Bernie Sanders Wants Barney Frank and Dan Malloy off the Democratic Convention Committee

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The Bernie Sanders campaign’s legal team has written a letter to the Democratic National Committee asking to have Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy and former Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank disqualified from their positions as Platform Committee Co-Chair and Rules Committee Co-Chair, respectively, because the two have been “aggressive attack surrogates” for the Clinton Campaign.

The letter went on to say their “criticisms of Senator Sanders have gone beyond dispassionate ideological disagreement and have exposed a deeper, professional, political and personal hostility toward the Senator and his campaign.”

You can read the entire letter here.

Some examples of these attacks include Frank accusing Sanders of “unduly denigrating the institution and a lot of the members of Congress” back in 1991; an opinion piece written by Rep. Frank professing his “resentment” towards Sanders after he won the New Hampshire Primary; and calling Sanders “outrageously McCarthyite” while saying Sanders and his supporters have an unrealistic point of view on how the political process in the country works.

As for Gov. Malloy, they cite him saying in interviews he will work hard to make sure Clinton is elected president in November; making comparisons between Sanders’ views on gun control to those of Donald Trump’s; and saying Sanders should be held accountable for the death people have suffered as a result of his votes on gun issues.

Cry me a river, why don’t you. Two prominent leaders in the Democratic Party, a party Sanders only joined recently, should be disqualified from their committee roles because they said things that hurt Bernie’s feelings? Are you kidding me? Does Bernie Sanders need to go to his “safe space” or “healing room?”

Not only does this expose Bernie for his thin skin, but it also exposes his blatant hypocrisy.

Sanders was able to pick five members of the body that writes the party’s platform, which is unprecedented. He chose Palestinian rights activist James Zogby, Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, environmental activist Bill McKibben, Native American activist Deborah Parker, and racial justice activist Cornel West.

Ellison has been a long time Sanders supporter, endorsing him last October. Ellison said “His candidacy is important for many reasons, but I believe the most important part of his candidacy is that it has the ability to create a renaissance in voter participation, which was at its lowest in decades this past election cycle. We’ve all seen the massive crowds he is attracting, and I think that is a testament to his message connecting with people – people we will need to turn out in November.”

How exactly is this any different from what Dan Malloy said about Hillary Clinton? Both of them have been surrogates for their candidates and talk them up every chance they get.

Ellison has also levied some criticism at Clinton, saying “pragmatism is not always a good thing. Experience is not always a good thing. Experience should teach you not to vote for an Iraq War where this country has not attacked us.”

Again, this is no different than Malloy bashing Sanders for a stance he thinks is problematic.

And if Sanders thinks Barney Frank’s comments are a problem, how does he justify his selection of Cornel West?

West has called Clinton the “milli vanilli of politics,” a neo-liberal, and has criticized African American leaders across the country supporting her as “a neo-political, black political class that confuses the gravy train with the freedom train.” He has also accused them, including people like Civil Rights icon and current Georgia Rep. John Lewis, of losing their way.

West has called President Obama, the same President Obama Sanders suggested should be primaried in 2012, “a Republican, a Rockefeller Republican in blackface,” “a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats,” and “the first ni**erized black president.”

Yes, Cornel West said all of these thing. Yet in the mind of Bernie Sanders, it is Barney Frank who should be off the committee for his incendiary comments.

This is just another look into who Bernie Sanders really is. And this should be a lesson to the party of what happens when you try to placate the unreasonable.

Remember when I said Sanders getting to place five of his own people on the platform writing committee was unprecedented? It’s because it is unprecedented.

Under DNC rules, the party chair is allowed to pick every member of the committee, which they have done in the past with consultation with either a democratic president or the party nominee. 

In an effort to let Sanders and his supporters feel like the party is opening up their doors and listening to their views, the DNC reached the aforementioned agreement with both the Sanders and Clinton campaigns.

“Not enough,” says Bernie Sanders. Even though he got a significant concession that will allow him to have major influence over the party platform this year, he now wants to control who else can be assigned to committee roles as well.

It’s not enough that Gov. Malloy has signed one of the strictest gun control laws in the country; an issue near and dear to the hearts of many Democrats. It doesn’t matter that Barney Frank co-authored the bill that was a step in the right direction in terms of regulating Wall Street. They need to be gone because they were mean to Sen. Sanders.

For a guy who lost, Sanders is sure walking around like a guy who owns the party.

At what point does the DNC, and Hillary Clinton, come to the conclusion this guy is never going to be happy? That no matter what concession they give him, or how much influence he is granted, he will move the goalposts just so he can try and get more and more of what he wants. The “you give an inch, they take a mile” saying comes to mind.

This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. This is what ideologues do.

Bernie Sanders is very close to destroying all of the goodwill he has built up over the course of this primary. He could use his popularity to move the party a little more in his direction while also keeping the overall goal of helping the party succeed in mind. This is what Elizabeth Warren is doing.

Instead, Sanders is using it to come up with new grievances, real or imagined, and turn people against the party in the hopes of blowing it to pieces so he can advance his own narcissistic agenda. In other words, Bernie Sanders looked at Ted Cruz and decided to be the left wing version of him.

I know Sanders has said he will help Clinton win in November. And I have been happy to see stories about Sanders raising money for Democrats in down ballot races. But stories like this, not to mention his continued insistence he can still win and the process has been rigged against him, lead me to the belief that he will be nothing but a headache for the party.

Clinton will have the support of Elizabeth Warren, who has emerged as a very effective attack dog against Donald Trump, and Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, another champion of progressive causes, for the general election.

Even current Sanders supporters who are well liked by the progressive wing of the party, Keith Ellison and Oregon Sen. Jeff Markley, who have said Sanders and his supporters have a responsibility to help unite the party, will be behind Clinton after the primary.

Having the support of these progressive leaders should be enough to get a large number of the voters currently backing Sanders to vote for Clinton in November, even if they vote for her grudgingly.

Considering this, and the increasingly apparent fact that nothing will ever satisfy Bernie Sanders, at some point, Clinton and the DNC need to take their chances and tell him to go pound sand.

3 thoughts on “Bernie Sanders Wants Barney Frank and Dan Malloy off the Democratic Convention Committee

  1. Jimmy Tarlau

    Sure Clinton can tell Sanders to pound sounds.That’s a good way to reach out to the millions of people who voted for Bernie.. It is not unreasonable for Sanders to complain that people who aggressively criticized him should not be in leadership positions at the Convention if you’re trying to unify the Party. The Party leadership may not agree with that but I see no reason for you to be-little his position on that issue. Your Sanders bashing is getting tiresome. He’s brought millions of people into the electoral process and has been asking the Party to take positions that will move it away from centrist-Wall Street economic policies toward populist policies that can talk to people’s desires for real change in this country.

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  2. Dave Asche

    So it’s all up to Clinton to unify the party? Bernie was given unprecedented influence on the party platform and he goes ahead and makes this demand? All because his feelings were hurt?

    Did Clinton complain about West being on the committee despite his aggressive campaigning against her?

    If unifying the party is contingent on Clinton and the DNC giving into his every demand, then yes, at some point it’s time to tell him enough is enough.

    Sanders is already throwing warning shots at Clinton over her potential VP pick. Seriously, who is this guy? He lost.

    It’s hard not to bash a guy who makes unreasonable demands despite efforts by Clinton and the DNC to placate him.

    It’s hard not to bash a guy who complains about all the rules he knew coming in, and have existed for years, and makes up lame excuse after lame excuse as to why he is losing; then repeats these excuses despite all the evidence showing if he had things his way with the superdelegates, counting the popular vote in caucus states, and more open primaries he’d still be losing.

    Do I bash Sanders somewhat frequently? Yes. But only because he makes it so easy.

    Sorry if you find it tiresome (I’m actually not), but BS like this needs to be called out.

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  3. Ed F.

    There’s a big difference between putting surrogates on these committees and choosing them as Committee chairpersons. Filling that role with a deeply partisan choice is a either a deliberate signal that side has no intention of working with the other, or it reflects a profound ignorance of how that person was perceived by supporters on the other side. Here in Maryland, the Clinton campaign has put forward Lanny Davis to represent the campaign on a convention committee. He’s quite a lightning rod politically, but here hasn’t been any challenge to his role. Naming Frank and Malloy to chair these important committees is quite a different matter.

    Notwithstanding other objections to Barney Frank — and he has given people on the left lots of good, powerful reasons to distrust him — his repeated inflammatory refrain about McCarthyism and McCarthyite attacks from the Sanders side was the worst example of hyper-partisanship in the campaign. It showed extraordinary animus and bile — and suggested he has a huge ax to grind. And, it earned him persona non grata status among Sanders supporters. There was no choice that could have been a bigger slap in the face to Sanders supporters.

    As for Malloy, the suggestions that Sanders himself bore some responsibility for the Sandy Hook massacre was pretty outrageous and disconnected from rational discourse. I imagine that it was personally insulting for the candidate in a way that exceeded anything he’s encountered in a long political career.

    The surprise isn’t that the Sanders campaign objected to the roles these two Clinton surrogates have been given. It was their selection that was a pretty nasty surprise from a campaign that keeps talking about unifying the party. Hopefully, the other committeemembers chosen by Clinton will be more welcoming and that consensus can still be achieved.

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