Gaius Publius: Will Sanders Play His Ace?

Yves here. On the one hand, I think Gaius is being a tad optimistic regarding how things play out if Sanders were to lose the nomination to Clinton. But I read Sanders’ statements a different way. There are several positions he says are demands, as in are necessary for her to put in her platform, that are too far from her incessant “I have a Plan” plans. For instance, Sanders wants college education to be free. Clinton does not. Sanders wants single payer. Clinton does not.

So I read this as Sanders is setting the stage for not endorsing Clinton or giving such a tepid endorsement that it is clearly a non-endorsement as far as his voters are concerned.

By Gaius Publius, a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States and frequent contributor to DownWithTyranny, digby, Truthout, and Naked Capitalism. Follow him on Twitter @Gaius_Publius, Tumblr and Facebook. Originally published at at Down With Tyranny. GP article archive here.


Sanders shows he knows he has an ace. Will he play it?

Sanders has more leverage than he’s ever had in his life. He has the right vision and the right goal. He’s also holding the right cards — all he has to do is play them. In particular, he has an ace. Will he play it if he loses to Clinton?

To understand what I just wrote, listen to the short video clip above. It’s 3½ minutes of the candid interview Sanders gave on a recent episode of The Young Turks (full interview here).

“What Do You Do If You Lose?”

I want to direct you to two answers from Sanders. First, to the question, What do you and your movement do if you lose the nomination?

Q: If you were to lose, and the Democratic Party comes to you and says, “Take this movement, that is full of energy and against the Establishment, and make sure they vote for the Establishment candidate,” what do you say?

Answer (at 0:53; my emphasis):

Sanders: What we do together, as a growing movement, is we say, “If we don’t win — and by the way, we are in this thing to win, please understand that — [what’s] the Democratic Establishment going to do for us?”

For example, right now, you have a Democratic Establishment which has written off half the states in the country … and they’ve given up on states in the South, the Rocky Mountain area.

Are they going to create a 50-state party? Are they going to welcome into the Democratic Party the working class of this country and young people, or is it going to be the upper middle class and the cocktail crowd and the heavy campaign contributors, which to a significant degree, it is right now? …

In other words, if I can’t make it, and we’re going to try as hard as we can until the last vote is cast, we want to completely revitalize the Democratic Party and make it a party of the people, rather than just one of large campaign contributors.

Shorter Sanders: We want to remake and reform (“revitalize”) the Democratic Party. That’s his goal, and it’s been his goal all along. Notice that this means that he knows he’s running within the Party and against the Party, meaning against its current leadership, simultaneously.

That’s two points, not one — first, he’s running against the Party, and second, he knows he’s doing that. This is what I’ve been calling “Open Rebellion” — refusing to play “Follow the Neoliberal Leader” — taken to the next level. It’s a direct challenge to the culture and methods of corruption that thread throughout the Party like green mold through Gorgonzola.

This is open rebellion at the very highest level. It’s not a challenge in the Senate against Antonio Weiss, for example, or against the Citibank Rider. It’s not a challenge in the House to Pelosi’s support of Fast Track and TPP, the next job-killing neo-liberal trade deal.

This is a challenge to the Party for control of the presidency, of the entire Executive Branch of government. No wonder people are so enthusiastic about supporting it. And no wonder the Democratic Establishment so desperately want Sanders gone. As has been documented many times before, the leaders of the Democratic Party want two things — first, to control the Party; second, to win elections. And in that order.

They may not all be happy with Hillary Clinton, but not one of them wants to deal with a Democratic Party and presidency controlled by Bernie Sanders.

Sanders Has an Ace. Will He Play It?

I mentioned that Sanders has an ace he can play if he loses the nomination. I also suspect he knows it, based on his answer to the next question. Would he play it?

Here’s the question:

Q: [If you come in second, let’s assume you’re not going to ask for an appointment, something for yourself.] If you’re going to ask for policy positions, what are the policy positions that you would want?

Before you read the answer, think about what the question really asks. This is tantamount to the following:

If you come in second, what policy changes do you want in exchange for your support?

And that’s his ace. The Establishment wants his supporters, badly. Sanders can withhold his support, or trade it for something. What’s that something? Here’s his answer (at 2:36):


I want Secretary Clinton if she is the nominee, to come out for a Medicare-for-all, single-payer health care system. I want $15 an hour as a minimum wage. I want to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure — Flint Michigan is not the only community in America that doesn’t have safe drinking water. Our roads, bridges, rail system is in disrepair.

I want a vigorous effort to address climate change. I mean, I am very worried. I talk to these scientists. This planet is in serious danger. And you can’t cuddle up to the fossil fuel industry. You’ve got to take them on.

And also what is resonating, and I think very important, making public colleges and universities tuition-free, Wall Street tax on speculation to pay for that, ending all these corporate loopholes.

Those are some of the demands we make.

If you read that list again, you’ll see how stunning it is. Three things to notice:

  1. He calls these “demands,” not requests.
  2. He wants Clinton the candidate to endorse them, presumably on the campaign trail, not just the Platform Committee in a document that can later be ignored.
  3. Clinton is on record as running against most of these policies.

Once more, the policies he wants Clinton to “come out for” are these:

  • a Medicare-for-all, single-payer health care system
  • $15 an hour as a minimum wage
  • rebuild our crumbling infrastructure
  • a vigorous effort to address climate change
  • no “cuddling up to the fossil fuel industry”
  • making public colleges and universities tuition-free
  • Wall Street tax on speculation
  • ending all these corporate loopholes

In effect, he’s asking for her to be Bernie Sanders, at least in policy. Yet I think she would agree with only one of those policies (note that a “vigorous” effort is a part of his climate change demand). She would support infrastructure repair — though in her world that likely means creating an ACA-like profit opportunity via “public-private partnerships” and corporate friendly sweetheart deals. In Sanders’ world, infrastructure repair means doing the job without enriching corporate campaign donors in the process.

If he really “demands” that Clinton herself campaign in September and October on these policies as a condition for his continued support, he’s basically saying, “I want to handcuff you to my policies every time you speak.” Which makes it a whole lot harder for her to reverse herself in office and not be toxic in 2020.

That’s why this is his ace. Because if he really suggests he would withhold his support from her if she doesn’t meet these conditions, she’s helpless.

If he makes this demand in public, and she’s seen to reject him, she will lose a significant percentage of his supporters; this could easily cost her the election. Yet if she accepts and campaigns on Sanders’ platform, the leverage on her for the next four years will be much greater. The “liar” label is already an albatross, deserved or not. Betraying a set of explicit Sanders-forced campaign pledges could turn the albatross into a boat anchor.

Bottom line —Clinton’s best shot at capturing the enthusiasm and the votes of Sanders supporters is to get Sanders’ vigorous support after the convention. If he really does intend to play hardball with his endorsement, as the above indicates, he’s in a very strong position, even in defeat. If Sanders follows through with what he told Cenk Uygur, Clinton could have a very difficult choice to make after the convention.

“But … Republicans!”

Of course, Sanders understands that a Republican would be worse than Clinton as president. So at some point he will endorse her even if she refuses his demands, and many of his followers will agree, again, to vote the “But…Republicans!” party ticket.

But in fact, if he makes the above demands and she publicly refuses — even if later he does support her (and he will) — she would still lose a large percent of his supporters simply because they are supporting his policies first, and only secondarily his candidacy. Again, she’s helpless if he makes this demand. That’s a very nice card to have in your hand if it’s the very last card in the game.

The 2016 election is not just the most consequential of our lives. It’s also the most interesting. Stay tuned.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. ChrisPacific

    Agreed. I saw that and read it as a statement that he would not endorse her. There’s no question that’s what it means if it’s a bottom line and not an initial negotiating position – there is no way that Clinton is going to agree to it as it stands. He can’t just come out and say he will not endorse her as that would be portrayed as unreasonable. But by demanding that she abandon basically all of her core policies in favor of his own, he is effectively saying the same thing. (Edit: I just noticed that you think he will eventually end up endorsing her. You may be right on that too, but I hope not).

    I think it would be great if Bernie could win the election, but even more important than that is that the movement he represents continue. If any of the other candidates end up being elected president then it will, since the factors that gave rise to it will only continue and intensify. (Trump might possibly be an exception here, but I have my doubts). Bernie seems to realize that as well, hence the call to action regarding the Democrat party.

    Note to Hillary and the Democrats: if you strike Bernie down, he shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I don’t think Sanders will evah endorse Clinton unless Clinton gets a brain transplant. But he might make such an equivocal statement that it can’t be depicted either an endorsement or rejection. For instance, he could just keep saying, “I’m ready to endorse her when she commits to my list.” So he can just keep broken recording his policy positions without ever officially not endorsing her. He can pretend his endorsement is in a Schrodinger’s cat indeterminate state when his followers know full well that the Hillary cat in the box is one very dead feline.

      1. Kokuanani

        I think it would also require whatever operation one performs to give Clinton a SOUL/conscience.

      2. Brooklin Bridge

        The conditional strategy seems exactly right. Oddly, I think Sanders was initially sincere when he stated he would endorse the Democratic nominee, but way too much bad blood has occurred since then.

        1. RUKidding

          That’s my speculative observation. It seems like, over time, too much has come out about Clinton that Sanders just can’t “embrace” her candidacy like he seemed to at one time. Clinton’s sleaziness and how bought off she is has become more and more evident. I’m sure Sanders knew a lot of it to begin with, but possibly her intransigence on some of these core issues has given Sanders pause… and he’s not liking what he’s seeing and hearing. I can only guess that perhaps Sanders thought Clinton *might* come around on some of these issues during the campaign, but in fact, she has not.

          1. Brooklin Bridge

            I suspect the “dirty tricks” played by Hillary, DWShultz’n’Co, and the msm had a lot to do with it.

            But I also think that Sanders has been deeply affected by the hunger he found on the campaign trail for real change. Those amazing crowds! Even a veteran politician will get emotionally caught up in such an intense protracted experience. This may explain partly why Bernie started to really go after Hillary at a certain point in the debates.

            1. washunate

              Well said.

              That is the fascinating longer term cultural force at play. Not how radical of a rebellion that crazy Socialist is leading, but rather, how tepid and cautious Sanders has been relative to how the public at large feels.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                That’s the narrative no one (in power) wants the Little People to know.

                And the narrative is this – it’s not Sanders. Almost anyone could tap that energy.

                People may want to believe that without Sanders, that’s it, and he is the only hope.

                Yet, we see Trump being lifted by that same cultural force.

                Any progressive could do that same.

                There is no stopping, except we stopping ourselves.

                1. AnEducatedFool

                  I am tired of people talking about the cultural forces that Sanders and Trump tap into for their political campaigns. Trump feeds on hate. He escalates the intolerance of his followers. Trump has tapped into the undercurrents of racism in this country.
                  Bernie has tapped into social discontent and a collective revulsion against the corruption of the elites in this country. His original stances were cautious and tepid but now he talks about oligarchy in the US. He talks about the inherent problems of prosecuting marijuana offenders but letting banksters steal with impunity. Bernie’s followers go across all demographics but he is strongest among 35 and under REGARDLESS of race.
                  They are both tapping into anger towards the elites but the cultural currents could not be more different. One literally feasts on hatred while the other talks about love. I do not know how it could be more different. The difference is literally the dark underbelly of American politics and the light of American politics.
                  If you made it this far look up “free hugs” at trump rally. There is a viral video of a black man offering free hugs at a Bernie event. The contrast says everything about the cultural forces at play in this election.

                  1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                    Don’t be tired.

                    As you yourself wrote, they ‘are both tapping into anger towards the elites.’

                    That’s not different than writing ‘the cultural force at play.’

                    If you want to agree, you can say they tap into it differently.

                    If you want to disagree, you can ask why people confuse two different cultural forces or currents.

                    In any case, many progressives can tap into it the way Sanders does. That should encourage more to come forward.

              2. Brooklin Bridge

                tepid and cautious Yes, there is that.

                But would that little bird land on just any ‘ol feeder like podium in front of someone with long white hair who waived their arms a lot? (white hair = good nest material?)

                I don’t say that as a slur to Bernie. On the contrary, I wonder if there isn’t something in Bernie that birds AND humans get a similar sense of.

                Oh well, I hope Hillary’s dastardly plans to hijack the identity of 300,000 or so Wisconson residents perceived as likely Bernie votes fails miserably..

                1. Brooklin Bridge

                  And after 60% of votes counted, it looks as if Sanders is going to have a very healthy 12%+ win!

            2. susan the other

              It surprised me when he turned hard against Hillary. I’d been thinking all along that Hillary was stuck in her old business/fixer relationships at a time when the country was demanding change and she actually needed Bernie to start the conversation. I’ve imagined his concession speech “I endorse my good friend Hillary” and blablablah. But now I think that even Bernie didn’t know how disgusting she could be. Her sneaky campaigning and vote buying must have turned him. And her platform and plans as well. And most of all her refusal to say anything negative about her big-money friends’ claims on her.

              1. susan the other

                If she is using him, he knows by now that there is something wrong with her. Something won’t allow her to lose a close state. So we hear she has stolen 5 or so. Or her “machine” did it. So something is seriously wrong with her ego or her agenda. Or both.

              2. Brooklin Bridge

                It surprised me when he turned hard against Hillary.

                Me too, but confess I was hoping for more. Hillary has a way of distilling everything loathable in the elite. Bernie deserves credit for keeping his balance.

            3. flora

              Great comment.
              For 25 years, starting with Clinton 1, the Demo party has offered Hope™ instead of results, only to toss the hopeful under the bus once the campaign was over. If Hillary wins the nomination the DNC will demand the Sanders voters swallow being thrown under the bus again so neoliberal Hillary can win. I support Bernie because he is NOT a neoliberal.

              1. Brooklin Bridge

                Flora, btw, that poem about the theft of the commons you posted the other day was great. Plus ça change…!

        2. Steve Heise

          That’s not dirt in the air, that’s talc powder from banging each other with puff balls.

          You want to see mud wrestling, take a look at the Republicans. Trump still hasn’t got a good match. The nomination is most def not going to Snidely Whiplash over there.

          So far it’s been national level machine politics, with a frisson of neolib elitism and the whiff of indictments in the air. Look at how the gears turned in ’08, when the lever of the superdelegates went the other way. The difference is, it’s pretty clear O gave the assurances. But O’s campaign also laid the groundwork for Sanders, it’s just that now people seem to want credibility to go with the words. And Sanders has a verifiable record.

          Sanders understands kayfabe, and he seems willing to let Clinton be the heel. The question is, can the party take the crowd throwing chairs into the ring?

      3. participant-observer-observed

        Great metaphor (speaking as a trained physicist)!

        We can also say that Sander’s voters kinetic energy in the Clinton particle space has demonstrable probabilities of going negative!

      4. Boldizar

        I completely agree with this. His statement on TYT implies strongly that he will not endorse her because she will never be that person. She has already done her best to alienate his support base as much as possible, especially over the last two weeks. It is hilarious that she and the DNC think they can win easily without them.

        1. washunate

          It is hilarious that she and the DNC think they can win easily without them.

          The left has to actually vote against a Democratic candidate before they will take that threat seriously. You only need about one-fifth of the American population to win a Presidential election. Another one-fifth vote for the other guy. A third one-fifth are kids, prisoners, and other people ineligible to vote. And the last two-fifths don’t vote.

          1. redleg

            As far as I can tell, the establishment doesn’t care about the left because 1. There isn’t another party for them in a duopoly, and 2. Lesser of two evils.
            This will not change unless and until the fascist wing of the D party is crushed and humiliated.

      5. ChrisPacific

        That would be interesting. I can see him making a kind of heavily conditional vote-your-conscience type endorsement which leaves it up to the voters whether they are willing to gamble that Hillary is not lying to them (assuming she throws in a head fake or two in response to his demands) and vote for what appears to be the least awful choice. The media would undoubtedly assume that they will, report it as an endorsement, assume that everything is fine in Camp Hillary, and be duly shocked on election day (“Nobody could have predicted…”) when large numbers of his supporters choose to do otherwise.

      6. different clue

        But is he that tough? Is he that meeeeean? Can he be the political equivalent of what the Northern Irish call a “hard man”?

      7. redleg

        In other words, Sanders’ “endorsement” of Her Royal Clinton would be worded like a Clinton.
        Wouldn’t that be special.

    2. Benedict@Large

      Hillary is probably hoping Sanders will ask for “too much”. That will make it easier for her to say no, and she will see this as beneficial to establishing her bona fides with all the Republicans the Blue Dogs always feel they will attract. Nothing quite like Hippie Punching to usher in the new Democratic control of Congress.

      1. Brooklin Bridge

        An interesting point, but I think if she felt that ploy would work, she would have already tried it. Indeed, all this noise about Bernie not being realistic is Hillary and her team of wraiths saying exactly that; he’s asking for too much. Hahaha, he should know that the winning strategy for a Democrat is to capitulate entirely as your starting position in any negotiations and then move violently further to the right after that.

    3. steelhead23

      In large measure, I believe Bernie is riding the wave created by the Occupy movement. It is the movement, not its leadership, that matters. It would be impossible for Clinton to become the leader of the 99% – she has striven all her life to be a 1%er and now that she’s there, she can’t let go (she’s got billionaires on her speed-dial). Bernie will go away, his time past, but the movement that propelled him to prominence is likely to continue, hidden beneath the political waves for a while perhaps, but always looking for a vessel to bring it to prominence (Senator Warren?). I recognize that this is perverse thinking, but the Occupy movement could be rekindled to a roaring fire if President Trump makes too many missteps.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The anger, the frustration is there for any one to tap it.

        Anyone – that means it’s more than just one person, that we can empower ourselves, that it should be from the bottom up…in a way, reminding us of the Occupy’s Leaderless approach.

        Here, not so much leaderless as the belief that we are all leaders.

      2. aletheia33

        “Sanders: What we do together, as a growing movement, is we say, ‘If we don’t win — and by the way, we are in this thing to win, please understand that — [what’s] the Democratic Establishment going to do for us?’”

        note the use of we and us. note: “what we do together, as a growing movement”.

        he will never leave out the us part. not me, us. together. growing. movement.

        1. Tiercelet

          Just like right before that, where he says he doesn’t really think of himself as a leader, he’d rather see lots of leaders in a grassroots movement–I’d love to see HRC say anything like that.

          Doesn’t even matter whether it’s sincere (though I expect at this point Bernie’s a little past the nest-feathering point of his life’s trajectory anyway), just to hear someone endorse it on the national stage is electrifying.

          1. aletheia33

            i think it does matter whether it is sincere.
            i live and vote in vt and i think it is sincere.

            i do not agree with him on everything. and i am sure if he by some bizarre circumstance gets elected POTUS, many of his followers to the left of him will be sorely let down as whatever illusions they’ve projected onto him fall away.

            that said, i suspect bernie is one of those rare souls who truly gets off on the process of a grassroots movement and is not turned off by or any stranger to the sheer labor of it. i suspect he knows a thing or two in his life about how a grassroots movement forms, organizes, works.
            unlike obama, who i suspect merely knows how to use a grassroots movement.

            as we all know, one of the basic principles of grassroots organizing is that it truly must be powered by the people and for the people. probably honored, in reality, all too seldom–but still a most basic principle. if bernie sticks to it, we will see many leaders emerge. if he betrays it, his usefulness is at an end. and everything he has done so far in his campaign indicates that that is his understanding.

  2. Jerry Denim

    Hillary is planning her national run as a war-hawk version of Romney against Trump, Cruz or some other unelectable wing-nut, basket-case. She is aiming for the middle. HRC wants the vote of Reagan Democrats and Jeb Bush/John Kasich style Republicans . I don’t think Clinton is much worried about Sanders or his supporters past the DNC convention, if she is able to make it that far. The unusually crazy, fractured and loathsome Republican candidates are giving Hillary a wide open lane to run exactly where the Clintons like it: Center-right. I don’t think Sanders will have much leverage with Clinton if he loses the nomination, I doubt she needs him. But even if Clinton decides she does need Sanders endorsement who is going to hold her feet to the fire on any progressive pledges she makes after she’s sworn in? It won’t be the Republicans, it won’t be the media that gave Obama a pass on all of his broken promises, and it won’t be the spineless, corporate Democrats that have been OK-ing trade deals, tax cuts and wars for decades now. Bernie Sanders should be 100% in this race to win it, the very strange dynamics of the race this year are aligned in a way that will yield very little leverage to a second-place lefty.

    1. pretzelattack

      that’s the thing for me i just don’t trust her. obama has pulled a 180 and not really been called on it by the media. i’d think she would do the same thing.

      1. LMS

        Agreed. She will evolve and devolve and sign into law bills with good names that do quite the opposite of what their names imply or that are complicated enough to provide generous loopholes and work arounds for special interests. And our terrible media will never point out the contradictions and backtracking. Just like she says, she will be Obama’s third term.

          1. MtnLife

            More like Reagan’s 10th. 9 terms of failed trickle down apparently isn’t enough to convince some Americans that the rich aren’t coming to save us.

    2. vidimi

      agreed. the premise that the DNC needs sanders’ supporters is unfounded. as lambert has said often enough, they despise their voters and would be happy enough for sanders supporters to stay home and not cause trouble.

      1. pretzelattack

        i dont know about that, there are a lot of sanders supporters. the plan is to use them then throw them under the bus, as bill and obama did, but depending on support from disaffected republicans looks like a very risky strategy–there is 2 decades of hate there to overcome.

        moreover, she needs independents, and taking the right wing/neoliberal tack will cost her dearly there, too.

        1. Jerry Denim

          “…there are a lot of sanders supporters. the plan is to use them then throw them under the bus…”

          True, but if a opportunity to run a center-right campaign with a wide open lane presents itself, as Hillary seems to be banking on, then she doesn’t really need to spend time wrangling with Sanders over endorsement conditions she has no intention of keeping. The Clintons know all of their well-placed media hacks like Krugman and company will shame and frighten any Sanders supporters who think of breaking left for a third party candidate like Stein (Greens), that they are the new Nader voters who will be to blame for handing a Presidential election to a madman worse than Hitler, Stalin, yadda, yadda, etc. The same media alarmists will also decry sitting out the election at home and will make the same analogies and dire warnings. After all in a two party system where people are told they are not entitled to vote for anyone else but a Dem/Repub lest they are prepared to shoulder the responsibility of summoning the Antichrist, what is a citizen to do? Will feminist, Muslims and Mexican supporters vote Trump? Would a Sanders endorsement of Clinton get his supporters to vote for her if they weren’t scared enough of the alternative to do so already? I doubt it and Hillary does too.

          Concerning the much hyped “Independent” vote, I don’t have exact numbers handy and I do apologize for that, but from the data I’ve seen “Independents” in the United States are more typically Libertarian, Ron Paul types than they are lefties. The majority of “Independents” in the US are just wing-nuts too hard line to self-identify with Republicans. Many “Independents” hold center-right views themselves but simply don’t like the two party system or prefer to think of themselves as mavericks. They aren’t going to be frightened off by center-right views. I will concede who and what ideas constitute the majority of voters registered as ‘Independent’ is not static and will vary with election cycles and political trends. Socialism and liberal ideas are coming back in vogue with Americans, particularly younger Americans so the older data I have seen could be changing, but I doubt it has changed that much. If anything Sanders candidacy has probably drained the more liberal voters from the ranks of “Independents” swelling the rolls of registered Democrats and making US ‘Independents’ even more homogeneously right-wing.

          1. participant-observer-observed

            You can also get “data” if you attend a Sanders event or participate and observe what the Berners are saying in social media.

            This arm-chair observer approach is the HRC campaign’s blind spot.

            1. Jerry Denim

              Not quite able to follow you- regarding ‘data’ are you addressing my contention that registered Independents in the United States mostly hold right-wing and center-right political views or something else?

              I’m saying in the event of a Clinton vs. Trump or Cruz Presidential race Clinton will not even try to chase Sanders voters. She will pursue the wide middle and middle-right.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      100% means crossing the Rubicon.

      “When you run a race, focus on that race…not your Senate seat.”

      Be the race and the arrow of the race.

      You go all out…for the country.

    4. different clue

      Trump is not a wingnut in the Establishment Republican sense. Trump v Clinton would not be unelectable. If it were Trump v Clinton, even if I could not quite bring myself to vote for Trump, I could certainly vote Green.

      Whereas if it were Cruz v Clinton, I would vote for Clinton. The difference between Trump and Cruz is the difference between a loudmouth egotist and a Thousand-Year-Reign-of-Biblical-Law Dominionist. And President Dominionist would be worse than President Clinton, to me and many others. So here’s hoping that Trump wins the R-nom, whomever wins the D-nom.

  3. 4D

    From the opposite end of the world it is fantastic watching Bernie shake up the establishment. It’s great for the US and for the rest of the world to see the youth and disenfranchised groundswell growing by the week.

    He has been so badly underestimated all along I’ve got a feeling in my bones he can still make it to Number One!

  4. Chris in Paris

    Bernie is a smart political player and knows that diluting your opening position in a negotiation is a losing strategy. If Clinton gets the coronation, he’ll be open to discuss these but why give them up now?

    1. pretzelattack

      that’s exactly why obama pursues that strategy, of course. unless its on something he cares about, like trade treaties.

    2. Michael C.

      You mean like Obama always does, for example his Supreme Court nominee or his ACA stategy, etc. etc?

  5. Jeff W

    There is simply no way that Clinton will accede to any of the things Sanders might ask for (except, possibly, as GP says, rebuilding the infrastructure)—not only because of the enormous “institutional challenges” (i.e., corporate influence) but, really, because she’s just spent the entire campaign arguing that Sanders’ proposals are “unrealistic.”

    So I agree—Sanders is setting the stage, if it comes to Clinton being the nominee, of not endorsing her, at least initially, or giving her a sort of non-endorsement endorsement (e.g., “As between Republican Nominee X and Secretary Clinton, Secretary Clinton is the better choice”).

    In addition, I think Clinton will underestimate, to her detriment, the willingness of Bernie supporters to walk away from her, especially if Sanders does not endorse her wholeheartedly. Part of the reason is Clinton’s typical hubris and obliviousness—the candidate who assumed a cakewalk to the nomination will assume, if she is the nominee, that “lesser evilism”—or, in her mind, her clear “superiority”—will handily win the day.

    Part of the reason is that the Washington establishment, of which Clinton is wholly a creature, still doesn’t get the “open rebellion” of the voters (either on the right with Trump or on the left with Sanders). Tom Ferguson rightly called it five years ago with regard to the low voter turnout in the 2010 midterms—“…the American people will not accept the policies that leaders in both parties prefer”—and they won’t, or many of them will not, at this point, accept the leaders that both parties prefer. Some of those people will not vote for the neoliberal candidate (i.e., Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side) no matter what the other choices might be.

    1. LMS

      She will do so in a way that gives her wiggle room. She will work toward an eventual goal of single payer by doing what she says will be politically possible now. (Translation: don’t hold your breath, maybe in a couple of centuries.) She will say that she will do all she can to eventually get a $15/hr minimum wage. (Translation: she will want $15 by the time it needs to be $25.) She will talk the talk on climate change, but coddle the fossil fuel industry behind the scenes, and the MSM will give that no coverage. She will agree to everything, but in the realm of “realism,” which means that it will get lip service, but none of it will get done. That’s how she works.

      1. Tiercelet

        The magic of “wonkish” and “practical” solutions: they’re all about very clever people using gigawatts of brain power to find ‘solutions’ to structural problems that avoid questioning or altering existing power relations in any way.

    2. diptherio

      Oh, how I wish open rebellion were actually happening. I’m not seeing it, personally. Supporting an outsider political candidate is something, but it sure isn’t rebellion. Everybody still pays their taxes, shows up in court to pay their traffic fines, generally accepts the validity of bureaucratic control of more-and-more aspects of life.

      Unfortunately, I don’t think we’re nearly as close to actual open rebellion as we’d like to think (although foreclosure defense actions by groups such as Occupy Our Homes are heading in the right direction).

      1. Brooklin Bridge

        You’re absolutely right but tragic as it is, it’s also very understandable. Fear is powerful and people still perceive they have a lot to loose. A kind of unspoken, unacknowledged fear of loss is behind many if not most of the Hillary supporters.

        This seems one of the few explanations for the fact so many people who abhor war are willing to “studiously” ignore Hillary’s ample contributions to it.

        1. James Levy

          A critical mass of the so-called “middle class” (actually people in the 70-90% earning bracket, which is as far down the spectrum of wealth and poverty as the media is normally prepared to look) have ridden out the last economic hurricane and are back above water. The last thing on earth they want is to rock their boats. Given the fear of God that was put into them in 2007-10 it is hard to blame them. Somehow Sanders has to look and speak to those below that threshold, but such engagement is unheard of these days. If he can get those people out to the polls without alienating the so-called “middle class” then he can win both the nomination and the presidency. But boy is that a tall order.

        2. readerOfTeaLeaves

          As I walked out of my caucus, I chatted with a young mom. She and her husband had brought their 2 young kids to see democracy, and she’d walked in unsure that Bernie was credible enough to support. She and her spouse had been underwater on their house since about 2009, and are only now just coming up for air (their youngest had been born in that period). I told her that coming to the caucus and supporting Sanders was probably the best financial planning decision she could make this year, apart from voting for him in November. She agreed.

          About half the Sanderistas in my group were under 35, so their teen years and adult years have been spent watching: 9/11, War on Terror, Afghanistan, Iraq, 2008 meltdown and complete lack of justice for perps — while being left to bail out rampant fraud in a world awash in corruption.

          Anyone who thinks these voters are going to cave and vote for Hillary is delusional.

          1. TomD

            As Yves (and others) frequently point out. Hillary and the Dems don’t want the left. They want the left staying home and not voting. That way they can argue with Rs around the edges and never have to address any real problems.

            Plus those cosmopolitan Rs who don’t care about gay marriage and support abortion rights just have so much money.

            1. cwaltz

              I think they are going to be disappointed because from where I’m sitting a good portion of the left has become tired of being punched. They aren’t going to sit at home. They are coming for the Democratic Party one way or another. You can only lie and cheat and steal from a constituency so long without consequences.

              I’ve got my fingers crossed because this election cycle feels like a tipping point. We either get reform within the Democratic Party or an awful lot of people may be looking at building the infrastructure to work around them.

              One way or another I have to thank DWS and the RNC for exposing that what we thought parading around was a democracy is actually an oligarchy. I think they’ve let enough people see the system is rigged and that as a result there will be consequences.

          2. Brooklin Bridge

            Don’t disagree.

            I am speaking mainly about those who already support Clinton. For some, as James points out, it’s the fear of God that 08 put into them. I know a “leftist” couple in their 80’s that stared financial ruin in the face only to feel Obama saved them – they exactly fit Jame’s description. I also know a middle aged woman who is one of the kindest people you could ever hope to meet, who is not terrified, but who has an uneasiness about anything that might upset the good fortune she and her husband and family enjoy. She is a strong HIllary supporter partly because of the glass ceiling, but also (I strongly suspect) because of this underlying feeling of vague threat by anything that challenges her hard earned ‘good life.’ One could say she is a hypocrite, but anyone who knows her has a damned hard time painting her with negatives, so go figure.

      2. ChrisPacific

        I think Bernie’s movement is less of a rebellion and more of a counterinsurgency. What you’re describing would amount to giving up on the current government as a lost cause. Bernie and his followers want to reclaim it and make it serve the people. Personally I think that is a good thing – it shows that the current system is not beyond redemption and offers some hope for progress short of tearing the whole thing down and starting over, which is usually painful (look at Egypt).

    3. different clue

      In your scenario, Sanders could phrase it even more tepidly.

      “As between Republican Nominee X and Secretary Clinton, Secretary Clinton is the not-as-bad choice.”

    4. Bob P.

      This discussion is quite interesting and everyone here is obviously quite bright. I can’t bring much to it except to mention that I have written a blog cross posted to Daily Kos and Caucus99% stating that I would not vote for Hillary Clinton under any circumstance and asking others how they felt about voting for the lesser of two evils. The response from Sanders’ supporters was overwhelming in saying they would vote for Jill Stein or write in Bernie but would not vote for Hillary. I think it was in the neighborhood of 80-90%. Of course, the respondents self-selected, so this sample is unscientific. But I have seen references elsewhere to studies/polls that found that around 30% of progressives would not vote for a Clinton. They are really, really disliked. She can’t win when such a large proportion of the left-leaning base won’t vote for her.
      I think that the Democratic Party will be in big trouble if they alienate Sanders’ supporters as I am almost positive they will. If Wasserman-Schultz wins against Tim Canova and Hillary gets the nomination, I would not be surprised to see serious consideration of a third party to replace the Democratic Party.

  6. Barking Tribe

    Sanders is cautiously setting a non-endorsement endorsement because ultimately neither he, nor Clinton willfully embrace failure. Whereas Sanders has built a reputation from the ground up, Clinton has smashed the party from the top down; somewhere in the middle they’ll dance.
    However, what tune will be played?
    The steps and movement will be a series of prevarications, parsed in lawyerly fashion with sufficient gravitas to keep the MSM nodding and swaying.
    For all his efforts, I sincerely wish she’d tumble to the planks below in a graceful arch with hands reaching and grasping incumbent of abandoned memories and pure air.

  7. divadab

    I find it passing strange that Sanders has not gone after Clinton’s warmongering – I mean, she’s running to the right of Obama the Assassin – Clinton is a full-on Neo-Con. It’s fucking disgraceful that the anointed nominee not only voted for the Iraq invasion, but presided over another such fuckup in Libya, and wanted the same for Syria. With Hillary in charge, trying to prove how macho she is with her gravelly yelling, I fear WW 3. Seriously, why is this the normative view in the Democratic Party – invasion, destruction, and killing civil societies all over the world?

    1. diptherio

      Seriously, why is this the normative view in the Democratic Party – invasion, destruction, and killing civil societies all over the world?

      Because freedom, democracy and human rights. Don’t you watch the Newz? Sometimes you have to destroy a country in order to save it. Liberals know that they’re always on the right side of history, therefore militarily forcing their wishes down the throats of people all over the world, whether they like it or not, is their right and their gawd-given obligation. Did the Iraqi population want to be subjected to a shock-and-awe bombing campaign and have their existing social structures utterly destroyed? Of course not, because they don’t know what’s good for them. That’s why we need all them librul dems to deliver our “tough love” — it’s for their benefit, not ours. Nothing untoward going on here…

      1. Gaylord

        When it comes to the MIC, the Democrats and Republicans are equally supportive of war and foreign policy that enables exploitation of resources around the world. It’s not just in Congress or the Executive branch — just look at overwhelming US citizens’ support of the Iraq Invasion during W. Bush and the fact that no leaders have been held accountable for their crimes against humanity.

        We should admit that we are a profoundly sick society.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      Given Brussels and the totally bizarre Obama harping on nuclear terrorism, I don’t think Bernie wants to give Hillary and the orthodox Dems a ‘soft on terrorism” talking point, particularly since the media loves to hype it.

  8. Howard

    Today Bernie Sanders has announced a new political organization, The New Party. He urged his supporters in the battleground states to support and vote for Hillary Clinton vs. Paul Ryan in the upcoming Presidential election. The New Party’s fundraising apparatus will strongly support Democratic candidates around the country that reflect the priorities of the New Party and will urge for these candidates to eventually switch to the New Party. The New Party will run candidates in all 50 states and at all levels.
    “Time for a Political Evolution/Revolution”

  9. fiscalliberal

    Bernie revolution requires Senate & House control – has he acknowledged that? What is plan to get majorities?

    1. sleepy

      Imho, what Bernie’s revolution requires is Sanders as president exercising the biggest political megaphone around. He would have tremendous popular support among the electorate, even among more than a few repub voters. I fully believe that he would give a voice to the vast majority, all of whom have been told that electoral politics is bunk because “they’re all the same”, and it’s been true. When people realize that mindset has been broken, who knows? That knowledge imho would be the Sanders revolution.

      The biggest pressure he could bring to bear against congress is a relentless clarity in defining the issues. Would he get everything he wants? No, not immediately, but the needle would be moved left and the political dialogue changed. Single payer for example–not which or what some worthless patch to the ACA is proposed–would become a defining issue.

      1. Brooklin Bridge

        Exactly. It’s going to take time to derobe the emperor, but it’s hard or impossible to move forward without doing so. Sanders is particularly well suited to start this process. The actual legislative gains may well be secondary to simple public awareness of the issues.

      2. Lexington

        Well said.

        Sanders couldn’t enact much of his program immediately because of resistance in Congress, not to say from within his own party. And the MSM will scream bloody murder.

        But he could pull an FDR and use the bully pulpit of the presidency to move public discourse in a direction that would facilitate reform. Outside of the Washington bubble there is a strong appetite for change, as we’ve recently seen on issues like trade and the minimum wage.

        1. sleepy

          To elaborate on what I said previously–

          The real Sanders revolution is a popular awareness or consciousness that neoliberalism is not something that came down from God or is a law of nature or is in any way inevitable. Rather that it is a process enacted solely through political calculation that citizens have the power to reverse and the power to reassert their own interests.

      3. Pookah Harvey

        This not new territory for Sanders. In his initiation into political office as Mayor of Burlington the Republican City Council fought him tooth and nail.

        For example, the Board of Aldermen, Burlington’s city council, did everything it could to block the new mayor. They rejected his appointments — even fired his secretary.

        Sanders pounded away at his message and got results:

        If there is a clear message, however, it would not seem to be in Sanders’s election, but in his reelection in 1983 and again in 1985, by increasingly wide margins.

        Sanders knows the difficulties he will face as President and has experience in overcoming them.

    2. Fred

      No, he doesn’t need Senate and House control, although that would be nice. It has taken at least 35 years for the duopoly to bring us to this point, and it will take at least that long to roll some of it back. Many people, some of whom haven’t even been born yet, will have to continue what he has started. This will be true whether he wins or loses. He’s 74.
      Moreover the duopoly still has unfinished business that requires a compliant president to accomplish.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I agree it will be a long process.

        With time, the people can get Senate and House control…perhaps to facilitate, to aid or to complete the revolution.

      2. oh

        The devil’s work is never finished. Once they eat the upper middle class elites, they’ll go after higher level targets. Greed has no limit.

    3. Moby

      Bernie doesn’t need Senate & House Control for all of his agenda.
      To clean up the abuses and corruption of Wall Street requires
      only someone who is willing to enforce, not ignore, existing law.
      That alone would make Bernie’s election worthwhile.

    4. washunate

      You may enjoy checking out Daily Kos quite a bit. They revel in that kind of blame-the-GOP game, as if Paul Ryan or Mitch McConnell somehow dictates the global positioning of US military bases, the scheduling of recreational drugs, the persecution of whistleblowers, the protection of financial fraudsters and war criminals, the budget proposals submitted by the President, the speeches given by the President, or a host of other activities conducted by the Executive Branch of the United States Federal Government.

      You seem pretty ignorant of how government works (or is that just a charade?), so you might also enjoy reading up on the basics of the expansive role of the executive branch at this link:

    5. different clue

      That is a multi-decadal project. Bernie knows that and we should learn that if we don’t already know it.
      It begins by voting for the Republican in every election between a Republican and a DLC Clintonite Obamacrat. When the Dparty has been purged of its Clintonite Obamacrats with Stalinist intensity and permanence and thoroughness, then we will have a “real” Democratic Party ready to degrade and attrit the majority Republican Party in House and Senate the way Minority Leader Gingrich degraded and attrited the Democratic Majority in his day. Eventually such degradement and attrition would degrade and attrit the Rparty into political defeat. Then the “Real” Democratic Party, with zero traces of DLC Clintonite filth remaining anywhere in any of its structures, could work to impose its will against the defeated Republicans and Clintonites and their OverClass owners.

    6. redleg

      The executive branch controls HOW laws and rules are enforced. Any President, without congress’ input, can:
      – decide what rules to enforce and which crimes to prosecute;
      – decide which “trade” deals to pursue, or not;
      – choose to add items into federal contracts, such as minimum wage, etc.;
      – determine foreign policy;
      …and so on.
      There are many things the president can do that doesn’t require congress’ approval or consent.

  10. Llewelyn Moss

    What good is a “promise” from Hellery? She is already talking like Bernie’s mini-me in her speeches — And only fools believe her. I’d rather see Bernie go third party and lose than throw his credibility away on a hollow promise from Hellery. Failing that I will vote Green.

  11. Northeaster


    You are absolutely delusional to think Clinton will fold on any of those “demands”, she is an ogre of a human being who often exhibits sociopathic tendencies. She is a destroyer, and she is walking into The Oval Office.

    1. sid_finster

      She is a sociopath, and like any other sociopath, she listens only to force.

      Unless Bernie has some way to hold her feet to the fire, her word means nothing.

      1. different clue

        If she gave her word on TV, before God and CSPAN, and then broke every part of it, she would be a toxic loser in 2020, as Gaius Publicus wrote somewhere in his comment. The rage and hate among the Bernie movement could be directed at destroying her in 2020, and at destroying all her soulmates , symps and feltravs as well.

        That is part of the value of getting her abject promise to adopt the Movement Platform. If she goes back on her promise, she will be SEEN to go back on it and she will be SEEN as an utter liar.
        She is not the smooooove liar that Obama is. She won’t be able to get away with lying the way he does.

  12. Brooklin Bridge

    Many would be deeply disappointed if Sanders endorsed Clinton in any way shape or form. What started out as strong dislike for what she stands for, including the dynasty of privilege, has become almost visceral as she and her corrupt hold over the DNC and the media has used every dirty trick in the book to get her way. To endorse this (even indirectly as part an agreement for running as a Democrat) would be felt as an acute betrayal of everything Sanders has campaigned so tirelessly for.

    The strategy of conditional endorsement based on conditions virtually impossible for a Clinton dynasty of economic privilege and betrayal of New Deal principals, allows him to avoid such a dilemma and remain true to his extraordinary campaign (->movement).

    Also, it is very hard to see Hillary giving anything away for such an endorsement. She loathes Sanders as he has stripped her bare, of all things with fair play, time and time again in a way that will be far more lasting and frustrating to her dynastic reign than anything Trump could ever accomplish with brute contempt. She will take credit for anything she can, if she must, such as the 15 dollar minimum wage in those states that are enacting it, but she will treat the rest of Sander’s platform with a vengeance.

  13. Jack Heape

    Might he be setting the stage for a 3rd party if he doesn’t get the nomination? I can’t think of a better time for a 3rd party having a chance to win the White House. Sanders supporters are not strong Democrat party supporters. They support him personally, not the party, so that is a big chunk that would support him. Secondly, a whole slew of Republicans would support him given the choice they are going to have this fall within their own party. Several polls have been done that show quite a few Republicans supporting Sanders as a Democrat, but imagine if he wasn’t a Democrat? It would be much easier to get a Republican to vote 3rd party than to vote Democrat. Finally, there is a very large anti-establishment movement in the country right now. Another benefit is that a 3rd party controlling the White House would have a better chance of brokering a compromise on many of the policy positions that would be nigh on impossible between a Republican congress and a Democratic executive. Compromise wouldn’t be seen as “giving in” for one thing. For another, the powers that be would be so shell shocked because a 3rd party won the White House, they would be scared to death of what that might mean for their long term viability, and a scrambling to make up with their constituents would ensue to preserve their rice bowl.

    1. sid_finster

      Exactly. I support Bernie, not Team D. I would not vote for Hillary if Bernie himself were to visit my house and beg for it.

    2. TheCatSaid

      Would it be possible to get a new party onto the ballot in all states if one were to start now?

      1. Ian

        Why not run Green? I think that Jill Stein would welcome him. Kills two birds with one tone as well, as people many see Green as default and many see writing him in as the way to go.

        1. waldenpond

          Check out Stein’s twitter feed. She may accept him as VP but she would never let him take top of ticket.

          1. JeffC

            Almost doesn’t matter. What do you think the vote tallies in November would look like for a Stein/Sanders ticket? If they presented it in the last stages of the campaign as a potential team presidency…

        2. redleg

          If Bernie loses the nomination, I’m voting Stein. It’ll make counting my lost vote that much easier for the Dems.

      2. marym

        In 35 states, a write-in candidate must file some paperwork in advance of the election. In seven states, write-in voting for presidential candidates is not permitted.

        In order to access the ballot nationwide, it is estimated that an independent presidential candidate in 2016 would need to collect more than 880,000 signatures.


        In order to become ballot-qualified, a party must meet certain requirements. For example, in some states a party’s candidate for a specific office must win a certain percentage of the vote in order for the party to be ballot-qualified in the state. In other states, a political party must register a certain number of voters in order to achieve ballot status.


    3. different clue

      If they supported him for Third Party and then he and they lost, what would happen to them as a movement? And if they broke off the effort to conquer and disinfect and decontaminate and bio-remediate the Democratic Party at the time of their visible peaking power, how would they ever get back into it to resume the abandoned effort at conquest?

        1. different clue

          Perhaps the most durable outside-a-party social structures are not “movements” but rather the ethnic/cultural/ religious/other shared-identity-based groups which provide the intergenerational social soil from which movements can grow.

          The forcibly de-tribalized/ de-ethnified African kidnappees in the Slavery Zones first became a newly-emerging ethno-racial group aware of being such . . . and then they grew-evolved a long-duration Black Church and its Black Church culture. And that provided the long term organized communal framework from which a Civil Rights Movement could be seeded and grown.

          So perhaps the various Bernie people will have to evolve into ethno-curlturacial-religious or other culture-affinity groups of some sort to evolve the multigenerational durability and ability to recognize eachother across a crowd or across a country . . . and then build a movement on that shared identity-identification. At the very least they might have to become long term “societies” and “clubs” devoted to living a shared life beTWEEN political engagements. Perhaps aggressive de-consumers could become a community of Conservation LifeStylers who would then be in a position to build a movement devoted to imposing Conservation LifeStyling and facilitating on the rest of society. For example.

  14. PlutoniumKun

    I think the Clinton campaigns calculations all depend on who she will face if nominated.

    If she is against someone like Cruz, then she doesn’t need Sanders supporters – she can rely on everyone who isn’t a religious nut and wing nut holding their nose to vote for her. Against Trump its a tight call – she will of course go for the ‘moderate Republican’ vote, but has to be careful Trump doesn’t take the whole white working class, including possibly Sanders supporters and alienating almost all progressives. Trump could end up winning by default if many disgusted Dems just stay at home. If the Republicans manage to manoeuvre a ‘centrist’ candidate in, someone like Paul, then she will desperately need Sanders supporters and may have no option but to move left. So it may be that Sanders would have most power if the Republican establishment do successfully manipulate the convention.

    1. sleepy

      Is your reference to “Paul” a reference to Ryan? If so, I know what you’re saying, but isn’t it a laffer that such a nut gets described as a “centrist” even in quotes? Man, things have just moved so far to the right.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Yes, sorry, I meant Ryan!

        And of course, he is only a centrist in terms of todays crazy politics.

        1. Carolinian

          He’s no description of a centrist. The Koch’s are pushing him.

          As for the above post, has Sanders–a bit late–decided to be a”spoiler” after all? He should never have made his support the nominee promise. Hillary’s views are no different now than they were then. What’s his excuse for walking it back?

          1. Carolinian

            BTW in his mentally ungirdled WaPo interview Trump says something that I think is true. When asked why all the scorched earth nastiness during the campaign he says nothing matters if you don’t win. I think the Sanders people are finally figuring this out. It’s vaguely possible that a failed Sanders campaign will generate some kind of left “movement” but it’s just as likely the whole thing will be forgotten. After all Occupy was supposed to change the country’s direction but it didn’t. If you want to defeat the powerful you have to take away their power. One way: voting. They do fear it.

            1. Vatch

              If you want to defeat the powerful you have to take away their power. One way: voting. They do fear it.

              Thank you! So true. Failure to vote is the same as a vote in favor of the oligarchic status quo.

            2. Pookah Harvey

              What we are seeing is the result of Occupy. Before Occupy there was occasional mentions of wealth inequality in the media that were quickly suppressed.
              The movement itself dispersed but its ideas are definitely having an effect.

            3. aletheia33

              @Carolinian, who wrote: “Occupy was supposed to change the country’s direction but it didn’t.” sorry, but you are wrong, or at best, it’s way premature to make this pronouncement. occupy–and the WI capitol occupation, and black lives matter, and zephyr teachout, and others–all have tapped on an apparently unassailable wall and made a few tiny cracks that are currently developing into a sizable opening that most people in this country have no idea even exists.

              there is more than one way to “defeat the powerful”, as you put it, and all of them have to be taken at once.

              occupy was truly radical–that is probably why they got violently removed. but without those who agitate at the edge, without those trail blazers–e.g., the black panthers–no movement can happen at the middle.

              so yes, the vote. large numbers of angry people in the streets. chairs thrown into the arena. nonviolent revolutionaries, militant revolutionaries. women taking off their shirts to reveal messages painted on their skin. prison riots. police riots. kayaks stopping petroleum shipments. people sitting down in front of trains. burning of government id cards. violent suppression of the large number of nonviolent people in the streets. college students getting shot.

              people died to make the unions.

              all this and more is what it takes. and, yes, also the vote.

          2. PlutoniumKun

            The media will happily play along with the ‘Paul Ryan, reasonable Republican’ meme if he is pushed in instead of Trump.

            I think Sanders had no choice but to state early on he would support the winner. It is a better political move to play the party man in public, while the DNC try to destroy him. If he was overtly anti-Hilary it would have been easier for them to justify all means to shut him out.

            I actually think he’s walked the tightrope between being a loyal Dem and anti-establishment spoiler very well. Its a tough thing to do.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                The energy to build a new party is probably less than that required to take the D party from life long establishment Democrats.

                Was it a strategic error to not run as an Independent?

        2. Vatch

          Paul Ryan recently has been pretending to move to the center. A few weeks ago he told us that he now believes that some low income people actually aren’t evil parasites!

          1. sleepy

            The real media acclaimed gop moderate seems to be Kasich with his aw shucks, Jimmy Stewart schtick. Behind that mask is a wingnut as bad as Cruz.

          2. craazyboy

            With 27 R&D candidates this primary season, it’s been like playing Russian Roulette and Bernie is the only empty chamber in the gun.

            Now the GOP is saying they didn’t like the odds and we need a double barrel shotgun for the general election.

            We just can’t let that happen.

            1. Brooklin Bridge

              Bernie is the only empty chamber in the gun

              That does sum it up. The Russian roulette analogy keeps occurring to me as well in slightly different guises depending on which hideous clowns are acting up at the time. It’s not just a mess, it’s an amazing mess.

    2. Brooklin Bridge

      This makes a lot of sense and could well be why the sudden and ferocious MSM effort to take Trump out. I think you have it right in the event of a Cruz nomination, but the possibility of needing Sander’s supporters for other contingencies presents a real dilemma and I suspect HIllary knows it.

      Sanders has managed – using fair play of all things – to back her against a wall where agreements to his platform, particularly for the purpose of wooing his supporters, are seen as an admissions of ethical and moral bankruptcy on her part.

      Also worth noting that bad blood is rising. Look at almost any main stream comment section. There is a growing war going on between Hillary supporters and the sense of entitlement they feel and those of Sanders that feel the jibes of “misogynist”, spoiler and other such taunts are grossly unfair, and that is not going to end well for HIllary.

  15. Paul Tioxon

    The Ace extends into 2020, not just a 2nd term in the WH, but a whole new 50 state strategy that will make policy demands politically doable by taking back Congress. Implied in the 50 state strategy demand is that Bernie or somelike him, Liz Warren?, may primary HRC in 2020. If Bernie and his supporters do not see large scale rallies in sports stadiums outside of the comfort zones of CA, NY etc, where there is sincere outreach and listening to the devastated middle class and blue collar workers who have been deindustrialized, if they do not see massive job programs in infrastructure stimulus spending, if they do not see solar and wind power displacing fossil fuels year by year, etc, they can launch or draft a candidate from a faction within the democrats who will carry this out.

    It is not only support for this election, but the next congressional elections, and then, the next presidential election that is the point of building a 50 state political party and not conceding any territory as a Red state beyond reach. Hillary and the entire party leadership are going to be pulled into this new line of action or face the consequences from a citizenry that continues its downward spiral from the middle class, continues its alienation from any sort of establishment empty rhetoric, and continues its fatalistic embrace of anything that is different on the odd chance that maybe shaking things up a hell of a lot will get some positive results. Continuing down the same old path is not working for voters, so uncertainty can become the path to power when the well worn out routine has proven to be the road to nowhere. Trying out someone new over and over until something begins to work, might as well try.

  16. sleepy

    Here’s crossing fingers on a best case scenario with the FBI investigation. If that happens, Sanders will be the next president.

    1. Brooklin Bridge

      If that happens, Sanders will be the next president.

      That is exactly why it won’t happen.

      1. sleepy

        Barring the best case scenario, after this gets wrapped up I think there will be damaging leaks particularly the interviews of Hillary, Huma Abedin, and other associates especially if the FBI recommended prosecution and DOJ punted. Would that be enough to deny the nomination? It would certainly become issue no. one with the repubs and I suspect with Sanders.

      2. Yves Smith Post author

        Obama does not like Clinton and they’ve put real FBI resources on this. And the FBI has been leaking like a sieve when the Administration does not like leakers. Plus you have Judicial Watch with 2 cases against Clinton. The FBI will not want to be embarrassed if Judicial Watch finds dirt they should have found and acted upon.

        Obama does not want to look like he’s done her in. But I don’t see him as motivated to help her. And even if the FBI was tasked to do a thorough enough investigation to make sure they had not missed real dirt and would be accused of a cover-up later (you can bet the Rs will try to impeach Hillary if Judicial Watch finds a smoking gun…you can impeach a President on just about anything…), there is certain to be enough dirty dealing with the Clinton Foundation that institutionally, they have to be stuck. Even if the plot was to look the other way, I doubt if they can because unhappy agents will go to the media (I also suspect the FBI has kept up some of its J. Edgar Hoover day habits and has more institutional independence than other parts of the Administration).

        So I expect them to indict at least someone on her team. That person, if they have any brains, will get their own lawyer and put blame on the higher-ups, meaning HIllary. You don’t need to go after Hillary directly to damage her a ton.

        And if Huma were to be indicted, that’s tantamount to indicting Hillary.

        1. Arizona Slim

          Somewhere on the White House website, there is a photo of President Obama looking down his nose at former President Clinton. The disdain in Obama’s body language is unmistakable.

          ISTR that this photo was taken on the day when Obama had to go to a Christmas party and he left Clinton in charge of handling a press conference.

        2. Buffalo Cyclist

          Obama dislikes Sanders even more. At least Clinton and Obama have the same worldview and values.

        3. Lambert Strether

          And if Obama does “help” her, he’ll do it in such a passive-aggressive way that it won’t actually help her, or will actually damage her. And it will all look very deliberate, and judicious, and cool.

          1. different clue

            Given how much future money the FIRE sector actors expect a President Clinton will be worth to them, will they really permit a spiteful Obama to “help” her as against HELPing her? If Obama ends up really HELPing her, would that mean that the OverClass GoverLords have delivered a quiet message to Obama that he is expected to help them achieve a W Bush Administration terms 5 and 6 or he won’t get all the money he is expecting?

        4. redleg

          Reading the FAM and the applicable laws regarding information security, the entire email issue goes away- legally, not politically- if Obama says “I approved it.”

          It’s been a year and he hasn’t said it.

          Many people, myself included, have been wondering who HRC will throw under the bus to escape damage. But what if Obama is about to throw Clinton under the bus?

    2. Lexington

      Let’s review: Hillary Clinton is a former First Lady, former US Senator, and former Secretary of State.

      In America people like that don’t get indicted. Jail is strictly for the little people.

  17. Anne

    Here are the questions that have to be part of the calculation:

    (1) can Clinton win without the Sanders voters?

    (2) where will the independents go?

    (3) what do the Sanders voters get out of it?

    (4) who is the GOP nominee going to be?

    I don’t believe someone with the high unfavorable ratings Clinton has can win unless her opponent’s unfavorables are as high or higher than hers, so that means that if Trump is not the nominee, there could be trouble for Clinton.

    I also don’t believe that Clinton is going to take on the Sanders agenda in exchange for his endorsement; to me, if she does, it’s going to look like the worst kind of pandering on her part, will reinforce people’s opinion that she will say anything to win – and – if you thought she seemed inauthentic to this point, a Clinton having to move to the left, instead of the center where she is most comfortable and which is likely her general election plan, is going to be 17 kinds of uncomfortable and awkward.

    All of this tells me that gaming a way for Clinton to win is just way more complicated than just nominating Sanders, who doesn’t have to change who he is or what he stands for, who has already shown he wins with significant sectors of the voting public (and his margins with people of color are increasing, not that the media has made much mention of that).

    Does he want to be in charge of an official effort to grow, reform and remake the Democratic Party? I can’t imagine Clinton putting that in his hands – too threatening to the establishment that comprises the top levels of the party at national and state levels. Does he undertake to establish a new party? That makes him the enemy, doesn’t it? More threats to the old guard.

    Looks to me like Clinton’s painted herself in a corner, and cannot count on Bernie Sanders to rescue her; and I’m not sure I want him to.

    1. TomD

      (1) can Clinton win without the Sanders voters?


      (2) where will the independents go?


      (3) what do the Sanders voters get out of it?


      (4) who is the GOP nominee going to be?

      Trump or Cruz, doesn’t matter.

    2. Lambert Strether

      I think Clinton wants moderate Republican votes and would gladly throw Sanders voters, and Sanders, under the bus to win them (in a ginormous “Sister Souljah” moment).

      If Trump is the nominee, that’s a plausible scenario, because scareeeeeee. If Cruz (or Ryan (or a “fresh face”)) is the nominee, I don’t know. If would be hilarious of the Clinton’s had been betting on Trump, lost the bet, and had to go, hat in hand, to Sanders for support.

  18. simjam

    Clinton will “accede” to many of the things that Sanders would ask for during the general election campaign if it would secure the votes of most of Sanders supporters. However, she would never seek to implement any meaningful social change. Sanders knows this. So what lies ahead? More class warfare to be sure. However, the resolution is not known.

    1. Ian

      It does though set the stage in the next election for her to be successfully challenged as the nominee in 2020. I see it as redundant though, as I cannot see her binding herself with clear admissions that her policies are crap (which they are).

  19. TarheelDem

    Presidential fixation is one of the Achilles heel of the progressive movement. Presidential power is not unlimited as much as Donald Trump wants to pretend it is so.

    Bernie Sanders power will come from the Congressional caucus that stands with him whether he wins or whether he loses. Given the fact that the incumbents are the among the very superdelegates that Clinton went out to get before the primary campaigns started in earnest in the fall, Sanders’s insurgency must unseat some of the obstructionist Democrats in the Congress.

    Institutionalizing the people power behind these policy positions by having reliable people in Congress and the state legislatures who will push these positions is the way policies become realities usually. To hope for different outcomes without institutionalizing political power is to face the frustration we have had for decades or to be forced to admit that under the current high-stakes financing of marketing-driven campaigns electoral politics no longer works to deliver sound public policy. That latter of course means that the Founders’ hopes for the workability of representative government has failed.

    What voters do means more in this than what Sanders does and microscopically watching his every move becomes a distraction from turning out voters in, say New York, to ensure a substantial victory for him there that spans the geography of that state and also has coattails in the Congress and state legislature.

    The idea that there is some way that Sanders can maneuver Hillary Clinton into not being Hillary Clinton is an illusion. It will never happen even if Sanders behaves as you suggest. Scapegoating progressives for a loss is what the establishment Democrats do best, and they have experience doing it since 1968.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      You’re right – it helps to see it not just as a jousting match between two knights.

      The Little Guys, the little voters, they are the real agents of change.

      The contest continues past November…whether we want it or not, because the rich need to get richer, always.

    2. aletheia33

      “What voters do means more in this than what Sanders does and microscopically watching his every move becomes a distraction from turning out voters in, say New York, to ensure a substantial victory for him there that spans the geography of that state and also has coattails in the Congress and state legislature.”

      ty TarheelDem.

      there are too many unknowns at play to speculate reasonably about the outcome in july from here.

    3. washunate

      Presidential fixation is one of the Achilles heel of the progressive movement.

      On the contrary, I’d say one of the problems is a general under appreciation of the vast centralization of authority that has occured in the executive branch of government. Plus, as a practical matter, focusing on a national office – the only one in the entire government – allows a certain amount of circumventing of the local squabbles and fiefdoms that entrench so much behavior at the state and municipal level.

      The major problems of our era are caused by action and inaction of the executive branch. Longer term, fixing that, decentralizing decision-making, is of course a Congressional matter. But the way things work, right now, is that both specific policy and the general tone is driven by the President, not Congress.

  20. efschumacher

    If Bernie doesn’t get the nomination and doesn’t run as Independent then I’ll write him in.
    The only deal that would work with HRC would be if Bernie gets to pick the VP and the Treasury Secretary.

    1. Vatch

      I respectfully suggest that if Sanders is not nominated and does not run as an Independent, that you instead vote for a third party candidate, such as the Green Party candidate. If a third party, such as the Greens, gets 5% of the vote, they qualify for federal grant money. You should only write in a name in a Presidential election if there are no satisfactory third party candidates on the ballot in your state. We don’t actually vote for President in the U.S., we just vote for electors, so a write in vote only has limited symbolic value.

  21. Barmitt O'Bamney

    Agree with all those who say WORTHLESS! to Clinton’s hypothetical promises to support any of Sanders’ demands. A Sanders sell out to Babylon could be the one thing that would get me to vote for Trump (or GOP replacement) – not as the LOTE but as the best chance to put a swift unmistakable end to this vile pantomime we call a democracy. Get the hook already.

    If Sanders really cares about his goals and the people who support him, he should be ready to take them outside the incorrigibly corrupt Democratic Party. They don’t really belong there anyway, as witnessed by the fact that he never bothered to join their shitty party. Run as an independent, Senator Sanders. Do not endorse the Beast.

  22. Watt4Bob

    Right now both parties are exhorting their respective apparatchiks with a ceremonial sake toss.

    They’ve accepted that the homeland will fall if their collective efforts are lacking.

    The time for card games is over, once they weld the cockpits shut.

  23. inode_buddha

    If Sanders doesn’t win the nomination, then the most effective thing he can do is form a 3rd party, IMHO. Said 3rd party would actually be viable under his leadership, and be able to strongly influence Congress, far more than a Presidency would. And that, in the long run, would accomplish his policy goals anyhow. It would also give the electorate a much-needed place to vent.

  24. Praedor

    I will never EVER vote for Hillary. Nothing Bernie can say or she can say will change that. Anything SHE says will be a lie so is moot.

  25. crittermom

    Regarding Jack Heaps’s comment:
    I’ve been thinking along the same lines myself.

    I completely agree with your statement, “Sanders supporters are not strong Democrat party supporters. They support him personally, not the party…”
    I’m one who votes for the person, not the party, & this election has made it quite apparent I’m not the only one.

    I believe the finger of the Dem Party on the scale regarding the voting, backing, & media coverage is much of what keeps Hellary in this race. Yet despite their best efforts, Bernie is getting a lot of support—& it’s been ever-increasing. (I’ve even managed to contribute a little each week directly to his campaign from my very meager SS).

    Is it possible (legal?) for Bernie to switch & run as a write-in Independent if Hellary gets the nomination?
    I would love nothing better than to see him win the presidency that way. It would signify a huge shout-out by the citizens saying, “We’re tired of the same ol’, same ol’ & we demand change.”
    It would also result in rendering those “super-delegates” (“bought out’s”) useless.

    It could also give more opportunity to support those in the Green party, as well, wouldn’t it? Hopefully, that would secure him some backing in the House & Senate as well, too?

    I know many die-hard Republicans who aren’t happy with their choices, either, & want change.
    I see it as a way to shake up both parties, exhibiting that the PEOPLE are more powerful than either “party”. They’d be forced to listen to us or kiss any future in politics goodbye.

    Of course, it may require replacing every literal chair in Congress when they each sh*t their pants in them, but that small cost should be well worth it…

    I’m sorry. Perhaps what I envision isn’t even feasible. This election has opened my eyes to politics, something I was never really that engaged in before now, I must shamefully admit (at my advanced age).

    I just can’t envision myself voting for any candidate other than Bernie Sanders–no matter how strongly I hold my nose.

    (Perhaps Bernie’s “new” party could be called The Free Bird Party. Neither Trump or Hellary could have bought that kind of positive coverage)

    1. Lambert Strether

      If this is to be a multi-decade effort (and I agree it must be) then the person must be made less important than the policies. Of course, it takes a special sort of person to make that possible, and Sanders may be that person.

      “Socialists for America.”

  26. Deloss Brown

    Yves, when I read postings by apparently knowledgeable people–otherwise, why would they be on this page?–and they say, “I’ll vote for Trump,” “I’ll write in Bernie,” “I’ll vote for the Green Party” (or any third party), it fills me with amazement. (I used up all my despair during the Reagan presidency.)

    We don’t have time for fooling around. South Florida is going underwater, and there’s still a chance that the TPP will sneak in.

    I’m as serious about Bernie as you are, but may I point out that at their first debate, he said that Hillary would be better than any Republican candidate? It’s still true. I beg you not to leave the republic in the hands of lunatics who are either witless, malevolent, or both. Instead of fuming about an imperfect world, why don’t you continue to work for Bernie, but also throw a little money to Tim Canova (Wasserman Schultz’ primary opponent), Tulsi Gabbard (who resigned from the DNC to support Bernie) and Tammy Duckworth?

    I’m only holding a brief for Hillary Clinton because, if the top of the ticket is Clinton versus Trump or Cruz or Ryan, are you really going to vote for a nutcase?

      1. crittermom

        Precisely my point.
        I won’t waste my time on what I think of any of the Repubs in the running, but I don’t believe Hellary, no matter which side of her mouth she speaks from.
        I see each Repub as a nutcase, & Hellary out for only herself (which is little better than a nutcase, really).
        I’m SO TIRED of voting for the lesser of two evils!

        While I understand that writing in a candidate will not get him elected, I’ve gotta believe there’s another alternative rather than endorsing her if she gets the nomination. I fear both she & Trump capable of getting us into WWIII. (And I admit I just absolutely can’t stand her. I just wanna punch her in her smirking face–& I’m a 64 yr old woman!)

        So while I continue to support Bernie & my biggest hope is he gets the nomination & wins the election, my “back-up” hope is that if he doesn’t get the nomination, he splits from the now Demon Dem party & wins the election anyway as an Independent.

      2. washunate

        Right on. This is why it is so weird for the author to be claiming that Sanders is leading an open rebellion.

        We can argue whether rebellion or collaboration is the better approach, but surely we have to recognize they are two distinct options. Sanders has been very clear that Team Blue is superior to Team Red.

          1. washunate

            That’s the thing. I don’t think the Sanders campaign was right on that front.

            [warning, considerable speculation and personal opinions follow…] I think it was a strategic error for him to paint Clinton as being better than the Republican options. It muddled the whole message about whether he was going straight to ‘regular people’ asking them to openly oppose the Democratic establishment or throwing his hat in the ring to be the next leader of them.

            We use the metaphor of a machine a lot; is Sanders asking people to destroy the machine, or to put him in charge of it? This is not academic. In our major cities, establishment Democratic officials have strangleholds over how things work, from business permits to nonprofit grants to court systems to job networking. If you are a settled local with any personal or professional interests, you do not cross them lightly, and if you are transient, you have no influence anyway. Even in extreme extreme extreme situations, like what happened in the Saint Louis area in the aftermath of Ferguson, it is simply not rational to expect local actors en masse to be able to do what needs to be done. No one at a local level can stick their neck out that much in an effective way, especially since local establishment officials are backed by national ones, and being a martyr simply isn’t a scalable solution.

            This is what I’ve said from the beginning that Sanders is giving us a good case study of whether Team Blue can be retaken. If somebody with as long a tenure as Sanders has working with Democrats can’t win the nomination, then perhaps Team Blue should be abandoned rather than spending more effort in a hostile takeover attempt. Maybe what we really need is to make supporting third parties – ie, not supporting Democrats – socially and practically acceptable in our major urban areas. Heck, in our bluest one-party areas, maybe the GOP itself is a hostile takeover candidate to provide some competition…

            That is open rebellion, and perhaps an independent run is where Sanders is heading, but to date, the campaign has studiously avoided taking on the state, county, and municipal officials the Clinton camp assembled last summer and fall in preparation for her delegate push this March. At this juncture, that initial lead is so enormous that it is nearly insurmountable. The damage has been done (from the perspective of trying to win the Dem nomination).

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              A voter goes up to Sanders at the bar: “What’s a nice guy like you doing in a party like this?”

            2. Lambert Strether

              What you said:

              In our major cities, establishment Democratic officials have strangleholds over how things work, from business permits to nonprofit grants to court systems to job networking. If you are a settled local with any personal or professional interests, you do not cross them lightly, and if you are transient, you have no influence anyway.

              How it works in my small town. And Clinton bought their loyalty (and now has the audacity to demand that Sanders join her in that effort).

              However, I’m just not sure that the situation is as static as you suggest. Even reformist efforts can morph into something else given the right conditions. (“Let’s convene the Estates General. What could go wrong?”) And mobilizing peasants with pitchforks is one such condition.

              1. washunate

                Agreed, that’s the hope* side of things. The situation is very dynamic; if Sanders wins big in NY and CA while not running into any surprises in places like PA and NJ, he’s in the driver’s seat, not Clinton (that’s why Clinton is so clearly pissed; she knows she can still lose this thing). It’s just that his margin of error is less due to how successful Clinton was with small wins in states like MA, IL, and MO while piling on the delegates in places like OH, FL, AL, and TX.

                *Well, and the fear side of things, but I’m a romantic at heart. While I acknowledge the doomsday possibilities, I don’t think we’ll have a French revolution level chaos (which is part of why I don’t get why actual progressives/leftists/whatever care about Donald Trump. He’s not a sure thing to win the GOP nomination, and even if he does, Sanders would beat him handily absent some truly extreme events).

    1. washunate

      Tammy Duckworth

      I’m assuming you threw her name out rather casually, but I’m curious, are you familiar with her backstory? Duckworth is a microcosm of the systemic failure of leadership in the Democratic party establishment. In short, it is a case study of what is wrong with our contemporary political class.

      Christine Cegelis and a core group of volunteers did the hard work of pushing out Henry Hyde, a powerful Republican. They had no help from established Illinois Democrats, such as a certain ambitious Chicago politician who keynoted the 2004 convention and would later run on hope and change and appoint Rahm Emanuel to his Administration. This was the very definition of local, grassroots activism. The Democratic party establishment hates that kind of autonomy. So instead of letting Cegelis win the next election, they desperately looked around to recruit somebody, anybody, who would be beholden to the party elite to run against Cegelis. Duckworth is who finally agreed to do the deed.

      Now at a micro level, are individual politicians like Duckworth marginally better than individual politicians that the GOP fields? Absolutely, that’s the point. That’s how fascism works in a bipartisan system.

      At some point, though, as a citizen you have to make a macro level decision to step away from individual lesser of two evilism comparisons in order to reject the system that creates a world in which there is no meaningful alternative to systemic oppression and injustice.

      1. tegnost

        Well said, and why I fear a hillary presidency in many ways as worse than the other alternatives because she is the institutional candidate who will seamlessly move the system such as it is forward and I’m not in favor of that direction. The president isn’t king, and the others, though appearing more contentious optically will be less able to move things forward with the same degree of efficiency, and gridlock is the lesser of those two evils.

      2. nycTerrierist

        “At some point, though, as a citizen you have to make a macro level decision to step away from individual lesser of two evilism comparisons in order to reject the system that creates a world in which there is no meaningful alternative to systemic oppression and injustice.”

        Agreed. Bernie is offering us a rare, possibly once-in-a-lifetime chance to reject
        lesser of two evilism. And he’s closer than any Green candidate has ever been to getting power.
        We need to support him vigorously to the end.
        If not the Dem nom, if he can run as an Independent, why not?

        I will never vote for Hillary. Obama played the ‘scary Republicans’ card fifty times too many.
        screw that.

      3. egg

        Thanks for highlighting this — Duckworth gets weirdly slipped into these lists of anti-establishment Dems way too often.

        (Am I remembering correctly that Kos was a big booster of hers in that first primary campaign? I feel like she was in that group of heavily promoted “counterintuitive” endorsees he loved along with Tester and Webb.)

    2. fosforos

      The Clinton would, with virtual certainty, sneak TPP in during the Lame Duck Session (and all the perfume in Araby would not suffice to wipe a single drop of the blood from her wrinkled hands even though, like Macheath, she “tragt nen handschuh”). The Trumpe-l’oeil, with equal certainty, can be expected to do no such thing. So who’s the lesser evil, eh?

    3. HotFlash

      Tim Canova (Wasserman Schultz’ primary opponent), Tulsi Gabbard (who resigned from the DNC to support Bernie) and Tammy Duckworth?

      Canova, check, Gabbard, check, but Duckworth? Rahm’s parachuted-in candidate to scotch Christine Cegelis? Better research, please. Young people have the fire, we old folks have the memory.

    4. different clue

      Trump is not the same kind of nutcase as Cruz or Ryan. Nominee Trump allows a different set of calculations than a nominee Cruz or Ryan would call for.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        After 2008, it’s hard to say with confidence that we can really know any candidates.

        And life in general is not too different…full of surprises.

        1. different clue

          I think I know with confidence that Trump is not a Christian Biblical-Law Dominionist.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            People learn at different speeds.

            Some are quicker and more certain.

            Some, slower and are less sure.

  27. polecat

    better nuts then the shell I say……..of course, one should always spit out any ‘rotten’ nutmeats whenever they’re encountered ;)

  28. Lil'D

    Wishful thinking.
    I do not believe the Clinton camp thinks they absolutely must have Sanders supporters.
    They are experts in triangulation or so they think.
    Much should depend on the republican candidate.
    If Trump, Clinton can bet that she can win without the sanders clan and is probably right.
    If Cruz, she might risk it as well, although I bet Cruz will win in that scenario.
    If Kasich or Ryan or superficially “moderate” (i.e. does not look like a raving lunatic regardless of the absurdity of positions), she might have to make some concessions to get the left, since the middle will be too competitive. Probably Republicans best chance at saving the senate as well.

    My current worst case scenario plays out with Cruz getting the nomination, Republicans unifying (that’s too strong a word… but…) primarily in hatred of Hillary, Hillary alienating Sanders supporters, and Cruz becoming president.
    I think it’s in the 25% to 50% likelihood range… which is enough to be scary

    1. redleg

      I can see Clinton winning, but the GOP keeping a majority in the House and Senate, which means she’ll be impeached over the email issue by the end of January.

  29. dcblogger

    I can’t believe that Sanders would sacrifice his position on the budget committee for a churlish refusal to endorse Clinton.

    1. washunate

      Yep, either Sanders is laying the groundwork for an actual rebellion, a true independent candidacy, or it is silly talking like this.

    2. inode_buddha

      Why does Sanders need the Budget Comittee when he has like half the vote and a rabid following? And besides its not like he isn’t 70-something yrs old… he could just retire instead.

    3. Lambert Strether

      Sanders is 74. He’s having the best run of his life because he’s upholding the principles and policies he’s upheld his whole life. So it depends on what kind of legacy he wants to leave. I bet he’d find returning to the Senate just a little bit boring.

  30. Brian

    Dear Senator Sanders; We, the people that support you, could never support her. It is really that simple and that critical. You are the person we intend to vote for. Compromises will destroy our country faster than it is going down now.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Another way to look at this – whatever that has been accomplished so far is due to the voters, not just one person.

      And so, it will survive that one person.

      Will all the voters who have voted for Sanders, and will vote for him later, enough (numerically) to win in the general election?

      If yes, then, they can choose to go to another party, the Green party, for example and get their candidate elected.

      If they are not enough (numerically), I imagine we would need Hilary’s low information voters, combining them with Sanders hi-information voters to get him elected.

  31. Tim Lester

    Put Hillary in a rock and hard place corner if she wins the nomination and elevate Sanders if he does. Bernie simply says this soon:

    “When I am inaugurated president and the Chief Justice gives me the words of the oath of office I will turn and face all Americans as I repeat them. I think that solemn ceremony calls for the traditional symbolic honesty of looking at who the pledge is made to, not the one that administers it. After the oath of office has been taken I will continue to look all of my fellow Americans in the eye and promise that I will, to the best of my ability, do what I have campaigned to do. What you have elected me to do.”

    Calls her bluff if she trades empty promises for getting Bernie’s endorsement.

    Calls her bluff if she does not.

    Rock and Hard Place. If Bernie says this then it is an unspoken challenge to her. Which way would she turn after the Chief Justice says:

    “I do solemnly swear……..

    Face both ways?

  32. washunate

    This is what I’ve been calling “Open Rebellion” — refusing to play “Follow the Neoliberal Leader” — taken to the next level.

    Except it hasn’t actually been an open rebellion, either against Clinton as a specific actor or authoritarianism as a general philosophy. That’s been the challenge, the disconnect, all along. The Sanders campaign has generally decided to play nice, even participating in lesser of two evilism, rather than directly opposing the system. That’s not to say Sanders is right or wrong in his approach, that’s who he is (very like Yves, actually, overflowing with a general sense of the goodness of others and the importance of giving things a good faith effort), but it is rather distinct from open rebellion against neoliberal leaders.

    So the Sanders campaign has the (enthusiastic) support of people who already (enthusiastically) despise the system, basically people who are very liberal and/or young, but it does little to move the needle amongst more comfortable and older Democrats for whom the 1990s are a hazy memory of utopian paradise sandwiched between the evilness of Reagan and Bush. And Hillary Clinton specifically gets to enjoy the glow of being an experienced leader with global connections who gets stuff done at exactly the time such global experience in a dangerous world is needed.

    1. JustAnObserver

      I keep hearing this idea that Sanders are being “nice”. I think this is fairly large misconception. IMV what Sanders and his campaign are doing is being – relentlessly – polite and civil towards HC and her political botnet, biting back hard only when necessary. Polite in the sense that if she asks for more rope for her neck they just reply “How much?”. Polite in the sense that when she says she’s campaigning “on her record” they highlight something like the superpredators speech and, politely again, ask her if that’s the sort of thing she means. As someone once said of the English – They use politeness as a deadly weapon.

      Its been quite extraordinary to watch this kind of politcal ju-jitsu (*). Along with Sander’s relentlessly staying on-message with a few simple, powerful, and easy to grasp ideas about what kind of country we want to live in his strategy has been amazing successful so far.

      What gives me pause is this approach of letting the DNC’s annointed one erode and destroy her own credibility takes time and the Sanders campaign might not have enough of that.

      (*) See his comment to his supporters about having to move the date of a scheduled rally to accomodate the date chosen for the NYC debate as a prime example.

      1. ekstase

        I was watching Wisconsinites on RT’s coverage – Ed Schultz was hosting. And I was struck by the populist “niceness” of the discourse. And I think that these two things: a dislike for/awareness of the uselessness of hierarchy; and genuine kindness, are intertwined.

        I’ve seen those things being disrespected and taken advantage of, particularly among those who want power. But those who crave have a blind spot:
        It isn’t weakness when Sanders is “nice.” It’s weakness to misinterpret that as a weakness. Occupy protesters set up libraries and gave out free food, some of which got thrown in the trash by the police. That was not a weakness, either. It takes strength not to lower yourself to the level of those who devalue fairness, integrity, real politeness.

      2. ekstase

        I agree with this. And watching Wisconsinites discuss politics on Ed Schultz last night I was struck by their tone. As one woman said, “He is speaking our language.” I think that means not only his populism, but his straightforward civility. To not be a liar, and just be polite, but genuinely polite, those used to be values, didn’t they?

        1. washunate

          I agree to the extent that I’m a big fan of politeness and civility (at least, with the understanding that there is a lot of preventable suffering in the world for which there is rather legitimate frustration that is okay to manifest in more of a mindless spewing of profanity…)

          But I would disagree with the construction of a framework that places being tough (biting back hard only when necessary) in contrast with politeness. One can be civil while disagreeing.

          What Sanders has rarely done is directly challenge the basic neoliberal interventionist mindset of aggressive foreign policy abroad or the kabuki theater of the two-party system where establishment Democrats blame everything on Republicans. I’m not saying he has to do that, just pointing out that he hasn’t. Sanders doesn’t even call for drug legalization or disbanding NATO, nevermind more radical policies, and he has bent over backwards in debates to position himself as supporting Obama wherever possible – implicitly reinforcing the success of the attack when Clinton accuses him of not supporting Obama enough – rather than embracing his differences with the current Administration.

      3. HotFlash

        Absolutely! I just watched the Cenk TYT segment again. I have supported Jill and the Greens over Obama, but people, we are in the presence of a master who really does play eleventy-dimensional chess. See what he’s done in just the last year. And he’s done it within the system, and politely, without corpoorate $$ — holy smoke, he’s taking over ‘the system’ and stands fair to winning not just the nom but the Big White House. The Greens, OTOH, have been campaigning for years (decades?) and have not been able to generate anything like the on-the-ground enthusiasm or organization (that is really important, and a criticism I have heard abt the Greens WRT local politics) that Bernie has in less than one year. Yeah, one more time, *less than one year*. So, Mme Secretary, who really “gets things done”?

        Hillary complains that he is ‘negative’ and about his ‘tone’ — ‘scuse me, Your Highness, I have gotten worse from doormen. Deal — if you should (goddess forbid) get the D nom, Donald Trump will have you on toast in the first debate, and in tears by the second. Guaranteed.

        I keep reading, “Bernie needs to do this, needs to do that” yada. The senator from Vermont is currently executing a revolution, or perhaps a coup is a better term, under the noses of the D party establishment. And ain’t nothing they can do about it. Keep working, phoning, tweeting, FBing, making videos and sending in $27 when you can. Support (financially and however) his real downticket people, esp your local candidates, they will help make this revolution real. And bloodless, which I think is most desirable.

  33. Synoia

    The best strategy for The Bern is to make it clear to Clinton that she either supports his policies, or he will take his policies and support to Trump.

    Trump is to the left of Clinton domestically.

    Yes, The Democratic Establishment wants to (1) Keep their positions (power) and (2) win elections – aka The Iron Law of Institutions (TILI), but Hillary (The Stranger to the Truth) wants (2) so much that she almost visibly salivates at the prospect.

    Similarly the Republican establishment also wants TILI, and believe if The Donald wins, they will all become entries in The Donald’s enemies list,on the R p which makes The Donald macabrely attractive as an act of vengeance set upon the R Establishment.

    This provides The Bern (The Kingmaker Bern) with tremendous leverage, with both The Stranger to The Truth and The Donald.

    1. polecat

      Oh boy…can you imagine…… a Sanders/Trump fusion…wow!

      it would be an ‘exploding heads heard round the world’ kind of event !!

    2. two beers

      Trump’s to the left of her in foreign policy, too. He’s on record advocating slashing the military budget, and has said, “wouldn’t it be nice to get along with Russia and China for a change?”

      Trump vs Clinton comes down to a misogynist, racist, jingoist, xenophobic, wall-building isolationist versus a rabid interventionist who will likely start WW3.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        By going Independent, from the start (not sure how practical at this time…it’s possible), he will be there, in November, for people to elect him.

        1. HotFlash

          But if he is the *Dem* candidate he will be leader of the *Dem* party (that’s how Dems do things) and, for instance, head of the Dem National Committee. Goodbye, Debbie W-S! This will be yuuuge for upcoming candidates for office at every level.

          IMHO, it may be more important for the times to come that Bernie be head of the Dems than that he be Pres of the US. Yeah, that!

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            One question I have is, yes, Sanders has been able to raise money from small donors, students, for example, but can he raise money for local candidates too?

            Or must local candidates raise money, themselves, from the same students? How much can they give?

            1. HotFlash

     is already organizing this. Got $5 for these folks? $5 and a rah-rah email to these folks will show the non-endorsers why it is better to be with Bernie.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                That’s a good idea.

                Local candidates have to also find a way to access those small donors themselves.

                Unlike Occupy, this time, many people have actually invested money in it, and if not successful, I think people will react more strongly.

                This time, there is ‘skin in the game.’

    3. Lambert Strether

      Never happen. Sanders is serious about policy. Trump isn’t. I’m not saying that Sanders can’t make a non-identity politics-based appeal to Trump voters, but that’s not at all the same as supporting Trump.

  34. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Sanders wants college education to be free. Clinton does not. Sanders wants single payer. Clinton does not.

    Hillary being a lawyer, a consumate politician and all, I try to imagine what she could do with that…

    How about ‘the junior and senior years of college education are free – via rebate or tax credit…you must prove you can finish.”

    1. Ian

      It’s interesting thought as then student loans would be tied too, and paid off on completion of schooling with the lender pocketing the interest and other minor charges, and the student left to pay off the interest. Much more humane, but you’d better pass.

      1. polecat

        well, with crapified education generally, I’m not so sanguine about ‘free’ tuition…..

        If education means a true ‘liberal’ one, in the sense of the type that used to be taught back, say, 50 or 60 years ago, that i would agree.

        …..otherwise , this pledge smacks of pandering…
        I want more details!

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Free survival money before free Fracking 101 ‘education’ money.

          Let’s say ‘free Medicare prescription drugs’ – that will definitely excite seniors.

          And it’s not easy to excite seniors…without that wonder drug that was originally for patients with high blood pressure.

          What so special about college education that it should be free when this old lady is dying for lack of medicine or that old guy is starving to death?

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              It could be about how to extract resources faster.

              Or education could be about how to dominate the world, by majoring in neoliberalism or engineering to design more competitive weapons.

              Still profitable is education about genetically modifying foods.

              Some students may aspire to be enlightened, but that does not always lead to global competitiveness.

              1. HotFlash

                As long as higher education is underfunded, we will have the squillionaires (and even the millionaires) dictating policy, endowing departments, choosing faculty and otherwise corrupting youth. If education is ‘free’ (read, fully funded by society) and does not entail crippling student loans, perhaps people will be free to educate themselves according to their interests, talents and perhaps even their humanity.

  35. TK421

    “a Republican would be worse than Clinton as president”

    Not this bullshit again. A higher percentage of income gains went to the rich under Obama’s administration than Bush’s.

    1. perpetualWAR

      Exactly. The establishment can go suck it. I am not going to be pandered to anymore.
      No more “voting the lesser”……how about voting for the only? I’m writing in Bernie if he doesn’t win the nom and the establishment can go to hell.

      1. HotFlash

        Not Hillary, not ever. I really do think Trump is better, come to that, but if it does, it’s our fault.

        Jill is pretty much OK with me, but not likely to win. I supported Jill over Obama last 2 times (I have this little rule, I don’t vote for war criminals, and before that I was spooked by the Telco vote).

        BUT!!! The polls say that Bernie is likely to win the general! If only (if *only*!!) he gets the nomination.

  36. Jim

    Sander’s only ace is to launch a total attack on Hillary—to completely expose her.

    His only real leverage is to win as much of the working class and increasingly decimated middle class as possible through a complete repudiation of her domestic and foreign policy agenda.

    He must unleash the same forces of resentment that the Donald has and simultaneously present a political vision for containing that resentment through the institutionalization of a new political regime of direct democracy and local control.

    It is now time for Sanders to really take a stand.

    Is he for what he calls a real political revolution or not.

    Is he willing to actually call for dramatic institutional reform and not simply continue his pathetic pleading for policy modifications within a totally compromised political, financial, economic and cultural regime.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      He should also start talking about MMT – that will revolutionize the framework for future discussions.

    2. polecat

      EXACTLY !!

      to use a crude saying: either sh!t, or get off the pot Mr. Sanders…….otherwise Hillary… Will…. Drink…. Your…. Milkshake !!

      She’ll drink it up !!!

      1. polecat

        Either Partner with Trump, or get waaaayyy beyond him——your letting others steal your mojo…dude!

    3. participant-observer-observed

      A lot of younger Trump people are starting to cross over as Berners. That’s what I am seeing. Also some top 10%ers.

      I have observed this trend increasingly since Utah.

    4. Paul Tioxon

      The 2008 book: THE PACT: BILL CLINTON, NEWT GINGRICH AND THE RIVALRY THAT DEFINED A GENERATION by Steve Gillon, revealed the documented secret meetings between Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich to destroy Medicare and Social Security in the name of reform and bi-partisanship. The above link is the author recounting how he found out about the meetings and how they were derailed by the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

      The results were not a clear pathway to unheralded bipartisanship with a democratic president doing the dirty work of NAFTA, Welfare elimination and the crown jewel, the dismantling of Social Security and Medicare as the last 2 structural reforms of the New Deal and Great Society Era democratic party. Instead, Newt Gingrich was forced out of power by conservatives that saw him as a collaborator and Bill Clinton begin years of merciless political attacks over sexual misconduct resulting in his impeachment. There was and to this day, is no bipartisanship, but a fight to the death over control of state power between war hungry Neo-Cons and aspiration professionals who want to rule without conflict by rational discourse, reason and compromise.

      ” “Save Social Security First” was the slogan he developed to describe his strategy, making clear that he would reserve all of the budget surplus until Congress produced a viable reform package.

      The president reached out early on to two of the most powerful Republicans in the House: Gingrich and Bill Archer. As chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, Archer would have control over any plan to reform Social Security. While Clinton talked privately with Archer, Bowles reached out to Gingrich. Initially, Gingrich, who had been burned before on Social Security, was reluctant to get out in front on the issue.

      It did not take long, however, for Gingrich to recognize the potential of a possible Social Security reform package. Bowles provided Gingrich with the same assurances that the president offered to Archer. The president would take the political heat for controversial proposals. Politically, the president and the speaker were closer than anyone realized. They recognized that their parties needed to change in response to new circumstances. They both believed that any effort to update Social Security would require government to incorporate some measure of choice, and that meant some form of privately managed account.

      The exact details would have been worked out later, but the broad outlines were clear. Gingrich was willing to give up the tax cut for a proposal that included private investment in Social Security. “The balanced budget bill was Act I,” Gingrich reflected. “This was Act II.” Instinctively, both men still wondered whether the other was setting a trap in preparation for the upcoming elections. Would Clinton leak word that Gingrich was once again trying to tamper with Social Security and Medicare, reinforcing his image as hostile to the old and poor? Would Gingrich tell reporters that the president was ready to accept the centerpiece of Republican proposals for Social Security: privately funded accounts?”

  37. Frank

    Sanders may ask for these concessions … Clinton may, for her part, agree to run on them… I, as a Bernie supporter, do not expect, for one friggen instant, that she would honor the deal. I don’t think many people would. Hillary is, if nothing else, a liar.

    If it even looks as if Bernie isn’t going to get the nomination, he should walk out of the convention with his delegates, announce an independent run under a new Progressive Democrat banner, hammer out a platform with his delegates, and solicit progressives everywhere to join him.

    1. Anne

      I don’t even believe she will honor the deals on the issues she’s currently running on.

    2. hunkerdown

      A Jerry Maguire “Show me the money” moment? Oh, man, that certainly would make must-see TV. But remember that the Party controls the venue which controls the sound reinforcement. He’d better bring his own megaphone, since you just can’t trust privatized infrastructure these days.

      1. participant-observer-observed

        All I see are 8 years of grad student loan rates at near 8%.

        It is quid quo pro at this point, and so far I haven’t seen any quid.

  38. Chicken

    I’m hesitant to agree Bernie’s proposed theories aren’t essentially different from Clinton’s existing plan which seems better aligned with Obama’s strategic goal of managing down our out of hand middle class consumption (the primary cause for 99% of global emissions and lowest hanging fruit).

    The essential difference is, Bernie’s a much better salesman but I believe that’s likely due to he only possesses some subset of Hillary’s intricate insight.

    1. Brooklin Bridge

      This seems counter intuitive to say the least! Obama has barely lifted a finger for any sort of sustainability. His trade deal mania is hardly a blue print for reducing consumption; it depends entirely on a captive, but large middle class consuming away. All Hillary aspires to in life is to out do Obama as a neo-liberal so if she slows down consumerism by consequence of elitist asset stripping and insane military intervention (turning the US into a third world country), it won’t be by enlightened design but rather by raw corrupt abuse of power.

        1. aletheia33

          i’ll take it out in phonebank calls to bernie, or whatever campaign work you’re doing that i can’t do–thanks!

  39. susan the other

    This political fight about Hillary’s treachery would have been productive even 10 years ago, but we’ve suffered repression by oligarchs to the extent that the world has passed us by. They’re all looking at us and thinking how idiotic we are. And we are.

    1. Brooklin Bridge

      Curious, I’m not certain we could have had this discussion ten years ago; well, sixteen years ago. Be that as it may, do you think the Sander’s “movement” will fade away if he looses the nomination?

      1. HotFlash

        Now that you mention it, some of us actually were having this conversation 10 years ago.

        The text of Doris “Granny D” Haddock’s speech at “Healing Mountains,” the 16th annual Heartwood Forest Council, in the dwindling forests of West Virginia on Memorial Day 2006 weekend. Not just ‘still relevant” but more relevant than ever.

      2. aletheia33

        no one can see this from here.
        no one even knows today what the Sanders “movement” actually consists of.
        and i do not know what you mean by “fade away.”

        1. Brooklin Bridge

          Fade away? Disappear, cease to exist, dissipate. Nothing mystical, just a question as to whether or not @Susan the Other thinks Bernie has created a movement and if so will it grow or not if Bernie goes back to being the Senator from Vermont.

          My own view is this is far from over regardless of the nomination.

          1. susan the other

            yes, I do think there is a movement that Bernie has understood better than anyone. He has given it good, clear definitions. But the chaos that we are in isn’t going to be turned around by one good President. FDR was cannibalized; Bernie would be too. That’s not a reason to give up. It’s just a reason to look for root causes of our dysfunction. I think everything comes back to money but we never even consider making it “our” money. We are not good controllers.

            1. susan the other

              Sorry Brooklin, tried to answer but got moderated. Shorter: Yes, Bernie understands the sea change well. I like him alot.

          2. susan the other

            I do think Bernie has articulated the feeling of most of the country. I hope it is just the start of a new progressive government. Clearly we can’t become any more corporatist – that option is totally played out.

      3. waldenpond

        I think it will fade. Obama had OFA (?) and it was kicked to the curb immediately. Sanders has no organization at all that could go forward. If he wins, he can call for action from followers for protesting, petitions, and shutting down the congressional phone system. Without him… what? I can see no leftists in the pipeline that the people can shift to (no, not Warren either).

        1. aletheia33

          i just heard bernie say, “it always takes place from the bottom on up.”

          that’s why you can’t see the emerging leaders right now. they are somewhat submerged, but rising, at this very minute. pay closer attention.

        2. meeps

          Sanders could keep the grassroots mobilized from the White House with a daily ‘Breakfast Brief with Bernie’ — a short message to inform the nation of the machinations du jour. He’s aware how much damage is done because people don’t know what foul dealings are afoot in those dirty halls. The antidote is vigilance and action.

          And Warren is drawing the ire of leftists (in my circles, anyway). Her recent appearance on Late Night with Stephen Colbert was atrocious; tried to pull the “Sanders and Hillary want the same things” wool while evading questions about her own positions. Not progressive.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            A rising tide lifts all boats.

            A receding tide will expose lots of so-called progressive rocks.

          2. HotFlash

            Sanders could keep the grassroots mobilized from the White House with a daily ‘Breakfast Brief with Bernie’ — a short message to inform the nation of the machinations du jour.

            He could do it from his house just as well, if he ends up staying the the 3-bdrm colonial in Burlington VT.

  40. Chicken

    “it won’t be by enlightened design but rather by raw corrupt abuse of power.”

    So you agree climatologists should be pleased by whichever means to an end ASAP. Consider which is more likely means to meet the goal and Obama’s strategy shines, no?

    And I remind you king coal is dead and buried, God rest his soul. Trainload after trainload, truly a sight to have beheld.

    1. HotFlash

      Once again, “Whut?” We have several poets here already, and if you are one also you are probably welcome (that is of course, up to our hostess, and I do not presume to speak for her) but generally, comprehensibilty is appreciated.

      Please consider it. (bows)

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Poets and priests/priestesses from the Oracle of Delphi.

        Always very cryptic…the more obscure, the better. It makes one envious.

      2. craazyboy

        There was once an Obot from dkoz
        But Obots are now a lost cause
        What’s an Obot to do? Be a Hellery stooge!
        And things will be as they once was

        Poet – Me

        1. Bas

          there once was a purge at dkoz
          it was thot things would be as once wuz
          but the objects of snark
          fled to other blogs to lark
          and dkozzacks now wail in the dark.

  41. perpetualWAR


  42. crittermom

    I just saw the news of his WI win. Go Bernie, go! YES!

    NOW it’s time to begin phone banking in NY where there’s a YUUGE amount of delegates to be had (& lots of big money to override).

    The momentum is increasing in his favor. This HAS to finally be getting the attention of those super-delegates. They can’t all be fools, can they? (Okay. We’re talking politics. Maybe so. But still……)

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Fair weather tools?

        After tonight, we are on course for a showdown at N.Y. Corral.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      A good win for Bernie.

      I think, and I could be wrong, but momentum is more a matter of scheduling though.

      Still, a win is a win, it matters not the margin has gone from 79% in Utah to 56% so far tonight.

  43. Lambert Strether

    On the card Sanders has to play: I think Gaius has it exactly right (and it’s interesting that Sanders had to go on TYT to get the message out).

    But can Clinton possibly accede to his demands, even if lying? She and her allies lose control of the party if they do. Countless deals, spoken and unspoken, unravel with single payer alone (and that ripples out into stock prices as new risks get priced in). Countless ricebowls get smashed (especially if Sanders were to demand small donor clean money campaigns only).

    If the #1 priority of the Establishment is indeed control of the party, as Gaius says it is (and I agree) then Clinton can’t give in. So what happens then?

    1. HotFlash

      and that ripples out into stock prices as new risks get priced in

      Popcorn futures for sure.

    2. Jeff W

      But can Clinton possibly accede to his demands, even if lying?…If the #1 priority of the Establishment is indeed control of the party…then Clinton can’t give in. So what happens then?

      Exactly—she absolutely cannot give in. She will lose—although she will be oblivious to that possibility until she does lose—rather than give in to any of Bernie’s demands (save the infrastructure demand, which does not fundamentally change power arrangements or neoliberal assumptions).

      What happens then, whether Hillary wins or loses, is that the Democratic party is fractured along in a very open way between a neoliberal “Hillary” wing and a “New Deal” “Bernie” wing (even if Bernie himself does not actively participate—he would probably act as an éminence grise).

      That’s actually, probably, a good thing because the schism dispenses pretty effectively with the idea that President Clinton, President Obama or Hillary Clinton are any sort of bearers of the New Deal legacy, It’s not just the cognoscenti at Naked Capitalism who know it—everyone knows it. As Confucius said (sort of) “The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name”—and people will have to pick which side they are on.

      My 2¢.

  44. Fiver

    With the media punditry and polls having been so wrong so often vis a vis Sanders’ strength, the solid win in Wisconsin surely sets the stage for Sanders believers heading into New York et al – however, were I Sanders, I’d not have accepted a debate on CNN hosted by Blitzer, as it will be immediately apparent Sanders has two opponents.

    I’m not much moved by the thought that Sanders will have a lot of clout post-Convention – she near bit the head off a Greenpeacer she thought was poking her with ‘Sanders lies’. It’s not that I cannot imagine some sort of effort at reconciliation, but my sense is most Sanders supporters arrived at Sanders door independently, and will leave the same way – and a good many of them will sit on their hands.

    On the Republican side, it’s pretty clear Trump all-but-imploded short-term with the utterly juvenile ‘wives thing’ and was delivered a wake-up call by Cruz. I keep hearing video heads asserting that Cruz has the best organization, and that he is ‘very, very smart’ and wonder if that includes him ditching his persona and platform to adopt something with general currency – more inclusive than, say, cooking bacon on the barrel of a machine gun.

    All the more reason to make certain Sanders wins. I really don’t know why the so-called 1% don’t just wave Bernie on in and give him the job. Nothing that he is proposing cannot be accommodated with relative ease by the wealthy and powerful, and the benefits of a less volatile public ought to be obvious. A Sanders win also gives the Fed another chance to do what it should’ve done in the first place, i.e., not go anywhere near negative interest rates and instead throw the problem to Congress and the WH to address the effects of the Depression with anything other than a monetary policy that has fed markets not people.

  45. Bob Dannin

    it’s a mistake to think electioneering is the beginning and end of the sanders phenomenon. it’s a Movement that will continue to grow whether or not he wins the nomination and regardless of who becomes the next president. the relevant sanders quote comes from the december rolling stone interview in response to the question of how to implement his policies in the face of the obstructionist u.s. congress. he stated clearly the need for mass demonstrations in washington to pressure for legislation. the analogy here is to the student mobilizations against the vietnam war and the model of non-violent civil disobedience practiced by dr king. the millennials and their allies understand the bankruptcy of establishment politics, and their desire for revolutionary change will deepen after witnessing the sham of conventions and the general election campaign. the sanders phenomenon started before bernie with occupy wall street and will no doubt morph into a sustained form of radical politics.

    1. HotFlash

      Indeed! Won’t it be fine to have flash-mobs coordinated from the White House, or even the 3bdrm colonial in VT?

  46. Knute Rife

    Even if she said “Yes,” it would only be a Clintstone promise, and she would walk it all the way back the second she was sworn in. I’m convinced that in 1993 she knew she didn’t have the political capital to push both healthcare reform and gay rights, and she pushed both so they both would tank but let her say, “See, we tried.”

  47. Paul Coppock

    I don’t think so. If Bernie loses he has very little leverage. Everyone is going to be faced with the same choice: Hillary or Trump/Cruz/X. What would you do?

Comments are closed.