The Great Democratic Party Schism

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American History, big picture stuff, Democratic Party, liberalism and progressivism, Sanders and Clinton

In all my years of being a voter I don’t think I’ve ever felt so alienated from the Democratic Party as I do now. In some ways, this year has been worse than 2008.

It has struck me for some time that the Clinton and Sanders supporters are not only disagreeing; we’re speaking different languages. We’re approaching the campaign with entirely different sets of assumptions and values. For this reason, it has been impossible to communicate with each other.

And, frankly, I don’t think this is some temporary blow-up that will be soothed over by Fall, for next year, or ever.

I already tried to explain some of this rift through Moral Foundation Theory (“The Clinton-Sanders Divide and Moral Foundation Theory“) without realizing that real social science types had done a more researched analysis already. See “The Moral Foundations of the Presidential Primaries.” There’s also a somewhat dumbed-down version of this with less detail at Vox.

If you don’t remember Moral Foundation Theory, it basically is an analysis of the moral values and assumptions we carry around in our subconscious that causes us to make the political and moral judgments that we make. If you want to understand how Sanders and Clinton supporters differ, see this chart:

The colored bars that show positive or negative values represent six moral foundations, and you can see a stark difference between the two groups. An explanation of the colored bars, left to right:

  • Blue: Care/Harm – Being kind, nurturing and protective of other people.
  • Green: Fairness/Cheating, or Proportionality/”just deserts” – Treating people in proportion to their actions. The authors of the study say that in this case, “Sanders supporters also stands apart from Clinton’s supporters (and libertarians), in rating proportionality much less relevant to their moral judgments. This aligns with Sanders’ proposing greater expansions of government social welfare programs and higher taxes on the wealthy in comparison to Clinton.”
  • Orange: Liberty/Oppression – Individual liberty and protection from tyranny.
  • Red: Loyalty/Betrayal – Being patriotic and loyal to one’s group, family and nation.
  • Purple: Authority/Subversion – Respecting leadership, tradition and authority.
  • Gray: Sanctity/Degradation – Living in an elevated way and avoiding disgusting things, foods and actions; placing a high value on “traditional” sexual mores, for example.

In most Moral Foundations texts I’ve read, these six values also measure liberalism/conservatism, as shown on this graph:

The graph leaves out the “liberty” value for some reason, but you get the picture — liberals and conservatives value different things. And Clinton supporters appear to be more conservative, as a group, than Sanders supporters.

In particular the difference shown in the red, purple and gray bars has been really evident. Clinton supporters place much higher value on loyalty to the Democratic Party and to their candidate than Sanders supporters. I keep hearing Clinton supporters say of Sanders  “He’s not a real Democrat,” as if this was a trump card; but to Sanders supporters this is meaningless. Recently Clinton supporters have been shocked because Sanders has not been immediately forthcoming with an endorsement of Clinton, never mind that the primaries aren’t over. Clinton supporters also score much higher in authoritarianism and “sanctity” than Sanders supporters (although not nearly as high as most Republicans).

Reaction to this video reveals a lot. It’s like a Rorschach test. Sanders supporters (like me) basically heard Clinton brush us off as inconsequential maggots unworthy of her consideration. Clinton supporters were furious that Sanders is not jumping through the usual party loyalty hoops. But, as I’ve explained elsewhere, even if he did endorse Clinton that’s no guarantee his supporters would transfer their support to her. See above about authoritarianism; Sanders supporters aren’t wired that way.

And somewhere in here we might find the answer to the mystery of why African American voters so heavily favored Hillary Clinton, which makes absolutely no sense to me given her record. I’ve yet to hear an explanation that made sense, other than that black voters don’t think Sanders is electable. My hypothesis is that African Americans on the whole score more conservatively on the Moral Foundations scale, which would make them predisposed to favor Clinton, but I don’t know that for a fact.

But here is another chart to consider:

I picked this up from “Bernie Sanders Is (Still) the Future of the Democratic Party” by Matt Yglesias. The Clinton campaign has been trying — fairly successfully — to frame the Democratic contest as between white men and everybody else. But that’s a plain lie. It’s between younger voters and older voters. This data is from February; I understand that in the more recent primaries Sanders’s numbers have improved among young nonwhite voters to be at about the 50 percent mark.

And I say Democrats ignore this at their peril.

Much of Sanders’s support grew out of a long-simmering frustration with the Democratic Party itself. But a lot of us old folks stuck with it, because we remember what it used to be. (See “Why the Democratic Party Is in Bigger Trouble Than It Realizes.”) But the young folks don’t remember JFK or even Jimmy Carter. They are frustrated that neither party represents their point of view.

Quoting Matt Yglesias,

Hillary Clinton’s campaign — and, frankly, many DC journalists — has been repeatedly taken by surprise by the potency of some of Sanders’s attacks, because they apply to such a broad swath of the party. But this is precisely the point. Sanders and his youthful supporters want the Democrats to be a different kind of party: a more ideological, more left-wing one.

As Clinton put it in the most recent debate, “Under [Sanders’s] definition, President Obama is not progressive because he took donations from Wall Street; Vice President Biden is not progressive because he supported Keystone [the pipeline]; Sen. Shaheen is not progressive because she supports the trade pact. Even the late, great Sen. Paul Wellstone would not fit this definition because he voted for DOMA.”

To Clinton, Democrats are the party of progressives, and so stuff that Democrats routinely do is, by definition, compatible with being progressive.

But though Democrats are certainly the more left-wing of the two parties — the party of labor unions and environment groups and feminist organizations and the civil rights movement — they’re not an ideologically left-wing party in the same way that Republicans are an ideological conservative one. Instead, they behave more like a centrist, interest group brokerage party that seeks to mediate between the claims and concerns of left-wing activists groups and those of important members of the business community — especially industries like finance, Hollywood, and tech that are based in liberal coastal states and whose executives generally espouse a progressive outlook on cultural change.

Sanders’s core proposition, separate from the details of the political revolution, is that for progressives to win they need to first organize and dominate an ideologically left-wing political party that is counterpoised to the ideological right-wing Republican Party.

It’s gotten so that when we use the words liberal and progressive we don’t mean the same things by them.  As Yglesias says, the more conservative Clinton supporters consider themselves to be “liberal” because they are Democrats, as if “Democrat” and “liberal” were synonyms, even though they might score as centrist or conservative on the Moral Foundation measure. In their minds, electing Hillary Clinton would be “revolutionary” and “progressive” because she’s a woman, never mind that she’s the insider’s insider and the Queen of the establishment.  To them, because they are liberal on social issues they are completely progressive, even if they are utterly unconcerned about income and wealth inequality and wouldn’t know Thomas Piketty from Tyler Perry.

Jeffrey Feldman thinks that the biggest cause of the Great Schism is class consciousness. I’m not sure it was really the healthcare debate that created this shift, but here is what he says:

… some version of economic class consciousness began sweeping through the Democratic Party in that debate on healthcare. That debate from 2009 focused people on the idea that policy was controlled by an elite class that has emerged in the neoliberal global economy. In prior class consciousness debates, this elite class might just have been called “capitalists,” but in the post-2009 version, it has become associated with something called the “Davos crowd” or just “Davos,” meaning: the group of powerful, wealthy, jet-setters who attend the Swiss economic summit and others like it, who believe in the free market ideology of globalized neoliberalism, and who are able to command virtually unlimited resources.

These figures exist in both parties. The healthcare debate, however, led many in the Democratic Party to rethink the basic dualism of the American political landscape. It was in that 2009 healthcare debate that many Democrats began to see themselves as engaged in a battle more urgent than the thousand year struggle against Republicans: a battle against the Davos crowd for control of “our” party.

…What happened in this Presidential primary between Sanders and Clinton is that the dynamic of the single issue debate–which led to new awareness of intra-party struggle in 2009–was elevated to a much broader debate by refocusing on the financial sector as a whole.

Now, more and more people underwent the same transformation because the arguments about the control of big finance over politics and government seemed clearer or more convincing. This was coupled with the clearest contrast to date of this kind of problem being described since 2009: a top tier candidate who went from having Middle Class wealth to having money on part with the Davos crowd almost entirely by accumulating honoraria from the Davos crowd. And this clear example gave Sanders a unique power in the Democratic Party: his explaining the problem in the Party–which journalists had been pointing out–suddenly had the power to reach a vast audience via an ongoing national campaign–and to turn him into a transformative figure.

In my experience, this issue with global corporatism or predatory capitalism or the “Davos crowd” or whatever you want to call it is not on the radar of most Clinton supporters at all. I never see them address it. They’re stuck in thinking about technocratic answers to particular problems, not about any sort of sweeping change to the status quo.  They’re in love with the word “pragmatism,” which in effect means ignoring the big problems while focusing on tweaking the little ones. And, unfortunately, a lot of the Sanders supporters on social media do not articulate this well beyond calling Clinton names like “corporate whore,” which really isn’t that accurate. So there’s no real exchange of concerns, just name-calling.

A lot of what’s happening in this primary season is the result of the abandonment by both parties of working-class Americans. Even more than that, it’s the abandonment by both parties of youth. All the meanness and greed and tight-fistedness and corporate-centric values are hitting them hardest of all. In today’s America, young people are a resource to be exploited, not invested in. And among the student loans, unpaid internships, disappearance of blue-collar jobs, on-demand and other insecure and exploitative employment, they are feeling the effects of global corporatism/predatory capitalism more intensely than us old folks.

And, rightly, they’re getting pissed. Sanders gets them. Clinton doesn’t. They know that all they’re going to get from her is tweaks and platitudes, and it terrifies them.

And they are pissed.

Unfortunately, you can get cats to march in formation before you can get young liberals focused on any kind of directed, disciplined long game.  Right now they’re all over social media planning a third-party run for Sanders (often with the People’s Front of Judea Green Party), which would be stupid on several levels, and which I am confident he will not do. The way forward is in taking over the Dem party at all levels, replacing the neoliberals and centrists with actual progressives. It will take a few election cycles (I keep making this speech every few years), but it’s do-able if people can work together to do it.

Otherwise, we may be looking at the Democratic Party’s last hoorah. I hate to think what rough beast might take its place.

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31 Comments

31 Comments

  1. uncledad  •  Apr 29, 2016 @10:17 pm

    “The way forward is in taking over the Dem party at all levels, replacing the neoliberals and centrists with actual progressives”

    What your describing is essentially what the teabaggers did to the republican party. They assumed power but now look at them, they just can’t get radical or right enough. Sometimes many of the Sanders supporters remind of the tea-tards, except I agree with thier politics? I’m a Bernie supporter and all for ridding the party of neo-liberals (pro-war liberals) but I aint gonna commit political suicide, Hillary will just have to do for now. Without the center the democratic party won’t fair any better than the republicans. I’m confidant that we liberals and center-lefties can occupy the same space, we’re not as thick as the tea-tards not all of us anyway. I had to put my 17 year old dog down today so I’m a little disoriented?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrAaGhe9-q8

  2. maha  •  Apr 29, 2016 @10:19 pm

    So sorry about your dog, uncledad. I know how hard that is.

  3. maha  •  Apr 29, 2016 @10:24 pm

    My fear is that some of the hotheads I see on social media will turn on Sanders when he doesn’t attempt a third-party run, and of course they don’t want to listen to an old lady like me explain why that’s not going to help. But I am hopeful that Sanders and some of the people he has been working with can continue to provide leadership and get people moving in some semblance of the same direction.

  4. uncledad  •  Apr 29, 2016 @11:02 pm

    Thanks maha, it was tough but he lived a good long time and was a happy dog.

  5. Swami  •  Apr 30, 2016 @1:01 am

    Sorry to hear about your dog,uncledad. I know it’s not easy.

  6. Joel Dan Walls  •  Apr 30, 2016 @1:35 am

    MahaBarbara–

    Thanks for the lengthy post. I have to say that I am immediately skeptical about those bar plots for the moral foundations categories for a pretty simple reason: They don’t add up. If I sum up Sanders supporters and Clinton supporters, weighting appropriately for fractions of Democrats who align with the two candidates, then I ought to get all zeroes–I ought to get the average Democrat. But I don’t. I guess I need to look at your source; perhaps I’m missing something. As it stands, I’m skeptical of those bar plots.

    The rest of this is about Zen, not about politics, really. I will also of course acknowledge that I know nothing at all about the particular Zen center you’re affiliated with nor about your Zen lineage. (Non-Zen readers will be thoroughly baffled by now.) But I’m going to refer to those “moral foundations” categories that you wrote about.

    “Respecting leadership, tradition and authority”: Evidently Sanders supporters–you’re an enthusiastic one, I’m a lukewarm one–have little use for these concepts, on average. But Geez Louise, you sure can’t say that about Zen! You and I have a spiritual practice that even in its relaxed varieties involves some deference to leadership, tradition and authority. What goes through your mind when you chant your ancestral line? How do you meet your teacher when you go for sanzen/dokusan? I could go on, but you get my point. If you’re a serious Zen student, and evidently you are, then respecting–not worshipping, but respecting–leadership, tradition and authority are part of the package. I don’t know, maybe you’ve compartmentalized things so you behave that way in your spiritual practice but not in your political life….

    I could comment similarly about some of the other moral foundations categories as they relate to Zen, but I think you get my point.

    P.S. You meant to refer to the Judean Peoples Front, not the People’s Front of Judea 🙂

  7. maha  •  Apr 30, 2016 @9:25 am

    Joel Dan Walls: Sometimes when I link to things it’s not just because I like to see text highlighted. Most of your questions about how the bar graph values were determined were answered in articles I linked to, and because I didn’t feel up to writing another thousand words or probably more I let the links stand in for the explanation. I do that sometimes.

    Moral Foundations Theory has nothing whatsoever to do with Zen. It’s a branch of social and cultural psychology that’s been around for a few years. I learned about it from Jonathan Haidt’s book The Righteous Mind, which explains how the theory was developed and how values are tested. I don’t always agree with Haidt’s political opinions, but the basic principles of MFT explain a lot about how people see “rightness” and “wrongness” in such wildly diverse and contradictory ways, and I think the theory is essentially valid. That it’s pretty much parallel to Buddhist teachings on the subconscious and on how we experience things (e.g., Aalya-vijnana) is a plus, but I think it stands on its own as science. Here’s an academic paper on the subject if you want to read more, or you could always look it up on Wikipedia.

    The bar graph shows deviations in comparison to the “average” Democrat, as the caption says. And no, they are not all zero. THAT IS THE EFFING POINT. The Clinton values vary only slightly from average compared to the Sanders values, but what we’re seeing here is a fundamental difference in how people understand and experience the world around them. These two groups don’t just have an ideological difference; they are coming from different places on several levels. This has been obvious to me for some time; the two groups barely speak the same language and clearly have entirely different sets of concerns and values that are determining which candidate speaks for them. They can’t even hear each other, never mind communicate.

    To the Sanders people, Clinton supporters have their heads up their asses and don’t see the damage being caused by neoliberalism and predatory capitalism; to the Clinton supporters, Sanders people obviously have been duped by right-wing talking points about Clinton (and a few of them have, frankly) and have no appreciation of what damage a Republican president could do to their lives.

    Of course, some of us see all of that and don’t want a Republican president, but we think it’s a damn shame we’re stuck with Clinton and believe she is hurting and will continue to hurt the Democratic Party in the long run. The demographic data show that clearly. And that’s a point that is utterly lost on Clinton supporters. Try to explain that to them, and they will turn around and accuse you of being a Karl Rove dupe talking about Benghazi. They can’t even hear it.

    And if you want to see REAL divergence in bar graphs, look at this one. It shows deviation from the average American for supporters of both Democratic and Republican candidates.

    Since you seem determined to make this post a personal thing about me, I suspect if I were tested my scores would deviate somewhat from the average Sanders supporter, but we’d all deviate somewhat from everybody else. We’re human. The “sanctity” part is really more about purity issues such as traditional sexual mores than about tradition per se, and of course as a Zennie I’m way not traditional in that area. Nothing is holy. I also see a big difference between “loyalty” and “gratitude” or “respect,” which is where the ancestors come in. Respect and loyalty are not the same thing, although there can be overlap (devotion).

    But we’re talking about political loyalty here. Loyalty to a group — sociologically speaking — usually touches deeply on self-identification. We are loyal because we have taken part of that group identity as our own identity (the work of Erich Fromm comes to mind here, if you’re familiar with that). This is something that a long-practicing zennie would not do. It’s obvious to me that most Clinton supporters identify with her on deep levels. This is a big part of her appeal. I run into web ads all day long showing Clinton gazing heroically into the distance, and the text will say something like “Are you with her?” That’s an appeal to identity. It works great with some people and falls flat with others. Such appeals don’t work on me at all.

    So no, I am not compartmentalizing my spiritual and political life; they are all of a piece. And I would add that based on conversations around the temple, Sanders has the Zen vote pretty much sewn up.

  8. Bill Bush  •  Apr 30, 2016 @7:19 am

    Uncledad, my sympathy on the death of your dog. That was a good long life, and I am sure having you his whole life was a daily joy for him.

  9. maha  •  Apr 30, 2016 @10:09 am

    I think the pets you bond with are always with you. I occasionally have dreams about a parakeet I had when I was a little girl, 7 or 8. And, of course, all my cats are always with me.

  10. goatherd  •  Apr 30, 2016 @8:29 am

    Sorry, Uncledad. We’re down to one dog at present, having lost three in the past few years. They leave an empty space as big as a house. But, if you gave him a good life, then you were his best friend, and that is worth the sadness. I hope so anyway.

    Yes, it seems abundantly clear that younger people are headed somewhere better and further to the left. I wish them luck and I wish I make the journey with them. Maybe both parties will go the way of the dinosaur.

  11. uncledad  •  Apr 30, 2016 @8:39 am

    Thanks mahabloggers for all your good thoughts, he was a great dog and certainly had it made here at home with me and my wife. We saved him from the local pound when he was just 11 months old. He was a perfectly trained and well adjusted dog from day one, I never understood why someone would have gave him up. We had him a long time, it just dawned on me that we got him before I turned forty, yikes! Thanks again.

  12. Shirt  •  Apr 30, 2016 @12:18 pm

    “…what rough beast might take its place?” The conservative cretins have shrunk their party down to a breadbox and are now filling the bathtub. I see the GOP is being ceded to the tea party and allowed to flounder, Bundy style. The conservatives will head to the to the Democratic party, in fact, have already done so. Witness Charles “Chuck” Schumer and Deborah Wasserman-Schultz and a host of other blue dogs. When the republican nominee gets trashed in the general and the senate flips you’ll see some republicans also flip. Likewise, if the house is close to flipping, GOP defections will move some representatives to the active power structure flipping the House. Nationalism will increase at the expense of progressivism.

    Hope I’m wrong.

  13. moonbat  •  Apr 30, 2016 @12:34 pm

    As I was reading your post, it reminded me a lot of Canada’s Liberal Party and their NDP (New Democratic Party) – the former being more centrist than the left wing NDP. Both parties have been around for years, so it’s not some new development up north. Their Conservative Party of course enjoys seeing these two liberal factions fight each other, dividing the vote.

    I tend to look at what Hillary represents as yesterday’s ideas, something that’s way past its shelf life, and which is going eventually crumble and die. The visible form is still standing today, but that’s all it is, just a shell. Unless all the people who support her join a reconstituted Republican party, after their extremists are purged out. The net effect is that both parties move left. They have to, given the demographic shifts. The whole right wing thing has played out, and Hillary still hasn’t gotten the news, she’s part of it.

    The thing that’s missing from the Sanders cohort is leadership. It says a lot that all these kids have is some 76 year old to rally around. One of the chilling effects of the Powell Memo was to strategically target campus radicals, who would be the natural leaders of any kind of youth movement. Instead, we get doofuses like Scott Walker who got his start at Marquette University.

    Never having to contend with real leadership and growing up more interconnected than any other generation means that of course these kids will have no experience with authority, it doesn’t mean much to them. That won’t last forever – it’s just a vacuum that’s waiting to be filled.

  14. maha  •  Apr 30, 2016 @1:03 pm

    I’ve ranted before about the inability of young liberals to actually FOLLOW somebody. They all want to be the leaders, especially the guys. That’s what was so frustrating to me about Occupy. I think their hearts were in the right place, but without leadership and direction it was doomed. I’m hoping that when Sanders is back in the Senate next year he can continue to be a spokesperson and lightning rod for progressive hopes, and that an actual movement can form around that.

  15. grannyeagle  •  Apr 30, 2016 @12:44 pm

    Uncledad…….My thoughts echo all the others. And I definitely agree with Maha, our animal friends are always with us just like our human friends. Personally, I don’t like to call them pets. They are companions. And most of them are more loyal than human companions, especially dogs.

  16. csm  •  Apr 30, 2016 @4:04 pm

    “The conservatives will head to the to the Democratic party, in fact, have already done so.”

    Charles Koch, as conservative as it gets, has already said that he may be inclined to support Clinton over any of the nut cases emerging on the GOP side. On the things that matter most to them, they feel Clinton will do no harm.

  17. maha  •  Apr 30, 2016 @5:27 pm

    Neoconservatives and global-corporate capitalists have every reason to prefer Clinton to Trump. She’s one of them.

  18. c u n d gulag  •  Apr 30, 2016 @6:16 pm

    @uncledad,
    Sorry about your family’s loss.

    That pup grew up in a GREAT home!

  19. CH  •  Apr 30, 2016 @6:43 pm

    Uncledad, my wife and I lost our old dog in Feb after 16 years, so I feel for you indeed. They do leave a void, but I reckon we just have to focus on the good lives they and we had together.

    An excellent post, Maha, all around. I don’t know enough about it yet to be sure, but I’m hopeful about the “Brand New Congress” initiative as a means to preserve, expand and constructively channel the Sanders-generated awareness and energy. (For all kinds of reasons, a 3rd-party run would, I agree, be a very bad idea.) Do you have any thoughts on the BNC?

  20. csm  •  Apr 30, 2016 @6:52 pm

    Another clue lies in the opposition to Trump on the right. The “establishment” republicans don’t want Trump as their standard bearer only because they know he’s an electoral disaster, given his high negatives and alienation of damn near every voting constituency there is.

    But opposition from the so called movement conservative wing, those who support Cruz, is based on Trump not being a “real conservative,” e.g. Trump has said some things, like protecting social security, bringing jobs back and stopping outsourcing to foreign countries as a way to increase opportunities here, are anathema to those who say Trump is not really a conservative and, if nominated, will destroy the party by gaining support from the right for those things. Which is why Clinton is a viable alternative for them, since in her they see no threat.

  21. Doug  •  Apr 30, 2016 @9:07 pm

    uncledad – pets aren’t like family – they ARE family. My condolences.

    Both parties are going through profound identity crises. I have no confidence at all what will emerge on either side. The political dynamic in the future has a lot to do with establishing a majority. The ‘center’ has felt unrepresented by polarized politics for years – redrawing the political parties in terms of issues and values could empower the center.

    Many (including me) have speculated that the GOP is going to split under the stress of factions that can not work together. The GOP capitalistic leadership that shaped nut-case factions into an alliance have sold out the various factions with false promises and pure propaganda. The only unifying factor that might bring them back together is their hatred of Clinton.

    I am a progressive and I find Clinton’s willingness to lay down with Wall Street and lobbyists disturbing and her claim that she’s unaffected by their millions, unconvincing. The oddsmakers say she’s certain to be the democratic nominee and likely to be the next president. The corporatist faction seems to be OK about Clinton – the Koch Bros. have said they will sit this presidential election out. It’s highly likely that the GOP will lose the Senate. We get to redraw the boundaries of the US Supreme Court. But all is not rosey.

    I’m part of the rebel alliance here. Clinton is going to be under heavy fire from the right and looking for cover from democrats. Regardless of the convention, “I’m NOT with her.” I want her elected over Trump, but my loyalty ends there. I want her to know I am searching for and will promote a challenger in the primary – if she crafts a corporatist compromise with the GOP that further solidifies Wall Street control and immunity, I won’t support that decision to further ‘party unity’. Clinton can get elected easily under the current dynamic, but once in office I want her to feel that the GOP and half the democrats are out to get her, and the ONLY way she can take some of the heat off, is by governing from the left.

  22. uncledad  •  Apr 30, 2016 @9:48 pm
  23. uncledad  •  Apr 30, 2016 @9:49 pm
  24. Doug  •  May 1, 2016 @11:08 am

    I read this article this morning at Washington Monthly. The comments are as instructive as the article. Essentially, the claim is that Sanders has to get behind the party at the convention and stifle his (true) accusations that Clinton and the DNC are standing too close to the money. Implicit in the demand that Bernie must ‘behave’ is the argument that the ‘revolution’ is Sanders and Sanders is over. All must line up behind Clinton or leave the room.

    It’s not about Sanders – I love the man for the energy he put into the campaign and his tireless efforts to speak truth. But it’s the truth and not the man who is important and the truth and political power can survive the Sanders candidacy. And that’s a problem for the DNC. The genie has escaped the bottle – Pandora has left the box. Clinton needs the Bernie voters and she can’t turn against the corporate power which she sees as her real constituency.

  25. Doug  •  May 1, 2016 @11:11 am
  26. paintedjaguar  •  May 1, 2016 @11:17 am

    Re Leadership/Follow the Leader:
    A lot of people seem not to understand why Bernie in particular has become the figurehead of a political wave (besides being the only one willing to step up of course). I believe the key ingredient is integrity. PROVEN integrity. The various younger progressive figures that have become associated with this movement don’t have the kind of decades-long record that Sanders does, and among older candidates Bernie is a rarity. This has unfortunate implications when it comes to getting behind other potential leaders. Supporting one of them is a chancier proposition, no matter how good they sound at the moment. I really think it’s as simple as that.

    About the two factions in the Democratic primary:
    It makes me crazy when I hear someone saying something like “we have two fine candidates”, or “I’ll be happy to support Hillary if Bernie doesn’t win”. There really is a difference in worldview, even among purported Sanders supporters. Hillary is a proven liar, but I’ve had a fervent Hillary supporter tell me outright that she doesn’t mind that politicians lie to her. This woman also says “what’s wrong with ambition?” None of her attitudes make sense to me.

    As far as I’m concerned, Hillary and what she represents is simply not acceptable. I believe four years of Trump would likely do less damage, all things considered. The amount of damage Bill and Hillary did in the nineties is underestimated or unremembered even by many who lived through it, as is Hillary’s anti-democratic, anti-liberal core.

  27. Swami  •  May 1, 2016 @2:32 pm
  28. Swami  •  May 1, 2016 @2:32 pm
  29. csm  •  May 1, 2016 @6:57 pm

    From a comment on the Politico article:

    “In another life, he would have been a neocon.”

    In this life, Clinton IS a neocon, earning her chops supporting the Iraq War.

    This is typical of the unwitting hypocrisy and dissonance of many Clinton supporters, who can only “support” her via attacking Sanders.

  30. wmd  •  May 1, 2016 @10:09 pm

    Re: “the Davos crowd” – I’ve posted this paper on social media many times. The dominance of economic elites on policy is documented. And change is needed.

  31. MNP  •  May 5, 2016 @5:54 pm

    Holy shit. I remember you from the golden age. Glad to see youre around. I got linked to this post and its great. Bernie actually got me so pissed at the neolibs I started getting involved in party politics. Im trying to help take it over. But if trump scares the neocons and money men into the Dems and they end up running it, 3rd party will be the only option because at that point the democratic party will only be making things worse.



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