Hello friends! Starting the day off with some more coverage of Bernie’s weekend healthcare rallies and then will put the rest of the news/videos/etc. that I’m consuming this morning in the comments and as always you are invited to do the same. Any issues with commenting/signing up can be sent to the firstname.lastname@example.org.
When Bernie Sanders spoke at a rally on Sunday afternoon to stop the Republican effort to dismantle Obamacare, he didn’t wait long to bring up President Trump.
“I am more than aware that Donald Trump did very well in the state of West Virginia, I got that,” the Vermont senator told a crowd inside a hotel ballroom. “Donald Trump told the people that he was going to be a champion of the working class,” he said, then added. “I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but I suspect most of you already know it, Donald Trump was not telling you the truth.”
If Democrats want to win back the White House, Congress, and hundreds of seats lost in state legislatures, the party may need to convince voters who pulled the lever for Trump of this fundamental argument: That the president is not their champion, and never will be. Sanders, who posed a serious challenge to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary while running as a self-described “democratic socialist,” is doing his best to persuade them.
West Virginia was the senator’s first stop on a day-long, two-state trip to campaign against the Senate Republican health-care bill. Next up was Covington, Kentucky, a city near Cincinnati, Ohio, where Sanders called the health-care bill House Republicans passed in May “the most anti-working class legislation that I have ever seen,” adding that “the Senate bill, in many respects, is even worse.”
It’s unusual for a high-profile progressive politician to hold a rally in a red state like Kentucky, or even West Virginia, a former Democratic stronghold that has trended conservative in recent years, outside of a presidential campaign. That may be part of the reason why the Democratic Party’s power has eroded so severely across the country.
“It’s amazing, the degree to which, in this country, in states like West Virginia and Kentucky, Democrats have, to a large degree, forfeited these states, conceded these states to right-wing Republicans,” Sanders said in an interview before boarding a plane to leave Kentucky. “In many cases, these are working-class states, these are states where people are struggling economically. The idea, that Democrats would not be fighting, and investing in, and working with people in these states, is to me, beyond comprehension.” He added: “You don’t win if you don’t show up.”