Sanders Delegation Plotting in Public and Secretly to Shake Up Democratic Convention

Yves here. The wee problem with this scenario is if it is public enough to be in Alternet, it’s way way too visible. The Clinton camp will be prepared.

By Steven Rosenfeld, who covers national political issues for AlterNet, including America’s retirement crisis, democracy and voting rights, and campaigns and elections. He is the author of “Count My Vote: A Citizen’s Guide to Voting” (AlterNet Books, 2008). Originally published at Alternet

Different camps inside Bernie Sanders’ 1,900-member delegation to the Democratic National Convention next week are anticipating varying degrees of protests—some telegraphing their intentions now, others planning in secret—if Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party do not make additional major concessions.

These protests go beyond high-profile public announcements in recent days, such as scholar and activist Cornell West, who was appointed to the Platform Committee at Sanders’ request, announcing he would be supporting Jill Stein, the Green Party nominee in November.

On Saturday, a group called the Bernie Delegates Network announced that more than 250 Sanders delegates had responded to its poll about the acceptability of six possible centrist vice presidential picks: Sen. Tim Kaine, D-VA; HUD Secretary Julian Castro; Sen. Mark Warner, D-VA; Sen. Cory Booker, D-NJ; Admiral James Stavridis and Admiral Mike Mullen. All were overwhelmingly rejected, with a majority of respondents saying they would “seriously consider” publicly denouncing a centrist VP pick and/or “nonviolently and emphatically protesting in the convention hall during Clinton’s acceptance speech.”

“You see in the survey if they close Tim Kaine, or someone like Tim Kaine, it could be a somewhat unruly convention,” said Jeff Cohen, co-founder of RootsAction, which conducted the poll in partnership with Progressive Democrats of America. “To have two corporate centrists on the ticket when 45 percent of voters were voting for a transformative progressive agenda is a slap in the face to them and to 1,900 delegates.”

Cohen said the poll—which did not offer any progressive choices, such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-MA or Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-OH—was sent to about 1,000 delegates to try to “facilitate communication” among people headed to Philadelphia because the once top-down Sanders campaign “is sort of a void now.” Cohen said, “As of Sunday night, 212 people had said they’re ready to denounce, and 179 said they were ready to protest during Clinton’s speech.”

The group, which hopes Clinton will pick a progressive, also has other protest plans. “We already have a distribution network for stickers inside the hall, which delegates can wear by the hundreds, some of which are pretty oppositional,” he said. “One will say ‘Stop the TPP.’ Another one will be ‘Hillary is a war hawk.’”

It is important to focus on the vice presidential choice, Cohen said, because it’s one decision Clinton “cannot go back on” or reverse, and because “if you study U.S. history, of the 43 presidents we’ve had, about a third have been vice presidents.”

Many Possible Protests

The poll and its followup actions are one thread in an evolving tapestry of potential protests in Philadelphia. There have been other public efforts, such as e-mails to Bernie delegates since he endorsed Clinton last week that argued he did it just to get into the convention hall where he can still win. One such e-mail sent to New England delegates had this question-and-answer section:

Q: So Wait, Bernie DIDN’T quit today?
A: No. he has to say she won the primary, he endorses her and will help the party defeat Trump, yada yada but he DID NOT concede. There is a very big and important difference. Had he conceded, all of his delegates would go to Hillary and he would no longer be an option for the nominee.
Q: So Bernie can actually still win?
A: YES. And if he wasn’t still TRYING to win, he would have conceded. The ONLY option he had  to get to the convention with his delegates behind him and have a chance to still win was to do what he did today. He is not a traitor. He didn’t sell us out. He did the only possible thing he could have done to keep fighting for the nomination.

Seeing this e-mail, one state Democratic Party official commented, “This is the craziness that is fueling some of our nationwide delegates. I’ve been told that everyone that is in a responsible position is dealing with these posts.”

“There are adherents to that strain of thinking, but it’s not very big,” said Karen Bernal, a Sanders delegate from Sacramento elected as a co-representative of the California delegation, the nation’s largest. In a half-hour interview, she described a half-dozen different camps under the Bernie umbrella: the Bernie or Bust crew, reflected in the Q&A e-mail; a similiar subset that thinks the party’s superdelegates, or hundreds of party insiders and elected officials, can still be swayed to pick Sanders; people, like those in the VP poll, who say they are willing to publicly protest on the floor; those who agree with those protesters but would not disrupt the proceedings; those who will follow whatever directions Sanders or the campaign says; and “eventual nominee” types, who tend to be elected or aspiring politicians, who will back Clinton.

“As you can imagine, we have everything from the most die-hard Bernie Busters,” Bernal said, speaking of the 200-member California delegation and its counterparts. “In terms of the people who occupy that universe, they are almost indistinguishable from protesters you will see outside the convention. Under no circumstance will they ever vote for Hillary. They’re very protest-minded… That goes all the way to the other end of the spectrum, which is the ‘eventual nominee’ types. These are all Bernie delegates.”

Keeping Plans Secret

What was most intriguing about the delegation Bernal described was that the individuals and contingents who are serious about protesting are looking at a series of upcoming decisions—not just the veep pick—and are keeping quiet about their plans, she said. They are not releasing vice presidential poll results, writing op-eds about moving to the Green Party or sending out far-fetched interpretations of the strategy lurking behind Sanders’ endorsement of Clinton.

“What I can tell you is most of the other national organizing efforts I know of are fairly insular, and you can kind of read into why they might be—because they plan actions,” Bernal said. “And so the organizing seems to be peer to peer, and not necessarily anything you would find publicly posted, because that is the nature of what they wish to organize. I’ll leave it at that.”

There are going to be “a couple of other shoes that drop” as the Democratic conventional approaches, she said. “The VP pick is one of them. Two other things from what I’m hearing—not only in California but in couple of other states—no one is accepting what has taken place regarding the minority [platform] report, and the fact that they have tried to shut down any kind of floor fight over the platform amendments that were rejected, particularly TPP [Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal]. There’s lots of delegates that want to push on that and fight back and insist on some action on the floor regarding that.”

“The other one is whatever comes out of the Rules Committee meeting on Saturday,” Bernal said, referring to the Sanders campaign’s effort to end the party’s superdelegate system. “You will definitely see, if it doesn’t go well, which, we believe with Barney Frank as its chair, that it won’t—there will be some action around that for sure. The reason you are not seeing a lot of things publicly posted is why would we want to advertise our intentions so publicly so they can be interfered with? That’s the thinking.”

Bernal said what’s uniting many Sanders delegates is a desire to have a roll call vote where each state announces its primaries and caucus results so the nation can see how much support there was for Sanders and his vision. Twenty-three states and 13 million people voted for Sanders, she emphasized.

In the meantime, Bernal said the Sanders campaign has barely been in contact with the state delegations, and many delegates have taken it upon themselves to do their best to represent the voters who are sending them to Philadelphia.

“There is no two-way communication whatsoever, and even one-way communication from the campaign is very little,” she said. And if there were top-down directions, “I am not so sure how successful it would be, because the Bernie delegates themselves are very independently minded. They have been informed by Occupy, Black Lives Matter and so on. What you have is a movement that is self-organized. I’m not so sure that unless the message was one of resistance, that necessarily everyone would fall into lockstep behind anything the Bernie Sanders’ campaign said.”

And so, the many slices of Sanders supporters have taken it upon themselves to decide what message they will bring to Philadelphia.

“In that void, you have various different self-organized organizations popping up, some of them with wide reach,” she said. “They are networking from state to state. Some of them are about trying to do what Bernie’s campaign wants. Some are about making a statement that is self-determined, because now everyone realizes the campaign has been compromised because of the endorsement. Kind of like snow on a warm day, they are melting into the landscape—the DNC landscape and Hillary Clinton landscape. Instinctively, many Bernie delegates see that. They are taking it upon themselves to define what they are going to insist upon at the convention.”

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  1. 3.14e-9

    Looks like there’s a slightly different dynamic in the Clinton camp:

    On Monday night, aides for the former secretary of state held a private conference call with members of the Democratic National Committee’s Rules Committee and laid out how the campaign would like those members to vote at an upcoming rules meeting in Philadelphia. The purpose of the conference call was to answer any questions and ensure that the Rules Committee members, picked by DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and by Clinton, remained in lockstep with the presumptive Democratic nominee.

    The roughly 30-minute call was a glimpse into how Clinton officials have sought to shape the party platform and party rules with minimal public drama. Campaign officials have corresponded with members via text messages to direct them how to vote and counseled them to bring concerns directly to the campaign, rather than follow a process laid out by the DNC for submitting amendments and resolutions. …

    The plea to keep any policy disputes in-house, and off-camera, underscores the campaign’s determination to present a united front at the convention, and stave off any conflict between the Clinton-aligned committee members and Sanders members during the drafting process. A few months ago, Sanders was vowing to take his policy sticking points all the way to the convention floor.

    1. dots

      The top-down policy approach is totally at odds with the grass-roots “change must come from the below” message that Sanders has been laying down for political revolution. It comes across as an autocratic rebuttal and apparent strong indicator of resistance to change (i.e., an obstinate conservative stance).

      When the status quo is so clearly working against the common person, it’s not a wise stance for the DNC to take.

      1. Cheryl

        I am Not voting for Clinton…….I am writing in Bernie Sanders and then voting for the rest of the democrats. Care to join me??

        1. Knute Rife

          I’m not writing in. I’m not doing anything that will send my ballot to the canvassing board.

  2. Roger Smith

    “There are going to be “a couple of other shoes that drop”

    Hopefully some of them fly.

    The lack of campaign level organization seems like it could hinder a more solid movement in protest, On the other hand (as the campaign never had the edge it needed) all of these smaller group raising their own organized protests might be a good thing. It would certainly make them harder to manage by the Clintoon Goons.

    On that note, are dissenters removed from the hearings? If so, who votes for these delegates? Are they just not allowed to participate? For how long?

  3. Ph

    Please please stop writing that Sherrod Brown is a progressive. He is not.

    Maine is middle of the road, but sincere, and he is willing to listen. Not my first choice, but far better than Brown or Vilsack

  4. Eureka Springs

    So roughly ten percent of Sanders delegates are in the mood to throw a hissy fit.

    For Warren or Brown. Possibly over the rigged rules committe in re super deli’s headed by Super Prog Frank. And the rest is either secret and or speculative.

    And if you didn’t take Sanders endorsement of/capitulation to Clinton correctly the first time you get to hear him do it again.

    And you are entering the convention with what, less than one percent of Sanders issues/stated goals in the party platform?

    No doubt this hardly rises to a nervous chuckle inside the Clinton Fraternity. In fact they must be laughing all the way to the banksters behind closed doors.

  5. Bubba_Gump

    As the RNC convention becomes more and more of a disaster, it clarifies for me how much of a stretch it is to vote for Trump even in protest. What a terrible candidate and vice-candidate. Makes one consider going to the Dem convention to join whatever protest organization is being built.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Probably easier to work from the other end.

      What is not a disaster these days?

      The D party?



      Trains in Germany?

  6. Pirmann

    This is nothing more than a ploy to get Sanders supporters to watch the convention coverage, so we can become acquainted with the “new” Hillary Clinton, and thus vote for Her in November.

    “Let’s all tune in; maybe the Bernie delegates will turn the party upside down”. Expect to be disappointed.

    The stars will ultimately align and the convention will go smoothly and without a hitch. Bernie and Liddy Warren will continue their unabashed endorsement of Her, the party will be united, and the good of the American people will be top priority on the go forward. Curtain. Exit stage left. Thank you for attending another Clinton Theater production.

    Oh, and none of the speeches will result in legislation that actually benefits the American people, but at least they won’t be plagiarized!

    1. Patricia

      There’s a long space between despair and hope, and another equally long between hope and expectation.

      1. Lambert Strether

        Do notice the lack of agency in “This is nothing more than a ploy…” Who’s orchestrating it? Sloppy analysis and the cyncism of the recliner go hand in hand.

        1. Patricia

          I recommend that while in his recliner by the fireplace, he learn to play the fiddle, so he can pretend he is Nero. (Now there was a guy who could handle an actual hopeless situation.)

        2. Pirmann

          Haha. That’s harsh. For real though, I’ve been pretty much spot on in my analysis/predictions concerning Bernie and Hillary thus far.

          “I live and breathe… I live… and… breathe.”. – Seinfeld

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I am endorsing Hillary.

            It’s up to you to do something to shake up the convention.

            (Not sure if that is what he meant)

          2. Yves Smith Post author

            Oh really? It was not a “prediction” to say that Sanders would endorse Hillary. He said he would endorse the winner of the primaries. And did you also predict he’d keep fighting through California? That’s inconsistent with the “sheepdog” thesis that I believe you’ve been promoting. Had he been doing that, the logical time to quit would have been after NY when he had also severely depleted his funds.

  7. Vatch

    at least they won’t be plagiarized!

    Well gosh, if Joe Biden gives a speech, plagiarism is almost a certainty!

  8. TheCatSaid

    From a non-partisan election integrity position, there are a number of developments. Dr. Richard Hayes Phillips has done a meticulous NC-standard investigation of the Democratic primaries, without speculation. He highlights specific parts of the races in various states that can and should be audited.

    A companion post by Dr. Phillips describes a proper election audit, drawing on his personal experience auditing the 2004 Ohio elections. He draws parallels to tax audits.

      1. TheCatSaid

        It’s an outstanding link. I’ve provided additional detail in response to your query on Water Cooler, however due to the additional links–each one outstanding (you’ll see immediately when I mean)–it is queued in moderation.

        His 4-part interview with Joan Brunwasser (print online) is knocking my socks off all over again. I hadn’t read it in many years. Part 2 about his lifestyle and values made me think of you and your love for the outdoors and in living your life according to your values. Each Part is amazing and covers unique aspects.

  9. JimTan

    There’s no way the Clinton camp and their corporate supporters will ever allow a progressive VP candidate. The reason for this is historical. Theodore Roosevelt crusaded against corporate corruption, trusts, and monopolies in the New York State Assembly and as Governor of New York. He caused so much trouble for vested interests, that in 1901 his party forced him to be Vice President under President William McKinley, a powerless position under a President that supported big business interests. McKinley died in office, and Roosevelt as President went on to breakup many corporate monopolies including the Northern Securities Company Railroad, and the Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Trust.

  10. Roquentin

    I don’t foresee much happening at the Democratic convention. The VP pick will almost certainly be a “blue dog” conservative Democrat, because all the Clinton campaign gives a damn about now is getting votes from disaffected Republicans who are too disgusted to vote Trump. Not that I have any inside knowledge, but I get the impression that that Clinton and the people behind her feel as though the few crumbs they’ve thrown the left are already too much. In their heads, they are already compromising. In spite of putting nearly half the vote behind Sanders, the left is considered a nuisance, a force that is now large enough that they can’t write off completely, no matter how badly they want to.

    I’ve more or less made up my mind to vote Green, and I sincerely doubt anything will happen at the convention to convince me otherwise. I’d almost sooner not vote at all than vote for Hillary, even to stop Trump. Trump is like one of those dummies from a haunted house the liberal establishment pulls out every chance they get to scare people into feeling like that have to support them.

    1. Arizona Slim

      If you shut down I-95, you’ve shut down Philadelphia. And you don’t have to be within the city limits to accomplish this feat. It can be done from nearby cities like Chester, PA and Wilmington, DE.

      Blocking the Walt Whitman Bridge will pretty well cut off the access from NJ.

        1. philnc

          I wouldn’t even ask Trump supporters to ride the Broad Street subway. We have to hold to some minimal standard of human decency, after all. Of course it might not be as bad as it was when I was there (1979 – 1982), but I doubt it.

    2. FluffytheObeseCat

      Clinton and the people behind her feel as though the few crumbs they’ve thrown the left are already too much. In their heads, they are already compromising.

      I don’t think that they believe they’ve been compromising with “the left” (AKA the mid-century Democratic mainstream); they aren’t that unaware. However, they clearly regard the “few crumbs they’ve tossed the left” as more than enough. Their distaste for Sanders’ unkempt peasants is so poorly concealed, and so inappropriate in Democrats, that it leaves me a little amazed to watch them at it.

      The Clinton faction of the Democratic Party is a refuge for people who would have been establishment East Coast Republicans in the Mad Men era. People who are so blindly elitist, they’re all but caricatures of Ancien Regime idiots.

        1. aab

          I hope so.

          I do wonder if they’re deluded, or simply confident that they don’t need control of state governments to rig the voting machines, just the collusion of the companies themselves.

    3. Seamus Padraig

      “Trump is like one of those dummies from a haunted house the liberal establishment pulls out every chance they get to scare people into feeling like that have to support them.”


      I’ll be voting for Jill Stein.

  11. TheCatSaid

    Whether or not it affects policy or VP picks at the Dem convention, I hope that there will be opportunities to highlight the serious election integrity issues that are oozing to the surface. In addition to the 2 important new articles on yesterday, has several new videos on their home page with fresh first-hand accounts from CA public officials.

    CA Register of Voter (ROV) staff described specific ways that students were disenfranchised, the whiting out of ballots, shredding election materials that are supposed to be retained, etc.

    I’m not holding my breath about any of this impacting the Clinton campaign. I have a bad feeling about a lot of shit hitting the fan over the next few months detailing the ugly underbelly of US elections coming into public view. It’s going to happen. The hard data has been gathered and is just starting to trickle out–way more than just exit polls. I don’t think people will be happy about what they see.

    What would happen if a candidate or newly elected president dies or is incapacitated (physically or politically)? What other power transfer mechanisms are in place if events occur at a timing that it slips between the cracks, or if both a President and VP are impacted? A storm is building and even the alternative media still prefers to bury their heads in the sand.

    1. marym

      There would likely be disputes about “failed to quality” if it were a political incapacitation, other than the technical requirements of age, citizenship, or electoral votes, but the Constitutional authority is then with Congress.
      20th Amendment

      Section 3. If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice President elect shall become President. If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice President elect shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected, and such person shall act accordingly until a President or Vice President shall have qualified.

      1. TheCatSaid

        So Congress could describe “the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected”. I wonder what that would be like?!

        And “such personal shall act accordingly until a President or Vice President shall have qualified”–qualified how? By a new election? Or by reassembling the electors from a previous election? Or anything they decide?

        Richard Hayes Phillips makes it clear what has to be done to prove the presence of fraud (audit the specific precincts where anomalous results have occurred in paper ballots–absentee, early voting, or precincts that use optical scans). If that occurs, and fraud like he proved in 2004 Ohio occurs (and Nate Silver still talks about how Bush beat Kerry. No, he didn’t. It’s just that the audit revealing the 2004 Ohio fraud happened between 2006-2008.), what then? Would people’s voices rise up to the volume necessary to determine different election systems than the ones currently in use? Since elections are run by states (and counties and municipalities) like fiefdoms, a mass mobilization would be needed to implement the guidelines they’ve developed in Ohio.

        Phillips spells this out towards the end of this report:

        The preconditions for any crime are motive, means, and opportunity. In case of election fraud, the motive will always be provided by the desire to win the official count, and the means will always be provided by whatever voting method is used. The only way to prevent election fraud is to prevent the opportunity.

        In my judgment, based upon three years’ experience auditing a rigged presidential election, the solution is this: paper ballots, counted by hand, in full public view, at the polling place, on Election Night, no matter how long it takes. In this way the counting takes place before any chain of custody questions have arisen, which effectively prevents the opportunity for wholesale election fraud associated with central tabulation. If this seems old-fashioned, so be it. When one is on the wrong path, a step backward is a step in the right direction.

  12. Tim

    If there is any resistance from the Sanders camp do we really expect to ever see it or hear about it in the MSM? Roll call on the floor would be shown in a tiny muted box on the screen while George S. “interviews” Clinton about being the nominee.

    Nothing to see here, better luck in 2020 peons.

    1. aab

      That sounds prescient. Except for when Bill puts her over the top from whichever state they want to declare is her “home” state for the moment.

    2. Fiver

      Not quite – msm will cover coordinated, orchestrated inklings of ‘sour grapes’ but nothing that is real. It is no longer possible to fundamentally trust the integrity and/or judgment of anyone still participating in this massive political fraud.

  13. Knute Rife

    At the Salt Lake County Convention, the Sanders people (after blocking a vote on a proposed platform that had been released only minutes before the vote) proposed a purely hortatory resolution asking superdelegates to vote with the majority. The Clintonistas were ready to block it with four, separate procedural maneuvers (led by a little wanker who was still in nappies in 93-94 when the rest of us watched the Clintstones sell out every progressive they’d made campaign promises to), including a motion to adjourn while the ballots were still being counted. After all these stunts failed and the resolution passed, they took to MSM and social media to whine about the “small group of malcontents” that had hijacked the convention. These people can’t be worked with.

    1. aab

      That kind of thing happened at numerous state conventions. Nevada was the most notorious, but it was not unique. My favorite tactic was refusing to let people go to the bathroom or eat. IIRC, the way it worked was they’d stall on votes until delegates were miserable, then if they did allow a break for the restrooms, they’d let the Bernie delegates out first. then block them from reentering while they took Clinton-determined votes. Similar but more devious than than the Labour NEC. And there’s the delightful public caning of a woman of color at the New York convention. Done in full view of the podium, leadership never did ANYTHING to even scold the Clinton supporter who did the caning.

      This is yet another reason why I laugh at these accusations that Trump is the fascist. He’s a piker in the propaganda and subverting democracy department, compared to Clinton.

      1. Lambert Strether

        There does seem to be some projection going on. Despite the pearl-clutching about violence, the only two incidents of violence are Wendell Pierce assaulting a Sanders supporter, for which he was arrested, and the incident to which you refer, the airborne seating incident in Nevada having been thoroughly debunked.

        1. aab

          There are actually additional incidents of Clinton employees or supporters physically assaulting people, usually women of color. One girl was elbowed in the face at a public event for asking Clinton about something unapproved — might have been Greenpeace.

          And motioning to adjourn while ballots were still being counted, or after declaring a voice vote had gone the chair’s way when it demonstrably had not happened at multiple conventions. What’s interesting to me about this is that this was in full view of Democratic Party delegates. It seems clear that the Clinton camp assumes its propaganda about how stopping Sanders’ forces is always acceptable because they’re dirty outsiders will make all of that okay. But a) some of those delegates, like plenty of Sanders’ voters, were longtime Democratic party members and b) there’s evidence that for at least some Clinton delegates, these tactics were beyond what they could accept. This seems like a different thing than the typical skullduggery, which happens out of the view of mid-level party members.

          I don’t think it will matter in Philadelphia, despite the wishes of the still hopeful. But it seems like these are black swan eggs being laid that will not redound to the party’s benefit in the future.

            1. aab

              There’s this one:


              Also Greenpeace, apparently. Different event. My memory was that there was another incident with an actual sharp elbow by a confirmed security guy. I’ll try to find that if you think it’s significant. But it seems to me the general point is proved: Clinton and Clinton supporters do not treat women, people of color or democratic practices with respect, unless they are compliant.

              (This is my first attempt at linking to a vid; hope I did it correctly.)

  14. Tony Wright

    So the US has a choice between a lying warmonger and a bullying narcissist. To a non US citizen this is almost as crazy as US gun laws.
    The potential for shit hitting the fan from so many directions is very high though: Chinese local govt. debt, EUBank fragility, NATO vs Russia, South China Sea, Terrorists targeting nuclear facilities or using dirty bombs, collapse of Wall St bubble created by quantitative easing, loss of reserve currency status of US dollar, extreme weather natural disasters increasing in frequency and severity, and an increasingly angry generation of millennials worldwide who realise that they have been screwed blind.
    So whoever wins will inherit a poisoned chalice of many colours and will not cope. Perhaps 2020 will see the next generation of progressives arrive with a large mop and bucket and remould society in better shape. It’s a long shot, but just maybe, and there will be a lot of pain in the interim.

    1. Seamus Padraig

      “So the US has a choice between a lying warmonger and a bullying narcissist. To a non US citizen this is almost as crazy as US gun laws.”

      Actually, if those are your only two choices, then widespread public ownership of guns becomes more important than ever.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        *Sigh*. And where have you gun owners been the last 30 year as we’ve lost civil liberties, are subject to Stasi-levels of surveillance, and have militarized police increasingly coordinated by the Federal government? You seriously think you and your guns would last any length of time against a tank or a helicopter gunship? Of all the efforts to justify gun ownership, this is the least credible.

  15. Reality's Stooge

    Even if they get a few “concessions” out of Clinton they won’t be enough to compel intelligent people who want substantial changes to vote for her. Clinton remains, and will remain, a corrupt, self-serving hawkish neoliberal/neocon hybrid. If it takes a Trump victory to jolt the Democrat status quo out of its stupor, bring it on.

    By doing a 180 degree flipflop of epic proportions and endorsing Clinton, Sanders destroyed his credibility and disillusioned legions of voters who shelved their cynicism over the electoral process and gave Bernie a chance to prove their sentiments wrong. He failed miserably.

    And no amount of patronizing rhetorical BS about “victory” (lol) and “secret” plans to shift HRC’s platform to the left can repair the damage Bernie Sander’s betrayal has wrought. The guy is endorsing the antithesis of everything he claimed to stand for.

    How that old fool can convince himself he did the right thing is beyond me. Yeah yeah Trump is Satan blahblah…so why not endorse Jill Stein who actually is the progressive woman HRC claims to be? And she sees The Clinton as the dangerous trigger-happy hawk she is…a small detail that seems to have slipped Bernie’s mind.

    On the bright side a “transperson” restroom icon, a very Hillarian initiative indeed, may usher in a new era of peace, tolerance and understanding as the world unites around this symbol of humanity and love. Hey, you never know!

    1. Lambert Strether

      I really wish the broken-hearted would stop lying about what Sanders did; I’m starting to think this is Green trolling.

      Sanders always said he would endorse Clinton. There was no flip-flop. Making shit up is against site policy. Stop it.

      1. Fiver

        What a load of bilge. What, exactly, would Clinton have had to have done for Sanders not to ‘honour’ that pledge – pre-declare that Putin is the next object of regime change? Announce full pardons in advance for any and all Wall Street, CIA, FBI, NSA, DoJ, Pentagon, Federal Reserve, Congressional, White House etc. crimes, including war crimes or crimes against humanity? Oops, Obama already took care of that. Um, how about fine print, indictable details of how DNC and major media, the White House and the Clinton campaign orchestrated the entire grotesque farce that strategically prevented the rise of a real, third-party alternative?

        We cannot as serious people who know what is at stake play games any longer. Trump is doing everything he can think of to throw this election, adopting language and ‘policies’ (actually mere rhetoric) daily more extreme than the one prior in order to somehow elect Clinton in the context of the worst turnout in a modern political election.

        The simple facts are these: given identical policy proposals or posited courses of action or announced decisions emanating from either Trump or Clinton, those that are terrible coming from Trump will far more rigorously opposed than those same disastrous moves were they made by Clinton. Under Trump, pursuing Clinton policies, there would be a very good chance of a renewal of the anti-war movement for instance, without which the US will never change domestically. Ditto across the board of key issues. If you want a remote chance of change in 2020, put in Trump now and start building immediately on a foundation entirely purged of Clinton/Obama operators. But please, no more pretense on this re what Sanders’ failure to denounce the legitimacy of the process did to the cause of real activists, really engaged in a struggle built on hopes and hard work and not much else.

        1. Lambert Strether

          > Failure to denounce

          45% of the Democratic vote, new fundraising model, two new standalone institutions (one for policy, one for electoral organizing, with 24,000 signups). And all from a standing start a year ago (modulo the self-organized volunteers). So that’s not enough for “real activists.” Oh, OK. Actually, to be fair, it isn’t nearly enough, but it’s certainly a start.

          Fortunately, the “real activists” were able to come together at the People’s Summit in Chicago, and unify the tiny sects and parties under a single platform to provide a voters a “real alternative” to what Sanders is doing, and pull him even more left. Oh, wait….

          1. Fiver

            Sanders’ candidacy effectively neutralized other efforts to organize a 3rd party or independent candidacy effective the date he announced. With what current circumstances clearly tell us re Clinton’s appeal with voters (how is she not cruising to victory?) the then-judged-likely-opponent Jeb Bush (or at any rate, a ‘moderate’) was certain to at minimum make it close – close enough so a 3rd party candidacy by progressives could quite conceivably ‘cost them’ the election.

            Now, the talent and money and technology and work that went into creating a Sanders campaign already capable of winning handily in any legitimate political fight is a very impressive achievement – and evidently from what you say, a very potent fund-raiser. But Lambert, from the perspectives especially of younger and of Boomer progressives, 8 years of an Obama who managed to betray or violate or ignore almost every important position, standard, right, etc., they were led to believe he believed in was a life-time’s worth of criminal policy, and, with Clinton on offer, Sanders was to millions of them a last great hope there was someone authentic in there to lead the fight. But the candidate handed the baton back whence it came and that impressive machine dissolved, it’s full weight nowhere.

            As it happens, Lambert, Trump did exactly as I’ve pointed out here repeatedly – he could not have given a less enticing performance from the perspective of expanding his support. It seemed almost calculated to alienate a fairly broad range of ex-Sanders supporters in particular via some of the proto-fascist ‘law and order’, emphatically WASPy + Israel world-view vis a vis who constitute the ‘good guys’, almost “I defiantly dare to…” immigrant-bashing and similarly charged rhetoric he poured forth in his Acceptance Speech. It’s for some time been a question as to how far he will have to go in order to guarantee his defeat. I’m sure some heard the echo of the nuking of Goldwater last night and they’re not wrong, just early. Trump may have to use the ‘n’ word repeatedly while making obscene gestures at Clinton in a final-week ad do-over of the decisive Debate in order to throw it for good.

            I’m not knocking your work. The question is whether or not either Party assuming power in 2017 and more importantly, the fusion of private/public power that is the permanent State, going forward will ever allow someone espousing even Sanders’ modest, domestic-only, old-Demish reforms to gain national traction again. I very much doubt it. I think this was a critical opportunity missed in the history of lawful democratic resistance to the nakedly kleptocratic, war-mongering duopoly that now rules Washington. If it was real at all, it could’ve been a win – a very, very big one.

  16. PH

    Nothing to win this year.

    The question is how to build an organization supporting progressive Democratic primary challengers in the future.

    Nothing but fear of a successful primary challenger from the left will change the voting patterns of Dems in Congress, or change the platforms of future Dem presidential candidates.

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