Democratic Party

The American Corbyn?

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Self-described democratic socialist Bernie Sanders has gathered unprecedented support in the US presidential primaries. Lewis Nielsen looks at how significant a shift Sanders' success represents.

Is Bernie Sanders the American Jeremy Corbyn? Both are grey haired political veterans, until recently unheard of outside the left circles of their respective parties, who have taken mainstream politics by storm with their election campaigns.

Most importantly Sanders, like Corbyn, represents a rejection of the neoliberal consensus.

Why Obama won

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Obama won a second term as US president despite his record. Here US socialist Eric Fretz argues he benefitted from a shift to the left in US society. But what are the prospects for the growth of movements from below that challenge big business and the two-party system?

Four years ago Barack Obama won a historic victory during an economic downturn and widespread opposition to the Bush administration by running as the candidate of hope and change. This year Obama won re-election, in the face of a still bleak economy and widespread disappointment in his own administration, by not seeming as bad as his opponent. The Republicans wanted the election to be a referendum on Obama's first term. Noting the disappointment with "hope and change".

Getting out the vote for Barack Obama

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I am normally a Politics professor, but in late October I entered a parallel universe doing "participant-observer research" as a Democratic Party activist in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

I began to understand the extraordinary ground-level campaign to elect Barack Obama as a social movement fusing aspirations for economic levelling with hostility to racism, sexism, homophobia, militarism and environmental degradation.

People not normally involved in elections were engaged and enthused. Campaigners chattered about replacing the discredited "trickle-down effect" with a "trickle-up effect". Grotesque degrees of class inequality angered people as much as the war on Iraq.

Jumping Off the Bandwagon

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Mike Davis assesses the options for the left in the coming US elections.

Is the Pentagon too small, the war on terrorism too meek, and the Department of Homeland Security too underfunded?

John Kerry thinks so. In recent days he has repeatedly attacked the Bush administration for failing to put sufficient troops in the field or move aggressively enough against Al Qaida and North Korea.

The Pied Piper of Vermont

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US Democrats want to use anti-war feelings to boost their ratings.

The rapidly growing list of US casualties from the invasion of Iraq now includes the names John Kerry, Dick Gephardt, Joe Lieberman, John Edwards and Wesley Clark. Not ordinary 'grunts' but official Democratic frontrunners, they were severely wounded, if not outright killed in action, on 9 December in Harlem when Al Gore endorsed the candidacy of Howard Dean, the anti-war insurgent from Vermont.

Gore's embrace of Dean, which seemingly caught the other Democrats by complete surprise, was remarkable in at least two respects.

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