Monday, May 15, 2017

Will The DC Dems Blow Their Chance-- And Consign Us To The Clutches Of Trump And Ryan And Their Enablers?


Wasserman Schultz gave us Trump

Earlier today we explained why Blue America is somewhat reticent about jumping into Senate primaries in red states, even when as good a candidate as Paula Jean Swearengin is running against as bad an incumbent as Joe Manchin (D-WV). We also explained why we feel absolutely fine supporting progressives like Tim Canova, Marie Newman and Talia Fuentes in their runs against corrupt reactionary incumbents Debbie Wasserman Schultz (New Dem-FL), Dan Lipinski (Blue Dog-IL) and Kyrsten Sinema (Blue Dog-AZ). Short version: if Tim Canova, for instance, defeats the execrable Wasserman Schultz, FL-23 stays nice and blue and America, not to mention the folks in the district, gets a much better congressmember. But if Paula Jean Swearengin defeats Manchin... Trump could escape a Senate impeachment conviction by one vote since a Republican would likely defeat her-- though not Manchin-- in the general. That, at least, is our calculus.

Writing for Salon over the weekend, Sophia McClennen, a professor of international affairs and comparative literature at Penn State, asserted that the installation of Putin's cockholster in the White House "offered the Democratic Party a huge gift. Coming off of a highly contentious election and a series of party scandals, the public came together in a massive effort to protest and thwart everything GOP. Anti-Trump activism and political mobilization has been extraordinary, with record levels of people attending protests, making calls, organizing events and supporting DNC initiatives on a daily basis. Each day the Trump team conjures up another opportunity for the DNC. From the unconstitutional Muslim ban to a cruel healthcare bill to the firing of FBI Director James Comey, the Trump administration keeps offering Democrats an endless opportunity to gather more public support." Like many of us, though, McClennen worries that the DC Democratic Establishment isn't up to the task and will blow the opportunity, what she calls "this unique moment... because the DNC has become immensely tone-deaf to its own internal problems." All that Trump-hatred doesn't necessarily translate to love for Democrats.
And yet, rather than face the extremely low support for the party, Democrats are busy avoiding and ignoring their own credibility problems. Even Hillary Clinton has refused to take any responsibility for losing the election, citing four external reasons for her loss: “Russian meddling in the election, FBI Director James Comey’s involvement toward the end of the race, WikiLeaks’ theft of emails from her campaign chairman, and misogyny.”

What’s amazing about this list is that there is no reference of any kind to the failures of the DNC itself. Clinton, like all party stalwarts, seems completely incapable of articulating any sort of reasonable assessment of the disasters of the last election.

It’s worth remembering, for instance, that despite all of the cries of Russian interference and hacking there would have been no story and no scandal if there hadn’t been damaging emails to be found in the first place.

And who could forget that after Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned her post as chair of the DNC in the wake of damning evidence of her bias against Bernie Sanders she was later appointed as honorary chair of Clinton’s 50-state campaign?

As if the leaked emails showing Wasserman Schultz’s bias were not bad enough, there was the Donna Brazile scandal that showed she had advance-shared debate questions with the Clinton camp. As she later admitted after CNN severed ties with her, a “release of emails revealed that among the many things I did in my role as a Democratic operative and D.N.C. Vice Chair prior to assuming the interim D.N.C. Chair position was to share potential town hall topics with the Clinton campaign.” And yet she still maintains she was “fair” to all candidates in the primary.

But it gets worse. As all eyes have been focused on the Trump kakistocracy, the DNC has been dealing with a lawsuit filed against it in federal court in Florida last October. The lawsuit alleges that the DNC’s bias toward Clinton over Sanders amounted to fraud, misrepresentation, unjust enrichment, breach of fiduciary duty and negligence. The plaintiffs have pointed to damning evidence in the emails posted by WikiLeaks proving that the Democratic Party was working against Sanders from the start.

While the mainstream media has almost completely blacked out coverage of this lawsuit, Jordan Chariton has covered it for the TYT Network. He notes that in a courtroom in South Florida over a week ago, a DNC lawyer said openly that if the party wanted to do things like the old days and pick a candidate over cigars in back rooms, it would be within their legal rights to do so.

“We could have voluntarily decided that, ‘Look, we’re gonna go into back rooms like they used to and smoke cigars and pick the candidate that way,’” Bruce Spiva, lawyer for the DNC, said during a court hearing in Carol Wilding, et al. v. DNC Services Corp., according to court filings exclusively obtained by TYT Politics.

Chariton reports that the DNC’s lawyer also implied that, despite the DNC’s charter and bylaws stating that it must be neutral during Democratic primary contests, the DNC charter does not imply a contractual obligation to follow through.

“There’s no right to not have your candidate disadvantaged or have another candidate advantaged. There’s no contractual obligation here... it’s not a situation where a promise has been made that is an enforceable promise,” Spiva said.

The DNC is advancing the argument that any claims to be neutral and fair to all candidates were nothing but “political promises” and are unenforceable by law. They claim that there was no expectation that they would actually be evenhanded in their treatment of Sanders and Clinton. They have made this case despite the fact that many in DNC leadership made claims of fairness when Sanders supporters clamored for accountability during and after the primary.

While the lawsuit is still playing out, it is worth pausing for a moment to consider the political backlash that will inevitably ensue here. The DNC lawyers are arguing that they had no obligation to be neutral in the primary. Their strategy in the lawsuit is to claim that they never needed to give Sanders a fair shake. It is hard to see how this will help improve their credibility with voters, even if it does help them win the case.

Spiva’s defense is blatant proof that despite the fact that the DNC fashions itself as the party of the people it is openly and clearly an oligarchy-- a fact also made clear by its use of superdelgates. Branko Marcetic of In These Times reminded voters that the DNC superdelegate system was created in 1982 in response to the decisive electoral defeats of George McGovern in 1972 and Jimmy Carter in 1980.

The superdelegate system was created specifically as a counterforce to the will of voters. According to Marcetic, “When a Sanders supporter criticized superdelegate Howard Dean for sticking with Clinton despite Sanders’ landslide victory in Vermont, Dean tweeted back: “Superdelegates don’t ‘represent the people’... I’ll do what I think is right for the country.” As Marcetic explained it, the superdelegate system was created because “The very democracy of the primary process appears to have made the Commission members nervous.”

This all proves that the DNC has a serious problem not only with the democratic process but also with the very idea of representing the will of its constituents. And that is not even touching the recent news that former President Obama has decided to speak at Wall Street for $400,000-- a move Sanders called “distasteful.”

Meanwhile Sanders is the most favored politician in America today. A recent Fox News poll showed him with a 61 percent favorability rating.

So exactly how long can the DNC ride the Trump train and ignore the Sanders progressives? Anti-Trump grassroots movements have sidestepped problems with the Democrats in favor of focusing on ways to block the Trump agenda. But there are rumblings that this won’t last. Even Nancy Pelosi is being given a run by a pro-Sanders primary challenger.

Thus far, the DNC has largely shielded itself from close scrutiny because the Trump circus has been such a terrifying distraction. But its day of reckoning will come, and if it doesn’t make some major changes soon, it won’t be pretty.

As professor of sociology Jonathan Martin puts it, the DNC didn’t need a new chair, it needed a whole new party: “The big concern is that if the party doesn’t adopt a bolder message, especially on the populist economic platform that prompted many former Democrats to support Trump and many Independents to support Bernie Sanders, then the party is destined to be in the minority.”

Thus far the party isn’t listening to either the voters or the facts.

...The elephant in the room for the DNC isn’t Trump or the GOP or Bernie bros or Russian hackers; it is its own elitist, corporatist, cronyist, corrupt system that consistently refuses to listen to the will of the people it hopes to represent. Thus far, though, DNC leadership has refused to take these issues seriously. It’s a strategy that smacks of arrogance and hubris. And it’s a politics that looks a lot more like the GOP than a party invested in helping the little guy.

If the DNC doesn’t deal with the elephant in the room it will soon see that it has indeed become a jackass.
I guess we have to boo at our TVs instead of to her face

The Democrats' biggest hope, as always, is that the Republicans are terrible enough so that thoughtful voters will just hold their noses and vote for a Democrat to defend themselves against GOP overreach. What a tragedy! Is doesn't have to be that way, does it? 108 congressional Democrats have co-sponsored John Conyers' wildly popular Medicare-For-All bill, for example. Who's against it? Well, of course Ryan and the Republicans... but also the Democratic House leadership (Pelosi, Hoyer, Crowley, Wasserman Schultz, DCCC chairman Ben Ray Lujan...) and the Republican wing of the Democratic Party-- most of the filthy, corrupt New Dems and Blue Dogs. Think about that when you consider going to a town hall meeting for someone like Jim Himes (New Dem-CT), John Delaney (New Dem-MD), or Cheri Bustos (Blue Dog-IL). Not every villain is a Republican, even if every Republican is a villain. The Republican wing of the Democratic Party needs to be pressured-- hard.

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At 7:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, the DC democraps will fuck it up. And if they win, they'll fuck it up. Look at 2009-2010 for proof. Expect a more inept and spastic set of betrayals than then.

Blue America is useless as tits on a bull until they finally realize that the democrap "party" needs to be euthanized. Endorsing good people running as democraps serves to delay that very necessary euthanasia.

At 7:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not only will they fuck it up, they ARE actually among the trumpzis enablers.

Ds raise a lot of money from horrified lefties when Rs are horrible. They also try to finesse a small majority, for a term, out of it. They don't want to have any sort of operative majorities because then they would have no excuse for betraying all their nice progressive and liberal statements.

They got their big majority in 2009, betrayed it, and lost 12 million voters in 2010. If they had only a slim majority, their bitching about being thwarted by those meanies on the other side of the aisle might have been believable.

You have to appreciate the amount of finesse that the democraps must employ to do what they have to do for their money.

At 7:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 7:09 PM:

You know who's as useless as tits on a bull? You are.

At 12:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anonymous @ 7:25 PM - agree with you and advise this bore to go away. We are sick of the negative posts!

At 1:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In this place in these times, how can a sentient posting NOT be negative?

Truly sorry that you find this analysis negative... so sorry to harsh your mellow.

Tell you what. Stop reading until all the fairy dust settles and the unicorns (without tits) are jumping through the wildflowers everywhere. Then read again. It'll be quite positive, I assure you.

In the mean time (and place), I'll continue to tell the truth in the rawest way I can, to get the attention of everyone else who isn't on a magic mushroom buzz.


At 2:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 1:47 PM:

How many times can you say "Democrats suck?" It's all you have, and it's not getting you -- or us -- anywhere. You're not presenting any alternative, and you never have. What would you have do, join the fucking greens? Or go anarchist? You're just a fucking bore, and a troll.

At 5:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not a troll. Maybe a bore.

The alternative: first, kill off the democrap party. while they still breathe and vacuum up billions, the left of this country will never have representation. period. end of lecture. you're welcome.

second, find another vehicle that represents the American left. Maybe it'll be the Greens. Maybe some incarnation of Socialist -- like Bernie's label "Democrat Socialist" or was it "social democrat". Whatever. Maybe something else.

But none of this is ever happening while the democraps survive.

I may bore you folks with no attention span. But tell me how I'm wrong. Then we'll talk.

At 3:16 PM, Blogger samuel glover said...

The original anon is right. The Democratic Party is where left politics goes to die. We've seen this in action for a quarter-century now, at least. It needs to disappear as an institution. Revive it, and you're only going to sustain tapeworms like Pelosi, Hoyer, Brazile, ad nauseum. These people lost to Donald Fucking Trump. They have produced a "party" that comprises DC, NYC, SF, LA, and maybe Chicago. They have only ONE skill: Keeping their suckers firmly attached to the big colonic wall of the Democratic Party.

Look at it this way: The Democratic Party is really brain-dead already. Walk away from it, give it, and let the mercy killing finally finish.


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