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January 25, 2020


They're just like the Ron Paul cult followers from years ago.

That chart may be the most powerful argument I've ever seen for voting for Sanders in the primary.

It would appear that Bernie is the only candidate bringing people into the party who aren't already in our tent. This chart makes it look like he has the potential to be the next Obama!

I have contributed to Mayor Pete's campaign (in very small amounts), but I may have to re-think my vote.

I was kind of waiting for someone to make the Sanders argument that Ed just made. Essentially the openness of other candidates supporters to vote for whoever might become the candidate is seen as weakness. Such people are both flexible and persuadable the Bros think. The theory seems to be that if they threaten to spoil everything for everyone else if they don’t get their own way other Democrats will find this persuasive. Well, look on the bright side, only half these supporters are dedicated to the proposition that behaving like a cranky four year old is a winning strategy.

To be honest the strategy adopted by the my way or the highway crowd would actually make sense if two other things weren’t true. The first is that so many Democrats find Bernie’s policies toxic to their interests that it would be easier to ditch those policies and their supporters and move back towards a more centrist array of positions. The other thing that would be true is that uncompromising people never compromise and are pretty much useless for any political purpose whatsoever. They are guaranteed to oppose every advance departs from their views.

I gotta say this new Bernie thing about expanding the tent from the right is really quite fascinating. Ideological purity is out. And pragmatism is in as long as these otherwise deplorable hoards support Bernie. But it does beg a very intriguing question. Which is simply stated, if you want to draw these people from the right into the Democratic Party, then what do you need the arch progressives for?


I agree with you Ed. I am so sick of the Bernie Bashing at this site that I seldom come here. Let us remember that in 2016 our host's choice was Jim Webb for Christ sake....and he hoped and hoped that Trump would be the Rep. nominee to make it a walk for Hilary...and of course the little agreeing chorus jumped on's looking at you, Anne, Peter. I work with many young people and they are sick of the choices they are given and most are Bernie supporters....and by the way they are not the Bernie Bros you all portray here. This site is so tedious with your right of centrist views so don't bother to jump all over me because I've deleted this site once and for all.

That was dumb. This site is not that at all. If this page endorsed Jim Webb in 2016 then that was commendable.

I have always admired Jim Webb, dating back to the Reagan era. I know innumerable Sanders supporters, and by and large (yes, not exclusively) good people. That's why I know 'em. In my case (N = 1) it looks like a majority of 2016 Sanders supporters I know are going elsewhere, esp. Biden and Pete. But heck, I know a lot of good people who support Trump; and yet, somehow, they remain good people. If we are to avoid even more division, we ought to remember that.

Sort of like when Oscar Levant quipped that he knew Doris Day before she was a virgin, I vaguely knew Bernie, in the mid-late Seventies, when he was a bum. I wonder how swing states voters will like endless YouTube videos of Bernie praising the Soviet Union, Castro, Communist Cuba, Ortega, and - believe me - ad nauseam. Ask yourself, isn't the Soviet Union a top honeymoon destination? Or haven't most of us stole utilities from our neighbors? Or being a deadbeat dad, refusing to pay child support for our out of wedlock children? For years, even if you were a Bernie supporter, if you questioned even slightly, on Facebook, the attacks were breathtaking. I have seen this. Bernie can't fail; he can only be failed. Those sites are every bit as nasty as the Trump sites,

We now know that over 25% of Sanders primary voters did not vote for Clinton. (whataboutism, you betcha: 14% of Clinton primary voters went for McCain, but 84% of 2008 Clinton primary voters did vote for Obama, who, you may recall, won in a landslide) and 12% of Sanders primary voters went for Trump; 16% in Pennsylvania. Look at those Stein - I'm sorry, I mean Putin stooge Stein - voters' margins in the three states.

To be fair, nearly all of us, right up to James Comey and Barack Obama, were convinced Clinton would win. Looking at the Ralph Nader margins 2000 and 2016, with an 83% drop in voters, many of us who stayed home, voted for Putin stooge Stein, left the presidential slot blank (like the 80,000 in Michigan), would have voted for Clinton, just as many, perhaps most 2000 Nader voters would have voted for Gore. "Wait, we made a terrible mistake!" - Michael Moore, the Piers Morgan of the modern left, after the 2000 Election. And as like 2004 there will be some hard-core sour grapes. Can't help them.

Want to make a middle-aged African-American woman or man laugh? Say, "Bernie can win." Let me testify this really works; it's been field tested. Speaking of which, it is irreducible, there is no avoiding, the proportion of more hard core Bernie Brothers, Stein Sisters and Ralph Nader voters are (1) overwhelmingly white and (2) overwhelmingly born and raised in comfort. That shoe fits. I do know some younger African-American Sanders supporters. But not their parents. Removing Trump remains Priorities One through Infinity. Most will do the right thing.

Some young people do support Sanders. That is true. And some support Trump. It is shame they are not old enough or knowledgeable enough to know they are being played. I am not the least bit surprised that some of them were susceptible to Bernie’s message. Which has been that both the Republican and the Democratic parties have betrayed the American people. This has been Bernie’s tune for the last two election cycles and is the basis for his entire Senate career.

I have questions. So what exactly is the Sanders plan to make all these America betraying Democrats tow the Sanders line? I mean since they aren’t going to vote for him? Is he going to disenfranchise them? And finally, since you have deleted this site, why is it still here?

I thought Webb a respectable candidate myself. There is much good sense in what you have written. I would like to point out myself that many Trump policies on things like trade and foreign policy were taken right from the far left and are completely at odds with standard Republican dogma. On other issues he made ridiculous promises on a scale similar to Bernie on things like health care. Where Trump did not outright lie his policies have failed. America’s alliances are largely broken and his attempts to enforce compliance with trade threats are just being shrugged off. I have actually read pieces by people like Jared Bernstein to the effect that Trump’s left wing policies are right. It is just that he was doing them wrong.

I find the Sanders arguments frankly ludicrous. Everyone to the right of Sanders in the Democratic Party have betrayed the American people and he is going to fix this by bringing in support from the other side of the spectrum? That is just stupid. This is not to say at all that there are not people who voted for Trump out of frustration that cannot be brought back. But the Democrats need to be very very selective about that. The poisons in the Republican Party need to stay right where they are.

Having stayed out of your domestic politics for the most part, and looking at this blog and our wonderful host, and sometimes disagreeing, (find myself in sympathy with sosueme). Whatever auto correct allows. She'll recognise herself if she checks back in.. The thing is, it's not a great idea to alienate everyone who disagrees with you.

Max and I are adversaries, I don't think that we agree on anything much. But what he just said above is the most honest and educated, summing up of how stuff works in the real world. Also, he gave me lots of facts about all these politicians that I had no idea about.



I am curious...if you were anticipating this Sanders argument, why would you comment about that argument, but fail entirely to even attempt to engage it?

The three paragraphs you give us are nothing but unsupported assumptions and pure mind-reading. Just look at your second paragraph, for God's sake!

Apologies for an error: The Nader vote from 2000 to 2004, not 2016.

Nader, 2000: 2,882, 955; 2.74% of the total vote;
Nader, 2004: 465,151; 0.38%; this represents 14% of his 2000 vote, so more like 86% than 83%.

Putin stooge Stein, 2012: 469,627; 0.36% of the total vote;
Putin stooge Stein, 2016: 1,457, 218; 1.07%

Most Nader voters figured out they made a mistake. This year Putin stooge Jill Stein will receive only a fraction of her 2016 votes. (In 2000 Election exit polls, 54% - 60% of Nader voters stated they would have voted for Gore had Nader not been on the ballot. No sheep on the left?)

FYI, the data cited on the 2016 Sanders' voters' behavior is from the Cooperative Congressional Election Study, a very large study. In addition, of the 25.7% of Sanders primary voters who did not vote for Clinton, only 1.6% were not Never Clinton voters.

Three additional points on Sanders. In Vermont he was on welfare in his 30s. ("I mean, who among us wasn't?")

As a one-time Vermonter who lived there when the Soviet Union expelled Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in 1974, and made his way to Cavandish, Vermont, where the citizenry protected him from the media, until he returned to Russia in 1994: At no time did Bernie ever see fit to visit Solzhenitsyn during that time - but Bernie could visit the Soviet Union and honeymoon with Jane there, in 1988. Sanders has never uttered a word of criticism of the Soviet Union, Castro, Ortega ad nauseam. Some human rights record, huh?

A good definition of white privilege and making the perfect the enemy of good: look at the Bernie brothers - and Sanders himself - by the contempt they constantly show towards the Affordable Health Care Act. (Sanders did the right thing and voted for ACA.) Evidently few Bernie brothers and sisters are among the 26 million Americans on ACA. Lucky them. "Maybe it has to get worse before it gets better" has been a decades-long refrain from the modern white left. Worse for whom? For thee but not for me.

You didn’t actually provide any evidence that Bernie is bringing in new people. In fact none of these voters are new. If Bernie thinks brining in people who are openly hostile to the gay community or believe in Qanon grade conspiracies with regard to HIllary Clinton is a good idea he is welcome to try. But if he thinks people won’t notice and it won’t cost him votes he is already mistaken. To be fair Bernie did show a certain flair for getting elected in a white and moderately conservative state. But that isn’t the United States. Bernie’s only possible path to primary victory requires Black people he isn’t getting. His only path to overwhelming that Black vote is with his new voters. And guess what they are mostly?

Vermont is one of the most liberal states in the U.S., Peter. And like it or not Sanders is now attracting quite a few younger Black voters.

By the way Ed, did you notice how Warren backed away from her M4A plans? She did that because they were offensive to key Democratic Party factions. Namely, organized labor. That is not my opinion either. It is what the unions are saying and why they mostly supported Clinton. In doing so they were and are doing exactly what their leadership is paid and legally obligated to do, whick is look after the interests of their members and their member’s families.

So much so they can list them. We will see soon how things go in the Carolinas. I disagree that Vermont is liberal. It is more libertarian than liberal. Hence Bernie’s votes against gun controls and also his votes against work visas for foreign agricultural workers. In both cases he sided with Republicans. In the latter case there is some wonderful YouTube video where Bernie explains that such visa workers take jobs from Americans. Which is bullshit. Americans disdain jobs picking fruit and vegetables. What I always found quite revelatory about Bernie is that at same time he was lobbying for year round visas for agricultural workers for the dairy sector in Vermont. So was Feinstein in Wisconsin. It seems those farmers need cheap labor to survive too. Very pragmatic to be sure but not very progressively pure.

Long before Sanders won a single vote as Mayor of Burlington in 1981 Vermont was one of the most liberal states in the Union. Even the Republicans were liberals, especially and including when Vermont was a one-party state. The most revered Vermont statesperson of the last century was Senator George Aiken, a Republican. He is most famously known for saying of Vietnam in '67 that we should declare a victory and pull out. Even the Smothers Brothers used that line. How about Republican Dick Snelling? Or do you remember Republican-turned-independent Jim Jeffords? Then there is Patrick Leahy. And Madeleine Kunin. And many others. I'm just scratching the surface, a surface you've never even come close to.

Until recently gun control wasn't a liberal versus conservative issue; it was a urban suburban versus rural issues. See: 1968 Gun Control Act votes. I have followed this issue for over 55 years.

I lived in Vermont and have stayed close in the decades since; was active in politics for years there; was a legislative intern at the State Capital, drafting bills and resolutions for Republicans and Democrats both. Mentored by Vermont's greatest native political scientist, Frank Bryan. (and others like Garrison Nelson and Raul Hilberg. You know that's guys, right?) You're not knowing stuff has never stopped you from having a smug opinion on said unknown stuff. You keep proving you can't teach a know-it-all. That's the difference between you and me: I respect what I don't know.

Explain Bernie’s really liberal votes. You will note that not long ago I was pointing out, as many have, that grandstanding aside Bernie’s Senate votes are often very pragmatic. But that is not how he pitches himself. The Democrats are never liberal or progressive enough for him to stay. But this doesn’t stop him from voting with the Republicans. When did Bernie ever take a position that would cost him votes at home? Never. Which brings me to Vermont’s aborted single payer health care system. Who shot that down? It sure wasn’t the Republicans. Vermont does not seem to be quite that liberal does it?

I'm not dignifying any more of your nonsense, Peter. But hey, this is your site. I get that. You will never learn that when you know everything about everything, you can't learn anything about anything.

And if the Democratic party at large doesn't call him out and call him down on his "only path to overhelming that Black vote" with his "new voters" - and we know who they are - what price will the Democratic party play in future for his opportunism? I wonder if they've considered the price they might pay in future for allowing him to basically spit on one of their most reliable voting blocks. Not to mention that's it's unconscionable.

While you are thinking about how liberal Vermont used to be think about how even more liberal Wisconsin used to be. The smug yet accurate answer to that is that the measure of your liberalism or even progressivism isn’t who you say you fight for. It is who you win for. And even more importantly what you are willing to pay for. So single payer failed in Bernie’s very liberal home state. Who killed it?

Sure I can Max. Explain it to me. You seem to see clearly what you want to see clearly. I think what I see is there to be seen. Single payer failed in Vermont because people who had good insurance, which includes public and private sector unionized employees and even non-unionized employees were not willing to pay more taxes to make it happen. And having passed it they realized they couldn’t pay for it without taxing most of their businesses out of business. Or so admitted their governor. This is why Sanders and Warren have such hard rows to hoe. Promises, vast ones, have to be paid for and taxpayers can vote. Am I missing something? Explain please what that is?

Checking back in, several arguments later and having watched (read) the bickering, let me really annoy the pants off you. You wouldn't need to have such intricate strategy is you had a standout candidate. Lining up a load of losers is going to end it for you and give us four more years of Trump. That's what I'm expecting even though I never for a moment thought that he could win first time around so hopefully I'm wrong again.. But he did win, and he'll likely win again. He has a crazy, dark energy and a resilience which few can match.

I don't know your system, or if someone can enter into the contest late. I don't really know my Joes from my Bernies, but I do know a winner when I see one. It looks like the ghastly Trump will reign supreme because he has no effective opposition. This is terrifying but we are girding our loins for another four years of horror, and kow-towing to a crackpot guy because you have not offered up a viable alternative. Sorry, but that's what I think.

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