Meanwhile, on the Democratic side …


… the Democratic party establishment is clumsily trying to undermine the Sanders campaign.

Today is the day of the third Democratic debate. (It will take place at 8:00pm Eastern Time and will be shown on ABC.) We have spoken about the struggle between the Republican party establishment and Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, and the difficulty the party has had in advancing the interests of its favorites Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. Less attention has been paid to the fact that the Democratic party establishment has been doing something similar, supporting Hillary Clinton and trying to counter the strong appeal of Bernie Sanders, especially among the young.

The establishment has tried to limit the number of debates, thinking that those favor Sanders, and scheduled them at low viewer times like today’s, since Saturday night is hardly a TV viewing night. Furthermore, it goes up against a NFL game at the same time. As a Sanders staffer said sarcastically, they must have scheduled it today because Christmas Eve was already booked. A previous debate was also on a Saturday, and the next one will be on Sunday.

But the latest move by the Democratic National Committee and its awful leader Debbie Wasserman-Schulz may have gone too far in trying to undermine Sanders, and it risks boomeranging on them.

The DNC immediately shut down access of the Sanders campaign to a Democratic party voter database because of allegations that someone in the Sanders camp had hacked into the Clinton section of it. While I don’t quite understand the details of it, the reaction seemed excessive and aimed at seriously harming the Sanders campaign and the Sanders camp immediately launched a lawsuit to force the DNC to give them access again. The latest report says that the DNC backed down.

Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign has regained access to the Democratic party’s master voter file after a day of conflict and litigation between the insurgent Vermont senator and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

Just hours after Sanders filed a lawsuit against the DNC, the national party agreed to restore the Sanders’ campaign access to a crucial voter database. In a statement, the campaign announced that the DNC “capitulated” and expressed its confidence that it would be able to return to normal by Saturday morning.

The DNC cut off its access to the all-important voter file, without which an effective presidential campaign cannot be run, on Wednesday after it was revealed that Sanders campaign staffers had improperly accessed confidential data belonging to the Clinton campaign. The staffers had been able to do so because of a glitch in the voter file during a routine software update by the vendor, NGP VAN.

Whatever one might think of his policies, there is no question that Bernie Sanders is one of the most honest and ethical people in politics (which is something no one says about the Clintons) and the idea that he would condone skullduggery is preposterous. The DNC move is a flagrant attempt to derail the Sanders campaign and has led to a lot of anger among Democratic voters.

As Ana Kasparian writes:

DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz might not explicitly state that the establishment is doing its best to bury Sanders and his anti-corporate policies, but her actions are as transparent as Lululemon’s yoga pants.

It’s not hard to see where Wasserman Schultz’s loyalty lies considering that she was Clinton’s co-chair during her unsuccessful run for President in 2008. The dirty tricks being played by the DNC have turned me off to Clinton so much that I would rather abstain from voting or choose a third party candidate than cast my ballot in her favor.

The DNC has to be careful. Sanders’s supporters are passionate. They know that the Democratic party is just the liberal wing of the single pro-oligarchy, pro-war party that rules the US. If you make them angry by employing the same kinds of dirty tricks that that the Republican party uses to suppress Democratic votes, they may well sit out the election.

Comments

  1. eternalstudent says

    Looking at the Republican field, thus election is the Democrats’ to lose. They are, however, very skilled at just that.

  2. doublereed says

    It’s impressive how underhanded the democrats are at undermining other democrats. If only they put this kind of effort towards beating the other guys.

  3. StevoR says

    The consequences of a loss this time for the Democratic party and a win for particular a fascist right Republican like Trump or Cruz are just horrific with really nasty long term implications – for the USA especially but also the rest of the world. I think a deal between Sanders and Hillary and the party winding up the internal race between them ASAP and just focusing on making sure Hillary Clinton becomes POTUS in 2016 would be really good. Sanders is probably close to unelectable with the US mainstream, Hillary Clinton is most electable and centrist and I think she’ll make an excellent and very pro-science and reality President. I’m pretty confident she’ll win but the risk of the extreme right getting in is a concern and I don’t think Bernies prolonged campaign is helping here.

  4. John Morales says

    StevoR, your opinion is noted for what it’s worth.

    (Perhaps release the Idiot’s Guide to the USA elections, by StevoR)

  5. Holms says

    The consequences of a loss this time for the Democratic party and a win for particular a fascist right Republican like Trump or Cruz are just horrific with really nasty long term implications – for the USA especially but also the rest of the world. I think a deal between Sanders and Hillary and the party winding up the internal race between them ASAP and just focusing on making sure Bernie Sanders becomes POTUS in 2016 would be really good. Clinton is close to indistinguishable from the US conservatives, Bernie Sanders is most electable and progressive and I think he’ll make an excellent and very pro-science and reality President. I’m pretty confident he’ll win but the risk of the extreme right getting in is a concern and I don’t think Hillary’s prolonged campaign is helping here.

    I improved that a bit for you, StevoR.

  6. Who Cares says

    Mano Singham said:

    While I don’t quite understand the details of it

    Fairly simple actually.
    The DNC was upgrading their computer systems. During a brief period while this upgrade was occurring security did not work (correctly). This allowed people access to parts of the system they shouldn’t have access to. One (or more) of the Sanders staffers did get access to material for the Clinton campaign.
    The reaction of the DNC was trying to play gotcha and instead of admitting that they (rather their contractor) messed up booted Sanders from the system demanding his campaign would prove a negative to get back on, even though the person who was responsible for this was already ‘kicked’ out by Sanders.

  7. Nick Gotts says

    Sanders is probably close to unelectable with the US mainstream, Hillary Clinton is most electable and centrist – StevoR@3
    What evidence we have from polls shows very little between them when matched against the plausible Republican candidates – and no grounds for complacency that either would win. There will certainly be potential Democratic voters who will not vote for Sanders – but there will also be potential Democratic voters who will not vote for Clinton. Nor is it obvious that ending the nomination contest now would be good: Americans like to at least feel they’re being given a real electoral choice!

  8. lorn says

    Given that Sanders, assuming he has fortunate enough to win, will be under investigation and constant attack from his first day in office, it seems unlikely that there will be enough Democrats in the house to stop any hearings or investigations, seeing Sanders under pressure might be a good thing.

    I like his style and rhetoric. Not that I don’t also like most of what Clinton is saying. My only doubt about Sanders is how well and creatively he will deal with Republican resistance, attacks, smears, and slurs. They seem sure to pull out all the stops on the old wing nut Wurlitzer so he can expect a constant blast of anti-Sanders digs, insults, and rumors for eight years. All underpinned by their deep ongoing desire to prove that government can do no good by undermining and sabotaging it so it can do no good.

    To my mind one of Obama’s biggest failures was his failure to understand just how obdurate and intractable the GOP and right-wing media could and would be. He wasted a lot of time and effort trying to work with people who didn’t want to be part of any government actions that might work.

    IMHO this is one of the reasons why the GOP is so keen of sending troops into the middle east. Yes, they are warmongers, but at a deeper level they also know that sending large numbers of troops will never show any lasting positive result. They know it is a quagmire (What Tom Waits described as ‘an invitation to the blues’.)and they would deeply enjoy seeing a Democratic president as stuck as previous Republican presidents have been.

    How well will Sanders deal with this sort of negative environment. Can he stay optimistic and believe in himself the dark day after all his closest advisors have been stripped away from him by the constant slanders and investigations? When he turns on TV and it is nothing but a drumbeat of insinuation, slander, and accusation aimed at him and his family? When there is nobody left to support him because years of accusation have taken done their work and taken their toll.

    I don’t condone baseless attacks from anyone. But this is beanbag compared to what he will see if he gets into office. Think of it as a chance to prove his metal.

  9. StevoR says

    @7. Nick Gotts :

    What evidence we have from polls shows very little between them when matched against the plausible Republican candidates.

    Interesting certainly – and thanks for that link and info – but not sure polling this far out from the actual election really means or counts for all that much and not sure how reliable a guide it is. The bookies may be a bit more trustworthy at this stage but even them not all that much because, hello, we are still in 2015 and the election is in November next year. What were the polls saying back at this stage in the 2012 or 2008 elections? Does anyone recall or care?

    @5. Holms :

    Bernie Sanders is the most electable and progressive and I think he’ll make an excellent and very pro-science and reality President.

    Emphasis added.

    I actually with all of that sentence except for the word “electable” – take that out and we’re 100% in agreement on that line. (Okay make that 95% since I do think Hillary Clinton will be better for NASA but still.)

    Believe it or not, I like Bernie Sanders and his policies and what he stands for and think he’d be a great President if he could win. I’m just not so optimistic on the chances of him winning as I am on Hillary’s chances and we really need a democratic Party candidate to win this round. If Bernie was / is the Democratic party nominee then he’d get my full backing and I’d be cheering him on and, were it possible, he’d have my vote. For whatever little that’s worth. (& yeah, I know that’s not much. Nor do I claim to be original or unusual in my thinking here.)

    @4. John Morales : “Perhaps release the Idiot’s Guide to the USA elections, by StevoR” Flattering as it is l’m not really qualified to or the right person for write a book on the whole US election process. (Also yeah I see what you did there.)

    One thing I am sure of is that one we won’t be short of in this (& pretty much every) US election is opinion pieces and comments from most everyone.

  10. StevoR says

    @ ^ Oh FFS typos & writing when too late at night /early morn after long day. Plus lack of ability to edit. For clarity :

    I actually agree with all of that sentence “Bernie Sanders is the most electable and progressive and I think he’ll make an excellent and very pro-science and reality President. Except for the word “electable” take that out and we’re 95% in agreement.

    &

    Flattering as it is; l’m not really qualified here or the right person for writing a book on the whole US election process. (Also yeah I see what you did there.) One thing I am sure of is that we will NOT be short of US election opinion pieces and comments!

  11. Holms says

    Believe it or not, I like Bernie Sanders and his policies and what he stands for and think he’d be a great President if he could win. I’m just not so optimistic on the chances of him winning as I am on Hillary’s chances and we really need a democratic Party candidate to win this round.

    See:

    Interesting certainly – and thanks for that link and info – but not sure polling this far out from the actual election really means or counts for all that much and not sure how reliable a guide it is. The bookies may be a bit more trustworthy at this stage but even them not all that much because, hello, we are still in 2015 and the election is in November next year.

    Apparently, your hunch is worth more than polls. But if weighing the odds is out at this early stage, you may as well pull for the better candidate.

  12. Nick Gotts says

    StevoR@9,

    Sure, the polls are of limited value – but they are the best evidence we have, and certainly worth more than any individual’s hunch. Polls also persistently show that Clinton is widely seen as capable but untrustworthy. Such perceptions are difficult to shift, especially for someone who has been a public figure for a quarter of a century. A lot of people just don’t like her, or dislike her husband enough to put them off her. She also has to contend with misogyny. Sanders has balancing disadvantages, and can’t do anything about his age or lack of executive and foreign policy experience, but when all factors are considered it is far from obvious Clinton is the more electable, or that either is a particularly strong candidate from the point of view of actual and perceived personal qualities – so the polls are at least telling a plausible story.

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