Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Bernie Sanders: The Democratic Mainstream Candidate

 

Apparently, Bernie Sanders really does represent the mainstream core of the modern Democratic party.

Until now, I had generally assumed that the Vermont Senator represented only a relatively limited portion of enthusiastic supporters. Such supporters did not reflect the broader population of the Democratic Party, and that Sanders’ primary successes would top-out at around 25-30 percent. Saturday’s Nevada Caucus proved me wrong, but not in the way I would have expected.

I was spending time with family on Saturday evening, and all of the seven others around the table are avowed Democrats. I am the only political Conservative in that branch of the family. All of them self-describe as being “moderates,” in favor of “common-sense solutions that respect the beliefs of all.” They decry the current climate of political polarization endemic in our society, and express a sincere desire to find common ground with those on the other side of the aisle. They profess a longing for the heady, halcyon days of bipartisan cooperation that characterized our country before the recent descent into darkness.

As the Nevada Caucus results were announced (Sanders with 40+ percent), every person at the table (less me) raised a cheer, and their glasses to toast his victory. Mind you, this was not because the Democratic candidate had beaten a Republican: they were cheering because the Socialist candidate was beating the other Democrats. It was this that convinced me that Sanders will ultimately be the Democratic nominee – that every single rank-and-file Democrat in that anonymous dining room in Middle America cheered Bernie Sanders’ victory in the Nevada Caucus. Not one person (less me) expressed any concern or hesitation; they were all basically happy with the Sanders win.

Therefore, I can only conclude that Sanders (Socialistfairly represents the Democratic mainstream, if for no other reason than the self-declared mainstream Democrats are comfortable with his avowed policies and beliefs.

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  1. cdor Member
    cdor Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Without being too intellectually elitist, my response is, that really sucks.

    • #1
    • February 24, 2020, at 7:32 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  2. The Reticulator Member

    One hopes their support will stop short of the killing fields. 

    • #2
    • February 24, 2020, at 7:39 AM PST
    • 11 likes
  3. Bob Thompson Member

    Postmodern Hoplite:

    Therefore, I can only conclude that Sanders (Socialistfairly represents the Democratic mainstream, if for no other reason than the self-declared mainstream Democrats are comfortable with his avowed policies and beliefs.

    Isn’t this reflected by the ease with which all those other Democrat (Socialist) candidates move toward Bernie’s positions as required? Maybe they leave one or two position specifics back towards the Center just to keep something to distinguish them from Bernie.

    • #3
    • February 24, 2020, at 8:07 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  4. Kevin Schulte Member

    I expect Bloomberg to outright call Bernie a Commie tomorrow night with follow up. 

    Then the voters in the coming Primaries will have something to think about. 

    By next Wednesday this will probably all be shook out. It will be 🧐 interesting.

    • #4
    • February 24, 2020, at 8:09 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  5. Bob Thompson Member

    Postmodern Hoplite: It was this that convinced me that Sanders will ultimately be the Democratic nominee – that every single rank-and-file Democrat in that anonymous dinning room in Middle America cheered Bernie Sanders’ victory in the Nevada Caucus.

    Next time get them to explain their support for a Communist.

    • #5
    • February 24, 2020, at 8:11 AM PST
    • Like
  6. namlliT noD Member
    namlliT noD Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Not clear.

    There could be a lot of reasons they cheered Bernie Sanders. Perhaps they like him as a person, admire his energy and honesty. Perhaps they think he has the best chance of beating President Trump. Perhaps they want to be associated with his young, hip crowd. Perhaps they find the other candidates unappealing. Perhaps they think the other closest candidate is a disaster. Perhaps they are at odds with the nasty behavior of the Democrat party machine.

    None of these reasons are ideological.

    And heck, Bernie isn’t even an actual Democrat.

    That said, I’ll claim that the Democrat Party itself has become far less ideological, and much more oriented toward power and bureaucracy.

    • #6
    • February 24, 2020, at 8:11 AM PST
    • 13 likes
  7. Dr. Bastiat Member

    In the last presidential election, Hillary was asked – twice – what was the difference between a Democrat and a Socialist. She couldn’t answer.

    This is why. There is no difference.

    Sanders is a Socialist, which makes him a Democrat. And / or vice / versa. Or whatever.

    Sanders has simply made it permissible for Democrats to be honest about who they really are. They haven’t changed who they are. They’re just more open about it.

    • #7
    • February 24, 2020, at 8:36 AM PST
    • 25 likes
  8. Bob Thompson Member

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    In the last presidential election, Hillary was asked – twice – what was the difference between a Democrat and a Socialist. She couldn’t answer.

    This is why. There is no difference.

    Sanders is a Socialist, which makes him a Democrat. And / or vice / versa. Or whatever.

    Sanders has simply made it permissible for Democrats to be honest about who they really are. They haven’t changed who they are. They’re just more open about it.

    This primary campaign will enable President Trump to campaign against a ‘blooming’ Communist in the general election regardless of who the Communist candidate is.

    • #8
    • February 24, 2020, at 8:41 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  9. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Have you ever had a discussion with them about specific positions that Sanders holds? Not that I’m recommending that, since it could be nasty. But I think @dontillman is probably right: they like everything about him except his positions (only because they don’t know what they are). And as @drbastiat says, maybe all the Dems are socialists now. Wow.

    • #9
    • February 24, 2020, at 8:41 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  10. Bob Thompson Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    And as @drbastiat says, maybe all the Dems are socialists now. Wow.

    This results from an observation of just how easily all the candidates move to Bernie Sanders’s positions. Chris Mathews can’t handle that. Yet.

    • #10
    • February 24, 2020, at 8:46 AM PST
    • 1 like
  11. Eustace C. Scrubb Member

    As others have pointed out, one of the truly amazing things about this election is the Socialist, Bernie Three House, had to move further to the left (on guns and immigration) to become an acceptable candidate.

    • #11
    • February 24, 2020, at 8:47 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  12. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    If there was ever an end justifying the means for the Left, Donald Trump is it. No matter what they say about “finding common ground” and “common sense solutions,” remember this: they hate us and will even use a geriatric, white, male, grifter communist to take power to assert their righteousness. They’ve never been about freedom. They’re always about power.

    • #12
    • February 24, 2020, at 8:50 AM PST
    • 17 likes
  13. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    In the last presidential election, Hillary was asked – twice – what was the difference between a Democrat and a Socialist. She couldn’t answer.

    This is why. There is no difference.

    Sanders is a Socialist, which makes him a Democrat. And / or vice / versa. Or whatever.

    Sanders has simply made it permissible for Democrats to be honest about who they really are. They haven’t changed who they are. They’re just more open about it.

    There is a slight difference in that the Hillary wing of the party is more crony capitalist, so that their game was sort of a protection racket for multinational corporations. Play along, offer up the proper campaign donations and other back room deals, and there will be benefits in it for you; refuse to play the game, and not pay up, then prepare to witness the power of this fully armed and operational federal bureaucracy against your company.

    Bernie, in contrast, is going to fire off the Death Star against private industry no matter how much they’ve supported Democrats in the past — or at least, that’s what a lot of the big corporations who were supporters of the Clintons and Obama seem to fear. So both wings of the Democratic Party talk Socialism, but the fear right now among the cronies and their donors is if Sanders is elected, they’ll actually get Socialism, and the crony-capitalist carve-outs will be gone.

    They almost deserve to have it happen because of the game they’ve been playing for the past 30 years, in using Democratic pols to kneecap both smaller competitors and their own workers. But Bernie’s policies wouldn’t simply hurt the companies that have played along with the scheme, as businesses that didn’t, along with small businesses and all workers at all the businesses, would be negatively impacted if Sanders wins this fall.

    • #13
    • February 24, 2020, at 9:08 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  14. Jim Beck Member

    Afternoon Postmod,

    News from North Vernon, Indiana, the folks who have been Democrats for most of their lives are not comfortable with Bernie and although they superficially like Bloomberg more they have two reservations. The more Bloomberg shifts to the left to succeed in the primaries the less the folks from North Vernon like him and buying his way into the race has put them off as well. Bernie is too left for them. You might think of them as Tip O’neill Democrats, strong on union support and strong safety net. It may be that Bernie folks with their enthusiasm cause more middle of the road Democrats to bite their tongues. It will be interesting to see how the media cover Bernie and the socialist. In the past the media, which is more leftist than the average Democrat have given AOC and her allies positive coverage and hidden their missteps and the impossibility of their promises. Now we are in a situation were many think Bernie is the new McGovern and will lose not only the presidency but the house and even state elections. Will the back room powers cause the media to begin to be critical of Bernie, digging up his many of Bernie’s unbelievable past statements about the blessing of the USSR and Castro, etc.

    • #14
    • February 24, 2020, at 9:37 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  15. Postmodern Hoplite Member
    Postmodern Hoplite

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Postmodern Hoplite:

    Therefore, I can only conclude that Sanders (Socialist) fairly represents the Democratic mainstream, if for no other reason than the self-declared mainstream Democrats are comfortable with his avowed policies and beliefs.

    Isn’t this reflected by the ease with which all those other Democrat (Socialist) candidates move toward Bernie’s positions as required? Maybe they leave one or two position specifics back towards the Center just to keep something to distinguish them from Bernie.

    I agree with you. Frankly, from my Constitutionalist perspective, I can’t see a lick of policy difference between any of the Democratic candidates*, only differences in degree (how far, how fast to implement the Socialist agenda.)

    *Okay, except for Joe Biden…but that’s only because he’s senile. If elected, he would sign whatever bill came across his desk, provided it was presented to him by an aide dressed like “Hello, Nurse” .

    • #15
    • February 24, 2020, at 10:21 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  16. Postmodern Hoplite Member
    Postmodern Hoplite

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Have you ever had a discussion with them about specific positions that Sanders holds? Not that I’m recommending that, since it could be nasty. But I think @dontillman is probably right: they like everything about him except his positions (only because they don’t know what they are). And as @drbastiat says, maybe all the Dems are socialists now. Wow.

    I know that both you and @dontillman reflect a measure of truth. They “mean well,” and since they all know that “Conservatives are racist, sexist, exploitive plutocrats,” (“except for you, Uncle Clark…you’re pretty cool…”) ANY Democrat is better than any Republican. They cheered because they didn’t know any better, and have the political acumen of middle-school students.

    Yes, I think @drbastiat is correct; all Democrats are Socialists now. If they win this November, they will institutionalize the shift. If they lose, they might straighten-up and fly right.

    • #16
    • February 24, 2020, at 10:31 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  17. Postmodern Hoplite Member
    Postmodern Hoplite

    Jim Beck (View Comment):
    You might think of them as Tip O’neill Democrats, strong on union support and strong safety net. It may be that Bernie folks with their enthusiasm cause more middle of the road Democrats to bite their tongues.

    Hello, Jim – To be sure, I don’t think of any of my family as “Tip O’Neill Democrats (TOD)”; THEY think of themselves as TODs. That’s why their reaction to the Bernie news struck me as such a bellwether – they didn’t know the difference, and were excited nonetheless. 

    • #17
    • February 24, 2020, at 10:38 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  18. namlliT noD Member
    namlliT noD Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    They’re always about power.

    And… Socialism is the most effective way to attain and grow power.

    You get to buy votes with free goods and services, you get to broadcast your virtue, you get direct control over all those programs, with enormous opportunity for graft and corruption, selective enforcement, and on and on.

    • #18
    • February 24, 2020, at 10:42 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  19. aardo vozz Member

    Jim Beck (View Comment):

    …Will the back room powers cause the media to begin to be critical of Bernie, digging up his many of Bernie’s unbelievable past statements about the blessing of the USSR and Castro, etc.

    These would have to be statements that the Democrats currently disagree with. Might be slim pickings.🤔

    <sarcasm off >

    <cynicism always on >

    • #19
    • February 24, 2020, at 10:46 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  20. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Postmodern Hoplite (View Comment):

    Jim Beck (View Comment):
    You might think of them as Tip O’neill Democrats, strong on union support and strong safety net. It may be that Bernie folks with their enthusiasm cause more middle of the road Democrats to bite their tongues.

    Hello, Jim – To be sure, I don’t think of any of my family as “Tip O’Neill Democrats (TOD)”; THEY think of themselves as TODs. That’s why their reaction to the Bernie news struck me as such a bellwether – they didn’t know the difference, and were excited nonetheless.

    Politics as sport, where some fans really don’t care what their star player does or believes, as long as he gives them the best chance to win.

    #NeverTrumpers who crave decorum over everything else howled in 2015-16 (and still howl) that Trump’s supporters totally ignored his crude behavior, where the problem there was the same people didn’t care if the other side behaved like louts — it was only important that the candidates on their side didn’t embarrass them in public by putting ketchup on their steak. You’re seeing the same thing here, except instead of demeanor being ignored, they’re ignoring ideology. Bernie in their minds gives the Democrats the best chance to win this November, so anything he says is either cheered on or dismissed as unimportant.

    • #20
    • February 24, 2020, at 10:53 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  21. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    namlliT noD (View Comment):

    There could be a lot of reasons they cheered Bernie Sanders. Perhaps they like him as a person, admire his energy and honesty. Perhaps they think he has the best chance of beating President Trump. Perhaps they want to be associated with his young, hip crowd. Perhaps they find the other candidates unappealing. Perhaps they think the other closest candidate is a disaster. Perhaps they are at odds with the nasty behavior of the Democrat party machine.

    None of these reasons are ideological.

    Maybe they just dig the accent?

    • #21
    • February 24, 2020, at 10:57 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  22. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    Victor Davis Hanson has his doubts about how the donor class will react to Bernie.

    https://amgreatness.com/2020/02/23/neversanders/

    Even before Trump’s governance, the NeverTrump Right was emasculated, largely because its pundits and politicians could offer no alternative party agenda superior to Trump’s. Moreover, they had spent much of their lives advocating most of the very policies Trump was advancing, and increasingly was getting results. Nor before or after the election could they ever convince Republicans that Trump’s crassness and uncouth tweets were quite unlike the White House crudity of past presidents (e.g., Kennedy, Johnson, Clinton) rather than in part attributable to the Internet/social media age and the new tabloid media.

    And

    Sanders scares liberal Wall Street, and to some extent even the Silicon Valley progressive technocracy. Keeping one’s fortune cuts a lot of ideological ties. He has none of the appeal of Hillary Clinton to the deep state, or to party governors, senators, and House members. If in 2016 loyal Democrat office-holders and candidates at the state and federal level felt that Hillary on the ticket would empower them, they now fear Sanders could lose them the House and win Trump a supermajority in the Senate along with two more picks on the Supreme Court.Sanders scares liberal Wall Street, and to some extent even the Silicon Valley progressive technocracy. Keeping one’s fortune cuts a lot of ideological ties. He has none of the appeal of Hillary Clinton to the deep state, or to party governors, senators, and House members. If in 2016 loyal Democrat office-holders and candidates at the state and federal level felt that Hillary on the ticket would empower them, they now fear Sanders could lose them the House and win Trump a supermajority in the Senate along with two more picks on the Supreme Court.

    • #22
    • February 24, 2020, at 12:51 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  23. Susan Quinn Contributor

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):
    Sanders scares liberal Wall Street, and to some extent even the Silicon Valley progressive technocracy.

    That is so true! Sanders will be happy to stick it to the rich–he’s said it and he means it! Although if he has to get legislation through a Republican Congress, he’ll be in trouble. Then again, now that he knows how pleasant it is to be a millionaire, maybe he’ll sympathize with the rich. . . nah, probably not . . .

    • #23
    • February 24, 2020, at 1:00 PM PST
    • Like
  24. Bill Nelson Member

    Jon1979 (View Comment):
    #NeverTrumpers who crave decorum over everything else

    Decorum, solid leadership of all Americans, but most importantly, good, solid, rationally arrived at policy, both domestic and foreign.

     

    • #24
    • February 24, 2020, at 1:01 PM PST
    • Like
  25. I Walton Member

    namlliT noD (View Comment):

     

    That said, I’ll claim that the Democrat Party itself has become far less ideological, and much more oriented toward power and bureaucracy.

    That is what the left wing is, and has always been. That is their ideology. Different ones have a few paragraphs of ideology to go along with it, but it has always been about power. That’s why they can say they aren’t marxists, most don’t know even the Communist Manifesto, let alone Das Kapital. Their leaders understand power and their followers are ignorant uneducated fools.

     

    • #25
    • February 24, 2020, at 1:50 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  26. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Bill Nelson (View Comment):

    Jon1979 (View Comment):
    #NeverTrumpers who crave decorum over everything else

    Decorum, solid leadership of all Americans, but most importantly, good, solid, rationally arrived at policy, both domestic and foreign.

     

    None of this might have happened if Mitt Romney had challenged Candy Crowley on the debate stage when she covered up to protect Obama on Benghazi. Romney would have faced blow-back that he was anti-female, to go with the spin on his “Binders full of women” remark, and there’s no guarantee he would have beaten Obama if he had shown a little less civility when someone was lying in front of 60 million people. But the meme was locked into place because of that failure that Mitt would rather be polite than fight, and that was the overriding argument for Trump among his supporters in the 2016 primary season.

    They wanted someone who would call out the Candy Crowleys of the world when they failed to be non-partisan and shilled for Democrats, and were willing to look the other way at Trump’s overall credulity. Other than Hillary Clinton’s awfulness as a candidate, if Mitt Romney wants to know the No. 1 reason Donald Trump is president today, he just needs to walk over and look in a mirror.

    • #26
    • February 24, 2020, at 2:47 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  27. Housebroken Thatcher

    Well, hey. You know Ricochet isn’t a representative cross-section of American political thought: It’s possible that your family isn’t a representative cross-section of the Democrat party.

    One can hope, anyhow.

    • #27
    • February 24, 2020, at 3:54 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  28. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    Jon1979 (View Comment):

    Bill Nelson (View Comment):

    Jon1979 (View Comment):
    #NeverTrumpers who crave decorum over everything else

    Decorum, solid leadership of all Americans, but most importantly, good, solid, rationally arrived at policy, both domestic and foreign.

     

    None of this might have happened if Mitt Romney had challenged Candy Crowley on the debate stage when she covered up to protect Obama on Benghazi. Romney would have faced blow-back that he was anti-female, to go with the spin on his “Binders full of women” remark, and there’s no guarantee he would have beaten Obama if he had shown a little less civility when someone was lying in front of 60 million people. But the meme was locked into place because of that failure that Mitt would rather be polite than fight, and that was the overriding argument for Trump among his supporters in the 2016 primary season.

    They wanted someone who would call out the Candy Crowleys of the world when they failed to be non-partisan and shilled for Democrats, and were willing to look the other way at Trump’s overall credulity. Other than Hillary Clinton’s awfulness as a candidate, if Mitt Romney wants to know the No. 1 reason Donald Trump is president today, he just needs to walk over and look in a mirror.

    I fear that Romney, to whom I donated the max and who I met in 2008, would be one more squish like McCain and would have told us the same old lies and then grabbed the same rice bowl the other pols are feeding from. His reaction to Trump is pure malice and a giveaway to his real character, or lack of same.

    • #28
    • February 24, 2020, at 7:45 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  29. Stad Thatcher

    Postmodern Hoplite: they were cheering because the Socialist candidate was beating the other Democrats.

    Although to be fair, the others are all socialist to varying degrees. However, Bernie is unabashedly socialist, and his enthusiasm for this evil system of government is infectious – like HIV . . .

    • #29
    • February 25, 2020, at 5:41 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  30. Ralphie Member

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    They’re always about power

    Because the truth hurts. And when you ignore the truth in politics, you get power. 

    • #30
    • February 25, 2020, at 6:17 AM PST
    • 4 likes