Wednesday, January 29, 2020

An irreparable split?

"Nobody likes [Bernie], nobody wants to work with him, he got nothing done...It is not only him. It's the culture around him. It's his leadership team. It's his prominent supporters. It's his online Bernie Bros... -- Hillary Clinton
 "The knives are out." -- Michael Moore
Until a few weeks ago, I was backing either Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders in the primary, whichever one was shown to have the best chance of defeating Trump in November. They were both seen by voters as the representatives of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party and despite their own obvious differences over some issues, they refused to attack each other during the primary debates.

But that all changed when party leadership, including Warren, decided to launch an all-out anti-Bernie offensive, aimed at splitting and defeating their left opposition, no matter what the cost in November.

Just when the polls started showing a possible victory for any of the top Democratic Party nominees in November, a seemingly irreparable split between regulars and progressives has badly damaged the party's chances.

Panicking over Joe Biden's floundering campaign and Sanders' emergence as the frontrunner in Iowa, his running strong New Hampshire, and Nevada, and his having emerged, according to The New York Times, as "the dominant liberal force in the 2020 race", party leaders have stepped up their attacks on Bernie and his supporters.

In Iowa.

The attacks have been crude, vicious, and broad-brushed, leaving little room for retraction or resolution once the primaries are over.

The latest tossed out there by AFT Pres. Randi Weingarten, referred to Bernie supporters as a "virtual lynch mob". Ugh! She retweets this post by Kurt Bardella, a media strategist who previously worked as a spokesperson for Breitbart News:
Virtual lynch mobs are not something people of color or women — or anyone — should have to just live with.
Talk about intolerance for different opinions... Doesn't Hillary loyalist Weingarten realize that this supposed lynch mob includes thousands of her own union's rank-and-file members?

Sadly, Elizabeth Warren, possibly feeling the pressure from big party campaign donors and seeing a possible path to replace Biden as the party leadership's chosen one, has broken ranks with the progressives and joined in the anti-Sanders assault. An early sign was her campaign's leak of a private conversation she had with Bernie and the unprincipled bloc she formed with Amy Klobuchar (see my January 16th post) during the last debate. Warren and Klobuchar share little in common on the most important political issues, but their attack on Bernie earned them the NYT's co-endorsement. Whatever that's worth.
Brother Fred and I will be discussing this and more, Friday on Hitting Left. Tune in 11-noon CT on WLPN 105.5 FM in Chicago. Streaming live at
Party leaders, desperate for a credible centrist flag bearer, have even rehabilitated Hillary Clinton who has become their main anti-left gunslinger. She fired the first big barrage, claiming that most Bernie supporters weren't loyal Democrats, and then this assessment of Sanders' populist-socialist agenda?
"It's all just baloney and I feel so bad that people got sucked into it."
Clinton's blast was the green flag for her followers to join in.

Sanders willingly signed a loyalty pledge required of all candidates, promising to run and govern as a Democrat if he won the presidency.

But my first question is, will party leaders themselves honor the pledge should Sanders win the nomination? Answer, doubtful.

My second question is, can the progressive coalition be put back together again after the split? Answer, if the similar split that happened around Chicago's mayor's race is any indication, not likely.

And third, can the Democrats defeat Trump without active support from their progressive base? Answer, no.

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