Sanders: Let a Real Progressive Challenge Obama
Posted on Jul 25, 2011
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., on Friday gave voice to the frustration of millions of American liberals who feel betrayed by President Obama’s eagerness to abandon key social welfare programs established and preserved by his Democratic predecessors.
Appearing on Thom Hartmann’s radio show, Sanders suggested that a progressive Democrat oppose Obama in the upcoming presidential primaries to pressure his administration to adopt more liberal social and economic policies. Sanders, an independent, won’t be the one to do it, and no nomination from the senator was forthcoming. —ARK
John Nichols at The Nation:
Sanders explained: “Let me just suggest this: I think there are millions of Americans who are deeply disappointed in the president, who believe that with regard to Social Security and other things, he said one thing as a candidate and is doing something very much else as a president—who cannot believe how weak he has been for whatever reason in negotiating with Republicans, and there’s deep disappointment. So my suggestion is: I think one of the reasons the president has made the move so far to the right is that there is no primary opposition to him and I think it would do this country a good deal of service if people started thinking about candidates out there to begin contrasting a progressive agenda as opposed to what Obama believes he’s doing.”
Sanders says Obama’s weak approach to negotiations with Republicans with regard to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and tax cuts for the rich has caused him to “give thought” to encouraging a progressive Democrat to mount such a challenge.
That led to immediate talk about the prospect that Sanders might mount a primary challenge. That won’t happen. Sanders is not a Democrat. Besides, he is busy running for reelection in Vermont in 2012.
Flickr / mikoosij
But who? Sen. Bernie Sanders says a progressive Democrat stepping forward to challenge President Obama would be a good thing.