National Democrats Resist Reforms

Still refusing to face why Donald Trump and the Republicans won in 2016, the national Democratic Party rebuffs proposals from progressives to make the party more democratic and less corporate-dominated, writes Norman Solomon.

By Norman Solomon

With the Democratic Party’s “Unity Reform Commission” now history, major political forces are entering a new stage of contention over the future of the party. Seven months after the commission’s first meeting — and nine months after Hillary Clinton backer Tom Perez won a close election over Bernie Sanders supporter Keith Ellison to become chair of the Democratic National Committee — the battle lines are coming into focus for next year.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders during a 2016 Democratic presidential debate . (NBC photo)

The commission’s final meeting adjourned on Saturday after a few steps toward democratizing the party had won approval — due to the grassroots strength of progressives. But the recommendations from the commission will go to the Rules and Bylaws Committee, which was one of the DNC decision-making bodies that Perez subjected to a purge two months ago. Now, in the words of Jim Zogby (who was removed from the Executive Committee by Perez), “There are virtually no Bernie supporters on the Rules and Bylaws Committee.”

When the latest Unity Reform Commission meeting got underway, Perez talked a lot about unity. But kicking Sanders supporters off of key DNC committees is the ugly underside of an ongoing dual discourse. (Are we supposed to believe Perez’s soothing words or our own eyes?) And party unity behind a failed approach — internally undemocratic and politically hitched to corporate wagons — would hardly be auspicious.

“Emerging sectors of the electorate are compelling the Democratic Party to come to terms with adamant grassroots rejection of economic injustice, institutionalized racism, gender inequality, environmental destruction and corporate domination,” says the recent report “Autopsy: The Democratic Party in Crisis” (which I co-authored). The report adds: “Siding with the people who constitute the base isn’t truly possible when party leaders seem to be afraid of them.”

DNC Chairman Perez and allied power brokers keep showing that they’re afraid of the party’s progressive base. No amount of appealing rhetoric changes that reality.

“We pride ourselves on being inclusive and welcoming to all,” the Democratic National Committee proclaimed anew at the start of this month, touting the commission meeting as “open to the public.” Yet the DNC delayed and obscured information about the meeting, never replying to those who filled out an online RSVP form — thus leaving them in the dark about the times of the meeting. In short, the DNC went out of its way to suppress public turnout rather than facilitate it.

Rebuking the DNC

One member of the task force that wrote the Autopsy, Karen Bernal, is the chair of the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party. After traveling across the country and sitting in the sparse audience during the first day of the Unity Reform Commission meeting, she took the liberty of speaking up as the second day got underway. Bernal provided a firm rebuke of the DNC’s efforts to suppress public attendance.

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaking to one of his large crowds of supporters during the 2016 campaign. (Photo credit: Sanders campaign)

“For all of the talk about wanting to improve and reform and make this party more transparent, the exact opposite has happened,” Bernal told the commission. (Her intervention, which lasted a little more than two minutes, aired in full on C-SPAN.)

On Sunday, a mass email from Zogby via Our Revolution summed up: “We are fighting for racial, social, economic, and environmental justice. The Democratic Party needs everyone, regardless of their race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, ability, country of origin, language, or socioeconomic status, to be deeply involved in order to change the course of this country.”

For those reasons, he added, “we are calling for an end to superdelegates, [for] open primaries and caucuses, [for] same-day registration, and [for] more transparent, fair, and accountable leadership at the helm of the DNC.”

Overall, the commission approved some recommendations that were partial victories for progressives. Among the most notable: It called for reducing the number of notoriously undemocratic superdelegates to the national convention from 712 to about 300, while the only democratic number would be zero. [Superdelegates are party insiders who are not chosen through a primary or caucus but nevertheless get to vote for the party’s nominees. In 2016, they broke overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton.]

The commission somewhat improved transparency for often-dubious DNC contracts with high-paid consultants and vendors, while defeating sensible amendments by commission member Nomiki Konst — who spoke with notable clarity about the need to clamp down on financial conflicts of interest among DNC decision-makers.

The eight Sanders appointees — Konst, Zogby, Larry Cohen, Lucy Flores, Jane Kleeb, Gus Newport, Nina Turner and Jeff Weaver — put up a good fight as members of the Unity Reform Commission. They were outnumbered, and on key issues were often outvoted, by the 13 who’d been selected by Clinton or Perez. Next year, the odds to overcome will be much worse.

With the purged Rules and Bylaws Committee now overwhelmingly stacked against progressives, only massive pressure from the grassroots will be able to sustain momentum toward a democratic Democratic Party. Meanwhile, corporate forces will do all they can to prevent the Democratic Party from living up to its first name.

Norman Solomon, the national coordinator of the online activist group RootsAction.org, is a member of the task force that wrote “Autopsy: The Democratic Party in Crisis.” His books include War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.

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136 comments for “National Democrats Resist Reforms

  1. Bill Cash
    December 18, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    The autopsy is right on target and well worth reading. Here are 2 paragraphs from it:
    What did happen — and what ought to deeply worry Democrats moving forward — is the massive swing of white working-class voters from Obama in 2012 to Trump in 2016 and the depressed turnout of black and Latino voters for Clinton relative to 2012 Obama. There was a 16-point swing across all races (though this is overwhelmingly due to whites) for those making less than $30,000 from the D to R column and a six-point swing for those making between $30,000 and $50,000. Turnout among African Americans and Latinos was also far lower than many expected, which represents an ominous trend for the party moving forward. To put it in marketing terms: the Democratic Party is failing, on a systemic level, to inspire, bring out, and get a sufficient majority of the votes of the working class.

    The Democratic Party, as pollster Stanley Greenberg emphasizes, doesn’t have a “white working-class problem” — it has a working-class problem. “If there was one area where Democratic turnout was undeniably weaker in 2016 than 2012 it was among African Americans,” Patrick Ruffini wrote in FiveThirtyEight. Black turnout, especially in key swing states, was 14.1 percent less than election models predicted — far more than the 3.2 percent decline among whites. While it’s important to note the damaging effect of Republican Party attempts at minority voter suppression through gerrymandering and voter ID laws, the Democratic Party has failed to give many of those who can vote a reason to do so.

    This is animated, in part, by the perception that the party is in the pocket of the rich.

    RootsAction is a great source. Thanks Mr. Solomon

  2. J. Brewer
    December 14, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    Like i said, Perez is an effing d-bag.
    Discounting and ignoring progressives will be the death of the DNC, and possibly the nation as well.
    We’re not swallowing your lying bs any longer. Effing a-holes.

  3. December 14, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    I applaud the efforts and voices of the progressives attempting to move the Democratic Party to the left. However, I am one who, Like Ralph Nader, thinks it is unrepairble. In the largest of all pictures the country’s ordinary citizens are waging a battle against the ideology of “neoliberalism”, the “there is no alternative” to greed crowd (Fieidman/Reagan/Thatcher, etc. – Ayn Rand devotees) who, in practice, are, in effect, masters and serfs neofeudalists! This decades old backward creeping thrust requires INSURECTION! FORCE (tens of millions in the streets and actively supporting progressive issues and candidates) is required to reverse this tide! The citizenry is still too uncaring and timid to take such initiatives. And, the DNC doesn’t have the wherewithall to even acknowledge what’s happening let alone to accept it and develop strategies for combating it! The American worker/farmer/ordinary citizen has NO representation – by design, unfortunately! We need a real progressive party; a viable 3rd party!!! I suggest anyone wanting to see what a progressive America would look like – an inclusive, productive, respectful, fully representative American socio-economic and governmental system – a radical democracy, if you will, visit the home site of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). My 2 cents.

  4. December 12, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    Throw out the divisive identity politics and it would be worth joining the Democrats. Otherwise I’ll be on the lookout for candidates who talk about universal health care, economic justice, election reform, curbs on imperialism and steps to improve our environment. Start leading with racial and gender issues and victims, you lose me. I think I am not alone and the Democratic Party just doesn’t get it.

    • Skip Scott
      December 13, 2017 at 9:14 am

      Herman-

      Bernie talked about all those things, but he chose to attempt to corral his followers into supporting Hillary in the end. I would expect a similar performance from him or some other Trojan horse in 2020. Money has totally corrupted the Democratic party. The progressives would be making a big mistake to stick with the Democrats again only to get shafted at the convention. I am hopeful that we can get a charismatic leader in the Green party to attract the supporters of “Our Revolution” and others looking for peace and economic justice and make them see that building the Greens into a major party is our only hope. I really believe once we made the televised debates we would reach a tipping point and win the election. It would probably have to be someone with deep pockets and name recognition so the MSM couldn’t ignore them. And of course they better be able to afford a really good security detail.

    • December 13, 2017 at 9:49 am

      I would add the most important issue, reforming the election process replacing private funding with public funding and imposing obligations on the for profit media to make time available gratis to a more candidates. Some threshold of public support would have to be demonstrated by candidates before they were given access. The aim: to create faith in the power of individual citizens to influence the outcome of elections, that their votes count.

      • Skip Scott
        December 13, 2017 at 12:06 pm

        Yes, I agree completely. However, I think we would first have to win one election, before those changes would become possible without violent revolution. In the end, it may really take a sea-change in consciousness; and unfortunately those types of changes usually only come about as the result of extreme trauma.

  5. Mild-ly - Facetious
    December 12, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    kakistocracy
    http://www.merriam-webster.com

    pl. kak·is·toc·ra·cies. Government by the least qualified or most unprincipled citizens.
    Origin of kakistocracy. Greek kakistos worst superlative of kakos bad

    http://www.yourdictionary.com/kakistocracy

    Thanks, John, your comment is a gleaming gem as Greek words and/or philosophy remain wonderfully relevant in these times of deceit, dereliction, and divisiveness.

    Plato’s Five Dialogues are sorely missed.

  6. John
    December 12, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    Do not forget that at the DNC nomination party, Bernie Sanders’s wife coming on stage on reminding Sanders that his name was still on the ballet. Meaning, that he could still be voted for president. And after, they received their 400k beach front home and the Sanders set up a ‘foundation’. In which, many of his progressive believers left the foundation for whom Sanders had placed in charged. The Sanders family was in on the scam from the beginning. The Sanders are just apart of the kakistocracy as the rest of them. Truth Stream Media had done a video a couple weeks ago showing the video of what I just wrote about. I tried finding it in the Way Back Machine but could not, but the Dykes still had it. If one wishes to see it, check out truthstreammedia.com or their you tube channel. It’s all a sham, facade, charade just like hollywood, intelligence, false flags, state operated terrorism, etc. That is why the banished the word kakistocracy from Webster’s Dictionary a century ago. A kakistocracy is the worst elements of a society running said society. It explains it perfectly in one word.

  7. DHorse
    December 12, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    So… to summarize, another big win for Trump…

  8. December 12, 2017 at 10:17 am

    Reducing Superdelegates, what a joke. Clinton & company may have stole some primary elections via electronic tampering. Greg Palast’s research is best in this area. The entire Republicrat party is rigged to a large degree and has been for some time.

    • Mild-ly - Facetious
      December 12, 2017 at 12:42 pm

      They’ve been “rigged”, for certain after the presidential election of Y2K where Bush was SELECTED by a rigged SCOTUS.

      We’ve been going downhill, as an honest nation, since then… .

      (Trump self-deceptively swears his inaugural ceremony was greater/larger than was Obama’s.
      … lying eyes, they don’t tell the Truth).

      • John
        December 12, 2017 at 1:29 pm

        It was never an honest country/government from the beginning. Remember Shay’s Rebellion which was the catalyst for creating the Constitution and later Bill of Rights. It was set up by the wealthy for the wealthy to keep their wealth and power. Nothing more, nothing less. A kakistocracy from the inception.

        • December 12, 2017 at 2:28 pm

          Whiskey Rebellion against Hamilton purposely bankrupting Trans Appalachian farmers with an exorbitant tax in order to centralize distilling into the hands of the coastal big business distilleries.

    • John
      December 12, 2017 at 1:31 pm

      Also, blackboxvoting.com has done great research into this. There used to be a video on you tube with the man that created the programming for the electronic voting machines testifying before a congressional committee. Fractional Magic.

  9. Den Lille Abe
    December 12, 2017 at 7:18 am

    Hmm , I was worried that Wall street was loosing the “grip” , good to hear that they are in total control of the Clinton, ehh Democratic party, and that those nasty disruptive progressives have been thrown out. Next they would want free healthcare and education and decent minimum wages too!!! Pure socialism!!

    /S

    I will just stick with my Swedish passport a while longer…

  10. December 12, 2017 at 4:01 am

    Democratic Party uses race and sex to separate Americans. Progressives are part of the problem. They support the Demon Party. Bernie has no vision except free stuff and open borders. What could go wrong? Ask folks in NYC.

    • Mild-ly - Facetious
      December 12, 2017 at 12:30 pm

      Cheap Shot Artist using name of Nazi inspiring – free love apologist, Margaret Sanger.

      Trump and Moore are Prime Exhibits to her philosophy of ” free love ” – as was Ayn Rand.

      Sanger, Trump, Moore, Rand all fit seamlessly into the category of deviant and predatory scumbag.

  11. Simon
    December 12, 2017 at 1:12 am

    Very much a rigged and anti-democracy game at the top echelons of the Democratic Party.

    Good statement of needed reform by the Bernie wing: “we are calling for an end to superdelegates, [for] open primaries and caucuses, [for] same-day registration, and [for] more transparent, fair, and accountable leadership at the helm of the DNC.” But it seems the party establishment does not want actual democracy.

  12. Zachary Smith
    December 12, 2017 at 12:48 am

    How We Became Israel
    Peace means dominion for Netanyahu—and now for us.

    I looked up Mr. Bacevich and found that interesting-looking title. The piece was well-written, but it somehow managed to skip over a lot of the realities we discuss here. He’s not very hard on Israel, and doesn’t mention at all how most of the US adventures overseas have benefited nobody else except that nation.

    By the time Barack Obama succeeded Bush in 2009, most Americans—like most Israelis—had lost their appetite for invading and occupying countries.

    If Israel no longer invades and occupies countries, might not it be on account of having a pet elephant named “US of A” to do it for them? And the US taxpayer these days pays more for super-expensive “smart” munitions and mercenaries than for invading armies. If Syria could have been brought to a suitable level of destruction, I’m pretty sure Israel would have walked right in. I suspect the excuse would have been to protect itself from evil ISIS which had destroyed the Syrian Government and was planning all kinds of mischief against Holy Israel! With the best-watered land in Syria under the control of the IDF, Lebanon would soon become a cakewalk.

    In another piece Mr. Bacevich writes about the US not winning wars anymore. What he forgot in this was that while smashing Muslim nations for Israel isn’t a victory for the US, it sure is for Israel!

    Anyhow, I don’t know how Mr. Parry selects authors. I can’t recall reading any out-and-out necons here while I’ve been reading the articles.

    • Zachary Smith
      December 12, 2017 at 1:00 am

      This post was supposed to be a reply to ranney, but instead ended at the bottom of the page.

      • DHorse
        December 12, 2017 at 12:18 pm

        Considered yourself bottom marginalized.

    • ranney
      December 12, 2017 at 1:10 am

      Zachary, I’m glad you looked up the Bacevich article, but I disagree with your analysis. He wasn’t talking about the Israel problem (which he has written about in other places and disagrees with Israel’s behavior toward Palestine etc.) He was writing about our endless wars that cost too much in lives and general destruction for no purpose. He was saying that the new militancy that finally targets sexual abuse of women is a good thing and it would be nice if we we acquired the same militant attitude toward our endless and costly (in lives and treasure of all concerned) predations in places like Iraq Afghanistan, not to mention Libya, Somalia, Yemen and so on
      . Like forcing some out of their jobs for their sexual behavior, he suggests that maybe we could do the same with Generals and others who continue to promote wars.
      It is hard (no, impossible) to cover every aspect in an essay. to cover it all would require a book. And by the way, he has written several.

  13. Leslie Feuille
    December 11, 2017 at 9:16 pm

    “With the purged Rules and Bylaws Committee now overwhelmingly stacked against progressives, only massive pressure from the grassroots will be able to sustain momentum toward a democratic Democratic Party. Meanwhile, corporate forces will do all they can to prevent the Democratic Party from living up to its first name.”

    How are you going to generate “massive pressure from the grassroots” over an internal party matter when everyone is tied up in trying to stop the tax bill and saving net neutrality?

    I wish someone had a more practical solution.

    .

  14. Alan
    December 11, 2017 at 9:16 pm

    One thing gives me alot of hope. Bernie got alot of support in 2016. When you consider what what happened the levels of support kucinch or ralph N got. Bernies support has grown alot since. Young folks love the guy and more than alot of 15/16 year olds saying theyll cast their first vote for him 2020! Bernie2020. Keep up the fighr guys!
    Seems like that big change is coming

    • December 12, 2017 at 4:03 am

      Bernie has no economic vision and supported Hillary. He is nothing more than a sheepdog and a disappointment to Americans who wants true change.

      You cannot solve American problems by supporting Globalism. Impossible.

  15. December 11, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    Thomas Franks did excellent analysis of screwed-up American politics in several of his books. Both parties abandoned the working class. Lobbying mostly started by Repubs (Jack Abramoff, etc) guaranteed shilling for corporations winning against people: “The Wrecking Crew”. It took a Democrat, Bill Clinton, really a Republican in Dem clothing, to sell out the people completely with NAFTA and repeal of Glass-Steagall: “Listen, Liberal:Whatever Happened to the Party of the People”?. The wreck is now extreme, witness this last election.

  16. December 11, 2017 at 9:08 pm

    I will be impressed with failed Congressional candidate Norman Solomon’s political integrity the day he makes a public statement supporting the liberation of the Palestinian people from Israeli apartheid and murder. A reformed Democratic Party that is too cowardly to address the horror of the Israeli concentration camps qua shooting gallery in Gaza and the West Bank, not to mention critiquing Trump’s racist Zionism, will not get my vote. These reform opportunists advertise the possibility of a softer, gentler, less corrupt Democratic Party so they can sleaze themselves into office, it looks like from here. Seriously, Norman, if you want to impress folks, quit the f%^&$$ Democrats and start up a new party that has a platform that includes a ONE STATE solution for a genuinely democratic state of Israel-Palestine in which theocracy and genocidal actions are banned. Get some spine.

  17. Susan Yerry
    December 11, 2017 at 8:00 pm

    The sham of the 2016 Democratic Primaries was deeply disturbing to me. Massive electronic voting fraud, voter purging, and voter suppression, among numerous other problems. Furthermore, the defense of the DNC Fraud lawsuit clearly shows that the DNC does not believe it has to operate in a democratic manner. Work to clean up the corruption and restore democracy. Make election integrity and a return to paper ballots with citizen audits a priority. Put people and the environment before corporate greed and personal gain and you will win again.

  18. weilunion
    December 11, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    We must stop the binary thinking and forget about the two party charade. There is one party and it is a Donner Party.

    Bannon and the fascists are building a third party while pundits from the so-called progressive side keep building layers of deceit and deception.

  19. Louise
    December 11, 2017 at 6:00 pm

    It is time to wake up to two sad truths:
    A) No-one will be allowed into the Oval Office, who will go against the
    establishment or the “Deep State”. If a person should succeed s/he
    will be blackmailed or threatened to succumb to TPTB.
    B) We have only one party as far as the most serious issues are
    concerned. The so called divisions on social issues are created on
    purpose. This gives the public the illusion that it has a choice and
    thus creates a useful “divide and conquer” tool.

    There is a very good reason why “both” parties will not permit a
    third one to get into the game. Also, the public has been well
    conditioned to the “a third party cannot win” meme.

    • December 11, 2017 at 7:33 pm

      “We have only one party.” My Social Science Prof told me that 60 years ago when I was a freshman in college. I didn’t understand him then; but it certainl has become self-evident since then.

      • weilunion
        December 11, 2017 at 8:03 pm

        A Donner Party

  20. ranney
    December 11, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    I certainly agree with this article and I agree with the comments about it too. But I have a different question I hope someone can help with.
    I read Consortium religiously and I also read Common Dreams on a daily basis. Today I was reminded of a question I often have because Norman’s article was placed in the Common Dreams oped column right next to Col. Andrew Baceviche’s article (A Harvey Weinstein moment for America’s wars). Both these articles are covering topics that need to be talked about. One gets published in Consortium and one doesn’t. In fact I’m pretty sure I have never seen one of Col. Baceviche’s articles in Consortium despite the fact that what he has to say (wittily, elegantly and, above all, knowledgeably) would correspond with the writers I have come to admire at Consortium. Are his articles too expensive? or is he too hard to contact? or any number of reasons I suppose. I don’t know how this works when various writers are seen simultaneously on different web sites. Is there a conflict?
    Anyway I don’t understand, and I’d like to because I think Baceviche’s ideas are worth having as wide an audience as possible.
    Anyway, those who haven’t read his article can go to Common Dreams and find it there – much as I wish it were at Consortium.
    I’m also disappointed that Common Dreams has not reprinted any of Robert Parry’s articles for a long time; they used to, but I suppose his attitude toward the Russia fake news doesn’t gibe with Common Dreams since they have swallowed the group think on that matter. Never the less, Common Dreams has other articles worth looking at, so I continue to look for those.

  21. Dave
    December 11, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    These people sound as though they are trying to form a minor league republican party. These are the very people
    that cause the fractures within the party.

  22. December 11, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    I will vote of no democrat till you become a real democracy. No superdelegates

  23. Mild-ly - Facetious
    December 11, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    America, The Bible, and Judge Roy Moore
    – along with the strong Influence of Steve Bannon

    is more impressive than was the Power of Karl Rove
    over Bush 41– “Bannon is Trumps powerful tool”
    (statement made / this morning / c-span AM Washington journal)

    Bannon and Trump;
    what you’ll see is what we’ll get from Trump/Bannon

    https://www.c-span.org/video/?438322-3/washington-journal-lisa-mascaro-shannon-pettypiece-preview-week-washington

    • Mild-ly - Facetious
      December 11, 2017 at 3:51 pm

      Find Here – if not found there: https://www.c-span.org/person/?lisamascaro

    • weilunion
      December 11, 2017 at 8:02 pm

      BuzzFeed has a long piece based on a cache of leaked emails that describe behind-the-scenes efforts at Breitbart to mainstream the “Alt Right” neo-Nazis. This story firms up analysis of Breitbart as a white nationalist publication run by neo-Nazis for the purpose of mainstreaming neo-Nazi ideals.

      Those efforts primarily revolved around Milo Yiannopoulos, who is:
      1. Tasked with reaching out to “Alt Right” figures.
      2. Getting comments from them about what the “Alt Right” was all about.
      3. Then, later getting feedback from them about the planned articles before they were published.

      It was clearly a group effort. Those efforts included Andrew ‘the weev’ Auernheimer, Curtis Yarvin (the founder of the “Dark Enlightenment” movement), and Devin Saucier, a neo-Nazi Yiannopoulos describes as his best friend.

      Of primary interest here is the cunning exercised by Yiannopoulos, Bannon et al in parsing just what they can get away with doing and what they must avoid. ” . . . . By Yiannopoulos’s own admission, maintaining a sufficiently believable distance from overt racists and white nationalists was crucial to the machine he had helped Bannon build. . . .‘Thanks re 1488,’ Yiannopoulos responded. . . .’I have been struggling with this. I need to stay, if not clean, then clean enough.’“

      The emails included back and forths between Yiannopoulos and Breitbart editors about whether or not the publication was getting too openly friendly with the Nazis, with Yiannopoulos being told at one point that it was fine to use a “shekels” joke but “you can’t even flirt with OKing gas chamber tweets.”

      Program Highlights Include:
      1. Curtis Yarvin’s statement that he was “coaching” Peter Thiel on politics.
      2. How the two Yiannopoulos passwords found in the emails were “a password that began with the word Kristall”, and “LongKnives1290”.
      3. How the formidable economic power of the Mercer family serves as a legal intimidation factor for anyone labeling Yiannopoulos as a racist or Nazi.

      Read more: http://spitfirelist.com/for-the-record/ftr-986-walkin-the-snake-with-breitbart-part-3/

      Bannon on Darkness http://edition.cnn.com/2016/11/18/politics/steve-bannon-donald-trump-hollywood-reporter-interview/index.html
      Walking the Snake http://spitfirelist.com/for-the-record/ftr-335-walking-the-snake-part-2/
      Part 5 http://spitfirelist.com/for-the-record/ftr-331-connecting-the-dots-part-5-walking-the-snake/

  24. Dennis Rice
    December 11, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    It is unfortunate that the Democratic National Committee and Mr. Perez do not read these ‘ground roots’ comments. On the other hand, I think they are too damned dumb and out of touch to understand anyway. All wrapped up in their snotty self-importance to care about winning political races and the welfare of the country. What could be a banner era of winning elections (2018 – 2020) isn’t going to happen as long as the Democratic party had this kind of piss-poor leadership…(?)

  25. NavyVet
    December 11, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    Great article. Tweeted to all 21 of my followers! :P

    But, I’m confused. You seem to have forgot to mention the need to hold more discussions about Russia.

  26. Geoffrey de Galles
    December 11, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    I venture to predict that, by 2020, the LA tragi-comedian Jimmy Dore and his two adorable side-kicks Stef and Ron, will have amassed plenty enough existential solidarity and political combustion as to swing the next POTUS election, one way or the other. Their political satire, most often at the expense of the wretched Dems, doomed more and more into irrelevancy day by day, is issue-by-issue informed, incisive, profound, and to be taken deeply seriously by anyone who still cares a shit any more. Moreover, as it happens, in terms of their combined intellectual capacity they put ruthlessly to shame 99% of the Wash DC political-cum-media elite. Indeed, in my estimation, given the burgeoning acclamation of the Jimmy Dore Show, Bernie Sanders must be a sheer arse-hole in his not having sought to enter into some kinda more or less formal affiliation with the trio — all of whom were passionately his advocates back in 2016 — for they are verily, by now, the sound of the future. Readers, if you haven’t already, do get yourselves to YouTube and check out # The Jimmy Dore Show. I promise, you’ll laugh yourself to tears because all of what they have to say is, only too tragically, right on the money.

  27. Realist
    December 11, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    The Democrats need to spend plenty of time in the wilderness before they are allowed back to power. They will learn no effective lesson if they are led to think that they’ve effectively hoodwinked the public with their cock and bull story that Russia is to blame for Hillary’s rejection by the voters. Besides, their policies of Republican-lite neoliberalism economics and warmongering neocon foreign policy should be totally unacceptable to any civilised progressive. Sorry, Dems, back in the oven with you till you’re thoroughly cooked.

    • December 12, 2017 at 2:20 pm

      The DemCons are irremediably fried.

  28. John A
    December 11, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    Talleyrand’s comment about the Bourbons “They had learned nothing and forgotten nothing” springs to mind with the Democrats.

  29. Paul G.
    December 11, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    Let me add that Bernie was a fool to stand next to Herself on the stage and say that he was ”…proud to stand next to Hillary Clinton…” That was a moment when he lost most of his authority; and lent credence to the “sheepdog” theory. He could simply have said; OK we lost so now we have to keep Trump out of office; instead of praising the criminal who cheated and shafted him. He betrayed his followers in that moment. Bernie has always been a bit naive; hopefully Donna Brazile has woken him up.

    • irina
      December 11, 2017 at 3:10 pm

      The wind actually went out of Bernie’s sails right after his meeting with Obama in June of 2016.
      His entire demeanor changed. Have to wonder what Obama said to him, maybe a ‘word to the wise’
      about what might happen to his family if he didn’t align himself with the Clinton cabal ?

      • December 11, 2017 at 3:59 pm

        irina, like Kucinich with Clinton on the Tarmac

      • Paul G.
        December 11, 2017 at 6:15 pm

        Good point; I suspect he reminded him who controlled the purse strings; which Obama knows well having cozied up to Penny Pritzker who became his king maker. Slick Willy and Obama ingratiated themselves into the system well. Hillary was in by default, Bernie was an insurgent. Doing your homework in the party means first cultivating the money folks; then you cultivate the public. Bernie started with the public, not the way the party works-which is the essence of the problem.

        • weilunion
          December 11, 2017 at 8:00 pm

          He is right. And for those of you who do not know who was responsible for the wretched Obama, take a look at Penny Pritzker

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Qe7T7byf0M

          She should be in jail but is the head, or was, of the Dept. of Commerce, thanks to Obama.

          Stop even thinking of trusting any of these clowns in empty suits. They are scurrilous politicians in the bordello of power.

      • SaltyGrease
        December 11, 2017 at 6:53 pm

        There is an open FBI investigation targeting Jane Sanders for possibly over hyping information on a loan application for a small college, which then defaulted on the loan. Hardly the crime of the century, not something the FBI would bother with as a criminal matter. The investigation remains open, but nothing seems to be actually happening. I’ll speculate that Sanders knows he can only operate within fairly narrow parameters. A lot of his supporters (as I certainly was) were pissed that he didn’t blow up the Democratic Party, but I don’t think that’s fair. It’s also the reason he constantly said that he couldn’t do much by himself, that it would take a massive popular uprising to effect any real change.

      • Tom Ratliff
        December 12, 2017 at 1:28 pm

        I imagined it wasn’t really Obama, rather the guy giving Obama orders, and it went something like this: “You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, Mr. Sanders, and I won’t have it! Is that clear? And YOU…WILL…ATONE! Am I getting through to you, Mr. Sanders?” hat tip: Paddy Chayefsky

    • DaKiska
      December 11, 2017 at 9:38 pm

      Plus, he was still a war proponent. Without closing the Pentagon/MIC, America is doomed.

    • Skip Scott
      December 12, 2017 at 10:13 am

      That was also a moment when I nearly vomited. And he shouldn’t have said “ok we lost”, he should have said “Wikileaks has proven that team Hillary and the DNC cheated; so you either nominate me, or I’m going over to the Green Party, and I invite my supporters to join me.”

      • December 12, 2017 at 2:19 pm

        Bernie might very well have won on the Green Ticket, a historic chance discarded. I understand Bernie did not even thank Stein for her offer.

        • Gregory Herr
          December 12, 2017 at 4:02 pm

          He didn’t even acknowledge the offer.

  30. Annie
    December 11, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    When friends who are democrats insisted I vote for Clinton because she was the lesser of the two evils, which they found acceptable, you understand that the majority of democratic voters are not exerting pressure on their own party to become more progressive. They were relatively silent during the Obama years which also reflects their position, since he was no progressive, not even in his foreign policies. Clinton won the majority vote, and it became a green light to continue their old ways. Had they sustained a big loss in the popular vote then maybe they would have greater reason for change, and once again cultivate a much more progressive agenda, and return to their working class base, rather then courting corporate America, and a neocon agenda. I guess their hope is that Trump and his party being total screw ups will win their day.

  31. Paul G.
    December 11, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    Gee, watch the C-Span video of Bernal speaking. A significant number are ignoring her, talking to others or fidgeting, maybe they have attention deficit disorder. This says a lot about how they work. Are we looking at a process more akin to “democratic centralism”; which, of course, is a contradiction in terms? Just a bunch of good ol’ boys and girls enjoying their privilege and power.
    While Trump is an appalling on going train wreck, the most discouraging and despicable aspect of our dysfunctional body politic is the utter failure of the “Democratic” party to acknowledge their egregious failure in running an unpopular warmonger and influence peddler for POTUS. They are compounding that error in follow up by running around with their atrophied heads spinning; barking Hillary’s disinformation campaign blaming the Russians for her incompetent performance.
    I am, however, glad we do not have the “Queen of Chaos” in office to further muck up Syria and the world. The US is possibly “bottoming out” in its rotten, internal corruption and interventionist “exceptionalism; just like a drunk has to bottom out before s/he gets off the sauce and reforms. The whole mess is nauseating and does not bode well for the near future.

    • December 11, 2017 at 7:07 pm

      “My name is Unclesam, and I am a … skunk.”

      • Annie
        December 12, 2017 at 5:35 am

        Worse, a skunk just smells bad.

  32. December 11, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    The Democratic Party is absolutely completely entirely totally corrupt! The notion that such an institution can be “reformed” by the “Justice-Democrats” movement is about as likely as a group called the “Justice-Nazis” having successfully reformed Hitler’s Nazi Party. Remember the “Justice-Nazis?” Neither do I, but you get the point. Absolute ruthless corruption combined with narcissistic and psychopathic arrogance do not respond to “reason” and “argument.” They simply perpetuate themselves.

  33. Rabbit.Marshall
    December 11, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    I haven’t voted for a Democrat in the General Election since the first Clinton election. It’s been noting but betrayal from Democrats since then. I remember the welfare bill, NAFTA, the telecom bill, and the tough on crime thing. I was thinking at the time “Democrats are throwing away their constituents.” Democrats are why half of kids live in poverty. Self righteous, they refuse to see the suffering they’ve caused. Many people have excellent reasons to never vote Dem again.
    It took a while but now all of those whom the Dems threw aside won’t vote for them. Let’s face it, Democrats ruined lives with wars, bankers and spies taking jobs, homes and freedoms. Dem voters always go for the most corrupt candidate. Like a high school clique, they reject anyone honest enough to point out the failures of the Party.
    I don’t see any changes. The same corporate forces still run the Party.
    I predict that they’ll push more corrupt candidates on us and I will stay home or vote 3rd party just like I’ve been doing for decades now.
    The country is going to hell which is the intent of the corporate Democrat Party. Who wants more of that?

    • Rabbit.Marshall
      December 11, 2017 at 1:18 pm

      I’ll also mention using every weasel way to divert attention from their failures, even driving propaganda (lies) about Russia and anything else they can think of. Dems are basically King Liars and don’t care if the country goes to war over those same lies. Dems don’t GAF about you or the country. They care about bribes.

    • Patrick Lucius
      December 12, 2017 at 2:40 am

      Nailing it.

  34. Nir Haramati
    December 11, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    Let me get it straight, the American people elected the most conservative president in history because the Democratic party is not progressive enough?

    How does this nonsensical BS even computes in the minds of its beholders?

    • December 11, 2017 at 2:09 pm

      No Nir, the voters choice was between the familiar Horrible and different Horrible, they (actually did not) chose different Horrible.

      • weilunion
        December 11, 2017 at 7:56 pm

        48% of eligible voters never even voted. The system is dead, give it up already.

        • Nir Haramati
          December 12, 2017 at 6:56 am

          The system is dead BECAUSE of those who chose not to make their voices heard. The idea it is the elites who kill are responsible for our political abysmal state is a convenient neo progressive myth put to sham by the statistic you quoted. If even half of those would have moved their lazy opportunistic asses and voted for third, forth, or fifth candidate they could have changed the US political map in a single election. For example, the Green Party could have passed the 5% mark and become a real party for a change.

          For elitism to end, people have to step up, and unlike many or even most global democracies, it is actually a possibility in American society and democracy.

          • December 12, 2017 at 12:57 pm

            Greens prohibited from debates. Bernie shafted by his party. Kerry and Gore both having elections stolen by illegal vote count manipulations. If voting was effective it would be illegal. Even Kennedy most likely stole his election.

            Main stream polys like H are mass murderers , Libya, Honduras, Syria.. You find that acceptable?

      • Nir Haramati
        December 12, 2017 at 7:01 am

        False. The choice was between main stream politician and a proto fascist moron. The latter won, to the detriment of us all. It was also between a party with a mixed record of achievements and improvements, and one not only without any, but with an almost exclusive record of destruction.

        All this is beside the point, which was that the idea the election was lost because the American people are progfressive is pure delusion, and most likely a conscious demagogic propaganda from the fringe and hazy left.

        • Gregory Herr
          December 12, 2017 at 1:28 pm

          It is not delusional to suppose that had the Democrats run a candidate who effectively addressed health care issues, infrastructure development, investments in housing, education, and retirement, and the need for a saner approach to foreign policy–that candidate would have won. What is delusional is to hope for or expect that such a candidate will be put forth by the Democrats.

          As for achievements and improvements–

          Deregulation (where it hurts the most), privatization/wealth transfer, increased criminalization, wage stagnation, college debt, infrastructure and environmental neglect, trashing the Constitution, trashing the public option, trashing diplomacy, and the unbridled and unconscionable death and destruction of lives and homes abroad.
          Putting Wall Street ahead of Main Street–putting the interests of the wealthy above all other interests–and pushing the war agenda abroad while institutionalizing a national security state at home has been the purview of Democrats and Republicans alike.

          • Skip Scott
            December 12, 2017 at 2:45 pm

            Amen.

    • Alan
      December 11, 2017 at 8:42 pm

      Nir. The american people did not come out for the democrats in 2016. Its not got much to do with progresive/conservative stuff. They lost 12 million votes. 8 million barak voters changed to trump. The democrats aint as progressive as they present themselves to be.

    • Patrick Lucius
      December 12, 2017 at 2:37 am

      What planet are you from?

  35. December 11, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    I am very sympathetic to those who are attempting to fundamentally change the Democratic Party but I have no confidence in the reformers. Why? Because they have had a golden opportunity to make something happen after the election to nip in the bud the mainstream Democrats attempt to obscure the anti-democratic nature of the Party and it’s pro-war, pro-Wall Street, and pro-status-quo tendencies. The election of Trump obscured and the whole Russiagate and assorted attempts to reverse the election strengthened rather than weakened conservative Democrats. This shows me, in dramatic fashion that the Sanderistas are just not ready for big-leagues. I hope they’ve learned something but I doubt it.

  36. Patricia Victour
    December 11, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    The Dims are so sure that they’ll get another pass like they did in 2008 (and still in 2012) for Obama when the electorate was shell-shocked over 8 years of W – who in retrospect seems almost “Presidential.” Now, if he’s not impeached or otherwise taken out of office, we face Trump in 2020, so the Dims think it doesn’t matter, once again, who they run – maybe even, god forbid, HRC – because “he will never be re-elected.” Don’t count on it, Dims. Work like you’ve never worked before, in recent memory at least, and support and rally a base that is crying out to you. If you rebuild and honor that old progressive democratic base, we WILL come to you. Otherwise . . . .

    • Patrick Lucius
      December 12, 2017 at 2:36 am

      Sorry. I’ve been a lifelong dem up until a year ago, and I want the dems to go down hard. Irredeemable. War mongers, no principles. Trump will take it again ez.

  37. mike k
    December 11, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    The political fights in Washington are power struggles between equally ruthless and evil mafia gangs. Taking sides is useless – whoever “wins” the results will be disastrous. The political system in America is hopelessly corrupt, and one can only wish it would die and be done with it – except that such a solution would mean that the craziest players would seize control, and probably terminate our brief stay on the planet in short order.

    All the bullshit about “fixing the system” is totally inadequate to deal with the deep seated malaise that afflicts our nation, and especially it’s “leaders”.

    • December 11, 2017 at 6:47 pm

      When both parties represent the upper 10% [primarily the upper .001%,] whichever wins, 90% of the people lose.

    • weilunion
      December 11, 2017 at 7:55 pm

      Absolutely. It is time for those who still believe in this system, that it can be policed and regulated to give up the ghost. You cannot regulate a criminal enterprise and that is what capitalism is.

  38. Drew Hunkins
    December 11, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    The DNC is a disgrace.

    Off topic (I apologize) but PBS’s much vaunted “Frontline” is going to be doing a huge two part expose on “Putin’s Revenge.” From what I can gather it appears to be an expose about how and why Putin hacked our election and is sabotaging American society and democracy across the board.

    Instead of PBS’s Frontline running a big expose on the corrupt DNC it’s going to instead focus on the non-existent Russia-gate nonsense! When will this all end?

    • Zachary Smith
      December 11, 2017 at 1:42 pm

      If Frontline has the “goods”, fine. I’d wager dollars to used gum wrappers they don’t.

      PBS has gone to hell in the last couple of decades, IMO.

      • Drew Hunkins
        December 11, 2017 at 2:12 pm

        Right.
        No “goods” have been found in over a year of multiple investigations. Ergo, Frontline most likely has nothing, and will merely be regurgitating the same speculation, rumor and innuendo we’ve been hearing non-stop. When you have the over zealous prosecutor Mueller grasping at issues that have nothing to do with purported Moscow interference in the ’16 prez election, you just know Frontline most likely has nothing substantive.

      • weilunion
        December 11, 2017 at 7:54 pm

        PBS has been virtually privatized. The News Hour runs as a private entity, nothing public about it. The former head of the Washington Post took over years ago and made it worse.

        In fact, PBS is the public’s enemy. Why? Because they pose as in the public’s interest but work for the privatizers of everything, all the time. Like the corporate demos, they are frauds.

        Take a look five and a half years ago.

        http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/9383-the-washington-post-pbs-and-the-koch-funded-american-enterprise-institute-vilify-community-colleges

    • elmerfudzie
      December 12, 2017 at 2:26 am

      Drew Hunkins, long gone are the days of PUBLIC broadcasting, it’s become corporate money and influence broadcasting…Alas, (again) gone are the intellectually meaty and thought provoking programs such as Alernative Views, with Frank Morrow at the helm- it ran until 1998. Aside: good ‘ol Austin, TX that liberal bastion and city on the hill !. Commentators like the MSM’s very own, Judge Napolitano-pulled off! Ralph Schoenman and Mya Shone, broadcasters of long and good standing at WBAI. Their Taking Aim Show was summarily pulled off the air with an almost BBC-esque style to it. Ralph and Mya were suddenly and without notice, during a work day morning, locked out of the broadcast studio. Speaking of MSM cable networks, the word Palestine couldn’t be found on any C-span web search function, until the mid nineties! Well, here’s one comforting and fitting end to this rant, you can always turn the TV off, and leave it off…

      • Drew Hunkins
        December 12, 2017 at 12:58 pm

        I’m with you, turn it off and leave it off.

  39. exiled off mainstreet
    December 11, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    Unfortunately, the party, having destroyed its legitimacy by allowing the nakedly control of it by the Clinton machine, and by its use for over a year of a dangerous false propaganda myth, the Russia conspiracy theory, appears to be beyond repair by conventional means. I see no possibility of serious positive change in the party (or unfortunately the US party duopoly) unless somehow the existing party structure can be supplanted. Since this seems to be a historical impossibility without some sort of serious upheaval, I don’t hold out much hope for the future.

    • elmerfudzie
      December 11, 2017 at 6:47 pm

      exiled off mainstreet, don’t let the powers that be put you into a blue funk. We are many and they are few. Should the Democratic Party elite ignore active voters this time around, should they fail to deliver to us a true idealist candidate in the shape of a FDR or Henry Wallace, then, there are several creative options at our disposal. Concoct a version of BDS, refuse donating, boycott their town hall meetings, picket the entryways to the democratic convention, tag their e-mails in your inbox as junk mail, shred voter registration cards and snail mail them to your reps and senators. Let them sort out a couple of hundred thousand pounds of useless paper. These congresspersons know all about moving useless and valueless paper about, especially USD fiat notes! Give em back precisely just what they deserve! Any state that refuses to permit “write in” candidates to elected office will be challenged in the courts. Meanwhile, for the rest of us, it’s bumper sticker time and paste your write-in candidates name over that rusty bumper …Do it!!

  40. elmerfudzie
    December 11, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    Right on, Mr Solomon! Autopsy, is the definitive document for all who (still) call themselves, democrats. The need to challenge corporate power- example, Monsanto, enforce regulatory labeling of all GMO products (I refuse to call them foods). The need to expose corporate interests and name CEO’s actively supporting congresspersons in favor of continued warfare in Afghanistan (throw them out of our party) . The hidden long range plan to seize the mineral wealth of Afghanistan, with Brown and Root, no doubt, waiting in the wings, planning air strip and road construction into mining areas. I’m not opposed to lifting this fifteenth century nation up, but it could have been and still can be done without endless warfare- but war is all too profitable and ensures a destabilizing effect that favors mining interests (a very old story indeed). By reorganizing ourselves (I’m a democrat) into an anti-war party and disassociating our political party from MIC monies, we come closer to a truer middle course with the other side of the aisle, thus getting more legislative cooperation instead of endless bickering and antagonisms. Democrats should be emphasizing single payer by pointing out the government VA hospital programs, adding to this debate, what was learned and can improve upon, based on the VA model. “Autopsy” suggests bringing in a whole new group of disenfranchised voters such as the Mississippi delta blacks, this action is long overdue! Finally, breaking up monopolistic, Big Ag such as Con Agra, promoting legislation, preserving family farming and not total vertical and horizontal corporate control models (the trucking industry would like this one). Creating policies that promote organic methods and prohibit, cancer causing “RoundUp” use and the farming culture built around it.There’s an awful lot to do my fellow dems, so roll up your sleeves! lets search for another Henry A Wallace , dump the Truman legacy once and for all, reinstate a sorely needed CCC program. Above all, STOP SPILLING BLOOD that is not directly in our national security interest !!!

  41. Skip Scott
    December 11, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    There is no hope whatsoever for the Democratic party. I don’t know why the Progressives cling to it after getting shafted again and again. Sheepdogs like Bernie talk the progressive talk, but when push comes to shove, they don’t walk the walk. They cave to the corporate wing for the sake of “Unity”. What good is unity when you’ve lost on every important issue? Let’s see, the Democrats gave us NAFTA, the repeal of Glass-Steagal, a president who lets Citigroup pick his cabinet, and a terror Tuesday program that allowed a drone strike on a US citizen without any due process whatsoever, and the near complete consolidation of the MSM totally under corporate power, and endless war.

    If Progressives have any sense, they will abandon the Democratic party en masse. I think they should bolster the Green Party, get a challenger to get us over the 15% threshold to get to the National debates, and deliver their message to the public. They are wasting their time trying to defeat the corporatists of the DNC.

    • December 11, 2017 at 2:05 pm

      Exactly correct Skip; one does not attempt to rebuild an aircraft which has exploded mid-air. TPP, relinquished USA sovereignty to Corporate created and run courts

    • Tennegon
      December 11, 2017 at 2:10 pm

      Completely agree with you, Skip.

      As I first read this article on Common Dreams, here is the comment I posted there:

      “The Democratic Party is getting what it deserves, rejection from the very ‘grassroots’ population it was suppose to represent.”

    • Joe Tedesky
      December 11, 2017 at 2:35 pm

      Great comment Skip.

    • Patrick Lucius
      December 12, 2017 at 2:30 am

      Sounds good.

    • Drogon
      December 12, 2017 at 5:23 am

      I don’t disagree with your diagnosis of the Democratic party, but I’m not sure why you think Bernie Sanders routinely caves to corporate interests for the sake of “unity.” Virtually every one of the examples you cite is false if you’re attempting to apply it to him. He voted against NAFTA (HR 3450, Nov. 17, 1993), against repeal of the Glass–Steagall Act (Pub.L. 106–102, November 12, 1999), against the use of force in Iraq (Pub.L. 107–243, October 16, 2002), and against nearly every National Defense Authorization Act over the past decade. He’s opposed a number of media mergers (Charter-Time Warner Cable and the proposed AT&T-Time Warner merger to cite a couple of examples) and voted against a number of Obama nominees with Wall Street or industry ties (Tim Geithner as Treasury Secretary, Antonio Weiss as Undersecretary of Domestic Finance, Robert M. Califf as head of the FDA, etc.). He’s even one of only two Senators who had the good sense to vote against new sanctions on Russia and Iran this year. Sorry, but I just don’t see him as that much of a “sheepdog.”

      • Skip Scott
        December 12, 2017 at 10:04 am

        I lost faith in Bernie when he caved to the Clinton machine. Once Wikileaks showed the DNC had conspired against him, he should have gone to the convention and said “I am running as the Democratic nominee or the Green Party nominee, but I’m running.” He could have then at least made it to the national debates and kept fighting, instead of disappointing all his hard working supporters, many of whom voted 3rd party (including myself), and even more who didn’t vote at all. For him to think he could play the “pied piper” and take us over to team Hillary was insulting. I blame him and Elizabeth Warren (who could have been his VP pick instead of supporting corporatist Hillary) more than anyone else for Trump’s victory.

        • Drogon
          December 13, 2017 at 7:28 pm

          Fair enough. Personally, I don’t understand how ANYONE can seriously look at either Sanders or Warren and decide that they were in any way, shape, or form responsible for Trump’s election. Yeah, I get it. Nobody likes to vote for the lesser of two evils. But in 2016 we were faced with a situation where Clinton was bad and Trump was literally worse than the antichrist. So no, I don’t blame Sanders or Warren AT ALL for backing Clinton.

  42. Zachary Smith
    December 11, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    For those reasons, he added, “we are calling for an end to superdelegates, [for] open primaries and caucuses, [for] same-day registration, and [for] more transparent, fair, and accountable leadership at the helm of the DNC.”

    I applaud all the suggestions, but most especially getting rid of that horrible “superdelegate” system.

  43. Peppermint
    December 11, 2017 at 11:54 am

    Well, is anyone surprised? Upton
    Sinclair bears repeating.
    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”
    Regardless the issue, it’s part and parcel the story of our culture at this time. You know what the OJays sing…

  44. Joe Tedesky
    December 11, 2017 at 11:42 am

    This article may explain the rise of the Independent Voter better than most essays on the subject attempt to do. The Clinton wing of the Democratic Party needs to go, and the sooner the better. I mean how many times does a poor batter get to go to the plate? In fact, if it had not been for Hillary’s unscrupulous political skullduggery we won’t be waiting for President Trump to come to the mic with more blustering bombastic quotes of his. Trump has already said to how he hopes Hillary does run again in 2020, because if she doesn’t then how will Trump ever stand a chance at winning his re-election?

    • December 11, 2017 at 2:14 pm

      How many decades have activists been saying, ” All we need to do in capture local elections and thus take over the DemoCon Party”?

      Problem is the Security forces and money above local, state, federal and billionaires trump local power. General Strike and stand down of security forces may allow betterment of population.

      • Joe Tedesky
        December 11, 2017 at 2:33 pm

        What ‘security forces’ are you referring to BannanaBoat? I think I understand, but I’d like to make sure of what your reference is. Joe

        • December 11, 2017 at 3:57 pm

          All Government police/military forces. Partial stand downs have occurred in Russia, Mexico and elsewhere and now Honduras.

          • Joe Tedesky
            December 11, 2017 at 4:53 pm

            Andrew Bacevich in his book ‘Breach of Trust’ speaks to how the U.S. Military during the time of Vietnam had had so many troops who were opposed to the Vietnam war, that the Pentagon was hard strapped to make a decision on how to maintain our country’s position in that god awful conflict.

            So BannanaBoat I do understand, and I agree. Now with that we can only hope that if the day ever comes to where the government will bring down their full weight upon us citizens, that the majority of the government’s muscle will lay down their arms, and join their fellow citizens in the revolt. Joe

      • weilunion
        December 11, 2017 at 7:44 pm

        As a 65 year old male and one who has been active since the 60’s, I have heard over and over again the mantra and drum beats for the democratic party.

        Goodness, didn’t Obama and Clinton provide you enough evidence?

      • December 12, 2017 at 5:32 pm

        No. The DNC under Obama systematically starved the state parties of funds, to the point where they were unable to mount challenges or even run effective campaigns. This was because the constants wanted the party to spend all its money on the Presidential campaigns, because that was where the big media buys – and big commissions – were.

        CT is supposed to be a deep blue state, Hillary won by 20 points, but the CT legislature is 50/50 because the CT Dem Party got NO MONEY from the central party.

    • Drogon
      December 11, 2017 at 3:17 pm

      Quote: “The Clinton wing of the Democratic Party needs to go, and the sooner the better.”

      Fair enough, but how about adding this important qualifier? The Trump wing of the Republican Party also needs to go, and the sooner the better.

      Because let’s be honest. As bad as Clinton was, if she’d won we wouldn’t be looking at any of the following disasters:
      -War with North Korea.
      -War with Iran.
      -An escalation of the failed war on drugs.
      -A return to the privatized prison system.
      -Doubling down on the police state’s fetish for illegal civil asset forfeiture.
      -Elevation of the chief birther conspiracy theorist to the most powerful man in the world.
      -A 60% increase in civilian deaths from US airstrikes in Iraq and Syria.
      -Denial of the fact that fossil fuel oligarchs are destroying our climate in order to enrich their own bank account.
      -Legitimization of racist far-right UK parties.

      Clinton was bad. But Trump is a steaming-hot turd forcibly injected down the throat of the body politic.

      • December 11, 2017 at 4:22 pm

        Actually ALL of them except #6 and #9 would be happening under HRC and more effectively. Also we’d have a commission on cutting and privatizing Social Security and we’d be in a shooting war with Russia in at least Syria.

        Wake up.

        • December 11, 2017 at 6:29 pm

          Right on all counts.

        • Patrick Lucius
          December 12, 2017 at 2:26 am

          Nailing it Miranda. Not to mention more anti-Russian shenanigans in Ukraine. HRC also said she’d take US/Israel relationship to the next level–more Gaza bombings. Another Libya? I’m 56 and had been a Democrat all my life–will never identify that way again! Make `Murica great again!

        • Drogon
          December 12, 2017 at 5:44 am

          I’m glad you’re willing to give me #6 and #9, but I’m gonna have to disagree with the rest your analysis.

          -War with North Korea: at worst she’d be doing exactly what Trump is but without the ‘fire and fury’ rhetoric and the juvenile Twitter name-calling.
          -War with Iran: Trump actively trashed the Iran nuclear deal throughout his campaign and has refused to certify it as president. It’s impossible for me to imagine Clinton taking similar steps.
          -An escalation of the failed war on drugs, a return to the privatized prison system, and doubling down on the police state’s fetish for illegal civil asset forfeiture: All three of these points are obviously related and due almost exclusively to the fact that we’ve got Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. I have no idea who Clinton would have picked, but I’d have a hard time coming up with a worse choice.
          -A 60% increase in civilian deaths from US airstrikes in Iraq and Syria: Alright, having considered it more carefully I’m on the fence about whether I think Clinton would be better than Trump. But I doubt she’d be worse.
          -Denial of the fact that fossil fuel oligarchs are destroying our climate in order to enrich their own bank account: Really? You honestly think Clinton would be doing MORE than Trump to deny climate change and essentially scrap the EPA? Maybe you’re the one who needs to wake up.

          • December 12, 2017 at 1:37 pm

            I laughed at your original argument dude … but seeing that you doubled down on the idiocy only made me sad … do you bother reading the articles posted on this website, or do you just come to defecate on the comments forum.

          • December 12, 2017 at 8:39 pm

            “-War with North Korea: at worst she’d be doing exactly what Trump is but without the ‘fire and fury’ rhetoric and the juvenile Twitter name-calling.”

            Yep, without the rhetoric that is alerting the nation to the horrors of the U.S. policy towards North Korea and, thus, the ‘doing it more effectively.’ Instead of a lot of people being aghast at the President on this there would be universal support except from us peace activists who’d be totally locked out of the discussion.

            “-War with Iran: Trump actively trashed the Iran nuclear deal throughout his campaign and has refused to certify it as president. It’s impossible for me to imagine Clinton taking similar steps.”

            It isn’t impossible for me. Clinton was one of the most forceful advocates of the lie that Iran is a dangerous terrorist nation and that it had a program to have nuclear weapons. Clinton is more a supporter of Israel and of Saudi Arabia then Trump. This policy is coming from those nations. Clinton would be much smoother in making the American public believe Iran is the villain.

            “-An escalation of the failed war on drugs, a return to the privatized prison system, and doubling down on the police state’s fetish for illegal civil asset forfeiture: All three of these points are obviously related and due almost exclusively to the fact that we’ve got Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. I have no idea who Clinton would have picked, but I’d have a hard time coming up with a worse choice.”

            Hillary Clinton, who was a fierce advocate for the ‘war on crime’ in the 90s, who called Black teenagers ‘super predators,’ who took large contributions through bundlers from private prison lobbyist? That Hillary Clinton?

            “-A 60% increase in civilian deaths from US airstrikes in Iraq and Syria: Alright, having considered it more carefully I’m on the fence about whether I think Clinton would be better than Trump. But I doubt she’d be worse.”

            Trump let the war against Daesh succeed. Hillary would have imposed a ‘No Fly Zone’ on Day One, which means the U.S. military would have been shooting down Syrian and Russian planes fighting Daesh. You can bet things would be worse. Want to know the best case scenario? Look at the result of Hillary’s war on Libya and its surrounding nations. The worst case scenario? A few of us would be dealing with living in a post apocalypse world right now as we watch radiation poisoning kill slowly those who didn’t die fast and watch Nuclear Winter set in. I suspect we’d be somewhere in between, which still is horror.

            “-Denial of the fact that fossil fuel oligarchs are destroying our climate in order to enrich their own bank account: Really? You honestly think Clinton would be doing MORE than Trump to deny climate change and essentially scrap the EPA? Maybe you’re the one who needs to wake up.”

            Here’s the difference. She’d be keeping us in the Paris Accords, which aren’t even reducing the rate of increase of carbon in the atmosphere. Meanwhile she’d be still the number one promoter of fracking around the world. So once again we’d have less school yard bully rhetoric and a more effective implementation of the same fossil fuel corporations come first policy. She’d be like Obama, who increased drilling for oil.

            No question Trump is a mess. But so would be Clinton, in fact a worse one over all when you factor in war with Russia.

          • Drogon
            December 13, 2017 at 7:22 pm

            @Common Tater. Yes, I read the articles here religiously and I honestly believe that this is one of the most honest and trustworthy sources of news on the internet. I also believe it’s a site with highly intelligent commentators who are willing to consider multiple sides to any given issues. For the most part, even people here who disagree with me are at least willing to support their position with facts and links to support them. Sadly, I don’t get the same impression about you at all. You strike me as a standard uninformed commentator who equates ad hominem attacks with winning an online debate.

        • John
          December 12, 2017 at 12:49 pm

          I do agree Miranda Keefe. The kakistocracy will not put anyone out there that will not keep things ‘business as usual’ and a continuing of upscale to the agendas.

        • December 12, 2017 at 1:33 pm

          Miranda
          That nail is flush to the board, cause you hit that mo-fo square on the head.

      • Ol' Hippy
        December 11, 2017 at 5:03 pm

        The two parties are equally vile. To make further discourse is indeed fruitless. We need to go further than identity politics, without thid we are finished as a nation.

        • John
          December 12, 2017 at 1:17 pm

          I agree Ol’ Hippy. Any ‘party’ that becomes prominent will be so because it was designed to be so. People need to wake up and stop participating with the kakistocracy. Stop paying all taxes, fines, fees, licenses, permits, etc. It is all extortion and larceny any ways. That would deplete the kakistocracy somewhat and take away their power. It would be a beginning anyway.

      • December 11, 2017 at 5:04 pm

        Actually no we don’t need to end the Trump wing of the Republican party only Trump himself who is not fulfilling his campaign promises which got him elected. What democrats can’t or won’t come to grips with is that Trump won based on the following. Not saying what he promised is happening.

        – A collaborative relationship with Russia on defeating terrorism and other areas where our shared interests align
        – Ending the destructive policies of regime change wars and nation building
        – Ending middle class job destroying trade agreements like TPP and TAP, NAFTA, etc. and renegotiating to provide benefits to American workers and the host countries
        – Breaking up the TBTF zombie financial institutions and reinstating Glass Steagall
        – Bringing back high value added manufacturing to the United States
        – re-building our decrepid infrastructure

        These were the reasons voters were willing to take a chance on Trump because if even half of it came true our nation and the whole world would be better off.

        • Patrick Lucius
          December 12, 2017 at 2:27 am

          Well said.

        • Skip Scott
          December 12, 2017 at 9:50 am

          The reasons you mention are all correct, but I can’t help but think that Sanders would have beaten Trump because he was saying all the same things and was much more believable. The whole RussiaGate nonsense is to distract the public from the disaster the DNC caused by supporting Hillary. Who knows how successful Sanders would have been (especially at controlling the MIC), but he wouldn’t have been as embarrassing a public figure as “grab ’em by the pussy” Trump. This whole recent spate of sexual harassment charges on public figures may end up being even worse for Trump than RussiaGate. If nothing else, it will be yet another distraction while the 1% continue their rape, pillage, and plunder.

      • weilunion
        December 11, 2017 at 7:45 pm

        I think the problem is that people talk about politics and politicians without referring to the economic system called capitalism. Until we confront failing capitalism it is useless to talk about this politician or that.

      • Leslie F.
        December 11, 2017 at 9:08 pm

        Without the dominance of the neocon/neoliberal wing the Trump wing wouldn’t stand a chance. Their phony right wing populism could not stand up to authentic leftist populism.

      • Joe Tedesky
        December 11, 2017 at 9:22 pm

        Well to be completely honest that until we shake out the corporate interest inside of our government nothing much will change, whether it be a Hillary or a Donald, Republican or a Democrat….but yes, let’s shake out the evils that are withinside any of our politicial parties with their lessor of the two candidate method of voting.

        When it comes to assessing Hillary I’ll just say this, ‘if you say so’. I firmly believe that our foreign policy engagements wouldn’t mirror Trump’s but Hillary’s would have an appearance all of their own, and I don’t see a pleasant visual per say. Drogon, I don’t see any, or hardly any, good guys or gals in our government these days, so thanks for at least bringing up the Trumpster. Joe

      • AshenLight
        December 12, 2017 at 6:02 pm

        Isn’t this is the same Hillary Clinton that threatened to “totally obliterate” Iran? And whose candidacy was surrounded by neocons who have had that as their ultimate goal for decade?

      • DuaneV
        December 16, 2017 at 3:05 pm

        Let’s see: Since you’re absolutely wrong about the existence of a “Trump wing of the GOP” (the Teabaggers are not the same group as the Trump fans; a common misconception), and you have obviously no idea what Hillary Clinton actually stands for, I’ll have to disregard your analysis entirely. We would still be engaging in brinksmanship with North Korea were Hillary president. We definitely would still be sabre rattling at Iran considering the influence of the neo cons on Hillary’s foreign policy when she was at State. Hillary accepted tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the prison industrial complex, remains against legalization and decriminalization of marijuana, and actually campaigned in favor of tougher sentencing laws, so don’t look for her to oppose privatization of prisons. She doesn’t. She has no affinity for civil liberties, either andhas called repeatedly for censoring the internet before, during and after the election. I doubt seriously she has any intention of ever changing civil asset forfeiture laws. We’d be elevating a Russia Conspiracy Theorist to the presidency, far more dangerous than a birther, since Obama’s heritage is irrelevant. If you think Hillary would have relaxed tensions and bombing in Syria, you obviously know nothing of her proposed “No Fly Zone”. She to this day supports fracking , which releases methane into the atmosphere, orders of magnitude worse for global climate change than Co2. And her own dismissive, contemptuous attitude toward the Black Lives matter movement exemplifies her own racist history. Since she called black youths “super predators”, Hillary has made it safe for the bourgeois neoliberal white middle class to harbor racist ideologies behind closed doors, while calling themselves “progressive”. Clinton is just as bad as Trump. The only difference, as Syria shows, is that he’s slightly less of warmonger on foreign policy. As the New York Times said in an editorial before endorsing her, “Hillary Clinton is the most Militaristic presidential Candidate in US. History”.

  45. December 11, 2017 at 11:40 am

    The Democrats are hopeless.Unfortunately, the third parties don’t provide much hope either. Here in California they are splintered. Libertarians, Greens and Peace & Freedom parties could give the Dems a run for their much coveted money if only they could find common ground!

    • exiled off mainstreet
      December 11, 2017 at 12:38 pm

      The California electoral system of general elections only between the top two primary vote getters eliminates third parties from serious contention.

      • Daniel
        December 11, 2017 at 6:38 pm

        Yeah, that was one of the manipulative Propositions which give me real pause when considering such “direct democracy.” It was marketed as “Open Primaries” to let people vote in any primary, regardless of party affiliation.

        Who could oppose that? More freedom of choice!

        But upon closer reading, it really only allowed Parties to decide whether to allow non-party members to vote in primaries, and if so, who and how. In the 2016 Primaries, the Democrats arranged it so it looked like independents could vote, but actually restricted it to “no party preference” and even then, poll workers were trained to give non-Democrats the wrong ballots.

        And, as you correctly note, it also included the provision where only the top two vote-getters from the Primaries can be voted for in the General elections. Hence, I for one have been registered as a Democrat since the early 1980s, specifically so I could vote for the most progressive candidates in the hope of moving the party left, but then I’d vote for Greens or others more often than not. I can no longer do that.

        “More freedom of choice” actually resulted in the exact opposite.

        Oh, and I was one of the many hundreds of thousands or millions of Democrats who had by party affiliation flipped on me without my input. Luckily, since I knew that was happening across the country, I was able to get it fixed in time to vote in the Primary.

      • December 11, 2017 at 11:23 pm

        Exiled…Yes, but the point of voting 3rd party is that if they pull a sizable vote the two main parties would see where they’re losing votes. Simply not voting shows apathy and has no way of influencing change. It’s a tough hill to climb but I prefer not to relinquish hope,

        • Ciclismo
          December 12, 2017 at 2:35 am

          The American system of democracy is nothing more than illusion of choice… to vote for anything but 3rd party or write-in candidate is participating in the sham. Not voting is better than wasting energy on delusion.

          • December 12, 2017 at 10:44 am

            Well we are now enjoying the “delusion” of a Drumpf presidency because third-partyites stood that ground. So now for at least the next three decades all sense and compassion will be overruled by the next appointment he is able to fill on the Supreme Court, not to mention those seats he is filling on the federal courts nationwide–where their rulings most directly effect the bulk of us. And that is merely the justice system his administration is screwing us with–nevermind their “new, improved!” Tax Game that in typical anti-Robin Hood fashion does as was they’d promised to their Upper 1 Percent overlords. Education funds are getting stripped from public schools to fund Christian academies where they mold children’s brains as early as possible to turn them into conservative voters. That is done by design, my friend–well considered, and long-proven the most effective delivery method. Those religious factions don’t believe in birth control, either, so they’re turning out voters their side at an increasing rate annually while outside still needs the cautionary tales about overpopulation with our families of 1.5 children. The environmental gains we have been making are being thrown under the bus along with us. All of this is happening while they beef up their increasingly militarized police forces in cities and towns nationwide. Do you actually imagine we have come a single step nearer to our goals rather than having been shoved back farther than ever before?

          • John
            December 12, 2017 at 12:44 pm

            I agree Ciclismo. This illusion of choice is the Delphi system and the Hegelian Dialectic. Give people a choice or choices that have already been pre-approved by the kakistocracy.

          • December 12, 2017 at 1:27 pm

            Marilyn
            Not voting for the (un)democrat or gop candidate is the only way to make America a republic again. If Killary instead of Drumpf had taken the election, America would be in more or less the same place it is one year later. Tax cuts for the rich would still happen, except they would be acceptable because it was coming from a “left-leaning” female politician (“left-leaning” hahahahah-ahahhhh! good laugh). Russia would still be scapegoated for BLM, and what ever else … At least now we can say that we itched the itch, and not a damn thing changed. If killary had won, we would always wonder, “what if … ?”

    • December 11, 2017 at 1:59 pm

      Zalaya in Honduras built an excellent coalition

      • December 13, 2017 at 10:52 am

        He gave an excellent interview to Amy Goodman last week. It is too bad that Tom Perez doesn’t seem to understand that you don’t purge the driving force of your party…if you do, you make the party vulnerable to the Republican alternative.

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