Monday, 6 May 2019

Corporate Democrats have never worked so hard to lose the next election

Do Democrats Prefer Trump in the White House? (Truthdig)


An impeachment proceeding would prolong the “Russiagate” drama, which has provided Democrats with a convenient excuse to avoid confronting why they lost in 2016 to somebody so widely loathed. Most of the citizenry is sick of the multiyear conspiracy drama, an endless media-politics fascination that has sucked up civic oxygen while numerous issues of vastly greater importance have been ignored: economic hyperinequality, bad jobs, inadequate and over-expensive health care, rotting infrastructure, abject plutocracy and rampant gun violence, not to mention our race to environmental self-destruction.

Pelosi and the rest of the establishment Democrats are right to calculate that an impeachment spectacle would not only sputter in the Senate but perhaps even benefit Trump and his party in 2020, much as it did for Bill Clinton in the late 1990s. If nothing else, it would likely help Trump rally his horrid white-nationalist base in several key battleground states. By contrast, voting Trump out of office in 2020 could make him a target for indictment, or perhaps force him to resign in advance of the next president’s inauguration in order to let Mike Pence pardon him first.

But what are the chances of the Democrats actually winning the next election, forcing the president to choose between denying the legitimacy of the vote count (a very real threat) or vacating his office before his term is up? Barring the onset of a recession (another distinct possibility), only popular front-runner Bernie Sanders is likely to prevail against Trump. And, as in the last presidential election cycle, corporate politicos are already working to sabotage the nomination of their most viable candidate in a general election. The following eight mechanisms explain how they might succeed:

  • Flooding the primary campaign with such an absurdly large number of candidates that Sanders will likely be unable to garner the majority of primary delegates required for a first-ballot nomination at the 2020 Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee.
  • Coordination among the Democratic Convention superdelegates—the more than 350 county and state party bosses and elected officials who are granted delegate status without election—to vote as a bloc to stop Sanders on the convention’s second ballot. (These superdelegates exist precisely for the purpose of blocking challengers to the party’s corporate establishment.)
  • Ongoing efforts to change state party elections from caucuses to primaries, as caucuses are friendlier to progressive challengers. (Sanders won 11 of the nation’s 18 caucus states three years ago.) The disingenuous theft of many of Sanders’ sincerely held progressive policies by corporate candidates who have no intention of fighting to implement them if they attain the presidency.
  • Appealing to the name recognition of Joe Biden, along with the public’s misplaced nostalgia for Barack Obama’s Wall Street-captive presidency—both of which will be wielded as weapons against Sanders’ progressive populism.
  • The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s transparently reactionary and frankly sickening decision to block contracts with campaign consultants and other political vendors who agree to work for progressive challengers in the 2020 primaries. Besides seeking to protect Congress itself as a corporate preserve, this move aims to deny Sanders congressional allies and undermine his ability to govern if elected.
  • Smearing Sanders’ highly popular social-democratic policy agenda as “fantastic,” “unaffordable,” “unrealistic” and too dangerously “socialist”—this while Democratic elites refuse to acknowledge the fascist tendencies of the president they helped elect in 2016.
  • Branding the eminently electable Sanders “unelectable” on the grounds that he is an “extremist” who is “too far left” for the U.S. electorate generally and independent voters specifically. In reality, the opposite is true. Sanders appeals to independents (who are nowhere near as conservative as is commonly reported), people of color, infrequent voters and the white working-class that has largely abandoned the Democratic Party. His anti-establishment message, coupled with his long record of representing rural voters, makes him highly competitive with Trump, not only in the Rust Belts states where Hillary Clinton faltered but even in some dark red states like West Virginia. Even the likes of Karl Rove believe Sanders could defeat Trump in 2020.
  • Look for the Democratic establishment to do everything it can to prevent its party from defeating Trump in 2020. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. At this point, the party exists to serve its corporate clients. Its leaders fear the specter of socialism while the world’s most powerful nation threatens to slide into fascism. (Never mind that democratic eco-socialism—a political project significantly more radical than what Sanders is proposing—is precisely what America and the world need right now.) Establishment Democrats would rather lose to a white-nationalist right than even the mildly social-democratic left within their own party. It’s why the late political scientist Sheldon Wolin labeled them “the Inauthentic Opposition.”

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