The Defeat of Bernie Sanders

If you voted for Bernie Sanders, please don’t buy the nonsense that you have hurt Hillary’s chances in the fall. Hillary has inflicted more damage upon herself than Bernie or Trump could ever aspire to. And only the Republican’s choice of a litigious, duplicitous, reality TV star make the election results seem to matter at all. The hope was that Bernie might nudge Hillary. Possibly loosen her intense relationship with Wall Street and the forces that keep impelling Pindostan to enter into war with yet another unpleasant country that has little to do with us. That hope was purely aspirational. Maybe, more realistically, we hoped (I was a reluctant Bernie voter) that Hillary would feel compelled to appease Bernie and his voters by giving them a real place in setting the Democratic Party’s non-binding platform. Not much, but better than nothing. And maybe it would give Hillary some talking points that we might find less repellent. The Democrats touted their platform drafting committee as an exercise in party democracy. Instead of allowing their chairman to pick all of its members, Senator Clinton was given six choices, Senator Sanders five and Chairwoman Schultz four. James Roosevelt, co-chairman of the DNC’s rules and bylaws committee boasted the selection process “acknowledges [ …] that the Democratic Party is committed to encompassing the broad range of views.” Various liberal outlets celebrated a “progressive majority.” Sadly, the celebrations were premature. Last Friday, the Democratic platform drafting committee rejected amendments opposing the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership that Hillary herself now opposes after she supported it. It also refused to oppose or attempt to further regulate fracking and failed to support either a minimum wage tied to inflation or single payer health care. Other liberal proposals met a similar fate. The Sanders team proposed an amendment that affirmed Pindosi support for Israel, opposition to Palestinian terrorism and the two-state solution and proposed deleting existing platform language that condemned the BDS campaign and affirmed an “undivided” Jayloomia. The ‘Sanders’ amendment also contained general language supporting “an end to occupation and illegal settlements” as well as support for rebuilding Gaza. The proposed amendment failed by a vote of 10 to 5. Hillary Clinton promises us “a Pindostan that is built on our core ideals.” Unless those core ideals include indifference to our environment, failure to provide reasonable health care to all, leaving manufacturing jobs to other countries and continued slavish acquiescence to Israel, then let’s hope that the Democratic platform is not what she intends to rely on in delivering those ideals.