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Gender: Male
Hometown: Maryland
Member since: Sun Aug 17, 2003, 11:39 PM
Number of posts: 77,540

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Sanders' hypocrisy wanting establishment to choose him over the candidate w/more votes & delegates

...is absolutely stunning. The illogic just berns.

Here, he's railing against the fact that the majority of supers have lined up behind Hillary. Sanders first admits he's behind in earned delegates, the appears to argue for some sort of proportional allocation of superdelegates...

Sanders Sunday w/Jake Tapper:

“If I have 46 percent, she has 54 percent. The point that I was making is there’s something absurd when I get 46 percent of the delegates that come from real contests — real elections, and 7 percent of the super delegates.”

Is he arguing for proportional representation of supers, or not? Tapper tries to pin him down:

“Should we assume that means that you believe the candidate who has the majority of pledged delegates by the end of this process should be the nominee?” the CNN host wondered.

No way Sanders was going for that, after all, what he just argued for basically conceded the primary to Hillary. Instead, he shifted to his amazingly hypocritical argument that the establishment supers he's all but called corrupt should back his candidacy, even though he's certain to trail Hillary in earned delegates and votes...

“I understand that it’s an uphill fight to go from 46 percent where we are today to 50 percent in the nine remaining contests, I got that,” Sanders admitted, adding that super delegates should take an “objective look at which candidate is stronger.”

Tapper, however, explained that Clinton “has more votes than you and she has more pledged delegates than you.”

“The question is just a simple, yes or no,” Tapper said. “Should the person with the most pledged delegates be the Democratic nominee?”

“I’m not a fan of super delegates, but their job is to take an objective look at reality,” Sanders opined. “So, we’ll see what happens.”

Here's the thing, expecting party pols, basically the folks he's spent this campaign attacking as establishment insiders, to overturn the will of voters in our primary, isn't revolutionary, progressive, or any other heroic label he and his supporters choose for their campaign. It is an anathema to democracy, it's a kick in the teeth to the people his 'people's revolution' claims to represent and support.

It's based, unbelievably, on the view that polling should take precedence over actual votes. It's stunning in its cynical expectation that there's some sizable contingent of superdelegates willing to leapfrog democracy and advance the losing candidate.

I can't help think about what reaction the Sanders campaign would have if the results of the primary had been reversed. Not just things like their reaction if the more diverse regions and states had supported him over Hillary, but their reaction if Hillary had made a public campaign out of seeking party insiders to overturn those results.

You don't get a pass for an anti-democratic campaign just because you label yourselves as a movement. The only movement which should be given precedence is the movement of those who actually show up at the voting booth. That's where Sanders' revolution against our party has been tested, and that's where it's failed.

Not at rallies with Sanders preaching from the podium; not outside campaign events where partisans shout obscenities at rivals for supporting a different Democrat in this race; not on the internet where invectives and strident rhetoric is substituted for substantive debate; not out of hate and threats made over the phone; but in the voting booth.

I don't think it's too much to expect Sanders and his supporters to know the difference.

Why a 'revolution' against the Democratic 'establishment' is abhorrent to me

I'm in what I think is a unique position in my life (to many other younger folks), where I've been subject to a government which did not fully recognize or defend my rights or my citizenship as a black American.

Moreover, I've lived through a time where there was scant representation in our national government of black legislators, and the product of our government reflected that dearth of diversity. I still recall the mere handful of blacks I found in Congress when I first explored the Capitol as a young adult. I remember seeing the tall head of Rep. Ron Dellums, ever present on the House floor, and imagining that there were many more like him in the wings. It wasn't until 1990, though, that we actually saw a significant influx of minorities elected to Congress, enabled by the 1990 census Democrats fought to reform and manage (along with their fight for an extension of the Voting Rights Act which Bush I vetoed five times before trading his signature for votes for Clarance Thomas) which allowed court-ordered redistricting to double the number of districts with black majorities.

Now, in my 50's, I'm living through a time where there is not only a steady influx of blacks elected to the House, but also a smattering of legislators elected to the Senate. Of course, there's the two-term presidency of Barack Obama to measure the distance our nation has traveled from the passage of the Voting Rights Act, to the nomination and election of our first black occupant of the White House.

I raise these points to try and get folks to understand how much effort and struggle it took to get the leaders of our black constituencies in place in government - in positions where they could actually make a difference in the debates and deliberations which, only a few decades ago, excluded them from even being considered in allocations, benefits, protections, assistance, opportunity, and other vestiges of citizenship which had been denied to individuals in our communities.

If you could only see through my eyes just how absurd the notion of a political revolution against the Democratic establishment looks in the wake of a largely successful presidency which has only been limited in it's progressive accomplishments by an entrenched and obstructive republican majority.

I'm not a big fan of the process of government in our national legislature. It's an institutionally cumbersome process which too often dwells on the lowest common denominator. Still, you have to understand, I'm not feeling the glory and liberation of unsettling legislators who have overcome historical obstacles, as well as institutional ones (such as redistricting and gerrymandering) to gain a seat at the political table. From my perspective, we've barely just arrived, and some who profess to having 'progressive' interests want to show them the door.

I get that I'm exaggerating, but who has the luxury to be sanguine about supposed 'movements' which not only threaten legislators over daring to support another candidate for president, but denigrate the voters (South) who enable them into office with their votes? I don't have that luxury, and I reason that others in my community do not, either.

I know there are people who will come back to me about the primacy of issues over the color of a legislator. Sanders, himself, said pretty much that in an early interview. Although, he declared in another contradictory instance, that our party's problem was it's inability to appeal to white men. 'Wooing white males,' it was called in my day.

Moreover, Sanders has argued throughout the primary that progressive economics is a panacea for what ails the black community which is disproportionately disadvantaged by poverty, unemployment, and a crumbling infrastructure. Yet, there is much for our community to be wary of in that assessment of his. A rising economic tide certainly raises many boats, but it can just as certainly drown those unable to float on their own.

Democratic socialism isn't something which provides consideration for the unique problems faced by black Americans, many of which can be laid at the doorstep of discrimination. A higher minimum wage, for instance, is no good to someone denied employment or advancement.

Much has been written about Sanders' economics and its parallel to FDR's New Deal. Sen. Sanders and his supporters can confidently point to the legacy of Roosevelt in establishing a social safety net as they promote their candidate's own populist agenda - clearly influenced by a proud and thoughtful Socialist legacy - many facets of which, as he noted in a speech explaining his invented political moniker, are currently being practiced by successful, progressive economies around the world.

Yet, it should be remembered that FDR left a whole host of productive and worthy Americans out of his grand bargain... from wiki:

The New Deal programs put millions of Americans immediately back to work or at least helped them to survive. The programs were not specifically targeted to alleviate the much higher unemployment rate of blacks. Some aspects of the programs were even unfavorable to blacks. The Agricultural Adjustment Acts for example helped farmers which were predominantly white but reduced the need of farmers to hire tenant farmers or sharecroppers which were predominantely black... Some New Deal measures inadvertently discriminated against harmed blacks. Thousands of blacks were thrown out of work and replaced by whites on jobs where they were paid less than the NRA's wage minimums because some white employers considered the NRA's minimum wage "too much money for Negroes." By August 1933, blacks called the NRA the "Negro Removal Act."An NRA study found that the NIRA put 500,000 African Americans out of work...

And women were initially left out of the bargain as well...

At first the New Deal created programs primarily for men. It was assumed that the husband was the "breadwinner" (the provider) and if they had jobs, whole families would benefit. It was the social norm for women to give up jobs when they married; in many states there were laws that prevented both husband and wife holding regular jobs with the government. So too in the relief world, it was rare for both husband and wife to have a relief job on FERA or the WPA.[209] This prevailing social norm of the breadwinner failed to take into account the numerous households headed by women, but it soon became clear that the government needed to help women as well.

FDR's Social Security Act had similar exclusivity for white men... from wiki:

____ Most women and minorities were excluded from its benefits of unemployment insurance and old age pensions. Employment definitions reflected typical white male categories and patterns.

Job categories that were not covered by the act included workers in agricultural labor, domestic service, government employees, and many teachers, nurses, hospital employees, librarians, and social workers. The act also denied coverage to individuals who worked intermittently.

These jobs were dominated by women and minorities. For example, women made up 90% of domestic labor in 1940 and two-thirds of all employed black women were in domestic service. Exclusions exempted nearly half the working population.

Nearly two-thirds of all African Americans in the labor force, 70 to 80% in some areas in the South, and just over half of all women employed were not covered by Social Security. At the time, the NAACP protested the Social Security Act, describing it as “a sieve with holes just big enough for the majority of Negroes to fall through.”

It bears reminding that most legislative progress has been historically incremental (and progressively evolving), even with passage of sweeping initiatives. There's certainly much to be desired and demanded from our political process, but progressive change requires coalition-building, not tearing at the fabric of our party that many vulnerable and politically precarious Democratic communities are counting on to represent them. For many of these legislators (most minority legislators are in the House), they are, essentially, the voices of their communities or districts - voices unique to these communities and desperately needed.

We wage revolution against enemies, not allies. If we are to be successful in effecting progressive change, we'll need to build and repair bridges of support within our party as we continue to press for action. That's how change happens. There's no shortcut to be found by dividing our ranks. Let's make it happen.
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