Sunday, December 4, 2016

Matt Taibbi Interviews Bernie Sanders: Where We Go From Here - Rolling Stone

One thing is clear - Bernie Sanders is not a socialist-communist but a Roosevelt New Deal Democrat - with a left twist. The New Deal  basically ran from 1933-1968 - when it started to become undone by the Vietnam War - yet even Nixon was on the whole in line with it --- in many ways we can say the Democrats began to unravel it with Jimmy Carter, Regan went after the fundamentals of the ND -- government is the problem and so are taxes -- Clinton and Obama especially didn't defend ND ideals - which also included support for labor unions -- in fact the Dems abandoned unions in so many ways -- especially with the ed deform attack on teachers - and now we face the possible final ending of the ND over the next 4-8 years (does anyone think there is a Democrat out there who can win in 2020?). This may be the first time the Republicans have had absolute control of every branch of government since just before the great depression, which is where unfettered capitalism will lead us. Here are some excerpts from the Taibbi piece.
Sanders believes it is a mistake to dismiss the Trump movement as a monolithic expression of racism and xenophobia. Trump's populist appeals, sincere or not, carried the day, and Democrats need to answer them....
those same voters just lost any sympathy many Democrats might have had by electing the race-baiting lunatic Trump. Exactly how much courting of such a population is permissible? Is trying to recapture voters who've made a racist choice in itself racist?
... Matt Taibbi interview with Sanders in Rolling Stone

Do not believe that the vast majority of the people who voted for Trump are racist, sexist or homophobes. I don't believe that. Some are. I don't believe they all are. They have turned to Trump out of desperation and pain because the Democratic Party has not even acknowledged their reality, let alone addressed it.
Our future is not raising money from wealthy people, but mobilizing millions of working people and young people and people of color...
How to deal with Trump voters was a theme in our discussions at the almost 4 hour ICE meeting on Friday. Bernie always seems to have his finger on the right button. This question also came up at the UFT Ex Bd meeting last Monday, which I will write more about later today.

Taibbi opens with this intro:
It feels like a bomb went off in Washington. In less than a year, the leaders of both major parties have been crushed, fundamentally reshaping a political culture that for generations had seemed unalterable. The new order has belligerent outsider Donald Trump heading to the White House, ostensibly backed in Congress by a tamed and repentant majority of establishment Republicans. Hillary Clinton's devastating loss, meanwhile, has left the minority Democrats in disarray. A pitched battle for the soul of the opposition party has already been enjoined behind the scenes.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who won overwhelming youth support and 13 million votes during primary season, now sits on one side of that battle, in a position of enormous influence. The party has named him "outreach chair," and Minnesota congressman and Sanders political ally Keith Ellison is the favorite to be named head of the Democratic National Committee. This is a huge change from earlier this year, when the Sanders campaign was completely on the outs with the DNC, but many see Sanders' brand of politics as the Democrats' best shot at returning to prominence.

Sanders' rise is a remarkable story, obscured by the catastrophe of Trump's win. When I first visited with Sanders for Rolling Stone, 11 years ago, for a tour of the ins and outs of congressional procedure, he was a little-known Independent in the House from a tiny agrarian state, an eccentric toiler pushing arcane and unsexy amendments through Congress, usually on behalf of the working poor: expanded access to heating oil in the winter, more regional community health centers, prohibitions against regressive "cash-balance pension plans," etc.

His colleagues gently described Sanders as a hardworking quack, the root of his quackery apparently being that he was too earnest and never off-message, even in private. He had fans among Republicans (some called him an "honest liberal") and many detractors among Democrats, who often grew weary of his lectures about the perils of over-reliance on donations from big business and Wall Street.

In other words, Sanders was a political loner, making his recent journey to the top of the Democratic Party even more remarkable. He has been put in this position not by internal patronage but by voters who are using him to demand that Democrats change their priorities.

At his Washington office a week after the election, I sat down with Sanders and his wife, Jane, just after the release of his new book, Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In. When he offered to get me a copy, I told him I'd already read the e-book, at which he frowned. "Does that have the pictures?" he asked. He was relieved when I told him it did, including black-and-whites from his youth in Brooklyn.

Sanders' experiences growing up in the hardscrabble Flatbush neighborhood still seem central to the way he looks at the world. All the adults in his neighborhood voted Democratic. The loss of the support of those kinds of people still eats at Sanders, like a childhood wrong not yet corrected. Thus the opportunity he has now to push the Democrats back in that direction is something he doesn't take lightly. He's spent his whole life getting to this point.
The senator and his staffers were obviously sorting through a variety of emotions, and it was hard not to wonder what might have been. But Sanders admonished himself once or twice not to look back. "It's not worth speculating about," he said.

Instead, Sanders laid out the dilemma facing the Democratic Party. The Democrats must find their way back to a connection with ordinary people, and this will require a complete change in the way they do business. He's convinced that the huge expenditure of time and mental effort the Democrats put in to raise more than $1 billion for the Clinton campaign in the past year ended up having enormous invisible costs. "Our future is not raising money from wealthy people, but mobilizing millions of working people and young people and people of color," he says.
Read the full interview:

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/bernie-sanders-where-we-go-from-here-w452786

2 comments:

  1. Two things stood out for me….
    “His colleagues gently described Sanders as a hardworking quack, the root of his quackery apparently being that he was too earnest and never off-message, even in private…. and many detractors among Democrats, who often grew weary of his lectures about the perils of over-reliance on donations from big business and Wall Street.”
    Dems think Bernie’s a quack for driving a message they REFUSE to hear…the very same message that resonated with voters in counties Clinton lost but Obama carried. A month into the election autopsy and they still don’t get it. And…
    “The loss of the support of those kinds of people still eats at Sanders, like a childhood wrong not yet corrected. Thus the opportunity he has now to push the Democrats back in that direction is something he doesn't take lightly.”
    If the democrats need a “push” to see the light then maybe the best push would be one that sends them all off a damn cliff with Bernie being the only one given a parachute. I’m not holding my breath waiting for the very same people who conspired against Bernie to now respect and adopt his message. Roseanne McCosh

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Roseanne,

      I see little evidence that an autopsy is being conducted.

      Abigail Shure

      Delete

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