Bernie Sanders’s Hopes and Regrets

Bernie Sanders hopes to hold a President Hillary Clinton to the Democratic platform’s commitment to progressive policies, but the Vermont senator may be having doubts and possibly regrets, writes Joe Lauria.

By Joe Lauria

Leading protests and stirring up trouble in the Senate might be all that’s left for Bernie Sanders to do in contesting Hillary Clinton’s administration if, as many expect, it deviates from her public embrace of some Sanders positions if and when she becomes President.

“I won’t stay silent if Clinton nominates the same old, same old Wall Street guys,” Sanders said this week. “The leverage that I think I take into the Senate is taking on the entire Democratic Party establishment, and, you know, taking on a very powerful political organization with the Clinton people. We won 22 states and 46 percent of the pledged delegates, 13.4 million votes . . . and a majority of the younger people, the future of the country. . . . That gives me a lot of leverage, leverage that I intend to use.”

A sign at a Bernie Sanders rally in Washington D.C. on June 9, 2016. (Photo credit: Chelsea Gilmour)

A sign at a Bernie Sanders rally in Washington D.C. on June 9, 2016. (Photo credit: Chelsea Gilmour)

Looking forward to Clinton’s expected election on Nov. 8, the 75-year-old Vermont senator said he’s begun to draft some of his planks that were accepted into the Democratic platform into legislation: on climate change, minimum wage and breaking up big banks. But given what we now know about what the Clinton machine thinks of him, it’s debatable how much leverage he’ll have.

It’s not hard to imagine Sanders contemplating what could have been as he sees the two most unpopular candidates in modern history beset by ever deepening scandals: Clinton from Wikileaks revelations and Trump from exposure of alleged sexual misconduct.

Sanders now knows for certain how the Democratic National Committee undermined his candidacy when it was supposed to remain neutral. And he knows from Wikileaks’ disclosure of Clinton’s Wall Street speeches, which he repeatedly demanded that she make public, how cozy she is with plutocrats.

A Third-Party Run

In the context of these revelations, is it not reasonable to assume that if Sanders had taken Jill Stein’s offer to head the Green Party ticket that such a team would have gotten 15 percent in the polls and a place at the debates? Wouldn’t Sanders’s presence at the debates have given an alternative to voters who detest both Trump and Clinton and at least a chance to build a viable third-party movement?

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire on July 12, 2016. (Photo from cloud2013 Flickr)

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire on July 12, 2016. (Photo from cloud2013 Flickr)

Sanders said he supports Clinton because an independent or a third-party run could have handed the election to Trump. “I don’t want to end up like Ralph Nader,” Sanders told journalist Chris Hedges. Nader is blamed for handing the 2000 election to George W. Bush over Al Gore with his Green Party run, which kept the vote in Florida close enough for Bush, with the help of five Republicans on the U.S. Supreme Court, to claim its electoral votes and thus the presidency. [For how a full Florida recount would have given Gore the White House, see’s “Gore’s Victory” and “So Bush Did Steal the White House.”]

But it is questionable whether Sanders would have divided the Clinton vote to make Trump president. Millions of angry voters from an eroding middle class could have supported Sanders instead of Trump. In other words, Sanders could have taken away just as many and perhaps more votes from Trump, as both were insurgency candidates against the Establishment’s choice.

Sanders who hasn’t even a whiff of corruption about him might well be soaring above both of them in the polls by now.

It also appears that Sanders made his decision to support Clinton almost wholly based on domestic issues, which he focused nearly exclusively on during his primary campaign. On immigration, climate change, gun control and a number of other issues, Sanders aligns with Clinton rather than Trump.

And, Sanders rightly feared Trump’s xenophobia, Islamophobia, misogyny, racism and demagoguery. But Sanders overlooked Trump’s conciliatory approach toward Russia and Clinton’s warmongering on Syria and her open hostility toward Russia. Given Sanders’s accurate critique of Clinton’s fondness for “regime change” wars, a Sanders’s victory would have likely offered a greater hope for peace.

In other words, Sanders had an historic opportunity and, arguably, an obligation in the face of the ruin of the American middle class and the danger of looming global conflict, but he failed to seize it. He either did not take seriously or failed to understand the urgency of the situation. He talked about a “revolution” to upend the status quo but ended up supporting a status quo candidate for President.

Given his comments this week, he might well be regretting his decision.

Joe Lauria is a veteran foreign-affairs journalist based at the U.N. since 1990. He has written for the Boston Globe, the London Daily Telegraph, the Johannesburg Star, the Montreal Gazette, the Wall Street Journal and other newspapers. He can be reached [email protected]  and followed on Twitter at @unjoe.

92 comments for “Bernie Sanders’s Hopes and Regrets

  1. Kovaliov
    November 3, 2016 at 09:26

    Is Hillary a war monger? Are we heading towards a new P.N.A.C. war where ‘Syria’ is the new ‘Iraq’? Hasn’t anyone learned anything?

  2. Jay
    October 27, 2016 at 17:41


    Sorry, my two democratic senators voted for the Iraq war. And I don’t live in some “purple” state.

  3. Abe
    October 27, 2016 at 16:18

    Since 1967, the U.S. has given well over $100 billion of tax dollars to Israel in unconditional military aid. And this is not considering other forms of aid, both tangible — in the form of trade deals and subsidies — and intangible — in the form of diplomatic support and scores of unilateral U.S. vetoes of U.N. Security Council resolutions that criticized Israel’s illegal activity.

    Israel alone raked in 53 percent of U.S. foreign military financing in 2014.

    The new ten-year, $38 billion military aid deal signed between the Obama administration and the Netanyahu government includes $5 billion in missile defense funding. Under previous arrangements, Congress approved funds for Israeli missile defense systems, including Iron Dome, separately and on an annual basis.

    The Obama administration reportedly asked Netanyahu to get Lindsey Graham, the head of the Senate foreign-affairs appropriations committee, to agree to the deal. After it was signed, though, Graham released a statement indicating that Congress would not necessarily adhere to the pre-determined funding levels.

    The U.S. is prepared to transfer more and more billions of their money to Israel, even as Israel pursues with more aggression than ever the very policies that the U.S. claims to find so objectionable and destructive. The State Department recently said Israel “is systematically undermining the prospects for a two-state solution” by continuing to expand illegal settlements.

    • Abe
      October 27, 2016 at 17:01

      83 Senators signed an April 2016 bipartisan letter, sponsored by Chris Coons (D-Delaware) and Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), urging Obama to provide a “robust” new military aid package “that increases aid to Israel”

      To preserve the illusion of democracy, Bernie, Tim Kaine, and Barbara Boxer of California were among 17 senators who irrelevantly did not sign the letter.

      During her speech in March to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Hillary Clinton insisted that Israel should receive “the most sophisticated defense technology” available.

  4. Jay
    October 27, 2016 at 10:20


    You’ll want to note that Bill didn’t quote my point about the F35, he chose my point about Sanders’ constituents.

    Right, there’s far to much “economy” tied to that crap. And Ronny Reagan really accelerated that bad behavior. Not that it wasn’t there before 1981.

  5. Jay
    October 27, 2016 at 10:16

    Bill the Iraq war is a bit different than arms supplied to X, then used in XXistan.

    Sanders would not have been re-elected if he’d voted against war funding more than a few times. And in fact he didn’t always support the funding of the war in Iraq.

    Drop your false equivalences, it looks in fact like running defense for camp Hillary.

  6. Hillary
    October 27, 2016 at 10:11

    exiled off mainstreet

    Excellent post …. poor half hearted Bernie never was leadership material & showed it from the start.

    • allen
      October 27, 2016 at 19:31

      yeah right with rallies HRC could only dream. Hope you like your incrementalism change, if any change at all. BO was a major disappointment for progressives as will be HRC.

      AMerican democracy is irreparably broken.

  7. exiled off mainstreet
    October 27, 2016 at 02:14

    Clinton’s known record of war crimes in Libya and Syria make supporting her a test of character. Any person, like Sanders, who goes does more by affirmatively shilling for her is tainted like those who supported earlier barbaric regimes in the full knowledge of what he was supporting.

  8. Evangelista
    October 26, 2016 at 20:53

    Among a number of things that amuse me in this 2016 election cycle is the mythology of what is preached “Trump’s xenophobia, Islamophobia, misogyny, racism and demagoguery” in Lauria’s Consortium News article here. To these others could be added, for which, as for these, there are no evidences. All are of a standard litany of accusations assigned to Trump go back only to accusations. Where facts are available the facts do not support the accusations.

    Take for example, ‘xenophobia’. That goes back to Trump expounding a hard line against illegal entries into the United States with specific reference to the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump made no disparagements of legally entered, legally resident, or citizens of ‘Latino’ or ‘Chicano’ decent or ethnicity. So ‘xenophobia’? What evidence?

    Similarly, the accusation of ‘Islamophobia’ is based on Trump assertions that until the U.S. has means to determine who amongst Islamics seeking to enter are ‘Terrorists’ Islamic be assigned a general criterion, as ‘plague’, ‘cholera’, ‘small-pox’, etc. were in the quarantines era, when ships, with all aboard them, whether infected or not with the quarantined disease, were denied landing until the wellness of all was determined, or any infected were discovered and isolated. In both cases the remedy might be assigned crude, maybe extreme, but not really discriminatory, since the ‘victim’ innocents, themselves, ship’s passengers or adherents to Islam, are not objected to, or targeted.

    Misogyny? That comes from the infamous tape on which Trump states, in terms not inappropriate for the situation (were it not being taped) that he was attracted to a woman at one time, then saw her again and she had done herself up into a sex-object, with “big phony tits”, and where he marvelled that some women let men do “anything” if the men are “stars”, even to letting “stars” “grab ’em by the pussy”. The tape does not indicate Trump groping or grabbing, or having any predilection to. The tape reveals Trump criticizing the kind of women who make themselves ‘sex-bait’ and who ‘groupie’ around, and for “stars”. Are those representative of the female sex? Does the female sex want to be defined by those kind? If not they should agree with Trump in defining those as phony and abnormal.

    “Racism” I don’t know whee comes from, unless it would be Trump’s acceptance of different people being different and having their own different views, and all being part of an American mix of peoples allowed to hold their own views, racist, sexist, warmonger, etc., even if one might be his vice-president candidate…

    The funny thing is, if you add these all up, it makes Trump seem like the Progressive, the Revolutionary, candidate… Advocating for a pluralistic society, instead of a homogenized one…

  9. October 26, 2016 at 18:46

    Sanders is a beaten man. I think he was seriously threatened to STFU at some point as was Liz Warren who would have won the nomination and the Presidency had she chosen to run. Most of you still don’t get what we are up against. These are just mild cheaters–these people are murderers and have the resources of the Deep State behind them. One of the main reasons, along with “identity politics” the left is still moribund is a lack of clear analysis of just what the nature of power is in this country and world (Washington is the center of a global Empire hiding in plain sight) and its henchmen make the the old Italian Mafia look like girl scouts.

  10. Jay
    October 26, 2016 at 14:27



    You expect Sanders to vote against funds going to Vermonters involved in the Iraq war. That’s preposterous.

    Sorry, Sanders worked to get F35 based in Vermont, and get engineering work on them funded, since Lockhead builds some component there. However, he’s hardly pushing the program. The USAF is going to get a replacement for the F16, that Sanders would expect VT to get some jobs money out of that replacement is far from odd, or warmongering.

    You pushing real delusions about Sanders.

    By all means propose a different plane, or cancellation of the F35 project.

    • Bill Bodden
      October 26, 2016 at 15:24

      You expect Sanders to vote against funds going to Vermonters involved in the Iraq war. That’s preposterous.

      In other words, morality is not a factor in political decisions especially when pork and political survival are concerned. Perhaps this helps to explain why the US is involved in so many violations of international law and crimes against humanity. Next time Israel bombs the hell out of Gaza and slaughters hundreds of children let the Israel Lobby know its okay.

      • Gregory Herr
        October 26, 2016 at 22:59

        Thank you. If our economics had a constructive footing, rather than being tethered to weapons and war, the human race could civilize itself and genuine progress for the many could be attained.

  11. October 26, 2016 at 12:25

    I still believe Bernie is the genuine article. I filmed him in September 2002 in Washington DC when he
    stood with families of 9/11 victims who said “don’t invade Iraq on the basis of our family losses, the 9/11
    hijackers were from Saudi Arabia” – there were a dozen foreign camera crews filming this event, not one was from the US corporate media – about which Sanders has gone on about to me. He is well aware of the vertical media monopolies; wonder if he will speak about the pending AT&T Time Warner merger, another behemoth ready to control content and the delivery system of information to the public. I bet he will.

  12. Bill Bodden
    October 26, 2016 at 12:20

    Bernie Sanders has received mostly deserved bashing on this thread, but if we are to learn from this recent election history we need to look at the whole series of events. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to give this topic all that it deserves but, hopefully, key notes will get the point across.

    Bernie Sanders deserves credit for his role in demonstrating that there is a sizable group of people in the US supportive of the progressive concepts he promoted. This suggests there is a potential for a third party with a genuine interest is pushing for justice, economic justice and related issues. The problem for such a party would be, as in the past, the hostility of the Democratic and Republican bosses and the media they control. The last thing they want is a government of, for and by the people. On the other hand, the Tea Party, despite its lapses into lunacy proved a small cabal can have an effect in Congress.

    When Sanders played down Hillary’s email scandal in their first debate that was a signal he was not likely to go all out to defeat her. He eventually raised a sizable following that shook up the Democratic National Committee, but for some reason he failed to follow through to a plausible potential of having his name on the ticket on November 8th as the nominee for the Democratic (?) Party or the Green Party.

    Of the four party leaders featured in presidential polls Jill Stein is far and away the most intelligent, the most humane, and the most civilized, but these are not qualities that will attract a sufficient number of voters to give her the authority she deserves. I thought she might do better than 2 to 4 percent in the national polls, but apparently I overestimated the intelligence of the American people.

    Charisma is an essential quality for a political candidate seeking office. Jill Stein had substance in abundance but came up short on appeal. Sanders, Clinton and Trump have charisma. Sanders had some substance but not enough to go for the brass ring. Clinton and Trump have substance but very little that will improve the quality of life for the people living in the US or in regions afflicted by the empire’s tentacles. To the contrary, the election of either to the Evil Office will be cause for alarm on a global scale. Obama, of course, was a model of charisma but proved to be much of an empty suit once in office.

    • Brad Owen
      October 26, 2016 at 13:20

      Bill, keep in mind also that Dr. Stein is not the Alpha and Omega of the Green Party. It does not fall or rise on her shoulders alone (same with Bernie’s choke…millions of Bernistas went to Stein’s operations). As she keeps saying, it is truly in our collective hands. I get reports that in social media she gets favorable exposure before millions of young folks who do that “social media” iphone/text/tweet stuff (all alien stuff to old fogey me). The polls, like the press and voting machines, are probably misleading deliberately. A good antidote is to simply go to Jill stein website and browse around there.

      • Bill Bodden
        October 26, 2016 at 13:31

        Good points, Brad.

  13. F. G. Sanford
    October 26, 2016 at 09:54

    You gotta ask yourself, “What does Donald Trump represent, and what does Hillary Clinton represent?” Donald Trump will never muster the political clout necessary to overturn Roe v. Wade. He would probably never be able to overturn ACA, either. He would never be able to generate the momentum necessary to build a wall or deport eleven million illegal immigrants. But, he stood a good chance of slut-shaming the presstitute media and the finance fornicators of the banking bordello currently destroying the American way of life. Hillary represents The Institute for the Study of War, WINEP, AIPAC, CFR, Brookings, Goldman Sachs, CAP, The Democratic Leadership Council (a decidedly undemocratic institution, despite its name), Rand, The Trilateral Commission, and a host of other fascistic organizations too numerous to mention. She is the tip of the spear for globalization, neocolonial exploitation, regime change, NATO expansion, foreign intervention and international banking cartels. Meanwhile, Donald Trump may – and I emphasize may – be able to garner the unflinching and unanimous support of the Long Island Hotel-Motel Owners Association. Ok, maybe the American Restaurant Association as well. Bernie, like it or not, was always doomed to irrelevance in the face of Hillary’s machine-made tornado of political profligacy. He’s a fart in a windstorm. And an old one at that. No progressive agenda will emerge from his efforts. Jill Stein, as morally and rationally astute as she may be, cannot connect with the crowd which – in the words of that most nefarious of Nietzschean iconoclasts – “is a woman”. Since exit polls and analysts do not focus on third party voter results, they create the perfect electronic data pool from which to “flip” votes. A vote for Stein is worse than a wasted vote: it is an invitation to election fraud in our “managed democracy” two-party fraud festival. Hillary can bring on a war if she wishes, and she has already sold out to the monied interests. Bernie has no political capital. Trump, in his intrinsic lack of connectedness to the deep state, may not be able to stop a war, but he has no track record indicating a propensity to start one. He is not the lesser evil: he is the “least effective” evil. At this point, a Clinton victory appears to be a forgone conclusion. The best possible outcome is a victory without a mandate. The sanest choice is to withhold the vote and deny either candidate a claim of electoral legitimacy. Bernie ain’t gonna save ya. He already screwed ya.

    • dahoit
      October 26, 2016 at 10:31

      Trump in a landslide!
      Better a free man than zionist slavery any day.
      I guess serial liars work well on some minds,as it is serial liars proclaiming the election over,and so many are inclined to believe them.Pathetic and pitiful.
      Trump ahead in Florida;MSNBC.

    • Brad Owen
      October 26, 2016 at 11:03

      If they can fraudulently flip votes they can fraudulently add non-existent votes too. Your “no vote” solution is no solution. This goes beyond voting. What can’t be flipped or stolen are checks-by-snail-mail to the Green Party “war chest” by millions of disgruntled voters. Their mandate would be to attack The Oligarchic Establishment with multiple lawsuits, vote recalls, impeachment proceedings, etc… and whatever else can be thought to hog-tie them. Also hire a team of professional activists/organizers and lawyers to entice Congress persons to abandon their current Party affiliations to join the Green Party in-place as Congress persons. Think of the powerful NRA membership times a multiple of four or five or six. That’s real people-power. Think of merely having the Green Party membership contributing just 10 or 20 bucks a month (if 13.4 million can vote Bernie, that many can easily be found to become contributing members of the Green Party for a measly 10 or 20 bucks a month). Hell, that is a multi-billion dollar-per-year budget for raising all kinds of serious hell with The Establishment, including funding your own media outlets for the broad membership. Think Nader’s Raiders on steroids. If you can’t think of it, that’s OK too. It’s gonna happen, with or without you. Don’t wait for a Green official to come knock on your door to ask for a donation. Find their website, find an address, mail a check, start today, DON’T wait passively for permission. The key is the power of numbers. Also, don’t forget to organize the disgruntled veteran military and police folks to become Green Party members too, ya know, just in case.

    • exiled off mainstreet
      October 27, 2016 at 02:17

      I agree. His sellout in going on speaking tours for a war criminal shows him to have been a fraud from the beginning.

  14. Brad Owen
    October 26, 2016 at 04:05

    Well the Greens aren’t going away. Like Kor Element’s (a former “Bernie-or-bust”supporter, now gone Green) lyrics say, in his song on the Jill Stein for President website; “one Revolutionary falls, another steps up to the plate” to take his place. All is not lost. The R-Party is effectively destroyed by the Clintons’ good friend Trump. The Clintons; Governor of a state formerly governed by a Rockefeller, personal acquaintance of Dr. Carroll Quigley who was stenographer for the imperial financier Oligarchy and their fascist movement for reviving an era of Modern Empire, Rhodes Scholar-trained to take the “captain’s chair” to steer the Ship-of-State for The Empire, tasked with the removal of all things FDR(who was the “Bernie” of his day) from the D-Party; The Clintons in thumbnail sketch. The Breakup of the D-Party is inevitable, due to internal conflicts, with differing visions and agendas clashing. Perhaps Bernie will lead the real progressive Dems out of the D-Party and into the Green Party while still seated in Congress, thus defeating the Imperial Project. With R-Party establishment moving into the D-Party, it’ll then become the old Democratic Republican Party of Jefferson’s day, in rump form; a Party of southern oligarchs and Northern money handlers, robber barons and carpet-baggers, as Empire fades off into the sunset.

      October 26, 2016 at 05:06

      I’m more inclined to agree with backwardsevolution above; viz, once past November 8, Bernie will likely fade to obscurity just as rapidly as he would’ve if he had run unsuccessfully as the Green party nominee.

      • Brad Owen
        October 26, 2016 at 07:11

        A great many of his followers have gone Green. I’ll be sending the Greens a monthly check, once past November 8, hoping Bernie’s 13.4 million will do likewise, providing a budget for the Greens to hire good professional political activist/organizers and lawyers to lobby and start recruiting Ds to the big G Party, WHILE those Ds hold a seat in Congress. The clean citizens’ money from13.4 million citizens will wean these Ds-to-Gs off of the corporate/fascist robber barons’ tit. If these 13.4 million send ten bucks a month, that’s more than a $1.6 billion annual budget. 20bucks a month=3.2 billion a year. I think of it as “Union Dues” for a “Green Citizens’ Political Union”. We won’t need any corporate/fascist filth. But yeah, it ALL DEPENDS what 13.4 million citizens decide to spend 10 or 20 bucks a month on; political organizing, or micky-D burgers. THAT will persuade Bernie on which way to jump; either fade into obscure retirement, or move into a different Party affiliation, leading a slate of D-to-G Senators and Representatives to cross over too. AS Jill says, it’s ALL in the hands of 13.4 million citizens who had enough foresight to vote correctly for Bernie.

  15. backwardsevolution
    October 26, 2016 at 03:15

    “Sanders Stumps for War Criminal, Racketeer, Perjurer Hillary

    by Stephen Lendman

    He’s on call for occasional cameo appearances for Hillary – mocking what he claimed to stand for while campaigning, proving his lofty rhetoric was phony.

    He’s like virtually all others in Washington, promising one thing, delivering another – once a con man, always one, Sanders a deplorable self-serving opportunist throughout his years of public disservice.

    He flouts the principles he claims to stand for, a Judas goat betraying his loyal followers, leading them to the slaughter Hillary assures if anointed Obama’s successor.

    On Wednesday, he appeared with her at the University of New Hampshire, his mission to con students and youths to support a presidential aspirant belonging in prison, not any public office. […]

    He and Clinton back an imperial war agenda, risking direct confrontation with Russia, China and Iran, possible nuclear war on her watch if she bests Trump in November by fair or foul means.

    Sanders made himself a laughing stock, a first class scoundrel, his rhetoric sounding increasingly hollow – buffoon-like blustering “(i)s everybody here ready to transform America?”

    “If we are prepared to stand up to powerful and wealthy and greedy special interests, there is nothing we cannot accomplish…”

    Touting progressivism rhetorically while supporting a war goddess, racketeer, perjurer, Wall Street tool shows what he really stands for – a man of special interests, not vital public ones, a shameless backer of dirty business as usual.

    Bellowing an “imperative (to) elect Hillary Clinton as our next president” destroys his phony populism. His so-called political revolution is hot air, empty promises, unrelated to vitally needed social, political and economic change.

    He’ll likely fade to obscurity once past November 8. Will millions backing him understand they were had? Shifting allegiance to Hillary would show an uninformed electorate consistently harms its own self-interest.”

  16. Marko
    October 26, 2016 at 03:13

    Bernie on third parties – 1991 vs now :

    If Bernie doesn’t regret his decision now , he will after he sees what Hillary does with that Dem “progressive platform”. He missed an historic opportunity to change this country for the better.

  17. Joe Tedesky
    October 26, 2016 at 01:03

    I like Bernie so don’t get me wrong, but I told my wife how he lost it when in the first debate he trivialized the fuss over Hillary’s damn emails. If Bernie would have even just kept his mouth shut, it would have been likely that at that early stage of the email scandal Clinton would have fallen on her own weight with just the sound of FBI investigation to pull her down. Bernie’s degrading her breaking the law was a gift. The only other person who did Hillary that much good with her email server scandal would be James Comey, but that’s another story for another day.

  18. Cal
    October 25, 2016 at 23:33

    Once upon a time.

    Hillary the scorpion and Bernie the frog meet on the bank of a stream and Hillary
    scorpion asks Bernie the frog to carry her across on his back.
    Bernie frog asks, “How do I know you won’t sting me?”
    Hillary the scorpion says, Because if I do I will die too”

    The frog is satisfied, and they set out, but in midstream,
    the scorpion stings the frog. The frog feels the onset of
    paralysis and starts to sink, knowing they both will drown,
    but has just enough time to gasp “Why?”

    Replies the scorpion: “Its my nature…”

    And there you have the sad story of Bernie the frog.

  19. James lake
    October 25, 2016 at 22:26

    Bernie is a sellout. He has no leverage

    Clinton has been around for 30 years and her track record speaks for itself she is a dangerous neo con
    She sold her souls to corporations years ago
    Bernie took the money and bought a house

  20. John
    October 25, 2016 at 22:05

    The only place democracy exists are in heads of indoctrinated people. They were programmed with this virus from youth to believe they lived in a fair and just system, to believe that the “good guys” won, when the reality is they live in a fear-based unjust system where the bad guys have won. And we’re not talking 15 years, or 50 years or even 100 years. We are tlaking at least 150 years for the US, when Lincoln was assassinated, and even further back for England, with its “Bank of England” controlled by the (racist) Rothschild family, with their hijacking of wealth with inside info about the Battle of Waterloo, etc.

    As long as these so-called “free people” think that the Rothschilds are just part of an “illuminati conspiracy theory” and are too afraid to dig into the facts, look at Hillary’s email correspendnence with them to this day, look at ex-congressmembers critiques of them before WW2, look at what the creator of the Ford Motor Co and his friend Thomas Edison had to say, look at what ex-presidents Andrew Jackson, Abe Lincoln, George Washington, et al had to say on them,

    then all one can do, is pity them as they are devoured by the very people they put their trust in.

  21. Bernie Conman Sanders
    October 25, 2016 at 21:34

    Bernie Sanders was a Democrat con man put in place to stunt the growth of a progressive 3rd party. No one should respect any candidate who runs under either party label these days. To be endorsed by either major party sold out to Wall Street should be seen as a disgrace.

    • October 26, 2016 at 12:12

      True – people who really want to have meaningful change in this country must abandon the two corporatist parties and unite to establish a real people’s party to supplant the existing corporatist politicians in office, and at all levels of government…

    • October 26, 2016 at 18:41

      I believe both parties should not be supported. But Sanders is honest and the real deal–he just is not on the far left. He’s a reformist social democrat who wants to work within the system–I don’t think that makes him a bad leader. He knows as well as I do that the shit will hit the fan shortly and trying to put himself in a position to do some good. The rest of us have to take our positions in resisting the system.

  22. Mahatma
    October 25, 2016 at 21:23

    Are you referring to Bernie Tsipras Sanders? He and Warren should go crawl into a hole with Tispras. It is just plain phony to pretend to be progressive, campaign on mildly progressive vagaries and then to capitulate and go campaign for the exact opposite. Actually go out on the campaign trail, try to convince your supporters to vote for warmongering Neoliberal oligarch sycophantic economic policies and continued invasion of our privacy. More torture and more war. Actually support Clinton and her WWIII “no fly zones” and confrontation with Russia, forgive her Honduras and Libya and all the bombs and drones to come.

    They make me sick.

    They have shown for the 5,000th time THERE ARE NO PROGRESSIVES IN US POLITICS!

    • backwardsevolution
      October 26, 2016 at 02:33

      Thank you, Mahatma! I was hoping, if I kept reading through the comments, that someone would say what you just said. Sanders and Warren make me sick. Saw a picture of Warren looking at Clinton like she was God – aaaagh! Hello, is there anybody in there? Empty rhetoric. And Sanders endorsing Hillary? WTF? How does that compute?

      Everybody is all uppity over an ACCUSATION of groping by Trump. Well, you guys just got groped big time, and you don’t even know it. The great progressive sell-outs, Sanders and Warren – go, guys, do more of nothing.

    • October 26, 2016 at 18:39

      Not true at all. Some of the left is still around it’s just reforming and allying itself to the non-authoritarian right or at least hoping to–that’s the only place there’s any hope for change in this country and it will be chaotic no matter who wins the election–we are in for a very bumpy ride in the next couple of years.

      • b.grand
        October 26, 2016 at 22:43

        You, Chris Cosmos, are one confused puppy. You think Sanders and Warren are aligning with the “non-authoritarian right”?

        Or are you suggesting that you, insignificant commenter, are “IN US POLITICS”?

  23. Jay
    October 25, 2016 at 20:46


    Sorry, did you even bother to check how Bernie voted on the Iraq war? Then how did senators Schumer and Clinton vote?

    Israel-firster is real close to…

    • Abe
      October 25, 2016 at 21:07

      “His only vote against a war was Iraq however many Democrats did that and as a vote against Bush not the War. Bernie voted to fund the war and had no problem with it once Obama was in charge of it. He also supported the sanctions that killed hundreds of thousands of children […]

      “Of all the corporate welfare which Bernie likes to droll on and on about, there is none larger than all of the military interventions he supports. He also supported the F35 program which of course was jointly built with the Israelis and cost 1.5 trillion dollars so far to build an aircraft that doesn’t even really work. With a 18 trillion dollar debt 8.3% of it is the F35 project alone. For you millennials who can’t do math, that’s 1.5/18. Of course parts of the F35 are built in Vermont. Bernie like everyone he criticizes fights for his slice of the pork projects and helps waste trillions. ”

      Bernie Sanders a Warmonger and Economically Illiterate
      By Ryan Dawson

  24. Jay
    October 25, 2016 at 20:42

    It’s highly questionable that Nader gave Florida to Bush, or made Florida close enough for Bush to steal in 2000.

    Hundreds of thousands of registered democrats voted for W Bush in Florida in 2000. Bill Clinton had won Florida in ’96.

    There’s Bill Clinton’s oral sex not helping Gore, and there’s the likes of Kristof in the New York Times selling W as a likeable ex-drunk all summer long. The NY Times means a great deal to retired Jews from the Northeast living in Florida. And Kristof was a star foreign correspondent. Like it or not, TV network news, and NPR, report what the Times says as “the truth”.

    • Bart in Virginia
      October 26, 2016 at 09:58

      Don’t forget Yeb’s purge of the Florida voter rolls by means of Katherine Harris, as well as the supreme court shutting down the recount.

    • Tennegon
      October 26, 2016 at 10:06

      All the talk about Florida . . . one seldom, if ever, hears that Gore, who had been a Senator prior to his VP post with Slick Willy, did not carry his ‘home’ state of Tennessee in 2000.

  25. Jim Hannan
    October 25, 2016 at 19:38

    I really wish that Bernie had stayed on as a Democrat. He worked very hard during the primaries to shape the progressive Democratic Party platform, then resigned from the party during the Democratic convention. There is some inherent problems with that strategy. I think it continues to make him the outsider, the preacher, instead of the workhorse we need. If the Democrats take back the Senate, there is talk of Bernie as Budget Chair. That will make him a key player, but he needs the support of the 48 or 49 Democratic senators to make things happen.
    Issues like the tiered estate tax, with rates going from 40 to 65% for estates over a billion, minimum wage increases, child care tax credits, these are all issues that we need to be working for together.

    • Gregory Herr
      October 26, 2016 at 22:39

      The party platform is just a hackneyed political tool. The Democratic Party is phoney, just like their nominee.

  26. SaltyGrease
    October 25, 2016 at 19:37

    I was an enthusiastic Bernie supporter, the only candidate I’ve ever given money too or made phone calls for, but I think too many on the left get caught up in messianic thinking. Bernie was always clear that he would endorse the nominee. We knew foreign policy was not his thing, and that like most presidents, he would likely defer to the establishment consensus, maybe putting a mild check on their worst excesses, as Obama has. He’s hardly a dove, though his domestic agenda would certainly be fiscally incompatible with the empire project. Bernie is a fierce competitor and a canny politician, from a state with the population of a small city. He is not The One. There is no One. He proved that a grass roots effort can scare the shit out of the establishment Dems, so that’s something. Of course, next time they’ll be better prepared. The element of surprise was perhaps his biggest advantage.

    So, those of you gnashing teeth and blaming Sanders for not being the man of your imagination, ask yourself, would we be better off, on balance, if he had not run?

    • Zachary Smith
      October 25, 2016 at 19:42

      Sanders was never the politician of my dreams; if my memory isn’t in error I described him as a C- candidate on this very site. He represented a shining light only when contrasted with the corrupt warmongering ***** and the foul-mouthed rich guy who kept his little hands overly active around women.

      • SaltyGrease
        October 26, 2016 at 19:20

        I’d give him a solid B+ domestically, D- on foreign policy, but my point is aimed more at those Monday morning quarterbacks who supported him until he refused to blow up the Democratic party. Whether blowing up the Party is a good thing is debatable, but we all knew he wouldn’t be the guy to do that.

  27. Jim Hannan
    October 25, 2016 at 19:21

    If you think that Trump’s Insane Clown Posse would vote instead for Bernie Sanders, you’re delusional. Unfortunately, the better the Green Party does, the worse we do. It’s why wealthy Republican money men tried to pump up the Green Party in the 1990’s, but found it too tiresome.
    The Green Party is mainly a way for disgruntled white people to “vote their conscience”. Every four years it comes around, then disappears again.

    • Zachary Smith
      October 25, 2016 at 19:39

      “The Green Party is mainly a way for disgruntled white people to “vote their conscience”.

      I like that statement except for one little thing – the implication that black people don’t have a conscience too.

    • Cal
      October 25, 2016 at 23:23

      Why do you and some others find it necessary to ‘identify’ disgruntled people by race?
      IMO that is racist in itself.
      Why not just say disgruntled people period.

    • October 26, 2016 at 18:37

      Not really. I could be persuaded to vote for Trump. Conscience means something to some of us on the left and, at least, it paves the way for a future movement if people are loyal to a vision. When we voted for Obama the fraud and con-artist we got nothing but BS. I regret voting for him in 08 and I did not vote for him in 12 and won’t vote for HRC under any circumstances–voting for my enemies is absurd even if most of the country does–that’s on them.

  28. Zachary Smith
    October 25, 2016 at 18:54

    Sanders who hasn’t even a whiff of corruption about him might well be soaring above both of them in the polls by now.

    That happens to be my own belief too. In my opinion Sanders would have taken at least as many Trump votes as Clinton ones. A poor Republican voter may or may not be ignorant, but most of them aren’t stupid. The Democrats who despise Clinton and all she stands for would have also had a viable choice.

    At 75 years of age, Sanders is/was really too old to be President, but very likely the man is in better health than Hillary.

    I believe he really did blow it with his decision to fade away.

  29. Kozmo
    October 25, 2016 at 18:08

    It’s interesting to speculate, but it seems very unlikely that a third party could have won in the Electoral College, where it counts. If an indie Sanders campaign only played spoiler for the Dems (most likely), or the Repubs (less likely), it wouldn’t help build a viable third party (which this country desperately needs). If Sanders did manage to win enough states to deny any candidate an electoral vote majority, the election would be thrown into the House, controlled by republicans, who would have held their noses and voted for Trump over any other party’s candidate, so that’s a lost cause as well.

    • October 26, 2016 at 12:02

      At this time and for the near future, elections will not bring about real change in our country. Please read my comment again & notice that I say elimination of the Electoral College is part of a solution…

    • davidgmills
      October 26, 2016 at 17:04

      Given how much the Republican in Washington hate Trump and are now defecting to Clinton, it is a good possibility that would not have happened. Sanders would have been most people’s number 2 given how the house wants to impeach Clinton.

  30. October 25, 2016 at 17:39

    But Bernie did not “go over” to the corrupt Clinton – he was always there – from the beginning of his campaign, he said he would support “whoever was nominated as the Democratic Party candidate”. There is no way one senator, by him or her self, can push the president to do the right thing either – he needs a massive movement behind him / her. And Bernie blew that from the beginning with his supporting the nominee commitment, and his later mounting the campaign stage across the country for Clinton, when he could very well have just remained at the head of the movement for a better politics. The system cannot be changed by one election – it will take years of everyday struggle – from outside both of the two parties, and employing grass roots organizing to get term limits for all elective offices, reduction of Supreme Court justices terms and a code of ethics for the SC as well as elimination of large donations by corporate entities and the elimination of the Electoral College, ending gerrymandering of congressional districts, and setting up stricter and nationwide rules over protecting voters’ rights, etc., etc. As I said, it will take years to finally bring about a real democratic society in the American Empire, an empire which has existed, at least in spirit, from the beginning of the nation. Read history such as that of Howard Zinn and William Appleman William, not the puff type we get even in many colleges… The bane of our government and the reason we still have imperial ambitions are career politicians.

    • Zachary Smith
      October 25, 2016 at 18:59

      But Bernie did not “go over” to the corrupt Clinton – he was always there – from the beginning of his campaign, he said he would support “whoever was nominated as the Democratic Party candidate”.

      That represents the “sheepdog” theory of what Sanders was trying to do, and I can’t dispute that it’s quite likely a true one. That he folded so quickly represents reasonable evidence for me.

  31. evelync
    October 25, 2016 at 17:30

    I’m as heartbroken as the next person that Bernie is no longer a candidate.

    Sure, it’s possible Bernie could have gone with the green party – gotten into the debates, pulled ahead of Drumpf and Billary.

    We’ll never know.

    I believe that he also had to weigh the what ifs – what if he failed as a Green – Schumer et al would have pulled the rug out from under his Senate seniority. He would have lost his standing on committees.

    We’ll never know.

    The remaining drama of this grotesque circus is still ahead.

    Should quality people like Russ Feingold – the only one with the courage to vote against the Patriot act; Tammy Duckworth; Zephyr Teachout, Tulsi Gabbard – the one with the courage to resign from Vice Chair of the DNC to support Bernie, Elizabeth Warren become a nucleus of strength within Congress, they might be able to create the momentum to shift away from the path heading towards the cliff – Climate disaster; endless war, economic and social injustice and huge wealth disparity.

    It will take a critical mass.

    Me personally – I think we live in one of Elon Musk’s virtual realities that is driving headlong towards self destruction….

    But we’ll see.

    I still trust Bernie as an honest decent guy who is not yet done…

    • Bill Bodden
      October 25, 2016 at 18:01

      I believe that he also had to weigh the what ifs – what if he failed as a Green – Schumer et al would have pulled the rug out from under his Senate seniority. He would have lost his standing on committees.

      So, what’s the difference between failing as a Green and failing as a Democratic socialist in the (un)Democratic Party? Admittedly, if he had led the Greens to victory they would have been ambushed by the oligarchs in the duopoly and nothing would have gotten done – which would be much less worse than going to war in Syria or against Russia or Iran. As for losing his standing on some corrupt committee it is worth recalling a superb comment from Harold Pinter’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech:

      “Political language, as used by politicians, does not venture into any of this territory since the majority of politicians, on the evidence available to us, are interested not in truth but in power and in the maintenance of that power.” –

      • evelync
        October 25, 2016 at 20:06

        Thank you, Bill Bodden, for the link to Davies piece. I couldn’t agree more. We, as a country are a criminal enterprise and have been for many decades, as Davies explains so well.

        I think Bernie missed a chance to grab hold of the foreign policy issue. I think he was very surprised to see how quickly his campaign got traction on domestic policy. I think that he might have gotten real traction on foreign policy too. The outrage over injustices from unfair trade and unfair banking practices is easily translated to the brulaity and criminality in our foreign policy destroying the lives of millions of people around the world.

        We’ll never know if that would have resonated with Bernie supporters or failed because of the blackout of this history by our press.
        However I was easily able to find out about our complicity in the coup in Honduras and Hillary’s role. It’s all there in the Report of the Commission of Truth
        which included the leak of the State Dept.’s acknowledgement of its role in the “illegal coup”.
        And young people are real good I think at getting around the MSM and getting their own news.

        So I think Bernie should have pushed hard on all that is criminally wrong with our foreign policy and challenged Clinton.
        I don’t know why he didn’t.

        • Bill Bodden
          October 25, 2016 at 20:54

          Thank you for the link, Evelyn

        • Gregory Herr
          October 26, 2016 at 22:27

          Apart from his opposition to the Iraq invasion and killing spree, Sanders hasn’t shown much understanding of just how criminally wrong the foreign policy picture is…or he doesn’t have the courage of his convictions. Either way, not good. And anyone who would sell out to Clinton in order to maintain standing in that club for overgrown infants perhaps with the idea of having “positive influence” is either deluded or just looking out for #1. Either way, not good.
          Your point about our young people is well taken. Many are a source of inspiration for me. Yes, Bernie should have pushed hard, but he didn’t.

          • evelync
            October 27, 2016 at 07:30

            In the Miami debate, around 1:41 in this link, they discuss Cuba and Central and south America. Bernie contrasts strongly with Clinton and rails against the Monroe Doctrine, the regime changes against sovereign governments around the world including Central and South America, –
            He says: “I don’t think it is the business of the U.S. Govt to be overthrowing countries around the world”
            He criticizes Reagan and Kissinger.
            Clinton then viciously attacks him for that sentiment.

          • Gregory Herr
            October 27, 2016 at 08:39

            It’s all well and good to criticize Reagan and Kissinger. Some understanding and criticism of policies and lies regarding Ukraine, Crimea, Syria, the aiding and abetting of mercenary terrorists, the Israeli horror show in Gaza, etc. would have been more effective and relevant.

    • notlurking
      October 26, 2016 at 14:35

      Elizabeth Warren has also gone to the dark side…….very disappointed……

  32. Dan Kuhn
    October 25, 2016 at 16:54

    Bernie should have remembered to old addage. ” You lay down with dogs you get fleas”. . He lost me and millions of Americans when he went over to this corrupt, warmongering political mafia organization.

    • Bill Bodden
      October 25, 2016 at 17:48

      It is doubly sad when we consider what might have been if he and his Sandersnistas had merged with the Green Party.

      • Gregory Herr
        October 26, 2016 at 21:58

        Providing that Sanders would take to some education, it could have been very interesting indeed.

  33. Abe
    October 25, 2016 at 16:25

    Bernie wasn’t invited to speak at AIPAC in order to reinforce his sheepdog bona fides. In reality, he’s an Israel-firster everywhere it counts.

    Bernie the Bomber hasn’t said jack about all the imperial warmongers nestled under Hillary’s big nasty tent because he’s less than two degrees out of alignment with Clinton’s warmongering on Syria and her open hostility toward Russia.

    Don’t you know it’s not gonna be alright?
    Alright, alright

    Alright, alright
    Alright, alright
    Alright, alright
    Alright, alright

    You say you want a revolution?

    Anti-war progressives have a choice:

    Feel the burn, wake the fuck up and make a real revolution.

    Or continue sucking up Sanders’ pablum about how he’s gonna save you from those “same old, same old Wall Street guys”.

    • Zachary Smith
      October 25, 2016 at 18:56

      It’s my personal opinion that the Palestinians were screwed no matter who won, so that became a ‘null’ factor with Sanders. Hardly something to like about him, but going with anybody else wasn’t going to improve the situation.

    • evelync
      October 26, 2016 at 14:12

      Sorry, Abe I don’t agree that he’s less than 2 degrees out of alignment with Hillary Clinton. I think It’s maybe 40 – 60 degrees more balanced? But please see for yourself. If you haven’t seen it,
      Here’s his speech that he didn’t give but intended to give to aipac if they allowed him to do so electronically.
      I’d be interested in your take on it. Whether you think this really represents what Hillary’s positions are.

      • Abe
        October 26, 2016 at 21:24

        The “Global Language Dictionary” – commissioned by a group called The Israel Project and written by the Republican pollster and political strategist Frank Luntz – outlines the fundamental rhetorical strategy used by Hasbara propagandists to ‘splain Israeli military attacks:

        “‘Defensive’ and ‘preventative’ are the words that best describe Israeli military action.” (p 96)

        Labeled “Not for distribution or publication”, the 2009 Hasbara handbook is a treasure trove of propaganda canards.

        Bernie’s policy deviates not one bit from the Hasbara script.

        Of course, nary a whisper about the “destabilizing” influence of Israel’s nuclear arsenal in Bernie’s “outline” of Middle East policy.

        The most bizarre bit of Bernie’s bloviation was his request for “nations in the region”, notably Saudi Arabia and Qatar, to “stand up to do more”.

        The Saudis and Qataris, not to mention the Turks and Jordanians, already are doing quite the “stand up” in Syria.

        Bernie has been a shill positioned to supply the deniability to the notion that Jewish-Americans in the United States Congress are abject Israel-Firsters.

        Sheepdogging for the Dems was Bernie’s last hurrah.

        Feelin’ the burn?

        If all this is too harsh a reality for your voting conscience, you are welcome to think of Bernie as an extraordinarily useful idiot.

        • evelync
          October 26, 2016 at 23:23

          Frank Luntz is a thoroughly disgusting propagandist and that piece of shit he wrote is nauseating.
          Bernie calls for a two state solution. Luntz squirms out of any commitment to the Palestinian people.
          Luntz is a grotesque propagandist.
          It is unfair to compare his words to what Bernie said, IMO.

          Thanks, though for your response.

          • Abe
            October 27, 2016 at 12:30

            Read “Chapter 3: How to Talk About Palestinian Self Government and Prosperity” (pages 22-32), compare it to what Bernie has said, then tell me that Bernie’s and every other US Congressperson’s calls for a two state solution are not grotesque propaganda.

            “Oh, but so-and-so is sincere…”

            Budget resolution votes do not lie.

      • Abe
        October 26, 2016 at 22:40

        Bernie’s bloviations about “Russian aggression” and “beefing up” ain’t NATO far from Hillary’s.

        During the Democratic debate in Wisconsin on Feb 11th, 2016, Bernie declared: “Russia’s aggressive actions in the Crimea and Ukraine have brought about a situation where President Obama and NATO–correctly, I believe–are saying we’re going to beef up our troop level in that part of the world to tell Putin that his aggressiveness is not going to go unmatched. We have to work with NATO to protect Eastern Europe against any kind of Russian aggression.”

        Perhaps Hillary and Bernie differ in the size of their beef.

        • evelync
          October 26, 2016 at 23:26

          After reading many of the articles on this web site, I am very concerned about our policies wrt Russia.

        • evelync
          October 27, 2016 at 18:32

          Sorry, Abe, I couldn’t reply to your last comment because there wasn’t a reply button.
          So, my reply is – I read -skimmed- the excuse laden Luntz bullshit useless red herring distraction.
          I then found Bernie’s comment on his web site:
          The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been one of the world’s most difficult and intractable disputes for more than sixty years. Moreover, the failure to resolve that crisis has helped fuel other conflicts in the region. Senator Sanders has long supported a two-state solution that recognizes Israel’s right to exist in peace and security, and the Palestinians right to a homeland in which they control their political and economic future.

          The most recent violence in Gaza represented a particularly ugly and violent time in the dispute. Senator Sanders strongly condemned indiscriminate rocket fire by Hamas into Israeli territory, and Hamas’ use of civilian neighborhoods to launch those attacks. However, while recognizing that Israel has the right to defend itself, he also strongly condemned Israeli attacks on Gaza as disproportionate and the widespread killing of civilians as completely unacceptable.

          The U.S. must play a leading role in creating a two-state solution, which will require significant compromises from both sides. The Palestinians must unequivocally recognize Israel’s right to exist, and hold accountable those who have committed terrorist acts. The Israelis must end the blockade of Gaza, and cease developing settlements on Palestinian land. Both sides must negotiate in good faith regarding all other outstanding issues that stand in the way of a durable and lasting peace in the region. In the meantime, strict adherence, by all sides, to the tenets of international humanitarian law is necessary in order to avoid escalating the conflict yet again.”

          Bernie does not make everything conditional upon impossible shifting demands like Netanyahu and the U.S. neocons do in order to avoid getting the Palestinians a real homeland, IMO.

          It is hard to find articles that are written by people who aren’t knee jerk apologists for current policy wrt Israel as a military arm of the U.S.

          However, I found this Common Dreams piece that says there’s a big difference between Hillary and Bernie on the rights of Palestinians:

          And I found this as well from Politco:

          “But the former aide added that Sanders tended to put more emphasis on the rights and suffering of Palestinians than did many other members of Congress. “If you talked about Israel, he would always talk about the suffering of Palestinians as well,” he said. “In D.C., that can be seen by some people as being anti-Israel.”
          Although he has recently tempered his criticisms of Israel, Sanders is still not considered an ally by Washington’s pro-Israel community. Briggs did not respond to a question about when Sanders last visited Israel. And he has not recently spoken to AIPAC’s annual conference, which reliably draws top Democrats who pledge their strong support for Israel’s security.
          In July 2014, during the Gaza war, the Senate unanimously approved a resolution supporting Israel “as it defends itself against unprovoked rocket attacks” by Hamas; Sanders was one of 21 senators who did not co-sponsor the measure, which made no mention of Palestinian suffering.
          And when word leaked in early 2015 that Netanyahu would deliver a March 2015 address to a joint meeting of Congress that was arranged by House Speaker John Boehner without the advance knowledge of the Obama White House, Sanders was the first senator to announce he would not attend the speech.

          • Abe
            October 30, 2016 at 15:29

            Bernie and Israel: It’s not that complicated.

            Let’s talk some specifics.

            Describing himself as “100 percent pro-Israel”, Sanders engages in the left-wing, social-democratic version of Hasbara. He insists that his position on the 2014 Israeli attack on Gaza doesn’t make him “anti-Israel.”

            At the April 2016 Democratic presidential debate with Clinton in New York, Sanders said “Of course Israel has a right not only to defend themselves, but to live in peace and security without fear of terrorist attack. That is not a debate.”

            Sanders remarks simply reflect the Israeli Foreign Ministry position that emphasizes rocket fire from Gaza as being the reason for the IDF war on Gaza.

            However, there is much cause for debate.

            In fact, 2013 was a calm period with the November 2012 ceasefire being largely respected. From December 2012 to late June/early July 2014, Hamas did not fire rockets into Israel, and tried to police other groups doing so. These efforts were largely successful; Netanyahu stated in March 2014 that the rocket fire in the past year was the “lowest in a decade.”. However, the blockade of Gaza continued in direct violation of the ceasefire agreement.

            The first half of 2014 saw an increase in tension manifested by a higher rate of injuries. Among Palestinians there were 43 fatalities in the first half of the year plus 1860 injuries. Tension was also increased by Israel’s opposition to the formation of a Hamas-Fatah unity government, with threats of sanctions and the burgeoning issue of prisoners and the violation of the Shalit agreement.

            Mutual attacks on each other by Israel and Gaza continued, as did the Israeli blockade of Gaza. On 15 May, two Palestinian teenagers were shot dead during the Nakba commemorations in the Beitunia killings. An autopsy report published on 9 June proved the death of one of them to be due to “live fire”, i.e. not rubber bullets.”

            On 2 June 2014, a Palestinian unity government was sworn. Israel announced it would not negotiate any peace deal with the new government and would push punitive measures. Netanyahu took Palestinian unity as a threat rather than an opportunity. On the eve of the agreement he stated that the proposed reconciliation would “strengthen terrorism”, and called on the international community to avoid embracing it. Most of the outside world, including the European Union, Russia, China, India, Turkey, France and the United Kingdom, proved cautiously optimistic, and subsequently expressed their support for new arrangement. The United States, more skeptical, announced it would continue to work with the PNA-directed unity government.

            Israel itself suspended negotiations with the PNA and, just after the announcement, launched an airstrike, which missed its target and wounded a family of three bystanders. Netanyahu had warned before the deal that it would be incompatible with Israeli–Palestinian peace and that Abbas had to choose between peace with Hamas and peace with Israel. When a reconciliation deal was signed, opening the way to the appointment of the new government, Netanyahu chaired a security cabinet which voted to authorise Netanyahu to impose unspecified sanctions against the Palestinian Authority.

            On 4 June, the day before Naksa Day, the Israeli Housing and Construction Ministry published tenders for 1,500 settlement units in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in a move Minister Uri Ariel said was an “appropriate Zionist response to the Palestinian terror government.

            On 12 June 2014, three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped at the bus/hitchhiking stop at the Israeli settlement of Alon Shvut in Gush Etzion, in the occupied West Bank, as they were hitchhiking to their homes. Netanyahu said that he had “unequivocal proof” that Hamas was involved and that the abduction was linked to Palestinian reconciliation. The IDF stated that the two men Israel suspected of having kidnapped the teenagers were known members of Hamas. No evidence of Hamas involvement was offered by Israeli authorities at the time. High-ranking members of Hamas denied the group had any involvement in the incident.

            The Israel Defense Forces initiated Operation Brother’s Keeper in search of the three teenagers. As part of the operation, in the following 11 days Israel arrested around 350 Palestinians, including nearly all of Hamas’ West Bank leaders. Five Palestinians were killed during the military operation.

            On 15 June, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the teens had been kidnapped by Hamas,which Hamas denied. Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas maintained that as of 22 June there was no evidence that Hamas was behind the kidnapping. The Palestinian Authority declared that the Israeli modus operandi, of clamping down on towns with closures and continual arrest of Hamas members, constituted collective punishment.

            On 30 June, search teams found the bodies of the three missing teenagers in a field north-west of Hebron.They had apparently been shot dead shortly after the abduction. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed a tough response to the killings. After their burial, an anti-Arab riot broke out, and a Palestinian teenager was murdered in revenge. His killing sparked Arab rioting. Israel police arrested six suspects and charged three of them with murder.

            As part of its crackdown, Israel conducted air strikes against Hamas facilities in the Gaza Strip, while Hamas apparently refrained from retaliating, though it did not impede other factions from firing rockets towards Israel. From 1 May to 11 June, six rockets and three mortar shells were launched from Gaza towards Israel. From 12 to 30 June 44 rockets and 3 mortar shells were launched from Gaza. On 29 June, an Israeli airstrike on a rocket crew killed a Hamas operative, while at least 18 rockets were launched from Gaza through the next day by Hamas. It was the first time Hamas directly launched rockets since the conflict in 2012.

            Overnight, on 30 June – 1 July, Israeli airstrikes struck 34 Gaza targets in what officials stated was a response to the rocket attacks. It was also reported that the strikes were revenge for the deaths of the three teenagers. From the day of the abductions on 12 June through 5 July 117 rockets were launched from Gaza and there were approximately 80 Israeli airstrikes on Gaza.

            Israel refused to release Palestinians arrested in the West Bank crackdown. In a meeting held on 2 July to discuss the crisis, Hamas reportedly tried but failed to persuade armed factions in Gaza to uphold the truce with Israel. Following escalating rocket fire from Gaza, Israel threatened “a major military offensive.” Hamas declared it was prepared to halt the rocket fire in exchange for an agreement by Israel to stop airstrikes. On 5 July, Hamas official Osama Hamdan said rocket fire would continue until Israel lifted its import restrictions on Gaza and the Palestinian Authority transferred money to pay Hamas civil servants. Between 4 and 6 July, a total of 62 rockets were fired from Gaza and the IAF attacked several targets in Gaza. The following day, Hamas assumed formal responsibility for launching rocket attacks on Israel. By 7 July Hamas had fired 100 rockets from Gaza at Israeli territory; at the same time, the Israeli Air Force had bombed several sites in Gaza.

            Early on 8 July, Israel unleashed “Operation Protective Edge” when the IAF bombed 50 targets in Gaza Strip. The chief spokesman of the Israeli military said: “We have been instructed by the political echelon to hit Hamas hard.” Hamas insisted that Israel end all attacks on Gaza, release those re-arrested during the crackdown in the West Bank, lift the blockade on Gaza and return to the cease-fire conditions of 2012 as conditions for a ceasefire.

            Israeli continued its bombardment of the Gaza Strip with artillery and airstrikes, while Hamas continued to fire rockets and mortar shells into Israel in response. On 16 July, Hamas and Islamic Jihad offered the Israeli government a 10-year truce with ten conditions centred on the lifting of the blockade and the release of prisoners who were released in the Gilad Shalit prisoner swap and were re-arrested; it was not accepted.

            When it launched a ground invasion on 18 July 2014, Israel had already killed 230 Gazan Palestinians, of whom 75 percent (171) were civilians and 20 percent (48) children, wounded more than 1,700, and destroyed or rendered uninhabitable hundreds of homes leaving more than 10,000 Gazans without shelter. On the other side, according to daily updates Palestinian projectiles had killed one Israeli civilian, wounded 18, and damaged three Israeli homes.

            The fighting ended on 26 August 2014. Yes, there was rocket fire from Gaza. But rocket fire from Gaza can by no means be viewed as the raison d’etre for the 2014 Gaza war. Israel was far from merely “defending itself”.

            Unable to deny the obvious – the unjustifiable enormity the 2014 Israeli military attack on Gaza – Sanders elided into more Hasbara rhetoric: “Now, if you’re asking not just me, but countries all over the world, was that a disproportionate attack, the answer is that I believe it was.”

            In short, Sanders remains “100 percent pro-Israel” despite his superficial “critical of Israel” rhetoric and “left-socialist” conciliatory gestures.

    • Brad Benson
      October 28, 2016 at 07:35

      This anti-war progressive voted for Trump.

  34. Bill Bodden
    October 25, 2016 at 15:39

    Bernie Sanders hopes to hold a President Hillary Clinton to the Democratic platform’s commitment to progressive policies, …

    Lotsaluck on that one, Bernie. One of my favorite writers on politics, Walter Karp, chronicled many instances over decades where the Democratic Party oligarchs, frequently in collusion with their counterparts in the Republican Party, constantly made a point of crushing any attempt by progressive or reform candidates to infiltrate the (un)Democratic Party. Any attempts by rank-and-file members to introduce progressive issues had to overcome resistance of the party bosses to achieve any degree of success. It will be interesting to see how quickly the Hillary Clinton administration and Congress dispose of issues the Sanders team managed to get into the Democratic platform.

    • Bill Bodden
      October 25, 2016 at 17:45

      Perhaps after Elizabeth Warren is sold down the Potomac and put in her place by the party bosses Bernie can invite her to his new digs in Vermont and they can commiserate with each other about what went wrong. They might also invite Cornel West who can tell them with each topic, “I told you so.”

      • backwardsevolution
        October 26, 2016 at 17:37

        Bill – I think Elizabeth Warren sold herself down the Potomac as soon as she endorsed Hillary Clinton. Anyone who previously had an ounce of respect for her has now dismissed her. She is done.

        • Melvin Warren
          October 27, 2016 at 11:23

          Here Here!

          Is Scott Brown still available? Anybody but Pocahontas when she runs in 2018. Warren has done zero as a Senator and a negative when she supported HRC.

          BTW, where was the Consumer Protection Bureau when Wells Fargo started thousands of fake accounts? She also promised to stop Robo calls. Amazingly ineffective.

      • FDR
        October 27, 2016 at 11:08

        As an FDR Democrat, very difficult to not get angry with Sheep dogs Sanders and Warren. They are the latest renditions used by the corporate controlled Democratic Party. Full throat-ed support for Wall Street rule, while giving lip service to their Donkey flock. I was amazed when Bernie could’nt even wait for the Democratic Nomination vote count to complete before he motioned to stop the vote counting. All while his Philadelphia supporters were penned in the next area code, not even allowed downtown! What a way to stick it to all his supporters who believed in this weak and not very accomplished Senator from Vermont.

        As for Warren, who has proven to be a ‘barker’ and not a ‘doer’, she hopes to take over the sheep dog role the next four years. Barking at the banks while doing nothing as Clinton continues her pay to play slush fund aka Clinton Foundation. Hopefully, but unlikely she will be kicked out of office as she is phony too.

        Both of these Democratic Senators continue to pull the wool over the 20-something triggly puffs with no real policy changes all the while supporting ‘politics of identity’ which do nothing but create divides among the democratic working class. Simply disgraceful, and worthy enough to yearn for the demise of the corrupt plantation owning ‘new’ democratic party. Political correctness has to be replaced by actually doing something.

      • Brad Benson
        October 28, 2016 at 07:33

        Elizabeth Warren already sold her soul a long time ago. Here’s something I wrote for another site back in March.

        Election Analysis—10 Elizabeth Warren’s Silence

    • Gregory Herr
      October 27, 2016 at 10:39

      From Nomi Prins:

      “One of the more illuminating aspects of the Podesta emails was a series of communications that took place in the fall of 2015. That’s when Bernie Sanders was gaining traction for, among other things, his calls to break up the big banks and resurrect the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933. The Clinton administration’s dismantling of that act in 1999 had freed the big banks to use their depositors’ money as collateral for risky bets in the real estate market and elsewhere, and so allowed them to become ever more engorged with questionable securities.

      On December 7, 2015, with her campaign well underway and worried about the Sanders challenge, the Clinton camp debuted a key Hillary op-ed, “How I’d Rein in Wall Street,” in the New York Times. This followed two months of emails and internal debate within her campaign over whether supporting the return of Glass-Steagall was politically palatable for her and whether not supporting it would antagonize Senator Elizabeth Warren. In the end, though Glass-Steagall was mentioned in passing in her op-ed, she chose not to endorse its return.

      She explained her decision not to do so this way (and her advisers and media apostles have stuck with this explanation ever since):

      “Some have urged the return of a Depression-era rule called Glass-Steagall, which separated traditional banking from investment banking. But many of the firms that contributed to the crash in 2008, like A.I.G. and Lehman Brothers, weren’t traditional banks, so Glass-Steagall wouldn’t have limited their reckless behavior. Nor would restoring Glass-Steagall help contain other parts of the ‘shadow banking’ sector, including certain activities of hedge funds, investment banks, and other non-bank institutions.”

      Her entire characterization of how the 2007-2008 banking crisis unfolded was — well — wrong. Here’s how traditional banks (like JPMorgan Chase) operated: they lent money to investment banks like Lehman Brothers so that they could buy more financial waste products stuffed with subprime mortgages that these traditional banks were, in turn, trying to sell. They then backed up those toxic financial products through insurance companies like AIG, which came close to collapse when what it was insuring became too toxically overwhelming to afford. AIG then got a $182 billion government bailout that also had the effect of bailing out those traditional banks (including Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, which became “traditional” during the crisis). In this way, the whole vicious cycle started with the traditional banks that hold your deposits and at the same time could produce and sell those waste products thanks to the repeal of Glass-Steagall. So yes, the loss of that act caused the crisis and, in its wake, every big traditional bank was fined for crisis-related crimes.

      Hillary won’t push to bring back Glass-Steagall. Doing so would dismantle her husband’s legacy and that of the men he and she appointed to public office. Whatever cosmetic alterations may be in store, count on that act remaining an artifact of the past, since its resurrection would dismay the bankers who, over the past three decades, made the Clintons what they are.

      No wonder many diehard Sanders supporters remain disillusioned and skeptical — not to speak of the fact that their candidate featured dead last (39th) on a list of recommended vice presidential candidates in the Podesta emails. That’s unfortunately how much his agenda is likely to matter to her in the Oval Office.”

      Too Big to Fail, Hillary-Style

  35. RAW
    October 25, 2016 at 15:38

    Sorry Joe… you lost me at:

    “Sanders rightly feared Trump’s xenophobia, Islamophobia, misogyny, racism and demagoguery.” typical critique in line with the PC crowd

    This excerpt from J.Rappaport’s article is a more astute observation… Take notes Joe.

    Titled – Did You Really Think Bernie Sanders was Playing it Straight?

    —Bernie Sanders can’t just wink and nod at his supporters, letting them know he’s faking his Hillary endorsement. No. He’s in the clutches of the octopus. He’s feathering the vulture’s nest. He’s delivering pints of blood to the vampire—

    Bernie Sanders’ followers are moaning and weeping and gnashing their teeth. O the betrayal. O the horror.

    He…what? He endorsed Hillary for President?

    Yes, indeed.

    They supported and voted for Bernie because he was righteous and independent and above party politics. He was for the people. And they hated Hillary.

    But now, Bernie has gone over to Her.

    Make no mistake. Bernie’s loyal army wasn’t just vehemently battling against Trump. They were repulsed at the prospect of Hillary winning the Presidency.

    And now their hero, their idol, the “last honest man in American politics,” has crossed over to The Dark Side.

    Well, remember, he gave up his long-time status as an Independent when he entered the race for the Presidency. He joined the Democratic Party. He knew the score. He enrolled on the team. He knew, if he lost, he would have to endorse the Democratic candidate. Play ball, or you don’t get to play at all.

    He can’t just wink and nod at his supporters, letting them know he’s faking his Hillary endorsement. No. He’s in the clutches of the octopus. He’s feathering the vulture’s nest. He’s delivering pints of blood to the vampire.

    This is big-time Democratic politics. This is major-league. This is when compromises are made and deals are struck. And Bernie isn’t feeling the same burn anymore. This fire is a camp fire, and Bernie is sitting there along with other Party operatives and hustlers and propagandists and strong-arm closers and creatures of the night.

    As a last gasp, Bernie tried to insert a plank in the Democratic platform opposing the TPP, another hideous Globalist trade treaty. And he failed. That would have been a good time to revolt and bolt and take a stand against the Party and go back to being an Independent—but it didn’t happen. Bernie ate the poison pill.

    Meet Mr. Sanders; a Democrat; a dutiful soldier in the ranks.

    Hillary, Ms. Darth Vader, her helmet removed, her blonde hair blowing in the wind, strides down the line, inspecting the troops. When she comes to Bernie, she pauses for a moment and inclines her head an inch toward him in acknowledgement. He was, briefly, a minor opponent. Bernie blinks, like a lost recruit in the middle of a nightmare who doesn’t know how he arrived at this moment. She moves on. She’s on her way. She sees the future.

    Far away in the distance, a cry of anguish goes up from a huge rag-tag tattered mass of The Disappointed Ones. Bernie’s people.

    Duped again. Bamboozled. Cut loose from the passing vision of a Pa pier-mache utopia of equality.

    Did they really think Bernie was playing it straight? Did they really think he would remain above the corruption?


    • Bart in Virginia
      October 26, 2016 at 09:48

      “This is big-time Democratic politics. This is major-league. This is when compromises are made and deals are struck.”

      This sort of thing happens in parliamentary governments in Europe and they manage better than we do.

    • Brad Benson
      October 28, 2016 at 07:31

      Amen! Bernie is now just another loser. Can he even fill a room these days? I doubt it.

    • October 28, 2016 at 19:22

      “Bernie Sanders’ followers are moaning and weeping and gnashing their teeth. O the betrayal. O the horror”.

      Well, some who supported Sanders do feel that way but not all. As much as that might have made Green Party partisans feel good, I don’t think it would have been a good strategy for Sanders to have jumped onto the Green ticket when he found he couldn’t win the Democratic nomination. By doing that, Bernie would have disappointed me and I think quite a few of his strong supporters.

      First of all, I don’t think that move would have been good for the country because it might well have led to a Trump victory. That in turn likely would have put an end to any hope of a progressive revival for the next generation or two. Secondly, part of Sanders’ appeal is his record for being honest. His record for telling it like it is would have been badly damaged by jumping on the Green bandwagon after repeatedly saying he would support the Democratic ticket.

      So go ahead and speak for yourself, but don’t think that all Sanders’ supporters feel the way you do.

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