Bernie Sanders’ 10,000-person crowd in Madison biggest of any Candidate so Far

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

The Democratic Party’s left wing is fed up and isn’t going to take it any more. Americans in opinion polling overwhelmingly favor the positions of Bernie Sanders on most political and social issues. But gerrymandering, big money in politics, and voter suppression have produced presidents who are either far right or center-right for decades. Not only have presidents been chosen by the wealthy elite, but the House of Representatives has, as well, So, too, have many state governors and legislatures. After the disappointment of the Obama administration, which is slightly to the right of Dwight Eisenhower, the left is impatient and frustrated.

And along comes Bernie Sanders. He stands for union rights, for a higher minimum wage, for women’s right to reproductive choice, for bank reform and regulation, and he is against income and wealth inequality of the sort that now characterizes the US (inequality is greater now than at any time since 1928, he says). He recognizes the power realities of today’s plutocratic America, and forthrightly says he is forming a movement to force the kind of changes that would amount to a revolution in American affairs.

He thunders that for the past 40 years the American middle class has gradually been disappearing. He points out that the average wage of the average worker is now actually lower than in those earlier years.

He points to high unemployment rates especially among youth, and wants to create jobs and educational opportunities rather than building more jails.

And, new in Madison, he added passages to his stump speech about African Americans being free to walk down the street in places like Ferguson, Mo., without any fear. He hasn’t had a big African-American constituency but clearly aims to develop one.

Since the courts and often the Obama administration have repeatedly told us there is nothing that can be done about these problems, the silent majority has been seething.

Bernie Sanders is helping them do something more useful than seethe. He is giving them political and economic goals. And they are grateful. So it is no wonder that Ten thousand of them came out in Madison.

Sanders has a Sisyphean task. We saw how Parisian taxi drivers effectively struck against what they see as unfair competition from Uber last week. But American workers seem to just let people walk all over them. Sanders wants to build a fire under them, and he may well succeed.


Related video:

Bernie Sanders in Madison, Wisconsin 07-01-2015

13 Responses

  1. I note that this morning’s print edition of the NYT contains no mention of Sander’s rally last night. I guess the “newspaper of record” doesn’t want to report anything that calls the “Hillary is inevitable” meme into question.

    • Right you are – but of course there is a piece about Scott Walker. I don’t agree with Sanders on Middle East policy, but at least on just about everything else he seems to realize that we are trying to have a civilization here!

    • I noted the same thing; however, consider if Hillary or any one of the republican candidates had spoken to such a crowd this early in the campaign. The NYTimes and other MSM would be all over it. It’s a sad commentary.

    • Good point. Online edition has only this about Sanders today: “Bernie Sanders Raises $15 Million From a Wide Donor Base”, which proves again that my decision to stop reading them in 2003 was correct.

  2. The fact Bernie Sanders is categorized as a “liberal” by current media standards is an accurate basis of measurement for how far to the extreme right our country has lurched during the past half century.

    In the decade following WWII our country was unified in victory over enemy imperialism, racism and fascism. The national agendas of both the Republican and Democratic Party would be, by today’s standards, indistinguishable from each other.

    Bernie Sanders is very close to being an “Eisenhower Republican” of the time or as the current retro-American frothing-at-the-mouth extreme right-wing Republicans term his political leanings – just another “socialist” or “commie.”

    Nothing could be further from the truth.

  3. Senator Sanders is a working class champion. His message resonates because it’s the truth for the working class.

    The capitalist, corporate media first tried to ignore him. Then they treated him as a long shot with no chance. Now, they have to do their jobs as propagandists for the capitalist class and the status quo and try and destroy him over something completely trivial and unrelated to his policies like a scream or something.

    Senator Sanders and his movement are threats to capitalist business and politics as usual.


    Go, Bernie! Go!

  4. In the unlikely event Sanders is elected president he will find another and bigger challenge before him – the Washington Establishment. The oligarchs from both parties through their agents in Congress will gang up on him. The media won’t let up. The only way he can succeed is for the American people to do something mostly alien to their character – stand up for what is right. What is left of the union movement had better get its head out and quit supporting the candidate anointed by the contemptuous oligarchs of the Democratic (?) Party.

  5. I dont care much about saving owners of cab medallions (capital) from competition when each and every cab driver (labor) who works for bad wages for the rich cab medallion owner can (and likely will) go work for similarly bad wages at Uber.
    Uber is destroying a business that has acted as a cartel for years and you cite it as an example for american workers. I call it “creative waves of economic destruction” and its a goid thing. Uber is a great thing. Think about it. It will enable more and more households to eliminate buying a car. It works so much better than an antiquated taxi system its not even funny.
    But its a perfectly logical thing for the french to riot about. Protectionism at every level. And august in the south of france while the germans and the Finns take their wealth.
    Also–its just a popular delusion of most commentators that none of these issues is covered in the mainstream media.
    You all sound like Sarah Palin.
    Have you checked out Bernie on gun control? Enjoy.

  6. Meanwhile, at the other end of the political spectrum: “What Scott Walker’s Tenure Has Done to Wisconsin’s Workers: As he prepares for a presidential run, the governor’s labor legacy deserves inspection. Are his state’s “hardworking taxpayers” any better off?” By Donald Kettl – link to

  7. I hope that Bernie and/or someone(s) on his staff are reading Hunter S. Thompson’s book Fear and Loathing: On The Campaign Trail ’72. It says some useful things about organizing with only moderate money but many willing people to make up for that lack of money.

    It also says some harsh things about how McGovern, after his unlikely victory over the Establishment Democrats, went on to try appeasing them and winning their support for Election ’72. Thompson went into some detail about just how self-destructive and self-defeating THAT was.

    Why would that matter? Because if Sanders wins the nomination ( just as unlikely as McGovern), he will then have to decide whether to try “winning back” the Establishment Democrats or accept that they are his ( and ours) Evil Enemies who will collude against him to elect his Republican opponent. If he treats them as the Evil Enemies they are, he will at least keep the supporters who get him nominated. If he tries appeasing the Clintonite Obamacrat scum that he will have to defeat to get the nomination, he won’t win over any scum-filth Clintobamacrats and he will lose all of his base supporters who would be appalled, disgusted and dispirited by his re-wooing of the allegedly humanoid filth-garbage whom he has just defeated.

    I hope he reads Thompson’s book and takes this particular lesson to heart.

  8. Who says that Sisyphus did not smile? If you love what you do, you’ll never have to work a day in your life.

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