The first national presidential poll is out, and the results may be disturbing to the DNC-led «mainstream» (i.e. centrist) Democratic Party leadership.
At this early time, Bernie Sanders’ national lead (at least in this poll) is huge -Sanders is the #1 candidate at 42.3%, with Liz Warren 2nd at 10.5%.
Other polls also show Sanders ahead, albeit by somewhat smaller margins. Overall, Sanders has risen by 10% or more on most polls since February, which could plausibly be labelled as a «surge».
Up to this point, the centrist-dominated DNC has been tolerant of Bernie so as not to offend his supporters. But this poll implies the centrists may lose and (God forbid) a true progressive candidate may win the nomination, which will enrage the party’s corporate donors and jeopardize the lush Wall Street funding base the party has cultivated since the «Clinton 90s».
DNC Has Gone After Bernie in the Past
Never forget, this is a party leadership that has already used various shenanigans and dirty tricks against Bernie in 2016, as documented in the 2016 hacked/leaked/stolen emails out of Democratic Party computers, as well as in Donna Brazile’s 2017 book, Hacks.
One can debate the legality or ethics of the hack, or leak, or whatever it was, but no one questions the accuracy of the information obtained about the party leadership’snasty tacticsagainst Sanders. The information revealed was 100% accurate and resulted in the resignation of Debbie Wasserman Schultz as DNC chair.
DNC Has Many Ways of Attacking Bernie
There are many deceptive, inside methods the DNC can use to stop Bernie, that may not even be discernable to most observers. These include manipulating funding among the states; programming their allies in corporate media to unite on talking points or selected avenues of attack or distraction; leaving large numbers of statistically «hopeless» candidates in the race to diminish the numbers of delegates Bernie gets.
With superdelegates being allowed after the first vote, denying Bernie a majority on that initial vote would likely torpedo his chances of being nominated on the 2nd, 3rd, or any subsequent vote.
Also, we could see DNC operatives casting Bernie as an «out of touch» old white man to discourage voters of color; portraying Bernie as somehow «anti-Israel» (a tough task against a Jewish candidate, but possible with AIPAC’s help, along with other Jewish surrogates in the media) could emerge as a tactic, just as the UK press is obsessed with unjustly painting Jeremy Corbyn (the «Bernie of Britain») as an anti-Semite to dis-empower his policy-drives.
Democratic Party mainstream DNC surrogates have already tried to use religion as an issue against Bernie, and have deservedly taken heat for it, as in 2016.
More recently, some mainstream Democrats have slammed Bernie for not being militant enough on Venezuela. This oddly puts those Democrats right in line with Trump’s regime-change policy in that country.
More Covert «Dirty Tricks» Are Possible as Well
When Bernie was recently booed while addressing the «She The People» conference in Houston, someone reportedly confessed on a Twitter account that they had friends who had been paid by a (DNC ally) centrist think tank (CAP) to boo Bernie at the event, and create the impression of a pushback against him.
While not absolutely confirmed, this would be right in sequence with dirty tricks performed against Bernie in 2016.
If Bernie were to start to sink, and subsequently fade fast in the polls, the DNC attacks might not be necessary, and the party mainstreamers may desist.
But make no mistake about it -The stronger Bernie is running in the polls, and the more possible his nomination looks, the more intense the attacks/»dirty tricks» are likely to be, whether public or covert.
Also, to be sure, the corporate media, especially those allied with the DNC, will likely come up with many ways of mis-framing or smearing Bernie as the campaign proceeds.
Party Unity Is the Challenge
The big challenge will be for the Democratic Party to maintain unity during a campaign that unavoidably will be hard-fought. That can be best guaranteed by having the nomination process be seen as fair and level.
Ad-hominem attacks against any candidate should be set aside in favor of POLICY discussion and debate, along with a fair, calm examination of the candidates’ official career records and the values their records embody.
At the end of the process, folks who most strongly oppose Trump and feel he is truly a threat to the country will need to swallow their pride and doubt and vote for the Democratic candidate, regardless of whether he/she was the one they originally wanted.
It will be a bitter choice for some voters, on both wings of the party.
Hard debates over big issues should rule over personal smears and shallow memes. This may be hard to do in our current social-media environment where sensation and «splash» can obscure serious policy and values discussion.
Most Folks, on Either Side, Can Accept Their «Champion» Losing, in a Fair Fight
Surely, some of the Democratic «hard-left» Bernie-ites will vote 3rd party if a centrist is nominated. But in all likelihood, most Bernie supporters will still vote Democratic (perhaps while holding their noses), as long as they don’t feel their candidate was shafted or treated unfairly this time around.
D. Lockman is a retired English teacher and former part-time musician,
with a passion for politics that started before he was 10 years old.
He is honored to be informed by some of the leading progressive and
dissident voices to be found in independent media. He finds mainstream media to be insufficient at informing the active minds of
sincerely curious people in these noisy, tumultuous times.