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Nick Brana says that Bernie Sanders will run again as a Democrat for President in 2020.
And Brana says that the Democrats will once again deny Sanders the nomination in favor of a corporate establishment candidate.
Brana is the former national political outreach coordinator for the Bernie Sanders Presidential campaign in 2016.
Brana is the founder and national director of the Movement for a People’s Party.
Brana believes Bernie Sanders is running for President as a Democratic in 2020. What if he wins the nomination?
“I have no expectation that will happen,” Brana told Corporate Crime Reporter in an interview last week. “He’s going to run again as a Democrat for President.”
And you believe he will lose?
“Absolutely. The people that I worked with, the Democratic Party institution that I worked with in 2016, will never allow Bernie Sanders to become President. They are going to cheat him again. It’s going to be a repeat of 2016.”
Selina Vickers of West Virginia was in the forefront of the campaign to change the superdelegate rules within the Democratic Party.
She comes from a state where Bernie Sanders won all 55 counties in the primary, but the delegation at the convention gave their votes to Hillary Clinton. That was because the superdelegates overrode the vote of the people on the first ballot.
Vickers says – I’m in the party. I respect those outside. But I’m in to change the party. And she is happy with the recently passed rule pushing superdelegates to the second ballot. She believes this change will make it possible for Bernie Sanders to win the nomination.
“To begin with, the process they initiated to change was not turned over to the people,” Brana said. “Progressives were not given representation in the Unity Reform Commission. Instead, the very same culprits who rigged the 2016 election were put in charge of reforming the Democratic Party for future presidential elections and the results reflected that.”
But Vickers said that change was a positive change. Under the new rules, what happened in West Virginia last time could not happen again.
“Progressives wanted them to get rid of superdelegates,” Brana said. “But they didn’t do that. Instead, they pushed the superdelegates to the second ballot. By keeping the superdelegates and pushing them to the second ballot, you preserve their power. It’s not just that you have additional delegates voting for the establishment candidate. But it creates a perception that bleeds into the pledge delegate count.”
“The media report on superdelegate count so as to make it appear as if the establishment candidate has a ton of superdelegate endorsements. It makes it look as if the establishment candidates are ahead of insurgent candidates. It suppresses turnout.”
“Under the recent change, in the first round, if a candidate gets to more than fifty percent, then yes, that candidate can win without the superdelegates. But because the Democratic Party controls the Rules Committee, the Democratic Party can force it to a second ballot if they want to. They control the rules and the procedures and how the convention is going to play out. If the superdelegates can make the difference, they can activate them regardless. It defeats the purpose of the change. It’s a superficial change intended to deceive people into thinking they have made a real change. They could have gotten rid of superdelegates. If they were interested in creating a fair primary, they would have gotten rid of them. The Republicans don’t have superdelegates. The Democratic primary is less democratic than the Republican primary.”
“They also decided to get rid of caucuses. Why? That becomes a little more clear when you realize that Bernie got more than half of his wins in caucuses in 2016. Now they are throwing them out and replacing them with primaries. At the same time, they passed another rule as well.”
“They passed a rule that says that any candidate who wants to run as a Democrat inside the party has to first sign a loyalty pledge and the DNC chair gets to decide if that candidate has been sufficiently faithful to the party. If the candidate has not been sufficiently faithful to the party by their writings, speaking and actions, the DNC can deny them the right to run as a Democrat on the ballot.”
Even if the candidate has won all of the primaries?
“No. No. This is before. This is even to get on the ballot as a Democratic Presidential candidate.”
What are the chances that the Democrats would do that to Sanders?
“If the donors insisted on it? They would. No questions asked.”
You clearly believe he will run again as a Democrat. But you also believe there is no way the Democratic Party will let him capture the nomination.
“Absolutely. This is going to be a repeat of 2016.”
Why then would Sanders run? If he knows what you know, why would he run?
“He disagrees,” Brana said. “He believes that he can win enough support politically inside the party to get the nomination. I don’t think so. It’s very clear they are going to block him again.”
Could he win if he became more like the establishment Democrats and less like Bernie Sanders?
“You mean if he became an establishment candidate?”
Or if he moderated his stances and tacked toward the corporate establishment. He’s already tacking that way.
“I don’t think that the trust you need with the corporations and Wall Street and the donors that control the party – I don’t think that is built overnight. They have candidates who they favor – Joe Biden, Senator Elizabeth Warren. These are candidates they can trust. Handing it over to Bernie Sanders is something they have no intention of doing. There is no reason to do it. They have other candidates they portray as progressives – Senator Kamala Harris, Senator Cory Booker – corporate Democrats.”
Kamala Harris and Cory Booker yes. Can you really say that Elizabeth Warren is a corporate Democrat?
“When push comes to shove, Elizabeth Warren is not going to stand up, certainly not in the way that Bernie does for working people. I don’t think she will press things like Medicare for All. In 2016, Elizabeth Warren could have gone a long way in making the difference against Hillary Clinton. Had she endorsed Bernie Sanders, the Party would have cheated to an even greater degree to deny Sanders the nomination. But it was revealing that she withheld her endorsement and waited and then endorsed Clinton.”
“During the primary, she stopped speaking as progressively because it seemed awkward for her to be saying some of the same things that Bernie was saying without endorsing him. She went out of her way to support Hillary Clinton and then ended up endorsing her.”
“Elizabeth Warren will run as a Democrat in 2020 and she’s going to split the vote with Bernie. And then she’ll join the Biden ticket or take a position in his administration – something like that.”
You are taking a clear position here – the Democrats won’t let Bernie win the nomination Let’s say you are proven wrong. Would that change your perspective on the Democratic Party or on your current work to build a new party?
“No. If Bernie won and still had a Congress full of corporate Democrats and was inside a party that continues to take corporate money and continues to give conservatives more money than they demand on the military budget and continues to deregulate Wall Street while another recession is looming — no.”
“This is one of the parts of the case that we make that is most important to understand. Reforming the Democratic Party is not a question of getting honest people with integrity into the party. It’s a system. It’s a structure. Just like getting honest people on the board of WalMart or McDonalds. There is an institution that demands profit maximization. The are structural incentives. Same within the Democratic Party. There are structural incentives toward serving corporations, serving donors, being a conservative party, competing in the way that it has against Republicans. Supporting Blue Dog Democrats in swing districts. There are all those forces at work.”
Let’s say that you are right and Bernie doesn’t get the nomination. What is the plan post 2020 for new party building? Is there going to be a founding convention?
“Now we are doing the groundwork. Bernie is defeated in 2020. It’s been ten years since the last recession. That’s a record. The United States has never gone ten years without a recession. People have not recovered. People’s lives are more precarious than ever. Something like 69 percent of Americans can’t afford a $1,000 accident. Americans overwhelmingly live paycheck to paycheck. The monetary rules don’t exist to try and remedy another crash. Interest rates are still extremely low in the United States and around the world. Automation is going to replace jobs by the millions.”
“When Bernie is taken down again inside the Democratic Party, there is going to be an identity crisis inside the progressive movement. And when there is another recession, people are going to be activated by that as well.”
“Hundreds of thousands of people have already taken to the streets to protest. And this is happening before an economic crash, before people lose their homes, their jobs. But people are on a knife’s edge now. We’re doing the groundwork for a different system, for a different party that can replace the two. As these events unfold, many more people are going to realize the necessity for precisely just that.”
Leaders within the Green Party are not happy with this movement for a new party. They say — we already have a people’s party – it’s called the Green Party. It’s the same platform.
Why create a new party?
“The best metaphor here is what happened in the 1850s. In the 1850s, a new party emerged — the Republican Party. It was a born an abolitionist party. It replaced the Whig Party.”
“Before the Republican Party replaced the Whigs, there had been a couple of abolitionist parties that preceded it. There was the Free Soil Party. There was the Liberty Party. They had been around for years before the Republican Party came about.”
“But the Republican Party came about at the right time. A number of Democrats left the party and participated in building the Republican Party. And that’s why it was the breakthrough party. It was the party that succeeded in replacing a major establishment party and then moved to abolish slavery and elected Lincoln President.”
“That’s going to happen again. It’s going to come about at the right time, something that manages to pull significant institutional resources out from the Democratic Party, from the establishment parties, and put them into the new party. Hence our campaign with labor, for example, and Tim Canova leaving the Democratic Party.”
Do you have state organizations?
“We have state chapters. We are recruiting state leaders, regional leaders. We will put them in touch with supporters in the area who have signed up with us and ask them to organize a chapter, ask them to start getting together, finding other organizations to speak to through our ambassador program, and also start collecting ballot access pledges.”
What is a ballot access pledge?
“We would go out canvassing asking people to sign on for a major new party so that we have a certain number of people we need in a state to get on the ballot once we decide to file. When we file, we want to be able to get on the ballot was fast as we can.”
What’s the name of the new party?
“The name of the movement is The Movement for a People’s Party. We use the term People’s Party as a description – who the party should belong to – in contrast to the corporate establishment parties. But the party itself doesn’t have a name. It’s going to be determined once we are at the point that we are ready to have a national founding convention. That will be determined by members.”
Do you have a preference?
“The People’s Party has a nice ring to it. It’s something we have built up a lot of momentum behind. People have become attached to it and are growing fond of it.”
[For the complete Interview with Nick Brana, see 32 Corporate Crime Reporter 36(11), Monday September 17, 2018, print edition only.]