In a March interview with Grist, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein virtually predicted the demise of the Bernie Sanders campaign.
In a feature that was poised to make Bernie’s campaign much less progressive than advertised when contrasted to that of Hillary Clinton, Stein offered up a summation of the efforts of Bernie in what always seemed to be an uphill battle for Democrat acknowledgement against both the party agenda and history.
“The Democratic Party has a very clear track record of sabotaging rebels… Go back to Jesse Jackson, who had won 11 major primaries in 1988, and was basically taken out by a fear campaign started by the Democratic Party.”
Never a secret was the desire, and eventual success, of the Sanders campaign to push challenger Hillary Clinton, and ultimately the Democratic Party platform, to the left. As Vox states, the Bernie camp celebrated the drafting of the Democrat’s 2016 platform, which included several key components of their campaign, as a victory. But did it really convince Hillary? Recent events say no.
Platform concessions by the Democratic Party on the topics of marijuana, minimum wage, climate change, the TPP, Israel-Palestine, and the death penalty look good for the Sanders campaign, but as New York Magazine argues, there is little onus on Clinton, or the Democrats, to live up to them.
Still, the platform remains to be ratified. That will happen after the Democratic National Convention concludes later this week, but if Jill Stein’s words on the historical tendencies of the Democratic Party from her March interview are to be heeded, there may not be much to expect.
“The party does this fake go-left thing by allowing genuine reformers to be seen and heard, but they never allow them to go all the way. You can’t really have a revolutionary campaign inside a counter-revolutionary party.”
Writing for Truth-Out in 2014, Michael Trudeau commented on the possibility then of Bernie Sanders running as a Democrat in the 2016 race. While arguing that the way to challenge what he charges as the Republican and Democrat “corporatocracy” is to advance alternative parties, he touches on a common adage of the U.S. political left.
“Social movements die in the Democratic Party.”
By saying this, Trudeau borrows from the long-held leftist sentiment that the Democratic Party is “the graveyard of social movements.” This criticism of the party since the 19th century tends to pay special attention to the Democratic nullification of movements from labor in the 1930s, to civil rights in the 1960s, to feminism in the 1970s, to the death of antiwar Democrats in 2004.
In a turn of events for the Democratic Party, the widely reported email leak which exposed long-held allegations that Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Chairperson of the Democratic National Committee, and her party plotted against the campaign of Bernie Sanders, she has successively resigned from her position and been appointed to head Hillary Clinton’s campaign committee.
Coming on the heels of the Clinton campaign’s tapping of Virginia Governor Tim Kaine, with whom progressives have their own issues, for Vice President represents a deep disregard for Sanders and his campaign according to Jill Stein, commenting on the email leak for US Uncut.
“I think it would be very hard for a self-respecting Sanders supporter, in light of these revelations, to take the beating and humiliate themselves and disrespect themselves, to go into the campaign and support the predator who destroyed them.”
In an interview on MSNBC’s Meet the Press, Sanders reaffirmed his support for Hillary Clinton in the wake of the email leak and the naming of Tim Kaine to her ticket. While an NPR report carried Sanders calling the leak “outrageous”, but ultimately “not a shock,” it remains to be seen how his campaign will react to the news of Wasserman Schultz’s appointment to the Clinton campaign.
Meanwhile, the Green Party’s Stein, in a press release over the leaks, reasserted her offer to collaborate with the Vermont Senator.
“I want to commend Bernie Sanders and his supporters for running an earth shaking campaign despite the covert, continuous assault by the Democratic Party. After such betrayal, if Senator Sanders repudiates the Democratic Party, I would welcome him into the Green Party to continue this political revolution. We now see that this movement is more urgently needed than ever.”
[Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]