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The lack of talent on Team Bernie is a major concern!

Bernie and YorickI am excited by Bernie. Is he for real?

He makes me hope that the Dem Party may be able to come back to life as more than an a shell of loyalists who make politics a hobby or careerists who use party work to promote their ascent on the corporate ladder.

What worries me about Bernie is the question of whether he has the ground game to govern if he is elected. To govern Bernie will need some pretty smart politicians willing to follow Bernie’s lead. Obama has failed in this part of his job. After election eight years ago, the grass roots went dry, without the fertilization of leadership from the White House.
Here in Blue Washington there are now almost no pols loyal to Obama and the state Democrats are so feckless that the likely candidate for the high prestige job of Congressperson from Seattle is a liberal Brahmani from Wall street who is running as a person of color. I actually like Pramila Jayapal but think Seattle deserves a higher profile individual more in the mold of Suzan Delbene. Worse, none of the purple districts now led by Repugnants, Reichert and Herrera, are likely to have any credible Democratic candidate.
Can Bernie do better? Let me put it this another way. The Tea Party is the model. Sanders radical rhetoric Whatever you or I think of the Republicans, the GOP has now been taken over by a Koch funded, grass roots organization that runs a ground game able to determine the membership of everything from the local school board to the US Senate. What looked like pure demagoguery .. meant as meat for the masses and fodder for Fox News… has become real policy.

Would Bernie be yet another media mannikin? I know he wants to do great things but the Kochs also have concrete plans for their demagogues. In seeding their grass roots the Kochs have created a monster I am sure they did not expect.

His voting record show how poorly demagoguery works in the real world .. the world of votes in Cingress.

Bernie’s voting record show how poorly demagoguery works in the real world .. the world of votes in Congress. Obviously many of these votes representd some sort of compromise.

Today’s GOP knows less about economics, foreign geology, nuclear energy or biology than I do about manuscripts written in ancient Greek. Today’s GOP voters do not care that messers Trump and Cruz, if either got elected, would be trying to govern a world where they simply do not understand what is real and what is fantasy.

So, I would tell Bernie that “reality matters.” To be successful means more than creating a Democratic rival to the Tea Party. It means building a team of experts who can teach Bernie the facts about economics, science, environment, and energy. Too many of Bernie’s campaign memes are based on rhetoric. I worry that he may really believe some of the things he says about taxes, nuclear power, and even stem cell research.
His position on stem cell research is a good example. Bernie takes the same stand as the right to lifers .. an embryo, according to him is “human life.” He sells this to his followers with “I hate big pharma.” If he talked to any scientist he would be told that his stand is factually wrong .. whether he like pharma or not! Demagoguery can do harm. Science Matter march
Other positions seem to me to be equally shallow. I am NOT an economist but do buy into Piketty’s ideas. I also find the salaries of Wall Street executives obscene. So I like the idea of an aggressive reform of the mega banks. That said, Bernie’s comments to the Daily News were at best off the cuff . Barney Frank, who wrote “Dodd-Frank” and is critical of Obama for not pushing it harder, is dismissive of Sanders’ lack of understanding of the issues. Elizabeth Warren herself has not endorsed any of these ideas of Sanders.
Another example where rhetoric and reality may conflict is the subject of H-1B visas. Sanders has been outspoken about his stance versus H-1B visas. H-1B visas are for temporary guest workers, supposedly so companies like Microsoft or Google can get the best talent. These programs may well be misused and Sanders argues that the program allows corporations to give American jobs to foreign workers. That is hard to understand since H-1B visas are for temporary work. In April, Sanders was one of 10 senators to seek an investigation into H-1B visas, citing concerns that the visas were being used to displace American workers. In 2008, Clinton said she supported raising the H-1B visa cap, according to InfoWorld. “Foreign skilled workers contribute greatly to our technological development,” she said. “That is well understood in Silicon Valley.” It is not surprising the Sanders has little support from Silicon Valley. Frankly this stand sounds an awful lot like Ted Cruz.

The Sanders meme of demonizing Corporations also applies to Boeing. Sanders has called the Export Import bank an example of corporate welfare. “At a time when almost every major corporation in this country has shut down plants and outsourced millions of American jobs, we should not be providing corporate welfare to multi-national corporations through the Export-Import Bank” This sounds good but the reality is that Boeing’s sales are in competition with Aerobus, China, and Japan … ALL of which are building planes that compete with Boeing and ALL of which get state funds to subsidize their sales. I suspect this too is just rhetoric, baiting the French?

Bernie hairMaybe Bernie’s hairdresser knows where he stands on foreign policy. So far I am not sure where Sanders stands on any of the hard issues or even who he has as FP advisors. Again it is much too easy to demagogue about Syria or Venezuela. I pretty much know Hillary’s proposals. I do not know his. How would Bernie deal with Syria or Palestine? What would he do to defuse the conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia? Does he have any ideas about how to deal with trade between the US and China?
Bernie’s team needs expert advisers!

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