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Bernie Sanders with Tulsi Gabbard

Votes are still being counted in the 2016 presidential primary. The nominating process now moves to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, July 18-21. The Democrats follow in Philadelphia, July 25-28.

The Republicans are about to nominate Donald Trump, who espouses ethnic bigotry while advocating improved government services to a working class devastated by free trade agreements. This is a classic fascist appeal. Mussolini made the trains run on time. Hitler built the autobahns and a “people’s car” — the Volkswagen.

Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric espouses improved veterans benefit programs and advanced high-speed rail systems.

Trump always reminds us that his probable opponent supported the NAFTA free trade agreement that cost millions of American jobs.

Trump attempted to link President Obama to the Orlando nightclub murders. This preposterous charge has finally enabled Hillary Clinton to overtake Trump by seven points in the polls. Clinton’s rival for the nomination, Senator Bernie Sanders, leads Trump by 30 points.

Will the Republicans Dump Trump?

Old guards do not like to relinquish power. They are unwilling to compromise. New revolutionaries are impatient. They have been on the outside for a long time.

Many Republicans oppose Trump. The Republican power brokers may use their influence to find an alternative candidate. If that fails, they may seek a deal with Mrs. Clinton, a well-known friend of Wall Street.

Have the Democrats Done the Deal?

Political sages have called on Bernie Sanders to quit. Harold Meyerson opined in the Los Angeles Times that Sanders supporters “… should work to elect a presidential candidate — her name is Clinton — who will appoint justices who will overturn Citizens United.”

Likewise, Earl Ofari Hutchinson, writing in the Pasadena Weekly, spoke of “… the absolute importance of having a Clinton in the White House…” and that, “Sanders must tell his supporters to back Clinton.”

Meyerson and Hutchinson may have voted for Sanders, but they devoted little energy to his campaign. Despite their long-established records as political sages, they may have a problem convincing Sanders’ supporters.

About 2,000 Sanders supporters worked hard to be delegates to the Democratic National Convention. They want rewards for their hard work.
The largest Sanders delegation will be from California.

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Delegates supporting both candidates participated at the California Democratic Party executive board meeting in Long Beach last weekend. The tension was palpable.

In the June 7 primary, there were 2 million ballots that were cast by newly registered voters. These new votes were uncounted on election night. They were designated “provisional” at the behest of Secretary of State Alex Padilla, an outspoken Clinton operative. The press touted Clinton’s “landslide” victory. In the days that followed, the impact of the slowly counted provisional ballots was noticed.

Four counties that Clinton “carried” on election night flipped to Sanders. At the time of the Long Beach gathering there were still a million votes uncounted statewide of which 250,000 were in Los Angeles County.

Many long-time party regulars came to Long Beach expecting, once again, to be national convention delegates. They learned that when the provisional ballots had been counted, a Sanders delegate had replaced them. There remain 10 more congressional districts in the state where a Sanders delegate may bump one pledged to Clinton. Members of the Clinton old guard are angry at the loss of a perceived entitlement.

Once irregularities are cleared up, Clinton may yet win by a very slim margin. The delegate count will be split accordingly.

Can Clinton Patch Things Up?

Old guards do not like to relinquish power. They are unwilling to compromise. New revolutionaries are impatient. They have been on the outside for a long time.

Compromise might be found in the platform.

Ruth Carter, a Sanders delegate from Congressional District 2 in Northern California, said, “The platform needs to reflect the progressive values put forth by the Sanders campaign and pledge to abide to those values.”

Mark Van Landuyt, a Sanders delegate from CD 15, which includes Alameda County, said Clinton needed to stress, “Commitment to progressive principles.” He noted that her “… environment unfriendly stances have upset progressives. How will she assure that part of the party of her ‘growth’ on these issues?”

Christopher Gauntt, a Sanders delegate from CD 48 in Huntington Beach, added, “Sanders supporters are primarily concerned with three things: Clinton’s ties to Wall Street and corporate interests, her war-hawk image, and her image as not being honest and a flip-flopper. The only way she could possibly help balance that is to seriously incorporate as much of Sanders’ platform as possible, and have a balanced cabinet that will help keep her in check.”

Bob Mulholland, a Clinton superdelegate, appealed to the party seniors to work things out. He said, “Actually the bringing together will be on the shoulders of the Obamas, the Clintons, the Sanders, the Bidens and many others.” He added, “Of course, our national convention and its messages will be critical.”


Robert Nelson
Pasadena Weekly