Sanders’ Democrats Call for Change

The fallout from the imploded Hillary Clinton campaign is prompting demands from Democratic progressives for an immediate change at the top, in this case the resignation of interim DNC chairperson Donna Brazile, says Norman Solomon.

By Norman Solomon

It’s time for Donna Brazile to go. Like Debbie Wasserman Schultz before her, Brazile has lost credibility as an honest broker at the Democratic National Committee. The DNC chair should be evenhanded — but, thanks to leaked emails, Brazile’s cover is blown.

At the same time that Brazile was publicly claiming to be neutral in the fierce Clinton-Sanders primary battle, she was using her job as a CNN political analyst to give the Clinton campaign advance notice of questions that would be asked during a CNN debate between the two candidates.

Donna Brazile, interim Democratic Party chairperson.

Donna Brazile, interim Democratic Party chairperson.

Yet Brazile seems tone deaf about her integrity breach — just as the Democratic Party establishment has been tone deaf about the corrosive effects of servicing Wall Street and wealthy contributors.

As the Washington Post reported a week ago, “Donna Brazile is not apologizing for leaking CNN debate questions and topics to the Hillary Clinton campaign during the Democratic primary. Her only regret, it seems, is that she got caught.”

Consider Brazile’s response after the email hack exposed the chasm between her public claims of being evenhanded and her furtive effort to help Clinton gain an improper debate advantage over Sanders. “My conscience, as an activist, as a strategist — my conscience is very clear,” Brazile said in a radio interview, adding that “if I had to do it all over again, I would know a hell of a lot more about cybersecurity.”

But the current DNC chair’s lack of encryption knowledge is hardly the problem. Brazile has functioned as a shameless cog in the Clinton political machine. That machine hasn’t just broken down; it is now kaput.

In the wake of Donald Trump’s victory, the DNC must undergo a far-reaching shakeup. And — with no time to waste — we can’t wait several months until Brazile’s planned departure from the DNC chair job in March.

That’s why several hundred activists who were Bernie Sanders delegates to the Democratic National Convention just voted to “call for the immediate resignation of Donna Brazile as chair of the Democratic National Committee.”

A lopsided tally came in over the weekend, with 96 percent — 337 to 13 — in favor of pushing for Brazile to resign. The straw poll was conducted by the Bernie Delegates Network (which I coordinate), an independent group sponsored by the online activist organization RootsAction.org in partnership with Progressive Democrats of America.

“The DNC must either change or it will die,” says PDA executive director Donna Smith. “And that change starts with Ms. Brazile’s prompt resignation.”

RootsAction has launched a nationwide petition campaign calling for Brazile to resign immediately.

A Symbol and Symptom

Brazile’s duplicitous behavior is a symbol and symptom of the Democratic Party leadership — which remains unwilling to admit that its chronic alignment with Wall Street, big banks and harmful trade deals has been key to sagging electoral fortunes.

Bernie Sanders supporters rally in Washington D.C. on June 9, 2016. (Photo credit: Chelsea Gilmour)

Bernie Sanders supporters rally in Washington D.C. on June 9, 2016. (Photo credit: Chelsea Gilmour)

The national Democratic Party has long been in the grip of those who assume that following along Wall Street — with minor quibbles and facile populist rhetoric — is the pathway to the White House. That claim has now been thoroughly discredited, as election returns from the Rust Belt attest.

The old guard at the DNC should not be allowed to hang on. Despite all the pseudo-populist gestures, Donna Brazile and her Clinton Inc. allies can be expected to do little more than tinker with corporate-fueled DNC machinery that is long overdue for the junk heap.

The Democratic National Committee is now a relic of mechanisms spinning toward oligarchy. Every day that goes by with the old leadership in place is a day wasted for the essential work to come.

Norman Solomon was a Sanders delegate from California to the Democratic National Convention. He is co-founder of the online activist group RootsAction.org, which has 730,000 members. Solomon is executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. [This article originally appeared at The Hill, http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/presidential-campaign/305831-for-the-good-of-the-party-its-time-for-donna-brazile ]

24 comments for “Sanders’ Democrats Call for Change

  1. Dennis Rice
    November 15, 2016 at 14:48

    Joe has made some good points about needed reform within the Democratic party. Whether that happens, we’ll see.
    Brazile is an example of the arrogance of the Democratic leadership.

    Republicans in the mean time are gushing as though they have a mandate to push a conservative agenda. So much for their intelligence! They do not. They do not understand the people who voted for them; who want the things Bernie Sanders brought out; good jobs, job security, health coverage.

    Rather, they still want to talk privatizing everything, shipping jobs abroad, reducing taxes and downsizing government.
    The country is in the fix that it is in because of such behaviors.

    If the Democrats are smart, they will hammer these issues to the American people.
    With a little luck, staying in touch with the American people, the Democrats are in a good position to retake government in 2020.

    (By the way; there is a site on the internet that says “Contact the Democrats.” I have sent many messages via that site only to be told the message will be given to the “appropriate person.” I have yet to have a reply. I am supposing this site is a sham).

  2. Mahatma
    November 15, 2016 at 07:15

    Sanders and his supporters should go crawl into thew hole of obscurity along with their along with their champion Clinton. SANDERS – like every other Neoliberal phony politician for the last 40 years – CAPITULATED!!! He went out on the campaign trail and gave speeches supporting the bankers he had spoken out against, supported war in Syria and across the Middle East, supported aggression toward China and Russia and supported “Global full spectrum domination.”

    People can continue to support CAPITULATION TO EXTREME VIOLENCE PHYSICAL AND ECONOMIC if they like, I do not care for capitulators.

  3. Brad Owen
    November 15, 2016 at 04:58

    The Establishment Democrats are fighting reform tooth ‘n’ nail. It’s a fool’s errand to try reforming the Democratic Party (same with the Republicans). I’ll never trust them again.They’ll just learn to hide their oligarchic connections better. I’ve moved on to the Greens. I send them money to help fund their ops, ten bucks a month. Those are my “Union Dues” to belong to a “Green Citizens’ Political Union”. The Ds and Rs are a danger to the Republic. The proper thing to do is drive them off he World stage and into the dustbin, joining the Whigs and Federalists in past-tense existence.

  4. Joe Tedesky
    November 15, 2016 at 01:07

    I always enjoyed listening to Donna Brazile, but by her own admission she still doesn’t get it. Her cyber security comment is shameful for it’s lack of personal accountability. When Brazile fed Hillary debate questions to leverage Hillary’s chances to win a debate against Bernie Sanders, Brazile was aiding in helping to hand the Democrate’s a defeat against Donald Trump. Might I remind everyone, including Ms Brazile, if Hillary had not installed private email servers in her basement, much of this with the FBI would not be happening. If Hillary and Bill had not used the Clinton Foundation as a ATM machine, even more of this would not be happening. If Donna Brazile had allowed the natural political conclusions to flow unhindered, none of this would be happening. Yet, this all is happening, and Donna Brazile owns a large part of this disappointment that is being felt, for if not for her and her fellow cheating Democrate’s Bernie with his JC Penny off the rack suits would be on his way to the White House. Dollars to doughnuts I’ll bet she will never admit to this.

    My hope is that good people will take over the Democratic Part, or that maybe enough of good folk may leave the old Donkey pen, and start a new political party for progressives. Any new party or platform must first start with helping average Americans to their feet, and guide them to a better self sustainable way of living. A new foreign policy reliant on preventing all wars would be a valuable way of saving lives, and money. Cut the Pentagon spending by at least half, and start those undone shovel ready infrastructure jobs, that they say are out there. There is a whole lot of things that need done, but these things need done by a truly progressive leadership, and not be led by Wall St. imposters posing as liberal messiahs. With the Clintons out of the picture the opportunity for a decent sanity and solidarity based party is here, let’s not let go of it before we lose it.

    • Joe Tedesky
      November 15, 2016 at 01:39

      Here’s an idea; that the Democrate’s do a gutting out of Wall St/MIC/AIPAC/etc types who now lead this party, and then after this purge merge with Jill Stein and the Green Party….

      Change the name, have a naming contest. Revamp a humanitarian ideology, which I’m sure will soon get trampled, and make this a true party of the people…. Just saying! A party that would move in this new century to respect sovereignty while at the same time unite together with all nations to stand side by side on global projects. Instead of fighting unions encourage unions to be a voice for the corporate employee who has nothing to fall back on. Applaud a society where fair livable wages are the dominant feature of its populace. No more hungry mouths to be fed, but fed with organic chemical less subsidiary additives, but instead have food containing what Mother Nature intended for people to eat. Etc., etc., etc.

    • Abbybwood
      November 15, 2016 at 04:23

      I like The Citizens Party.

      votecitizens.org

  5. November 14, 2016 at 21:47

    concur with one of the posters above who mentioned that brazile -or any number of the functionaries of the two hydra-heads of the one korporate money party- being replaced by another cog in the machine is not the answer, because the problem IS The Machine..
    The Machine must be smashed, and enact an honest, open system amenable to the 99%, not the 1%…
    unless/until that happens, shuffling deck chairs on the titantic is not going to avoid icebergs…

  6. Mike Tasso
    November 14, 2016 at 21:00

    Is this the same Donna Brazile that said in 2007 if Obama isn’t nominated she wouldn’t vote for Clinton?
    Dems have amnesia also.

    • steve armstrong
      November 16, 2016 at 14:17

      AA first, woman second, old white guy never.

  7. evelync
    November 14, 2016 at 20:43

    Donna Brazile has exposed herself as a cog in the corrupt Democratic machine.
    She doesn’t even realize that her CNN stunts ooze deceit and self serving corruption.
    She has no shame.
    Good bye Donna Brazile.
    It was shocking to learn that with you there was no “there” there.
    No credibility, no integrity, just another political hack.
    Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

  8. Boris Dimitrijevic
    November 14, 2016 at 20:36

    I’m curious as to whether Mr.Solomon also feels that Bernie is part of the Democratic establishment which needs to be cleansed.

    I ask that because when the leaked information came out regarding the favouritism of the DNC towards a Clinton candidacy, Bernie did very little to complain (at least as far as I could tell). He still hitched his wagon to the Democratic party, didn’t call for any re-vote, didn’t decide to go Independent or take Jill Stein’s offer to join the Greens, and when the fraudulent results of the Primary came in, he dutifully fell into line and supported and campaigned for Clinton.

    As an outsider it looks very much as though he was “brought to heel” (to use Hillary’s words), so I wonder whether he still has the credibility to lead a revolution.

    I’ve admired Bernie for many years, and I suspect that he was stuck in a very difficult position with no good options, but I can’t help feeling that he needs to explain his decisions to continue supporting the Democratic party and Clinton clearly and honestly if he is to rebuild his standing as a progressive leader.

    • evelync
      November 14, 2016 at 21:56

      Regarding Bernie’s choice not to join the Green Party, here’s the opinion of a columnist on the Inquisitor, Reno Berkeley, who explained his view of Bernie’s position.

      “Bernie can’t talk to Jill Stein because the DNC could see that as a disqualifying action and his delegates would not be seated in Philadelphia. He is taking the battle to the National Convention in an effort to influence the Democratic platform, so any appearance of defecting to the Green Party would be enough for an already hostile Democratic leadership to shut him out. Sanders has also said that he will remain a Democrat after the primaries, so it is doubly unlikely he will join the Green ticket.”
      ……….

      “Before this primary race, Bernie Sanders was just an obscure senator from the tiny state of Vermont who often called out political and economic corruption to an audience that largely ignored him. After he began to run, people started to listen, and once people began to hear his message, they switched from Hillary to Bernie. Sanders managed to pull in more than 12 million votes, perhaps more, and won 22 states, some of those in landslide victories.
      Sanders has exposed the vast political corruption by simple virtue of being a Democratic candidate. The establishment Democrats who recently booed him for refusing to drop out and endorse Clinton right then are part of the problem. From the moment he began this race, Sanders has said he is in it until the convention, and so any efforts by anyone to get him to endorse Clinton before that time is a wasted effort.
      This is why Bernie won’t run as a Green candidate. It’s not because he couldn’t win. But it’s because he has dedicated himself to reforming the Democratic Party. If Bernie suddenly changed his mind and joined the Green Party ticket, it would come as a big surprise. Jane Sanders has said on more than one occasion that Bernie is a man of his word, and when he says he will do something, he does it.”

      Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/3294291/why-bernie-sanders-cant-take-jill-stein-up-on-green-party-offer/#gAt2JKEPmgqV1pEI.99

      I think that these post election interviews with Bernie show that his decision may, after all is said and done, be the best he could have done under the circumstances. He is now using his formidable Senate seat, along with all the political capital he has earned, on behalf of the people he has been fighting for all his life:

      Today on CBS:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlmuKtyhDKg

      Nov 10th 2016 on CNN:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olILIkiIrM0

      Fascinating 11/10/16 Glenn Greenwald interview which doesn’t cover the Green Party issue, but is worth hearing for Glenn Greenwald’s brilliant analysis;
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJQTqcV12ik
      Greenwald interview continued:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VG11njU3nO0

    • Abbybwood
      November 15, 2016 at 04:09

      What good is a progressive party platform if the candidate representing it is a known liar, is corrupt and is under criminal investigation by the FBI??

      This is ALL on the heads of the Super Delegates who did not vote according to the DNC bylaws/Mission Statement which says they must choose the candidate best able to win in November.

      Clearly according to all polling that was Sen. Sanders.

      The DNC is corrupt to its core. That is ANOTHER swamp that needs to be drained.

      Forget the first “woman” president! I would have been happy to see a “Medicare for All” health care system before I die and I am a 66 year old woman!!!

    • evelync
      November 15, 2016 at 11:53

      For sure!
      I’m a 72 year old woman and would have been happy to support a woman like Nina turner or Tulsi Gabbard, who are honest and trustworthy, but never felt one twang of allegiance to Hillary Clinton just because she has 2 X chromosomes.

    • Norman Solomon
      November 15, 2016 at 07:55

      I think Bernie has done his job well, within his constraints. In his line of work, picking your battles is a constant need. That said, I strongly disagree with his refusal to confront the military-industrial complex. We need to push in ways he won’t — including grassroots insistence on ending the warfare state.

    • evelync
      November 15, 2016 at 12:58

      For sure, Mr. Solomon, as a Bernie supporter, I often asked myself why Bernie refused to confront the MIC and foreign policy issues. Given that he confronted Clinton with his attacks on U.S. hegemony in Central and South America under the Monroe Doctrine for which she countered with McCarthyite Cold War rhetoric (Miami debate where his argument was rooted in his feelings of solidarity with indigenous people), it was a short hop to reexamining the use/abuse of the people who serve in the military in order to exploit foreign resources for the banksters, et al.
      (He did speak out against the financial exploitation of Puerto Rico.)
      But he shied away as you say from matching his domestic policy attacks witha parallel foreign policy/MIC critique.
      I chocked it up during the primary (I wasn’t familiar with his career positions) to a campaign strategy espoused perhaps by his trusted adviser Jeff Weaver….. they may have decided they were bucking the establishment and couldn’t afford a two prong war – against domestic policies AND foreign policy.
      I think it was a mistake, though.
      I think that his supporters would have embraced his linking of the failed neoliberal ideology on domestic policy with that of foreign policy. They were really one and the same, when you consider winners (banks/MIC/big bidness) and losers(average working people at home and abroad)
      He should have, IMO, had a plan to close bases overseas and at home in conjunction with a massive infrastructure work program to employ homecoming military people including faster development of solar/wind.
      His supporters, I think, would have embraced that. I would have.
      In his defense, I point out that he endorsed Tulsi Gabbard who did speak out against the regime change terror we have been wasting money and destroying lives on.
      So yes, we need to push Bernie on this.
      Thanks for all you do!!!

    • Peter
      November 16, 2016 at 08:18

      YES, NORMAN SOLOMAN!!!

      In addition, is the Democratic Party willing to become a minority party?
      Or will it move to the right (even more) to compete with the right?

      Will we ever have a candidate who is unafraid to support #BLM,
      to support (more than verbally) BDS (Boycott, Divest Sanction—
      of Israel), advocate for a Mideast Nuclear Free Zone, to reject
      its fear of being called “anti Semitic” for criticizing Israel????

    • aquadraht
      November 15, 2016 at 08:07

      If you look at all the unrepenting, the stubbornness and self-righteousness of the Democratic establishment, sit down a while and imagine what would have happened if Sen. Sanders and Sen. Warren would have refused support for HRC after the Democratic convention.

      It is easy to figure what would have happened. Donald Trump would have won anyway, maybe but doubtfully with a slightly higher margin. But all the blame which is now laid on Putin, weather, whatever would have been laid upon progressive Democrats.

      So be happy that Sanders and Warren acted as they did.

    • Dennis Rice
      November 15, 2016 at 14:30

      “Bernie did very little to complain (at least as far as I could tell). He still hitched his wagon to the Democratic party, didn’t call for any re-vote, didn’t decide to go Independent or take Jill Stein’s offer to join the Greens, and when the fraudulent results of the Primary came in, he dutifully fell into line and supported and campaigned for Clinton.”

      Boris, I’m not so sure this is correct.

      I think Sanders behaved as he did expecting that Hillary would win and at least working within the Democratic party he could at least get a few of his issues passed by the Democratic party. That he moved Hillary to the left (assuming she would play straight?), she publicly embraced some of his ideas.

    • GM
      November 21, 2016 at 02:08

      His campaign did complain about DNC shenanigans but only up to a point, and rightfully ao as such complaints are just subjected to derision and painted as sore loserism.
      What’s more, as much as I detested watching him support the purported nominee, he kept his word and honored his pledge that he made at the outset of his campaign. Remember that in order for him to run as a Democrat, the only path for the nomination in a closed system, he had to cut a deal with the DNC at which time he presumably agreed to support whomever was declared the winner.

  9. Joe B
    November 14, 2016 at 20:11

    Yes, but dumping Brazile does not begin to fix the DNC. The big money and zionists will again bribe the rotten Dems to sell us down the river as a backstop in case the Repubs miscalculate. The long term record of the DNC is secrecy and utter betrayal: Dump the Dems; don’t let them split progressives again.

    With the Dems in discredit, Trump will soon discredit the Repubs and set the stage for a progressive party. We can succeed with a battle to educate the public about political corruption by money.

    Progressives need a strong but humanitarian executive in 2020, not a closet zionist or a mere pacifier. We have a national emergency of corruption in mass media and elections, and must restore democracy in the legislature and judiciary by executive emergency powers, followed by amendments to protect elections and mass media from the corrupt influence of money.

  10. Dennis Merwood
    November 14, 2016 at 19:42

    The Democratic Party needs to go the way of the Whig Party.

  11. exiled off mainstreet
    November 14, 2016 at 19:36

    It was uncool to fix the nominating process to enable a proven war criminal and avatar of corruption to get the nod.

  12. Dr. Ibrahim Soudy
    November 14, 2016 at 19:21

    What is really funny about the Democratic Party is its unbelievable HYPOCRISY. The same Donna Brazile said in 2008 (when the competition between Hillary and Obama was tight and some feared that the DNC was going to play a game and make Hillary the winner) that if the DNC does not respect the will of the voters, Donna will LEAVE the DEMOCRATIC party. When the same thing happened to B.S. in 2016, the same DONNA was more than happy to capitalize and get the top position??!!

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