Thursday, May 30, 2019


Will there be many angry progressives crying "Fraud!" after the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee is chosen? Fox News wants you to think so:
Sanders supporters fearful DNC now backing Biden like it backed Clinton: report

Some supporters of 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders say they are seeing a repeat of the Democratic National Committee’s 2016 treatment of their candidate, according to a report.

These Sanders supporters claim the DNC leadership is giving preferential treatment to 2020 frontrunner Joe Biden, after the former vice president's surge in the polls, just as they did Hillary Clinton three years ago, the Washington Times reported.
The Washington Times story cited by Fox quotes a few Bernieites who are already prepared to accuse the Democratic Party of cheating:
“The mainstream media and the DNC are colluding against the American people. That’s what it feels like. It’s the same thing all over again,” said Massachusetts neuroscientist Laurie Cestnick, a Sanders supporter who founded Occupy DNC to protest the nomination of Mrs. Clinton at the party’s 2016 convention in Philadelphia....

“People are becoming more upset and becoming more firm behind Bernie due to mainstream media not covering a lot of his events and the strong push for Biden,” Ms. Cestnick said. “Is 2016 going to happen all over again? It is sure feeling like it. But I tell you, they are going to see a fight like they have never seen before.” ...

Larry Snider, president of Our Revolution Jacksonville ... is less than enthusiastic about the Democratic Party establishment and what he sees as their allies in the news media.

“I expect the DNC to do the same thing they did in 2016,” Mr. Snider said.

South Carolina state Rep. Terry Alexander, who was a Sanders delegate in 2016 and is backing him again for 2020, said the party establishment is still leery of Mr. Sanders....

“I really hope the DNC is better than that. I hope the DNC will let this thing play out for the people. What happened in 2016, they wanted to dominate, they wanted to be in charge, they wanted to dictate and we got slammed, the Democratic Party got slammed,” Mr. Alexander said.
Is this a widespread belief among Sanders supporters? There's no way of knowing, but I suspect that Fox and The Washington Times would like it to be widespread. This is the divide-and-conquer strategy of the Russians in 2016, but it doesn't appear as if America's conservative media is waiting for cues from overseas.

A month ago, the president was making the fraud argument:
The Democratic Party is again trying to manipulate its presidential primary elections, President Donald Trump suggested in a two-part tweet on Saturday night.

“The Democratic National Committee, sometimes referred to as the DNC, is again working its magic in its quest to destroy Crazy Bernie Sanders....,” the president began, following those remarks with: “....for the more traditional, but not very bright, Sleepy Joe Biden. Here we go again Bernie, but this time please show a little more anger and indignation when you get screwed!“
Last week I found a right-wing troll (whom I misidentified as a bot) retweeting the doctored "drunk Nancy Pelosi" video. At the time, he was using the screen name Bernie Will Be Cheated.

I'm sure there'll be a "Bernie was cheated again" contingent if Sanders loses again, though I don't know how large it will be. Talking Points Memo found a few wary Bernieites last month in early primary and caucus states:
It was hard to miss Cheri Pichone’s excitement about Bernie Sanders’ second presidential run. She showed up to a recent Iowa rally decked out in Sanders gear, complete with a figurine of the Vermont senator and progressive icon.

But underneath her exuberance, the 36-year-old was still mad about the last Democratic primary, when Sanders’ bid for the presidency fell short to Hillary Clinton.

“They cheated,” she said, directing much of her anger at the Democratic National Committee. The party establishment, she lamented, was “actively working against us.”

Pichone voted for Green Party candidate Jill Stein in 2016 and said she may vote for a third party again if Sanders doesn’t clinch the nomination....

Nicholas Shaw, a 39-year-old from Concord, New Hampshire, spent his recent birthday watching Sanders speak. Like Pichone, he said he wouldn’t support the Democratic nominee if it’s anyone other than Sanders.

“If they steal it from him again, I’ll go independent or something other than that,” he said. “The Democratic Party’s on their last edge of me if they kind of try to screw him again.”

Even in South Carolina, where Sanders lost momentum after a 47-point drubbing from Clinton, some supporters are still smarting over a process they believe was rigged.

“Lost might be a stretch,” said Tom Amon, of Summerville, when asked how he felt about Sanders’ ability to perform better in South Carolina than he did in the 2016 primary. “It was stolen from him.”
I could give Fox and The Washington Times the benefit of the doubt and say that they're merely reporting on this phenomenon the way TPM was in April, and that they have no desire to put a thumb on the scale. But I'm suspicious. We'll see how the coverage develops.

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