Did America Misjudge Bernie Sanders? Or Did He Misjudge America?

Throughout his insurgent campaign, he remained steadfast in his radical vision — and forced a reckoning for the Democratic Party.

Comments: 265

  1. I, for one, see Bernie as loyal to ideas. I see candidates like Joe Biden (in particular) as loyal to people. I think that's a trait that is particularly appealing to female voters like myself (and since we're the majority of voters, that's the defining factor). Remember, Bernie wouldn't even support his own son's run for office. NOT an appealing factor.

  2. Please don't tie this line of thought to women at all, as it's the last thing I think is appealing as a female voter myself. Bernie's choice to not publicly support his son's political ambitions just show how much intergrity he holds, and his respect for getting into public office fairly--exactly the opposite of the Biden family, which has obviously reeked of nepotism and corruption for the last decade, and not even to mention Hunter and Ukraine...

  3. @moderation - Suggesting that women don't vote based on issues and are looking for someone they find appealing is extremely ungenerous and I dare say simply wrong.

  4. @Doug I didn't say we weren't voting on issues. If we're voting Democratic, we're already voting on issues (i.e., picking left of center). It's how we're picking among the candidates within the Democratic Party and between the final two.

  5. In the debate last night, as he has all along, Sanders emphasized his wisdom and moral rectitude: he voted against the Iraq war, he supports the working classes, he advocates health care for all. But he never addresses the means by which he will accomplish his lofty ideals—because in his whole history in the Senate he has not accomplished one of them, nor will he be able to, if he's elected president. Sanders has tilted at windmills his whole life. And in dreaming the impossible dream, he's damaged the very goals he espouses in his inflexibility. That inflexibility, combined with a rather petulant ego and divisive rhetoric, helped to lose the last presidential election. Sanders's values are, and have consistently been, widely espoused by the Democratic Party, just not his radical means. The ends don't justify the means. Regulative ideals are just that: goals toward which we constantly strive, knowing that we'll never quite reach their perfect realization. We can make America much better, but we'll never make it perfect.

  6. @WiltonTraveler Try reading Henrik Ibsen's play 'Enemy of the People.'

  7. @WiltonTraveler It's why he comes off as a lefty Trump. He has no plans to achieve his ideas...he spends the same money from billionaires tax over and over and over. We have around 580 billionaires in the US. An extra billion from each is around a half trillion dollars. His one program that he mentioned cost is 30 trillion dollars. Where does the other 29 and a half trillion dollars come from? That's one program and only for a set period of time not forever. If you took all of the money those billionaires have, you would not get to 30 trillion dollars. He doesn't talk with people with an exchange of ideas. He rants his beliefs and discounts everyone else without even listening. He hit Biden on something he did decades ago but says his own comments from long ago shouldn't be brought up. That sounds like a lefty Trump.

  8. @WiltonTraveler The difference, friend, is that while the Democratic party allegedly espouses the same views, they have not legislated thusly. While claiming to oppose needless wars, they have voted for every one of them and provided the funds to do it. While espousing health care as a right, they have voted to uphold the rights of the insurance industry to gouge citizens. While pretending to care about worker's rights, they have opposed any legislation that would actually help workers. Why do you think we have Trump if not for the fact that the Democratic establishment has failed us?

  9. His isn't an "insurgent" campaign. Sanders has built a broad base focused not on personality but on issues of vital importance that have come to define our country and to shape its future. Beyond cultivated partisan divisions, over 70% of Americans support Medicare for all, livable wages, better funding and expanding of Social Security, addressing the climate disaster and yes, taxing corporation and the wealthiest more to help pay for it. Sanders has also created a pubic pac to fund truly representative candidates not subservient to private interests. He has set an agenda necessary to the survival of this country in place that will remain whether he is the nominee or not. How the Democrats respond may define the future existence of that party -- neo-Reagan "third way" centrism has no future. This election process is not over yet. The obits are premature but the issues will remain beyond it.

  10. @Al M American voters are smart, by and large. Super Tuesday and last week's vote showed that Americans want to unite around a proven leader who can move the ball forward on many fronts. That person is not Bernie Sanders. Bernie's appeal withered for several reasons: -In 30 years in the Senate and House, Bernie's gotten nothing done, and Americans want someone who can get things done. -Bernie seeks to add trillions to our national debt by offering everyone anything and everything under the sun, without a clue nor worry about how to pay for it - other than putting his trillions of dollars of annual additional debt onto the backs of our kids. -In 2016 his supporters physically threatened Hillary and her supporters non-stop, and Bernie did nothing to correct that abuse. Same story in 2020, just a different year. -Bernie is a proud socialist, not a democrat - and the U.S. will never, ever elect a socialist as president. -Bernie does not seem to like America or most Americans. Governor Strickland's quote sums up why Joe won big on Super Tuesday: “No one wants [Sanders'] finger pointing at them for the next four years, so people got it together.” Trump is doing everything he can to keep Bernie in this race, including having his henchmen in the Senate now resurrecting the call for hearings on the Ukraine and Joe and Hunter Biden....because that is the only way Trump wins in November. Last night's debate sealed it. For the good of the world, Bernie should drop out now.

  11. @Al M Right on! Sanders is and always has been about issues, not egos.

  12. @Ed Hmmm...Lots of "troll" talking points here.

  13. It is natural for people to cling to the past and become more conservative when times are uncertain. People want a steady pair of hands in times of crisis. While this might work for a family, it hardly works for a nation. "Business as usual" doesn't mean things stay the same, it means the current trajectory is maintained, which for much of the US is downwards. The systems and institutions that produced the US' current problems will not automatically change from creating problems to producing solutions without some form of change, which I do not see Biden providing.

  14. @Yang Yang The only thing that matters now is to beat Trump. Then we can bring about change.

  15. No matter how good your ideas and intentions in politics you either get the votes needed to win or you don’t. Sanders did not. I think some of his political goals will eventually come to pass but the reality is that a majority of the Democratic Party. let alone the entire electorate. was not ready to embrace his vision.

  16. @maguire cue the condescension. Maybe most dems prefer to see things moving forward. It has nothing to do with his "vision". Democrats have always been progressive. He didn't invent progressive initiatives. He's Trump like in his ability to convince people that he did.

  17. Climate change is barreling towards the planet like a coronavirus that permanently wipes out entire ecosystems as well as civilizations. Bernie Sanders recognizes that truth and proposes solutions at the scale necessary to address it. For Joe Biden to attract the younger, scientifically aware voters who still completely reject him, he must step up and adopt the Jay Inslee/Elizabeth Warren climate plan. Just as with the virus, the longer we delay taking serious action to shut down fossil fuels, the harder it becomes to avert global catastrophe.

  18. The race isn't over yet and "events" have a way of changing the status quo in unexpected ways. If Sanders does not win the nomination and become president, his legacy will have been to plant a seed that younger social democrats can tend and harvest to move all the branches in a more humane direction. Another presidential candidate will rise though this movement and finally put down the vicious system characterized by extreme liberalism and unregulated free markets.

  19. @CL ...no, this race is over. I always wonder why has Bernie Sanders not planted these seeds over his long political career? I am not fearful of Sander's agenda (although I believe it to be Utopian in this country) but I (and it seems many others) really dislike the guy. How delusional must one be - at 78 and with a recent heart attack - to think that he is the one to fix our society's ills? He should have thrown his considerable weight in supporters and fundraising prowess behind Elizabeth Warren, a fellow progressive with a far stronger track record of actually getting something done.

  20. Sanders' message plays well here in southwestern PA. Bernie beat Hillary in the rural parts of the state in the 2016 primary, and then many of those Democrats voted for Trump or sat out the election rather than vote at all. I sense the same scenario playing out again as the establishment Democrats offer another "safe" candidate. The Dem Party better get its act together here soon or it's going to be too late. A return to the Obama era doesn't have the resonance here that it does in other parts of the country because, other than those qualifying for Obama care, peoples lives here didn't improve much under Obama's administration. Sorry, Joe. [Fracking does not, by the way, employ "tens of thousands" of people in this state. In fact, new drilling has nearly stopped and layoffs have already happened due to the glut of oil and gas. In many communities, the only people who support fracking are those getting the royalties for drilling on their property.]

  21. To een—Re.the accomplishments of the Obama Administration. You forget, and perhaps those in your area forget, the stated opposition from the Senate leader and his objective to make Obama a one-term president. You forget where McConnell is from. Obama faced an uphill battle all the way. And if you think that the inequality that this nation has long suffered from can be overcome in one presidency you don’t know your country’s history. Obama didn’t promise miracles. But his administration was not corrupt and he was not a liar or immoral.

  22. @Norma Gauster The Obama administration wasn't immoral, but it was also largely ineffective at enacting major change. Other than the ACA, which has been getting weakened and undermined in the courts and by individual states since it was passed, many of changes the Obama admin made have been undone by executive order. The problem of the McConnell-led Senate has not changed, and if history can be relied upon, then Biden doesn't know how to deal with it now any more than he did a few years ago. A vote for Bernie is a vote for a much-needed change in approach.

  23. @Norma Gauster But he played nice-nice...instead of being the pulpit bully in the tradition of Theodore Roosevelt & FDR. He buckled & filled his cabinet with Wall Streeters on day one. Where was the fire & passion of both Roosevelts?

  24. The quote from the pollster describing a strategy to win with our 30% support, rather than a strategy to earn the support of a majority of democratic voters says it all about Sanders' attitude toward democracy. Joe Biden set out to win the nomination - Sanders set out to sneak in and steal it.

  25. He also never made an effort to attract black voters because he hoped they would split their votes among other candidates so he could sneak through (Biden and Harris in particular).

  26. @buddybarnwell Yes, this partly describes how Bernie is the Trump on the 'left'.

  27. @buddybarnwell "Joe Biden set out to win the nomination." Well he may have so "set out" but his quest seemed forlorn until South Carolina. Can we talk about the strangeness, of the vast majority of just one group of supporters of the Democratic Party, and one of the most conservative of such nationally, in a state the Democrats will not win in November, seemingly deciding how the overwhelming majority of others inclined to vote for the Democrats across the country should vote and the direction their nation heads? But this whole "primary" and "caucus" process stretched over months is strange isn't? It certainly seems so to this non-American. Why not have a few debates, then a primary for the whole country on the same day, then a couple more debates between the top two, then another primary across the country to choose the nominee from between them? Better to leave it to an unrepresentative minority in a Republican state to decide how liberals and progressives nationwide should vote?

  28. The debate was crystal clear for me yesterday and resolved the age issue once and for all. When Biden speaks, I see him struggling to find the right words, foggy on facts and details and speaking in platitudes - just like a talking head. But Bernie's all there, he's a sharpshooter. He's quick, he's articulate, he's smart on the topics that matter to me, he can think in nuanced ways, and KEEPS circling back to the all-important themes: wealth distribution and the environment. It's a black & white case as far as I'm concerned. I just hope Americans are watching these debates and noticing the same things I am because they're right there in front of me. He has his facts right there on the tip of his tongue and his heart is always, consistently, in the right place.

  29. You can play the ageism card against Sanders, too. Sanders might appear sharp but that’s because he has been saying the same thing over and over for years. He circles back to his main themes because he’s just going around in circles. But Biden shows shows cognitive flexibility, he has new ideas and his thinking evolves. A president needs to be able to do that. Bernie’s inflexibility will cost him the nomination and he still won’t change.

  30. @AK Now that Bernie is out, three cheers for Joe! Long may he reign.

  31. Sanders is a boring broken record. The villains are always the same: “corporate“ this or that, “the establishment,” and the successful who now find themselves extremely wealthy. I find it fascinating that he stopped screaming about millionaires once he became one himself. I’m beyond tired of hearing him and is groupies criticizing every aspect of our country. No one believes we are perfect, but when we put radical ideology and partisan politics aside for the common good, we have a better chance of actually moving toward a stronger and more perfect union. Sanders is so deeply entrenched in his desire to be seen as a revolutionary hero, he is incapable of leading a country as diverse as ours.

  32. America veers to the left ever so slightly and ever so infrequently but never completely. And, in that sense, Sanders is out of sync with mainstream American values. The more fundamental question is: Why does America not embrace socialist values? Part of an answer to that question lies in how the average American views the world, especially in regards his/her own economic opportunities and well being. Most Americans think that they have the best shot at becoming the next millionaire or billionaire. They believe they can win the proverbial lottery. Why else would so many buy lotter tickets when the odds of winning is infinitesimal. And that is why they don't support social programs and favor tax breaks to the uber rich and businesses. The best example of this is Joe the plumber who met with Obama when he was campaigning in Ohio. Joe the plumber was not in favor of Obama's tax plan that would have taxed him and his business; except that Joe the plumber did not have any business and was then unemployed. He was expecting to buy a business and was concerned about the possible tax on his future business. In other words it was just a dream; and he did not want his dream to be shattered. All Americans are living this kind of a dream. They'd rather have a dream that is rarely fulfilled than a sure support. To turn a proverb upside down, Americans would rather have two birds in a bush rather than one in their hand. And that is why I believe Bernie is out of sync with America.

  33. @chickenlover Keep shopping, trump- and Biden-supporting Americans! Keep dreaming that one day you will be as rich as your corporate bosses! Keep ignoring the poor and calling them lazy (I heard that so many times). Keep being greedy. I hope you don't experience the bankruptcy that major illness is causing to some of us. I hope you never have to sort insane medical bills and wrong codes and be on hold forever with insurance companies that always have an answer to minimize your benefits. We have with Sanders an opportunity to decelerate this anti-social and continued race to pure oligarchy but we are scared. So scared to give it a chance that we will vote for Biden. I am scared that Biden will do nothing for the environment and he will do nothing for healthcare. How are the billionaires and millionaires helping right now during the COVID-19 outbreak? They're off to the Hamptons or whatever other retreats they have to "self-quarantine."

  34. @chickenlover America doesn't fully a support a socialist agenda because most have succeeded in a capitalist society by playing by their rules. The guy that tosses the game board over is, usually, the one that is losing. That said, most also favor a liberal cultural agenda.

  35. Well said.

  36. Back in 2016, the salient difference between the insurgent Trump and Sanders primary campaigns was, that Trump commanded a below-decks mutiny on the USS Republican of mainly dependable crew, who could be relied to stay on board and do their jobs, grumbling or not, regardless the outcome. By contrast, Sanders led an attempted boarding of the USS Democrat, by pirates resident of the Isles of Ideological Bliss, who would either succeed to commandeer the ship, or sail back to sit out the aftermath, as was the case. What's changed this time? Not much.

  37. Here’s what Bernie doesn’t get: The establishment isn’t just the DNC or wealthy donors. It’s the millions of loyal Democrats who have given their time, effort, donations, and votes to OUR party — year after year, election after election, for our entire lives. So when Bernie and his young people insult the establishment, they’re insulting us — not a great way to win our votes.

  38. @FlipFlop And with Biden as the presumptive nominee, now you have to win ours in November. And many of us aren't Democrats either. You have your work cut out.

  39. @FlipFlop That's not true. You can't just pick things out and say "what he's saying isn't what he means to say but how I mischaracterize it, right here!" You are not the establishment. You share nothing with the establishment (unless you're a billionaire and run a Super PAC, or own a media outlet). Full stop.

  40. @FlipFlop: So it's OK for millions to live close to or in poverty, struggling to get by from day to day without any of the security of the middle class, without a safety net, access to affordable housing, education, or healthcare, as long as y'all don't feel insulted by anyone. Got it. Your personal feelings are more important than promoting the general welfare -- a purpose, I believe, that is cited as one of the basic reasons for the existence of the United States in our very first founding document, the Declaration of Indepndence. It's all right to ignore the general welfare of the entire country, as long as mainstream Democratic voters who live comfortable lives don't have to have their boat rocked or their feelings agitated. Well, thanks for explaining where your priorities lie. The rest of us are starting to understand that y'all would rather see the rest of us dead than have your tranquility disturbed.

  41. Last evening’s debate proved to me why Biden must be the nominee. Sanders speaks with pride over the “No” votes he has cast. They are a notches on his belt. This gives Sanders the opportunity to say “I told you so” when he feels he is proven correct. He votes his conscience and is unwilling to compromise. It is admirable to vote your conscience but not effective in negotiations. This is not leadership. All or nothing is not leadership. Leadership is about setting a vision and recognizing that to win you sometimes need to lose some also because not every battle is worth dying for. Biden recognizes this reality. When faced with a bill Biden opposes but will pass with or without his support Biden works to change it as best as he can so there are wins within. Sanders just votes no. In the end Sanders votes no and gets nothing while Biden moves incrementally towards a goal with a win. What will occur if Sanders, as president, proposes Medicare for All but Congress is unwilling to eliminate a private insurance option? Will he veto the bill? Will Sanders claim a moral victory while the country gets nothing in return? Sorry, but I’m unwilling to take that chance.

  42. @ArtM I think you have misjudged Bernie's character. He is not an ideologue. While loudly championing his beliefs, at the end of the day, he is willing to compromise. (See https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/bernie-sanders-image-left-wing-purist-belied-record-compromise-n1143956 ) One reason I have supported him is it seems he has been extremely popular as a legislator in his home state, even with some more conservative citizens. As a resident of Massachusetts, everyone I have talked to from Vermont has loved him.

  43. @apd Thanks. In the debates, interviews and his own words Sanders has never shown a willingness to compromise. He does not cite compromises he has made and positions himself as an ideologue. Vermont does love Sanders and he is clearly a popular legislator but I have yet to see that willingness to compromise transfer itself on the national stage, not in 2016 and not in 2020. Sanders takes pride in saying no and makes a point of when he says no and Biden says yes to compromise. You may be right but it is not evident and that concerns me.

  44. @ArtM someone's record, someone's decisions, and their conscience isn't a significant representation to consider their abilities and potential leadership? Making the arguably ethical decisions as Bernie described as not being popular, while viewing them in retrospect as right decisions does not indicate the viability of leadership? Compromising or a lack thereof requires the context of what the compromise is or isn't. Bernie's record provides context, and I think speaks for itself. Compare the accomplishments and effectiveness between Democrats and Republicans, consider the moderate candidates who have run for the past ten to twenty years. If you've been paying attention, what have you learned, if anything from this? Bernie has acknowledged, as it is obvious the process that is required in Congress. I'm not sure how it would make sense to make concessions immediately as a candidate before it would even get to that point.

  45. The latest in a long trail of obituaries written on the remarkable career of Bernie Sanders, but its not over yet. He is always treated more fairly in the obituaries than he is when he appears to be winning. Less McCarthyism and less of the "Bernie Bro" stereotype used to unfairly characterize the diversity of his supporters, but still included in the mix of necessary images that we are trained to accept. It is true that he is not really running against Biden, the loan survivor of the candidates of "moderation." He is running against the corporate media and their sponsors who support Joe Biden. Moderation? A better term for it would be positions acceptable to the one per cent.

  46. To,Robert Scull—It is dangerous in a democracy to,paint with a broad brush—us vs. them. It is divisive. We are seeing this in our present Administration . If we don’t start thinking of “us” we will not be able to correct the wrongs in our society. Everyone is necessary. What is needed is an informed citizenry who are willing to particpate, not just criticize. Who are willing to stand up against big money in politics, against stacking the deck with jerrymandering, etc., who put nation above party and demand the same of their elected representatives. The key word is “informed” not blindly loyal.

  47. We need those voices who champion the needs of the forgotten, no problem with that. But they don't necessarily make for great leaders. Those individuals have the ability to bring sides together. It is a symbiotic relationship. Both are needed. What you are looking for is the one that can bring both sides together. In this case its Biden. Sanders is an important vital voice that's needed, and we need more of him, he is just not the guy who has the temperament for the job of President.

  48. @Robert Scull The NYT has been great at ignoring the news, but writing obituaries-- witness their recent obituaries of "forgotten" women. They sped up the cycle on Sanders. Thank you a thousand times for your remarks.

  49. Sanders is all or nothing. This does not make for good leadership. In politics like any relationship there is compromise. Biden has shown this in his years of working with both sides. Aesop fables talks about the oak tree and reed. The reed withstands the winds and remains standing, the oak is blown down because of its rigidity. This is how life works.

  50. @Susan He is not. Such rubbish. What he is is someone that will start negotiating the the highest possible goal rather than start at the peck just above bottom of the barrel to then be pulled all the way to "just about nothing". That's the difference.

  51. @Susan Please read the article again. You will clearly see he has not been all or nothing during his political career.

  52. I see Bernie Sanders as a John the Baptist character: calling out in the wilderness for justice and righteous and ultimately preparing the way for the chosen one. Biden is not the one Bernie has been calling out and preparing the way for. It does not appear that Bernie will be president. I'm not sure that was ever his role. But I do think someone who will fulfill his vision will be president soon. Will it be Ocasio Cortez in four years or eight? My fear is that we won't be able to wait four or eight years to get that vision enacted. With climate change bearing down on us, we need that more just, equitable world now. That's why I'm still voting for Bernie.

  53. Don’t you Bernie people see what you’re doing? You’re no different from the mindless, unquestioning trump acolytes who also apply metaphors of deity and refuse to consider that things aren’t so black and white. You’re no different at all and just as dangerous. John the Baptist indeed. Spare me.

  54. @Stevenz I'm not a Christian. I merely searched for an archetype that I thought fit Bernie and it is the "voice in the wilderness" calling out for justice and righteous and John the Baptist came to mind. If I recall, John the Baptist was reviled as much as some moderate Democrats revile Bernie.

  55. After all the sound and fury, the US public still doesn't understand that taxation and spending by corporations with constitutionally-defined coercive powers is "socialism", such corporations are called "governments", and voting citizens are the shareholders of these corporations under "democracy".

  56. Sander's political views are not well attached to the economic measures needed to enact them. His embrace of unorthodox economic view as policy instruments makes his legislative possibilities, if elected, very limited.The art of the possible still has potential for dramatic change over time.

  57. There is nothing wrong to fight for what you believe in, irrespective of whether you will win or lose. Many leaders , who made history, who fought against establishment in the society because of prevailing injustices, stood by their convictions till the end. Gandhi, Mandela, Martin Luther King, they were all against the establishment during their time, whether they expected victory or not, during their lifetime.

  58. Sanders has yet to learn that politics is the art of compromise, that the shortest distance between two points may be a straight line in math, but not in politics. He doesn’t point out any shortcoming in our political system that Democrats haven’t been aware of and fighting against for many years. At least since after FDR came on the scene. He demands purity where none is possible. His very accurate criticisms are lost because he sermonizes rather than persuades. He teeters dangerously close to those who decry the same shortcomings for nefarious ends, not to correct them. Authoritarians. If he only appeals to the aggrieved, he will not be a successful leader. He lacks an attractive, persuasive personality.

  59. @Norma Gauster How shallow and craven must Americans be to hear and see the truth and recognize it as such, yet reject it because the messenger isn't pretty enough or doesn't pander to their vanity; expecting people to do the right thing. May America and the world get what they deserve, good and hard.

  60. @Norma Gauster Read the article, please, Ms. Art of Compromise, especially the parts that talk about his time as Mayor of Burlington, VT, and what happened once he was elected to the US Senate.

  61. There are two major issues. First is the requirement to win the election, to beat Trump. He’s a threat to our Democracy and to the well-being of our country. Beating Trump is the imperative, and out of the many who announced, people are now placing their bets on Joe Biden as the person best positioned to beat Trump. The second broad issue is the need for change in our policies regarding national healthcare, protecting Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, rising income inequality, insufficient tax revenues, crushing levels of student debt and other problems. Senator Sanders has long been a consistent and strident voice on these problems (along with Senator Warren). This is real leadership, and people are changing perspective. But like a huge oil tanker at sea, course correction by the Ship of State is a very slow process, buffeted by daily storms of “socialism” criticism, entrenched interests and other “don’t rock the boat” factors. I think Biden will win the election, and that over time, at least some, maybe much, or even most, of what Senator Saunders espouses will be adapted. We need the leadership of both at this critical time, but to successfully address different major issues.

  62. what strikes me most about Sanders is his commitment to the "revolution". Revolutions are fun, but what happens once you win? Does anyone really think any of his policies are viable? He seems to hold the opinion that once elected people -- the Congress -- will give him what he asks for. We have than now in Trump. Like Lenin, overthrowing the government is easy compared to running a country.

  63. When push came to shove the Democratic wing of America’s one rightwing party still knew how to organise themselves and exercise power. It wasn’t clear for a time they were up to it - but they rose to the occasion if you will. If they ever actually managed to act this forcefully when it comes to doing something for the people who elect them, that would be great. I’m joking of course - they fail to exercise power on behalf of their voters not because they don’t know how. But because they don’t want to - it goes against their raison d’être, which is to secure the power of the ruling class whenever its natural party is in disarray. We don’t realise this because we have a romanticised image of the Democrats stemming from a relatively short time period in which very special circumstances, domestically and internationally, obtained. Maybe - just maybe - the current massive crisis following on another massive crisis and surely only the precursor to another one again will open up the party to progressive reforming influences. Sanders could he a symptom of this - optimistically then his falling short isn’t the end, but just a beginning. Let’s hope so!

  64. It appears as though whatever appetite we might have had for substantive change à la Bernie’s vision has gone by the wayside now that the Coronavirus is in the picture. People are gravitating toward the one who’s a known quantity.

  65. @Michigander known mediocre

  66. This sub headline says it all. How can an honest journalist refer to the polices of Germany, Denmark and Norway as "radical?" Are our NATO partners "radicals?" France has universal Pre-K and low cost day care along with liberal paternal leave. Is that radical? Or is that simply a serious approach to promoting families and family time? In a number of European countries if you qualify for university you can attend tuition free. You don't graduate with enormous loan debt. In countries like Japan and South Korea their internet services are two to three times faster than ours and cover there entire country. Options like distance learning are easy. The system is not only available, but affordable as well. And every other industrial country, including our very "radical" neighbor to the north have a single payer, state run health care system. Characterizing these policies as "radical' is an idealogical conclusion, not a factual one. The real question is why haven't we embraced and implemented similar changes long ago? The answer is very simple. Our political leaders chose a neoliberal economic strategy whereas many European and Asian countries have chosen a form of capitalism with a better public private balance. Nothing radical about that, especially when you compare statistics on health and overall social wellbeing. The US lags behind in almost every social wellbeing category and the only thing that is radical is the grip that finance capital has on our democracy.

  67. To Drspock—our country’s history is dramatically different from,that of the European countries. Capitalism developed without restraint—Manifest Destiny, etc. In the Communist scare of McCarthyism we propped up dictators because they were “anti-communist.” That is, they held sham elections. As a nation, we have always chafed under restraints of any kind. Taxes have become anathema, as if the services we demand are free. Europe came out of atwo devastating wars. That shaped many of their social programs. And they were not achieved without bloodshed. This is a partial answer as to the reason we are so different. I live in an area that until,recently guaranteed success to any politician who was anti-tax. We want it all, but not if it involved our pocket.

  68. @Drspock Well put!

  69. @Drspock Yes, the USA is way more conservative than Germany, Denmark, Norway and most of the rest of Europe. Plus we are way more individualistic (count the percentage of people who own cars) and less communitarian than anywhere in Europe. So what's your point? Is Bernie is the Messiah who'll lead Americans to the Promised Land of Euro-cratic Socialism? If so, how? Where's your evidence? The Nevada caucuses, like all caucuses were die-hard supporters. So what if Bernie wins the all-caucus primaries and a handful of popular-vote states? The article rightly points out that Sanders' only hope was for all the other candidates, Warren included, were to split the vote so Bernie could "win" with maybe 35% of the popular vote. Great that Sanders wants to revolutionize the economy, health care, transportation, energy and everything else that's important. But he needs the VOTES.

  70. Sanders is all mouth no follow-through or he would have done more in the Senate. He is just the left's version of Trump with brains.

  71. @1st Armored Division 1971-1973 Did you read the article? Seems like he’s done a lot to me!

  72. @1st Armored Division 1971-1973 false equivalency with bells on.

  73. Thank you Robert for your observation about NYT obituaries of Bernie’s presidential candidacy. It’s obvious that the corporate media has anointed Biden as the dem’s candidate. It’s ugly cutthroat editorializing, in my opinion. When Biden loses to Trump, we’ll see how smart the Times editors were.

  74. @Cilff Welch you are 100% correct. Biden will lose to Trump. Bernie is the only honest man in this entire cycle.

  75. @Cilff Welch No, I think the fact that African American voters chose Biden last week and will continue to do so in this week’s primaries is why Sanders will lose. Sanders would lose disastrously to Trump . It’s hard to do sometimes but face reality.

  76. I’m casting my vote for Bernie today! He’s the best candidate. Shame on NYT for behaving like the primaries have all been held.

  77. @PJ Atlas Would you bet $1000 of your own money that Bernie wins the primaries?

  78. @Dalgliesh PJ is going into a voting booth, not a Las Vegas casino.

  79. The bad news (for Sanders) is that (a) the field was more crowded this time and he wasn’t able to run as the sole progressive alternative and (b) he wasn’t able to benefit (passively or otherwise) from the anti-Hillary propaganda that the Republicans had been pushing for 25 years. The good news (for the country) is that Trump won’t be able to benefit from that either this time around.

  80. Many of us supported other candidates who are no longer running. I love Pete and later switched to Mike, both of whom I still believe would be incredible presidents. Now we are left with the two I least favor. I am an old leftie from the sixties by roots. Since then I have seen the left for what it is; a group of angry, my way or the highway people who have their PC purity tests and impractical visions of some Socialist Revolution. Bernie has not changed one bit since the sixties. His language, gestures, entire persona is from some parallel universe that bares no relation to reality. This is the man who squandered 30 years in Congress, proposed 421 bills. Three passed. Two were to rename post offices. No one would work with him. Biden, for all of his many problems, is the one we need to support. Our next goal is to take down Trump, win the Congress and get this nation back on track. Americans want stability, not a Socialist Revolution.

  81. @Simon Sez the op-Ed writers almost never mention Bernie’s abysmal record as a senator. I’m a 60s liberal too, and I supported Warren. Bernie would never carry a national election and job one is to get DJT out of the White House.

  82. As a fellow New Englander, now in my 70s, I’ve been following Bernie’s career since his election as mayor of Burlington and have always and continue to admire his devotion and passionate response to the plight of the working class. But, what he has failed to address within his own movement is that one of the reasons the Republican Party has become the party of the white working class has nothing to do with trade deals or loss of income equality or access to healthcare, but rather racist, sexist, and homophobic attitudes among its constituents. In fact, I firmly believe that many of Bernie’s most ardent supporters turned to Trump in 2016 not because of Trump’s rallying cry for the working class but because of their disgust at what they call “identity-politics” within the Democratic Party. Whatever one’s feelings about the so-called establishment, identity politics is the politics of human rights. It’s the one area where those of us in minority groups see a clear distinction between Democrats and Republicans and therefore would never vote for a Republican. But, we also recognize in a small but powerful element of Bernie’s following (young white men) a toxic aversion to inclusion and diversity. Bernie has never publicly condemned this toxic element of his following.

  83. Win or lose the nomination, Sanders positions and policies define current political discourse. Sanders has won the debate.

  84. @Merlot The voters get to decide who wins the debate by voting. Sure his supporters attend his large scale rallies and bullies anyone who disagrees with his views, but this doesn't mean they won the debate. This thinking is what Sanders is putting out there to make his believers think he has left a real legacy for them. There is nothing new coming from him. If Biden is offering up old ideas, so is Sanders. It is just that young people might be unaware that this is the same political discourse their parents and grandparents engaged in when they were sophomores in college sitting around in the student union. He and his followers have reduced political discourse to a cage fight. That is not discourse. The person who wins the most votes has won the debate. Don't fall for Sanders' thirst to shape future policy with his losing campaign. Sanders has been fully rejected by America. That is not winning anything.

  85. When Biden starts accepting free college for all making less than $125K, takes a more progressive position on taxes, and accepts other arguments by Sanders. When a core part of the debate is over inequality and health care, then the debate has been shaped by Sanders. The person who wins the vote doesn't necessarily win the debate if the other person has completely shifted the terms of debate.

  86. Bernie Sanders is a cold shower. Like when you play a couple rounds of golf on a 95 degree day, or dig a drainage ditch in the hot sun, or have been sweltering watching your kid play five soccer games, you think, “a cold shower would feel so good.” So you go home, get into the shower and YIKES! That’s cold! The reality of a cold shower isn’t all that great. What you really needed was a tepid shower.

  87. Funny...no Beatles’ “Revolution.” Bernie remembers the lyrics.

  88. Americans are mostly a consumerist, materialist, selfish, nationalist, militarist, hegemonist, feckless, rather shallow group of people. Our country was born in blood, then we massacred the native inhabitants of this continent who were here first, while also massacring Nature and trillions of innocent animals. At the same time, we enslaved millions of people and half of us fought a war to keep slavery legal. We have a history of waging wars of aggression, killing foreign leaders. And allowing the richest among us to get richer by exploiting all of us. FDR was able to sell the New Deal because Americans were starving from the Great Depression. Americans now have all the bread and circuses they want. They aren't progressive, ready for real change, or idealistic. They just want their junk food, cheap gasoline, binge television, sports, guns, and theme parks. Bernie is an ethical guy who wants a better country and has legit, achievable policy proposals. Too bad that doesn't resonate in America, the Idiocracy.

  89. @Steve Davies Dear Steve, The US has many problems but your screed ignores the many things the US has done well. Defeating Nazi and Japanese hegemony is one. I had an uncle and father-in-law who served in those wars. My uncle came back after breaking his back parachuting from his plane over Germany. Others of my family are buried in a large cemetery in Luxembourg who died fighting for a freer though not perfect world. We need to fight injustice when we see it, but self-righteous sermons like yours do not advance the cause of justice they only stir the pot and make things worse. What have you done recently to make the world a better place?

  90. @Steve Davies It's good to see someone with the clarity and courage to voice some of the negatives of American culture.

  91. it's not a 'larger conspiracy'....most average, hard-working Americans want change, not revolution

  92. I'd feel better about Sanders if he didn't have antisemites on his staff, didn't cozy up to Bill de Blasio, didn't shout out the same weary socialist slogans, and didn't have his eyes on my very middle-class nest egg. The surest way out of income inequality: birth control. Get an education, job training, a job, a partner (and, for in any reasons, marry), and then have a baby or two. Amazing how that works.

  93. Sanders albeit has ideas never quite understood the egalitarian mindset of most Americans. He wants to give it away at the hands and tool of everyone else. He needs to take his pipe dream and go back to Vermont. The world and this country need realpolitik not the dream.

  94. @Li Man The Fed just gave 2.2 trillion to Wall Street Banks as a gift. That is $7150 dollars for every man woman and child in the USA. That is going to be just the start of many many trillion that they give to large profitable corporations while the American people die from lack of affordable healthcare. People that cant see this have no place saying Sanders ideas are pie in the sky.

  95. Bernie Sanders is a professor. He's not here to listen to America. He's here to "teach us a lesson", convinced that America is Wrong, Wrong, Wrong......and that an old idea from a bygone Industrial Era will correct everything.....if we only tried harder. Bernie captivates a unique sub-set of America....the ones most like the earnest utopian idealists from the Freshman and Sophmore class that pack into the auditorium to learn everything about "Government 101".....Its Bernie's element. ..... The young man who isnt "liberal" has no heart........the old man who isnt "conservative".....has no brain.

  96. @Wherever Hugo Bernie got the subset of those left behind, cast aside and deemed irrelevant in the drive for corporate profit and globalization, and those who were hurting and neither party gave a rat's about. Trump got the other part of that subset.

  97. @rtj This is very true. Trump has done an effective job sticking it to the people who make the high level powerful mistakes and then blame it all on the "deplorables". It's about time the Bernie supporters recognized who their kindred spirits really are and voted in solidarity with them.

  98. This gruff, no-nonsense septuagenarian is what America needs now. His clear vision for the country is more, than just 'medicare for all'. It is transformational and can shape America's future. I didn't watch the entire debate, only saw some of the highlights; but as an outsider, for me there was no contest between a direct, precise, clear-thinking Sanders and a wishy-washy, sleazy, wiggling weasel Biden. Elect the first and you have a future; elect the second and you accelerate America's demise.

  99. It’s amazing how Sanders’ fans keep insulting the electorate for his failures. Apparently, black voters are “low-information” voters guided like zombies by this dark force called the Deep State (sorry, the “Establishment”) led by Obama, Hillary, Clyburn, Lewis, Pelosi, Soros, etc. We’ve been hearing all kinds of excuses: the Establishment, voter suppression (nevermind that black voters overwhelmingly reject him), the media (which was writing Biden’s obituary after NH), etc. Let’s face it: Sanders doesn’t have the anti-Hillary vote propping him up this time and that’s why he’s losing to Biden (an inferior candidate compared to Clinton).

  100. @Chris I think you need to differentiate between "black" voters and "older black voters from the South", this isn't entirely a monolithic block. But also, you need to look at the social services those groups already receive from the federal government and how that expanded under Obama. Particularly food stamps. If you're already getting assistance and being taken care of by the Federal government, then there's not really an incentive to change the situation. It's really lower / middle class people with high deductibles and stagnant wages that Sanders' plans work for... It's not surprising to me that poor black voters just loyally follow whoever a Clyburn tells them to. Low information may really just be, not independently thinking about what is best for the most people.

  101. I held my nose and voted for your corporate Democrat Clinton and have heard for three years how I'm selfish and The progressives are the reason Trumps in power. I still feel sick in my stomach for that vote.It was wrong to just toss my morals aside and vote for fhe lesser of two evils candidate. I will never do it again. Most progressives I know feel the same way. Maybe you should have looked at the reasons you lost. Run a corporatist against a populist you lose. How will you explain yourself after you lose this time? Trumps beats you while in a pandemic and a recession.

  102. In the primaries vote your heart. In the general, vote your head. I live in NYC and voted for Bernie in the primary, not because I thought he would win or because he was my one and only, but because I wanted to send Hillary a message that in NYC the progressive base is alive and well. As the candidate, I wanted her to know that a lot of her voters are more progressive than she and expect results.

  103. @Kat The problem comes when your heart and head are in the same place. As Gene says above, I too held my nose and voted for Hillary. I'm afraid that, despite the electability arguments being made for Biden, we're heading down the same path we did in 2016.

  104. Here’s where it gets tricky. Yes Trump is a danger but is the cure worse then the disease? Can we stop Trump by taking back the senate? Yes. Can the republicans keep the house and stop Sanders? Yes. But if there is a blue wave and Sanders is the victor? This is why I would be forced to vote Trump in that scenario. I would hate to see that. Biden has caved. He’s all ready declared to put a black woman on the bench. That’s simply reverse racist and gender discrimination. A plain token. Theses kinds of positions should be earned not given. Likewise the running mate. Another token. This is the reason Biden may prove to be a poor choice. If he caves to the P C whiners of the world he is not a leader but a follower. The dems have very poor choices. So where does the independent voter go? I’m thinking four more years of Trump. The question is can we survive?

  105. @J Clark It's hard to decipher what you would want from a democratic candidate. Sounds like you already have both feet in the Trump camp. Can we survive four more years of Trump? I don't think so and it seems like you don't either. Give it some more thought before you vote tomorrow.

  106. The media was against Bernie. They never looked at the morality of policy and cast him as a wild and reckless nut. They never looked at his policies in terms of life and death. They never looked at his policies in terms of the real benefits and costs. And religion got a free ride including Trumps day of prayer. Who would Jesus vote for and what policies are closest to religious teachings?

  107. @How Much Is Enough? Are you a Trump supporter or a Bernie supporter? Do me a favor, pick any comment that has the tone of yours and substitute Bernie for Trump - see any resemblance? Doesn't that bother you? It bothered a lot of us. You can't just give the finger to everyone who doesn't agree with you, even if you really, really think they're wrong. We have to live together - somehow. Most of us think Trump's way is wrong. And we want to be something better. Unless you're content to exterminate, marginalize or deport half of the country, you can't govern by purity tests alone.

  108. @christopher Bernie. Sorry if it wasn't clear. I don't think healthcare for all is extreme, rather it's moral. It's the right thing to do. You probably got hung up with asking what would Jesus do. I'm not religious but it's a good question..what would he do? Build a wall? Deny healthcare? Cater to the wealthy? Bernie is no more radical than FDRs new deal. How did that work out? If we go back to the soft safe middle with Biden the planet and democracy is doomed (the corporatocracy will continue). Stay will Trump and we have autocracy. Bernie will save the democracy and the planet.

  109. the leadership turned the power off during the 1944 democratic convention so that roosevelt's vp henry wallace, who was too far 'left' would not be nominated on the floor. when push comes to shove, the knives come out...that's the american way!

  110. IF Bernie cared more about America than his revolution, he would drop out and announce support for Biden, because ending the trump nightmare is that important and every day he stays in, he damages Biden the way he damaged Hillary.

  111. @Bill Brasky Give it a rest. Hillary damaged herself just fine without Bernie's help.

  112. If Biden becomes the nominee, Democrats will lose. He offers no innovation, no exciting proposals, has a history of going back on his word, decades of problematic politics, and refused to look after the poor and downtrodden while in office with Obama. There is no “return to normalcy” after Trump, this is our new normal. We can either fight this new, rabidly fascist right, or we can roll over and die with candidates like Biden over and over, year after year. As the young grow older in this country, and the number of progressives swells while the old guard liberals fade away, the revolution will be complete. The democrats will either acede to this, or they will be replaced. Biden may win the battle, but the revolution will ultimately win the war.

  113. @John I couldn't agree more. The old guard has failed and must move aside. It's time for some FDR style change and Biden is not the person to deliver. It may take another 4 years but change must come.

  114. @Bill So you'll keep Trump? Biden says he only wants one term and he's old enough that I believe it. You're going to play Russian roulette with the world to salvage your purity? Or do you really think Biden is worse than Trump? If you really think that a competent, compassionate, reasonably intelligent (if not completely in agreement with you) that is Biden is worse than Trump, then by all means - stay home. I hope that you are better than that. I hope a lot of people are. Or we're all really lost. And not just because of ideals... likely as a civilization. Good luck to you.

  115. @John Bernie has done nothing much in the Senate. Yeah, that really inspires me..

  116. People want what is fair. They work hard and too often get nothing fir it. They’re not stupid. They are demanding change, any change.

  117. @DMO I don't see how they get change with Joe Biden. He is actually the voting choice for people who are afraid of change and are comfortable with the status quo.

  118. The fact that almost 50% of Americans are enthralled and inspired by a president who is an incompetent fraud says it all. The U.S. has been under the spell of Reagan's "government is the enemy" philosophy since the 80's. Therefore, no one should be surprised that Bernie (or any other) left-leaning politician isn't going to become president.

  119. The fact is, voters don't buy the "revolution" Bernie is selling. As it is, we're in a massive crisis with Covid 19. The next President will have a chance to make change while cleaning up the mess Trump has made. I think Biden will assemble the team to do it!

  120. Bernie isn’t so far left...he’s just drawn that way! (in the words of Jessica Rabbit.) He only wants what most Americans voted for four times from 1932-1944. I do wish the media would stop describing him as far left. He’s just not. He’s what a mainstream democrat used to be, and I might add, that mainstream Dem saved capitalism when the population was demanding more socialism.

  121. His “radical” idea that gay people should get married in 1996 is now mainstream. His “radical” idea to not invade Iraq is now a given in everyone’s mind. His “radical” idea to hold criminals on Wall Street accountable OUGHT to be a given. His “radical” idea to raise the minimum wage is now a given. His “radical” idea to give healthcare to every citizen is standard in every other industrialized nation. Everything about him that is “radical” are things that in another 5-10 years will be seen as obvious.

  122. To Pete—Bernie did not originate his “radical” ideas. They were simply picked up by him. He has been the bullhorn in this political season. Quite a difference.

  123. "stoking populist fury over a rigged system" You make that statement sound wildly extreme. My question - "Is there one person left in this country who DOESN"T believe the system is rigged? Stop making Bernie sound like an extremist. In many ways, he's quite mainstream. Even the 1% know the system is rigged - excuse me, I should have said, "Especially the 1%". They, and the Supreme Court rigged it. Just look around you. No health care for millions of people during the Corona virus outbreak. No sick leave. There are actually homeless children in New York who go to school each day and depend on the NY City school system for food. I've read dozens of articles about that and not one article even questions the fact that in the United States of America, there is even one homeless child. It's just folded into the narrative like every other inequitable thing in this country. Bernie is not extreme. He's simply asking us to address the problems that have been with us forever and we just refuse to open our eyes. What about people who can't work from home? Are they rich? I dont think so. Are they going to get sick and die at a higher rate than the rich? I think so. What about people who are leaving their Park Avenue apartments during the pandemic, to lounge around their country homes? Are they the Uber rich? I think so. Is there something wrong with this picture? Stop painting Bernie as a radical. He just sees and talks about what everyone else refuses to address.

  124. The debate last night confirmed for me that I had not misjudged him. Biden looked to be running against Trump. Sanders looked to be running against 1990's Biden and corporations. He smeared every single large industry as "corrupt" and "crooks." He pivoted every single talking point about coronavirus to Medical For All. Given the volume of what has happened in the past week, it all just showcased Sanders' inflexibility.

  125. More like, "Did the plutocracy see the threat of a Bernie Sanders Presidency and actively neutralize it via actions of the DNC and media bias?"

  126. I love how people discount millions of other people's voted when they disagree with the outcome. SC showed that Sanders is not in touch with a base broad enough to carry him through

  127. @i8cake, All I would wish for Bernie is that he got a fair shake. We can disagree on this, but I think it's fairly clear he has not gotten a fair shake from the media. I think it's also fairly clear that he, as well as Buttigeig, Klobuchar, and Warren have not gotten a fair shake from the DNC. This is a bit less obvious, but I think every bit as real. Personally, I think Bernie is clearly the better candidate for the country and planet as a whole. If I were to vote exclusively out of my self-interest, Biden would likely be better for me, but I can see where this country and planet are headed on a path that needs the sort of "radical" correction Bernie is espousing. I do, however, find it a bit offensive that Bernie's common sense is being labeled as radical. I think it's unfortunate that the process has lead us to having what I see as the first and fifth best candidates as the only remaining viable for the democratic nomination. I wish the people had more ability to make a clear and informed decision without their thinking being clouded by outside forces. Truth be told, we only have ourselves to blame, but becoming objectively informed and thinking critically about such things in this age is tough.

  128. The American people in their infinite political wisdom elected Donald Trump. Now, in the midst of a health and economic crisis we are on the verge of electing the platitude and status quo loving loving Joe Biden. What can possibly go wrong?

  129. Bernie was never able to move his base beyond 25 percent - not in 2016 and even less now. And why don't his supporters go out and vote? Lazy? Too entrenched in their iPhones? Not sure but it's clear they don't vote. He's just too far left for the majority of the Americans. If he won the nomination I was going to sit this one out. Biden is what we need, especially now.

  130. Even Americans can do basic math. Take every penny from every American billionaire and it still won’t pay for half of what Bernie is promising. The only difference between Left and Right-wing populism is which bunch of autocrats are making the decisions. The center may not be sexy, or efficient, but it remains the only sensible option.

  131. Bernie's place in history was 2016, when, the DNC , mistakenly thinking Hillary Clinton could win a general election, blocked Bernie from winning. Bernie would have won too, had the super delegates, outside of the voting process, not be pre-pledged to Hillary. Had Bernie Sanders been chosen in 2016 as the Democrat Party nominee, Trump would have lost the election. Bernie would be President right now. But, the DNC made its fateful mistake, and, John Podesta wrote his fateful hate mail about his own boss, Hillary, and, now? Trump is President. I just hope that the DNC has people with better judgement in charge now. As my brother-n-law, who voted for Trump said: If the Democrats had run the local dog catcher from ANY town in America he or she would have beat Trump. But, instead? The DNC ran Hillary. Now YOU know, the REST of the story.

  132. Nonsense. The same rural, white working-class folks who voted fo Sanders over Hillary switched to Biden this time around. Why? It’s simple: they were more anti-Hillary than pro-Bernie. They would’ve voted for trump regardless of who was the nominee. Sanders’ 2016 popularity was a myth, largely propped up by anti-Hillary sentiment... and Biden has brutally exposed it.

  133. Americans did not misjudge Sanders. He DID. Most us intelligent (Ph.D. in Engineerinf) knows theory well and we also know that it our tools need to twick it to make any solution work. COMPROMISE is not weakness, but intelligent compromise is a way to achieve results. Bernie is an idealist and not a problem solver. We all live with our capabilties and limitations - social, physical, ethnic, national, lingusitc, gender, clolr, ....so many. And we try our best to conduct a good life and get the most we can. Bernie talks about hus parents came from Poland and they were poor. But note they came as Jewish refugees from Europe. They were "allowed" in the white Chriustian America. And they did the best they could and Bernie is a result. But I guarantee they sacrificed some of their principles to survive. Bernie has ONRE ANWER for everything - Socialism . He thinks it is a magical cure for all social problems. And it is no more than a pipedream that goes no where because there is no "CURE ALL" solution.

  134. To me, if Biden does not talk about drastic measures on climate change for the young voters (in the event Sanders loses nomination), we are all doomed as is our planet -- it doesn't matter if Trump loses in November. It is insulting to me when Biden talks about joining Paris Accord as if joining it somehow is going to get us back to the way earth was some 400 years back. Yes, 'who cares' -- it's not enough and it never was. Biden just doesn't have a clear strategy on combating existential crisis we are truly facing, he is treating is as some sort of a side problem, which emphatically says one thing "we are protecting the affluent democrats and all the rich folks out there." In yesterday's debate, he somehow insinuated that joining Paris accord is all it takes -- "oh here, you want a biscuit, you little pooch, here, have one." The strategy he was talking about for Coronavirus, of getting into situation room and getting the brains to chart out the combat strategy, is the same attitude we need for climate change, that yes, we need business leaders in the situation room, and we need it address it with the same urgency. Not good. Mr. Biden, just not good.

  135. "It’s indeed a curious fact that those who despise Sanders and those who worship him all tend to base their appraisals almost entirely on his words, past and present, rather than on his deeds." Not me. I like to look at what someone's accomplished before hiring them for anything. Bernie's accomplishments in office? Nothing. In over 29 years in the House and Senate, Bernie got 7 bills passed for which he was primary sponsor. 7 Bills Passed. That's it. On the following groundbreaking topics: 1) renaming a post office in Vermont; 2) renaming another post office in Vermont; 3) OK’ng a Vermont-New Hampshire Water Supply deal; 4) a cost of living increase for vets; 5) changes to a VFW charter; 6) a bill helping the Taconic Mountains; and 7) designating “Vermont Bicentennial Day”. Contrast that with the hundreds of bills that Biden's sponsored that have gotten passed over the years. Give me someone who actually got something done to vastly increase health care for millions. Give me someone who knows how to get things done.

  136. @Ed Did you read the article?

  137. The vet cost of living bill was mostly authored by McCain.

  138. @Ed Although it might have been better if many of Biden's bills had died in committee.

  139. Sanders was the victim of a mass panic attack by the Democratic establishment and their corporate media backers. The Biden nomination is a victory for the neo con corporatist interests that rule the party. They tried to inflame the voters with "Intelligence" innuendo that Sanders was being used by the Russians. Big money won.

  140. The minute that Senator Sanders proposed reforms to the political system such as Medicare for all, the end to superdelegates in the first vote at the Democratic convention, a saner foreign policy, forgiveness of college loans, free college tuition, a sane environmental policy, etc., the gloves were off from those with power and extreme wealth. Besides the gloves being removed by the mass media and media outlets like the New York Times, etc., ageism, anti-Semitism, and the slander and libel of not being electable factored into the senator's electoral demise. Certainly, ignorance can't be discounted in all of this, either. A moderate reformer can't be elected in the US. At least not since FDR and LBJ (not taking into account the Vietnam War in the demise of LBJ's Great Society).

  141. To howie lisnoff—FDR was not moderate. His social programs were not moderate, e.g. Social Security. His accomplishments were sometimes due to accomodation with unsavory parts of the Dem. party. He was intelligent enough to know that sometimes politics makes for strange bedfellows. He knew when the end justified the means.

  142. @Howie Lisnoff Yes, money is the driving force, and people don't get that to have a decent life and a viable planet -- we all have to pay a fair share. Life is not free -- and keeping this in mind, we all must pay our dues in a 'fund' that supports all. Just look at Bezos -- it took a major uprising from his own employees to get him to say something about climate change. Richest man in the world needs convincing that we have a problem? If I had that much wealth or even 5%, I would be running around trying to get all business leaders charting out implementable plans to deal with how to make our planet more green figuratively and literally right here at home. People who run around in fancy clothes and cars and talk about 'moderate values' are short sighted -- they are protecting their own lifestyles and income. At the very least, the problem that concerns all of us is climate, every single species is affected by it. Whoever voices it is not being selfish or extreme.

  143. This man is not going to be president. Thank goodness. Biden will chuck out Trump, good for the Democratic Party and for the country.

  144. The idea that the wealthiest nation ever should divert more resources for the common good is radical. This shows that the ruling class has already won.

  145. Bernie's analysis of what ails America is, on issue after issue, correct. His solutions are more right than wrong. But his politics are disastrous. Politically, he is doing the cause of progressives a great disservice by insisting on calling himself a "socialist". This "socialist" business is a deal breaker because it is an unforced error -- a completely unnecessary (and inaccurate) descriptor of what he's proposing, and an enormous gift to the right. What Bernie is proposing is NOT socialism. It is the New Deal brought forward to our times -- repairing the damage done to the social safety net by forty years of GOP counter revolution commencing with Reagan. And this just in: FDR and the New Dealers were not socialists. So why call it socialism? Doing so adds nothing except hand to the right a tremendous -- election winning -- opportunity to Red bait. Why? Why would anybody do that? For purposes of ideological purity -- holier than thou? This is Bernie's flaw -- and it is a fatal one.

  146. I've now seen several of the usual mentions of FDR. So I have to provide the usual history lesson. Even in the terrible times of the depression, FDR was unable to create a "revolution" for the majority of citizens. What he did was to buy off 25% of the population...White Males... to protect business interests from a real revolution. Women and minorities were de facto and de jure second-class citizens. Please, all you young folk, read a little real history. Read about the Dixiecrats, and the unions excluding "those people", and how the labor laws like minimum wage were set up to disadvantage "those people", and housing discrimination, and so on. The "revolutions" that happened in the 60's, for women and minorities and the environment, were only possible because they had the support of moderate Republicans. In those days, R's were pro-business, but they were also actual educated humans who could be embarrassed by obvious inequities. And those revolutions are what triggered the madness that we see now. Study after study shows that it was the loss of privilege-by-birth that created support for the neo-fascism promoted by the Murdochs and Kochs and others. Again, do some actual reading, not blogs and videos. Your problem isn't some nebulous "establishment"; there are people with money on both sides of this. Learn to tell the difference!

  147. Americans turned against the social safety net only when it became more racially inclusive after the passage of civil rights legislation in the 1960s. They had no problem with it when minorities were excluded.

  148. @Chris Exactly, Chris. And young voters who didn't live through the *real* bad-old-days don't understand the depth of the divide that gave us Trump.

  149. Constitutionally incapable of compromise, the key ingredient in governance.

  150. It’s fascinating to watch these articles roll out when the blame for milquetoast centrist candidates losing elections is always externalized and shifted. Hillary Clinton to this very day maintains that she had no part in her own campaign’s failures, and the media accepts and propagates that. If Biden loses in November, the boilerplate articles will run placing the blame at the feet of Sanders voters, Russians, or the MAGA types who were never going to vote for him anyway. The narrative is always that leftist candidates fail to measure up, but centrists are always failed by voters, somehow.

  151. @Bill Wake up. Bernie HAS failed to measure up, because he failed to win the nomination twice.

  152. What Sanders insists on calling the Democratic establishment is Democrats, who he has disparaged for decades. Democratic voters made this judgment, not "the "establishment". He refuses to understand that, acknowledge it with grace or comprehend why. He misleads because he fails to explain how in the world he would get 218 votes in the House and/or 51 or 60 in the Senate, depending on the bill and the rule applied, to pass his notions into law. Ideas come from presidents, sometimes good, sometimes great, sometimes dreadful. But bills and laws come from the congress - again sometimes good, sometimes great, sometimes, as in the Trump era, downright dreadful like the $1.9 trillion tax adjustment from everyone else to the very top filers and to corporations. Presidents ultimately appoint 4,000 people to run and operate the federal executive. They get a chance in their first year to accomplish something significant. After that it becomes maintenance except in the rarest moments of history - think FDR's first term at the depths of the depression FDR wanted a system of older-age income support. It became the Social Security Act of 1935, negotiated between his administration and a Congress in which he held two-thirds majorities. Even then he didn't get all he wanted. It is long past time for Sanders to explain how his rhetoric becomes law, how he closes the distance between aspiration and laws.

  153. @Carl Zeitz : Exactly. I wonder if the lessening of civics education has led to so many young people not thinking through how these things get done. The reality is that Sanders could not get the congressional support needed. Instead, a realistic promise to the American people would be that at least the first two years will be just fixing the damage from the Trump administration. The groundwork for universal healthcare will take time. In the meantime, restoring independence to statutorily independent agencies and the DOJ, rebuilding the professional staff throughout the government and restoring fiscal prudence will be a major undertaking.

  154. Sanders and his supporters badly misread the 2016 primaries: a big chunk of his support was purely an anti-Hillary thing. Those rural, “white working-class” voters were mostly anti-Hillary, not pro-Bernie. It should’ve been obvious that these voters weren’t exactly fans of the most liberal candidate in the race (they also voted for Hillary over Obama in 2008). They would’ve voted for trump either way in the general election. Without Hillary on the ballot, those voters have flocked to Biden unsurprisingly.

  155. It's pretty simple. A lot fo Democrats voted for Bernie in 2016 not because of his socialist policies but because they didn't like Hilary. Those same people in 2020 are voting for Joe instead of Bernie.

  156. Sanders had a long career in the Senate as a gadfly and curmudgeon. He often couldn’t tell the difference between friends with whom he had some disagreement and true enemies of his ideas and the country. Younger people may be dazzled by his rhetoric but most of us have had enough of old rich men claiming to be outsiders. The country needs someone stable and trustworthy.

  157. @Meredith Russell Well, we currently have a self-proclaimed "stable" genius in the White House which many of his followers consider to be very "trustworthy". As we all know, this has gotten us nowhere, on the contrary. Even my hairdresser, would he run for president, would pass as someone stable and trustworthy in your sense.

  158. Sanders and Trump are both garnering tens of thousands in campaign events. They are a warning sign that the economic pressures on working families, which have been rising for fifty years through Republican and Democratic administrations alike, are threatening to tear our democracy and way of life asunder. Sanders fatal flaw is that he, like Trump, gains political strength by demonizing groups of individuals, when it is not human nature but our corrupted rules and laws that are at fault. Fifty years ago we had the economic goose that laid golden eggs for both workers and corporations. Then we allowed monopolies to re-form, disposed of Glass-Stegall, allowed trade associations to corrupt our regulatory agencies and promoted to big to fail. Now we need to enable those who have made restoring working family economic security their life work, like Warren, to guide the modification of our laws and rules to rescue our Capitalism, our democracy and our way of life before it is too late.

  159. If Sanders is out of step with the party, it’s because the party sold its soul in the early ‘90s and started taking taking corporate money. When it has stood on leftist principal, the party has given the country Social Security, the Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act, Medicare, the EPA, Obamacare, and more. When it plays it safe, it gets “compromise” and “grand bargains” to cut Social Security and Medicare, and votes for endless war and surveillance. I noticed the writer of the subhead to this article used “radical” to describe Sanders’ agenda. It’s radical only because this country has moved so far to the right, destroying our economy and institutions. The only curious thing about Sanders is why he’d invite the label Socialist, especially when most Americans and reporters have gladly accepted the right wing’s propagandistic use of the term. He’s a social democrat, by definition.

  160. Going forward after this election, I would ask Bernie to please consider dropping the label "socialist" and instead focus on "Progressive Party", as in FDR. Show FDR in action, and behind the scenes, let the leadership of the Democratic Party know that there are many, many people who want him, and AOC, to form a formal Progressive Party independent of the Dems, to run separate slates of candidates. Pat Robertson ran as an independent and ever since then the Republicans bend and kiss the ring of pretty much every fundamentalist who raises his or her hand to run for office. Great wealth destroys all empires, and the fact that three people, Gates, Buffett, and Bezos, have more wealth and power than the bottom half of the America economic pyramid, means we need cooperative politics and policies, or we descend faster and faster to the pit of Russian pretend democracy and pretend rule of law. Hugh

  161. It boggles my mind, being a European, about how is it possible to vote Biden over Bernie. It's unthinkable. He's ain't no radical. He's a social democrat.

  162. @Yannis K Easy. We don't wish to become a bankrupt nation, like Greece.

  163. @Yannis K Please ignore the obligatory trashing of Greece. At least we have Trump to keep us from going bankrupt yeah!!

  164. @Yannis K We’re not Europe. If we were Trump would never have been elected

  165. Bernie has only "changed political consciousness in America" if Wall Street's Dem Candidate - Joe Biden - loses in the General Election. Otherwise, Wall Street will continue running both parties and use Biden's White House agenda to crush progressive reform efforts.

  166. The easiest way to succeed in politics is to promise to give things to people. Bernie promised free healthcare, free college, the total elimination of college debt, free universal pre-k and, perhaps most improbably, guaranteed jobs for everyone He doesn't even explain how he will pay for these 60 trillion dollars in 'freebies'

  167. @John How to you know that all the promises cost additional 60 trillion? Bernie talks all the time about money redistribution what 0.1% does not want. That is the core of the problem.

  168. @John Well maybe one just is able to find solutions while doing it. At least he has the real intentions and I am sure he would fight for it and getting it done. It’s not like I need that pen now. How am I going to pay for it? It’s let’s try everything to get it and pay for it.

  169. Enough with Bernie Sanders. It's over. His base doesn't even show up to vote.

  170. Joe Biden thinks that it's a one-off and that we need to just focus on reacting to it and then we can worry about climate change later after we get back to "normal." This is the horse he road in on and the one he's gonna ride to "victory" because it's a very comforting thought, kind of like denial-lite.

  171. Moderates = do nothing and Americans, especially those under 30 know this. It is going to take decades to repair the damage done by the older me me me generations.

  172. Biden, the do nothing ‘moderate’ will literally keep the wealth flowing to the handful at the top and leave everyone else living in a tent, as the world burns.

  173. People like Sanders idea. In every single exit poll M4A has majority of support. GND is even more popular. But in this election most voters aren't looking to the future they just want to defeats Trump and are flocking to a promise of safety. And DNC and corporate media are cynically using that. They are using people desire for safety and normalcy to defend current current corrupted system. Trump isn't an aberration. Trump is a symptom on dipper problems. And politicians like Biden who supported NAFTA pushed bankruptcy bill or bank bailout are in fact midwives od Trump. If Biden manages to win with Trump he will fail to address biggest problems in this country. And new "Trump-like" figures will arise. Prepare for Tucker Carlson 2024 and similar menace.

  174. Sanders had good points, but he never was a democrat. He should unite with Biden now to defeat trump.

  175. Sanders is the only Democrat. An FDR Democrat. Biden and anyone who supports him, is voting for the furtherance of the creation of America as Oligarchy.

  176. @Lilly He is no FDR. FDR brought Americans together and made them feel safe. Sanders threatens and is polarizing

  177. @Joe If he never was a democrat, why should he unite with Biden to defeat Trump? He has said he will campaign vigorously to help Biden defeat Trump, if Biden becomes the nominee. Wouldn't that mean that ultimately he is a democrat?

  178. Now that the coronavirus has revealed the glaring and gaping flaws in the American health care system, Bernie Sanders’ positions no longer seem so radical, much less wrong. Moreover, now that we see the greed and selfishness of capitalism in not granting paid sick leave to workers and placing profits over health, socialism appears less like a dirty word than a common-sense alternative. Those who decry socialism should never again walk or drive on a public road, check out a library book, call the police or fire departments—in short, partake of public anything. Ironically, it is the coronavirus that is not only demonstrating the weakness of our capitalistic health care system, but preventing all of us from availing ourselves of all of those—and other—“socialistic” public pursuits.

  179. @Steve Griffith I completely agree with your assessment. But as we know, the words socialism and socialistic only enrage Americans because they equate it with communism. Bernie is, by European standards, simply a social democrat. Big difference!

  180. @Steve Griffith It's also preventing many of you from going on making a living Steve. Forget talk of "capitalism" versus "socialism" and just consider the proper balance of profit-seeking and the provision of public-goods, the private sector and the public, private enterprise and government. The US is not a complete madhouse, just far from having the balance right, that's all.

  181. I will still vote for Bernie if he wins the primary. I want the things Bernie represents. But if he doesn't win, he and his supporters have a duty to help Biden win. Otherwise, Trump, who at this moment is still denying the severity of COVID-19, will win. This is life and death now. Put aside your pride and support the winner of the democratic primary.

  182. @Tom J This is not about pride. Some of us want to drink clean water but they keep making us choose between two flavors of soda. Some of us are tired of choosing the lesser of the wrong.

  183. It was life or death last election. Our window to save ourselves is shrinking. Bernie is only still fighting because he’s trying to save us. He doesn’t care about the White House. He only cares about building democracy, not oligarchy and what will happen if his policies aren’t enacted.

  184. @Tom J Bernie has a duty to support Biden because he made that commitment when he ran. We voters have no such obligation, and you have no standing to make that claim. Even Bernie will not be able to induce many of us to vote for Biden.

  185. Let’s be honest here, Joe wouldn’t even be a candidate if it weren’t for the current occupant of the WH. He is a stopgap candidate that offers a return to normalcy with the current corporatist framework. Democrats better hope that the desire to remove Trump is a great enough motivation, because Joe inspires no one.

  186. If one judges by actions, the DNC doesn’t care if Trump wins again, as long as they stay in power.

  187. If he would agree to combine Medicare for All with private options, a bolstered ACA, and if he hadn’t had a heart attack, I think more people would support him. He scares many people away with his desire to change healthcare as many people know it, and others think he is too old. I do have to say, this was a well written piece. Bernie isn’t quite the angry, stubborn old man most opinion writers paint him out to be. I wish it would’ve been printed earlier.

  188. They could only print something nice about our only chance to survive after the perceived they killed our chances.

  189. The stars sure do seem to be aligning for Biden. With his candidacy on life support, his revival started with his stunning turnaround In South Carolina, making him the presumptive nominee. The market crash along with the pandemic, highlighting Trump's utter ineptitude in a crisis, have increased his chances on his third bid for the presidency.

  190. If by stars, you mean the American Oligarchy and those they have purchased to keep the strip mining of the country to the top, yes.

  191. Most often we reflect, “ History will be the judge.” Will history say, “ We should have listened to Bernie?” i suspect on the issues of income in-equality and climate change historians will say exactly that.

  192. @Gordon Hastings Absolutely. I am stunned that so many elders have so abandoned our responsibility to look after young people.

  193. I support Bernie, but after this primary race I don't think this country will ever be ready for a candidate like him, not unless there are some truly major changes in the public's attitudes. I'm reminded of two quotes: “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” Ronald Wright. and “If poor people knew how rich rich people are, there would be riots in the streets.” Chris Rock Millions of Americans vote against their own interests year in and year out. It's that simple.

  194. @Adam Excellent point I'm afraid. It's sad the whole thing, starting with the Trump vote and now this. I too supported and did some campaigning for him and yes he had short comings, but he was the change that people talk about. But talk is cheap.

  195. @Charles Isn’t that what we could say of Biden?

  196. @Adam Thank you for the incisive quotes! They need to be cut & pasted and passed along to people who still don't understand...and this goes way beyond the average Fox addict.

  197. Catastrophic circumstances require catastrophic change. We are in one right now, with the COVID-19 pandemic, and how we recover from it will determine if Bernie was on the right track or not. For the sake of mankind and humanity let's all hope we come out safely.

  198. It's very simple: Bernie didn't get his vote out. Day #1 of Politics School requires that you actually get your supporters to vote. To do that, they have to get to the polls. To do accomplish that, you need a robust get-out-the-vote plan -- which your campaign actually implements. Bernie is supposedly wildly popular with young people. But they don't show up at the polls, as proven by the fact that the vast majority of voters in Democratic primaries have been middle-aged or older. A candidate who doesn't get his vote out has nobody to blame but himself.

  199. @Wimsy - Had a conversation with a dear friend of mine, a 60 year old married woman and a strong Bernie supporter. When I raised the issue of voter turn out being one of the reasons Bernie hasn't won recent primaries, she says that the Democratic "Establishment" and the media, especially MSNBC, are anti-Bernie and that's why he didn't win. This woman does not normally register as a Democrat (she said after the NM Primary she will re-register as an Independent). I raised the reason for the abupt change in the nominating process where candidates and voters are suddenly backing Biden is because they have made a decision that beating Trump is more important than ideology. She feels that keeping true to ideas is the most important thing for her, EVEN IF YOU LOSE. Bernie supporters generally distrust institutions and political parties and are moved by political purity, not compromise or broad political coalitions of voters which include the wealthy, middle class and poor who want to defeat Trump. I recall the 1972 election where political purity succeeded in the nomination of George McGovern with a platform of all the progressive ideas that Bernie Sanders would have supported. McGovern lost against Richard Nixon in the biggest electoral landslide ever. I was a 21 year old radical who thought of myself to the left of George McGovern. It took me many years to understand that this country's voters do not embrace Movements; they vote when a political party embraces them.

  200. @Wimsy Should he blame himself, or the young people who complain but can't be bothered to vote? I'm talking about you, Millennials.

  201. Sanders was never a viable candidate because he is authentically opposed to the current power structure. Biden is merely a partisan of that current power structure who uses a discourse of opposition to appear "moderate." In other words, Sanders would have meant real chane (or a real effort), whereas Biden will be more of the same, a la Obama, et al. That is why those in power have orchestrated Biden's sudden--and notably inexplicable--"resurgence." This was all sadly foreseeable. And the American .1% steamrolls on...

  202. @Mark He certainly seems pretty viable to me. His 600 delegates is some 150 behind Biden's. He's force that he has earned. Will he win. The odds say no, but as we see the world changes daily.

  203. there would be no change with Bernie you fantasize about. he never would have won. so now you are like Trump and blame someone else for that reality that moderate voters came up long ago with.

  204. I like Bernie's championing of "the working class". But his young supporters seem very woke, more concerned with exciting identity politics than with the boring drudge life of the common person. It is this wokeness that has lost the Democrats (and traditional left-of-centre parties across the world) the support of the nativist working class. Can doubling down really be the way to regain their votes, or to otherwise win elections?

  205. First off, I'm a registered third party member (Green Party). That said, I wanted Bernie to win the Democratic primary in 2016. I desperately want a woman POTUS and that day will happen soon, obviously not in 2020. I wanted Bernie to win in 2016 because America was in a position as a majority (even if only 50.00001%) to vote for a truly progressive political platform after the 8 years of Obama. Bernie would have debated Trump more critically in national debates. Bernie tends to show fire-brand political enthusiasm for his political beliefs, all the time, compared to Hillary who at times, seems to have assumed she would become POTUS. Hillary lacks, and then lacked, a fire in her gut which may be her personna but since she didn't show elevated political passion to America in 2016, she failed to capture undecided voters. Some undecideds admitted voting for Trump because he seemed interested in their concerns. It didn't matter that Trump was lying, as politicians have been known to sometimes do. Hillary had difficultly passionately reaching out to all cultures, genders and economic levels of Americana and her campaign suffered accordingly. I'll vote for Biden since, as my rear pick-up truck window sign proclaims "VOTE BLUE NO MATTER WHO". I'll campaign for the Democratic winner and do everything in my power to get Trump out of office, plus a large handful of Senate Republicans, because they've reeked 3+ years of damage to the America and Constitution I love.

  206. I’ve never misjudged Bernie.

  207. Sanders policies are spot on but the establishment is lying to you. Corporate Media is lying to you. The Fed gave 2.2 Trillion dollars to Wall Street Banks in the past 4 days. That is $ 7150 dollars for every man woman and child in the US. That was enough to pay off all the student load dept and pay for free college tuition for the next ten years. It would have done 100 times more good to the economy to have millions of college educated people freed up to buy homes and start families than to hand it over to Wall Street once again. Did we learn nothing from just eleven years ago?

  208. @gene Loans are not “give always”. If money is not kept circulating,loans made, often for only days, the economic system seizes up. The poor and working poor will suffer far more than the wealthy. Blowing the system up, the the Bolsheviks did or Communist Chinese in 1949 brings about an enormous amount of deaths and suffering. Changes need to be made. A republic is always evolving. It’s not time for a revolution.

  209. @gene I guess I’m just wondering what exactly you want the Fed to do? I agree there’s enough to go around so no matter be in the country need lack food, medical care, and education etc but I never hear much about how Bernie plans to obtain these things. I understand your frustration.

  210. A nicely written piece - thanks! No one doubts Bernie's passion or motives. He's the real deal. And his ideas on the causes of our problems is probably mostly true. But I (at least) reject his solutions. He speaks from the heart, but I'd rather have a pragmatic head doing the talking.

  211. @deedubs - You cannot get a pragmatic leader to solve these issues- Biden was VP for 8 years aready and has a terrible record to run on in very sense.

  212. @deedubs I think his work from the last years has shown he speaks from the heart and approaches tasks pragmatic. If not he wouldn’t have been in the political circles for so long. I think, could it be, that you are prone to believe what (all the established media) was proclaiming all along, he speaks but can not act? Sad.

  213. @deedubs THIRTY YEARS of democratic corporate/establishment neo-liberal "pragmatism" resulted in Donald Trump. I would have hoped Americans would have finally come to grips with that fact. Apparently not.

  214. In regard to the question “Did America Misjudge Bernie Sanders? Or Did He Misjudge America?”, one would expect some discussion of the charge leveled by the establishment against Sanders that he is “not electable”. Strikingly, exit polls show that medicare for all was favored by a majority of voters in each of the primary states so far. Yet many of those same voters have chosen Biden over Sanders, indicating their acceptance of the ‘Bernie not electable’ mantra. Is it true? Or a misjudgment? For what it’s worth, it seems that most polls do show Sanders beating Trump in a head to head by a wider margin than Biden. I strongly believe that he would have beaten Trump in 2016.

  215. @FB The MSM have continually been telling voters the same line about Sanders not being electable and unfortunately, despite all the evidence to the contrary, far too many voters have accepted that narrative quite blindly without checking out the facts.

  216. @FB Given the discrepancies with the recorded vote and exit polling in some states, there may be other explanations.

  217. @Deus If the man was not even electable as the Dem nominee, he sure was not going to be in the general. And THOSE are the facts.

  218. Bernie, at least to me, moved too far left on issues of tuition and healthcare. The real basic question for me was how are you going to pay for all of this? It sounds great, but the true reality in American is that there is no such thing as a free lunch. The politicians convenently forget that someone who went to college and majored in accounting or say computer science with 10 years expeience has a well paid job (100k). Telling this person that they are "rich" as Obama did, causes them to think twice about supporting that candidate.

  219. @Peter The Fed just gave 1.5 Trillion to big banks to loan out to us at interest. Meanwhile Trump just bought shale oil from US producers to "shore up" the oil market. If that's not free lunch I don't know what is.

  220. Peter, you May be too pragmatic for these pages. You’re exactly right. Obama and, before him, Kerry (the Heinz fortune parasailer) targeted those who earned good salaries (the goal of free college?) and called them rich. This included small business people, an engine of employment. In other words, those who made investments to improve their lives and, by extension, the lives of others. These progressive programs make anyone who’s doing ok and burdens them with guilt and taxes. I’m in CA, and our taxes are ridiculous. And our government can’t solve education or the homelessness that’s turning our cities into filthy encampments. At least Bernie and Warren focused on the real wealthy. But make no mistake, Biden, Bernie and the rest will lay the burden on those earning low six figures, also paycheck to paycheck and paying off loans. And the money they want to spend is produced by productive elements of capitalism, the enemy! Like someone wrote, it’s easier to destroy than to build.

  221. Regarding Sanders not talking much about his own past history regarding his upbringing, perhaps he felt that it was irrelevant. No doubt he underestimated the intelligence of the American people who seem to feel those things are more important than policies. Maybe he should have shown pictures of his childhood apartment like Warren did with her childhood home (which by the way, despite her claims of growing up in an economically challenged household, was far nice than the home I was growing up in at the same time and my parents were securely middle class) And he no doubt also underestimated the willingness of black leaders to not be truthful about his past involvement with blacks. Both John Lewis in 2016 and Jim Clyburn this year seemed to completely ignore Sanders' support for civil rights almost 60 years ago when it wasn't all that popular. Instead they say he never did anything for black people so they shouldn't vote for him.

  222. I think a large part of Bernie turning off so many people is his delivery. I’m all for his policy proposals, however, I find his style too combative and angry. Some anger, of course, makes sense given how the rich and powerful have been scamming the rest of the country for many years now. But the crux of the message needs to be one of healing, unity, inclusion, even gentleness, to an extent. You can be tough and direct without playing the aggrieved victim card - I grew up with a serial victim... it’s horrible to be around. Americans are stressed out daily by the current WH occupant. Bernie, while his heart is in the right place, could add a strong dose of tenderness to his message.

  223. The African American constituents support of Biden would not be there without Obama!

  224. @MS, The American constituents support of Biden is enhanced by our last president who has low tolerance for imbeciles!

  225. Voted for Obama both times. What was done to uplift the conditions of working class American during his administration?

  226. @My, The Affordable Care Act came into being, and many working-class Americans and their grown children were protected by health coverage?

  227. It's simple. When times are good, most Americans get even greedier, and want to "stick it to" the "unworthy" poor. Despicable.

  228. I really admire Bernie Sanders and I wish he were the Democratic nominee for all the excellent reasons he articulated in the debate last night. I don’t understand why the black vote suddenly went to Joe Biden when they would clearly be better off with the policies of Bernie. I don’t understand why the rest of the Democratic voters just gave up on a liberal vision and coalesced around Biden. Anyone else would have been far more authentic. I am frustrated and not going to worry about politics anymore because it’s too stressful and it’s probably not good for me or anyone to be stressed more than they need to be during this COVID-19 pandemic.

  229. @Independent Where Bernie is concerned I am of the same opinion. But not worrying about politics in this trying times is almost reckless. Exactly now it is important to care about politics and, if possible, get involved.

  230. @Independent Blacks didn’t suddenly turn out for him. Biden has a strong history of advocacy for them and that’s why they vote for him. Can’t say the same for Sanders

  231. Since he's a sure loser he obviously misjudged everyone and everything except for the young. He underestimated Biden. He misjudged how critical the black voter was and began to address them far too late. He underestimated America's dislike of dictators and Fidel Castro. He is stubborn and continued to defend Castro and thinks using the word authoritarian instead of dictator will fool Americans. He will be a footnote in American political history. He is beloved by many but, at the end of the day, is a failure who can and should be preparing his concession speech and valedictory speech for the convention. Few will like this comment but I'm telling it like it is.

  232. @alan brown Even the young aren’t turning out for him as they did in 16

  233. And why won't he really tell us what those health records show?

  234. Real America and Sanders.. or even Democratic party have very much overlap. Current Media and racism glasses are covering 35% of American eyes from the truth, given Corporate America's greed driven misinformation campaign for over 30 years.

  235. Everything you need to know is in the first paragraph of this piece! The choice of music is romantically nostalgic. While Bernie admits he has already lost the 'electability' argument, he hangs in there, an ageing remnant of America's (better) past. He is almost as guilty of irrational nostalgia as Trump - Gone with the Wind. In fact, they are both gone with the wind. Only one thing matters and that is removing Trump from the Oval Office. His incompetence, arrogance, ignorance and narcissism have had widespread negative impacts. Because of these characteristics American lives are now being lost - hundreds if not thousands, or hundreds of thousands by the election because of ignorance, arrogance and incompetence on the part of Trump and his band of merry Republicans - they should all go in November.

  236. Anyone else heartily sick of Bernie pointing his finger and screaming about Medicare for all? The man seems incapable of the consensus building and compromise needed to bring the country and the world out of its crises and divides. I am sick of the inability of the left and the right to actually think about working together

  237. Obvious. He misjudged America. This is a politician who has been out of the mainstream his entire career. It's amazing he could live through the decline and fall of numerous socialist economies (all of which claimed to be democracies) and still believe as he does.

  238. But yet all of these 'socialist' countries that Bernie would like to emulate seem to have higher quality of life, higher levels of happiness, & all seem be ranked higher than the US as high quality places to live . Eg, Canada, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Germany, etc etc etc .

  239. @Jos Kohl I think you would find this article of interest: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/10/opinion/sanders-biden-socialism.amp.html Sanders is very wedded to his beautiful ideas but cannot grasp the need to work with others or that the corporates he loves to rail against must be a central part in a tripartite effort to make lives better for all - government, public, corporates.

  240. Imagine being a voter in the middle of a pandemic and still not support the candidate that wants a unified health care system. Oh Bernie, "It's not you, it's me!"

  241. The Liberal Media promoted Sen.Sanders just like AOC, Talib and Omar. These folks are out of touch with most Americans. The Agendas they promote are mostly aspirational and economically unfeasible.

  242. America, likes most large nations in the Anglosphere, has a center-right political culture by default, with only occasional and brief (usually not more than 4 years, if that - for example, FDR's progressive phase barely last that before the reaction set in; LBJ's lasted just 2 years) spasms of progressivism followed by a long period of inertia and/or reaction. That's the electorate we have, not the one we wish we had.

  243. @Karl And this is exactly what I hoped would change because we are in new circumstances never been here before. If we want to get a grip on all this inequalities, climate change we! need to change. Not go on with the usual. That’s the thing most people just don’t understand. Yet...

  244. @Eva I don't expect this to change, because human nature is relatively fixed - it changes with swaps in the details, but the continuity is more fundamental than what changes. It didn't change with the Panic of 2008 and the miasma that ensued.

  245. @Karl For what it's worth, since the end of WW II Canada at the Federal Government level has generally enjoyed a moderate social-democrat oriented Government even while the centrist Liberal Party, & occasionally the Conservative Party, held Office.

  246. His symantecs or choice of words worked against Sanders. Revolution Socialism Free But there is nothing wrong with his ideas. Anyone one of these two fine gentlemen, Biden or Sanders are worthy of the Presidency.

  247. @Angelo C I really dislike the "Our Revolution" moniker (although I love the logo of the bird !) Way better would have been to name it "Our Evolution".

  248. @Angelo C The choice of words & combative style has been a 2 edged sword for Sanders. This gave him an authenticity appeal & bared allegations that he had some secret agenda while he built his following & challenged the status quo ethos within the Democrat Party. Once he became the leading candidate for nomination, however, that choice of words & combative style raised too many questions about his capacity to compromise & lead a broadly based Democrat Government or even to get elected & aid other Democrats to be elected. Hopefully, the fact that he will not be the Democrat standard-bearer will not lead to the marginalization of Democrats who advocate a more progressive position on many issues than do the neoliberals within the Party.

  249. In my opinion, he misjudged the times and the vast majority of the voting populace. A revolution is pointless if you can't have your agenda passed through Congress. he has proven time and time again that he could not do that. He loves to campaign but can't build the coalitions where it matters. I hope he does support and campaign for the nominee though I have my doubts.

  250. @i8cake he'll do it, but he'll be in full terrier mode.

  251. I'm a Bernie supporter. I voted for Obama twice, but voted for Dr. Stein in 2016. I will not vote for anyone who voted for the Iraq War, Patriot Act, DOMA, and who opposes non-profit universal health insurance. Period.

  252. @Observer - But you did vote for Donald Trump when you voted for Jill Stein in 2016. Funny how that works.

  253. I understand your passion, but I think your stridency is very short-sighted. If you refuse to vote for Biden out of “principle”, you will get four more years of Trump. Biden’s past votes that you find so abhorrent will pale in comparison to Trump-appointed Supreme Court judges that will shape the United States for your entire lifetime and beyond.

  254. @Observer Why didn't you vote for the woman who worked for universal health care in the 1990s?

  255. Funny how during Sunday's Debates, Biden cherry picked Burnie's Healthcare policy as his plan to combat the virus. He kept talking about how it is a crisis and nobody would pay bills for getting treated for the crisis. But he didn't detail how that would happen under the current system. Seriously, the medical establishment love of red tape alone will stifle Biden's sudden love of free care. Then Biden talks about how he is the realist. That Bernie is a dreamy revolutionary, who had no chance of getting anything done in the Congress. Biden then declares, he'll get things done now by improving Obama Care. What? You mean the same Obama Care that stands on the docket of the Supreme Court waiting to be nullified? Biden faces the same odds of getting Obama Care beefed up as Burnie arriving with his plan. These times are crying out for change now, the question is do we have the guts to step to it.

  256. @Charles he was talking about what CAN be done during an emergency. Bernie was conflating the crisis response with the broader topic of how we can provide healthcare for everyone. Bernie deflected because he couldn't articulate how he would coordinate an emergency response.

  257. Bernie is what Eric Hoffer would call a "fanatic." His views are not a product of choice. They will be forced on us by powers beyond our control, a dysfunctional government, a dysfunctional economy, an economic system that no longer works. Bernie tells stories we do not want to hear. And so we don't listen and instead attack the messenger. "I told you so" will be his only recompense.

  258. The reason Bernie is tilting at windmills is that working class people work for everything he wants to "go after". If you work for a pharmaceutical company, a hospital, a doctor, an oil company, a lobbyist, etc., you're not going to vote for so he can eliminate your job. If you are upper middle class and have accumulated some wealth, you're not going to vote for Bernie. And if you are a Republican, you're never, ever going to vote for Bernie. I support many of Bernie's ideas, but I just don't see him getting of them imemented, even if he flips the Senate.

  259. @Ron The problem is for the past 30 years, democrats haven't even tried and when they "compromise" that usually means the republicans got everything they wanted.

  260. I am very disappointed in the NYT by the way they covered Bernie Sanders during the 2016 and 2020 campaigns. For example, why show a photo of a Bernie stage AFTER everyone has gone. To provoke feelings of defeat? The Reality TV, Prize Fight mentality that the election process has grown into, created by Trump and endorsed by the media (because it was a new revenue stream), has turned a very serious process into something much less. I welcome the days when journalism was non-profit and writers did not use superlatives. This reminds me of phrase my father said often, "If you act ignorant, people will treat you that way".

  261. Sanders displayed his total lack of understanding the problems we face, the immediate threat of the virus and the challenges that have always been there. The immediate threat is the virus. The problem is that there will soon be need for more medical care than the medical care system can provide. Sander's answer is to promise every American free medical care. He cannot see the forest for the trees. Paying for medical care is NOT the problem. Finding the medical care at all will soon be the problem. Every nation's medical care systems will be overwhelmed, regardless whether there is real socialized medical care (like the VA or the British system) or socialized medical insurance w/private sector care (like Sander's medicare for all) or private sector medical insurance w/private sector care. China's medical care system was overwhelmed despite the dictatorship forcing medical personnel from other parts of China to go to Wuhan. Italy's medical care system is ALREADY overwhelmed. Soon also will be the medical care systems of Europe and the UK that left thinks are so great. It is just weeks until the US and Canadian medical care systems will be overwhelmed. But all Sanders does is keep promising free medical care that will not be there to be had. I do not write this as criticism (or endorsement) of socialized medical insurance or socialized medical care. I write this to focus attention on the real problem that the US and Europe and Canada will soon be facing.

  262. @Errol A universal coverage medical system isn't a panacea & that even a universal system that works well during normal times can become overwhelmed in circumstance now being faced. That said, a well designed, efficiently & effectively run universal system will operate better & set a better base for enhancement to meet unexpected, extraordinary challenges than will a the lack of such a system.

  263. @Errol One BIG difference. If, unfortunately, any people in Canada or Europe that may die of the disease will NOT be because they couldn't afford the bill or get treatment. The reality is, in America, at least 30,000 die every year because they have no healthcare coverage at all and 500,000 declare bankruptcy because they can't pay the bill and this happens annually "without' a pandemic.