The Democratic Race - What We Know Now

    1. Sanders is much more electable than Clinton.

    The political class engages in periodic arguments over who's better positioned to win general elections - candidates who appeal to a relatively wide swath of voters or those who excite their base. Sanders does both, Clinton neither.

    Sanders supporters are so enthusiastic they donate millions of dollars every time a Clinton surrogate smears him as well as after the ultra-close Iowa caucuses and his 22 point win in New Hampshire. When Clinton needs cash, she has to glad hand investment bankers and hedge fund managers thereby forfeiting precious time on the stump and re-enforcing in voters' minds her close ties to Wall Street rather than Main Street. Another big benefit Bernie gains from his legions of young and not-so-young volunteers, including yours truly, is he doesn't have to pay as many staffers to knock on doors and get out the vote.

    Sanders appeals to a much broader range of the population than Clinton. The exit polls from New Hampshire showed that the only demographic groups that supported Clinton were seniors and those with incomes over $200,000. More particularly, undeclared/independent voters broke for Sanders 72% to 27%. The major reason many voters gave for supporting him is they find him honest and trustworthy. Those are traits that poll extremely well across the electorate.

    By contrast, Clinton's voters cited her experience as the primary reason they were voting for her. The frontrunners in the Republican field are almost completely inexperienced. Voters have shown that they are not looking for a particularly seasoned veteran with a resumé that includes stints in various government offices. In fact, given the anger voters harbor towards establishment politicians whom they blame for their current woes, Clinton's experience is at best a double-edged sword. Likewise, Clinton is not likely to trumpet her popularity among New Hampshire's wealthy.

    Sanders basically tied Clinton in Iowa and thumped her in New Hampshire - two purple states that Democrats will need in the general election. A recent Wisconsin poll showed a two point gap between Clinton and Sanders. Wisconsin is another critical state for Democrats. Clinton polls strongest by far in deep south states that Democrats have no chance of winning. Florida is admittedly a possible exception to this rule. Bottom line, Sanders is more likely to win the states that Democrats must win to remain in control of the Executive Branch.

    Finally, nearly all the polls conducted of hypothetical matchups between the two Democrats and the various Republican frontrunners show Sanders doing relatively better than Clinton.

    Sanders has more fervent support. He has significant crossover appeal. He is relatively stronger in purple states. Polls show he would do better than Clinton against possible Republican opponents. For all these reasons, he is more electable than Clinton.

    2. Clinton's firewall may not be unbreakable.

    In this election cycle, the first black President's first lady has enjoyed remarkably solid support from African-Americans. Unless Sanders can shake this pillar, he will not be able to win the vote this July in Philadelphia. There is some reason to hope Sanders can make inroads into this demographic.  After all Clinton's original firewall was woman and they broke for Sanders 55-44 in New Hampshire.  But it won't be easy.

    A number of influential and respected African-Americans have endorsed Sanders or indicated they will vote for him including Congressman Keith Ellison, several Black Lives Matter activists, Dr. Cornel West, and former NAACP President Ben Jealous. In the aftermath of Sanders historic New Hampshire victory, noted author Ta-Nehisi Coates announced he will vote for Sanders despite misgivings about his position against reparations. Activist rapper Killer Mike from Atlanta and Ohio State Senator Nina Turner have been indefatigable in their efforts to introduce Bernie to their communities as by far the best Presidential candidate.

    Radical scholar Michelle Alexander is less supportive.  In an article in the Nation, she blames the Clintons for "decimat[ing]" black communities.  But Alexander does not exempt Sanders from responsibility for her people's plight.  Calling him the "lesser evil", she does not say whether she'll vote for him or anybody else.

    According to ABC News, the very small non-white community in New Hampshire broke evenly between the two Democrats. This represents a significant improvement for Sanders over the 58 to 34 split in Iowa favoring Clinton. Sanders does not need to win the African-American and Latino vote to defeat Clinton.  Thus, the push in New Hampshire may be a good sign for him . . . or not.  Non-white voters include Asians and the entrance poll does not break racial categories down beyond white and non-white.

    Post-New Hampshire, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) officially came out in support of Clinton, although not every member has endorsed her.  Concurrently White House Spokesman Jay Carney told reporters that while President Obama will not endorse either Democrat, he privately hopes Clinton wins.  So much for staying neutral.

    Sanders won big in New Hampshire despite the near-universal disapprobation of the Democratic establishment there and in his home state.  It remains to be seen whether African-American voters will likewise reject the call of black Congressmen and women to circle the wagons around Hillary.

    3. To Win Clinton May Need to Tear her Party Asunder.

    Clinton started out running a relatively clean campaign. Unfortunately, during the last few days before the New Hampshire primary the fangs came out. Surrogates Gloria Steinem and Madeleine Albright tried to shame younger Democratic women into voting for Hillary.  President Bill Clinton harshly criticized Sanders saying his unrealistic policy prescriptions show he lives in a “hermetically sealed box”.

    Clinton's designated “hit man” David Brock ominously warned Monday that Sanders “is trying to live in the purity bubble, and it needs to be burst.”  The Clintons may succeed in turning potential Bernie voters off. It's even possible that early Clinton attacks tamped down turnout slightly in both Democratic primaries.

    If the former President and First Lady successfully pursue a scorched earth policy, the cost to the Democratic party will be tremendous. The Clintons played both the race and gender cards in 2008 amping up the tension between the candidates and their supporters. The resulting fissures were only smoothed over in the weeks after Barack Obama won the nomination. It is unclear whether Obama's supporters would have fallen in line if Hillary had prevailed given the freshness of the wounds her campaign inflicted. Likewise young voters in this election cycle may not forgive the Democratic establishment for taking down their champion who has made clean campaigning a centerpiece of his bid for the White House.


    Sanders is the better option for Democrats if they want to retain control of the White House. Clinton's support within the African-American community is very significant but may not be insurmountable. If Sanders continues to compete successfully, the Clintons will have to decide whether winning the nomination is more important to them than maintaining the Democratic Party's integrity and a fair degree of unity among its various demographic groups.


    We don't know how Sanders would fare against the Republican nominee because we don't know who the Republican nominee will be. We do know that Sanders will be labeled a Socialist. We know that he proposes radical change. The history of candidates who run for President based on radical changes is not good.


    The Vox article demonstrates what we already know - the establishment greatly prefers Clinton.  In this election cycle that's an advantage for Sanders.

    It also shows radical change gets clobbered.

    Hal, people voted for these establishment types. That's why they're in office - they were more popular than the opposition. Sure, young people like things stirred up. Others only if thing l's feel bad. There have been 2 liberal contests heading into a moderate primary. 1 was about a tie but had only 15% of the electorate. The 2ND Bernie won but more people voted in the GOP race. Most contests from now on will he vastly different, including candidates haven't camped there for 8 months. Yet you act like Bernie's already won with a huge mandate. Hillary has more union and political and star endorsements - but to you those don't count, only what.bernie has. Hillary's raised more money but only Bernie donors count. All very strange.

    They should hold some sort of event before the general election to figure out who would be most likely electable.


    Btw, Hal, your/Bernie's friend Ben Jealous quickly fired Shirley Sherrod when Breitbart selectively edited her inspiring story of redemption, and then he bailed out of his NAACP contract 2 years early to become a venture capitalist advisor at Kapor Capital - you know, the kinds who find companies like Uber to better put people out of work, undercut unions and do things like micrograms at usurious rates. What other sharks are convenient friends of you and Bern? And I thought you said Bernie was consistent.

    Clinton endorser and surrogate former Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack fired Shirley Sherrod after Breitbart slandered her.  Jealous could not have fired her since she did not work for the NAACP.  That said he did not cover himself with glory either as he tweeted he was appalled by the comments.  Jealous's reaction reminds one of Hillary's response to the phony Planned Parenthood videos. 

    “I have seen pictures from them and obviously find them disturbing,” the Democratic presidential candidate told the New Hampshire Union Leader on Tuesday in regards to the videos, which were released by the anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress. “Planned Parenthood is answering questions and will continue to answer questions.”

    Bernie Sanders labeled Planned Parenthood as being part of the establishment that he was fighting against. Of course this attack followed the fact that Planned Parenthood endorsed Clinton.

    The vote in South Carolina, Nevada, and elsewhere will indicate if Sanders is viable nationwide to a broad spectrum of Democratic voters. We won't know until votes are cast. 

    My bad - of course Ben Jealous wasn't her boss & just pre-emptively shamed Shirley Sherrod, praising the decision to fire her without review. I'm not surprised it reminds "one" (meaning "Hal") of Hillary's response, because you're permanently partisanly deluded. Compare these two: 

    "We concur with US Agriculture Secretary Vilsack in accepting the resignation of Shirley Sherrod for her remarks at a local NAACP Freedom Fund banquet. Racism is about the abuse of power. Sherrod had it in her position at USDA. According to her remarks, she mistreated a white farmer in need of assistance because of his race. We are appalled by her actions, just as we are with abuses of power against farmers of color and female farmers. Her actions were shameful. "

    vs/reminds you of? "“I have seen pictures from them and I obviously find them disturbing. Planned Parenthood is answering questions and will continue to answer questions. Planned Parenthood for more than a century has done a lot of really good work for women...and this raises not questions about Planned Parenthood so much as it raises questions about the whole process, that is, not just involving Planned Parenthood... "

    Hal, you never cease to surprise - kinda.  #1 is approving Sherrod's firing without checking the tape. #2 is defending Planned Parenthood and *not* jumping to conclusion. And of course Ben Jealous had to give a little self-serving infomercial at the end of his statement. Full responses below.

    “Since our founding in 1909, the NAACP has been a multi-racial, multi-faith organization that– while generally rooted in African American communities– fights to end racial discrimination against all Americans. We concur with US Agriculture Secretary Vilsack in accepting the resignation of Shirley Sherrod for her remarks at a local NAACP Freedom Fund banquet. Racism is about the abuse of power. Sherrod had it in her position at USDA. According to her remarks, she mistreated a white farmer in need of assistance because of his race. We are appalled by her actions, just as we are with abuses of power against farmers of color and female farmers. Her actions were shameful. While she went on to explain in the story that she ultimately realized her mistake, as well as the common predicament of working people of all races, she gave no indication she had attempted to right the wrong she had done to this man. The reaction from many in the audience is disturbing. We will be looking into the behavior of NAACP representatives at this local event and take any appropriate action. We thank those who brought this to our national office’s attention, as there are hundreds of local fundraising dinners each year. Sherrod’s behavior is even more intolerable in light of the US Department of Agriculture’s well documented history of denying opportunities to African American, Latino, Asian American, and Native American farmers, as well as female farmers of all races. Currently, justice for many of these farmers is being held up by Congress. We would hope all who share our outrage at Sherrod’s statements would join us in pushing for these cases to be remedied. The NAACP will continue to advance the ideals of America and fight for freedom, justice and fairness for all Americans.” Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors. - Ben Jealous


    “I have seen pictures from them and I obviously find them disturbing. Planned Parenthood is answering questions and will continue to answer questions. I think there are two points to make. One, Planned Parenthood for more than a century has done a lot of really good work for women: cancer screenings, family planning, all kinds of health services. And this raises not questions about Planned Parenthood so much as it raises questions about the whole process, that is, not just involving Planned Parenthood, but many institutions in our country. And if there’s going to be any kind of congressional inquiry, it should look at everything and not just one part of it." - Hillary Clinton

    Weak long-winded defense isn't any better than a weak brief response.  Clinton accepted the video as is.  She did not question the right-wing source.  That is clear from her answer.  This is identical to Jealous who accepted the Breitbart smear without question.

    what - she said the video was "disturbing", which it was. She didn't say Planned Parenthood was responsible for it, as Jealous said Sherrod was responsible. She said Planned Parenthood was answering questions. Did Hillary call Planned Parenthood "shameful"? quite the opposite - she said "Planned Parenthood has done a lot of good work" and "raises questions *NOT* about PLanned Parenthood but...

    Reading is fundamental. Reading without bias even moreso.

    Must piss you off that the Congressional Black Caucus is endorsing Hillary tomorrow. Maybe you can do some Black Splaynin to head them off, or at least say it doesn't count - establishment, establishment, establishment - said it 3 times, now they'll disappear....

    This little spat began when you played gotcha by claiming that Sanders endorser Ben Jealous fired Shirley Sherrod.  Your strong implication was that Sanders was tainted receiving a high-profile endorsement from the individual who wrongfully terminated a fine and upstanding public servant.  It turns out it was your client's endorser/surrogate who terminated Sherrod.  By your own reasoning then, it is Clinton who is tainted.  Why not just admit it?

    Hillary has hundreds of endorsers. Bernie has maybe 3 to note. Yes, I think firing Sherrod was a low-point in Vilsack's career, though I'm not voting for Vilsack nor parading him as a HIllary-endorser (I didn't even know until you told me now. Hell, I didn't even know he ran for president in 2008 until I looked him up now - he's a regular nobody).

    Do you think smearing Sherrod was wrong of Ben Jealous? as he hasn't been NAACP since 2012, do you feel comfortable promoting the endorsement of Kapor Capital's Ben Jealous, seeing as you've been highly critical of money influence, to have a partner in a $100 million investment firm as one of Bernie's key endorsers?

    Hal, give it up. Hillary's full comments are not hard to find:

    From the Union Leader

    Clinton, long a supporter of abortion rights, was asked whether she is concerned the videos will jeopardize funding for abortion services and women’s health care. Funding today is at no more risk than it has been for years, she said.

    “I’m well aware that passions are very high,” Clinton said. “I have said for more than 22 years that abortion should be legal, safe and rare. As First Lady, I led an effort to try to lower the number of teenage pregnancies and we succeeded, and as President I will continue to work toward that so that women are fully empowered, they can afford to make responsible decisions, and I hope we will be successful at that.”

    At no time does Clinton question the source.  In any case, don't you find it problematic that Clinton's endorser/surrogate is the one who fired Sherrod?

    No. Do you find offensive that Cornel West, who called President Obama a "Republican in blackface" and a person who hates "free black men" as a spokesman? If not, why not? If it is offensive, why do you still support Sanders?

    I don't think it was right for Dr. West to refer to President Obama in that disrespectful way.  Throughout his career Dr. West has put the interests of the 99% ahead of the 1%.  His profound disappointment in various aspects of the Obama Presidency is understandable.  As a Jewish American, I find the neo-con/neo-lib posturing of certain Jews particularly offensive. For example, I think Charles Krauthammer, Bill Kristol, Joe Lieberman, and Chuck Schumer are especially noxious.  The latter two have betrayed those Democratic voters who supported them believing that they were progressive Democrats. Accordingly,  I can empathize with Dr. West's feeling betrayed by President Obama given Obama's support of a "grand bargain", the TPP, and ongoing murderous drone strikes against Muslims, among other things.

    At the end of the day, Cornel West does not sway your opinion of Bernie Sanders. You actually make excuses for West. Why should Clinton supporters be ridiculed for continuing to support their candid. Voters in Democratic Primaries will settle the issue.

    John Lewis, the Civil Rights legend and member of Congress endorses Hillary Clinton

    From Mother Jones

    Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), the progressive icon who led the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) during the civil rights movement, on Thursday dismissed Sen. Bernie Sanders' participation in that movement.

    When a reporter asked Lewis to comment on Sanders' involvement in the movement—Sanders as a college student at the University of Chicago was active in civil rights work—the congressman brusquely interrupted him. "Well, to be very frank, I'm going to cut you off, but I never saw him, I never met him," Lewis said. "I'm a chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee for three years, from 1963 to 1966. I was involved in the sit-ins, the freedom rides, the March on Washington, the march from Selma to Montgomery, and directed their voter education project for six years. But I met Hillary Clinton. I met President Clinton."


    I have great respect for Congressman John Lewis.  He is a hero of mine.  The fact that he has endorsed Hillary Clinton and is dismissive of Bernie Sanders means something to me.  Ultimately, it doesn't change my opinion of either candidate but if Representative Lewis sets out a specific rationale for voting for Hillary over Bernie, I will take it seriously.

    We both know that there is nothing he can say that will change your opinion of Sanders?

    It would be very tough for him to cause me to think much less of Bernie at this time or to think much better of Clinton.  But I can imagine it.  If Lewis related how he had spoken to Bernie about the importance of the Brady Bill to protect the black community and Bernie had scoffed at him, that would certainly reduce Sanders in my eyes. Likewise, if Lewis detailed how Clinton had committed to work with him and other liberals to create an ongoing program that would generate millions of additional middle-class jobs for poor and working-class Americans, that would make me much more comfortable with a Clinton Presidency.

    "Likewise, if Lewis detailed how he and Clinton had committed to work with him and other liberals to create an ongoing program that would generate millions of additional middle-class jobs for poor and working-class Americans..." - that was a huge part of Bill's presidency - that's why I posted the graphs of minority job growth/decrease in unemployment and increase in home ownership to make them part of the middle class. Then Bush took over and they reversed.

    During the 1990s, it is true that the official black unemployment rate fell consistently.  Michelle Alexander contends this is because of the ever rising number of young black men in prison as the decade progressed due to the 1994 crime bill.

    As unemployment rates sank to historically low levels for white Americans in the 1990s, the jobless rate among black men in their 20s who didn’t have a college degree rose to its highest level ever. This increase in joblessness was propelled by the skyrocketing incarceration rate.

    Why is this not common knowledge? Because government statistics like poverty and unemployment rates do not include incarcerated people.

    Moreover, any claim that Clinton's policies led to more jobs during the 90s must be counterbalanced by the loss of jobs when the tech boom collapsed in 2000 and due to NAFTA.

    The bust would have been a 1-year correction, but Bush refused to assist.

    Tell me where all the sucking sound is from Mexico - looks like again its an issue of the horrid Bush years, not a structural Clinton problem. isn't it funny that manufacturing jobs *grew* for 3 years after NAFTA (even as offshoring with China was also growing), and then stayed flat for 3 years at near the highest it's ever been, and only when the recession did manufacturing go into free fall - 1 year under Clinton, then do-nothing tax rebate Bush. Doesn't look to me like NAFTA caused the problem.

    We'll have to agree to disagree on this one.

    That's awful - I present easy evidence in a graph, and you just ignore it and say "we'll just have to disagree". Finished with you - for this and 100 previous - you're not serious.

    PP - it's very possible as many economists have argued for the negative effects of NAFTA 1) to have been masked for several years by a very healthy economy and 2) to have worsened over time.  You complain that I ignore your graph.  I don't ignore it.  I have pointed to a number of economic analyses that dispute the conclusion that you claim your graph proves, i.e., that job growth in the 90s after NAFTA was signed proves that NAFTA didn't cost America jobs.  You ignore them.  You also ignore Michelle Alexander's point that the reduction in African-American jobless rates during the Clinton administration was due to the increasing numbers of young black men behind bars.

    1) Don't recall any URLs you provided. If a healthy economy masked NAFTA's dire effects, it's also possible that Bush's shitty economy and worse stewardship and refusal to do any job stimulus masked the positive effects of NAFTA - it's hard to imagine the 2001 recovery lasting 3 years under Clinton, and obviously companies not recovered would have kept their belts tightened until they saw daylight.

    2) Pretty amazing that black incarceration made black unemployment track white and Hispanic unemployment curves so exactly. The Amazing Karnac strikes again.

    The URLs are links embedded in "Michelle Alexander" and "NAFTA".

    She claims 42% young black unemployment and never discusses the problem of longterm welfare. NAFTA I couldn't find the reference to how the booming economy masked it's problems. Seems overdoomed anyway. Ok, I've nothing to say. My graphs seemed obvious, pages of text not so much.

    54% of state prison inmates are there for violent crimes. 16% are there for drugs. State prisons make up 86% of our total incarcerated population. Which of those violent criminals would you like to release?

    Jose Gonzalez for one.  May I take it from your post that you support mass incarceration?  Is it your view that there's something uniquely violent about Americans (especially African-American ones) such that only by locking up 29% of black men at some point in their lives can we be safe?  You distinguish between drug offenses and violent offenses but of course the government's war against drug use and distribution fuels violence here and at home.  

    States and localities incarcerate the majority of black males. Governors and state legislatures have to take the point on decreasing the number of males in prison. Electing better local and state politicians is required. Obama and Holder changed the way some federal drug charges are viewed.

    Bernie Sanders says that he will release 500K black prisoners in the first year of his Presidency. This pledge does not seem truthful given that local and state governments incarcerate the vast majority of black prisoners. Sanders offers up fantasies.

    Unlike Clinton, [Since I posted this a few minutes ago, I learned Clinton tweeted last October "we need to end private prisons".  Although I am somewhat skeptical given her previous ties to the industry, I'm still pleased.]  Sanders wants to abolish expensive ghastly private prisons.  Currently, a very powerful special interest group is pushing state legislatures to incarcerate as many people as possible and not to release anybody early.  If Sanders can use the power of the Executive Office to transition states away from for-profit lockup, states will be inclined to release inmates as California is doing apparently without significant negative impact. 

    Also, decriminalizing marijuana nationwide would have a significant effect both because fewer people would be arrested for possession and because legal trafficking is far less violent.  Rival beer distributors aren't massacring each other in the streets of Chicago the way they did 90 years ago during prohibition.  Rival drug dealers are right now killing each other and the random innocent bystander as well.

    It all goes together.  Big money in politics has led to a shadowy racist private for-profit prison system in America.  Bernie refused to take money from private operators.  Hillary had to be shamed into cutting ties to the industry and returning what she had previously raked in from it.  Bernie can be trusted to take on the corrupting influences.  Hillary can't.  If he wins, we win.  If she wins, the corporations win.

    But you are right.  It won't be easy as Bernie would be the first to tell you.

    Hal, Bernie is not one to tell me that it won't be easy.He is the first to tell me that he will release a half a million prisoners from prison. He has no power to do that. You are skeptical of Hillary, I am skeptical of Bernie.

    Bernie Sanders at an Iowa event:

    And now let me tell you something that no other candidate fot president will tell you.

    And that is no matter who is elected to be president, that person will not be able to address the enormous problems facing the working families of our country.

    They will not be able to succeed becuase the power of corporate America, the power of Wall Street, the power of campaign donors is so great that no president alone can stand up to them.

    That is the truth. People may be uncomfortable about hearing it, but that is the reality. And that is why what this campaign is about is saying loudly and clearly: It is not just about elected Bernie Sanders for president, it is about creating a grassroots political movement in this country.

    He said exactly the same thing when I saw him speak in Manassas, VA.  He said the exact same thing at the end of his victory speech in NH.  He says this all the time.

    See below

    Meant to post the Vox link on incarceration:

    From your cite: "The drug war does perpetuate some violent crime by creating a black market for drugs, which helps fund the activities of violent gangs and cartels."

    PP, you're consistent in the informed appearing BS you try to peddle, I'll give you that.

    The bust was a speculation bubble bursting and there is no fixing burst bubbles bases on overvalued worthless stocks that drove P/E ratios of actual productive tech stocks to ridiculously high levels. A huge amount of wealth was transferred from small investors to wealthy manipulators during this bust and no Bush stimulus could replace those losses.

    Your so called analysis of this graph almost sounds informed but even a non-economist knows that took time for NAFTA to have its effects and it set the trend for the final stage of dismantling  the US manufacturing sector. Once US corporations saw the profitable  results from the first major moves to Mexico they used this threat to pressure workers for wage concessions, all the while productivity was accelerating, and if the workers refused they headed for Korea and then China when it became a stable friendly investment environment, the graph shows the results.

    Bush refused to do anything, no jobs stimulus to *lessen* the effects and yeah, Clinton and NAFTA caused global warming 25 years later and world hunger 50 years on.

    Looked back and NAFTA's job increases from 1994 until 2001 and dropping after China joined the WTO show what, a delay in NAFTA effects and Clinton policy or the effect of trade with China and Bush's policy?

    I'm not sure what you are trying to misinterpret here? NAFTA was mostly about opening Mexican,  South American and to a lesser extent Canadian  markets to US agricultural penetration and legal protection for US business investments in those countries. I don't think it had much positive effect on US industrial production or exports which were already growing before this treaty but soon stagnated and then began to nosedive after it was enacted.

    Another great little corporate benefit realized from Clinton's NAFTA is that they can sue states and the federal government for lost profits, not just investments, for environmental laws or decisions that interfere with their profit taking. The Canadian tar sands pipeline company is suing Obama/USG for billions because of his decision to reject the pipeline, using NAFTA treaty obligations as the legal basis.

    Response to Hal from above

    Bernie went from being tough on crime to being a reformer because he needs black votes.

    Hillary admits a mistake. People pretend that Sanders didn't vote for the crime bill.

    Sanders promise to reduce incarceration came in a de bate with Clinton

    Sanders’ promise came during a back and forth with Hillary Clinton over their plans to reform the criminal justice system, an issue Sanders has been more vocal about as he also works to win over minority voters. The candidates were asked how they would address high incarceration rates, which in Wisconsin reach a stunning 13 percent for black males. Sanders called the high rate of incarceration “unspeakable,” and vowed to stop punishing people for using marijuana. Clinton, however, delivered a far more detailed answer, mentioning Dontre Hamilton, a young man who was shot and killed by a police officer in Milwaukee who was not charged in the incident. She also mentioned that so many criminal-justice policies are made at the local level.



    RMRD - we've been through this before regarding the 1994 Omnibus Crime bill.  Sanders explained his support was due to the $1.8 billion earmarked for women victims of violence.  At the time the bill was being debated, he vociferously argued against the mandatory draconian sentences in the legislation.  It's fair to criticize him for the vote but not for having been indifferent at the time to racist sentencing practices or worse pandering to racists as Michelle Alexander claims Hillary did.

    "In her support for the 1994 crime bill, for example, she used racially coded rhetoric to cast black children as animals. “They are not just gangs of kids anymore,” she said. “They are often the kinds of kids that are called ‘super-predators.’ No conscience, no empathy. We can talk about why they ended up that way, but first we have to bring them to heel.”

    More bullshit - they had gangs with machine guns and intimidated the shit out of their neighborhoods - predators. That's why there was so much black-on-black killing and other crimes.. Sorry your Dictionary/thesaurus is broken, and maybe you're too young to remember the 80s and 90S.

    Oddly enough, no are truly tiresome in your sophistry.

    Bernie's words before voting for the bill

    It is my firm belief that clearly, there are people in our society who are horribly violent, who are deeply sick and sociopathic, and clearly these people must be put behind bars in order to protect society from them.

    He was talking about the same group as Hillary

    A) Bernie never used a phrase as ugly and replete with racist imagery as "we have to bring them to heel."

    B) Bernie condemned the pathologies within American society  that resulted in the high crime rate.  It took Hillary many years to do the same just as it took her over a decade to kinda admit she was wrong to vote in favor of the Bush/Cheney murderous rampage through Iraq.  Among Bernie's powerful words to Congress when the 1994 bill was being debated:

    a society which neglects, which oppresses and which disdains a very significant part of its population—which leaves them hungry, impoverished, unemployed, uneducated, and utterly without hope, will, through cause and effect, create a population which is bitter, which is angry, which is violent, and a society which is crime-ridden.

    C) I am truly tired of this debate.  The evidence is clear.  You have chosen to support Hillary.  That is of course your right but stop pretending he hasn't always been much better when it comes to fighting racism in the criminal justice system.

    Little boy holding breath exclaiming I'm right I'm right I'm right, that proves it.. No, you didn't much prove anything except you can parse equivalent statements in favor of your beloved and twist/Ignore Hillary's past. And segue into Iraq yet again - what would you have done on info Hans Blix  believed true - ignore it? Put Russia in charge? 

    PP - Regarding allegedly "equivalent statements", can you find one Clinton made in the 1990s decrying the use of incarceration as a tool of social control and attributing crime rates to environmental factors.

    Regarding your insults, don't you recognize they diminish you and weaken your argument?

    Regarding your invocation of Hans Blix as an argument in favor of Clinton's vote to authorize the use of force against Iraq:

    "The U.N.'s chief weapons inspector has said no evidence was found before the U.S.-led invasion that Iraq had restarted its chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons programs." (June 5, 2003).

    "The work of the inspectors -- who had extraordinary access during their three months in Iraq between November 2002 and March 2003 -- was routinely dismissed by the Bush administration and the intelligence community in the run-up to the war, according to the commission led by former senator Charles S. Robb (D-Va.) and retired appellate court judge Laurence H. Silberman." (April 3, 2005)

    "The UN's former chief weapons inspector Hans Blix has said it is his "firm view" that the Iraq war was illegal." (July 27, 2010)

    I explained Hans Blix Jan 2003 and earlier in negotiating with Hussein, vs Bush's actions in March 2003 after the evidence was in showing Colin Powell lied. In August 2002 I thought we were going to war no matter what to "avenge Daddy". In Feb 2003 I thought we'd dodged the bullet through inspections and pressuring Hussein and UN involvement. A sane US leader would have taken the breakthrough as a new day.

    Which makes me wonder how Sanders will negotiate with Russia or China or Iran - right now we've negotiated inspections and an end to uranium processing with Iran. While I'm suspicious of US claims, as obviously don't know all the details and I know enough about the Iranian Revolution et al to be too naive. I care about avoiding war and getting on a peaceful path, Arab/Persian Spring.

    Sanders has suggested letting Russia and Iran and Saudi Arabia handle things in Syria. Right now there's a week cease fire in Syria and Putin's using it to bomb the rebels. We saw this in Donbas. 

    Bush's first month in office, China downed one of our spy planes that was off territory, ripped it apart and sent the pieces back in boxes. Now China's building fake islands in theSpratleys to extend its territory hundred of miles into contested sealanes, the busiest in the world.

    How's Bernie going to compete against and negotiate with world leaders who are complete bastards? Obama's handling of Crimea/Donbas/Russia exceeded my expectations - it's a messy situation and our reach/leverage is limited. I've no idea how Sanders would handle complex matters like that. We have a complex issue of protection against terrorism vs overreach of snooping/invasion of privacy. But it has to credibly address the security concerns.

    Hal, you are the one who refuses to face facts Sanders simply has not been a point man on issues of race in the Senate. He sees economics as the coe issue. He believes racism will  by diminished with a new economy. Sanders did not focus on race. This is why he was interrupted by Black Lives Matter at Netroots Nation. BLM objected to Sanders failure to address racism.

    Here is Sanders' response to Ferguson in a letter to the New York Times

    To the Editor:

    The New York Times and other media have focused enormous attention on the tragedy in Ferguson, Mo., where an unarmed black youth was shot and killed by a police officer. Unfortunately, there has been very little discussion about the economic and social tragedy that has befallen an entire generation of young black men.

    Today, more than 5.5 million young Americans have either dropped out of high school or graduated from high school and have no jobs. Today, while youth unemployment is 20 percent, African-American youth unemployment is 35 percent, and in the St. Louis area, it is even higher than that.

    Incredibly, there are estimates that if present trends continue, one of every three black American men born today can expect to go to prison in his lifetime.

    If there is anything that we can learn from the Ferguson tragedy, it should be a recognition that we need to address the extraordinary crises facing black youths. That means, among other things, a major jobs program, job training and vastly improved educational opportunities.

    U.S. Senator from Vermont
    Burlington, Vt., Aug. 20, 2014

    As BLM noted, Sanders does not address the racism of a legal system in Ferguson that targeted black citizens. As a Democratic socialist, the tool that he puts in his quiver is an attack on economics. He has been forced to address racism to garner African-American votes. His shift is identical to the shift of Hillary Clinton. Hillary paid attention to the racism in Flint long before Sanders. sanders has not been the point man on issues of race.

    Bernie Sanders voted for the 1994 crime bill. John Lewis initially blocked th bill because he felt that it would be detrimental to blacks. When he realized that his obstruction could lead to an even worse bill, he allowed the bill to come to a vote. When the bill came to a vote, John Lewis voted against the bill.I weigh John Lewis' opinion higher than I view the opinion of Killer Mike.

    Bernie Sanders voted for the bill.

    I provide you with facts and links. you respond with your opinion.

    My opinion is that Bernie sanders would get clobbered in the General election. if sanders survives votes in more diverse populations, I will support him. I will contribute to his campaign. I don't feel the Bern, but I will support the democratic candidate over any of the Republicans.


    Here are more facts, Black Lives Matter does not endorse Bernie Sanders. This was made clear on Democracy Now!

    Here is an open letter sent to Bernie Sanders after the BLM interruptions criticizing his failure to address issues of race. Sanders had to be challenged to focus on race

    So it's a bit funny that neither BLM nor NAACP endorses anyone, but Sanders backers are pushing the idea that (ex-BLM?) Shaun  King & ex-NAACP Ben Jealous count somehow as official endorsements?

    Which backers exactly are pushing this idea?

    Don't know who specifically, but lines like "Black Lives Matter Feels the Bern; Well BLM has come around to my way of thinking" kinda support that interpretation, no?

    So one person then and you criticize him for being misleading - the irony is extraordinary.

    I thought you'd be flattered - as goes Hal, so goes the nation.

    Actually, I saw Cornel West slitting through the same litany of half-truths, spin and irrelevance as you do (even brought up theGoldwater connection)_ so I'm beginning to think it's endemic to Bernie support.

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