Home / General / The Sanders Story

The Sanders Story



Personally, I thought the Politico story dishing on the Sanders campaign was pretty gross, partly for the reasons Scott delineated here. But I also thought Brian Beutler was pretty right on in his short account, noting that despite the outstanding campaign run by Sanders, which in a rational world would lead to lots of great jobs to the people who put it together, it’s not that way:

In the world we actually inhabit, where political operatives are more often judged by their loyalties and networks than by the number of feathers in their caps, Sanders supporters apparently feel they have to leak stories to the press that make the remarkable campaign they ran look petty and dysfunctional lest they be linked to whatever intra-party discord stems from the primary.

Reputations in the political world often bear no connection to observable, quantifiable accomplishments. If that weren’t the case, Sanders aides would’ve probably held their fire, confident that they’d be rewarded professionally for proving they could punch high above their weight.

And that’s a gross world.

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  • ChrisTS

    I agree: it is a gross world. On the other hand, I can’t agree that the Sanders campaign has been the best.

    They repeatedly failed to get their supporters registered (or switched), could not get supporters to understand rules or systems such as the [admittedly crazy] Nevada caucuses, and blasted oodles of money on big rallies. (I don’t know whose idea the absurd Rome trip was.)

    • Alex.S

      The Sanders campaign raised a ton of money and got many more votes than would be expected. There should be people on that team that can point to the campaign and declare it successful.

      Weirdly, coming close is considered more of a failure than never competing. I’m sure O’Malley’s campaign staff felt a lot better about how they did, even though their overall campaign was much worse.

  • EliHawk

    Sanders supporters apparently feel they have to leak stories to the press that make the remarkable campaign they ran look petty and dysfunctional lest they be linked to whatever intra-party discord stems from the primary.

    Eh. It looks petty and dysfunctional because, for the last month, it has been petty and dysfunctional. The Nevada Convention fuckery. The platform committee petulance. Demanding Malloy and Frank’s heads. Appointing Cornel West. The whole Trump Debate/Not Debate thing. Going deeply negative on the FBI and Clinton stuff. Not shushing the boo birds and Bernie or Busters at rallies. Going around complaining about how everything is rigged when you’re getting stomped in every conceivable democratic metric. Going broke (and not even releasing his may fundraising). Endorsing DWS’ crank Primary Challenger. Fundraising for Dems in primaries in safe-seats but not helping Democrats in competitive races. Post-NY/PA, Sanders and Sanders’ Camapign has been varying degrees of a shit show.

    This is CYA, but it’s CYAing because there was plenty of Ass to go around, and they don’t want that stink, not because they have to prove any final discord’s not their fault. And worth pointing out Josh Marshall had wind of that same story (namely, that when it came to bitterness, the Cossacks work for the Czar) like a month ago.

    • Sly

      Endorsing DWS’ crank Primary Challenger.

      I wouldn’t call Canova a crank – though he is well to the right of DWS when it comes to Middle East issues, most of his stances are boilerplate Congressional Progressive Caucus white paper stuff – but endorsing the opponent of the DNC chair in the middle of the Democratic Primaries was really fucking petty.

      Trump’s treatment of Curiel is saturated with racism, but lost in that discussion is that you don’t insult the judge presiding over your own tort case.

    • delazeur

      It looks petty and dysfunctional because, for the last month, it has been petty and dysfunctional.

      Totally. I started out as a strong Bernie supporter. Around April I saw that it was Hillary’s race, and while I was disappointed to see Bernie lose I was happy to support Hillary in the general. In the last several weeks, though, I’ve started to become embarrassed to have ever been a Bernie supporter. Bernie’s fanbase has always been a bit problematic, but they have become unbelievably rabid and Bernie hasn’t done shit to get his people behaving like reasonable adults.

    • Karen24

      And don’t forget the lengthy and uncorrected booing at the mention of the Democratic nominee’s name last night.

    • Brien Jackson

      Yeah that stood out to me too. There’s really no finger pointing regarding anything that went wrong for the campaign when they really lost the contest, and no one trying to take credit for the good things either. It’s all about disavowing responsibility for the shit storm since New York. That makes sense though; there’s going to be a lot of recriminations for anyone who stays associated with it, including Sanders. He’s probably pissed away any chance he had of actually raising his Senate profile substantially unless he does a very quick about face.

      • including Sanders. He’s probably pissed away any chance he had of actually raising his Senate profile substantially unless he does a very quick about face.

        Eh, that’s too strong. He’s been annoying, but I don’t get any strong sense that anyone thinks he’s done any real damage yet. He has a lot of friends and a lot of people understand what it’s like to come so close. If you look at the behaviour of say Rubio or Cruz the week before they conceded, their behaviour was off for them. Losing is hard. I think Sanders earned some good will by being relatively restrained and by still being potentially useful. As long as he doesn’t get much worse, and turns around for the convention, and Hillary wins, he’s fine. Maybe not as good as he might have gotten, but fine. I’m pretty sure this hit piece will be forgotten as well.

        And I’m not clear how helpful it is to the staffers. I’m not sure I’d want someone on my team who burned someone that way. I’m not saying people have to be loyal until the bitter end and beyond, but this just seems crass and unnecessary.

        • Brien Jackson

          I think you’re underselling the main flashpoint here: The chair of the Nevada Demcoratic Party was getting a heap of doxxing, misogynistic abuse, and death threats, and Sanders failed spectacularly to unequivocally condemn it, even engaging in victim blaming and conspiracy mongering. That is…not going to be quickly forgotten by people who know, like, and empathize with Roberta Lange.

          And if Sanders won’t deploy his email lists and organization to help elect Dems in races that could potentially flip, it would actually probably be even worse.

          • Well, obviously I think you’re overselling it. It’s notably disappeared from all discussions. He could have handled it better, and it was awful, esp for Lange. But it’s seems pretty assimilated as an anomaly for which Sanders bore little responsibility. It didn’t play.

            I would say that if Sanders can push some electoral joy via his lists etc, he’ll get joy from that. If he doesn’t and Hillary wins, it’ll disappear. He’s foil. To have to screw up a lot harder for anything big to happen to him.

            • Brien Jackson

              It’s apparently salient enough in professional political circles that everyone associated with the campaign felt the need to disavow involvement in it and pin the blame entirely on Sanders, even to the point of claiming the statement was off script.

              • The staffers dump on everything in the past month. I would expect them to dump on that as well.

                It’s not about whether it’s known. Obviously it is. It’s about the cost/benefit ratio of giving Sanders stuff.

            • PhoenixRising

              It has…not disappeared. It has moved to state Democratic Party conversations. And Bernie supporters who didn’t quickly disavow not just the behavior at state convention but the candidate’s statement afterwards, well, they aren’t getting invited to the meetings where decisions are made in the future.

              It was bullshit; it was utterly unacceptable. I’m one of a large number of not-that-involved delegates who will despite that nasty old man until he dies of bile (expressed, natch). The actions of his supporters were despicable and his victim blaming ‘yeah but’ was beneath contempt. Bern this, asshole: Your supporters can’t change a party they aren’t welcome in. Threatening the children of a volunteer who is the manager of an Olive Garden is asshole behavior and only assholes don’t speak out against it.

              • It has…not disappeared. It has moved to state Democratic Party conversations. And Bernie supporters who didn’t quickly disavow not just the behavior at state convention but the candidate’s statement afterwards, well, they aren’t getting invited to the meetings where decisions are made in the future.

                That I believe. I think it will have more negative affects on people associated with Sanders and that incident than on Sanders, at least over the next few months.

            • random

              What happened to Roberta was just one high-profile manifestation of the loony, entitled, and abusive atmosphere that was cultivated by Sanders and his campaign and supporters.

              There were actually multiple instances of doxxing and threats throughout the last year aimed at Democratic Party officials. There were also the data thefts, the lawsuit in response to getting caught data thefting, refusal to accept the legitimacy of any contest they lost, the consistent pattern of bad-faith arguments about delegate/SD math, attacking the DNC for joint-fundraising for downballot Democrtas, the supporters chanting ‘Bernie!’ while criminally assaulting Trump supporters coming out of a rally….

              This sort of Charlie-Foxtrot resulted in them out-raising and out-spending their opponent, sure. That opponent also finished with the largest % of primary votes of any Democrat in any contested primary in decades. It’s probably not a bad idea for them to distance themselves a little from the dumpster fire.

            • ChrisTS

              I’m sorry, Sweetie, it has not disappeared from discussions among feminists, at all.

              • Brien Jackson

                My biggest assumption is just this: I don’t think women in the ranks of Democratic Party leadership will forget about it anytime soon.

              • Sure, I wouldn’t expect that. But it’s not appearing in high profile public statements. Everyone from Clinton to Obama are still trying to make nice with Sanders for a number of reasons.

          • smott999

            In fairness, since Sanders stole the email list, Clinton probably has most of them anyway.

            • Heh.

              I don’t think it’s the names per se, but mobilising via them. It’s different if Sanders sends messages to people who have been receiving messages and making donations to him (and the donation count is not HRCs).

              If he can just fundraise for her and congressional races in a way remotely similar to what he did for the primary then that’s a huge huge huge huge deal.

              ETA: I don’t think it will be that easy for him to get remotely similar numbers, but a couple of million here and there could help. Worth making nice over.

        • ChrisTS

          Bijan, who/where do you think his many friends are? They don’t seem to be in the Democratic party or among his Congressional Dem colleagues.

          As to his staffers: my DC insider pals/family over the years tend to be both weirdly forgiving and unforgiving. It often seems to be a matter of ‘when, who, and how much’ more than any marker of sincerity. Which, sadly, seems to be DC.

          • Bijan, who/where do you think his many friends are? They don’t seem to be in the Democratic party or among his Congressional Dem colleagues.

            “Friends” is maybe too strong, but Reid, Obama, Brown even though Sanders seems determined to burn him, even Clinton is still saying complimentary things about him.

            If they all can make nice with Joe Lieberman, then they can make nice with Sanders. He still has a lot of apparent leverage that you might want to harness and I think colleagues who are professional politicians might empathise with him more than, say, voters who opposed him do.

            This isn’t a judgement of the goodness of his behaviour. I’ve been banging on for a while that even if he’s not materially hurting Clinton’s chances (which I think is a bit open given Dana’s resource diversion arguments) he’s missing opportunities to build the movement and affect Congress and state races. He seems *uninterested* in doing this. That’s a huge failure.

            However, the analytical question is whether he’s burned his bridges with the party elite or is close to doing so without a “rapid about face”. I see no evidence of that. No one’s *cited* any evidence of that. Now maybe there is a lot of grumbling about giving him a seat on the platform because of NV, but I’ve not heard a jot of it. I don’t see that anyone has conditioned any of the offers on e.g., a better apology or not participating in NV.

            • As further evidence for my belief that Sanders is not facing a time sensitive moment here, we have this article today:

              Thursday has the potential to shed light on the senator’s intentions and state of mind as the general election kicks off in earnest.
              Sanders will meet with President Barack Obama in their second White House sitdown this primary season and the fourth time they’ve spoken in the last month. Aides said Obama would work to move Sanders toward an acceptance of Clinton as the nominee.

              In their meeting, Obama won’t directly ask Sanders to exit the race, and senior Democrats say it’s unlikely Obama will make any joint appearances with Clinton before next week’s primary, the final nominating contest this year. However, a formal Obama endorsement could come earlier — perhaps as early as Thursday — though not before Obama sits down with Sanders.
              While it’s unlikely that Sanders emerges in full support of Clinton, White House officials hope Obama can prod the Vermont senator toward eventually acting as a unifying figure for the Democratic Party.

              Sanders will also meet with Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid — who has publicly said Sanders should “give up” — and has a campaign rally scheduled in Washington in the evening.

              In her victory speech in Brooklyn Tuesday night, Clinton congratulated Sanders for an “extraordinary campaign” and sought to reach out to his supporters.

              “Let there be no mistake: Sen. Sanders, his campaign, and the vigorous debate that we’ve had about how to raise incomes, reduce inequality, and increase upward mobility, have been very good for the Democratic Party and for America,” Clinton said.

              As a part of an overarching strategy to bring Sanders fans into the fold, the Clinton campaign and its surrogates have no plans to call on the senator to get out of the race.

              If you want to be cynical, why piss off the crazy guy.. There’s no upside. I don’t think this meetings are going to be threatening, nor do I think that would be wise.

              Do you all think that the NV statement is going to be raised in any of these meetings? Really?

              Now, now question Bernie is irritating tons of people by staying in this long. But a lot of the people he’s irritating are people who have really disliked him for quite some time already (cf this sub thread!).

              Obama worked with Clinton and Lieberman even after…rather bad behaviour of both of the latter. Bernie is maybe as bad as Clinton 2008, maybe a bit worse, but by no means so far off as to justify a different strategy in dealing with him.

    • djw

      Yeah, I think it’s reasonable to be nuanced here. The Sanders campaign was outstanding, perhaps brilliant, for some time. Then, it wasn’t. It doesn’t strike me as inherently or necessarily perverse for campaign staff to want future potential employers to know the derailment was top-down, not bottom-up. In particular, since there aren’t a whole lot of independents to work for, it’s not unreasonable for these people to want it to be clear that the phase of the campaign where the candidate started adopting strategies that will be perceived (rightly or wrongly) as potentially harming the Democratic party are not their doing.

  • The story has certainly been around for a long time, but I keep thinking of SorkinWorld, in which Toby was asked (the day he expected to be fired) how many elections he had won, took a moment to list them, and said, “Zero.” Followed by “I think I’m very good at what I do.”

    If I were running, I wouldn’t hesitate to hire some of the non-press-facing members of the Sanders campaign. He pulled about 35-40% of the Democratic vote in a year in which all the other possible contenders decided not to challenge HRC.

    (And do I need to note again that while I don’t believe MattY is an idiot, he has been acting like one recently, blaming “the DNC” for keeping Senator MBNA and other Viable Contenders out of the race.)

    The front-facing members of the Sanders campaign–many of whom were veterans of Clinton ’08 and other major efforts–have been increasingly incoherent. Yes, the Cossacks work for the Czar, but unless they’re expecting the Republican Party to split into The Friedmanites and The Extremely Heterosexual Teabaggers, Sanders’s top brass has been making it clear they don’t want to work on any more national Democratic campaigns.

    • EliHawk

      His digital and online fundraising people were brilliant and have a real future. But 95% of his surrogates and all the people in charge of wrangling them and keeping them on message should never work on a campaign again.

      • Hercules Mulligan

        I don’t agree in the slightest, but I have a tangentially related question– are you going to reply to every positive comment about Bernie’s campaign with this stuff? Because that sounds just a tad petty.

        • sharonT

          It sounds very petty. Then again, I’ve read a number of comments and post by the Secretary’s supporters retailing the same, greatest hits of butt-hurt today.

          From the Nevada Caucus debacle to the extra-long, booing last night, this Politico article has been the pole that these folks hang their displeasure with Sanders, his team, and his supporters.

          I am so glad that the primaries are over. I thought that the 2008 Democratic Primary was unique in its online awfulness. I was wrong.

          • I think that’s the norm going forward. Just like smart people will grasp at really bonkers arguments to salvage their candidate in their own mind and other smart people will spin unnecessary conspiracy stories about the press. It’s just what happens.

        • EliHawk

          Not really, but I was trying to elaborate on the point. His digital and online fundraising people were really really really brilliant. They did amazing stuff on fundraising, and on message, and on branding. Yeah, the collective meme-ocracy also caught fire with him, but there’s still a lot of work that goes into all of the infrastructure there. And it kept him around and relatively viable long after a more old school, traditional campaign would have been sunk. In 2000 or 2004, Sanders would have had to drop out because he was broke after March 15. His online money guys kept him around for three more months, let him outspent Clinton in pretty much every contest afterward, and it wasn’t until the New York primary that his online fundraising began to decline heavily and send his campaign, which I think thought the $27 checks would never stop, into its recent financial trouble.

          But the comms/advance people in charge or wrangling his surrogates, and who they chose to put out as surrogates, were a real problem for the campaign. Nina Turner was bad. Weaver was bad. Devine was bad. Cornel West was front and center to reach out to a black community that was well aware how he talked about President Obama. And they were all on TV a lot. Better surrogates like Merkley, Ellison, and Grijalva weren’t out there much. They’d have Sarandon and Dawson and Killer Mike and the guy who called her a ‘corporate whore’ get up at his rallies and just free associate before the candidate spoke, something that frequently resulted in whatever message Sanders wanted to get out getting swallowed on Twitter and the media by whatever gaffe they pulled out. They didn’t have a great selection of surrogates, but they had some talented people they barely used and a bunch of loose cannons that were far more trouble than they were worth. The number of own goals they had, even when they were doing well, was pretty bad. That’s on the staff, and they were bad.

          • jim, some guy in iowa

            I really think the post-mortems can wait for a while

            • Marek

              Yes, please.

            • junker

              These are the comments for a blog post that was written to express opinions about a post-mortem…

    • postmodulator

      …blaming “the DNC” for keeping Senator MBNA and other Viable Contenders out of the race.

      Traditionally we address politicians by referring to their current or last position.

      I doubt that I would prefer Biden to HRC as the nominee, but the Trump/Biden debates would have been incredible.

      • wjts

        I don’t disagree, but I’m willing to bet the Trump/Clinton debates will be pretty great.

  • Alex.S

    Turns out that all campaigns are dysfunctional. As are most jobs, worksites, organizations with more than three people…

    I never bother with “campaign in disarray” storylines unless they actually report something else such as poor fundraising or not hiring enough people.

    • Brien Jackson

      It’s seems pretty noteworthy that the issues Sanders wants to spend leverage on going into the convention are getting Frank and Malloy removed as chairs.

    • Davis X. Machina

      IOW, all happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

      You could start a book with that…

      • wjts

        Been done. How about, “It was the best of campaigns, it was the worst of campaigns.”?

        • junker

          Bernie Sanders, light of my life, fire of my loins.

          • wjts

            My sin, my soul. Ber-nee-to…

    • Ken

      poor fundraising or not hiring enough people

      But enough about the Republican candidate…

  • Hercules Mulligan

    With respect to the various things Sanders DID do wrong, I think this notion (not replying to any one comment because it’s showing up in multiple places) that his campaign embarrassingly squandered a genuine left opportunity and that he will return to the Senate a pariah unless he grovels for forgiveness is pure fantasy.

    For every one internet intellectual (I include myself) who liked Sanders pre-candidacy and is now vaguely uncomfortable with him, there are thousands of actual voters who had never heard of the man and now deeply admire him and care about what he says and does.

    And frankly, in the extremely unlikely event that there is some serious attempt at retribution– for example, as I have seen floated by random internet commenters (not here, thank goodness), that a new Majority Leader Schumer would revoke Sanders’ committee assignments– it would provoke some serious outrage from the exact people we’re now trying to convince to become permanent members of the party. Does anyone actually think that Sanders will be forced into obscurity, tail between his legs, after this election? I do not.

  • Dilan Esper

    The amount of careerism that is involved in everything from endorsements to strategists to who has top-flight policy proposals is one of the least understood aspects of politics, in my experience.

    There’s a nice passage in George Stephanopulos’ autobiography where he describes how consultants basically pick whatever campaign is likely to result in gainful employment in the future.

  • petesh

    Jobs or not for the staff is really not the most important takeaway here. The issues caught fire, and that is undoubtedly good. Unfortunately, as with most movements, the focus fell on the individual candidate. And he wasn’t up to it. For all the statements that inequality is the great issue of our times (which it arguably is), the underlying message morphed into “I and only I can fix this, and the only way it can be fixed is the way I say.” I dont think that was conscious (though Sanders does have a history of not working well with others), and I do think it’s common, but in my view Sanders simply does not have the touch to discourage that while also projecting leadership. (Obama managed it rather well.) I note that Obama seems to have held off his endorsement, presumably until he has that chat with Sanders. Good move. I suspect that Sanders would have barreled on with what he intended to do.

    • sharculese

      I don’t think there was ever a chance that Obama would officially endorse anyone before the nomination was locked up.

    • The issues caught fire, and that is undoubtedly good.

      It’s probably not true that the issues caught fire, alas. The exact composition of the Sanders voting cohort is still being studied, but there’s good reason to think that it was primarily an outsider wave rather than leftism that drove his success. This is true of Trump as well to some extent. In both cases, outsider ness is given some form by the campaign.

      • Davis X. Machina

        Apparently those Sanders voters who refuse to — for now — consider voting for Clinton skew to the right, or nearly so, and not to the left, as one might expect.

        They’re voting — or threatening to vote — against HRC, or not vote at all, just not because she’s insufficiently left, at least to a large extent.

        • NonyNony

          Voters who would support Sanders, but not Clinton, over Trump, overwhelmingly identify as moderate. Many more of them identify as conservative than liberal, and far fewer of them identify as liberal than the Clinton supporters who identify as liberal. All this data suggests that, if Clinton does need to reposition herself ideologically to lock down the Bernie vote, she would move to the right, not the left.

          I suspect that in actuality this group is mostly made up of angry white people who hate Clinton either because she’s a woman or because she’s a Clinton or both. Meaning that there’s absolutely nothing she could do to win their votes so she shouldn’t bother trying.

          • Sebastian_h

            Ugh, I can’t see into their hearts, so I’m not going to argue whether this is intentional bias, but this study is being misused in the discussion. The reason they find that “support for Sanders hinges on social identity more than ideology” is because they code for ideology ONLY on the basis of areas where Clinton/Sanders are close and thus unsurprisingly don’t find huge differences in their followers. Their result 100% hinges on only coding right left ideology on these three topics “higher minimum wage, increasing government spending on health care, and an expansion of government services financed by higher taxes”.

            You should immediately note that Clinton was dragged to the left on the minimum wage and that should signal the problem with the coding.

            So if you deliberately exclude the differences which attracted people to Sanders (things like hawkishness, police brutality issues, Wall Street approaches) and focus only on areas where they agreed or where Clinton was moved toward his positions, yes you get weird results.

            If you code for the differences, you get the expected result that Sanders supporters are more left than Clinton supporters.

            They can defend/talk about their reason for coding the way they did forever, but for purposes of the type of conversation HERE, it doesn’t matter. You can’t use their study to show that Sanders supporters are more “right wing” in general. You can only get that conclusion by excluding nearly all of the issues where Sanders is significantly different than Clinton.

            • djw

              What’s the daylight between them on “police brutality issues”? In the debates and their ads, they seemed to be fighting for the same space.

        • Hercules Mulligan

          There is some dispute as to whether that is actually the case.

          Jacobin pro-Bernie bias should be taken into account, of course, but so should Chait’s pathological need to beat any sign of left politics into submission.

          • Dilan Esper

            Yeah, Chait would certainly like it to be the case that HRC doesn’t have to move left to get Sanders voters. Which makes me skeptical.

          • djw

            so should Chait’s pathological need

            Chait’s just the messenger; the actual arguments, data, and interpretation are from Achen and Bartels.

            • Dilan Esper

              I will broaden it. There are a lot of elites who prefer a Democratic Party that is not forced to move to the left, so there is a huge market for this particular conclusion.

              Doesn’t make it wrong but it does call for skepticism.

              • Any early result is worth some skepticism.

                However, doubling down on your error is dumb. The study is by academics. They may be wrong. They may be biased. But blithely making an “it’s elite bias” argument is not analysis.

                Please note I was pretty careful in my initial comment about certainty here.

                • Dilan Esper

                  It isn’t by “academics” in any sense that matters. This isn’t peer reviewed work. Just public intellectuals.

                  Plenty of these sorts of things are biased or spun.

                • It isn’t by “academics” in any sense that matters.

                  That is one of the stupider things you’ve ever written and consistent with your bullshit about expertise (i.e., that you claim that it’s important to respect it but you only ever do when it’s congenial for you to do so). Still waiting for your concession to Gregor!

                  This isn’t peer reviewed work. Just public intellectuals.

                  HAHAHAH! Oh yes, the favourite move of so many deniers. Peer review isn’t magic, dude! It’s all standard argumentation which can be evaluated on its own merits.

                  Plenty of these sorts of things are biased or spun.


                  Sheesh. It is an argument made by academics working in their area. It is preliminary. It was disputed (albeit with less professionalism) and the criticism responded too. No evidence of “bias” although there was dispute on method.

                  Just…grow up. It’s not evidence of a knowing sophistication to mindless go “ELITES!!! BIAS!!!” when experts propose a line of argument with conclusions you don’t like.

              • PhoenixRising

                …if we’re going to do this tonight, which is okay with me…What would ‘move to the left’ look like?

                Having the Dem Party advocate for single payer? For UBI? $15/hr even in WV and Idaho? I’m curious about the form this ‘moving left’ from the winner of the primary’s current policy preferences would take.

                • Dilan Esper

                  Pull out of NAFTA and the WTO?

                  Break up the banks?

                  Free college?

                  Pull our troops out of the Middle East?

                • EliHawk

                  It’s peculiar to define adopting Pat Buchanan’s foreign policy as a key plank of “moving to the left.”

                • les


                  Break up the banks?

                  WTF does this even mean? Bernie couldn’t define it, or even identify the banks to break up. Is there a Berner that knows what’s going on under Dodd-Frank? Some of the worst offenders (GE, e.g.–Hah!) are out of the biz, because they can’t play the old games. Huge banks aren’t growing, they’re shrinking because of new capital requirements. There’s a close equivalent of Glass Steagal in place. The inability or refusal of Bern supporters in these discussions to see or acknowledge that their concerns are in fact being addressed, just not by instant magic, makes it damn hard to treat them seriously.

              • djw

                I don’t know much about Achen, but Bartels’ previous scholarship suggests he’s not likely to be particularly hostile to Sanders’ message on economic matters.

                (I’d like to develop my own opinion on this, but I’m getting paywall-blocked from the Monkey Cage posts for some reason, which has never happened to me before.)

                • djw, note that Dilan has got nothing here except that he doesn’t like the conclusion.

                • Sebastian_h

                  As I mention up thread, you can only get the result they get by coding left/right on issues where Clinton/Sanders are similar and ignoring areas where they are different. Their defense is that they are coding what they think were the most high profile issues, but from a statistical perspective they seem to be ignoring all of the reasons why people said they preferred Sanders to Clinton. That strikes me as deeply unconvincing.

                  (I suspect bias, but not Sanders/Clinton bias. I suspect bias along the lines of “social scientists and economists love to ‘find’ that people’s REAL reasons for doing something aren’t REALLY what they say”. That’s fine in theory [I fully agree that stated and actual reasons can be different] but to do so by excluding most of the distinguishing characteristics seems to obscure far more than it reveals.)

  • wengler

    Hillary did better in 2016 than 2008, but she is still a terrible campaigner. Her keys were wrapping up the black vote and remaining invisible a lot of the time. It also helped her that her opponent was less interested in slinging mud and talked nearly 100% policy.

    It’s kind of crazy that people here are whining about Bernie being mean to Hillary at this point of the campaign. I talked about this in a previous thread, but I will reiterate here that the alternative would have been for Bernie to run in the general election. You’re angry that he’s not being deferential and rallying his supporters around Hillary? Well, he owes nothing to the Democratic Party and they sure as hell are looking to give him shit. So this is the only leverage he has at this point.

    • Given that Harry Reid allowed him to be a committee chair and Democrats haven’t tried to defeat him, I don’t think you can say he owes nothing to the Democratic Party.

      • Brien Jackson

        And the party didn’t throw up any roadblocks to him running for President as a Democrat, either.

    • Hillary did better in 2016 than 2008, but she is still a terrible campaigner.


      er keys were wrapping up the black vote and remaining invisible a lot of the time.

      Nope. There’s a reason she scheduled a lot of campaign stops in CA.

      You’re angry that he’s not being deferential and rallying his supporters around Hillary?

      After he lost? Sure, that’s reasonable.

      Well, he owes nothing to the Democratic Party

      Of course he does, as well as to the country: He should do his best to make Trump lose.

      Plus, he wants to work with the party, so not being a fool is a good start.

      and they sure as hell are looking to give him shit.

      This is obviously untrue. Clinton, for example, is being quite deferential in speeches and giving loads of concessions. Your “sure as hell” is actually your own “confused as shit”.

      So this is the only leverage he has at this point.

      He has plenty of positive leverage. He’s unlikely to garner more. Trying to do some sort of blackmail move is highly likely to backfire.

    • random

      It also helped her that her opponent was less interested in slinging mud and talked nearly 100% policy.

      He spent most of the last several months slinging mud actually. Not just at his opponent but at the party that invited him in and who’s nomination he was running for.

      the alternative would have been for Bernie to run in the general election.

      I’m sure he would get a lot of votes from Libertarians and Greens.

    • random

      she is still a terrible campaigner. Her keys were wrapping up the black vote and remaining invisible….

      I just noticed this. You…you are aware that black voters have just as much right to vote as everyone else, right?

      • tsam

        No. That’s a secondary vote because we all know they don’t know how to vote. Jesus. Someone me who gets the black vote allfuckingright with me

      • I didn’t address this in my first comment, but I want to add that it gets worse and worse looking on rereading. Equating “wrapping up the black vote” and “remaining invisible” as things that a “terrible campaigner” can do is hugely insulting to black voters. Why single out *them* instead of wealthy people, with whom she also did better? Or older people? Why is winning the black vote evidence of her being a *terrible* campaigner rather than a good one?

        And staying “invisible” *and winning* would be a nice trick.

        Sheesh. You really out to walk this back, wangler, and consider where your disappointment has led you.

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