consultants are sandburs

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

From a few days ago; a post on the World Socialist website.

Published by the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI)


https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2016/06/18/sand-j18.html

Sanders calls for supporters to back Clinton, “transform” Democratic Party
By Tom Hall - 18 June 2016


On Thursday [June 16, 2016], Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders delivered a speech to his supporters live over the Internet in which he laid out the next stage of his “political revolution” in the aftermath of the Democratic Party primaries. The speech exposed the real political content of his campaign: channeling the leftward political radicalization of workers and youth into the Democratic Party, one of the two main parties of American capitalism.

The speech was doubtlessly coordinated closely with the highest levels of the Democratic Party establishment. It followed by barely a week Sanders’ closed-door meeting with President Barack Obama after the California primary, and by only two days Sanders’ meeting with Hillary Clinton, the party’s presumptive nominee.

Sanders began his speech by noting the widespread support for his campaign: 12 million votes including huge majorities among young voters, victories in 22 state primaries and caucuses, rallies and meetings that attracted 1.5 million people and contributions from 2.7 million people, averaging $27 a piece.

He also listed the political and social conditions in the country motivating those who backed his campaign: an electoral system dominated by billionaires, “the grotesque level of wealth and income inequality,” declining life expectancy, child poverty, soaring student debt, poverty wages, collapsing infrastructure, increasing homelessness and record corporate profits.

All the anger over these conditions, Sanders insisted, must now go into support for Hillary Clinton. [...]

Sanders also made no mention of the fact that Clinton is planning to run arguably the most right-wing campaign in her party’s history, directing her appeal to sections of the military and the Republican Party opposed to Trump’s candidacy on the grounds that she is the more reliable choice for “commander-in-chief.”

Sanders went on to say that “defeating Trump cannot be our only goal.” He sought to focus the attention of his supporters on the Democratic Party convention, saying he would be involved in “discussions between the two campaigns to make certain your voices are heard and that the Democratic Party passes the most progressive platform in its history and that Democrats actually fight for that agenda.”

As everyone who is knowledgeable about the functioning of the Democratic Party knows, the platform is a meaningless document that has played no role in the actual formulation of policy for decades.

Sanders continued, “I also look forward to working with Secretary Clinton to transform the Democratic Party so that it becomes a party of working people and young people, and not just wealthy campaign contributors: a party that has the courage to take on Wall Street, the pharmaceutical industry, the fossil fuel industry and the other powerful special interests that dominate our political and economic life.”

Sanders’ portrayal of Clinton as a “progressive” ally of working people to “take on Wall Street” is absurd. She is a time-tested defender of the status quo, a stooge of Wall Street and corporate America going back to her days in Arkansas, when she sat on the board of directors of Wal-Mart. As first lady, senator from New York and Obama’s secretary of state, Clinton has supported right-wing economic policies at home and war abroad.

Sanders did not try to explain the contradiction between his presentation of Clinton as a partner in “transforming the Democratic Party” and the campaign’s criticism, which the Vermont Senator has been downplaying in recent weeks, of Clinton’s incestuous financial ties to the banks and major corporations.

A major demand of his campaign, which Sanders repeated at debates and in his public appearances, was that Clinton release the transcripts of speeches she gave to private audiences of corporate executives and Wall Street bankers, for which she was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars. These criticisms have been thrown down the memory hole.

Sanders makes no attempt to explain how he will accomplish the political alchemy of transforming the Democratic Party, which together with the Republican Party is the means through which the ruling elite asserts total political domination over every facet of American society, into “a party of working people and young people.” As he has done throughout his campaign, the Vermont senator also made no criticism of the Obama administration, which has overseen the largest transfer of wealth in US history and has helped create all the social ills that he listed in the beginning of his remarks.

[...] The winding down of Sanders’ campaign has forced some of the essential political content of his “political revolution” to extrude through his campaign’s fog of left-sounding rhetoric. No small number of people will begin to see through Sanders’ increasingly shopworn facade and view his pivot towards an open embrace of the Clinton campaign with contempt.

Viewing all that with contempt or not, as betrayal with a kiss or as something less, it is a phenomenon of our times, our status, and our quo that major media have not expressed any kindred view of the Sanders capitualtion to delegate numbers and to an intent to stay relevant.

If Sanders can have the effect of a permanent end to superdelegate insult to voting citizens, he will have stood for a degree of progress. Don't expect it. Hope for it but expect that we'll get that old status quo that we all love and know.

Keep an eye on Clinton as she does her version of the family's glide and slide toward "what they want to hear," apart from what is intended once in office, which is mystery as to detail but in large form can be anticipated to be consonant with massive Wall Street speech revenue and Big Pharma campaign money friendliness.

BOTTOM LINE: The Clintons know which side their bread is buttered on. They kiss the hand that feeds them, they do not bite.

A secondary bottom line: The money paragraph of that lengthy excerpt - the thing that rings with truth, is:

As everyone who is knowledgeable about the functioning of the Democratic Party knows, the platform is a meaningless document that has played no role in the actual formulation of policy for decades.

In light of that, a question arises as to Bernie's intent, beyond declaring a Trump victory might bring more distress to a troubled nation than a Clinton victory; as if there'd be much advantage to the people whose support he'd solicited for months of campaigning. In his heart he must know matters of degree differ from matters of polar opposites. But in the end Clinton had more delegate votes. He closes his book as he chooses; it being his to close.

The website from which the lengthy excerpt is taken, has a sidebar image noting there will be a socialist ticket on the ballot; should anybody want to register a protest vote. In that sense, each person must reach a personal decision, heart and mind, about how to go to the polls [or not] in November and once there, what in the world to do with the abysmal top ballot item. That Clinton - Trump choice is a cardinal insult to each and every American, and a message to the world that as a nation, we are and will continue to be a rudderless state in any true sense; one with a big army, but in search of a functioning guiding conscience.

___________UPDATE___________
As a pragmatist and a realist, if Bernie in sequential sessions with Obama and Ms. Clinton cut a deal where DWS would be out at DNC and Bernie in, to have a practical, sensible chance to put a progressive coalition together as he's said he'd like, and to move Dem establishment types toward it, that might, given delegate nose counts, be the best achievable outcome.

Let us hope to see such a scenario, since the young are the future, and workers have been the backbone of the real Democratic Party, prior to the Bill and Hillary Clinton "third way." Some things take time, more than the time to ramp up to an election, and may even, over time, fail. So hope progressives get some kind of a shot, at least. And not that tired old, "A hand in writing the platform." Make it a key to the DNC's offices, and be real.

__________FURTHER UPDATE__________
Aside from a progressive putsch to take DNC control, is there a Congressional seat despair setting in, five buck solicitation and all? Hopefully -

click to enlarge and read
forwarded email solicitation

"I have fought the good progressive fight my entire career." It says so. Right there in the email. In bolded text proving words are cheap. Not worth five bucks to me, if not others.

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