Loving You Both Is Breaking All the Rules

I think some of you nerds like science fiction. I do too. Let me weave a dystopian tapestry before your wondering eyes and you can tell me what you think.

The year is 2020. There are now flying cars and cheeky robot companions. You have neither of these things. You have a slightly fancier phone and a couple of new shirts.

Your state’s primary has been pushed to the end of the season and its outcome will be pivotal. Democratic primary voters have said they will not go to Cochella. They will not go to Bonaroo. They won’t even go to Lollapalooza. The voters in the other 49 states have proclaimed that they want Paul Revere and the Raiders or The American Breed. This tortured analogy is trying to tell you they want Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders.

Let’s say that Joe has stayed his course  as the WWWC (Wooer of the White Working Class) candidate. Bernie has staked out the leftmost pragmatic position on all of your favorites: Healthcare, education, minimum wage, full employment.

And there you are, in the voting booth. Between Scylla and Charybdis. For whom do you pull the lever?

While you muse on this bummer episode of The Twilight Zone, please observe what I have in my other hand: It’s the fund that’s split between all eventual Democratic nominees in House districts currently held by Republicans.

Goal Thermometer

Late Night Open Thread: Berniewood-Dahwun Con

Gotta admit, from the reports I’m seeing, the “Peoples Summit” in Chicago is reminding me of my teenage years at early 1970s Star Trek conventions. Lots of fervent outsiders extremely hyped to have discovered — finally! — ‘our own kind’. Many hucksters, of varying quality and honesty. Formerly-low-Q-rating celebrities visibly wondering whether their new notoriety would be worth the costs. Skeptical stringers, looking for filler in default of screenworthy car crashes or fires. And a shadowy background of professional marketers considering how this novelty niche could best be… monetized.

Perhaps, as we would tell questioners later, you just had to be there to understand.

Dave Weigel, in the Washington Post:

Nearly a year after effectively conceding the Democratic presidential nomination, Sanders was the star of this year’s People’s Summit, which has quickly become the country’s largest progressive political conference. At least 4,000 people trekked to Chicago for a weekend of teach-ins, panels and dance parties. In a Saturday-night speech, Sanders planned to tell activists to charge ahead because “ideas that, just a few years ago, seemed radical and unattainable, are now part of Main Street discussion.”

But as Sanders used his star power to unite activists behind the Democrats, some debated whether the Democratic Party could ever be fixed to their liking. Faced with unified Republican control of Washington, progressives were less interested in simple unity than in a purity that they believed could win…

Stephen Jaffe, a 71-year-old Sanders supporter challenging House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi for the 2018 midterm elections, spent some of a Friday-night meet-and-greet debating the relevance of the party with would-be supporters.

“If the driver pulls the car into a ditch, you get a new driver,” said Jaffe.

“What if the car’s so banged up that no one wants it?” asked an organizer for a group that aimed to draft Sanders as an independent 2020 presidential candidate.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Sanders reiterated that he had become the Democrats’ outreach chair in the Senate; third-party politics in the wrong places would only split the movement, he said.

“Look, as the longest-serving independent member of Congress, I know something about that,” Sanders said. “Where my energy is right now is in fundamentally transforming the Democratic Party into a grass-roots progressive party.” And we’ll see where it goes.”

But the long hangover from the 2016 campaign has lingered. Melissa Byrne, a Sanders organizer who now serves on the Democratic National Committee’s transition committee, said she continues to spend time and energy persuading people not to abandon the party over bitterness about the DNC’s perceived slant toward Clinton…


Heck, why should the rightwing nut jobs be the only ones enjoying a cosplay “revolution”?

Defining the True Progressive (Pt. II): Not An Intentional Joke, Apparently…

‘Our Revolution’, it appears, will be carefully curated:

The People’s Summit is a conference with a goal. To express a set of ideas, values and priorities that reflect our political vision. So instead of a ‘first come, first serve’ registration process, we’re deliberate about who we want to attend. With that in mind, we’ve crafted an application process that allows us to get to know you better before we seal the deal.

We’re looking for organizers and activists, thinkers and doers, grassroots and grasstops. And we know that simply opening the doors to whoever can buy a ticket will result in a space that is too white, too old, too local (also too Chicago and nearby areas), too many paid staffers, and too many consultants.

So we’re asking for personal information about people who want to come not to exclude anyone – but to make sure the balance reflects who we want to be. Our movement is leaderful, accessible, safe, and reflects the diversity of our country.
Read more

Shows for Bros

You know who I wouldn’t want to trade jobs with right now? DNC chair Tom Perez. The first big test of his leadership is apparently gonna be how successfully he channels the Bern. Will he succeed? Does it make sense to pursue this strategy out of the gate? Fuckifino.

Perez and Sanders are doing a roadshow in red and purple states to gin up enthusiasm for rebuilding the party and taking on Trump. It’s officially called the “Come Together and Fight Back” tour. There’s an account of the first rally in Maine in the Portland Herald Press. A couple of quotes:

Perez: “The mission of the new DNC is not simply to elect the president of the United States. It is to elect Democrats from the school board to the Senate.”

Sanders: “Our job is to radically transform the Democratic Party . . . into a 50-state party and a party that does not continue to ignore half of the states in our country. Our job is to create a democratic party, a grassroots party where decisions are made up from the bottom on up, not from the top on down.”

As a neoliberal shill in the pocket of Big Democrat, I am immune to Sanders’ appeal. But I’m not the roadshow’s intended audience. The Democrats don’t have to coddle me to ensure I turn up to vote, but the Sandersites are more loosely affiliated. I’m trying to temper my reaction to the aspects of the roadshow I find irritating accordingly.

In that spirit, I will note that we’ve complained for years about the party’s too-narrow focus on federal offices (though we’ve quibbled over what the DNC’s proper role is in state party affairs). I agree with what Perez says above, and Sanders’ statement basically amounts to the same thing, with extra finger-wagging and pointing.

I’m going to trust that Perez knows what he’s doing and have faith that this roadshow is just the opening salvo, with different forms of outreach targeting women, minorities, etc., and robust voter suppression countermeasures to follow. Because dog knows, we can’t afford to fuck this up by fighting the last war.

Late-Night Open Thread: ‘Our’ Revolution Will Not Be Well-Organized

Jeff Weaver seems to have trouble making new friends. From Alex Seitz-Wald’s comprehensive NBC.com article:

As Bernie Sanders prepares to launch an organization meant to carry on his presidential campaign’s political revolution, it’s been jolted by legal questions, abrupt leadership changes and mass resignations.

The group, dubbed Our Revolution, is set to debut Wednesday evening. But eight of the group’s 13 or so staffers resigned over the weekend after former campaign manager Jeff Weaver was brought in to run the group. The remaining staffers, some of whom stayed for personal reasons, all sent letters to Sanders expressing concerns with Weaver and solidarity with those who quit.

The departures were first reported by Politico and BuzzFeed, but new details uncovered by NBC News from multiple sources close to matter reveal the depth of the turmoil inside the organization that controls Sanders’ lucrative email fundraising list and which many progressives hope will become a powerful force on the left wing of the Democratic Party…
Read more