Friday, October 2, 2015

Bernie Rising

One of the media and Democratic establishments' favorite reasons for why Bernie Sanders cannot possibly win the party's nomination is because he lacks African-American support. 

Ever since there has been a Clintonland, there has been the ironclad conventional wisdom that Black voters just l-o-o-o-ve Bill and Hill. It was only the emergence of Barack Obama that temporarily redirected the love away from them.

That this has largely been a myth of their own making is evidenced by a brand new poll showing Hillary's support among Black voters in a virtual free-fall, while Bernie's numbers are soaring. They are rising far more precipitously than the Establishment could ever have dreamed, predicted -- or, to be honest, dreaded:

Suffolk/USA Today Poll
Bernie's favorability rating among black Democrats is 31 points up, while Hillary's numbers are 31 points down. This is triple the increase in her negatives among white Democrats. Bernie's drastically improved numbers also mesh nicely with the fact that a lot more voters know about him now than they did three months ago. (thanks in large part to the obvious corporate news blackout of his campaign.)

As Philip Bump of the Washington Post notes, this is only one poll and the numbers might also be reflective of that netherworld where voters are still trying to make up their minds. But this poll has got to be making the Clintonites nervous and Sanders supporters elated.

And now that Sanders' fundraising has outpaced even that of Obama's 2008 race during the same pre-primary quarter, the mighty New York Times has been forced to begin taking him seriously. Because money talks, even if the corporate media still religiously avoid talking about his actual platform and policy ideas in anything close to a detailed, positive and respectful manner.

Their backtracking/feigned innocence is pretty hilarious. For example, the Times' Patrick Healy disingenuously wrote yesterday
Mr. Sanders was initially dismissed by political insiders as a fringe candidate running only to push Hillary Rodham Clinton to the left. But he has now demonstrated that he has the resources and the supporters, whom he has only begun to tap financially, to compete for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Notice the self-serving passive voice. Notice the lack of the Times' ownership of its own complicity in the orchestrated denigration of Bernie Sanders. That they are now according him a modicum of respect based solely on the money he has in the bank is a testament to their own corruption and shallowness.

And the hit jobs will still keep coming, of course. The most egregious piece has got to be the one this week by the Washington Post's David Farenthold, who claims that not only would a President Sanders be a runaway big spender: He would be an authoritarian control freak aiming to shove universal health care and free college tuition down our throats. Did I mention that Farenthold is employed as a putative reporter, not as a columnist? (I wrote about this right-wing slimeball hack a year ago, after his hit job on Job Corps led to the closure of one of its training sites by the Obama Labor Department.)

Maybe we won't even need to repeal Citizens United if Bernie Sanders is elected president. Maybe Money-Speech will just crawl into a dusty corner somewhere and die of its own loathsome, misbegotten accord. Maybe the plutocrats will realize that their cash can't buy everything and everybody after all.


Irreverent Pearl said...

I am sorry to read so many sad feelings we share about the Pope's visit but I am afraid he is a man with his head in the clouds and his feet in the mud. And it all ended by a secretive visit the Vatican is trying to play down that had a whiff of sulphur in the air.

Perhaps he gave more credence to what Bernie has been standing for, and who asked us to listen to what Pope Francis was saying. And I am glad to have your more hopeful column today Karen, after more horrors in the news since the Pope left.

It is indeed ironic that the angry Sheriff giving us the gruesome news of more student killings in the U.S. had nothing but contempt for the man that was responsible with no hint of compassion for an obviously mentally ill man. He was instrumental in keeping better laws from being put in place in Oregon and prevent better background checks since according to him it threated the U.S. Constitution. Not a surprise, and I doubt anyone could convince him otherwise despite seeing the carnage around him. I am sure he is a member of the NRA in good standing.

I had a strange thought, did the Pope's visit affect the gunman's mind to the extent that he expressed hate at organized religion according to reports and acted out irrationally? So who are really the crazy people in this drama?
No one could write a scenario like this and be believed.

By the way, when I was living in conservative Florida one winter, a neighbor asked me what religion I followed. I smiled and answered what came to mind, that I was a secular humanist which seemed to silence him. I could see him scratching his head and trying to figure it out, so I now use this response for similar questioning. Gives them something to think about which might boggle their mind but gives me acceptance in their eyes for any possible proper beliefs. Haven't had to explain things yet. Perhaps the word humanist makes it kosher.

Meredith NYC said...

Karen, thank you much for this post. If majorities want h/c for all and free college tuition, how can it be authoritarian to push this? The Post sounds worse than the Times.

Do you agree that the negative tone on Sanders is simply a question of status and prestige? Criticize the excesses of the elites, but show you don’t identify too much with the mass of lower class, exploited peasants. It’s chic to report on the highest fund raisers. The excuses for slanted coverage are all ready.

This is obviously why krugman avoids Sanders, and phones in the same easy anti gop column over and over, avoiding positive proposals. His several somewhat arcane blogs a day are looking a bit compulsive. He mentioned his various cold symptoms about 3 times this week—he’s looking for support and sympathy from his fans. Status, ego.

Imagine a Nobel liberal economist never even mentioning the pros/cons of a financial transaction tax to pay for college, with tuition debt over a trillion per Sen Warren. Or never criticizing the 3rd rate ACA, pitiful by intl standards, and upholding excessive profits, and which Sanders says leaves out 30 million. So the conscience of a liberal aims to separate himself from real liberals. Shall we use the H word?

My comment to Healy’s article was too late to get in. I said...
This article is really a riot, worthy of an Andy Borowitz satire.

Says....“Mr. Sanders was initially dismissed by political insiders as a fringe candidate”.

Yes by your op ed piece, Mr. Healy, among others. I recall it. As a former theater critic, you wrote a jokey op ed saying--, who knows, if a fringe Broadway play about gays could win the Tony Award, maybe someone as far out as Sanders could get nominated. Very cute! The Times put theater and politics together, for the entertainment of readers.

That signaled the NYT tone, and Sanders being snubbed by any issue discussion on the op ed page. All widely criticized by several hundreds of Times readers, so that the public editor had to address it and publish responses by the top political editors, defending the Times negative coverage.

Er, Sanders campaign is ideologically focused? I’d say his campaign is one of the most practical, evidenced based I’ve heard of—finally tackling our decades long economic wealth gap—the widest vs other countries. A candidate who wants to extend health care to the 30 millions now left out? I’d call that reality oriented---actually life saving—is that practical enough for you? What's ideological is ACA itself, a gop plan.

How do you describe the Gop campaigns—non ideological? When will you go back to covering the Broadway scene, Mr. Healey? Look forward to those reviews, anyway, of a fantasy world.

Meredith NYC said...

Karen...good comment to op ed The Hypocrisy of Helping the ended much charity is really money laundering. This was an op ed about a rare topic that's neglected on the op ed pages--about the effects of off shoring American jobs. The media avoids it, but should be the #1 issue re 2016 campaign. Inequality is the topic now, but not the real causes.

A reply to your comment blamed poverty on youth dropping out of our 'tax payer funded' high schools, esp Wash. DC.

I replied

Richard....But why is the h.s. grad rate so low? Doesn't come from out of nowhere. Kids don't see the pay off from graduating if there are so few decent paying jobs for them to go to. And why aren't there? Business sent jobs overseas, ok'd by congress which receives payment for this in donations---made larger by the extra profits from the low wage countries. See, it's a chain of causation, starting with big money elections, buying off lawmakers, and letting business do whatever it wants.

We send our tons of raw materials out to Asia, and the ships come back loaded with our consumer goods at low prices for underpaid Americans to buy.

The end result is that young people see their peers with no or lousy jobs and thus don't have the positive role model to motivate them.

At one time Americans made the consumer products and were paid wages that enabled them to buy what they made. It was an upward spiral, not downward. Many workers belonged to unions, and had a secure m. class life. Kids saw the path to apprenticeships and decent jobs. That's all gone, and we blame the victims.

A contrasting example is Germany's apprenticeship training in high schools in partnership with businesses. And their big companies have union reps on their boards.
That's another world. The Times has had articles on this.

Meredith NYC said...

Obama rebukes bush on 'stuff happens'...nyt.

Quotes the gop candidates rejecting gun control after the latest appalling blood bath massacre in Oregon.

Article...."The Democratic presidential candidates sought to offer a sharp contrast. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who has called for a renewed effort to pass universal background checks and other gun measures, posted on Twitter: “What is wrong with us that we can’t stand up to the NRA and the gun lobby and the gun manufacturers they represent?”

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont,...said that “we’ve got to do something,” although he added: “I don’t know that anybody knows what the magic solution is.”

Dear Bernie SOMETHING?... all of a sudden you don't have a solution, after all your other solutions for other things? ---too bad....we know what the solution's not magic at all....dozens of other democracies have solved this... their citizens aren't dying in hundreds of public massacres/year..too bad,Bernie.

Pearl said...

Meredith In answer to your wondering why Bernie isnt doing something about gun control.

Bernie Sanders doubles down on gun control via @HuffPostPol

Meredith NYC said...

re Sanders and guns:

Sadly, the last thing Bernie Sanders needed was a huge bloodbath gun massacre in the 2016 campaign. But since they occur here with such regularity, there was bound to be more than one during this endless campaign, so tragically. Now the crazies out there that may be fantasizing about public massacres may be even more motivated—this is one of the hottest political issues. His heinous act may be cited by candidate for president!

See NPR....The Last Thing Bernie Sanders Needs Right Now Is A Conversation About Guns.
Sanders may be to the left of Clinton on most things, but is to her right on guns.

He says “ I think that urban America has got to respect what rural America is about, where 99 percent of the people in my state who hunt are law-abiding people.”

So like the NRA says in effect, why should millions of law abiding gun owners sacrifice their rights just b/c of these evil mentally ill nuts running around? Thus...why should lawful rural people sacrifice for urban gun nuts? Same thing.

Somehow citizens in dozens of countries don’t regard gun bans as sacrifice. What IS the matter with these foreigners? Follow the money paying for our elections and molding public opinion, for years. But it may be changing.

NPR says, after the SC church massacre Sanders tone was more muted than the other Dems.

Now, I'm thinking that this one issue just may be what catapults Hillary to the presidency. The repub nut line up all oppose gun control. The Oct Dem debates will sharpen this issue to a razor’s edge.

Otoh, Sanders on guns may play well in the general election.
Otoh, polls show most gun owners do want more gun control, including many NRA members.
Otoh, Sanders did vote for background checks and assault gun ban, BUT against a waiting period in Vermont. Complicated? Yes.

Er, btw, how many of the poor city kids wounded by gunshots have health insurance for their hospitalization? Truly universal h/c would be so apt for a gun crazy country, yet it is the 1 modern country still is without it. Is that too complicated for America?