By Josh Eidelson, Salon, 27 November 13
Bernie Sanders tells Salon it “remains to be seen” if Clinton “will be a forceful advocate for working families”
This month Vermont’s Bernie Sanders, the Senate’s only self-described socialist, made a tour of four Southern states that stoked talk of a presidential run. In an interview this week with Salon, Sanders set forth his thinking about why he might take that plunge, and offered assessments of contenders Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren. He also blasted Wal-Mart’s business model, Republicans’ healthcare tactics, and a level of inequality that he warned has brought America to the cusp of oligarchy. A condensed version of our conversation follows.
How significant is the Senate’s move to change the filibuster for nominations last week? And does this bring us closer to curbing the filibuster for nominations also?
It is a significant step forward in attempting to end the dysfunctionality of the United States Senate. I would go further. And I believe that when we are faced with unprecedented Republican obstruction, that it would make a lot of sense to go to majority vote for legislation as well. I also believe that we have to protect the rights of minorities, and I think minorities – minority or any other member of the Senate – should have as much time as he or she needs to voice opposition, stand up, filibuster, do their thing. So I believe in the concept of the talking filibuster.
But I think what we have got to end is the situation right now where the Senate is basically dysfunctional, and where the major issues facing this country are not being discussed, and are certainly … not being voted on.
What’s your view of the Upton bill that passed the House, and the bill proposed by Sen. Landrieu in the Senate on the Affordable Care Act?
I’m not sympathetic. Clearly, my own view is that [at] a time when our nation spends almost twice as much as any other country on healthcare, and we have so many people who will continue to be uninsured under the Affordable Care Act, we need to move toward a Medicare-for-all, single-payer system. The Affordable Care Act is a modest proposal – it does some good things, it is much too complicated, and it doesn’t get to the root of the problems of America’s healthcare. Clearly, the rollout in terms of the website has been a disaster. That has got to be rectified.
But I would hope that we can move forward as quickly as possible in getting people into the Affordable Care Act, making sure that people get Medicaid, and get the system moving….
continue reading at Salon