Bernie Sanders: Voters may not ‘understand’ his civil rights record

Senator Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) presidential candidacy, buoyed by a national media anxious to take former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton down multiple pegs, has created a lot of excitement among a particular segment of the Democratic base, but not among the coalition of white and non-white voters that delivered President Obama two consecutive victories. If Senator…

13 thoughts on “Bernie Sanders: Voters may not ‘understand’ his civil rights record

  1. I did follow some of the links. Among other things I found this: “Sanders’ problem is that Hillary Clinton supports all of the policies he cites….”

    Really? $15/hr min wage? Free college tuition? Single payer? Not too fond of Netanyahu?

    If Sanders supporters are delusional about his actual chances of doing anything positive, Liberallandlike Hillary supporters are just as delusional about what policies Hillary actually supports.

    Admittedly, Sanders response on Georgie’s talking heads show was tone deaf. Good on him for his active support of civil rights decades ago. But this is now. There is a whole set of new challenges, and he needs to take a strong stand on those. Hillary has also been a little shy about the “Black Lives Matter” movement though, hasn’t she?

  2. The problem with pieces like this is it tries dissuade Sanders supporters without repulsing them. We’ve been treated to this kind of dross for a long time now, preventing the most liberal candidate from becoming the nominee. If you don’t want to gore Hillary’s bull, don’t gore Sanders’s either. It’s manipulative. Hillary isn’t necessarily the most likely nominee. The DLC weenies supporting HRC are shitting their pants about Sanders and spinning these kinds of stories. Furthermore if we should call for Sanders voters to support Hillary if she wins the nomination, it would stand to good reason that Hillary voters should be expected to do the same.

  3. Bob Cesca isn’t a “DLC weenie,” he’s an industrial-strength Obamabot. I’m surprised he seems to be supporting Clinton. But then, there are lots of reasons to support Clinton that don’t have anything to do with the DLC.

  4. I’m new to this issue of why Sanders is not popular with blacks. The most depressing aspect of that link was the implication that Sanders doesn’t do more to appeal to minorities because he’s doing what the Clintons and Obama do, run away from segments of their base so as not to alienate white voters who probably wouldn’t vote for them anyway.
    So yes, it sounds like Bernie needs to be a lot better on social issues like the police state and war on drugs.
    On the other hand, those statements about Hillary supporting all of Bernie’s issues what a big red flag that this might really be a hit piece by/for another campaign.
    Nevertheless, they did succeed in letting a lot of air out of my enthusiasm for hopes of Sanders winning, or getting close to winning.

  5. Mainstream Dems are more afraid of Sanders than they are of Republicants. That said, Bernie has some work to do with minorities. That said, the war on drugs and the Police State are symptoms (of distraction) at their core and would be alleviated by his main policy positions. One doesn’t correct the symptoms, once corrects the systemic, structural problems that result in those symptoms

  6. I just don’t agree. I don’t know any mainstream Dems (and I know quite a few) who are afraid of Bernie. They’re mostly biting their tongues because who wants to discourage voter enthusiasm? (And, as I’ve said before, any dirty tricks or attacks will come from O’Malley, not Clinton. Not this early, anyway.) By all means, go ahead and vote for him. It sends a strong message to Clinton that a large portion of the base demands populist positions.

  7. I think the biggest reason Bernie is having trouble connecting with black voters is his neo-Marxist analysis that all problems are economic and class problems. He believes that fixing the economic issues also fixes sexism and racism, and a lot of us think it’s more complex than that. So I don’t think he’s used to thinking in those terms.

  8. Neo-Marxist analysis? No carrying water there, no siree. Bernie Sanders is little more than a Euro liberal in a political landscape shifted so far to the right by Democratic triangulation that any prescription of market intervention can be labeled Marxist. We don’t serve ourselves well falling into that trap.

  9. “Carrying water”? I don’t consider describing Sanders’ political ideology an insult, particularly when I’m speaking about it in the context of why he’s not connecting with black Democrats. Apparently you do. Why don’t you give me your alternate explanation as to why Sanders never speaks in terms of sexist or racist oppression, but only economics?

  10. “I don’t consider describing Sanders’s political ideology an insult….”

    Dogwhistle. What exactly does “neo-Marxist” mean? I agree that Bernie is focused on lefty economic analysis and policy, perhaps, as you say, to the extent of excluding other important issues. Does that make him a Marxist? Is Robert Reich a Marxist? Krugman? Stiglitz? Piketty? Saez? Galbraith (both)? Keynes maybe?

    As you well know, calling someone a Marxist puts them outside the (narrow) boundaries of acceptable, civil debate in this country. Witness, for instance, Krugman’s occasional mention of Marx in a very negative light in order to separate himself from the contagion.

  11. 26 pages of turgid, academic prose? OK, I asked for it. But I was planning on reading “Water for Elephants” tonight. I did make it through all three volumes of Capital, but was much younger then. Overrated as literature, sort of like Atlas Shrugged, but much, much longer. Are you sure that Bernie built his economic message around this? EOF.


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