by Eric Zuesse for the Saker Blog
On October 23rd, an extraordinary article was published online at Newsweek, but merely as “Opinion,” and this not coming from Senator Sanders’s Democratic primary campaign for the U.S. Presidency, but only from a supporter: “‘BERNIE OR BUST’ IS A WARNING—IGNORE IT, AND TRUMP WINS | OPINION”. It would be a historic article if the Sanders campaign endorses it. And, on October 27th, they seem to have done just that, by allowing its author to send it on October 27th to the campaign’s enormous email list (which includes me). Here’s its opening:
I am fortunate to have been offered an opportunity to publish an opinion piece about Bernie or Bust as a WARNING for 2020 in Newsweek last week.
PLEASE read it and share that column on social media, in website comments or in emails to any Democrats you know. The only way Bernie can get the 50%+ of pledged delegates he will need to prevent the superdelegates from selecting another candidate, who will lose to Trump, is to make sure Party members understand that #OnlyBernieBeatsTrump. THAT is the point of the “WARNING.”
Either the Sanders campaign blundered to provide their email list to the article’s author, or else this statement now IS a warning that comes from the Sanders campaign. (I have emailed the sender, asking how he got my email-address, and there has been no reply yet. I also emailed Faiz Shakir, the Campaign Manager for Bernie Sanders — likewise no answer yet.)
Sanders currently is among the top three primary candidates for the Democratic Presidential nomination in the polls; and each one of those three — Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Sanders — out-polls substantially, in hypothetical Democrat-versus-Republican U.S. Presidential general-election match-ups, against Donald Trump. However, if Sanders becomes rejected by Democrats but would then accept the Green Party’s nomination — which he refused to accept when it was offered to him when Hillary Clinton became the Democrats’ nominee in 2016 — then he wouldn’t draw only 2.74% in the general election as did the non-politician Ralph Nader in 2000 when the two major-Party nominees were Bush versus Gore, but instead he would draw vastly higher than did the non-politician Ross Perot in the 1992 contest against Republican Bob Dole versus Democrat Bill Clinton: 18.91%. Sanders would certainly do better than Perot (who had no record in public office) did. Sanders, even (if not, now, especially) as an independent, could actually win the Presidency.
Sanders, unlike either Nader or Perot, does have an actual record — and a lengthy one — of votes and actions as a U.S. public official; i.e., real-world public office, instead of just campaign promises and asserted positions. Simply by his name being on the Presidential ballot as a nominee — and without any political Party at all — Americans would confidently know what he would actually propose and fight for as the U.S. President (and not merely as a candidate — who can say and promise anything). A record like that is totally different from promises. A record like that shows a person’s actual policy-priorities. Sanders doesn’t need any Party, except in order to gain ballot-access so as to be listed on the general-election ballot in each one of the 50 states (or at least in virtually all of them).
If he runs a third-Party campaign, he actually could end up drawing more Electoral-College votes, and even more voters’ votes, than either of the other two Parties’ nominees would. He could possibly end up doing, to American politics, what Abraham Lincoln did in 1860: replace one of the two existing Parties by a new Party. Instead of replacing the Whigs by the Republicans, as Lincoln did in 1860, Sanders could replace the Democrats by the Greens in 2021. It would be American politics for the 21st Century, transforming away from the billionaire-monopoly politics ever since 2000 if not since 1992. Then, with the Clintonized (mega-corporate-controlled) ‘Democratic’ Party finally becoming replaced by a progressive-populist Democratic Party (up against Trump’s conservative-‘populist’ billionaire-controlled Republican Party), America might actually become a democracy again — a politics in which ideology (instead of interethnic and gender differences) will be providing the basis for voters’ political choices. The billionaires would likely lose their existing control over the U.S. Government.
Sanders definitely wants to become a Democratic Party U.S. President, but, if that Party rejects him yet again, he could actually win even bigger as an independent, who goes up against the two billionaire-controlled Parties. Perhaps he, now, finally, knows this.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.
I like Bernie, but he has two stints, and a prescription to eat right and exersize everyday. Take it from a guy who also has two stints and the same prescription from the doc’; he better do that if he wants to stay alive.
That leaves no time to campaign or a Presidency..
He has two stents, and since you misspelled “stents,” should I take it that you might also be wrong regarding what you said about them? And please also provide the link to your source concerning his medical condition.
PS: This article “Do Angioplasty and Stents Improve Survival?” answers, effectively (though poorly written) “no”:
So: apparently, both you and Bernie did the wrong thing to have stents — and you are correct to say he’s out of the running now.
Hi Eric – you say he’s out of the running. So the article you wrote is not what you are really thinking ? What you really think is that Bernie’s health will not allow him to continue. Hmm…that’s what I thought when I heard he’d had heart surgery but it seems like he’s still in the running…I don’t live in the States so don’t really know what’s going on – on the ground there – but yeah, his health is a problem.
What I now think is that he wants to stay in the contest as long as he can, although he might cut back on his incessant fundraising (especially since he has raised more money than any of the others and has more in the bank than any of the others). Maybe instead of putting on the brakes, he will just take his foot off the gas-pedal and coast to a stop. But certainly he’ll want to have as big an impact on the contest as possible.
I think that he probably finds all of his competitors except Gabbard and Warren totally unacceptable, and finds Warren around 30% unacceptable as being too neoconservative and too impressed by Ivy League credentials, and Gabbard 0% unacceptable. But Gabbard has maybe a 2% chance of winning, because Democratic Party voters are around 95% neocons. So, right now, I suspect he’s trying to reach a deal with Warren as to when he’ll endorse her. He is probably phoning her with questions about her positions, in order to probe beneath the PR (which is all that is publicly available from a campaign). The problem would be that she already very well knows where he actually stands on just about every issue, and it will therefore probably be hard, and require lots of follow-up questions from him, in order for him to suss-out her real thoughts and priorities. But she would be highly incentivized to answer his questions (whatever they might be) because an endorsement from him could almost seal the deal for her to win the nomination, and if he also will be spending some of his campaign cash in order to assist her to win, then she will be unbeatable by any of the others, the nomination will be hers. I think that the maximum deal that he might offer to her would be: as she gets near to wrapping up the nomination, she would offer him the V.P. spot on her ticket. His surviving would be little of an issue in such a circumstance, because if a Vice President dies in office, the 25th Amendment authorizes the President to choose a new V.P., subject to confirmation by a majority vote of both houses of Congress. A corollary to such an offer from him might be that if he dies in office, she would choose Gabbard to be V.P. Alternatively, he might angle for becoming Secretary of State, or National Security Advisor, or for Warren to choose Gabbard for either of those posts. If he were to get such a deal from Warren, then I would unhesitatingly vote for Warren in the primary. The sooner in the primaries (they start in February) that such a deal becomes reached, the closer to 100% of Sanders voters (such as I) would be to voting for Warren. (Of course, if 100% of us do, then she would certainly get the nomination.)
In this way, Sanders, even in this condition, could still have an enormous impact upon the outcome. He’s a policy person, far more interested in affecting policies than in personally holding power; and, so, since his doctor would certainly have advised him to avoid stress as much as possible, success in his dealing now with Warren is probably foremost in his mind.
Those are my thoughts about the current situation.
Angioplasty plus a complete lifestyle change would ensure a lengthy survival. So he must give up smoking, eat a vegan, preferably, diet, exercise regularly, and keep blood pressure under control and practise some sort of meditation to calm his boiling mind. Stay the heck away from statins, too.
Someone once said – perhaps Philip Sheridan – “the only good president is a dead president.”
Erik’s comment/analysis of Bernie affecting policy indirectly sounds much better than his article.
If Bernie were to run and win, I’m afraid he would become a good president way too soon.
(By the way, Mulga, fish are much more healthy than vegans – vegans are way too high in mercury and omega-6 to safely eat.)
EEK!!!!!! Bill. Have ye nay heard of mercury in fish? It bio-accumulates. Your omegas need balancing, as they say.
You’re right about the lengthy survival with stents (how lengthy is another question of course, given that he’s already at the door of median US life expectancy.)
As for the statins, not exactly so. The fact is that diet, in advanced age and with a clear coronary heart disease, does not help much in the way of adjusting blood lipid levels and reducing risk. Statins clearly do. Yes, they create their own problems (and probably contribute to some slight additional mortality) but on the balance one has to take them or else.
Bernie is just another regular corrupt (((politician))).
That so many would vote for him says more about the collective intelligence of the people of the USA than about his competence.
Fool me once – shame on you
Fool me twice – shame on me.
Fool me every four years?
The same Bernie Sanders that supported Bill Clinton’s illegal war against Yugoslavia and Obama’s illegal war against Libya? No, he will not run as an independent or Green Party presidential candidate, because he is a pseudo-opposition figure and DNC creature. I also doubt that the Green Party would give him their ballot line. Tulsi Gabbard has a much better chance of getting the Green’s nomination, if she wants it. If she does not, then Howie Hawkins will be the Green presidential candidate for 2020.
And Hawkins has drunk the Russiagate koolaid, so he’s useless, too. I checked with his campaign headquarters, saw him on video saying Russia meddled, etc etc. And demanded my campaign contribution back.
This would be a loaded gun aimed at the NeoLiberal war hawks of the DNC! If this turns out to be true, I will suddenly become a Bernie die-hard! The recurring rumor that Bernie had an assigned job as “sheepdog” of the Dems has really burned my ass, especially seeing him here in at a university weeks before the election after Hillary’s superdelegates had stolen the nomination from him while he was trying to drum up loyalty to teh Democratic Party.
A ticket Bernie (P) & Tulsi (VP) would be very interesting as a third party list
People like Phil Rockstroh have it figured Bernie is the Dem’s ‘sheepdog’ candidate… his conscious role is to prevent the mass of disgruntled progressive voters from abandoning the Dems and voting for Jill Stein (Greens) or a proper libertarian like Ron Paul. If Phil is right which I’d say he probably is – the last thing Bernie will do is run as an independent. Instead he’ll run as a Democrat but concede at the convention handing over his supporters to the DNC’s chosen one – Biden for example.
I don’t think so. I think that if Tulsi runs independent, he’ll endorse her.
She has clearly stated that she won’t run. Her goal (quixotic, IMO) is to have a progressive takeover of the Democratic party. They tried that with George McGovern and the party regulars stabbed him in the back.
Likewise, they stabbed Henry Wallace in the back. The Democrats are unreformable because the people with the money and the power who run the country are unreformable.
Plus they have bad memories, they take your money and then conveniently forget about it.
‘Progressives’ voting for a ‘libertarian’? My God, the USA is truly effed.
True! Therefore we are “pregnant with possibility”!
Look on the bright side……….. lol
I worked for Richard Nixon in 1968 (as a volunteer) and in 1972 (for money). Came of age in 1971 and wrote in John Hospers for prez.
The only candidate I ever voted “for” who won is the man who didn’t start WWIII the last few years.
Looking back, damn, I wish I had helped McGovern win.
“… Bernie Sanders Warns Democrats He Might Run as an Independent …”
… what a scary thought ! Halloween can’t be far away …
I thought that in the American system, states rights trumped Washington and the executive branch? It really appears to me that it doesn’t matter who runs for president in whichever party you choose or as an independent. There are so many ‘deep state’ snakes embedded into the civil service bureaucracy that this cannot be fixed. Couple this with the large section of the population who are dumber than a box of rocks and whose moral values have been re-engineered to the point that gender is fluid, abortion is a right and the family is and has been under full assault for years and what hope is there?
Why would a party choose someone who has never previously shown an interest in that party and isn’t even a member?
Sanders rolled over for Clinton last time, after winning the nomination but having it stolen from him by the DNC. I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him. This looks, to me, like a ploy to ensure a Trump victory.
YES Bernie wont be manipulated this time. Now the Wicked Witch of 2016 also has Tulsi to contend with. Blackie still dislikes the Witch. DEM chaos is likely in a 3 or 4 way race. The Puppetmaster will not get his way but end up under arrest where he belongs – hopefully he will get deported from where he came. Most Dem voters dont like W, B or G despite the alleged polls. And attempts to impeach Trump will backfire on them and if any REP Senators go along with it not only will they be finished in their home States but the GOP will implode as the grass roots either oust the elites or form another new party. Civil war in US is in progress and only requires a incident to trigger its escalation. Those behind it will be dealt with as citizens move to arrest the guilty.
Of course imagine a 4 way 2020 race if Trump exits the REPS (after an impeachment taking or not) with him 80% of grass roots REPS, and Bernie & Tulsi do the same to the DEMS. Would the Witch want to run ? One can only hope. This scenario is in fact possible at this time as Trump won’t be squashed or quit nor will the others. Reform is required. Of that and the House & Senate too. Remember 1992 with Perot who cost H Bush the election. Its going to be an interesting year.
The Green Party did NOT “offer” Bernie nomination as its Presidential candidate. Jill Stein won nomination at the GP 2016 convention and had no power – nor inclination – to “offer” or otherwise make Bernie the Green Party candidate.
Due to highly undemocratic ballot access rules agreed by the two factions of the war party (aka Democrats and Republicans) it is basically impossible at this late stage to form a new third party and gain ballot access in any significant number of states.
In 1989 Bernie had it right when he said ““The boldness and clarity that we need to articulate can never be done through the compromised and corrupt Democratic Party – dominated by Big Money…. We must begin to have the courage to fight for power – not handouts. We are the majority of people and must act accordingly.”
“I understand the enormous difficulties that confront us when we take on the Democratic and Republican Parties and the economic oligarchy that controls this country. if we stop thinking about all the reasons as to why it can’t be done, and go out in the streets and do it, we can succeed. We can create a third party. We can raise the important issues which the Democrats and Republicans ignore. We can win.”
But Bernie sold out to the corrupt corporate-controlled Democratic party, and here we are.
It might not have any movement at this late stage but if a theme can be established now, and then grow, it might produce the same results that the founding of the Republican party was based on. It was the anti slavery party and slowly did gain momentum.
This new party should be the anti corruption party and then wait for like minded participants to gather enough momentum to establish its self. Its really a no brainer, if enough corruption is around and no wants to join, that only speaks volumes about the quality of politicans in this country, I mean who would really not want to run against, or oppose, a proven corrupt party(s)?
The problem they may face is Bernie or Trump is ousted that masses of voters simply dont turn up to vote for whoever the residuals are because of their disgust. Chaos at House & Senate level may also result. In fact Trump & Bernie could in fact mount an assault on those instead.
A scenario thats also possible right now is if Trump were to be impeached, firstly what is there to stop him from still seeking & obtaing the GOP Presidential nomination and re-running next Nov ? Secondly there would be little chance of removing Pence and he could appoint Trump as VP and stand down with T reappointing him VP again. I wonder what would follow there ? There’s a rule of law in US a person can only be tried once so a second impeachment would be difficult and in any process the US Supreme Court would have to rule on things. It would be a giant circus and mess and won’t go down well with voters. This is apart from the chaos it would cause for both parties. If as INFOWARS alleges both Trump & Pence are removed so Pelosi could make Hillary VP then stand down to elevate her – that wont go down well with the GOP controlled Senate and they would block all legislation to Nov 2020 as they would not want her there. Thirdly, all this would play into Bernie’s and Tulsi’s hands as an abuse of both DEM & general govt processes and principles. Bernie/Tulsi and their supporters would not take kindly to Hillary being installed like that wherein the nominee wasnt elected by the party at a convention nor would voters generally. I suspect the US Army and USC would have to intervene as GOP voters would demand it (the army temporarily taking over until the USC made a decision). The USC would view an impeachment of this type an abuse of process for which it was intended otherwise any opposition party or coalition with particular agenda (globalists) could impeach a President from the other party at any time on frivilous grounds and undermine the mandate of the POTUS elections. Doing that would be the impetus for Bernie, Trump & others to run as independents and forever change the political landscape of the US. Pelosi and the radical swine backing her will in create mayhem in the next year which will backfire on them. The whole thing playing out is a recipe for breakup of the US into North South East and West blocks or at least 2 of them – nationalist and globalist. My own view is there probably needs to be at least 2 legislative / govt main divisions in US (nationalist or globalist) otherwise this ongoing political conflict and disharmony and eco problems will continue and each of the 52 States can elect which one it want to be under for a fixed period – that is the only thing that will avert civil war. Europe needs the same.
American presidents function as glorified spokesmodels.
Their true function is provide a public face to market and sell America’s criminal policies, which are ultimately decided by the US ruling class and deep state.
That is why it is a waste time to give a damn who is America’s current nominal ruler, Democrat or Republican or “Independent.”
Ultimately, you are voting for a presidential spokesmodel similar to the male or female bimbos that you see in TV or advertising.
This is true as long as the public remains cynical and pessimistic, establishing the base of corruption upon which the Establishment……….establishes its corrupt consent to loot them.
This is not true when the public arises and no longer gives the looters “the consent of the governed”.
The duration of the former is long enough that many forget that the latter is even possible……but when crisis arises because the extent of the corruption of both the base and the rotten edifice built on it can no longer stand…and THEN the brief moment of historical opportunity arrives.
Don’t miss it because you are jaded…….and of the mistaken belief that past performance always guarantees future performance….to infinity.
(The following quotes are from the article)
“Sanders, unlike either Nader or Perot, does have an actual record — and a lengthy one — of votes and actions as a U.S. public official”
While true about perot, this is insulting to Nader. While Nafer may not have “a record” as a politician, he has a very long and very useful history as a public advocate who has been closely involved in creating many public safety and public empowering laws in the usa. A record much more consistent and people supportive than sanders, by a very long shot.
The part of Zuesse’s article immediately following the above quoted section:
“real-world public office, instead of just campaign promises and asserted positions. Simply by his name being on the Presidential ballot as a nominee — and without any political Party at all — Americans would confidently know what he would actually propose and fight for as the U.S. President (and not merely as a candidate — who can say and promise anything). A record like that is totally different from promises. A record like that shows a person’s actual policy-priorities.”
Implies Nader has no record of public achievement, no history of putting words into concrete actions. At least not in comparison to sanders. The reality is sanders promised a lot, then rarely delivered, and often voted contrary to what he lead people to believe was his position.
Nader, on the other hand, is probably one of the most consistent public advocates in american history.
Other than his ignorance, or hostility, regarding Nader, what Zuesse seems to be saying, essentially, in this article, is that a history as a politician will get one enough votes to make it into the white house. He ignores the dominate role of the oligarchs and their media/psywar machine.
Perot got a lot of media coverage, because he was an oligarch boy, offered no challenges to their power. Nader never got much coverage at all. He didn’t promote oligarch interests, so their media machine made sure he got little mention.
Those who get media coverage get the votes. Those who do not get very few votes. That’s how it works in pindoland.
Actually, the [s]election of trump in 2016 shows the author’s claims of a recorded history as a politician makes one the most electable is patently false.
The text by that so-called supporter does nothing of the sort the article title is announcing. The diametrical contrary, if anything: it is intended strictly as a warning to the Democrats (in fact, “members”), just as similar warnings that had been issued to these same Dims before the 2016 election.
As for Zuesse’s theory that swiching to being an independent candidate is the logical next step to consider in case of a Democrat refusal, rejection, trick, or whatever you call it, like that of 2016, logic has no role here as we have a precedent: Sanders the sheep-dog did announce he was a sheep-dog at the start of his campaign in 2015, was overwhelmed by the massive support he received, and pushed away his chance at the presidency by doing exactly what he had announced he would be doing: throwing the candidacy to the Clinton Harpy, ostensibly to avoid “the Party” the embarrassment of a public showdown.
With this precedent, no need for a formbook: I’ll eat my dad’s officer hat, visor and all, if the old warmongering mountebank Sanders gets to run as a third party candidate. As for doing a Perot, he might at that but with no chance of winning against Trump.
The campaign email they sent shows a lack of understanding in how superdelegates (aka automatic or un-pledged delegates) work now.
After 2016 the DNC changed the rules (demanded by many of Bernie’s supporters) so that superdelegates can’t vote on the first ballot at the convention. Only if no one receives a majority, then all delegates become un-pledged and pledged and superdelegates can vote for anyone of their choosing.
It should also be noted under the old super delegate system between 1984 and 2016 when superdelegates could vote on the first ballot at the convention, superdelegates never changed the outcome of the electoral presidential primary by shifting the vote in favor of a candidate who had not won the plurality of pledged delegates.