Monday, May 4, 2015

A Vote for Bernie is a Vote for Liz

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) almost EXACTLY mirrors and supports the same "progressive" issues and causes as Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) — and just as passionately. The only difference is, Bernie has been advocating for these issues and causes much longer than Warren.

According to the Boston Herald, upon the news of Senator Bernie Sanders running for President, Senator Elizabeth Warren said, “I’m glad to see him get out there and give his version of what leadership in this country should be. I think that Bernie Sanders is going to play out a vision for America, and that it is important for people to hear what he has to say.”

Sanders is going to run as a Democrat (rather than as an Independent), and thus would be a direct primary challenge to Hillary. So if Senator Elizabeth Warren is really serious about NOT running for President, then why wouldn't progressive groups support Bernie Sanders now that he's running for President? Are they so insistent on Warren that they will push voters towards a more right-leaning "moderate" (pro-corporate) Democrat like Hillary Clinton if they can't have their own way?

Bloomberg writes, "Ask the passionate Warren boosters for a single issue where she's superior to Sanders — and they come up empty."

So if Warren steadfastly refuses to run in 2016, wouldn't a vote for Bernie be the next best thing? In a way, wouldn't a vote for Bernie also be a vote for Elizabeth?

Of course, some people have suggested that both Sanders and Warren could run on the same ticket in 2016. While there is far too much to paraphrase in this post, here are some quotes from a very thoughtful and comprehensive article on this subject over at Common Dreams:

Social movement actors serious about using the presidential race as a tool to advance a democratic justice agenda against surging economic inequality should actively promote a joint Warren/Sanders ticket. This is the Left's best opportunity to engage in the 2016 presidential elections...Sanders and Warren are each heavy-hitters in their own right, but the combined star power of both leaders standing together, crisscrossing the country in a united electoral front, could galvanize a powerful coalition of grassroots constituencies under one banner...A joint ticket approach would also make it more likely that the money, organization, and national network were all in place early on to mount a full-fledged ground game assault in early caucus and primary states...Although either Sanders or Warren could probably, on their own, raise enough money to build the necessary organization to run a national campaign, a unified ticket approach would make the task much easier and could return far bigger dividends. The double team offense could electrify a grassroots base of activists inside already existing movement infrastructure...If the Sanders and Warren camps join forces it would prevent a worst-case scenario where both were to run independently of one another, dividing the electoral Left, splitting scarce financial and movement resources, and all but guaranteeing a primary win for Clinton...A Warren/Sanders ticket, with the Democratic populist receiving top billing ahead of the democratic socialist, would be by far the strongest formation, with Sanders’ supporting role as an experienced independent and elder statesmen giving Warren key credibility among some movement actors skeptical of party Democrats.

And there's also this website ...

If Senator Elizabeth Warren doesn't run, but were to come out and formally endorse Bernie Sanders for President, would that change the dynamics of the fence-sitting progressive groups who are still attempting to draft Warren? Would these groups begin to enthusiastically support Bernie — or will they instead back a "Third Way" candidate like Hillary Clinton? So far, we know Nevada hookers and Hustler's Larry Flint endorsers Hillary, but that's probably just because she's a woman (and because Liz isn't running.)

Will the "liberal" Democratic-leaning media give Bernie the same amount of news coverage that they have given to Warren? And if so, and if Warren doesn't run (and the corporate media finally accepts that), will they also give Bernie positive coverage — or will they subtly demean him to boost Hillary's ratings? Rather then emphasizing Bernie as a "Socialist" (with a big "S") to scare people, will they refer to him as a "democratic socialist" (with a small "s") — like those who more or less advocate for the same things that "democratic progressives" do — those who currently caucus with the Democrats?

According to Al Jazeera, a 2011 Pew survey found that young people between the ages of 18 and 29 felt slightly more favorably toward socialism than toward capitalism. A 2014 Reason-Rupe poll found that 36 percent of respondents viewed socialism favorably, including 52 percent of Democrats. Michael Kazin, a Georgetown University historian, said: “Most of his [Bernie's] stances are those of Elizabeth Warren, who is not a socialist as far as I know. There’s a tradition of socialists saying a lot of the same things that Elizabeth Warren has been saying." (Here's what the Democratic Socialists of America actually say about themselves on their official website, and what they say about Bernie.)

And Bernie isn't afraid to debate Bill O'Reilly. While on the other hand, Hillary hasn't made any appearance on Fox News as of yet — and actually seems to be avoiding the "lame stream left wing media" as well. According to Mother Jones, Bernie's got her beat there as well.

It's understood that some people believe that Warren might have a better chance than Sanders of beating Clinton in the Democratic primaries (another woman vs. another "angry white man") — and that Hillary may have a better chance than Sanders of beating someone like Jeb Bush in the 2016 general election. But if Warren DOESN'T run, it makes more sense for these progressive groups to back Sanders; because at the very least (especially if Bernie is included in the Democratic debates), he can nudge Hillary more to the "left" (or to the "center" if we were in FDR's era) on issues such as strengthening Social Security and taxing corporations their fair share.

And more than likely, they (these progressive groups) would still have Hillary as a candidate against the GOP rival in 2016. Otherwise, Hillary (if elected) will be more like Jeb Bush (beholden to the status quo) — and just give us the same ole, same ole — further prolonging these political dynasties, without ever feeling obligated to make any real changes.

And no ... Warren should NEVER consider running as VP with Clinton (or take a cabinet position in a Hillary administration), or Warren would forever lose all her populist credibility — or a chance to run for President in 2020 (Her trip to the Clinton mansion has already made many people very suspicious).

And there's also this, from the Center for Public Integrity (who regularly bashes both major political parties) — 12 things to know about Bernie Sanders (Hint: No, there's no baggage in Bernie's past, unlike some candidates.)

And finally, here's Elizabeth Warren discussing Hillary Clinton in 2004.

So if we can't have Liz, let's take Bernie. Not because he's "second best" to Liz, but because he's "second to none" to anyone else running for President. Sanders and Warren --- or Warren and Sanders. Whatever. Either would be a great choice.

Sanders and Warren (or Warren and Sanders)

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