The Nation endorsed Bernie Sanders and on Monday attempted to undermine the Bernie or bust movement by telling their readers to “relax… if history is any guide, a mass defection of Democrats and Dem-leaning independents is the last thing anyone should worry about.” The author, progressive Joshua Holland, assured readers that people taking the Bernie or bust pledge will end up voting for Hillary Clinton anyway. If the comments on that story are any indication, the last thing the establishment–and all Democrats supporting Hillary Clinton–should do is “relax.” Yesterday, the progressive website, Nation of Change, had a similar article, “What Bernie Sanders — And His Supporters — Must Remember Before November” by Joe Conason. Again, if Democrats, who are willing to vote for Hillary Clinton, bother reading the comments, they will realize that Secretary Clinton will not have the support of the progressive left in November; and the Democrats will lose the general election.
That is the promise, the leverage, behind the Bernie or bust pledge. Holland doesn’t appreciate the idea of leverage. On Twitter, @BernieOrBust tweeted Holland “#BernieOrBust sheep dog alert: http://www.thenation.com/article/relax-bernies-supporters-will-support-h… … @JoshuaHol throws Sanders’ grassroots #leverage under bus; bus falls over. #BadDog!” His reply: “‘Leverage’ again. Primary candidates have to use persuasion to win.” That is true, but they, or their supporters, can also use leverage. Trump threatened to use “leverage” in the first Republican debate by not promising to support the eventual nominee. In other words, if he was not treated properly by the Republican establishment, he’d run as an independent candidate. If he comes out of the Republican Convention without the nomination this summer, that’s still a distinct possibility regardless of the loyalty pledge he took.
The Bernie or bust pledge, an idea initiated by Revolt Against Plutocracy last June, commits pledge-takers to either write in Bernie Sanders or vote for the Green Party candidate in the general election if Bernie is not the nominee. After reaching 50,000 pledges in late February, the story was picked up by the Washington Times on March 1st. Fox News and CNN asked for interviews, but only Fox has found the time in the last two weeks to cover the story. MSNBC refuses to mention the movement. So much for their “liberal bias.” CNN already has the reputation as the Clinton News Network. Perhaps its time for progressives to recognize MSNBClinton as well.
Comments on the Nation of Change story include:
- “A failed advocate for Saint Hillary.”
- “Don’t try to shame me….my integrity is 10000000 times better than Hillary’s.”
- “Voting for a notorious corrupt politician and a proved [sic] warmonger is a bad option, really.”
- “I am dubious about voting for Hillary. Even if she were utterly trustworthy and truthful, she has yet to show any competence in the public tasks she’s taken on (health care reform, legislation, and the State Dept).”
There are hundreds more like this below that op-ed and The Nation’s article. The latter backfired on Holland because he provided a link to Revolt Against Plutocracy’s website. That generated nearly 190 visits to the website and about 90 new pledges. Holland and Conason are fretting about the possibility of Donald Trump or Senator Cruz becoming President, and they should. So should every Democrat who has yet to vote or caucus this primary season. If they continue to support a “proven warmonger,” the nation will end up with President Trump. Down now by over 300 pledged delegates, Sanders needs leverage now more than ever. He has to do as well going forward as Clinton has done behind her “firewall” in the next 27 contests, or else Clinton will be the nominee.
Holland is wrong because history cannot serve as a guide. Never before in American history has there been a political revolution like the one being led by Senator Sanders, and never before has there been a grassroots movement like the one being organized by Revolt Against Plutocracy. If it should work to help bring back Sanders’ candidacy, which pundits have been writing off from the beginning, the Democrats will have a good chance of winning in November. Every poll indicates Sanders does better in match-ups against Trump, Cruz and Kasich, so Democrats voting for Secretary Clinton are gambling on an untrustworthy candidate who’s extremely unpopular with much of the Democratic Party base. The only Democrat with integrity, who’s left standing, is a much better bet for November.