I have said before, I like Bernie Sanders. I like him and what he stands for, and this is not about him at all. This is about some of his loudest supporters, who have been insufferable for a year, but more so since it became clear he wasn’t going to win.
I am not a big fan of petulance and I really hate whining. So, imagine my dilemma as so many of my fellow progressives, people who claim to love Bernie Sanders and everything he stands for, have spent the entire weekend whining and crying and blaming the Democratic National Committee and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz for their candidate’s complete fustercluck at the state convention in Nevada.
Yeah, you read that right. It’s not the DNC’s fault that the Sanders campaign screwed up and didn’t take their jobs seriously enough. Stop using DWS and the DNC as a goddamn punching bag.
First of all, before you start your whining you might want to know how the DNC works. Basically, the DNC helps to raise and distribute money. They have little to do with how primaries are conducted. Local state party committees do that. So, blaming Wasserman-Schultz for the conduct of the Nevada state convention is just clueless. If the state party asks for assistance, they get it. If Bernie’s campaign asks for assistance, they get it. There is little to no evidence that the DNC is treating the Sanders campaign differently than the Clinton campaign, except in the addled minds of a few. In fact, when it came time to do maintenance on the shared DNC database a few months back, the only campaign that took advantage of it and cheated was the Sanders campaign. And when DWS cut off the Sanders’ campaign’s access to it for a short time to protect the integrity of the database, she was attacked by Sanders people. The Sanders campaign even sued the DNC. Their access was restored in less than 24 hours, which would have happened, anyway, and the Clinton campaign didn’t ask for any compensation, nor did they sue. So, you know…
Getting back to Nevada, the Nevada caucuses were on February 20. (By the way, if you are going to piss and moan about “democracy,” why aren’t you lamenting the fact that Nevada is holding caucuses in the first place? I mean, for Chrissakes, folks; they were held at 11 a.m. on a Saturday. In a state where the hotel and casino business is the dominant industry, and checkout times are 11 a.m., what could union workers possibly be doing at that time? Caucuses may have made sense when Nevada had a population of a half million, but as it closes in on 3 million, isn’t that a much bigger affront to democracy?) At the time, they decided how many delegates each candidate would get, so the Sanders campaign knew they had to find some. They also knew the rules. In order to participate in the state DEMOCRATIC convention, they had to be registered as Democrats no later than May 1. In other words, the few Sanders delegates who were registered at independents knew or should have known that they had to re-register as Democrats in order to be a delegate to the Democratic convention. This isn’t hard to understand; the primaries are the Democratic Party deciding who should lead them into battle against Republicans in the fall. If they let people in who were registered “independent,” it would be too easy for outsiders to muck that up. Karl Rove would have a field day. Again, you’re complaining about the democratic process, but how “democratic” is it to allow outsiders into a Democratic convention? Doesn’t that effectively displace the vote of an actual Democrat at their own convention? If you want to be “independent,” fine; that’s your choice as an American. But you’re TOLD when you register that you can’t participate in party functions. This ain’t rocket science.
In any case, it’s all the Bernie Sanders campaign’s fault. They knew or should have known the rules and they should have made sure every delegate to the state convention was registered that way, according to the rules, which have been the rules for more than 40 years. It’s not like the DNC suddenly changed the rules just before the convention to screw with Bernie.
Why does the Sanders campaign have no responsibility for anything with these people? They have screwed up repeatedly during the year or so since Sanders announced and every time, the strongest Bernie Stans always blame DWS, as if she was constantly changing the rules. Yes, the rules in Nevada are a pain in the ass. But they are the rules and there is no excuse for not following them. Here’s a summary of what caused the problem:
All of that tension set the stage for the final votes. The ultimate total reported by KOLO-TV was 1,695 Clinton delegates to 1,662 for Sanders, giving Clinton that one-delegate total in the at-large and party-leader pools. But the drama was far from over. Fifty-six Sanders delegates — enough to swing the majority — were denied delegate status, mostly because they weren’t registered as Democrats by the May 1 deadline, according to the state party. (The Sun reports that eight potential Clinton delegates suffered a similar fate.) (Source)
In other words, what happened was, while the Sanders campaign did a great job of getting people to the convention, they sucked at making sure each and every one of them was qualified according to caucus rules. And instead of taking their defeat in stride, especially since it really makes no real difference when it comes to Bernie making up his delegate deficit, they decided to cause trouble and whine and act like children. Again, I don’t put this on Bernie himself, but his campaign people have not done right by him all year. They screwed up. Here’s the truth, people, from the same article:
Thanks to Clinton’s victory in Nevada on Saturday, hard-fought on the carpeted floor of the Paris hotel and casino in Las Vegas, her lead over Sanders extends to 282, per delegate-counter Daniel Nichanian. Had Sanders’s supporters been successful on Saturday, that margin would have been 278 — a number that still demands that the senator win two-thirds of the remaining pledged delegates to take the lead.
That’s right; he needs two-thirds of the remaining delegates just to catch up. Stop your whining. Better yet, instead of whining, how about using that energy to encourage voters. I know, it’s a lot easier to whine than to actually solve a problem; that’s why children do it. However, if we’re going to beat the Republicans this year, we can’t do that by taking on the Democrats, especially not based on some perceived slights. Get over yourselves and act like the goddamn “progressives” you claim to be.