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End the Democratic Internecine Warfare

Don Rose 24 May 2016 No Comment

Let us stipulate that the Democratic nominating process is rigged in favor of the Establishment candidate–whomever he or she might be. The super-delegate system is the main instrument, as I have written before, and the choice of the highly partisan Congresswoman Deborah Wasserman Schultz (D,FL) as chair of the Democratic National Committee locked it tighter for Hillary Clinton this year. (Wasserman Schultz was a co-chair of the Clinton campaign against Obama in 2008.)


Nothing personal against Bernie Sanders–the Establishment would have worked equally hard against any upstart contender, though Sanders and supporters take it personally. Of course, the Establishment (and maybe even Bernie) never expected such a close and heated challenge from the Left, particularly younger people.

Let me stipulate I have never been a Clinton fan. The very first column I wrote for the Chicago Daily Observer in autumn 2007 was a strong critique of the hawkish candidate. But I voted for Sanders, because I believe in most of what he stands for.

Sanders has come close, but the math is overwhelmingly against him ever catching Clinton in pledged delegates and in my view he has zip chance of persuading the establishmentarian super delegates to cross over to him as they did to Obama in 2008. But he has every right to continue his fight right up to the convention and win enough delegates to influence the platform, be given a major speaking role or even have his name be put in nomination.

In continuing the fight, however, he must not attack Clinton in a way that will weaken her against Donald Trump. He must tirelessly urge his supporters to unify behind her when she is nominated, despite whatever bad taste it puts in their mouths.

There must never be a repeat of the melee at the Nevada State Convention, granted that his people were mistreated when the chair, Roberta Lange, stupidly, inaccurately and unfairly called a voice vote against Sanders and dictatorially refused to hold an actual vote count. That led to reported but undocumented chair-throwing and fisticuffs. Also to unforgivable death-threats to Lange, bad as she was–though it’s possible outside provocateurs were responsible.

Nevertheless I fully support vigorous, nonviolent, vocal protests and demonstrations.

Wasserman Schultz threw gasoline on the fire by attacking Sanders’s people. If Trump wins she will share responsibility with Sanders’s most aggressive supporters–and Bernie himself if he fails to do the right thing. He must do all in his power to bring back those folks who threaten to vote for Trump in retaliation.

Trump released a long list of potential conservative Supreme Court nominees. As president he (or Clinton) will get to appoint 2,3 or 4 justices. If he wins you can kiss goodbye progressives’ hopes of overturning Citizens United. You’ll see further destruction, not restoration, of the Voting Rights Act. You’ll see Roe v Wade overturned–and further strides toward American fascism.

The independent, left-wing, radical intellectual giant Noam Chomsky said he will vote for Clinton in November. Bernie and his “bros” should take that as emblematic of the importance of defeating Trump.


Don Rose is a regular columnist for the Chicago Daily Observer

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