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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 2/8/20

DNC in Disarray While the Sanders Campaign Gains Momentum

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As a center of elite power, the Democratic National Committee is now floundering. Every reform it has implemented since 2016 was the result of progressive grassroots pressure. But there are limits to what DNC Chair Tom Perez is willing to accept without a knock-down, drag-out fight. And in recent weeks, he has begun to do heavy lifting for corporate Democrats throwing roadblocks in the way of the Bernie 2020 campaign as it continues to gain momentum.

The fiasco in Iowa, despite its importance, is a sideshow compared to what is foreshadowed by recent moves from Perez. For one thing, he appointed avowedly anti-Bernie corporate operatives to key positions on powerful DNC committees. The flagrant conflicts of interest have included entrenching paid staffers for Michael Bloomberg's presidential campaign on rules committees for the DNC and the upcoming Democratic National Convention.

Perez soon followed up by abruptly changing the official rules to allow Bloomberg to participate in the debate scheduled for three days before the Feb. 22 Nevada caucuses. The egregious decision to waive the requirement for large numbers of individual donors rolled out the blue carpet for Bloomberg to the debate stage.

"Now suddenly a guy comes in who does not campaign one bit in Iowa, New Hampshire, he's not on the ballot I guess in Nevada or South Carolina, but he's worth $55 billion," Sanders said Thursday when asked about the rules change. "I guess if you're worth $55 billion you can get the rules changed for a debate. So, to answer your question: I think that is an absolute outrage and really unfair."

Inconvenient facts such as the reality that Bloomberg fervently endorsed President George W. Bush for re-election in 2004 (in a speech to the Republican National Convention, no less) or that as mayor of New York he championed racist stop-and-frisk police policies are less important to party chieftains than the humongous dollar signs that self-financing Bloomberg is bringing to the table.

The mayors of San Francisco, Washington, Anchorage and Albany, among others, have already succumbed to Bloomberg's wealthy blandishments and endorsed him, as has former Black Panther and longtime disappointment Congressman Bobby Rush. To corporate elites, the moral of the sordid Bloomberg story is that most people can be bought, and Bloomberg might be the deus ex machina to lift them out of an impending tragedy of Sanders as nominee.

The glaring subtext of all this is the now-frantic effort to find some candidate who can prevent Sanders from becoming the party's nominee at the national convention in July. Early corporate favorites like Beto O'Rourke, Cory Booker, and Kamala Harris fizzled and flamed out. Joe Biden appears to be sinking. Amy Klobuchar staked her hopes on Iowa without success. That appears to leave Pete Buttigieg and Bloomberg as the strongest corporate contenders to prevent the corporate Democrats' worst nightmare the nomination of an authentic progressive populist.

A traditional claim by corporate Democrats the assumption that grassroots progressive campaigns are doomed is oddly matched by the assumptions of right-wing media and some on the left that the DNC can successfully rig just about anything it wants to. Fox News has been feasting on the Iowa meltdown, pleased to occasionally invite leftists on the air to denounce the DNC, immediately followed by routine denunciations of Democrats in general and Sanders in particular as diabolical socialists eager to destroy any and all American freedoms with a collectivist goal of tyranny.

Meanwhile, some progressives have such an inflated view of the DNC's power that they propagate the idea that all is lost and Bernie is sure to be crushed. It's the kind of defeatism that's surely appreciated by right-wingers and corporate Democrats alike.

Perhaps needless to say, if Bernie Sanders had such a fatalistic view of electoral politics, he never would have run for president in the first place. People on the left who say the DNC's elite power can't be overcome with grassroots organizing are mirroring the traditional scorn from corporate Democrats who insist that the left can never dislodge them from dominance of the party, let alone end corporate dominance of the nation.

Like millions of other progressives who support Bernie 2020, I realize that the forces arrayed against us are tremendously powerful. That's the nature of the corporate beast. The only way to overcome it is to organize and fight back. That's what the movements behind the Sanders campaign are doing right now.

In the words of a Latin American graffiti writer, "Let's save pessimism for better times."

.

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Norman Solomon is cofounder and national coordinator of RootsAction.org. He was a Bernie Sanders delegate from California to the 2016 Democratic National Convention and is currently a coordinator of the relaunched Bernie Delegates Network. (more...)
 

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11 people are discussing this page, with 15 comments


Meryl Ann Butler

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Excellent, thank you!

This is a good time to remember that the American Revolution was overcome with excruciating hardships, even to the point, that toward the end, George Washington even seemed to give up hope...but it was a combination of unexpected weather events in our favor and inspiring writing by Thomas Payne that contributed - and may have been fully responsible - for American victory. It's in our blood, it's in our soil, we can topple a king again.

I love this: "Let's save pessimism for better times."

Thank you.

Submitted on Saturday, Feb 8, 2020 at 2:33:32 PM

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Jim Glover

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Reply to Meryl Ann Butler:   New Content

You are right, and the big turning point was the arrival of the French fleet cutting off the British at the same time that Washington's Spies made the British think Washington was not going to Yorktown but elsewhere.

Vive La France

Submitted on Saturday, Feb 8, 2020 at 9:58:37 PM

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Don Smith

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Numerous scholars -- including Noam Chomsky, Cornel West, Paul Krugman, Fances Fox Piven, Tim Worstall, and Marian Tupy -- say Bernie Sanders is a social democrat (aka a New Deal liberal) and not a socialist. So why on earth does Sanders continue to call himself a socialist? This careless use of language confuses the populace and opens Sanders to unnecessary ridicule and attacks from Republicans and corporate Dems. The best way Bernie could help himself would be for him to stop calling himself a democratic socialist. For details, see Bernie, please stop calling yourself a socialist. You're a social democrat!

Submitted on Saturday, Feb 8, 2020 at 3:49:44 PM

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911TRUTH

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I've been troubled by this, too. Bernie should explain his political identity every chance he gets, but he never does.

Submitted on Saturday, Feb 8, 2020 at 5:55:44 PM

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John Lawrence Ré

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Because he's DNC's red herring and has no intention of winning...like last time. The DNC objections to him are only more political Kabuki. Sanders is just making sure for the DNC that the anti-war candidate Gabbard can't win, then he'll dutifully turn around and support Butthead, Warren or Bloomberg while spluttering madly, "We muct stop Trump at all costs!" so ignore my defection. It's how he'll pocket millions and also get the next fighter plane boondooggle for Vermont. His strategy as president would be to propose social and health plans so extreme they'd have zero chance of passing, so that the money collected from all the taxes he will raise will go straight to MIC while he feins anger. Happens every time a dem is elected.

As we said about LBJ's Great Society: it's just "bombs, bullets and bullshit." We never learn. Unless you're a100% against war and imperialism and it's your first, second and third priority, you're part of the problem. Like Sanders.

Submitted on Saturday, Feb 8, 2020 at 8:34:25 PM

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shad williams

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You are riight anout the priorities.

Your cynicism is very keen. He will have to take over the apparatus of the DNC. Then the next battle will have to take back the congress... among several battles that must be also be waged.

Look at where we are. The Man is cemented in the system. If the campaign to blow him out of the system cannot be sustained as you believe then we are left only with our human rights as a shield.

Submitted on Sunday, Feb 9, 2020 at 6:27:59 AM

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b. sadie bailey

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@John Lawrence Re; I wish I could say you are wrong, but you're right. I still want to vote for Tulsi Gabbard in my heart of hearts.

There are 3 things that can happen if you dare to expose the machine; as busy spin-doctors figure out how best to take you down - not just presidents, but anyone who speaks the truth or or is a threat:

1) be made a laughing stock where no one takes you seriously (unfortunately, Carter)

2) get some "dirt" or "spin" dug up on you and get impeached or disgraced (Nixon, who was a crook but gave us every environmental law and protection including the EPA) - and always, the "crimes" of impeachment are never the worst of the real crimes like abuse of power and human rights abuses (Clinton, Trump)

3) get murdered (Kennedy, Lincoln) and MLK, RFK, Malcolm X, and many, many others too numerous to name)

Submitted on Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 6:42:39 AM

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Richard Pietrasz

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As long as Gabbard remains part of the military, and refuses to admit she was morally wrong and a war criminal, she is not the anti-war candidate. She may disagree with the way USA conducts war, but she has not pointed what is obvious to anyone who has an empathy for the victims of war, or who who has actually read the US Constitution and other legal documents relating to war.

Submitted on Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020 at 5:40:55 AM

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True, and I suspect Bernie is afraid if he is afraid of anything besides Trump that Trump will say "There are the National Socialists (Nazis) in Germany too Bernie and how did that work out?"


And recall that the Nazi saluting right that Biden was point man for in that US supported Coup in Ukraine will be a sore spot for all the Dem Candidates.



Submitted on Saturday, Feb 8, 2020 at 10:10:18 PM

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Lew Weingarth

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Great article. No, make that EXCELLENT article. I have the following comments.

1. I now donate directly to progressives, ending 40 years of donating to the DNC. I'll resume contributing to the DNC after they run someone who represents the majority of Americans in DC. I feel MUCH better supporting something positive instead of the least harmful of two negatives.

2. Bernie is right that Americans want representation in return for taxation. What amazes me is that ANYONE can fail to see something that obvious. 500ft letters?

3. I suspect that having to fight, in order of power, American voter ignorance, American voter apathy, Fox Fake News, the RNC, the DNC, and foreign influences, Bernie won't get much done. Thankfully, Bernie knows it doesn't matter, if we don't start the journey, we have zero hope of reaching success.

4. While Bloomberg and Trump using money to buy political parties is similar, there is one fundamental difference - intent. Bloomberg actually wants to help. Should he be able to buy his way in? You know what, I'm only voting for Bloomberg if I like what he says, so I really don't mind him telling me what he thinks, as long as I'm not paying for it. Look at Steyer - maybe not my first choice but a GOOD choice, I would vote for him if he were the candidate. I say we let rich people campaign all they want and provide public funding for anyone who can't afford their own campaign. Oh, and let the rich guy deduct the cost. If we let businesses deduct expenses, we should also allow people trying to help.

5. Should we curl up and lay down in fear? Never. It would throw away the freedom that many American patriots have laid down their lives to protect in 5 wars (war being defined as protecting freedom rather than increasing profits of war profiteers). Besides, WE ARE WINNING. Why else would they have so many forces arrayed and aligned to snuff out our democracy. Remember, Tokyo Rose controls the media, if anything we need to march faster.

Submitted on Saturday, Feb 8, 2020 at 6:16:02 PM

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shad williams

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You lost me at, I am only voting for Bloomberg if he...

The person who does not hear the Rattlesnake's rattle before being bitten is hardly concerned what the rattle sounds like. It is a Rattlesnake.

Submitted on Sunday, Feb 9, 2020 at 6:41:44 AM

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Ken Swiatek

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Butt, Bloom & Joe should be running for the Republican nomination.

Submitted on Saturday, Feb 8, 2020 at 9:36:34 PM

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Jim Glover

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I believe we all know deep inside Trump will win again. Not just the acquittal in the Senate but the impeachment effort still going on.

Pelosi had planned in plain view when she gave Trump a short intro omitting all of the traditional introduction, then after Trump hands her his speech as he is turning left to go to the podium and his eyes are on where he is going she offers him her hand.

Then during his State of the Union she is fidgeting with and separating sections of her copy under the straight on camera view as she was making little pre tears in each section (but caught in a camera from behind) so that she could easily tear up the four or five thin sections she had planned beforehand. If Bernie or any Dem continues to support this Impeachment forever plan it is curtains for the Democrat Party in 2020.

"The thing about the future is once you've seen it, it changes because you've seen it and that Changes everything" from the 2007 movie NEXT.

Submitted on Saturday, Feb 8, 2020 at 10:39:19 PM

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David Moskowitz

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Excellent article!

Bernie is perfect on everything, except healthcare: https://www.opednews.com/articles/An-elegant-solution-to-the-by-David-Moskowitz-Access_DIALYSIS_Equality-Inequity_Innovation-190804-167.html

Submitted on Sunday, Feb 9, 2020 at 4:28:56 PM

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b. sadie bailey

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Even when it seems hopeless, never give up - there are still local elections that matter!

It depends on your area and how they vote when the November showdown comes; in 2016, knowing Clinton would win soundly in our county, I was able to vote my conscience without turmoil or guilt. I voted for Jill Stein, based on her "cut the military budget in half" platform - which would easily pay for everything else this country needs.

Sanders may be another tool of the system, but he'll get my vote in the primary and caucus here. Then... when/if he "loses" again... I can go back to my "stock" candidate for farce November "elections" - Alfred E Newman.

I knew a delegate for Sanders who said that after the DNC got through with him in a "private" meeting, Sanders came out shrunken and bowed. Who knows what they told him; likely threats. He gave up immediately and endorsed Clinton. Maybe he is just a tool; but I look at his senate record and how he voted his whole career, and I have to give him a chance - he's the best thing we have.

It was Obama who gave himself and all future presidents unlimited executive power, making Trump possible. It's all one corporate robber baron party. So, this is it. And the DNC has rigged the game so bad they have committed every kind of treason there is.

VOTE LOCAL if nothing else! There's still some honest people running for local seats... never, never give up.

ps - whatever happened to Tulsi?

Submitted on Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 6:06:54 AM

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