RSN Fundraising Banner
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment

Galindez writes: "When Sanders compared the invasion of Iraq to regime change in Iran, Chile, and Guatemala, he reassured the progressive base that he will not have an interventionist foreign policy."

Bernie and Jane Sanders. (photo: David Becker/Reuters)
Bernie and Jane Sanders. (photo: David Becker/Reuters)

Why Bernie Sanders Cleared a Path to Victory in 2nd Debate

By Scott Galindez, Reader Supported News

16 November 15


he pundits and many polls are saying Hillary Clinton won, and maybe for a week or two while Americans worry about ISIS they might be right. Maybe she did pass the commander in chief test. But let’s face it, when Democrats caucus and vote they will not be doing so based on foreign policy. Besides, Bernie Sanders did make waves on foreign policy in a manner that could just help him in the long run.

When Sanders compared the invasion of Iraq to regime change in Iran, Chile, and Guatemala, he reassured the progressive base that he will not have an interventionist foreign policy.

“The disagreement is, not only did I vote against the war in Iraq, if you look at history, you will find that regime change, whether it was in the 1950s in Iran, toppling Salvador Allende in Chile, overthrowing the government of Guatemala – these toppings of governments, regime change, have unintended consequences. On this issue I am a little more conservative than the secretary. I am not a big fan of regime change,” said Sanders as the watch party at Drake University exploded in cheers. In the debate hall there really wasn’t much reaction to anything throughout the debate. It was a reserved, establishment crowd.

But at the watch party as Sanders delivered that response you could hear “Whoa,” “Oh my,” and “Yes” coming from people who were happy to hear a candidate for the Democratic Party’s nomination for president admitting to US foreign policy mistakes in Iran, Chile and Guatemala.

When the media and the pundits try to determine who won debates, they are looking at the event through filters colored by the past. I think Bernie made a very important step in solidifying anti-war anti-intervention groups who were uneasy about some of his past votes on foreign policy. That was lost on the pundits.

“It’s the economy, stupid”

Remember when James Carville and the Clinton inner circle understood that and focused on it? Hillary Clinton can impress everyone with her diplomatic accomplishments all she wants, but they don’t pay the mortgage or the doctor bills and they won’t put your kids through college.

The big differences between the three Democratic candidates for president are not on ISIS (none of them want boots on the ground) or the Iran nuclear deal, which they all favor. The difference is how we are going to deal with economic inequality and who is best positioned to lead that fight. This is the area that Bernie Sanders clearly won in the debate. Was there a game changer? Probably not, but the seeds of doubt were planted.

One reason I think Sanders did enough is that he even polled well after the debate on the economy and economic inequality.

So who won on points? It was a Saturday night debate on CBS, so let’s use their overnight poll, since nobody else was watching – another blunder by the DNC.

Most of the good news for Clinton was on foreign policy: those polled after the debate overwhelmingly thought she was best equipped to handle foreign policy, terrorism, and ISIS. She narrowly edged out Sanders on gun policy, 43% to 36%, a surprisingly strong performance for Sanders. That is where the good news ended for Hillary Clinton.

While many are starting to dismiss the numbers on honesty and trustworthiness, Clinton’s scores still point to a huge opportunity for Senator Sanders. 88% of Democrats polled by CBS after the debate found Sanders honest and trustworthy to only 58% for Clinton. 41% found Clinton not honest and trustworthy, while only 13% had that opinion of Sanders.

On economic issues it was also a good night for Sanders, according to the CBS post-debate poll: 43% thought Sanders would do a better job handling the economy while 40% thought Clinton would do better. When it came to fighting economic inequality, 58% thought Sanders would do a better job to only 31% for Clinton.

That is big news for Bernie and why I think he won the debate. Those are the issues that Democrats will be voting on in the primaries and caucuses. Bernie has laid the groundwork to win, and with two months to go before the voting begins there is plenty of time for Sanders further his case.

On economic issue after issue, Sanders showed daylight between himself and Secretary Clinton. On the minimum wage, Clinton falls short, calling for $12 hour, citing an economist’s opinion that $15 an hour could be too high.

Sanders responded: “It is not a radical idea to say that if somebody works forty hours a week, that person should not be living in poverty. When we put money into the hands of working people, they’re going to go out and buy goods, they’re going to buy services, and they’re going to create jobs in doing that,” he said. “That is the kind of economy I believe in. Put money in the hands of working people. Raise the minimum wage to fifteen bucks an hour.”

On health care, Sanders defended the gains made by Obama but said they do not go far enough. “I believe we’ve got to go further. I want to end the international embarrassment of the United States of America being the only major country on Earth that doesn’t guarantee health care to all people as a right, not a privilege.” Under the private-insurance system, he went on, “We end up spending—and I think the secretary knows this—far more per capita on health care than any other major country, and our outcomes, health-care outcomes are not necessarily that good.”

The moderators pressed Sanders on how he would pay for his proposals, specifically how big a tax hike would come. “We haven’t come up with an exact number yet, but it will not be as high as the number under Dwight D. Eisenhower, which was ninety per cent.” That received the loudest response of the night, many laughing. “I’m not that much of a socialist compared to Eisenhower,” Sanders went on.

It was a good start for Sanders, who will be giving a major address on democratic socialism in the next few weeks. He has to address fears about what being a socialist means.

I think the strongest blow landed by Sanders was why Clinton would be compromised in efforts to take on Wall Street.

Sanders said: “Let’s not be naive about it…. Why, over her political career, has Wall Street been a major—the major—campaign contributor to Hillary Clinton? You know, maybe they’re dumb and they don’t know what they’re going to get, but I don’t think so.”

The biggest blunder of the night came when Secretary Clinton, in what was clearly a rehearsed, prepared response, tried to justify her Wall Street support by invoking 9/11. When you take a step back and think about it, it was a logical response. As senator from New York, she represented Wall Street when they rebuilt from 9/11 but it didn’t come across that way to everyone. The delivery was too defiant instead of a more respectful emotional response that might have landed where she wanted it.

“So I represented New York, and I represented New York on 9/11 when we were attacked. Where were we attacked? We were attacked in downtown Manhattan where Wall Street is. I did spend a whole lot of time and effort helping them rebuild. That was good for New York. It was good for the economy, and it was a way to rebuke the terrorists who had attacked our country.”

The response on twitter was swift and argued that the response was tone deaf.

After a brief exchange on Glass-Steagall, Bernie pressed on: “But at the end of the day, Wall Street today has enormous economic and political power,” he said. “Their business model is greed and fraud. And for the sake of our economy … the major banks must be broken up.”

The exchange on campaign contributions left doubt that Clinton could stand up to the banks. It is clear that the Sanders campaign will continue to press on campaign finance and on the fact that her large contributions from Wall street and other corporations leave her compromised when it comes to real reform. That is Bernie’s path to victory, and it is a path that he cleared the way for in the Des Moines debate.

Scott Galindez attended Syracuse University, where he first became politically active. The writings of El Salvador's slain archbishop Oscar Romero and the on-campus South Africa divestment movement converted him from a Reagan supporter to an activist for Peace and Justice. Over the years he has been influenced by the likes of Philip Berrigan, William Thomas, Mitch Snyder, Don White, Lisa Fithian, and Paul Wellstone. Scott met Marc Ash while organizing counterinaugural events after George W. Bush's first stolen election. Scott will be spending a year covering the presidential election from Iowa.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+14 # 2015-11-16 13:24
It seems that Bernie sounds and polls better and better with time. But now with the Paris bombing I suspect the rules of the game may have changed; people may now want a president who doesn't hesitate to voice increasingly hawkish policies re ISIL and other terrorist groups. Among Dems Hillary may now be the leader of choice esp. given her background as Sec'y of State. I'm afraid to give a possible choice among the GOP candidates; all of them sound worse than ever now. The world is in an awful state right now on all possible fronts: economic, ecological, political, cultural and religious. Wherever one looks the world is a mess. Can the U.S. help the world situation given its own fractured politics? And are the nations of the world mature enough to work together on conquering, destroying ISIL? We in the West are now paying for the mistakes of power, greed and ignorance that we made in the past. I'm concerned that we humans really do lack the maturity and wisdom needed right now.
+59 # Jim Rocket 2015-11-16 14:57
It may be that Hillary's State Department has it's hands dirty by funding Isis in its zeal to dispose Assad. If this is the case and good journalism prevails Clinton may be in a lot of trouble.
+26 # ritawalpoleague 2015-11-16 16:52
"...Hillary's State Department has its hands dirty..." So sad but true. Here's an example: And, it does not take a brilliant plus mind to figure out that Hillary's State Dept. did not independently take/make important decisions on its own, but rather was ordered by Hillary on what, where, and when to do certain things.

It was more than a bit disturbing to experience what happened during the 'trial of the century', Hedges, et. al. v. Obama, et. al. Trial's plaintiffs included some of the best journalists, whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, justice activist Alexa O'Brien. Pull up Alexa O'Brien and Rita Walpole Ague, for verification of my serving on plaintiff's legal team.

Hillary's State Dept. most certainly did not ban by accident of, on their own, the taking of a deposition ('depo') of one of our plaintiffs, the Hon. Birgitta Jonsdottir (an Icelandic member of parliament and protector and assistor of WikiLeak's Julian Assange).

Research I did, why this banning took place, and learned I did of how corrupt the Clinton Foundation is, and how bought off Hillary is, by Wall Street and AIPAC. Last thing Hillary, the wannabe first woman pres. wanted, was the possibility of the 'wiki - leaking' of this info.. Unlike Hill the Shill, Bernie is a true people vs. self server, and...

+23 # Radscal 2015-11-16 15:46
"We in the West are now paying for the mistakes of power, greed and ignorance that we made in the past."

Again, the destruction of strong, secular countries were not "mistakes." They were and are the deliberate goals that the NeoCons publicly stated going back to at least the 1990s.

"But now with the Paris bombing I suspect the rules of the game may have changed"

That is the goal of terrorism. So ask, whose interests do those reactions benefit? Well what do you know, the very same interests who manipulated Islamic Extremists and Western citizens into destroying those countries in the first place.

"are the nations of the world mature enough to work together on conquering, destroying ISIL?"

ISIL was created by, and funded by, armed by and trained by these same Anglo-American- Zionist interests. There is a reason why the "West" has been allegedly fighting ISIL and its affiliates for years, and yet they've only grown larger, and richer and better armed. That reason is clearly that destroying ISIL has never been the goal.

Meanwhile, within weeks of Russia's stepping in to fight the terrorists, they have been driven back from key strategic locations they've held for years. Hence, the need to terrorize Westerners into mindlessly supporting the very same interests who caused the destructions of countries, creating a region of "failed states," killing millions of people and turning good people into refugees.
+22 # scoff 2015-11-16 19:47
As Bernie pointed out, American intervention in (destruction of) secular, democratically elected governments dates much further back than the 90's. Iran in 1953. Chile in 1973. Guatemala in 1982.

Neocons are just the latest iteration of a mindset that believes "bringing democracy" to a country means making it an easy target for American corporate greed, the will of its people be damned.

It's not much different than what we, as citizens, have been experiencing for the last 40+ years.
+13 # Radscal 2015-11-16 21:21
Quite true that the US shadow government has had a consistent policy of overturning sovereign nations and installing brutal puppet regimes since at least the end of WW II (really, the Spanish-America n war and invasions of Haiti in the 19th century).

The NeoCon difference is that they are absolutely destroying these countries, not merely replacing their governments. I guess that, to a certain extent, the same can be said of what we did to Yugoslavia in the 1990s, but even there the results were a group of functioning governments.
+87 # CL38 2015-11-16 14:22
I want real leadership, not the same Clintonian policies she finesses in attempts to look progressive.

Bernie said it best, "we need revolution to create REAL change". For 34 years, he's consistently shown the kind of leadership the US needs now.

Hillary is a military war hawk who continues with the same thinking that has done in the Middle East and the US.

While he may not have Hillary's Secretary of State leadership experience, I trust Bernie Sanders far more than I trust Hillary. He never equivocates or panders, as Hillary did numerous times in the last debate. He'll use quick intelligence and clear thinking to develop sane policies that not only make sense but will take us in a far better direction internationally .

With you all the way, Bernie!
+31 # Ray Kondrasuk 2015-11-16 14:23
Various emails are rattling around the net stressing how "All terrorists are Muslims". If readers are herded into accepting the flawed logic of the inverse... "Therefore, all Muslims...." will be a double victory for the Paris assassins.
+5 # SusanT136 2015-11-19 07:29
Yeah like those Oklahoma City bombers...

And why is it that when a gunman bursts onto a scene - like at a theater in Colorado Springs, or a school like Sandy Hook, these homegrown Caucasian terrorists are never referred to as terrorists? Wasn't their intention to massacre people and invoke terror?

Bernie has the ability to unite people. He's teamed up on different issues with both Dems and Repubs in the Senate. We desperately need him.
+44 # Eliz77 2015-11-16 14:49
We need serious, considered action in the world today. When ISIL ups the violence factor, more violence in return will only create more chaos. Yes, wisdom IS needed now, not more money to military intervention. We must insist that our leaders pay attention to the ancient and true knowledge that you get what you put out. We must be watchful and careful now because when we bomb and kill people, more people want to bomb and kill us.
0 # thekidde 2015-11-20 10:00
True, but we're dealing with murderous, radical, religious nutcakes whose mentality is one of rabid radicalism and hatred. Problem is you can kill people, but you can't kill ideas - no matter how idiotic and inhuman.
+44 # ChrisCurrie 2015-11-16 15:14
The US Government's role in the 2009 coup de tat in Honduras (while Hillary was Secretary of State) is another serious blemish on Hillary's record as Secretary of State. Among many other dreadful things, that US-sponsored coup de tat created a gangland anarchy in Honduras that ultimately led to a massive flow Honduran families into the United States seeking asylum.
+19 # Farafalla 2015-11-16 16:41
This act by Hillary is the reason I decided not to vote for her ever.

BTW: it's coup d'état.
+4 # SusanT136 2015-11-19 07:34
Sadly I doubt most Americans can even tell you what continent Honduras is on, let alone have any awareness of what's happening there.
+44 # Buddha 2015-11-16 15:15
Clinton referenced Krugman with respect to her "stronger" position than reinstating Glass-Steagall. I'd like Krugman to write a clear article on why he thinks re-instating the wall between insurance, retail banking, and investment banking that remained in place for more than half a century preventing a replay of the Great Depression, that once repealed led to another similar financial sector implosion barely a decade later, isn't a sufficient if reinstated to prevent another similar implosion from occurring again?
+50 # PABLO DIABLO 2015-11-16 15:25
Bernie may be "our" last chance. Vote Bernie. VOTE.
-4 # ericlipps 2015-11-17 05:51
Bernie may be "our" last chance. Vote Bernie. VOTE.

People on the left are always saying that this candidate or that "may be our last chance." It's time to put that cliché aside and simply work to make things better without declaring that we're doomed unless so-and-so wins.
+53 # Doc Mary 2015-11-16 15:34
Having the debate on a Saturday night was a BLUNDER?? Having it on a Saturday night while the Iowa-Minnesota game was going on was a BLUNDER?? I don't think so. The Democratic Party clearly favors Hillary; they know that she does not do well in these debates; and they don't want people watching them. Which may work as a tactic, but it is wrong.

That debate was basically lost in the media because of the tragic events in France. For this reason alone, the Democratic Party needs to schedule another debate. This is not a game. The public has the right to hear from the candidates.
+34 # Karlus58 2015-11-16 16:04
Please tell that to Wasserman-Shult z!
+34 # Doc Mary 2015-11-16 17:05
She knows. and she goes "lalalala I can't hear you."
+12 # mtnthai 2015-11-16 22:51
write to Debbie Wasserman Shultz and tell her to schedule more debates, it surely can't hurt to do so and only takes 5 minutes: or or both.

then ask her to resign due to conflicts of interest.
+4 # jimallyn 2015-11-17 02:08
It was a deliberate blunder, but a blunder nonetheless.
+56 # Radscal 2015-11-16 15:57
Sanders' even mentioning the US policy of "Regime Change" extending back to Iran and Guatemala in the 1950s, and extending through Libya and Syria in the 2010s was revolutionary. I have never heard a Presidential candidate from the Democratic or Republican Parties mention them, let alone acknowledge that they are the cause of much of the bloodshed and horror in the world.

He also alluded to cutting the military budget, a crucial element in truly revolutionary change for the betterment of all humanity.

I've been a strong supporter of Sanders' domestic policies for a long time, but have been ambivalent about his foreign policy record. This debate has made me more optimistic about Sanders.
+24 # reiverpacific 2015-11-16 16:01
Does ANYONE (on RSN anyway) take any of the US owner-media punditocracy and pollsters seriously?
The BBC (for instance) simply addressed the candidate's stances on each issue in some detail, then left the reader to make their own choices.
Here, the alleged "debate" questions are too obviously loaded in favor of the status-quo in the first place, on who's behalf the punditocracy are pre-programmed to make their decisions public -but then I'm admittedly pre-programmed from long experience (including the UK, my home country and other nations I've lived in), to favor anybody who is inclined to take a populist, anti-war and intervention stance against the always predictable, established status-quo.
BTW, "Iran, Chile, and Guatemala," are only three in an almost annual list of interventions, support and arming of right-wing oligarchs and dictators the US/CIA have engineered since 1953, the most recent being the overthrow of Manuel Zelaya's left-populist, short-lived and hugely popularly elected government before they could do anything effective about their oligarchs, turning the country into the murder capital of the hemisphere and arguably, the world.
+17 # angelfish 2015-11-16 20:40
We've GOT to get OUT of the War "Business". It only profits the already grotesquely wealthy and decimates our Military for NO good reason. Bring ALL our Troops HOME! Heal them and give them the aid and comfort they SO deserve and put the rest of the country back to work, rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure! never, Ever, EVER vote for another ReTHUGlican unless and until they begin to care for ALL Americans, not just their wealthy Cronies. Bernie Sanders in 2016! He is the ONLY sane and reasonable choice for POTUS!
+16 # MidwestTom 2015-11-16 21:26
Too bad the DNC is doing all it can to avoid Bernie becoming the candidate. Scheduling the debates on a Saturday night is almost as bad as the 3am time slot.
-9 # ericlipps 2015-11-17 05:53
Quoting MidwestTom:
Too bad the DNC is doing all it can to avoid Bernie becoming the candidate.

Because the DNC doesn't want the Republicans to win in a walk next November. When did you mutate into a Sanders supporter, Tom?
+6 # Buddha 2015-11-17 11:30
You don't succeed in elections if you are afraid of putting your ideas out there where the most people can hear them. You only do that if you know you have a weak policy and/or weak candidates. Debbie Wasserman-Schul tz knows Hillary is a weak candidate, and that "I accept Wall St bribes 'because 9-11'" comment in the last debate was EXACTLY what she was fearing...
+16 # 2015-11-17 00:24
Senator Bernie Sanders has all the qualities and abilities of a true leader. Bernie is kind, loyal, honest, humble, energetic, intelligent, experienced, and passionate about helping every child succeed in this country, thus building a stronger USA for future generations. Not only does Bernie Sanders carefully weigh the issues before voting up and down on life threatening issues such as issues declaring war, he weighs every option carefully.Hasty decisions have been known to create disaster by former politicians. Bernie Sanders also is wise enough to refuse the big tempting money from super packs which will in the end destroy our democracy if allowed to continue. Bernie for president!
+4 # Desiderata 2015-11-17 11:47
[quote name=""]Senator Bernie Sanders has all the qualities and abilities of a true leader. Bernie is kind, loyal, honest, humble, energetic, intelligent, experienced, and passionate about helping every child succeed in this country, thus building a stronger USA for future generations.

Those may be the qualities and abilities of a true leader in some other country but in the U.S these are definitely NOT attributes that are going to win Bernie the presidency . His own party is ignoring him.They are even scheduling the debates to work against him !
I don't mean to sound negative but facts are facts. Americans have a tendency to vote against their own best interests and that is because they are so dumbed down by their so called media that they don't even know what those interests are anymore. The events in Paris will now overwhelm everyone to the point where they will find themselves beating the old war drum along with the Neocons who have set them up.
And then you will hand over your tax dollars to keep it going.
Unless you the GET THE MONEY OUT of politics and soon, the playing field will never be a fair one for politicians like Bernie Sanders.Hit the streets..make a splash so loud that the media can't ignore you. Why Trump does it ,almost effortlessly ,and on a daily basis.You want votes for Bernie you need to get the masses to pay attention asap
+2 # Robbee 2015-11-17 22:01
have discipline! have patience! says - # Desiderata 2015-11-17 11:47 "Unless you the GET THE MONEY OUT of politics and soon, the playing field will never be a fair one for politicians like Bernie Sanders.Hit the streets..make a splash so loud that the media can't ignore you. Why Trump does it ,almost effortlessly ,and on a daily basis.You want votes for Bernie you need to get the masses to pay attention asap"

- yes, get out and support bernie now, today!; meanwhile, tho, know that public funding is a long-term project, or, as bernie says - “Long term, we need to go further and establish public funding of elections … American democracy is not about corporations and billionaires being able to buy candidates and elections. It is not about Wall Street and big oil or the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson spending billions of dollars to elect candidates who will make the rich richer and everyone else poorer. According to media reports the Koch brothers alone, one family, will spend more money in this election cycle than either the Democratic or Republican parties. This is not democracy. This is oligarchy. The defining principle of American democracy is ... every citizen having an equal say ... And that’s the kind of American political system we have to fight for!"

- public funding is something we must strive for all our lives! - go bernie!
+5 # Robbee 2015-11-17 22:05
exactly! - # mmcmanus 2015-11-17 13:04 "... the world is not going to change this--it will not change until there are no more republican politicians left to drag the country down."

- and here's how it goes!

1st, we amend the constitution to require public funding, only, of federal, state and local elections - no more private money, superpacs, whatever - candidates for public office spends what the government gives them to spend, no more! like bernie's ads, all ads will naturally mean, whether they say it or not, "i'm so-and-so, i approve this message!"

2nd, automatically all candidates will stop begging billionaires for bucks - it would be illegal for billionaires to give them, it would be illegal for candidates to take them!

3rd, without any reason to communicate with billionaires and their lobbyists anymore, officeholders would stop listening to billionaires and their lobbyists, and doing their bidding!

4th, with nothing else to do with 2/3 of their time they used to spend begging, officeholders would have nothing better to do with their time than listen to us 99% and doing what's right by us instead!

5th, with no connection to their billionaire masters anymore, as a party for the 1%, the zomblican party would cease to exist! it would either dissolve or perhaps morph into a conservative party without undemocratic leverage!

- anyway this is what bernie proposes and we should all be on board! - go bernie!
+5 # newell 2015-11-18 09:02
and bernie's wife will make a better 1st spouse than bill.
+2 # Slavetodog 2015-11-29 07:22
Good idea?: Bernie announce that the VP will be a management expert whose job will be to streamline and "adjust" the Executive Branch - not ribbon cutting. The Republican mantra seems to be to eliminate federal government and balance the budget. (Even though given the chance they don't.) Streamline, improve productivity, eliminate duplication all seem to be a more positive approach than starve the government Norquist approach. Whoever is the next POTUS needs to actually run the government for once. Take the subject away from the Repubs.
+1 # newell 2015-12-03 14:39
dear ms./mr. guardian--can we please have a new bernie article. this one is 3 weeks old.

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.