Don’t Cry For Me, DNC: Notes From the Democratic Convention

+ Debbie Wasserman Schultz was awful at everything she did except ensure HRC’s nomination. This was not lost on her own delegation in Florida, who shouted her down this morning. Two hours later she had been removed from her position as chair of the DNC, banned from the stage at the convention and rewarded with an obscure position with the Clinton campaign. After Debbie loses her primary contest to Tim Canova, she’ll land some kind of position with the Clinton administration. So…

Don’t cry for me, DNC!
I’ve still got my jewelry
and part of an oil refinery…
Hillary’s going make me an Ambassador
and not to some shithole like El Salvador.
I’m thinking Luxembourg or Monaco
Where I’ll be driven around in a pink El Dorado…

Failing that, there’s always the Ambassador to Nordstrom’s.

+According to MS-DNC, the whole story of the DNC email dump exposing how Party elites tried to rig the primary elections for HRC is about how Putin and his hackers are trying to fix the fall election for Trump. How bad do Democrats hate Wikileaks and Julian Assange? Well, here’s Democratic fixer Bob Beckel on Assange: “The guy ought to be and I’m not for the death penalty, so if I’m not for the death penalty, there’s only one way to do it: illegally shoot the son of a bitch.”

+ Remarkable, Bernie Sanders is getting shouted down by his own delegates this morning for pushing Hillary & Kaine down their throats!

If the double blows of the DNC email dump and the Kaine pick didn’t push Bernie over the brink, nothing will. He made his Faustian pact and now he is just another Clinton surrogate.

+ Misogyny, Liberal-style: I think it’s unfair that Debbie Wasserman Schultz is taking all the heat for the DNC email scandal. After all, Obama is the real leader of the DNC. Debbie is Obama’s hand-picked surrogate. Obama should follow Debbie’s lead and cancel his speech tomorrow night. It’s only just.

+ According to a report in the New York Times, the “LOCK HER UP! LOCK HER UP!!” chant has spread to Philly: “The reaction from Mr. Sanders’s supporters was consistent with the anti-Clinton message delivered by demonstrators earlier in the day. Some pro-Sanders protesters took a harder turn on Monday, chanting ‘Lock her up’ in an echo of the message of the Republican National Convention a week earlier, fueled by the resignation of the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee.”

+ After a supposedly disastrous, widely ridiculed convention, Trump is now up 5%. He might well be up 10 after the Democrats finish theirs…They continue to ignore working class issues and the rising animus toward interventionist wars at their peril. The fact that it all seems inexplicable to them will help seal their fate.

+ According to CNN,

“Trump’s new edge rests largely on increased support among independents, 43% of whom said that Trump’s convention in Cleveland left them more likely to back him, while 41% were dissuaded. Pre-convention, independents split 34% Clinton to 31% Trump, with sizable numbers behind Johnson (22%) and Stein (10%). Now, 46% say they back Trump, 28% Clinton, 15% Johnson and 4% Stein.”

Note that MS-DNC is reporting only a 3% Trump lead, because they stubbornly ignore the presence of Gary Johnson and Jill Stein. But both of the third party candidates are drawing more votes from Clinton than from Trump.

+ Nancy Pelosi was booed as she addressed her own California delegation. Who wants to be the next Democratic power broker to step up to the microphone? Chuck Schumer, stop hiding behind the curtains, you’ve never been shy before!

Michael Yates sent me this note: “Pelosi is a real slimeball. No doubt Sanders will have good things to say about her.”

+ Benediction booed. Barney Frank booed. Marcia Fudge booed. Next? Could this convention be fun, after all!

+ After waiting three days to apologize to Sanders and the Sandernistas for rigging the democratic process against his campaign, Democratic leaders now urging Sandernistas to be “respectful” of the “democratic process!”

+ Sanders in Full Clinton Mode, just texted his delegates to sit back and take it in silence: “I ask you as a personal courtesy to me to not engage in any kind of protest on the floor.”

Imagine what the scene on the floor would be like had Sanders not endorsed. What a monumental failure of nerve on his part.

+ Will the Sandernistas have to stop calling themselves Sandernistas?

+ Sanders: “Friends, settle down! Settle down! When I said ‘revolution’ I didn’t mean a cap-R ‘Revolution. It was a METAPHOR!'”

+ How badly did the Clintons misread the mood of their own rapidly-dwindling base when they picked the pro-TPP Kaine, after knowing that the DNC’s emails had been released. There’s stupidity. And there’s hubris. She’s got massive quantities of BOTH.

The TPP bait-and-switch is crucial here because it exposes Hillary lied about her own position and thus confirms everyone’s belief in her mendacity.

+ Hillary seems to have spent more time courting Michael Bloomberg than the Steelworkers.

+ The DNC, with the help of the hired Sanders flacks, just pushed through the platform on a voice vote, steamrolling effort by the Sandernistas and Labor to get a floor vote on the TPP.

+ Hillary delegates are holding up signs reading “Love Trumps Hate.” Now can’t that be read two entirely different ways?

+ The Democratic Convention is highlighting the drug war. Not eliminating it, mind you, but extending it to the so-called “opioid epidemic.” Will they call for ending the Afghan War which has accelerated the poppy trade? Will they go after prescription-pushing Big Pharma, which has been coddled so tenderly by Tim Kaine? Dream on, Dems. Where’s Tipper Gore?

Rules of Engagement for HRC’s Drug War: If you take your opioids in pill form (i.e., white people) you go to therapy, if you use a needle (blacks and Hispanics) you go to prison. Shoot them only if you see them shooting up.

+ Fascinating interview with Julian Assange on NBC about the DNC email dump. Assange said the Russian hack of the DNC computers occurred before many of the emails in this document dump were even written. He said that the DNC’s email system was almost transparent. The system had very little security and that the emails were there for the taking. He said the RNC system is equally vulnerable. (Look out Reince Pribus.)

What a triumph for Assange and Wikileaks. The fact that the CIA hasn’t been able to eliminate Wikileaks is a real & tangible sign of hope. You can bet they’ll be near the top of Hillary’s hit list, if she’s elected.

+ Does Sen. Kristen Gillibrand not know that after college Hillary DID in fact go to work for “a fancy law firm,” called Rose Law, where she toiled, not on behalf of “the children”, but for some of the South’s most vicious corporations and did a good enough job that she was invited to join the board of Wal-Mart?

+ Listening to Clinton’s campaign guru Robbie Mook mewl about possible Russian meddling in US elections is like listening to Trump whine about income tax rates, when he apparently pays nothing. Shall we recall HRC’s direct intervention in the Russian elections? Her financing of the opposition in the Venezuelan elections? Her role in the Honduran coup? That’s essentially the job description of the Sec. of State, isn’t it? What goes around comes around, Hillary. (If that is, in fact, the case.)

+ It’s 9 PM in Philly and all is quiet on the eastern front. Has the steam gone out of the Sandernistas? After a raucous morning, I hope they didn’t spend the afternoon sharing bong hits of DNC Trainwreck or Burlington Kush. Did they all mellow out? Popping a few Bernie Bennies would have been a better choice….

+ Sarah “Sandernista” Silverman just slammed Sandernistas as being “ridiculous.” Make her a diplomat in the Clinton State Dept. We’ll be going to war with Grenada again before you know it….

+  Enough with dreary Paul “Way Back Machine” Simon. Bring back, Demi “I Have a Mental Illness” Lovato.

+ Cory Booker has none of the oratorical gifts of Obama. He’s more of a second rate blues shouter than a true master of political soul.

+ Did Booker flub the line about Hillary has been “paying it forward” her entire life? Surely he meant she’s been “getting paid” forward her entire life?

* Booker: “Hillary doesn’t believe in scapegoating people over their religion.” Did Mrs. Clinton come to this position after or before she fired Debbie Wasserman Schultz for plotting to scapegoat Sanders over his religion?

+  Look, there’s Bill Clinton lustily applauding Michelle Obama. Recall when he slandered her husband’s campaign for race-baiting. “I think that they played the race card on me. We now know, from memos from the campaign, that they planned to do it all along.” And, unforgettably, telling Joe Biden: “A few years ago, this guy would have been carrying our bags.”.

+ Michele’s got the gift. She understands, as McLuhan said decades ago, that TV is a cool medium. She’s the coolest thing they’ve got going. Too bad she’s squandering it on someone who led her husband into the Libyan debacle.

+ Once again, Michele invokes HRC’s book “It Takes a Village.” But as Secretary of State, Hillary’s playbook was “To Drone a Village.” My friend Carl Estabrook (il miglior fabbro) amended this to: “To Take Out a Village.”

* Michele’s going to take shit tomorrow for saying she “wakes up every morning in a house built by slaves.”

+ Pretty low-wattage speech from Warren. Probably a bad move to put her after Michele. The Bernie or Bust block has thrown off her rhythm a few times with the Sandernistas screaming: “We trusted you!” Her heart doesn’t seem to be in her blurbs for HRC and Kaine.

+ Biggest applause line for Warren came when she quoted Trump’s line about the “system being rigged.” But the crowd seemed placid and unimpressed. Warren’s encomiums for Hillary on economic justice and trade fell flat, with the crowd chanting “Goldman Sachs, Goldman Sachs.”

+ Sandernistas crying as Bernie takes the stage. Too bad it’s not the Clintons crying. If only Picasso were around to paint Bernie’s weeping women…What a strange magnetism he has, especially the appeal to younger women, who were the backbone of his campaign. Is it a longing for the lost grandfather? The appeal is almost mystical. Patrick Flatherity suggested that it was: “a longing for a sincere, strong, open-hearted male, which is all too rare in popular culture.” But look where he led them. Right into the arms of the Wicked Stepmother.

+ The boos began the moment Bernie began his refrain: “Hillary understands…”

+ Bernie’s vouching for Hillary, the Secretary of Fracking, on climate change rang pretty hollow, especially when she doubled-down w/ Tim “Offshore Drilling” Kaine. What’s worse? Someone dismisses the science and supports the oil, gas and coal industry or someone, like Clinton and Kaine, who understand the science and still support the fossil fuel industry?

+ Sanders is no Jesse Jackson in the rhetoric dept. Although with both of them you end up in the same place. Back where you started. He sounded like a political prisoner reciting lines written by James Carville. A willing prisoner.

+ Bernie kept repeating the withered platitude that; “We’re stronger when we stand together.” But together with whom? For what? Perhaps all the crying was at the ragged spectacle of Sanders humiliating himself for 50 straight minutes on behalf of a ticket which has only contempt for him and his followers.

+ Read it and Weep. Here’s the text of Sanders speech to the Convention (Minus booing, crying and shouts of “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me, Bernie!”)

+ The New York Times headline on Sanders’s political role at the Convention pretty much it: “Leader of a Revolt Now Must Put One Down.” Poor Bernie: he started out as Danton and ends up as Edmund Burke.

+ Mike Whitney sends me note from the backwoods of northwest Washington State: “As has happened so often before, the Democratic Party has become the graveyard of a movement of social protest, with Sanders serving as the undertaker.”

+ This was a fun but exhausting experiment in trying to annotate an entire day at the Democratic convention. I have a new respect for obsessive Tweeters like Doug Henwood. It reminded me of how different things are now from 2000, when I was the “color commentator” for BBC Radio on the final night of the Democratic Convention in Los Angeles and the BBC announcer kept trying to get me to say that Al Gore had suddenly found a new spark of energy. I replied to his displeasure, “Yes, like the Mummy after his reanimation.” That was the night Al tongue raped Tipper Gore in front of an international TV audience. I doubt Hillary will tongue rape Bill on Thursday night. But we can always hope. To paraphrase Alexander Cockburn on the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, if anyone ever deserved to be raped on live TV it’s Bill Clinton…

Notes From the Democratic Convention

Day One: Don’t Cry for Me, DNC!

Day Two: The Humiliation Games

Day Three: Night of the Hollow Men

Day Four: She Stoops to Conquer

Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His most recent book is An Orgy of Thieves: Neoliberalism and Its Discontents (with Alexander Cockburn). He can be reached at: or on Twitter @JeffreyStClair3