In a New Yorker report on Bernie Sanders’ “demands” of the Democratic Party, John Cassidy writes (my emphasis):
The Sanders campaign is … pushing to reform the primary process. Sanders wants to get rid of superdelegates, end closed primaries, and allow same-day voter registration.
… without mentioning any names, he still took the Democratic Party leadership to task, saying that it “has turned its back on dozens of states in this country and has allowed right-wing politicians to win elections in some states with virtually no opposition—including some of the poorest states in America.”
Sanders continued, “The Democratic Party needs leadership which is prepared to open its doors and welcome into its ranks working people and young people.” …
Oddly enough, Sanders doesn’t lay blame at the feet of those with the greatest responsibility for his complaints: Himself, and his non-voting supporters. Bernie’s spent decades talking change instead of creating it, while his supporters sat happily on the sidelines waiting for his magical change train to arrive.
Those supporters held a meeting in Chicago recently (which BS was too busy to attend), and some of the quotes reported by the New York Times showcase the
political, scratch that, absolute naiveté of many of them:
…if Senator Bernie Sanders endorsed Hillary Clinton after his decades as a progressive champion, it would amount to nothing short of “a betrayal of all of his principles.”
“I’m very frustrated by people who are like, ‘Vote blue, no matter who… I feel like we are being threatened with the boogeyman of the dream state and not confronting the actual difficulty that we have in front of us, which is we are being ruled by an oligarchy.”
“If we get Trump, then we’ve gotten the country we deserve… It’s not the fault of the Bernie Sanders supporters. It’s the fault of the Democrats for choosing Hillary Clinton.”
Of course it is, it’s ANYBODY’S fault but theirs; and yet, there’s this:
What has Bernie Sanders ever done that makes him a “progressive champion”? Yes, he talks a good game, but after 40 years in politics he hasn’t got one signature piece of legislation to show for it. He doesn’t mentor, endorse, or bring up future progressive candidates; and he certainly doesn’t paint a realistic picture of government for his supporters.
Here’s what I gleaned from the Sanders’ supporters comments:
- They think compromise is a dirty word
- They are blind to Sanders’ own failures
- They accept no responsibility for, well… anything
- They do not believe that Democrats who voted for Hillary Clinton are entitled to the same rights they are.
Now allow me to address these points:
- One of the greatest Liberals of all time, Ted Kennedy, achieved more for working class Americans than Bernie Sanders ever dreamed of. He did it by compromising. Kennedy understood that his constituents concerns might not represent those of all Americans, so legislating required give and take. Ted Kennedy sponsored 2,552 bills, and co-sponsored 6,967, or more than 9500 bills in his 48 years in the Senate, including:
These are things Bernie Sanders has just talked about for 40 years.
An inability to compromise is Sanders biggest failing; he’s voted against some very important bills because he found one point he didn’t agree with, as The Peoples’ View recounts:
The reason Bernie Sanders gave for his no vote was the fact that one of the add-ons placed on the bill would restrict the discretion of federal judges in crafting sentences for a range of crimes. [Sanders objected to two Amber Alert provisions: harsher sentencing for repeat sex offenders and a virtual child porn ban. Lead Stories, 3/16]
He has consistently voted against the Brady Bill because he felt the five-day federally mandated waiting period would be too long for Vermont residents.
He voted against Ted Kennedy’s comprehensive immigration bill because he didn’t approve of the guest worker program which he felt would drive down wages for low-income workers.
He voted against President Bill Clinton’s health care bill because it would cover 95% of the population rather than 100% through a single-payer system that Sanders was supporting.
And he was even one of just 19 members of the House who voted against a bill that required rapists to identify their HIV status to their victims because he was concerned it might potentially force innocent people to undergo testing.
Lack of compromise is not Sanders’ only issue; he refuses to look at the big picture. Five days to wait for a gun is too long? A rape victim should be left to wonder whether she or her child will develop aids? One hundred percent of people insured or none at all? That is not how government works, especially for a President who’s responsibility is to govern for all, not just those you agree with.
2. Sanders’ supporters have ranted about Hillary Clinton’s speaking fees, and lumped her in with the 1%. Oddly enough, they haven’t uttered a word about Sanders’ refusal to release his tax returns. Who knows, maybe he’s a millionaire, or pays no taxes; they don’t seem to care. Nor do they care about things like Sierra Blanca (Or as the Institute For Social Ecology calls it: The Texas-Vermont-Maine Nuclear Dump), or the FEC Probe into possible illegal campaign donations (639 pages of them). Everything Bernie does is A-Okay because free stuff. They never ask themselves: “What has he actually accomplished?“
3. Let’s be clear: We have a Republican controlled Congress because too many Americans sit home during midterm and local elections. Many of us were Independents when there were actually moderate, rational people in the GOP. That was a long time ago. The Republican Party is so blatantly against the average American today that politics IS black and white. If you can’t decide if you’re a Democrat or a Republican today, then quite frankly, you’re an idiot.
4. We keep hearing how the DNC is undermining “the will of the people” because Bernie Sanders didn’t get the Democratic nomination. Here’s a News Flash: Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. That’s the will of the Democratic people.
Bernie Sanders has done nothing for the Democratic Party other than bad mouth it. He is a Democrat of convenience and would have gotten nowhere without them; now he bites the hand they held out to him. Democrats do not want open primaries, where Republicans can sabotage the nominating process. There’s Sanders’ bigger picture problem again. As the Congressional Black Caucus wrote in a recent letter to the DNC:
“Allowing independent or Republican voters to participate in the Democratic primary would dilute minority voting strength in many districts across the country.”
As for Super Delegates, they have always voted the will of the Democratic voters. In 2008, when Barack Obama took the lead in the popular vote, the Super Delegates switched their support from Hillary to him. He won by a mere 46,000 votes. This election, Hillary Clinton leads the popular vote by 3.7 million. (So much for the coronation bullshit.) Democrats need Super Delegates for one YUGE reason: They are a fail safe against someone like Trump coming in and destroying everything the party stands for.
Bernie Sanders has reneged on the agreements he made with the DNC when he chose to run as a Democrat. He focused almost no attention on down ballot candidates until he started taking heat for it. Even then, as the Peoples’ View reported in April (my emphasis):
Rather than use the joint fundraising account that Sanders had opened with the DNC for the sole purpose of helping to elect down-ballot candidates, Sanders opted instead to send out an email to his supporters, asking them to make a special contribution that would go toward three candidates that Sanders had selected to help join him in his movement.
What’s odd about this is that it appears, at least initially, that Sanders won’t be using any of his existing campaign funds to help the candidates but will instead be relying on an entirely new batch of contributions.
For a campaign that has $17 million on hand as well as an already established means for raising funds, it seems strange for the campaign to go out of its way and use a third party vendor while claiming to be supporting these candidates in their upcoming races.
While Bernie Sanders hoards the six million contributions his campaign had collected and refuses to use his joint DNC account, Hillary Clinton is out raising money up and down the Democratic ballot regardless of whom the Democratic candidates may be supporting.
Yes, that’s right: someone like Lucy Flores may very well be receiving campaign help from Hillary Clinton’s Victory Fund via the Nevada State Democratic Party even though she’s gone on record as supporting Bernie Sanders. Because to Hillary Clinton, it doesn’t matter who these Democratic candidates support now, it’s that they win at all costs come November.
Hillary Clinton is working toward a party win in November; Bernie’s only concern has been that HE win in November.
Bernie Sanders has not had the political grace or personal character to congratulate Hillary Clinton on winning the Democratic Primary. He also refuses to acknowledge the historical significance of a major political party nominating a woman for President.
Democrats owe Bernie Sanders nothing. In this writer’s opinion, he can take his demands and… well, you know.