Was watching a post-debate focus group on CNN after last night’s Democratic debate in Las Vegas.  The group seemed very ordinary in the sense that they were not D.C. style suited and booted high salaried attorneys but more like hotel workers, maybe local small business accountants and hair stylists.  This group of 25 or so folks, when asked who won the debate, about two thirds indicated that Bernie Sanders won.  This was surprising to me since all the CNN pundits (and me) thought that Hillary “won” the debate.  On the other hand, Bernie seems to have ignited a firestorm around the country by plugging into the structural unfairness that has become endemic in the good old U.S of A. over the past thirty years. 

On the other hand, when asked who they thought would win the Democratic nomination, the entire group said that it would be Hillary.  In fact, even more surprising to me was one woman’s suggestion that her ideal Democratic ticket would be a Hillary/Sanders one, something I’d never thought of but makes perfect sense.  So it seems as if these folks, like me, believe that Bernie cannot win the Presidency but like what he’s saying so much that they want him as Vice President.  Hey, sounds like a dream ticket to me!

When Bernie Sanders entered the race, I thought that his most important function would be to push Hillary to the left, avowed Socialist that he is.  And that he has certainly achieved.  In fact, what he’s done is re-glued the Democratic establishment  to their natural roots – ordinary working and middle class Americans, two large groups that the Republicans have successfully won over  since the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980.  Bernie’s remarks about Hillary’s e-mail scandal, that America was tired of all this scandal mongering and that we were damned sick of discussing her e-mails was not only right on target, it was the remark that brought the most applause from the audience.  It was, indeed, a gift to Hillary from this avowed Socialist.   

At this moment, Jake Tapper is commenting on the question “Can Bernie Sanders expand his appeal beyond his loyal supporters?”  Six months ago I would have said no, but today I’m not so sure given the fondness that the Las Vegas post-debate group has for the man.  If these guys, people who by their looks, at least, one could never imagine would respond to Bernie’s socialist agenda since, according to Republicans, Socialism is the product of the Anti-Christ.  But they are supporting this man.   Maybe we are in for some delightful surprises come the 2016 elections.

Is it too naive to speculate that Americans really are tired of the Tea Bagger/Radical Conservative/Dumb-Ass Republican bullshit that passes for policy?  That more and more Americans have finally realized that all the sloganeering and propagandizing by the Republicans and their blowhard candidates is nothing more than empty rhetoric that has no usefulness and basis in reality?  That Americans have finally understood that conservative social, political and economic policies have greatly helped the rich and done nothing but crush America’s working and middle classes?

Frankly I think it’s all too much to believe.  But I have to say that I am so  bloody intrigued by this Las Vegas focus group and how much they admire Bernie Sanders – after all these were not young New York City 20 or 30 something’s who one would think would be more liberal, more progressive – but poorly dressed, frumpy men and women who, stereotypically, should be supporting Donald Trump.  It was truly amazing. 

There is, of course, no comparison between this solid, substantive and serious Democratic debate and the circus side-shows that were the two Republican debates.   Nor is there any comparison among the two party’s candidates.  I might except Kasich and Christie from approbation since both do tend to stick to real issues rather than fantastical fantasies of the rest of them.  But they get drowned out by the rest of the 14 person howler pack who seem to be stuck in some nether world of unreality that bears no resemblance to the world you and I inhabit.       

So where are we now?  I’m encouraged.  Seems as if there is a change taking place, at least a thawing of the stranglehold that right wingers have had on the entire country for the past three decades.    A sea change?  A tsunami?  Maybe not.  But I have to say that when the Democrat party has finally realized that the majority of Americans actually think that Barack Obama has been a good president (unlike what they thought back in 2012), have finally begun to understand that they must go on the attack to counter meaningless, but comfy sounding conservative propaganda, by realizing that they have abandoned America’s working and middle classes – not so long ago - their natural constituency and seem to want to do something to recapture that broad coalition, I am hopeful.  And I am thankful to all the youngsters who camped out in parks and got shoved around by the police from Occupy Wall Street protests, Senator from Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren who challenged the status quo, and last but not least Socialist Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who had the courage to tell America the real deal about what’s been happening to America for so long and what needs to be done to correct it.

Have a good day!
 NOTE:  This morning, Wednesday, the Fox News folks are talking about Joe Biden (WTF?) and Hillary’s e-mails.  (No surprise there).  The Donald is characterizing the debate as boring.  No surprise there either since debates about policy (domestic or foreign) must be very “foreign to him.   I agree with Trump insofar as the Democrats’ debate had nowhere near the entertainment value of the Republicans.  But frankly, I don’t want another entertainer – viz  Ronald Reagan - as President ever again.  Way too much potential damage. 


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