“Yes We Can” versus “No We Can’t”

With just one week to go before the Iowa caucuses, the media, even the so-called liberal media, is still having trouble taking Bernie Sanders seriously.

He’s surging in both early primary states, but conventional wisdom-types are still pumping out the same boring lines about how he’s naïve and unelectable.

“No he can’t” is STILL the mainstream media’ default take on Bernie Sanders

“It’s been a nice run,” the thinking goes, “but he’s just not electable. And if even if by some stroke of luck he were elected, he doesn’t understand politics enough to get things done while in the White House.”

That’s basically what The Des Moines Register’s Lynn Hicks said earlier today on Morning Joe when he was asked explain why his paper endorsed Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee for president.

The Des Moines register has never endorsed Democratic winner of the Iowa caucus, so we should probably take this criticism with a grain of salt.

But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s now the political establishment’s main attack on the Bernie campaign.

And what’s really disturbing is that many so-called liberals are going along with it.

For example, Paul Starr, the co-founder of The American Prospect, one of the country’s leading liberal magazines, has a piece in Politico Magazine today in which he argues that Bernie Sanders is a flawed candidate because he believes too much that he can change our dysfunctional political system for the better.

Even if Bernie does manage to get elected, people like Paul Starr argue, he won’t get anything done because he’s asking for the moon and our political system is just too broken to handle this kind of actual, real change.

Although it’s not as vicious, this line of thinking is arguably even worse than the “Bernie’s a socialist and that scares people” line of attack.

And that’s because it kills what made, or used to make, the Democratic Party great: its belief in doing what everyone said was impossible.

Just in case you forgot, it was Democrats who won World Wars 1 and 2, it was Democrats who brought us out of the Great Depression, and it was Democrats who took us to the moon, even if a Republican was president when Neil Armstrong stepped on its surface.

Oh, yeah, and it was Democrats who, because they believed in the power of government to do good, created programs like Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, and Medicare that to this day are the backbone of the American dream.

And I’m talking about the real American Dream, my Dad’s American Dream, where you work hard and retire comfortably - a far cry from Reagan’s fake American dream, which is just to get as rich as possible and damn everyone else.

But back to the Democratic Party.

From the New Deal until the 1990s and Al From’s bloodless DLC coup that made triangulation and corporatism the name of the game, Democrats actually stood for something noble.

They stood for that the idea that we can move America forward and make it a better country, even if all the cards were stacked against us.

For many in the Democratic Party, those days are over, and you don’t need any more proof of that than the Democratic establishment’s attacks on Bernie Sanders.

Unlike Hillary Clinton, who, as Robert Reich, points out, “is most qualified to head the political system we have,” Bernie Sanders is, according to Reich, “the most qualified to create the political system we should have.”

That, of course, is part of Bernie's appeal.

Democratic voters were promised real “hope and change” seven years ago when Obama first ran for president, and they got the Heritage Foundations’ version of healthcare reform, very minimal Wall Street regulation without a single bankster going to jail, and a stimulus package that was polluted with a huge pile of tax cuts for rich people and big corporations.

In Bernie Sanders, Democratic voters see the candidate that Obama pretended to be but never was.


Thyme2Heal726's picture
Thyme2Heal726 8 years 21 weeks ago


you are not going to hide from this or me----so you better face me and this situation ---you HAVE HELPED TO BE A 'BLACK OUT' REVOLUTION-----EVEN ON PROGRESSIVE TALK AND RADIO-----STRAIGHT SHAMEFUL OF YOU.....I AM EMBARASSED FOR YOU.....YOU ARE A GROWN ASS MAN AND YOU KNOW BETTER!!!


#AMothersRevolution #DomesticViolenceInSeattleCourts #MyChildStolen4SocialActivism

gnromey's picture
gnromey 8 years 21 weeks ago

The Democrats have shown themselves to be hyprotical wimps. Sanders unlike Obama but more like FDR would be able to push through progressive legislation. The Dems just want someone that is all talk but in the end nothing more than a protector of the corporatocracy, the MIC. Wall Street & big Pharma.

cccccttttt 8 years 21 weeks ago

The public appears disgusted with both parties.

Sanders, Trump, or Bloomberg offer them hope for

a government that can solve problems.

Hillary does not.


Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 8 years 21 weeks ago

That's really funny, Paul Starr says Bernie is a flawed candidate because he believes he can do something. Bet he has a lot invested in the status quo to put forth contorted logic like that.

Bgbgl's picture
Bgbgl 8 years 21 weeks ago

Regarding the Starr article

Remember that author Paul Starr is a Hillary buddy .. In 1993, Starr was the senior advisor for President Bill Clinton's proposed health care reform plan. He is also the president of the Sandra Starr Foundation. He is in the Clinton's pockets. I am surprised that Starr has not done his homework but most likely he did and he knows better.. he just does not want to buck Hillary.. a future job in a possible administration looms perhaps? Beware of those who surround politicians. They often want something. Paul Starr of all people should see that Bernie is taking this to the next step. But he implies, "Bernie, why fight the system? And that he says makes Bernie wrong? Never buck the system? Sorry Mr. Starr - Look at America. We Need To Buck the System! Why just "go along" with the GOP blocking the ACA and we will be stuck for another 50 years and that is ok? Unless there is money to be made. Could Starr be more a neoliberal now for supporting insurance companies and the pharmas who may have given to the HC superPACs? This is another of his articles where he doubts that anyone should bother with single payer. Why is he so sour on What the Rest of the World Has? --> https://www.healthinsurance.org/blog/2012/11/27/why-obama-succeeded-why-clinton-failed-and-why-the-fight-over-health-reform-still-isnt-over/

Bgbgl's picture
Bgbgl 8 years 21 weeks ago

good comment but they are not wimps.. what has happened is more are becoming neoliberals wearing the Democrat brand.. they are in the money.

rofo47's picture
rofo47 8 years 21 weeks ago

Great change will never occur until you elect the unelectable

rofo47's picture
rofo47 8 years 21 weeks ago

Great change will not occur until you elect the unelectable

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 8 years 21 weeks ago

Hillary is not electable, and it has nothing to do with her ability, or character, it has everything to do with the Fascist control of our media. There's a massive arsenal of crippling misinformation just waiting to be unleashed if she wins the primary. They only have the "Socialist" bomb to drop on Bernie, and he can defuse that at anytime if he simply explains that Democratic Socialism is already here in the form of all kinds of "We the People" programs such as Social Security. It's already being embraced by the vast majority, they just don't realize it.

Bernie will get things done and I'll tell you why....he'll call a press conference and explain to the American Public the truth as to why the Teapublicans are obstructing, or why the entire Republican House denies science. He'll use the pulpit to communicate economic and social truth because he's not owned by the Kochs, Wall Street, or big Pharma. Truth will rally the masses to demand change.....the Fascist controlled right wing will have no choice when millions are in the streets. Clinton like Obama wouldn't dare speak out like an FDR.....it would be business as usual, including the lack of will to catch up with the rest of the world with Single Payer. We need true revolution...it's long overdo...we thought we had it 8 years ago, we won't be fooled again.

WindyCity's picture
WindyCity 8 years 21 weeks ago

I would add that establishment liberals, such as Krugman, have a stake in the status quo. A comfortable order exists inside the Beltway. The liberal class, as Chris Hedges has written about, long ago abandoned its role as a defender of the poor, middle and working classes. It has bought into the corporatocracy (or been bought into it). Liberal corporate media mavens such as Krugman, while they may deny it, are part of the problem; their opinions reflect differences that exist among the elite cadres of what is essentially the same political/economic establishment. Gore Vidal pointed this out when he wrote, "There is only one party in the United States, the Property Party . . . and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat. Republicans are a bit stupider, more rigid, more doctrinaire in their laissez-faire capitalism than the Democrats, who are cuter, prettier, a bit more corrupt – until recently . . . and more willing than the Republicans to make small adjustments when the poor, the black, the anti-imperialists get out of hand. But, essentially, there is no difference between the two parties." Sanders' political philosophy hearkens back to the Democratic Party of the New Deal. He's a social democratic along the lines of European-style social democracies. (He's not a socialist. Socialists believe in worker ownership and democratic control over the means of production.) Sanders opposes the rule of the wealthy and of large corporations, which is what exists now in America. That puts him at odds with the mouthpieces of Vidal's "Property Party".

Willie W's picture
Willie W 8 years 21 weeks ago

More media bias. ABC's Good Morning America just aired a clip of Bernie Sanders saying that he would raise taxes to pay for National Health Care. They cut out the next sentence where he also said that neither you nor any business would have to pay any health insurance premiums or doctor bills. A net savings for you. I guess you're not suppose to know that.

ckrob's picture
ckrob 8 years 21 weeks ago

I recommend a Ted Talk by Yanis Varoufakis concerning the contest between democracy and capitalism. I think Bernie's campaign speaks to this same issue although on a less philosophical, more pragmatic level.

Additionally, if you think the Repugs might hate Bernie try how much they already hate Hillary. Talk about a continued gridlock.

Robert stilwell's picture
Robert stilwell 8 years 21 weeks ago

When they say Bernie can't get his agenda through Congress, they're right.. Not this Congress. What's missing is the mid term of 2018. A Bernie win could bring a surge of new Democratic Socialists candidates, suddenly made viable by a Bernie Sanders victory. No longer could people say there is no support for those policies. The mid term of 2018, following a Bernie victory, could clear Congress of the Corporate puppet show.. And that is what the Establishment fears most.. Not Bernie, but an energized, empowered new Democratic Socialist voter movement, no longer having to settle for the Lesser Evil.. That's the true nature of this revolution, and its terrifying them to think it could happen.. 2016 is just the beginning..

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