Another Day of the Sanders Campaign, Another Sad Trombone

Hilbot though I be, I seriously doubt there’s anything revelatory in the Sanders campaign finances beyond their embarrassing amateurism. The Senator has been puttering happily along in his Green Mountain fiefdom for many years, from the evidence so far on the record-keeping equivalent of a three-ring binder ledger and a cigar box marked Petty Cash. It’s never been a big deal for his staff to back-reconcile a bunch of line items for Misc and Other at the end of the financial year. And a government salary that seems paltry to Congressfolk from states like New York or California is comparative wealth in poor underpopulated Vermont — unless he’s made some spectacularly bad investments or nursed some unsuspected high-dollar addiction, Bernie’s no doubt set aside a tidy sum for his retirement and his kids. Knowledgeable numbers people have speculated he might even be a millionaire, on paper… no crime, even for a politician, but an embarrassing reveal for someone running as The Populist Peoples’ Candidate.

Bernie never expected his campaign to go beyond drawing attention to his favorite issues; he certainly didn’t prepare in advance for the scrutiny that comes with a real presidential campaign. His troops were heavy on enthusiasm, light on experience / expertise. There’s bound to be a certain amount of under-documentation, some questionable overspending, maybe even a little of the impulsive hand-in-the-cash-drawer minor splurges that drew so much attention to the Palin family in the summer of 2008. Nothing — up till now — that would draw more than a stern rebuke and maybe some fines from the FEC…

In today’s Washington Post, an op-ed from William M. Daley, “former commerce secretary [under Bill Clinton] and White House chief of staff [to President Obama]”, “Bernie Sanders’s stubbornness is a big mistake” —

Bernie Sanders is making a big and potentially dangerous mistake with his continuing insistence on changes to the Democratic Party’s rules and platform. I should know. As chairman of Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign, I understand too well where such ideological stubbornness can lead.

Back then, many progressives insisted on backing third-party candidate Ralph Nader despite warnings it would undercut the Democratic nominee. Nader received 97,421 votes in Florida, which Gore lost by 537 votes. The result? President George W. Bush, who championed ill-advised tax cuts, the invasion of Iraq and other actions we now deeply regret.

Sanders made an energetic bid for the Democratic nomination, drawing big crowds and fueling debates on important topics such as income disparity. Although he lost to Hillary Clinton, Sanders is pushing his agenda to the party convention and insisting on “reforms” in a Democratic nominating process he describes as seriously defective.

Sanders is wrong to suggest the Democratic Party’s nominating system is seriously defective. It isn’t. It’s eminently fair to let party members (i.e., registered Democrats) select the nominee, and to give party loyalists and elected officials (superdelegates) a modestly bigger say…

Key Democratic constituencies, including the Congressional Black Caucus and Congressional Hispanic Caucus, strongly support superdelegates. “Our delegate selection process is not rigged,” Rep. James E. Clyburn (S.C.), a senior leader of the Black Caucus, wrote in a letter to colleagues. “It is transparent to the public and open for participation.”

Clinton beat Sanders fair and square. She won more states, more delegates (pledged and super), and 3.7 million more votes than he did…

… Democrats have won the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections. In 2008, after losing a hard-fought primary to Barack Obama, Clinton promptly endorsed him and campaigned for him. In contrast, Sanders — who refused to even call himself a Democrat until this election — has yet to endorse Clinton. He says she, not he, is responsible for persuading his supporters to back her.

Every vote counts. Sanders should accept the primary outcome and enthusiastically rally his supporters to Clinton’s side to avoid a catastrophic Donald Trump presidency.

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And the Horse He Rode in On, etc.

Some cranky old coot wrote an op-ed that appeared in the New York Times today. He opened his piece by citing appalling statistics on wealth inequality. Current Democratic President Barack Obama has sounded similar themes throughout his two terms in office, including a speech in 2013 in which he called income inequality “the defining challenge of our time:”

President Obama on Wednesday pointed to a combination of growing income inequality and a lack of upward mobility as “the defining challenge of our time,” arguing the government should take further steps to reverse a decades-long trend that has widened the gap between the nation’s richest citizens and everyone else.

“The basic bargain at the heart of our economy has frayed,” Mr. Obama said. He repeated later in his speech that “the combined trends of increased inequality and decreasing mobility pose a fundamental threat to the American dream, our way of life, and what we stand for around the globe.”

Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has made wealth inequality a central focus of her campaign as well, including in this speech in 2015 that echoes President Obama’s themes:

Mrs. Clinton said “the defining economic challenge of our time” is raising incomes for the vast majority of Americans whose wages have remained virtually stagnant for 15 years as the costs of housing, college, child care and health care have soared.

“We must raise incomes for hard­working Americans so they can afford a middle­class life,” Mrs. Clinton said in a speech at the liberal New School in Greenwich Village in New York. “That will be my mission from the first day I’m president to the last.”

In his NYT op-ed today, the cranky old coot also cited lack of access to healthcare as a core problem, noting that 28 million people don’t have coverage. You know how many Americans were uninsured in 2008? More than 49 million.

The cranky old coot’s op-ed is entitled “Democrats Need to Wake Up,” and it concludes with this paragraph:

In this pivotal moment, the Democratic Party and a new Democratic president need to make clear that we stand with those who are struggling and who have been left behind. We must create national and global economies that work for all, not just a handful of billionaires.

Not once does the cranky old coot mention the name of the popular two-term Democratic president who orchestrated the largest top-down transfer of wealth in the history of the United States via the ACA: President Barack Obama.

Not once does the cranky old coot mention the name of the only human being on the planet who has a shot at continuing the push for more progressive policies as the Democratic nominee to follow President Obama: Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Not once does the cranky old coot mention the Republicans in Congress, who vowed from President Obama’s first day in office to make him a one-term president and have opposed and obstructed every attempt the president and Democrats in Congress have made to improve the lives of the poor and middle class — carrying on a decades-long tradition that was in full force in the 1990s, when they killed Hillary Clinton’s universal healthcare proposal and tried to hound her husband out of office over a blow job.

The cranky old coot did briefly allude to Donald Trump’s bigotry and demagoguery. But the true villain of the piece — the entity that is asleep at the switch, according to the cranky old coot — is the Democratic Party.

Fuck that cranky old coot. The end.

Late Night Crankypants Open Thread: Bernie, How Can We Miss You If You Won’t Go Away?

sanders dance of the seven veils toles

(Tom Toles via

The Washington Post informs us that Sanders has “put his stamp” on the DNC platform draft…

The draft policy rubric approved early Saturday is evidence of the sway Sanders holds after a bruising primary that technically has not ended. The language would move the Democratic Party to the left on issues ranging from wages to banking reform to climate change, and represents several concessions by presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton to her persistent primary rival.

Fourteen out of 15 members of a party drafting committee, including four chosen by Sanders, approved the draft document. Cornel West, an academic and activist named to the panel by Sanders, abstained. The draft document now goes to the larger platform committee for a vote next month.

Sanders plans to ask for further changes to the platform then, most likely prolonging the awkward status quo: He has lost but has not yet conceded defeat or endorsed Clinton. He said Friday he would endorse Clinton when he hears her say “the things that need to be said.”

“I don’t want to do anything as he ends his term to undercut the president of the United States,” [committe chair Rep. Elijah] Cummings said during the negotiation Friday.

West replied that the responsibilities of citizenship should transcend loyalty to the president…

Reacting to the committee’s progress Friday, before the draft was approved, Sanders pledged to ensure his views are reflected even if that means contesting party orthodoxy on the floor of the convention…

That’s the same way my neurotic little rescue dog attempts to “put his stamp” on the world — by pissing on anything he can’t see as immediately useful to himself. (Anyone want to poll President Obama’s approval rating among Democratic voters, as opposed to that of Senator Sanders? Anyone want to poll what percentage of those voters have even heard of Professor Cornell West?) Silly old git is hooked on his own grift, and of course the Media Village Idiots love the chance to fly their favorite Dems in Disarray flag again:

(CNN)Bernie Sanders said Friday he will likely vote for Hillary Clinton for president in November, the strongest expression of support yet from the Vermont senator, but he left the door open that he could change his mind…

“My job right now as a candidate is to fight to make sure that the Democratic Party not only has the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party, but that that platform is actually implemented by elected officials,” Sanders said on CNN.

He also declined to say whether the time will come that he fully endorses Clinton, saying he is waiting to see what she says about his priorities. He also would not say explicitly, when pressed by Cuomo, that she won the nomination fairly…

Thursday night:

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Bernie’s Not a Buster

It’s the most ungracious and begrudging “endorsement” I’ve ever seen in national politics, but Sanders affirms he WILL vote for Clinton:

Well, that’s one vote from the dead-enders.

PS: I hope Cole and his fellow West Virginians are okay. Scary storms in that area.

Wall Street Handmaiden Fails to Bolt to Center in Economics Speech

Did you see Hillary Clinton’s speech on economics today? I couldn’t watch it live and am still looking for a link to a transcript or video, but according to The Washington Post, Clinton “focused on largely familiar proposals, including measures to make college debt-free, increase corporate profit-sharing, expand access to child care and ensure that large companies and the ‘super rich’ pay their ‘fair share’ of taxes.” WaPo also said Clinton vowed to get “dark money” out of politics. That doesn’t sound like a Republican-Lite conservadem to me. Go figure.

Meanwhile, Trump gave a speech today in which he read whopper after big fat whopper off a teleprompter screen. And it seems to have dawned on Bernie Sanders that perhaps the primary outcome won’t be in his favor:

Sen. Bernie Sanders acknowledged for the first time Wednesday “it doesn’t appear” he’ll be the Democratic presidential nominee.

The Vermont senator, speaking during a taped C-SPAN interview, said his presidential campaign is negotiating on an “almost on a daily basis” with presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s team, urging her to stake out the most progressive positions she can on campaign finance reform, health care, higher education and the economy.

Sanders said he and Clinton have had “real differences of opinion.” But he said he’ll do everything he can to defeat presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump and bring as many people into the political process as possible.

“Our job now is to have her (Clinton) listen to what millions of people in this country who supported me want to see happen,” Sanders said during a wide-ranging hourlong interview with C-SPAN’s Steve Scully.

Jesus Fricasseed Christ and all 12 Cajun-Fried Apostles, I just cannot with the fucking Sanders ex-campaign anymore. Open thread!