HomeOpen ThreadLined up for Bernie & 5/28/19 Open Thread
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Sanders’s message has largely been targeted, it’s worth noting, at the super-rich. He told The New York Times, for instance, that he was different than the president, another rich person, by “not being a billionaire, not having investments in Saudi Arabia, wherever he has investments, all over the world.” That is a key difference and it slots in with Sanders’s larger message. His book royalties aren’t perpetuating global instability or inequality. The point of his political life has been to fight against both of those things; over the last few years, he’s managed to get rich doing so—though not that rich, at least compared to his fellow senators.

His policy platform, moreover, has emphasized, repeatedly, tax increases for people in what is now his income bracket. It’s not entirely clear what the charges of hypocrisy would even represent. You are, after all, allowed to advocate for the powerless from positions of power—more people in the United States Senate should try it.

Instead, the fixation on Sanders’s wealth seems to have more to do with a general discomfort in talking about his policy positions, and perhaps especially, his democratic socialism. The Beltway media, in particular, have struggled to understand his earnestness, and some of that cynicism often bleeds into coverage of his finances.

It also, of course, speaks to the desire to undercut Sanders’s message. “Bernie is a known quantity in any socialist paradise,” establishment-class Republican consultant Rick Wilson told Kruse, “the party apparatchik with the dacha…” Kruse helpfully notes that everyone who knows Sanders thinks the comparison is absurd. But Wilson’s corny line points to the dig that many have hoped would stick: That Sanders is really just another politician, in it for the money.

Still, the real lesson of Sanders’s millions isn’t that he’s sold out his political revolution. It’s that his political revolution is winning, turning him into one of the most improbable celebrities in recent American history. Far from hurting Sanders’s political success, his new wealth points to just how popular his ideas about inequality and fairness have become.



The women say that their professional experiences have led them to an inescapable conclusion: The motives of gargantuan for-profit health care industries — hospitals, pharmaceuticals, insurance — are incompatible with those of health care itself. They argue that a single-payer system, run by the federal government and available to all United States residents regardless of income or employment status, is the only way to fully eliminate the obstacles that routinely prevent doctors and nurses from doing their jobs.

Several proposals now working their way through Congress would aim to create just such a system. The nurses’ support for such proposals — the union has endorsed a bill put forth by Representative Pramila Jayapal of Washington — is somewhat surprising, because the zero-sum nature of American health policy tends to place them on the losing end of any major system overhaul. The money it will take to provide many more services to many more patients will have to come from somewhere, the thinking goes. And the paychecks of doctors and nurses are a likely source.

That calculus has not deterred the nurses.

Perhaps that’s because they see so much time and money wasted by the bureaucracy of the current system. By most estimates, the administrative costs of American health care surpass those of any other developed nation. Or maybe it’s because of the innumerable avoidable medical crises they constantly find themselves confronting. Patients go into heart failure because they can’t afford blood pressure medication, or gamble with their diabetes for want of insulin, then turn up in the hospital needing care that’s far more expensive than any preventive measure would have been.

Or maybe they just know that a steady job with decent health benefits does not exempt anyone from the arbitrary agonies of our current system. Ms. Johnson-Camacho recalls having to discharge a patient without essential chemotherapy — not because the patient was uninsured but because his insurer refused to cover the drug that had been prescribed. “I had just finished explaining to him how important it was to take this medication faithfully,” she says. “I told him, ‘Every day you skip it is a day that the cancer has to potentially spread.’ And then we had to send him home without it.”


I agree that Biden’s crowds are smaller partly because his strongest demographic is older voters who are less likely to attend rallies, etc. But is also shows that he is not inspiring younger voters who the Dems need to turn out. Those older voters will turn out to vote for any Dem; the younger ones not so much.


So where are the big energetic crowds, the lines around the block to get into Joe Biden’s events?

The question is no small matter in a party still recovering from a bitter 2016 defeat — a loss marked by a lack of enthusiasm for an establishment nominee in several critical states.

Attendance at the former vice president’s launch rally paled next to some of his rivals. In his first Iowa visit, he didn’t match the crowds that greeted Elizabeth Warren or even the less well-known Pete Buttigieg in their initial visits. So far, he’s kept his events to smaller venues where there’s little danger of empty seats.

In the eyes of Biden’s progressive critics — as well as President Donald Trump, who has publicly mocked him for it — the seeming lack of excitement or teeming masses at his events is a leading indicator of a lack of passion for his candidacy.

“I started to think the polls were wrong about Biden because it’s not what we’re seeing on the ground,” said Aimee Allison, founder and president of She the People, a national network devoted to promoting women of color.

“Inspiration is the X-factor and we’re waiting for the inspiration from Biden,” she said. “When the inspiration isn’t there, the turnout from the core of the Democratic base — women of color — isn’t there. And then we lose.”


This is the part that I liked in the article.😁

Last Saturday, when Biden held a rally for his headquarters’ opening in Philadelphia, his campaign estimated the crowd size was 6,000 — a count that some local observers thought might be generous. One local elected Democrat who supports Biden privately told POLITICO the rally was smaller and less energetic than expected.

The event fell far short of the size his surrogates predicted in one of the nation’s largest Democratic cities. Just before Biden formally announced his candidacy last month, former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, who helped organize a fundraiser for Biden, had loftier expectations.

“He’s enormously popular here,” Rendell, a former Philadelphia mayor, said in a late April interview. “We could get tens and tens of thousands of people … For one rally, I think we could do that.”

President Trump — for whom crowd size borders on obsession — seized on Biden’s Philadelphia launch, mocking the former vice president two days later at a rival Pennsylvania speech where he exaggerated the smallness of the crowd.

“We have thousands of people … look at the thousands and thousands of people we have,” Trump said at a Montoursville rally, for which his campaign declined to release an estimated crowd count. “They said [Biden] had 600 people … I’d say 150.

underlining by me.

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