Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The Blame Game

After every election, one side or the other plays the blame game. It's the media's fault. My opponent was corrupt and lied. The votes were rigged. All or some of that may be true, but in the end, there are always winners and losers.

After Bernie Sanders endorsed Hillary Clinton and even was the one to call for her nomination by acclimation from the floor after all the votes of every state and territory had been cast in a 90 minute roll call vote, many of his delegates still would not accept defeat. I should know. I was one of them. I was in that rowdy crowd up in the top tier to the far left of the arena and actually behind the stage during this last week. Those around me were angry. Some of them got up and walked out along with others from other state. Remember, Bernie Sanders had about 45% of the delegates in the hall, many of them first timers, young and eager for bringing major change not so much to the Democratic Party but to the nation.
Sending a message: No TPP

Bernie in his box up behind us

Calling for an end to fracking and 100% renewables

Bernie's message

Protesting Leon Panetta
Many of them were not really big D Democrats at all, having changed their party registration from Green or Independent  (no party preference or npp) just to vote for Bernie. They believed in the Political Revolution he had been calling for, some apparently without ever considering how that would play out, other than an electoral victory.

As an article in Politico stated, many of them came to the Convention, convinced his earlier endorsement of Hillary Clinton was not really a concession, that by being there and casting their vote, he would magically win; some even thought they could change the minds of Superdelegates (and they may have changed a few minds because there were several abstentions that could only have come from Superdelegates, as they were unpledged until that night), and some thought they could sway Hillary delegates to their, our point of view. The campaign never asked them to do that. The campaign said, in essence, it's over; come to the Convention, fight for the issues in the platform,fight for a unity message on the TPP which both Hillary and Bernie mostly agreed on, but which Obama has signaled he wants to go through. 

A sea of Bernie signs when he spoke

Our local Congressional District 2 delegation sat up in the nosebleed section (not quite; at least we had floor passes) with the mostly "Bernie or Bust" people. I was chosen as a delegate because I qualify as a Party leader, small time, but still, I've been involved in Democratic politics and on the State Central Committee and Executive Committee for years. I know the ropes. On the the day after the roll call vote too place, and Bernie nominated Hillary for President, a member of the Florida delegation was handing out signs in the lobby of our very expensive hotel saying Bernie has my heart; Hillary has my vote." Naturally a couple of us took them and displayed them. Mistake. We got told to go sit with the Hillary people. We did not belong in the "tribe." One guy got into an almost physical altercation with an angry woman sitting in front of us.

Our signs went into a bag to be taken to the Marin Democratic Party headquarters, never to be seen on the Convention floor again.

Then days later on Facebook, some of these folks decided we must be moles, sent from the Clinton camp no doubt. Nothing else could explain it. There were stories of seat holders, non credentialed people paid to keep us out of our seats. And I'm sure some of that was true. There were a lot of suits lingering in the aisles near us. Certainly on the last night, the seats were full and the Hillary crowd was trying to claim whole rows where they had never been before. Our little contingent refused to back down, and took our seats, prompting the Hillary woman to go off in a huff. She was invited to stay. I like to think we are inclusive. I assumed Hillary got to invite a few friends to the festivities, and there was no assigned seating so people got carried away on both sides.

Ah well, people are calming down now. Happy to be home. Back to work on the local level.