Nikil Saval at n+1:
The growing alliance between Sanders and the Democratic Party—his being in a position as it were to save the Party from itself—has been a source of disquiet for those who feel that his movement could go in other directions. On stage at the main branch of the Free Library, Sanders was interviewed by Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!, who admirably pushed him on the two-party “duopoly,” and the innovations of the Obama presidency—the extrajudicial “kill list,” for example—that the grotesque Trump will inherit. You knew these weren’t questions that he was ready to confront, because he would sink back into a deeper slouch, his voice dropping to a quiet guttural croak, as he offered, “That’s a fair point. That’s a fair point.” When Sanders is slipping into the well-worn groove of his talking points—income and wealth inequality—the volume is more likely to turn up higher than the room can plausibly bear. But when Goodman asked him about the possibility of a future independent run for President, he demurred quietly, indicating that his efforts were focused on “transforming the Democratic Party,” in a tone that exuded concession rather than triumph. Sanders’s other effort in this vein—also called Our Revolution—is off to a bad start, with many of its staff having resigned over the appointment of the much-loathed Jeff Weaver as its director. It remains to be seen whether it develops into a real alternative force, or something more akin to MoveOn—a way of generating dollars and door-knocking for already existing “progressive” candidates.
The conversation exited the distorting gravitational pull of the US when it drifted to Fidel Castro. Here, too, Sanders was circumspect, cautiously lauding the island’s health care and education systems, while admitting the lack of real avenues for dissent, and that “the economy is in bad shape,” and not just because of the US embargo.