Wednesday, August 3, 2016

A giant machine

Reich: Here's the Real Problem of the DNC (Robert Reich; Alternet)
Clinton's Secretary of Labor
...The Democratic National Committee—like the Republican National Committee—has become little more than a giant machine designed to suck up big money from wealthy individuals, lobbyists bundlers, and corporate and Wall Street PACs.
     As long as this is its de facto mission, the DNC won’t ever be kindly disposed to a campaign financed by small donations—Bernie’s, or any others. Nor will it support campaign finance reform. Nor will it be an institutional voice for average working people and the poor. It won’t want to eliminate superdelegates or support open primaries because these reforms would make Democratic candidates vulnerable to non-corporate interests....
Senior GOP Officials Exploring Options if Trump Drops Out
(ABC News)
     Republican officials are exploring how to handle a scenario that would be unthinkable in a normal election year: What would happen if the party's presidential nominee dropped out?
     ABC News has learned that senior party officials are so frustrated — and confused — by Donald Trump's erratic behavior that they are exploring how to replace him on the ballot if he drops out….


Anonymous said...

This is just silly. The DNC's job is to elect democratic candidates. Of course it's going to oppose limited contributions, because it will make its job a lot harder.

People should depend on their elected officials and government to protect them. It is not the DNC's job to do that. The DNC has a mission that is clear: Elect democrats.

Bernie or bust people seem to have a really difficult time grasping how the party and elections work.

Roy Bauer said...

Reich, a Bernie supporter, is not on the "Bernie or Bust" bandwagon. He's a "vote for the lesser of two evils" type.

Anonymous said...

Silly? Massive efforts to create an alternative to the Democratic party will soon be under way.

Anonymous said...

I'm aware Reich himself isn't a Bernie or Buster, but his arguments do appeal to that group. Reich is very aware of democratic politics and the "machine," which he benefited from after Bill Clinton won in 1992.

I really look forward to the takeover that 11:24 predicts. Just please try telling the legions of folks who join you to shower. That will help the rest of us evil people get on board with your cause.

Oh, and make sure they understand what it means to actually register to vote, and show up to the polls.

jrepka said...

I think that Reich makes good points. I voted for Bernie, but I'm perfectly happy with Hillary because I think that she'll be a good President -- she is empathetic and has generally good instincts. She is more of a hawk than I like, and I don't like her big money connections, but I don't think that this country has reached a point yet where a national candidate could be viable without some hawkish instincts, and Wall Street won't get every consideration from her (As Willie Brown said, "If you can't take their money and then vote against them, you don't belong in the game."). Also, a not insignificant portion of the money she is raising will go to support down-ballot candidates (As most of Obama's two terms demonstrate, no Democrat, wherever he/she lies on the spectrum, accomplishes much if Republicans control the legislatures).

While I agree that we need fundamental changes in the system, just burning (Berning?) the Democratic party down just makes the left more ineffectual at all levels. Bernie is really the only outsider progressive to run for President since Kucinich to participate in actual governance at any level when not running for President. Jill Stein, Ralph Nader, etc., no matter how much I agree or disagree with them, are pretty much absent from national or state politics except during years divisible by four.

The Greens, the Progressives, the Berniephiles, etc., need to start running for school boards, city councils, state legislatures, and congress to build a viable movement, rather than assuming, that they can just run for President out of nowhere and make revolutionary changes to the system by sheer force of will and moral certitude.

Anonymous said...

Excellent points, jrepka, and your last paragraph is notable. That's where the Kochs have been most effective--infiltrating lower level positions and taking over from the ground up. A key reason so many sttaes have a disproportionate number of republicans running the show.

Roy Bauer said...

3:41, 9:16: both of you are ignoring this fact: that polls consistently showed that Sanders was a much stronger candidate (against Trump) than HRC, by a wide margin (see this). As has often been noted, if the Dems were really focused on beating Trump, they would never have cooked the books, etc., to make sure Hillary won. Hillary has the second highest "negatives" of all candidates (following Trump). A hard sell.
This factoid demonstrates that Americans, especially those below age 45, are increasingly willing to support a truly progressive candidate. The notion that someone like Sanders "can't win" does not square with the fact that his poll numbers have been very strong for many months.
If it were not for the ruthless actions of HRC and her crowd at the DNC (see Wikileaks emails), Sanders would have been the Democratic candidate. How well do you suppose that Real Progressive would have done against the flailing and disintegrating Trump, given that, before his recent disintegration, polls already showed Sanders to be the stronger candidate?

Anonymous said...

Don't know if Bernie is a stronger or better candidate. Clinton will always be far more qualified and prepared to deal with the political realities, and I'll take her ruthless pragmatism over pleasant rhetoric any day.

Roy Bauer said...

Unless you are a Republican (or some similarly benighted category of person), you are aware that the fundamental problem with American politics is the influence of Big Money—not large amounts of it, but large amounts of it given by powerful corporations and other powerful special interests who seek profit. (No one objects to large amounts if they are an accumulation of small contributions from individuals. That's what Sanders achieved; it was revolutionary.)
Hillary is the epitome of the Big Money status quo. Just look at her campaign finance records. Just "follow the money," as a friend of mine likes to say. Sanders, who came very close to winning the Democratic nomination (despite the ruthless machinations of the Democratic establishment, as revealed by the Wikileaks emails; more to come), represents the overcoming of this Big Money status quo. Since Sanders actually achieved what critics (of campaign finance reform) have always argued can't be done, the time is ripe for major reform. But, of course, under Clinton, that won't happen.
Clinton is indeed experienced (though, of course, Sanders has been in government longer than she has, and he has always shined in relation to integrity). But what good is experience when you are experienced at working a corrupt system that can and should be overcome? One that you will not allow to be overcome?
As things stand, HRC will win, and that means essentially a continuation of Obama's regime. And that means giving Wall Street what it wants (ready for Bubble Pop #2?). It means continuing endless war (and pissing off the entire decent world with such policies as drones). It means keeping insurance companies, et al., in the driver seat in Health Care.
Clinton, who presents herself as a Health Care Hero, abandoned single payer. Sanders did not. Once again, we see who understands what's wrong; who does not.

Anonymous said...

Everybody knows that big money is overly influential--but Bernie or Jill or anyone else is not going to change that without a systemic change in our political structure. So, congress will have to pass meaningful restrictions--good luck there--and then you have the judiciary that has held that money is speech. Yes, sucks, bullshit thinking, but there it is. As long as one side is ponying up to the trough, the other side had better be prepared to do so. The question is, whose side are you on? And which side will ultimately be the best for the country?

Roy Bauer said...

3:53, you seem to be ignoring the fact that Bernie managed to match Hillary's war chest without taking any Big Money (i.e., money from big moneyed interests). That means that leaders can be viable in the game without relying on dirty money, whether "systemic change" occurs or not.
Again, if DNC leadership had refrained from cheating on Hillary's behalf (as exposed by the Wikileaks emails), Bernie would have won the Democratic nomination. And he would have gone on to win against the disintegrating Trump.
When HRC wins in November (as I suspect will occur), she'll have a chance to change the constitution of the Supremes, and that will provide an opportunity to revisit and overturn that miserable ruling according to which corporations can give Big Money, since they are people, and donations are speech.

Anonymous said...

Imagine President Sanders says, out of the box, ok that's the end of big money influencing politics. Cool, yes, we all feel tingly. Then what? Give some specifics as to actual accomplishable reform that will occur.

tick tick tick Clarice.

Anonymous said...

So, say, what about the current poll numbers?

Anonymous said...

The DNC emails you mention don't highlight "cheating." What they do highlight are frustrated DEMOCRATS who, in the late month of May, just wanted a single candidate and were strategizing to make that happen. Again, as we've pointed out before, the job of the DNC is to make sure democrats get elected. Sometimes politics is dirty, but it's not unfair and it's not cheating.

Bernie was stubbornly refusing to leave the race, even though all signs pointed to the clear fact that he had no chance of winning a majority of delegates. Of course the DNC, who he'd been denouncing for months, wasn't on his team. Especially when he wasn't a real contender at that point. They wanted to move the hell on.

Bernie, you may recall, was not a democrat until it was convenient for him to be one. A little difficult to win the hearts and minds of those who've aligned with the party for decades, particularly when he refused to donate any of those donations to down-ticket candidates.

If Bernie did win, his "special interests" would be the legions of tie-dye t-shirt wearing bowl-smokers who don't seem to care much about governance and how anything gets done in Washington. Many are the same people who are now supporting Trump. Let's be real, many of Bernie's supporters are educated people like yourself, and many are completely clueless and supported him because he was the "cool" candidate but really don't stand for a platform.

Also, Bernie isn't above playing politics. He was opportunistic as well, particularly when he tried to flip the superdelegates he so ardently opposed.

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