June 17, 2016

The #FeelTheBern fire sale

Let's start with Politico, which inks a "my way or the highway" piece about Bernie Sanders and his campaign team.

However, the alleged dean of insider baseball politics gets punched out by me on a called third strike, Either ignoring, or being ignorant of, Jane O'Meara Sanders' clear influence, and then not digging deeper, is a grade-school failure. I have long had little doubt that her taking Burlington College on a debt ride of doom was predicated in part on hoping her husband's senatorial name, whether through friend-schmoozing or fear-avoidance, would be a rainmaker. Perhaps illustrating some Clintonistas' plaints about his time in Congress, that obviously didn't work.

(That said, it's not surprising that the overrated Politico blew it.)

Anyway, beyond that major whiff, it's not too bad. Without specifically citing the taking on the "democratic socialist," it shows the man himself (ignoring Jane's role) made a lot of the tactical decisions. Given that, even or a politician, he has a pretty big ego, that's no surprise. At the same time, he hired professional-type staff even though having once lamented that those people wouldn't work for him.

Well, they're pros enough to now, largely, be at the rats deserting the sinking ship stage. A lot of the piece covers the endgame intra-staff machinations related to that.

The schizophrenia of the staff is also on display. That and backbiting are parts of any major US presidential campaign team, but it seems worse with Team Sanders, in part due to the idealism he projected.

Finally, Politico gets the staff to admit that the real reason Bernie may have lost is that he was, as I've said for months, "too good a Democrat" to really attack Clinton, like not suing the Iowa Democrats. Since he has been a Dem, de facto if not de jure, since his second House re-election race, people like me have long known that he's a real Democrat.

(Besides being "too good a Dem, this was about turd-polishing the Bernie brand. I blame Jane on that. And that's not snark; she is to blame for the paucity of tax returns, plus see above.)

Anyway, her's the staff lament:
Sanders and aides laugh at the idea that he’s damaging the party and hurting Clinton. They think they don’t get enough gratitude for how much they held back, from not targeting more Democratic members of the House and Senate who opposed him to not making more of an issue out of Clinton’s email server investigation and Bill Clinton’s sex scandals, all of which they discussed as possible lines of attack in the fall. They blame Clinton going after him on gun control for goading him into letting loose on her Goldman Sachs speeches.

Interestingly, and tellingly, not a word there about him zipping his lips on the Hillary-backed, Hillary-guided, Honduras coup. Not a word about his other foreign policy punch-pulling. (Nor investigation of how, at least with Big Ag, he IS a socialist, of the corporate welfare type.)

For that, beyond my own blogging, we have to head to Counterpunch, since Politico would never ask a question outside the bipartisan foreign policy establishment consensus.

Let's start with this transitional riff:
Those vast crowds seemed to have acted on Sanders like a kind of opiate, numbing him to the political reality of his campaign. As noted in a recent Politico article, the Sanders campaign staff had known for months that the senator had no path to victory. Instead of being honest with their supporters, the Sanders campaign fed them one illusory scenario after another. Even Sanders himself got seduced by the fairy tale.

Maybe not "seduced" as much as "intoxicated," but generally, yes. 

Nexdt, before moving to foreign policy, Jeff St. Clair goes her:
Running as an economic revolutionary, Sanders spent most of his time in the cozy milieu of college campuses instead of in desolate urban landscapes or working-class suburbs. It’s hard to earn the trust of poor people when you don’t spend much time in their company.
That said, St. Clair is a last-ditch Naderite to the point of fomenting anti-Green Party conspiracy theories. He would never say this about his man. And I've given him a rhetorical Tweet about that.

That said, the piece was maybe half as good on second reading as on first. And it's a good example of the primary reason I delinked Counterpunch several years ago. Unskeptical, or even ax grinding, versions of left-liberalism are nor for me.

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