The left has never been welcome in the Republican party; and since the neoliberal Clinton machine showed up, they have not been welcome in the Democratic party either. As Clinton debauched the historical, FDR/JFK/LBJ meaning of the word "liberal", the left started calling itself "progressives". The left had long been the grassroots of the Democratic party; and after being left in the lurch by John Kerry (no lawsuits against Ohio fraud), lied to by Barack Obama, and browbeaten by the increasingly neocon Clintonite DNC, they enthusiastically coalesced around Bernie Sanders.
If our political system were honest, Bernie Sanders would have been the Democratic nominee; and Hillary Clinton and Debbie W-S (of Aman Brothers infamy) would be on trial for violating national security and corrupting the DNC. But, our political system isn't honest. Our political system, including the Democratic party, is completely bought and paid for. And, unfortunately, Bernie Sanders - despite being a victim of that corruption - continues to refuse to make that point. He refused to join the lawsuit (complete with dead process server and suspicious phone call from DWS's office) against the DNC. All in the name of working within a party he does not even belong to.
After the 2016 election, the DNC, continuing its corrupt ways, blatantly favored Tom Perez over the "progressive" Keith Ellison, smearing Ellison as a Moslem lover. Bernie's reaction to this continuing manipulation was muted. On foreign policy, Bernie continues to be either AWOL or pro-MIC (F-35 plant in VT)/pro-Israel. These are not progressive positiions. AFAIAC, Bernie is half a leftist. He is left on economics and social policy; but he is rightwing on the MIC, foreign policy, and Israel. There is very little democracy left in this country, and I am not going to waste my time supporting Bernie, who has shown himself to be a sheepdog. That's my take on the 2018 version of Bernie. I will always treasure the early 2016 version of Bernie, the only political candidate in my life that I gave serious money to.
Neither will I waste my time pretending that honest, inside-the-system efforts can take the Democratic party back from the plutocrats who own it, lock, stock, and checkbook. You might think there is a chance to work inside the system. You might think the DNC is vulnerable because it learned nothing from the 2016 debacle; but you would be wrong. After the Hillary debacle, they have learned how to manufacture more credible fake progressives.
For it seems that progressive candidates aren’t the only ones who learned the lesson of Bernie Sanders in 2016; the neoliberal Clintonites have too. So, while left-wing campaigns crop up in every corner of the country, so too do astroturf faux-progressive campaigns. And it is for us on the left to parse through it all and separate the authentic from the frauds.
One candidate currently generating some buzz in the race is Jeff Beals, a self-identified “Bernie democrat” whose campaign website homepage describes him as a “local teacher and former U.S. diplomat endorsed by the national organization of former Bernie Sanders staffers, the Justice Democrats.” And indeed, Beals centers his progressive bona fides to brand himself as one of the inheritors of the progressive torch lit by Sanders in 2016. A smart political move, to be sure. But is it true?
By his own admission, Beals’ overseas career began as an intelligence officer with the CIA. His fluency in Arabic and knowledge of the region made him an obvious choice to be an intelligence spook during the latter stages of the Clinton Administration.
Beals was not a soldier unwillingly drafted into service, but an intelligence officer who voluntarily accepted an influential and critically important post for the Bush Administration in its ever-expanding crime against humanity in Iraq.
Moreover, no one who knows anything about the Iraq War could possibly swallow the tripe that CIA/State Department officials in Iraq were “looking to help our country find a way out” a year into the war. A year into the war, the bloodletting was only just beginning, and Halliburton, Exxon-Mobil, and the other corporate vultures had yet to fully exploit the country and make billions off it. So, unfortunately for Beals, the historical memory of the anti-war Left is not that short.
The takeaway here is that many of these self-declared "Bernie Democrats" are, in reality, the "CIA Democrats" that we have been warned about. And Bernie has not called them out. Another thing he has not called out is the fact that the party leadership is still blatantly sabotaging even modestly "progressive" candidates in the primaries.
In the latest striking example of how the Democratic Party resorts to cronyism (and perhaps corruption) to ensure that its favored candidates beat back progressive challengers in local races, a candidate for Colorado's 6th Congressional District has leaked a recording of a conversation with Minority Leader Steny Hoyer to The Intercept which published it overnight. In it, Hoyer can be heard essentially lecturing the candidate about why he should step aside and let the Democratic Party bosses - who of course have a better idea about which candidate will prevail over a popular Republican in the general election - continue pulling the strings.
The candidate, Levi Tillemann, is hardly a party outsider. Tillemann had grandparents on both sides of his family who were elected Democratic representatives, and his family is essentially Democratic Party royalty.
Still, the party's campaign arm - the notorious Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (better known as the DCCC, or D-trip) - refused to provide Tillemann with access to party campaign data or any of the other resources he requested.
Here is yet another thing that Bernie has not called out: The DNC, which is reportedly badly behind in fundraising, is nevertheless willing to spend obscene amounts of money in primaries just to keep progressives out of races - even Red district races that are guaranteed losses for Democrats.
Dan Feehan has successfully bought the Democratic nomination for Minnesota’s first congressional district (MN-CD1). Dan, having lived outside the state since the age of 14, has allegedly misled the public on his FEC form, claiming residence at his cousin’s address. Here is Dan’s FEC filing form. One can see that it his cousin who lives at this address...
Mr. Feehan has no chance to win in November. While nobody likes a candidate from Washington D.C., people hate Washington money even more. To be fair to Dan he hasn’t taken super PAC money, somehow. But he has raised 565,000 dollars, an outrageous sum for a congressional race. 94% of this money has come from outside the district, and 79% from outside the state. Where does this money come from? Well, according to the campaign, from people around the country who want to keep Minnesota blue. If this was the case, why not wait to give money until Minnesota voted for a candidate in the primary and then donate? And who on earth has this much money to pour into an obscure race outside of their state?
Dan Feehan is of the same breed that most post-Trump Democrats are. Clean cut, military experience, stern, anti-gun, anti-crazy Orange monsters, anti-negativity, and anti-discrimination of rich people who fall under a marginalized group. What are they for? No one knows. If pushed they want “good” education, health care, jobs, environment, etc. But they want Big money too for various reasons, but the ones cited are: because that is the only way to win, because rich people are smart and poor people are dumb, and because money is speech. So they cannot and will not make any concrete commitments. Hence energy becomes “all inclusive”, as if balancing clean and dirty energy was a college admissions department diversity issue, rather than a question of life or death for the entire planet. Healthcare becomes not a right, but a requirement with a giant handout to insurance companies. Near full employment (with the near being very important, when we consider leverage) comes with part-time, short-term, and low paying work.
Within the world of the Democratic party, there is no relativity. It is merely a universe that exists only to clash with (but mostly submit to) the parallel Republican universe. Whoever proves to be the victor should be united behind without a thought given to their place within the political spectrum of Democrat voters. They believe, if I were to paraphrase René Descartes: “I Democrat, therefore I progressive.”
Tell me again why I must be a loyal Democrat, why I must support candidates who are corporate/MIC shills, why I must submit to the constant harassment and sabotage of progressive efforts. Tell me again how Bernie is fighting the party leadership. (That is, explain away all the non-activity related to the items posted above.)
I'm with Chris Hedges. Formal democracy is dead in the US; all we have left are actions in the streets (and those are being slowly made illegal). The only people in this country who deserve my support are: 1) the striking teachers, many of them non-unionized, 2) the oil pipeline protestors, who are being crushed by police state tactics, 3) the fighters for $15 minimum wage, again non-unionized. The Democratic Party used to stand for unions. It doesn't any more. It doesn't stand for anything except getting more money from the 1% to sell out the 99% with fake progressive CIA candidates. Oh, and it stands for pussy hats.
Anyone who tells me to get in line behind Bernie is either a naive pollyana or a disingenuous purity troll.