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    The Democratic Party’s Anti-Bernie Elites Have a Huge Stake in Blaming Russia

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    Published on Thursday, April 20, 2017
    by Common Dreams
    The Democratic Party’s Anti-Bernie Elites Have a Huge Stake in Blaming Russia
    by Norman Solomon

     

    ‘Given their vehement political investment in demonizing Russia’s President Putin, Democratic leaders are oriented to seeing the potential of detente with Russia as counterproductive in terms of their electoral strategy for 2018 and 2020,’ writes Solomon. And that is incredibly dangerous when it comes to a new Cold War among the world’s dominant nuclear powers. (Photo: DonkeyHotey/flickr/cc)

     

    After Hillary Clinton’s devastating loss nearly six months ago, her most powerful Democratic allies feared losing control of the party. Efforts to lip-synch economic populism while remaining closely tied to Wall Street had led to a catastrophic defeat. In the aftermath, the party’s progressive base—personified by Bernie Sanders—was in position to start flipping over the corporate game board.

    Aligned with Clinton, the elites of the Democratic Party needed to change the subject. Clear assessments of the national ticket’s failures were hazardous to the status quo within the party. So were the groundswells of opposition to unfair economic privilege. So were the grassroots pressures for the party to become a genuine force for challenging big banks, Wall Street and overall corporate power.

    In short, the Democratic Party’s anti-Bernie establishment needed to reframe the discourse in a hurry. And—in tandem with mass media—it did.

    The reframing could be summed up in two words: Blame Russia.

    By early winter, the public discourse was going sideways—much to the benefit of party elites. The meme of blaming Russia and Vladimir Putin for the election of Donald Trump effectively functioned to let the Wall Street-friendly leadership of the national Democratic Party off the hook. Meanwhile, serious attempts to focus on the ways that wounds to democracy in the United States have been self-inflicted—whether via the campaign finance system or the purging of minorities from voter rolls or any number of other systemic injustices—were largely set aside.

    Fading from scrutiny was the establishment that continued to dominate the Democratic Party’s superstructure. At the same time, its devotion to economic elites was undiminished. As Bernie told a reporter on the last day of February: “Certainly there are some people in the Democratic Party who want to maintain the status quo. They would rather go down with the Titanic so long as they have first-class seats.”

    Amid great luxury and looming catastrophe, the party’s current hierarchy has invested enormous political capital in depicting Vladimir Putin as an unmitigated arch villain. Relevant history was irrelevant, to be ignored or denied.

    With dutiful conformity from most Democrats in Congress, the party elites doubled, tripled and quadrupled down on the emphatic claim that Moscow is the capital of, by any other name, an evil empire. Rather than just calling for what’s needed—a truly independent investigation into allegations that the Russian government interfered with the U.S. election—the party line became hyperbolic and unmoored from the available evidence.

    Given their vehement political investment in demonizing Russia’s President Putin, Democratic leaders are oriented to seeing the potential of detente with Russia as counterproductive in terms of their electoral strategy for 2018 and 2020. It’s a calculus that boosts the risks of nuclear annihilation, given the very real dangers of escalating tensions between Washington and Moscow.

    Along the way, top party officials seem bent on returning to a kind of pre-Bernie-campaign doldrums. The new chair of the Democratic National Committee, Tom Perez, can’t bring himself to say that the power of Wall Street is antithetical to the interests of working people. That reality came to painful light this week during a live appearance on national television.

    During a 10-minute joint interview along with Bernie Sanders on Tuesday night, Perez was a font of exactly the kind of trite empty slogans and worn-out platitudes that oiled the engines of the dismal Clinton campaign.

    While Sanders was forthright, Perez was evasive. While Sanders talked about systemic injustice, Perez fixated on Trump. While Sanders pointed to a way forward for realistic and far-reaching progressive change, Perez hung onto a rhetorical formula that expressed support for victims of the economic order without acknowledging the existence of victimizers.

    In an incisive article published by The Nation magazine, Robert Borosage wrote last week: “For all the urgent pleas for unity in the face of Trump, the party establishment has always made it clear that they mean unity under their banner. That’s why they mobilized to keep the leader of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Representative Keith Ellison, from becoming head of the DNC. It’s why the knives are still out for Sanders and those who supported him.”

    While Bernie is hardly a reliable opponent of U.S. war policies, he is significantly more critical of military intervention than the Democratic Party leaders who often champion it. Borosage noted that the party establishment is locked into militaristic orthodoxies that favor continuing to inflict the kind of disasters that the United States has brought to Iraq, Libya and other countries: “Democrats are in the midst of a major struggle to decide what they stand for and who they represent. Part of that is the debate over a bipartisan interventionist foreign policy that has so abjectly failed.”

    For the Democratic Party’s most hawkish wing—dominant from the top down and allied with Clinton’s de facto neocon approach to foreign policy—the U.S. government’s April 6 cruise missile attack on a Syrian airfield was an indication of real leverage for more war. That attack on a close ally of Russia showed that incessant Russia-baiting of Trump can get gratifying military results for the Democratic elites who are undaunted in their advocacy of regime change in Syria and elsewhere.

    The politically motivated missile attack on Syria showed just how dangerous it is to keep Russia-baiting Trump, giving him political incentive to prove how tough he is on Russia after all. What’s at stake includes the imperative of preventing a military clash between the world’s two nuclear superpowers. But the corporate hawks at the top of the national Democratic Party have other priorities.

     

    Link: https://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/04/20/democratic-partys-anti-bernie-elites-have-huge-stake-blaming-Russia

     

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19 replies
  • peacecorps (3427 posts)
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    1. Bernie seems to support both the investigation of possible Trump-Russia ties AND

    to promote the reform the Democratic Party (I doubt it will work but he seems to think it is worth the effort).

    Investigating possible Trump-Russia ties does indeed serve as a distraction from the real cause of Trump’s victory last year and therefore helps the Democratic establishment. Apparently Bernie does not think that ignoring those possible ties serves the purpose on promoting a genuine, left-wing progressive movement.

    • OCMI (1393 posts)
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      4. If Bernie were to say that investigation of possible ties is "off the table"

      The Party and its surrogates would be trumpeting (no pun intended) that Bernie was part of the “Russian conspiracy” to deny Her Highness the presidency.  By saying that there should be an investigation, he is signaling that he isn’t buying unsubstantiated hyperbole, and to let law enforcement do their job.  Cuts the Party line of attack off at the knees, IMO of course.

      If you dislike Trump, you should vote for him so we can change his party from within. Yes, Hillary supporters, this is how ridiculous you sound.
      • Koko (3579 posts)
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        7. …!

    • OzoneTom (860 posts)
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      5. I suspect that Sen. Sanders is willing to use this in the bigger picture

      Given that once this can of worms is opened, it is going to spatter all over members and operatives of both major parties as well as the current and previous administration.

      Pleased to have matching hands and feet.
      • OCMI (1393 posts)
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        9. +1 n/t

        If you dislike Trump, you should vote for him so we can change his party from within. Yes, Hillary supporters, this is how ridiculous you sound.
    • jdpriestly (5879 posts)
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      8. Trump, Manafort, etc. may have ties to Russia that should be examined and yet

      those ties still might not explain the release and hacking of the Hillary e-mails and certainly would not explain Hillary’s loss of the election.

      Sanders should have been the Democratic candidate.  He would have won.

      If anyone doubts that, they have only to watch the video of the Perez/Sanders rally in Louisville, Kentucky just the other night.  The enthusiasm, the love, the trust, the winning were all Bernie’s.

      That’s because Bernie is for real.  And Bernie talks about the central issue for the vast majority of Americans — our scary economy.

      Bernie should have been the candidate.  That fact is so obvious to anyone who looks at the facts squarely and is realistic.

      Hillary lost because of her personality and her cold phoniness.  Bernie would have won.  We all know that.  There isn’t really much argument against it.  The Hillaryites are grasping at straws because they have nothing else to grasp.

      Nevertheless, there may have been a relationship between Trump’s staff, even Trump and the Russians that was even more unsavory than Hillary’s approving the sale of interests in American uranium mines to Putin/Russians.  In fact that seems rather likely.

      Two separate issues.

      No Truth!  No Trust!  Bernie or Bust!
      • ZimInSeattle (1152 posts)
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        12. Rec+++^^^

        "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable" - JFK | Bernie would have WON! |“The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness" - J.K. Galbraith |“Fascism is a result of the failure of the left to provide an alternative” - Leon Trotsky | Sanders/Gabbard 2020 (PPP)
    • davidgmills (4949 posts)
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      18. I"m beginning to wish there were Russian ties.

      Russia seems to be the adult in the room.

      French Revolution; not secession.
  • SandersDem (719 posts)
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    2. The History of the Democratic Party Post Clinton

  • mick063 (2284 posts)
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    3. JPR rec

    Mick

    "I welcome their hatred"    Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • Satan (2295 posts)
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    6. I understand the sick "logic" in blaming Russia rather than admit they fucked up

    ….by putting all their eggs in the Hillary basket. What I do NOT understand is why they are pushing the Russia dragonshit instead of going after the Kristopher K. Kobach Interstate Crosscheck voter suppression database, which actually DID steal millions of votes.

    Why do the Turd Way “democrats” never mention this? And why do they remain silent about the electro-fraud “voting” machines, after they have been proven to be vulnerable in every election since 2002 – but most notably Ohio in 2004. These machines can be hacked, and have been. But not by Russians. The machines themselves aren’t even accessible by internet, and it’s not likely that Pooty has KGB agents running loose in individual polling places, hacking each terminal in a state he wants to win for Mother Russia.

    But of course the biggest loss of numbers can be directly laid at Hillary’s own feet. And those of Debbie Scatterbrained Lush, SHAFTA Tommy, Donna We Wish She Was In Brazil and the rest of the primary stealing Camp Weathervane sycophants. They pissed off half the voters to the point where they didn’t even bother voting at all.

    Fuck Kamala Harris. Fuck Borey Crooker. Fuck Joy Reid. And FUCK Hillary Clinton & her husband for destroying the Demoncratic Party.
    • jdpriestly (5879 posts)
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      10. Good points.

      There may be a certain lack of, shall we say, analytical ability among Hillary voters.  That may be why they supported her in the first place.  Perhaps a lack of analytical skill rather than outright lack of ability.

      No Truth!  No Trust!  Bernie or Bust!
  • ZimInSeattle (1152 posts)
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    11. There should be an investigation if for nothing else than putting the issue

    to bed once and for all. Too much energy wasted already on this bogus theory, IMO.

    "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable" - JFK | Bernie would have WON! |“The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness" - J.K. Galbraith |“Fascism is a result of the failure of the left to provide an alternative” - Leon Trotsky | Sanders/Gabbard 2020 (PPP)
  • Mom Cat (9778 posts)
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    13. This 71 year old female Bernie supporter knew it was a Rovian style smear all

    along.

         NEVER FORGET      BERNIE WON!          
  • MistaP (5668 posts)
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    14. actually woke up this morning thinking, "what if Trump tries to encourage the

    Russia story?” what if he’s been assured there’s nothing impeachable (or at least nothing beyond Sberbank levels) but knows it’s turning the Dems into irrational loons: he’s always played the opponent, not the game

    he inveigles both the sides against him into agreeing on something, fulfills it, and skips off–like how the neocons wanted a strike on Syria and the Dems+IC were demanding he break with Russia, so he hits one GOS base and Pelosi and Schumer veritably rip his pants off

    http://www.salon.com/2016/11/09/the-hillary-clinton-campaign-intentionally-created-donald-trump-with-its-pied-piper-strategy/ (Third Way = Bell Curve)
  • Baba OhReally (384 posts)
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    15. Norman Soloman has been on my radar since the Democratic Convention

    He was a Bernie delegate and one of the leaders of the contingent that refused Bernie’s pleas to support Her and the group ended up walking out en masse.

    baba4

  • Scissorhands (58 posts)
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    16. Who do they think they are fooling?

    Sanders voters know the truth. Trump voters know the truth. Hillary supporters, however, are clinging to the ‘Russia’ angle with a kung-fu death grip – but they are preaching (bullshit) to their own choir.

     

    For the sake of argument let’s say the Russians really did hack the DNC servers as alleged and leaked what they found – what would that have accomplished? If you were paying attention you already knew that the DNC had their thumb on the scale. The videos from Nevada are infinitely more incriminating than anything any alleged ‘hackers’ could have gleaned from DNC servers.

     

    How disconnected from reality do you have to be to keep pushing this when anyone with an IQ above room temperature can see right through it?

     

    The article points out that they are back to business-as-usual. Post schism this means that they are doomed to lose again and again unless/until the DLC/New “dem”/Third Way cancerous scum is eliminated from the Democratic party.

  • Mnpaul (1239 posts)
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    17. Nailed it.

    I just love his spot-on assessment:

    Efforts to lip-synch economic populism while remaining closely tied to Wall Street had led to a catastrophic defeat.

    If he can speak like that on the fly, he should run for office again. He has a good bio:

    Norman Solomon is an American journalist, media critic, antiwar activist, and former U.S. congressional candidate. Solomon is a longtime associate of the media watch group Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting.

     

    If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything - Hamilton
  • Fasttense (1445 posts)
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    19. At first I hoped that investigating Russian hacking of our voting system

    Would lead the Dems to investigate the election rigging by RepubliCONS. But the Dems get real close to the edge of that scandal then turnaround. Hillary did get more votes than Trump as did Gore.

    RepubliCON rigging let me count the ways…W and the Supremes…caging lists…gerrymandering…broken voting machines…moving vote counts…counting votes in other states…poll taxes with voter ID laws…recount blockades and excessive fees…intimidation of minority voters…moving districts and restricted number of polls…the list could go on. But it seems Dems are bound and determined to ignore all evidence of election fraud.

    Now, who gains when Dems pretend there is no election fraud by RepubliCONS?