Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Well, that escalated quickly. Unity still is not a priority at the DNC.

I found an interesting account of some of the proceedings of the Democratic National Committee platform deliberations in Orlando, Florida, July 8th and 9th. I know, the platform is non-binding but it says a lot about what the party sees for its future. I'm not even a registered Democrat, but I care because they are part of this duocracy that we must contend with until we find a way to reduce the power of the duocracy and introduce serious competition for them. This year could be the year that we see the first signs of coalition government in the United States, but we may have to wait until the next midterm elections for that.

There is a growing #demexit movement afoot. Dissatisfied Sanders supporters are going to the Green Party. Even Cornell West has endorsed Jill Stein, and their contributions are growing. I think she'd make a great first female president, but she needs to be on the ballot in 50 states to be a contender worth considering. Some sources say she's on the ballot in 47 states, others say it's more like 24. If Sanders is not on the ballot, many people are planning on writing him in, and I think that may turn out to be the best strategy to get him in if he's not on the ticket. Elite Democrats would like us to believe that we have no other choice but Clinton, but their plans don't seem to be working.

There are visible signs of worry in the Clinton camp about this #demexit, a movement to register with another party or as independent if Sanders is not the nominee by July 29th. But there is also a sense of ease, one that is based on the notion that there are more loyal Democrats than there are people willing to vote for Trump.

For those people who want to vote for Trump out of spite, you need to read this USA Today article. Trump doesn't always pay his bills, he uses stall and delay tactics, and lawyers to foist the cost on others. Read that and ask yourself if you want him to be president. According to the article, he has over 200 mechanics liens on his properties. 200? Isn't that like, a lot? I think so. But if you're a billionaire, who cares? This is a man who thinks he can balance the budget? I don't think so.

This intransigence is not just with Trump. It's with the Clinton camp, too. It's all over them. They seriously believe that they're entitled to a blank check from Sanders supporters. Read here and here about the fights during the platform deliberations in Florida. One glaring example is how they refuse to put clear opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership in the platform. The TPP is a trade agreement designed to be the greatest corporate power grab ever. Yet, high level Democrats are afraid to put their opposition to this treaty into their platform. Why? President Obama has been the biggest cheerleader for it. "Oh, God no! We wouldn't want to offend President Obama on this one!"

Sanders and Clinton have both expressed opposition to the TPP, but I only believe one of them. I know for a fact that Clinton has exerted a great deal of support for that agreement when she was Secretary of State. I expect her to do the moonwalk on that one. Sanders? We know where he stands and that is very clear, very strong opposition to the TPP.

So when both of them express opposition to the TPP during this election cycle, it is any wonder why the DNC can't put it in writing in the platform? There is a lot of money riding on the passage of that agreement. That's money that could land in Democratic coffers for the mid terms. That is why they oppose putting that language in the platform. We wouldn't want to piss off those 132 people who financed 60% of superPAC spending in 2012 now, would we?

Then at the last minute in the deliberations on the platform, without any notice prior to the start of the deliberations that would last two days, they wanted to add "The Final Amendment". That amendment would add Hillary Clinton's name to the platform text. The Democrats have never put the name of a candidate in the party platform before. It must have been very urgent because they left out Bernie Sanders.

There was a chorus of opposition from the back of the room. People demanded to have the text of the amendment in writing. It wasn't in their packet of documents they had when they started. In other words, at the last minute, they wanted to enshrine Hillary's name in the platform before she has even secured the nomination.

The amendment was quickly withdrawn when the establishment could see that the ire of the Sanders supporters would not abate. Interestingly, there were "handlers" at the deliberations, telling Clinton supporters how to vote. Handlers? Clinton supporters needed coaching on how to vote? I thought these people were there to vote their conscience. I guess not. There were no handlers for Sanders supporters. They brought their brains and their hearts to the deliberations and voted their conscience.

This is the problem with the DNC. If you need to follow a handler to tell you how to vote, I don't think you have any business being there. Leave your ego at the door, but keep your brain and heart handy. You might need them. Clinton supporters clearly failed that test. Maybe the presence of the handlers is a symptom of another problem.

The millenials, some 81 million people born between 1982 and 2002, have taken note that their prospects for economic advancement are pretty grim. They've noted that both parties have, in an economic sense, put their young in a walled garden that only allows for subsistence and debt. Nothing more. Common Dreams has covered the plight of the millenials well with a fresh offering here. More to the point, what we see is that the Democratic elite are pandering to what we call, "the professional class", a group of people who have degrees and profitable professions. Old guard Democrats are angling for their money.

That's why they can talk about supporting the TPP with a straight face. The TPP does what every other trade agreement has done in modern history: protect the professional class while putting everyone else in competition with the rest of the world. If you don't believe me, check out this book by economist Dean Baker on the same subject, covering a span of 40 years of American history. It's called "The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive". We learn from that book that conservative factions of the duocracy, under the influence of big money in politics, have written the rules in favor of the wealthy, the rich and the professional class. If you're not upper middle class or higher, you're out of luck. It's time to rewrite the rules.

So when you watch the Democratic National Convention on TV, keep the events in Florida in mind. Be prepared for similar shenanigans at the convention, only scaled up, big time. Remember, everything breaks when you scale it. There is a reason it's going to be a contested convention. Sanders knows it. His supporters know it.

This is not a fight about gender and race. This is a fight about who has the money and who gets to earn it and keep it. So be sure to fund a delegate to ensure that Sanders has all the support he needs. We need to let the DNC know that they had better think it through before they nominate one of the worst presidential candidates in history. Let's hope they come to their senses and nominate Bernie Sanders instead.
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