Friday, June 17, 2016

Sanders' prepares for Democratic convention

D.D. Guttenplan summarizes Bernie Sanders' message in his address to his supporters Thursday evening, Last Night, Bernie Sanders Didn’t Concede — but He Focused on the Bigger Fight The Nation 06/17/2016:

Yet Sanders was also crystal clear, both on what is at stake, and his own role in that fight: “The major political task that we face in the next five months is to make certain that Donald Trump is defeated and defeated badly. And I personally intend to begin my role in that process in a very short period of time.” If not the engagement announcement some Clinton supporters may have hoped for, this was much more than merely an willingness to be wooed.

Because, as Sanders said last night—and has maintained since his candidacy was little more than a blip in the polls—“this campaign has never been about any single candidate. It is always about transforming America.” Without committing to that transformation—to ending the “disgrace” of childhood poverty, getting big money out of politics, ensuring the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes, making health care a human right and higher education no longer dependent on income or wealth—winning in November will have little consequence.

With a real commitment to such changes, however, this election could indeed mark a decisive turn in our politics, and our national life. For America to make that turn, though, and for Sanders to complete his pivot, the Democratic Party will first have to transform itself from an electoral machine trading corporate money for votes and influence into, as Sanders rightly said, “a party of working people and young people, and not just wealthy campaign contributors: a party that has the courage to take on Wall Street, the pharmaceutical industry, the fossil fuel industry and the other powerful special interests that dominate our political and economic life.”
Sounds good to me.

The relentlessly conservative, preserve-the-status-quo tone of Hillary Clinton's primary campaign this year, even while she's claiming to embrace more progressive stands than she has in the past, really makes me think the corporate bent of the Clinton Democrats is more intense and bitter than it may have seemed over the last couple of years.

Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks comments on the address in Bernie's Political Revolution WILL NOT Be Suspended! 06/16/2016:



He stresses the importance of the movement that Bernie is promoting, which certainly includes the campaign against Trump this year but is not at all limited to that, either in goals or in time.

And, given the topic, I think it's silly for Democrats to quake in fear at the mention of the word "revolution" in this context. After decades of the Republican "revolutions" - Reagan Revolution, Gingrich Revolution, Bundy Bumpkins Revolution - the Democrats need to project a more inspiring vision than At Least We're Not Republicans Even Though We Agree With Them On Lots Of Stuff.