During a recent question & answer session with the editorial board of the Wisconsin State Journal, Democratic Congressman Mark Pocan was asked if Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump or Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders were electable. Here’s Pocan’s response.

Q: Is Trump or Sanders electable?

A: No, I don’t think so. In the case of Sanders, nobody is saying, “What I really want is a 75-year-old socialist.” Right? But it’s that message that they kind of like. It’s that populist message on the left.

On Rep. Pocan’s point that no one is saying, “What I really want is a 75-year-old socialist,” I have to respectfully disagree. Bernie Sanders has drawn large crowds wherever he’s held a campaign event, and he’s raised $15 million for his presidential campaign in the first quarter of this year. While that figure is dwarfed by the contributions raised by Hillary Clinton, it’s still no small number.

The fact is there are a lot of folks across this nation (and no doubt many in Pocan’s Congressional district) who are fervently supporting Bernie Sanders because they’re tired of moderate corporate Democrats who prefer triangulation over standing up for what they truly believe in.

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22 Responses to Does Mark Pocan really think no one really wants Bernie Sanders for president?

  1. Jake formerly of the LP says:

    As a huge Pocan fan, these are extremely disappointing and sellout comments, and it makes me ask this question.

    “Hey Mark, did the average Wisconsinite imagine a lesbian from the Willy Street area of Madison being their next U.S. Senator? Isn’t playing with labels fun?”

    Of all the people who should know this, it’s Mark Pocan (who has succeeded Tammy Baldwin in her last 2 jobs). And yet he thinks Bernie is unelectable because of superficial reasons? Which DNC official got to you, Mark?

  2. S Fred says:

    Pocan is a standup guy isn’t he….wait….didn’t he take over $5,000 from union boss Gooch McGowan, Wisconsin Operating Engineers. Yes he did. And didn’t Gooch give thousands of dollars to union member Randy Bryces Republican opponent for state assembly. And didn’t Randy’s opponemt introduce the “Right to Work” law Walker signed. And didn’t union boss McTraitor support Walker all 3 times he ran for WI governor. Gooooo Pocan.

  3. MaseMan says:

    Not that many people are saying, “What I really want is an aging soon-to-be grandma, riding her husband’s coattails, who doesn’t take a stand on any issue without tons of poll testing, and also has been plagued with many real and imagined scandals since coming into national politics.”

    See how easy it is when you just focus on labels?

  4. John Casper says:

    Q. Is Pocan electable?

    A: No, I don’t think so. In the case of one of the safest, liberal Democratic seats in Congress, nobody is saying, “What I really want is a corporate shill.”

  5. Joe Kallas says:

    Mark’s comments sums up what is wrong with the Democratic Party in Wisconsin.

  6. Sue says:

    So much to like about (and learn from) this post and these comments. Thanks everyone.

    • John Casper says:

      FWIW,

      “Oligarchy Exists Inside Our Democracy”
      Posted on March 28, 2013 by Yves Smith
      By Ed Walker, who writes regularly for Firedoglake as masaccio

      And that’s exactly how things are working out. On matters of direct interest to the oligarchy, they win. You can have your silly laws about marriage or abortion as long as they get their way on money. It’s a lousy bargain, and it doesn’t have to be that way.”

      http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/03/oligarchy-exists-inside-our-democracy.html

      For anyone interested, the author’s Twitter handle is @masaccio

  7. Aaron Camp says:

    You know, I’d love to move to Madison in order to run in the Democratic primary against Mark Pocan next year, but my net worth is telling me that’s not possible.

    • Jake formerly of the LP says:

      Aaron- Madison’s a fun town, and if you want to run against Mark and get 1% in a Dem primary to get your name in the scorebooks, knock yourself out.

      Look, Mark’s a great Congressman who believes in the right things, and has a great future in front of him, which is exactly why that lame Establishment take was so disappointing. Bernie’s probably closer to his beliefs than Hillary or Biden is, and I think Mark even knows that.

      That’s OK, he’s an accessible guy, and I think more than a few of his constituents might give him a few thoughts on that take. And he’s probably smart enough to adjust it, at least for the coming months (and maybe longer!)

  8. Denis Navratil says:

    Pocan is half right. Dems want a socialist all right. But they don’t want a 75 year old white male socialist. A young black lesbian Muslim socialist would be ideal. But hey, you can’t always get what you want. Sanders will have to do.

    • Waukesha Blue says:

      DN,
      Speaking of young black lesbian Muslim socialists… why don’t you run for office. Oh, that’s right… you already have a full time job trolling.

    • John Casper says:

      Denis,

      Sen. Sanders is Jewish. White supremacists, such as Ann Coulter, do not consider him “white.”

      Islam, Judaism, and Christianity are all “Abrahamic” religions.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abrahamic_religions
      On what basis are you segregating Islam from the other two?

      In your 9:08 yesterday you mentioned “black.” In your 5:16 this morning you introduce the idea of “firsts” and a “check off,” but you omitted “black,” and kept “white.” Since Democrats nominated and elected the “first” candidate who wasn’t 100% European-American, how is ethnicity still relevant for them?

      W/R/T lesbians did you mean “out,” lesbians, such as Dick Cheney’s daughter Liz? Has she become a Democrat?

  9. nonquixote says:

    Readers here already know the extreme limitations of your ability at political analysis. Must you keep proving it?

    • Denis Navratil says:

      I am guessing you probably missed the political analysis. You certainly made no effort to refute it. Analysis in snark free form: The left likes to check off firsts. The imaginary candidate would provide at least three. First Muslim. First lesbian. First woman. This would excite the left far more than another white male. Am I wrong?

      • MadCityVoter says:

        Yes, but I don’t expect that to stop you. It never has before.

      • Denis, if we missed the “political analysis” of your comment, it’s likely because there wasn’t any analysis. Instead you just spouted off a list of generalizations and stereotypes about liberals, as if we’re all the same.

        Look, if you want to add something to the discussion here, be my guest, but I’m quickly tiring of your borderline trolling.

  10. Denis Navratil says:

    Zach, I presented analysis in rather plain language, which you dismiss, calling it generalization and stereotype. Yes, my argument relies on generalizations, even stereotypes, about the left. So what? Generalizations and stereotypes are sometimes largely true. If you think I am wrong, you ought to offer a compelling argument that Obama’s race was NOT a significant factor in his favor for his voters. Or that electing the first woman is NOT part of Clinton’s election strategy. Instead, you dismiss my argument by saying that I am saying that all liberals are the same. I never said that nor implied that. I am generalizing about the political philosophy of the left. If you think I am wrong, make an actual argument.

    And it doesn’t take a genius to read between the lines of your final sentence. Hey, its your blog, you can do what you want. But I do notice that you tire of my “borderline trolling” but never seem to “tire” of non’s and WB’s serial abuses or JC’s annoying interrogations and irrelevant quotes from scripture. So the double standard is pretty obvious. I am not going to grovel to you Zach. At the same time, I am not daring you to ban me either. But if you choose to do so, I want it on record that any commitment to open debate and discussion with those holding a different point of view is but a farce.

    • nonquixote says:

      Nobody is obligated to “argue,” over generalizations and stereotypes, nor with you about anything just because you choose to troll the site.

      For example, very few here presently give a rat’s a$$ about Hillary other than that she self-implodes and quickly, on the campaign trail. So whether you are right or wrong on Hillary is largely irrelevant to readers, but you troll for attention anyway. Pathetic!!!

      So you ARE again trolling, off the topic of Pocan, in this, yet another instance. Also goes to illustrate my prior point of how little you understand “left,” political thinking or goals.

      And yet another victim card comes sliding out from up your sleeve. Enough already!

    • John Casper says:

      Denis,

      You wrote, “Zach, I presented analysis in rather plain language, which you dismiss, calling it generalization and stereotype.”

      1. Beyond “identity politics,” where’s the analysis?

      You wrote, “Yes, my argument relies on generalizations, even stereotypes, about the left. So what?”

      2. If you’re so keen on playing, “identity politics,” from where did you immigrate? 2.1 Are you a U.S. citizen? 2.2 If so, when did you become a US citizen?

      You wrote, “Generalizations and stereotypes are sometimes largely true.”

      3. When? Provide some examples.

      You wrote, “If you think I am wrong, you ought to offer a compelling argument that Obama’s race was NOT a significant factor in his favor for his voters.”

      “Race, “an actually or potentially interbreeding group within a species,” is the wrong word. You’re not a dolphin, you’re part of the human race.

      4. If you think people voted for Obama because of his ethnicity, provide some evidence.

      You wrote, “Or that electing the first woman is NOT part of Clinton’s election strategy.”

      Sec. Clinton is a woman. No woman has ever been President.

      5. How could she get elected and not be the “first” woman President?

      You wrote, “Instead, you dismiss my argument by saying that I am saying that all liberals are the same. I never said that nor implied that.”

      6. Ok, then explain what you did mean, because I thought Zach nailed it.

      You wrote, “I am generalizing about the political philosophy of the left.”

      Where? Link to it. I’ve never seen you do that here at BB.

      You wrote, “If you think I am wrong, make an actual argument.”

      You’re wrong.

      7. If you think otherwise, make an argument.

      You wrote, “And it doesn’t take a genius to read between the lines of your final sentence. Hey, its your blog, you can do what you want.” But I do notice that you tire of my “borderline trolling” but never seem to “tire” of non’s and WB’s serial abuses…”

      8. Playing the victim card, please, identify the top five abuses from each.

      8.1 Have you forgotten WB’s invitation to go to his place of work? He told you where he worked.

      You wrote, “or JC’s annoying interrogations,…”

      You declared that you were a small business owner, who paid multiple employees the minimum wage, and would go out of business if it went to $15/hour. I didn’t and don’t believe you, but when Zach asked me to stop, I did.

      9. Are you’re bringing it up today, because your case for being the victim is a little thin?

      You wrote, “and irrelevant quotes from scripture.”

      You’re the one who claims Christians are under attack by the U.S. government. You’re the one who attacks Islam, an Abrahamic religion. Just because the quotes show the weaknesses of your claims, doesn’t make them “irrelevant.”

      You wrote, “So the double standard is pretty obvious.”

      10. On multiple threads, when you claimed to be a conservative, I asked you on what issues you consider yourself a conservative. You have never responded. On what basis can you now invoke a “double standard?”

      You wrote, “I am not going to grovel to you Zach. At the same time, I am not daring you to ban me either. But if you choose to do so, I want it on record that any commitment to open debate and discussion with those holding a different point of view is but a farce.”

      You repeatedly playing the victim card is not a “commitment to open debate.” You’re even unable to provide links in support of your claims. There are plenty on the right who are just as concerned about “wealth inequality,” as the left is.

      Because Capitalism 101 is Spending = Income, per “functional finance,” aka Modern Monetary Theory #MMT, real conservatives and a lot of liberals want lower federal taxes WITHOUT cutting federal spending. I’ve raised the issue with the links below numerous times.

      “(Federal) Taxes For Revenue Are Obsolete”
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/warren-mosler/taxes-for-revenue-are-obs_b_542134.html

      Wall Street’s already figured this out, which is why they’re already scooping up the vast majority of federal welfare, “5 U.S. Banks Each Have More Than 40 Trillion Dollars In Exposure To Derivatives.”

      http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-09-25/5-us-banks-each-have-more-40-trillion-dollars-exposure-derivatives

      They’re using the FDIC to “socialize” their derivative risk onto the taxpayers. Almost none of the $200 trillion “trickles down,” into the real economy. It’s mostly on interest rate swaps and credit derivative swaps, nothing goes into the real economy that makes stuff or new technologies. To put $200 trillion in perspective, annual U.S. GDP is around $17 trillion. Social Security’s Trust fund is around $2.3 trillion. We blew at least $6 trillion in the Middle East occupations. “QE,” quantitative easing is another form of federal welfare that only helps the elites.

      We can’t run out of U.S. dollars. We can run out of clean air, potable water, safe food, sustainable energy, some metal, minerals, and medicines.

      You continue to ignore it.

      The “farce” is you pretending to be a conservative.

      • Denis Navratil says:

        You want examples of stereotypes being largely true? OK. Germans speak German. There are probably some mute Germans, some too young to speak at all, and some that speak other languages and not German. But for the most part, Germans speak German. Want more examples?

    • John Casper says:

      Denis,

      Since you claim to be a Christian, please apply Matthew 18 in this virtual (online) context to your issues with other BB commenters.

      15“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector

    • You didn’t present “analysis,” because there was no thought behind your comments. You lazily resorted to stereotypes and generalizations instead of actually presenting factually-based assertions.

      Not only is that lazy – it’s dishonest, and I’m not interested in working any harder at responding to your comments than you are when you make them. If you want to have a real dialogue, then I’m all for it, but if generalizations and stereotypes are what you consider dialogue then I’m not interested.

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