In a series of speeches given before the National Urban League this week, most of the attention seemed to focus on the proxy battle between Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush, who sought to outdo each other in pandering for a slice of the black vote in next year’s election. But there was another speech which, while attracting a bit less attention, contained some fun moments all the same. Self-proclaimed socialist Bernie Sanders took the stage and, though he’s traditionally had a bit of trouble reaching out to minority voters, he swung for the fences. But a few of his talking points left some of us scratching our heads.(USA Today)

“It is too late for establishment policies,” Sanders said. “It is too late for establishment politics. It is too late for establishment economics.”

He added: “We need some new thinking.”

Income inequality and the influence of billionaires are threatening democracy as well as the economy, said the independent Vermont senator who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination.

Potential solutions include jobs programs, new infrastructure programs, an increase in the minimum wage, “tuition free” college, child care for working mothers and universal pre-school, said Sanders, who addressed the Urban League’s presidential forum shortly after Hillary Clinton did.

Challenging the establishment and sticking it to the man are common, popular themes in liberal circles so that’s a great starting point. But where did Bernie’s speech go after that? Income inequality. Check. Raise the minimum wage. Check. Free college. Check. Free pre-school. Check. Excuse me for pointing out the obvious, but isn’t that pretty much the Democrat establishment platform right down to the last plank? Now, if Bernie were talking about the same old issues but was there to offer some refreshing new solutions to them I’m sure that the crowd would have been eager to hear them. But those aren’t solutions… they’re just complaints. Heck, for a lot of people I’m sure they’re completely valid complaints which they want to see discussed in the Democrat debates. But you’re not telling us what you plan to do about them.

While he was up there he made sure to get in the requisite bonus pander to the #BlackLivesMatter crowd.

“We must value black lives,” Sanders said. “Force should be the last resort, not the first resort.”

He also said the federal government needs to crack down on “the illegal activities of hate groups.”

He’s apparently learned his lesson since Netroots Nation and isn’t going to risk any silly comments about all lives mattering. Never let it be said that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But in case anyone was starting to think that Bernie might somehow be a more reasonable alternative to Hillary, check out that last comment again. We need Big Brother to be cracking down “hate groups.” So who exactly is a hate group in Bernie’s mind? Somehow I’m guessing he’s not talking about getting on board with the petition to remove a taxpayer funded memorial to the Black Panthers. (Or if he was, he wasn’t going to say it in front of that particular conference.) So which hate groups will Sanders be targeting as president? If you ask the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Daughters of the Confederacy are either a hate group or people who associate with hate groups and who need to be monitored.

I have to give Bernie Sanders credit. He’s learning fast. He may have stumbled a bit in the beginning by just saying what he believed, but he’s learning which talking points to hit and which SJW strings to pull more and more every week. Hillary had better look out. This guy is turning out to be a full fledged politician now.