Until the Democrat convention this summer I am solidly supporting Elizabeth Warren. I think she is the most credible and qualified candidate.
Should Bernie Sanders gain the Democratic Party nomination I will enthusiastically support him. It is appalling that the Mainstream Media is pounding on Bernie for making a favorable comment about Fidel Castro’s Cuba. This line of attack will continue unabated all year.
Senator Warren is someone against whom the Bloviation Crowd will have a tough time destroying. The question for Elizabeth Warren, “Will she brawl with the Red Meat crowd?”
Perhaps Senator Warren is too decent a person to withstand the vicious state of American national politcs. In the latest issue of the New York Review of Books is an article titled “Warren in the Trap.” The gist of the article is that Senator Warren is too much the academe and not the brawler. Plus, she’s woman. The last sentence in the article reads,
“When you’re in a knife fight you don’t ask to be liked.”
San Francisco Chronicle 2.25.2020
Now that Sen. Bernie Sanders has the inside track for the Democratic presidential nomination, his rivals are attacking him for being a democratic socialist — warning that he wouldn’t just lose to President Trump, but could destroy Democrats’ campaigns up and down the ballot.
Pete Buttigieg and Mike Bloomberg, both running to the right of Sanders, have been especially vocal since the Vermont independent’s victory in the Nevada caucuses Saturday. Bloomberg likened Sanders’ views to communism, and Buttigieg said he could water down the Democratic Party’s perceived stance against dictatorships.
“There will be a lot of Democrats — from statehouse to Senate — who are on the ticket with him that would distance themselves from his ideology or some of his positions,” Addisu Demissie, who managed New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker’s presidential campaign, told The Chronicle’s “It’s All Political” podcast. “This biggest challenge with a Sanders nomination will be, how does the party come together?”
Still, Demissie said, “I think he can beat President Trump.”
While the attacks coming from the Democratic presidential field on Sanders may be new, more than 6 in 10 voters know that Sanders is a socialist, according to a survey this month by Yahoo News/YouGov.
But the survey found that many didn’t know the difference between the “socialism” of Fidel Castro’s Cuba and Sanders’ version of “democratic socialism,” which he says is the modern extension of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal programs. The survey found that 38% of respondents said the two were the same and 38% said they were different. The rest weren’t sure.
The bigger challenge for Sanders: Only 35% of respondents said they would consider voting for a socialist.
The Cold War version of socialism in Castro’s Cuba is one of total government control over industry and the media. Sanders’ form of democratic socialism is more like that found in Scandinavian countries, where the government provides health care and free college.
“Most proponents of social democracy see it as a way of smoothing capitalism’s rough edges,” according to “Socialism: A Short Primer” from the Brookings Institution, “making it more humane, egalitarian, and protective, rather than replacing the market outright.”
“The important word in “democratic socialism” isn’t socialism, it’s democratic,” wrote 1988 presidential candidate and civil rights activist Jesse Jackson. “Sanders isn’t talking about making America into Cuba or Venezuela; he’s talking about extending social guarantees like those offered in most other advanced industrial states, invoking Denmark or Sweden.”
Sanders added the caveat that he condemned Castro for imprisoning political dissidents. “Unlike Donald Trump,” he said. “I do not think that Kim Jong Un is a good friend. I don’t trade love letters with a murdering dictator. Vladimir Putin, not a great friend of mine.”
Still, Buttigieg said Sanders’ praise of Castro’s literacy campaign glossed over the late Cuban leader’s atrocious record on human rights.
At Tuesday’s debate in South Carolina, Buttigieg said, “We’re not going to win these critical, critical House and Senate races if people in those races have to explain why the nominee of the Democratic Party is telling people to look at the bright side of the Castro regime.”
Bloomberg’s campaign points to a survey of voters in 42 battleground House districts conducted for his campaign. It found that “a plurality of voters (39%) say they will be less likely to vote for a Democrat for Congress if Sanders is the Democratic nominee for president and his socialist ideas are in the Democratic platform.”
Rep. Harley Rouda, D-Laguna Beach, who won a Republican-held Orange County district in 2018, told The Chronicle on Tuesday that “I’m a little concerned that anybody that far left is going to help me in my district — unless we can overcome the votes lost by additional ones he can bring in.”
Rouda, who has endorsed Bloomberg, said “it was hard to say” if Sanders could make up that difference in his district, where Republicans outnumber Democrats.
There are signs, however, that many Democrats don’t think Sanders is out of bounds. In a national Washington Post/ABC News survey of Democratic-leaning adults, 62% found Sanders to be “about right” ideologically — roughly the same as Buttigieg and former Vice President Joe Biden.
Some top California Democrats say they aren’t worried that Sanders’ ideology will drag down the party in November.
“As a strong supporter of Joe Biden, I have never bought that narrative,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said last week while campaigning with Biden in Las Vegas. “He’s always matched up second best (against Trump), and in some of the key states he matches up almost as well as Joe.
“When people say, ‘We need a centrist,’ or ‘We need a lefty person,’ this isn’t about where in that narrow band of Democrats they are,” Garcetti said. “It’s more about, ‘Who gives a feeling of hope to people who feel left behind?’ Joe does that, absolutely. I think Bernie does that for a lot of people, too.”
California Democratic Party chairman Rusty Hicks isn’t concerned about losing down-ballot races should Sanders be the party’s standard-bearer.
“I’m more focused on other things,” Hicks told The Chronicle.
Four first-term Democratic House members are up for re-election in Orange County districts that they took from the GOP in 2018. But the county’s Democratic chairwoman, Ada Briceño, said she didn’t think Sanders would hurt their chances. The county party has not endorsed a presidential candidate.
“I’m not of that opinion,” said Briceño, who is backing Sanders. “There is a certain energy that his candidacy brings. I’m seeing that among Latinos and among young people.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi steered clear of the controversy during a visit Monday to San Francisco. “I wish everyone well in this presidential race,” she said. “Whoever wins will be heartily embraced.”