‘Wait­ing, Wait­ing, Wait­ing,’ San­ders Says as Repub­li­cans Don’t De­bate Real Is­sues

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS - Washington, DC

AsRepub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates de­bated on Wed­nes­day, Sen. Bernie San­ders took to Twit­ter at #De­bateWithBernie to take on the White House hope­fuls for ig­nor­ing crit­i­cal is­sues. “Rich get richer. Me­dian fam­ily in­come $5k less than in 1999. One of the high­est rates of child­hood poverty. Any dis­cus­sion?” he asked as the de­bate droned on. “Have you heard any­one use the word poverty yet? 47.7 mil­lion Amer­i­cans liv­ing in poverty. No dis­cus­sion.” Still later he tweeted: “Wait­ing, wait­ing, wait­ing. Will we hear any­thing about racial jus­tice, in­come in­equal­ity or mak­ing col­lege af­ford­able?” Nearly two hours into the de­bate, the con­ver­sa­tion briefly turned to an im­por­tant is­sue: rais­ing the $7.25 hourly min­i­mum wage. “The Amer­i­can peo­ple over­whelm­ingly want to raise the min­i­mum wage. Too bad the Repub­li­cans don’t,” San­ders tweeted. He has in­tro­duced leg­is­la­tion to raise the min­i­mum wage to $15 an hour by 2020. Dur­ing a back-and-forth on for­eign pol­icy, San­ders asked, “Gee. How come these guys are not talk­ing about the great ‘suc­cess’ of Bush's for­eign pol­icy and the war in Iraq?” A few min­utes later he won­dered, “Can these guys talk about any­thing other than their de­sire to go to war?” Dur­ing a dis­cus­sion about a pro­posed deal to keep Iran from de­vel­op­ing a nu­clear weapon, San­ders wrote, “War, war, war. When do we get to their other ma­jor pri­or­ity: tax breaks for bil­lion­aires?” Miss­ing from the ex­changes was per­haps the great­est in­ter­na­tional cri­sis fac­ing the planet. “Will they talk about cli­mate change as a for­eign pol­icy is­sue? Or talk about it at all?” They fi­nally did. It turned out that not one of them be­lieves that the United States gov­ern­ment should lead the world in com­bat­ing cli­mate change and trans­form­ing our energy sys­tem away from fos­sil fu­els. On do­mes­tic is­sues, Repub­li­cans wanted to take away health care for women and mar­riage rights from gays. The can­di­dates were asked about a Ken­tucky county clerk de­fy­ing a court or­der and re­fus­ing to is­sue mar­riage li­censes to gays. “Does any­body on the stage be­lieve that our gay broth­ers and sis­ters have the same rights as the rest of us?” San­ders won­dered. “Any­body?” The Repub­li­cans also called for de­fund­ing Planned Par­ent­hood. “Does any­one on that stage be­lieve the women of this coun­try have the right to con­trol their own bod­ies? Any­one?” San­ders asked. Some of San­ders’ most pop­u­lar tweets were about Repub­li­can front-run­ner Don­ald Trump. “Trump: ‘I will take care of women.’ Re­ally? What about re­spect­ing the right of women to con­trol their own bod­ies?” San­ders said. As the front-run­ner smirked and ridiculed his chal­lengers, San­ders said of Trump: “What a pleas­ant and hum­ble per­son. Can't stop say­ing kind and gen­er­ous things about his fel­low Repub­li­cans." San­ders gave up af­ter more than two and a half hours. “Thank you all. I've had it. I'm go­ing home. Talk to you soon.” He ended the night with a Face­book post: “The evening was re­ally pretty sad. This coun­try and our planet face enor­mous prob­lems. And the Repub­li­can can­di­dates barely touched upon them tonight. And when they did, they were dead wrong on vir­tu­ally ev­ery po­si­tion they took. The Repub­li­can Party can­not be al­lowed to lead this coun­try. That's why we need a po­lit­i­cal revo­lu­tion.”

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