What did you hear Bernie say to his supporters last week, the night before the much ballyhooed People’s Summit in Chicago? Bernie’s biggest fan Jonathan Tasini nicely posted his remarks on the web here, so you can measure your memory of the live video online speech to the hard, cold truth of printed words.
Mostly Bernie’s sermon was filled with his standard stump speech rhetoric, but Bernie made it clear he would cut off any of his own body parts to defeat Trump, and he will be working with Hillary to do so. Like one of those expensive dark money political ads on TV, it was a non-endorsement endorsement of Hillary, with a promise that his real role helping her will be revealed shortly.
To the supporters of Hillary, it was a slap in her face and theirs. But in reality, it was just a little love pat, a peck on her cheek, with a promise of full matrimonial bliss to come. Bernie is doing exactly as I predicted two months ago, playing a role that has become almost standard fare in the Democrats presidential elections, the sheepherder, the piedpiper, the apparent revolutionary who walks onto the national stage like a warm up speaker for a year, promising great reforms and changes to come via his revolutionary movement within the Democratic Party, then when the electoral insurgency fails after the primaries, declares victory, pointing to the massive movement building, begrudgingly or belatedly endorses the choice of the liberal oligarchy, and proves to be True Blue, going out and campaigning like a demon on fire in the Fall to help the Democrats, Hillary in this case, win. This year of course the GOP candidate is Donald Trump, and he is opposed by everyone from the GOP oligarchs he ousted from their own party, to leaders of the bipartisan neocons, to the Koch Brothers, to the Wall Street firms, to the mainstream media, and of course he is opposed most of all by Hillary and especially the progressive wing of her Party, rebranded by Bernie as Our Revolution.
To make sure Our Revolution doesn’t stray into the hands of the Green Party, the Democrats progressive leaders were very careful not to invite Dr. Jill Stein to speak at their People’s Summit held the day after Bernie’s address. That sent a message loud and clear: Our Revolution, Bernie’s revolution, is one with the Party, so Unite Blue!
Bernie and his gang are being quite brilliant in slowly trying to deliver as much of his movement to the DNC and Hillary as is humanly possible. The vitriol he is getting on social media and in mainstream media for not already have said the magic words of endorsement is really a wonderful con, because other than saying those words he is behaving like the good Democrat he truly is. He wants his movement to survive in some identifiable form, just like the Rainbow Party survived Jesse Jackson’s elctoral fate, or Democracy For America survived Howard Dean’s electoral fate. Bernie needs to tread his path to Philly carefully, not spilling too many eggs from the basket he is delivering to Hillary, still looking and sounding heroic to his millions of fans and supporters.
It is amazing that there are still some of them who believe he might yet make history and join up with the Greens at this late stage. That move would immediately send him into the Presidential debates, take Our Revolution outside the Democrats, and guarantee the emergence of a powerful anti-oligarchy party. Ralph Nader could not bring himself to join the Green Party even as their standard bearer and shares with Bernie a disdain for the Green Party. But the reality is that Dr. Jill Stein would welcome Bernie with open arms, and together they would immediately be players on the national stage, winning votes in November never seen for any but the oligarchy’s two parties in Bernie’s long lifetime. Yes, he could make real history, be remembered as more than a slogan or footnote or collectors button. But that is not Bernie, never has been, as much as he wants to play the historic champion of change, because instead he is delivering on schedule his sheep to market just as planned, to be sheared and shaped and become as irrelevant as all the previous progressive champions and their organizations.
Meanwhile, Trump is starting to look simply pathetic. Anger and racism and fearmongering will propel him forward, and he will get a lot of votes in November. But the Republican establishment is with Hillary, as well they should be, she is the best candidate for the oligarchy. Our Revolution will continue to fool themselves that they are making change within the Democrat Party, and Unite Blue cheerleaders like John Nichols at The Nation, and the good folks at MoveOn, will reinforce that belief, as will an irrelevant bunch of baby boomer ex-radicals like Tom Hayden and others who will cite the 60s revolution as teaching that yes, Hillary must be supported.
Come January all the progressive leaders of all the organizations funded by George Soros, by his Democracy Alliance, by the TIDES foundation and the other money-bags and dark money hangouts of the liberal oligarchy, will party-down in Washington DC with Bernie like its 1776, just as they partied down with Obama in 2008, and with Bill and Hillary in 1992. The party will be paid for by the giant corporations so happy to see them cooperating so well with their champion Hillary. Yes, Our Revolution will rage online and in the streets for the next year or so, and then dissipate as the truth dawns again, that the brilliant bipartisan oligarchy is stronger than ever.