Bernie Sanders Won the Debate, Defeated the DNC, and Became the Real Democratic Front Runner

US Democratic Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders participates in the Democratic Presidential Debate hosted by ABC News at th
US Democratic Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders participates in the Democratic Presidential Debate hosted by ABC News at the Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, on December 19, 2015. AFP PHOTO/JEWEL SAMAD / AFP / JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

In my recent appearance on the Thom Hartmann Program, I explain why Bernie Sanders will become president, and why the recent data controversy illuminates numerous Clinton scandals overtly ignored by the DNC. Debbie Wasserman Shultz struck at the campaign, Sanders supporters struck back, and genuine progressives won. The Sanders campaign showed the nation which candidate controls the fate of the Democratic establishment, despite the group think associated with landline-based poll numbers that had Clinton up by a similar margin in 2008.

Bernie Sanders proved he's the true Democratic frontrunner, forcing the DNC to cave within one weekend. In a matter of days, the DNC realized that attacking Bernie Sanders meant dire consequences. Ironically, the base of voters blocked from Sanders is also the lifeblood of the DNC. You can't defeat Trump in 2016 with millions of frustrated and angry progressives (well aware of the dirty tricks of establishment Democrats even against Obama in 2008), regardless of who becomes the eventual Democratic nominee.

In trying to undermine Sanders, Debbie Wasserman Schultz essentially undermined the Democratic Party. Ultimately, the stunt showed voters a peek behind the Wizard of Oz curtain called the 2016 Democratic Primary. While the Clinton campaign utilized the issue to circumvent an ongoing and expanded FBI investigation (FBI director James Comey stated he's "personally following closely" an investigation into Clinton's server), Sanders secured access to his data within days.

Luckily, the FBI isn't involved with investigating any of Bernie's data, nor is Sanders accused of having foreign donor (The Washington Post states Foreign governments gave millions to foundation while Clinton was at State Dept.) or weapons deal controversies. Like Dieter Holger writes in a Huffington Post article titled Hillary Clinton Is Pro Gun Control, But She's Also Big on Arms Deals, Clinton's anti-gun stance stops at the water's edge:

According to an investigation by journalists David Sirota and Andrew Perez of the International Business Times, Clinton not only rubber-stamped major weapon deals with 20 countries that donated to her and her husband's philanthropic arm, the Clinton Foundation, but also approved nearly double the amount of arms sales to those same 20 countries as the State Department of George W. Bush's second term.

It's easy to pontificate about tough gun legislation at home while giving weapons to the same countries embroiled in chaos and bloodshed in the Middle East.

Also, ask yourself why America's political establishment has already anointed Clinton, even though ABC's opening graphic showed 2008's poll numbers almost identical to 2015's. Clinton had a wide lead over Obama then, with Gallup sating on December 18, 2007 that Clinton Maintains Large Lead Over Obama Nationally.

In November of 2007, Clinton had a 27 point lead nationally over Barack Obama. Gallup even stated, "In every poll since [August], Clinton has maintained at least a 20-point lead over Obama, with her support fluctuating between 45% and 50% over this period." With polls being so wrong in 2008, why are observers so enamored with them in 2015, when even more Americans using cell phones and more people on social media?

If polls are gospel, then these same polls show 61% of voters find Hillary Clinton "not honest and trustworthy." While Sanders apologized (showing class that few other politicians would emulate), the DNC's failed attempt to undermine the Sanders campaign highlighted a rigged debate schedule and the irony of Clinton's people complaining of foul play.

Speaking of the debate, it's obvious one candidate wanted to dodge questions about progressive credentials and hawkish tendencies. When Hillary Clinton suggested Bernie Sanders join Democrats on the issue of gun legislation, ignoring the NRA's D rating for Vermont's Senator, he could have responded in the following manner.

Sanders could have easily thanked Clinton for joining Democrats in supporting gay marriage, even though the former Secretary of State opposed gay marriage until 2013.

Sanders could have also asked why Clinton supported neoconservative Republicans with her Iraq War vote, or why even though she calls this vote a "mistake," The New York Times quotes a conservative historian saying she'd have a "neocon" foreign policy as president.

Clinton supporters apparently don't care about a Democrat with a neocon foreign policy, but it's important considering a president has the AUMF, and can unilaterally wage war. The AUMF is the reason that Trump and Clinton wouldn't be very different presidents in terms of the primary powers of a president, namely war and foreign policy.

If you disagree, don't simply say Trump is a fascist and pretend that's an argument; explain how his foreign policy would be different from Hillary Clinton's foreign policy. Considering Clinton would utilize the AUMF from a neocon perspective, we'd have two GOP choices on foreign policy if she were to win the nomination.

Also, there was a masterful bout of doublespeak by the former Secretary of State on a number of issues, from her advocacy of the Libya bombing to her support for U.S. ground troops to fight ISIS. Yes, Hillary Clinton did want American ground troops to combat ISIS, and then altered her stance within a short time frame. While Bernie Sanders has won the Congressional Award from the Veterans of Foreign Wars and says "I'll be damned" if American ground troops are sent into quagmires, Clinton supported U.S. ground troops to fight ISIS before the usual flip flop.

A November 19th, 2015 Guardian article titled Hillary Clinton calls for more ground troops as part of hawkish Isis strategy, explains very clearly that Clinton called for the use of U.S. ground troops after the Paris attacks:

Hillary Clinton distanced herself from Barack Obama's strategy for defeating Islamic State extremists on Thursday in a sweeping foreign policy speech that called for greater use of American ground troops and an intensified air campaign.

"We should have no illusions about how difficult the mission before us really is ... but if we press forward on both sides of the border, in the air on the ground and as well as diplomatically, I do believe we can crush Isis's enclave of terror," she added.

So, yes, Clinton hides behind the term "mass deployment," but clearly supported U.S. ground troops to the Middle East. If you disagree with my assessment, just reread the headline of the Guardian article.

Also, The Los Angeles Times wrote virtually the same article, stating the "U.S. needs to 'intensify and broaden' its effort... including sending more ground forces, Hillary Clinton said Thursday in a speech."

Finally, The International Business Times explained Clinton's initial support for ground troops in an article titled Hillary Clinton Flip-Flopping On Ground Troops To Fight ISIS? Before US Sends Troops To Iraq, Clinton Says No To Deployment After First Saying Yes:

Tuesday morning's announcement that the U.S. would be deploying troops to fight the so-called Islamic State militant group in Iraq likely caught Hillary Clinton off guard, considering she said earlier in the day that she didn't think putting boots on the ground was such a prudent idea. Clinton's latest opinion on the topic was an abrupt departure from her previous stance, when the Democratic presidential front-runner less than two weeks ago expressed her support to "broaden" anti-ISIS efforts by bringing U.S. troops to the conflict-ridden region.

Most of Clinton's stances on controversial topics are an "abrupt departure" from her prior viewpoints. As a result, Slate published an article titled Pssssssst: Hillary and Her GOP Rivals Have Pretty Much the Same Plan to Deal With ISIS.

Bernie Sanders won the debate, primarily because Clinton tried desperately to sound progressive on foreign policy, yet failed. Clinton accused Sanders of supporting her disastrous bombing campaign as Secretary of State, but he voted for an "an orderly, irreversible transition to a legitimate democratic government in Libya." This isn't the language of the Iraq Resolution (opposed by Sanders), overtly giving the Bush administration authority to invade Iraq, nor can it logically be correlated to Clinton's Iraq vote.

Bernie Sanders successfully differentiated himself between Clinton's hawkish foreign policy and failures, and I explain here why I'm choosing him over Clinton or Trump. Sanders is indeed the true front runner, and wins in Iowa and New Hampshire will undermine the groupthink that has so many pundits and observers worshiping at the altar of ever-changing polls. Remember that in late 2007, Gallup proclaimed "it is obvious that Clinton is extremely well-positioned to win the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination."

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