Democrat Disunity: Hypocritical Media Attacks on Sanders

On every conceivable front, the Democrats double downing down on the strategy that led them to hemorrhage losses in representation, meaning power, at every level of government. In keeping, more and more voters are leaving the party.

The latest repeat of a failed strategy is to try to smear Sanders in a cack-handed effort to win over his base. This is as likely to succeed as calling Trump voters “deplorables” did.

The reality is that the Democratic party leders have no strategy. Instead, they are taking the playbook of a mad scientist in a kitschy horror movie, frantically spinning dials and flipping switches as his invention has gone out of control. His control, needless to say.

The Democrats’ actions made clear they were fixated on the Federal government patronage and revolving door goodies that control of the Executive branch conferred. Beyond the state-that-is-almost-a-country of California, the lucre isn’t large enough for them to deviate from their stance of being party of the 10% and trying to hold onto their traditional base by being marginally less God-awful than Republicans. Reader johnnygl flagged this section of a Washington Post story on how the post-election strategy of Russiaphobia plus Trump bashing plus yet more identity politics isn’t working with voters:

Democrats have lost considerable ground on this front. The 28 percent who say the party is in touch with concerns of most Americans is down from 48 percent in 2014 and the biggest drop is among self-identified Democrats, from 83 percent saying they are in touch to just 52 percent today. That is a reminder that whatever challenges Trump is having, Democrats, for all the energy apparent at the grass roots, have their own problems.

Let’s put this more bluntly: even with Trump turning out, whether by virtue of capture, inclination or not caring, backing solidly Republican positions, with his impulsive foreign policy shows of manhood as an added huge negative, Democrats are becoming more and more immune to lesser-evilism. The party has tried to fool voters too many times with hope and change and other pro-worker cant while delivering the goods only to their wealthy patrons. The defectors aren’t coming back until the party starts to deliver for them.

The Unity campaign is revealing how desperately the Democrats are clinging to their self-delusion. They seem to believe that they can kick Sanders and his voters and yet still get them to turn out at the polls for them. By contrast, Sanders, who knows what moves his base isn’t him personally but his policies, has only upside from participating in this charade. He gets a platform to keep selling his message, while the Democrats kid themselves that they can peel away his supporters without making concessions.

One proof that the operatives recognize the Unity campaign is backfiring is the upsurge in attacks on Sanders via the most loyal Democratic party mouthpieces, the Washington Post and the New York Times. With the election proving that the establishment media doesn’t have much sway with great swathes of the public, these hit pieces are tantamount to throwing water balloons at Sanders from the Acela: they may make gratifying splashes but they don’t do real damage. But they demonstrate yet again how committed the party remains to losing if winning requires giving more to ordinary citizens.

The first smear masquerading as reporting, Bernie Sanders’s strange behavior, ran last week in the Washington Post. It was so obtuse, presumably by design, that I remarked then: “This is either a candidate for ‘Most clueless political piece every written,’ as in ‘What about ‘power struggle’ don’t you understand?’ or Democratic party authoritarianism in action. The two possibilities are not mutually exclusive.”

The article, by Aaron Blake, is intellectually dishonest from the get-go. This is its first paragraph:

Bernie Sanders has embarked on a “Come Together and Fight Back” tour with with Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez. But he’s not really helping on that first part.

Really? Sanders launched a Unity Tour and Perez and the Democratic Party establishment decided to come along? This sort of “unity” charade is a Democratic party fixture.

Let us not forget why this exercise is even seen as necessary. The Democrats are trying to win over Sanders voters who correctly saw the selection of Perez as DNC head over Sanders’ pick Keith Ellison as a big fat middle finger to them. This “Unity Tour” is the 2017 analogy of the many efforts to “reintroduce” Hillary Clinton to voters, as if after decades of overexposure, they were somehow in the dark as to what she was about. They presume that if Perez hits the road with Sanders, they’ll come to like the new DNC, even though it is just the same as the old DNC.

The benefit to Sanders is that this is so patently foolish is that all he has to do is play along. He gets to go around the US and keep pitching his preferred policies.

But as Perez is getting boos at virtually ever whistlestop, someone must be at fault! And it can’t possibly be that the Democrats are trying to get the dogs to eat dog food that they’ve already rejected. No, it must be Sanders’ doing. The article proceeds from the straw man that it is Sanders’ job to create Democratic party unity, when the onus is on the party to find a way to reach his voters.

Put it another way: the Post, presumably reflecting the views of the Democratic elite, sees voters as chattel. They actually seem to believe that Sanders is like an old Tammany hall boss, or a union leader, who can deliver a block on his say so. So look at the things the Post views as offenses:

He said that he still isn’t actually a Democrat

He repeated his line that President Trump “did not win the election; the Democrats lost the election” — drawing some angry responses from Hillary Clinton supporters who see this as either a shot at her or as something that Sanders’s primary campaign contributed to (or both)

Sanders’s message has differed from Perez’s in a couple key ways

The big hissy fit, however, that Sanders hadn’t endorsed Ossoff yet, stating yet another obvious fact that Democrats don’t want the children to hear: “Some Democrats are progressive, and some Democrats are not,” and saying he didn’t know enough either way to decide.

Sanders did relent and endorse Ossoff. While purists are unhappy over that move, the reality is that his support will make perilous little difference either way in an affluent district in the South. And as reader Marina Bart pointed out in comments, the tisk-tiskers are missing the real play:

If the entire corporate media is aimed against you, it is very hard to fight back. Six corporations control something like 90% of media distribution in this country, and they deliver the messaging their plutocratic owners desire. Now add Silicon Valley’s corporate-controlled social media platforms, which have the same masters, same agenda, and same willingness to manipulation what information their users can access. Activists alone cannot win national elections. We need some sizable chunk of the millions who don’t really like or want to think about any of this, whether because they’re comfortable or despairing. They want the same policies we want. They just don’t want to work hard to get it, or grapple psychologically with the real situation we’re facing, because it’s upsetting. To reach those voters, we need some media coverage that isn’t aggressively hostile or deceitful. That’s why the Unity Tour was a brilliant thing for Bernie to do, even if it means getting prodded into sort of endorsing a hack like Ossoff.

Bernie is trying a strategy to take over the party from within. To do that means things like “Okay, sure, I’ll “endorse” Ossoff. He’d be better than a Republican. But he’s no progressive, and we need a progressive movement.” And then the Dems scream at him again, and try to squeeze better compliance out of him, but the damage TO THEM is done — lots of discussions of Ossoff’s positions, which means more people find out that he’s opposed to universal health care. I saw people all over the place in the last few days saying they had given Ossoff money and now they were sorry. Next time, maybe they’ll do a better job of vetting the candidates the neoliberal Dems are pushing.

And Bernie trundles on, saying things the corporate media has been hiding: how the Democratic Party lost seats all over the country during Obama’s term, just how bad that is. He’s shown the DNC Chair to be a boor and a boob.

He’s making it much harder for the Democrats to run the play they’re trying to run. He’s slowing down their ability to promulgate numerous false stories about who they are, how popular they are, what policies are popular, where their money goes — all of this is really helpful to any real change, no matter what comes next.

The effort to beat Sanders into line became more obviously two-faced with another hack job, this one in the New York Times, At a ‘Unity’ Stop in Nebraska, Democrats Find Anything But.

The cause celebre is that Sanders has backed a young progressive, Heath Mello, who is running for mayor of Omaha. Per the fixation of the Democrats with the top of the ticket, since when have they cared about a mayoral campaign, particularly in flyover?

Mello’s offense is that he is being depicted as anti-abortion. But that is a trumped up charge. Mello is Catholic. He’s adopted the formula that many Catholic campaigners have so as not to offend fellow Catholics who might be inclined to vote for him: to say he’s personally pro-life but politically supports abortion rights.

So what is his sin that has gotten the attack dogs after him, when anyone with an operating brain cell knows the real issue is his economic positions? This is apparently the only real dirt:

Mr. Mello, a practicing Catholic, supported a Nebraska State Senate bill requiring that women be informed of their right to request a fetal ultrasound before an abortion.

Let us contrast that with the actions of Democratic party vice presidential nominee, Tim Kaine, who also took the position that he is personally pro-life but politically supports the right to abortionsper Politico:

He pledged in his 2005 gubernatorial campaign to reduce the number of terminated pregnancies in the state by promoting adoption and abstinence-focused education. That cycle, the state NARAL chapter ripped Kaine’s GOP opponent, Jerry Kilgore, as “an extremely anti-choice candidate” but still withheld its endorsement of Kaine because he “embraces many of the restrictions on a woman’s right to choose.”

In a 2007 NARAL scorecard, Kaine was described as a “mixed-choice” governor and his state got an F grade thanks in part to a number of laws and other policies restricting access to abortions. Two years later, Kaine upset both local and national reproductive rights groups by signing a law that authorized the sale of customized “Choose Life” license plates. Kaine argued he was supporting free speech, but his critics complained that the law would fund pro-life organizations and didn’t square with another very important hat that he was wearing at the time: Obama’s personally picked head of the Democratic National Committee.

And proving how captured groups will go to bat for Team Dem, the validators for the attack on Mello and Sanders are the heads of the American Federation of Teachers and the pro-abortion group NARAL. But did either of them object to Tim Kaine’s clearly dodgy record? From the same Politico story quoted above:

Tarina Keene, president of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, declined to comment specifically on Kaine’s stance on abortion. Instead, she issued a statement focused on her group’s reasons for endorsing Clinton.

Oh, and what about the sainted Obama, who doesn’t have the vexing problem of having been raised Catholic? Or the Clintons?

In fact. both are official backers of the policy devised by Richard Nixon: of having abortions be legal but keeping them scarce by not having the government pay for them. That of course is not problem to the affluent 10% that is the Democratic party’s true base. The Hyde Amendment, the legislative embodiment of the “no Federal funding of abortions except to save the mother’s life or in cases of incest or rape, became law in 1976. The law was made more restrictive in the 1980s. The only change under the Clinton Administration was to allow for Medicaid to cover abortions for rape and incest.

Recall that Hillary Clinton said that in 2008 abortions should be “safe, legal and rare, and by rare, I mean rare.” categories that are not mutually compatible. And that is consistent with an earlier statement, reflecting her Methodist roots, that she saw abortion as “morally wrong”.

From an Atlantic story in 2016:

For the most part, Clinton’s stance matches the official stance of the United Methodist Church, or UMC—the tradition in which she was raised and remains a faithful member….To understand Clinton, according to her husband, “you should look first at her Methodist faith.” Her youth pastor and lifelong mentor, the Reverend Donald Jones, said she views “the world through a Methodist lens.”….

Clinton has made efforts to reach out to pro-life advocates and, The New York Times reports, she shows sincere respect for those whose stance is motivated by religious belief. It is not clear, however, that the public understands Clinton’s piety or the depth of her attachment to the Methodist tradition.

Needless to say, that resulted in Clinton in having a “nuanced” position on abortion that might look a tad too equivocal. Again from the Atlantic:

One of Clinton’s greatest challenges in the run-up to November will be to persuade the Millennials—people aged 18 to 35—who supported Bernie Sanders to go to the polls. Mother Jones’s Kevin Drum argued recently that young voters appreciated Sanders’ simple and clear rejection of limits on abortion: “He’s for X, full stop. He’s against Y, end of story. Millennials want a decisive answer, Drum said; otherwise it doesn’t “sound like the truth.” Because Clinton is open to regulations on abortion, progressive Millennials may see her as “another tired establishment pol who never gives a straight answer about anything.”

And Obama, the 11th dimensional chess player whose religion has never seemed to impinge on his politics? Obama issued Executive Order 13535, which extended the Hyde Amendment to Obamacare.

But you’d never know that reading the howls of the loyal camp followers, like Lauren Rankin in Allure, who followed close on the heels of the New York Times hit piece with Bernie Sanders’ Actions Show He Values Votes More Than Women. It apparently does not occur to her that a $15 hour minimum wage and other worker protections will give women a much greater ability to get abortions because more women who are now middle or lower income would be able to pay for them themselves.

And this is yet another demonstration of the Democrats embracing failure. Women’s fashion magazines were virtually ordering their readers to support Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Similarly, a female friend described Alternet’s pre-election editorial stance as “How to have better orgasms while voting for Clinton.”

Yet recent polls show that female tribalism didn’t work very well. Sanders has more support among women than men. It appears that women are more acutely aware of the precariousness of their financial position that fashion magazine writers and editors are.

In other words, the attacks on Mello and Sanders are rank hypocrisy. If you are card-carrying neoliberal, you are permitted to have “nuanced” positions on abortion. Bona fide progressives need not apply.

But as much as the mainstream media and orthodox Democrats try to have it both ways, savage Sanders yet win over his base, the more they will prove that he should proceed apace with his bottoms-up takeover campaign.

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  1. John

    Everyone likes to make jokes about Trump and the Republicans, and how his supporters live in a fantasy world where he can do no wrong. But the more you look at the Democrats, the more you see the similarities between the two parties. The supporters of the ‘establishment’ are just as close-minded and incapable of recognizing the logical contradictions upon which their positions rest, and the “liberal media” is just as dogmatic in its support for mainstream Democrats as Fox is for the Republicans. This was made obvious with the rise of the Sanders movement. Before 2016, the Left in America had been dead for decades, and the media did not have to defend the ‘establishment’ from that direction. Now that it does, we’ve seen a huge shift in the coverage of American politics. While the target audience used to agree with everything stated by such media outlets since they disagreed with the other side (the Republicans), now that there is a split, the same outlets have to do what is possible to smear the resurgent Left and support the Center. And it’s pretty easy to see right through it, as Yves has done here.

    OT, I’ve noticed that people here at NC aren’t nearly as supportive as Elizabeth Warren as they are of Bernie Sanders. Is that an accurate assessment? And why is that? (Not disagreeing, just curious…I, personally, lost much of my respect for her when she didn’t endorse Sanders from the get-go and said that the Democrats had two great candidates.)

    1. Altandmain

      Warren apart from endorsing Clinton has been a centrist outside of her admittedly admirable desire to regulate finance and point put that the game is rigged for working class Americans.

      Clinton barely won Massachusetts. Had Warren endorsed Sanders, Super Tuesday would have been a near tie and that might have been enough to keep Sanders going for longer. Maybe even a narrow win.

    2. John k

      Warren is neolib on everything except WS banks. Probably closer to Clinton than Bernie.
      Pity she didn’t endorse him, she might be treasury sec now, would never ever happen under Clinton. But she retains pres hopes… doubt it given banks.

      1. REDPILLED

        Warren, like Sanders, is a faux progressive because, like Sanders, she does NOT challenge the U.S. empire and its imperial, interventionist foreign policy.

        Until Warren and Sanders start talking about closing the more than 700 U.S. military bases in 70 countries, stopping the deployment of Special Ops teams in more than 130 countries, ending the seven illegal wars of aggression the U.S. is now waging, and cutting the national security budget (one TRILLION dollars a year!) by at least 50%, they should not be considered progressive, just pro-war liberals.

        The U.S. will never be able to afford the wonderful social programs Warren and Sanders advocate, such as Medicare for All and free college, as long as it is burdened by its one trillion dollar yearly imperialism budget.

        While I realize that NC has shown that taxes are not how government programs are funded, the current belief among most members of Congress is that they do, and that we can’t have both guns and butter. Until that belief is dispelled, the fight between guns and butter will continue.

        Our economy is a war economy, with most of it, including the corporate media, dependent on military spending and war fighting. Until that changes to a peace economy, including economic justice, nothing Warren and Sanders and all other liberal interventionists advocate here at home will be possible.

        1. Marina Bart

          What mechanism are you suggesting we use to kill the war machine?

          This is my understanding of the available options:

          1) Electorally;
          2) Civil War or Violent Revolution
          3) Massive citizen unrest that results in enough damage to capital that it retreats once again from open imperial conquest.

          Let’s briefly address each, in reverse chron:

          Re: #3 — The elite we are dealing with is a global elite, with obscene amounts of stolen wealth that is highly mobile, and properties all over the world. And even during the “Vietnam War” malaise years when the MIC had been somewhat penned in and prevented from launching overt military campaigns, “we” still used the CIA and other arms of the imperial state to overthrow governments not to our liking and clear out whoever and whatever stood in the way of a multinational’s ability to extract monetizable resources all over the world. Just how much damage to capital would need to be inflicted for them to call off their dogs, which is what the US military is? How many people would have to die in urban riots and conflagrations at the hands of our excessively militarized domestic law enforcement agencies, down the the county and town level?

          Personally, I believe we have all evidence we need that the bloodshed necessary to also burn down enough corporate buildings and make it meaningfully awkward to enjoy one’s twenty million dollar Manhattan apartment would be extensive. I don’t want to find out how bad it would be. I want to find a less violent way to end state-engineered violence.

          Re: #2 — Do I have to detail here how an actual Civil War or Revolution would be even MORE brutal and violent, leading to the loss of even more life, with an outcome even less guaranteed to be the one that we prefer? As a reminder, it’s pretty clear at this point that the South won the Civil War; it just took them a while.

          Now, let’s look at option #1 — The only potential option I’m aware of that could bring change peacefully. I will stipulate to start that our electoral system is profoundly corrupted. Simply relying on the “democratic process” wouldn’t work, because we are in no way a democracy. The two parties that control the system utterly won’t even let all American citizens vote, or have their votes counted if those ballots would lead to “unacceptable” desires and outcomes. So even an “electoral” strategy is fraught with difficulties and would necessarily require some degree of citizen protest and destruction of property, to put some force behind the expression of discontent, and drive home to the elites that the people really have become ungovernable being whipped down the neoliberal path. Remember, even an election they have to steal sends them a message. The Democratic Party, run by incompetents though it may be, knows perfectly well its traditional base now hates them*. That’s why they’re trying to steal the Republicans’ base.

          But back to option #1: The theory of change being advocated by me, and I believe by Naked Capitalism, is that if we focus on the universal benefits most Americans desperately need, we will energize and awaken a massive coalition with the potential to break the chains and escape the pens we’ve been herded into on our way to the slaughterhouse. If that coalition can be brought together quickly and effectively enough, we can scare off some low-hanging courtier donations the establishment Dems rely on, while putting them in a status bind: their personal status relies in part on their sanctimonious pretense of virtue; without that, what are they? They are deeply invested in this idea of themselves as kind, loving and diverse — see pretty much every tweet from “Chelsea Clinton” of 2017. Taking that identity away from them has many benefits, in terms of everything they care about. Remember, when your material needs are met (and for all Democratic Party functionaries, they are in spades), your psychological needs become paramount. They do not want to accept that they are exploitative warmongers. Believe me. I have directly and personally confronted Democratic trust fund scions on this and faced immediate, life-threatening blowback. The oligarchs aren’t going to fund the Democrats as robustly if it’s clear they can’t get the presidency back,

          So, this campaign for universal benefits, which Bernie is pushing for from inside the belly of the beast, creates and energizes a status-quo shattering coalition, while destabilizing the Democratic Party and draining it of funding and allegiance. It weaken our opposition — the Democrats — while fueling our funding and activism. Because the Democrats are already so weak in terms of governing, it offers the opportunity to purge them out of the apparatus of the party, which then offers the opportunity to change the current electoral dynamic. If leftists controlled the Democratic Party in California, 2016 would have gone very, very differently. Among other things, a lot of leftist ballots would have been counted that were shredded or flipped. With each increase in power inside the party system, the left gains the ability to protect the right to vote and have that vote counted, moving us closer and closer to something like actual democracy. The Democratic Party cedes both ideological ground and access to the levers of party power.

          Americans don’t want war. There is consensus on the actual left and the segment of the right that actually sends its members to fight about this. In an election where everybody got to vote and have their vote counted, we would have less war. And if we could get universal benefits flowing, that dynamic would strengthen.

          You want to push to cancel the war economy first, to pay for the benefits. But I don’t see the coalition for that working. We only have two parties, and both are officially dedicated to war. The Dem/CIA coup was to bring apostate Trump in line. We can’t end the warmaking electorally (i.e., relatively peacefully) until one of the two parties is controlled by anti-war forces. To do that, we have to purge the warmongers out of the Democratic Party (there’s no point in trying this with the Republicans; they have actual governing hegemony). To purge them out, we have to energize people along viscerally urgent lines. Which gets back to why pushing for universal benefits FIRST makes both strategic and moral sense. (Let’s not forget that the United States government is colonizing and brutalizing its own people in massive numbers, every day.)

          My strategy has the added benefit that we don’t actually need to start by cutting spending to deliver those benefits. We can use benefits payments to change the political economy, and after gaining power, start to pull all that stolen tax money back into our coffers for the peoples’ use, and correct our budgeting priorities to shrink the military way, way down, and start using it for national defense, rather than corporate wealth acquisition.

          Explain to me how your strategy would work to achieve your goal.

          * There’s a pertinent section in Shattered, apparently, explaining that after Bernie beat Hillary in Michigan, the Clinton campaign made the decision to avoid it in the General Election. It wasn’t an accident. It was precisely as I had suspected: they recognized that the working class now hated them and their policies, and they had no intention of changing either. They figured they could herd enough black working class voters in Detroit (and fake even more, as per the data from the aborted recount) to still win, as long as the rest of the discouraged and alienated former base didn’t remember there was an election happening. They were literally relying on the people whose jobs, homes and pension they had stolen not being informed enough to come out to vote for their opponent, and that their opponent would be unwilling or unable to reach out to those voters. Which worked out as it should have; it’s such a pleasing surprise these days when that happens. Also: not Putin.

          1. RobinLA

            very coherent… bravissima.

            It feels like even the most ardent anti-Trump protestors here in Los Angeles County, harbors secret feelings. Their ambivalence towards Trump emerges in their protest actions. Trump has been good for business and by extension, equity investments. They profit from the war economy you reference. Their “rentier” income finds firm footing on the uninterrupted flow of business as usual. The protests are distractions that help release some protestor pressure. At the heart of the proposal you’ve outlined, is some form of Redistribution of resources. It’s the “R” word our multi cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-racial society is not, cannot, will not support. Those egalitarian ideals emerged under different circumstances in European societies – brutish as they might have been – a long time ago. The “United” States of America has never been a homogenous European monoculture. The democratic ideals inspired by Europe, suddenly feel as formally jarring as the Neo-classical architecture does in Washington.

          2. Lambert Strether

            > The theory of change being advocated by me, and I believe by Naked Capitalism, is that if we focus on the universal benefits most Americans desperately need, we will energize and awaken a massive coalition with the potential to break the chains and escape the pens we’ve been herded into on our way to the slaughterhouse.

            My (perhaps unwieldy) formula is “universal[1] programs[2] that provide concrete material benefits[3], especially to the working class[4].”

            [1] No credentialed professional gatekeepers getting paid to dole out benefits to the deserving. No means-testing. And the 1% invested in the success of the services, because they have to use them. Perhaps I need to get the word “public” in there, as in “public programs.”

            [2] MedicareForAll is an excellent litmus test for sorting out liberals (Ossoff) from the left (I don’t use the word “progressive” because (a) progress toward what and (b) the word is a product of a liberal rebranding effort in the early 2000s, and has nothing to do with the Progressive Era, which also had its own problems (like the horrible Woodrow Wilson)). Post Office Bank. Free college. Jobs Guarantee. Etc.

            [3] Focus on the bottom of Maslow’s hierarchy: Food, shelter, health (and free checking…). Not the top, the self-actualization part. (I learned the phrase from Anglechel, an old-school blogger and comrade-in-arms, back in the day.)Material benefits, like getting your broken leg taken care of, and concrete, i.e., deliver the benefit, and not a tax break, or an effing marketplace that may or may not deliver the benefit, or whatever.

            [4] Because that’s where the votes are: 80% (and as opposed to the 50% plus one strategies pursued by both liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans).

            (Sanders is pointing Democrat Establishment to how they could consolidate power for a couple of generations, just like FDR did. Their reaction reminds me of Dorothy Parker’s famous joke: “You can lead a horticulture, but you can’t make them think.” Adding that you’ll notice the Democrat Establishment is fighting every aspect of this formula tooth and nail.

          3. CMike

            Excellent comment Marina Bart, no doubt I’ll be appropriating your arguments in the future when the occasion arises. And thanks for the points of added clarity L. Strether.

          4. troublemecca

            Could it be said that much of America’s development, and at least many of her great achievements (the Internet comes to mind) are born of her expansionist virtues? Militarism being the logical extension of that, and Capitalism being its justification?

            Is it possible to maintain such excess and luxury, without waving a colossal stick over the rest of the worlds’ heads? Is it possible to divorce oil and USD without catastrophic decline? Can the USA risk allowing the enemies she inevitably made on her warpath, to consolidate their forces?

            I guess what I’m saying is, the elite have kept Americans better fed than most of the rest of the world, and accomplish this via complex international economic and political structures that few understand and even fewer get to truly enjoy. Most of us are either out there dying/killing for it, or here trying to get from under it, and it’s all too complex to back away from at this point… At least not without the massive unrest you spoke of in your other scenarios… so full steam ahead. I don’t think there will be any subtle deescalation as we are all playing jenga.

            Maybe Bernie knows this and is playing the long game on trying to change the dems; seize power first, then tackle the big issues…He has yet to reveal his vision of post-military-industrial-complex America, but I like to think he knows what’s up…

        2. jim thomson

          You are correct in stating that taxes do not fund gov’t spending.
          But you are also correct in pointing out that the military, in all its forms, swallows up a significant amount of American labor and resources, which could be put to much more productive and socially useful efforts. We only have a limited amount of labor and material.
          That $1T represents about 6% of our national resources, roughly as much as Social Security ( GDP about $16T). All that labor and material could make a huge and positive effect on our domestic quality of life, rather than be thrown down the toilet and sow discord and create enemies.
          However, that $1T supports lots of parasites that thrive on the flow of dollars. So….

        3. different clue

          So Sanders isn’t the purity progressive you would like him to be? I don’t care, because I am not the purity progressive you would like me to be either. In fact, I am not a progressive at all.

          I am a New Deal Reactionary. Sanders seems New Deal Reactionary enough for my taste, and that is all I ask for and what I support.

          1. lin willett

            Thank you, I too am not the purity progressive but I voted for New Deal Reactionary enough Sanders.

    3. Plenue

      “OT, I’ve noticed that people here at NC aren’t nearly as supportive as Elizabeth Warren as they are of Bernie Sanders. Is that an accurate assessment? And why is that?”

      Because she’s an Eisenhower Republican. She voted straight Republican for decades.The only reason she’s a Democrat now is because the GOP has basically hounded people like her out of the party. I sometimes see people claim there’s no such thing as a Moderate Republican. This isn’t really true. Those people have simply become Democrats instead.

      1. pretzelattack

        i would say more of a reagan republican. she didn’t leave the republican party till bush jr, iirc. remember, even people like william buckley and goldwater had serious splits with the republican party, as they moved ever to the right, and they weren’t ike republicans.

  2. Larry

    The democratic party is not rudderless at all as Yves nicely points out here. Rather it is completely obsessed with maintaining key positions of power and satisfying its very wealthy donor base. The media is more than happy to play along as the few people who still hold down visible and important positions at big companies like the NY Times and Washington Post are part of the same class. They are well paid and will write and bloviate to remain as such. The system that put and keeps them in place must not be challenged at any cost. So the Bernie punching has to continue as he’s the first major threat to the democratic party as handing out sinecures and a career stepping stone to big finance or white shoe firms.

    1. ex-PFC Chuck

      A classic example of the Iron Law of Institutions in action. From Rationalwiki:

      “The people who control institutions care first and foremost about their power within the institution rather than the power of the institution itself. Thus, they would rather the institution “fail” while they remain in power within the institution than for the institution to “succeed” if that requires them to lose power within the institution.”

      1. Another Anon

        Or as Sanders himself has said “They would rather go down with the Titanic so long as they have first-class seats”.

  3. divadab

    Excellent analysis. My question is how much of the Democratic Party’s corruption and cooption is purely at the national level – has it affected local organizations as well? As someone who was a co-founder of a Democratic club in the Central Valley in 2004 – we registered over 1500 voters – because the local Democratic Party organization was a useless joke, I suspect the rot is pervasive, at least at a party functionary level. However, this is tempered by my experience in WA, where the local Dem organization is very active and linked to the local progressive activist community.

    The tightly-controlled money and information complex that is driving the Democratic party into neo-liberal irrelevence to most people does not seem self-aware. Sort of like the French aristocracy in 1791. And perhaps the solutions are similar, ultimately. The problem seems to me to be that the owners would rather the Party continue to fail than actually reflect what citizens want.

    1. steelhead23

      Perhaps we make too much of policy differences among democrats as a driver of conflict. I perceive that fear is far stronger than courage among our political leaders of all stripes. It isn’t that Bernie proposes socialistic policies that so frightens the Democratic Party, it is his courage in decrying the status quo that unnerves them. I say this because over the past 50 years, the U.S. Congress has abdicated much of its constitutional authority to the executive – and even when a presidential candidate got elected promising hope and change, he put Timothy Geithner in as Sec. Treasury – Bush hired neocons – and Trump is hiring vulcans – those most likely to protect their status quo. I also perceive that among the reasons some voted for Trump was his display of courage to battle the status quo – a support he is actively eroding.

      1. divadab

        Yes. The status quo benefits the existing order of the Democratic Party and less and less of its traditional base. Clinging to power within the organization while losing power in government in general. Sustained almost entirely by corporatist money – this is insulating them from accountability or being required to be competent. It’s a shitshow. At least at the federal level.

        I have no respect for these corrupt Jills and Johnnies.

      2. polecat

        Not to make too much of it .. but the reference to vulcans …. should instead be given to Klingons, or, at least the Romulans !
        A quibble for sure … but visually ….well … ??

        I mean, can you imagine Rahm Emanual with pointed ears …. he already has that ‘romulan’ sneer …. and the deception to go with it !

        1. steelhead23

          Actually, it was a reference to Shadia Drury’s description of neocons. Vulcans = our philosopher kings who own and run the world – those that know religion, patriotism, and morality are illusions, Gentlemen do the bidding of the vulcans, professing strong religious, patriotic and moral values, while the vulgar are the disenfranchised many who need to be propagandized by the gentlemen into doing what is right (for the vulcans). I suspect Drury would object to my simplification, but that’s the context of my use of the word, vulcans.

          1. polecat

            My apologies steelhead23

            my only defense is that i’m a creature of the reign of Roddenberry …

      3. Bill Michtom

        a presidential candidate got elected promising hope and change, he put Timothy Geithner in as Sec. Treasury

        Obama blew his hope/change cover no later than July ’08 when he voted for the FISA Amendments Act giving immunity to the telecom companies that helped W spy on the country without warrants.

        This is also Obama: “I’m pro-choice, but I think we also have the tradition in this town, historically, of not financing abortions as part of government-funded health care.” — 7/09

        Tradition?!? Sort of like Thanksgiving?

    2. Anon

      In my CA congressional district (24), the candidate preferred by the democrat party was an insider (Salud Carbajal). One of his opponents was our local SB mayor (who is quite smart and liberal and female), but while she was an attractive candidate to many, she could not compete with the million$ funelled into Carbajal’s political campaign by the Democrat Party apparatus.

      An evenly funded campaign would have probably seen a more progressive candidate win the vacated seat by the retiring Louis Capps.

      1. different clue

        Has this election already been run? Or is this Mr. Carbajal still waiting to run?

        If so, here is your opportunity for vengeance and disinfection. If every voter in your district who would have preferred your local SB mayor were to vote Republican in the election, would that be enough to get Carbajal defeated?

    3. Allegorio

      The lack of local Democratic party organization and loss of so many state legislative seats clearly illustrates the careerist nature of the Democratic nomenklatura.

      “The Democrats’ actions made clear they were fixated on the Federal government patronage and revolving door goodies that control of the Executive branch conferred.”

      These people see their career path as catering to the .001% donors and eventually joining them, as their prototype Hillary Rodham Clinton. The “goodies” at the state level are slim pickings compared to the Federal Level. The Democrats are losing membership because it is obvious what these careerist scum bags are up to and it isn’t helping the nation as a whole. They would rather lose election after election than betray their donors and therefore their own career chances by doing anything to help the vast majority of citizens, with, for instance, Medicare for all. There is no revolving door to lucrative careers in the Medical Insurance Industry in such advocacy. The medical profession may be grateful, but careers in medicine are more demanding than being corporate shills.

  4. voteforno6

    It seems to me that it takes serious political skills for a person like Bernie Sanders to get elected to the Senate. I’m not sure if the establishment Democratic Party has figured that out yet. He’s been running circles around them, and the beauty of it is that he all he’s had to do is keep on being Bernie. I don’t agree with every one of his positions, but I think his heart is in the right place, and I derive no small amount of satisfaction in the fact that he’s still standing, despite everything that they’ve thrown at him.

    1. John Wright

      Bernie rose through the ranks by being a very successful mayor of Burlington, VT.


      If one contrasts HRC to Bernie, while Hillary has many failed efforts (initial Clinton-era health care effort, Iraq, Libya, Ukraine, pro-TPP for a long time), Bernie has a record of success at local governing and has taken some principled positions (voting against Iraq AUMF).

      The Democrats attempted to spin straw into gold by casting HRC’s prominent serial failures making her “most experienced” and “most qualified”

      Enough of the population didn’t buy that Democratic message.

      Maybe Bernie is following the advice of the great wordsmith George W. Bush as he “catapults the propaganda” of the DNC with good policies and the truth as the Democrats try to use him..

      1. PKMKII

        Plus Bernie actually had to build himself up as a politician, figuring out how to win without the benefit of any political brand. Hill’s electoral success comes down to two Senate wins in a state practically guaranteed to vote Democrat, gifted the nomination by the party due to who her husband is (there’s a neolib IdPol message for you, you can succeed as a woman as long as your husband was successfully previously), with her opponents in both cases being complete sacrificial lambs by the GOP. She and her operation simply didn’t know how to win a competitive election.

    2. Larry

      While I agree with that, Vermont is a small New England state where a Senator can have enormous impact by showing up to small events. Add to that fact that Vermont has attracted a large wave of more liberal outsiders and you have a perfect incubator for a politician like Bernie.

  5. voteforno6

    So, their complaint about Mello is that he’s not pure enough? I guess the Clintonistas do believe in purity tests after all.

    1. PKMKII

      A tiresome, condescending purity test. I’m as pro-choice as they come, but the attitude out of the Democrats feels like an insult. Treat pro-choice voters like they’re single-issue voters, telling us we need to swallow our pride on everything we take issue with with the Dem platform because otherwise the pro-life forces win and then we’re literally living in The Handmaid’s Tale. Yet they seem to think we’ll accept a dystopia in everything else.

      1. Allegorio

        It never occurs to the pro-choice absolutists, that the economic dystopia that the neo-liberals are constructing for their donors makes it nearly impossible for the majority of young people to start families. I guess they consider abortion as their solution to the austerity that makes family life so difficult, except for the upper ranks. “Because markets, go die!” Those deplorables shouldn’t be reproducing anyway. Ethnic privilege extends to reproduction. Social Darwinism raises its ugly head. The Democratic establishment are basically advocating genocidal policies, a la David Rockafeller that great Malthusian.

    2. Elizabeth Burton

      There is a sad percentage of women who embraced not just Clinton but the propaganda that Bernie is a misogynist and “never did anything for women.” No amount of pointing out all of what he’s done to benefit women for the last 40 years matters, because they didn’t get their queen and it’s all his fault.

  6. Greg Gerner

    A recent comment of mine to the NYTs; seems relevant here: As a textbook example of the systemic, fundamental, deep in the bone corruption of the Democratic Party Establishment, you need but remember one thing: Given their loyalty to special interests over the crying needs of the American people, in 2016 they decided it was infinitely preferable to lose with Hillary than to win with Bernie. I.e., to TPTB in the Democratic Party Establishment, Trump was viewed as less threatening to their wealthy donors than the prospect of a true, FDR style Democrat like Bernie taking the Presidency. How frightening!! “My God, Chauncey, if a man of Sanders’ character were to attain the Presidency and actually pursue the interests of the American people, in an instant all our chosen puppets such as Bill Clinton, Obama and Hillary would be seen as the party hacks they obviously are. We can’t have that!!” This is all you need to know when trying to understand the national Democratic Party’s support (or lack thereof) of true progressive Democratic candidates at the local and state levels. This same mentality is of course evident in the reportage and opinion pieces of such faux liberal organs as the NYTs and MSNBC. Nothing has changed since the election . . .

    1. Northeaster

      Great comment.

      As a MA Resident, I think we will see this with Elizabeth Warren. She made her bed with Clinton/elites, and her hypocrisy will be exposed this time around. It is also known that ad hominem attacks by Republicans are a loser, policy & rhetoric by her will be exposed, and it may get the independent vote, who like me, can’t stand her. Howie Carr may rile up his listeners with “fake Indian” attacks, but that is a lost cause which hopefully his listeners remember.

      Contrary to media reporting, or lack thereof, Trump has a fairly large following in MA, and one potential front-runner against Warren will be State Representative Geoff Diehl, who was first to come out in support of Trump here. Of course, we also have Ed Markey, who trounced the only real Democrat left from Massachusetts, Stephen Lynch, so who knows how this ends…for Democrats and their Party.

      1. JaaaaayCeeeee

        I still hold out hope that Senator Warren’s willingness to make alliances for specific goals (like her fight against Obama on TPP and ISDN, her fight against all of leadership on the execrable sell out of voters called the 21st Century Cures Act, and for her 21st Century Glass Steagal bill which Clinton but not the rest of Dem leadership was forced to support) will lead to her more overtly standing with Bernie on the side of the voters.

      1. Ian

        Well they have yet to cash in on the lucrative membership of boards and various other after the fact pay offs. It is very much in their interests to stay bought if they want the real payday.

  7. Eureka Springs

    Let’s be clear… Deplorables are not just Trump voters… we are all who did not vote for her and even quite a few of those who did. I’ve watched the Clintons since I was a child, occasionally attending the same Pulaski Heights Methodist Church in Little Rock. One doesn’t hang around the Heights for long unless you wage or agree with class warfare or live in deep denial of it.

    And there is no excusing an endorsement of Ossoff on Sanders part. Sanders needs a platform or contract with America type of document and those endorsed should sign it beforehand or simply not be considered. This would benefit those activist/voters who want to support him and help keep everyone on policy message rather than playing these silly/distracting reindeer games. It would also keep issues alive beyond just a single person. What are y’all going to do when your one top down person retires? Don’t base all of this on a single head. Make the powers that be attack the issues… much more difficult for them.

    1. JaaaaayCeeeee

      Bernie hasn’t had to revise his platform like Clinton had to and Bernie’s put Ossoff into the same position. Maybe Bernie’s endorsement is smart and I think we can rest easy that Bernie’s platform will not die with him.

  8. Sound of the Suburbs

    Democrat’s have trouble realising women don’t exist as solitary beings.

    They may have husbands, boyfriends and sons that they don’t actually see as the enemy, but sympathise with how their future has been blighted by neo-liberal policies.

    Their own future is also tarred with the same brush as they are not solitary beings.

    Women vote Trump too.

    1. JohnnyGL

      “Democrat’s have trouble realising women don’t exist as solitary beings.” – Yes, this is true and it shows their class bias, too.

      Poverty doesn’t allow women (or men) to act as their ideal “rational individual”. If you’re poor, you need a support network of people who can help you out of a jam (which you get into all the time, because you’re poor). If you don’t have a good family network, you try to make one out of friends, co-workers.

      Dems and elite media pundits may as well live on another planet from working class women.

      1. Anon

        Unfortunately, Trumps presidential campaign was more than about economics. While he said he would bring jobs back to his supporters, that is NOT likely to occur. Louder, but coded, was his message of returning America to it’s more racist past, if not the 1950’s white american dream.

        Women can follow their white boys down the racist and xenophobic trail as easily as anyone.

      2. jrs

        yes the poor rely on a support network and are more generous. It’s just less likely to be traditional marriage as the support network, as that’s becoming more a further up the income scale thing.

    2. jrs

      actually considering how few economic policies favor single people, I don’t think some bias toward single people really represents Democrats or any party’s position. If Dems actually were sympathetic to people trying to make it on one income and all that implies (especially since women’s incomes are statistically lower to begin with) then good for them.

  9. Schnormal

    Bernie is the only thing keeping the party alive at this point. The Clinton campaign abandoned the working class and left them ripe for the taking. Some R’s, recognizing that they will lose these people if they don’t deliver the goods, have started doing amazing things, like talking up single payer. (This video, which NC linked to last week, is truly incredible)

    Bernie had been doing all the heavy lifting, traveling around and busting his ass trying to keep these people in the left column, while Hillary stays in NY talking to publicists. Sound familiar?

    1. Adamski

      Thanks for posting the link, which I missed first time around. In fairness to Clinton, she will be pilloried if she shows her face again soon after the election, and if she doesn’t do so. If she was at the Women’s March, we’d complain, and she stayed away, so we complain. But yes, Sanders has the right idea, which is to directly appeal to voters which he has done since his early career. Clinton is all about getting the support of powerful interests to get her closer to the top, then rely on the party and the media to herd voters her way — “whaddayawant instead, a Republican?!!” Whereas Sanders promotes liberal policies along the way.

        1. Adamski

          Point being, Clinton has reason other than being lazy/selfish for not showing her face, in response to Schnormal. (Apart from that, why is Sanders working to mobilise voters for liberalism and she isn’t? Because he has favourite causes and she doesn’t. Presumably she would like to claw her way back into the limelight hence selfies in the woods, fake news speech, appearing with Cuomo about college tuition, etc. Still top-down and stage managed. As if the powers that be will make her president)

    2. Montanamaven

      The Frank Buckley article is indeed incredible. If the Republican Party would start to talk Single payer, Bernie should stop with the Unity tour and roll up his sleeves and work with them. How about a “Unity Tour” with Republicans for single payer? The Democrat Party needs to die.

      1. FluffytheObeseCat

        The Democratic establishment tools in the haute media – like the New York Times – seem to be working on the assumption that Sanders is captive. That he would never join with the Republicans to pass even this kind of legislation. Given his long record of working with individual Republicans in Congress, this belief seems to be grounded in…… nothing.

    3. MOPstr

      This is an excellent article except for the Bernie hagiography. He is playing his role for the D’s when the true issue as you point out is whether progressives need an R strategy. But the central issue must be understood to be plutocracy and any attack on anyone based on identity politics must be understood and ultimately originating from the plutocracy, just as the article says “If you are card-carrying neoliberal, you are permitted to have “nuanced” positions on abortion. Bona fide progressives need not apply.” Substitute for “abortion” and identity politics issue and it still holds true.

      1. Marina Bart

        If/when the extremely long reply I just wrote to REDPILLED currently sitting in moderation (as did the one Yves is quoting in the piece) gets posted, please read it.

    4. Vatch

      The Clinton campaign abandoned the working class

      I think Clinton also abandoned the middle class, as did the Republicans.

  10. Adamski

    Yves thank you for the sort of post that makes me wanna read Naked Capitalism.

    But I am gonna have a heart attack because you mentioned the Harvard-Harris poll showing Sanders is more popular with women than with men.

    To me, it’s more important that Sanders is now more popular with women **than Clinton is**. His net favourability is 11 and hers is -1. Among blacks, they are now even. And among Dems, he is more popular — so yes, “unity” should be more influence for him and less for the Clintonites.

    Firewall blown up, name recognition problem dead, Sanders 2020.

  11. crittermom

    Excellent, excellent article, Yves. You never missed hitting and hammering the nail squarely each time.
    The comment by Marina Bart was a great inclusion, as well.

    1. readerOfTeaLeaves

      Wonderful link, particularly this:

      Nishimuta graduated from Georgia Institute of Technology with a degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering. She has more than 20 years of management experience with design and creation of supply chain management systems for Fortune 500 companies.

      IOW, grounded in actual experience with complicated systems, and being required to actually make sure things work. What a concept!
      More, please…

  12. Marco

    Am I the only one here that is utterly appalled with the Bernie-Perez Unity carnivale? There are other ways to “appear” supportive and still do nothing. And yes anecdotal evidence is weak tea against his standing in the polls but the feeling amongst my own circle of friends is that the energy / interest / support for Sanders still exists but there is a certain “Bernie fatigue” setting in. He’s OLD. Where’s the new blood? Our wallets open back up when he (and his movement) clearly and unequivocally starts to map out a split with the Team Blue elite. And I’m not talking about forming a new party.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Two things:

      -Team Blue is a disaster. Clintonistas have run the party for over 20 years. The Democratic candidate in Georgia 06 besides being a carpet bagger is against single payer. There isn’t a youth cadre in the party.
      -wealth inequality has long term effects. Incomes and jobs don’t exist to support candidates locally. Ossef’s carpet bagger status is a sign of this problem. Given the relative affluence of the district, why do they need a carpet bagger?

        1. Adamski

          Then the Clintonians will blame Sanders for not endorsing Ossoff properly, because he said he didn’t know if Ossoff was a progressive.

    2. Darius

      Team Perez will act to prevent new Bernies from emerging. What’s Bernie supposed to do? Shut up?

      1. readerOfTeaLeaves

        Team Perez may be asphalt, but Bernie is like grass.
        Team Perez may delay change, but they can’t stop the forces that seek light.

    3. MOPstr

      You are not alone. Sanders’ pre-convention capitulation was problematic, as has been his conduct every since. The article does mention that the apparent support for Sanders is not for him personally but actually for his ideas – which are little more than bluntly stated majoritarian positions. Otherwise he is unreliable and we should be looking for “new blood” capable of mapping that “split with the Team Blue” corrupt plutocratic elite. This is required at local and national level, with a grass roots vetting system more reliable than Sanders, which would have been capable, for example, of rejecting and dis-endorsing Sanders as soon as he sold out to Clinton in 2016. The Bernie or Bust people have renamed themselves as Progressive or Bust.

      Just in the nature of brainstorming it should be mentioned that Tulsi Gabbard does appear to be at the top of the list of that new blood.

        1. Marina Bart

          Tulsi? She’s opening pushing for both universal health care and the reinstallation of Glass-Steagall.

          Whatever she is, it’s not neoliberal.

    4. different clue

      He knows he’s OLLLLDDDD. Perhaps he hopes that bunches of younger people will emerge and do what you suggest, step by step by step.

  13. glib

    Who are these “Democrats” you all talk about, and why does this category of people matter? What are their defining characteristics?

  14. RenoDino

    Love Bernie, always have always will, but he is the patron saint of lost causes. That’s because he stands on formality, despite his hell raising message. He respects the process, he is polite, principled and and reasoned and expresses the viewpoints favored by the vast majority of the country. That’s why he is the most liked politician in the country and why he will never win. For Christ sakes, he won’t even become a Democrat because he said in couldn’t in good conscience do that to his Vermont constituents who elected him as an Independent. Formality. It’s his achilles heel as a politician on the national stage. He wouldn’t even go after HRC emails. Fellow senators never stoop so low. Formality.

    The history of Presidential elections in my lifetime is that people always elect the biggest asshole, regardless of their policy. Sometime that quality is apparent right from the start, as in the current case, or it only becomes apparent after a few months in office, as was the case of his predecessor. It’s because people vote on a purely emotional level, and now more than ever, they are pissed off and looking for a fight. They know they are being robbed and cheated, and they are becoming desperate and are looking to express that rage.

    Bernie will never take over the Democratic Party from the inside while being on the outside. This strategy clearly doesn’t make any sense. He needs to into the Badlands, take names and kick ass. That is not his style so the Democrats get to use him for free as a welcome mat to their endless crime scene. In return, Bernie gets a national platform to get out the word.

    I will always think of him as the lonely guy preaching at the podium to an empty Senate Chamber, during that endless filibuster he did several years ago that brought him to national prominence, railing against the crimes of the establishment that deprive us all of social justice. In realpolitik terms, we are now farther away from that dream than we were then. That’s what you need to really know about Bernie. He can never take you where you want to go. He is the Patron Saint of Lost Causes. Idealized but never real.

    1. Adamski

      I beg to differ. I think his whole approach makes sense, even though he lost the nom, and he is not selling out at all.

      When he was mayor of Burlington, VT his approach was coalition building among disengaged or weak groups which gave him his narrow win. Both parties on the city council obstructed him, Obama-style. With appeals to the public he increased his share of supporters on the council in subsequent elections. That’ll be his recipe for dealing with Congress if he ever becomes prez.

      Going easy on Hillary? Same as why he sought the Dem nomination instead of running third party. Needs sufficient respect from Dems to continue and didn’t want to shoot himself in the foot — if Clinton won the nom, he could get blamed for helping Trump win, and indeed Trump did win. This is to avoid Nader’s handicap. Nader is a hate figure for Dems today. Sanders isn’t. Sanders was right. Nader’s voters failed to moved the Dems to the left because of that problem. Sanders and the ppl he has mobilised may yet move them left.

  15. jhallc

    Yesterday there was a “State of our Revolution” live stream event organized by a friend of mine here in Massachusetts. About 50 people attended on a nice Sunday afternoon. Nina Turner, and others spoke. Most of the people attending were former “Bernie” folks from the primary run.

  16. mwbworld

    DNC Corporate Dems to Progressives: “You’re worthless and weak and lose elections for us. The beatings will continue until your morale improves and you learn your place…”

    DNC Corporate Dems to Suburban Republicans: “Hello beautiful. We love tax cuts and and hate working people too….”

    1. Darius

      Bipartisan, smart, innovative, centrist, entrepreneurial, disruptive. Think the Black Panthers meal program. Or charter schools.

    2. JaaaaayCeeeee

      How they love living in their profitable world of finance capitalism vs ethno-nationalism, Chris Hayes described in a tweet in June ’16:

      “I don’t want a future in which politics is primarily a battle between cosmopolitan finance capitalism and ethno-nationalist backlash.

  17. RobinLA

    Rather than a liability, Bernie Sander’s age and relative vigor is a blessing. Our culture could do well dialing back our obsession with “Camelot” inspired fantasies of youth.

    Thanks in large part to his wise demeanor in 2016, I listen for and crave his benediction and direction. I’ve learned through the 2016 experience how to parse his critics, in effect how to watch the game. When watching a basketball game, accomplished players often comment on what’s happening away from the ball, the picks the rolls the shifting strategies that contribute to the outcome. Bernie is the Michael Jordan of Politics but bigger. At this point, he’s the only superstar I blindly trust. Yes, Bernie 2020 full stop.

    1. JaaaaayCeeeee

      I feel that certain, even this early in, that Bernie Sanders wins political science educator of the century.

      Down to the non-stop denunciations of Bernie for not handing over his email list (when Obama did not until the donor primary of 2016); the more he’s attacked the more voters learn.

  18. flora

    Thanks for this post. The DCCC wouldn’t lift a finger to help Thompson in the KS-04 race but demands Bernie endorse Ossiff in GA-06 race. Wapo is printing something that reads like retread of a 2016 Dem primary story. The DNC does Groundhog Day. ;)

  19. Benedict@Large

    I don’t get the claim “raised a Catholic”. Is that supposed to be a barrier to the development of moral positions later in life? I too was “raised a Catholic”, but soon learned the ridiculousness of many of their pronouncements, and eventually became an atheist. It would seem to me that using “raised a Catholic” as an excuse to not later modify one’s opinions demonstrates more about one’s mental limits than about one’s moral values.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      You are not a politician. If you are one, your personal story is part of your campaign, like it or not. If you reject parts of your history, you are implicitly rejecting all voters who have the same background you have.

      Now if your personal history is that you grew up in a cult that worshipped Aerostream trailers, it might be OK to reject that. But if you were “raised Catholic,” it would be political suicide to diss the Church. You have to pretend to have some loyalty to it.

    2. witters

      I think there is a difference between atheism and ex-catholicism. The latter are less dogmatic and much more committed to social justice.

    1. a different chris

      >a much greater ability to get abortions

      Or if you pay them 15/hr, mebbie a lot will feel that raising a kid is a difficult problem but one they can deal with.

      Economics underlies everything, and the fact that it is so messed up now is why a singular focus like Sanders’ is resonating with all sexes, colors and creeds. Sometimes you have to swab out the basement before you can think about curtain colors.

      ( not sure how that wound up a “reply” to PK’s post which it obviously isn’t really related to, except for the general Sanders topic… apologies)

  20. Synoia

    And that is consistent with an earlier statement, reflecting her (Hillary Clinton) Methodist roots, that she saw abortion as “morally wrong”.

    So the Methodists now worship mammon? Since when?

    I’m absolutely sure that Hillary & Family worship No God related the Christ’s so called teachings. Even if he is a re-branded Apollo.

  21. Sluggeaux

    Yves, thank you for linking Marina Bart‘s comment, as I rarely have the energy to read the comments in Links, especially on a Sunday! She has written a manifesto for our age.

    Our so-called “Two-Party System” is blithely accepted by the corporate media and even in “liberal” academia, and enshrined in unchallenged legislative enactments that are clear violations of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It would be nice to have a system like in the one in France, where two political outsiders will vie in the presidential final round, but our “Two-Party System” makes this impossible. I respected Senator Sanders for recognizing that he would have to run as a “Democrat” if he was going to have a forum for his ideas and a ballot with his name on it. In doing so, he exposed the corruption and prevarication of the DNC for all to see.

    1. Marina Bart

      Thanks for that compliment. I have now written something even longer here, that I’m presuming will be let out of moderation at some point. This means I don’t have time to read most of the comments section, but my husband read this earlier and told me about it. I really appreciate it.

  22. Andrew Watts

    Instead of denouncing the corporate media for it’s attacks on Sanders we should openly welcome them. As an institution the media’s power and influence has declined rapidly. While that process may be regrettable in some ways they only have themselves to blame. By attacking Bernie the press will only further delegitimize themselves in the minds of the average American.

    Nor should anybody care about the fate the Democratic Party. It is solely devoted to graft and corruption. It effectively functions as a hierarchy of money where our elected representatives spend most of their time sucking up to the donor class which largely dictates their political direction. That’s why certain unspecified policies are considered unrealistic even if they’re approved of by a large majority of Americans.

  23. PKMKII

    It apparently does not occur to her that a $15 hour minimum wage and other worker protections will give women a much greater ability to get abortions because more women who are now middle or lower income would be able to pay for them themselves.

    Or for that matter, afford to keep the baby. Women should have the right to choose, but if they have to abort a baby because they can’t afford it, well they don’t really have a choice then.

  24. ChrisAtRU

    Luckily, the majority of people (a.k.a. those outside the 8% of Dems who have an unfavorable view of Bernie Sanders) are not falling for these lies. More importantly, the internet has receipts.

    #TheInsufferables aren’t that clever, it turns out.

  25. Pat

    Apparently the Democratic leadership needs to be punched in the stomach a few more times. Now I understand that many of them have had a really good life selling out traditional Democratic voters and even most of the identity politics fools for the big campaign donors. Between the grift of the campaigns and the sweet lobbying jobs, few of the politicians and campaign professionals have to worry about things like health care and housing and student debt and… And since so much of their SOP has to do with co-opting and derailing ideas, I’m sure they were positive it would work this time. I’m also sure they believe that Trump’s disastrous term will drive any rebellious voters back to them.

    Here’s the thing, they still aren’t interested in actually winning elections. They have one shot left to win a special election and no it isn’t going to be their poster boy in Georgia. He’s going to lose. Now they can try to pin that on Sanders slap of an endorsement, but he was never going to win. They might not realize it, but they needed to win, even if it meant letting some liberal old school Democrat into Congress. And now their only shot of a win will be despite them, IF it happens. My point being the biggest punch of all may be when Nancy or Chuck or any of the regulars attempt to get donations and get told flat out that the donors/chumps need to support Republicans because they are the ones who can pass our legislation – not you. Sure they’ll probably toss a Dem a dollar, but don’t they shouldn’t expect any big fundraisers or maxed out donations and when they ‘retire’ there might not be those slots as law partner or on boards because, well, look at how little they have to offer.

    I’m also going to say that I really want one of those ‘raised Catholic’, or with ‘deeply held Methodist beliefs” to say, “abortion is against my religion, and personally I will never participate in or have one, but I also believe deeply in Religion freedom, both for those who believe like I do AND for those who don’t. My religious beliefs should never be the reason why a woman who believes entirely differently is forced to act in a manner against her will. And that is exactly what anti-abortion laws and regulations are about. They are an infringement of women’s religious freedom, and as such are deeply unConstitutional.” But that is not going to happen especially not with mealy mouthed, trying to play both sides of the issue politicians like Hillary Clinton. (I never understood and still do not understand the support of the Pro-choice advocates or the LGBT advocates for her. I guess they missed her years of little support to outright knives in the back. But then I don’t understand most groups support of her outside of the MIC and bankers.)

  26. Tim

    Article title should be Hyper not Hypo. Hyper is “too much of something” Hypo is “not enough of something”

  27. different clue

    God D@mn every Clinton supporter.

    God D@mn you each. God D@mn you all. God D@mn you, every one.


  28. manymusings

    We knew that installing Tom Perez as DNC chair was a clarifying moment — and it seems to be shaping into a delicious nightmare for Congressional dems. I just read that both Pelosi and Schumer — whose power is tied directly to winning Congressional elections — had to distance themselves from Perez’s loud, unprompted, pro-choice litmus test for the party. Turns out a good number of Hispanics and African Americans — whom the dems feel compelled to keep as cover for abandoning the working class writ large — are pro-life. So Pelosi and Schumer are forced by their own standard-bearer into the unflattering posture of defending something they don’t want to be seen defending to correct the record.

    Which makes me wonder if yet another fissure on the dem side is opening up or being exposed: one between the Congressional Establishment and the executive-death-grip Obama-Clinton acolytes, who are still parading around Washington like they own the place and own the party and write the rules and set the agenda, even after losing through their own ineptitude any actual thread of connection to elective office. If Tom Perez had any political talent, this fissure might not even exist or at least might not surface ….. but what seems to have happened here is that the man hand-picked by Obama-Clinton (and has never run for office himself) just acted not from the strategic perspective of the actually-elected democrat leadership and on behalf of the broader interests of the party — but instead from the narrow, petty perspective of the Obama-Clinton cartel, which cares only about enforcing and promoting its own influence, couldn’t care less about the trifles of Congress, and saw a chance to take swings at Bernie and at an economic-progressive candidate at the same time — just the sort of twofer they love, so any other considerations be damned. I’m not sure that Pelosi and Schumer take the same glee — or see the political wisdom — in re-litigating 2016 at every turn with conspicuous power plays and short-sighted calculations. For all we know, forcing Perez into DNC chair in the first place may have annoyed Congressional leadership, who were ready to support Ellison.

    This fissure — if it really is one at all — wouldn’t be on substance, it would stem only from divergences in immediate interests or strategy — and likely would never see the light of day if not for the person of Tom Perez, who is thoroughly unequipped for the role of nominal servant of the party and actual servant of a phantom executive branch.

    Even though it wouldn’t necessarily translate into policy improvements — it could be good entertainment to watch the factions of the dem establishment step all over each other’s feet.

    1. flora

      The most interesting aspect of this, for me, is that large portions of the Dem electorate and independents have stopped “outsourcing political and economic analysis”, so to say, to the Dem estab. Voters have decided to analyze for themselves the political and economic conditions affecting their own lives. There is a new seriousness of approach; a new regard for being responsible for careful assessment; a new regard for the shifting locus of power and how the power should be responsibly used.

  29. Edward

    I think the democrats reveal their anti-left politics by their attacks on the left in other countries such as Honduras.

  30. Adams

    Check out the latest screed against Bernie at Salon:

    Very amusing. Especially the part where all the women’s advocacy organizations are ready to go to the wall to protect women’s rights and tell Bernie to get with the mainstream Dem agenda or get the hell out of town.

    Remember when Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT) said that if a woman who had been raped was taken to a (presumably Catholic) hospital and they refused to give her a morning after pill, she should just climb back on the gurney and tell the ambulance drivers to take her to another hospital? No harm, no foul. The important thing in his mind was the hospital’s right to choose. “Rape Gurney Joe” became his nickname.

    Partially as a result he lost the primary to Ned Lamont. But, surprise, surprise, the whole Dem establishment, including NARAL and Planned Parenthood (against the wishes of the CT state affiliate) supported Lieberman’s independent candidacy against Lamont, the democratically selected Dem nominee.

    Remember when Dems tried to filibuster (anti-choice, anti-Roe) Alito’s nomination to the Supreme Court? Lieberman and Chaffee (D-RI) voted for cloture, then turned around and voted against when the vote didn’t matter. Of course, they were supported by NARAL and PP.

    Bonus!! Lieberman, as the deciding vote in the healthcare debate, said he would filibuster against the public option.

    Organizations like NARAL and PP are inseparable from the Dem establishment, and are similarly hypocritical and venal. Their excoriation of Bernie is just another case in point. As to Salon and its ilk, don’t get me started.

    Very worth a read: “Why NARAL and Planned Parenthood’s Support of Lieberman Matters”

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