Published in BlackCommentator.com on March 19, 2020
With the coronavirus looming on the nation like a heavy shroud, most folks have probably forgot about the super conniving by the Democrats. For those who say the Dems can’t organize, they organize in their own establishment interests. We saw an almost magical disappearance of candidates dropping out to make way for Joe Biden. A New York Times headline said it best: Democratic Leaders Willing to Risk Party Damage to Stop Bernie Sanders.
If one is of sound mind, you know there’s nothing radical or revolutionary about the Democratic Party. Calling it a progressive party is being generous. I know all of this, but I was still hopping mad when I said the invisible hand of the party manipulate the process to ensure a clear path to the White House for Uncle Joe. Tom Steyer, Pete Buttigieg Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, Mike Bloomberg—poof. Gone.
Weeks before Super Tuesday, there was rumblings by Party operatives that Bernie Sanders was problematic on several levels. The big one is talking that socialist smack would mean that Dems in all races would have to wear that jacket. They believed this could mean a loss of the presidency, some Congressional seats and some state or local races. The mainstream media has joined in to amplify Sanders as a failed presidential candidate that should move on.
Bernie has struggled with the Black vote, but he definitely made inroads. Prior to Super Tuesday, 100+ Black writers and academicians endorsed the Sanders campaign. On the enthusiasm scale, he scores high and an enthusiastic voter is what we’re going to need on November 3, 2020.
Back to the undemocratic moves of the party.
There was unwarranted fear that Sander would go into the convention with either a majority or a plurality forcing a brokered convention. This is not that big a deal because of the nearly 800 superdelegates in place to maintain the status quo. There was no way that Bernie could get through that firewall.
What some of us had hoped to see was a fair process where candidates had a chance to strut their stuff, defend their positions on the burning issues of the day. What we saw was the Democratic National Committee change the rules to allow Bloomberg to participate in the presidential debate. Since the billionaire was bank-rolling his own campaign, Bloomberg didn’t meet the DNC’s minimum number of donations to win a spot at the debate. There was much pleading to change the rules to for the sake of diversity on the debate stage, but the rules were strictly applied. Corey Booker and Kamala Harris didn’t meet their quota. So, poof—they were gone.
Did I mention that Bloomberg contributed $300k to the DNC and about $800k to a DNC-affiliated PAC? A million dollars got him on the stage.
The same rigged system the Dems cry about with the Republicans is being replicated. It is turning off voters who were lukewarm to the party already but who still have a hunger to dump trump. How is the party going to bring the youthful white, Black and Brown voters into a Biden coalition that will trounce trump forever?
For years, I’ve criticized the Democratic Party for not paying attention to its base. The important responsibility of voter engagement (from registration to getting out the vote) has been largely left to grassroots groups and progressive state-wide coalitions. The party has been ignoring its loyal base but predictably, it will soon come a-courtin’ on the road to the 1600 Pennsylvania.
This is a fragile coalition that must be unified around the strategic goal of “anybody but trump.” Stop pushing Bernie out, let the process run its course. Every voter who feels spurned and stays at home in November increases the margin of victory for the wanna-be dictator who has been running havoc on the country for the last three years.
The Dems got a lot of making up to do. The lesson the Party must learn fast is that it will be easier to persuade a disillusioned voter than one who feels scorned yet again.