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The mainstream media devoted considerable time before the second round of Dem debates in covering the issue of Bernie needing to distinguish himself from other candidates. For instance, pseudo-journalist and MSNBC millionaire Chuck Todd interviewed David Kos (of the Daily Kos which masquerades as a leftist outlet but which is actually centrist). Kos in effect complained that Bernie was too consistent - he needed to change his message a bit from 2016 in order to have an effective strategy for 2020. Similarly, CNN ran numerous segments in which panelists (all conservative, pro-corporate agenda) suggested that Bernie needed to try to prove to the people watching the debates how he differs from his rival candidates.

What the corporate-media have proved to the American public in following this strategy is that they are much more of a threat to American Democracy than Russia ever was. In 2016 Bernie changed the political landscape, so that the plethora of mostly corporate-duopoly politicians who have chosen to agree to pollute the 2020 Democratic Party Presidential debate stages are forced (inconsistently) to try to sound like Bernie in order to seem popular whilst (absurdly) also disagreeing with him. The corporate media pundits are left looking typically disingenuous or just stupid, in trying to reconcile this inconsistency.

For instance:

Elizabeth Warren was against Medicare for all in 2016, and endorsed Hillary Clinton in the 2016 primaries instead of Bernie. Now, just four years later, Warren is portrayed by the corporate media to viewers as the new Bernie (even though the media hate Bernie). Why would the corporate media do that? Probably, to distract attention away from the fact that Warren’s slogan ‘I have a plan for that’ means ‘I stole Bernie’s ideas’ (much like Joe Biden stole Bernie’s campaign slogan - Bernie: “Not Me, US” / Biden: “Not Me, Not You, but US”, though mysteriously and insidiously the record of this has been removed from the internet - makes people want to vote for Joe all the more, doesn’t it?)

Kamala Harris began by attempting to identify with Bernie’s single-payer Medicare for all plan (eliminating private health-insurance), but shortly prior to the July 31 debate she unrolled a health insurance plan that included the continued existence of private health insurance companies. On the one hand, Harris wanted to ride on the wave of Bernie’s populism against corporate greed but on the other hand privately wants to continue that greed as it serves her interests in running for President. Her roll out of her insane health care plan (wildly at odds with her claims about health care one month before around the time of the first debate) may signal the end of her campaign, Tulsi Gabbard notwithstanding.

(Having endorsed Bernie in 2016, Tulsi Gabbard criticized Harris on her most recent health insurance proposal in the second round of Dem debates. Gabbard claimed that an author of Harris’ latest health care plan (looking nothing like Bernie’s plan) was someone who represented a company who would benefit financially from the plan. Gabbard also criticized Harris regarding her record as attorney general in California. Ironically Gabbard was the most googled candidate following the second debate, after she sued google for blocking searches for her after the first debate.)

Pete Buttigieg and Beto O’Rourke have also advocated some form of healthcare plan which has ‘Medicare for All’ in the title, when they really are not for that policy and they know it. Buttigieg met privately with rabid 2016 Hillary supporter Neera Tanden (of the so-called ‘Center for American Progress’) to discuss ‘the Bernie problem’. According to the New York Times:

“Howard Wolfson, who spent months immersed in Democratic polling and focus groups on behalf of former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York, had a blunt message for Sanders skeptics: “People underestimate the possibility of him becoming the nominee at their own peril.”

The discussion about Mr. Sanders has to date been largely confined to private settings because — like establishment Republicans in 2016 — Democrats are uneasy about elevating him or alienating his supporters.

The matter of What To Do About Bernie and the larger imperative of party unity has, for example, hovered over a series of previously undisclosed Democratic dinners in New York and Washington organized by the longtime party financier Bernard Schwartz. The gatherings have included scores from the moderate or center-left wing of the party, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California; Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the minority leader; former Gov. Terry McAuliffe of Virginia; Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., himself a presidential candidate; and the president of the Center for American Progress, Neera Tanden.”

Buttigieg advocates a ‘Medicare For All Who Want It’ idea (which essentially just offers a public option for people who can’t get private health insurance) whilst taking corporate money to fund his campaign. O’Rourke vaguely claims that Medicare for all is one possible path for health care whilst spouting platitudes about hope and unity.

Bill de Blasio claims to be for Medicare for all, but wants to sound like Bernie without acknowledging the work that Bernie put in to bring the issue to the national purview.

Jay Inslee laudibly puts climate change as the number one priority of his candidacy but doesn’t say much about anything else e.g. foreign policy, Medicare for all. He has taken one of Bernie’s top priorities from his 2016 platform and focused almost exclusively on that.

Interestingly, current DNC chairman Tom Perez appeared on stage before the second round of Dem debates in July 19 to whip the crowd into a pro-Obama frenzy (especially on the second night when Biden was to appear).

According to

“In 2017 Tom Perez stated, “one thing we’ve learned at the DNC is that when you, in fact or in perception, are trying to put the thumb on the scale in a spirited primary, that can undermine public confidence in us.” It was a comment made to assure progressive Democrats that he would remain neutral during primary elections after it was revealed the previous DNC Chair, Debbie Wassermann Schultz, actively tried to sabotage Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign. 

Now, Tom Perez just contradicted that statement by breaking his neutrality promise and endorsing Andrew Cuomo over Cynthia Nixon in the New York gubernatorial primary.

Because Article 5, Section 4 of the DNC Charter mandates neutrality in presidential nominating contests, Democratic Party voters can't be sure Tom Perez won't violate that rule in 2020—as his predecessor did in 2016—based on him violating his own promise to remain neutral in a prominent gubernatorial race.

Tom Perez has purged long-time progressive members from the DNC, and reappointed individuals that endorsed him over Keith Ellison in 2017. He promised to heal wounds in the Democratic Party that resulted after the 2016 presidential primary, but he's only furthered the divide within the Democratic Party, and destroyed what little trust the DNC had left with voters. If Democrats are to take back government from the tyrannical right-wing Republican Party, we need divisive and untrustworthy individuals like Tom Perez completely out of the picture. 

He must resign now, and allow Keith Ellison, his Deputy DNC Chairman, to take over as head of the DNC.”

(The petition to remove Tom Perez as DNC chair was started by Mike Figueredo of the popular ‘Humanist Report’ on YouTube.)

Following another train-wreck of a performance by Biden during the above-mentioned debate, the media the next day repeatedly showed segments in which Biden was cited as claiming that it was bizarre that his Dem debate opponents would criticize Barack Obama’s record (and how e.g. Biden did nothing to stop mass deportation of Obama, the ‘deportation king’)

This smacks of Biden’s Clintonesque arrogance in thinking that he is entitled to the Dem nomination just because of who he is, not because of his (pitiful) record or policies.

To defend Biden by claiming - we have to beat Trump! - is a lesser of two evils strategy that didn’t work for Dems in 2016 (against a more able opponent - Hillary Clinton). More importantly, it ignores the fact that there is no real difference between a corporate Dem candidate and a corporate GOP candidate - both represent the corporate duopoly and corporate oligarchy. Beating Trump will not change that status quo which is destroying the planet and keeping most Americans on their knees, re jobs and healthcare. The main threat to the corporate duopoly’s interests (profit from war and private health insurance) come from Tulsi Gabbard and Bernie Sanders.

Bernie has changed the political climate since 2016 despite massive corporate media opposition. If President Bernie is elected we can begin the work to change the world and its climate.