web analytics
September 28, 2016 / 25 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Vermont’

The Left’s ‘Rock Stars’ Blew It

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

{Originally posted to the Commentary Magazine website}

Day one of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia was all about healing, but the patients in need of therapy seemed to prefer their condition to treatment. The procedural portion of the day was devoted to an airing of grievances among Sanders supporters while the night was designed to provide them with catharsis and a means by which they could reconcile their remaining objections to Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. To facilitate that purification process, Clinton brought in the biggest progressive guns she could: Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders himself. Their performance was, to say the least, underwhelming, and it underscores the extent to which their reputations are utterly undeserved.

For much of the evening, the tension in the hall between Clinton and Sanders supporters was palpable. A small band of the self-described socialist’s backers did their best to inflate their numbers by being as obnoxious as possible; they booed, barked, chanted, and mocked every speaker and every mention of Clinton’s name.

It was still that tough, tense room when first lady Michelle Obama took the stage and delivered what many saw as a passionate, compelling, and transcendent speech. Mrs. Obama’s speech was powerful because it was almost entirely dedicated to reminding the voters in that room of their party’s true adversary in November. It was a subtle vivisection of the anxiety-fueled Trump movement. It was a patriotic defense of the virtues that make America great today, contradicting the downcast Trumpian account of a nation in terminal decline. It was emotional at times, resolute at others; funny when it should have been, and deadly serious when it needed to be. By the end of it, even the Sanders supporters who seemed dedicated to martyring of their dignity in protest had quit jeering.

Now, Michelle Obama is not exactly an obscure Democrat, but nor is she the progressive heroine that Elizabeth Warren has been made out to be. Nor is she Bernie Sanders, who, judging just from the blubbering puddles into which his supporters transformed last night, has attained near godlike perfection in the minds of his devotees. These two speakers were scheduled after Michelle Obama’s strong speech, and they proved that it was an impossible act to follow.

Warren was selected to deliver the keynote address on Monday—an honor that reflected both her support within the Democratic Party and her status as an anti-Trump attack dog. Her tone was marmish; her style subdued. Warren’s criticisms of Trump felt half-hearted—placeholders that were forced and designed to sate a frothing mob only long enough for her to get to the real meat of the speech: Financial regulatory reform! The stock market, corporate profits, student loans, banking restructuring, Medicare, Social Security, 401Ks, and, of course, campaign finance; these were the issues that excited Warren. The fire in the Massachusetts senator’s eyes lit up precisely as she was extinguishing it in those of her youthful, heartbroken audience.

Sanders, too, delivered a lackluster speech for all but those initiated into his flock. It was a boilerplate stump speech, a fact which was given away to those who are unfamiliar with the Vermont senator’s campaign trail rhetoric by the Sandernistas who virtually sing along with the most road-worn lines. When Sanders became truly fired up about the prospect of defeating Trump, he was focused on the downright false notion that the GOP nominee is a just another vanilla Republican. From health care to taxation to regulation, Sanders said that Trump represents the “same old Republican contempt for working families.”

This is remarkably lazy campaigning. Trump is no garden-variety Republican. He is not a hard-hearted supply-sider who is dedicated to reducing the tax burden on the rich. Quite the opposite, in fact. He has no interest in the culture wars; be they transgender bathrooms or abortion rights—Trump has demonstrated time and again that his instincts are, in fact, center-left. Every time a speaker tried to frame Trump as a standard Republican, they normalized his radically irregular policy preferences.

Those Democratic speakers who did take a bite out of Trump’s hide—the victims of his allegedly fraudulent schemes, the disabled who were wounded by his irresponsible rhetoric, the Democrats who dared suggest that America remains a first world nation—they damaged Trump’s image not by casting him as a typical Republican but as an unacceptable threat to cultural progress and social cohesion. Neither Warren nor Sanders pulled that message off.

The disappointing show put on by the Democratic Party’s so-called rock stars exposes the extent to which their personae are fabrications. Absent the help of an industry dedicated to erecting elaborate support structures designed to keep their absurd cults of personality aloft, these progressive heroes are shown to be the mediocre political talents they always were. In the same way that octogenarian Supreme Court Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg has attracted a transparently contrived following with all the circumspection and maturity of your average ‘tween, the compulsion among liberals to make idols out of outspoken progressives has become an unattractive habit. When those idols demonstrate how unworthy they are of the veneration they receive, it exposes their dedicated image-makers as dishonest. It’s about time, too.

Noah Rothman

At Democratic National Convention Day 2, Sanders Supporters Still ‘Feeling The Bern’

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

Day One of the Democratic National Convention began with utter chaos in the wake of a scandal over the revelation that the party’s leadership had tilted the primary elections in favor of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton against her contender, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

But the ink on the resignation letter of Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz was barely dry before Hillary Clinton hired her as a “surrogate” national chairwoman to lead her presidential campaign — in effect, promoting her for her loyalty, corruption notwithstanding.

Speeches by Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, New Jersey Senator Corey Booker, First Lady Michelle Obama and then “rock star” runner-up candidate Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont helped defuse some of the tension, but there was still plenty of bitter energy to spare.

The house was packed to the rafters for the Sanders speech, with thousands of signs — ironically, in the colors of the Israeli flag — waving frantically with slogans like, “Stronger Together” and “A Future to Believe In.”

The entire hall was on its feet as Sanders walked to the podium, and the cheers shook the building for at least five full minutes, with the former candidate repeatedly trying to begin his speech, only to give up laughing. “Thank you, thank you,” he said. The applause lasted longer than that garnered by the First Lady.

Supporters with tear-filled eyes chanted, “Feel.the.Bern! Feel.the.Bern!” But when they finally allowed their hero to talk, the message he delivered was not the one they wanted to hear, despite his obvious effort to let them down gently.

The longest-serving Independent Senator in the history of the nation told his supporters they must work to defeat Donald Trump — and they MUST support Hillary Clinton to do so.

He thanked Michelle Obama for her “incredible service to our country.” And he thanked “the 13 million americans who voted for the ‘political revolution’ who gave us the 1,846 pledged delegates here tonight!” He also thanked the delegates for “being here” and for “all the work you have done,” telling them he looked forward to their votes in the roll call on Tuesday.

After thanking his family, friends and others who have seen him through his entire political career, Sanders said, “I understand that many people here and around the country are disappointed … I think it’s fair to stay that no one is more disappointed than I am.”

The blunt reference to the rigged system that had lost him the primary to Hillary Clinton was unmistakable. But equally clear was the fact that Sanders, a seasoned politician, recognized there was little he could do about it. Knowing when to fold the cards, Sanders clearly now hopes to keep as many people on board as possible, despite the obvious corruption that has been exposed.

“I hope you take enormous pride in the accomplishments we have achieved,” he said. “Together my friends, we have begun a political revolution to transform America, and that revolution, our revolution, continues.”

“Election days come and go but the struggle of the people to create a government that represents all of us, and not just the one — that struggle continues… I look forward to being part of that struggle with you.

“This election is not about and has never been about Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders or any of the other candidates that have sought the presidency,” he declared.

“This election is about and must be about the needs of the American people and the kind of future we create for our children and our grandchildren.”

Hana Levi Julian

Analysis: Bernie Sanders May Be the First Jewish US Vice President

Sunday, May 22nd, 2016

Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman in 2000 was supposed to be crowned America’s first Jewish VP. Now, as the Democratic primaries are rolling to the finish line, there’s a solid chance that Vermont Senator, Brooklyn born Bernie Sanders, would be the first to have that honor.

When ABC’s “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos had this exchange:

Stephanopoulos: If you don’t, sir, and this is my final question, you open to being considered as Secretary Clinton’s running mate?

Sanders: It’s a little bit early to talk about that. Right now, our function is to do everything I can, George — and you’re going to see me running all over California, we’re in New Mexico now — we’re going to do everything that we can to get every vote and every delegate that we can and go into that convention with as much momentum as is possible.

Stephanopoulos: Didn’t hear a no, Senator. We’ll be talking to you soon. Take care.

Candidate Clinton for her part said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that she is open to a wide variety of possible running mates. She mentioned Dallas Mavericks owner businessmen Mark Cuban, who said he’d like to be either Clinton’s or Trump’s VP.

Now, that’s keeping your options open.

With very few primaries left — California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota and South Dakota and that’s it, Sanders stands no realistic chance of significantly cutting Hillary’s lead of 274 pledged delegates, never mind her 486 super-delegates. All Clinton needs to do at this point in order to win the Democratic nomination is to pick up only 90 of the remaining 939 outstanding delegates. Sanders must win 850. So that’s not going to happen.

But Bernie Sanders has a major advantage over Hillary Clinton in the national polls, which she cannot deny: while Clinton and Trump are split in major national polls, and over the past two weeks have been trading the same 2 to 3 points between them, meaning they are essentially tied, Bernie Sanders whips Trump by double digits in almost every single major poll.

It’s always dangerous to use May polls as an indication of the voter’s will come November, and national polls are even less reliable than state polls because you never know how the sample of 600 to 2,000 respondents was distributed, and whether the distribution in May has anything to say about November. But one point is clear today: while most voters openly dislike both Hillary and Trump, and vote for either one of them as the lesser of two evils — the same voters actually like Sanders.

Which is why it’s rare for Sanders to beat Trump in those national polls with less than a two digit lead. This is going to be part of Bernie Sanders’ camp’s argument in Philadelphia this summer: Bernie can get the voters out, Bernie ignites their imagination. Hillary, even if she wins in November, will do so with a few votes over the split, and without coattails, meaning both houses of Congress will remain Republican.

When Sanders is urging the super-delegates to take “an objective look” at which candidate has a better shot at beating Trump in November, he’s talking about these national polls. Sanders has also condemned the entire institution of super-delegates, saying it is unfair and is part of an “anointment process,” rather than free and open elections.

Hillary has not expressed any degree of enthusiasm about doing with Sanders what her husband did with Al Gore in 1992 and 1996. “I am going to be the nominee and want to spend my time taking on Trump,” Clinton said. She urged Sanders to face the realities of the election process, reminding him that “we are stronger together.” She also noted that the differences between herself and Sanders on the issues “pale in comparison to Donald Trump,” suggesting that “most of his [Sanders’] supporters understand that as well.”

But should Sanders, with his considerable cache of both voters and money, decides to play hardball even after Hillary had picked up her 90 votes and crossed the finish line, would he be able to exact from the winner the ultimate price for his cooperation? The chances of that look better than 50-50 today.

Salon wrote this weekend: “Hillary must pick Bernie for VP: She may even need him more than he needs her.” Salon noted a Rasmussen poll found that 36 percent of likely Democratic voters want Clinton to name Sanders as her running mate – almost double the 19 percent of voters supporting the next most popular vice presidential contender, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. You’ll note that Sen. Warren is a lot closer to Sanders’ politics, especially on Wall Street, than Hillary’s.

And Politicus USA pointed on Sunday: “Bernie Sanders would bring Independents and lock down younger voters for Hillary Clinton. Sanders also attacks Donald Trump with a zeal and conviction that would throw the Republican off of his game for the entire fall. … Hillary Clinton could do a whole lot worse for herself than putting Bernie Sanders on the ticket.”

JNi.Media

New Book: Bernie Sanders Was Kicked Off Vermont Commune for Loafing

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

When presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders was young and still had all his hair, he was kicked out of a hippie commune in Vermont in 1971 because he was “sitting around and talking” politics instead of working, according to a new book that’s mostly about the kids who did all the working.

We Are As Gods: Back to the Land in the 1970s on the Quest for a New America,” by Kate Daloz, scheduled to be released April 26, tells the story of Loraine, Craig, Pancake, Hershe, and a dozen of their friends, who came into possession of 116 acres, Myrtle Hill Farm, in northeast Vermont, and decided to “grow their own food, build their own shelter, and create an enlightened community. They had little idea that at the same moment, all over the country, a million other young people were making the same move—back to the land.”

Daloz grew up next door to the hippie farm about which she reports, in a geodesic dome (a spherical or hemispherical thin-shell structure that was popular in the 1960s).

Bernie Sanders, 30, came to Myrtle Hill in the summer of 1971, at about the same time he became active in the socialist Liberty Union Party. He was there in the middle of researching an article on natural childbirth for Movement, Liberty Union’s newspaper. According to Deloz, “Many elements of Western medicine came under suspicion during this period, but none more so than modern obstetrics.”

Other than working on his article, which involved interviewing a pregnant member of the commune, Sanders spent his time at Myrtle Hill in “endless political discussion,” Deloz reports. This did not go over well with the rest of the hippies, who were working the land the way folks used to do in Colonial Vermont, which meant enduring long hours of backbreaking labor. According to Daloz, one of the commune members, Craig, “resented feeling like he had to pull others out of Bernie’s orbit if any work was going to get accomplished that day.”

In the end, Sanders was told he was no longer welcome. “When Bernie had stayed for Myrtle’s allotted three days, Craig politely requested that he move on,” Daloz reports.

The topics Bernie liked to discuss with the real workers, included, according to Deloz, “a kibbutz-style school for commune children; the possibility of a coming violent revolution; and the pros and cons of group marriage.” So he picked up a thing or two back in 1963, in kibbutz Sha’arei Ha’amakim not far from Haifa.

The Myrtle Hill commune broke up in the 1980s, a victim of the War on Drugs. They grew marijuana on the grounds, to supplement their income, and law enforcement raided them. According to police reports, they found a quarter million dollars of marijuana and “a bullet-proof vest, a machete, a gas mask, and a fully loaded Uzi.” So some Israeli flavor lingered even after Bernie had been ousted.

JNi.Media

Sanders Takes Home State of Vermont

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

In a surprise to nobody, Vermont’s own Senator Bernie Sanders won the Vermont Democratic primary. The race was called within a half hour after the polls closed at 7:00 p.m.

Ten delegates will go to Sanders from the Green Mountain State.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Clinton Losing Ground to Sanders in New Hampshire and Iowa

Friday, June 26th, 2015

Vermont’s Jewish socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders is closing the gap between him and front-runner Hillary Clinton in Democratic primaries in New Hampshire and Iowa, according to a new poll published by Bloomberg News.

Clinton still holds a huge lead in the two states that are among the first to stage primaries early next year, but she could be in trouble if the her loss in strength is only the beginning of a trend towards Sanders.

Alternatively, Sanders may have gained all the support he can possibly get.

The maverick from Vermont has raised several issues that Clinton has tied to ignore. Sander has clipped six to eight points off the popularity of Clinton, who still has 50 percent support in Iowa and 56 percent in New Hampshire.

Not surprisingly, Sanders fared better than Clinton in the areas of authenticity and a desire to challenge Wall Street.

The race is taking on the appearance of David and Goliath, and right-wing media in the United States have been having a field day revealing new examples that show Clinton as a farce.

“It’s tremendous progress that he is making with voters in the first two states,” Tad Devine, Sanders’ chief political strategist, told Bloomberg. “It’s something we felt on the ground.”

The gender gap is clear, with women supporting Clinton far more than men do, while the opposite is true in the male-female breakdown for support for Sanders.

Purple Strategies’ Doug Usher told the news site:

Clinton remains enormously well-known and well-liked in New Hampshire, a state she won before. She benefits from a gender gap in a primary that will be disproportionately female, and even Sanders’ voters admit Clinton is likely the nominee. As long as Democrats like both candidates simultaneously, Sanders will have an uphill climb.

One of Clinton’s strong points is that she viewed as a stronger candidate to be able to defeat the Republican nominee.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Jewish Sen. Bernie Sanders to Run for President

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Jew who is not involved in organization religion, will toss his hat in the political rang today and announce he is challenging Hillary Clinton to be the Democratic party’s nominee for president in 2016.

We would write that he is throwing his kippa into the ring except for the faint possibility that he even owns one.

Vermont Public News (VPR) reported, “Sanders will release a short statement….and then hold a major campaign kickoff in Vermont in several weeks…. Sanders’ basic message will be that the middle class in America has been decimated in the past two decades while wealthy people and corporations have flourished.”

Sanders is an Independent and a vocal critic of “corporate America” and the government’s proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal.

A socialist, the 73-year-old Sanders wants to make campaign finance reform, climate change and the rich-poor gap as the center of his campaign, and he will focus on the proposed TPP to try force Clinton to declare whether she supports or opposes it.

Sanders might be exactly what the United States needs, someone who is not afraid to challenge the “billionaire class” instead of cooperating with it while the middle class, as in almost every other western country, fells it is becoming an endangered species.

His being Jewish is not going to win him any points from Orthodox or even the Conservative Jews.

Sanders, born in Brooklyn, once volunteered on an Israeli kibbutz after university, an experience which may have bolstered his socialist views.

As for Judaism, he is not actively involved, and the Burlington, Vermont Free Press reports:

When it comes to the impact of religion on his life, he said, ‘I find myself very close to the teachings of Pope Francis,’ and he described the pope as ‘incredibly smart and brave.’

A quote from Pope Francis also graces Sander’s Sanders for President Facebook page.

Judaism and being Jewish are not part of his public face. The Jewish Telegraph Agency wrote last January after an interview with Sanders, “With a series of observations about the Jewish history of rootlessness and oppression, Sanders begins to describe the role of his lower-middle-class upbringing in forging him into the Congress’ only self-described socialist.

Sanders boycotted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech in Congress last month. He has deep roots in the civil rights and the anti-Vietnam war movements but has tried to remain neutral concerning Israel.

He said a Town Hall meeting in Vermont last year that Israel “over-reacted” to Hamas missile attacks but noted that the terrorist organization attacked from within populated areas and wants to destroy Israel.

If it is good news that this Jew is running for president, pray that he beats Clinton so he can lose the big race.

Below is a video of Sanders explaining why he boycotted Netanyahu’s speech.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/jewish-sen-bernie-sanders-to-run-for-president/2015/04/29/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: