US Elections 2016 (5): Whatever may happen, Clinton already lost the war for the Democratic Party’s future to Sandersism – Seth Abramson

May 19, 2016


Make No Mistake, Sandersism has defeated Clintonism

Huffington Post/Seth Abramson


Super-delegates will fall into line — the thinking goes — not because Clinton is a strong general-election bet, or liked by many people, or a real spokeswoman for the ideology of the Party base, or able to win independents, or nearly the same candidate in May that she was in February, or capable of winning over her current Democratic opposition the way Obama did after the primary in 2008, but because Democrats in Washington have made clear that any super-delegates who back the now-stronger horse in Philadelphia this July — Sanders — will be ostracized from the Party. Fear, then, is what could make Clinton the Democratic nominee …

Is it a “horse-race” issue that the DNC is publicly representing itself as a “neutral” arbiter in the Democratic primary, and publicly stating that super-delegates don’t vote until July, but according to NBC is in fact “colluding” with the Clinton campaign “behind the scenes” to begin — with millions of votes yet to be cast — the transition of the DNC from an independent operation to one run by Hillary Clinton? No, for the fact that there’s “nothing neutral” about the DNC right now (as David Chalian of CNN put it last night) merely tells you something about the ethics of the Democratic Party in 2016 …

Bill Clinton turned out to be a “New Democrat,” in other words a triangulating neoliberal corporatist. Al Gore waited until far too late in his 2000 campaign to unveil his “progressive warrior” persona. Howard Dean was cut off at the knees by the media in 2004, when somehow everyone who reported on “The Scream” neglected to mention that it was only the media’s turning off of all off-stage mics that made Dean’s speech seem out-of-place in-context …

They believe he [Sanders] can direct the movement he lent his name to in the same way Clinton believes progressive Democrats will fall into line no matter how much she disrespects them, but they’re wrong …

It’s not just me saying this, nor is it merely Sanders supporters. No less a staunch Clinton ally than David Axelrod said on CNN two weeks ago that not only is the “debate over” regarding the ideological future of the Democratic Party, it was actually over a long time ago.

And Bernie Sanders won it.

Clinton may win the battle in 2016, but only political neophytes — and a few Washington Post columnists, I suppose — fail to see that she’s already lost the war.

Seth Abramson is the Series Editor for Best American Experimental Writing (Wesleyan University) and the author, most recently, of DATA (BlazeVOX, 2016).


THURSDAY, MAY 19, 2016. 9.30 a.m. [GMT]

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