With Democrats facing tough prospects in the midterm elections, will they also have to worry about primary challenges from their left flank?
During his presidential campaign, Sen. Bernie Sanders never quite decided whether his “political revolution” could coexist with the Democratic Party or needed to overthrow it. Now, Sanders is one of the most popular political figures in the country and the activists he galvanized have gone on to start new groups, join old ones, or run electoral campaigns.
The path of Sanders’ former staffers reflects the split in his movement, and the some are already galvanizing for the 2018 elections — and setting their sights on their own.
This week, Justice Democrats merged operations with another anti-incumbent group founded by former Sanders aides, Brand New Congress, which started last year.
“The point is we’ve watched this party over the last decade lose over 1,000 seats, lose a national election to least popular nominee in history, Donald Trump, and now we’ve seen poll after poll showing the Democratic Party less popular since election day,” Brand New Congress’ Corbin Trent said in an interview. “What we think is the American people are ready for a new direction.”
It’s a step farther than previous liberal efforts, which have fielded challenges to establishment favorite Democrats in open races but generally not against elected party members.
Despite the changes, Donald Trump’s new executive order on immigration isn’t drawing many fans from the Democratic side of the aisle, especially not Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Trump’s new order excludes Iraq from its list of restricted countries but retains restrictions on the remaining countries as well as a temporary ban on all refugees. In response, Sanders spoke out against the new order, calling it racist and anti-Islamic.
Sanders was notably one of Congress’ harshest critics of Trump’s original executive order. The congressman participated in at least one protest against the order and, in a tweet, wrote that the “Muslim ban is un-American, is unconstitutional and is going to make us less safe, not more safe.” Sanders echoed those sentiments in response to the new, revised order. In a statement on Monday, Sanders wrote:
Let’s call it what it is. This ban is a racist and anti-Islamic attempt to divide us up. A president who respected our traditions of religious freedom would not have resorted to hateful, anti-Islamic rhetoric to justify a ban on travel from six mostly Muslim countries. Even the Department of Homeland Security has said that citizenship is not a factor in terrorist threats. This isn’t about keeping America safe. A president responsible for keeping our citizens safe would not hand over ideological ammunition to terrorists seeking new recruits to kill Americans.
Before his statement on the new executive order, Sanders had already spent the morning speaking out against Trump. “President Trump cannot continue to lie, lie, lie. It diminishes the office of the president and our standing in the world,” Sanders wrote in one tweet regarding Trump’s baseless claims that Obama wiretapped his phone. “The United States will not be respected or taken seriously around the world if @realDonaldTrump continues to shamelessly lie,” he wrote in another posted only a few minutes later.
Everything thing else will be in the comments below, thanks for visiting.
In Atlanta, the Democratic National Committee is meeting to pass resolutions and elect a new chair. Currently there is debate about an amendment added last night to resolutions concerning the corporate lobbyist donations to the DNC–to keep it in the package for the DNC Unity Commission to review. The question is whether or not to continue the debate (motion to strike the amendment or not). The body voted to strike out the amendment, which means corporate money will be in the package for consideration. So much for taking big money out of politics. Update: Tom Perez has won the DNC … Continue reading →
Seventy-five years ago on February 19, 1942, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which forced more than 120,000 men, women and children of Japanese descent into internment camps. This included nearly 70,000 American citizens. Over the weekend, “Day of Remembrance” events were held across the country to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the internment of Japanese Americans and legal residents. Many people are asking if history can repeat itself. In 2015, Trump defended his proposal for a total and complete ban on Muslims entering the United States and compared it to the actions of FDR. We speak to the legendary actor and activist George Takei, who grew up in an internment camp.
Good morning friends. Starting with a video from Secular Talk discussing the Dem’s calling for Bernie to save them from their party members and then an article from Salon on the same topic, everything else will go in the comments. Have a great day!
The first month of the Donald Trump presidency has provoked a public backlash against the president and his Republican enablers in Congress. Massive protest marches against Trump and his policies have been complemented by rowdy town-hall meetings that have left Republican legislators gibbering in the face of angry constituents.
In politics, moments like these present what’s known as “an opportunity.” There’s obviously widespread discontent with the new administration, and a savvy opposition party would reorient itself to capitalize on that frustration. But for the Democratic Party, disruptions like these are something to be feared and controlled.
The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that having seen the problems Republicans are facing with angry voters in their home districts, senior Democratic leaders are cowering at the prospect of having their own events disrupted. The plan they have devised to prevent this from happening is to ask Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., to request all the activists to not protest
There’s no reason to think that Sanders or anyone else can tamp down activists’ anger against the Trump administration and politicians who seek to accommodate it. Instead of foisting this impossible protest-prevention job on Sanders, the smarter play would be to listen to what people are angry about and figure out why, exactly, Sanders is so well-received by activists.
The bigger problem underlying all this is that the Democratic Party still doesn’t seem to have a broader agenda other than projecting, “We’re not Donald Trump.” Consider for a moment the fact that Sanders’ title within the Democratic leadership is “chairman of outreach,” and the “outreach” that leaders want him to do involves telling people to stay away from Democratic events so that they can go yell at Republicans. And even as Democrats try to impersonate a hard-nosed opposition party, they still manage to stomp all over their message when members bend over backward to find “common ground” with the administration.
Rather than listening to its angry constituents and crafting a message that appeals to anti-Trump voters, Democratic leaders are trying to have it both ways and begging Bernie Sanders to help protect them from populist blowback. Schumer and Manchin want Sanders to direct protesters, in Manchin’s words, “to where the problem may be.” It never occurs to them that those activists might view Chuck Schumer and Joe Manchin as part of the problem.
Sen. Bernie Sanders rejected a movement to draft him into starting a new political party, telling “Meet The Press” on Sunday that his focus right now is on the Democratic Party as a whole.
“Right now I am working to bring fundamental reform to the Democratic Party, to open the door to the Democratic Party,” said Sanders, who lost the Democratic presidential nomination to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last year.
A group of former staff members and delegates for Sanders launched an effort last week called “Draft Bernie for A People’s Party,” which they called a “nationwide effort” to convince the senator “to found a new party rooted in the progressive principles that awoke a political revolution during his campaign for the presidency.”
As the White House examines their options after a federal appeals panel kept the halt of their immigration executive order in place, Sanders was asked about whether he believes current procedures to let refugees and other people in the country should be improved.
Vetting mechanisms we have now are very, very strong,” he said, but added that he’s open to hearing more from anyone who has a better idea to make them stronger. “I don’t think there’s any debate whether you’re progressive, conservative, or anybody else that we want to keep the United States safe.”
However, Sanders referred to the Trump administration’s immigration policies as “racist” and “based on anti-Muslim ideology.” He then called White House Senior Policy Adviser Stephen Miller’s comments about the immigration order in the “Meet the Press” appearance before him a “shell game” and a distraction from what he said was the president “backtracking on every economic promise that he made to the American people.”
The more alarmed one is by the Trump administration, the more one should focus on how to fix the systemic, fundamental sickness of the Democratic Party. That Hillary Clinton won the meaningless popular vote on her way to losing to Donald Trump, and that the singular charisma of Barack Obama kept him popular, have enabled many to ignore just how broken and failed the Democrats are as a national political force.
An endless array of stunning statistics can be marshaled to demonstrate the extent of that collapse. But perhaps the most compelling piece of evidence is that even one of the U.S. media’s most stalwart Democratic loyalists, writing in an outlet that is as much of a reliable party organ as the DNC itself, has acknowledged the severity of the destruction. “The Obama years have created a Democratic Party that’s essentially a smoking pile of rubble,” wrote Vox’s Matthew Yglesias after the 2016 debacle, adding that “the story of the 21st-century Democratic Party looks to be overwhelmingly the story of failure.”
A failed, collapsed party cannot form an effective resistance. Trump did not become president and the Republicans do not dominate virtually all levels of government because there is some sort of massive surge in enthusiasm for right-wing extremism. Quite the contrary: This all happened because the Democrats are perceived — with good reason — to be out of touch, artificial, talking points-spouting automatons who serve Wall Street, Silicon Valley, and the agenda of endless war, led by millionaires and funded by oligarchs to do the least amount possible for ordinary, powerless citizens while still keeping their votes.
What drove Bernie Sanders’s remarkably potent challenge to Hillary Clinton was the extreme animosity of huge numbers of Democrats — led by its youngest voters — to the values, practices, and corporatist loyalties of the party’s establishment. Unlike the 2008 Democratic primary war — which was far more vicious and nasty but devoid of any real ideological conflict — the 2016 primary was grounded in important and substantive disputes about what the Democratic Party should be, what principles should guide it, and, most important of all, whose interests it should serve.
That’s why those disputes have not disappeared with the inauguration of Trump, nor should they. It matters a great deal, perhaps more than anything else, who leads the resistance to Trump and what the nature of that opposition is. Everyone knows the popular cliché that insanity means doing the same thing over and over and expecting different outcomes; it illustrates why Democrats cannot continue as is and expect anything other than ongoing impotence and failure. The party’s steadfast refusal to change course even in symbolic ways — We hereby elevate by acclamation Chuck “Wall Street” Schumer and re-install Nancy “I’m a multimillionaire and we are capitalists” Pelosi — bodes very poorly for its future success.
Jordan from TYT Politics furthers the conversation with Glenn:
Well there is no shortage of things happening in the world, so lets get right to it with the Bernie & Cruz debate. The rest of the news/videos/etc will go in the comments, always glad to see familiar faces and certainly am welcome to some new ones as well!
Echoing the populist message that earned him millions of supporters in his bid for the White House, Sanders called on the United States to join “every major country on earth” to declare that “healthcare is a right,” not a privilege.
But when Sanders asked Cruz if he agrees that Americans are entitled to healthcare, the Republican — and Princeton University champion debater — turned the question back on Sanders.
“Rights mean you have a right for government not to mess with you,” Cruz said, rattling off a litany of rights under the Constitution. “It’s access to healthcare….If you think healthcare is a right, why on earth did you help write Obamacare that caused six million people to have their health insurance canceled?”
Referencing Hunter, the Texas salon owner, Cruz accused Sanders of “denying her what you say is her right.”
Sanders wasn’t amused. He countered that Americans, including Hunter, the salon owner, have “access” to purchase multi-million dollar properties owned by people like Trump, for example, but that doesn’t mean they can afford to buy them.
Happy Sunday All! Wanted to share a few things, first a short vid showing the line to get inside to hear all the speakers, including Bernie, speak on behalf of health care policy in Michigan: The line in Warren, MI where it's 28°, waiting to see a 75-year old talk health care policy. 🎶Times are a-changin'🎶 pic.twitter.com/67ItkJ0kPx — Our Revolution (@OurRevolution) January 15, 2017 Here is a link for that rally: Here’s is Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood discovering that perhaps she’d backed the wrong candidate last year: In case anyone ever doubted that people would show up to fight … Continue reading →
Hello everyone! I hope you are all having a great day and recuperating from the holiday season. While LD deals with his connectivity issues, I thought I’d start a thread for anyone to add any news or issues if they were so inclined. There’s the hubbub going on in California today (love that mural!): RT Hutch__: The dem socialist takeover is happening in CA. I'm at District 51. The fightin' 51st!!! People4Bernie… pic.twitter.com/O3NFY6kASk — Re-Elect Bernie 2020 (@ReelectBernie) January 8, 2017 and, more standing room only: Standing room only in #AD4 for delegate elections. Still time to vote in some … Continue reading →
Good morning friends! Once again apologies for the issues yesterday, WordPress seems determined to have me spending all of my time I have the internet back to working researching various support forums.
Hope you are all well! I’ll throw a couple fairly recent Nina Turner videos out to start the Open Thread with and then put more stuff in the comments through the day as I read/watch it.