Less than a week before its official launch on Wednesday, Bernie Sanders’ new political group is working its way through an internal war that led to the departure of digital director Kenneth Pennington and at least four others from a team of 15, and the return of presidential campaign manager Jeff Weaver as the group’s new president.
… the thing is that I ought to have been thrilled by Bernie Sanders’ candidacy. He announced the day before my forty-second birthday; what a gift, right? Until the Bern scorched the landscape, most people thought of me as something of a leftist. It’s a little hard to tell anyone what to think of that notion at present, but I am and remain a cynical revolutionary, and thus the decision to wait, to see what Bernie brought before jumping on the bandwagon, feels more than simply justified.
Toward that last: The Southern Decision needed no justification; the Southern Excuse, while not only virtually guaranteed, no matter what they came up with, to make the Southern Decision appear to need justification, what they actually came up with was insidious; the bit about moaning didn’t sit well with me but probably made little difference to the outcome; the NYDN interview was the sort of debacle that sinks a campaign regardless of anything else going on. That is to say, in order: Tactical decisions are tactical decisions; if you’re going to make an excuse for a tactical decision that needs no such justification and, furthermore, was actually the appropriate choice just, you know, don’t … I mean, come on, really? Must I say it? Look, maybe you think you can get away with telling women to quit moaning about bigotry, but you do not attempt to delegitimize black voters in these United Statesα. And in the end, while we try to spare the candidates this or that blame for their supporters, here’s the thing: While the #BernieBro problem was its own problem unto itself, what those pathetic jokers had in common with, say, my particular social circle of Sanders supportersβ was a shared inability to offer up any manner of coherent policy discussion, and while that is what it is in its own right, and not something we can necessarily blame on the candidate, it might help if Sen. Sanders could have offered a coherent policy discussion. The Daily News debacle was a self-inflicted tactical nuclear strike.
And while there is something to be said for adaptability, one might also think the functional problem about notions of branded revolution is obvious. Once again it seems wisdom suggests distance from this bandwagon, perhaps even to be measured in astronomical units.
There is a reason we didn’t have the numbers back when Bernie Sanders voted for the infamous “superpredators” crime bill; it’s also true Jesse Jackson won on points but Bill Clinton won on votes, and that’s why the Democratic Party followed a centrist―i.e., rightward―path to the White House.
These are different times, and perhaps different reasons, but the left simply didn’t have the numbers to push this slightly more liberalized approach through. And quite frankly, it’s not so much that we’re stuck with the same traditional Democratic Party bargain; we might be getting as close to its fulfillment as we ever will.
Meanwhile, this would-be Revolution should probably get its shit together, lest it quickly become yet another clearance bin brand.
I mean, really, please tell me you’re kidding. How … no, wait … Why should we come out and perpetually validate right-wing superstitions about the vapid, useless left?
α No, seriously: What the fuck, Bernie? What were you thinking?
β Aside from the one self-described “left libertarian” who pretty much confirmed our suspicion that his problem really is that Hillary Clinton is a woman.
Image note: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) speaks during his first campaign rally in Michigan at Eastern Michigan University 15 February 2016 in Ypsilanti, Michigan. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
Dovere, Edward-Isaac and Gabriel Debenedetti. “Bernie Sanders’ new group is already in turmoil”. Politico. 23 August 2016.