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Excerpt: "Bernie Sanders is warning the Democratic Party not to attack its own candidates in primary battles, as happened in a Houston-area congressional race."

Sen. Bernie Sanders. (photo: Getty)
Sen. Bernie Sanders. (photo: Getty)

Bernie Sanders Tells Democrats to Back Off Primary Attacks

By Associated Press

08 March 18


ernie Sanders is warning the Democratic Party not to attack its own candidates in primary battles, as happened in a Houston-area congressional race.

The Vermont senator said it’s “appalling” that the party’s congressional campaign arm targeted Laura Moser ahead of Tuesday’s primary election. Moser, an activist, is endorsed by Sanders’ Our Revolution group.

Sanders told The Associated Press on Wednesday that such attacks are “not acceptable.”

Moser advanced to a runoff with Democratic front-runner Lizzie Pannill Fletcher, despite the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee publishing an opposition research memo calling her “a Washington insider who begrudgingly moved to Texas” to run for Congress.

A Houston native who attended high school there, Moser was also targeted by the campaign arm for joking that she’d “rather have my teeth pulled out without anesthesia” than live in small-town Texas.

“What these organizations should not be doing is doing negative attacks on Democratic candidates,” said Sanders. “That just continues the process of debasing the Democratic system in this country and is why so many people are disgusted with politics.”

Sanders, whose Our Revolution is backing candidates nationwide, is headed to Texas this week for rallies in San Antonio and Lubbock.

Democrats have their sights set on the Houston-area congressional seat, where Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election, as a potential pickup as the party tries to wrest control of the House from Republicans.

The winner of the Democratic runoff on May 22 will face Republican incumbent Rep. John Culberson, who’s seeking a 10th term, this fall.

Some Democrats worry that Moser would not be the strongest candidate to face the Republican in part because she had recently returned to Texas and because of her flip comment.

But the effort against her might have backfired since it focused national attention on the race and helped cause a spike in Moser’s fundraising. The question remains, if she emerges from the primary, whether the ready-made attack ad will make her unelectable. your social media marketing partner


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We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

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Founder, Reader Supported News

+54 # Benign Observer 2018-03-08 11:56
The usual suspects will blame Moser for making public the DCCC's abuse. It's never the party's fault, only those who call them out.

No one can claim ignorance about what our wonderful party is doing -- so the question becomes: are you okay with it, or not?

Are you FINALLY going to 'hold their feet to the fire'? Or not.

It shouldn't be that hard, because in this case doing the RIGHT thing is also the SMART thing.

These consultants and neoliberals are LOSING elections --and they aren't changing their strategy at all. They 're focused on Trump and identity politics because they don't want to be held accountable for their history of losses. Nor do they want to make an economic appeal to the poor or middle class because the donors don't want that.

FDR said, 'Make me do it' -- FORCE him to adopt populist policies by being loud and clear and constant.

We should protest. Email. Send money to candidates instead of the party. Let them know why. Turn the consultants into a liability.

Democratic turnout in TX was good -- BUT THE REPUBLICAN TURNOUT WAS ALSO HIGH. Enthusiasm and Trump-bashing are not enough to win the midterms and they will not unseat Trump in 2020.

We have GOT to wrest loose these tin-eared consultants and over-the-hill politicians.

DCCC, PLEASE take on Bernie. Push him out. It's what his supporters want anyway.

I WANT DATA on how progressives fare in the midterms vs establishment candidates. Let's settle this.
-23 # Floridatexan 2018-03-08 15:01
You obviously want to divide the Democrats. What's your real agenda?
+15 # Benign Observer 2018-03-08 21:42
1) I want the Democratic Party to deal honestly with progressives instead of purging, cheating and lying to us. So that makes ME the problem?


b) I must be a Russian troll.

+9 # bread and butter 2018-03-09 10:33
Good summary.

If you believe in a 2 party system (never mind "3" parties), you MUST be a Russian.
+26 # SusanT136 2018-03-08 16:35
Quoting Benign Observer:

These consultants and neoliberals are LOSING elections --and they aren't changing their strategy at all. They 're focused on Trump and identity politics because they don't want to be held accountable for their history of losses. Nor do they want to make an economic appeal to the poor or middle class because the donors don't want that.......
We should protest. Email. Send money to candidates instead of the party. Let them know why. Turn the consultants into a liability.

DCCC, PLEASE take on Bernie. Push him out. It's what his supporters want anyway.

I WANT DATA on how progressives fare in the midterms vs establishment candidates. Let's settle this.

I'm a registered Democrat, and whenever i get a call from DCCC or DSCC I tell them nope no money for you - I'm giving to the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and to individual progressive candidates. I tell them how unhappy I am with the party's direction (or lack thereof).

Not sure what you mean by "push him out" as regards Bernie. Push him out of the party, or push him out in front of people? IMHO we need to take over the Democratic party, not try to start a third party which will be even harder.
+12 # Benign Observer 2018-03-08 21:52
Excellent! I do the same.

For a long time I was the one here at rsn arguing to change the party from within, to take it over because there are many advantages to doing so.

I think most of the people who argued for a third party have left, and now I've come around to their way of thinking.

So I am saying I hope they push Bernie out of the party and MAKE him start a third, which he's reluctant to do. It's what his supporters want.

28% of registered voters are Democrats. 42% are Independent. One of the changes the progressives wanted from the Unity Reform Commission was open primaries so we could welcome Independents, but that is one of the reforms the establishment committee members fought hardest, and wouldn't agree to.

When we see the DCCC is sabotaging progressive Democrats and the DNC purged them, it makes me believe there is no hope to change the party.

But I support those who want to work within the party too, like Tulsi Gabbard. Good luck to them.

+3 # bread and butter 2018-03-09 10:41
I think we need to push the party to the left. The honest truth is that 3rd parties have no shot at winning. BUT, Democrats ALSO have no shot at winning UNLESS they start to represent the liberal/progres sive base.

And, THE ONLY way to push them to the left is with a viable threat.

That leaves us 3 options:

1. Primary them. The DNC has shown us that it will strong-arm us for even attempting this, and that we may as well just forget about getting a candidate to represent us, while playing by their rules.

2. Don't vote in the general election. The DNC is too dumb and arrogant to bother asking why you didn't vote.

3. VOTE for a 3rd party candidate. You won't win, but you'll give the DNC a number of people that COULD HAVE voted for their candidate, if only they had bothered to listen to us.


Best case scenario, is that the right-wing DNC candidate loses by a number of votes SMALLER than the number that went to the left-wing 3rd party candidate.



In other words, there are no easy answers. It's a hard road, and we practically NEED people like Trump winning in the short-term, to at least allow a CHANCE the DNC will stop acting like gate-keepers, and get out of the way to PROGRESS can take place.

(Here's the part where "Robbee" misquotes me out of context.)
+1 # ljslotnick 2018-03-10 11:04
That is incorrect (3rd parties don't have a chance) thinking unless you only have a one-election-cy cle view of the world.
A "third party" can quickly become a second party over the course of five to ten years. Then the former second party becomes irrelevant and disappears. This has happened several times in our history. We just need around 25 defectors to get things started...and then Sanders will lead the way.
+3 # bread and butter 2018-03-10 12:23
Hey. I voted 3rd party in 2016. Don't lecture me. Nobody's stopping you from doing it too. I encourage it, if the "2nd" party refuses to listen.

But, as far as 3 viable parties? Not mathematically possible.

If the Greens REPLACE the Democrats - FINE. I'm all for it.

I'll also believe it, when I see it.
0 # librarian1984 2018-03-10 12:24
Don't fight. You're both pretty. I say we do both. There are those who want to change the party from within. Godspeed. But this is a war on many fronts.

We ALSO need to consolidate opposition to neoliberals from the left. That's what the Convergence Conference advocated. Their end goal is to form a third party but they know the timing is bad. The many organizations who gathered, including the Democratic Socialists of America, CodePink, the Green Party (Jill Stein was there!) were joined later by Justice Democrats and other groups, and agreed to help each other without the formality of a party, to vote for the leftmost candidate and to support progressives in any way we can no matter their affiliation.

We also need to hold the ins' feet to the fire -- like everyone talks about but nobody does. Don't send the DCCC or DP or DNC any money. Send it to good candidates.

Pressure the establishment to accept progressive policies, candidates and tactics. Write. Email. Call. Most effectively, visit their office. Work it into a shopping trip.

We also need to win hearts and minds, convince people that voting for other parties is sometimes better in the long term, that as much as we want to win the House and Senate, it may take another losing election for these leech consultants and DINO pols to get the message.

It's not just about POTUS. We need to pummel the establishment in the primaries, for land commissioner, senator, electors, etc.
+64 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-03-08 14:38
We are heading for a showdown in the Democratic party. This will actually be good and needed. We will see where the old guard of the party really stands. They are center-rightist s and are more with republicans than they are with people. There's a mood of populism sweeping the world. The Democratic party will be swept up in this eventually. Sanders is leading the way. His movement is growing, while the residue of the Clinton democratic party is shrinking. This is a hopeful trend.
-15 # Farafalla 2018-03-08 16:27
Don't ever give this troll thumbs up on his posts. The "progressive" ones are designed to increase his legitimacy since most of his posts get shot down, usually by large numbers. Raskolnikov is pro-Russia, pro-Putin and here to sow division and discourage people from actually voting. He should get bumped off RSN.
+4 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-03-09 08:00
Fara -- "The "progressive" ones are designed to increase his legitimacy since most of his posts get shot down"

And you know this how . . . . ?

One thing the Russiagate hysteria has released is a truly perverted privilege among pseudo-progress ives that they can level fake charges against anyone they link with Russia.

For the record: I am an independent thinker. I use my own observations and my own thoughts to try to understand the events of our world. I don't claim to always be right and I respect the views of other people. McCarthyites like you want to see other people's views and idea banned. Right-wing crypto-fascists like you in the Democratic party is the problem. So far in your few posts that have any content, you have shown yourself to be a racist, a xenophobe, intolerant of diversity of opinion, a war monger, and lots else. But I guess at least you are not pro-Russian!!!!

In America, we have the presumption of innocence. Trump has not yet even been accused or indicted of anything. There are lots of suspicions and I certainly believe he has a raft of financial crimes in his history. But there is zero evidence for a conspiracy with Russia to throw the election. Why do you believe that there is? What motivates you? Do you live in a bubble puffed up by the Wapo, CNN, NYT, MSNBC? Get out in the real world sometime. Breathe some fresh air.

If you are just being sarcastic, then I apologize for missing it. Sarcasm is good. My name invites it.
+5 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-03-09 08:13
Fara -- you are the stiffest Practitioner of the Russiagate litmus test. If someone does not believe the Russiagate conspiracy theories, then you are for condemning and burning this person at a stake. This is classic heretic suppression. You are demanding adherence to an article of faith promulgated by the CIA/FBI/NSA. You are a witch-hunter. When you find someone who does not follow the CIA/FBI/NSA line, you want to burn or ban them.

Do you know how you look? Why are democrats trying to out-right-wing the right wing? Wake up. Most people in the US or the world don't believe the Russiagate conspiracy theory. It is only super elites in the media, democratic party, intelligence agency. Russiagate is what elite white people talk about in order NOT to talk about all of the other important issues that impact other people lives. Russiagate is a way of saying "talk about me." It is Hillary still demanding that she is the center of the world.

Sorry for going off on you. This issue is larger than you are. I'm mainly thinking of the major media (of which you are only a derivative). They won't talk about what's important to people. Instead they want us all to think about 13 Russian Trolls.
+1 # Benign Observer 2018-03-09 17:05
I'm going to make a list of trolls who harass rsn commenters. Guess who's on my list. Go on, guess.
+5 # Jazzbo 2018-03-08 14:39
For detailed and demoralizing information on the "pay to play" system enforced nationally by the DCCC, read this entry ( from the "Naked Capitalism" site.
+3 # Gooshlem 2018-03-08 14:43
"DCCC, PLEASE take on Bernie. Push him out. It's what his supporters want anyway."

This doesn't make sense... He's asking that the dems stop shooting themselves in the foot (feet?)
+10 # Benign Observer 2018-03-08 22:10
Sanders is loyal to the Democrats even though they treat him and his supporters like crap. Many of his supporters want him to leave the party. If he goes he will take millions with him.

The party doesn't appreciate how lucky they are to have him.

If they keep lying and cheating I hope it will force him to leave -- otherwise they will rob him again in the next primary.
+14 # politicaleconomist 2018-03-08 15:32
Bernie, what are you going to do if the Damnocratic Party continues to subvert progressives majoritarians as it has repeatedly done as exemplified in your own campaign for the Party nomination for president?
Start a third party? If so I'm with you!
+13 # Johnny 2018-03-08 15:43
The Texas party always has been far more progressive than the national. Remember Senator Ralph Yarborough who lost his seat because he voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Democratic Party Congressional Campaign Committee works for the same neoconservative warmongers as the Republican Party. Money talks.
+8 # Robbee 2018-03-08 15:52
Bernie Sanders Tells Democrats to Back Off Primary Attacks, 08 March 18

"Bernie Sanders is warning the Democratic Party not to attack its own candidates in primary battles, as happened in a Houston-area congressional race."

O U T S T A N D I N G ! - go bernie!
+18 # bread and butter 2018-03-08 16:27
If you follow the money, it becomes pretty obvious that DNC Democrats are being paid by industry lobbyists to lose.

The fear is that the Democratic Party will once again represent its own base, and that's something the revolving door industry lobbyists WILL NOT TOLERATE.

Much better to make elections about personal identity politics, steer clear from serious issues like the environment, a more equitable American economy, the MIC, or human rights - ALL of which are at odds with the vested interests of the DNC's biggest donors.

It honestly doesn't make sense that they'd be acting like this, unless the true purpose was to turn off potential voters and lose in the general election.
+11 # MaggieB 2018-03-08 17:45
Good to see this. Thanks for speaking in no uncertain terms about this, Senator Sanders. Good to see this reported on AP. Shouldn't you go to Houston on your Texas tour?
+19 # jwb110 2018-03-08 18:02
The DCCC has been backing the wrong horse for too long. They are beholden to their donors. These are the same donors who give money to the Republican Party. The Dems are as responsible as the Reps for trying to create a one Party system. If the DCCC doesn't wise up, and the last Presidential election should be an example, they will cause a split in the party that will seal the fate of the nation to a sorry end.
They should not waste money in the primaries. Let the people decide who they want and then the DCCC can come in and back them then.
I no longer maintain a membership in the Democratic Party or give money for just the reasons that Sanders mentions. You'd think the DCCC would notice that they are cutting their own throat. Maybe not.
-8 # sdraymond 2018-03-08 21:49
Look at all of Rodion Raskolnikov's posts. This guy is a Russian troll through and through and is parroting whatever stance he thinks will help divide the American voters.
+8 # PCPrincess 2018-03-09 11:26
I see many posts saying many of the same things made by many different posters. Why does Rodion's posts stand out to you? You couldn't possibly be swayed by the username could you? That would be absolutely shallow.
+2 # Benign Observer 2018-03-09 16:34
+3 # bread and butter 2018-03-09 19:28
Rodion Raskolnikov is a fictional character in Crime and Punishment. You may have already known that. I'm just pointing out that "Rodion" real name just might be "Jennifer".
0 # Benign Observer 2018-03-10 08:09
1) You REALLY think a Russian troll would use that name?

2) No one knows who ANYONE is online. I don't know who you are. I could be an eight year old punk rocker. I could be an old stockbroker or a fecund Mormon spelunker who makes goat cheese on the weekends or a Belgian swimsuit model.

3) There might be a troll(s) here. There might be an Italian or an Israeli. There might be (gasp!) Republicans. That doesn't scare me because I know how to evaluate words. Seeing them doesn't make me believe them.

4) You're right that the goal of trolls is to sow discord. But WHO sows discord here? Who gets us arguing about trolls instead of policy? Who keeps us off-track and .. discordant? Who sacrifices actual discussion for superficial arguments?

If anything, Rodion is more packed with information and links than most of the people here. S/he is always substantive. Robbee, sbessho and Farafalla, OTOH, offer almost no substance. Their posts almost exclusively attack Rodion and others, derailing good conversation.

In light of Russia's objectives, who more closely fits that description?

What does the establishment want? What does Putin want? What do the trolls want? What does the ds want They ALL want us to be afraid, overwhelmed and easy to herd.

So THE most subversive thing we can do is to resist manipulation, stay calm and conduct ourselves like rational human beings.

FDR: The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

Still true.
+5 # bread and butter 2018-03-10 12:25
I'm guessing 8-year-old punk rocker.

I'm a 103-year-old goth wannabe poser in my mom's basement!
+1 # Benign Observer 2018-03-10 21:06
Nailed it! Let's party!

We'll blast emo and snarf Red Bull til we puke .. aaarrrggghh!!!
+8 # elkingo 2018-03-08 23:26
With the Dems attacking their own, the party lines blur from Repugs and Democraps to just right and left, or official traditional power structure and progressives. Maybe this blurring which is really a polarization of clarity (enigma, no?) will clear the decks for action against the capitalist, racist, sexist, imperialist, genocidal and hateful traditional world order, let alone its threat to the planet and life at all.
+11 # 2018-03-09 07:56
Remember what Reagan advised as an eleventh commandment, "Do no harm to another republican" Wise up DCCC and listen to Bernie.
-2 # DongiC 2018-03-09 17:47
What are we progressives to do if the DCCC repeatedly violates the eleventh commandent? Leave the party or start a new one? Maybe unite with a third party and start fresh. We got to shake off those Clinton Democrats; they are really hurting our chances.

Incidentally, I am not fooled by RR's name. I think he is a troll who writes far too much and often seeks to divide us. If you look like a duck, and walk like a duck and sound like a duck, you are probably a duck.
0 # bread and butter 2018-03-10 21:13
Do you realize how insulting that is?

You're basically saying that, unless someone agrees with you, they're "a troll" and need to be silenced, otherwise, they might convince others to disagree with you too.

Did it ever occur to you that people are individuals, and that many of us have been convinced BY PEOPLE LIKE YOU, to disagree with you?

The most threatening "trolling", and the most dangerous I've seen "to our democracy", over the past 2 years, has come, not from the GOP, not from Russia, and NOT FROM THE LEFT - BUT - from the right-wing of the Democratic Party establishment.

It's been the far-right trolling, incendiary language, and outright CENSORSHIP, coming from the Clinton campaign and her online army of supporters, that has scared the crap out of me, and convinced me that the DNC is deeply BROKEN.

If you don't like what "Rodion" has to say, THEN, FUCKING, MAKE YOUR ARGUMENT KNOWN!

Stop trying to just shut him up, and stifle debate you don't want to hear.

Just because you can't stand a little debate, doesn't give you the right to tell other people to "shut the fuck up".
+3 # bread and butter 2018-03-10 21:15
Incidentally, I disagree with RR, about 1/2 of the time.

And you're right about the Clinton Democrats.

But you can't have it both ways. We need to break ties with the Clintons, and their ilk, but we can't do it by stifling debate and just turning off discourse.
+1 # librarian1984 2018-03-11 23:29
What's the matter with you, b&b? If you disagree with someone you're to attack immediately. The rules have changed:

1) Get with the program. Civility is vastly overrated and tolerance is no longer a priority. Throw accusations and insults around. Read old McCarthy transcripts to get the patter down. Lash out whenever possible.

2) Do not perceive others as equal, or even human. If they don't meet every one of your arbitrary demands they are the enemy, and worthy of censure and abuse. Purity is the coin of the realm and the currency is constantly changing.

3) Be prepared to betray every principle you've ever had and to act in ways you once thought were wrong. Consistency is weakness. Hypocrisy is virtue.

4) Do not cling to reason. Embrace barbarism or be ostrasized.

5a) Accept militarism. There is no other option.

5b) Believe the CIA, NSA, DNI and FBI. They can be trusted.

6) Do as you're told. Don't do a bunch of 'thinking'. Don't ask questions.

7) Forget about the 2016 election. That is 'fake news'. Accept whatever Chuck Todd and Rachel Maddow tell you -- even when it directly contradicts yesterday's assertions. Truth is inconstant and not for you to determine.

8) Ask not what the party can do for you but what you can yada yada. Send money and lower your expectations.

9) Quit asking for health care.

10) Above all, be afraid. Our ultimate goal is to break into a million groups of one. Unity is not to be tolerated.

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