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Undecided 44%
Elizabeth Warren20%
Joe Biden16%
Bernie Sanders10%
Pete Buttigieg5%

Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Thu Apr 25, 2019, 12:15 PM

5. Washington Post-Opinion: Bernie Sanders's week goes from bad to worse

 



Several things are surprising about this episode.

First, did he not prepare for a patently obvious question? You’d think a candidate so conscious of his need to overcome skepticism among nonwhite voters, who are a critical constituency in the Democratic primaries (especially African American women, who turn out in strong numbers), would be more conscientious about speaking to their concerns. Perhaps he still doesn’t understand that the same socialist wish list he runs through at every big rally isn’t what voters aggrieved by racism in the criminal-justice system, the glaring wealth gap between whites and blacks, and a two-tiered health-care system want to hear. (On the last item, it is noteworthy that “compared with their own mothers, American women today are 50% more likely to die in childbirth. And the risk is consistently three to four times higher for black women than white women, irrespective of income or education.”) This reflects a well-known Sanders trait — lack of introspection.

Second, Sanders’s tone-deafness really makes Monday’s proposal to let felons still behind bars vote seem like crass pandering. Rather than make an extreme proposal, which if anything undercuts legitimate proposals to re-enfranchise felons who have served their time, on an issue virtually no one is clamoring to hear, he might consider a bold move similar to a plan put forward at the same summit by Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.). That plan would wield the pardon power widely for the benefit of those (disproportionately African American) convicted of nonviolent drug crimes and give former nonviolent drug offenders job opportunities in the new, legalized pot industry. Sanders might show some willingness to study “reparations” (which do not necessarily entail cash payments but can take the form of extensive investment in high-quality housing and education for disadvantaged nonwhites who have lacked access to both for decades). At times, it really seems as though Sanders isn’t even trying to meet these voters halfway.

Finally, Sanders is getting shown up regularly on race issues not only by African American candidates but also by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who has included in virtually all her policy proposals specific measures to address racial inequality (e.g., an education plan that includes generous funding for historically black colleges and universities, a housing plan that includes “down-payment assistance to first-time homebuyers in communities that were once subject to redlining”).
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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