Saturday, April 11, 2020

Sanders' Supporters get "Berned" and "Sleepy Joe" Looks for a Running Mate

Well, it looks as if Sanders' so-called "socialist revolution" has "Berned" out. On Wednesday, April 8th, the Vermont Senator called it quits and ended his second, and likely final, bid for the presidency. This clears the way for former Vice President Joe Biden to the Democratic nomination. Sorry "Bernies" but the Establishment has won again.

Although Sanders has vowed to fight to have some of his "progressive" ideas included in the Democrat Party's platform, in truth it doesn't matter much since the platform represents ideals that the party would like to accomplish. Think of it as its "wish list" (the Republicans have one too). It's meant to appease the various factions within a party and to assure them that their central issues aren't being forgotten. So, what does this mean and what happens next?

Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign marks the second time that the self-proclaimed "socialist" and his revolution have been stopped by the Establishment. The first time was in 2016 when Sanders faced off against the former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. Although it was assumed by many that Hillary would easily win her party's nomination, Hillary took no chances.

Clinton, along with the DNC Chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, worked to rig the Democratic Primary against Sanders, and then at the convention, ensured that none of Sanders' supporters would be heard. Ultimately, Schultz was forced to resign after leaks and lawsuits made it clear that plans to rig the primary were not just factual, but were underway as early as March 2015!

Even during the convention itself, Sanders' supporters were denied entry, were placed directly under loudspeakers where they would be drowned out, and denied access to speak during primetime. Furthermore, the corporate owned media went as far as to try to discredit any Sander's activists and others who were calling for an investigation into charges of election rigging.

Nevertheless, mounting evidence made all but impossible to hide the facts that the Democratic Establishment had rigged the primary. DNC Chairwoman Schultz was publicly chastised by the party leadership and removed from her position (she immediately found work in the Hillary campaign). She was replaced by Donna Brazile, who, in turn, would be removed from the DNC chairmanship for slipping Hillary a copy of the questions to be used in the last presidential debate with Donald Trump. Of course, despite nearly everyone expecting Hillary to waltz into the White House, she was defeated by "The Donald". As for Brazile, she immediately found work as a paid media consultant and commentator.

So, here we are nearly four years later and Sanders has again been defeated by the Establishment. Apparently his calls for a revolution was too worrisome for the Establishment (and the ruling Oligarchy which props it up), and so Sanders was forced out. How all the Bernie supporters and those on the Far Left are going to take this is up in the air. The majority of his supporters in both campaigns were Millennials, who are the country's largest age demographic (they surpass even the Baby Boomers).

According to several surveys, about 70% of Millennials consider themselves either socialists or lean socialist. That's a pretty sizeable number, and no doubt they are feeling angry and betrayed. Their belief in the political process has long been questionable at best. Now, with their most visible leader out for a second and likely final time, it will be interesting how they respond. Will they create their own political party? There has long been calls from those Center-Left and Center-Right for a third choice (as an aside, Millennials also make up the largest demographic segment among Independents). Will the Far Left take up their banner too?

The current political system is hopelessly broken. Perhaps instead of trying to win offices, they'll turn their attention to issues politics such as ending partisan gerrymandering, imposing term limits, requiring citizen referendums and voter initiatives, ending taxpayer support of Democrat and Republican primaries, tax reform, ending Citizen United, or opening up elections to Independents and third parties. Maybe they'll demand that voters have the final say on tax and salary increases too. We can only hope.

What's of more immediate concern for the Democratic Establishment is whether "Sleepy Joe" can attract Sanders supporters. Earlier polls shows not much love for Biden by Sanders supporters, but then again, Sanders was still a factor. Now that he's out, will they throw their considerable weight behind someone they clearly dislike? Perhaps the key will be in who "Sleepy Joe" picks as his running mate. After all, it's pretty clear that Biden isn't in the best health.

Accordingly to President Obama's former doctor, Dr. David Scheiner, the 77 year old Biden isn't "healthy guy". He has had a history of aneurysms, high cholesterol, an irregular heartbeat, and is a high risk of a stroke. There are others who insist that his cognitive abilities have been impacted by the two aneurysms Biden has had, not to mention potentially having the onset of dementia.

Anyway you look at it, Biden may not be the best choice for the pressures of the White House. Therefore, we need to seriously look at who would be his running mate since in all likelihood they'll be the one to finish up a Biden Presidency. As of right now, we don't know who Biden would pick as his running mate except for two previous comments. The first is that he's said that his running mate will be a woman no matter what. Second, he has said that he would like to have Hillary Clinton on his ticket.

Some have questioned whether Hillary would accept second banana on a presidential ticket, saying that her ego wouldn't allow it or that she'd overshadow ole "Sleepy Joe" either accidentally or on purpose similar to what happened with Sarah Palin and John McCain. I disagree. Hillary is politically very savvy. She knows what is at stake. I doubt she'd do or say anything to put Biden in a bad light. She'd play her part, and why not? There is an excellent chance that within a year or two, Joe will resign due to bad health and that would make her president. Now, wouldn't that be something?

Of course, if her behavior during the 2016 election is any indication, Hillary may not be in the best of health either. Among the rumors regarding her health is that she has dysphagia which is a neurological condition which impacts one's ability to communicate and/or to understand speech. She is also said to be suffering from Parkinson's Disease. However, those closest to the 72 year old former senator and Secretary of State have maintained that her health is fine and that she was suffering from pneumonia during the 2016 campaign. Of course, there's also the long standing rumors that the former First Lady is a lush as well as a security risk too.

At this juncture, it's hard to say who "Sleepy Joe" would pick as his VP. One thing is for sure. They will need the experience and temperament to step into the role of president quickly. There won't be much time (if any) for any "on the job training", which makes Hillary perhaps his best choice. However, if she isn't interested, who else is out there? Biden has said that in addition to picking a female, he added that he would be open to a "woman of color".

One possible pick would be Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. Although not a "woman of color" (though she claims a near insignificant amount of Native American ancestry), the 70 year old does have considerable political experience. She has also polled well among Bernie supporters. Another choice would be Senator Catherine Cortez Masto. Although a political newbie for Nevada, the 56 year old Masto could help with the Hispanic vote, which also supported Sanders. New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (age 60) is another Latina who could help shore up the Hispanic vote.

Tammy Baldwin, the 58 year old Senator from Wisconsin, is another top choice. While not someone of "color", she could be a strong voice for the Midwest, which Trump will need in order to win a second term, and she would be the first openly gay Vice President. The same could be said of Tammy Duckworth. Tammy is from the Midwest, a disabled veteran (she lost both of her legs when the Blackhawk she was piloting was shot down), and she is an Asian-American (she was born in Bangkok Thailand). However, the 52 year old former Lieutenant Colonel is a junior Senator from Illinois, which means she has little serious political experience, but then again, another junior senator from Illinois with no real political experience managed to get himself elected president---Barack Obama.

Amy Klobacher would be a fairly safe choice for Biden. She is from Minnesota and is considered relatively moderate. The 59 year old Senator is married with one child and was first elected in 2006. Prior to that she was a corporate lawyer. Her husband, also a lawyer, is a part time professor of law at Georgetown University and Baltimore School of Law. However, she is not someone of "color". Gretchen Whitmer, 48 years old, is the governor of Michigan.

Whitmer was first elected to the Michigan House of Representatives back in 2001, then to the State Senate in 2006, and finally to Governor in 2016 after a short stent as Ingham County Prosecutor (she comes from a family of lawyers). She is married with three children from a previous marriage and two from her current one. However, she has no political experience in big leagues and she too is not someone of "color".

There is Val Demings who represents the Orlando area of Florida. The 63 year old was first elected to Congress in 2017, making her a junior member of the House. However, she's impressed enough that Nancy Pelosi appointed her to serve as an impeachment manager during the Trump Impeachment hearings in the Senate. Besides being a "woman of color" she is considered to be generally moderate (in addition to being a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, she's also a member of the New Democrat Coalition). She is married with three children. Her husband is a former sheriff and mayor of Orange Park.

Finally, Kamala Harris. She is a strong choice for Biden. First, she is a "woman of color". She is part black and Indian. The 55 year old is also a senator from California, representing the Oakland area (and a state with a lot of electoral votes) and is serving alongside Senator Diane Feinstein. She is close friends with Nancy Pelosi, who is also from nearly San Francisco California. She is also known as a strong debater. Harris, a lawyer, served as the California Attorney General and the 27th District Attorney for San Francisco. However, she is still a relatively newcomer, having been elected to the U.S. Senate only in 2017. Nevertheless, she's built up her credentials on foreign policy matters. She's got moxie. She is my pick for VP.

So, there you all have it. Who do you think ole "Sleepy Joe" will pick to be his running mate? Will it be Hillary or someone else? Does Sanders dropping out of the presidential race have any bearing on the future of the Democratic Party or politics in general? Can Biden beat Trump? These are important questions. America's future is stake.

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