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Mon May 23, 2016, 02:02 AM

Sanders and Class Struggle in the Democratic Party

The article was from a video produced by the Real News Network, and is worth reading and watching. The parts of the article I posted below point to why the Democratic Party is not proving itself to be a vehicle for progressive change (and hasn't, frankly, in my lifetime).


...And from the beginning, Debbie Wasserman Schultz has been dishonest and double-dealing in how she’s handled this. So I wish that earlier in the campaign, rather than going after them in that same tone or character, that they’d simply made the point it’s time for these people to go. We need a new generation of leaders. And the second thing here, however, is that it isn’t just her. On the one hand it is, it is valid to say that a congresswoman who has really violated the rules of the Democratic National Committee in her conduct of her job relative to this campaign, and who in the Congress itself is a virtual lobbyist for the payday loan industry, it’s valid to call for her resignation. It’s valid to call her out for all the things she’s done.

It’s also valid to say that the entire Democratic National Committee is little better than a closely-held political action committee. That all 456 of the DNC superdelegates who are elected by no one and accountable to no one, who even their DNC posts no one in the country can primary for. It’s one of the very few offices that is absolutely impervious to outside accountability, to new blood, to democratic process. The whole thing has to go. And they’ve been, fooled with him from the beginning. He’s been a victim of the process from when she first cut the number of debates from 26 in 2008 to 6 this year, and scheduled them all on weekends and during popular sporting events if she could. There’s been a point when, from the very first point of this campaign, from the very beginning she’s rigged the system as well as she could for Clinton. She ought to go. I think her going ought to be a precondition of support for the ticket.

But at the same time, it’s not just–you don’t want to just get into name calling. You don’t want to just be re-litigating these factual questions that neither side can prove. The problem here is the entire system. She’s the perfect emblem of it, and she’s done many things wrong and she should go, and then the whole system should go. And last, I’ll just say one thing. The DNC members themselves who are all voting as delegates, when Wasserman Schultz did things like end Obama’s ban on federal contractors giving to the Democratic Party. When she set up this whole money laundering scheme, really, by which Clinton takes these large donations and works the state parties back into her own PAC. When she did all of these things there was never even a meeting of the DNC. There was never notice to the public or a recorded vote or a vote of any kind. There were no minutes. She’s making these huge decisions on behalf of the entire political party in what ought to be the greatest democracy of the world in close consultation with a couple of Hillary people, maybe the candidate herself, a couple of White House people. No one’s even been able to participate in this. And so from top to bottom, including in Nevada, in other caucus states where the party has not played, you know, fairly with the Sanders–. But from top to bottom, this party has not functioned as a political party ought to.

...And what I think you really hit on is that yes we can go into the DNC and personalities and so on, but fundamentally the reason this conflict is happening is that the party elites never have understood what this political revolution is about. They’ve not been, I’ve traveled to dozens and dozens of citizen towns. I’ve been in big rallies, I’ve been in rooms with people who are part of this political revolution, some of them for the very first time being involved in politics. Others had taken a hiatus because they’re fed up with the system but have come back. And really the reason the party elite doesn’t get this idea is when they call for party unity, that’s secondary to a lot of the people who are out there talking about a political revolution, which is what you essentially underscored. What the people who are engaged in this movement are about is completely blowing up the system, or at least demanding the changes that Bernie’s articulated. Single-payer healthcare. Getting rid of these bad trade agreements. You go down the list and many of these are fundamentally in contrast, in contradiction, to the policy not just of the DNC but, frankly, of the president of the United States. And so that conflict is expressing itself out there in terms of actual people going out to vote. They’re voting for a very different thing, in some ways very different from, as you point out, other contests, where at the end of the day in ’92 or ’88 the candidates were pretty much the same. They might have differed about some things, but party unity was simple because it was really about uniting factions about the same, that were part of that same system. Here it’s much different.

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Reply Sanders and Class Struggle in the Democratic Party (Original post)
kaleckim May 2016 OP
JDPriestly May 2016 #1
kaleckim May 2016 #2
JDPriestly May 2016 #3
kaleckim May 2016 #4

Response to kaleckim (Original post)

Mon May 23, 2016, 02:18 AM

1. Thanks. K&R. I'm a lifelong Democrat, but I am getting to know the people you describe

as I am now out there canvassing.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #1)

Mon May 23, 2016, 02:25 AM

2. I've been

working full time and in grad school full time, so I sadly haven't been too involved in activism in the last couple years, but I am in a field right in the middle of working people, the poor and activists. The Clinton supporters on this site and the DNC do not have a good understanding of what is going on, the changes underway, how angry people are, how radicalized people have become, and why they've become radicalized. I also don't think they realize how structural our problems are. They seem to generally assume that moderate solutions will work, and they won't. My background is in environmental issues, environmental economics in particular. Sorry to say, but we don't have tons of time to avoid ecological collapse and avoiding that collapse will not be possible with moderate tinkering around the edges. We don't have the time the "centrists" seem to think we have. Personally, I think that the Democrats will face an existential crisis in the next decade if there isn't a radical change, and I wouldn't be surprised to see a third party emerge if that is the case. They can avoid that fate, but it doesn't seem likely at this point.

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Response to kaleckim (Reply #2)

Mon May 23, 2016, 02:38 AM

3. You ar so right. We don't have the time that Hillary Clinton and her supporters think we have.

I wonder what is going to happen when the conservative climate change deniers finally wake up and realize that they have been fooled?

I just wonder what they are going to think of the many conservatives and conservatism who have mislead them, cheated them of their only opportunity to save our environment?

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #3)

Mon May 23, 2016, 10:43 PM

4. Well

Clinton is better than they are because she acknowledges the science of the matter. However, she has made it clear that she has zero interest in fundamentally changing the economy and our society in ways that are needed to avoid ecological collapse. So, I think the right wing and the Clinton types will realize the reality of what we're facing at about the same time, and it'll be too damn late.

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