In the 2020 race it’s the reflexive corporate media spin against the candidate, writes Norman Solomon.
Some people are attached to the idea that the Democratic National Committee will “rig” the presidential nomination against Bernie Sanders. The meme encourages the belief that the Bernie 2020 campaign is futile because of powerful corporate Democrats. But such fatalism should be discarded.
As Frederick Douglass said, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” Of course, top Democratic Party officials don’t intend to give up control. It has to be taken from them. And the conditions for doing that are now more favorable than ever.
The effects of mobilized demands for change in the Democratic presidential nominating process have been major — not out of the goodness of any power broker’s heart, but because progressives have organized effectively ,during the last two years.
“I think I will not shock anybody to suggest that the DNC was not quite evenhanded” during the 2016 race, Sanders said last week on CNN. “I think we have come a long way since then, and I fully expect to be treated quite as well as anybody else.”
One big factor: This time, no candidate can gain frontrunner leverage with superdelegates the way Hillary Clinton did early in the race. Last August, under grassroots pressure, the DNC voted to abolish superdelegates’ votes at the Democratic National Convention for the first ballot of the nominating process. There hasn’t been a second ballot since 1952.
When timeworn polemics insist that what’s now underway can’t really happen, it is time to revise the polemics. For many years, we heard that genuinely progressive Democrats couldn’t make meaningful inroads in Congress. Now, with impacts that far exceed their growing numbers, recently arrived House members are doing a lot to help reshape the political discourse — notably Pramila Jayapal, Ro Khanna, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib.
While ill-founded, the line that “the DNC will rig 2020” is apt to have perverse impacts. No doubt sincerely…