The anti-Sanders campaign tries to gain traction

The Democratic National Committee is kicking its anti-Sanders program into high gear. Kevin Gosztola writes that its chair Tom Perez has announced the membership of the nominating committee at the party convention this July and has stacked it with the usual suspects, consisting of people involved in torture cover-ups, Russia fear-mongering, and lobbyist glad-handling, apartheid Israel operatives, regime-change experts who defend the corporate order, Wall Street bankers, corporate lobbyists, and free trade fanatics, and those associated with the notorious John Podesta whose emails in 2016 revealed the extent of his anti-Sanders hate where he argued that Sanders needed to “ground to a pulp” and asked “where should we stick the knife in?”

Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez has nominated dozens of lobbyists, corporate consultants, think tank board members, and former officials linked to the presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and Bill and Hillary Clinton to serve on the Democratic National Convention (DNC) nominating committee this July.

Many of Perez’s nominees are vocal opponents of Senator Bernie Sanders and spoke out against his campaign when he challenged Hillary Clinton for the nomination in 2016.

Just as it did in 2016, the DNC appears determined to sabotage a Sanders nomination, foisting a collection of neoliberal and imperialist hacks onto the convention committee to hold back a popular rebellion against the policies of endless war and corporate free trade they have personally presided over.

Only a small percentage of those on the roster, such as Communications Workers of America President Larry Cohen, are even remotely aligned or sympathetic to Sanders’ progressive agenda, and many of them are 2020 superdelegates.

Sanders could secure enough pledged delegates to win on the first ballot and still find his agenda thwarted by the standing committees. For example, members of the DNC’s Platform Committee beholden to corporate interests could vote against measures including Medicare For All or a ban on natural fracking in the agenda of policies they plan to fight for in 2020.

A close look at the list Perez issued offers a gruesome vision of morally repugnant operatives rigging the game on behalf of a desperate and increasingly discredited party elite.

You may recall that when the former chair of this body, party hack Debbie Wasserman Schultz, was forced out of this position, then congressman Keith Ellison announced his intention to run for it. But the party establishment clearly felt that he was not establishment-friendly enough and they ran Tom Perez against him and Perez edged out Ellison. The holder of this office plays an important role because he can determine many of the rules under which the convention is run and this can be crucial if there is no clear winner of the nomination on the first ballot. One positive rule change that was made after the last convention was to not allow the so-called ‘superdelegates’ (who are largely party apparatchiks) to vote on the first ballot. But they can vote on subsequent ballots if there is no clear winer.

That anti-Sanders effort is not the only move being planned by worried Democratic operatives.

A group of loosely affiliated Democratic operatives have been in discussions about putting together an effort to attack Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) should he end up winning next week’s Iowa caucus and, potentially, the New Hampshire primary a week later.

The talks, which two sources described to The Daily Beast, are in their nascent stages, and have already hit a snag. Big money Democrats have shown reluctance at funding such an effort, which could consist of ads attacking Sanders, and institutions associated with Democratic politics have largely shied away from being part of any campaign that goes after the senator, either out of fear over the backlash or growing acceptance at the prospect of him becoming the party’s nominee.

Meanwhile Jonathan Chait, that reliable voice of Democratic party neoliberalism who is viciously opposed to any progressive tilt by the party and seems to see his role as policing the party to make sure they are kept out, warns that for the party to nominate Sanders would be an ‘act of insanity’, no less. Because of course people like Chait know better than the poor schmucks who actually vote in the primaries and caucuses as to what is best for them. Republican neoconservative warmonger and George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum, who has been embraced by the neoliberals because he opposes Trump, also advises Democrats to reject Sanders. A pro-Israel Super Pac that has been concerned about growing pro-Palestinian sentiment within the Democratic party, has also bought ads attacking Sanders that do not mention Israel or Palestine at all.

It looks like Sanders is certainly drawing the right kind of enemies.


  1. GenghisFaun says

    Marcus Ranum @ 1:

    It’s Joe’s turn!

    *vomits in mouth a little*

    *projectile vomits everywhere*

  2. johnson catman says

    re Marcus @1: I know you were being sarcastic, but Joe passed up “his turn” by refusing to run in 2016. I believe that he could have easily won by riding Obama’s coattails and being a White Man. Instead, he has embarrassed himself by being the fool that he is and showing it.

  3. says

    I was going to say you’d probably be interested to know some PAC* is now running an anti-Bernie ad here in Iowa. I couldn’t remember the name of the PAC as I only saw the ad once this morning. Then I clicked your link for the pro-Israel PAC…that’d be it! So I guess you already know.

    Otherwise, the larger topic of your post in regards to convention rules and how superdelegates can vote on the second ballot goes to the concern I raised yesterday that Sanders’ rise in polls seems to correlate with a drop in Warren’s number, which could mean it’s simply a shift in preference among the progressive base and that he’s not pulling in support, or much of it, from non-progressives. Hopefully I’m wrong or that, during the caucuses, peer pressure will bring some non-progressives over. (There doesn’t seem to be a lot of excitement for Biden here in Iowa among those active in politics, despite his poll numbers, leading me to suspect much of his support comes from voters who are otherwise inactive in politics.)

    *Or Super PAC…I don’t know which it is. Don’t really care either way, honestly.

  4. Holms says

    Still waiting on evidence that ‘Bernie Bros’ are anything more than a ginned up anti-Bernie effort like those described by Mano above.

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