Sunday, June 05, 2016

Hillary Wants Democratic Party Unity? Let Her Prove It


In 2008 Doug Schoen and his equally despicable partner, Mark Penn, were forced out of the Clinton campaign

Doug Schoen is a Fox Democrat who seems to consider himself a Democrat in a tribal sense but whose policy affinity is conservative. When Thomas Frank writes about how the Democratic Party changed from the party representing the interests of working families to the party representing the interests of the top 10%, he's talking about conservaDems like Schoen, now even a Clinton-wing reject. Schooner opposed Obamacare and hated Obama. Fox News is his ideological home. His column for Forbes Thursday puts forward a Republican delusion that Trump is taking "voters under 29 years old, independents, moderates and even liberals" away from Hillary, although the Republican/Schoen perspective that "just because she’s mathematically cinched the nomination doesn’t mean [Bernie's] devotees will go willingly over to Clinton’s camp" is more or less correct. What the GOP-- and Schoen-- don't understand is that what he calls "Bernie devotees" are not supporting Bernie because of his personality but because of his policies and worldview and may not vote for Hillary-- either by staying home or by voting for Jill Stein (or even Gary Johnson)-- but that they are not going to vote for a repulsive proto-fascist who is daily proving himself to be both misogynistic and racist. Schooner can twist the facts all he likes; he may well have never met a "Bernie devotee," even if he claims that "a colleague of mine spoke to Sanders supporters waiting in line at Sanders’s recent speech in Santa Monica" and found that "their distaste for Clinton was nearly unanimous and fundamentally rooted in a strong distrust of her and her policies... There was a tremendous emphasis on the importance of changing the system. Indeed, they support changing the system and opposing the status quo more than they support the Democratic Party. To this end, many of them said they would write in for Sanders or vote for Trump in the general election if Sanders were not the Democratic nominee." Write in... some will. Voting for Trump... only in the minds of Republicans and Republican-like creatures like Doug Schoen. He marvels that Bernie supporters who are realistically saying they'd vote for Hillary over Trump as the "lesser of two evils," but of course Doug Schoen wouldn't understand that, his entire career been immersed in lesser-of-two-evils politics without even understanding that that's what it always was.
Convinced of their candidate’s righteousness as ever, Sanders supporters continue to cite his better-than-Clinton’s lead over Trump in national general election polls. In the last few weeks, polls have shown Clinton and Trump to be within two or three points of each other. Trump, however, consistently trails Sanders in a general election matchup: five polls in May found Sanders leading Trump by upwards of 10 points on average. And Sanders is the only one of the three candidates with a positive approval rating.

It has become abundantly clear that to defeat Trump in an election that seems to be breaking his way with each day that passes, Clinton must woo Sanders supporters and independents.
No, the election-- outside of the Fox cocoon he's so firmly ensconced in-- does not seem to be breaking Trump's way. In fact, Americans seem to be more and more revolted by who and what Trump is.

In terms of winning over Bernie supporters, there are probably several routes Clinton could take: naming Elizabeth Warren, or perhaps Jeff Merkley, as her running mate would be the easiest (and most superficial). Persuading Bernie voters that the policies he pressured her into adopting during the campaign-- like opposition to the TPP for example-- are real and heartfelt. This is the least easy (and least superficial)... and the most unlikely approach (since her adherence to these policies is neither real nor heartfelt).

I suspect she may try to woo Bernie supporters with something about process, that won't trouble her inevitable shift towards the right for the general election. Last week, Tim Dickinson, interviewed Bernie for Rolling Stone and Bernie brought up "changing the rules that govern the Democratic Party."
[T]he American people, more and more people, are looking at their politics as outside the Democratic and Republican parties-- for a variety of reasons. Some of them think the Democratic Party is too conservative. But whatever, they are independents. Three million people in New York state could not cast a vote in the Democratic or Republican primary for the president of the United States. On the surface, that's absurd. You really could almost raise legal issues. You're an independent in New York, you're paying for that election, it's conducted by the state. But you can't vote? Think about it. And from a political point of view, it is absurd, because independents do vote in the general election. So what you're saying is, "You can't vote now, and we don't want you to come into our party. But you can vote later on." I think that's dumb. Given that so many young people are independent, we ought to welcome them in.

Issue number two is the whole issue of superdelegates. The deck is stacked in favor of the establishment candidate... I think 450 superdelegates committed to Hillary Clinton before the process began. You need less than 2,400 delegates to win. You have an establishment candidate who goes to the governors and the senators and the Congress people and the money people. It would be very, very hard for the best insurgent candidate-- a candidate who did really well among the people-- to take that on. Does that make any sense?

Furthermore, we have to deal with the way that the party raises money. It really is quite amazing. And I feel sorry for her in a sense. Hillary Clinton spends an enormous amount of time-- look at her schedule-- running all over the country. You know what she does? She goes to wealthy people's homes-- and she raises money! Here you are in the middle of a campaign, and she's out raising money. I'm talking to 10,000 people. She's out raising money. We have got to figure out a way in which the Democratic Party has the ideology and the positions that excite ordinary people who are prepared to contribute to the Democratic Party or the candidate.

I think to some degree, we have proven in this campaign, having received 7.6 million individual campaign contributions, more than any candidate in history at this point, it can be done. Last night, we were in Sacramento. We had 16,000 people, OK? How many Democrats are out there talking to thousands of people as opposed to being at some rich guy's house talking to 10 people and walking out with $30,000? This has got to be the goal: to communicate with people, bring people into a political movement. Not just spend your whole life hustling money.

...Let me just give you an example: We were in Denver. We had a rally at 5:00 in the afternoon. We had 18,000 people. People who are passionate about wanting to change America, wanting to be involved in the political process. My guess is that 95 percent of those people had never gone to a Democratic Party meeting-- or ever dreamed of going to a Democratic Party meeting. Two hours later, I walk into a [Democratic Party Jefferson-Jackson fundraising] dinner where there are 1,000, maybe 2,000 Democrats, who are contributors to the party, who are lawyers and whatever, local politicians. Older people, upper-middle-class and professional people-- who are active in the Democratic Party.

There are two different worlds. So the question is: What happens when that 18,000 marches into that room with 2,000 people? Will they be welcomed? Will the door be open? Will the party hierarchy say, "Thank you for coming in. We need your energy. We need your idealism. C'mon in!"? Or will they say, "Hey, we've got a pretty good thing going right now. We don't need you. We don't want you"? That's the challenge that the Democratic Party faces. And I don't know what the answer is.

The danger is, when you bring people in, the whole composition of the Democratic Party begins to change. It becomes much younger. It becomes more working-class. Its emphasis will be less on raising money from Wall Street and big-money interests than on transforming America. That is the dynamic that we're lookin' at.

...Many working-class people in this country no longer have faith in establishment politics. And, of course, that's what Trump has seized upon. He's a phony and an opportunist. But he has seized upon that and said, "I am not part of the establishment." He's only a multibillionaire who has worked with Wall Street and everybody else. But he claims not to be part of the establishment, right? That has created a certain amount of support for him.
Why won't Pelosi back Democratic candidate Mary Ellen Balchunis in PA-07?

That's relatively easy for Hillary to "give in" on without jeopardizing her inevitable rightward lurch. I'd like to add another suggestion for how Clinton could woo progressives. As I mentioned before, the DCCC has steadfastly refused to back progressives who win Democratic Party congressional primaries. When Mary Ellen Balchunis beat the DCCC's lame Red-to-Blue candidate-- in a 74-26% landslide-- the DCCC removed PA-07 from their Red-to-Blue list, wrote off the district and continued trying to sabotage progressive candidates across the country-- CA-25 being a perfect example, where DCCC demands on California congressmen to back their hackish corrupt candidate so offended Adam Schiff that yesterday he gave the progressive in the race, Lou Vince, use of his office for a day of phone banking with California's State Controller, Betty Yee. Even though the state Democratic Party endorsed Lou Vince in a hotly contested contest-- Vince won with over 80% at the state convention-- the DCCC and corrupt establishment Democrats like Gavin Newsom, Zoe Lofgren, Pete Aguilar, Tony Cárdenas and Scott Peters have continued trying to impose Bryan Caforio on the district's Democrats. The DCCC has helped make sure Caforio spent $292,126 on the primary while sabotaging Vince's fundraising efforts-- he's raised $88,674 (you can help him here). Tuesday, will the DCCC abandon the district if Vince wins, the same way they abandoned PA-07 when Balchunis won?

Hillary wants party unity? She should start by ending this kind of anti-progressive wing behavior by the party organs. This cycle, Schumer and Tester have made sure the DSCC has spent more money and resources fighting progressives and nominating corrupt party hacks than they have on fighting Republicans. The DCCC is even worse-- much worse. When Bernie-supporter Tom Wakely won the TX-21 primary against self-described conservative Democrat, the DCCC made the decision that they'd rather have Trump backing, science denier Lamar Smith (chair of the House Science Committee) than help a progressive win. If Hillary wants to prove she's a unifier, let her call Pelosi and tell her to stop sabotaging progressives and to get behind Balchunis, Vince and Wakely. (Balchunis, by the way, has a policy agenda virtually identical with Bernie's-- she defines herself as being from the Warren-wing of the party-- but is an old friend of Hillary's and endorsed her and campaigned for her during the Pennsylvania primary.) And what's with the DCCC's refusal to back Zephyr Teachout right in Hillary's neighborhood?

DuWayne Gregory is the presiding officer of the Suffolk County legislature,and he's running for the blue-leaning South Shore Long Island district Peter King occupies. Hillary won this area when she ran for the Senate and both Nassau and Suffolk counties were Hillary territory in the recent primary; she won Nassau County with 62.6% and Suffolk with 54.7%. Gregory is an admirer of hers and he endorsed her. But the DCCC has refused to get behind DuWayne's run against Peter King, largely because of Steve Israel's loyalty to his Trump-supporting Republican crony, who he has helped keep in office for years. Hillary can put a stop to this kind of bullshit by having one of her assistant's assistants call Pelosi and tell her to "cut it out." If the Democratic Party establishment wants party unity, they better start realizing that it is not a one-way street.

If you'd like to support some of the progressives the DCCC is opposing and undercutting, you can do it here:
Goal Thermometer

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