REICH - WHERE DO YOU STAND?
Dear Mr. Reich,
Hm, a picture shows you smiling while shaking hands with Sanders. I guess commondreams is editorializing to show you like the man and his message.
I trust you do. So far we agree.
But do the smile and handshake show you are on his side, and on the side of the Sanders movement - a movement that, as John Atcheson wrote several weeks back, "is not Sanders to command"? I am not sure, but tend not to think so.
Like some other respondents (Emphyrio, Lindorff), I accept you as a progressive, and like your supportive-sounding acknowledgement of what the Sanders movement means: a struggle to reclaim "our democracy and economy from the moneyed interests."
Here, crucially, I note that you refer to the "Democratic Party" as one of the groups from which progressives want to reclaim our democracy.
OK, let's clarify that. You appear to be saying the Sanders movement is not just about challenging money; it is about challenging the right liberal moneyed interest of the Democratic Party - a party whose rules - closed primaries, super-delegates - work against progressives winning.
I think we agree on this point, despite your vagueness...
However, for many progressive Sanders suppporters, 'what the Sanders movement menas' is not the defining issue in this election.
So what is the defining issue? As I see it, power-sharing.
The progressive half of voters likely to vote Democrat that support Sanders want the Democratic Party to share power - versus using its organizational power and rules to marginalize the progressive half. And an indeterminate number of those progressives are prepared to withdraw support from the Democratic Party - e.g., not vote for its candidates - if it does not share power.
In other words - contrary to your last opinion piece in commondreams - many progressives will not vote Democratic if the party does not share power.
As things stand in the Democratic Party, it is winner-take-all; and - as things stand due to the ruling Democratic faction's connections and rules - that winner will always be the right liberal faction. Leaving the burden of support entirely on the progressive half of Democratic voters.
Not in this election. If the Democratic Party does not negotiate with its progressive half, many progressive voters will not vote for HRC.
In my view, that does not necessarily mean Sanders must be made the Democratic candidate for President. But it does mean the Democratic Party will have to give more than empty and symbolic things like progressive delegates for a nonbinding Party platform; or politically expedient, non-binding feints left by a right liberal candidate.
Substantive power-sharing - as I and some other posters have stated elsewhere - could include abolishing the closed primary and super-delegate systems that eliminate Sanders supporters in primaries; and progressive cabinet official short-lists.
Short of substantive organizational reform and binding cabinet commitments, I will not vote for a Democrati candidate.
I certainly will not reverse my views and fall into line to rally for a right liberal candidate.
Do you want progressive support, Mr. Reich? Then I suggest you present these demands to the Democratic Party, and begin to negotiate on behalf of your better half, rather than telling pro-Sanders progressive what to do if HLC is nominated.