Friday, August 19, 2016

"You Broke It, You Bought It": A Sanders Activist Challenges Clinton Supporters


Carbon-loving TPP proponent Ken Salazar, Clinton's new head of her transition team. Salazar's group will will recommend names to fill thousands of Executive Branch jobs in the next Clinton administration, should there be one. What do progressive Clinton supporters have to say about his ascension? Anything? Will they push back against it?

by Gaius Publius

This really matters. That Clinton is a better progressive choice than Trump is not much contested. But was Clinton the better progressive choice against Sanders? Almost no Sanders-supporting Democratic voter would say yes to that. Not on trade, not on climate, not on breaking up too-big Wall Street banks, not on criminally prosecuting (finally) "too big to jail" members of the elite — not on any number of issues that touch core progressives values.

Yes, Clinton was and will be good on some progressive issues, but the list is expected not to be Sanders-long. Progressive vs. "progressive" was, in fact, the hill on which Sanders battled Clinton. Sanders was made to lose. Clinton supporters won.

So what happens if (or when) a newly installed President Clinton "pulls an Obama" — if she starts supporting job-killing trade deals, say, and sells them as "well managed" and "a way to keep China and Russia in check"? Or institutes a large, climate-killing, fracked-methane buildout and calls it a "bridge fuel to a safe and energy-independent future"? What will Clinton supporters, those who happily helped bring down Sanders, do then? The question matters.

(About trade deals: Sanders supporters say — no, they know — that all pro-corporate trade deals are job killers, no matter the words these deals are painted with. About methane expansion: If it's a "bridge fuel," will investors be told that the methane facilities they're investing in will be torn down in ten years to make way for the fuel that methane is a bridge fuel to? If so, why not just invest in that? Or is the "bridge fuel" talk just talk?)

Becky Bond on the Challenge to Clinton Supporters

Becky Bond has a unique place in the progressive ecosystem. As former president of the activist CREDO SuperPAC, she was at the center of a great many progressive actions, including the fights to stop TPP and the Keystone pipeline. As a senior advisor to the Sanders campaign, she saw the Democratic primary battle firsthand.

Now Bond looks at what the primary has wrought, and issues this challenge to activists who helped defeat Sanders: You broke it, you bought it. Will you now take charge in the fight to hold Clinton accountable? Or will you hang back (enjoying the fruits) and let others take the lead? ("Enjoying the fruits" is my addition. As one attendee noted, the Democratic Convention this year seemed very much like "a jobs fair.")

Bond says this, writing in The Hill (my emphasis):
Progressive Clinton supporters: You broke it, you bought it

It’s time for progressives who helped Hillary Clinton beat Bernie Sanders in the primary to take the lead on holding her accountable.

With Donald Trump tanking in the polls, there’s room for progressives to simultaneously crush his bid for the presidency while holding Hillary Clinton’s feet to the fire on the TPP.
And yet:
She’s now appointed two pro-TPP politicians to key positions on her campaign  —  Tim Kaine as her Vice President and Ken Salazar to lead her presidential transition team. It’s time for progressives who helped Clinton beat Bernie Sanders in the primary to take the lead on holding her accountable.

Progressives who supported Clinton in the primary should use their leverage to ensure Clinton makes good on her vow to stop TPP and keep other promises she made on the campaign trail to win progressive votes. Bernie supporters will have your back, but it’s up to you to lead on this one.

It’s a serious matter, and it can’t wait until after the inauguration. From the perspective of progressives who supported Bernie in the primary, this election is a shotgun wedding. We’re going to vote for Clinton because we have to, but the honeymoon ends with the appointment of Salazar.
Bond has more on Salazar and why both he and Tim Kaine are a "tell," a signal of things to come from Hillary Clinton: "The choice of Salazar is a pretty good sign that as expected we’ll be seeing the 'revolving door' in full force in a Clinton administration. As head of the transition he’ll have enormous influence on who fills thousands of jobs at the White House and federal agencies."

Will Clinton-supporting activists take up the challenge?

To Clinton Supporters: "You have a special responsibility"

For Bond, the time to act is now and the primary responsibility for supporting progressive goals belongs to those who help kill the Sanders campaign:
So to progressives who supported Clinton in the primary  —  labor advocates, environmentalists, immigration reformers, anti-war activists  —  you have a special responsibility to lead efforts to hold your candidate accountable.
Yes, to "lead" efforts. But will they? That's the challenge. The response to that challenge will also be a test and a "tell," a sign of who Clinton activists actually are. Many will pass the test easily (I can name quite a few right now), but many will likely not.

The Split Among Democratic Activists

The "Becky Bond Rule" says progressives in the Clinton camp must be first in line to fix what Clinton does wrong, to aggressively and proactively lead the pushback. That seems only right. Yet there's a problem with this rule.

The problem: Applying this rule aggressively will expose those on the Clinton side who are really just centrists after all — or worse, just job-seekers — with only a few progressive positions. The dynamic within the "progressive" community was always complex (and pretty patched over), and will only become more so, more complex for sure, and maybe more patched over.

During the primary, a great many "progressives" got unmasked as mainly centrists (after all, Clinton allies held one of their big pre-Benghazi Committee strategy session in Third Way HQ). The reaction to Clinton activists by Sanders activists then, and the reaction going forward, was and will be the stuff of drama, or at least of daytime TV.

And this doesn't begin to touch the issues around war.

I predict a lot of "hanging back" from the Clinton-supporting camp — after all, no one butters their bread on both sides, the Clinton side and the anti-Clinton side, and the butter on the Clinton side is alluring. Thus it's easy to predict a lot of angst from Sanders activists about how much calling out to do. The Becky Bond Rule — "You broke it, you bought it" — is a challenge to take responsibility. Note that it implies wrong-doing ("you broke it"). A real gauntlet throw-down on matters of urgent and critical importance.

The progressive-"progressive" split is as real as it always was, and it's not going away. The next few years of activist interaction, especially among electoral and Party activists, will be revealing, especially when the real action, as I'll explain later, moves out of the electoral arena. If I'm right about that, the loss of the orderly electoral arena as a place to make large changes could also be laid to Clinton's ascendancy as well, and thus, to her supporters.

"You broke it, you bought it" is the right thing to say. But will Clinton's activist base own what they did when they need to? We're about to find out.


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At 12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fly on the wall audio of the backroom scuttlebutt ("Of course we're opposed to the anti-worker TPP but since Obama and the Congress passed it during the lame duck session it's "fait accompli" and we promise to make the next trade deal more worker friendly {wink-wink}").

Obama is a Democrat who could remove the TPP from legislative consideration, but he doesn't?? Yet he say's at the Dem convention "Oh yeah I feel the Bern". Hooray "Less Evil!"

At 2:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You broke it, you bought it," is useless unless one has the authority and leverage to enforce it. It's always been clear that unless we're prepared to withhold our votes or vote for someone else to the extent that it threatens a November loss for Clinton, we merely appear to be ineffectual scolds. I expect most Clinton supporters will be too busy polishing their resumes to do more than cluck sympathetically or worse, demand that we stop harshing their mellow by acting like dead-ender berners.

It's in this that the committed Republican base voter will always defeat the average American progressive. They are willing to pull the trigger and defeat despised Rethug encumbents. Win or lose, they don't shrink from the risk.

On the other hand, progressives and liberal Dems are loathe to risk losing. Consequently, we lose by attrition, by erosion, by loss of memory and principles. We're too responsible to risk a Trump presidency, so we hold our noses and go with the supposedly "safe" choice, the second most reviled and problematic candidate horked up by a broken political system.

Personally, though I know it's not necessarily fair, I despise both Clintons at this point. I'm sick of the unending psychodrama, the strings of unforced errors and, of course, the neoliberal and neocon policies.

This election is far from over. Right now, the polls favor Clinton and we're told that no candidate has ever made up such huge deficits so close to the election. However, if this election has shown us anything, it's that the old benchmarks and signposts will no longer serve. I fear that by going with the "safe" choice, the Dems are poised to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

At 11:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Anon 2:55, right on the money. As long as we continue to be too responsible to risk this or that pants-wetting current emergency, we will continue to be successfully triangulated by the likes of the Clintons and get absolutely nothing in return. Remember how we had to support Obamacare and not let the "perfect be the enemy of the good"? With Obama's Justice Department having done everything it could to foster corporate rule and Aetna blackmailing Obamacare, how is the allegedly 'good' looking seven years on? Not so good, eh?

At 3:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Bond "challenge"?

Sanders himself challenged Clinton and what did he/we get after her desperately criminal campaign?

1) totally meaningless "platform concessions"
2) the outed W-Shultz made honorary campaign chief
3) Tim "the male HRC" Kaine for VP
4) Salazar

The trend for the future of a Clinton administration is clear and one has to wonder if the naivete of Ms Bond, "as a senior advisor to the Sanders campaign," (and others like her?) was perhaps a critical factor in Sanders's loss.

Jill Stein's (& VP Ajamu Braka)CNN "town hall" is at the link below. Watch it to see/hear a real candidates for US president & VP.

John Puma

At 1:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 2:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As much as I detest Trump, his pitch to the Black voter could seriously harm Democratic chances if the media were to push it as hard as they pushed Trump himself, at least until recently. I could not find a serious counter to the charges he listed reminding Black voters how the Democrats have screwed them over the years. It reeks of emotional manipulation, and completely ignores GOP complicity in this process. Therefore, it could work - IF Trump doesn't screw it up.

At 6:39 PM, Blogger jvb2718 said...

It isn't so much a "you broke it..." meme. It's more a case study in tribalism.

$hillbillary, so very clearly, is shit. $he has a long, sordid record of antiprogressive deeds... most notably wrt war and empire... hint: she's fer 'em.

$he has a long, sordid record of neoliberalism, neoconism, warmongering, fellating the elites for $ugar, expanding empire and, probably most ominously, virulent Russophobia. $he, like her husband, also have not even a tangential relationship with truth... both operating their foundation as a pay-to-play, unelected branch of the us government... with the tacit approval of the last 3 or 4 admins to do so with impunity (hint: cuz they's all been serving all the same rich fuckers and covering the globe in the blood of the poor and powerless).

$he and her DNC puppets clearly stole the primaries in key states in a cornucopia of ways, as independent reporting and the WIKI releases attest. So in addition to all the worldwide evil and corruption, there's election fraud too.

Add to the list her naming of ideologically identical running mates, advisors and staff personnel and the picture is becoming very clear... as it did at a similar time in 2008 with obamanation. $hillbillary is a lying, cheating, warmongering, monstrous fascist... in a corpulent pantsuit.

None of this can possibly be in doubt in any functioning mind.

Therefore anyone who THINKS they are lefty to support such a monster means that they have no ability to reason... or are indifferent to it; meaning their limbic region reigns supreme... and they either feel like a member of the strongest tribe, want to be on a winning team or support the gimmick value of being on the side of the first distaff prez.

I can almost forgive women for their perfidy in supporting this monster... But I cannot forgive the black and brown and working-class white demos. Their socioeconomic plight is tightly wound with FTAs, and $hillbillary never met her a FTA $he truly did not love. If you are working-class or nonwhite and you are voting for $hillbillary, you are truly stupid or pure evil, like $he is.

I could never vote for herr drumpf, of course. He's the devil. But I have serious doubts that he'd be a WORSE unitary than someone who means to do so much evil around the world, has already done so much, and who knows how to do it.

drumpf is a buffoon, a racist and whoknowsall-ophobe... but he's barely been able to stay a billionaire as he basically fucks up everything he touches.

oh yeah... the nuclear codes. Well, maybe when he opened the "football" to push the button... maybe the military would decide to stage a coup... might be the only way to keep the 120M moron electorate from picking any more horse's asses.


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