Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Bernie Sanders increasingly serious challenge to Hillary Clinton

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Very interesting comment on Daily Kos:

For those of us who are supporting Senator Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic Primaries, it’s been somewhat of a mystery to us as to why he hasn’t been getting more media coverage. A bit over four months ago, when Bernie decided to enter the race, few political analysts seriously thought that he would pose much of a challenge to the prohibitive front runner, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Move her platform to the left? Possibly. Wrest the nomination from her?  No way in hell.

For months now, Bernie has been drawing huge crowds in states he has scheduled rallies.  The crowds have not only been enthusiastic, but the numbers are far greater than any other presidential candidate on either side.  His poll numbers have improved dramatically in both Iowa and New Hampshire, where he now leads Hillary.  And yet, the national media has been extremely reluctant to acknowledge his meteoric rise and increasing credibility as the possible Democratic nominee.

Until this week.

Anyone who has been paying close attention to political developments over the past few months has come to the realization that limiting the number of Democratic debates was a disastrous decision by the Democratic National Committee and its inflexible chairwoman. Not only that, but the debate schedule has a “huge problem.” (also known as “yuuge” in Brooklynese)  The one presidential campaign that should be banging the doors of the DNC and demanding more debates is the Clinton Campaign so that the focus shifts to Hillary’s policies rather than being stuck on manufactured scandals—before it is too late.  Even Markos has come to the reluctant conclusion just this afternoon, albeit a few months late, that we should be having more, not fewer debates.  Why cede publicity ground to the OranguTrump and his ilk?  Even if the Republican presidential candidates are making a fool of themselves, all the electorate – not to mention most readers of Daily Kos – has been largely hearing so far is one side of the story.

7. I wish we had Democratic debates. They would likely be more fun to talk about than this shit. Markos Moulitsas

After Bernie’s marvelous address to students at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, where he tried to find common ground with the religious right on issues like poverty, income inequality, and healthcare, something seems to have changed.  Earlier this week on MSNBC’s “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell,” guest host Ari Melber had one of the more honest political dialogues I’ve seen in this cycle with Vox Media’s Editor-in-Chief, Ezra Klein. To be sure, Bernie faces lots of hurdles, but Klein was very impressed with what’s been achieved in a relatively short period of time.

Klein is neither a partisan hack, nor does he have a political axe to grind.  By any measure, he is one of the brightest young journalists, political analysts, and writers around – dispassionate, thoughtful, and rational.  I have been reading him for years ever since he was an associate editor for the The American Prospect.

Here’s part of the exchange between Melber and Klein.  The video was embedded as part of a Tweet from Melber and I have transcribed the relevant portion of the conversation.  I encourage you to watch the entire video.

Click here to watch the MSNBC video. (I could not embed it.) . .

* * *

Ari Melber: The outsiders are surging when you look at the HuffPost polling trend. Trump has over 33 points leading the field.  When you look at the same trend for Democrats, Sanders is near 50% in New Hampshire.  He does trail Clinton nationally and that may sound like a similar dynamic in both the parties.  And you may have had people comparing Trump and Sanders.  But there is a lot of evidence that Sanders’s surge is far more significant than Trump’s because he began the race unknown to most voters, because he doesn’t have billions of dollars of his own money to spend, and because Sanders is surging against a single, establishment quasi-incumbent favorite in his party, not just pulling ahead in a divided, fractured field of fifteen.  And that’s why some political experts are starting to point out that Trump’s loud, unusual campaign has actually distracted from the bigger story.  Our own Chuck Todd said this on Sunday, “Still, as I’ve been saying for a while, if it weren’t for Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders would be the biggest political story of the year.”

Melber refers to and quotes an excerpt from an article that Klein recently wrote.  Then, he introduces the panel, including Klein.

Ari Melber: Ezra, what do you mean by that and what is special about what Bernie Sanders is doing?

Ezra Klein: So, Sanders is mounting an insurgent candidacy and he is now ahead in some polls in Iowa and way ahead in New Hampshire.  And he’s doing it without… he’s really in a way the anti-Trump.  He comes in with virtually no name recognition in the national Democratic Party.  He comes in with no money.  He doesn’t get the wall-to-wall media coverage that Trump gets, not even a shadow of that.  He doesn’t make the kinds of provocations that Trump does, he’s not doing the same kinds of stunts, he’s not getting the attention for the terrible things he says about certain groups of people and he’s not even going into negative campaigning.  He promised early on that he not do negative campaigning and so far, he really hasn’t.  And yet, week by week, month by month, he is gaining in very serious ways on Hillary Clinton. That’s a tremendous kind of victory and it’s worth noting too that he’s doing it without an issue that is splitting the Democratic Party.  This isn’t like when Howard Dean and later, Barack Obama used the Iraq War where there was a tremendous fissure in the Democratic Party to vault ahead of more establishment candidates.  Sanders is doing it on a kind of pure approach to politics.  It’s a small money donor kind of democracy.  That’s a tremendous political accomplishment and I don’t think we are quite able to recognize the magnitude of it yet because we are so distracted by Trump.

The Klein article that Melber referred to was this one – Why Bernie Sanders’s rise is more impressive than Donald Trump’s.  At that link you’ll see two videos – Why Bernie Sanders is Winning the Internet and an extensive interview that Klein did with Bernie in July 2015.

An excerpt: . . .

Continue reading.

It is indeed quite odd that the Democrats decided to downplay debates—informative debates—so much.

Written by LeisureGuy

18 September 2015 at 12:27 pm

Posted in Democrats, Election

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