Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) kicked off his multi-state unity tour with new Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez in style Monday, delivering a rousing speech in Portland, Maine.
Sean Potter, a Sanders supporter and musician from Falmouth, said he was curious to hear from Sanders, whom he noted "kind of got shafted by" the Democratic Party. At a kick-off event in ME on Monday, the audience roared for Sanders and booed at the mention of the DNC. Sanders has endorsed Perriello thereby encouraging this primary. ME appears to be the first stop on a tour of "purple" and "red" states as the party attempts to revamp its grassroots network and organize opposition to President Trump following last November's loss. Or, as Sanders called it, "progressive".
"So many of our people are giving up on the political process", he continued. Bright, an organic farmer who helped Sanders win the state's Democratic caucuses, was one of Maine's four voters in the Electoral College. The partnership is not without some irony.
Party leaders have concluded, quite incorrectly, that if they want to be competitive at the state and national levels they must adopt the economic socialism of Sanders and the identity politics of Ellison, an African American and one of only two Muslims in the House.
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Sanders has scheduled a rally Tuesday evening in Louisville. Throughout, Sanders stuck to his talking points, even touting single-payer health care, which demonstrates the ample leeway Perez and the party are providing him on this speaking tour. He was pretty strong about that in an interview after the DNC election when it was reported, "Sanders also implied in response to Tapper's questioning that he would not give the DNC his presidential campaign's massive email list, which shattered previous records by raising $218 million online from 2.8 million donors". Last Tuesday, Republicans won a special congressional election in Kansas for the seat Mike Pompeo vacated when he was confirmed to be Trump's director of the Central Intelligence Agency. We're going to be fighting to see that the Democratic Party becomes a 50-state party. The next day, Perez shot back on NPR, claiming that the DNC offered its voter file, conducted robocalls, and, despite losing, basically won because it wasn't a blowout. "That's what we need".
But it had the opposite effect for Torp, who has changed her party registration from Democratic to independent.
Perez told the ME audience that resistance to Trump would come by winning seats in Congress, in statehouses, and on school boards. He's never going to be a Democrat, because he has built his identity on being the guy who tells you that Democrats are a bunch of sellouts and only when the party remakes itself in his image will it succeed. My suggestion to her for the DNC was they should be working with Democrats on the Hill to draft a bill to fix the Affordable Care Act. Certainly, Trump is challenging some orthodox conservative positions, especially on free trade and government spending. Bernie Sanders in politically competitive cities and states, including Las Vegas.
The irony is that those who lionize Sanders still don't seem all that concerned about the things he cares about.
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The tour, titled, "Come Together, Fight Back", began in Portland, Maine., on Monday.
Sanders is right on that count.
Be proactive - Use the "Flag as Inappropriate" link at the upper right corner of each comment to let us know of abusive posts. They're beginning to fight back. "I came out in support of Bernie", she said.
Maybe they'll find some support, but their progressive message is likely to resonate only with whatever socialists they find in Utah or transgender activists they find in Nebraska.
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