At What Point Does Bernie Sanders Submit to the Power Structure?

In an unnerving turn, it seems like the Clinton campaign is now taking a slash and burn approach towards all the progressive independents and first-time Democratic voters who Bernie has galvanized to support the Democratic Party.

First, the media pounced on Bernie's interview with the New York Daily News, which was falsely described as "pretty close to a disaster for Bernie Sanders" by the Washington Post, and former Obama advisor Dan Pfeiffer tweeted that Bernie's interview was "almost as damning as Trump's with the WaPo."

Numerous people, including Ryan Grim over at the Huffington Post and Mike Konczal over at the Roosevelt Institute, have carefully explained why Bernie's answers really aren't that outlandish or lacking in detail - and that the media is making false arguments against Bernie's very cogent proposals.

But when Joe Scarborough asked Hillary Clinton three times the other day whether she thought this "disqualified" Bernie as a candidate, she insinuated three times that her campaign's interpretation of this interview casts doubt over his qualifications as a candidate.

As the Morning Joe panel pointed out today, she never technically said that he was unqualified.

But the simple fact is, the Hillary Clinton campaign is trying to promote the notion that Bernie is unqualified, and according to reports, it's actually a key part of Clinton's new three-pronged strategy to defeat Sanders and win the nomination.

One aide told CNN that until recently, Hillary's campaign has tried ignoring Sanders, brushing him aside, and gently dismissing his policies, mostly to keep some good will alive between the two campaigns.

But that was when Bernie was just seen as a protest candidate gadfly, a novelty of the 2016 cycle, someone who would just fade away as inevitably as Hillary would get the nomination.

But after a streak of over a half a dozen landslide wins, Hillary's new policy is to take the gloves off, to go for the throat, and to deal with collateral damage later.

Or as the Clinton campaign put it: "Disqualify him, Defeat him, and then unify the party later"

In other words, this is not the time for cooperation to defeat the Republicans, this is an all out war so Clinton can win New York.

So she's stepped up the attacks on gun control and implied that Bernie has some responsibility for Sandy Hook, she's questioned whether he is actually a Democrat, even though he caucuses with the Democrats in the Senate and is running for the Democratic presidential nomination.

And now she's unsure of his qualifications.

Bernie's said from the get-go that he wants to focus on the issues, and he's re-iterated that in recent days, but this new tactic from the Clinton campaign has left him with little choice but to fight back.

Jack Forbes, a Professor of Native American Studies and author of the book "Columbus and other cannibals", once told me about the Native American concept of "wetiko".

I forget which tribe or community the concept comes from, but it's basically the idea of one life force consuming another, it literally translates to "cannibal", the way that Columbus conquered and destroyed the Taino indians to increase Spanish power at the expense of an entire civilization.

Professor Forbes explained that when Native Americans were confronted by Europeans who were willing to eradicate the Native population to steal their land, they had basically three courses of action.

They could run and hide, which many did; they could stand their ground and be killed which many also did; or they could fight back.

The problem is, as soon as they fought back, they became their enemies, and as soon as they became their enemies by using their enemy's tactics, they lost, by destroying the concept of unity that pervades "Old Culture" worldviews.

The Clinton tactic of "disqualify, defeat, and unify later" is nothing more than wetiko come to the Democratic Party.

Bernie Sanders may have had no other real choice but to fight, but this is dangerous territory for everyone involved.

The problem with wetiko is that no one wins, and neither side is going to be able to "unify later" if the nomination is won through personal attacks and dirty politics.

It's time for the Democrats to get off each other's backs, and get back to the real issues facing Americans.

Comments

cccccttttt 1 year 19 weeks ago
#1

US voters are begging for major four parties but the big wigs have it rigged for only two.

If Bernie does not get the nomination, he has the supporters and the money to do the tough work of forming a third viable national party.

Same can be said of Trump on the right.

ct

hayranur's picture
hayranur 1 year 19 weeks ago
#2

Qualifications: does anyone think that she would be in the position she now enjoys if she had not been married to the other Clinton?

Democrat enough: Sanders is throwing a lifeline to the Democratic Party. Why are they resisting? Follow the money, as always.

The Glenn Beck Review's picture
The Glenn Beck ... 1 year 19 weeks ago
#3

Bernie or bust is not just a pledge, and it's not just a movement. This is what Thom doesn't understand. Revolt Against Plutocracy is building an army of democracy commando force multipliers, a tactic that neither the Sanders or Clinton campaigns are deploying. #BernieOrBust is about helping Sanders secure the nomination. RAP's army has been working the caucuses, and in WI we started deploying the commando operation. Why did Bernie go from only 4 points up in WI to winning by 13 points? Bernie or bust is an army of democracy commandos. Next stop, WY and NY after that.

Have you take the pledge?

wslifko 1 year 19 weeks ago
#4

What you don't seem to understand is that Thom does understand. What the rest of us understand is that you appear to be using this comments section as a means of displaying clickbait. I agree with most of what you say but using the "what Thom doesn't understand" approach is getting old and annoying.

rltn's picture
rltn 1 year 19 weeks ago
#5

It has been Hillary's strategy to try and disqualify Bernie without actually using the word disqualify. She has however repeatedly insinuated that since he is an Independent he therefore is not authentic enough to be the Democratic candidate for President, whereas she "has been a Democrat all her adult life." She also implies that he hasn't done his homework on certain issues which is just another way of saying he's not qualified to be President because he doesn't know what she knows. It's a very thinly veiled effort to use innuendo to suggest that he's not qualified. They are both obviously qualified. And whoever ends up winning we Democrats all have to vote for the Democratic candidate whomever it is. To not vote is in essence giving a vote to whomever the Republicans nominate.

kentw's picture
kentw 1 year 19 weeks ago
#6

Perhaps the Clintoncampaign would prefer that Bernie run as an independent. They should count their blessings and stop going negative and distorting Bernie's record.

stevnP's picture
stevnP 1 year 19 weeks ago
#7

I'm getting more and more distressed that the Clinton Camp and the Party leadership seem as flummoxed by the number of Bernie's supporters as does the Mainstream Media. Entertainment Journalism seems only to understand "Personality Politics". Not only has Bernie blown away the pollsters, his supporters have amazed (and maybe frightened) Status Quo Democrats because WE have revealed a whole new " demographic". I don't know about anybody else, but the more Hillary and the Party resists ACCEPTING Bernie's Progressivism, the angrier I get as a voter!

stevnP's picture
stevnP 1 year 19 weeks ago
#8

I'm in. Let's DO this!

Loren Bliss's picture
Loren Bliss 1 year 19 weeks ago
#9

Three observations:

(1)-Were there still in the United States any mainstream journalists worthy of the name, Sanders would not have to "fight back" because Hillary's infinite corruption -- including the fact her true politics are those of the closeted, reflexively fascistic Goldwater Girl she has remained ever since opportunism prompted her to don Democratic disguise -- would be common knowledge.

(2)-Thus, with all due respect to Mr. Hartmann, the reason the Democrats cannot "get off each other's backs" is because Hillary is not a real Democrat. Indeed it is at least possible she, her husband and Barack (the Betrayer) Obama are each not only the agents of Wall Street we know them to be, but willing operatives within a far greater and more malevolent One Percent conspiracy to actually destroy the Democratic Party and thereby forever remove from U.S. politics even the most remote possibility of overthrowing the plutocracy and restoring the New Deal.

(3)-If indeed Hillary's hate-Sanders campaign succeeds in winning her the Democratic nomination, it will also succeed (see my second observation above) in destroying the party beyond any hope of repair. The consequences will ensure a Republican presidential victory, the result of which will be either the beginning of de jure Christian theocracy under Cruz and his Dominionists or the advent of overt USian Nazism under Trump and his latter-day stormtroopers.

Given Hillary's Goldwater Girl politics, it is probable this is her clandestine purpose. For which see The Family: the Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power (Jeff Sharlet, Harper: 2008), pages 272-277, particularly the infinitely damning disclosure on page 275: "Hillary fights side-by-side with (Sam) Brownback and others for legislation dedicated less to overturning the wall between church and state than to tunneling beneath it" -- precisely as any deep-cover Christofascist agent would do.

royalt213's picture
royalt213 1 year 19 weeks ago
#10

You severely underestimate Thom's intellect. He is well aware of what Bernie or Bust is all about. He just disagrees with it.

royalt213's picture
royalt213 1 year 19 weeks ago
#11

I don't think she realizes that most of don't give a crap if he's an official Democrat. In fact, there are a lot of people who are attracted to that aspect. We are ready for someone who thinks outside of the party system and doesn't limit himself, and us by extension, to "politics as usual." Obviously politics as usual is not working. The fact that more people haven't realized this is more surprising than Bernie's success to me.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 1 year 19 weeks ago
#12

The most disingenuous attack, not only from the Clinton camp, but also from some so called progressives, and of course the entire Teapublic Party, is the argument that Bernie's proposals for things like single payer, and tuition free college are not affordable, and he doesn't spell out how he would pay for these things. That's bull!

He's been very clear about how he'll fund his proposals......for a clear and concise summary just google, "How Bernie pays for his proposals"

If you add up all taxes, including hidden taxes and fees, the average middle class worker already pays the same tax rate our friends in Democratic Socialist countries pay. We get a lot less in return because half of our budget goes to the endless war for profit industry.

Don't tell me the richest country on the planet can't have what the happiest countries on the planet already have.....things like single payer, at least six weeks of paid vacation per year, paid family leave, living minimum wage, living retirement pension amounts, tuition free college..etc etc.

If anyone doubts this....refer them to the stats on wealth concentration the top one percent of the one percent continue to expand at everyone elses expense.

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 1 year 19 weeks ago
#13

What are the qualifications for a POTUS and why are they not specified?

I suggest, to start, a degree in how to represent "we the people"

VGN4THM's picture
VGN4THM 1 year 19 weeks ago
#14

Eloquently put! And I'm in total agreement.

PaulHosse's picture
PaulHosse 1 year 19 weeks ago
#15

Thom, this is about the road to a preordained cornation of Hillary Clinton. The Status Quo views Sanders as pot hole on that road; he was never meant to win. Hillary's chief fault was taking him to lightly while Sander's fault is taking this election to seriously; as if he really had a chance. The GOP is imploding---perhaps fatally--- before our eyes in an effort to defeat a unscripted interloper in favor of a pre-vetted candidate, chosen by the Status Quo to give the people an entertaining show while still losing in November. It's bread and circuses all over again.

Intermittent Instigator's picture
Intermittent In... 1 year 19 weeks ago
#16

Very good documentary by Reich Wing Watch:

Hillary Clinton: Republican For President (Documentary)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzahvR0xbQ4

among many fine segments:

Bernie opposing the Iraq War,

Hillary Clinton selling the Iraq War,

Scott Ritter on WMD's,

Mike Gravel: "I'm ashamed of you, Hillary, for voting for [the Iraq War]", (and that laugh in response)

and much more!

I'm still not entirely sure where Clinton ranks, among Republicans, on the "the lesser of x evils" scale.

Elioflight's picture
Elioflight 1 year 19 weeks ago
#17

I've been following politics since I was 14 and I'm now 55. I love Bernie's message--it's my message--but I feel that the office of POTUS would keep him from doing all those good, needed, and necessary things. He'd still have to go through an obstuctive Congress and Senate, unless Bernie fans have plans to further push for the make-up of these entities to change. The office of POTUS has many more demands upon it than what's going on here in the US. He'd have WORLD problems to work on. He'd have to try and get his appointees through--President Obama has not been able to do this in nearly 8 years.

Bernie said this morning on The Today Show that the people could demand Congress/Senate to move on these issues--they all ready DO NOT listen to the people. We aren't nearly as important as the big money donors.

Bernie has, himself, said that change need to come from the bottom up, not the top down.

I am voting Democrat no matter what, because any DEMOCRAT is better than ANY Republican. But I think Hillary can do the president's job--she has the MOST experience of ALL the candiates--and Bernie can run the ALL-IMPORTANT REVOLUTION. We need BERNIE to do that ALL-IMPORTANT job. He has so many wonderful--and not so wonderful mean BernieorBust people--behind him. Isn't Bernie's message the most important thing here? Isn't accomplishing Bernie's goals the most important for us all?

If Bernie gets into office and is unable to accomplish his necessary plans, (young) people will be disappointed in and turn away from politics and Bernie will be raked over the coals because the realities of politics are being ignored for idealism and nothing be get done, again! That would be a NATIONAL HUMAN TRAGEDY.

Elioflight's picture
Elioflight 1 year 19 weeks ago
#18

Somehow I got posted twice during the "preview" stage, sorry all. The second letter is my final/intended draft--Thanks.

Elioflight's picture
Elioflight 1 year 19 weeks ago
#19

I've been following politics since I was 14 and I'm now 55 and a LOYAL DEM the entire time. I love Bernie's message--it's my message--but I feel that the office of POTUS would keep him from doing all those good, needed, and necessary things. He'd still have to go through an obstuctive Congress and Senate, unless Bernie fans have plans to further push for the make-up of these entities to change. The office of POTUS has many more demands upon it than what's going on here in the US. He'd have WORLD problems to work on. He'd have to try and get his appointees through--President Obama has not been able to do this in nearly 8 years.

Bernie said this morning on The Today Show that the people could demand Congress/Senate to move on these issues--they all ready DO NOT listen to the people. We aren't nearly as important as the big money donors. This would have to change.

Bernie has, himself, said that change needs to come from the bottom up, not the top down.

I am voting Democrat no matter what, because any DEMOCRAT is better than ANY Republican. But I think Hillary can do the president's job--she has the MOST experience of ALL the candiates--and Bernie can run the ALL-IMPORTANT REVOLUTION. We need BERNIE to do that ALL-IMPORTANT job. He has so many wonderful--and not so wonderful mean BernieorBust people--behind him. Isn't Bernie's message the most important thing here? Isn't accomplishing Bernie's goals the most important for us all?

If Bernie gets into office and is unable to accomplish his necessary plans, (young) people will be disappointed in and turn away from politics and Bernie will be raked over the coals because the realities of politics are being ignored for idealism and nothing will get done, again! That would be a NATIONAL HUMAN TRAGEDY.

Intermittent Instigator's picture
Intermittent In... 1 year 19 weeks ago
#20

Some (I for one) say that another Clinton presidency would be a(n) (inter)"NATIONAL HUMAN TRAGEDY."

ckrob's picture
ckrob 1 year 19 weeks ago
#21

When I saw who Obama chose as his economic advisers (pre-first term) I decided little would be done re the nation's financial problems on his watch. Turns out I was right although he didn't shepherd through the regressions that the Bill Clinton administration did. Tell me who Hillary or Bernie collect as advisors and I'll tell you their future policies if they are elected. Have either stated their adviser preferences in this regard?

Elioflight's picture
Elioflight 1 year 19 weeks ago
#22

ckrob: Yes I agree. I was disappointed in Mr Obama's picks for finance advisors and you're correct, these things did not get better.

What is it about Dems where we rely, wrongly/diseasterously, on Republicans in economic and national secutiry issues, surely we have people who could fill those positions well. The Republicans fill ALL of their offices with Republicans.

Because of all the money in politics, any presidency but the big monied party will have an up-hill climb, I'm affraid.

Elioflight's picture
Elioflight 1 year 19 weeks ago
#23

IntermttentIn...No, you're wrong. A Cruz or Trump presidency would be the (Inter) National Human Tragedy.

dianhow 1 year 19 weeks ago
#24

Hillary should be careful to NOT lose - or insult Bernie's fervent supporters.. I will vote DEM Our country can not take more far right wing anti middle class pro wealth GOP judges, more extended wars, loss of lives & trillions, NO more GOP anti middle class anti fair wages anti womens health - pro corp - greedy WalL St suck ups.. GOP plans to end the EPA !! That means more lead, toxins, poisons in our air, water and more Hydrolic Frackings ( aka fracturing the earth ) ( has led to more earth quakes ) l. We must add a Wall St transaction tax... cut huge corp loopholes, subsides, tax cuts .. NO TPP NAFTA was horrid enough go to www.whitehouse.gov Tell Obama and Hillary NO TPP Post on Hillarys face book page as well Fight the GOP arrogance Refusal to consider Obama Supreme court pick Voters already spoke MC Connell They voted Obama in twice . therefore Obama has the right and duty to select a judge for consideration IF GOP do NOT do so GOP WILL lose Congress ..Voters are disgusted & angry !!!

dianhow 1 year 19 weeks ago
#25

H e ll yeah !!

ChristopehrCurrie's picture
ChristopehrCurrie 1 year 19 weeks ago
#26

Of course both Bernie and Hillary are qualified to become President. The real issue is whether or not we want real change for the better for most Americans (Bernie) of essentially more to the same corporately-driven disastrous foreign and domestic policies (Hillary).

Elioflight's picture
Elioflight 1 year 19 weeks ago
#27

The same goes for Bernie supporters insulting Hillary supporters. I'm darn sick of people telling me not to stand up for myself against the immature unexperienced mean, used to getting their way Bernie supporters. "Let them be mean and insulting to other Dems so we don't lose them."

They say all the time they won't vote for Hillary under any circumstances--which is reckless and sets us up NOT to take advantage of the disarray in the Republican Party. WE NEED UNITY!

Sorry, they need to grow up. Why are they so adverse to being educated by more experienced politcal citizens?

This NOT a winner taker all video game. This is life and future. I fight for my children/grandchildren with knowledge and truth. We should all be holding hands together to get progressive issues through and into reality.

I NEVER diss/dismiss/namecall Bernie like they do Hillary. I think they are BOTH fine. But I think Bernie would be way more effective and his gifts not wasted as a REVOULTIONARY LEADER for the REAL change we need than as a president whose scope WILL BE LIMITED.

I find the fevor of mean Bernie supporters very off-putting and immature and think lessons in civics and how the government really works are in order. I'm sure Bernie would not appreciate their mean tone toward fellow Dems.

I want Bernie to be effective; I don't think he can do this as president and has a better chance if a Dem is president to get that work DONE. I want his stump speeches to beome reality. How in the hell is that mean and off-putting to them?

Elioflight's picture
Elioflight 1 year 19 weeks ago
#28

...And I did not make it through a rough childhood by shutting up and letting the bullies bully me. I do not intend to start now.

The Smallest Girl on the Playground

c-gull's picture
c-gull 1 year 18 weeks ago
#29

We need a human being as president not a CEO that supports corporate domination. Of course the opposition will slam Bernie with their subtle inuendo or worse because now they are being tested. More and more people are becoming not so easily fooled by regular propaganda. The corporate cronies will have to turn to using other devices.

Our job is to keep Bernie going. This is our shot at having a realistic form of democracy. If the democratic party falls apart it would be a natural out growth of what needs to be done.

Also remember that most all of the other candidates besides Bernie are corporate supporters in whatever fashion. In a boiled down analysis Clinton and Trump are only different because of their "packaging". We cannot have people that run the executive branch by testing the wind each time a new regulation appears to see if its going to be corporate friendly- the planet simply does not have the time.

George Wythe's picture
George Wythe 1 year 18 weeks ago
#30

First, the media pounced on Bernie's:

Here something that the media could report on:

Carter dismisses Clinton's State work

ckcoleman's picture
ckcoleman 1 year 18 weeks ago
#31

While the Clinton Machine has become more overt in its attacks on Bernie in the New York Primary, insofar as cheating goes, they have been engaging in dirty tricks and vote rigging almost from the beginning. The levels of fraud and deception are numerous and several vloggers and political wonks have been tracking it, but I have seen nothing in the mainstream media even hinting at it. Indeed, by lumping superdelegates and committed delegates in their counts, they aid and abet the false narratives emanating from the Clinton/DNC establishment machine. In MASS, a Clinton operative infiltrated the Sanders organization and deliberatly sabotaged organization efforts; something similar happened in NC. Then there is the Clinton electronic hacking of the primary votes, traceable from discrepancies between exit poll results and official tallies. In Wyoming we saw another level of vote rigging: bogus absentee balloting to flip the Caucus results, so that, while Hillary still lost, she shaved enough votes, she actually gained more delegates. According ot one report, the Dem Party in PA has ordered 300k absentee ballots printed, when in prevous primaries, only about 3k voted by mail. What is looming in the Dem camp makes Watergate look like a boy scout jamboree.

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