That Sanders was once the frontrunner and might have swept the Democratic primaries is an indicator of the neoliberal order’s decay. The coronavirus pandemic was both the final blow to the Sanders campaign and the world-historic event that proved unquestionably that his platform of universal health care and fairness to the working class was the medicine needed for an ailing nation. Shelter-in-place is Biden’s strong suit, while Sanders’ contagious ability to enthuse the youth was sequestered. And, no, Biden’s healthcare public option is not even a baby step towards universal health care. Sanders’ parting remark on April 8 was “we have won the ideological battle.” Of course, ideas don’t have agency on their own. The battle is to organize a progressive constituency and not self-defeat by tethering to the Democratic Party.
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The corporate media have long been looking for ways to discredit Bernie Sanders, and they settled on a surprising statement he made in the 1980s during his tenure as mayor of Burlington when he said, “We have a lot to learn from Cuba.” Now, they have latched onto a statement he made about Cuba during an interview on “60 Minutes” after winning the Nevada caucuses: “We’re very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba but you know, it’s unfair to simply say everything is bad,” Sanders said.
Amazon’s announcement last week that it would boost the wages of its lowest paid workers to $15 an hour in time for this year’s holiday rush, was not a generous gift from its owner Jeff Bezos, reportedly the wealthiest man on earth. It was also not, as some would like us to believe, a miracle wrought by the intervention of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. It was a strategic concession on the part of Amazon in the face of its own public relations needs, competitive pressures from its near-peers, pressure from transnational cooperation among its unionized European workforce, and to a minor degree the STOP BEZOS bill introduced by Sanders which proposes to tax large corporations for the amount their employees use in federal aid programs.
By Michael F. Brown for The Electronic Antifada - A majority of Democrats now backs economic sanctions or tougher action on Israel over its continued colonization of occupied Palestinian land, a University of Maryland poll revealed this week. But progressive Democrats cannot count on a single member of the US Senate to stand firm for Palestinian rights: not Patrick Leahy, not Kamala Harris and not “progressive” firebrand Elizabeth Warren. Even Bernie Sanders has caved in to pressure from AIPAC. His signature appears with those of all 99 of his Senate colleagues on a 27 April letter reaffirming key talking points of the powerful Israel lobby group. The diverse coalition Sanders brought together will be jeopardized if he thinks Palestinians can be thrown under the bus with no reaction. The letter, addressed to the UN secretary-general, claims absurdly that Israel is being picked on and singled out by the world body – even though Israel has flouted international law and UN resolutions for decades without ever once being subjected to UN sanctions. It also smears UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestine refugees, whose overstretched resources mean the difference between subsistence and hunger for a million Palestinians in Gaza, which has been under a decade-long Israeli siege.
By Staff of Single Payer Action - Bernie has yet to introduce his single payer bill into the Senate — despite promises from his health care legislative assistant that he will do so. (A Sanders aide told one single payer supporter that “Senator Sanders will definitely introduce a single payer bill in the Senate this Congress.” When asked to be more specific, the aide told the caller they can’t be more specific “because we don’t want to give the opposition time to organize against the bill.”) And at a CNN healthcare debate with Senator Ted Cruz earlier this year, Bernie embarrassed himself when he was asked a question by a small business owner in Texas.