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June 16, 2016

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Once an elementary school soccer game is over, the children all celebrate each others' sportsmanship and then go out together and get some milkshakes.

National politics is not a children's soccer game. Life and death matters are at issue. Bernie Sanders ran against Clinton to prevent her from helping to tighten the grip that Wall Street criminals have over our economy and our individual livelihoods. He ran to stop her from starting more wars and slaughtering more hundreds of thousands of innocents. He ran to block Hillary's friends the war profiteers from draining more and more treasure from the pockets of working Americans. He ran to salvage public education and public health from those, including Hillary, determined to destroy them. And he ran to stop the Clinton crime family from using national political office to enrich themselves at the expense of the nation and of national security.

Those are desperately important matters, and there are many more of equal importance, on which the two candidates were and are on opposite sites. The one that would deserve your scorn would be the one who would lightly toss those concerns aside when the odds seem to be the most desperate, and switch to the war-mongering, war-profiteering, criminal team, not the one who keeps fighting for the future of the American people and the future of the world.

To stop now would be to betray not only the millions who gave of their toil and treasure to the cause of justice. It would be a foolish disregarding of the realities that still obtain on the ground. Wikileaks is about to publish more thousands upon thousands of Hillary's emails detailing her criminal behaviors in office. If the DOJ refuses to indict her on the basis of that criminality, and if she gains the presidency, then it's a virtual certainty that the Republicans, should they hold onto the Congress, will impeach her.

In the light of all that, and assuming that Hillary gains the nomination (and that's not quite the certainty that desperate right-wing faux Democrats are pushing) then the Sanders army will not meekly betray the ideals they've fought for; this is not some schoolyard game. They will continue the fight for as long as it takes, and on whatever ground the opposing forces find themselves. After this battle, if it's lost, then those who've fought beside Sanders for the ideals that the Democratic party used to promote will join the fight to elect Jill Stein. Those who were merely sucking around the roots of power will trail after Hillary, to whatever fate awaits her.

It's ironic that a self described "ex-hippie" is resorting to hippie punching.

It isn't about punching Bernie, or being opposed to Sanders' general political/progressive viewpoint. I agree with him on most issues.

What bothers me is that Sanders is frittering away the energy of his movement, his so-called "revolution," by focusing so much on whiny gripes about internal Democratic Party procedures, organization, and such -- all of which was in place before he decided to run for president.

Sanders needs to focus less on himself and more on what is good for the country. He needs to embrace Hillary Clinton, the democratically chosen Democratic Party nominee, and work with her on implementing progressive policies in a Clinton administration. He lost. She won. Sanders and his supporters need to deal with that inescapable reality.

Politico has a piece along this line today:
http://www.politico.com/story/2016/06/sanders-loses-convention-leverage-224469

Excerpt:
------------------
Leverage: it’s the one thing Bernie Sanders’ advisors and aides consistently point to when asked why, exactly, he’s formally staying in the Democratic primary race that he’s lost to Hillary Clinton.

But it's the one thing he’s been bleeding every day ever since he dropped California’s primary by a much wider-than-expected margin last week. Sanders’ summer was supposed to be all about building leverage for the Democratic convention, providing him with a better hand to play as he presses Clinton to accept his policy positions and party reform suggestions. Now, the people closest to him aren’t sure how exactly to get it back.

His first and most prominent endorsers have jumped off the bandwagon, congratulating and in some cases endorsing Clinton — from Sen. Jeff Merkley to Rep. Raul Grijalva, and from the Communications Workers of America to MoveOn.org.Each of the big-name Democrats and groups who steadfastly remained neutral in the primary have flocked to Clinton over the past week, from President Barack Obama to Sen. Elizabeth Warren to the AFL-CIO. Even Sanders' highest-profile congressional endorsee, Nevada’s Lucy Flores, lost her primary bid on Tuesday despite his cash injection into her campaign.

Yet on Thursday night, speaking to over 200,000 viewers who tuned into his live-streamed video address, Sanders vowed to press on — pledging to fight to defeat Donald Trump but refusing to formally back Clinton and insisting his army of supporters isn’t going anywhere.

Brian, when you say, "Sanders' grand political vision is fine. However, his perception is horribly blurred when it comes to dealing with concrete, practical, realistic policy decisions," that is hippy-punching. It's just worded nicer than "shut up, get your head out of the sky and fall in line."

Saying that he is frittering away the energy in his movement assumes 2 things. 1. That it is a worthwhile goal to funnel that energy into a corrupt party, a party that he is not actually a member of and 2. That endorsing Clinton wouldn't alienate vast numbers of his supporters. He isn't dumb. The majority of his speech last night was solidifying what he sees as the movement's main goals and encouraging people to get involved in reforming a the corrupt, out of touch, Democratic Party. (I am still not sure this is even a worthwhile goal nationally, state parties can be vessels for progressive change though.) Many of the voters that the Sanders movement reached are people who won't fall in line with the Democrats. This condescension from Clinton supporters and Party leadership won't change that.

Admittedly, I am a Bernie supporter. But I have nothing against Hillary in the way many Bernie supporters do. I just see his platform as different then her's and honestly much more in line with what we need if we'd ever like to revisit the democracy we once had.

Still, I assume that Clinton will be the nominee "officially" and I will there for be voting for HER come November. Bernie hanging around and still pushing a much needed message will not hurt Hillary for the next month. Bernie not acknowledging her until the convention will not HURT HER or the PARTY either. No one is less likely to back Hillary in November because of Bernie today. I mean, have you met the average American voter? Most of them won't make up their minds until the ballot is in front of them!

I'm finding the movement to tell Bernie to step down just as irrational and irritating as people seem to feel his not stepping aside is. We have a date for an official convention do we not? Does anything matter prior to that really? Because if it does then it begs the question "what is the convention for" if everything *needs* to be settled before the convention. The convention, that we the public, have always been told is WHERE we officially nominate our candidate.

So far, no one has mentioned the overriding reason for all this pressure for Bernie to drop out.

If he were to drop out, and if subsequently Hillary were to be indicted, then Bernie, no longer a candidate and with no delegates, would have no claim to press insofar as the nomination is concerned. The totally corrupt DNC would then be free to push forward one of their thoroughly corrupted individuals, such as Biden or Schumer.

During my first year of political campaign management I worked for a campaign genius who couched a lot of meaningful advice in the form of deceptively simple aphorisms. One of those was this: "always put yourself in a position to take advantage of a miracle should one happen to occur."

Seems to me that is exactly what Bernie is doing; if he caves in to the Wall Street War Party and drops out, then Baal only knows what gawdawful replacement would take Hillary's place if she were to be forced out.

Things are complex; superficial understanding and superficial thinking don't have much value in the Big People's league.

Speaking of whining, I'd say fantasies that Sanders will fold up his tent and stand, bobble-heading, two steps behind Hillary at a rally just ain't gonna happen. Sanders is made of sterner stuff than Chris Christie.

That cloying patronage about "what a wonderful campaign"
Bernie's waged won't have him shuffling up to the microphone for an endorsement either. Sanders has the overwhelming support of the youth, a momentum that defies caucus tallies and super-delegate rigging, and now he has real political clout too. He can and should demand the Democratic platform reflect that. This is hard-ball... the kind Hillary knows well.

Deny the political gravitas he and his movement have earned
and take your changes with Trump if you must. Hillary will
still win... Trump's numbers keep diving. Meanwhile Bernie
will work to defeat Trump but on his terms, not those of
Hillary's political hacks. Besides, phony endorsements and
kumbaya photo-op's bring on dry heaves in a season where
there have already been too many.

Could anyone envision Bernie ever going gently into that good
night... He's not the type to make a sad spectacle of a
movement that deserves better. The issues raised are too
important.


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