Feel the Bern

So Bernie Sanders has tossed his hat into the ring. In one day, he raised kajillions of dollars, and that was enough to make him the “front runner” in the primary campaign. Nevermind that fundraising does not directly correlate with votes, and that the first actual primary is a year away, his supporters from 2016 (perhaps “fans” or “acolytes” would be a better term) are rallying around the banner.

His campaign was questionable back then, and it has some questions now. This time around, because the circumstances are quite different, he’s got a few additional hurdles in the way. We’ll leave out the fact that he’s four years older….

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Thoughts on the Democratic Convention

Well, the DNC wrapped up their party. As with the RNC’s version, I didn’t follow it closely. But I still have some observations….

I’m not sure that people were expecting Sen. Al Franken to go with comedy in his speech. There was little laughter from the audience. Perhaps it was just that his delivery seemed to be off. Must be out of practice. There was a lot of humor in other speeches. Have to love Michael Jordan’s – er, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s jab at Trump.

Nice touch having speakers from all the groups – minorities, immigrants, disabled – that Trump has insulted all during the campaign.

Okay – Bernie Sanders and his supporters. I’ve got no problems with Sanders. He ran a good campaign, and can be proud that he had such an influence on Clinton and the Democrat’s platform. But his supporters need to face reality. They got practically everything they wanted, except for their guy as the nominee. I heard only one commentator mention that the DNC isn’t a “democracy”. As a private organization, they can set the rules however they want, and arrange things to favor one candidate over another. There’s nothing anyone can do about it.

One other point that deserves mentioning. Clinton has been a Democrat for decades. Sanders joined the party a mere three months before the New Hampshire primary. Sounds to me like he joined up at the last possible minute, just so he could take advantage of the party machinery in his try for the White House.

Corey Booker’s speech was all over the place, but what a barn-burner! The passion was obvious.

True, Clinton isn’t that great a public speaker. She doesn’t have much in the way of charisma. But would you rather have someone all style and no substance, or no style but a lot of substance?

Not only did the Democrats have better celebrities, they had better balloons, too….

Berned

Well, it’s all over but the “anointings”. The GOP has thrown in the towel, and acknowledged Donald Trump as their presumptive candidate. No matter how much they are having to hold their noses, there’s no chance they’ll come up with a Plan B before the convention.

Over on the Democratic side, Clinton has earned enough delegates to clinch their nomination – though Sanders and some of his supporters are vowing to continue the fight all the way to the convention. It’s kind of cute how dedicated they are, but Clinton not only leads in overall delegates, she leads in pledged delegates, states won, and the popular vote. There’s no basis whatsoever for the “Bernie Bros” to challenge her. If the delegate count was much closer, or if the margin in the popular vote was a few thousand instead of a few million, they might have a chance at making the convention interesting for the first time in decades. But now, they are basically having a hissy fit.

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On Bernie Sanders

Senator Sanders seems like a decent enough guy. His long Senate career, while not really distinguished, is still honorable and trouble-free. There’s very little that you can say about him that’s to his discredit. This makes him different from the other major candidates. He describes himself as a “Democratic Socialist”, which sounds like a European political party. No one can really explain what that means. So if we’re going to criticize him, we’ll have to focus on his proposals.

His main platform, as I’ve seen in his recent TV spots, is to punish the Big Banks, increase taxes on the major corporations, and use the additional revenue gained thereby to provide universal health care and free college tuition to everyone. That’s a decidedly European socialist economic plan.

Would it work here?
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The 2016 Presidential Campaign – 1

Being the first in a series of posts and commentaries on the 2016 Presidential Campaign

I’ve been holding off here on commenting on the presidential campaign since so far, it’s been too uncertain with candidates coming and going, and the standings in the polls changing so often. But now as the primaries are starting, things are getting serious, and it’s time to take a look at the main candidates.

Personally, I consider myself to be a little “left of center”, a moderate liberal or a liberal moderate if you will. I’m not registered as one, but I almost always vote Democratic. So all my thoughts will be colored that way, despite my efforts to be as fair and even-handed as I can.

In alphabetical order, here’s what I have to say on the four main candidates:

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