Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Bernie Sanders

I voted for Bernie Sanders in the New York primary in 2016.

I do not intend to do so in 2020.

My vote for Sanders in 2016 was a protest against the lack of adequate competition. That doesn’t seem like it will be a problem this time.

Sen. Sanders says this while announcing on Vermont Public Radio that he's running for president:

"It turns out that many of the ideas that I talked about – that health care is a right, not a privilege, and that we've got to move toward a Medicare-for-all, single-payer system: very, very popular. The idea that we have got to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour," he told Vermont Public Radio. "When I talked about making public colleges and universities tuition-free and lowering student debt, that was another issue that people said was too radical. Well, that's also happening around the country. . . ."

Asked by Vermont Public Radio how he will pitch his candidacy in such a diverse and progressive field, Sanders argued, "We have got to look at candidates not by the color of their skin, not by their sexual orientation or gender, and not by their age. I think we have got to try to move us toward a nondiscriminatory society that looks at people based on their abilities, based on what they stand for."
Here are some highlights from Bernie Sanders in my live-blogging of the 2016 primary debates (I was writing this live, with no pause or rewind button, and I tried to make the quotes reasonably accurate but they weren't necessarily verbatim):

Oct. 13, 2015:
9:06 — [Anderson Cooper] asks Sanders if he's a capitalist. "Do I consider myself a part of the casino-capitalist process? . . . No, I don't."

9:39 — Sanders is asked how he could be Commander in Chief after he applied for "conscientious objector" status during the Vietnam War. "When I was a young man — I'm not a young man today — I strongly opposed the Vietnam War. . . . I am not a pacifist." [VIDEO.]
Nov. 14, 2015:
9:42 — Sanders is asked how high he'd raise taxes. He doesn't have an "exact number," but it will be lower than the highest rate under President Eisenhower — "I'm not that much of a socialist compared to Eisenhower!" [VIDEO.]

9:53 — Sanders is asked how much "job loss" he'd find an "acceptable" consequence of raising the minimum wage. Sanders vaguely acknowledges that any policy will have some negative consequences, but he'll "apologize to nobody" for supporting an increase to $15 an hour. For some reason, he suggests that this will especially help to reduce unemployment among black youths.

10:32 — Sanders calls to "end minimum sentencing" and legalize marijuana at the federal level, so states can be free to legalize it.

10:54 — Sanders's closing statement is evocative of Larry David's impersonation of him: "We need a political revolution! . . . Turn off the TV! . . . Please become a part of the revolution!"
Feb. 4, 2016:
9:42 — Sanders goes on a diatribe against Wall Street. "Kid gets caught with marijuana — that kid gets sent to jail. A Wall Street executive destroys the entire economy — $5 billion settlement, no criminal record."

9:49 — Sanders: "The business model of Wall Street is fraud."
Feb. 11, 2016:
9:14 — Sanders calls out [Hillary Clinton] for "going around the country" saying he's going to "dismantle" Medicare, Medicaid, etc. "We're not going to dismantle anything."

9:29 — Sanders says: "A Sanders victory would be some historical accomplishment as well." 

10:43 — They're asked to name one American leader and one foreign leader who'd influence their foreign policy. Sanders says FDR for the American leader, and Winston Churchill for the foreign leader.
March 6, 2016:
9:07 — A member of the audience begins his question by pointing out that opportunities often go disproportionately to "older Caucasian men and women." Sanders interrupts him with a self-effacing joke: "You're not talking about me, are ya?!" On a more serious note, Sanders says: "Most candidates wouldn't put this on their resume, but . . . I was arrested by the Chicago police for trying to desegregate the Chicago school system." [VIDEO.]