Sanders promoting new blood in Democrats but impact unclear

Alvin Kelly
April 21, 2017

"He's working very hard to bridge whatever divide may still exist", Busch said. The two are traveling across the country in what they're calling the "Come Together and Fight Back Tour" in an effort to mobilize the party's grassroots.

Among the places that Perez and Sanders are visiting this week are Latino-heavy states such as Florida, Nevada, Texas and Arizona. Throughout, Sanders stuck to his talking points, even touting single-payer health care, which demonstrates the ample leeway Perez and the party are providing him on this speaking tour.

"We're going to be fighting to see that the Democratic Party becomes a 50-state party". He is, after all, running in a district that Republicans have routinely won with more than 60 percent of the vote.

Sanders won Maine's presidential caucuses by almost two-thirds when he ran in the 2016 primaries against Hillary Clinton. Five of the six members of Congress who represent parts of Broward and Palm Beach counties are Democrats. Congressional Democrats said they were considering legislation that would prevent similar problems. A Democrat hasn't been elected governor since 1994. A good candidate for Democrats in Kansas might be a awful candidate for Democrats in NY or California. Given the state of the party - and the scale of the challenge that it faces - an ecumenical approach makes sense. I think Sanders' promise of an idyllic working-class slumber party with free medical care and Howard Zinn seminars for all is naive and risky, but the underlying sentiments of his message are popular, even valuable. But the successful Democratic Party in each state, while supporting the overriding principles of fairness and decency the Democratic Party stands for, will be able to find and support candidates in each area of their state who can and will win.

But fixing the party's ills is far more complicated than installing new leaders or putting people from different camps on stage together.

Sanders, Perez and other leaders are set to speak at The Rail Center, 235 N 500 W, at noon.

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Sen. Sanders also mentioned in this interview a need to build Democratic parties at the grassroots level.

A Democratic Party that rails against the corporate elite and the politicians they buy off, that tackles kitchen-table issues like income inequality and wages, that relinquishes the venomous identity politics that's done so much to damage progressives, could not only be competitive against Trump but peel off some of his hardhat voters in states like MI and Wisconsin that Democrats desperately need to win back. We believe that health care is a right, not a privilege.

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Busch said she'd like to see Democrats focused on uniting to win elections, and avoid getting consumed by factional differences. She praised Perez for bringing U.S. Rep. Perez defeated Sander's preferred candidate to lead the DNC, Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison in late-February. It's not for show. "We're going to take you on", Sanders said.

Those are the things we need to hear more about. Admission is first-come, first-serve with the doors opening at 10:30 a.m. There's a lot of frustration going back to a year ago with the DNC, with Democrats in Congress from the people that Perez and other Democrats need to have energized.

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