Why Americans Can’t Have European-Style Health Care

Vermont senator Bernie Sanders takes part in a protest in Washington DC, November 17, 2016
Vermont senator Bernie Sanders takes part in a protest in Washington DC, November 17, 2016 (Lorie Shaull)

Sixteen Democratic senators, led by the 2016 presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders, have called for reforms that would make all Americans eligible for public health care.

Such a system — the Americans call it “single-payer” — would be uncontroversial in Europe, where most countries guarantee health care to their citizens.

But it seems impossible to get done in America. Why? Read more

Sanders Supporters Shouldn’t Sympathize with Corbyn

Labour's Jeremy Corbyn talks with reporters outside Parliament in London, England, June 11, 2008
Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn talks with reporters outside Parliament in London, England, June 11, 2008 (Flickr/Jasn)

As Americans try to make sense of what is happening in British politics, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is sometimes compared for convenience with Democratic Party candidate Bernie Sanders, another leftwinger.

There are similarities. Both are old men who appeal mostly to disillusioned Millennials. Both are to the left of their parties. And both are refusing to give up when it’s obvious to everyone else that they’ve lost.

But dig a little deeper and you’ll find significant differences that should give Bernie Sanders’ supporters pause. Read more

Sanders Does Not Do Better Against Trump Than Clinton

Vermont senator Bernie Sanders gives a speech in Des Moines, Iowa, January 9
Vermont senator Bernie Sanders gives a speech in Des Moines, Iowa, January 9 (Gage Skidmore)

Diehard Bernie Sanders supporters who refuse to acknowledge that the Vermont senator has lost the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination to Hillary Clinton have one last trick up their sleeves: convincing so-called superdelegates to override the will of the electorate and support him at the convention in July.

No matter that Sanders previously criticized superdelegates as an antidemocratic instrument to, well, override the will of the people.

The argument is that Sanders, a self-described socialist, is more electable against Donald Trump, the likely Republican candidate, hence the 700+ superdelegates — elected and party officials, many of whom have endorsed Clinton — ought to put him, not Clinton, over the top.

This argument rests on a misreading of the polls (assuming the polls are altogether useful five months away from an election). Read more

The World According to Bernie Sanders

Vermont senator Bernie Sanders makes a speech in Brooklyn, New York, April 8
Vermont senator Bernie Sanders makes a speech in Brooklyn, New York, April 8 (Timothy Krause)

It’s rather rare for me to have an opportunity to hear directly from the horse’s mouth. I rely, as so many do, on public media. But this weekend Senator Bernie Sanders paid a visit to Coney Island; a mere handful of subway stops away, it seemed unconscionable to not bother my Sunday with a speech. The unseasonably chilly breeze numbing my rapidly sunburning skin (New York winters, after all, lighten everyone a shade, me especially), I waited in an orderly, two-hour long security line, strolled by a trio of wonderfully abusive Donald Trump supporters (I’d expect no less) and found myself planted behind the phalanx of media outlets who wholly obscured the view of Sanders himself.

But I heard him, and at a rally, that’s all that counts.

There wasn’t much newsbreaking; Sanders repeated his talking points of many other stump speeches and his crowd reacted predictably to the themes he is most famous for. An old woman next to me passed out from the long wait; a swarm of cops provided a brief distraction, but hidden as we were behind the media, Sanders himself paid the situation no mind.

For a man whose electoral platform hinges heavily on domestic inequality, it made sense that the foreign policy aspect of his stump speech was light. But his statements bear analysis: with the New York primary coming up on April 19, Sanders is rapidly reaching his make-or-break political moment and victory in the Empire State could well propel him and his ideals to the White House. Read more

Michigan Primary Suggests Sanders Has a Chance

Vermont senator Bernie Sanders gives a speech in Des Moines, Iowa, January 9
Vermont senator Bernie Sanders gives a speech in Des Moines, Iowa, January 9 (Gage Skidmore)

The outcome of the Michigan Democratic presidential primary suggests Bernie Sanders might have a chance after all.

Although the Vermont senator did not win Michigan by a large margin, overcoming media expectations as he did on Tuesday night stands to give him the same “buzz” that a landslide would have.

How did Sanders manage it? Read more

Clinton Puts Campaign Back on Track in Nevada

Former American secretary of state Hillary Clinton campaigns in Nevada, February 15
Former American secretary of state Hillary Clinton campaigns in Nevada, February 15 (Hillary for America/Samuel Fisch)

Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton won the Democratic Party’s presidential caucuses in Nevada on Saturday, besting her socialist rival, Bernie Sanders, with 52 to 48 percent support.

The victory is a relief for Clinton who was widely expected to win the nomination at the start of the contest but suffered losses in the first two voting states.

NBC News reports that Sanders was hoping to use Nevada “to prove himself as a viable candidate in a state with an electorate made up of more minority voters and fewer self-described liberals than the race’s earlier contests in Iowa and New Hampshire.”

The Vermont senator effectively tied with Clinton in the first voting state and defeated her in the second. Read more

Debate Shows Why Clinton is the Proper Democrat

Former American secretary of state Hillary Clinton gives a speech in Iowa, January 23
Former American secretary of state Hillary Clinton gives a speech in Iowa, January 23 (Hillary for America/Barbara Kinney)

The two-person contest for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in the United States is turning into a question of what kind of a party it wants to be. Read more