The Clinton Machine Rolls Over The Opposition At The Democratic National Convention

With Hillary Rodham Clinton anointed as the Democratic Party candidate for president all’s over bar the shouting at the organisation’s 2016 national convention in Philadelphia. Admittedly there seems to have been a fair bit of shouting though it was certainly not as great – or vitriolic – as the American press have made it out to be. Indeed, the disdain of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), the party’s supposedly neutral governing body, and it’s sympathisers in the US news media for those questioning the long-predicted Clinton selection has been quite extraordinary. Revelations about the DNC’s undermining of the challenge posed by rival candidate Bernie Sanders, while boosting the Clinton campaign, have simply added to the impression of a party that exists for its leadership, not its membership (which reminds one of Britain’s progressive Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, and his unending battle with the party’s conservative parliamentarians and celebrity hangers-on). Emmett Rensin examines some of the supposedly raucous controversy for the Baffler, acknowledging that any criticism of the all-powerful Clinton machine is simply more grist to the establishment’s mill, like the largely mythical, organised online trolls of the “Bernie Bros” (which, again, brings to mind the “Cybernats” so hysterically reviled by the British – by which I mean, Greater England – press during the independence referendum campaign in Scotland, and who coincidentally disappeared from the headlines once it was over):

“Chaos in Philadelphia! Unity shattered before the Democratic National Convention could begin! A fight brewing, a convention divided, a Revolt on the Convention Floor! Hot off a contentious weekend that saw Debbie Wasserman Schultz resign her position as DNC chairwoman, the convention had barely begun before reports began pouring out of booing and—

Well, just booing, really. That became The Story of night one at the Democratic National Convention.

But despite the reports of supporters “hijacking” the convention and turning it into an “ugly family feud,” of sore losers booing “so much that by halfway through the evening they began to grow hoarse,” of an “angry uproar” and “repeated disruptions,” this was not a convention in disarray. There were some boos early on, but those—after a quick text message from Bernie Sanders—subsided. It wasn’t until 9 p.m., when Sarah Silverman inexplicably announced from the stage that “Bernie or Busters” were “ridiculous,” that a renewed chant of “Bernie, Bernie!” broke out for nearly thirty seconds. Over the three hours that followed, all the way until Bernie Sanders managed to deliver a speech despite efforts by his supporters to filibuster a Clinton nomination via sustained cheering, and the convention was gaveled to a close for the night, basic peace prevailed. A few boos were heard, even a few for Bernie Sanders, but there have been C-SPAN segments in recent memory more contentious than last night’s convention proceedings.

There wasn’t so much as a floor fight. No delegations walked out. When the platform came up for a vote, the ayes had it without any more protest than some scattered no’s. When speakers announced, one after another, their enthusiasm for Hillary Clinton, they were not interrupted or shouted down. When it was announced that a picture would be taken of the full convention and that this photo would require stillness from every person in the hall for well over a minute, it went off without incident.

To the extent that any real protest was going on, it was outside the gates: a few thousand activists cordoned off in a park well beyond the enormous perimeter that has been erected around the Wells Fargo Center.

This is not a raucous convention. It is not even contentious, at least not in comparison to the average party gathering of the latter twentieth century, before we became accustomed to the perfect choreography of recent years. Despite some early invocations, it is nothing at all like Chicago in 1968, and it never threatened to be. A few boos, while potentially embarrassing to party managers, do not constitute a rebellion. Inside the hall, they barely caused an inconvenience.”

Also, here is a short piece on the “War on Expertise“, which now characterises so much of populist politics in the United States. Something similar was noted during the anti-EU referendum debates over in the UK, when Machiavellian Brexiter, Michael Gove, declared that, “People in this country have had enough of experts…”

Maybe it’s a new and peculiarly Anglo-American thing?

 

 

 

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19 comments

  1. A big part of me is still in denial about Hillary being the nominee. I’ve been very deeply emotionally and intellectually invested in Bernie since May 2015! Unfortunately, as Bernie himself said, this is the real world that we live in, and the alternative is “Kaiser Drumpf,” so I don’t think I can not vote for Democrats this year. That’s the key: I’m thinking of it as voting for Democrats, not for Clinton. I think that’s the only way I’ll be able to cope with this election cycle.

    That John Oliver episode was great, as is he in general. He did a terrific job completely skewering the Republican bozos.

      1. I disagree. I hate Hillary, but Trump is something else. Hillary is a corrupt machine politician; Trump is a Nazi with Kremlin backing who wants to destroy free speech. I have been all for Bernie, believe me. But the stakes are too high now. We’re going to be a dictatorship if Trump wins. So I’m going to hold my nose and vote the Democratic ticket.

        1. “Trump is a Nazi with Kremlin backing who wants to destroy free speech.” That’s a rather extreme and obviously desperate (not to mention ridiculous) statement to rationalize a comfort with the corrupt neoliberalism and deadly neocon program of Hillary Clinton.

          1. Trump has got the backing of David Duke, who he has refused to disavow, and who is running for a Federal Senate seat in Lousiana, which he has a good chance of winning. He has retweeted anti-Semitic images, including one of Bernie Sanders being sent into a gas chamber. Just today, he called on the Russians to hack Clinton’s emails.

            I’ll say it again; I hate Hillary Clinton. I was the last to accept that Bernie did not get the nomination. But I am not voting for Hitler. No thanks.

          2. Whereas Trump talks about cooperating, Clinton talks about war with Russia. The latter seems to more Nazi-like madness than the former.

          3. Trump said that he’s going to consider recognising Crimea as part of Russia and won’t help the Baltics in case Russia attacks them. Fuck him. Hillary is not ideal, but a Putin’s lapdog in the White house is much much worse.

          4. Don’t waste time reading the purslane’s linked article. The author is a putinbot repeating the same shit I’ve heard 1000s times before. He completely ignores the fact that Russia is a threat to the Eastern Europe. It already occupied Crimea and parts of Georgia. That’s why we’re afraid of it and we want additional NATO troops in our countries to prevent Russia from doing the same thing in the Baltics and elsewhere in the Eastern Europe as they did in Crimea.

            I don’t want Russian tanks in my hometown. I don’t want Russian soldiers raping and murdering my family. I don’t want to be prevented from returning to my country because it’s occupied by a bloodthirsty foreign power that wants to exterminate my language, culture and nation.

      1. As they did for Gore & Kerry. Not so much for Obama.

        I’d be very concerned that Trump isn’t enough to buck that pattern of neoliberal/neocons (NAFTA/AUMF) losing to terrible GOP candidates. Having lived thru 2000 in a purple state that went GWB I can tell you that the anti-Clinton passion this cycle is a couple of orders of magnitude more intense than then. Problem is, Trump isn’t a couple of orders magnitude worse than GWB.

  2. There was a walkout, actually: http://www.cleveland.com/politics/index.ssf/2016/07/dnc_2016_bernie_sanders_suppor.html. After “indulging” Sanders supporters on Monday, even providing “Bernie” signs, on Tuesday the DNC confiscated every dissenting sign – not just “Bernie”, but also signs, eg, against TPP and for Palestinian rights, not to mention the “STRONGER TOGETHER” signs altered to “STOP HER” – and blocked cameras from Sanders delegates. Sanders delegate Nina Turner was reportedly “decredentialed” (no longer allowed into the convention hall?) for refusing to deny that “DNC betrayed Bernie Sanders and the rest of America”. As for not being as “raucous” as the 1968 convention in Chicago, Philadelphia in 2016 is essentially under martial law. Nonetheless, protests outside the “Wells Fargo” arena have been large and virtually continuous.

    1. There’s a video of the convention center after dozens (WashPo) to 1,000 Sanders delegates walked out (anecdotal) last night. There were a lot of empty seats during Bill Clinton’s speech. But not shown on the major networks.

      Nina Turner had her credentials revoked and was ejected from the convention. There are a lot of other rumours swirling but not confirmed about other Sanders delegates/prominent supporters being punished.

      If these pan out to be true, it is far from a good sign that Clinton will win in November. To lose, she would have to work really, really hard and so far she’s made a great start!

      1. The “dozens” appears to refer to those out of the several hundred who walked out who were able to get into the press tent and stage a sit-in.

    2. I didn’t know that “decredentialed” was a word! 😉 Thanks for that alternative view. I’m sceptical on the whole sub-riotous Bernie protests in the convention because of the discredited reporting of the US press on the Sanders’ campaign. It’s in their interest to play up the Bernie supporters as the wild and dangerous Left. Good to see another opinion on it. The reports are certainly conflicting if one goes to the traditional left-wing media sources (though Salon, Slate, etc. all seem to be signed up to the HRC camp for a long time, a few dissenting voices aside).

      1. There is evidence the media is playing down the disunity. Pushing the meme that 80%/90% Sanders supporters are already on board with Clinton. Not showing the Sanders delegates leaving or the gaps created during Bill Clinton’s speech.

        I’m seeing a lot more NeverHillary in the prog online communities than the MSM reporting would lead you to believe. Johnson & Stein are outperforming 2012 numbers in a poll today. But I think it will be another couple of weeks before we can truly get a handle on the numbers involved and an estimate of how likely they are to stick to their guns through November.

        Trump, like Ian Paisley before him, will be his opponents greatest advocate.

  3. The system is rigged. Bernie didn’t stand a chance. The biggest joke was the ass-hat that during the DNC called for the Democratic Party to take on the rigged system WTF? If you look at it from a European viewpoint, the only candidate with a social(ist) perspective in his campaign and a reasonable outlook on the prevailing civil liberties Americans enjoy today, was Bernie. But the elite took that choice from us, and for good reason – they do not wish to relinquish their money or their power, Clintons included (and Bernie’s “couldn’t beat them – let’s join them” was highly disappointing and enraging). Many of the lead Democrats are turn-coats (former republicans) – including the over-the-top Elizabeth Warner – even Clinton herself started as a “young republican.” All of them are attorneys, who, especially in America, constantly switch from defense to prosecution and back. If the other party promises them a better position of money and power – they switch. As for dangerous – Kaiser Drumpf is no-where near as dangerous as Hillary, mostly because no one is actually going to do his crazy bidding and most have made that very clear already. Bloomberg’s money and the all-around corrupt houses constituted of greasy palmed pundits from both parties sucking up for power and wealth could actually bring many of Clinton’s idiotic ideas to fruition. Hers are easier to “sell” as they seem not THAT far off the mark – making them even more dangerous. Also, I am sure that the elite will exempt themselves and their families from any bad “side effects,” just as they exempted themselves from Universal Healthcare and other bullsh.t for the “common folk.” I am not voting for either one – I can’t pinch my nose hard enough not to smell the shite, I might just retire early and stay in Ireland until the worst is over. Right now, Clinton actually leads the orange moron in the number of Hitleresque plans of abolition of customary American civil liberties and constitutional rights (I am sure he is working on outdoing her as I am typing this). She wants to institute the concept of prohibiting hate-speech, just to name one example. The treatment of Bernie supporters and their free speech is a good indication which direction that will take when instituted. Don’t forget, Bush’s “Enemy of the state” “Patriot Act,” perpetuated by Mr. Obama is still in place to kill dissenters wherever they are, and by drone strike, preferably. John Oliver is funny at times and he even has a point occasionally, but he is a stuck-up, holier than thou, total British c**t. I cannot stand that fake bhastaird.

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