Bernie, Hillary, and body language

hillary-clinton-bernie-sanders-president-endorsement-new-hampshire-democrats.jpg&maxw=620&q=100&cb=20160712145319&cci_ts=20160712145315Yesterday, Bernie endorsed Hillary. Body language experts across the Web came to the same conclusion: They don’t like each other. They saw Hillary as uncomfortable, even vulnerable. They observed Bernie as resentful, doing something he didn’t want to do. Hillary and the DNC had to cough up a lot of concessions to get Bernie’s endorsement. And it was equally painful for Bernie to agree to it. While endorsing, he recited his campaign proposals and then declared Hillary was now supporting them. A brilliant move on Bernie’s part. What used to be a meaningless piece of paper—the Democratic Party Platform—is now publicly tied to Hillary. It’s hers to betray and everyone will know when she does.

Tonight, Bernie delegate Jen Ranes reported on a conference call he held with his delegates. She said:

  • He has NOT suspended his campaign.
  • He is taking this to the convention.
  • He needs his delegates there.
  • He will call for a role call vote.

Even though Bernie endorsed Hillary, this is not yet a done deal. Chances are quite high she will be the nominee, but Bernie will keep his options open all the way to the convention.

This has not gone down as Hillary had planned. What should have been an easy and short glide to the nomination turned into a long, humiliating trek. While she struggled to fill high school gymnasiums, Bernie filled football stadiums. She was forced to take time off to beg billionaires for money, while Bernie took two minutes to ask for donations at campaign events. Ever loyal to power, the corporate media maintained its blackout on Bernie’s campaign. They refused to cover the massive crowds and the extraordinary, historic nature of his run. They ignored that he had turned modern politics on its head.

Bernie exposes the establishment

What the media didn’t see coming was Bernie outing the Party leadership as not giving a rat’s ass about the rest of us. He was relentless in calling out the “Democratic establishment” and the “media establishment,” as servants of the 1%. Distracted by the incestuous, never-ending DC money game, and used to pretending to be progressive for the rubes back home, party elites were blindsided by Bernie’s spectacular success. People didn’t know they were hungry for Bernie’s message until they heard it, and found themselves overwhelmed and moved by his honesty, his integrity, and his humane proposals. Especially for younger people struggling to get an education and find a job, Bernie’s Democratic socialism seemed sane and sensible. The Party freaked out. It had lost control. A rumpled 74-year-old socialist was the Democratic rock star of 2016, not Hillary Clinton, their handpicked heir to the throne. They regrouped and pulled it off with the help of local party hacks, vote rigging, scheduling as few debates as possible, and a loyal corporate media relentlessly ignoring and/or undermining Bernie. And Yay! It worked! A damaged Clinton limped across the finish line and prematurely claimed victory.

Clinton baggage

Because Wall Street and the Deep State trust her to do their bidding, the DNC put Hillary forward as the Democratic Party candidate. Claiming to be neutral they blatantly tipped the scales in her favor. They ignored her high negatives—knowing both Democrats and Republicans view her as dishonest and unlikable. They ignored Bill’s smarmy past, and his/their terrible economic policies that led to the 2008 meltdown. They ignored their racism—the gutting of welfare programs, the buildup of the for-profit prison system, and, in 2008, Hillary’s 3 AM ads against Obama. They ignored the ravages of NAFTA. The Clinton’s personal and political baggage would fill a semi. The Party picked a familiar but terrible candidate.

If she is nominated at the convention, Hillary will go up against Trump in November and the polling doesn’t look good. Bernie has endorsed her and agreed to campaign for her. Thanks to his integrity and tenacity, she has inherited the most progressive Democratic platform in the history of the Party. It’s not everything he or we wanted, but it’s dramatically better than anything she and the Party would have typed up only to forget as soon as the convention ended. By using his considerable leverage, and forcing his progressive platform on the Party, Bernie may have rescued her from defeat. If she is the nominee and genuinely runs on that platform, she may squeak out a win against Trump.

A Democratic Party split?

Bernie could have deliberately blown up the Democratic Party, split it in two. But, even though the Party doesn’t deserve it, he graciously offered to save it from itself. That isn’t to say that the Party won’t split anyway. The installation of Hillary Clinton as the nominee may cause the party to implode—progressives taking off in one direction and corporate shills in the other.

Unlike other “loser” candidates, and it’s not clear that he has officially lost, Bernie will refuse to go quietly into the night. He plans to help elect progressive down ticket candidates, many at odds with the current Democratic establishment. He has announced that, if she is elected, he will organize his supporters to hold her feet to the fire, and to hold all Democrats feet to the fire. She knows that and he knows that. No matter what happens, the future is going to be contentious, because the revolution Bernie started is just beginning. And we should be forever grateful to him for that.