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#FeelTheBern Goes #UpInSmoke

From the moment he announced, it was obvious what newly christened Democrat Bernie Sanders would become: The Great Progressive Hope who would fight to slay Wall Street’s champions and reclaim the party for some long ago or long imagined liberal greatness.  And it was obvious how his campaign would end, as it is now wrapping up, with Bernie begrudgingly conceding that he cannot win against Hillary’s oligarchy backing and the rigged process of establishment SuperDelegates designed to make sure no self-proclaimed democratic socialist-type ever wins the nomination.

It’s the Democrat’s political equivalent of the Bill Murray movie classic Groundhog Day, except the progressive candidate never wins the girlfriend, er, nomination, in the end.  Instead, the Sanders, Deans, Browns, and Jacksons, the progressive champions of their election cycle, only change themselves from watchdogs and guard dogs to lap dogs, ensuring that cynical and outraged progressives follow their champion-cum-Pied Piper to become advocates for defeating the Republicans in November.

This is the death spiral the Feel the Bern movement, the 2 million who have forked over time and money, has now entered.  The Democratic apparatchiks who run Bernie’s campaign are preparing their masses for the inevitable, pulling them into the ceremony that, not unlike a
ToxicSludgeIsGoodForYoureligious grieving event, prepares them for death and eventual resurrection, post-convention, to transform them into a saintly rationalizing army of supporters for, in this case, Hillary.

All this I predicted (as could any objective fool) the day of Bernie’s announcement.  Yes, it has been heartening to see the extent of his support as he attacks the banks and the Democratic establishment.  But, of course, it is all for naught.  In four months Hillary’s army will command Bernie’s list of 2 million, and Bernie and his loyal Democratic minions will be weaving memes of how the Party will soon be in the hands of the FeelTheBern rebellion.  Not this year, not next, but soon, brothers and sisters, soon, the revolution will occur!

As frustrated nationalist populism tears apart the Republican Party, the coopting power of the Democrats ensures that there will be no similar rebellion from the true believing Progressives in the Democratic Party.

Bernie is an old man. He has lived a fine and worthy public life, but unfortunately he will fade into the sunset without taking the brave step of leading his supporters into finally forming a viable left party in the United States.  That would be a true legacy and accomplishment.  Even the right wing oligarchs of the Republican Party have realized that the shared monopoly both corporate parties wield over the political process makes a viable third party almost impossible.

Yet, for all the noble tirades of the Progressives from Bill Moyers to Bernie Sanders about the power of money and how it must be removed from the process, it is the process itself that is the problem.  Two parties, both pro Wall Street and pro military-industrial complex, control the political system.  A majority of voters opted out of this farce democracy long ago, so only a minority votes for these parties.  Big money has ensured ever tighter domination by the super rich, but even with the dream of meaningful finance reform, the shared monopoly that corporate oligarchs control with their phony two-party system is the real problem.

So thanks Bernie, you ran a good race, and now you can hop onto Hillary’s pant suit and become the latest kept progressive champion, the Pied Piper, trying to convince the left and progressives that real change is possible within the Democratic Party.  And the tragedy is that 95% of your supporters, the Feel the Bern Movement, will follow you down that Blue Brick Road past the intoxicating poppies on to celebrate the great achievement that electing Hillary shall be deemed.

And so the same damned movie script plays out again, and the bipartisan oligarchy wins again, as brilliantly planned.  Just ask Charles Koch if he can live with Hillary, because he already has said he can.  A neoliberal neocon in the White House may not be the Koch Brothers’s favorite choice, but they and their money can live with it very well!

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John Stauber is an independent writer, activist and author.  His books include Toxic Sludge Is Good for YouMad Cow USA and Weapons of Mass Deception.  In 1993 he founded the Center for Media and Democracy to exposed corporate, political and media propaganda campaigns.  He retired from the Center in 2008.  http://www.linkedin.com/in/johnstauber.

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