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Galindez writes: "2016 was more than just a wake-up call to the Democratic Party. Millions of Americans instead served notice that 'enough is enough.' We fell short, and I know it hasn't been easy to accept the result."

Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention. (photo: Alex Wong/Getty)
Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention. (photo: Alex Wong/Getty)

The Last Hurrah for Corporate Democrats

By Scott Galindez, Reader Supported News

18 August 16


wenty sixteen was more than just a wake-up call to the Democratic Party. Millions of Americans instead served notice that “enough is enough.” We fell short, and I know it hasn’t been easy to accept the result.

We knew from the beginning that the system was rigged in favor of the establishment candidate. Closed primaries, super delegates, and ridiculous voter registration laws favored the candidate who knew how to play the game. A better way to say it is the system is set up to favor the campaign that has the most experience and established organization.

Pretty vague way of saying while they didn’t have to cheat, the process was set up to make it harder for an insurgent campaign. In state after state Bernie Sanders was starting from scratch. That’s just the way it is for a first time candidate, you say. Okay, but usually one candidate doesn’t have the whole party establishment in their camp before the race even starts. Hillary Clinton had that advantage, and still got a run for her money.

Everyone talks about the advantage Hillary Clinton had with super delegates. That advantage was deeper than just the super delegates voting for her at the convention. There were other advantages that came with being backed by the party’s elected officials. First of all, the way the super delegates were reported in the delegate count from the beginning gave Secretary Clinton an unfair aura of invincibility. No matter how well Bernie did, the media always showed him as hundreds of delegates behind.

More importantly, the super delegates provided organization that was tough to match. Let’s look at a state like Illinois. With the endorsements of Dick Durbin, Rahm Emanuel, and scores of other elected officials in the state, Hillary Clinton had access to other political campaign structures that had already identified Democratic Primary voters. While Bernie was establishing his lists, the Clinton campaign had existing lists to work with. Illinois was close because Chuy Garcia threw his weight behind Bernie.

They also added their reputation to the effort. Many voters who had been voting for Dick Durbin for years followed his advice and voted for Hillary Clinton.

Hillary Clinton also had the contacts and organizational strength that remained from her unsuccessful 2008 campaign. Her campaign team knew who to reach out to when they were building the 2016 campaign. They also knew from experience what worked and what didn’t in 2008.

I understand the frustration and lack of optimism. Many believe the political process is a lost cause. Others think the Democratic Party is a lost cause. I’m not going to sugar coat it – the establishment will not roll over without a fight. But we made more progress in the last year than in the last 30. I believe if we build on the momentum we can take over the Democratic Party.

Imagine four years from now, a progressive candidate challenging an incumbent Hillary Clinton who has maintained the status quo. Income inequality is still a defining issue, there is little progress on climate change, the TPP slid through the back door. “Our Revolution” will be four years old with candidates elected all over the country. County and state party organizations will be full of Berniecrats. Whoever our candidate is will benefit from both the gains of the Sanders campaign and the Political Revolution.

That candidate will also not face as many super delegates. There will be more open primaries along with other reforms of the nominating process. Those gains will all be wasted if we are distracted by the lure of a shiny new party that even has more stacked against it. We have a two party system, and the sooner we accept that and focus our energy on taking over the Democratic Party, the better.

Hillary Clinton will NOT transform our country. Bernie is the real deal, and he is leading us in the right direction. He knows that Hillary will not make the big changes that we need to make to transform our country. Bernie also knows that our movement has more leverage with Hillary Clinton than we have any Republican candidate. He knows that we dig a bigger hole if Donald Trump or any Republican becomes president of the United States.

We need to put our frustration behind us and do what is best for the Revolution and that is to build our movement to take over the Democratic Party while at the same time defeating the regressive Republican Party. No, Hillary Clinton is not a progressive, but she will not reverse the social gains that progressives have made in the last 30 years.

The Green Party is a great concept, but until there is a level playing field, a vote for a Green presidential candidate is symbolic, a protest vote. Energy put into building the Green Party in my opinion would be better spent transforming the Democratic Party.

Next Wednesday night, Bernie will launch “Our Revolution.” Calling it the “most important thing you can do today to move the political revolution forward,” an email to supporters called on backers to host house parties on August 24 as a way to begin fueling the organization. The kick-off evening will include “a major live stream address where Bernie will talk about the specifics of what we can do as organizers going forward to fight for every single issue that drove this campaign.”

“Political pundits and the billionaire class are watching very closely to see what Bernie supporters do next,” declared the email signed by Claire Sandberg, who directed digital organizing for the campaign. “Some of them might be tempted to believe our political revolution is toast. They want our extraordinary phone banking, door knocking, and grassroots organizing efforts to stop. They want us to get discouraged. They want to vanquish our movement once and for all. We aren’t going to let that happen.”

Go here to organize an event in your community, and to find an event in your area, go here and enter your zip code.

“Our Revolution” political director Larry Cohen will be speaking Saturday at the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement convention. I will be streaming the event live.

I know many of you are skeptical, but I hope we can all come together and build the Political Revolution. On Monday night I was nominated to serve on the Polk County Democratic Party Central Committee in Des Moines, Iowa. At that same committee a newly formed Progressive Caucus was recognized by the Polk County Democratic Party. We are still making progress. Now is the time to renew our commitment to the Political Revolution, not the time to stand down.

Scott Galindez attended Syracuse University, where he first became politically active. The writings of El Salvador's slain archbishop Oscar Romero and the on-campus South Africa divestment movement converted him from a Reagan supporter to an activist for Peace and Justice. Over the years he has been influenced by the likes of Philip Berrigan, William Thomas, Mitch Snyder, Don White, Lisa Fithian, and Paul Wellstone. Scott met Marc Ash while organizing counterinaugural events after George W. Bush's first stolen election. Scott will be spending a year covering the presidential election from Iowa.

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