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Bernie Sanders

Bernie And The Squad Cut A Deal To Save Biden

Bernie Sanders, with Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (AOC), Ilhan Omar, and others in the left wing of the Democratic Party are lining up to try to save Joe Biden’s crisis-ridden campaign — a campaign for a deeply unpopular millionaire whose main legacy will be supporting a genocide in Palestine. That might seem shocking. The leaders of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) — and of Jacobin — have made supporting Bernie and the Squad the tentpole of their strategy since the Sanders phenomenon started. Those electeds were supposed to be the left wing of the Democratic Party, moles inside the Party working against the grain to drive radical politics.

Norman Finkelstein Responds To Bernie Sanders

Norman Finkelstein responds to Bernie Sanders’ statement in a recent interview on CNN where he openly opposed a ceasefire in Gaza using the justification that Hamas is causing chaos in Israel and saying that “Hamas has got to.” Finkelstein answers with: “I was so furious at that remark of Bernie’s when he said he opposed the ceasefire and my innards started to writhe and I decided I had to respond. Bernie said in the interview that he opposed a ceasefire and his grounds for opposing a ceasefire were that Hamas wanted to destroy Israel and therefore Hamas has to be destroyed. So let’s look at the facts. I am going to start with 2006."

Activists Arrested At A Sit-In For Peace At Senator Bernie Sanders’ Office

Washington, D.C. - A group of 50 activists and Vermont constituents staged a sit-in inside Senator Bernie Sanders' office on Wednesday, demanding the senator to call for peace and diplomacy in Ukraine instead of more weapons and war. The sit-in resulted in the arrest of 11 activists, including an 89-year-old CODEPINK peace activist. The group was joined by Green Party Presidential Candidate Dr. Cornel West in the Senate lobby for a prayer vigil before the sit-in. The prayer vigil and sit-in were part of a week of action that included an antiwar rally on Tuesday night featuring Dr. West, Claudia de la Cruz, Lee Camp, Medea Benjamin, and Eugene Puryear,.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.: Sheepdogging And Liberal Fantasy

In 2015, Black Agenda Report co-founder Bruce Dixon coined the term “sheepdog” to describe the role that Bernie Sanders would play in the 2016 presidential campaign. Dixon presciently said, “Bernie's job is to warm up the crowd for Hillary, herding activist energies and the disaffected left back into the Democratic fold one more time. Bernie aims to tie up activist energies and resources till the summer of 2016 when the only remaining choice will be the usual lesser of two evils.” The word stuck and since that time the question is rightly asked whether a particular democratic challenger is serious about getting the nomination or is merely a sheepdog who will herd supporters back into the hands of their party’s oligarchy.

Sanders Withdraws Yemen War Powers Resolution Vote Over Biden Opposition

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on Tuesday night withdrew his request to vote on the Yemen War Powers Resolution that would end US support for the Saudi-led war and blockade on Yemen, citing White House opposition to the bill. Sanders said on the Senate floor that he was informed ahead of the scheduled vote of the administration’s opposition to the legislation, meaning President Biden would veto the resolution. The Intercept reported earlier in the day that The White House was pressuring senators to vote against the bill, and Democrats came out in opposition to Sanders’ resolution earlier on Tuesday, including Sen. Alex Padilla (D-CA). Sanders’ justification for not holding the vote was that the administration claimed it would work with Congress on ending the war in Yemen.

Hey, Bernie, Make It A Real Single Payer Bill…No Profits

Senator Bernie Sanders has announced that he is going to introduce his Medicare for All bill in the Senate—and hold a hearing.  This is most welcome news. As Bernie campaigned for the presidency, he elevated national single payer health care, an improved Medicare for All, into the public spotlight and onto the nation’s agenda. His advocacy for Medicare for All informed millions and lifted spirits building hope that a universal single payer plan is possible in the US. He has not done that well at writing legislation.  His most recent bill, the Medicare for All Act of 2019 (S. 1129), falls short of essential single payer principles and lets stand billions in profits that will undermine care and steal public funds.

Toward A Revolutionary Left Framework On An Age-Old Debate

Activists in the U.S. have debated race and class for decades to no resolution. Nonetheless, in this moment of U.S. imperial decay and crisis, the debate over whether race or class takes precedence in the struggle for liberation from U.S. capitalist and imperialist domination rages on. Two prominent strands of the debate have emerged over the last year which intersect with the rise of Bernie Sanders-led “democratic socialists” and the uprising against racist policing led by the slogan “Black Lives Matter.” For many leaders of the Sanders camp, white supremacy is either a distraction or a secondary issue that can be addressed through the amelioration of class exploitation vis-à-vis policies such as Medicare for All.

Scheer Intelligence: For Many Young People, Socialism Is As American As Apple Pie

In the devastating aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, many young Americans who felt betrayed by capitalism were introduced to socialism by Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaigns. Meagan Day, a staff writer for the popular left-wing magazine Jacobin and a member of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), serves as an example of how the Vermont senator radicalized a generation with a platform that called for policies like Medicare for All and tuition-free college. Day credits Sanders with her decision to choose socialism when she felt the time came to “pick a side” in American politics and has since been working to understand how the socialist resurgence the Democratic candidate inspired can grow without him in the White House. 

The End Of Sanders, And Maybe The Beginning Of A Mass Independent Left

The COVID-19 epidemic has exposed the privatized US healthcare structure’s woeful incapacity to cope with a general health emergency, as well as the failings of Europe’s austerity-shrunken public health care systems. Although Donald Trump’s actions, inactions and idiotic blatherings have added immeasurably to the death toll, a major medical and economic catastrophe was inevitable once the virus was loosed on a defenseless U.S. public. Trump didn’t create the conditions that made the United States so vulnerable to a killer virus. That’s one of the many crimes of capitalism, which at its late stage is methodically starving what’s left of the public sphere and privatizing every conceivable human enterprise for the ultimate benefit of the Lords of Capital – the ruling oligarchy. 

Bernie Sanders Tests the Limits Of The US Political System

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.

Sanders Drops Out, Old Guard Keeps Death Grip On Power

Unsurprising. There was always a stark contradiction between Bernie’s call to a political revolution and his steady promise to support the eventual nominee at the Democratic convention. The new crew of young socialists who were inspired by the Sanders campaign must now learn their own lessons on their own timeline. Some will be willing recruits to the paid apparatus of the Democratic Party. Some will take Bernie’s advice to vote for Biden. Some will refuse and finally split to an independent socialist movement. In a week in which the death toll of the new coronavirus pandemic is still rising in this country, the actual fractures and failures of the existing medical and political system are also brutally exposed.

We’re Headed For An Uprising, But Are We Ready For It?

As 2019 comes to a close and we enter a new decade, we look back at the major events and issues that shaped the year with Chris Hedges. We discuss the rise of the Right, in part due to the weaknesses of the Left, what the Sanders campaign means for activism and achieving meaningful social change and whether or not the United States is ready for a massive uprising against neo-liberalism, as is happening around the world. The next decade will be a time when major crises such as the climate, wealth inequality and militarism are devastating. At some point, a spark will be lit in the US, but in the current environment, that is likely to result in greater movement to the right unless we prepare now to build power on the left.

What It Will Take To Build Left Independent Political Power In The 21st Century

Clearing the FOG co-hosts, Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese, interviewed Dr. Leo Panitch, Professor Emeritus in political science at York University in Toronto and Canada Research Chair in Comparative Political Economy, about the recent election in the United Kingdom. Panitch has been studying the Left in the UK and other places around the world since the 1970's. He talks about what led to Corbyn's defeat, what it means for the Sanders campaign in the United States and what it will take to build independent political power on the Left. In the United States, this will require changing the structure of political organizing. You can listen to the full interview, plus an analysis of current events on Clearing the FOG. 

Corbyn’s Loss: What It Means for Sanders And Where The Left Goes From Here

On December 12, Jeremy Corbyn, head of the Labour Party in the United Kingdom, suffered a great defeat as the conservative Boris Johnson became the new prime minister with a gain of 47 new seats. Labour lost 59 seats. After years of austerity, including cuts to the National Health Service, Corbyn offered a strong manifesto outlining his program for change. We speak with Dr. Leo Panitch, a professor who has studied the Labour Party and left politics since the 1970s. Panitch explains what happened in the UK election and what it potentially means for Senator Sanders' run for president in the United States. He also speaks more broadly about what the left needs to do to build power to the point of having the capability of instituting a progressive platform. 

From The Bottom Up: The Case For An Independent Left Party

If the 13.2 million votes received by self-styled “democratic socialist” Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic presidential primaries accomplished nothing else positive, it put the questions of socialism and independent working-class politics up for public discussion. I have been critical of Sanders’s socialism because his policy platform was New Deal liberalism, not socialism. More importantly, by entering the Democratic Party, Sanders broke with the socialist principle of independent working-class political action.
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