Thursday Reads: Berning Down The Democratic Party

Good Morning!!

Finally some journalists are beginning to understand that Bernie Sanders is serious about trying to destroy the Democratic Party in hope that his “political revolution” will emerge from the chaos he and his supporters create. The Party should be focusing on how to beat Donald Trump, but Bernie is enjoying being the center of attention so much that he just can’t stop himself.

When he started running for president, I’m convinced that Sanders didn’t think he had a chance, but once the donations started flowing in and he saw the cheering crowd and read the article lionizing him, he began to believe he would win the nomination and actually be able to run the country his way.

Now that he has lost, Sanders seems determined to take everyone else down with him and hand the presidency to a seriously insane person with no experience in politics or government and no interest in learning about either.


Michael Tomasky at The Daily Beast: Bernie and Jane Sanders: The Democratic Party’s Thelma and Louise.

Now we are forced to ask whether Bernie Sanders has decided he wants to destroy the Democratic Party. I’m sure he would say he wants to save it. The way we saved villages in Vietnam. You know the quote.

I don’t allege that he decided to run as a Democrat for this reason. He did so, I’m told by those who’d know, because he did not want to be the 21st-century Ralph Nader and because he knew that running against Hillary Clinton would give him a much bigger stage on which to inveigh against the parasites.

That was then. But now, after the Nevada fracas and his gobsmacking statement in the wake of it, it’s remorselessly clear that he wants to obliterate the Democratic Party. Revolutions take on lives of their own. Robespierre never thought back in 1790 or ’91 that the guillotine would be needed. But as the dialecticians like to say, historical circumstances change. By 1793, those little sheep who’d been misled by sellouts like Danton were part of the…corrupt establishment.

Tomasky explains what he thinks is motivating Bernie and Jane Sanders and Jeff Weaver’s vicious attack on the Democratic Party.

Most things that happen in campaigns tell us something about people as politicians. This statement told us something about Sanders—and, I suspect, about his wife, Jane, and Jeff Weaver, his campaign manager—as human beings. Everything is subordinated to ideology. Basic human impulses are buried. There is only politics, only ideology, only the movement. I’m really glad we’re not in Romania in 1965. I know where I’d be.

I know this because I’ve known lots of people like this. Leftists like Sanders regard the Democratic Party as a far bigger problem in the world than the Republican Party. The thinking goes like this: The Republicans, sure, everybody knows they’re evil. That’s obvious. But the Democrats, they’re evil too. They adopt a few attractive positions, say nice things on certain issues as long as saying those nice things doesn’t really threaten the established economic order, so they’re even worse, finally, because they fool people into thinking they’re on their side. I heard this a hundred times from the old guys who used to hector me at the Socialist Scholars Conference in Manhattan 25 years ago when I used to speak there.

That’s what Bernie is. If he’d stayed in Brooklyn, he’d have been a Social Scholars Conference hectorer. He had the wisdom to move to a podunk state, and the luck to do so just as it was becoming the place where all the aging hippies were moving, and so he became a mayor and then a House member and, finally and exaltedly, a senator.


So many liberal bloggers and journalists have been saying nice things about Bernie throughout the primaries. Yesterday, Josh Marshall finally woke up to reality: It Comes From the Very Top.

Over the last several weeks I’ve had a series of conversations with multiple highly knowledgable, highly placed people. Perhaps it’s coming from Weaver too. The two guys have been together for decades. But the ‘burn it down’ attitude, the upping the ante, everything we saw in that statement released today by the campaign seems to be coming from Sanders himself. Right from the top.

This should have been obvious to me. The tone and tenor of a campaign always come from the top. It wasn’t obvious to me until now.

This might be because he’s temperamentally like that. There’s some evidence for that. It may also be that, like many other presidential contenders, once you get close it is simply impossible to let go. I don’t know which it is. That would only be my speculation. But this is coming from Bernie Sanders. It’s not Weaver. It’s not driven by people around him. It’s right from him. And what I understand from knowledgable sources is that in the last few weeks anyone who was trying to rein it in has basically stopped trying and just decided to let Bernie be Bernie.

Some journalists, like MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, Rachel Maddow, and Lawrence O’Donnell have basically been surrogates for the Sanders campaign. I’m not sure where Hayes and Maddow stand on burning down the Democratic Party, but Lawrence O’Donnell made it clear last night that he’s on board with Bernie’s plan.

Too bad Marshall didn’t start asking questions sooner.


Mother Jones’ Kevin Drum is still holding onto the fantasy that Sanders is basically a good guy who has gotten caught up in power-seeking: The Sad Decline and Fall of Bernie Sanders.

The one thing I do keep wondering about is what happened to Bernie Sanders. Before this campaign, he was a gadfly, he was a critic of the system, and he was a man of strong principles. He still is, but he’s also obviously very, very bitter. I wonder if all this was worth it for him? By all objective measures he did way better than anyone expected and had far more influence than anyone thought he would, and he should feel good about that. Instead, he seems more angry and resentful with every passing day….

I don’t even blame anyone in particular. Maybe Hillary’s team played too rough. Maybe Bernie’s team is too thin-skinned. I just don’t know. But it’s sort of painful to see a good person like Bernie turned into such a sullen and resentful man. And doubly painful to see him take his followers down that path too.

Usually these things fade with a bit of time. Politics is politics, after all. But for Bernie, it’s always been more than politics. I wonder if he’s ever going to get over this?

“Hillary’s team played too rough?” Give me a break. They have held back on many of the attacks they could have used.


Some journalists, like MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, Rachel Maddow, and Lawrence O’Donnell, have basically acted as surrogates for the Sanders campaign. I’m not sure where Hayes and Maddow stand after Bernie’s latest disgraceful behavior, but Lawrence O’Donnell made clear last night that he is still in the Sanders camp.

On last night’s show, O’Donnell hyped the latest Fox News poll that had Trump leading Clinton by a couple of points; of course he failed to point out that poll sample included a larger proportion of Republicans than is contained in the population as a whole.

O’Donnell noted that Bernie Sanders still leads Trump in the Fox poll. He claimed that Hillary Clinton has never been able to raise her standing in polls–she always goes down. He actually went on to advocate that Democratic superdelegates should overturn the will of the voters and make Sanders the nominee!

Here’s Greg Sargent, who has been Bernie-friendly for most of the campaign: Will Bernie Sanders burn it all down?

In an interview with me today, top Sanders adviser Tad Devine — while stressing that Sanders would support the eventual nominee — demurred on the broader question of whether he would, in the end, do everything necessary to persuade his supporters of the legitimacy of the process.

At the same time, in a separate interview, a top supporter of Sanders — Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon — bluntly told me that if Sanders finishes behind in pledged delegates and the popular vote, he should not continue to try to win over super-delegates, and should concede rather than take the battle to the convention.

I asked Devine: If Clinton wins the nomination after all the votes have been cast, will Sanders issue an unequivocal declaration that the outcome was legitimate?

“We’re still involved in this process, so it’s hard for me to declare what’s going to happen at the end,” Devine said. “As we look forward, there are a lot of issues of deep concern.”

Devine cited the DNC’s appointment of former Rep. Barney Frank as the chairman of the Democratic National Convention’s Rules Committee and the appointment of Connecticut governor Dan Malloy as the co-chair of the Platform Committee, arguing that both had been “partisan” in their “attacks” on Sanders.

So the answer is no. The Sanders campaign will continue to whip up the Bernie bros and encourage protests and perhaps even violence at the Democratic convention in July. Democratic leaders need to act now to head these people off at the pass.


The Hill reports that Democrats held a closed-door meeting on Tuesday to discuss the Sanders threat: How Senate Democrats are trying to deal with Sanders.

Democrats in the room decided the best course would be to let Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) handle the delicate task of talking to Sanders about the increasingly negative tone of supporters of his presidential bid, according to sources familiar with what happened at the meeting.

“I’m leaving it up to Reid. That’s what the caucus did yesterday. We said he would be the lead on it,” said one Democratic senator. “There was some suggestion that we would all make calls. And everybody said the best idea is to let the leader handle it.”

A senior Democratic aide said that thinking reflects an acknowledgement among the senators that Reid is the one member of the caucus who “has an actual relationship with him.”

Sanders is a political independent who caucuses with Democrats. That’s made him a bit of an outsider with his colleagues, something highlighted by the Vermont senator’s rebuke this week of a Democratic Party he says should open its doors to political independents.

The presidential candidate is not chummy with his colleagues.

 Fellow senators have been known to roll their eyes at his idealistic — some say unrealistic — jeremiads in private meetings. Sanders is known for speaking out at the sessions.

Reid, however, has always been a helpful ally. He gave Sanders the full benefits of membership in the Democratic caucus after his election to the Senate in 2006, rewarding him with the committee assignments he wanted even though he was not a registered Democrat.

Well, Harry Reid tried and failed to reason with Bernie. To paraphrase the famous quote from Jaws, I think the Democrats are gonna need a bigger plan.

So . . . what stories are you following today?


53 Comments on “Thursday Reads: Berning Down The Democratic Party”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    This is hilarious.

    If Sanders supporters complained about other things the way they complain about election results, by Alexandra Petri.


    I played exactly the same word as my opponent, using exactly the same letters, and received fewer points for it — just because I wasn’t on some pink square, which my opponent claimed gave you DOUBLE the points. Pretty sure that’s the definition of rigged. Why would you just randomly have squares all over the board that counted for MORE or FEWER points when it’s just the same words? Also my opponent had two BLANK tiles, which just got to be WHATEVER letters she wanted. This seems made-up. Milton Bradley are shills who are trying to prevent the revolution. Also, “BERN” is totally a word.

    Where do I even start with this? I am literally shaking as I type. This game is a travesty. Just because my opponent got two blue properties, she got to charge me INSANE AMOUNTS whenever I landed on them? I didn’t ASK to stay in her Park Place hotel. I would gladly sleep outdoors beneath a tent and keep my integrity, but this option was not provided. I also had two blue properties but I received none of the advantages that she did. Why does it cost more to land on Park Place and Boardwalk than on Connecticut or Vermont Avenue? If anything, Vermont should count double. Sometimes my opponent and I would land on exactly the same Chance square and she would get $150 and I would get something worthless like Second Prize in a Beauty Contest. This is not fair. Also I didn’t get to play as the dog and I wanted to play as the dog.

  2. bostonboomer says:


  3. janicen says:

    Great post, bb. More and more people are starting to see the writing on the wall. If only Bernie and his followers would. I love that pic of Bernie and Jane. It tells the story.

    • Ron4Hills says:

      As much as I am not “feeling the Jane”, I’d rather see Bernie do Thelma and Louise with Sarandon. Or better yet, can you get Sarandon AND Dawson both in the back seat?

  4. Gilbert MonDragon says:

    Have any of you noticed that on so-called “progressive sites,” Crooks and Liars, Digby’s Hullabaloo to name a few, not one of them has called out this narcissist and his band of lunatics? They sure do love to post all sorts of nasty nonsense if it has a negative Hillary vibe to it but never do you see anything that remotely calls out what we are all witnessing.

    Yes, I get it. True believers are true believers no matter what it is they believe but I have long come to the conclusion that many of these so-called “progressive” bloggers and their pages have been in league with and taken money from, the dark side. I truly believe, and I realize some here may think me wrong or out of line, but I honestly believe Digby and her ilk have a few secret donors and dance to their tune.

    As for MSNBC and the “In your face” support of Sanders…….I refuse to watch it. O’Donnell was always a Clinton hater so his pontificating has always rubbed me raw but Maddow? Well, I should have seen that coming and Hayes? Has anyone seen the look on his face and the giddiness he displays when Sanders speaks and attacks Hillary? Just watch. It’s in your face. The same with Maddow.
    I am sick of turning the TV on, switching to that channel and watching Maddow shill for Bernie over and over again. It;s disgusting and speaks volumes.

    I’m done with these “progressives.” I am done with their faux Democratic rah rah…..It is obvious what they are after and it is not for the betterment of out party.

    I am reminded of my 3 year old grandson every time I encounter, listen to or read anything about these Sandernistas. The very same tantrums, the very same logic his growing brain uses to get his way with me is what I am now witnessing with the Bernbots. These creatures ( and forgive me my anger. I do not mean to lump them all in this category. Just the irrational ones. The vocal ones. The CRAZY ones. ) Can not be rationed with.

    They want to see the world burn and G’Damnit……..That’s what they intend to do.

    • dakinikat says:

      Crooks & Liars threw in with Sanders a long time ago. They’re a lost cause.

      • Gilbert MonDragon says:

        I agree Dak.
        What appalls me more are the comments. You have the Sandernistas using every Rethug meme known to man to diminish, humiliate, ridicule Clinton supporters and when you point that out to them, the response is……”You hate us! You laugh at Us. Your not fair,. There was no food at the convention. There was no good parking. No water..” Bernie is winning. The system is rigged. She s a Blah Blah Blah..*Insert your gripe here please.”

        And this coming from so-called intelligent folk? I saw this coming way back when he announced his run. I had followed him for some time and it was known he was a petulant, failed revolutionary wannabe……I bet they rue the day they allowed him to run as a Democrat!

    • bostonboomer says:

      Digby doesn’t support Bernie. She has called him out on Twitter.

      • Gilbert MonDragon says:

        You may be right there Boston but I have yet to see her or Tom Sullivan denounce any of it on the page that bears her name.

        Just saying.

    • janicen says:

      Good for Rep Stokes for calling those assholes out. What a giggling bunch of scum bags. I feel like sending Stokes a campaign contribution.

      This kind of attitude is pervasive. It’s not limited to red states. There are sexist assholes everywhere, they just hide it better in the blue states.

    • NW Luna says:

      This shit is still going on in a state legislature?

      There is at least less of this in a blue state.

  5. Sweet Sue says:

    Hillary was fantastic on CNN, today, with Chris Cuomo. The contrast between her and Donald Trump could not be starker, and, today, she flatly said that Trump is not fit to be president.

  6. bostonboomer says:

    A disability activist writes about being ignored by the Sanders campaign for months and then being welcomed and then hired by the Clinton campaign. It’s a must read.

    “Berned” By Bernie Sanders

    The thought of considering Clinton felt hypocritical of me. I told myself, “How can I support someone who probably cares more about Wall Street than me?” But I certainly couldn’t consider Donald Trump, who mocks disabled people and assumes we’re stupid enough to think that’s not what he was doing. So, begrudgingly, I told a Hillary supporter with a disability that I was now considering supporting Hillary. He immediately introduced me via email to a blind Clinton staffer. Within literally minutes, she emailed me at 9 p.m. saying she would like to speak to me about the campaign. I was so encouraged by how quickly they responded, after the months I was ignored by Bernie.

    She didn’t treat me like a nuisance like the Bernie campaign did but rather an asset. She wanted to know my legal and advocacy opinion on disability policy. She explained in detail how Hillary planned to initiate change for us with sophisticated, legal political strategy. And, then she asked me to come on board and help the campaign best meet the needs of the disability community through, inter alia, writing for the campaign after they were able to officially vet my credentials. I soon realized that the Clinton campaign didn’t just care about the disability community; they hired us and treated us like the intelligent people we are.

    My conversation with the Clinton campaign regained my hopefulness but also made me incensed that Bernie is maliciously lying to democrats about Clinton’s uncaring regard for the 99%, while destroying the party from within. Bernie is adamant that Hillary only cares about corporate interests and not the typical marginalized American. But, in fact, the opposite is true. If he cared about his supporters’ interests, his campaign would respond to these communities, listen to their issues and modify his platform accordingly.

    His speeches never change for a reason. It isn’t because, as his supporters allege, he’s authentic and always on the right side of things. It’s because he doesn’t care to adapt, to research issues other than income inequality and the environment, follow up on his lofty ideas with solid policy initiatives or to make any compromises to achieve his goals. Rather, he just plays the blame game, pointing out everything that’s wrong with this country and proposing no specific plans to achieve his goals.

    • quixote says:

      Um, not even the environment, really. He was quite willing — in the kindest possible interpretation — to leave people to their wishful thinking about Coal Forever just to get a few more votes in West Virginia.

      • Fredster says:

        I was wondering about that Quixote. Throwing in with Arch, Peabody and the like certainly isn’t a green position.

      • NW Luna says:

        And dump waste in poor people’s back yard.

        Bernie is maliciously lying to democrats about Clinton’s uncaring regard for the 99%

        This especially gets me furious. The Berniebots at the caucus were saying stuff like this. She was getting shit done for the working class and underserved in college and after, while he was dithering about what he would do, making speeches, and writing about his sick rape fantasies.

  7. bostonboomer says:

    Another Bernie-friendly blogger suddenly begins to see the light.

    Ed Kilgore: Sanders Needs to Talk Down His Supporters and Explain That Nothing Is Being ‘Stolen’

    • Gilbert MonDragon says:

      Kinda late don’t ya think?

      Oh well. Better late than never.
      I suspect St. Bernie is beyond any intervention now. He truly believes he is “Special.”
      He has imbibed of the “Waters of Narcissism” and has eaten his fill of the “fruit of Egomaia.”

      Someone who has become drunk on his own copy is a dangerous person and I fear he will go to Philly and do what he is claiming he will do………..Burn the house down!

      I hope I am wrong

  8. Fredster says:

    Devine needs to be careful. He has partners in a media company in D.C. and I’m sure the partners are wanting to eat after the election is over. If he keeps this up he’s not going to have much business with mainstream Democrats after this is over.

  9. William says:

    Excellent excerpts from Tomasky. Yes, Sanders has always reminded me of one of those angry ’60’s radicals who hate just about every aspect of America, and who think that the Democrats are the real enemy, just like the Communists hated FDR in the ’30’s, because his policies were seen by them as calming down the people who otherwise might rise up in violent revolution like they did in Russia.

    Sanders is the wish fulfillment of all of those Left internet sites which have hated the Clintons for decades. They thought that Obama was their wish fulfillment, but he let them down, so they tranferred their adulation to Sanders. The anti-Hillary wing of the party was always going to get 40% or so against her. Sanders didn’t do anything special, and it never shocked me that he got this percentage. The far Left would vote for just about anyone instead of Hillary. Apparently there are people who now are convincing themselves that they would rather have Trump than Hillary. A site which I used to read eight years ago, Naked Capitalism, had a repulsive headline today which I saw linked, but would not read; something about Big Business preferring Hillary, because “they would rather have the former Goldwater Girl than Trump.” The Left hates Hillary, someone who voted the same as Sanders 93% of the time in the Senate, so much, that they will convince themselves that an insane megalomanic would be better, because he is not Hillary. They are such pretentious and arrogant fools. The German Socialists said, “Nach Hitler, Uns,” (“After Hitler, Us”) in the early 1930’s.

    And Sanders, like most of the ’60’s radicals, is intransigent, self-righteous, without warmth or
    real human empathy; it is all about the abstract collective for him. I don’t know what it will take to get him to stop. He has already done great damage, and is intent on doing more. He will not leave the spotlight, he cannot bear to go back to his little outpost of one in the Senate. He thinks that if he wins California (the media will make the biggest deal out of this, conveniently ignoring that Jerry Brown won it in ’76, Ted Kennedy in ’80; Hart in ’84), he has more power, but he really doesn’t. The Hillary delegates can beat him on every platform plank. At this point, and it is a risky call, I think that they should squelch him in that way, and take the chance that he doesn’t run a third party bid. He has no ability to convince his supporters to back Hillary; and he wouldn’t do so in any event; so why keep indulging him?

    • janicen says:

      I think the indulging will be soon coming to an end as evidenced by the number of bloggers who have become unhappy with him and the run of the mill supporters who are turning on him. Nevada was a mistake. People are seeing that and seeing the light. A friend of mine, whom I would have sworn was a die hard Bernie Bro has turned. Nevada disgusted him. It’s happening.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Great comment, William. I wasn’t surprised by the anti-Clinton left either. But the polls show that the younger Bernie supporters will mostly vote for Hillary against Trump. It’s only the Glenn Greenwald-burnout types who will be rooting for Trump to trigger the “revolution.”

  10. ANonOMouse says:

    Another reason why the plan to “make nice” with the Bernie supporters was doomed to fail. Most of those who blog or tweet aren’t interested in making nice. They’re interested in taking over the Democratic Party and using it as their vehicle to “revolution”. I had Bernie supporters telling me months ago that this years convention was going to be “1968 all over again”. Well, it’s not!!!!!! When this comes down to the end, Bernie will lose and his Bullshit ideas will go back onto mothballs with the rest of the Stalinist wannabes.

    One thing the DNC needs to do when this campaign is over is MAKE IT IMPOSSIBLE for another Bernie wannabe to use the Democratic Party to live out their fantasy. Fuck Bernie and the Bernbros!!!

    • NW Luna says:

      Whomever Sanders’ primary challengers are, they will be inundated with donations from Hillary supporters!

    • janicen says:

      You’re right, it’s excellent. From the piece:

      If this isn’t the end for the Republican Party, it’ll be a shame. They dominated American political life for 50 years and were never anything but monsters. They bred in their voters the incredible attitude that Republicans were the only people within our borders who raised children, loved their country, died in battle or paid taxes. They even sullied the word “American” by insisting they were the only real ones. They preferred Lubbock to Paris, and their idea of an intellectual was Newt Gingrich. Their leaders, from Ralph Reed to Bill Frist to Tom DeLay to Rick Santorum to Romney and Ryan, were an interminable assembly line of shrieking, witch-hunting celibates, all with the same haircut – the kind of people who thought Iran-Contra was nothing, but would grind the affairs of state to a halt over a blow job or Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube.

      Read more:
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  11. jackyt says:

    This makes me fall in love with the Clintons all over again.