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And as for the convention, it was the establishment taking advantage of the rules to change the criteria for the selection of delegates AFTER the Sanders had taken advantage of the rules to squeeze out a few extra delegates in local conventions using a silly trick.  Clinton won the caucus on caucus day, and as much as I don't like her or her candidacy, the winner should get the delegates.  This is a problem more with the caucus system than anything, but Sanders supporters were so fired up to believe in "the fix" and "the conspiracy" that they couldn't even start rioting at the right time.

In all honesty, if the Sanders team had done a better job of prepping its people for a surprise takeover of the convention, I'd be a lot more supportive of them.  It's the combination of stoking lame conspiratorial thinking AND encouraging people to vent mindless anger that I hate.  It transforms his people from effective political actors into silly goons, and silly goons don't win elections.

by Zwackus on Wed May 18th, 2016 at 05:34:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That 'silly trick' used the very rules that had been in place before the race even started. Similar 'silly tricks' have been successfully used by Cruz against Trump in Colorado, etc. The rules are the rules until leadership doesn't like the result and then changes them retroactively.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed May 18th, 2016 at 08:51:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Conspire derives from the Latin meaning 'to breathe together'. So, if the rule changes were decided by one person, that could not have been a conspiracy. But that is not how the process was described. Calling someone who objects to such a change 'a conspiracy theorist' is a commonly used slur in academia used to keep subordinates in line in a hierarchical organization, and, in this context, is lame.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed May 18th, 2016 at 08:57:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps it's time for supporters of both candidates took a deep breath together and realised that creating huge controversies through procedural manoeuvring helps neither candidate significantly in terms of delegates, but hurts both in terms of public perceptions.  Sanders issuing that press statement - even if it is all factually correct and a fair and balanced account of what happened - raised an issue concerning a handful of delegates to the status of a major controversy and allows the development of media driven "both sides do it" false equivalences between what has been happening in the Republican and Democratic parties.

Up until now Sanders - having never held significant executive office - has had pretty much a free ride in terms of public scrutiny of his executive capabilities.  (I sometimes wonder whether that is part of his attraction to many of his supporters who, too, have never held significant executive office, or even aspired to it). In any case, he shouldn't be putting public discussion of his executive capabilities in play.

No one here is prepared to put up a significant defence of Hillary's executive track record, but at least she has one. Sander's is looking less attractive as an alternative for Office, the closer he edges towards actually achieving it.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu May 19th, 2016 at 04:20:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The idea that Sanders should have, or even - to any good effect - could have condemned supporters who had been falsely accused is laughable. And Sanders doesn't 'do' deliberate misrepresentation and misleading with any effectiveness. If this is a disqualifier for administrative office then we need to change our qualifications. About the best he can do along these lines is simply say nothing and leave the dirty work to his subordinates - a time honored tradition in US politics.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu May 19th, 2016 at 10:07:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, by intervening personally he turned a local issue into a national one capable of damaging the party he hopes to lead. He should have done nothing - the art of masterly inactivity, as Churchill is said to have put it.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu May 19th, 2016 at 02:56:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So when Reid demanded a response from Sanders he was trolling Sanders? Perhaps. But perhaps Reid also should be careful what he asks for.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu May 19th, 2016 at 09:16:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
European Tribune - Comments - Can Trump really win the White House?
Sanders supporters were so fired up to believe in "the fix" and "the conspiracy" that they couldn't even start rioting at the right time.

They didn't even riot at all. Except if you believe the testimony of somebody who (by his own account) was not there.

The Faux Fracas in Nevada: How a Reporter Manufactured a Riot

No chairs were thrown at the convention Saturday. No death threats were made against the chair of the convention Roberta Lange. And Bernie Sanders delegates were not simply mad because their louder shouting was ignored.
by fjallstrom on Thu May 19th, 2016 at 03:25:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Good article by Doug Johnson Hatlem about the coverage of the Nevada Convention with lots of local detail. This was the 'Faux Fracas' link above.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu May 19th, 2016 at 10:15:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I still have no clear picture of what you mean with conspiratorial thinking. Does anyone dispute that the Democratic party leadership and the party hacks are in the tank for Clinton?
I mean it is objective fact that 30 state parties have a joint money raising/laundering sheme going on that leaves her with all the money and them objectively worse off. So is Josh Marshall's employer's paid troll army. And calling people who object to elite collusion "violent" without any strong evidence of actual violence is so very tired.

What I find most interesting in this election is how far apart the reality bubbles have drifted. Or maybe it's just more noticeable since people closer to me are drifting away.
I remember culling my news sources since long before "filter bubble" was even a phrase. The first time, appropriately enough was after the Democrats won the midterms in 06 and then promptly proceeded to vote for the war they opposed. Without any bells and whistles. The financial crisis and getting a grip on Post-Keynsian economics was another big one. And you really have to filter in order to not get spammed with nonsense. Though the filtering might have gotten worse since I broke down and got a Twitter account. Something about that system brings out the worst in people.
On the other hand I'm now pretty loyaly reading Naked Capitalism since their take on Greece ended up being much better than my own.

This stronger stratification of news sources seems pretty noticeable. One example I can think of was the small debate on online anonymity we had. I'm pretty sure that still reading the Guardian or similar professional sites is a strong indication of a contra position. Because for reporters online anonymity really makes life a lot harder.

OK, this is a bit more rambling than I would have liked but I'm running out of time for another pass.

by generic on Thu May 19th, 2016 at 05:34:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Speaking of paid troll armies, I think we've got one instance in the comments of this diary.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu May 19th, 2016 at 07:24:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think it's helpful to impugn someone's integrity here without giving them the opportunity to reply to the charge.  Is there a specific comment you are concerned about? Are we all to feel under threat of suspicion? If possible, I think we should treat each argument on its merits.  I have noticed differences of opinion, but nothing outside the bounds of reasoned debate.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri May 20th, 2016 at 07:48:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My paranoia was triggered by a one-off comment upthread where the subject made me recall this, my reply didn't elicit a response, and I thought the poster is a newbie. Having now checked, I see I was mistaken about the last, so I rather retract my paranoid comment.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 20th, 2016 at 05:18:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, I have found the offending comment now. Not exactly well evidenced.  More an expression of individual frustration resulting in a strange threat to vote for Trump. Perhaps an example of a policy (Obamacare) which has helped many but frustrated some. Weirdly, Trump seems to be able to attract a lot of anti-establishment and libertarian support. The individual Mandate in Obamacare has always been v. unpopular with both progressives (who prefer single payer) and libertarians who don't want the state to get more involved in healthcare at all.  Obviously not in tune with majority opinion here,  but not to be condemned on that account. But it's a pity he wouldn't engage with the legitimate points you made.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri May 20th, 2016 at 07:15:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well as I stated above one of my main sources for US analysis is Naked Capitalism. And they are very down on Obama care.
The only Americans I regularly talk to face to face are people with professional travel budgets. Not that big of a sample. One in particular was very happy with the reforms. However his experience was with the old system eating all his savings when his son was seriously ill. No positive experience with the new.
Which is a long winded intro for a saying that I'm sympathetic to the idea of Obama care being a neoliberal abomination. However voting Trump because of it still seems like a non sequitur. Maybe third oarty but Trump? And certainly something a delegitimisation campaign would throw around. I liked single payer and Sanders before, but now I'm with Hitler. And I've seen more of those comments than I expected.
But for a final reversal Trump does score high on the enemy of my enemy scale. And I don't think we should underestimate the emotional appeal of telling all those(media, Republicans, Clinton even the Kochs) to fuck off.

As a final aside: I too was toying with the idea that Trump might actually be less bad in effect. Not because of any moral superiority but because I thought party hostility would cripple him. Doesn't seem like a good bet anymore. He has run out of money and the party lies prostrate in hope of a tummy scratch.

by generic on Fri May 20th, 2016 at 08:23:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When I talk about conspiracy thinking, I'm mainly talking about what I have seen from the Sanders supports I worked with, and blog wars I have skimmed where individuals post comments and arguments with a very similar-seeming mindset.

That the Democratic party is strongly pro-Clinton is not up for debate. That Clinton and her inner circle are insider hacks of the most mediocre sort seems pretty clear, and like all insider hacks of her generation she seems pretty damn neo-liberal.  I'm not making any arguments in that direction.

But one cannot jump from these facts to constant accusations of election fraud and vote rigging, in every single state, on the flimsiest of evidence.  For a conspiracy like that to take place, one has to demonzie far, FAR too many relatively well-intentioned folk at the local and state level.  One has to imagine far too many eager and enthusiastic activists, with whom I share far more in common than I share with the Republicans, as mindless drones who have been brainwashed into unthinking complicity.  No.  I refuse to do that, and the belief that all this is true and is taking place beneath our noses is conspiracy thinking.  Too many people aren't aware of the full complexity of the issues and can't accept that other people might not agree with them, and they explain it away by positing a dire Clinton Cabal with amazing powers to control everything secretly behind the scenes.

Which is bull.  If they have this power now, they would have had this power in 2008 as well, when Clinton was just as presumptive a nominee going for just as unchallengable of a coronation.  Hell, I've read a number of raving posts talking about Diebold voting machines and rigged E-Votes, like it was 2004 again. How exactly Hillary got the keys to the Evil Diebold Vote-Rigging apparatus is a bit murky, as is why exactly that Vote-Rigging apparatus failed to swing things R in 2008 and 2012 despite the avowed intentions of Diebold to do so.

That is conspiracy talk, of the UFO and 9/11 truther variety. It's main crime is lazy thinking, the same sort of lazy thinking that leads people into all kinds of damaging wrongness. Too many people I have seen in the Bernie camp have fallen into this.  This mindset primes people to respond in outrage to rather ordinary politicking and crowd-management, and to interpret every action in the worst possible light when it does not deserve it.

I can't be all that surprised at what the Clinton folk did in Nevada, because as Frank states elsewhere this kind of room-stuffing is a pretty common trick, with pretty common responses.  It was tried, it failed.  Oh well, and neither side should really be all that worked up over it.  It's politics, these things happen.  Likewise, I would not be all that worked up over disruptive activities on the convention floor, whatever they actually were.  Again, it's politics.  Heck, even if there was a full-on riot (which there was certainly not), or some degree of disorderly conduct short of rioting (which there probably wasn't), or a violent seizure of power (I could only dream of the Sanders team being this competent), I don't really care all that much.

What bugs me about it is the incompetence of it all. Bernie supporters were primed to interpet every action and every vote in the worst possible way, and went into full-on outrage at the wrong time and in a kind of pathetic manner.  It is unfocused and ignorant protest, which accommplishes nothing and just makes you look bad. Worse, it all makes perfect sense if you buy into the conspiratorial mindset, and cannot bring yourself to give the other side some credit.

You don't build anything by encouraging your new supporters to demonize everone who doesn't agree, and you aren't training them to be effetive political actors if you prime them to respond with raw outrage over everything. Some of this was going to happen anyway, but openly embracing it is bonkers.

by Zwackus on Thu May 19th, 2016 at 08:43:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The 'report' of violence was based on a tweet from Nevada reporter Jon Ralston who left the convention before the climax and then received an exaggerated description of events that he tweeted as fact. He subsequently acknowledged this. One Sanders delegate is known to have lifted a chair over his head, but was immediately stopped from further action by the rest of Sanders' supporters. The whole thing is contrived BS. Media wrote their reports based on Ralston's tweed and, apparently, Harry Reid based his 'violence' comment on that same report. Subsequently they 'modified' their reports as claims came into question. But the tone of the whole coverage was set on misinformation.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu May 19th, 2016 at 11:46:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well what is the point of voting machines if not vote rigging? Certainly there seems to be a somewhat reasonable explanation for the weird exit poll results but I won't blame anyone for suspecting otherwise.
But Sanders didn't embrace this so that shouldn't be an issue here. What he did was, when faced with the routine bad faith calls to distance himself from his "violent" followers, to call their grievances legitimate. What else was he supposed to do? The point of those calls is to delegitimize and demobilize a political movement.
Another strange thing about this campaign is how telegraphed everything, especially from the Clinton campaign is.
by generic on Fri May 20th, 2016 at 03:49:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Another strange thing about this campaign is how telegraphed everything, especially from the Clinton campaign is.
This for  example:

Hillary Clinton plan: Defeat Bernie Sanders, then unify party - CNNPolitics.com -

is taking new steps to try and disqualify Bernie Sanders in the eyes of Democratic voters, hoping to extinguish the argument that he is an electable alternative for the party's presidential nomination.

....

As Sanders took a victory lap following a 14-point triumph in Wisconsin, Clinton took fresh aim at the Vermont senator as part of a three-part strategy before the New York primary on April 19: Disqualify him, defeat him, and unify the party later.

by generic on Fri May 20th, 2016 at 04:08:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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