Thursday, May 19, 2016

CAN THE SANDERS BRAND SURVIVE COMPROMISE?

Greg Sanders thinks Hillary Clinton is hinting at a resolution of her battle with Bernie Sanders in this statement from a CNN interview with Chris Cuomo:
Clinton dodged a question from Cuomo on whether she would choose Sanders as her running mate.

“What brings us together is Donald Trump. I think that’s what brings us together,” she said, after remarking that would be a discussion for later. Assessing her chances against Trump, Clinton said the party would unify.

“That doesn’t mean we won’t have some vigorous discussion and debate about issues, about the platform, about all of the process of a convention. I welcome that. I think that’s healthy. I think bringing people into the party giving them a voice at the end is going to help us in the fall. I think as I said I will certainly do my part and more to reach out and bring in Senator Sanders’ supporters and I have every reason to expect he’ll do the same,” she said.
(Emphasis Sargent's.)

Sargent writes:
It’s possible the Clinton camp might actually conclude it’s in her best interests to make some real concessions towards Sanders....
I think that's quite possible. My question is whether Sanders will accept concessions that add up to less than full acceptance of his agenda.

I'm not sure he can. He's gotten this far because he's perceived by his supporters as unbought, unbossed, and completely pure; if he accepts compromised versions of his key agenda items, won't his base conclude that he sold out? Could he campaign for Clinton in the fall without seeming to the loyalists like everything they hate? And doesn't he want to retain their loyalty?

Sure, a rejection of Clinton and the party will make life extremely awkward for him in the Senate -- but if he's willing to stay in the caucus, Democrats will let him stay, because they'll need every vote they can get, especially if the Senate remains in Republican hands. (Remember, they didn't cut Joe Lieberman loose even after he endorsed George W. Bush in 2004.) By contrast, if he does compromise, the Revolution might abandon him.

He's up for reelection in 2018, and if he blows off the party this year, you'd think the party might try to get back at him by running a candidate against him. But the party didn't do that to Lieberman -- Ned Lamont's campaign was not welcomed by the party -- and if Sanders does seem vulnerable to a challenge, he's old enough to retire and live out his days as a movement hero. He won't need the salary -- I'm predicting he'll get a very nice book deal when this campaign is over, and the book will sell, too, especially if he goes out seeming to have his purity intact.

Maybe Sanders will do the right thing, for the good of the country. But I think he's got little to gain personally and a lot to lose, so I have my doubts.

16 comments:

Tom said...

I don't think it's going to be an issue because there's no way Clinton can admit anything he says has merit. He's kind of the antithesis of what she stands for. I don't have any trouble imagining Bernie standing up and saying "Did we get everything we wanted? No. Did we force her to do something she never would have done before? Yes. So it was worth it."

But what on earth is she willing to give that he wants?

Ernest Lamonica said...

"By contrast, if he does compromise, the Revolution might abandon him." His revolution is over so what does he need then for anymore. He is a politician also. I was at Chicago in 68 and got the scars to show for it (Grant Park) and lots of folks i was there with wound up voting for Reagan. Bernie is aware of fickle nature of young folks. When its said and done Bernie will get on board OR he will be Dems Ted Cruz in the Senate. And he knows it. Beside no one gives a shit about the platform but let him put some things in there. Voila On Board.

Victor said...

Bernie's not exactly as pure as freshly fallen snow.
He's supported the NRA's stance on a lot of things, so, pure he's not!

CardboardCaskets said...

Honestly, I don't know what the problem is here. Sooo easy for Sanders to say, "our New Politics Party is making a temporary alliance for the purpose of keeping Donald Trump out of the White House, but our revolutionary movement has bigger fish to fry and we are staying together as a force and aiming next at recruiting new down ballot candidates into our movement for the midterms in 2018; taking on the urgent task of taking all ballot issues away from control by the present established party duopoly; and blah blah blah (whatever, fill in the blank)." In other words, make alliances but not as an end game. Hit it and move on. This doesn't need to be more difficult than it actually is.

Feud Turgidson said...

More to the point, Bernie is not a Democrac, or just a D of convenience with no long or lasting commitment to the Dem party, this model or otherwise.

I'd be a lot more hopeful of Bernie having a future role to play (for a however so long that grizzled old carcass holds up) if he hadn't as of today lost EVERY SINGLE Congressional Dem.

Bernie has zero support from his own beloved Congressional Study group. Every single one of the regulars - Boxer, Whitehouse, Sherod among them - came out EARLY and came out HARD for HRC - which I really feel I should have paid more heed to. The Progressive Caucus occasional have also come out against him, Jeff Merkley most recently. The only hold out left is Elizabeth Warren, and there's actually no sign at all that she'd pick Bernie of HRC any more. It's now looking like Obama's assigned joebiden to the role of sole admin if not sole entire party establishment contact with Bernie.

He's acting erratic. This isn't going to end well. Now, the closest comparator to what's happening now is May 2008 with the way Hillary was acting, so probably this won't matter much in the end. but I really am disappointed in the old guy: he got his shot, he lost, so give it up, it's NOT A TRAGEDY, it's not like he's lost to an ignorant race-batting misogynist fascist blowhard who'd screw up everything, he's lost to a MOTR female liberal FCOL.

Tom said...

I suspect that Steve is right and that Sanders has no way out and will go down with his ship. He lost because the system was rigged and the Democrats are corrupt. Hillary is part of the system that frustrates the people's will. I hope h4e does not, but we'll see.

I think Steve is wrong about the book unless he hires somebody to write it for him. When he was in his thirties, his ability to write was unacceptable for a high school graduate. No wonder his grades at University were mediocre. Nobody goes from somebody who had difficulty presenting coherent sentences to an author worth reading. Plus, what does he have to say beyond the stump speech? A book could be a disaster. It might expose him as being as shallow as Sarah Palin.

I'd say he might be able to make money on the speaking circuit, but he's not the kind of guy who does well charming a crowd or making small talk in small groups over cocktails before the dinner. A Talk radio host? Kind of Rush Limbaugh of the left? Maybe he'd do well at that.

I suspect he retires and does interviews critical of President Clinton until everybody gets tired of him. Then he will issue statements that get crankier and crankier as time goes on.

petrilli said...

This whole issue isn't ultimately about Bernie Sanders. It's about the issues and priorities he talks about. Attempting to explain whats happening by personalizing this campaign and focusing what it's about through the lens of his ego is non productive. He can't just get out and go away. The priorities his supporters and most of us want the Democratic party to take up would just disperse again unless room is made for them at the leadership level in the platform and on the very committees that the execrable DWS is stacking with Clinton supporters. The Nevada spectacle was not a good start and yes, both sides did it. I'm still looking for video of those flying chairs BTW. So was Rachel Maddow apparently when her lead-in last week used stock footage of chair throwing at a wrestling event under her voice depiction of the story. A cheap shot.

Lit3Bolt said...

What's depressing is that Bernie's policies are being buried under this horserace, ego driven BS.

Bernie should pivot and refocus, before the MSM marginalizes him and the youth vote. A dose of reality to his supporters and a shout out to Clinton voters would do the trick, but maybe there's some signaling going on here between that I'm not understanding.

petrilli said...

Regardless of Bernie Sanders, the policies that make up a survivable future for this country won't go away. They're the policies attracting his supporters who might just go away in the long term to impotent third parties, Libertarian cults or demogagues like Trump. The Democratic party has an obligation to secure that future. Unfortunately they're all we got. The 90's are over. The fall of Clintonian neoliberal triangulating is happening, like it or not. Respectfully speaking, I believe that it's Clinton and the party elites who need to do the reaching out right now. For everyone's sake.

michaelbaldwinbruce said...

The question isn't whether Bernie will accept concessions from Hillary, it's whether she'll offer any at all.
Hillary is happy to say she welcomes debate at the convention knowing full well the delegates and committee memberships are heavily stacked in her favor already and many party members have depended and do depend on her largesse for their political careers.
Bernie hasn't raised much money for the party, while Hillary has appeared to even while funneling much of it to her own campaign.
Bernie's supporters will be overruled and out-voted by the party members loyal to Hillary. That's how the "debate" will go down. Then Hillary will go ahead with her agenda claiming it was reached democratically by the larger party at the convention when the fact is it will be all hers.

Steve M. said...

DNC to Offer Sanders a Convention Concession

flipyrwhig said...

This whole issue isn't ultimately about Bernie Sanders. It's about the issues and priorities he talks about.

The issue of the wonderfulness of Bernie Sanders, and the priorities of basking in the wonderfulness of Bernie Sanders? Or the issue of the horribleness of Hillary Clinton, and the priorities of railing at the horribleness of Hillary Clinton?

For months now there have been no issues and no priorities. It's just a halo of righteousness and a lot of lying to yourselves about how the campaign is based on issues and priorities.

Tom said...

The "concession" the loser usually extracts from the winner is help with the campaign debts. Every campaign ends up with them and Bernie's won't be any different after he packs it in particularly after he satisfies the FEC. Does he have the chutzpah to ask for help from Hillary's donors? How else will he retire he debt?

Roger said...

The fact that Bernie has no commitment to "the future of the Democratic Party" is a feature not a bug. You know who has a commitment to the future of the Democratic Party? Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Chuck Schumer. Patrick Murphy. Rahm Emanuel. Steve Israel. Diane Feinstein. That's why so many Democrats are with him. We are appalled and disgusted with the path the Democratic Party is on. We want that to change, and it's not going to change without a lot of hard fighting and, probably, destruction. Get used to it. Even after Bernie loses, the Democratic Party is going to be divided and in a civil war.

Kaye said...

Why is there so often the assumption, the absolute certainty, that Hillary Clinton is a 'corporate shill/1%er/neo-con" etc. I wish people would just question these assumptions for gods sake, that 20years of right wing attacks becomes a false narrative? Yeah, yeah, I'll get attacked here probably but I actually admire her, I watched her Bengazi testimony for all 11 hours, and damn she is impressive. I really really see her as fantastic and she will be a very good president.

Steve M. said...

We are appalled and disgusted with the path the Democratic Party is on.

I'm appalled and disgusted with the path the Republican Party is on.