Sunday, April 30, 2017

Democrats Turn to Bernie Sanders to Rebuild the Party

So how's that working out? Not too well, if recent controversies are any measure.

Remember last week? Here, "Bernie Sanders Wants Democrats to Focus on Economic Populism, Not Social Justice Cultural Marxism (VIDEO)."

Well, then, check out WaPo, and this David Weigel piece that came out just when Bernie and the DNC chair got embroiled in this populism vs. culture debate.

See, "Democrats turn to Sanders and his star power to rebuild the party":

LOUISVILLE — Earlier this week, before heading downstairs to speak to nearly 3,000 Ken­tuckians, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) reminisced about his 2016 presidential campaign. After he had gained steam, and his rallies had become arena-size events, he was struck by the difference between his crowds and those at Democratic Party fundraisers.

“We’d have a rally with five or ten thousand young people out, a great deal of energy,” Sanders said between bites of a steak sandwich. “Then I’d walk into a room and there’d be a thousand people from the Democratic Party. You were in two different worlds — one full of energy, one full of idealism. And the other, full of good people — I don’t mean to put them down — who are the bedrock of the Democratic Party.”

At that moment, Sanders was on the second day of a week-long, cross-country speaking tour with Democratic National Committee Chairman Thomas Perez. The DNC was picking up half the bill for the 12-seat chartered plane as well as the venues, including the downtown Louisville Palace.

As Sanders spoke, Perez was a block away, meeting with party leaders who — like most Democratic leaders — had backed Hillary Clinton for president. Later that evening, they would take a stage and praise Sanders, who is not a Democrat, for reinvigorating their party. A chairman who defeated Sanders’s preferred candidate to run the DNC was now touring as his opening act.

“Our values are aligned on so many of the critical issues that confront the nation and the Democratic Party,” Perez said in an interview. “When people actually look at the platform of the Democratic Party — they’ll say, ‘We need community college!’ — well, look at the platform. When they say, ‘We need a $15 minimum wage’ — look at the platform.”

The first 24 hours of the tour revealed both the strength and the seams in the strategy. It began in Portland, Maine, on Monday evening, where a crowd wrapped around the State Theatre to see the “Come Together, Fight Back” tour. Maine’s Democratic Party leaders flitted through the crowds with clipboards, encouraging fans of Sanders to sign up.

They had competition. A group of rogue “Berniecrats” had brought clipboards of their own, with petitions encouraging the senator to run for president in 2020 as an independent. When the rally began, a mention of Perez was met with boos audible over mild applause; the loudest heckling came from a man whose T-shirt declared his support for the Green Party.

Once onstage, Perez described his Democratic Party as a vessel for activists, with a platform they could love. It was activists, he said, who stopped the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. It was activists who had passed a ­minimum-wage hike, which Maine’s Republican governor had halted.

“In these first 100 days, the most remarkable thing is not what Donald Trump did — the most remarkable thing is what you did across the county,” Perez said.

The chairman left the stage, and a disembodied announcer introduced Sanders. This time, there were no boos; over 48 minutes, Sanders mentioned Perez’s DNC only once...