I am currently overseas after a successful tax season, and maybe getting the news a couple of minutes later than the people stateside. The Campaign for America’s Future reports that Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders will, in fact, challenge Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination. Clinton is the odds-on favorite, but this is great news, because there does need to be a dialogue within the Democratic Party about what it is supposed to stand for. The fact is, if no one stands up on the podium and posts challenges to the front-runner, the front-runner is not put on record as to where she stands! Like so much of what goes on in America, corporate power people decide the policies for the party and the government, in the shadows, without accountability.
We all know that Bernie Sanders is not bought and paid for by the big corporations. We know that Bernie Sanders is not reading talking points that have been vetted by this interest and that one. If you listen to him weekly on the Thom Hartmann Program, you know that he is very down to earth, and is telling the People how bad things really are in America, which I myself describe as a contemporary lords-and-serfs society. (Sanders uses the word “oligarchy”, which I think doesn’t hit the gut the same way.)
Mrs. Clinton is probably going to win, and, yes, I was some of Bill Clinton’s earliest Pennsylvania support in late 1991 and January 1992. And my check got in there before Lani Guinier‘s did, too, if you remember that name. I hope the party does not go into Dump the Hump mode, and Bernie’s support simply be the people who do not support Mrs. Clinton in any way. You do everything to undermine Candidate Humphrey, you end up with President Nixon. I think that, 50 years on, there is still a danger of that sort of thing in the Democrats.
But Bernie is no Paul Tsongas, either. He is really going to be a candidate who forces America’s left-of-center to define where it really is on issues—just like what Elizabeth Warren has been going. We need more of this. And who knows? He may just win.