Sanders Rejects Effort to Draft Him Into Starting a New Political Party

by KAILANI KOENIG

Sanders Prefers Behind Democratic Party Reform Over a Splinter Party 1:59
WASHINGTON — Sen. Bernie Sanders rejected a movement to draft him into starting a new political party, telling "Meet The Press" on Sunday that his focus right now is on the Democratic Party as a whole.

"Right now I am working to bring fundamental reform to the Democratic Party, to open the door to the Democratic Party," said Sanders, who lost the Democratic presidential nomination to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last year.

A group of former staff members and delegates for Sanders launched an effort last week called "Draft Bernie for A People's Party," which they called a "nationwide effort" to convince the senator "to found a new party rooted in the progressive principles that awoke a political revolution during his campaign for the presidency."

http://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/sanders-rejects-effort-draft-him-s...

CANNOT get video to embed. But there is video at the link.

Cannot say that I'm surprised.

He's decided to stick with them that screwed him rather then going home with them that took him to the dance.

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Bollox Ref's picture

Having reverted to his independent status, his compulsion to somehow reform another party seems quixotic at best. And pointless at worst. Especially given the recent primary contest.

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Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

@Bollox Ref

imo. he is doing a lot of damage now.

hush the mouth. go away.

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thanatokephaloides's picture

He's decided to stick with them that screwed him

.... and us .....

rather then going home with them that took him to the dance.

I do not understand this a-tall.

Dismissing and discarding those who love him and believed in the dream he preached to all of us. Now he insists on sheepdogging us. And we're not buying into it for a microsecond.

Sad

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"US govt/military = bad. Russian govt/military = bad. Any politician wanting power = bad. Anyone wielding power = bad." --Shahryar

"All power corrupts absolutely!" -- thanatokephaloides

Amanda Matthews's picture

@thanatokephaloides
Thank you. That was quite the oversight.

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I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

thanatokephaloides's picture

@Amanda Matthews ..... for drawing this to our attention!

I'm not particularly pleased with Bernie right now....

Sad

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"US govt/military = bad. Russian govt/military = bad. Any politician wanting power = bad. Anyone wielding power = bad." --Shahryar

"All power corrupts absolutely!" -- thanatokephaloides

CS in AZ's picture

Which we already knew. The goal of Draft Bernie effort is to convince him to form a new party. If Bernie was already there and ready to do something like that, there'd be no need to convince him, no need for a movement to draft him. It would be extremely surprising if he jumped on board immediately and abandoned the democrats now in order to openly work against them.

I don't understand how or why he's speaking for and trying to build and reform the democrats. Especially when he himself won't even identify as a democrat! He has to realize that the Democratic Party does not support the progressive agenda he is saying the American people want. So why does he stick with them? I know ... some think he's a sell out who knows where his bread will be buttered, some think he's being coerced by the Clintons, some think he's sincere and could step into greatness if he wanted to, but too cowardly to go for their throats. Or as I said it more kindly yesterday, I doubted he would be so bold.

I think Bernie is sincere in his goals, and I think he believes he can do more good by working with them, and I think he is also genuinely fearful of enabling and furthering the right wing takeover and Trump, by splitting the opposition into competing, opposing parties.

But in sticking with the democrats (while not being one himself), and talking about a progressive agenda that the party he's pushing doesn't support, he's fence-sitting... and he knows it, and in that interview with chuck Todd, Bernie looks like to me like he's getting a bit tired and uncomfortable in that position.

I am very skeptical that he will be drafted/convinced. But I also wouldn't say it's over just because he said that right now he's still trying to reform the party. He's at least saying it needs reform. If in a few months he says they aren't listening and won't change and goes for this idea, it will carry more punch when he officially leaves. If not, then sadly I guess he will go down with their ship.

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Cassiodorus's picture

@CS in AZ

The goal of Draft Bernie effort is to convince him to form a new party.

What more can be done? Aren't we pretty much waiting for Sanders to become disillusioned with his own efforts?

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"The future is inside us/ It's not somewhere else." -- Radiohead

CS in AZ's picture

@Cassiodorus

I haven't had time yet to explore the website or look at their specific plans in detail. I know they are building a petition drive, and trying to recruit members and potential congressional candidates for 2018. The idea seems to be that as the great DemExit continues, and the democratic party fails to change, and the People's party continues to grow into a truly viable alternative, Bernie will be convinced to go with it when the tide is strong enough.

So I'd say if this is something you support or want to see happen, add to the wave and help build it up.

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Cassiodorus's picture

@CS in AZ Is anyone joining just yet?

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"The future is inside us/ It's not somewhere else." -- Radiohead

CS in AZ's picture

@Cassiodorus

https://draftbernie.org/

I just heard about it yesterday, and like I said I haven't looked into it much yet.

Here's an interesting bit from their FAQ page, relevant to this discussion.

Q. Is Bernie actually receptive to the idea of building a new party?

A. Potentially, yes. In a C-SPAN interview on June 24 2016, Bernie suggested that if it isn’t possible to open up the Democratic Party to the progressive grassroots, the “action” for progressives would be “in a third party.” Clearly, he has some serious doubts about the Democrats, even though he is still trying to reform them. But further Democratic Party betrayals could push Bernie over the edge. And a growing progressive movement to persuade him to found a new party could convince him to do just that. After all, it was a popular Draft Bernie campaign that helped persuade him to run for president in the first place.

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Amanda Matthews's picture

@CS in AZ

From your post:

"In a C-SPAN interview on June 24 2016, Bernie suggested that if it isn’t possible to open up the Democratic Party to the progressive grassroots, the “action” for progressives would be “in a third party.”

Let's see, I think that was back when he was "in it to win it" and "going all the way to Philly". I think that was right before he started sheep dogging for Clinton and the DNC/Third Way 'New' Democratic Party. The people who told us we weren't needed and to go away. We did. And now Sanders is suffering under the grave misapprehension that he can drag millions back into a party that told us to get out? Uh, no. He can stay and play with his friends Chuckie and Nancy and Harry but WE need someone else. There is no reforming Bill Clinton's 'New' Democratic Party and no way I'd trust this guy even if he did run Third Party.

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I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

@Amanda Matthews
Not only is Bernie endlessly disappointing to his supporters with promises of a 'revolution' which never comes, but his schizophrenic sheepdogging for corrupt Dems, rewarded with smears and taunts that he's not a real Democrat, goes beyond the pale. I won't contribute a cent to all the new (suspect) parties forming to raise money under the auspices of Bernie.

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@Amanda Matthews you are so very hurt over Bernie and feel oh so betrayed.

Will you please take a look at what Bernie faced? Did anyone, anyone at all, ever expect a socialist senator from the tiny state of Vermont to get any votes at all in the primaries??

No.

Did anyone, from anywhere on the political spectrum, think that BS had a chance at all?

No.

Did anyone, anywhere, think that it was remotely possible for him to raise the funds needed to mount a serious campaign?

No.

Did anyone, anywhere, think that it was remotely possible for him to get the votes that he ultimately got?

No.

Was anyone talking about the issues that he was talking about on the campaign trail, the issues that attracted so many supporters and resonated with so many people?

Mostly no, and certainly not HRC.

Did anyone, anywhere, think a third party was remotely viable?

No.

Well, now we know better, thanks to Bernie.

Get over yourselves, Bernie bashers.

He brought about a historic shift in paradigm (except for those who continue to litigate his 'shortcomings.') He freed all the discouraged socialists, liberals, and progressives from the notion that a candidate can't win without big money. He freed the same from the notion that the US doesn't want socialist policies.

He owes you nothing. He is a sitting senator who, unfortunately, has to work with what he's got. He can't call the dems cockroaches, like Dean did, and expect any cooperation on legislative goals.

It has been a whopping month and 1/2 since the elected took their offices, and BS is supposed to have fixed every f'n thing wrong with the country and started a new party, to boot.

What exactly would you do if you were in his position? Do you really think he can just drop everything this minute and start a new party? Get real. Patience. Third parties are springing up and building the infrastructure to run candidates, and voters are un-registering as dems at a historic pace.

Let things ripen.

(or go help get the local infrastructure going, if you have time.)

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dfarrah

Amanda Matthews's picture

@dfarrah
chair psychologists really have the training to know what some else is 'really' thinking or feeling? And how does that work over the intertubes? The other day someone was telling me I was angry simply because I didn't agree with what they thought. It wasn't anger, it was my opinion. There wasn't any anger involved. Like you just did, they had to validate their OWN opinion by telling me what my mental state is, not deal with what I said. And here we go again.

I am not angry. I got over the anger of Sander's betrayal a longgggggggggggg time ago. Now I am just disgusted that he's trying to play everyone. Nothing he has to say interests me. Go back and read what I posted the first time, and try to do it without trying to ascribe it to a mental 'state' but the way I really feel. I NEVER tell people how they feel, I NEVER take it upon myself to tell them that I know the reason they feel the way they do, and I find it really arrogant for someone to say

" Get over yourselves, Bernie bashers."

How about you sticking to posting your opinion (on facts, not things you couldn't possibly know about) and try to understand that just like you have the right to post what you did, every other person here has the right to do the same. Get over yourself.

I wouldn't trust Sanders for a second. He knew what to say to rile up us prols but when it came down to the wire and we had PROOF that the primary was rigged, he caved and went to work for the people he just spent months telling us how bad they are for the country. That's fine. He needs no one's permission to go work for the people who treated him like something they scraped off the bottom of their shoes. But he'd best not expect too much support from anyone who left the Democratic Party because we were told to leave (something he NEVER spoke up about). He is sheep dogging now for the Democrats and I want absolutely no part of it. And the longer he defends Bill Clinton's Neo-liberal Third Way 'New' Democratic Party, the phonier he looks.

If you like him fine, knock yourself out. But he's spent too damn much time defending cheats and liars for me to be able to ever trust again. AND THAT IS MY OPINION.

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I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

@Amanda Matthews

me neither.

and (++) good on the rest of it,too.

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Strife Delivery's picture

@dfarrah For me, there were two moments that Sanders could have broken away and started his own movement/party.

1) After the DNC leaks and finding out about the rigged primaries. There was quite a lot of anticipation of him doing just that and well nope he floundered. Now, this particular moment I am torn myself. If he did separate, I don't know who would win. I don't know if someone would have gotten to 270 or not to be honest. Then of course everyone would be screaming and crying about him being spoiler, Nader, blah blah blah. So here I am a bit hesitant.

2) After the election is over. Now there is no "obligation" or anything of the sort. Him being now so attached to "fixing" the Dem party is the biggest reveal. Right now, with trust in the Dems so low and so much opposition against the Repubs, Sanders could truly energize people away from the two. But he isn't. And so he puts on his collar and sheepdogs away.

Woof. Woof. Woof.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@dfarrah Cooperation on legislative goals?
If he expects that, after he embarrassed Her Highness, he's more naive than I thought.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Cassiodorus's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal Bernie Sanders is too old to be naive. He thinks he's making the best of a bad deal -- he's only done it a few thousand times before.

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"The future is inside us/ It's not somewhere else." -- Radiohead

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Cassiodorus Unlikely. Imagine this: I tell you that I'm starting a new People's Party and I'm drafting Susan Sarandon to lead it. Then Susan Sarandon comes out in the press and says that, actually, she's attending that FL meeting with David Brock and the Democratic leadership to create a new direction for the Democratic Party.

How many people are going to join?

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Cassiodorus It's like you, or, um, maybe someone else said to me when I was idealistically talking about launching a people's movement out of the Bernie campaign. Somebody asked me: "Can you do it without Bernie?"

That's still the operative question, and the answer is no.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

@Cassiodorus @Cassiodorus

Cass we can do a multi-faceted approach to the problem. My bitch with what Bernie said is that he keeps telegraphing his punches and giving away his advantage. The threat of a new party would go very far in reforming the party. He did the same thing when he announced as he announced his run that he would back Hillary. The more Sanders suits himself instead of his supporters, the less desirable a candidate he becomes. We have a whole party ignoring us, we don't need a second one to do the same.

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"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

gulfgal98's picture

@dkmich As per usual, you clearly state the problem and Bernie has made himself a part of that problem. We do not need Bernie trying to sheep dog us back into the Democratic party. I keep wondering what kind of deal Bernie made with the Third Way Dems that keep him in their fold. Was it a deal to benefit his status in the Senate or was it is deal to keep himself and his family alive and safe?

Either way, it is time to move on. We have people among us who may not necessarily be politicians but who can help articulate and shape a strong vision of a movement to benefit the majority of people who are receiving little or no benefit from the hopelessly corrupt government we have here in the US.

To be honest, absent a major outside event, I am not even sure we can reform our government. I keep thinking that perhaps the best event that can shake up the power structure in US politics will have to be one involving economic collapse. Obama had a wonderful opportunity with the banking collapse but he bailed them out and left the American people to wither into poverty.

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Do I hear the sound of guillotines being constructed?

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy

shaharazade's picture

@gulfgal98 comment's were great. I read about this Draft Bernie thing a few days ago. It reeks. How many pointless Democratic Party reform groups are we going to get shoved in our far leftie faces. Bernie's bridges go nowhere but back to the anti-democratic Third Way dead as a door nail facistic duopoly he supposedly ran against. I don't hate Bernie but man o man just get off their freaking podium.

Does he not know that while he's out there professing to be resisting everyone can see that the Demorat party the DNC and even the so called progressives in congress are talking about changing their their messaging while while refusing to obstruct or fight the scary clown administration they helped install. They have no intention of reforming anything other them their image. Why enable the enemy. His intentions might be good but it's ass backwards and makes me think that he is in the same elitist DC bubble as the Democratic party is trapped in.

Here's a video worth watching with Chris Hedges and Matt Taibbi.

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Cassiodorus's picture

@shaharazade The problem of course is that if they don't draft Bernie the whole thing falls apart. They're trading on his image, but Bernie keeps compromising his image with this stick-with-the-Democrats thing.

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"The future is inside us/ It's not somewhere else." -- Radiohead

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@gulfgal98 As far as I can see, he didn't get any status in the Senate.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@dkmich Well said.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Pricknick's picture

he can count me out.

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Pricknick

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Oldest Son Of A Sailor's picture

It's a pity...
Because while we should be building a party for 2018 & 2020 to take out Trump, a potential Charismatic Leader is insisting on pissing into the wind, and a chance for a political revolution is going down the drain...

Looks like it will be a bloody one I guess...

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"Do you realize the responsibility I carry?
I'm the only person standing between Richard Nixon and the White House."

~John F. Kennedy~
Economic: -9.13, Social: -7.28,
Pricknick's picture

@Oldest Son Of A Sailor @Oldest Son Of A Sailor
Unless you're in the way of progress for the few.
Many will be thankful for some lead to the head.

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Oldest Son Of A Sailor

I'll move myself and my family aside
If we happen to be left half alive
I'll get all my papers and smile at the sky
Though I know that the hypnotized never lie

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

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ZimInSeattle's picture

will pull his head out. One of the founders of Draft Bernie was on Redacted Tonight the other day saying that around 14 million people have DemExited since the election. The ranks of independents has swelled greatly. What I hope happens is many true progressives already in office will get fed up and DemExit as well and join the Peoples Party. One can dream, right?

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"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." - JFK | "The more I see of the moneyed peoples, the more I understand the guillotine." - G. B. Shaw Bernie/Tulsi 2020

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@ZimInSeattle Hey, I *want* Perez to be DNC chair! The most honest candidate for the job!

http://observer.com/2017/02/dnc-chair-candidate-tom-perez-admits-democra...

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

His 'go soft' approach regarding Hillary was an epic fail.
I love me some Bernie but he's not the be all end all.
If he wants to step aside that's fine.
As he always said, it's not about him, it's about the message.

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With their hearts they turned to each others heart for refuge
In troubled years that came before the deluge
*Jackson Browne, 1974, Before the Deluge https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SX-HFcSIoU

I would be waiting for either a critical mass or a tipping point. If ten million people Demexit now after the dems turned quisling in the confirmation hearings, or when those ten million demexit in 2018, or if some new revelation makes refusing to admit that the carcass is dead impossible to justify.
What power and influence Bernie has at the moment he has by his relationship with the Democrats. If he tries to start a new party he will be stripped of everything he has except his integrity and courage. If otoh, the Dems lose another 10 senate seats and another 50 house seats, or if it's revealed that the DNC is trying to provoke a fascist coup, then he will have his time.
Or so I think he thinks. Personally, I say that all he has really now is his integrity and courage, and that's enough. But then, I always say that other people should go for the gold or settle for defeat.

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On to Biden since 1973

Unabashed Liberal's picture

so, I'm trying to check out various claims and facts represented--which isn't easy, since I can't find anything about the Michigan nonprofit, or about the 'legal entity' that it sprang from (their words). If anyone else has information on either organization, please share it.

(My 'time' has been relatively limited since I saw this essay last evening.)

Since I'm a C-Span junkie, I saw the interview in question at the time it aired. I don't agree with the characterization of his words, as put forth by the DB website. Obviously, words can easily be misrepresented, if/when quoted without giving the proper context--especially, in absence of the speaker's voice and facial expressions. I'll post the video at EB later this week.

Mollie


"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went."--Will Rogers

“When the narrative at the heart of a system of rule falls apart, when the flow of history runs counter to the story told by those in power, then we know the entire edifice is crumbling under the weight of its own contradictions.

The political crisis arrives when the people sense that the prevailing order is built on a foundation of oppressions and lies.

The rulers panic, scrambling to reweave the matrix of fables and myths that justify their waning supremacy. At such points in history, the truth is up for grabs – and a change of regime is in the offing.”
____Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report

[my boldface and re-paragraphing]

Taro
Taro, SOSD

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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

When asked about starting a new party, the Senator responded that for the moment, his approach is to reform the Democratic Party. “Right now, Chuck, I am working to bring fundamental reform to the Democratic Party,” said Sanders.
Far from rejecting a new party, Sanders’ kept it on the table, as he has done many times before. For instance, in a C-SPAN interview in June of last year, Sanders told Steve Scully, “The action is going to be in the Democratic Party, ​or perhaps a third party​. But​ the goal ​right now is to open up the Democratic Party to millions of people.” He reiterated this position in an ​interview​ with Amy Goodman in late November.

link

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Imagine Bernie as an actor in the 2016 Election film, following a script for the Democratic party. To voters, he's ostensibly an Independent, but covertly a Democratic stalwart assigned to a foreign post in the Senatorial hinterlands (Australian outback) as a sheepdog. Hillary needed a socialist sheepdog biting her left flank who eventually brings his flock home to Momma. It appears to have been prearranged. She also needed a buffoon on her right - The Donald, to scare flock stragglers into coming home to Momma as well (pied piper strategy). I believe that Bernie threw around the word "Revolution" in a careless manner and was shocked when he started to gain traction with and donations from voters. The tell was his silence on voter purges, disenfranchisement, and media collusion with the DNC. He totally abandoned his delegates to DNC machinations. Not how a true revolutionary behaves. Another tell was his sudden lack of fight, refusal to run third party, and stumping for the most corrupt and destructive politician in the country. The socialism, the votes, the pro-worker speeches were just a lot of hot air and served the Dem purpose well but, fortunately for us, not well enough.

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TheOtherMaven's picture

@Writerinres
when the "buffoon" saw how much space there was on her left, and co-opted it.

That's what really sank the SS President Hillary - not Bernie, not "the Rooshians", arguably not even the incessant corruption scandals that somehow no government authority was willing to admit the existence of or do anything about.

The Dumbocratic Party shows no sign of learning from this debacle.

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

Remember the famous Bernie Sanders campaign lines:

"The same old same old is not good enough", and "We need a political revolution in this Country".

Supporting Hillary Clinton was never a means to that end.

Trying to "reform" the Democratic Party, in theory, could be....if.... he had first tried to start a movement to oust Nancy Pelosi (who has reduced the Democratic Base down to half its original size), and Chuck Schumer. But the Old Guard elitists cannot be reformed, and even admit in public that they don't want to be reformed, and won't be reformed.

So it is time to see The Democratic Party for what it really is....a political wasteland -- unless there is a true overhaul of the entire Democratic Party leadership, along with a public repudiation of Obama's 8-year record (of crony Big Pharma-Insurance Corporatism, massive violent Global Warfare, protection of Wall Street criminality, Grand "Austerity" Bargains, and Police State expansion).

This is, of course, unlikely to happen no matter what Bernie Sanders does.

It is time therefore for Sanders to stop being a walking contradiction. Being an "Independent" who yet remains a devotee of the corrupt Democratic Party -- ain't gonna cut it anymore. Being a "Revolutionary" who is willing to trust the Clintons (after their history) --- ain't gonna cut it.

Bernie Sanders must face his moment of truth here....and either build something new and dynamic, or just content himself to merely play his Violin on the deck of the sinking Titanic ... to no avail.

It is time to choose.

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