Monday, May 16, 2016

Senator Sanders: Step Up or Get Out

I really cannot understate how serious the situation has become with some supporters of Bernie Sanders. Thanks to the ongoing disaster in Nevada, we've now reached the critical point where the senator himself must take a stand to insure that the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia doesn't descend into outright disaster and threaten our probable victory in November.

To quickly recap, Hillary Clinton beat Bernie Sanders in the Nevada caucuses on February 20th by over five points. The people of Nevada turned out, their voices were heard, and Hillary won fair and square. Also, it was estimated at the time that she would come out ahead in pledged delegates 20-15.

Since then, the Sanders campaign has been intent on overturning the will of the voters by snatching delegates away from Clinton at recent county conventions and finally at the state convention last Saturday. However, when Hillary emerged with the predicted five-delegate edge by following the rules (which seems only fair since, you know, she won the Nevada caucuses in the first place), the convention turned into a violent, offensive and dismaying disaster

It would be bad enough if this fiasco only lasted one day. But if anything it's gotten even worse since then, with the New York Times reporting that the situation has moved on to outright death threats against the chair of the Nevada Democratic Party:
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.”
And what was the Sanders campaign's official response?
Michael Briggs, a spokesman for Mr. Sanders, said the Vermont senator did not condone violence of any kind. However, he said the campaign was still determining whether it would challenge the Nevada results.
“The senator believes that the Democratic Party all over the country would serve its own interests better if it were to figure out a way to welcome people who have been energized and excited by his campaign into the party,” Mr. Briggs said. “It would behoove the party to be more welcoming and engage those people.”
Hey cool, Senator Bernie Sanders doesn't condone violence...good to know! But where's the call for respect, civility and calm in the midst of our continuing democratic process? Nowhere to be found. Just a vague threat that such behavior might continue if they don't get their way.

Here's more from Mr. Briggs, in which he demonstrates that his tone in the NYT statement was no accident:
"Unfortunate tension"? You have got to be kidding me.

Nevada political guru Jon Ralston has much more on this, including a formal complaint from Nevada Democrats and audio of some of the horrific voice messages in question:
We've reached the point where strong Sanders supporters like Nevada congressional candidate Lucy Flores must plead for basic civility. We've reached a state of affairs so sad that a proud Bernie voter like journalist Charles P. Pierce must now urge the senator to pack up and go home. And they certainly aren't only ones who've had enough of this destructiveness.

Over the past several weeks, I've tried to take it easy on Bernie and focus instead on defeating Donald Trump as part of one big progressive family. But sadly, for the second time in two weeks, he has made such a shift in tone impossible to maintain.

Is this really how Sanders wants to end his momentous and influential run for the presidency? If not, the time has come for the senator himself to make crystal clear that such behavior by any of his supporters is not only "unfortunate" but also completely unacceptable. Violence and intimidation over a few delegates will not win him the nomination, it has no place in the Democratic Party, and furthermore it will only serve to hurt Bernie's legacy in the end.

I'm greatly looking forward to long-overdue words from the senator urging peace, respect and good citizenship among his supporters. But if Sanders refuses to step up and do the right thing, then he should simply get out of the race and get out of the way as the rest of us unite for a win in November.

We're waiting, Bernie.


  1. The Democratic Party HAS figured out a way to "welcome his supporters"...They are welcome to RE-REGISTER AS A DEMOCRAT, by the deadline date for their State's Primary and then they can vote for Sen Sanders! It's very simple, it's how ALL voter's are treated, equally and fair.

  2. I would love to welcome the 'new blood' but every time I reach out, my hand is slapped away. I'll be in Philadelphia, and I hope Bernie has corralled his storm troopers by then.

  3. This is so absurd and hypocritical. Bernie Sanders says it's the work of the Democratic party, not of him and his people, togive these thugs a place to plug in. It reminds me of Jane Sander's mismanagement of Burlington College, where she vastly overestimated their donor support, and now that college has closed due to bankruptcy after 44 years. I don't want a mob to join the Democratic party. It would bankrupt our party, and we would end up like the Republican party. These people go completely against my philosophy of peace, love and understanding. Their philosophy is by whatever means necessary. And all this for 4 delegates? Come on. My little grandchildren don't throw these kinds of ugly temper tantrums.

  4. Part 1: Scan, you did try hard to see Bernie as having a positive if inscrutable plan. This is not ‘08, after Barack had what MSNBC then reported as an insurmountable lead when the press only asked Hillary when she was dropping out (But then Bernie is a man, you have to show respect to the man.)

    Maddow is reporting perplexed, but not reporting bernie-facts. As far as analysis only MSNBC’s girl Republican, Nicolle Wallace, notes the difference between the way Hillary was hounded in ‘08, and the way Bernie is deferred to now. Only Wallace calls it what it is, sexism.

    Those nasties are garden-variety Bernie’s bots, those who have been donating to him based on his smearing of Hillary and playing her victim. He’ll never chide them, he loves them. He says he’ll do anything to beat Donald, but means he’ll never give up trying to destroy Hillary and the down-tickets who would go down with her in his vain effort to ‘become’ the nominee. (And if it worked and Donald won, he’d claim the fault was the DNC not appointing him the nominee, wont’ be his fault, he did his best to beat Donald.)

  5. Part 2: Bernie has always been in it for himself. He has no college degree and no work history before he was elected a small down mayor when he was thirty. No wonder his father would have been shocked he’s gotten so far in his scam (that it seems his dad would have enjoyed). He’s always played the system to live off other people’s money, to work as little as possible.

    He moved to Vermont to live off the land. When he had a job, he’d keep it only long enough to qualify for unemployment. (To be fair, that was ‘the way of the hippie’ back then, work six months, get a fake job for a friend who would lay you off, then the first employer has to pay the unemployment benefit for as long as it lasted.) Someone should ask him, but don’t hold your breath.

    After a string of losses, he first won as mayor by one vote, and then kept winning by being colorful. Like many small town mayors he took lots free trips, hired his friends, and lived off his salary supplemented by per diams. He did take Jane to Russia for their honeymoon on the public dime, he combined it with an unnecessary trip to an unnecessary Bernie-designated Russian sister city, he probably paid her for her time. He did travel to Sandinista Nicaragua the same free way. (Probably why he took that trip to Rome, when he had the campaign expense chance. It can become a habit to never pass up anything free.)

    He then managed to win in congress, and when he ran for the Senate he was a Democrat for the primary to avoid a Democratic challenger in the general, but switched back to independent for the general election. A bernie-trick he’s running again now. Vermont is tiny and white and poor, and they like to feel special, Vermont has many individualists, Like Maine and Minnesota they elect their cranks, they’re proud to be badly served.

    He considered running in 2014, but he waited until it was clear Elizabeth would not run, although he met with her early on, to make double sure. He didn’t start the negative stuff until Biden announced he would not run, shortly after the first debate. Since then it’s all been negative or defensive, playing the victim, while himself cheating.

    He’s accepted over-the-legal limit donations and illegal foreign donations. His campaign broke into the DNC data base and seems they down-loaded Hillary’s proprietary algorithms. He’s used out-of-context lines to suggest newspaper endorsement’s Hillary got. Whenever he lost he either discounted the loss or claimed cheating. He’s consistently lied, one glaring example his claim he has brought in millions of new voters. (He hasn’t, that would be Donald.) Concession isn’t one of his vocabulary words.

    His main campaign occupation has been fundraising and that’s also his biggest expense, he’s built no campaign infrastructure, he has nothing useful to show for his donations.

    And he still gets away it because the press doesn’t report his dishonesty, so he’s still widely seen as an honest man, and because of that his lies are believed. His game plan is to destroy her and run in her place, (hey, it’s worked before). Getting the nomination is also the only way to avoid returning the illegal donations without having to prove to the FEC he’s complied with the law. And I don’t think he has enough in the bank to return that money. He may even run third party, to keep from returning those illegal donations.

    Bernie would and can never deliver his avid and nasty supporters to a rational candidate. Whoever’s still on bernie-board is now spoiled goods.

  6. He didn't step up. He dug the trench deeper. THIS STATEMENT IS SO FULL OF LIES THAT ARE CONTRARY TO REALITY, that I have no words - I've been posting about this all weekend and we HAVE HIS DELEGATES VILE BEHAVIOR ON VIDEO! CLEARLY, he's not going change or call on his people to moderate their barbaric and childish behavior - in point of fact, he's encouraging it - clearly. Let's hope we learn the lesson to NEVER AGAIN allow a non-Democrat to run in our primary! UGH!

    (Statement) Sanders Statement on Nevada
    MAY 17, 2016
    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday issued the following statement:
    “It is imperative that the Democratic leadership, both nationally and in the states, understand that the political world is changing and that millions of Americans are outraged at establishment politics and establishment economics. The people of this country want a government which represents all of us, not just the 1 percent, super PACs and wealthy campaign contributors.
    “The Democratic Party has a choice. It can open its doors and welcome into the party people who are prepared to fight for real economic and social change – people who are willing to take on Wall Street, corporate greed and a fossil fuel industry which is destroying this planet. Or the party can choose to maintain its status quo structure, remain dependent on big-money campaign contributions and be a party with limited participation and limited energy.
    “Within the last few days there have been a number of criticisms made against my campaign organization. Party leaders in Nevada, for example, claim that the Sanders campaign has a ‘penchant for violence.’ That is nonsense. Our campaign has held giant rallies all across this country, including in high-crime areas, and there have been zero reports of violence. Our campaign of course believes in non-violent change and it goes without saying that I condemn any and all forms of violence, including the personal harassment of individuals. But, when we speak of violence, I should add here that months ago, during the Nevada campaign, shots were fired into my campaign office in Nevada and apartment housing complex my campaign staff lived in was broken into and ransacked.
    “If the Democratic Party is to be successful in November, it is imperative that all state parties treat our campaign supporters with fairness and the respect that they have earned. I am happy to say that has been the case at state conventions in Maine, Alaska, Colorado and Hawaii where good discussions were held and democratic decisions were reached. Unfortunately, that was not the case at the Nevada convention. At that convention the Democratic leadership used its power to prevent a fair and transparent process from taking place. Among other things:
    The chair of the convention announced that the convention rules passed on voice vote, when the vote was a clear no-vote. At the very least, the Chair should have allowed for a headcount.
    The chair allowed its Credentials Committee to en mass rule that 64 delegates were ineligible without offering an opportunity for 58 of them to be heard. That decision enabled the Clinton campaign to end up with a 30-vote majority.
    The chair refused to acknowledge any motions made from the floor or allow votes on them.
    The chair refused to accept any petitions for amendments to the rules that were properly submitted.
    “These are on top of failures at the precinct and county conventions including trying to depose and then threaten with arrest the Clark County convention credentials chair because she was operating too fairly.”'s the statement from the Sander's camp on this:

    1. he needs to be outed, someone in media has to start providing research on this creep.