The debacle that was the 2016 Nevada Democratic Party convention perfectly sums up Bernie Sanders’ campaign. It wasn’t only that Hillary Clinton won. The entirety of mainstream media – from Rachel Maddow & Chris Hayes to Stephen Colbert & Trevor Noah to panels of “liberals” on CNN and NYT’s Paul Krugman – reported and lamented chair-throwing and death threats made by violent Bernie supporters. Hillary surrogate, Senator Barbara Boxer, claimed to have feared for her safety (despite being caught on video exiting while blowing seemingly sarcastic kisses at her supposed abusers). DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz paraded across cable news networks to denounce Senator Sanders and demand his apologies. The Nevada Democratic Party filed a formal complaint against Sanders’ campaign, and publicly warned the DNC to prepare for the violence sure to be unleashed by rabid Sanders loyalists who would be incited by the candidate at the national convention. And senate democrats gathered for the specific purpose of discussing “how to handle” the black sheep independent once he inevitably tucks tail and saunters back home.
However – as is often the case – the attacks of the establishment were meritless, so Bernie stood defiant and refused to back down. He denounced any and all violence, of course, but would not be cowed into apologizing. On the contrary, Senator Sanders countered that it was he who was wronged in Nevada.
As has been the case in many states, in the weeks leading up to the convention, Bernie supporters’ voter registrations were mysteriously switched to republican. Eight times as many as Hillary delegates were switched, and twice as many as her eventual margin of victory. Petitions and motions were ignored. California Senator Barbara Boxer berated booing Bernie delegates while claiming to represent him. Nevada Democratic Party Vice Chairman Chris Wicker reportedly exclaimed “this is not a democracy”. Chairwoman Roberta Lange – and there’s video evidence – ignored obvious voice votes concerning the rules of the convention. Angry Bernie delegates shouted – including profanities – in return. An angry man raised a chair and was intercepted by fellow supposedly-violent Bernie supporters who proceeded to hug-it-out.
A single reporter, Jon Ralston, took to twitter armed with a still-shot of a man with a chair, and claimed that chairs (plural) were thrown by Bernie supporters who had rushed the stage prompting security to shut down the convention. Mainstream media, having actual video evidence of Lange’s voice-vote shenanigans which they conveniently chose to ignore, instead chose to run video of shouting delegates and propagate Ralston’s twitter tales of violent Bernie Bros with zero evidence whatsoever.
NPR admitted that their initial reporting was erroneous, and that there was no evidence of violence at the convention. Politifact determined that there has been no evidence of violence, despite many live streams and video of the event. The phalanx of law enforcement invited by the party to intimidate Bernie delegates somehow missed all of the supposed violence & chaos.
No matter. The literati have determined Bernie and his brethren to be vile & contemptible rabble-rousers without a cause. Dismissed and derided from the beginning. The very serious people of the establishment have been telling themselves all along that Hillary was a shoe-in. That she’s a pleasant gramma who’s been very patient in her inevitable run to the Oval Office.
They’ve refused to acknowledge how widely disliked & distrusted Hillary is – she has surpassed Trump as the most unpopular presidential candidate in US history. They’ve refused to accept poll after poll showing Bernie as the far more electable candidate who performs far better than Hillary in head-to-head general election match-ups.
They’ve convinced themselves that the frustration, the angst, the rage of the populace is either unfounded, or imagined by a relatively small number of youthfully naive & entitled malcontents deserving of derision. The Democratic Party has chosen to alienate the very people who should be the future of their party – while simultaneously commanding them to fall in line, or else. The DNC Chair – who on CNN compared Bernie supporters to Trump’s band of nihilistic nincompoops – led Hillary’s 2008 campaign, changed party rules to launder campaign cash through state party infrastructure for her 2016 campaign (which Hillary used to attack Bernie as disloyal), and limited the debate schedule to limit exposure to Bernie’s progressive message. (Plus, Southern states essentially go first, handing the early lead and associated press coverage to candidates who thrive in red states; independent voters – who support Bernie overwhelmingly – were kept from closed primaries in many states; in addition to the aforementioned mysterious registration switches.)
Corporate media (among Hillary’s biggest donors, though they never disclose their blatant conflicts of interest) began by ignoring Bernie, they then guffawed at his radical socialistic agenda, before joining the Democratic Party establishment in scorning him for daring to challenge the inevitable ascension of Hillary on her way to rescuing us from the hellscape sure to emerge from a nation left to the whims of a fascistic toddler.
They chortle away with one another at the notion that perfectly lovely Hillary – again, the most hated politician in the country – could possibly lose to a cotton candy-coiffed hate-monger. Trump may be an imbecilic, thin-skinned man-child. But he’s already pulled ahead in national polls. She’s losing. She’s already losing!
Hillary is tailor made for Trump’s attacks. She is a corrupt politician who came to his wedding because she’s bought. She sold out American workers by supporting terrible trade deals. She can’t be trusted. She is a neocon who was a disaster on Iraq and Libya. She’s under investigation by the FBI over her emails. Benghazi! Trump will surely happen across her Goldman transcripts, likely to further reveal her fawning over Wall Street banksters and lamenting harsh speech from folks like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Trump is a shape-shifter who will walk-back essentially everything, from the Muslim ban and the southern wall to his sudden stances as anti-gay and anti-choice. He will launch perpetual verbal attacks which will often go too far, but his supporters won’t care because he will never stop playing the part of alpha male, who they yearn to kneel before.
She will count on progressives to come out and vote. I certainly won’t be one of them. I liked Bill Clinton – for reasons having nothing to do with politics (sex, weed, & saxophone). I bought into Obama’s promises of hope & change in 2008 – and was disappointed to learn he had no interest in doing so. I have no allegiance to the Democratic Party whatsoever. They have to earn my vote, yet they seem to believe that they are owed simply for not being republicans.
Hillary Clinton has repeatedly scoffed at the very notion of attempting to bring progressives into the fold. She has – as in 2008 – run a disgusting campaign. They’ve portrayed Bernie Sanders – the most progressive politician in the country – as a liar, a fool, a racist… They’ve cast him – the most successful Jewish candidate in US history – as an anti-Semite. They’ve painted supporters as misogynistic pale-faced Bernie Bros – lazily recycling the Obama Boys charge of 2008.
And as of now, Hillary is losing to a mad man. Yet, rather than consider the reasons why she is so widely disliked, Bernie and the progressive movement is chided by party and media elites, who blame her unpopularity on Bernie and his violent bros for not shutting up already about her seriously flawed record, candidacy, and likelihood of victory come November. They’ve determined the threat of Bernie overturning their apple cart to be greater than the danger of (gulp) President Trump. In their moronic haste to skedaddle wild-eyed radicals – ie, the youth & the energy – from the Democratic Party, Beltway elites may be handing the keys to the country over to an orangutanian lunatic.