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Old 03-07-2020, 11:51 AM
Mike Mabes is offline
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an open letter to Bernie Sanders


the title is a joke, I'm not sending this to Bernie. This is what I wrote on my Facebook page. And well, hell, I think it's not bad-

Get out of the race, Bernie. I love you man, but you have done all you can do. If this country does not descend into a facist state and eventually becomes the country we want it to be, you will be looked upon as a Jefferson, a Thomas Paine, whoever one might want to name. Eight years ago Medicare for All had the support of about 100 people, now it is in the discussion. We will get there and we can do something about income inequality, and the money in political campaigns, etc, but we can't change this country from the top down.

Get out of the race, support the centrist (yes, once again we have to settle) and after Trump is on the ash bin, continue to work to build the movement. You lost Super Tuesday, but you won voters under 45 by 20 points. Real change can come to America.

Look at my home state of Virginia. The Democrats now hold all three houses of government, and they have ended the Lee Jackson holiday and turned it into an Election Day holiday and they are working on bills that have been blocked by Republicans for years, including legislation that would expand access to abortion, a ban on housing discrimination based on sexual orientation, background checks for gun owners and an increase in the minimum wage. They might not get it all passed, but these things are now in the discussion. In Virginia. Home of Robert E Lee. Never thought I would see this, I grew up there, born in 1962.

Get out of the race, Bernie, you cannot win it. It does not matter how true your criticisms about the Democratic establishment may be, if you continue to attack Biden (fuck this is the best we can do?!) you may get Trump re-elected. He won last time by 75,000 votes in three states, that is how thin our margin is. And it is a razor thin margin. I think of Apocalypse Now, and Kurtz talking about his dream - a snail crawling along the edge of a straight razor and surviving. That will be this country after four more years of Trump.
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Old 03-07-2020, 12:07 PM
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I feel centrists are priming the narrative that if their candidate loses the general, it's Bernie fault and the fault of his voters. Not theirs for picking Biden. They did the same thing with Hillary. Pick the centrist, they lose, blame the left and pick the centrist again next time. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Bernie won't drop out but he will happily concede if he loses the primary. He said on Maddow that if Biden wins more delegates, then Biden won the race. Nobody on stage would give Bernie the same benefit of saying he won if he won the most delegates. Bernie has already shown himself to be less of a sore loser than all the other candidates. Hillary only said she'd support Bernie if he won the nomination after she was criticized for being wishy washy.

Bernie goal is to build a grassroots movement to get money out of politics and get people involved in politics. It's bigger than him and bigger than one election cycle.

The vast majority of people who are actually democrats will vote for whoever the nominee is thins November. The ones that sit it out or vote for another candidate are likely either Republicans or green party supporters anyway.
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Last edited by Wesley Clark; 03-07-2020 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 03-07-2020, 12:10 PM
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No.

First: the winner of the primaries is in no way decided yet. Just look at a couple weeks ago when people were thinking Biden was doing very poorly.

Second: what happens when you have a strong opponent in the primaries is that it really sharpens up the skills of the political apparatus of the eventual winner--for example getting out the vote of your supporters or responding to attacks from an opponent.
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Old 03-07-2020, 12:23 PM
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To the extent that Bernie can continue to influence the party to remain more progressive and perhaps even influence a more progressive choice of running mate for Biden, he should continue to challenge. But not a minute longer. Bernie has said that if by the end of the primaries, he is behind the leader, he will forfeit and not take it to a contested fight. I hope he remains a man of his word.
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Old 03-07-2020, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wesley Clark View Post
I feel centrists are priming the narrative that if their candidate loses the general, it's Bernie fault and the fault of his voters. Not theirs for picking Biden. They did the same thing with Hillary. Pick the centrist, they lose, blame the left and pick the centrist again next time. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Bernie won't drop out but he will happily concede if he loses the primary. He said on Maddow that if Biden wins more delegates, then Biden won the race. Nobody on stage would give Bernie the same benefit of saying he won if he won the most delegates. Bernie has already shown himself to be less of a sore loser than all the other candidates. Hillary only said she'd support Bernie if he won the nomination after she was criticized for being wishy washy.

Bernie goal is to build a grassroots movement to get money out of politics and get people involved in politics. It's bigger than him and bigger than one election cycle.

The vast majority of people who are actually democrats will vote for whoever the nominee is thins November. The ones that sit it out or vote for another candidate are likely either Republicans or green party supporters anyway.
Good points, all of them. I think the 3rd paragraph is the key. I hate to sound like a conspiracy guy, but unless Bernie has an overwhelming majority, they won't let him get the nomination. Will do anything they can to prevent it. The DNC will not let a socialist be their nominee. And Bernie will not get an overwhelming majority, there will not be a Bernie Wave in the next couple of months.

Maybe it will turn out like 1968, when McCarthy got the nomination. The centrist always gets the nomination.
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Old 03-07-2020, 01:13 PM
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I think in general people are handling their votes differently in this cycle than they might otherwise. The overwhelming consideration seems to be beating Trump. I will vote for either Biden or Bernie without compunction come the day.


(I don't know what the hell Tulsi Gabbard is doing - waiting for the off chance that both candidates have health issues before November?)
  #7  
Old 03-07-2020, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wesley Clark View Post
I feel centrists are priming the narrative that if their candidate loses the general, it's Bernie fault and the fault of his voters
To be fair, Sanders supporters were priming the narrative that they could only lose due to a corrupt DNC and conspiracy (not possibly because Sanders ran a bad campaign and failed to convince people beyond the already converted) before the race even started.
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Old 03-07-2020, 01:40 PM
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I think many would agree that he shouldn't stay a minute longer than the point at which he starts making it harder to defeat Trump.

But then the challenge is how you tell when that point is upon us. Which, of course, will become a big argument.

Who here is sure he did or did not reach that point in 2016?

I think he DID reach that point. If he had behaved differently, and turned away from his own campaign and toward helping Hillary's earlier (and more convincingly), I think Trump wouldn't be there now.
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Old 03-07-2020, 01:40 PM
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I see Biden is saying he won't go negative against Bernie. That's half of what he needs to do. He also needs to say, in effect, "Bernie is a good man, with good ideas, and if I get the nomination I will work with him to see how our party and our nation can start moving in the right direction after four years of President Trump."

Nothing projects more confidence than complimenting your opponent.
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Old 03-07-2020, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Procrustus View Post
I see Biden is saying he won't go negative against Bernie. That's half of what he needs to do. He also needs to say, in effect, "Bernie is a good man, with good ideas, and if I get the nomination I will work with him to see how our party and our nation can start moving in the right direction after four years of President Trump."

Nothing projects more confidence than complimenting your opponent.
Agreed, except if I were Biden, I'd change "with good ideas" with something vague like "with the courage of his convictions" or "with a passionate resolve to improve the lives of his fellow Americans" or something equally vague. If he says Sanders has good ideas, he's going to get slammed for promoting ideas as good that he's already criticized.
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Old 03-08-2020, 10:57 AM
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I can't believe that this guy claims that Hillary is progressive while at the same time saying that Bernie will fall into dirty politics. Half the things that Clinton was "progressive" on were only done after the polls showed that they were the popular vote. Just look at her stance on same sex marriage in 2004 versus Sander's back in 1980's and see who is more progressive and who is more likely to give in to dirty politics.
So people whose views evolve and improve over time and show a capacity to learn and grow are considered bad. People whose opinions haven't changed over time and remain inflexible and unbending are considered good.

Look, nobody said Biden is the perfect candidate, nor does anyone say Bernie's commitment to progressive ideas is evil. On the other hand, people recognize and appreciate someone who shows the capacity to admit mistakes and change for the batter. Bernie's inflexibility and failure to demonstrate the capacity to change and improve, despite constancy of holding progressive views, has not proven to be an effective strategy.

Also, REPORTED for questionable links.
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Last edited by QuickSilver; 03-08-2020 at 11:00 AM.
  #12  
Old 03-08-2020, 11:30 AM
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If you want to win the election, you have to present me with someone I will vote for....not someone YOU will vote for.

I'm a middle aged white guy in a swing state. I won't vote for Trump, but give me someone I feel ok about voting for. I don't have to like them by much, I'm happy just feeling 'ok' about them. For me, that's a centrist. You may not like it, but again, if you want the democrats to win, set aside your passion for your product and think about what the market really wants.
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Old 03-08-2020, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by PastTense View Post
No.

First: the winner of the primaries is in no way decided yet. Just look at a couple weeks ago when people were thinking Biden was doing very poorly.
They were saying Biden was in trouble 2 weeks ago because he did poorly in the early test states. They are saying Bernie is in trouble now because a third if the total delegates have been awarded and he's significantly behind. One of these things is a lot closer to "decided" than the other. So, not a lock
but "in no way decided" is a little much.
  #14  
Old 03-08-2020, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike Mabes View Post
Good points, all of them. I think the 3rd paragraph is the key. I hate to sound like a conspiracy guy, but unless Bernie has an overwhelming majority, they won't let him get the nomination. Will do anything they can to prevent it. The DNC will not let a socialist be their nominee. And Bernie will not get an overwhelming majority, there will not be a Bernie Wave in the next couple of months.

Maybe it will turn out like 1968, when McCarthy got the nomination. The centrist always gets the nomination.
Who is they? Because this does sound like conspiracy bullshit.
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Old 03-08-2020, 01:38 PM
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They were saying Biden was in trouble 2 weeks ago because he did poorly in the early test states. They are saying Bernie is in trouble now because a third if the total delegates have been awarded and he's significantly behind. One of these things is a lot closer to "decided" than the other. So, not a lock
but "in no way decided" is a little much.
And Bernie didnít do as well in the states he was supposed to do well in. Bernie needed to run up the score on Super Tuesday and he didnít.
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  #16  
Old 03-08-2020, 02:18 PM
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Back around 2015, I don't feel Sanders really was planning on being President. He just decided to run for President because he thought he could use it as an opportunity to introduce some new ideas into the political arena. Which is a good thing in general and some of those ideas were pretty good ones.

His original intent was that he would get people thinking about and talking about these ideas and then he would step back and it would be Hillary Clinton who would go on to be the nominee. It's worth noting that in the beginnings of his campaign, Sanders always spoke positively about Clinton.

But then something unexpected happened. It turned out he was getting a lot more support than he had originally expected. There was a growing movement behind him. And at some point Sanders began taking his presidential campaign seriously. He was no longer a guy spreading a message; he was a guy running for President.

Nothing wrong with that. He had as much right to run for President as anyone else did and to act accordingly. He began to treat Clinton as a rival - which is what she now was - and she began treating him the same way. Again, nothing wrong with that. The point of political campaigns is competition and you only win by beating the other candidates.

Sanders ended up falling short. He had enough support to be a serious candidate. But he didn't have enough support to win the nomination. That happens; a lot of people run a good race but only one of them finishes in first place.

This is when things went wrong. What Sanders and his supporters should have done was accept that they didn't win and started working on building up more support for their movement so it would be stronger next time. But instead they refused to accept that they had lost. They said the rules were rigged and they should be allowed to bypass the competition and just be declared the winner. Retroactively for 2016 and pre-emptively for 2020. That's not going to happen and it shouldn't happen.
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