Thursday, May 21, 2020

Once In Love With Bernie....

 The reputation and standing of Bernie Sanders within the Democratic Party is more important to him than his delegates' First Amendment rights to free speech. Therefore, in hopes of avoiding another outbreak of democratic protest against another rigging of another primary election, the Sanders campaign is demanding that his hundreds of delegates sign a pledge to never, ever publicly "attack" presumptive nominee Joe Biden or any other party bigwig. They must also never disparage mainstream journalists, consultants, cable news shows and party spokespeople.

As a delegate who worked his or her heart out for Bernie, anything you say, or any independent thought that you publicly express, is as good as coming from the mouth of Bernie himself. As such, according to the warning salvo:
 “Before tweeting or posting from your personal social media accounts,ask yourself these questions: If this appeared on the front page of The New York Times, would it compromise Bernie Sanders’s message, credibility, or reputation? Could it potentially risk your standing as a delegate? When re-tweeting or sharing information from others, are you applying necessary skepticism?”
His team is also asking that each delegate sign a nondisclosure agreement, lest any revolution that is not a slogan be televised, live-streamed, shared on social media,  written on comment boards and Internet chat rooms in any way, shape, or form. Refusal to promise to keep your mouth shut will pre-empt your participation in the convention.  If you break the agreement by, for instance, merely talking to a reporter or tweeting a renegade thought while at the convention, you will be kicked out. You may not take candid photos backstage or at "closed press events."

These admonitions presuppose that there will be an actual physical convention as the Covid-19 pandemic rages on and Joe Biden has yet to emerge from his basement bunker.  

If you do go to the live or virtual convention and breach the agreement that you signed, you must immediately surrender to the proper authorities and fess up. To wit:

"If you believe you have made a substantive mistake, alert staff on the Delegates Team to determine a course of action. Deleting something does not make it go away. Do not take action before consulting the Delegates Team."

And you must also promise to snitch on your fellow Bernie delegates if you discover them exercising their First Amendment rights without prior approval. At the same time, you must promise not to retaliate against anyone - say, a Biden delegate - who chooses to exercise his or her own First Amendment rights by acting confrontational or rude. You must turn the other cheek and remain silent, as is your right whenever you're arrested and handcuffed.

Although he has suspended his campaign, Sanders remains on the ballot in remaining primary states in the belief that the more muzzled, cowed delegates that he can amass, the more leverage he will exert over Biden and the corporate wing of the party. Actually, with few progressives even raising an eyebrow over the most massive congressional transfer of wealth to the already wealthy under the CARES Act, is there any other wing but the right-wing, corporate one?

As the Washington Post reports, his strict rules against free speech are angering some of Bernie's delegates. One of them already broke the rules by leaking the five pages of rules to the newspaper, without obtaining the express prior permission of the Sanders campaign.

So we'll have to wait and see whether Bernie Sanders's confident prediction that "at the end of the day, they'll be voting for Joe Biden" comes to pass.

His streak of authoritarianism probably shouldn't come as much of a surprise, since earlier this month he didn't even bother showing up to be the one necessary vote to block Senate passage of an expanded Patriot Act,  which allows the FBI to search your internet search history without a warrant. In effect, it allows what Bernie calls "the most dangerous president in history" to legally spy on you for any reason at all.

Bernie Sanders is refusing to comment or even say where he was during the crucial vote, which wielded one more death blow to what is left of our democracy and the Fourth Amendment.

Maybe he signed a pledge or non-disclosure agreement.

Wink, Nod, Bump, Grind, Repeat


The Joker said...

What you've described, Karen, may well be the last straw for those of us who had hoped that there was still some chance that the system might, even if only gradually, be reformed from within. Instead, I'm left nearly speechless by this betrayal by Sanders. So, in my ineloquence I can only say:

Fuck unfettered capitalism!
Fuck neo-liberalism!
Fuck those politicians who serve as lackeys to unfettered capitalism and neoliberalism!
Fuck that portion of the populace -- pathetic but dangerous idiots, they -- that support those economic pathologies and associated political lackeys!
Fuck the system!

I guess I've finally reached the point where I can call myself completely alienated from the Democratic Party.

I don't care anymore if, when, or how this country enters its final phase of collapse. I won't shed a tear, it won't merit one.

Jay–Ottawa said...

Bernie could have blocked an expansion of the Patriot Act? But he didn't show up or zoom in to vote, and as a result the expanded bill passed the Senate?

Wait, I think I know why; since at least 2016, he's been suffering severe backbone problems.

Bernie Sanders: the reformer who became a collaborator.

eva said...

I would just suggest we don’t rely on one older man to fix it for us.
I got some hopeful news today from an attorney from MALDEF about possibilities for redistricting in my home county, currently rated dead last for racial equity, and currently rated as the most segregated county in all of California.
The Mexican American Legal and Educational Defense Fund has been very busy with advocacy and successful lawsuits to force counties to redraw the maps.
So much is happening in all the states at the local level.
If it’s not working for LatinX and Black communities in America, then we’re all screwed. The only way to fight it is by backing up one another.
Bernie quit too early, a real disappointment. People should be angry. Take that anger and figure out how to use it, if possible.
Right now, Rashida Tlaib could use some support.
Like Jesse Jackson told us: “Rocks, just lyin’ around!”
I’m not optimistic we’re even getting an election in November, but every day I work with people across several generations who are fighting for change at the local level. Sanders events in California helped us connect with other groups. It ain’t nothing, in the end.
One of those guys, Shahid Buttar is challenging Pelosi. That’s worth looking at.
So much is happening right now.

voice-in-wilderness said...

He [Winston Smith] gazed up at the enormous face. Forty years it had taken him to learn what kind of smile was hidden beneath the dark moustache. O cruel, needless
misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast!
Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all
right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won
the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.

Valerie Long Tweedie said...

I want to say thank you for this, Karen. It is important to know.

Yet, I feel so utterly depressed!How horrible for the Bernie delegates to be betrayed by their own leader whose words they trusted. And how stupid of Bernie to think that by making his delegates promise to honor this pledge that he will actually be given a seat at the table.

I really think the Democrats want to lose. Why else would they pick Biden of all people?

And how terrible of Bernie to not show up for such an important vote.

The Joker said...

Why democracy can't work in the U.S. (and why one should prepare to leave, prepare for a revolution, or preferably, both):

"Over 40% of Republicans think Bill Gates will use COVID-19 vaccine to implant tracking microchips, survey says.
A survey from Yahoo News and YouGov finds that the conspiracy theory is popular among Fox News viewers, Republicans and Trump voters."

Annie said...

"I've got news for the Democratic establishment. And I've got news for the Republican establishment. YOU CAN'T STOP US!" - Bernie Sanders

He was right - only Bernie Sanders could stop 'Not Me, Us'. He surrendered the movement in exchange for a few bones of task forces, transitory platform changes, and ego stroking. There's no fool like an old fool.

At least he can breathe a big sigh of relief that they won't Nader him to ruin his political reputation and place in history.

Such a good sheep doggie!

The Joker said...

"Joe Biden forced to make his fundraisers fully virtual – bar the price tag.
The pandemic has led the presumptive Democratic nominee, like other politicians to take his high-dollar events online."

This high-dollar virtual fundraising would be hilarious, were it not for the fact that it's still the same old shit -- money buying political access, and influence.

eva chrysanthe said...

“There’s no fool like an old fool.”


But maybe the younger people who coalesced around the movement Sanders helped to foster have a longer term view, and found value in Sanders efforts to steer the conversation leftward.

Maybe they, too, are fools.

But it seems the most foolish thing of all is to cease trying, to cease reaching out, to denigrate any and all small successes.

Right now some people who coalesced around Sanders could use some support.

Is there nothing to be written about Rashida Tlaib? Or about Shahid Buttar? Or are non-white reps and potential reps simply to be ignored?

The Joker said...

Apparently, the New York Stock Exchange is opening up to floor traders, with some constraints, among which are greatly-reduced numbers of traders, temperature checks, and get this, they can't ride public transport! Yes, you read right, as a matter of safety with respect to COVID-19, the so-called "masters of the universe" are being told to stay away from the very mode of transportation that most New Yorkers have no choice but to use, and will be using, as "the economy" re-opens.

Yes, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal"... [blah, blah, blah].

Hypocrisy, all of it.

Jay–Ottawa said...

Oh, you negative lefties. Turn it around, already. There are a thousand points of light out there to behold and support, but all you dwell upon is the infinite darkness. Shield your eyes from the Blog Roll, so full of negativity.

Think small, because small is beautiful and well-mannered. Knock-down revolution rarely pans out for the nobodies. Support as many points of light as you can. One of them one fine day may punch through the blanket of oppression as a mighty torch to lead us all (in an orderly way) to the promised land. And the darkness will melt away.

Have a nice day and stay positive.

eva said...

To be fair, I definitely see a generational distinction in how defeats are currently being processed.
We see things differently at different ages. It doesn’t make you right or wrong. But younger generations don’t have the luxury of simply giving up. Even the kids who are “rioting” in Minneapolis are making a statement of solidarity FOR something, if only to finally be heard TOGETHER.
That’s not just a matter of having a younger brain chemistry- it’s the fact that venturing out of your comfort zone - something admittedly easier for younger generations- also changes your perspective.