A recently-released transcript of Florida court documents reveals that the DNC deliberately defrauded Bernie Sanders supporters by handing the primary win to Hillary Clinton.
In a motion to dismiss a lawsuit accusing the Democrat National Committee of election fraud, the DNC told a judge that they are under “no contractual obligation” to provide the American people with fair party primaries.
Caitlin Johnstone in an article titled ‘DNC Shatters The Illusion Of American Democracy In Order To Keep People’s 27 Bucks,’ writes:
Yes, really. That’s their Plan A. In order to avoid a situation where they could be forced to return some of the small-dollar campaign donations of Sanders’ base, representatives of the regulatory committee for the Democratic party have tacitly admitted in a court of law that they are running a fake political party using the lie of legitimate primary elections to manufacture political engagement, and that democracy is officially dead in America.
— John Graziano (@jvgraz) April 29, 2017
“[T]here is no right to — just by virtue of making a donation, to enforce the parties’ internal rules,” said DNC attorney Bruce Spiva. “And there’s no right to not have your candidate disadvantaged or have another candidate advantaged. There’s no contractual obligation here.”
Mr. Spiva is of course referring to the charge that Sanders supporters were defrauded of millions of dollars when they poured donations many of them could barely afford into the campaign of a candidate that the DNC was actively conspiring to sabotage, in gross violation of the Impartiality Clause of their own charter. Rather than trying to deny that this act of sabotage took place, the DNC is instead arguing that it is perfectly within its rights to obstruct and favor any campaign it wants in order to ensure the nomination of the candidate that it prefers.
Since I am writing this essay for the perpetual Clintonian circle jerk that is Medium, I should probably preempt any vapid scoffing and dismissal here by assuring the reader that if you have been suffering from the delusion that Hillary Clinton was legitimately elected as the Democratic presidential nominee, you are wrong, and even the DNC lawyers admit it. If that’s not enough proof for you, the Impartiality Clause (Article 5, Section 4 of the DNC Charter) reads as follows:
“the Chairperson shall exercise impartiality and evenhandedness as between the Presidential candidates and campaigns. The Chairperson shall be responsible for ensuring that the national officers and staff of the Democratic National Committee maintain impartiality and evenhandedness during the Democratic Party Presidential nominating process.”
There is simply no way that anyone who has read through the conversations in the more egregious DNC leaks, the Podesta emails showing that the DNC and the Clinton camp were colluding as early as 2014 to schedule debates and primaries in a way that favored her, or then-DNC Vice Chairwoman Donna Brazile acting as a mole against the Sanders campaign and passing Clinton questions in advance to prep her for debates with Sanders can truthfully say that this Impartiality Clause was adhered to. It wasn’t. And, according to Mr. Spiva, that’s because it didn’t need to be.
He’s wrong though. Here’s a quick history lesson.
In 1968, Chicago PD blanketed Michigan Ave in tear gas and savagely beat DNC protestors on live TV… bc of a perceived slight to the flag pic.twitter.com/4yh5GEnuDR
— Channing Ritter (@BkTkTk) November 29, 2016
— Nat'l Guard Museum (@NGMuseum) October 9, 2016
— LA Review of Books (@LAReviewofBooks) September 22, 2016
This 2008 NPR special details the way the Democratic nomination process was radically revised after the 1968 fiasco at the Chicago Convention in order to win back the droves of disgusted voters who’d abandoned the party, and a major component of that revision was giving the people a voice in the nominating process by instituting primaries and caucuses. Had they not done this, had they not promised the American people a fair and balanced democratic primary process, the Democrats risked losing party viability and being replaced by another party that was more appealing for voters to engage with. By admitting that they have been lying about taking this promise seriously, the DNC is admitting that its party probably should have perished sometime in the 1970s. They deceived the American people into letting them remain.
Prior to giving the people a voice in the nomination process, the DNC selected the Democratic nominee internally, the result of which was what provoked the 1968 riots in the first place. This old, outdated process is what Mr. Spiva is referring to in this next excerpt from the court transcript:
“But here, where you have a party that’s saying, We’re gonna, you know, choose our standard bearer, and we’re gonna follow these general rules of the road, which we are voluntarily deciding, we could have — and we could have voluntarily decided that, Look, we’re gonna go into back rooms like they used to and smoke cigars and pick the candidate that way. That’s not the way it was done. But they could have. And that would have also been their right.”
It doesn’t work that way, Bruce. The reason internally-selected nominees stopped existing decades ago is that people realized that they are bullshit. If the Democrats espouse the position that they’re going to secretly manipulate their nominating process and lie to the American people about it, their party will die, like it would have after the 1968 disaster had they not made their broken promises to the people. You don’t get to cut yourself legal slack by saying that your Committee could have just selected its nominee without pretending to have a primary; it could not have. The American people would never have stood for it. If they’d realized that the extent of American democracy is choosing between an internally-selected corporatist and the GOP candidate, they never would have tolerated it. And the DNC knew this. That’s why they lied about it. That’s why they deliberately deceived the American people into thinking that a legitimate presidential primary was happening in the Democratic party, so that they would become engaged in the party and vote for it in the general election.
Harvard attorney Jared Beck, one of the plaintiffs in the case, told TYT’s Jordan Chariton that his jaw dropped when he heard this defense. He argues that without free and fair elections, democracy cannot be said to be happening in America, which is innately unconstitutional.
“I think it even goes beyond the charter, quite frankly, because this is fundamental to democracy,” Beck said in an interview with TYT Politics. “I mean, the Constitution speaks of a democratic political system, and I kept bringing this point up over and over again, is that in order to have a democracy the DNC has to be even-handed and impartial in the process, or else we don’t have a democracy in this country.”
The transcript shows that Mr. Beck did indeed present this argument to the court multiple times. The following are excerpts from the court transcript of Beck’s arguments toward that end:
“What we’re talking about here is the very core of what our democracy runs on, the very basis for our democracy, which is the conduct of free and fair elections. That’s the basis, that’s the bedrock on which the claims of this case take off, because the election — the elections — as American history has developed, the conduct of those elections, for better or worse, has come under the domain of the two major political parties in this country.
And in our case, in getting into the allegations of our case, what we are alleging and what we are very, I think, clearly alleging and specifically alleging in this complaint is that people paid money in reliance on the understanding that the primary elections for the Democratic nominee — nominating process in 2016 were fair and impartial. And that’s not just a bedrock assumption that we would assume just by virtue of the fact that we live in a democracy, and we assume that our elections are run in a fair and impartial manner. But that’s what the Democratic National Committee’s own charter says. It says it in black and white. And they can’t deny that.”
I think that there’s a fundamental understanding in this country that’s taught from a very early age, certainly I remember it, that we live in a democracy. And I think a fundamental part of what a democracy means is that elections are not conducted in this biased and predetermined way. And I think that everybody who seeks to participate in the political process, especially when they’re going to the trouble of cutting a check to a candidate that they support or a party that they support, they believe that those candidates and entities are taking place in a process that is fair and impartial, because they believe in a process that’s democratic.
And in response to Spiva’s assertion that there was no obligation to even have a primary at all:
And, quite frankly, if what defendant — or what the DNC has just said is true — and I really hope it’s not true, but if what he said is true, then I think it’s a really sad day for democracy in this country. Because what essentially the DNC has now stated in a court of law is that it believes that there is no enforceable obligation to run the primary elections of this country’s democracy in a fair and impartial manner. And if that’s the case — and I think counsel just said it himself — then really, you know, the sky’s the limit in terms of what the DNC and any party, for that matter, can do.
So far in court, the DNC's lawyers haven't denied the primary was rigged, but only argued it was their right to rig it. #DismantleDuopoly
— Michael Salamone (@MichaelSalamone) April 28, 2017
The elites of the Democratic party are trying to have it both ways. They’re trying to maintain the system which obstructs independents and third parties from finding meaningful purchase within the political process, while at the same time ensuring that no democracy is happening within that rigid two-party system. They’re trying to maintain the “A vote for a third party is a vote for the Republican!” narrative from one side of their mouths while saying “It’s our party, we can rig the primaries however we want!” from the other. If Americans want to say that they live in a democracy, the major political parties can’t have it both ways. Either change the system so that other parties are viable, or give the people the ability to choose the nominees of the only two parties they’re able to choose from. Both of these would be ideal, one would be workable, but right now they have neither. Calling America a democracy is a joke.
And they’re openly admitting this. The DNC is now openly admitting that it deceived and manipulated the American people into a situation where they’re both unable to elect third parties and unable to select who will run against the GOP. All so that they won’t have to give Bernie supporters back their 27 bucks.
This is what happens when a political party places money above all else; they find themselves in a situation where they’re making politically catastrophic admissions rather than lose a few dollars. I was active in a lot of Bernie forums during the primaries, and the gut-wrenching stories I saw shared by participants there were what got me involved in this political commentary gig in the first place. There were people who could not afford to donate to a political campaign, but they found ways to do it anyway in the desperate hope of creating a more economically just future. Bernie received donations from people living out of their cars. From unemployed people with kids who could have used the money for groceries but chose to try and invest in a better world for their children. The DNC is now openly admitting that it took actions to make sure that that money went to waste, all so that they won’t have to give it back to these people who so desperately need it in the exploitative corporatist nightmare that the DNC has helped create.
All for a little money. They’re doing it all for a little money. They’d rather admit that they’ve been exploiting, manipulating and deceiving the American people to support their plutocratic bosses than give these people back their money, like a husband who admits to having an affair just to get out of buying his wife a birthday present. Millionaire politicians keeping money from kids while choking Americans to death with the Walmart economy because they don’t have a voice in government to protect themselves. If this isn’t evil, than nothing is evil.
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