Friday, April 29, 2016

Will Clinton Attempt to Bring Sanders Supporters into the Democratic Fold?


Clinton to Sanders: "No, you come to me." Can you read that headline any other way?

by Gaius Publius 

Something to keep your eye on in the lead-up to post-East Coast voting, and something that could well affect the voting after that. Will Clinton move toward Sanders' positions, as an appeal for his supporters, or will she, as I've said elsewhere, insist the mountain (of his voters) come to Mohammad?

Seems the latter.

First, Clinton operative Peter Daou, in the headline above, makes the position clear:
"If Bernie Wants Real Progress He'll Align His Message With Hers"
No link, but the google will find the piece for you if want to read it.

Second, note this from Josh Abramson, in a Huff Post piece called "5 Things We’ve Learned About Hillary Clinton Since She Won the New York Primary". I'll let you read the other four things he says we've learned (do read; it's a nice piece). But here's the fifth point (my occasional emphasis):
5. There will be no attempt whatsoever to bring Sanders supporters back into the Democratic fold.

Sanders supporters knew Clinton was angry at them for voting for Bernie — they could tell by her comment saying that she “feels sorry for” young voters too misinformed to vote for her; or by Bill Clinton saying that Sanders voters are so unsophisticated that they just want to “shoot every third banker on Wall Street”; or by David Plouffe (a Clinton ally) saying that every person who donates money to Sanders is being taken in by an obvious “fraud”; or by the unnamed Clinton staffer so certain she or he was speaking in a tone and manner consistent with the view of the Clinton campaign that she or he told Politico that the Clinton campaign “kicked Bernie’s ass” in New York and that Sanders can “go fuck himself.”

And so on.

But who knew that, with almost twenty primaries and caucuses left, and more than 1,400 delegates left to be awarded, Clinton would start vetting potential Vice Presidential picks in full view of an electorate she says she’s still working hard to win over? And who knew that not only would Sanders not be considered for a unity ticket, but — apparently — her top picks for VP, Cory Booker and Julian Castro, are reliable Clintonites with no ties whatsoever to the Sanders campaign or the movement he heads? And who knew Elizabeth Warren would almost certainly be frozen out of the VP conversation due to her decision to stay neutral in the primary race rather than endorse Clinton?

Well, everyone.

Everyone who knows the Clintons, that is.

So, if you’re either a Sanders supporter, sympathetic to the Sanders campaign, or a Hillary voter desperately hoping she’ll do something to bring into the Democratic fold the 40 percent of Sanders voters who say they won’t vote for Hillary in the fall — all but ensuring a Trump presidency — here’s some news for you: the signals are now being sent that Sanders and his people will, by calculated design, get absolutely nothing.

Hillary lost in 2008 and received the second-most powerful position in the world [note the assertion of a trade for SoS].

Sanders will be ignored and shunned.

What lies behind this “strategy” for the fall election — if we can call it that — is the same hubris that permitted Secretary Clinton never to reveal her Wall Street transcripts, to condescend to millennials at every turn, to refuse to apologize for bad judgment in the whole email-server affair, to refuse to apologize for her 1994 crime bill vote, to try to get away with (during the Michigan debate) the lie that Sanders had opposed the auto bailout, and so on.

In other words, America is already seeing the Hillary Clinton they’ll get during the fall election campaign — and also, should Clinton somehow manage to squeak by Donald Trump in November, the sort of Nixonian White House we can expect in consequence.

And it isn’t pretty.
Is Abramson right? He could well be. Everything through the second large paragraph is true. Will his conclusion prove true as well?

To test it, I'd look for this — Sanders and Clinton will have the discussion they've started to have. Sanders is saying, in effect "I can't snap my fingers and make my supporters vote for you. You have to convince them yourself." As evidenced by her response to Maddow in their recent town hall, this goes up Clinton's back. Her response, in effect, "I'm winning because of my own positions."

My suggestion, watch as this plays out. It's a clear dividing line. Clinton seems to want Sanders to "throw some words her way" (my phrase, but it reflects the way candidates like Clinton seem to campaign, by figuring out in an advertising sense which words to throw out); wants Sanders to bless her with a kind of public holy water that (she thinks) will magically erase the voters' memory of his reservations on policy. And she thinks his supporters will accept it if he does that and consider her new-blessed and suddenly known-good.

I think she's wrong, that this is an issues campaign, not a cosmetic or personalities one, and to win Sanders supporters, she has to at least appear to bend his way. Will she do that? Will she at least "throw some words" at his supporters? It's really a test of wills and dominance at this point. Will she see it that way and harden her will against him? Or soften and surrender just a little? The election could turn on that decision.

Finally, did you notice the word "hubris" in the Abramson piece above? So did I And I've been using the word a lot myself as well. This isn't just about wills and dominance, or calculation and policy — it's about Zeus and his lightning bolts getting revenge, or more mundanely, spiking the ball in the end zone in your defender's face. Hubris, and a decision to make.

American Crossroads

The path is littered with them these days. This is one more American crossroad, this time for her. What will Clinton do? Will she swallow her hubris and pride and at the very least pretend? Or will she carry on with talk like, "Rachel, can't you see I'm winning?! Now let him come to me."

If she can't, in pride or the flush of victory, make herself move in substance to the mountain of Sanders voters, can she win in the general election? Place your bets. The answer is just months away.


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At 10:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Her policies and things she has said up to this point have made me a certain non-Clinton voter this fall. At this point she could promise to follow all of Sander's policies and I wouldn't vote for her as I don't trust her and would trust her even less if she completely picked up someone else's platform. She's made her bed in my eyes and Jill Stein will be getting my vote in November.

At 2:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come on. Although I am no fan of hers she did not have a fucking vote on the 94 crime bill as first lady.

At 2:36 PM, Blogger MG1 said...

Hi Gaius,

I don't know if you follow the Sane Progressive, but if not you might find her latest YouTube video interesting. Also, there's the recent Math post by John Laurits,

Both of those I put in the hopeful category. In the depressing category, Clinton's arrogance and hubris may be a "tell" that November is rigged. The fix is in. She doesn't care if Bernie supporters stay home or write him in, Diebold will take care of it. This is her time, her presidency. Put that with Trump not "adding up," his false performance and his actual desire to be president in question. It could be the fix was in 2008. But then Bernie Sanders threw a wrench in all that. It explains the Koch's, Dick Cheney, et. al. circling the wagons, endorsing Hillary. Trump, and the media, have played the rodeo clown, distracting us from the installation of Hillary Clinton as the next president of the Rich and Powerful—of Comcast, Boeing, MSNBC, The NYT, Citibank, Goldman Sachs. This was never about Dems vs Republicans.

That scenario sounds dire, but we are at a point in history where an "awakened" electorate may overwhelm the "fix." The grotesque situation we find ourselves in has come to a head, like an infected boil. I hope Bernie, the long distance runner, stays in the game until November, and after.

At 2:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I live in New York, I have the luxury of voting my conscience in November. I can split my ticket and vote Green, Socialist or Anybody-but-Clinton and know it won't materially affect the outcome. If I lived in a swing state, it would take real courage to finally say, "Enough!" But I have had enough.

I will never understand the Bernie supporters who have been saying all along that if Clinton wins the nomination, they'll vote for her. No ifs, ands or buts. No demands. No reason for Clinton to bend at all. If she knows she'll get your vote in the end, what incentive does she have to ever keep any promises, modify her positions or be anything but smug and intransigent? One word: none. What incentive does the Democratic Party have to change and address its traditional base once again? I'll answer that: none.

Progressives are always playing the short game, always unwilling to lose now to gain later, always too afraid of [fill in the blank: the next Supreme Court pick; the next TPP; the next vote on anything] to play the long game. It's understandable; the right wing doesn't give a shit about the actual lives and suffering of real people while progressives understand too well the risks of losing. But unless we take a leap to grasp something better than the status quo, we are doomed to keep sinking.i

I have never accepted Clinton's grandiose claims of tremendous experience and qualifications. If anything, she is a disgrace to feminism since I firmly believe she would never have gone beyond the Rose Law Firm without riding on her husband's coat tails. She parlayed her residence in the East Wing to a position of policy-making with her horrible failure at health care reform. All she learned from the effort was to suck up harder to corporate interests.

She then leveraged her eight years in Washington to win a junior senator's seat from New York against a weak opponent and with every advantage the Washington and Wall Street establishments could provide to her. After her miserable and embarrassing 2008 run, she managed to secure an undeserved spot as Secy of State. This was one of the early indicators of Obama's tendency to make bad appointment decisions in his administration. I suppose he thought it would be better to have the Clintons inside the tent pissing out than outside pissing in.

Her dubious tenure as SoS has been covered extensively. Her record of bad judgement -- from the email snafus, to the Libyan debacle, to her cockamamie no-fly calls for Syria -- has shown no sign of improving. Indeed, she shows no sign of learning the right lessons from her mistakes. So tales of her vast qualifications and experience ring hollow to me.

I know she's been attacked, often unfairly and almost always viciously, for nearly 30 years. There was, and still is, a vast right-wing conspiracy and not just against her or Bill. But if she wants to be a leader, she can't be whining about fairness. She likes to make out that she's tough. Well, toughness isn't just saber rattling on foreign affairs and stonewalling on legitimate questions.

As for this election, if Clinton thinks she's winning so much that she doesn't need to ask for my vote or give me anything for it, she can go fuck herself. I am, by the way, a woman only a few years younger than Hillary herself so forget about bullshit accusations of sexism or the callowness of youth.

At 3:04 PM, Blogger lukeness said...

The Clinton camp, bemoaning how awful they think Sanders supporters are for wanting to be given a reason to vote for Clinton, need to read the comments section of this NY Times article from June 2008 after then Sen. Clinton had met privately with Sen. Obama in the home of a Clinton supporter (Sen. Feinstein). (Note by the way, Obama had essentially come to her turf and allowed her a lot of leeway--no demands that she drop out earlier than June, even though it had been obvious for months she couldn't win.)

Here's the link:

At 8:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Anonymous at 256pm - Another mid/age women from NY here in total agreement with the points you raised. I would just as soon chew glass and guzzle bleach before I would ever vote for HRC and her faux feminism / progressivism... Check out Jimmy Dore's youtube segment "Hillary Presidency Worse For Progressives & America Than Trump" and also a piece out today at Salon "A liberal case for Donald Trump: The lesser of two evils is not at all clear in 2016".

While complete dread overcomes me at the thought of a Trump presidency (and the scary possibilities of who he would appoint as VP, in his cabinet, supreme court picks etc) even-so I'm beginning to think the backlash would be so great - a complete mobilization of the left/progressives and maybe it's the outrage that's needed to keep people engaged and motivated in opposition....Most likely he'd only last 1 term....

On the flip side, what overcomes me at the thought of an HRC presidency is complete demoralization and despair. While either of these "evil of two lesser's" is a vote against my own / my families economic self interests, the long term implications (perpetual war, perpetual oligarchy/status quo & corporate greed, shrinking middle class, fracking/climate catastrophe) are leading me to rethink that the Trump hysteria and inevitable backlash could be used in the longterm for the greater good....

The American masses end up with two horrendous, despicable & wicked choices...If this ends with 8 years of HRC - Like George Carlin said it will be time to disengage - time to buy a Roku, restart Netflix and become a just a spectator to the charade!!

At 7:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

She can try. She will fail. I will write-in Bernie before I ever vote for a corporatist liar.

At 9:03 PM, Blogger Heidi O'Brien said...

Whatever promises Hillary is making to progressives now, you can bank on it that they will be shit-canned on January 24th.

At 2:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having worked so persistently to alienate everyone outside their little circle, the bernietards have no cause to feel disappointed that no one wants to be seen with them. The People have made their will clear, now let's get on with it.

At 2:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

...UM... NO. After her grace is coronated at the DNC convention performance, she will absolutely have to pivot toward drumpf and whateverthehell distinctions she can claim (and the media can lie about) in order to draw the "anyone BUT drumpf" voters. There is about as many of the R voters who loathe drumpf as there are D voters who cannot abide another Reagan/$hillbillary clone.

And Bernie's voters probably can't be fooled. She's truly the worst D candidate in my lifetime. And it isn't close. Us BoBs can't be fooled and won't vote for her in any case.

Bernie should tell $hillbillary and the DNC to eff-off and either run as a Green or an Independent. He might just win. Especially if the student debt or localized real estate bubbles pop... or banking implodes again (remember, Puerto Rico has already defaulted payments to vulture hedge funds) before November. All are distinct possibilities.

At 12:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

MandamUs, FBI ! Since her answers' SHITE; you Must INDICT !!

At 7:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the intervening week+ since this was posted, I have seen Bernie go all squishy on the question of (NOT!!!) endorsing. I've even seen some Olympic-class rationalization about Bernie as running mate (makes no sense except as a ruse to get BoBers to cave).

So it may not be $hillbillary doing the "bringing", but it may be Bernie dragging his voters along -- for the sake of "party" unity or whatever.

This would be horrible for the 10s of millions of voters who so desperately want a real alternative to the money's python grip on everything. The money is a half-ton anaconda and we're all just another capybara for lunch.

If Bernie doesn't emerge from the convention as the nom, he needs to repudiate $hillbillary totally. If he does not, then his entire campaign (movement... whatever) is utterly destroyed.. exposed as a total fraud.. just another public performance of the same greek tragedy as we've been seeing for 40 years.

I'm not saying Bernie needs to run as a Green or another 3rd party... that would be probably the definition of a political Sysyphean task, what with the trillions in uber wealth at stake against him. But he cannot summarily burn it all by endorsing or even "supporting sans endorsement" as seems likely now.

As the vectors show us, we're going to get candidates that approach hitler/Mussolini on the right and that approach hitler/stalin on the left. And voters, immune to reason and self-blinkered from reality, just keep affirming both.

Fascism (Mussolini's definition), global vampire capitalism, empire, war, suppression of the 99.99% by the .01%, fear, hate, greed, death... and religion twisted into its own inverse and believed with more fervor than ever before... that's what both sects of the money want and shall get.

Because americans are, at their core, mostly just imbeciles who want to be told what to think and feel.


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