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The Op-Ed Bernie Didn’t Write, But Should Have

Yesterday, Bernie Sanders was given the chance to write an op-ed in the New York Times.

He had a golden opportunity to write a campaign-changing piece, and he whiffed. His piece focused on Brexit as a warning to Democrats to take seriously the negative economic impact of the global economy. Essentially, it was the same campaign speech he gave 1,000 times, recycled, using Brexit as the hook. It was largely ignored — not because he doesn’t have a point — but because he offered up nothing new.

Here is the op-ed he should have written. Here is the op-ed that would have made an impact on the debate. It would have given him new relevancy, and stature, as he continues to try to reform the Democratic Party.

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The Biden Decision and the Biden Legacy

Recovering a legacy is no easy feat. Just ask Al Gore.

The most active Vice President in history, at that point, Al Gore was the point person on some of the Clinton administration’s most successful efforts, like Reinventing Government, to pushing through some of its more controversial policies, like NAFTA. But all of that is rarely associated with him, anymore.

Even with all of his yeoman work on the environment, Gore is remembered for the 2000 election. It even is the opening line to most of his speeches, joking, “I am Al Gore, and I used to be the next president of the United States of America.”

From launching a network (and folding it) to environmental work, Al Gore has remained active, but his political cache has suffered. Even with George W. Bush stealing the election, and Ralph Nader running as a Green, most people are aware of one cold, hard truth. It should never have been close. Al Gore screwed it up.

It’s unclear if any of the above is part of the equation, as Joe Biden decides whether to make one final run at the White House. But it should be. Continue reading


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Progressives Rising

Piggybacking off my post from yesterday, Sahil Kapur at Talking Points Memo shows some other key victories for the “Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party” in the new Congress.

The Democrats’ progressive wing is enjoying a renaissance since the party’s crushing defeat in the 2014 midterm election, chalking up victories and capturing the attention of congressional leaders on causes near and dear to their hearts.

Some of the change is structural. The election wiped out red state senators and House members in less progressive districts, reducing the new minority party to a more ideologically cohesive unit. The loss of the Democrats’ Senate majority also breaks a four-year holding pattern in which leaders had to cut deals with the conservative-dominated House, making it somewhat easier for them to stand or fall on principle.

“It’s very, very liberating,” said one Democratic Senate leadership aide.

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