a compilation of exit polls, about 40 percent of white voters without a college degree wanted more liberal policies than those of Obama, and Sanders won these voters handily. The highest number was in Vermont, where 46 percent of white voters without a degree wanted more liberal policies than Obama’s.

That is a big bloc that progressives can count on in the future, but it is not a majority, and it is less than Sanders’ share of white voters without a degree. That is in part because Sanders also won among those white working-class voters who wanted less liberal policies than those of Obama, a fact that makes Sanders look as much like a protest vote against Clinton as the harbinger of a new Democratic socialism.

According to exit poll data, liberals represented a majority of white Democrats without a college degree in nearly every primary contest. It is a huge change from just a decade or two ago, when so many white working-class Democrats were conservative. Clinton tended to win “moderate” white voters without college degrees in these states, but she lost among the self-described liberals.

A lot of this is a generational divide. Clinton won among white voters without a college degree who were older than 30, but she was pummeled among those who were younger.

Whether Clinton was so weak among young white voters because of her weaknesses or the appeal of Sanders’ policy message will probably decide whether the “Sanders Coalition” can be replicated in a future Democratic primary.

The exit polls, again, send a mixed message. About half of young white voters did not think Clinton was liberal enough, or they wanted policies that were more liberal than Obama’s. But Sanders also won among those younger voters who thought Clinton and Obama were liberal enough; her weakness might have had as much (or more) to do with questions about ethical governance as about policy.

The Sanders-Clinton race reversed this map. Clinton lost almost all of the white, working-class areas of rural eastern Connecticut to Sanders, even though she had won most of it in 2008, as Gore had in 2000. But she beat Sanders by huge margins in the affluent parts of western Connecticut where Obama and Bradley fared well. She won back the nonwhite voters she lost to Obama in 2008, giving her wins in Bridgeport and Hartford that nearly matched Gore’s victory in 2000. It was enough for a clear if modest 5.4-point victory.

Hartford

New Haven

Bridgeport

Clinton vs. Sanders, 2016

Clinton stronger

Sanders stronger

Hartford

New Haven

Bridgeport

Clinton vs. Obama, 2008

Clinton stronger

Obama stronger

Hartford

New Haven

Bridgeport

Gore v. Bradley, 2000

Gore stronger

Bradley stronger

By The New York Times
But the left might have a better opportunity to reassemble the left-liberal coalition with a different progressive candidate if the problem were Mr. Sanders, not his views. (Anecdotally, I run into a lot of Hillary Clinton supporters who supported Mr. Obama in 2008 and say they would have supported

Posted by Ainhoa Aristizabal — Unruly Hearts editor

Bernie v. Hillary

Hillary has the billionaires and the Wall Street Hawks
but Bernie HAS THE PEOPLE! ~ UNRULY HEARTS

150706_POL_Sanders.jpg.CROP.promo-xlarge2

POLITICO’s coverage of the Democratic presidential primary.

Sanders rips closed party primaries in New York: ‘That’s wrong’

By Nolan D. McCaskill

04/19/16 11:56 AM EDT

It’s wrong that independents are unable to vote in New York’s primary, Bernie Sanders said Tuesday.

“I’m trying to do everything I can to get my vote casted for him,” a male supporter told reporters in New York while gesturing toward Sanders. “I can sign a court order and an affidavit and whatever I need to do, and I’m going to do that, but it shouldn’t be this hard to vote.”

“No, it should not be,” Sanders replied. “Today, 3 million people in the state of New York who are independents have lost their right to vote in the Democratic or Republican primary. That’s wrong.”

According to voter enrollment data from the New York State Board of Elections, more than 3 million voters are registered outside of the Republican and Democratic parties, barring them from voting in the state’s closed primary.

“You’re paying for this election. It’s administered by the state,” Sanders told the supporter. “You have a right to vote. And that’s a very unfortunate thing, which I hope will change in the future. Thanks so much for your support.”

A group of New Yorkers filed suit Monday asking for an emergency declaratory judgment to open New York’s primary up to all registered voters in the state. Some voters allege that their party affiliations were unknowingly altered, preventing them from casting their ballots Tuesday.
Authors:

Nolan D. McCaskill
nmccaskill@politico.com
@NolanDMcCaskill

This story tagged under:

Democrats New York Primaries Bernie Sanders Primary 2016 Elections Bernie Sanders 2016

Sanders and Kasich Should Ignore Any Pressure to Quit – By THE EDITORIAL BOARD – APRIL 19, 2016

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Bernie Sanders on Tuesday in Erie, Pa. Credit Sam Hodgson for The New York Times

By the Editorial Board of The New York Times- April 18, 2016

New York’s primary has rarely been more than a footnote in presidential history. But on Tuesday that all changed. Donald Trump won his home state by a substantial margin, while Hillary Clinton defeated Bernie Sanders, son of Brooklyn.

A prediction: The minute the results are final, Republican stalwarts will crank up the volume on calls for Gov. John Kasich to leave the race. He should ignore them. Mr. Sanders also has no reason to give up his fight.

Mr. Trump and Ted Cruz both want Mr. Kasich out of the competition. Mr. Trump figures that if it’s a two-person race, he’s more likely to start winning more contests with an actual majority of votes.

Mr. Cruz knows it is now nearly impossible for him to win the nomination outright, particularly with Mr. Kasich still around. So the thoroughly unlikable Texan, who has proved he will do or say nearly anything to win, has been raising weak ballot challenges aimed at disqualifying Mr. Kasich from various state contests, and fanning rumors that Mr. Kasich is angling to be a Trump vice president. The Kasich camp denies this.

Mr. Kasich is not an exciting candidate, or even a political moderate. But he is the most sane-sounding individual in the Republican field, and has been from the start. Unlike his rivals, he’s shown a willingness to play by the rules. His presence in the race offers moderate Republicans a palatable alternative in the primaries and caucuses, and also if there is a real fight at the convention.

Mr. Sanders has always stood more for a vision than for reality, especially with a Republican-led Congress. As he and Mrs. Clinton tore into each other in last week’s debate in Brooklyn, some Democrats worried that the nasty fracas would hurt the party. Others want Mr. Sanders to get out and let Mrs. Clinton focus on the Trump threat.

Posted by Ainhoa Aristizabal — Unruly Hearts editor