Bernie or Bust Going Bust

    What many said would happen with the Bernie Revolution.

    Bernie a loner, doubts he can keep it going, hold it all together.

    Some said the Berners can't be counted on. Won't compromise even with other liberals. Won't stick around. The Bern will fade.

    Gloomy forecasts by some the revolution wouldn't make it to the midterms.

    Now it seems Our Revolution is foundering before making it to its first general election.

    Half the small staff has quit.

    They disagree with lots of stuff. Bernie's not doing it their way.

    They don't like Bernie's long term campaign manager Jeff Weaver running Our Revolution, even though he ran Sanders Presidential campaign.

    The quitters said Weaver ignored them. They don't like to feel they're being ignored.

    They also don't like being a 501c tax designation, which can keep donors secret.

    The fear is billionaires and millionaires will donate money, take over, and corrupt the organization.

    Of course, billionaires haven't been lining up to contribute to Our Revolution. They haven't taken control of the organization.

    If they did contribute, take over, redirect the revolution, then Our Revolution would be as corrupt as.....a thought too terrible to conceive, so its best to leave.

    And they haven't even made it to one general election.

    You can call that uncompromising righteousness and untainted purity, or call it lack of recognition of what it takes to win in a democracy. This democracy. Money, effort, lots of work, compromise and unity, and persistence.....election after election.

    So the staff is disappearing faster than a Snapchat.

    Some are going Green or going Libertarian.

    You could just sum it up with the theory that the Berners thought it would be easy, win some primaries and 12 million votes, win the November election, one and done.

    Revolution accomplished. Looks like it won't be that easy.

    Fleeing the Bern at UK Guardian.

    Our Revolution Staff Revolt at NYT.

    Is Bernie Sander's Revolution Over Before it Began? UK Guardian


    Smug schadenfreude does not become you.

    But it's too soon to be writing epitaphs.

    Reality based disappointment, I wish these setbacks were not happening. Noting what is and has been going on and why, isn't smug.

    I hope Bernie can work things out and be effective, as the country needs his leadership and success in coming elections and legislation.

    You're more gracious than me. I retract my comment.

    I don't think Bernie's going to lead the progressive insurgency long term, and to be honest, I never really did. So I'm not too broken up about his organization breaking up. If there is to be a political revolution, it will require numerous loosely connected individuals and organizations at the grassroots and nationally. There are some populists running now, but the first real test will be 2018, so I'm withholding judgment until then.

    If Hillary wins she had better be at least in Obama's range of being progressive, as she won't be getting the no Trump Republicans vote in 2020 (Wolfowitz said he would vote for her today, if he is still with her in 2020 she'll be in big trouble with the Dem base).

    My gut feeling is that the 501(c) thing has more to do with at least some of the defections than other factors, coming as it does on the heels of the vacation home purchase and the series of contradictory, obfuscating explanations for how that was paid for, which follows his refusal at the campaign's end to file a campaign financial report, which follows the lame excuses for not releasing his tax returns.  Yes, yes, yes -- one can devise exculpatory explanations for all of that, but....


    But add that to the problem of Jane's handling of finances at the college that went bankrupt.  Ad that to his constant hammering during the primaries of attacks on Clinton and the banks and the corporations for corruption and lack of transparency.  Add that to the idealism and belief in Bernie's personal integrity of his most passionate followers -- yes, that very same passionate belief in Sanders' integrity is also his most vulnerable weakness, because the consequences of shattering that belief are most powerful among the most committed and devoted.  Keep in mind how his endorsement of Clinton, however tepid and lacking follow-up support, had already enraged some of his true believers who felt betrayed by it.


    Personal anecdote, illustrative of what I mean:  I once had a close and good (I thought) friend to whom I was devoted.  Now and then something she did or said didn't sit well with me, but I always found a way to rationalize it away.  Then one day, in the middle of a phone conversation, she made one last small betrayal -- and the scales, as they say, fell from my eyes.  From one word to the next, I saw her, not as a good person and good friend, but as a manipulative, selfish taker who was using me when it suited her and tossing me aside when it didn't.  And the friendship was over.


    Now, I don't know if something like that is what has happened to the people who bugged out of the Revolution organization; certainly they had other grievances, it's clear.  I don't, can't know if that same sort of final-betrayal experience is happening in other of Sanders' followers.  Certainly, the less idealistic, more pragmatic among them must be less than shocked to see Bernie as less than superhumanly virtuous -- he is, after all, a politician.  But I do wonder how much of a scales-falling feeling is at work here.


    Being old and cynical, I never did think Sanders was the saint his more rabid devotees did, so these clay feet don't shock me; I can assess his good and not-so-good points with a reasonable degree of objectivity.  But I have a fair idea of how the far more idealistic me in her 20s would have reacted, had I been among the Revolution staff at this juncture.

    Good points.

    Straw that broke the long overdue camel's back. A similar but different aspect - if Bernie supporters have little choice but to back Hillary after the loss, they may seek out justifications for the switch, thus obsessing or paying attention to things they would have ignored 3 months ago and which maybe made no difference 3 months ago. People and allegiances are complex.

    Complex indeed, with no one size fits all motivation.

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