Sanders Has Leverage But Clinton Will Never Bargain

Yves here. I’m running this post because, if nothing else, it describes how presumptuous the Clinton camp is in demanding that Bernie stop building his movement and kiss Hillary’s ring. However, even though, by any conventional measure, Sanders has a large, devoted, and well-informed following that the Clinton campaign wants, and may well need, to win the Presidential election, there is absolutely no way that she will shift positions in any meaningful way to win the support of his voters. The Clintons and Obama have consistently kicked the left. The fact that it is a bigger left makes no difference. Their belief is merely by being marginally less awful than the Republicans, they will still secure the votes of people they have no intention of representing in any way. If you want the long-form version, read Thomas Frank’s Listen, Liberal. Frank not only describes no only how the Democrats decided long before Bill Clinton came to office that they were going to abandon the working class, but how the Clintons embraced the practice of attacking

If you watched Sanders’ speech last week, it’s not hard to see why it would outrage Clinton bubble denizens. Sanders reiterated his long list of policy positions, none of which Clinton has any intention of adopting, and added a new demand: No TPP in the lame duck session. He not only did not move towards Clinton, or make substance-free conciliatory noises, but he reminded his supporters that there is almost no overlap in their programs. His talk thus simply emphasized that there is no overlap in their bargaining positions.

From the Clinton view, Sanders lost. He will formally endorse Hillary no matter what she does. That was part of the deal for running under the Team Dem banner. Clinton probably does not regard it as important that Sanders campaign for her. The one thing she wants is his mailing list, and I am told he will not give that to her (and even if he were to, I doubt she would get much from it, since the success of his campaign was based on his message, which she will never credibly adopt).

Even with a new Bloomberg poll showing that only 55% of Sanders voters will choose Clinton and 22% will back Trump, her campaign no doubt believe that those figures will shift much further in her favor as Sanders fades from the picture, her numerous media allies keep pounding on Trump, and she cranks up ad spending.

What they fail to factor in is that many Sanders voters recognize well how terrible Trump is and still regard him as a less dangerous choice than Clinton. Worse, the more she and her surrogates hector Sanders for taking the high road and acting as if she is capable of dealing with him and his movement in good faith, which means playing out the negotiations, the more they confirm the negative views that Sanders supporters hold of her.

By Richard (RJ) Eskow, a blogger and writer, a former Wall Street executive, a consultant, and a former musician. subscribe to Richard Eskow’s feed. Originally published at Campaign for America’s Future

Some politicians and commentators say that Bernie Sanders is losing leverage because he hasn’t conceded the primary to Hillary Clinton. To believe that is to misunderstand both the candidate and his supporters. Sanders received a mandate in “defeat” that most politicians never achieve in victory.

The calls to surrender reached a fever pitch before the last primary even ended. We were told that Sanders was being stubborn, that he was rapidly losing influence. It was even said that all of the convention’s prime-time speaking spots would be taken if he didn’t concede soon, as if they were reservations at Nobu and he had no pull with the maître d’.

If Bernie were denied a prime-time slot at the convention, chaos would ensue. You can be sure that whenever and however the deal is struck, they’ll make room for him at a peak viewing hour.

The Clinton team’s impatience is understandable, even if it lacks a certain grace. But they’re misreading both Sanders’ nature and the nature of the negotiations now underway. So is the New York Times’ Nate Cohn, who tweeted:

That thought experiment would make sense in a typical primary campaign. But this year is different. Even without context, the raw numbers are impressive.

Leverage? As New Yorkers used to say, I got your leverage right here:

  • 12 million votes
  • Victory in 22 states
  • 45 percent of pledged delegates
  • A history-making small-dollar fundraising campaign that outraised his well-heeled opponent

And all while facing one of the most powerful Democratic clans in history, rejecting big-money donors, and challenging one of the most famous people in the world as a leftist outsider.

Leverage? Consider the trend line: Twelve months ago Bernie Sanders was all but unknown nationally. He didn’t fit the typical “politician” profile in age, style or rhetoric. He was a self-described democratic socialist. And he faced overwhelming obstacles erected by the party machinery at all levels.

Memories are short. When Sanders announced his run in April 2015, FiveThirtyEight‘s Harry Enten said he was “almost certainly not going to be the Democratic nominee for president in 2016.” Enten added, “Hillary Clinton is the most dominant non-incumbent frontrunner in modern primary history.”

“It would take a truly special candidate to defeat her,” he continued, “and Sanders … is not the politician for the job.”

That was what pretty much everyone thought. Look what happened.

There’s no need to relitigate all the roadblocks Sanders faced, at least not now. It’s enough to say that the success he achieved, against overwhelming odds and “the most dominant non-incumbent front-runner in modern primary history,” affirms the power of his message.

Sanders also won the hearts of Democratic voters—more so than his opponent, in fact, despite her thirty-year head start. A recent Gallup poll found that Sanders “continues to be significantly more popular than Hillary Clinton,” among members of the party he only joined last year.

Sanders’ current net favorable rating among Democrats is 13 points higher than Clinton’s, according to a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll. The same poll found that 75 percent of Democrats want him to play a “major” role in their party. (Surprisingly, 44 percent of Democrats polled wanted Sanders to run as an independent, a fact that should give the Clinton team pause.)

And Sanders’ stunning margins among young voters tell us that he isn’t just speaking for a large percentage of the Democratic Party’s voters. He also speaks for its future.

Clinton needs his supporters. As Nate Silver noted last month, “her lack of support from Sanders voters is harming her general election numbers.” A YouGov/Economist poll in late May found that “Only half (50 percent) of Sanders supporters pick Clinton over Trump in the general election trial heat.”

While those numbers are likely to keep falling, these voters can’t be handed off to Clinton and her party like a football. They are deeply skeptical about her, and not without reason. It will take concessions to win their support. And those concessions—especially on popular issues like tuition-free higher education, Wall Street reform, and Social Security—will make the Democrats a stronger party.

I have no inside information, but it seems pretty obvious that Bernie Sanders isn’t positioning himself for another run. He’s not being stubborn, he’s negotiating. Nobody concedes while the negotiations are still going on. His negotiating partners should stop demanding that he fold his cards before the dealing’s done.

They should also understand that they’re not just dealing with a candidate. They’re also talking to the representative of a movement, one that could decide the fate of this election and the future of their party.

As leverage goes, that’s about as good as it gets.

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  1. PlutoniumKun

    Despite the relative closeness of the polls, there seems a meme running around the mainstream media that Trump simply can’t beat Clinton, there are too many obstacles, and he doesn’t have enough money (funnily enough, they were saying the same thing in 2015). I can’t help wondering if this is a deliberate attempt to undermine any leverage Sanders has- to essentially send out the message that ‘Clinton doesn’t need your votes’. So they are negotiating by not negotiating. But I get the impression that the Clinton campaign recognises that they need Sanders support but simple have no idea how to reconcile this with their pre-planned ‘feint to the right’. So they will continue to play hardball and hope to call Sanders bluff. I hope he has the courage not to fall for this.

    1. Brooklin Bridge

      I think for the moment, at least, this is one of those occasions where the media has it right – even if they created a good deal of the situation they describe (one of the most amazing coalition of media forces ever seen) – Trump lost his footing big time after he clinched the nomination.

      I was convinced he had either come to his senses and was back to his original intention of campaigning for Hillary by being a Munster or that he was demonstrating literally the wreck-up that happens when the dog actually does catch the car he is chasing. His latest speech in which he starts hitting Hillary pretty hard where it hurts is encouraging but still trepid. Want to see more and harder, not to mention a credible way of using the media against itself. Note, the media was largely complicit in his early success – he made them a fortune, but they are working in unison for Hillary now, hell, they are visibly at the oars pulling to the drum beat, so he’s going to have to come up with serious jujitsu moves if he hopes to use the media in any serious way.

      If he actually wants to win, he would be wise to review Bernie’s campaign of actually going to the people and making his case. That and eviscerating Clinton at all opportunities. Ask for small donations as part of taking the fight to the establishment. He doesn’t have to swing left any more than he already has; he just needs to land real punches in pulling back the curtain on Hillary’s corruptness and demented ambition..

      1. ThePanzer

        #shrug# seems more like the exact same story the media’s been running on Trump from the beginning. “Oh NOES, he said a naughty thing, his campaign is in trouble and he’s out of the running now.” And yet even though that’s been the daily story the Republican nomination process is littered with his foes shattered ambitions.

        From a funding perspective he can literally self-fund to a large degree if needed. From a campaign perspective the press gives him free air time, daily, in their attacks as they’ve done over the last few months. The Dem turnout has been low, the Rep turnout has been high, he may not need that much of a ground game. Plus Hillary is just as polarizing as he is, so she’ll turn off a chunk of the electorate while encouraging her opponents to vote just by being in the race.

        The fact that he’s only 6 points behind her nationally should have the Hillary team nervous, his 70% disapproval rating apparently puts him within spitting distance of Hillary (which is to say apparently his sky high disapproval means nothing) and the real campaign doesn’t kick off till Labor Day. Plenty of time for him to close the gap, as he did with his many republican rivals.

        I think the election is going to be a lot closer than people think. Hillbot may just lose this thing.

      2. PlutoniumKun

        I haven’t looked at any real independent number crunching exercises, but I suspect he has a better chance than is assumed. I think his bad week or two is inevitable when he is in that limbo stage between winning most votes but not yet being formally chosen. Trump is at his weakest when he has to try to ride a number of horses at the same time. But if and when he is formally made the Republican candidate and he can focus all his attention on Clinton, I think he will do better. Not least, because he would seem to personally loathe Hillary, and he was at his best previously when up against the Republicans he loathed, such as Bush. The idea of really humiliating Clinton will give him his mojo back – he is a bully, and nothing inspires a bully more than a nice juicy victim. And its hard to think of a more perfect victim for Trump than HC.

        He will obviously suffer if he cannot rely on the Republican apparatus, but I suspect that in the end they will get on board. I also think that lots of Republican donors will want to finance lots of Clinton attack ads, because thats fun for them. I don’t see any reason why he can’t run a general campaign just as he ran for the nomination – using the media against itself. The media have obviously decided to try to ignore him, there seems a lot of self flagellating going on for how they gave him so much free coverage. But right now, the media are like an alcoholic with a hangover, expressing shame for how much they drank last night and swearing to their wife they will never do it again. But in a few weeks they’ll be hitting the hard stuff again, and Trump will revel in it.

      3. m

        The people that want Trump watch Fox. They think the other channels are liberal and don’t trust them. Fox is still positive about Trump. So, I wouldn’t listen to the “liberal” media that Trump is down just yet.
        Then there is right radio.

        1. Lambert Strether

          And email blasts, and a network of rightwing sites. (I’m not thinking of Brietbart, but of lots of sites and especially with “bad” formatting and avatar signaling.)

    2. Otis B Driftwood

      The MSM has become virtually unwatchable/unreadable. The attacks on Trump are now so blatant and relentless, and the coverage of Clinton so unfalteringly uncritical, that my resolve to not vote for the lesser of two evils is growing stronger.

      Neither of the Above in 2016. I’ll vote for the only progressive left in the race – Jill Stein.

  2. EndOfTheWorld

    Bernie doesn’t need anything from the HRC gang. If I’m not mistaken he’s still an Independent, caucusing with the democrats. What do they want from him? His mailing list? I’m on his mailing list, but I’m now a member of the Republican Party—-at least they don’t have superdelegates.

    1. Arizona Slim

      I am also on Bernie’s list. If that list ever gets into the hands of the DNClinton, they’re not getting a penny from me.

      1. nycTerrierist

        Same here. The DNC is deluded or just stupid if they can’t read why Bernie
        supporters won’t suddenly enable Honest Hillary and everything she represents: corruption, perpetual war, immisseration of the non-rich, corporatism, etc. etc. –
        served up with lip service to identity politics.

        1. sharonsj

          I got five robocalls in two weeks from Hillary’s Washington D.C. headquarters asking for my “help.” I guess that’s a euphemism for money. She’s not getting a dime from me. By the way, I’m a diehard Bernie supporter and I live in a state where I can write in his name, and I will.

          You’d think both parties would have realized by now that at least half the country is mad as hell and isn’t going to take it anymore.

        2. jsn

          They are in fact truly delusional: they think Bernie somehow unearthed a bunch of Democratic voters previously undiscovered by anthropologists and those primitive voters will shovel money into the cash black hole that is Team Clinton.

          I give monthly to Bernie and there isn’t a snowballs chance in hell I’d give a penny to Hillary, hell, I wouldn’t even cross the street to spit on her if she was on fire.

        3. Kokuanani

          I think there’s an opportunity here to lie to the DNC and their pollsters. When they call, tell them you ARE voting for Hillary. Perhaps then they’ll relax their efforts and become overconfident.

          In any case, it’s worth f’ing with their brains.

          1. different clue

            Interesting idea and worth pursuing. And if people get phone calls from real live Clinton phone workers, if one has the patience one could keep the volunteer talking for a half hour or more till the volunteer wears out and gives up. Millions of phone callees doing that to millions of Clinton phone calls would slow down the effectiveness of “dialing for Clinton”.

      2. Otis B Driftwood

        Bernie could show some real yarbles here and give that list to Jill Stein. Now THAT would make a real difference.

        1. different clue

          If Stein and the Steinists can build up the personnel and numbers and organization and energy to create a Bernie-sized list by their own effort, then that is a list they will have earned and will deserve. And the people on it will be devoted political soldiers and ditch diggers for the Greenist Cause.

          If Sanders merely free-gifted The List to Stein and the Greenists, many people on that list will resent having been “given” to someone else without having been ASKED first. They wouldn’t be filled with rage and hatred in the same way as they would if Sanders gave The List to Clinton. But they would still be miffed at the principle of the thing.

      3. christianSocialist

        May God have mercy on the soul of the unpaid intern for Team Clinton that calls me looking for money.

        I will not hold back.

    2. reslez

      Act Blue has his list. They handled all his payment transactions. Hillary built her own system (probably stashed it in her basement /snark). I have no doubt multiple people have the ability to get their hands on “Bernie’s List”. Who even knows what Act Blue’s license terms are for use of its service? What probably matters more is the optics of contacting people without permission.

      1. different clue

        If Act Blue handled all the payment transactions, that would mean that they were the indispensable engine-room workers and it is hard to argue against their rightful co-possession of The List. One hopes they would not give or sell so much as even one name from The List without the express permission of both the Sanders Organization ANNNNDDDD . . . . the individual whose name would be being sold.

      2. aab

        Act Blue has committed, in writing, to never share any donor info with any person, campaign, organization or entity other than with who the donor has selected. It would be absolutely catastrophic to its brand to do otherwise.

        Hillary can recreate the list some other way, to some degree. But I don’t think Act Blue will violate these terms. I’d like to know if any part of those little fees on each donation are making their way to the DNC. I have heard yes. This year, with Bernie’s powerhouse fundraising, that could be a lot of money. If the progressive movement continues on this model, it might make sense to create an online donation platform severed from the Democratic Party.

  3. notabanker

    If Bernie’s goal is negotiate the Dem platform, then he has zero leverage. His cannot deliver Clinton votes, it really is that simple. The Clinton camp understands that well, which is why they are wooing the Mod Reps, and treating Sanders as irrelevant. For their purposes, he is.

    Now if he runs as indy, its a different ballgame. Otherwise, the winner is whoever receives the least anti-votes.

    1. voteforno6

      I don’t think his goal is the platform, or even this election. It’s about the movement. That’s entirely consistent with his whole career in politics.

  4. EndOfTheWorld

    Unlike a lot of these political hacks, Bernie is smart enough to realize that if you try to tell somebody who to vote for, it will be violently counter-productive. It’s one of the few freedoms we have left in this screwed-up country. I can vote for whomever I want to, provided they are on the ballot. I choose to vote the straight repug ticket the rest of my life as a violent repudiation of the sick corruption of the Democratic Party.

  5. aab

    Watching that travesty in the Congress today, even from a distance (meaning via Twitter), was dispiriting. Not just the stunt itself, loathsome as it was (Yay for fearmongering! Boo due process!) but the way the media compliantly followed along, treating this like heroism in favor of real gun safety laws, and helpfully distracting from all the Guccifer leaks, the IT guy’s 125 “I take the Fifth”s, the horribly polling news for Clinton, Trump’s speech. The use of John Lewis was particularly repulsive, given that he was actually on the damn list at one point, I think, and couldn’t get off. And some Bernie supporters in my timeline were clearly falling for it. A hard day.

    Yet, it occurred to me at one point that this may backfire on them. Progressives all day long were mentioning all the things that the Democrats never once sat in for — it’s a very, very long list. Even people cheering on this awesome heroic act today, will they really now settle for NOTHING? When Hillary says health care is impossible because Mean Republicans, won’t they have to at least do another phony sit-in? And if Democratic voters enjoyed this sit-in, wouldn’t they look with even more favor on the guy who really represents that kind of action? I’m not saying actual Hillary supporters would change their minds. I’m only thinking about Bernie supporters in the next four weeks. Hillary’s support among key, necessary Democratic constituencies is cratering. In addition to Millennials across the board, her support among LGBT voters has dropped 30% since Orlando. It has apparently finally sunk in that she’s #NotReallyWithThem. She’s refusing to speak at that conference of Latino elected officials. I don’t even understand that. Even if she really can pull off this plan of getting Republicans to vote for her instead of Trump, no way is that going to work down ticket. I realize the Clintons are scary, but at some point, don’t the elected superdelegates have to bail before the Convention to save themselves?

    I liked that Bernie’s spokesmen came right out and said this New York town hall will involve no concession or endorsement. The pressure is so intense. His interview today was chopped up in such a way that people were flipping out all day. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I know what I’m prepared to do, and I respect that whatever Bernie ends up doing, he’s played this out with a lot of courage and savvy. I know I won’t get fooled again. I think we’re going to end up holding together enough to deny her the White House, unless the Republican Party really McGoverns Trump and helps her steal swing states beyond Colorado.

    One thing that I think doesn’t get discussed enough re: Bernie’s list is that I, personally, would be terrified that the Clinton Syndicate would use it to get more people fired and hurt. Maybe I’m paranoid, but there are already signs of that. So, yes, while she probably couldn’t get much benefit from the list, I hope and pray Bernie does not give it to her.

    Bernie apparently flipped Los Angeles County today. That’s a BIG chunk of the state’s Democratic vote. I don’t know how the count stands otherwise. LA’s not done, as far as I know. Supposedly, a whole bunch (like 50% more than the gap between them) that had already been tossed because it was NPP voters using an actual Democratic ballot instead of the crossover ballot, has been ruled acceptable and added back to the pile, as the clear voter intent was to vote Democratic and they had the right to do it. As far as I know, the stupid crossover ballot is merely for recordkeeping — the actually voting options were identical; the crossover just had a separate design on the top. If most of those ballots are for Bernie, and they really should be, that alone would give him the state.

    It’s an interesting summer.

    1. Steve H.

      – the stunt itself, loathsome as it was

      Every actual sit-in I’ve seen involve uniforms hauling off the sitters. All hat no cattle, all sizzle no steak.

      Looks like Katniss Everdeen had it right.

        1. Andrew

          According to local (Boston) NPR this morning, Elizabeth Warren brought them Dunkin’ Donuts.

      1. jrs

        Why don’t they sit-in to protest the TPP? Oh never mind, they wouldn’t want to protest the oligarchy. When it comes to things like that they just trade votes and throw up their hands.

        A sit-in of millionaire representatives of multi-millionaires.

        Yea loathsome to imitate what can be used as a real protest tactic for real issues. Spectacle indeed. Performance (f)art.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Thanks for your updates.

        Will they count this slowly in November, or is this just a “lazy, hazy days of summer” special?

      2. Vatch

        For what it’s worth, the LA score of Clinton 55.7% – Sanders 43.3% is almost two days old, even though it’s what they are showing on the web site today:

        reporting as of June 21, 2016, 3:10 p.m.

        1. marym

          Yes, that’s another problem. It may have picked up a bit recently, but for a long time there were many counties that hadn’t reported since election day or soon after. Who knows whether not getting around to counting the ballots is or has been an issue elsewhere and forever.

      3. aab

        Sorry. At the beginning of the day, I knew it was District 34. By the end of the day, I guess optimism bias got the better of me. Thanks for the correction.

        Do you know anything about that almost 600,000 ballots that supposedly got reinstated? If I understood the reports correctly, they aren’t in the “here’s how many are left” bucket, but they will now be counted.

    2. jrs

      Wow Bernie won Los Angeles? I always suspected that’s it’s true. EVER SINGLE bumper sticker is Bernie, one Trump sticker and one Hillary. It’s always seemed odd Hillary supposedly carried it, although she could always claim she had a SILENT majority.

      1. marym

        He hasn’t won yet. He “flipped” District 34 which as of last night is Sanders 49.6%, Clinton 49.4% with a 196 vote lead out of 84K. I don’t know how many votes are left to count for the district, or what portion of LA county it comprises.

  6. Alex morfesis

    Minding (and finding) the gap…the two legacy political parties have been able to leverage up taxpayer funded govt contracts to each control and motivate about 18% (? mol) of the eligible voters, while convincing the remaining citizens it is them or the highway…the underappreciated 64% are no longer barking and jumping on the lap so quickly…bernie and the Donald fell into that gap as the legacy players missed the coming tsunami of change and will be swept from the history books…
    $hillary and her not ready for prime time “it’s her turn” crew will help improve the manner in which history books describe Jimmy Carter, drifting the memories of the collective towards the glow of ike…it took lyndon baines $hillarious vacuuming of contracts and power to let everyone appreciate ike…$hillary will be a one term warmonger, openly hoovering power and money…many will die…so that the world may live…but $he will Whig-out the legacy party formerly known as the democratic party, in the same way Paul Ryan is burning down the village formerly know as the republican party…which once loved lincoln, tr and ike…and now hates the notion of an american dream unless it means turning america into thailand…the trappings of a democratic “process” with the realities of a quasi monarchy…

    Onto the 2018 election….

  7. tony

    Sometimes I wonder if Clinton will refuse to debate Trump under some pretext. The Queen doesn’t seem believe she should have to justify her coronation to anyone. Especially if Trump beats her like a gong in the first debate.

  8. financial matters

    A Russia Insider article looks at the foreign policy differences.

    “”Trump has also been noticed by the Left in Europe, notably by the sharp minded Jean Bricmont, physicist and author of Humanitarian Imperialism who writes here:

    (Trump) “is the first major political figure to call for ‘America First’ meaning non-interventionism. He not only denounces the trillions of dollars spent in wars, deplores the dead and wounded American soldiers, but also speaks of the Iraqi victims of a war launched by a Republican President. He does so to a Republican public and manages to win its support. He denounces the empire of US military bases, claiming to prefer to build schools here in the United States. He wants good relations with Russia. He observes that the militarist policies pursued for decades have caused the United States to be hated throughout the world. He calls Sarkozy a criminal who should be judged for his role in Libya. Another advantage of Trump: he is detested by the neoconservatives, who are the main architects of the present disaster.”””

    1. EndOfTheWorld

      Yes, the neocon insanity should be recognized as insane. Ergo, a vote for HRC is insane.

      1. John k

        If you like the last 8 years, but yearn for the muscle of the previous 8, shill’s your man… Er, candidate.

  9. jgordon

    The media and the Democratic Party worked hand in hand to rig the primaries against Bernie. Now that Bernie is finally out (mostly) Trump at least is considerate to reach out and appeal to former Bernie supporters. Hillary? She wants all those disaffected neocon and neoliberal supporters who were driven out of the Republican Party by Trump to come over to her side; in fact she’s probably thrilled that those dirty hippy Sanders supporters are disavowing her.

    Let’s be real here. This is no longer about “the lesser of two evils”. Are you all really willing to let Hillary and the Democratic elites profit from the scam of a “democratic process” that they ran? Well OK that certainly is your prerogative. But don’t fool yourself into thinking that voting third party is anything other than a gift to Hillary and the corrupt Party that kowtows to her.

    1. voteforno6

      At least Trump is asking for their support. Hillary and her minions are demanding their support.

      1. jgordon

        Hmph she is demanding support but is willing to give less than nothing. A Clinton presidency would be actively detrimental to everything Bernie espouses (despite Bernie’s probable endorsement of Hillary). While Trump is not perfect, being something of a narcissist and having to say some fringe talking points from time to time to keep his Republican base happy, at least he’s half decent on the most important things like war and trade. Hillary looks like (and is) a right wing lunatic on those issues.

    2. Kurt Sperry

      I object to this “a vote for x is a vote for y” framing. No, a vote for x is a vote for x; the rest is people projecting, and often pontificating.

      1. jgordon

        That theory is nice when you have sane candidates running. But is that a good idea when there is a good chance that a deranged lunatic will be in charge of the of the red button next year? Trump has a lot of issues, but he’s not psychotic.

        1. Kurt Sperry

          I’m not recommending anyone vote for anyone in particular here, only saying a vote for x is *never* a vote for y, and further that argumentation based on that sort of fallacious reasoning is frequently employed to sheepdog or lead people into veal pens or otherwise to vote against their own best interests.

          1. jgordon

            OK. X is not Y. Thank you for the logic lesson. However at no point did I ever say that voting for Stein was in fact a vote for Clinton, so I’m not sure why you are bringing that up. I just (in effect) said that voting for Stein rather than Trump will increase the odds that Clinton will be the next president by some small amount (depending on which state you live in), which is also true. So we have two very non-exclusive statement here.

            And I have always thought that the “lesser of two evil” arguments was pretty bogus. I’m only willing to use a form of it now because I’m pretty certain that Hillary would be a threat to all life on earth, whereas there is no way that Trump would be. I have to say though that being able to exist trumps my desire to maintain moral integrity–so I don’t feel two bad about it in this case.

        2. Waldenpond

          I lean towards voting for Stein, but when I won’t vote for Clinton because she will slaughter more people abroad and impoverish people domestically, I have that moral pull to see those policies defeated.

          1. jgordon

            Well lean for Stein if you want. If you are in a safe state you might as well vote for her anyway. However if you are in a tossup state you might be considered to have a moral duty to vote for Trump, considering all those children and brown people Hillary is eager to turn into a pink mist. I guarantee you that those people on the hit list aren’t going to be too impressed with your logic (well not that they would be impressed by anything after Hillary is done with them anyway) if failing to vote for Trump where it matters put her into office.

      2. aab

        That’s not quite correct. It’s not mere pontificating. It’s hard cold reality, in a system with first past the post, enforced duopoly advantages and the electoral college.

        If you vote for Jill Stein, say, in Texas, you will not have any impact on who the President of the United States will be. What you will be doing is helping the Greens get financing for the next election. Arguably, that would have more impact than voting for Hillary Clinton in that state. But it’s not really a vote for President. It’s a vote for something else, as a practical matter.

        The new wrinkle is the evidence of how pervasive vote rigging is. That means we have to factor in that voting against the establishment’s preferred candidate in that state would need a margin of at least 10% to actually matter. For example, here in California, it would seem impossible for anyone but the Democratic nominee to get those electoral votes. It’s a very blue state, and a Hillary partisan/bag man is our Secretary of State. But it seems likely to me that the AP “call” was done specifically because she wasn’t going to be able to steal the state without that additional voter suppression. So we would then assume there’s an outer bound to the theft capacity.

        So you could assume that I — a person who believes Hillary Clinton is the greater evil — can vote for whomever I want, using your paradigm; my vote gets lost either way. But my perspective is that since I believe the most important thing in this election is to stop Hillary Clinton, how best can I do that? On the one hand, the Greens won’t have the ability to fight back re: the vote rigging, and the Republicans will. So even if one could, theoretically, get ALL the Bernie voters who are #NeverHillary to vote for Stein, would that be enough to get Stein the state, and keep Hillary out of the White House? On the other hand, if Trump can’t win the state decisively, he probably can’t overcome Padilla’s power to rig and suppress. So do I then vote for Stein, knowing I’m not casting a vote for President, and not doing anything to stop Hillary, but at least helping a third party get funding?

        I won’t know the answer to that until some time in October. And I recognize that voting in this election may be functionally pointless and a charade. But until such time as that is indisputable, and the establishment rules at the point of a gun, it seems to me the only moral choice is to treat voting as something with the potential to make political change and avoid bloodshed; an action with value. But I think to treat voting as an exercise in personal fulfillment, or to not recognize the structural forces at work in the process — while obviously absolutely ones choice to do — vitiates whatever power any individual vote might have. YMMV, of course.

    3. Jake

      Those of us in safe states (in the bag for the Democrat party) would have no impact voting for Trump, whereas a vote for a third party helps secure them a place on the ballot in future elections and Federal funds-matching in many cases. Thus there is good reason to vote for Jill Stein.

      1. Kokuanani

        I hope after the election there’s also some analysis of vote totals in individual states. Someone could/should point out, “yes, Hillary won X State [a safe Dem one], but look at the number of people who voted for Stein and refused to vote for HIllary.” This could be a reminder of just how hated she is.

  10. Teejay

    I’m not sure how you intended this to read: “Frank not only describes [xxx] how the Democrats decided long before Bill Clinton came to office that they were going to abandon the working class, but how the Clinton’s embraced the practice of attacking [???????]”

    1. Roger Smith

      Read as: Frank not only describes how the Democrats….

      It looks like a stream of consciousness typo between two wordings — “Frank not only describes” and Frank describes not only”

  11. Mark K

    Over the years I have become quite fed up with the establishment Democrats’ dance every election cycle of (pretending to) move left during the primaries, and then moving right during the general election. It has been such a thrill this year watching things not unfold as choreographed. I don’t want the show to end — I would like nothing more than for Bernie to run independent or Green Party during the general election. I actually think he’d have a good shot at winning.

    As Richard Eskow points out, though, it doesn’t look like he’s heading that way. Given that, the longer he holds out in the negotiations and the more tepid his eventual endorsement, if he gives her one at all, the better.

    1. tegnost

      reading in the puerto rico post how obama and the dems are serving up the territory to vulture funds makes it clear who they really are. No sanders voter should pull for clinton, she absolutely stands in he way of everything he stands for…Obama and hillary are republicans counting on the media delivering low information voters into the abattoir. She needs bernie to drop out so she can campaign to her constituency, republicans.

  12. Brooklin Bridge

    It’s simply great to see Sanders focused on doing what ever he can for the people – not restricted to but also embracing those across the country that have counted so much on him. It’s encouraging that he is negotiating rather than capitulating; that he recognizes that the incredible support he got was a rare gift and that he has such deep respect for it.

    His quirky favoring of the Democrat party and other vestiges of bygone times are minor in the opinion of this purist compared to the fact that he remains a shrewd hard hitting force doing as much as he can with what he has.

    Ageless and yet timely; he is a model for Elizabeth Warren to think long and hard about.

      1. tegnost

        he hasn’t, and I hope he won’t until the convention, and considering the school marmy scolding coming from the haters in the hillary camp, I also hope he does what they would do and attaches a lot of conditions to his endorsement, namely no TPP but I feel that is really the issue in this election, elite dems really really really want TPP, but they can’t say so because it’s such a raw deal. Why am I supposed to support someone who wants to push yet another raw deal down my throat again? I want a non endorsement endorsement that makes it clear that hillary is not representative of bernie’s supporters.

        1. notabanker

          Sorry but in my book any endorsement at all is unacceptable. Quit the race, run as an indy, start your own party, go home and sleep for 6 months. But don’t endorse someone who is diabolically opposed to just about everything his campaign stood for, and is a 100% bet to renig on any deal made. Don’t like Trump, fine, don’t endorse him either. But to say she will be one iota better than him is as sure a bet as black on roulette.

          1. tegnost

            You make a good point, there really is no overlap so he can’t in good conscience endorse whatsername

            1. different clue

              He could give her a non-endorsement endorsement in which he un-blesses her with faint praises.

    1. SpringTexan

      Absolutely, he is doing the best he can according to his own conscience and lights, and he continues to fight. Thank you, Bernie!

  13. Adam1

    I’d love for Bernie to give Clinton my name off his mailing list. I’ve been rehearsing my line for weeks now… I’d answer the phone listen for the request to support Clinton. I’d pause and look out the window and then confirm for the caller that hell has not frozen over yet!

    1. voteforno6

      I did get a call from the Hillary Victory Fund. I got a long spiel about how it was important to stop Trump, and also support other Democrats. After the nice young lady finished reading the script, I said she should go to Wall Street – they’ve got more money than me.

        1. James Levy

          But that just points up the oddity of the MSM behavior. They cold shouldered Sanders out of the way for Clinton, but Clinton has much less of a chance to beat Trump, whom they treat completely unfairly. If they really hate Trump as much as people at NC seem to think, why then hand him an opponent he can beat on a silver plate? The whole thing is bizarre.

          1. Brooklin Bridge

            Who says anything about hate? The msm have a wall street directive to suppress Trump at all costs. They have another directive to promote Hillary pulling out all the stops. Simple.

            Given that Wall Street, the PTB, the entire DNC, the military, the current administration, Israel, and just about every crooked dictator in the Middle East that have relations with Washington want HIllary, and aggressively DON’T want Trump, Trump is hardly being served an opponent he can beat on a silver plate.

            You’re playing with images (MSM hates Trump) as if it was Hillary alone with nothing behind her to simulate a rational where she is an easy opponent.

            Anyone who thinks Hillary will be easy to beat simply because she is utterly corrupt, odious, dangerous, malevolent, nasty, thuggish, disingenuous in the extreme, an outright liar, pathological in spirit, genocidal by inclination, aggressive in the meanest possible ways, arrogant beyond the ability of the word to contain the concept, gasp…, to scratch the surface, hasn’t been paying attention. She’s got (friends is definitely not the right word) stuff on people in high places.

          2. nat scientist

            Not so bizarre, more like “just desserts”
            The corporates have met the enemy, and it is us.
            The media is selling artificial intelligence, best adopted by infantilised replicants and the entitled to approval, so what makes more eyeballs for free than a grade school hair-pulling match by grown adults? Beats compromising embedded deals by focusing on tangible deliverables with budgets.
            Time and big-data donors are on the side of the billionaire servers at
            msnbc(gates)dis(abc)fox(murdoch)bloomberg(michael)wapost(bezos)comcast-universal(roberts xfinity)
            Agenda-free content and natural catastrophes involving humans; all along the watchtower,
            these princes keep the view.
            The titles are enough,
            just turn off the sound
            to exterminate
            such rational thoughts.

    2. petal

      In a way I am looking forward to them canvassing the neighbourhood. I should practice my spiel ahead of time so I don’t miss anything and can really let them have it. Take that back to the mother ship and smoke it!

  14. JaaaaayCeeeee

    Hillary Clinton could not have beaten Bernie Sanders without:
    1. her donors (their think tanks) and surrogates (the Krugman class),
    2. news media (I’d give Rachel Maddow and other establishment feminists a big chunk of the credit),
    3. almost every elected Democrat.

    What I think people ignore is that Hillary Clinton CAN’T negotiate to adopt much of Bernie’s platform, because of the first two.

    Does anyone think that Clinton could withstand what Bernie has, from both big donors and media, in order to make her platform honestly productive, even to take the IMF’s recent advice, which is probably an effort to give her some cover?

    Whether or not Clintons naturally relish spitting on the left isn’t really the issue. I don’t think Hillary Clinton is enough of a wonk to even understand, except for maybe health care, that her economic policies risk tax payers back stopping another bubble of investment in infrastructure and solar, for example. All Clinton’s rhetoric about money out of politics doesn’t include publicly funded campaigns. Clinton’s rhetoric about increasing Social Security includes means testing and doesn’t include raising the cap. Clinton can’t even take a position against ISDN or against TPP in the lame duck, and even says on her website that letting Medicare negotiate bulk purchase prices should be only as a back stop, if her more voluntary ploys don’t work. Clinton can’t even mention, let alone fight for Stiglitzean corporate tax reform (like the states do), or the real financial transaction tax, both of which have to go together like the EITC and minimum wage have to be done together, to do their magic.

    In other words, what people denounce as Clinton’s neoliberalism, debt hawksterism and war mongering, represent hard promises to her donors. Though Hillary Clinton will say anything in rhetoric, she is either honest enough (or more likely signalling to her donors enough), that her actual details or her hand waving instead, add up to what they want, non-negotiably.

    I don’t think Clinton’s problem isn’t that she doesn’t want to negotiate with Bernie Sanders, it’s that she doesn’t realize she has to, if she doesn’t want to go down in history as causing worse than Japanization, and then on top of that, her donors’ economic advisers won’t let her anyways. I wouldn’t be surprised if she loathes Bernie Sanders, but not so much personally as for making it obvious (to anyone who does compare and contrast of their platforms) that she really isn’t a wonk and really doesn’t have negotiating power.

  15. Bubba_Gump

    All that “leverage” doesn’t mean squat. From what I see in the DC media, Bernie is already invisible. Most of the left will do exactly what the media tells them to do, with Mr. Trump’s ongoing bad behavior playing the starring role in the story.

  16. rusti

    I’ve noticed that the official Bernie campaign channels have started to indicate that he is absolutely not going to pursue a scorched-earth policy, as much as the NC commentariat (including myself) would love to see it. A particularly telling message from his official Facebook site on June 18th:

    The major political task that we face in the next five months is to make certain that Donald Trump is defeated and defeated badly. And I personally intend to begin my role in that process in a very short period of time.

    The comments are almost unilateral despair at the idea that he might endorse Hillary.

    I suspect that it’s infuriating for him to see first-hand just how little interest the DNC has in his politics and the voters that he could bring to the party, but he has invested his whole life in the idea that it’s better to work within the system to affect change and isn’t going to throw that out now. My guess is he gives a half-hearted “lesser-of-two-evils” endorsement and tries to find other avenues other than presidential politics for his supporters to pursue.

    1. Katharine

      It would be hard for him to make a “lesser-of-two-evils” argument convincingly after having quoted Eugene Debs: “It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don’t want and get it.” I think he knows that. It will be interesting to see how he handles it.

    2. oh

      “The major political task that we face in the next five months is to make certain that Donald Trump is defeated and defeated badly. And I personally intend to begin my role in that process in a very short period of time”.
      This is where he loses many of his followers. If he works to defeat Trump he’s working to elect Shillary!

      1. different clue

        I think Sanders would be unhappy to hear that many of the people who have voted/ worked for him are mere followers that he could lose. I think he would prefer them to be self-propelled self-educating makers of a movement who will keep on movementing even if they all reject any calls he makes to vote for Clinton.

        He has spent his whole working life in politics and government. He is personally devoted to the system, and therefor devoted to changing it from within, the slow hard way. If his supporters go home and sulk when he says to vote for Clinton . . . rather than staying engaged and supporting all the Sanderstuff they still want to support while voting against Clinton one way or another at the same time . . . then they would be just a bunch of disappointed and disappointing followers.

  17. EndOfTheWorld

    Trump is actually closer to Bernie on the key issues of war and “the disastrous trade policies” than the reprehensible Hildabeast. He can try to hammer The Donald on his pseudo-racist statements, but Trump will walk all that back, anyway, now that he’s got the nomination. Bernie is actually jealous of Trump in that Trump is not afraid to punch Hill where it hurts—her criminal email activity, supporting her tawdry husband’s sexploitationary exploits, probably having Vince Foster rubbed out, etc.

  18. openvista

    It’s not possible for Bernie to run as an independent. The reason being the deadline to get on the ballot has long passed in most states now. The window closed early last month, which is one of the reasons why Bloomberg announced he wouldn’t be running.

    Bernie can, however, take Jill Stein up on her offer and run on the Green Party ticket (even though they aren’t on all 50 state ballots). However, from all his statements it appears he suffers from a case of lesser-evilism in which he believes Trump is the greater evil.

  19. paradigm shift

    I hope some of those Bernie supports consider Jill Stein over Trump or Gary Johnson.

  20. FedUpPleb

    Win or lose, Sander’s story is more significant than trump. That a boorish outsider beat off the rest of the Republican clown cart is perhaps remarkable. But that a 70 year old self declared socialist harried the heels of the Democratic party’s own anointed candidate all the way to the convention, against a wall of party machinery, media manipulation, and hundreds of millions of campaign funding — THAT win or lose is the true story of this election.

    The public is seething. Trump and Sanders both are but the vessels of their resentment at the corruption and decline of their country. This is happening all over the developed world, and in each case, the elites are grasping to power by every and any possible means at their disposal.

    It’s my belief that this will end in a crackdown come a coup. The elite’s bag of tricks, principally the effectiveness of their media machine, is coming up short. Ever larger strokes, a la the Nevada convention and potentially Trump’s RNC outing, are now required to keep at least enough of the voting public on message. Yet the votes get ever closer, the public ever more resentful, ever more willing to upset the cart of status quo.

    Yet the elites will not yield. They will not do the one thing sure to keep them in power; give the voters respite. Hillary will never bargain. She is the quintessential late 20th century career politician. She will never bargain, never give up selling influence, never turn back from the course which is leading countries to ruin. She knows no other way. The political class of the west is stocked with Hillaries from highest tier to lowest rung, and they are not for turning.

    I believe this will end in a coup. The instinct of these elites will be to go on the offensive. When all the tricks run out, they will get very, very ugly. And when that doesn’t work, it is my belief that they will take steps to remove the democratic veto of the electorate from play altogether. The iron fist glove will be clothed in softest velvet, but the ability of electorates to turn the tide of neoliberalism, rampant globalization, and ever rising inequality will be placed in dire peril within the next decade.

    The only thing the elites require, is an idea, an excuse, some ideology which can rationalize the steps they so desperately wish to take. I wonder what it will be?

    1. openvista

      Why cancel elections when the elite already control the vote machines and tabulators, who gets to vote, whose votes are counted or discarded, who appears on the ballot, the “frontrunner” label, the exit polls, etc ? Unless there’s an act of god (like an indictment) that removes Hillary from contention, she’s going to be the next President.

      Elections give TPTB great cover for their crimes. Without them, nakedness ensues.

      It could be that Trump loses without any foul play necessary given his own unfavorables. He’s NOT going to win in a landslide as long as he’s named Donald Trump and continues to occupy the same body. The only realistic “victory” scenario for him at this point is a close win. Even if he were to station election monitors and exit pollers all over the country, Hillary will steal the election. She’s never been punished for any of her crimes and is confident in the two-tiered justice system. Really, it’s a no brainer given that the entire establishment is for her (especially the military-intelligence community which rigs elections across the world; how precious it is when people think they restrict their activities to foreign countries despite all the evidence to the contrary). These same power centers are completely united against him. Even if Trump has conclusive evidence she stole it, because of his reputation (which includes the whole Birther stunt), it won’t matter one iota especially since the media detests him.

      Any close loss in November, legitimate or not, could lead to an armed insurrection if his followers refuse to accept the outcome. Obviously, they’d be outgunned by the National Guard, but I doubt the gov’t wants to start firing on thousands (millions?) of its own citizens. Too many guns loose and too many people with little to nothing to lose in the country for that to turn out well. We could see an Oregon refuge like standoff but this time in Washington D.C just in time for the holidays. Say what you want about Trump’s people, and there’s plenty to say, but they understand power. Bernie’s people seem to think if enough people grasp hands in the drum circle, we win. Know thy enemy!

    2. Stephen Rhodes

      The only thing the elites require, is an idea, an excuse, some ideology which can rationalize the steps they so desperately wish to take. I wonder what it will be?

      Nothing illustrates better than the (Republican) empty claim of voter fraud to pass voter suppression laws—at the cost of $millions in implementation while on the other hand variously claiming as fiscal conservatives they must save money withdrawing ballot stations (in certain) areas (and so forth).

      Happy-Go-Lucky Justice Roberts and his gang were happy to declare a new age of enlightenment. . .you know the rest.

  21. Frank Archibald

    You fail to understand. This is not a question of personalities. CIA has been consolidating its authority for 16 years now, and Hillary is our choice. Don’t make us rig another election.

  22. Steve H.

    “In life we never get what we deserve but what we have the leverage to negotiate.” – Jalen

    In mediation we make a distinction between issues and positions. We work to turn positions into issues which can be worked with. “…there is absolutely no way that she will shift positions in any meaningful way to win the support of his voters.”

    I can work with liars in a mediation as long as there is a verifiable outcome agreed to. The party platform is meaningless in this regard.

    Let me reframe it this way: Sanders has NO leverage with Clinton in terms of verifiable outcomes. His only leverage is with those who are in line with the institutional values of the Democratic Party (the superdelegates). Disenfranchised voters giving actual ballot access to a third party is the worst possible outcome. The Green Party may be a Yugo of a vehicle now, but the first Honda cars were superfrugal and supertiny. Now Acura is a luxury brand.

  23. Amateur Socialist

    Bogama appears to be handing The Donald a big stick in the form of his continued planning for a lame duck TPP vote. I hope he uses it.

    1. SpringTexan

      Yes, and this is one thing Sanders might be able to pull off if he pushes hard enough — no lame-duck TPP. Won’t be easy but it may be possible and is worth fighting for, because TPP will cause higher drug prices around the world, which is why MSF/DWB is so opposed.

      I think he’s right to keep pressing within the Democratic Party even though I don’t give two hoops for the (un)Democratic Party. I think the little leverage he has is still greatest there.

  24. John

    Jill Stein stated it most eloquently to Amy Goodman: “Hillary has already done all the things people are afraid Trump will do” They are both sociopaths, but Trump may actually be the less effective one. His narcissism will cause so much chaos and the bureaucratic mire of DC so thick where he does not understand how to work the system…he may be effectively hamstrung. Hills will go in and work it from day one for all her crap neo liberal neocon supporters.

    1. PaulHarvey0swald

      What Jill Stein said here is exactly the conclusion I have come to. Trump will be impotent in the oval office; he will enjoy neither Democratic nor Republican support. HRC, on the other hand, will have some support. Not much, but some, and the more she turns to the right the more support she will receive. She has no reason or route to turn left. Bad behavior can not be rewarded. For me it’s either Stein or Trump.

      1. Lambert Strether

        The Jimmy Carter Scenario…. A dark horse comes up on the outside, and wins the race in a crowded field. Then (to mix metaphors) a small team tries to take on Washington, DC, and bogs down in the mud after about six months. Could be. In a Trump v. Clinton race, I want the winner crippled as badly as possible, and I want the House and/or Senate held by the opposing party. Gridlock is our only friend. Not, true, a friend with benefits, but the first 100 days of an undivided government are not pleasant to contemplate, in either case.

        1. James Levy

          OK, but that’s as much surrendering to the status quo and the unelected power centers (which will still keep chugging along) as any scenario. And it assumes that four more years of inaction on climate change can be born without millions of additional deaths (which no action whatsoever will guarantee). It isn’t really a situation where inaction will “do no harm.” It will do plenty of harm.

          I’m really not sure if you are right or wrong. Gridlock may be the best we can hope for. But, Holy Moses, that’s one hell of a terrible place for us all to be in.

          1. different clue

            Four more years of global warming inaction under President Trump would kill fewer people than one day of thermonuclear exchange with Russia under President Clinton.

            1. jrs

              Yes but I think the likelihood of continued global warming that kills people (120 degrees in phoenix already this year and summer hasn’t even officially started) is far greater than the likelihood of nuclear war. I don’t think we can stop climate change but we could plan how to survive what we’ve already baked in … maybe … and only if we’re lucky. Also there may be scenarios where climate change could of course lead to nuclear war (by heightening competition for survival etc.).

              No I don’t think the odds of nuclear war under Clinton are that high (conventional war though yes I think she’s that type of warmonger) and I don’t think the odds of nuclear war are much lower under Trump.

              This is in many ways a ridiculous conversation (so how do you want to go? climate change or nuclear war .. bullet to the head or hanging). Some say the world will end in fire some say in ice. End of the world expressed in weighted averages, as if that were possible …

        2. openvista

          The TPP — which can override ANY climate initiative or regulation — has advocates and opponents in both parties. So assuming Hillary gets in, and TPP hasn’t been enacted in the preceding lame duck session, I expect D’s to go along with the President and supporting R’s. The only hope is for a filibuster. But this is TOP priority of our rulers and I expect that filibustering would just be for political cover rather than an effective means to stop the legislation.

          1. Brooklin Bridge

            Fast Track does not allow for a filibuster and yes It’s a feature, not a bug.

  25. Randy

    This might not be the proper venue for posing this question but here goes:

    To what extent is the current political theater being presented by Democratic congress critters an indication of Sanders’ influence on party political practice? It surprises me that they are acting this way and find it hard to imagine they would do so without direct or indirect prodding from movements within their constituencies.

    1. bdy

      They aren’t sleeping over for meaningful gun control, they’re sleeping over for expanded police power. Nothing new here. Like NAFTA, the encarceration state; throwing single mothers off the welfare rolls; forcing us to buy worthless insurance from a protected monopoly of price-gougers and so on; Dems are cynically exploiting another tragedy to run another s*** law past a Dem-duped electorate that might mobilize to stop Republicans from doing same.

  26. Barmitt O'Bamney

    Glad to hear she won’t bargain! No meaningful deal she’d ever make with Sanders for his support would be honored during a Clinton presidency. He’d be an old fool to believe any promise from her. I want to remember him better than that.

    1. nycTerrierist

      + Agreed. Would be a sad denouement to his amazing campaign.

      Good point here too by Amateur Socialist @8:52 am:

      “Bogama appears to be handing The Donald a big stick in the form of his continued planning for a lame duck TPP vote. I hope he uses it.”

  27. Tammy

    Your position sounds similar to that of Noam Chomsky’s where he emphasized the Bern’s supporters—in not backing Hilary—would be a vote for The Donald.

    1. RabidGandhi

      Chomsky was far more nuanced than you imply. His main assertions were:

      1. Voting in the quadrenniel election charade is marginally important: don’t spend more than 10 minutes on it, and spend the rest of your time on real democratic activism instead.

      2. In the US, most people live in non-swing states where their votes don’t matter anyway. These people should vote third party.

      3. For those in swing states, there is an ever so slight difference between Republicans and Democrats, but in a huge country those ever slight differences can make major differences. So hold your nose and vote Democrat.

      1. Jim Haygood

        “So hold your nose and vote anti-incumbent.

        — edit of Chomsky’s otherwise sound remarks.

      2. different clue

        Vote Democrat? Even if the Democrat is Clinton? What an Establishment GateKeeper Leftist!

    2. JCC

      Yup, the old “lesser of two evils” argument. The sooner people ignore this argument and just vote for who they believe in and then walk away saying, “Oh, well, at least I tried.” the better off we’ll all be. A vote for the lesser evil is still a vote for evil – but given that no one can predict the future, how do you really know if you picked the lesser?

      The election rigging is this country has been going on in different forms for centuries. Just vote for who you like and believe is not evil at all, whether they are on the ballot or not (write-ins, remember?).

      If the average person really took democracy and it’s responsibilities seriously and spent the time necessary to really look at the policies of the candidates and the state of the union instead of just rooting for their team, we wouldn’t have to go through this crap every 4 years. But it hasn’t happened yet and probably never will.

      1. Code Name D

        LOTE is not actually a vote for the “lesser evil.” It’s a strategy that smuggles in neo liberalism and more corruption without any meaningful scrutiny. They know their policies are unpopular and will not win support. So they set up the fall guy which allows Clinton to win by default.

  28. JSBA

    Nobody concedes while the negotiations are still going on.

    Well, nobody except Democrats…

  29. Tammy

    Do you mean to say “Chomsky was far more nuanced than the title implied”? The title was, ‘Chomsky on Supporting Sanders & Why He Would Vote for Clinton Against Trump in a Swing State’, which Chomsky stated at around 3:05 minutes into the interview almost verbatim your third point.

    1. RabidGandhi

      Actually Chomsky recited all three of my points almost verbatim, because all I was doing was summarising what he said. Read/watch the whole interview to see how both the title and your point miss his main contention.

      (Also: just a note, you can reply directly to posts by hitting the orange “reply” link after the post you want to answer– this way it will be clear who it is you are responding to)

  30. EmilianoZ

    Its reasonable to think that Bernie would like to end his career in a dignified way. He doesnt want to be thrown out of the Senate Budget Committee. He doesnt want the Dems to put a real effort to unseat him from Vermont. Dont make it harder for him.

    If you really love him, let him go.

    1. EndOfTheWorld

      No way in hell Bernie will ever get beat in Vermont, where even the repugs vote for him. I honestly don’t think Bernie cares a whole lot about the Senate anymore. He’s outgrown that and ready to play with his grandkids a little and write a book. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him retire.

    2. Roger Smith

      The guy is 74 years old, he should go out with a bang, not by bending over for a thrust at the very last minute. Dignity is not handed out by the Democrats. History and facts remember, not the mouth of the party clowns.

    3. Paul P

      The most dignified way for Bernie to end his career is to ask his followers to go to Washington, DC and sit in he offices of their representatives if Obama brings the TPP to a lame duck vote.

  31. Minnie Mouse

    In his last speech if viewed in its entirety Trump’s main focus was on Hill and Bill’s entanglement with trade disasters. He made a direct appeal to Bernie voters mentioning Bernie by name. Yet the superficial CNN account of Trumps major economic response to Hillary made no mention of TPP/NAFTA at all.

  32. flora

    Thanks very much for this post. I will not vote for Hillary or Biden or any other neoliberal Dem candidate.
    Chomsky and Reich are interesting academics. Their role appears to be to make what looks like reasonable and rational arguments for voting for Hillary and the neolib Dems. They also imply there is a real debate about policy happening within the Dem establishment. There is no debate. Hillary and the neolibs will never move away from their positions. It’s clear Chomsky and Reich aren’t investigating but instead have a conclusion before they craft their ‘reasoned argument’. They come across as academic sheepdogs for the neoliberal program. Pay no attention to rhetorical device of sighing with regret in their arguments. e.g. “I come to bury Caesar not to praise him.”
    I’ve been told for over 20 years that I must vote for someone bad because the other candidate is much, much worse. And I have voted for someone bad to prevent someone much, much worse (they said). All that has produced is a much much worse Dem establishment and terrible deals for Main Street.
    I won’t vote for Hillary.

    1. oh

      The evil that the Democrats do lives after them,,,,,,
      Chomsky’s recommendation to ‘vote for a Democrat in a swing state; is a meme propagated by the Democratic Party for fools. It translates to “Drink this cyanide laced Kool Aid”.

    2. Brooklin Bridge

      Chomsky: Too long in Cambridge and just getting old. He’s a shadow of his former self.

  33. afisher

    I would never vote for Trump. His opinion on selection of SCOTUS and how “well gee whiz someone should be punished when a woman chooses to have an abortion” along with his H8 speech about Hispanics, Muslims, Blacks, etc are more than sufficient reasons not to support him. The new GOP plan to privatize Medicaid and changes to Medicare are sufficient for many to never vote for GOP unless you are wealthy.
    I won’t support HRC or any of the funders: DNC, DSCC, DCCC – they burnt that bridge when they voted to increase the funding apparatus which sold out to corporate donors.

  34. Paul Zoellner

    Had a thought re Bernie’s list.

    If he gives it up the Clinton folk will threaten people on the list who work on Wall Street or for Clinton donor corporations with reporting them to their bosses.

  35. KYrocky

    We have, at this moment, a sit-in by Democrats in the House. They have resorted to this because, under House rules, they are legislatively impotent. They can place nothing up for a vote, they can pass no legislation. Not even when that legislation is supported by 90% of the public.Imagine their frustration at having majority popular support for their agenda and yet being powerless to even bring it to a vote.

    Now imagine being a progressive in the Democratic Party. The feelings of frustration, which have been growing for decades, seemed to completely take the Democratic establishment by surprise once the Sanders’ campaign gave them a voice and visibility. In the case of House Republicans, they believe they are in a war with Democrats and doing what it takes to win. There are exercising power against the other side. Establishment Democrats are also exercising their power over progressives, and they have taken for granted that progressives will always be on their side. But what Establishment Democrats failed to recognize is the fact that their agenda and their way of doing business are now at odds with what a majority of Democrats, and in many cases the public as a whole, support.

    Sanders campaigned as the heart, soul, and possibilities for America that a majority of the public shares. Clinton seems incapable of that. The day after the New York primary Hillary gave statements embracing the voter’s mandate for her and her agenda, she began calling republican donors, and began her tack to right for the general. She is who she is.

    Populism has always been a slur word among Establishment Democrats and Republicans. But what has become more and more apparent is that the will of the public is being dismissed to the detriment of the public for the expressed enrichment of the donor class. This secret, which both parties and the media have worked to conceal, is now in the open. And that genie is not going back into the bottle.

  36. Matthew G. Saroff

    You wrote:

    Nobody concedes while the negotiations are still going on.

    Untrue. See Obama, Barack H.

    1. different clue

      Obama was secretly conspiring with the Republicans to make the Bush Tax Cuts permanent and so forth.
      He wasn’t conceding. He was pretending to concede as part of the charade of pretending to negotiate.

  37. Dave

    It astounds me how many young men and women I encounter in an apprenticeship program for young farmers are voting for Trump. At first I thought it was just teenage orneriness and rebelling against their mostly liberal parents. What surprised me is the level of awareness about debt and the hopelessness of their financial position that they manifest.

    The word is out on Facebook and in whatever media they are using. Older people like me have years of Democratic Party betrayal under our belts and memories are long. Sanders may still have some chance, if a Clinton scandal should become absolutely undeniable. I hope that’s the case. But if not, Trump gets my vote as a means of helping shovel cat litter over the remnants of the Neoliberal Democratic Party and to help do the same to the RINOs.

  38. Benedict@Large

    The one thing she wants is his mailing list, and I am told he will not give that to her (and even if he were to, I doubt she would get much from it, …

    We’re leaving one thing out here. We all know how vindictive Hillary is, so what is to stop her from using the names on that list as an enemies list? There is no end to the mischief that could be perpetrated. (No-flys, credit ratings to name but a few.)

    Does anyone here think that this is really beyond her?

  39. RBHoughton

    Spot on Yves.

    Quote Sanders voters recognize well how terrible Trump is and still regard him as a less dangerous choice than Clinton Unquote.

    Fingers crossed we are seeing the rebirth of social democracy in the States. Could he run as an Independent? That would be an exciting gamble.

  40. mrtmbrnmn

    As MSNBC’s 10pm show host & political commenter Lawrence O’Donnell astutely remarked several months ago of Hillary Clinton, the Queen Of You Owe Me and Candidate of Yesteryear: “Her numbers never go up. They always go DOWN.” After a quarter century of Bonnie & Clyde Clinton this is practically a Law of Nature. Fasten your seat belts, America!

  41. A Knesal

    Bottom line; I will be writing Bernie’s name in for president. I owe him that much and I won”t be a part of business as usual.

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