Monday, June 13, 2016

What will we (Democrats) learn from Bernie's campaign?

We could learn, as Nick Hanauer put it, that the pitchforks are coming and that they might be pointed at us. Therefore, we should embrace Bernie's messages and include his policies in our day-to-day thinking and our political actions. We should go back to being the party of FDR and less the party of WSJ.

However, Matt Taibbi at RollingStone.com sees it differently and predicts that Democrats Will Learn All the Wrong Lessons From Brush With Bernie. "Instead of a reality check for the party, it'll be smugness redoubled," he says.

More snippets follow.

The maddening thing about the Democrats is that they refuse to see how easy they could have it. If the party threw its weight behind a truly populist platform, if it stood behind unions and prosecuted Wall Street criminals and stopped taking giant gobs of cash from every crooked transnational bank and job-exporting manufacturer in the world, they would win every election season in a landslide.

This is especially the case now that the Republican Party has collapsed under the weight of its own nativist lunacy. It's exactly the moment when the Democrats should feel free to become a real party of ordinary working people.

Nobody saw his campaign as an honest effort to restore power to voters, because nobody in the capital even knows what that is. In the rules of palace intrigue, Sanders only made sense as a kind of self-centered huckster who made a failed play for power. And the narrative will be that with him out of the picture, the crisis is over. No person, no problem.

This inability to grasp that the problem is bigger than Bernie Sanders is a huge red flag. ... the theme of this election year was widespread anger toward both parties, and both the Trump craziness and the near-miss with Sanders should have served as a warning. "The Democrats should be worried they're next," he says.

There s another undercurrent out there and that is the possibility of a third party arising from the Bernie movement. That thread was opened on Facebook by Robert Reich. I truly hope not. Here is my comment.

Don't get out and don't give up. We can effect change but only if we hang in there and vote. We can move the Democratic party towards Bernie's agenda but we need to be at the table to do it. My fear is that a new party would splinter the Democrats and then neither party would be in a position to defeat the next Trump in 2020.

My sense of the body of comments is that I'm in the minority among Bernie supporters. If so, then we could be headed for serious trouble in 2020.

If we don't learn the right lessons, then ask not for whom the pitchforks come. They come for thee.

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