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:
Good morning friends! I’ll get straight to the news and start with Emma Vigeland of TYT Politics speaking with Tulsi Gabbard about her recent trip to Syria where she met with both civilians and President Bashar al Assad:
As usual the rest of the news I’m reading/watching will be in the comments. See you there! (And if you have any issues, please contact the tpwhelpdesk via the gmail)
After his colleague Elizabeth Warren was silenced by the Senate on Tuesday night, Bernie Sanders read Coretta Scott King’s letter protesting Jeff Sessions to the body on Wednesday morning. Warren had begun reading the letter before the assembled Senate on Tuesday when Senate Majority Leader invoked Senate Rule XIX to force Warren to cede her floor time. The rule states that Senators may not ” by any form of words impute to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator.” Despite the fact that the words were not Warren’s own, a party line vote forced her off the floor to the immediate outrage of millions following the situation across the country.
“The idea that a letter, a statement made by Coretta Scott King, the widow of Martin Luther King Jr., a letter that she wrote, could not be presented and spoken about here on the floor of the Senate, is to me incomprehensible,” Sanders said before reading the letter. “I want the American people to make a decision whether or not we should be able to look at Senator Sessions’ record and hear from one of the heroines of the Civil Rights Movement.”
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.
“I don’t mean to be disrespectful,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday morning, “but this guy’s a fraud.”
The immediate reference was to a meeting President Donald Trump held with Wall Street executives on Friday in which he vowed—in what Common Dreams reported as a “spectacular betrayal”—to repeal key elements of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill enacted in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.
“It is hard not to laugh,” Sanders said, “to see President Trump sitting alongside these Wall Street guys. This guy ran for the President of the United States saying, ‘I’m Donald Trump and I’m gonna take on Wall Street—these guys are getting away with murder…’ But suddenly he appoints all these billionaires; his major financial adviser comes from Goldman Sachs; and now he’s gonna dismantle legislation that protects consumers. This is a guy who ran for president saying, ‘I’m the only Republicans who’s not going to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid’—and then he appoints all of these guys who are precisely going to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.”
And so, Sanders continued, “I hope those that all of those folks who voted for Mr. Trump—because they thought he would stand up for working people—man… and he’s a good showman, I will give him that… but I think he’s gonna sell out the middle class and the working class of this country.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Sanders said he would stand with Democrats in the Senate who have said that Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, must reach the 60-vote threshold in order to be confirmed.
He said fulfilling the empty seat on the Supreme Court comes at a crucial time and that its implications should not be understated. Sanders described the current political moment as “exceptional times,” and said he worries “very much” that “we have a president… moving us in a very authoritarian direction.”
He explained that he was very worried that Trump, who on Saturday sent a tweet referring to a federal judge who ruled against his immigration order a “so-called judge,” is a president “who apparently has contempt for the entire judiciary” and antagonstic towards separation of powers. “I want a Supreme Court,” Sanders continued, “that is going to stand up to civil liberties; for our constitutional rights; for the rights of workers; for environmental rights; for the rights of women. So yes, sixty votes to appoint the next Supreme Court justice.”
More news, videos, commentary, etc in the comments. Hope you all had a great weekend and are able to join in the conversation and tell us all about it, and what’s interesting to you in the world at the moment.
Donald Trump has used his first TV interview as president to say he believes torture “absolutely” works and that the US should “fight fire with fire.”
Speaking to ABC News, Trump said he would defer to the defence secretary, James Mattis, and CIA director, Mike Pompeo, to determine what can and cannot be done legally to combat the spread of terrorism.
But asked about the efficacy of tactics such as waterboarding, Trump said: “absolutely I feel it works.”
“When Isis is doing things that nobody has ever heard of since medieval times. Would I feel strongly about waterboarding. As far as I’m concerned we have to fight fire with fire.”
Trump said he asked intelligence chiefs earlier this week whether torture works. “The answer was yes, absolutely,” he said.
Good morning everyone. Another hectic weekend with a whole lot going on. I’ll add what I’m reading/watching into the comments and thank you for doing the same. As always anyone is invited to create their own posts on their own topics of choice at will… so please don’t wait around for my permission!
Starting the day off with Bernie’s speech @ The Women’s March:
Happy Tuesday everyone! Hope everyone enjoyed the weekend/Holiday and was able to relax a bit. As you can see the rec’s are still missing as they caused some conflict when I put them back in… but think I’m close to figuring that out, so will try again this evening.
Lots of news/videos to catch up on, most of which I’ll post to the comments through the day.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders brought a standing-room only crowd to its feet at Ebenezer Baptist Church, calling on the nation’s leaders to advocate Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream instead of simply celebrating it.
“If you honestly believe in what Dr. King stood for then stop the voter suppression,” Sanders said in a rousing speech that touched on themes familiar to those who have followed his career and his recent presidential race.
Sanders said before he was assassinated in 1968, King was not revered as he is today. He was still fighting for the poor and would today be shocked that so many of those same people are behind bars.
“He would join us in saying maybe we should be investing in jobs and education, not jails and incarceration,” Sanders said of King.
Happy Friday everyone! Thanks for all the great content yesterday, it’s quite appreciated! I postponed putting the Like/Rec feature back in until this evening as I’ll have more time to monitor things and make sure nothing goes too horribly wrong.
Here’s Bernie on MSNBC, everything else will go in comments per usual!
Good morning friends! I’m catching up on a lot of days of missed news/content/etc… so I thank you for your patience, and especially thank those of you who continued to post while I was away (that is why we exist afterall!). I know wordpress can look overly complicated but it is actually fairly simple and I’ll put together a quick tutorial asap.
As usual I’ll be posting what I’m watching/reading this morning as I come across it. You are quite welcome to throw your thoughts/views/opinions/rants/anything else… into the mix as well.