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Vermont’s Sanders Preaches Weilandesque Working-Class Politics

Independent-Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders is awfully popular among progressives. He may run for President in 2016. Our modern Eugene V. Debs tells NPR that Democrats could get their traction back by rediscovering the working class:

...people look out and they say, "Gee, the wealthiest people are doing phenomenally well." And where are the Democrats? Do people see the Democratic Party standing up to Wall Street? Any of these guys going to jail? Not really. The average person is working longer hours, lower wages, and they do not see any political party standing up and fighting for their rights. What they see is a Republican Party becoming extremely right wing, controlled by folks like the Koch brothers. But they do not see a party representing the working class of this country [Bernie Sanders, interview with Steve Inskeep, "Sen. Bernie Sanders on How Democrats Lost White Votes," NPR: It's All Politics, 2014.11.19].

Senator Sanders sounds an awful lot like our own Rick Weiland. Does that make Weiland a socialist... or just the right man to lead the South Dakota Democratic Party back to its mission and electoral success?

Senator Sanders recommends the sort of socialism that South Dakotans of both parties love—big federal investment in infrastructure:

...whether you're white or black or Hispanic or Asian, if you are in the working class, you are struggling to keep your heads above water. You're worried about your kids. What should the Democratic Party be talking about, Steve? What they should be talking about is a massive federal jobs program. There was once a time when our nation's infrastructure — roads, bridges, water systems, rail — were the envy of the world. Today that's no longer the case [Sanders, 2014.11.19].

Roads, bridges, water systems—we could be building real public goods that would put millions of Americans to work and serve the national interest, but a majority of Senators in the pocket of Big Oil think it's more important to authorize a private foreign oil pipeline that would hurt the U.S. economy and the working class.

Senator Sanders likely won't derail the Clinton nomination. But his exhortation to working-class politics could point Rick Weiland and South Dakota Democrats the route toward votes in 2016.


  1. larry kurtz 2014.11.22

    Progressives on my left want Senator Sanders to run as an independent while i believe his entry in a Democratic presidential primary would be good practice for Secretary Clinton. The good news is that he's far too smart to tamper with a Clinton victory over Chris Christie or Jeb Bush.

  2. Tim 2014.11.22

    Cory, you are a smart man, you know you can't build all that stuff and do all those things for the working class while still cutting taxes for the rich.

  3. Tim 2014.11.22

    I find myself hoping Clinton decides not to run, she is way too close to big business and big banking for my taste. She is a true Democrat in name only. We need somebody that will stand up to all of that and I don't think she will.

  4. larry kurtz 2014.11.22

    Clinton is the only Democrat who can beat the earth hater nominee.

  5. Tim 2014.11.22

    Larry, why is it we have to settle for repub lite instead of running on our values? What is it dems are so ashamed of that they won't fight for and elect a person that truly is a Democrat? If we quit allowing Republicans to keep pulling us to the right we just might be shocked at the results.

  6. larry kurtz 2014.11.22

    Why, Tim? Because politics dictates who the US President will be and not the voters. Am having a similar discussion with a far left blogger who hates Clinton.

  7. Tim 2014.11.22

    "Because politics dictates who the US President will be and not the voters."
    Right there is part of the problem, we need to fight that attitude and prove to the voters that it does matter what they think.

  8. mike from iowa 2014.11.22

    I'd prefer Sanders or Warren,but at least Dems have two decent options for Potus. Clinton is too pro-whatever Israel wants.

  9. Tim 2014.11.22

    Mike, I will support whoever the Democrats choose, I just think we can do much better than HRC. Sanders or Warren would both be excellent choices as far as I'm concerned.

  10. larry kurtz 2014.11.22

    Warren isn't going to run. Joe Biden is going to attack Clinton during the primary and so will Brian Schweitzer: it could get really ugly.

  11. Tim 2014.11.22

    Ugly, yes probably, but may well bring us info on where HRC truly stands on many issues, which will allow us to make a better decision rather than just attending a coronation.

  12. Bill Fleming 2014.11.22

    I agree that a primary will be good for Hillary. She's been out of the loop for a while and needs a few sparring partners before she goes into the big arena. I also agree that Bernie should run as a Dem and stay out of the general unless he can win the primary. And I would be delighted if he did.

  13. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.11.22

    Agreed with all you Lefties here. 1st Warren, 2nd Sanders, followed by Clinton. I want her to be more liberal, more dovish. Never a Republican. There is not one Republican they might nominate who would be good for this nation.

  14. Les 2014.11.22

    """going to attack Clinton during the primary and so will Brian Schweitzer""" would that be on orders from Schweitzer's boss, BC, Lar? Bill put Brian in biz.

  15. mike from iowa 2014.11.23

    One thing constant since this nation began is that the wealthy are greedy,have always been so,and will always be so. Ask not what your country can do for you,ask what's in it for the greedyand to hell with the rest.

  16. larry kurtz 2014.11.23

    Les, it's hard to know how you could be a bigger loser.

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