Thursday, May 19, 2016

Something up their sleeves?

There was an interesting speculative piece at Counterpunch yesterday:
Plan B Is Not Bernie by Jim Kavanagh.
It begins:
I admit: It’s all speculation.

On April 4th, I wrote on Facebook: “My prediction: the next President of the United States will be someone who is not yet in the race. (e.g., Possible alternative Dem ticket: Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren.) How crazy am I?”

This wasn’t just a wild guess. It was based on a few considered convictions.

And ends:
It’s almost certain that Hillary Clinton will be the nominee of the Democratic Party and the next President of the United States. But if, perchance, she gets derailed by a deus ex machina like the FBI, you can bet that the Democratic Party will have a Plan B, and it won’t be Bernie Sanders. It will be an attempt to stop Bernie Sanders. Perhaps it is just a coincidence that a Joe Biden-Elizabeth Warren ticket gets mentioned in the national press the day after Hillary’s Chief of Staff walks out of an FBI interrogation. Or is someone floating a balloon?

Would Bernie ever bite? Maybe not, but if the day comes, it’s some dish like this that the Democratic Party will try to serve.

A bit of speculation does provide flavour to an election season that is becoming all too predictable in the available too-and-fro argument and insults online and in media generally. Mr Kavanagh's whole piece is well worth a read.


mike said...

Kavanagh stated, "At this point, if Hillary comes to the convention with one more pledged delegate and more popular votes than Bernie—which she will—she will win fair and democratically square—and any attempt by him to use superdelegates against her would contradict his own erstwhile complaints about them." Win fair and square...WTF! Where has this dude been? Does he not follow the accumulation of shenanigans pulled by Hillary under the guise of the DNC? The DNC allowed purchase of the superdelegates of 33 states before the primaries started, essentially via money laundering through Hillary's Victory Fund, to mention just one of many questionable activities.

Many Bernie supporters are pissed at how the DNC has denied him fair treatment. The independent voters have largely been without a voice in the primaries and would push Bernie to a victory over Hillary, if their votes could be cast. The recent Nevada state meeting is an indication of trouble ahead for the national convention (BTW - ABC World News had a short segment about that last night).

I find it unlikely that Hillary's email server liability will bring her down. More likely to be a hacker that obtains copies of her speeches to the financial sector or some other incriminating documentation...maybe of biased DNC collusion.

There is a major problem with Republican voters not happy with their nominee and therefore possibly bailing for Hillary, if their state voting rules allow. Concurrent dissatisfaction in the Democratic electorate pushing those toward Trump. It seems that both parties are considering sending one of their own into the independent-run domain. The consequence would be to split-vote and ensure the other party a win. Kavanagh's speculation only works if Hillary is indicted and a conviction appears possible.

There is a lot of time to further develop the thrills and chills until the November election.

mike (again) said...

P.S. - It's obvious that Bernie is a contender, as he continues to garner votes and delegates, either tying with Hillary or ahead of her in the recent sates' primaries. Many of Sanders' supporters have stated they will withhold their vote, if Hillary is the nominee. That will push the Democrats into a losing position against Trump. The DNC (Debbie Wasershit) has framed an interesting scenario by denying Bernie fair and unbiased treatment, yet desperately needing his supporters...the ol' cliche of cutting off one's nose to spite their face. Now the DNC elites are crying foul, because The Bern won't relinquish and unify his supporters toward Hillary. Interesting, because a couple of months ago I was willing to cast my vote for Hillary, should Bernie not be the nominee...I'm having doubts now, due to my contempt for Hillary and the DNC.

Twilight said...

mike + (again) ~ Kavanagh's piece relies only on the possibility (however remote) of Hillary Clinton becoming either unable through health issue, or unwise to remain the Dem's nominee due to FBI problems - the rest of the DNC's shenanigans are set aside by the writer, I guess.

Kavanagh:But it doesn’t make any difference what I think. It’s what the FBI thinks that matters. In that regard, we should take notice that the FBI has extradited Guccifer, and is now interrogating Hillary’s close aides. Yesterday Cheryl Mills, who was Clinton’s Chief of Staff as Secretary of State, walked out of an FBI interview, according to the Washington Post, “after being asked about emails.” And today (May 11th), I got a message from a friend of mine, who’s been a close supporter of Hillary for a long time, saying that the FBI interviews with her staff are not going well, and it’s “disturbing.”

I read the article as if the writer were fairly neutral, but I do see also that he could actually be anti-Bernie. As the DNC and Clinton camp become more and more afraid that Bernie could win California, the anti-Bernie media is ramping up.

Kavanagh's idea is likely what would happen should Hillary Clinton be forced to leave the race. Whoever is behind DNC and Clinton camp (the real power behind thrones) will go to any lengths to stop Bernie from becoming president. Someone in a comment somewhere, yesterday, mentioned several names which sent a shiver down my spine: MLK, JFK, Robert Kennedy, Paul Wellstone,...there were 2 or 3 others too. Anyone who threatens the real power behind thrones is doomed - and Bernie does threaten. He has to know this. I'll continue to trust his judgment, realising that he must know much more than we do on such matters.

Yes, some Repubs will vote for Clinton, and some disappointed Bernie supporters might either actually vote for Trump (as the other "outsider")or not vote and benefit Trump. A right old mish-mosh would ensue as would lots of opportunity for vote manipulation and funny business - even more than is usual.

Every time I venture in to read a thread of comments now, I become more anti- Clinton. I'd be quite relieved if Kavanagh's speculation became fact. With Hillary Clinton out of the way, there'd be a far better chance of Trump losing, and I strongly suspect that Joe Biden would be more inclined to give Bernie more credit for what he has done, so far.

Twilight said...

A good piece by William Rivers Pitt today:

mike (again) said...

Of course, I liked Pitt's essay, since I'm a Bernie groupie. Pitt reminds us that Bernie has simply lost, but continues onward...this is a repeating mantra of most pundits. Last I heard, The Bern was pushing for a contested convention, ie neither Bernie nor Hillary will have enough state-primary delegates to call it a win, though Hillary has her purchased super-delegates at her side. I'm sure Bernie knows most of those are pre-purchased super-delegates acquired via money laundering, legal only because of a loophole, but not ethical. I suspect he'll be using this as leverage.

Regarding Kavanagh's pushing for a replacement team such as Biden-Warren, I don't find his supposition as supportive of Sanders OR the Democratic Party. By rights and rules, Bernie would be the only other option, as he's the only other Democrat on the primary ballots. Various polls over the past several months indicate that The Bern would out-perform Trump better than Hillary would, but that isn't mentioned anymore.

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ Most pundits are assuming that, even if Bernie manages to stop Clinton from obtaining the required number of pledged delegates - which is still a possibility if he wins California and wins well - the fact that he's a virtual outsider in the Dem party, even though he ran as a Democrat, and the super-delegates are all long-time party insiders, means it'd be nothing short of a miracle if enough of them flipped their support from Clinton to Bernie. Bernie might possibly have something up his sleeve to use on this issue, as you imply, that's an interesting unknown.

I agree that all things being equal, should Clinton be forced out by some event, Bernie would be the obvious and fair nominee. All things are not equal though - are they? ;-/ That's the point of Kavanagh's article, as I saw it.

I'm glad William Rivers Pitt, in his article today, emphasises how awful MSNBC people were regarding Bernie, after the nail-biting end to the Kentucky primary on Tuesday evening. I tried to watch for a while but simply couldn't bear it. One woman there had me aiming stuff at the TV screen! BP was rising!

mike (again) said...

Re - Nevada state convention - Most pundits and the news media are ignoring, purposely misleading, or dumb about the Nevada method of conducting primaries. Pitt said, "The process of appointing delegates from the Nevada caucus was hijacked by Clinton surrogates in broad daylight, and some Sanders people flipped their lids." He correctly continues to describe it as a robbery by Hillary-supporting Roberta Lange, et al.

Actually, Hillary won the caucus, but Bernie won the ensuing county conventions, giving him more delegates and providing him the over-all win of Nevada prior to the state convention. Roberta Lange chose to ignore the county conventions and provided a non-provisional vote to supersede the existing rules, thus giving Nevada to Hillary.

"Unlike in a primary, the Nevada caucus does not result directly in national delegates for each candidate. Instead, caucus-goers elect delegates to county conventions, who, in turn, elect delegates to state conventions, where Nevada’s national convention delegates are selected."

Kavanaugh issues a contradictory phrase:
"...One can complain that it’s been blocked by electoral hijinks or by the anti-democratic superdelegates, but those sores have been festering for a long time in the party Bernie chose to run in. At this point, if Hillary comes to the convention with one more pledged delegate and more popular votes than Bernie—which she will—she will win fair and democratically square—and any attempt by him to use superdelegates against her would contradict his own erstwhile complaints about them."

Perhaps I'm reading this incorrectly or he wrote those sentences poorly, but his inference of Hillary's win as fair-and-square, yet a proviso for Bernie's NOT-fair-and-square loss.

Also, Kavanaugh says, "Furthermore, Bernie Sanders does not want to play either of those roles. He entered the race, as his advisors acknowledged to the New York Times, 'to spread his political message about a rigged America rather than do whatever it took to win the nomination,' and he has repeatedly pledged to support whomever the Democrats nominate."

Well, out of all of the Republican and Democratic primary candidates, Bernie is the only "other" contender still standing alongside Hillary and Trump. I'd say Bernie is serious about becoming president, just not the Clinton-type of prez.

Kavanaugh discounts Bernie way too much for my liking, even suggesting contenders not on the ballot. Maybe he's psychic and this is his rational way of explaining those feelings...LOL.

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ This is a good example of how two people can read the same piece and draw different conclusions overall. :-)

Because Kavanagh, early on wrote To begin with, the Democratic Party, an institution dedicated to plutocratic class rule and imperialism, would not allow Bernie Sanders to be their nominee. The plutocracy will not permit Bernie Sanders to be the CEO of American and world capitalism, let alone the Commander-in-Chief of the American empire.

That set the scene for me. I never wanted to believe this when a few people said it last year - some of that "unelectable" commentary, back then, was from a different angle, but some must have been with this in mind.

I dunno, mike - if only, if only if only Bernie had done better in the deep South, and if only a few other things - open primaries etc. Could they still have stopped him? I guess they'd have found a way, but they must have known they wouldn't need to - it has all been planned for years, I reckon, even though they maybe didn't expect Bernie to amass such support and such funds from small donors as he has. Bernie just missed what would have been a real, unavoidable tipping point in numbers - we have to accept that, much as we don't wish to do so. Bernie must know this, but loyalty to his supporters and his cause drives him forward to allow everyone in the nation to cast their primary votes.

As Kavanagh said, Bernie knew of the hurdles he'd face running as a Democrat, from rigging and obstruction from the Establishment. His only way of ensuring getting into debates, though, was to run as a Democrat. I do think he's serious about wanting the presidency, sure enough! I doubt he expected he'd get even this close when the campaign began. He might still get the nomination - and the presidency - what we need is a bit more Uranian unexpectedness now! Or a lot more!

Twilight said...

mike ~ apparently Hillary Clinton has been interviewed on CNN this afternoon and has said (among other things) "the race is over"

Hmmm. This seems to be the message for today, because even Robert Reich who has been a staunch ally of Bernie has said on Facebook and Twitter:

The aim is, perhaps, to try to damp down Bernie's share of the vote in California, June 7th. I think I'll send Bernie one more donation!

Twilight said...

This 8 minute video I found in a thread at, attempts to show what happened at the Nevada convention meeting last Saturday:

Ye gods! there's a saying in England..."couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery" - it applies here. What a ridiculously inefficient system to do an important job! Voice votes? WTF!?

mike (again) said...

The youtube video is good, much like the other commentaries.

Las Vegas Sun excerpt about county conventions: "The final delegate count was 2,964 for Sanders and 2,386 for Clinton. That means the Sanders campaign will send 1,613 delegates to the state convention, while the Clinton campaign will send 1,298."

And the state convention:

Yes, I saw tonight's ABC World News clip of Hillary stating, "I will be the nominee for my party. … That is already done, in effect. There is no way I won’t be."

mike (again) said...

A 57 second diversion:

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ Oh my! I just want to go somewhere - anywhere without access to it all - until it's over! There's too long still to go though. Okay - deep breaths and just carry on....

Thanks for the 57 seconds of relief! :-)