Wednesday, May 18, 2016

CALLING IT NOW: SANDERS WON'T WORK TO ELECT CLINTON, AND PROBABLY WON'T ENDORSE HER

Josh Marshall confirms what I've suspected for a while:
For months I'd thought and written that Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver was the key driver of toxicity in the the Democratic primary race. Weaver has been highly visible on television, far more than campaign managers tend to be. He's also been the one constantly upping the tension, pressing the acrimony and unrealism of the campaign as Sanders actual chances of winning dwindled.

But now I realize I had that wrong.

Actually, I didn't realize it. People who know told me.

Over the last several weeks I've had a series of conversations with multiple highly knowledgable, highly placed people. Perhaps it's coming from Weaver too. The two guys have been together for decades. But the 'burn it down' attitude, the upping the ante, everything we saw in that statement released today by the campaign seems to be coming from Sanders himself. Right from the top.

... this is coming from Bernie Sanders. It's not Weaver. It's not driven by people around him. It's right from him. And what I understand from knowledgable sources is that in the last few weeks anyone who was trying to rein it in has basically stopped trying and just decided to let Bernie be Bernie.
When I watch Sanders now, I don't see a typical politician whose contempt for an opponent is a big act. The contempt Sanders feels for Clinton and the Democratic establishment is now bone-deep. It's classic male anger, rooted in outrage at being disrespected.

So I'm predicting that Bernie Sanders won't endorse Hillary Clinton. He's going to fight to the last primary, then he's going to try to twist superdelegates' arms, then he and his people are going to demand a platform that resolves every disagreement between himself and Clinton in his favor. And when the platform fails to repudiate the party's nominee on every point of disagreement, he's going to walk. At best, he'll offer a pro forma endorsement, maybe not until well after the convention is over, and then he'll sit out the general election campaign. Because this is personal for him. He believes the Democrats won't win if he's not the nominee, so he does no damage by withdrawing from the fray. It's all the fault of Clinton and the party establishment if she loses.

She is a weak candidate, and the party did try to grease the skids for her, but Barack Obama faced the same situation in 2008 and just put his head down and overcame the odds. And the ideas and voters Sanders represents should be in the tent -- but at this point I think giving vent to gut-level anger means more to Sanders than either a Democratic victory in November or a partial win for his movement, with the possibility of greater victories to follow. He thinks he's been screwed. And someone has to pay.

****

A Sanders supporter expresses skepticism about the Josh Marshall post:



Andrew Prokop at Vox says the same thing:
... if Sanders truly wanted to burn the Democratic Party to the ground, he'd be in the press attacking the likely Democratic nominee on her email scandal every day. But he's not.
But the email story doesn't touch on economic inequality or control of the political system by the wealthy or any of the issues Sanders considers his own. He's contemptuous of Clinton, but he's not Donald Trump -- he won't use just any available weapon against her, because he's trying to demonstrate the superiority of his belief system, not his own personal superiority. He certainly won't let the Goldman Sachs speeches go, will he?

25 comments:

Victor said...

Is there any GOOD news for Democrats lately?

AllieG said...

I know Sanders is 75 and all, but I find it hard to believe a career pol would so knowingly commit career suicide. As a leftist in America, shouldn't he be more used to losing?

percysowner said...

Did the DNC really try to grease the skids Hillary Clinton per se? Or did they want a non-dramatic primary season. If Hillary had lost a child and Joe Biden had run instead, would there have been more debates? Or whatever else was supposedly done to grease the skids?

For goodness sake, the let a man who wasn't a member of the party run under their banner. They didn't have to do that, did they? How is that greasing the skids for any other nominee. Yes, no one expected Sanders to go as far as he has, but still if you don't want a challenge to Hillary Clinton, then you don't let a guy who has been playing purity pony for years, who isn't a member of your party run as a Democrat.

Charon04 said...

AllieG:

I have been watching how capricious and irrational his behaviour seems - my thought is to consider personality change associated with early senile dementia.

brett said...

So, will she win anyway?

petrilli said...

So what's Clinton gonna do now? Whatever Sanders decides to do, Clinton is not without options or agency. She has choices. She needs his supporters. It's possible for her to get them. It's up to her to get them. After all, only a few die-hard PUMAs held out against Obama and the rest crossed over. Anyone who glanced at Taylor Marsh's blog or Larry Johnson's No Quarter during those days saw how bitter things could get. Hillary's endorsement was important to achieving a positive outcome, but was it crucial? I think Obama worked real hard on his own to get those votes. There were a lot of things he could say to those Hilary dead-enders, but he let it go. Clinton's campaign should do the same. Or, she could just write us all off now and go after those Jeb/Laura Bush moderates she's been drooling over.

Gerald Lillpop said...

Give it a rest Hillary kept on until California and wouldn't back down even though the pundits had anointed Obama in May of 2008. As to typical male anger you are an idiot. Bernie is pissed at a system that rewards cheaters and people like the Koch brothers Hillary embraces that system.

petrilli said...

Dennis, I guess your point is that there's nothing Clinton can offer Bernie that he needs in terms of a deal, which I agree with 100%. My thought was that she should appeal directly to his supporters if she wants them. Bernie doesn't own them, and if he actually tried to endorse her too soon, they might even turn on him and start throwing throwing chairs in his direction (lol). His endorsement at the right time would be helpful, but with his crowd, Hilary is pretty much on her own IMO. Side question, Why would Steve M not dare to write critically of Clinton? would he be at risk of losing his cushy blog job with all the blog perq's and blog groupies or something?

Unknown said...

Hillary is not owed Bernie's endorsement. Nor is she owed his supporters' votes.

If she wants them, she can earn them. Or if she thinks she can win without them, she can tell them to fuck off.

Dark Avenger said...

Troll Clean-up on aisle 3, stat!

Mark said...

At the 2008 Democratic Convention, when the roll call came around to New York, then-Senator Clinton stepped up to the microphone. She moved that the roll call be suspended, and that the convention nominate then-Senator Obama for President by acclamation.

I will wait to see if Senator Sanders demonstrates that kind of class.

Lit3Bolt said...

Oh look, the Republican operatives are here.

Let's hop on the nihilism train, choo choo! When Republicans control all 3 branches of government and most of the states, then the real socialist revolution will start.

Feud Turgidson said...

Steve, Steve, Steve ... Nomores, Nomores, Nomoes ... It's bad enough that Drudge has been running this Dems in Dissarray meme on his page for weeks, and that it's keeping all the cables and pundit shows going. Why the Living F R we all contributing to this bullshit?

FWIW a few weeks back I wrote to Sanders' caompaign asking for my 27 buck contributions back. Of course I got asked for more. I tried to explain. The BernieBot didn't respond. I got pissed off and actually TYPED A FREAKING SNAIL MAIL letter telling him to KNOCK IT THE FUCK OFF! So yesterday evening I got a call from a Berniebot wanting to talk "and listen" and I told her Nope, you get to listen and report, that's it.

Nothing back yet. IMO the place has gone to the mats. I don't know if it's worthwhile wondering whether this is Weaver winning over Devine or all Bernie's doing all along, but I DO think it has entirely everything to do with the weird allure of running for presidnet. Hillary went bonkers and her fans went just as bonkers or more around this same point in the primary season in 2008, and it took some heroic work by John Podesta to right the ship then.

Unfortunately, or maybe not WTF knows, Podesta now is in a less neutral position, and there might actually not be anyone other than Obama (if even he) who can cure Bernie of his Cow Bell Fever. The old fart's 74 nearly 75, what does he care if the world catches on fire and it's all Demodammerung, he's not even really a Democrat?

I say: Finish him, DNC. All of uou. Bring on Warren, bring on Obama, bring on the whole Congressional Progressive Study Group and do an intervention. If that doesn't work, throw the bum out. He's gone mad with power thing.

Orthodox said...

Clinton will get most of Sanders's supporters because the fringe Bernie-lovers are just that---a fringe. Regardless, even if they all were 100% dedicated to him, you have to ask yourself if you really think Sanders is prepared to let this election go to Trump. I don't. Sit here and psychoanalyze the guy all you want, but he won't sit on the sidelines and harrumph if there's a real chance Clinton could lose.

Steve M. said...

Comments by banned commenter removed.

KenRight said...

Obama voted for the bank bailout, (Clinton for) Sanders against. That's just one of the issues which forbid any comparison as to working with or against, accommodating or not the Elite.

Blackstone said...

My recollection was Bush held the country hostage on the bank bailout. No strings attached or veto. I didn't like it, but I knew Dubya was a whack job and his reputation was not going to get any better, so he had nothing to lose. Senators Obama and Clinton made a defensible responsible decision under the circumstances.

the Senator from Vermont has nothing more to lose. He Is 75. This is the last hurrah. As The ,an said, "when you got nothing, you got nothing to lose."

Ken_L said...

There are good reasons Bernie didn't start using shopworn material from the right to attack Hillary. For one, it would have made him indistinguishable from the Republican candidates, which many of his potential supporters would have found unacceptable. And two, it would have provoked Hillary's camp into attacking him, with material that was neither recycled nor drawn from the right.

Examples include his youthful dalliances with communism, his wife's unfortunate business record, his age and his refusal to release his tax returns.

Sweet Sue said...

Can you imagine the brouhaha if Hillary Clinton had a son "born out of wedlock" that she didn't raise?
Bernie does and crickets.
Double standard?

Unknown said...

I think what we should be really worried about is Bernie pulling the Full Nader and launching a third party bid. He kinda sounds like a guy ginning up the reasons for this -- e.g. "sure, I said I would support the Democratic nominee, but that was before I realized just how grossly corrupt they are. The only principled stand is to continue this as a third party bid..."

Tom Hilton said...

After all, only a few die-hard PUMAs held out against Obama and the rest crossed over.

Because after the primaries, Clinton worked her ass off to get them on board the Obama train. Which is what Sanders is morally obligated to do for Clinton (but probably won't).

KenRight said...

Sanders called for Obama to be primaried in 2012. He's not obligated to go further right than Stein.

Todd Ernst said...

The PUMAs went away and Clinton got handed the Sec of State position.

What is she going to offer Sanders?

Dennis said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ten Bears said...

These days I'm having a hard telling the difference between Dennis and the rest of you. "Indistinguishable from Republicans" indeed.