Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Hillary News & Views 5.17.16: Debating Donald, DC, the Sour Grapes Revolution, and the Trump Voter


Today's Hillary News & Views begins with the latest on the general election matchup between Clinton and Trump.

Clinton imagined a debate between the two of them on the campaign trail yesterday:

Clinton ridiculed Trump’s obsession over the nineties and complete lack of seriousness.

Politico reports:
“Now some people might say, oh you know, all anybody wants to hear is just ‘I’m gonna do it, but I’m not tellin’ you what I’m gonna do,’” Clinton said, referring to Trump. “See, I don’t believe that. Maybe in the preliminaries in the Republican primary that’s all they wanted to hear, but Americans take their vote for president seriously. And they’re going to be looking at their TV screen and saying, ‘He still doesn’t have anything to tell us? Wait a minute.’”
Clinton then referred to her record on job creation, remarking, “I think my husband did a heck of a job back in the ’90s.”
Minutes later, Clinton discussed Trump’s tax proposals, which she said would increase national debt, raise interest rates and suppress economic growth.
“He’s gone so far as to say he wants to renegotiate the federal debt of the United States of America,” she said, to boos in the audience. “You know, this is not a real-estate deal. The full faith and credit of the United States of America is one of our most valuable assets as a nation.”
Meanwhile, her foreign policy adviser outlined their framing of Trump’s policies in that area.

Politico reports:
Hillary Clinton and her campaign officials so far have focused on Donald Trump’s tax plan and the economy as they begin the difficult task of defining and attacking the presumptive Republican nominee.
But on Monday evening, Clinton’s senior policy adviser, Jake Sullivan, began to outline how the campaign will take on Trump's "America First" foreign policy, calling him a “tremendously dangerous risk” and someone who vacillates wildly on his basic beliefs.
“It is very, very difficult to pin down where he stands on a lot of these policies,” said Sullivan, who participated in an hourlong foreign policy discussion with former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, president of the Asia Society Policy Institute, at the Asia Society in Manhattan.
“He’ll say on the one hand, the Chinese are eating our lunch, and on the other hand, we have all the leverage in the world to make the Chinese do exactly what we want,” Sullivan said. “On the one hand, we should sit down with the Russians. ... on the other hand, if I need to, I’ll just shoot down Russian fighter jets. He says on the one hand, the United States can do whatever it wants, wherever it wants, for whatever purpose it wants. On the other hand, we’re doing too much and we can’t do all that.”
Sullivan, Clinton’s top national security and foreign policy adviser, warned that Trump’s statements that more countries should be able to obtain nuclear weapons “has the very real risk of sparking a nuclear arms race, and also makes it increasingly likely that terrorists will get their hands on nuclear weapons, which is the greatest threat that the United States faces.”
He added that Trump created more risk by saying we “should simply order our military officers, against the law, to kill the families of terrorists. He has said many things along those lines. If you add up the totality, however you slice it, whichever pieces you accept, the picture that is painted is one of a tremendously dangerous risk.”

Washington D.C. is ready for Hillary.

Washington Post reports:
D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton and 10 D.C. Council members endorsed Hillary Clinton for president ahead of the city’s June 14 Democratic primary, according to the Democratic front-runner’s campaign. 
The announcement came as no surprise because many of the city’s top leaders had already publicly pledging their support for Clinton. Bowser has used her Twitter account to publicize local Clinton campaign events. And in September, council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) introduced Clinton at an event at Foundry United Methodist Church and promised that he and his three daughters would be voting for her.
“Hillary Clinton has long been a friend to the District, supporting full autonomy and voting representation in Congress,” D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson said in a news release from the Clinton campaign. “She is also a proven national leader.”
The D.C. Democratic primary has 45 delegates up for grabs. Twenty delegates have already been pledged to Clinton. Early polling shows that  Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont could hit the 15 percent threshold needed to win at least a few of the remaining delegates.
The outrageousness in Nevada has dire implications for the party convention in Philadelphia, not to mention the remainder of the primary season.

Jon Ralston writes of “The Sour Grapes Revolution:
The Vermont senator, prodded by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, who feared unrest at the state confab after a hard-fought caucus battle, talked of  “transformational change in America through honest and dignified discussion of the issues” and emphasized “working together respectfully and constructively” to defeat Donald Trump in November.
What ensued at the Paris Hotel the following day was anything but honest and dignified and everything but respectful and constructive as dozens of Sanders delegates exploded in anger at what they called an anti-democratic attempt to steal the convention from them.
By the time hotel security shut down the event late Saturday evening, the Sanders delegates had hurled ugly epithets at Clinton surrogate Barbara Boxer, and used a sign to block her from being shown on big screens; screamed vulgarities at state Chairwoman Roberta Lange, who later received death threats after Sanders sympathizers posted her cell phone number and home address online; and threw chairs at the stage as they rushed forward to try to take control of a convention they had lost, just as Sanders was defeated at the Feb. 20 by Clinton in in a decisive result.
The next day, a group of Sanders supporters protested at the state Democratic Party headquarters and scrawled messages ('Murdered democracy" and "You are scum" among them) on the outside walls and nearby sidewalks.
Sanders, who had national campaign operatives on the floor at the Paris, has yet to comment on the near-riot his local operatives enabled as they poured gas on a fire that started with a lawsuit against the party and ignited after arguments about rules, voice votes and rejected delegates.
Despite their social media frothing and self-righteous screeds, the facts reveal that the Sanders folks disregarded rules, then when shown the truth, attacked organizers and party officials as tools of a conspiracy to defraud the senator of what was never rightfully his in the first place. Instead of acknowledging they were out-organized by a Clinton campaign chastened by county convention results and reanimated to cement the caucus numbers at the Paris, the Sanders folks have decided to cry conflagration in a crowded building, without regard to what they burn down in the process.
The passion coursing through the Sanders movement, well documented in Nevada and elsewhere, has only grown more intense – and at time irrationally directed – as the inevitability of a Clinton nomination has become clear. The senator’s inability – or refusal – to tamp down the grassroots uprising he has engendered, even when it veers off a productive course, surely stems from his genuine surprise at his viability and his frustration with the Clinton machine.
Sanders is still going to lose the nomination by a little something called math, barring anything unforeseen. And are Bilbray, Morelli and other Berniebots going to make the Nevada Democratic Party better by filling slots to take control of an organization that has dominated Nevada politics and been copycatted by Republicans? What exactly do they bring to the table except blind fury and guaranteed disorganization? (Will Bilbray run the party like her congressional campaign? If so, Nevada will be red for years to come.)
I have little doubt that Lange was given orders from Reidworld to try to keep order and not let the Sanders delegates take over. So what?
Does this merit the Sanders folks posting he personal information so she is getting death threats and messages that they know where her grandchild goes to school?
Clinton has a difficult needle-threading job keeping the Sanders voters in the tent as she moves toward November. But if Sanders does not soon disavow what his team here has overseen -- and even the senator may not be able to douse the wildfire he lit -- there is no reason to believe that what happened at the Paris in May will not happen at the Wells Fargo Center in July.
New York Times reports:
Thrown chairs. Leaked cellphone numbers. Death threats spewed across the Internet. 
No, this is not the work of Donald J. Trump supporters, some of whom have harassed critics of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. It was angry supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders who were directing their ire at the Nevada Democratic Party — and its chairwoman, Roberta Lange — over a state convention on Saturday that they think was emblematic of a rigged political system.
“It’s been vile,” said Ms. Lange, who riled Sanders supporters by refusing their requests for rule changes at the event in Las Vegas. “It’s been threatening messages, threatening my family, threatening my life, threatening my grandchild.”
The vicious response has come as millions of new voters, many of whom felt excluded by establishment politicians, have flocked to the insurgent campaigns of Mr. Sanders and Mr. Trump. Mr. Trump has all but locked up the nomination, but many backers of Mr. Sanders remain enraged as his hopes of being the Democratic candidate dwindle.
Although Hillary Clinton won the Nevada caucuses in February, the Sanders campaign worked hard to win delegates at county conventions and was hopeful that it could emerge from the state with an equal number of delegates or more. But the state convention, held at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel, deteriorated into chaos after nearly 60 of Mr. Sanders’s potential delegates were deemed ineligible amid a dispute over the rules. The convention concluded abruptly after security staff no longer felt it could ensure the safety of the participants, many of whom were yelling and throwing things.
Politico reports:
“I think maybe Nevada is a little bit of a wake-up call” to party leaders, warned West Virginia Democratic Vice Chairman Christopher Regan. "If every state chair is not talking about how we can make sure that doesn't happen in our state, [for] those that have yet to go, you're just not doing your job."
In interviews with state Democratic chairs and other party leaders in roughly a dozen states — some of whom back Sanders, and some who support Clinton — the consensus is that the Nevada meltdown was an anomaly. But many worry that it might also be a harbinger of trouble at upcoming state conventions, and perhaps even the July national convention in Philadelphia.
“It is really important for [Sanders], if it’s clear to him by the time the convention starts — and that’s likely to happen — [that Clinton has won], that he send messages to his supporters through his lieutenants, through the heads of his delegations, that if Secretary Clinton has the necessary delegates, then we’ll have a roll call,” said former Pennsylvania governor and DNC chairman Ed Rendell, the convention chairman and a veteran Clinton ally, conceding that a fight over the party’s platform would still be likely.
“I hope Senator Sanders would understand that he is not only damaging his own reputation and standing, but also doing harm to the Democratic Party, unless he encourages his supporters to be more genteel in their protest,” said Don Fowler, the Democratic National Committee chairman from 1995 to 1997.
In Nevada, Saturday’s convention fell into disarray even after Sanders and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid — the state’s leading Democrat — issued statements Friday urging a calm, respectful event following fraught county conventions last month.
While many of the state Democratic conventions have gone off without a hitch this year — both in states won by Clinton and by Sanders — the contentiousness surrounding Nevada had some precedent.
In Colorado’s April convention, Clinton-backing Sen. Michael Bennet was drowned out by Sanders backers chanting “change your vote,” referring to his role as a super delegate. More recently in Maine, where Sanders won the state’s caucuses by a 2-1 margin but a majority of the state’s 5 super delegates back Clinton, the Democratic convention approved a proposal forcing super delegates to proportionally align their support with the caucus results. Sanders supporters in the crowd booed and yelled “sellout” and “go back to Massachusetts” at former Congressman Barney Frank, when he called on them to unite behind Clinton.
Associated Press reports:
"We believe, unfortunately, that the tactics and behavior on display here in Nevada are harbingers of things to come as Democrats gather in Philadelphia in July for our National Convention," Schrager wrote. "We write to alert you to what we perceive as the Sanders campaign's penchant for extra-parliamentary behavior — indeed, actual violence — in place of democratic conduct in a convention setting, and furthermore what we can only describe as their encouragement of, and complicity in, a very dangerous atmosphere that ended in chaos and physical threats to fellow Democrats." 
Several Sanders backers have condemned some of the threats against Lange and other actions Saturday. Former state assemblywoman Lucy Flores, a current congressional candidate, said in a statement: "There were actions over the weekend and at the Democratic convention that very clearly crossed the line. Progressives need to speak out against those: Making threats against someone's life, defacing private property, and hurling vulgar language at our female leaders."
State party offices remained closed Monday for security reasons after Sanders supporters posted Lange's home and business addresses, email and cell phone number online. Copies of angry and threatening texts to Lange were included with the letter.
Lange said she'd been receiving hundreds of profanity-laced calls and texts from inside and outside of the U.S., threatening her life and her family. Lange said the restaurant where she works has received so many calls it had to unplug the phone.
"It is endless, and the longer it goes the worse it gets," Lange said in an interview. "I feel threatened everywhere I go."
I’m tired of this not being called out across the board for what it is: the aggrieved entitlement of angry white males, the same toxic forces fueling Trump’s domination on the other side.

People of color and feminists have been calling this out, but far too many progressives are making excuses or remaining silent.

Ellie Mystal writes for Redline:
Let’s remember, pissed off white people are responsible for much of the bad treatment experienced by women and minorities. Policies that purport to help pissed off white men are often sold in opposition to policies that would benefit women and minorities. I don’t believe that the American dream is a zero-sum game, I do think that we can all move forward together. But when I see a crowd of screaming, angry white people, I don’t think “those guys are really passionate about racial justice and women’s rights.” Historically speaking, a mob of lightly educated white men is not good news for me.
And you want me to like Bernie because he appeals to those people?
You want me to go all in on SuperDelegates overturning the will of black and brown voters, as expressed in diverse primary after diverse primary, because Bernie has tapped into the angry white man vote? Have you Bernie supporters completely lost your minds? In what UNIVERSE am I supporting the guy who is being buoyed by “white rage” over the person who has won more votes without it?
Bernie is telling us that he can essentially re-direct an angry mob of white people, and sic them on their true enemy. Trump is telling this same group of people that “the Hispanics” are to blame for their problems. Or China. Bernie offers “the banks” as responsible for their problems. Or global trade. Both of them play into the central conceit of the white male voter: that something was taken from them, by somebody else, and they have to fight to get it back.
The only way the Democrats can lose this election is if they make it about the Trump voter. Fuck the Trump voter. This election is about more than who white people should blame for losing jobs that they never shared with women and minorities anyway. I really don’t give a good Goddamn about who the Downtrodden Coal-Miners Union of ‘Merica thinks will be best at turning back the clock to 1956.
Bernie Sanders is, of course, welcome to continue to fight on behalf of disaffected white people everywhere. But he can’t be the nominee. He can’t go to the convention and argue that his pissed off white support is somehow more valid than all the votes and all the delegates Hillary has won from a far more diverse cross section of the Democratic party. White people are no longer the dispositive affinity group in the Democratic party tent. Sorry guys. This is how it feels like when you have to make friends with other interest groups in order to get ahead. I’m sure the LGBT community has a pamphlet or something that you can read.
And a couple of Tweets along the same lines:
I'm calling out the sexism. I’m calling out the lies. I’m calling out the privilege. And I’m calling out any attempts to cast doubts on the legitimacy of the nomination that Clinton has won fairly and decisively. Enough is enough. — Lysis

1 comment:

  1. I agree with Marcotte in that sexism is indeed part of the Democratic primary. The idea of a woman winning the contest over a man and his mostly male staff is creating sour grapes. I used to think this was mostly on the Republican side but it's definitely there on the Dem side. It was as well when Obama ran against Clinton - but nothing to the extent of the Sanders' followers. It's probably not the vast majority of them, but definitely a vocal minority. It's shameful. Where is the respect?