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Bernie … Bernie … Bernie …


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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #25 on: December 23, 2016, 09:01:41 am »


from the Los Angeles Times....

President Sanders? Bernie would have beaten Trump!

By DAVID HORSEY | 5:00AM PST - Thursday, December 22, 2016



IF Democrats had made a different choice in the primaries last spring, Bernie Sanders would be assembling his Cabinet right now. A reading of voting patterns in the presidential election suggests that the Vermont senator would have beaten Donald Trump.

Trump won the election by prevailing in the Rust Belt states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania that, together, gave him 46 electoral votes. In Michigan, he edged Hillary Clinton by just three-tenths of a percent. In Wisconsin, the margin was eight-tenths. In Pennsylvania there was a slightly larger gap of 1.2%.

All three of those states usually lean toward the Democratic candidate. This time around, most working-class white voters — many of whom voted for Barack Obama in the last two elections — saw Clinton as the incarnation of a political establishment that was indifferent to their struggles. They were won over by Trump's boasts that he would protect American jobs and challenge the influence of Wall Street. Who else in the 2016 campaign made similar promises, with far more conviction? Bernie Sanders, of course.

Polls and interviews with voters, both before and after the election, identified a significant overlap between Trump voters and Sanders admirers. Among non-college-educated whites in the old industrial states, many were simply looking for someone to address their concerns and shake things up in Washington. They went with Trump on November 8th, but plenty of them would have voted for Sanders if he had been on the ballot.

Would it have been enough to tip Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania? Given the small numbers needed, the answer is very likely yes.

Now, I have a smart friend who is certain the socialist label would have sunk Bernie in the general election. He believes America's long antipathy toward the Red Menace (the old red, not the new, conservative red) would have been fully exploited by right-wing commentators and the Trump campaign. Certainly, that would have been the central line of attack. But I argue, with the Soviet menace no more than a memory, the potency of that attack would have been largely limited to a constituency on the right that no Democrat could win anyway.

Sanders is not a threatening, alien figure. His “socialism” was most pronounced in his calls to tax the wealthy at a higher rate and provide free college tuition at state universities — two ideas that are hardly radical, given that both were the norm in the America of Dwight Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy. And it would have been difficult for Trump to condemn Bernie's attacks on big corporations and the financial industry since his own rhetoric was infused with a similar populist message.

It is now clear, as well, that Sanders would have had another big advantage: He wasn't Hillary. It may be grossly unfair, but 30 years of character assassination from the right took its toll. A big share of voters opted for Trump because they loathed Clinton, or at least the predominant caricature of her. Bill Clinton was a drag on her candidacy, as well. When Trump's lewd comments about women made on video were revealed, the negative reaction was blunted by Trump surrogates who skewed attention toward the sordid past of Hillary's husband.

With Bernie, there would have been no Bill — and no email controversy, no Benghazi brouhaha and no last-minute letter from the FBI director. Also, no misogyny — a disturbing but real factor in Clinton's loss.

Finally, there was an enthusiasm gap among younger voters who were a key demographic in Obama's victories. They would not have stayed home on election day or wasted their vote on the Green Party candidate if Sanders had been the Democratic Party nominee. Despite his white hair and stooped shoulders, Sanders was adored by a legion of millennials who respected his ideological consistency and responded to his challenge to become part of a movement for change.

It would not have taken many votes to produce a different result in three key states. Bernie Sanders could have done it. He would now be president-elect and America would be heading in a very different direction.


http://www.latimes.com/opinion/topoftheticket/la-na-tt-bernie-beats-trump-20161222-story.html
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« Reply #26 on: December 23, 2016, 01:50:23 pm »

« Last Edit: December 23, 2016, 02:05:18 pm by Im2Sexy4MyPants » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #27 on: February 24, 2017, 03:40:32 pm »


from the Los Angeles Times....

Bernie Sanders in Los Angeles:
 ‘The truth is that Trump is a pathological liar’


By JAVIER PANZAR | 11:50AM PST - Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Senator Bernie Sanders speaking in L.A. on Sunday. — Photograph: Michael Owen Baker/Los Angeles Times.
Senator Bernie Sanders speaking in L.A. on Sunday. — Photograph: Michael Owen Baker/Los Angeles Times.

VERMONT SENATOR Bernie Sanders got a rock star's welcome when he spoke in downtown Los Angeles on Sunday in what was theoretically a book tour stop but amounted to more of a political rally, urging progressives to play by new rules as they resist President Trump's administration.

“We are looking at a totally new political world,” he said. “If we play by the old rules, we will lose and they will win. Our job is not to play by the old rules.”

Sanders, 75, used the stage at the Theatre at the Ace Hotel as part of Los Angeles Times' Ideas Exchange to buttress his pitch to reshape and redefine the Democratic Party after the 2016 election.

He got the crowd roaring by tearing into Trump for repeating false claims that thousands of New Jersey Muslims cheered on the September 11th, 2001, terrorist attacks, and that millions of immigrants in the U.S. illegally voted in November.

“I say this with no pleasure, my wife dislikes me saying this, but the truth is that Trump is a pathological liar,” he said, reiterating a statement he made a week prior on NBC's “Meet the Press”. “Either he knows that he is lying or even more dangerously, he does not know that he is lying.”

Since Trump’s electoral college victory, Sanders has secured a spot on the Senate Democrats' leadership team and begun to reassert the populist political vision that won him millions of votes against Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential primary.

Sanders applauded the activism that has sprung up since Trump's inauguration and said Democrats and progressives needed to continue to build a resistance to Trump as well as a vision for the future.

“We can defeat Trump and Trumpism and the Republican right-wing ideology,” he said. “We have to understand, despair and throwing up your hands — that ain't an option.”

Sanders believes a majority of voters agree with progressive values and Trump has a “mandate for nothing,” but he sought to explain Trump's electoral college win despite losing the popular vote, arguing the party did not do enough to appeal to economically downtrodden industrial workers.

Sanders said Trump — whom he called a “phony billionaire” — seized on anxiety and fear among working-class voters on his way to victory. The issue, he argued, was not that Trump won the election “so much as the Democratic Party lost the election” by not answering the call of those workers.

He asked voters to put themselves in the “hearts and the souls” of workers who have lost jobs and who feel left behind by the global economy.

Sanders repeated many of the populist platforms he ran on, including rallying against the influence of money in politics and a financial system he says rewards Wall Street bankers while the American middle class shrinks.

The key to a progressive resurgence, he said, could be turning Trump's message on its head by persuading workers who have lost jobs that foreign workers who come to the U.S. in search of a better life are not their enemies. Instead, he said, corporate greed is the main cause of their economic woes.

Sanders began on Sunday by thanking California voters who cast ballots for him, and shouts of “Bernie 2020” rang out multiple times in the sold-out theater.

Clinton won Los Angeles County and California by large margins, but Sanders found support in pockets of Santa Monica and Silver Lake, as well as northeast and downtown Los Angeles.

Sanders' campaign found a fount of support in Los Angeles during the primary, holding rallies with hip rock bands and liberal celebrities and drawing cheers from picnickers while walking around Echo Park Lake.


• Javier Panzar is a reporter for the Los Angeles Times. He was born and raised in Oakland and therefore empathizes with underdogs, misfits and malcontents of all stripes. His reporting has appeared in The Boston Globe, The Seattle Times, the Orange County Register and his college paper, the Daily Californian. He graduated from UC Berkeley with a history degree and a lot of books. If he isn't running on some trail, he is probably compulsively buying more used books.

http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-bernie-sanders-event-20170219-story.html
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« Reply #28 on: February 25, 2017, 07:22:38 pm »


from the Los Angeles Times....

Bernie Sanders is the leaderless Democrats' anti-Trump evangelist

By DAVID HORSEY | 5:00AM PST - Thursday, February 23, 2017



IMAGINE strolling into an evangelical church, packed to the rafters with true believers, just as the preacher is about to ask the sinners to step forward and be saved. And imagine walking up to the pulpit and asking that preacher if he'd like to sit down with you for a conversation about scriptural exegesis. Imagine how you would be received.

I almost felt like that on Sunday night when I walked onto the stage of an ornate old theater in downtown Los Angeles where I had been invited to interview Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator whose run against Hillary Clinton was the unexpected phenomenon of the 2016 Democratic primaries.

Going in, I knew the audience would be animated. The event had sold out quickly, and tickets that started at $25 were being scalped for hundreds of dollars. These folks were enthusiastic about seeing their political champion again after the disappointment of the lost primary campaign, the subsequent electoral college defeat of Clinton and the inauguration of a new president who is assaulting every policy and principle they believe in. What I did not quite anticipate was Sanders.

Before I was brought in from the wings, the senator gave a 45-minute speech that was the latest iteration of the stem-winder he delivered at hundreds of town halls, fairgrounds and stadiums throughout the long presidential campaign. By the time I joined him at the two chairs at center stage, the rowdy crowd was revved up and Sanders was far from finished with them.

I kicked off my segment of the program by showing three of my cartoons on the big screen behind us. I thought that would be an entertaining way to ease into a discussion. Sanders glanced at them, but did not even fake a guffaw. When I tried to connect with him by mentioning I had been in Vermont a few years ago and witnessed the Strolling of the Heifers, a homespun parade of cows in Brattleboro, he did not smile or make a remark about the charms of his home state. When my meandering questions failed to get to the point quickly enough, he broke in with answers. And, two or three times, he got up from his chair to talk directly to the audience.

Now, I do not want to be misinterpreted. I did not find Sanders to be rude or unfriendly. Rather, he was a man with a mission, a very untypical politician who is deeply serious about his message and his cause. As I observed when I heard him speak at rallies in Pomona and Bakersfield before the California primary, he does not waste words making jokes or telling endearing personal stories. And on Sunday night in L.A., he was an evangelist with a responsive crowd. He was not obligated to fritter away that opportunity by indulging me.

The points Sanders touched on in his “sermon” were familiar from the campaign and from his campaign book, “Our Revolution” — the dangerous rise of an American oligarchy that buys control of the political system and reaps most of the rewards of economic growth; workers with stagnant wages for lengthening hours of labor; the hollowing out of the middle class; the need for relief from obscene levels of college student debt; the still unattained promise of affordable healthcare for everyone; the opportunities to create jobs by rebuilding the country's infrastructure and building a new energy system divorced from fossil fuels; the imperative to deal with climate change before it is too late.

The difference now is that Donald Trump is in the White House and Republicans command Congress. So, Sanders is no longer looking for votes, he is preaching resistance. He is on the road urging his followers to reject despair, exhaustion, fear or apathy and get more deeply involved in politics by running for office, joining campaigns, chasing down elected officials at town hall meetings, taking to the streets in protest and “thinking outside the box” — resistance on every level.

On Sunday night, Sanders reminded the audience that “this is not the first moment in American history that has been bleak.” He recalled the dire situation of African Americans in the South in the 1950s and '60s, the quandary of women a century ago who were denied the right to an education, the plight of workers in earlier eras who had no rights because they had no unions, and the shadowed lives of gay people who had to keep their true identities in the closet. In all those situations, people could have given up, he said, but they did not.

“I left the campaign more overwhelmed and impressed by the beauty in our country,” Sanders said, bringing the evening to a close. “And don't let Trump and his friends on television discourage you. There is incredible beauty in this country. There are millions of people of every race and every background who want to work together to makes this the country that you and I know it can become. And right now our job is to be as smart as we can be, to be as effective as we can be, to organize … educate, get involved in the process in a way you never have before, because this is not just for you. This is for my four kids and your children. It is for my seven grandchildren and your grandchildren that you have now or to come. This is for the future of the planet. That’s what we're fighting for.”

As I watched Sanders speak — amused by my superfluous role and impressed by his passion and stamina — it struck me that, if the man were 10 years younger, everyone in the media would be talking about him as the top choice for Democrats in 2020. Instead, the Democratic Party lacks a national leader. Clinton is silent in defeat. Barack Obama is playing golf. Joe Biden's chance has passed. There is no single person who is the obvious savior of the party.

But Democrats have an evangelist in Bernie Sanders, and his campaign seems far from done.


http://www.latimes.com/opinion/topoftheticket/la-na-tt-bernie-evangelist-20170222-story.html
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« Reply #29 on: February 26, 2017, 07:35:50 pm »


from The Washington Post....

Sanders burns Trump with taunting tweet
about the size of his inauguration crowd


When Trump suggested that a rally by his supporters would
be the “biggest of all,” Sanders produced the receipts.


By VANESSA WILLIAMS | 5:37PM EST - Saturday, February 25, 2017

Senator Bernie Sanders (Independent-Vermont) speaks during a December event at the headquarters of the American Federation of Teachers in Washington. — Photograph: Alex Wong/Getty Images.
Senator Bernie Sanders (Independent-Vermont) speaks during a December event at the headquarters of the American Federation
of Teachers in Washington. — Photograph: Alex Wong/Getty Images.


SENATOR Bernie Sanders (Independent-Vermont) set Twitter on fire during Saturday with an epic troll of President Trump and his unending obsession with the size of the crowds that he draws.

Early on Saturday, Trump tweeted that if the people who voted for him held a rally, “It would be the biggest of them all!”

To which Sanders issued this scorching reply:




Sanders, who became the voice of the progressive movement during his unsuccessful bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, regularly trolls Trump on Twitter, sharply criticizing the president's policies and rhetoric.

Saturday's response poked at a particularly sore spot for Trump, who vehemently disputed estimates by the news media about the size of the crowd that attended his inauguration last month. Sanders's tweet showed a side-by-side comparison of aerial photos of the Mall on Inauguration Day and the Women's March. The protest march was held the day after Trump's inauguration and was estimated to be three times larger.

But even before the Women's March, which organizers said drew at least 500,000 in Washington and millions around the country and the globe, Trump aides railed against photos put out by the National Park Service that showed fewer people on the Mall this year than in 2008 for former president Barack Obama's first inauguration. In his first news briefing for the new administration, press secretary Sean Spicer argued “this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration — period.” The claim was widely disproved by fact-checkers.

On Friday, while speaking to the Conservative Political Action Conference at National Harbor in suburban Washington, Trump boasted, “this place is packed, there are lines that go back six blocks and I tell you that because you won't read about it, okay. But there are lines that go back six blocks, there is such love in this country for everything we stand for, you saw that on Election Day.”

But news outlets reported there were no such lines.




As of mid-afternoon, Trump had not replied to Sanders, moving on to tweet complaints about the news media, including announcing that he would not be attending the annual White House correspondents' dinner.

• Vanessa Williams is a staff writer at The Washington Post.

__________________________________________________________________________

Read more on this topic:

 • Spicer earns Four Pinocchios for false claims on inauguration crowd size

 • Women's marches: More than one million protesters vow to resist President Trump


https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/02/25/sanders-burns-trump-with-taunting-tweet-about-the-size-of-his-inauguration-crowd
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« Reply #30 on: March 16, 2017, 02:32:42 pm »


from The Washington Post....

Bernie Sanders remains one of America's most popular politicians

But not among Republicans, who strongly prefer President Trump.

By PHILIP BUMP | 7:11PM EDT - Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A FASCINATING new survey from Fox News asked Americans their opinions of a number of political leaders and politically relevant organizations. No elected official included in the survey had a larger net favorability — overall favorable views minus unfavorable ones — than Senator Bernie Sanders (Independent-Vermont), continuing Sanders's strong showing in such polls.

Somewhat surprisingly, the second-highest net favorability was held by Planned Parenthood. Part of this is probably because the organization enjoys strong partisan support, and has in polls in the past. Had the NRA been included, it, too, probably would have been highly popular, thanks to a push from Republicans.

Besides Sanders, Senator Elizabeth Warren (Democrat-Massachusetts) and Vice President Pence were the most popular politicians on net. Notice that the embattled Affordable Care Act is better viewed on net than President Trump and most of the other Republicans included in the poll.




At the bottom were House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Democrat-California) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Republican-Kentucky). House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (Republican-Wisconsin) was less popular on net than the unpopular president — but both fared better than WikiLeaks.

If we break out the polling by party, the results shift dramatically.

Among Democrats, Sanders takes the top position. (Hillary Clinton wasn't included.) Trump's net favorability among Democrats was minus-83, thanks to 85 percent of Democrats holding a strongly unfavorable view of him.




Notice, too, that Planned Parenthood enjoys the most “strongly favorable” opinion of any person or group among Democrats. Nearly two-thirds of members of the party view the organization that way. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (Democrat-New York) continues to be unknown by 30 percent of Democrats.

Among Republicans, Trump edges out Pence for the highest net favorability.




Obamacare is near the very bottom — a position held by Pelosi. The Freedom Caucus — a group of conservative members of Congress — wasn't well known among any group. Among the “liberal” groups and people, Planned Parenthood fares the best on net, though it's not very popular among Republicans.

It is among independents. The organization comes in second in net favorability to the most popular independent in America, Sanders.




Pelosi is at the bottom of the list here, too, while Trump is viewed slightly more favorably than unfavorably. It's the strength of that Democratic opposition to Trump that continues to drag him down overall.

Only three people or groups are viewed favorably by at least half of the country, according to the Fox News poll: Bernie Sanders, Planned Parenthood and Obamacare. Only two are viewed unfavorably by at least half the country: Pelosi and Trump.


• Philip Bump is a correspondent for The Washington Post based in New York City.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/03/15/bernie-sanders-remains-one-of-americas-most-popular-politicians
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« Reply #31 on: March 16, 2017, 03:09:20 pm »

 
I've seen these fake polls before during the election and look how that worked out
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« Reply #32 on: March 16, 2017, 11:13:22 pm »


That poll was from Fox News.....Donald Trump's favourite news service.

ROFLMAO....haw haw haw!!
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« Reply #33 on: March 17, 2017, 09:54:02 am »

only half of fox is right wing it's as fake as the rest of them even their owners have an agenda
you can't trust any of the media they're all controlled and bent

the press didn't care what obama done or said they never reported on his lies if anyone complained they were called racist.

the whole left right thing is a joke

Trump is really a libertarian in his thinking he believe that people should have freedom even the right wing republicans were against trump they withheld election funds forced him to us his own money because they are both wings on the same dirty bird

anyways going back the mainstream laughing saying trump was a joke
but the voters thought differently




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« Reply #34 on: March 17, 2017, 10:58:58 am »


Of course, if you want PURE UNADULTERATED BULLSHIT, then head off to Breithart and InfoWars. They are so full of LIES and BULLSHIT and conspiracy theory crap that they wouldn't even know the truth if they fell over it. However, they are useful for stupid people who are too DUMB to understand real news from real news media. Such as Trump supporters.
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« Reply #35 on: March 17, 2017, 11:56:24 am »

believe whatever you want everyone should have that freedom

I was listening to bernie he said a lot of the things trump wants to change he agrees with and said he would be on board with some of trump idea's.
Are you ok with that

I do not follow breitbart news much  but i believe the CIA assassinated Andrew breitbart by hacking his car and crashing it.
Car hacking is part of the CIA hacking toolbox released by wikileaks vault 7

The owner of the washington post Bezos has a good contract with the CIA worth 600 million dollars prove me wrong on this.

but i am fan of alex jones as he mostly always has documented proof that people can research for themselves as i often have.
I am not saying he is perfect sometime he gets things wrong but most times he's right on the money.

The guests he has on his show are totally interesting and his news you won't find in the mainstream.
Just think of all the stuff the mainstream dont tell us.

Then there's the documented fact that mainstream has been used for dishing out CIA propaganda for a lot of years.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2017, 12:05:02 pm by Im2Sexy4MyPants » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #36 on: September 14, 2017, 03:56:11 am »


from The Washington Post....

Sanders will introduce universal health care,
backed by 15 Democrats


Republicans, bruised and exhausted by a failed campaign to repeal the Affordable Care Act,
were giddy about the chance to attack Democrats and Sanders.


By DAVID WEIGEL | 10:00PM EDT - Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Senator Bernie Sanders (Independent-Vermont), second from right, walks to a luncheon with Democrats on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. — Photograph: Susan Walsh/Associated Press.
Senator Bernie Sanders (Independent-Vermont), second from right, walks to a luncheon with Democrats on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.
 — Photograph: Susan Walsh/Associated Press.


SENATOR Bernie Sanders (Independent-Vermont) will introduce legislation on Wednesday that would expand Medicare into a universal health insurance program with the backing of at least 15 Democratic senators — a record level of support for an idea that had been relegated to the fringes during the last Democratic presidency.

“This is where the country has got to go,” Sanders said in an interview at his Senate office. “Right now, if we want to move away from a dysfunctional, wasteful, bureaucratic system into a rational health-care system that guarantees coverage to everyone in a cost-effective way, the only way to do it is Medicare for All.”

Sanders's bill, the Medicare for All Act of 2017, has no chance of passage in a Republican-run Congress. But after months of behind-the-scenes meetings and a public pressure campaign, the bill is already backed by most of the senators seen as likely 2020 Democratic candidates — if not by most senators facing tough re-election battles in 2018.

The bill would revolutionize America's health-care system, replacing it with a public system that would be paid for by higher taxes. Everything from emergency surgery to prescription drugs, from mental health to eye care, would be covered, with no co-payments. Americans younger than 18 would immediately obtain “universal Medicare cards,” while Americans not currently eligible for Medicare would be phased into the program over four years. Employer-provided health care would be replaced, with the employers paying higher taxes but no longer on the hook for insurance.

Private insurers would remain, with fewer customers, to pay for elective treatments such as cosmetic surgery — a system similar to that in Australia, which President Trump has praised for having a “much better” insurance regimen than the United States.

But the market-based changes of the Affordable Care Act would be replaced as Medicare becomes the country's universal insurer. Doctors would be reimbursed by the government; providers would sign a yearly participation agreement with Medicare to remain with the system.

“When you have co-payments — when you say that health care is not a right for everybody, whether you're poor or whether you're a billionaire — the evidence suggests that it becomes a disincentive for people to get the health care they need,” Sanders said.“Depending on the level of the co-payment, it may cost more to figure out how you collect it than to not have the co-payment at all.”

As he described his legislation, Sanders focused on its simplicity, suggesting that Americans would be happy to pay higher taxes if it meant the end of wrangling with health-care companies. The size of the tax increase, he said, would be determined in a separate bill.

“I think the American people are sick and tired of filling out forms,” Sanders said. “Your income went up — you can't get this. Your income went down — you can't get that. You've got to argue with insurance companies about what you thought you were getting. Doctors are spending an enormous amount of time arguing with insurers.”

Republicans, bruised and exhausted by a failed campaign to repeal the Affordable Care Act, were giddy about the chance to attack Democrats and Sanders. At Tuesday's leadership news conference, Senator John Barrasso (Republican-Wyoming), a medical doctor, crowed that Sanders's bill had become “the litmus test for the liberal left” and that Americans would reject any costly plan for universal insurance coverage.

“Bernie Sanders's home state had… a similar plan,” Barrasso said, referring to a failed 2014 campaign for universal health care in Vermont. “They realized they would have to double the taxes collected on the people of that state to pay for it because it was so financially expensive.”

Sanders acknowledged that the plan would be costly but pointed to the experience of other industrialized countries that provided universal coverage through higher taxes. The average American paid $11,365 per year in taxes; the average Canadian paid $14,693. But the average American paid twice as much for health care as the average Canadian.

“Rather than give a detailed proposal about how we’re going to raise $3 trillion a year, we'd rather give the American people options,” Sanders said. “The truth is, embarrassingly, that on this enormously important issue, there has not been the kind of research and study that we need. You've got think tanks, in many cases funded by the drug companies and the insurance companies, telling us how terribly expensive it's going to be. We have economists looking at it who are coming up with different numbers.”

In 2016, when Sanders challenged Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, high cost estimates and the idea of wiping out private insurers kept many Democrats from embracing universal health care. While support for Sanders's proposal has risen from zero to 15, several Senate Democrats are proposing alternate plans for Medicare or Medicaid buy-ins, and Democratic leaders caution that their party will take no one-size-fits-all position.

“I don't think it's a litmus test,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Democrat-California) of Medicare for All. “I think to support the idea that it captures is that we want to have as many people as possible, everybody, covered, and I think that's something that we all embrace.”

Many supporters of Sanders have contradicted Pelosi, portraying his plan as popular — 57 percent of Americans support Medicare for All, according to Kaiser Health News — and efficient. Our Revolution, founded by Sanders, has urged Democrats to sign on; Justice Democrats, created after the election to challenge Democrats in primaries if they bucked progressive values, has asked supporters to call their senators until they endorse the bill. And a web ad paid for by Sanders's 2018 Senate campaign, asking readers to “co-sponsor” his bill, attracted more than half a million names.

As of Tuesday night, just one senator from a swing state had done so. Senator Tammy Baldwin (Democrat-Wisconsin), who as a member of the House had backed Representative John Conyers Jr. (Democrat-Michigan)'s Medicare for All bill, wrote a Tuesday op-ed for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel to confirm that she was on board. The Republican Party of Wisconsin, which has struggled to find a first-tier challenger for Baldwin next year, was quick with a statement: “Senator Tammy Baldwin Embraces Radical $32 Trillion Health Care Takeover.”

The $32 trillion figure was based on the Urban Institute's analysis of Sanders’s 2016 campaign plan. The new bill was different — and so was the confidence Democrats had as they embraced it.

“With this reform, we would simplify a complicated system for families and reduce administrative costs for businesses,” Baldwin wrote.


Kelsey Snell contributed to this report.

• David Weigel is a national political correspondent covering Congress and grassroots political movements for The Washington Post. He's the author of The Show That Never Ends, a history of progressive rock music.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • The Health 202: Single-payer pushes the health-care debate decidedly leftward

 • VIDEO: Bernie Sanders calls for health care ‘for all people’

 • VIDEO: Senator Harris announces she will co-sponsor ‘Medicare for All’ bill


https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/sanders-will-introduce-universal-health-care-backed-by-15-democrats/2017/09/12/d590ef26-97b7-11e7-87fc-c3f7ee4035c9_story.html
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« Reply #37 on: September 14, 2017, 03:15:00 pm »


from the Los Angeles Times....

Turning aside risk, Democrats rally to
Bernie Sanders' single-payer health plan


By CATHLEEN DECKER | 1:15PM PDT - Wednesday, September 13, 2017

LIKE passengers leaping for a departing train, leading Democrats are scrambling to support single-payer health insurance, a system that would represent a huge expansion of government control over healthcare and which the party's presidential nominee declared last year would “never, ever” come to pass.

Senator Bernie Sanders (Independent-Vermont), whose support for universal coverage was central to his 2016 presidential campaign, on Wednesday unveiled the latest version of his plan to expand Medicare to cover all Americans.

After a parade of testimonials about the failures of the nation's existing healthcare system, Sanders cast his measure as a moral and economic issue.

“Today we begin the long and difficult struggle to end the international disgrace of the United States of America, our great nation, being the only major country on earth not to guarantee healthcare to all of our people,” Sanders said.

In the days before Sanders' announcement, Democrats as ideologically diverse as liberal Senator Kamala Harris of California and conservative Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia expressed support for his effort. Their statements reflect a significant shift within the Democratic party, driven by multiple developments: a belief that the window has closed on Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare; a surge in support for government-run insurance among younger, more activist Democrats; and looming 2018 and 2020 contests that demand clarity on what Democrats support — not just whom they oppose.

Most of the party's potential 2020 presidential candidates have now endorsed the single-payer idea, including Sanders, Harris, Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Minnesota Senator Al Franken.

Competing Democratic healthcare plans are due out soon, including one that would allow Americans to buy coverage through Medicaid and another that would expand Medicare, efforts less disruptive than Sanders' proposal. But the authors of both have cast them as bridges to a time when a single government plan can gain a majority.

The shift toward single payer brings risk for Democrats. The party suffered huge losses after attempts to restructure the nation's insurance system during the Clinton and Obama administrations.

And although polls show rising support for a government-run insurance plan, much of that increase comes among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents — meaning the party will be pushing an approach nearly as partisan as President Trump's recent efforts to repeal the current healthcare law. (The president's press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said on Wednesday that Trump considers the new plan “a horrible idea”.)

Moreover, public opinion appears less than solid. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll found support gyrating wildly when criticisms of a Medicare-for-all plan — including increased taxes and more government control over healthcare — were raised.

“People don't like uncertainty,” said Lynn Vavreck, a UCLA political scientist. “Even the promise of something good might not be seen as better than what you have.”

Already, elements in both parties are on the attack.

In Iowa, Republicans are accusing Democratic candidates for governor of supporting Sanders, citing a $32-trillion estimate for the senator's 2016 campaign plan. In California, the fight has been between competing Democratic factions, leading to the threatened recall of the Democratic Assembly speaker after he set aside a single-payer bill pushed by a powerful nurses' union because, he said, its financing was insufficient.

At his announcement, Sanders glided over the tough topic of how to pay for his proposal, saying only that “the average American family” would be better off and increased taxes “will be more than offset” by the absence of insurance premiums.

The swift embrace of a single government-run insurance program belies the long slog that veterans of the capital's healthcare wars predict would be required to sell the plan not only to a skeptical public but to legislators on Capitol Hill. For now, with a Republican president and both houses of Congress held by the GOP, the finish line is a distant one under most any calculation.

“I hate to break it to anybody, but we are realistically not within four years of having a single-payer bill or a universal coverage bill passed,” said Andy Slavitt, who oversaw Medicare, Medicaid and insurance markets during the Obama administration.

“I strongly advise that Democrats invest the time in listening … [to] how people think about the trade-offs and how they think about the options and what features they'd like,” he said.

Backers of the plan dismiss any political motives. Harris said on Wednesday that the measure “is a nonpartisan issue.”

Despite admonitions from experts like Slavitt, support for a universal government program rapidly is becoming a litmus test for the party's national and state candidates.

“It's going to be hard to win a Democratic primary in 2020 without supporting single payer,” Democratic pollster Celinda Lake said.

Some in the party disagree with the rush toward a new program on the heels of existing healthcare fights.

“Right now, I'm protecting the Affordable Care Act,” Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi, of San Francisco, said on Tuesday, repeating her long-standing position that talk of a single-payer plan, which she supports in theory, remains premature. “None of these other things … can really prevail unless we have the Affordable Care Act protected.”

Lake and other pollsters say there's an even more basic reality: Most voters have little idea of what single-payer would do and how it would do it. In one focus group, for example, a participant expressed frustration over what “single payer” healthcare was, Lake said.

“What does single payer mean? The only single payer is me,” the focus group attendee said.

The label refers to a government program that would pay for and regulate healthcare for all Americans. It would replace the current system dominated by employer-supplied private insurance and supplemented by Obamacare's government-assisted individual insurance plans.

It also would affect Medicare, which covers those 65 and older, and Medicaid, the program for lower-income people and the disabled that was expanded under Obamacare and now covers about 1 in 5 Americans.

As Sanders alluded to, it would eliminate the need to pay premiums to insurers for coverage but would require a very large tax increase.

The fact that most voters aren't familiar with single payer could allow candidates who have endorsed it to define for themselves what they've signed onto. Then again, they will be defined by opponents as embracing the most extreme version.

“There's a lot of energy for single payer,” said Bill Burton, a former Obama spokesman and party strategist. But at this point, the parameters of a bill are unknown, he said.

“It's an idea that people are supporting, not actual legislation.”

Sanders will determine, in large part, how much flexibility his colleagues have. While he remains an independent, somewhat distant from the party whose nomination he sought last year, the Vermont senator has an unparalleled ability to draw in the young voters on whom the Democratic Party’s future depends.

Last year, that ability came at the expenses of the party establishment and eventual nominee Hillary Clinton, with whom he clashed over healthcare.

Sanders argued that universal coverage was necessary both to protect Americans' health and to break what he called the “corrupt” control of the healthcare system by pharmaceutical companies and other interests.

Clinton countered that his plan “will never, ever come to pass.”

Since the campaign — and the months-long, unsuccessful fight by Republicans to repeal Obamacare — things have changed.

A Pew Research poll in June found that the percentage of Americans favoring a single-payer plan had risen to 33%, five points higher than in January and 12 points higher than three years earlier. Two-thirds of Democrats younger than 30 favored a single government plan, as did 22% of young Republicans.

Sanders has said support for his plan should not be a litmus test for candidates, but some of his most loyal partisans disagree in words that conjure a coming fight.

“It's a litmus test,” said RoseAnn DeMoro, the executive director of National Nurses United. “The Democrats hate it when I say that.”

Any intra-party conflict will be piled upon the nervousness that defines every effort by either party to change the nation's healthcare system. The persistent problem: Although Americans often vote for change, they also fear it.

Vavreck said she was surprised at the quick shift among Democrats from defending Obamacare, which kept much of the insurance system in place, to fighting for what has been deemed a long shot.

“The idea that you go to the biggest, boldest idea seems to me an unusual way to make progress,” she said. Sanders and other Democrats may have decided, she said, that “if you don't push for a foot, you never get an inch.”


Cathleen Decker reported from Washington D.C.

• Cathleen Decker analyzes politics for the Los Angeles Times, writing about the Trump administration and the themes, demographics and personalities central to national and state contests. In 2016 she covered her 10th presidential campaign; she has also covered seven races for governor and a host of U.S. Senate and local elections. She directed the L.A. Times' 2012 presidential campaign coverage.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • Bipartisan effort to stabilize health insurance markets is coming down to the wire

 • Pelosi declines to endorse Senator Bernie Sanders' single-payer healthcare bill

 • The debate over single-payer healthcare in California isn't going away. Here's why.


http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-single-payer-democrats-20170913-story.html
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« Reply #38 on: September 14, 2017, 03:18:45 pm »

....sorry..aintgt time to read your leftie propaganda...but prefers feel to summarise it into English...look forward to it😉
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« Reply #39 on: September 14, 2017, 03:56:48 pm »


from The Washington Post....

The Democrats have become socialists

Bernie Sanders rolled out his Medicare for All plan and was
supported by 16 of his Senate Democratic colleagues.


By DANA MILBANK | 6:35PM EDT - Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Senator Bernie Sanders (Independent-Vermont). — Photograph: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg News.
Senator Bernie Sanders (Independent-Vermont). — Photograph: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg News.

WHEN Bernie Sanders launched his bid for the Democratic nomination, he was often asked whether he, a democratic socialist, would actually become a Democrat. Now, more than a year after he ignited a movement with his unsuccessful bid, that question is moot. The Democrats have become socialists.

This became official, more or less, on Wednesday afternoon, when Sanders rolled out his socialized health-care plan, Medicare for All, and he was supported by 16 of his Senate Democratic colleagues who signed on as co-sponsors, including the party's rising stars and potential presidential candidates in 2020: Elizabeth Warren. Cory Booker. Kamala Harris. Kirsten Gillibrand.

Several of them dutifully joined Sanders, who is threatening another presidential run himself, at the rollout event in one of the largest hearing rooms on Capitol Hill and praised the guru of the single-payer movement for government-run universal health care.

“I'm all in on this. Thank you, Bernie,” said Senator Jeff Merkley (Oregon).

Gillibrand (New York): “I will be standing with Bernie.”

Warren (Massachusetts): “I want to say thank you to Bernie for all that you have done.”

“The reason we have a chance to achieve” single-payer health care, said Senator Richard Blumenthal (Connecticut), “is because of advocates like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.”

This is a dramatic shift. In 2013, when Sanders introduced similar legislation, he didn't have a single co-sponsor. By contrast, you could have been forgiven for thinking Wednesday's rollout, with Sanders, Warren, Booker, Harris and Gillibrand testing their messages, was the first Democratic cattle call of the 2020 campaign. There were a couple hundred liberal activists in the room (many of them veterans of the Sanders campaign and a few wearing “Join the Political Revolution” Sanders T-shirts) and another 50 in an overflow room.

This embrace of an unabashedly socialist position by the Democrats delights nobody more than the original socialists, the Democratic Socialists of America. David Duhalde, the group's deputy director, was one of the first in line for the event, carrying a Medicare-for-All sign.

“Socialism has been most successful in this country when its ideas have been adopted by other parties,” he said, listing the enactment of labor laws, Social Security and Medicare. But “this is a high water mark,” he said.

In the short term, I've argued, this development is a bad thing for Democrats. The nation's focus has been on divisions among Republicans and their inability to enact any sort of agenda under President Trump. The single-payer issue highlights Democratic divisions and united Republicans.

Notably, only one Democrat who faces a competitive re-election, Senator Tammy Baldwin (Wisconsin), signed on with Sanders. The socialized-medicine bill is popular with the Democratic base but is a liability for Democratic candidates in the swing districts and Republican states that Democrats need to win to retake the House and Senate.

The divisions were on display during Wednesday: As Harris spoke, a member of the left-wing group Code Pink held up a large cutout of the head of Senator Dianne Feinstein (Democrat-California), who is up for re-election and doesn't support the Sanders bill. Beneath Feinstein's photo were the words “Healthcare Denier”. (Luckily for Democrats, Sanders told The Washington Post's David Weigel that he doesn't plan to make the issue a litmus test.)

The Republican National Committee, seizing the rare opportunity to play offense, sent out a news release and a video attacking the plan: “Legislation does NOT include how to pay for the $32 trillion program… Plans of 156M(!!) Americans would be upended.” And Senator Lindsey O. Graham (Republican-South Carolina), announcing yet another attempt at repealing Obamacare on Wednesday, tried to use the Sanders plan to revive the moribund effort. He said his bill was Republicans' “best and only chance” to prevent single-payer health care.

It’s not hard to see Graham's prophecy coming true over time, particularly if Republicans, unable to replace Obamacare, continue to sabotage the program and let it fall apart, leaving millions without health care. Republicans have another problem fighting single-payer care now. Because they called Obamacare “socialized medicine,” even though it's a market-based plan, they have nothing worse to fire at Democrats for embracing the real thing.

Sanders lost the nomination battle to Hillary Clinton (who favored a more incremental approach to health care and gives the single-payer debate little mention in her new book about the campaign). But he seems to be winning the war over the direction of the Democratic agenda. Sanders now has 35 percent of the Senate Democratic Caucus, and some of the biggest names in the party, embracing his call. So when he predicts, as he did on Wednesday, that “this nation, sooner than people believe, will in fact pass a Medicare-for-All, single-payer system,” it doesn't sound as crazy as it once did.


• Dana Milbank writes about political theater in the nation's capital. He joined The Washington Post as a political reporter in 2000.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • Sanders offers possible tax hikes that could pay for universal Medicare

 • GOP tries one more time to undo ACA with bill offering huge block grants to states


https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/socialized-health-care-in-the-us-suddenly-that-sounds-a-lot-less-crazy/2017/09/13/20b88d88-98cb-11e7-82e4-f1076f6d6152_story.html
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« Reply #40 on: September 14, 2017, 05:50:00 pm »

Ktj......"The Democrats have become socialists"

....finally....you have come to your senses...well done😉
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« Reply #41 on: September 14, 2017, 06:02:22 pm »


Actually, the ONLY thing which will make America Great Again will be if they become a SOCIALIST country.
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« Reply #42 on: September 14, 2017, 06:11:31 pm »

As the great Sir John Key would say...yeah...nah..probably best not to hold your breath for that one sonny🙄
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« Reply #43 on: September 15, 2017, 01:12:49 am »

"Actually, the ONLY thing which will make America Great Again will be if they become a SOCIALIST country."

You mean like Venezuela?? Yeah that's a real success story 😁
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« Reply #44 on: October 08, 2017, 07:59:04 pm »


from The Washington Post....

Shifting attitudes among Democrats have big implications for 2020

Whether in reaction to Trump or other forces, Democratic views on questions of race,
health care, immigration and the government's role are changing.


By DAN BALZ | 10:05AM EDT - Saturday, October 07, 2017

Senator Bernie Sanders (Independent-Vermont) speaks during a health-care rally at the 2017 Convention of the California Nurses Association and National Nurses Organizing Committee on September 22nd in San Francisco. Sanders is pushing his “Medicare for All” bill in the Senate. — Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Gettty Images.
Senator Bernie Sanders (Independent-Vermont) speaks during a health-care rally at the 2017 Convention of the California Nurses Association
and National Nurses Organizing Committee on September 22nd in San Francisco. Sanders is pushing his “Medicare for All” bill in the Senate.
 — Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Gettty Images.


PARTISAN DIVISIONS are not new news in American politics, nor is the assertion that one cause of the deepening polarization has been a demonstrable rightward shift among Republicans. But a more recent leftward movement in attitudes among Democrats also is notable and has obvious implications as the party looks toward 2020.

Here is some context. In 2008, not one of the major candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination advocated legalizing same-sex marriage. By 2016, not one of those who sought the nomination opposed such unions, and not just because of the Supreme Court's rulings. Changing attitudes among all voters, and especially Democratic voters, made support for same-sex marriage an article of faith for anyone seeking to lead the party.

Trade policy is another case study. Over many years, Democrats have been divided on the merits of multilateral free-trade agreements. In 1992, Bill Clinton strongly supported the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in the face of stiff opposition from labor unions and others. He took his case into union halls, and while he didn't convert his opponents, he prospered politically in the face of that opposition.

By 2016, with skepticism rising more generally about trade and globalization, Hillary Clinton was not willing to make a similar defense of the merits of free-trade agreements. With Sen. Bernie Sanders (Independent-Vermont) bashing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as a presidential candidate, Clinton joined the chorus of opponents. She ended up on the opposite side of then-President Barack Obama, even though she had spoken warmly about the prospects of such a treaty as secretary of state.

Looking ahead to 2020, something similar is likely to take place on the issue of health care. Because of changing attitudes that already are underway within the party, it will be difficult for any Democrat seeking the nomination not to support some kind of single-payer health-care plan, even if big questions remain about how it could be accomplished.

Sanders used his 2016 presidential campaign to advocate a universal health-care plan that he dubbed “Medicare for All”. The more cautious Clinton, who saw flaws in what Sanders was advocating, argued instead for focusing on improvements to the Affordable Care Act.

Sanders has now introduced a “Medicare for All” measure in the Senate, and his co-sponsors include several other prospective candidates for the Democratic nomination in 2020.

Meanwhile, a majority of House Democrats have signed onto a single-payer plan sponsored by Representative John Conyers Jr. (Democrat-Michigan) that goes much further. This has happened even though some of those who like Conyers's idea in principle question whether it is ready for prime time, not only because of the potential cost and the absence of a mechanism to pay for it, but also because of other potential policy flaws as well.

The pressure to embrace single-payer plans grows out of shifts in attitudes among Democrats. The Pew Research Center found in June that 52 percent of self-identified Democrats now support a government-run health-care system. That is up nine points since the beginning of the year and 19 points since 2014. Among liberal Democrats, 64 percent support such a plan (up 13 points just this year) and among younger Democrats, 66 percent say they support it.

Health care isn't the only area in which Democratic attitudes are shifting significantly. Others include such issues as the role of government and the social safety net; the role of race and racial discrimination in society; and immigration and the value of diversity.

A few days ago, the Pew Center released a comprehensive survey on the widening gap between Republicans and Democrats. The bottom line is summed up by one of the opening sentences in the report: “Republicans and Democrats are now further apart ideologically than at any point in more than two decades.”

This poll is the latest in a series of surveys dating to 1994. Together they provide not just snapshots in time, but also an arc of the changes in public opinion. Republicans moved to the right harder and earlier than Democrats began moving left, and their base remains more uncompromising. But on a number or questions, the biggest recent movement has been among Democrats.

In its new survey, Pew found the widest partisan gap ever on the question of whether government should help those in need — primarily because of recent shifts among Democrats. From 2011 to today, the percentage of Democrats who say government should do more to help those in need has jumped from 54 percent to 71 percent.

Only a minority of Republicans (24 percent) say government should do more for the needy, and that figure has barely moved in the past six years. The Republicans shifted their views from 2007 through 2011, the early years of the Obama presidency, during which their support for a government role dropped by 20 percentage points.

Two related questions produce a similar pattern among Democrats. Three in four Democrats say that “poor people have hard lives because government benefits don't go far enough to help them live decently,” up a dozen points in the past few years.

Eight in 10 Democrats say the country needs to continue to make changes to give blacks equal rights with whites, up 18 points since 2014. And more than 6 in 10 say “racial discrimination is the main reason many black people can't get ahead these days,” up from 4 in 10 three years ago.

Meanwhile, only a quarter of Republicans agree with the statement on government benefits, fewer than 4 in 10 say the country needs to continue to do things to provide equal rights for blacks, and just 14 percent cite racial discrimination as the main reason many blacks can't get ahead.

Members of both parties have become more positive in their attitudes about immigration in recent years, but the partisan gap remains huge — 42 points in the new survey. Today, 84 percent of Democrats say immigrants strengthen the country through hard work and talents, up from 48 percent in 2010. In 2010, 29 percent of Republicans agreed with that statement; today, that's risen to 42 percent.

Why have Democratic positions moved so dramatically and so recently on these questions race and government and immigration? Though it is not explicitly addressed in the survey, one possible reason is a reaction to the 2016 campaign and the Trump presidency.

President Trump obviously found strong support for his controversial views on immigration, whether his call to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border or to bar refugees from countries mostly in the Middle East. Those pronouncements helped him win the presidency. But those policies and the rhetoric that often preceded them also produced a strong backlash from the president's opponents.

The 2016 campaign ended up highlighting issues of national identity — race and immigration and the shifting character and face of the country — in often divisive ways that unleashed the kind of ugliness seen in Charlottesville in August.

The Democratic Party is being shaped by the Trump presidency and by reactions to the president among rank-and-file Democrats. Party leaders have been taking notice since Trump was sworn in as president and have moved as well.

Those who seek the party's nomination in 2020 understandably will be guided by these sentiments. But they must find a way to harness the movement into a political vision that is attractive to voters beyond the Democratic base — a vision that is grounded not just in anti-Trump resentment but in fresh and sound policies as well. In such polarized times, that will not be easy.


• Dan Balz is Chief Correspondent at The Washington Post. He has served as the paper's National Editor, Political Editor, White House correspondent and Southwest correspondent.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/shifting-attitudes-among-democrats-have-big-implications-for-2020/2017/10/07/a1741398-aae1-11e7-850e-2bdd1236be5d_story.html
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« Reply #45 on: Yesterday at 07:55:37 pm »


from The Washington Post....

The party is over…

Technology's direct access has kneecapped the GOP and Democrats.
We may miss them.


By DAVID VON DREHLE | 7:31PM EDT - Friday, October 20, 2017

Senator Bernie Sanders (Independent-Vermont). — Photograph: Andrew Harnik/Associated Press.
Senator Bernie Sanders (Independent-Vermont). — Photograph: Andrew Harnik/Associated Press.

WITH control of Congress, the White House and a majority of state governments, the Republican Party can claim to be stronger than at any time since 1928. On the other hand, many Democrats believe that their party's edge among younger voters and growing non-white demographic groups has them on the brink of a new reign of power.

The truth is, both parties are in crisis — and may be headed for worse.

The Republican ascendancy is riddled with asterisks. The party's control of Congress has only exposed deep and bitter divisions, as the pirates of Breitbart and talk radio turn their guns on House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (Wisconsin) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Kentucky). Too riven to redeem its oft-sworn pledge to repeal and replace Obamacare, the fractured majority is now struggling to unite around tax cuts, the golden calf of the GOP. As the saying goes, power is what power does — in this case, not much.

At the White House, Republicans rule in name only. The man in the Oval Office owes zilch to the party, having mowed down more than a dozen GOP leaders representing every band of the party's ideological spectrum in his 2016 coup. In office, he continues to train his Twitter flamethrower on Republicans much of the time. Meanwhile, the state-level GOP is waging civil war from Alabama to Arizona.

The internal bloodletting is at least as fierce, though perhaps less public, among Democrats. They, too, nearly lost control of their presidential nomination last year. Senator Bernie Sanders (Independent-Vermont) showed scant desire to be a Democrat through his long political career in Vermont, but he has decided late in life to pursue an ideological takeover. The septuagenarian revolutionary continues to galvanize the left wing against leading Democrats, and neither he nor his people are interested in making nice.

In California, for example, veteran Senator Dianne Feinstein's announcement that she would seek a fifth full term provoked howls from the Sanders set. The former mayor of San Francisco is too centrist for them. Emboldened, the top-ranking Democrat in the state Senate, Kevin de León, has jumped into the primary. Although he may not be as progressive as the left would prefer, the mere fact of his challenge in the heart of Democratic America will cast a klieg light on party disunity.

What makes today's conflicts inside the major parties different from intramural elbow-throwing in the past? The rapid rise of unmediated democracy, enabled by the digital revolution.

For generations, the major parties have served as rival department stores anchoring opposite ends of America's political shopping mall. They chose which products to offer and favored certain ones with their most prominent displays. They marshaled big budgets for advertising and thus loomed over the boutiques and specialty stores — the greens, the libertarians and so on — serving smaller clienteles.

Smartphones and the Internet are killing big retail by connecting buyers directly to products. The same is in store for the major parties. Donald Trump went directly to the voters through Facebook and Twitter; they, in turn, swept him past Republican gatekeepers to commandeer the mannequins and display cases of the GOP. Likewise, Sanders has found plenty of volunteers and cash to support his attempted hostile takeover of the Democratic Party.

Voters no longer need — nor, in many cases, want — a political party to screen their candidates and vet their ideas. They prefer to build their own movements, often with stunning speed. The change is not limited to the United States. Britain's major parties didn't want Brexit, but it's happening. Major parties in France didn't want Emmanuel Macron; now he's president.

America's winner-take-all elections strongly favor the two-party system. (Parliamentary systems, with their proportional representation, encourage smaller, more numerous, parties.) But unless the Republicans and Democrats find ways — pronto — to adapt to the rise of unmediated democracy, their systemic advantage could become an Alamo where defenders of party discipline and coalition-building make their doomed last stand.

Already we've seen a party lose possession of its most precious commodity: its presidential nomination. We've seen a rump minority in the House bounce former speaker John A. Boehner from his post and cast a hungry eye on his successor. In Kansas in 2014, an independent businessman, Greg Orman, cowed the Democratic Party into sitting on the sidelines of a U.S. Senate race. He's thinking about trying it again in next year's gubernatorial election.

Whether the future belongs to independent candidates connecting with voters outside the parties or to Trump-inspired hostile takeovers of nominations (probably it will be a combination), the future is dim for the major parties as we've known them. They were too often arrogant, unresponsive and borderline corrupt, but they vetted candidates, gave them training and fostered the compromises that hold teams together. We may miss them when they are gone.


• David Von Drehle writes a twice-weekly column for The Washington Post. He was previously an editor-at-large for TIME magazine, and is the author of four books, including Rise to Greatness: Abraham Lincoln and America's Most Perilous Year and Triangle: The Fire That Changed America.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • Fred Hiatt: France's president blew up his country’s two-party system and is pushing serious reform. Could it happen here?

 • Gary Johnson: Our two-party system has failed, just like our founders said it would

 • Charles Lane: Are we headed for a four-party moment?

 • Joe Scarborough: Trump is killing the Republican Party

 • Fareed Zakaria: The Democrats' problem is not the economy, stupid


https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/both-political-parties-may-be-doomed/2017/10/20/4c6cf8b2-b5ca-11e7-be94-fabb0f1e9ffb_story.html
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