Oh, irony of ironies….by far the most campaign finance violations and irregularities in 2016 are by the Bernie Sanders campaign. Thousands of them. No one else even comes close. Turns out their online donation program does not have a way to keep donors from giving more than $2700 (the individual legal limit), nor does it have a way to preventing foreigners from donating. I assume that Bernie’s campaign never imagined that anyone would be contributing thousands of dollars or that people in other countries would want to donate. The price of success. The FEC has been complaining about this for months, to no avail. And that FEC process has only just begun, too. It can go on for years. I suspect the campaign will be required to return some money to some people. Hopefully it has done a better job maintaining those records than it has done with some people’s tax returns.
It’s a lesson learned for those who will want to use this method of fundraising in the future–which will be everybody. By 2020 this will be a non-issue for campaigns, as consultants will have taken over this viral fundraising revolution and turned it slick and professional. The last campaign that had a problem like this–too much money coming from everywhere, much of it unaccountable–was Nixon’s CREEP in 1972. Of course, that was sleazy as hell, while Bernie’s is just his Frank Capra idealism run rampant. And while people will be looking for one, there will be no scandal in the classic sense. No men in trenchcoats with bags of money. Still, this story will probably have some legs. Just follow the money is still the reporter’s mantra. There will certainly be an audit. And lots of news stories. Fingers will be pointed, excuses given. And some people may wind up on Capitol Hill, answering Republican questions. Benghazi Benghazi Benghazi.
Anyway, here’s the article from The Atlantic:
“The Donors Who Love Bernie Sanders A Little Too Much–The FEC has notified the campaign that thousands of its 2.4 million contributors may be violating federal limits.”
Bernie with rosy cheeked potential campaign finance law violators.
I’m getting tired of some of those on the paranoid fringe of the Bernie movement who insist that Bernie is actually winning and Hillary is only ahead because of vote fraud. Think about it: Bernie has received nearly three million fewer votes than Hillary, and Bernie can only consistently win in caucus states, which is a far less democratic way of selecting candidates. Bernie consistently loses primaries (he’s won only five of the twenty two primaries so far, but won ten out of twelve caucuses). But Bernie can’t possibly lose, so something must be wrong. Obviously, Hillary is cheating. It can only mean that Hillary’s black and Hispanic (and women’s) votes are being counted (or perhaps over counted) and Bernie’s overwhelmingly white votes are being undercounted. That could be the only possible explanation. It’s not that the majority of voters in these contests actually preferred Hillary over Bernie. No, that is inconceivable, impossible, or maybe just politically inconvenient. Especially when everybody they know on Facebook is pro Bernie, and Facebook is never wrong.
But when this fringe of Bernie supporters claim that Bernie has been cheated in every primary he has lost, they are engaging in disenfranchisement just like Republicans do when they too do not like the way blacks and Hispanics vote–they claim voter fraud. Not everybody has voted the way white people think they should vote this year. That is the real issue here. The only states these paranoid Bernie conspiracy nuts think that wide spread fraud is not happening are the extremely white states that Bernie Sanders wins. It’s ironic that some on the left are adopting the thinking of those on the right–if you can’t get those people to vote for you, scream vote fraud. Apparently white privilege is not just for Republicans anymore.
FoxNews first reported a completely bogus voter fraud claim at the Iowa caucuses. Though Media Matters exposed it as bogus, the story was believed by enough Bernie supporters to keep it alive.
Fox Resorts To Bogus “Voter Fraud” Claims To Downplay Clinton Caucus Victory
I think that from a genuine democratic socialist perspective, a third party run by Bernie Sanders would make perfect sense. Democratic socialism seeks to overturn capitalism via democratic as opposed to violent means. Bernie has already pointed out that it will take years to achieve. It is more likely that his under 35 voters would be pushed to the left by a Trump or Cruz than by a successful moderate Democrat like Hillary. If Bernie were to stay true to his deepest philosophical convictions, he would run as an independent to help crush and thereby transform the Democratic Party and use a Cruz or Trump to bring about a much larger far left electorate in 2020. That would enable his supporters to gain seats at congressional and state house levels as well. Continue reading
The Democratic Party of the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas held their caucuses today. Saipan is the principle island of the Northern Marianas, famous as the place where Lee Marvin was shot in the ass by a Japanese machine gunner in the early stages of the American invasion of the island during World War Two, something no one made fun of to his face. Saipan is also where at the close of that battle more than a thousand Japanese civilians blew themselves up or hurled their children and then themselves off cliffs onto the rocks below rather than surrender to the Americans, making for some of the most disturbing footage of World War Two, but I am digressing horribly. Continue reading
The Millennials today will have their presidential election year about the time they morph into grumpy middle aged people who actually vote. 2024, maybe, or more like 2032, when today’s eighteen and twenty-nine year olds are thirty four and a thoroughly disagreeable forty five, respectively. As for the geezers, well, some of us will be there for it, and some will never have our year, we’ll be memories. The luck of the draw. But it won’t be the baby boomers’ world by then anyway, thankfully, we who voted more for Nixon and Reagan than Gene McCarthy and George McGovern, we who helped sweep the Reagan Revolution into power and helped it dismantle the New Deal. This mess we’re in today is as much our fault as the establishment we railed against way back when. We can’t blame it all on the Greatest Generation. Half of us voted for Reagan, even icons like Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Johnny Ramone were card carrying Republicans. (You gotta serve somebody, Bob said. Keep on rockin’ in the free world said Neil.) And a lot of us Baby Boomers will wind up cranky old Republicans, chasing left wing Millennials off our lawns. No, we fucked up, sold out, gave up. The New Deal generation never let the US descend into income inequality hell like we did. They had their priorities right. And it’s hard to imagine that Millennials won’t eventually do something about getting those priorities right again, once they get off their aging asses and vote. Continue reading
When I was a college kid in the seventies, surrounded by intellectuals of radical or wanna be radical temperament, there were a lot of Revolution jokes. Come the revolution this, come the revolution that. Come the revolution, you will no longer have to wait in line at the falafel stand. Some the revolution, we will not pay the landlord, that landlord will pay us. Knock knock. Who’s there. The revolution. The revolution who. The revolution will not be televised. No one said they were funny. But everyone said them. Continue reading