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Donkees's Journal
Donkees's Journal
February 21, 2019

Q&A with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and KCCI's Steve Karlin

Published on Feb 20, 2019
Q&A with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and KCCI's Steve Karlin
February 21, 2019

It's Foreign Policy That Distinguishes Bernie This Time

He’s challenging American exceptionalism in a far more radical way than his 2020 competitors.

6:00 AM ET

Peter Beinart
Professor of journalism at the City University of New York


In 2016, foreign policy was the area where Sanders distinguished himself least.

This time, by contrast, Sanders arguably talks about foreign policy more than any other declared candidate. Of the four senators who launched their candidacies via video—Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris and Sanders—only his mentioned foreign policy. Over the past two years, Sanders has given two speeches outlining a broad foreign-policy vision. (Elizabeth Warren has delivered one, last November at American University, which she paired with an essay in Foreign Affairs. Neither Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, nor Kirsten Gillibrand has given any). And of the senators running for president, Sanders owns the biggest foreign-policy victory of the last Congress: the vote to end U.S. funding for the Saudi war in Yemen.

What distinguishes Sanders is the same quality that distinguished him on domestic policy in 2016: His willingness to cross red lines that have long defined the boundaries of acceptable opinion. One clear example is Israel. Most of the Senate Democrats running for president have shifted left on the subject. Booker, after initially supporting legislation to criminalize boycotts of the Jewish state, voted against a similar bill last month. Warren, after earlier in her career defending Israeli military actions in the Gaza Strip, last year criticized Israel’s response to protests there. But Sanders has gone much further: He’s produced videos that call Gaza an “open-air prison,” he’s depicted Benjamin Netanyahu as part of the “growing worldwide movement toward authoritarianism,” and, most controversially of all, he’s suggested cutting U.S. military aid to Israel.

But Israel is only the beginning of Sanders’s sacrilege. He’s the only presidential candidate in recent memory who regularly describes the Cold War not as a heroic American victory, but as a cautionary tale. Sanders doesn’t just warn against U.S. military intervention in Venezuela, as Warren and Gillibrand have. He warns against it while invoking the United States’s “long history of inappropriately intervening in Latin American countries.” In his speech at Westminster College in 2017, he spent paragraph after paragraph detailed America’s disastrous 20th century interventions: Iran, Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala, Vietnam—a litany that resembled a Noam Chomsky lecture more than a typical presidential candidate’s foreign-policy speech.

Sanders’s darker view of Cold War foreign policy isn’t mere historical revisionism. It’s linked to his critique of American foreign policy today. Now, as then, he wants America to shun the quest for global supremacy that leads it to overthrow regimes it can’t control and to instead pursue a foreign policy based on “partnership, rather than dominance.” That’s why, in his Westminster speech, Sanders did something Democrats have rarely done in recent decades: He called for putting the United Nations—which he called “one of the most important organizations for promoting a vision of a different world”—near the heart of American foreign policy.


February 20, 2019

According to the announcement, this group will be closing tomorrow ...


Sometime tomorrow, we will close down the existing candidate supporter groups. Within a few weeks we will open new candidate supporter groups, incorporating some changes which we will announce later.

February 20, 2019

NYT Opinion: Bernie 2020, Pro and Con

By David Leonhardt
Opinion Today

Feb. 20, 2019


The case for Sanders

He’s consistently underrated for a reason: His agenda is more popular than many American elites understand. Most Americans favor a higher minimum wage, higher taxes on the rich and corporations and expanded versions of Medicare and Social Security. The Sanders approach — progressive on economic issues, without much focus on social and cultural issues — is in many ways the sweet spot of American politics.

Sanders is a natural politician. Too many Democrats campaign on a laundry list of smart, technocratic proposals that, in the minds of voters, add up to less than the sum of their parts. Sanders understands the importance of clear, bold messages: greedy billionaires, $15 minimum wage, free college, Medicare for all, Green New Deal. If he were elected president along with Democratic majorities in Congress, he would have a mandate for Reagan-like change — in the opposite direction.

Sanders has prepared for this moment. He has stayed in the public eye, built a political organization and, as Vox’s Matthew Yglesias has noted, toned down some of his fights with the Democratic establishment. Plus, the establishment is closer to him now on economic issues than it was a few years ago.

Sanders is ahead of every other declared candidate in the polls. He trails only Joe Biden, who, even if he does run, has a weaker history as a presidential candidate than Sanders does. Yes, early primary polls can be misleading. But they can also matter, as Donald Trump showed.


February 20, 2019

Bernie Sanders Raises $6 Million After Announcing Presidential Bid

By Thomas Kaplan
Feb. 20, 2019

WASHINGTON — Just over 24 hours after announcing his presidential bid, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has already raised $6 million from more than 225,000 donors, his campaign said Wednesday morning.

That amount far surpasses what any of his rivals have disclosed raising after their own announcements this year.


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