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Can we talk... again?
Author: Raine    Date: 05/19/2016 13:29:56

As many people know, I was a Martin O'Malley supporter. I could go on and on as to the reasons why but I am not in the mood to rehash what might have been.

He dropped out of the race before my state's primary. I weighed all of my options for how I was going to vote, and that included crossing the aisle to vote for Marco Rubio to try to prevent Trump from winning in Virginia.

In the end, I looked at the numbers and voted what seemed best for me. I voted for Martin O'Malley. It wasn't a protest vote. I knew who was going to win in this state and I was not willing to vote for either of our frontrunners. Truth be told, I was ambivalent. I have had my reservations about both candidates. I find Ms.Clinton to be far too hawkish. For the record -- she was my senator, and she was a damn fine senator for the state.

My issues with Senator Sanders has always been more about his loyalties and his affiliations. I like that he was an independent. I remember going to Vermont - Burlington to be precise - and being pretty happy that a socialist was the mayor there. That was a pretty cool city (not as cool as Woodstock, but I digress).

The thing is, I have always affiliated with the Democratic party. When I was 18, I registered as a Democrat. I went and registered to vote. I picked a party. I felt like I was a part of something. In 1988, I got to listen to a legitimate D candidate running for the office to speak at a conference room in a building I was living in. It was Jesse Jackson. It was electrifying. Like Martin O'Malley, he dropped out and I eventually went to vote for our party's nominee: Michael Dukakis. The party I affiliated with lost. George H.W. Bush would become our commander-in-chief. I didn't give up on the party. I didn't re-register to become an independent.

The first campaign I canvassed for was a few years later and it was for William Jefferson Clinton. Once again, I digress.

I am a member of the Democratic Political Party. I have been for 30 years. I have seen it progress and regress.

With that, what happened in Nevada, and more - its aftermath - leaves me upset. A fellow colleague of his, Senator Barbra Boxer was called a B*tch. Nevada Democratic Party chairwoman Roberta Lange has received death threats.
A defiant Sanders then went on to blame Democratic leadership for using "its power to prevent a fair and transparent process from taking place."

His response follows multiple reports of angry Sanders supporters flipping chairs at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel event and growing evidence of violent texts and voicemails that targeted Nevada Democratic Party chairwoman Roberta Lange and her family. (A few of those disturbing messages, which include calling Lange a "corrupt bitch," can be heard here.) Some supporters even talked about "guaranteed fires" taking place at July's Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

"This group of about 100 were very vocal and I can't describe it," Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), who was present at the convention, told CNN. "Disrespectful doesn't even explain it, it was worse than that."

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid expressed his disappointment in Sanders' response, saying he was "better than that."

"Bernie should say something—not have some silly statement," Reid said. "Bernie is better than that. I'm surprised by his statement. I thought he was going to do something different."

Earlier on Tuesday, while campaigning in Puerto Rico, whose Democratic caucus will be on June 5, Sanders dodged a reporter's question about his supporters' behavior by turning his back and walking away.
Everyone is focusing on chairs (despite the reality that all the uproar was over their lack of understanding of party procedure - not fraud or misconduct), what I am extremely bothered by is the lack of awareness of how women were, are, and will be treated going forward with this campaign.

There was no renouncing how Ms. Boxer and Ms. Lange have been treated. That's unacceptable to me. A few months ago Dolores Huerta, a civil rights activist, was on the receiving end of disgruntled Sanders supporters in the very same state.
A better, more fair-minded assessment of the facts can be found at The Washington Post, written by Janell Ross and Abby Phillip, who explain that most of Huerta’s story can be confirmed by the video, even if the very specific accusation of chanting is unknowable, because of the noise.

“And unfortunately for Sanders’s supporters, there’s video that at the very least backs up Huerta’s assertion that there was a lot of shouting and hissing while she was on stage at a Nevada caucus location,” Ross and Phillip write.

Since jeering and hissing and cheering the words “English only” are indisputable, the focus of the online debate has been that Huerta must be a liar because of her use of the word “chanting.” “NO CHANTING,” Sarandon wrote.

“You lied about chanting,” another Sanders supporter scolded Huerta. All of Twitter appears obsessed with breaking apart the word “chanting,” as if it’s the make-or-break issue of the campaign.

The difference between “cheering” and “chanting” seems a strange hill to die on, but, as with most stupid election controversies, the anger here is more about what the story symbolizes than the actual facts in dispute.

Things are tense right now because the Nevada loss is starting to look like a devastating blow to the Sanders campaign. From the beginning, the biggest obstacle to the Sanders campaign was convincing voters that this was about serious change instead of a bunch of privileged people posturing about how radical they are.
I don't recall remorse over this incident from the Sanders campaign either.

Women notice these things. While I have not been an ardent supporter of either of our two candidates I find myself disliking the actions (or non actions) of one candidate. Instead of disavowing his very badly behaved supporters, he chose to blame the party and the people who bore the brunt of the really bad behavior of his supporters. That's classic victim-blaming and I despise it.

Sanders said he would not run a negative campaign. From where I sit, the opposite seems to be true. Things may be fine at his rallies but it appears any time a Dem party function happens and things don't go the way of his campaign, his supporters become angry and chaotic. That's not how any of this is supposed to be.

One more thing...
(via) Wall Street Journal: “A loose coalition of supporters of rival Sen. Bernie Sanders is using social media to plan a series of events at the Democratic National Convention. Using pro-Sanders blogs and websites, organizers will be pressing to insert his progressive agenda—from free college tuition to revisions in the primary process—into the party’s platform.”

“At least five of the nine permit applications to hold demonstrations during the four-day event have been filed by pro-Sanders forces with the Philadelphia city government, according to the mayor’s office.”

This isn't influencing, it's bullying. If this is how the revolution is going to be, I am not sure I want to be a part of it. I have to say it: I am tired of feeling like it's not okay to criticize a member of the party I have been a part of all my life. I am tired of feeling like Bernie Sanders can't be criticized. He's got some amazing ideas, of that there is no doubt. I don't like his behavior and many of his supporters behavior.

Oh, and I want to see his tax returns released. His platform is largely an economic one, and I think it's important. But if he wants to fundamentally change our nation economically , he should be transparent himself and show us his taxes.

There I said it.

I will vote for our nominee in November. How both of the candidates act in the next few weeks will determine how much I choose to participate. I hope this doesn't alienate my friends because - truth be told - you aren't the problem. The problem is at the top.


16 comments (Latest Comment: 05/19/2016 20:54:09 by Raine)
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