It’s doubtless been said already but holding a debate for an election no one watching can vote in just for optics is the most Dem move ever
A baseball writer, FanRag’s Jon Bernhardt, wrote that. And no, it had not yet been said. At least not to my knowledge. The Democratic Party recently held a “leadership” debate on CNN, a spectacle that is only voted on by 400 or so (largely establishment) DNC members. The Party is playing a silly, silly game right now.
There were something like eight people on stage, but the only two of real relevance were the supposedly progressive Keith Ellison — a Muslim congressman from Minnesota — and the certainly establishment Tom Perez — President Obama’s former labor secretary. Basically, Bernie Sanders’s wing supports Ellison, and people like Obama and Hillary Clinton support Perez. It’s the same basic in-fight from the Democratic Primary.
I don’t have much to say about this, mainly because I don’t think who the DNC Chair is will make a difference. The point is, it is going on four months since the election and we are in our second month of Trump’s presidency, and still the Democratic National Committee is arguing about what the “right” approach is moving forward. I mean, come the fuck on. Hasn’t that already been made gravely clear?
The Democratic Party has failed to address the elephant in the room… that the recent primary was rigged against Bernie Sanders and for Hillary Clinton. This is well-known by now. They have failed to separate themselves from the legalized bribery of accepting large campaign donations from corporate interests. Even Keith Ellison, who was endorsed by Bernie for DNC chair and who has gotten strong support from the progressive wing of the party, has come up well short of expectations.
The face of the Democratic Party right now isn’t even a Democrat. It’s the guy who has been the most public critic of Trump through airwaves and over television screens. He has debated Ted Cruz about healthcare. He traveled to Trump Country and did a town hall. I have been pimping this guy out to anyone who likes to talk about politics since July of 2015. It’s Bernie Sanders. It has always been Bernie Sanders.
He not only represents the future of the Party. He represents the future of America. You, as an American, have every right to roll your eyes or dismiss that as some pipe dream of the crazy left wing. And you have every right to be wrong.
It’s extremely early and it hardly matters, but 2020 seems like a simple equation: either Bernie runs for president again or the Democrats are royally fucked. If they believe it is good politics to run a Cory Booker or Kristen Gillibrand, reasonable facsimiles of the Obama/Clinton starter kit, then it means the Party is either (a) dumb or (b) flat out does not truly give a shit about the people. Equally damning, if you asked me.
But yeah, it isn’t like the Trump train is really going anywhere, either. Russia is looming large over his entire administration, already costing one casualty in National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. That, combined with all the leaks from American intelligence, is a headache the clown car Trump cabinet does not seem equipped to deal with. The current president can call it fake news all he damn pleases, but there is an entirely real investigation underway — by every major intelligence agency — into his campaign’s involvement with Russia during the campaign, and there is a strong chance Mr. Trump is not going to like what they find.
Last week on Real Time with Bill Maher, former American intelligence agent and spy, Malcolm Nance, said that all the leaks from United States intelligence at the expense of Trump are acts of patriotism. Here is the quick transcript:
Maher: I feel like that’s where the intelligence agencies are now. Now, they should not be violent, don’t get me wrong. But they are saying, through their leaks, this man cannot be president.
Nance: What we have is a situation here where the person they would have to report to, the absolute pinnacle, the Commander-in-Chief, is a person who himself cannot be reported to. What they are doing is they’re reporting and taking it above his head, to the ultimate Commander-in-Chief, which is the American people. This is an act of patriotism.
No, I don’t think the answer to all of this is having Hillary Clinton run for president again, as some hack on Politico wrote a couple weeks ago. It’s easy to get lost in the weeds when you have CNN and MSNBC playing the role of apologist around the clock. They still tell us she accumulated over three million more votes than Mr. Trump. They still tell us the people who voted for Jill Stein cost Clinton the election. They still tell us that FBI Director James Coney cost her the election.
And they are still wrong. These supposedly “liberal” news organizations are misleading the public, but not at all in the manner Trump leads on.
Clinton lost for many reasons, but topping the list is that the Democratic Party sold out its working class base — the people who have always voted blue — a long time ago. This occured under Bill Clinton, with all of his sketchy offshore business dealings, over 20 years ago. He never saw a sum of money he didn’t like, which is only understandable when there aren’t any strings attached. And there always were.
So the chickens came home to roost in 2016 when traditional blue states like Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin gave the Democrats the middle finger. The simplistically prime objective of the DNC should be working to get those three states back, and the way to do so is not by running corporate jackoffs like Booker and Gillibrand. It’s by using the populist message Bernie Sanders won the Michigan and Wisconsin primaries with — the idea that Trump adopted as his own because it was so good — which is to end the disastrous trade deals that sent American jobs overseas.
Instead, the DNC is trying to wait out the Trump presidency. As if the way to win elections is simply by telling everyone how bad the other side is, the same way Hillary Clinton’s lone campaign message was I AM NOT DONALD TRUMP. This idea may turn your world utterly upside down, but that is not the way to ignite a high voter turnout.
Ideas matter, and the best ideas should win. Right now the Democratic Party should be kissing some serious ass to Bernie Sanders and his supporters; they should use his entire campaign platform as the new blueprint of the party; they should concede that the old way, the party of the Clinton’s, is now dead; we as Bernie supporters would be the easiest way for Democrats to accomplish the end goal — to take back the White House — in 2020.
But at the moment they are not even willing to acknowledge that maybe, possibly, even a little bit, Debbie Wasserman Schultz — the disgraced former chair of the DNC who stepped down last July — tilted the scales in favor of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 Democratic Primary. If we can’t can’t get past that, then I don’t know why I am wasting my typing breath. It appears like a hopeless cause for a hopeless party.
I think with all the shit I talk about Trump, that the other side just silently assumes I am guilty of what I usually accuse them of being guilty of. That is, that I am simply here to agree with everything the blue side says, no matter what.
In reality, I lament that the so-called Left is not nearly left enough just as much as I chastise the Republican Party for turning into a far-right wing enterprise. The party I represent has no love lost for Hillary Clinton or her money-grabbing constituents, the people who would rather play a losing game by taking large donations from corporations than represent the voters. For the DNC, the matter is not complicated: if they fail to coalesce behind Bernie’s platform, they are in serious danger of losing his half of the party.
This isn’t to say we would jump to the other side. The base of the progressive movement is rooted in equality for women and colored people, in climate science, universal healthcare, expanded social security, free public education and the idea that wealthy corporations should not be getting massive tax breaks. And frankly, the far-right is on the opposite end of every one of those endeavors.
What I’m saying is it’s high time that we have a third party in America, so it’s not just red versus blue or black versus white all the time. In Western European democracies they have five or six legitimate candidates who run for prime minister. In the United States we are offered the lesser of two evils: one side is in bed with the fossil fuel and defense contracting, and the other with Wall Street and the pharmaceutical industry. I think the people, for once, are entitled to a candidate of the people.
I know that idea is crazy. I know it makes me the asshole for wanting the working and middle classes to have as much power and as many rights as possible. I also know that this isn’t going to be easy, that it has never been easy.
But I refuse to capitulate to the blue team that can’t get its head out from its own ass, the same as I refuse to give in to the sensitive, un-American presidency that Mr. Trump is attempting to make mainstream. There is something terribly wrong with both sides of this fledgling system, but I can assure you that the real losers are the people. The voters. The bottom of the capitalist pyramid that is perpetually tasked to prop up the rest of structure.
That is one thing both Democratic and Republican politicians can always agree on: screwing over the people.