Friday, May 20, 2016

DNC Throws Sanders a Bone. But Will his Supporters accept it?

"Two sources familiar with the situation say the DNC plans to offer Sanders a "concession" in the form of seats on a critical convention committee tasked with crafting the party's platform, per the Washington Post. The goal: to bridge the growing gap between the two camps. It's become what US News frames as a "family feud," most recently fueled by chaos at last weekend's Nevada Democratic Convention, when Sanders supporters were said to have thrown chairs and become hostile toward organizers. Some Sanders devotees have also accused the party of rigging the nomination process to ensure Hillary wins.
Sanders has called for the party to "do the right thing" and embrace his supporters, some of whom have warned there may be protests at the convention if their concerns aren't heard. He also penned a letter to DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz earlier in May asking for seats for his own people on three important convention committees—the platform group, as well as one for rules and one for credentials. For the 15-person platform committee, Sanders wanted it split right down the middle between his people and Hillary's, with one "neutral" rep of Wasserman Schultz's choosing. The unnamed Post sources say a final decision should come shortly and expect that while Sanders likely won't get the seven seats he's seeking, he'll end up with more than what the DNC originally allotted him." Source: Newser

Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired
It is coming to a head here.  The Democratic machine is being forced to make some concessions to Sanders due to the pressure of his base.  What will it mean if he wins California, something that is unlikely but if we have learned anything over the past year or two it is that we can't say for sure. What other concessions might he be offered?

What are Sanders' alternatives?  He could accept these, and further organizational concessions and call on his supporters to vote Hilary as he has pledged all along barring a huge victory for him in California. "We've had a good run, democracy has spoken" and all of that.  He could find himself unable to control the left wing of his base if he isn't aware of that already and be backed in to a corner facing a choice of breaking with them or breaking from the Party and forming a left pro-capitalist alternative which again appears unlikely. Could a disenchanted section of the base without Sanders form a left alternative as the base splits along class lines? Again, this is not likely and if occurred would most likely be inconsequential in my opinion.

If and when he calls on support for Clinton this will not sit well with that section of of his base that while pleased with some organizational reform will not support her and wants some of Sanders political and economic platform front and center. Where will they go? It is inevitable that some will turn to the Green Party which they should have done from the beginning refusing to support Sanders as a pro-capitalist politician, a supporter of US foreign policy etc. Read what we wrote on this here. *
In fact, many Greens switched to vote for Sanders, a practice the Green Party needs to address and put a stop to.  The Green Party is infiltrated by Democrats in that sense, people who are not serious about building the Green Party.

Others will hold their noses and vote for Clinton, the lesser of two evils approach to stop Trump.  This approach has been used and failed for decades to stop Reagan, Mondale, Bush, another Bush, etc. Workers have continued the downward spiral under both Republican and Democratic administrations. And there will be others who will withdraw from political activity in disgust.

Who is the choice of big business, the 1%, more directly, the ruling class in the US? At this point it is clearly Hillary Clinton. She has the skills, the experience, and the ruthlessness to carry out the policies of US capitalism at home and imperialist policies abroad. She is trusted by them as being able to steer their party in the right direction and look after their interests; she is a war criminal of some note. The majority of the ruling class, at this point anyway, believes she is the only person that can defeat Trump.  Clinton will get the African American vote, the Latino vote. She will win the vast majority of women and the labor bureaucracy will not break from this party's machine decisively for someone like Sanders. 

As we pointed out on this blog earlier, two of the  most prominent global war criminals and representatives of the US bourgeois met with Trump this past week in order to feel him out and see if he can be relied on to act more collectively in the interests of their class and that he is not simply an uncontrollable maverick. These would be Henry Kissinger and James Baker.  For Trump it could be too late given the racist, misogynistic statements he has made but more important for the US capitalist class is differences on trade and economic questions. 

Facts For Working People has pointed out that both Cheney and Charles Koch have made statements favorable to Hillary Clinton as the candidate and even the hard core misogynists among them will choose her over Trump or anyone else if their economic interests are secured and Clinton is the most favored to accomplish this as was Obama.

One thing is certain is that the Democratic Party cannot be reformed, cannot become an independent party of workers and the middle class. Even sanders doesn't think so. What he is seeking is a more democratic Democratic Party and capitalism with a human face. In that sense he is no threat to the 1% or the Wall Street power behind the Democratic Party at all. But it's like any similar situation,  not unlike the trade union officialdom that refuse to mobilize the potential power of their 12 million members. It's one thing to bring these forces together, it's another to control what they want and what they will do to get it. 

Sanders is faced with a similar dilemma. Can he control his supporters?

These are just some of the issues we have been discussing in our weekly conferences here at Facts For Working People. One thing we have learned is that we cannot be sure about a lot of things. We are in a special period, the situation is quite volatile and we are seeing developments in both of the big capitalist parties that threaten to split either one or both of them.  One reality is that the bourgeois still rule society and despite its competing sections with varying ideas of how they should rule, it is a given that ferocious discussions are taking place among the elite about how to manage this situation. It's a pesky thing conceding the right to vote to the masses, even if you have two political parties and the people have none, sometimes, like the Palestinians in Gaza, they don't vote for the people the ruling power wants them to.

* We should add that this is not a statement fixed in stone and with resources we would have undoubtedly taken objective developments in to account and revised it accordingly.

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