Sunday, May 1, 2016

Democrats trying to hijack Bernie's Political Revolution

Will Bernie get Burned at the Convention?

The Clinton campaign and the media — such as the cable news channels like CNN and MSNBC) — are acting as though the 2106 Democratic primary is already over after Bernie lost 4 of the 5 States that voted last Tuesday. Actually, they were behaving that way since Bernie lost New York. No, they've been in that mode since Bernie lost Iowa to Clinton by 0.03%.

But the Democratic primary is not over, and it won't be over until June 14th. But the Clinton campaign and the media wants you to believe that — although, the path is indeed very narrow. The Sanders campaign and his supporters aren't in denial, they realize that. But if there is any possibility of prevailing, they still want to take their fight all the way to the convention. Until the Democrats change the rules again to make their task even harder, they have that right.

Either Clinton or Sanders need 2,383 pledged delegates to clinch the Democratic nomination. Clinton needs 738 of 1,206 remaining delegates up for grabs. As of this post Clinton has 1,645 and Sanders has 1,318. Superdelegates don't vote until the convention in July. (A lot of them switched from Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama in 2008 when he won a majority of the pledged delegates.)

The Clinton campaign and the media is attempting to discourage voter sentiment and to kill the enthusiasm for Bernie's campaign, and to ultimately influence the election. There's a reason of course, because it's not just Clinton, but the major BIG 6 media corporations (that control 90% of the media market) who benefits the most from a Clinton nomination.

But this post is just about the upcoming democratic convention in July, and not so much about the ongoing Democratic primary elections. So we must ask: Is there a lawyer and a mathematician in the house?

The DNC rules consists of a 165-page document for the 2016 Democratic National Convention that was dated December 15, 2014 by the DNC Office of Party Affairs and Delegate Selection that was adopted by the Democratic National Committee on August 23, 2014. You can also scroll down this page at The Green Papers to find a formula they use for allocating delegates.

The formula for determining a given state's (or D.C.'s) "Allocation Factor" [AF] is:
AF = ½ × ( ( SDV ÷ TDV ) + ( SEV ÷ 538 ) )

For those of you who wish to see the math, John Laurits has two posts: Math vs. Media: Part One and Math vs. Media: Part Two. But we don't want to go there, or we might end up with a big headache. So we'll save that for the wonks we hired for Bernie's campaign ... speaking of which, take a quick break and go to his website and donate $27 right now — because he may need to hire some extra people on the ground in California prior to their OPEN PRIMARY election on June 7th, which is the biggest prize of all (and why Clinton's Wall Street friends, her political allies and the corporate media wants Bernie to drop out of the race now). To the voters: If you arrive late in the day and are in line when polls close, stay in line, because you have the right to vote.

Math vs the Media

Skipping the math, here are some excerpts from John Laurits's post:

It has even become something of a weekly occurrence for Hillary Clinton and her Wall Street-backed campaign to imply, insinuate, or flat-out demand that Sanders withdraw his bid for the nomination — they are growing increasingly indignant about the fact that Sanders is trying to win. Which brings us to the heart of the issue — can Bernie Sanders (can we) win the delegates needed for the nomination?

The answer to this question is as simple as it is misleading: No. No, my friends, we cannot. And yet! And yet, neither can Hillary Clinton — and I am going to show you what the media is willfully hiding from you. I am going to show you why, using the one thing that even the media can’t hide: Math. [Then he shows you the math.]

Things are going to become very interesting if we have a near-tie at the convention to be decided by the super-delegates.

Things are going to become very interesting when they look back at the many states that are still crying out for a re-vote, states fraught with “voting irregularities,” polling station closures, and voter roll purges — all states which Clinton won and all states which so far have not received justice.

Things are going to become very interesting when the DNC and the super-delegates realize that Sanders, unlike the Wall Street-backed Clinton-Machine, will bring in not only millions of independent voters that were unable to vote in the primaries, but even defecting Republican votes, sealing the GOP’s utter defeat in November.

Things are going to become very interesting when, while they are thinking about all of these things, they are doing so to the earth-shaking, thunderous chants of “Bernie! Bernie! Bernie!” from his tens of thousands of supporters outside, who have time-and-again proven their ability to rally by the tens of thousands. Do you think that we won’t do the same at the convention?

And finally, things are going to become very, very interesting when the super-delegates and the DNC are forced to choose, publicly, whether to hand the nomination to Clinton and watch the millions of independents walk away, along with millions of former Democratic Sanders-supporters, basically handing the general election to the neo-fascists Trump or Cruz — or, to hand it to Sanders, a leader who will have the support of, not only of the entire Democratic Party, but of millions of Independents, Green Party voters, and — yes, indeed — even Republicans defecting from the extremist GOP. That will be the most interesting part, I think. I’ll see you all in Philadelphia.

Ok, now let's look at Philadelphia...

March on Philly

Below is from a Facebook page for a "March on Philly" event that shows 11,000 of Bernie's supporters are interested in attending, and 3,800 who are going, and 29,000 who were invited to the DNC Convention.

  • Monday, July 25 at 11:00 AM in EDT
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

"Our job is not to divide. Our job is to bring people together."

Come out to Philadelphia and join us as we march on the Democratic National Convention this July!

About: This march is in protest to the highly biased and unfair treatment, demonstrated by the DNC, towards presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders. It has been blatantly clear that the DNC has tried to tip the scales during this election, and has NOT represented the will of the citizens. We have to make our voices heard. WE WILL NOT STAND FOR THIS! This march is also designed to put pressure on the superdelegates to cast their vote in accordance with their constituents. We must unite together, because that is what this campaign is about, not dividing us apart!

#SeeYouinPhilly (Get that trending!)

The Plan: To meet in the morning at City Hall (1401 John F Kennedy Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19107 - Google Maps) in the center of the city. We will meet in the Rotunda (the giant courtyard) in City Hall. We will begin our march at NOON and make our way down to Wells Fargo Center using Broad Street. This is about a 2 mile distance and should take about 30-45 minutes to walk. There are subway stations all up and down Broad Street too if you cannot walk long distances. We will continue the demonstration outside of Wells Fargo Center for the remainder of the day. Bring as many people as you would like. Everyone is welcome! And as always, this is intended to be a peaceful protest.

Now let's go back to 2008 for a while...

Wiki - History of Superdelegates:

In 1982, the Hunt Commission recommended and the Democratic National Committee adopted a rule that set aside some delegate slots for Democratic members of Congress and for state party chairs and vice chairs. Under the original Hunt plan, superdelegates were 30% of all delegates, but when it was finally implemented for the 1984 election, they were 14%. The number has steadily increased, and today they are approximately 20%. At the 2008 Democratic National Convention, the superdelegates made up approximately one-fifth of the total number of delegates. The closeness of the race between the leading contenders, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, led to speculation that the superdelegates would play a decisive role in selecting the nominee, a prospect that caused unease among some Democratic Party leaders. Obama, however, won a majority of the pledged delegates and of the superdelegates, and thus clinched the Democratic presidential nomination by June.

New York Times (February 10, 2008): Neck and Neck, Democrats Woo Superdelegates:

Seeing a good possibility that the Democratic presidential nomination will not be settled in the primaries and caucuses, Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama are lavishing attention on a group that might hold the balance of power: elected officials and party leaders who could decide the outcome at the convention in August. There are 796 of them, and if neither Mr. Obama nor Mrs. Clinton emerges from the primary season with the 2,025 delegates necessary to secure the nomination, they will in essence serve as tiebreakers. That is a result both sides see as increasingly likely. Known as superdelegates because they are free to cast their votes at the convention as they see fit, they are the object of an intensifying and potentially high-stakes charm offensive by the candidates and their supporters. The break in Mrs. Clinton’s supposed firewall turned out to be one of the most important factors in her campaign.

Editor's Note: During the 2008 Democratic primary, Hillary Clinton had won the popular vote because Obama’s name didn't appear on the Michigan ballot. But it was still a very close race — within 1% — but Obama had won most of the delegates, winning the Democratic nomination.

New York Times (June 5, 2008) For Clinton, a Key Group Didn’t Hold

By mid-March, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign knew it had a problem with what it had once assumed was a reliable firewall — its support among superdelegates. The fight for pledged delegates for the Democratic nomination was essentially over. Senator Barack Obama was ahead, after winning a series of caucuses in states that Mrs. Clinton virtually ignored. Still, it became apparent that neither he nor Mrs. Clinton could claim the presidential nomination with pledged delegates alone, and the two would need superdelegates — elected officials and party activists — to fill the gap. For Mrs. Clinton in particular, that signaled danger. The commanding lead she had held in superdelegates at the start of the contests — she was about 100 ahead of Mr. Obama — had dwindled by mid-March to 12. And superdelegates were showing an independence that the Clinton campaign had not counted on, not quite buying her argument that she was more electable than Mr. Obama. It was the sense among many superdelegates that they should follow the voters’ lead rather than loyalty to the Clintons that prompted many to come out on Mr. Obama’s behalf. Debbie Marquez, a superdelegate from Colorado, said she had made up her mind to shift to Mr. Obama, largely because he opposed the Iraq war from the start.

Now let's fast forward to today

U.S. News and World Report (April 27, 2016) Bernie Could Still Win:

The most compelling reason for Bernie Sanders to continue his campaign is that he has a shot at victory. Sanders might justify staying in the race because he wants to influence the platform. This reasoning is dubious, because Sanders has already won enough support to demand significant concessions on the platform. He has also managed to force Clinton to the left on economic issues, particularly tougher Wall Street regulation and on economic inequality. It is not clear that winning more delegates will push her further to the left. The more compelling reason that Bernie should stay in the race is that he could still win. f Clinton is indicted, the superdelegates over whom she holds a commanding lead could massively desert her. The only thing that binds them is their promise, a promise few would hesitate to break if they were convinced that Clinton would lose in the general election. Without the superdelegates, Clinton will not get to 2,383, the number of delegates she needs to win on the first ballot. Her current lead of 826 delegates would shrink to 308 pledged delegates. If all of the superdelegates shifted from Clinton to Sanders, admittedly an unrealistic hypothetical, Sanders would actually lead Clinton by 210 delegates. If the convention requires multiple ballots, with each successive ballot more delegates will become unpledged. A Sanders victory is still plausible.

Politico (April 22, 2016) The Desperate Scramble for Bernie's Secret Weapon:

The fate of Sanders' golden catalog of donors and volunteers — his email list — is the talk of the Democratic Party. Bernie Sanders shows no sign of dropping out of the presidential race anytime soon, but the vultures are already circling over his email list — perhaps the most coveted and valuable catalog of potential voters and donors in the Democratic Party at the moment. The post-campaign fate of Sanders’ list — his 2016 crown jewel, and the backbone of the Vermont senator's online fundraising juggernaut — is the topic of frequent conversation among operatives working with the Democratic Party committees, down-ballot candidates and a variety of liberal interest groups. Some have already begun strategizing about how to access the list through informal conversations with people close to the Sanders campaign.

Then there are those want to burn Bernie and his supporters at the Convention...

Fortune (April 30, 2016) Why It's Time for Bernie Sanders to Support Hillary Clinton:

While party platforms seem crucial during the convention, with delegates fighting over every word, they lose their significance immediately thereafter. The more important question is whether he will be given the opportunity to speak.

The “unity” convention speech by the runner up is always a high risk/high reward moment for the party and its nominee. Edward Kennedy’s speech at the 1980 convention barely mentioned Jimmy Carter, and it was embarrassingly clear that he did not think much of the party’s nominee. It is one reason why Carter’s campaign against Ronald Reagan failed so badly.

On the other hand, a unity speech really can unify. At the 2008 convention, Hillary Clinton herself declared that “Barack Obama is my candidate and he must be our president.” The campaign between her and Obama was at least as rough as the current Democratic contest, but Clinton’s full-throated endorsement made it much easier for her supporters to get behind Obama and secure his victory.

Of course, the party is under no obligation to offer Sanders such an opportunity. And if they have reason to fear that Sanders’ speech would be more like Kennedy’s and less like Clinton’s, they won’t. But the smart money says that he will speak and will offer his strong support for Hillary Clinton. Why? Because every party to that decision wants it to happen.

Clinton wants him to speak because it is the best way to get Sanders’ disappointed supporters to recommit themselves to her. Clinton needs all those votes that went to Sanders. But young people don’t just vote, they do much of the leg work for a campaign; they sleep on couches and work for peanuts. Clinton also needs their passion and energy. But without Sanders’ blessing, she won’t get them.

For its part, the Democratic Party is worried about demographics. Even now, millennials outnumber baby boomers. Their vote is already critical and it will only become more so. And second, while young people are far less partisan than their parents, once they have voted the same way two or three times they still tend to identify with a party in practice (if not in name). Party leaders therefore know that they have a golden opportunity to capture a sizeable chunk of the electorate for decades.

Moreover, for all its structural advantages in presidential elections, the Democratic Party is awful at mobilizing its constituents for off year elections, not to mention down ticket and local races. This is especially true of young people. Sanders could encourage them to stay invested. But if Sanders chooses not to do so, the Party will continue to underperform, and it might even lose this group for good.

But the speech is just as important for Sanders himself. First, Sanders knows that a Trump presidency would spell disaster for everything he believes in. And he has every reason to remind his followers of that fact. He also knows that the party would blame him if he did not endorse Clinton and Donald Trump were somehow to win.

But more importantly, he wants his revolution to live on and grow. To do that, he and his followers must work within the Democratic Party. His followers may not yet believe this. They may believe that a revolution could only happen outside a corrupt two-party system. But Sanders himself does. That is why, after all, he ran as a Democrat; he formerly identified himself as an Independent. Working outside the system is to embrace irrelevancy.

Working within the party means undertaking the hard work of building a sustainable infrastructure. It means identifying potential candidates and helping them move up the ladder of elected office. But it also means committing to the party and those who represent it—up and down the ticket. None of this can be achieved solely by a speech, of course, but it cannot be achieved without one. Sanders must tell his followers that for the sake of their common commitments, they need to commit to the party. Most immediately, that means that his followers need to fall in behind Clinton’s nomination.

The deeply entrenched establishment Democratic Party machine wants to woo Bernie' supporters by promising them almost ANYTHING at the convention, just to get them them to vote for Hillary in November general election against the Republican candidate — and to obtain his coveted email list (with our names) of campaign donors. Bernie says he'll want concessions at the convention to make the party more progressive. But can Bernie's supporters trust the Democratic Party to keep their word — on anything? It sounds to me like the Democratic Party machine is trying to hijack the "political revolution" and Bernie's movement, to squash dissent — just to maintain total and complete control of the political duopoly in this country (and why so many States have closed primaries.)

A short questionnaire for you:

Is Hillary Clinton honest and trustworthy? Does she always tell the truth? Yes No
Did her campaign and the Democratic Party treat Bernie Sanders with complete respect, integrity and fairness? Yes No
Did Hillary Clinton's family members always tell the truth about Bernie Sanders? Yes No
Did Clinton's political and media surrogates always tell the truth about Bernie Sanders? Yes No
It is true to say that none of the above have ever mislead the voters about Bernie Sanders's stand on the issues or on his voting record? Yes No

If you can answer "yes" to all 5 question above, then you might agree to whoever Bernie Sanders's endorses for President (Me, I'm Bernie or Bust and would never vote for Clinton). But if you answer "no" to any of the above questions, then you might want to leave the mass protests at the DNC convention in July and proceed to plan B below and read through my other posts...

My other posts on the subject of Plan B

#BernieSanders should run with #JillStein as VP in the #GreenParty in the general election. #RalphNader and #RobertReich can hold posts.

* In hindsight, it's a shame that Joe Biden and/or Michael Bloomberg didn't also run, because I suspect they would have taken more votes from Clinton than they would have for Bernie.

1 comment:

  1. While Sanders decries a “rigged” economy, some of his backers see signs of corruption everywhere — even in the party their candidate hopes to lead. Some have turned their frustration on superdelegates, the party insiders whose ability to back either candidate give them an outsized role in picking the nominee.