I Hope Some Democrats Don’t Ever Have To Negotiate For Anything

I’ve made this point before about Sanders’ willingness to take the Democratic nomination fight to the convention, but I’ll outsource this edition (boldface mine):

The more delegates Sanders goes to the convention with, the more clout he and his supporters have heading into the convention, where the Democratic Party will make important, long-lasting decisions about its platform and also the rules for the next election — how superdelegates are awarded, for example. A Sanders win in California helps the senator make the case that his issues — Medicare for all, free college tuition, among others — belong at the fulcrum of the Democratic Party. He might even want to be on the ticket, as Clinton’s vice presidential candidate.

Fold now, and Clinton gets to run the show in July.

A win here [California] could give him enough momentum to go into the convention with a huge amount of leverage,” Dan Schnur, head of USC’s Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics, told Newsweek . An energized and motivated Sanders fighting with Clinton on platform and delegates and party rules is the last thing Clinton needs, when she wants to use the convention to bring the party together, behind her.”

It’s that simple. It’s about shaping the platform and what the Democrats will work for in 2016 (and beyond). If you don’t get this, then I hope someone else in your household makes the important purchasing decisions.

And can we stop with the ersatz calls for unity? The Democratic Party, with the exception of 2005 (after Hurricane Katrina) until about 2008, when there was a more divisive primary than there is today, has never been ‘unified’ in the sense that everyone happily marches to the same beat. The only reason the divisions are being noticed widely is that, for a variety of reasons, the left–and not a particularly radical one–finally, after a quarter century of New Democratic domination, has some power to make the establishment a little nervous, and not being taken for granted.

The solution to this is to negotiate, though it’s not clear at all if the Democratic establishment even understands with whom they would be negotiating.

Aside/disclaimer: Before someone works themselves into high dudgeon over the fate of the Democratic Party, I have canvassed or phonebanked for four Democratic presidential candidates, including some guy named Clinton, as well as several local candidates (also, some financial support). Hell, I might be the only person in Massachusetts history to have ever obtained an absentee ballot to vote in a Democratic municipal primary. I’m a loyalist, and it’s our turn at the Democratic Party high table.

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One Response to I Hope Some Democrats Don’t Ever Have To Negotiate For Anything

  1. Tracy Lightcap says:

    Mike,

    Problem = what if the “establishment” (why anyone thinks there is a Democratic one is a bit beyond me) listens politely and tells Bernie to go peddle his potatoes? Because, make no mistake, that’s what’ll happen if he tries any strong arm stuff at the convention. Hie negotiating stance is actually much weaker then you seem to think. Here’s why:

    • “You want what in the platform? Why should we risk that? Almost all of your voters are going to vote Democratic anyway.” Iow, pretty much the same answer that most Democratic presidential candidates have given to minorities for eons.

    • ” Come on. You and I both know that there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between Bernie and Hillary on policy issues! We’ll stand pat on the policy planks, thanks.” They’re right.

    • “Are you standing there with your bare face hanging out telling me that you and your voters will risk a Trump presidency? If so, get out of my office. If not, what are we talking about anyway?”

    • “You do know that Barack will be going after Trump like a pit bull once Hillary gets nominated, right? Do you really think you can get much traction against him? Do you think your voters will call him – this is Barack Obama we’re talking about – a sell-out? If so, is there a way I can get some of what you’ve been smoking?”

    In short, Bernie’s best bet – and one I think he’ll take – is to push some already agreed on elements of the platform toward a more liberal formulation, try and get a place on the rules committee so that the primary system will get fixed, and get a voice in who Clinton picks as a number 2. (I’m betting Tom Perez or Mariano-Florintina Cuellar.) Then he can start building for local elections.

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