The Democratic Party is currently taking Bernie Sanders for a ride, but whether or not he knows that doesn’t matter. What matters is the people are awake, and the Democrats can’t simply get away with paying lip service to the Progressives. Eventually they are going to have to give in, the Party, that is, or else they will continue to get wiped out of every lever of government.
Right now, new DNC Chair — Tom Perez — and Sanders are on a so-called “Unity Tour,” which is basically just a big ol’ traveling circle-jerk so the Democrats can posture like they give a damn about Progressives. They believe by dangling Senator Sanders like a piece of candy that all the Berniecrats will all of a sudden think, “Oh my god! The Democrats are finally moving left!”
Only, people aren’t that stupid. Bernie Sanders supporters aren’t that stupid. The only way the Democrats can absorb the Progressives will be to give in to some of their policies. Until that time, just as I have mentioned multiple points of this blog, the Democrats will be stuck standing around with their dicks in their hands.
The reason for this is simple: it’s all about leverage. For the second time in three months a new poll has come out that says Bernie Sanders is — by far — the most popular politician in America. But what I found interesting in the The Hill article were these two paragraphs:
The Vermont senator is touring the country with new Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez as the two work to unify a party that split sharply along the line between grassroots activists and the establishment during the primaries.
There is still lingering bitterness between Sanders supporters, who believe the party stacked the deck against their candidate, and mainstream Democratic operatives, who view Sanders as an interloper who will drag the party too far left.
Let’s be clear about a few things:
(1) The Hill is an establishment media outlet. They were huge shills for the Hillary Clinton campaign during the Democratic primary and general election in 2016.
(2) Sanders’ supporters don’t “believe” the party stacked the deck against their candidate, it’s a fact by now. Wikileaks revealed John Podesta’s emails that focused on media strategies to smear and discredit the Independent, even going so low as to call his religion into question. Furthermore, the former DNC Chair — Debbie Wasserman-Schultz — stepped down in disgrace during the Democratic National Convention. This was for the role she played in tilting the scales for Hillary Clinton during the primary. So, again, this is not “belief.” This is what really happened.
(3) How rich is it that the Democrats — the supposed party of the people — fear the party moving too far left? This is a euphemism more than anything. Because when people say “moving left,” what they really mean is “giving more rights and programs to help the lower and middle classes.”
I guess what I’m really saying is, instead of going on a Unity Tour, why not just tell people all the fresh ideas the Democratic Party has to offer? Going around and offering empty platitudes is not going to get anything accomplished. Even right now you have establishment Democrats refusing to support single-payer healthcare and getting booed at town halls filled with their own supporters. Shouldn’t that be the most obvious sign that something needs to change?
And Bernie Sanders, he can’t be this stupid. He has to know that the Democratic Party — the same people who tried to silence him during the primary — doesn’t have any intention of changing its course. It’s just sick that they are now using his popularity as a tool to help promote their dying brand.
Progressives see through this, and the unity that the Democrats are looking for won’t come until they cave. It’s this writer’s opinion that they aren’t going to change, that they aren’t going to give in to Bernie’s liberal policies, and, just as I mentioned above, they will wonder what the hell happened when the Republicans clean their clocks again in 2018.
This is really fucking simple, guys. Do you want to win or don’t you? You’ve got Donald Trump and an historically unpopular administration running the country. The 2018 midterms are supposed to be an absolute fucking gimme. All the Democrats have to do is come out in support of a medicare-for-all program, and they will take back both the House and the Senate. Just like that. It’s that easy.
Since I wrote this, which was about a week ago now, Vice News did a quick video about the Unity Tour, but what struck me was how little it seemed to be about the DNC and how much it appeared like every other Bernie Sanders rally. It seemed to be all of his supporters in the crowd. Tom Perez, the leader of the DNC, introduced Bernie as the main event. So what does that tell us?
To me it only reinforces that the “Unity” message is directed at the Progressives, not at the establishment. The DNC wants to Progressives to unify behind them, rather than offering a platform they can support.
What I am encouraged by is that Bernie doesn’t sound like he’s completely capitulated to the will of the Party, even in spite of his knowledge that he is being taken advantage of. At the end of the Vice piece the reporter asked him if his message to Democrats is resonating:
Bernie Sanders: Does anybody not believe that we need a total change, restructuring of the Democratic Party? And that’s what I’m hear to do. To say to people ‘get involved in the party.’
Vice News: Are Democrats receptive to that message?
BS: Some are, some aren’t.
VN: What about Tom Perez?
BS: Ask Tom Perez.
The grey area here is what Bernie knows that I don’t. Does he feel like he owes some sort of allegiance to the Democrats because he ran as one during the 2016 primary? Does he feel like the Democrats are the only party that can defeat the Republicans, rather than starting his own? Because the reasons for him to continue this charade just seem nonexistent at this point. The Democrats aren’t going to change.
From my end it just feels like such a no-brainer. Bernie is the most popular politician in the country. If he left the Democratic Party he would take about half its supporters with him. They need him, and they need his supporters desperately.
All the DNC are doing is playing a waiting game. Waiting for people to dislike Trump so much that they will vote the Democrats back in just so they won’t have to put up with him anymore. They are waiting for Bernie supporters to blink, in fear that the Democrats are the only ones who can win.
And the DNC would be wrong on both counts. Assuming nothing changes, 2018 is not going to be the year that Democrats take back control of the House and Senate. Instead, it’s going to be the year that Progressives — whether from the Justice Democrats, or Democratic Socialists of America, or Brand New Congress — take seats away from establishment hacks who are doing nothing for the working class.
I hope I’m proven wrong, again, but I would bet against it.