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So yeah, I might qualify as the president of the Bernie Sanders fan club, but I know I'd have stiff competition. And yeah, if a political hero is possible, mine is Mr. Sanders. And you know, it's about more than just that his beliefs agree with mine.  It's about HOW HE CONDUCTS HIMSELF.  

1. He is always a total gentleman.  You'll never see Bernie Sanders say FU to anyone. (Hello Mr. Boehner, take note.)  No. He does so much better than that---he speaks substantively, clearly and repeatedly, never gets bitter or pouty, just keeps on keepin' on with everything he's got.  And when you do that, you don't need to swear at someone to shore up your ego.

2. He understands his duty to GOVERN first, and be an ideologue second. Bernie Sanders wanted A LOT more than the ACA. But he voted for it anyway. Thank you, Mr. Sanders. Because while I too wanted more---the public option, single payer---the ACA will help my family greatly, NOW, and I'll take it, and like you, keep on fighting for better.

Bernie Sanders voted with the Democrats on the latest fiscal cliff deal. Did he think it was anywhere near perfect?  No sir.  But he thought it was good enough to vote for. And he has qualified what he thinks is good and bad about the deal on his site. See, he votes his best option to accomplish SOMETHING, and then pops right back up with how it could be better, gives those ideas voice wherever and however he can. NEVER STOPS FIGHTING. NEVER POUTS.

3. Bernie Sanders understands something about "the conversation," and how to stick to his principles, without insulting anyone or belittling anyone, including the president.

In this last election, I often listened to him on Thom Hartmann. He was absolutely clear about where he disagreed with the president, but also absolutely clear about how important it was that we get out and vote for Barack Obama.  He did BOTH, with such great integrity and honesty, which just shows to go you, it's possible.

4. Have you ever wondered why Bernie Sanders is not a MAJOR target of the right? Because he isn't, and I have often wondered why. He's several times to the left of Pelosi---my God, he openly labels himself a Democratic Socialist!!!  So why doesn't the right beat him up like they do Pelosi, and a host of other liberal icons? Why does quirky gun toting Vermont vote him in over and over again, by incredible margins?  

I think it's exactly because of HOW BERNIE SANDERS CONDUCTS HIMSELF. He is, whether and when you agree with him or not, one of the few examples of great statesmanship alive in America today.

So I think there's much to be learned from him. He inspires me. He lets me know that sometimes compromise is necessary, as much as I hate it.  I too of course, want what I want, and am disappointed when I don't get it.  But Bernie Sanders shows me how to roll right back into my fighting stance and keep on keepin' on.  

You know, some think talent is the thing that describes success.  Some think intelligence is the thing that describes success.  Some even think being an effective ass hole describes success. See Steve Jobs.

But I think more than any other trait, perseverance describes success, and surely takes the most bravery. That quality that absorbs disappointments and keeps on going. That does not clock victory a day or a battle at a time. That has the humility to accept the best possible thing at the moment, grab it, and fight on. That NEVER wastes a freaking minute needing to be right, but instead only needs to move forward. This to me describes Bernie Sanders.

In light of all the recent "discussions" here regarding how well the President and the Democrats are doing, or not, I think there is so much we all have to learn, to keep up with a truly great statesman.

   

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Comment Preferences

  •  Sanders: I watched his entire filibuster (12+ / 0-)

    That's not something I normally spend afternoons doing. That was when I realized he was nothing shy of the real deal.

    Tipped and Rec'd for recognizing a damned fine Senator. Dare I say the very best we have in Government? Of all? IMHO, he is.

    He manages to be direct and brusque without being an asshole. Also, he's principled but not rude. His filibuster speech literally exemplified this.

    I agree with how Sanders thinks and governs from all that I've seen of the man. I'm not a big fan of representative democracy but feel he's an example of someone fit to represent me.

    Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

    by mahakali overdrive on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 06:06:35 PM PST

  •  I'm a constituent and you're right, much about (12+ / 0-)

    Bernie is admirable. As you say, he has integrity. He doesn't BS anyone and he fights the good fight. I will always support him politically.

    I would not characterize him as personally warm, however, and he does have an ego.  Mahakali overdrive is right to characterize him as "direct and brusque without being an asshole."

    Suppose we only halved the death rates, both homicide and suicide, from guns? That's 15,000 lives / year we would save. ~teacherken

    by GreenMtnState on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 06:14:27 PM PST

  •  Absolutely yes. (12+ / 0-)

    I'm one of the biggest pony-wanting lefties around.  But everything you said is true and real and worth remembering as we move into the new session.  Our credo needs to be the Utilitarian principle of "the greatest good for the greatest number."  And we need to remember that it isn't the single steps that prove progress -- it's reaching a bend in the path and finding ourselves 1000' higher than we thought we were.

    "Fighting Fascism is Always Cool." -- Amsterdam Weekly, v3, n18 (-8.50, -7.23)

    by Noor B on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 06:17:44 PM PST

  •  Senator Bernie Sanders is one of our finest (11+ / 0-)

    statesmen and an intelligent and unrelenting champion of the American people.

    I have the highest possible regard for him and his legislative accomplishments.

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 06:27:46 PM PST

  •  well said. now we need to elect more (7+ / 0-)

    like him.

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 06:31:30 PM PST

    •  Oh yeah. (6+ / 0-)

      But the uncomfortable truth is, excellence is not common. And contrary to the beliefs of some here, we are not entitled to excellence. We have to work for it. Work very hard for it.

      And part of that work is having a certain humility that Bernie Sanders displays every day in every way, with his ability to take a firm stance, speak up for it endlessly, while NOT being a useless ideologue or an asshole. Not seeking argument, but rather consensus, and speaking tirelessly for that, without bitterness for all the times all that effort has not worked the way he wishes it might have.

      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 06:51:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ohio has one. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomP, nomandates

      I wish we had two.

      Jon Husted is a dick.

      by anastasia p on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:29:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good post with one correction: (9+ / 0-)

    He said that the fiscal cliff bill was "not a good piece of legislation", but the alternative of not voting for it would have been worse. That isn't exactly a ringing endorsement.

    He did what he felt he had to do when facing only bad option. Another good man, Sen Harkin, voted against the bill.

    I respect Sanders esp because I got an email from him clearly explaining why he voted the way he did. He is the only politician that I have donated to that goes to such lengths to keep me informed. I will gladly donate to him again.

    I wish we had 100 Sanders in the Senate and 300 in the Hse of Reps.

    WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For Dec: Life so cheap; property so sacred.

    by JayRaye on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 06:37:56 PM PST

    •  Bernie Sanders speaks: (9+ / 0-)

      WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For Dec: Life so cheap; property so sacred.

      by JayRaye on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 06:40:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you for posting that. (8+ / 0-)

        He goes that one step further:  He explains exactly what he is thinking, he doesn't just say how wonderful a bill it was just because he voted on it.

        I still disagree with him, but I give him credit for how he handled it.

        I try to catch him every week on brunch with Bernie.  He is very candid and open.  I subscribe to Thom's podcast, but don't always find the time to listen.

        •  A couple of times a week (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SoCalSal, JayRaye, gooderservice

          I drive home, from one city to the other, as my home is the Twin Cities. I often have to work in Mpls, live in St. Paul.  I askew the freeways and take home what is known here as the River Road.

          It is a beautiful way to go from city to city, no matter which city is yours. I'm sorry for everyone who doesn't have such a lovely way to beat rush hour traffic.

          AND, as I motor along, I ALWAYS listen to Thom Hartmann, and usually have the luck to catch Brunch with Bernie. Sometimes I go past my exit to home, and circle back, just to hear he and Thom, and the call ins, and how Bernie responds.

          And that's just it. How he responds. How he handles the conversation.  That, more than anything else, is what my diary is about.

          We will not ever all agree.  But if we can learn to disagree, to put forth our ideas with the clarity and civility that Bernie Sanders does, to accept our disagreements, but embrace first our agreements, then as I said, there's nothing that can stop us.

          "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

          by StellaRay on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 09:06:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  StellaRay, I appreciate your diary, recced and (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            StellaRay

            tipped it. And this is certainly no place to start a "pie fight," and I'd like to respond to you without it sounding as such.

            I've been thinking about how to do it so it wouldn't sound like I was "bashing" anyone.  And now that I've read JayRaye's reply to me, I'm going to adopt that as my reply in toto.

            I know that pols spin, but honesty is what is admired, and Bernie's got it.  Most others don't.

            I adopt this (and the rest of the comment)

            I disagree with him, but still respect him because he doesn't try to sugar coat a piece of crap bill.
            •  Thank you gooderservcie. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gooderservice

              And I really appreciate the quote you shared. And I agree, he doesn't try to sugar coat a piece of crap bill.  But he'll vote for one, if he feels it's the best way to move forward.

              I rarely disagree with Bernie or his votes, even though sometimes what Bernie believes and what he votes for are two different things---but as you say, not in a dishonest way. Again, one of the things I so respect about him, is his humility chip---the one that makes him ask himself every time, "if I stick to my ideology right here and now, will I help or hurt more people."

              Thank you for taking the time to think about how to put this all, and for being sensitive to not wanting to pie fight in another diary.  I think you did this very well, and very respectfully.

              I don't agree with Bernie, or anyone for that matter,  about everything. But as I said in my diary, IMO, Bernie is one of our few great statesman, but of course, his is and must still be a politician.

              Being a good politician is a noteworthy thing.  We need them.

              "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

              by StellaRay on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 06:09:56 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Exactly, gooderservice, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gooderservice

          I disagree with him, but still respect him because he doesn't try to sugar coat a piece of crap bill.

          He was in a tight spot and made what he thot was the least bad choice. And then took time to explain his reasoning. And that more than anything is what I like about Bernie Sanders, firm yet humble explanation.

          That shows he views himself as a public servant and respects his constituents and supporters enuf to give them a clear explanation with no bs.

          WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For Dec: Life so cheap; property so sacred.

          by JayRaye on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 10:06:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Great feed back. Thank you. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nomandates, JayRaye

      And of course, he thought the fiscal cliff bill was not a "good piece of legislation."   And no, voting for the least of what you hope for is never a ringing endorsement.

      And I want to note, that I agree heartily with you, that another good man, Sen Harkin, voted against the bill. I understand both, and give them my respect.

      And I LOVE that you share with us that you got an e from Sanders explaining exactly why he voted as he did.  That's the ultimate in accountability, and yes, VERY rare.

       

      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:16:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  He also made a factual error (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      StellaRay, JayRaye

      Or at least close enough.

      "We prevented 99% of Americans from paying higher income taxes..."

      That doesn't speak to the 2% rise in payroll tax to millions of low income workers, which to many of whom 2% - or a couple hundred bucks, say - really matters.

      Sanders also said Obama ‘should have applied more pressure’ - similar comments here get ridiculed regularly.

      •  Sigh. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SoCalSal, Little, roubs

        Oh, Little. ALWAYS the cup half empty with you. Even Bernie Sanders, a Democratic socialist who should be your wet dream, can't win with you.

        And you know darlin' I'm just not buying your sad story about how no one here understands the perils and disappointments of the system we must live with, and instead choose to ridicule you and those who think like you.

        I just don't see it that way. To me, it's all about HOW ONE CONDUCTS THEMSELVES.  And I have found, that when I make civil, substantive comments, I attract the same in response, most of the time, whether people agree with me or not.

        And that's my point about Bernie Sanders.  Which to repeat, is that we can learn something from him about how to disagree, and still stay relevant, still be listened to, and not tuned out.

        "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

        by StellaRay on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:25:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, and one more thing, (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Little, SoCalSal, JayRaye

          that I want to say to you, Little.  Thanks for adding in here, I know you and I have tangled, and it takes some open mindedness and courage to weigh in here nevertheless.

          I respect you showing up here, and doing and saying what you believe, regardless of where we disagree.  I only want it to be civil and substantive.  Give me that, and we can disagree all the live long day, no skin off anyone's nose.

          "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

          by StellaRay on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:35:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thank you, StellaRay. Truly. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            StellaRay, JayRaye

            that's very nice of you.

            •  I believe, Little (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Little, JayRaye

              that you are as passionate and well intended about what you believe as I am. Now, we just have to learn how to communicate that to each other, without disregarding each other, and how to make our agreements, which I think are probably quite substantial, more important than our disagreements.

              It's all a work in progress right? And it's a tough job. We all have much to learn.

              "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

              by StellaRay on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 09:12:51 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  More (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JayRaye

            What I said in the lost comment, basically, was a response to your opening. Yes, I do see the glass half empty. Because, just for example, the glass is more than half empty. I think it's how we, as humans and Dems, are supposed to view things. The distance between policy and reality - here on DKos! - I don't get.

            Especially - especially- when there is a very strong contingent here that would make your argument - for any deal that was made. $700,000 instead of $400,000? 9 months instead of one year UI extension? $6 million estate tax start? You won't tell me that if that had been the deal - or even worse - that you think there still wouldn't be a big contingent here telling us that it's the best we could have gotten, that we need to stop being so pure, etc. (Will you?)

            I also think there is a fundamental difference between you (and a bunch - but not all - of people at DKos) and I re the relationship between citizen and president, or person or power in general. I believe in adversarial citizenship (as well as adversarial press). Never trust them. We're not their friends. They need to be viewed with suspicion. I think history supports me infinitely on this.

        •  Ugh. Just lost long comment testing out a link. (0+ / 0-)

          Give me a sc.

  •  I know his record overall is fairly liberal, (0+ / 0-)

    but Sanders opposed the Brady Bill. Because of that I've never totally trusted him. He's much better than most Democrats, but they're all rats to some extent.

    •  First of all, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jan4insight

      let me point out that Sanders is NOT a Democrat. He is an independent who describes himself as a Democratic Socialist.

      Secondly, doc2, I must be honest to say that I don't envy your POV that "they're all rats to some extent."  That seems so cynical and sad to me.  I won't argue with you about whether it's true or not. I will simply say, I choose not to buy into this kind of cynicism.  It's bad for my health and my hopes. It's bad for the energy I need to keep going and keep fighting.

      You know, I'll take my chances hoping that what you say isn't true, and feel better for it.

       

      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:44:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Maybe the concept of "character" is old (4+ / 0-)

    fashioned but Sen. Sanders has what I think of when I think of character. To have principles and values but to still keep moving forward is his particular strength. It's really pretty easy to have principles if you define success as simply having them.  Its much harder to have principles if you try to keep them while helping the most number of people in the best way that you can.   I think this is what Sen. Sanders excels at and is why he is as respected as he is. There is a lot to learn from him if we are going to be involved in political discussion. Thank you for a great diary about this man...and our own challenges to do better.

    "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

    by stellaluna on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:12:19 PM PST

    •  This: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nomandates, SoCalSal
      It's really pretty easy to have principles if you define success as simply having them.  Its much harder to have principles if you try to keep them while helping the most number of people in the best way that you can.
      Amen, girl. Thanks for saying so well what I wanted to say.

      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:28:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I agree with the description of Sanders (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StellaRay, nomandates, FiredUpInCA

    as exemplary politician and person. I do wonder if Sanders describes his continuing efforts for betterment as "fighting" or as "working"?

    Maybe it's just me, my age, wondering when the term work was supplanted by fight and all that connotes. All this fighting is exhausting, depletes the adrenals. Work, however, has a personal connotation of building something, physically or mentally, one step at a time. Dignity. Value. Stages of fulfillment.

    I did like your diary. Tip'd and Rec'd.

    The sh*t those people [republicans] say just makes me weep for humanity! - Woody Harrelson

    by SoCalSal on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:43:19 PM PST

    •  Oh boy, do I love this: (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nomandates, SoCalSal, FiredUpInCA
      "I do wonder if Sanders describes his continuing efforts for betterment as "fighting" or as "working"?
      Followed up with this:
      "Work, however, has a personal connotation of building something, physically or mentally, one step at a time. Dignity. Value. Stages of fulfillment."
      If you ask me, one of the joys of writing a diary, is finding in the comments those who say things in a way you never thought of, but agree so heartily with.  

      I get smarter and wiser because of comments like yours.

      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 09:22:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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