“Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'” — Isaac Asimov
Sen. Bernie Sanders and Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez walk past each other during their “Come Together and Fight Back” tour at the James L. Knight Center on Wednesday in Miami, Fla.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Things were going well for the Democrats in Miami.
Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., hadn’t exactly sold out the downtown theater they were campaigning in, but the audience was solid and energetic.
The anti-DNC catcalls that had plagued early stops on the uneasy allies’ weeklong unity tour hadn’t surfaced. And both Perez and Sanders had delivered fiery speeches that had pumped up the crowd in a key city of a critical swing state.
Sanders was shaking hands with supporters as David Bowie’s “Starman” blared.
But when the music faded down, things took a turn.
A Sanders fan rushed the stage, grabbed the microphone, and shouted, “Bernie would have won!” The audience joined in the cheer, loudly repeating an alternate reality rallying cry that didn’t exactly scream, “Democratic Unity Tour.”
The DJ quickly drowned out the chant with a new song — Johnny Cash’s “I’ve Been Everywhere.”
It was fitting. Because while Perez and Sanders weren’t visiting Reno, Chicago, Fargo and Minnesota, their itinerary was kind of close: Maine, Kentucky, Florida, Texas, Nebraska, Utah, Arizona and Nevada.
What happens next for the Bernie wing ‘is an open question,’ says one top Democrat.
ATLANTA — Sen. Bernie Sanders and his supporters went hard after anyone who wouldn’t back Keith Ellison in the run-up to the Democratic National Committee chair election.
Sanders phoned Jaime Harrison on Wednesday, the South Carolina Democratic chair who was on the verge of dropping out of the race, making a heavy pitch for him to endorse Ellison as a transformational moment for the party.
The next day, when Harrison threw his support to former Labor secretary Tom Perez instead, Ellison supporters worked off talking points and attacked him as a corporate lobbyist insider who’d struck a crooked deal that didn’t pass their purity test.
New York Rep. Greg Meeks had his own showdowns with the Sanders-inspired coalition. One of the few sitting members of Congress who had a vote in the DNC election here Saturday, Meeks was repeatedly threatened by Ellison and Sanders supporters with a primary challenge if he backed anyone else.
Ellison’s loss in the second-round of voting dashed the Sanders wing’s hopes of taking over the party establishment. But to the surprise of most in the room, the announcement that Perez won was met mostly with applause, rather than an outbreak of chaos and screams. There were chants of “Party for the people, not big money,” that briefly interrupted the proceedings but they came from a total of nine very loud Ellison supporters who were sitting in the seats left open to the general public.
What happens next for party’s Sanders-aligned movement, said Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed — who backed Perez — “is an open question.”
More likely, it’s two questions: what Ellison does next, and what Ellison’s supporters do next.
The runner-up in the Democratic primary contest did refer to the draft platform, which was released on Friday, as “an excellent start” for its provisions calling for a 21st-century Glass-Steagall Act, expanding Social Security, closing loopholes in the corporate tax code, infrastructure investment, ending the death penalty and eliminating superPACs.
Sanders called for stronger language on enacting a national minimum wage at $15 per hour. The draft platform states, “We believe that Americans should earn at least $15 an hour,” but it does not explicitly call for legislation to that end.
Sanders’ strongest condemnation was reserved for how the party proposes handling TPP. Here’s what the draft platform says about it:
On the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), there are a diversity of views in the party. Many Democrats are on record stating that the agreement does not meet the standards set out in this platform; other Democrats have expressed support for the agreement. But all Democrats believe that any trade agreement must protect workers and the environment and not undermine access to critically-needed prescription drugs.
It’s an issue that has divided the White House from many Democrats. Hillary Clinton helped promote the deal as it was being drafted when she was Secretary of State. But Clinton came out in opposition to it last October, just before the first Democratic primary debate.
Exclusive: SurveyUSA data suggests Sanders voters could help Clinton recapture young people, union members and critical midwest and north-east states
Nearly six times as many Bernie Sanders supporters are prepared to shift their support to Hillary Clinton than vote for Donald Trump in November, according to an exclusive new poll which suggests Democrats are in a strong position to convert energy from their passionate primary contest into general election success.
However, the research, conducted by SurveyUSA for the Guardian, also shows that if Sanders were to find a way of staying in the presidential race, it could hand the White House to Trump, who would beat Clinton by three percentage points in that scenario.
But the survey of 1,408 registered voters reveals limited appetite for this option, which would split the progressive vote. Presented with a four-way choice of Trump, Clinton, Sanders and libertarian Gary Johnson, 35% would vote for the presumptive Republican nominee, versus 32% for Clinton, 18% for Sanders and 4% for Johnson.
Yet when Sanders is removed from the equation and voters are offered the more expected lineup of Trump, Clinton, Stein and Johnson, it is the presumptive Democratic nominee who emerges on top with 39%, followed by Trump on 36%, Johnson at 6% and Stein on 4%. Only 5% of respondents told pollsters they would “stay at home and not vote” in this scenario.
The lead for Clinton over Trump mirrors other recent polling which suggests the former secretary of state is again pulling away from her Republican challenger after a week in which his comments were described as racist by the House speaker, Paul Ryan.