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Riotta writes: "Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders may have lost the 2016 Democratic nomination, but the fiery politician and his large contingent of supporters don't appear to have given up the fight in 2017 and beyond. The progressive, self-described 'Democratic socialist' still has many loyalists who they are fighting along different battle lines: by running for local city and county government offices in an attempt to thwart President Donald Trump's conservative policies."

Sen. Bernie Sanders at a Nebraska rally. (photo: Gwen Roberts/Lincoln Journal Star)
Sen. Bernie Sanders at a Nebraska rally. (photo: Gwen Roberts/Lincoln Journal Star)

Bernie Sanders Supporters Are Taking Over the Democratic Party Nationwide

By Chris Riotta, International Business Times

23 February 17


ermont Sen. Bernie Sanders may have lost the 2016 Democratic nomination, but the fiery politician and his large contingent of supporters don't appear to have given up the fight in 2017 and beyond. The progressive, self-described "Democratic socialist" still has many loyalists who they are fighting along different battle lines: by running for local city and county government offices in an attempt to thwart President Donald Trump's conservative policies.

"It is absolutely imperative that we see a major transformation of the Democratic Party," Sanders recently told the Wall Street Journal. In order to survive, Sanders said his party must "do what has to be done in this country, to bring new energy, new blood."

A tough challenge awaits Sanders’ supporters in the short term after his failed bid for the White House. Trump starkly opposes several of the former Democratic candidate’s key policies, including climate change reform, supporting immigration nationwide and regulating local and national economies.

But a new wave of liberal activism nationwide in the Democratic party’s base has helped numerous Sanders supporters win low-level posts in blue areas like California, signaling a long-term fundamental shift that could shift the party further to the left.

The two leading candidates to become next Chair of the DNC embody the current divide within the DNC. Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, who became the first Muslim elected to Congress, has received widespread support from Sanders and his supporters, and reportedly has a slim lead over former secretary of Labor Secretary Tom Perez, who has received backing from Democrats wary of moving the party too far to the left.

"We must also do everything we can to elect Democrats in Congress in 2018, and to take back the White House in 2020," Sanders said in his endorsement of Ellison for DNC chair. "We need a Democratic National Committee led by a progressive who understands the dire need to listen to working families, not the political establishment or the billionaire class." your social media marketing partner


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+18 # Blackjack 2017-02-23 10:33
Neolibs are maneuvering behind the scenes to defeat Ellison and put Perez in. In fact, they are the reason that Perez was thrown into the mix at all. Ellison had a clear lead and neolibs could not let that happen. They are determined, even after their glowering defeat last year at every level of government, to hold the reins of power. If they prevail, the party is done for.
-5 # MsAnnaNOLA 2017-02-23 15:52
I am disappointed with both of these candidates. Ellison has said some things that are not helpful at at all. Like his is for reparations to black folks. I think that is a sure way for Dems to be in the losing column for the foreseeable future.

That said I like the idea of a Bernie allied person. That is a refreshing thing.
+11 # HowardMH 2017-02-23 10:53
Bernie is on the right track. Get the support in the Democratic Party, NOT a Third party.

Go Bernie Go!!!
+7 # Robbee 2017-02-23 11:52
KE asks us to refrain from contacting DNC members

MM says instead we should sign the petition endorsing KE - Let the DNC know that THIS SATURDAY, February 25th, the Democratic National Committee MUST elect reform and progressive candidate, Congressman Keith Ellison, as the new DNC chair. Keith is a former community organizer, the first Muslim elected to Congress, and a key backer of Bernie Sanders. He not only has Bernie's support --and mine--but he's also backed by Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid, Gloria Steinem, John Lewis and many others. Sign his petition of support at Let the DNC know how you feel.
+4 # MidwestDick 2017-02-23 16:57
I just signed. Thanks.
+2 # Jaax88 2017-02-23 14:29
Things are moving rapidly now in getting the progressive movement pushing forward. And trying to push out the old time thinking from the control of the Demo Party, i.e., the neocons and the money people tied to Wall Street and the status quo of money instead of the people/voters controlling the DP. This Sanders movement will need all the voters it can get to win in 2020 national elections. Many Demo habituates will need to be convinced that progressive values and action is the direction America needs to take. This means to me that job creation not wealth creation needs to me dealt with, personal safety policies instituted, but not formulaic "Law and Order" repression policies and tactics shoved down people's throats and looking at and developing solutions for other bread and butter issues for all the working people (non-wealthy) who are worried around the country.
+9 # librarian1984 2017-02-23 14:55
Jim Kessler, one of the founders of Third Way, a neoliberal think tank, took calls on CSPAN this morning.

Kessler was in total denial, refused to say the defeat was Clinton's fault despite call after call reaming the DP for the election and the loss of nearly a thousand state legislature seats, 68 House seats, 7 Senate seats and 13 governorships -- in just the past eight years!

Even Republican callers were disgusted by the DP but he denied it all. I'd estimate at least 75% of the people brought up how the party had screwed over Sen. Sanders, and whenever anyone said Sanders would've beat Trump he disagreed.

One caller asked why Donna Brazile was still head of the DNC after she passed debate questions to the Clinton campaign .. and he laughed! Oh I don't have anything to do with hiring and firing, he said. Then he went on to say that Brazile 'paid a price' even though she didn't lose her job, though he never said what that price was.

The neoliberals -- far from being chastened, far from learning a lesson, far from feeling the need to step down -- still think they are in charge. THIS is why we are still talking about Hillary and the election, because the people in charge still don't think they did anything wrong.

Another caller lamented that the DP has 'no bench' but Mr. Kessler denied that .. naming Corey Booker and Kamala Harris.

The Senate Dems recently chastised Sanders. If Perez wins, if Bernie is dissed .. third party.
+8 # librarian1984 2017-02-23 15:14
What gets me is that Bernie Sanders is the only thing holding the Democrat Party together. Millions of people have left the DP and the only reason others are still there is because Sanders is asking them to help take over the party.

While they treat Sanders like dirt, he is the thing saving their sorry a$$es.
+4 # Radscal 2017-02-23 17:14
Ellison is clearly more progressive on domestic issues than Perez. But his foreign policy is just as warmongering pro-Zionist as Schemer, Reid and the rest of the Clinton Political Machine.

And of course, like Bernie, he fails to recognize the corruption within the DNC that stole the nomination, ensuring a President Trump, and instead parrots the evidence-free "Russia Did It" fear mongering that could lead to the worst possible outcome for humanity.

Sam may offer the Democratic Party the opportunity to become the pro-worker, pro-99% and anti-war Party that would represent the vast majority of USians.
+2 # Timshel 2017-02-23 19:49
When would Sanders most likely succeed?

1. Leaves now for 3rd party, OR

2. Gives it his all, and neo-liberals thwart him e.g. defeating Ellison for DNC head, and finally Bernie leaves for a 3rd party, OR

3. Defeats the Clintonites and other neo-liberals and changes the Democratic Party back into the party for people?

It seems to me that the best alternative is #3, and only if that does not work he goes on to #2. What say you?
0 # librarian1984 2017-02-24 11:45
I agree. There is a big advantage to taking over an existing organization.

But the DP is where movements go to die and the neoliberals are not giving up. When DO we move away from them? If Ellison isn't elected? If they scuttle progressive candidates in the 2018 campaign? If we lose more seats?

It's difficult to know when to leap -- but do we have to act together, or can some stay and work on the party while others focus on side movements or even a countermovement (third party)?

So far I've been willing to follow Sanders, believing he's in the best position to decide what will or won't work. But I am not blindly trusting anyone. There have been too many lies and too many betrayals to follow anyone unquestioningly.

I know if Ellison or Ronan don't win that will seal it for many people.

To me what's more important is that progressives, within and without the DP, be clear in our support of PROGRESSIVE candidates. No more neoliberal establishment centrists.

Trump is trying to say the GOP is the party of workers. I don't see Sanders sitting quiet for that .. but I think the neoliberals are perfectly willing to let them go.

Progressives have to be a bloc that transcends party because many have already left and are registered as Independents. One way to achieve that would be to hold ALL open primaries.
0 # DongiC 2017-02-23 20:48
Ellison has the energy and the vision to lead the Democrats to the land of electoral success. Plus, he has Bernie Sanders in his corner. Make him the chairman of the DNC.
+1 # Blackjack 2017-02-24 13:31
Now there is another candidate being bandied about as and "alternative" to Ellison and Perez. . . the young mayor of S. Bend, Indiana (don't remember how to spell his name; it begins with a B). Howard Dean threw his support to him. I have no idea what that means for Ellison and Perez except that he is young and apparently acceptable to some of the millennials. Neolib Jaime Harrison tried to be the "alternative" candidate by imploring Dems to hold the line on ousting sitting members of Congress in a primary challenge in 2018 and threw his support to Perez (surprise, surprise). Thankfully, he didn't carry the water and headed back to SC to resume whatever he's been doing as state party chair. This vote is critical to the future of the party--if it has a future.

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