Wall Street wants Harris, Buttigieg, and Biden to dominate the floor and shut down Sanders.
“The ‘political revolution’ that Sanders proposes is too left for the ruling class but not left enough for humanity.”
The schedule for the Democratic Party primary debates has been announced. This time around, the debates are split into two separate evenings to account for the large number of candidates in the Democratic primary. The participants in each round were supposedly chosen by way of a Democratic National Committee-led “lottery” system. Bernie Sanders was placed on the debate with Wall Street’s three favorite candidates: Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and Pete Buttigieg. Far from a randomized selection process, the debates show that the ruling class is encircling Sanders with its political dogs with the hopes that the trio can collectively weaken his chances for the nomination.
The New York Timesis such an effective mouthpiece of Wall Street that it often gives a play-by-play of its political servants’ electoral behavior. It wasThe New York Times that announced Wall Street’s “Stop Sanders”movement developing among the Democratic Party’s donor class. Just as the first debate lineup was announced for the last week of June, the Times revealed that Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, and Joe Biden were auditioning as Wall Street’s top choicesfor the nomination. That all three of these candidates are debating on the same night as a result of a “lottery” system is thus no coincidence. Wall Street wants Harris, Buttigieg, and Biden to dominate the floor and shut down Sanders. Whoever does it best will win the hearts and dollars of finance capital.
“The debates show that the ruling class is encircling Sanders with its political dogs.”
Finance capital also hopes that Elizabeth Warren will prove useful in dividing up the Sanders camp during the debate. Warren will be speaking on the debate’s first evening and will not have to contend with Wall Street’s favorite candidates or Sanders. The “policy wonk” will instead be sharing the stage with Wall Street’s least favorite candidate, Tulsi Gabbard, and a long list of candidates whose chances at the nomination are slim to none. This will give the “surging” Warren plenty of room to promote her policy-focused but rather milquetoast political program. While Wall Street has no interest in Warren in the final analysis, its donors in the Democratic Party are more than willing to use her to weaken the Sandernista surge.
Thus, the 2020 primary debates are shaping up to be another example of how the Democratic Party is a wholly owned subsidiary of the rich and powerful. After WikiLeaks published emails that outlined the countless ways that the Clinton campaign sabotaged Sanders’ efforts at the 2016 nomination, the DNC was forced to make cosmetic changes to its electoral system. The lobbyists who comprise of the superdelegates were said to have been “eliminated” from the primary process. However, the superdelegates were not eliminated; they were suppressed. Superdelegates will be able to vote in a contested conventionshould the nominees fail to win the 1,885 pledged delegates necessary to secure the nomination.
“Democratic Party donors are more than willing to use Warren to weaken the Sandernista surge.”
This fact alone should dispel any questions about why so many candidates exist in the Democratic Party primary. In 2016, Hillary Clinton was the only candidate that Wall Street and the rest of the Democratic Party elite were willing to support. Clinton’s campaign was an abysmal failure. Her embarrassing loss to the celebrity billionaire Donald Trump added fuel to the fire of the political crisis that currently plagues Washington. The ruling class drummed up hysteria about “Russian meddling” to intensify the U.S. drive to war and distract the confused masses in the United States from the realities of U.S. economic, political, and military decline. In the shadows, Wall Street was preparing for Sanders’ second bid at the nomination.
One of the central political contradictions of the “Stop Sanders” movement is its reliance on dozens of corporate candidates to take down one social democratic candidate. The hope is that the wide array of corporate candidates will force a contested electionor that one of their top three (Biden, Harris, Buttigieg) will gain enough momentum to defeat Sanders “fair and square.” Wall Street understands that the latter scenario is unlikely. Sanders remains popular among his base, which now represents a large section of all Democratic Party voters. The Democratic Party is betting that Joe Biden or Kamala Harris can lock down the Black vote with as much success as they have achieved in locking up poor Black Americans in the mass incarceration gulag. Even if they don’t, the ruling class is banking on the supreme authority of the super delegates to seal the deal.
“The hope is that the wide array of corporate candidates will force a contested election.”
One the opposite side of the contradiction is the possibility that the Democratic Party has only further shown its hand as the party of Wall Street. Majorities of Democratic Party voters and many Republican voters support measures such as single-payer healthcare, living wage employment, and a Green New Deal. Nearly half of the entire electorateare in favor of “socialism”—a word that has come to be associated with anti-austerity measures. Only Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard, and Elizabeth Warren to a lesser degree speak to the anti-austerity leanings of the Democratic Party’s captive base. Joe Biden, the ruling class’ favorite for the 2020 primary, has taken the opposite stance and has gone so far as to ridicule and bait Bernie Sandersat forums such as the Poor People’s Campaign in order to convince the masses that change must come within the system as it currently exists.
Wall Street’s political dogs in the Democratic Party race will only become more rabidly pro-war and pro-austerity as the election continues. Working class people, especially Black America, must be politically controlled, contained, and disciplined into accepting the miserable condition that exists on this planet. The Democratic Party elite understands that the bourgeois political goodwill and sheep-dogging that Sanders exhibits will inevitably lead him to support any candidate that is chosen by the ruling class. Thus, a critical decision is coming for the Sandinista base. Sanders supporters will have to choose between accepting another manufactured defeat at the hands of the Democratic Party or leaving the Wall Street-owned political party for good.
“Only Sanders, Gabbard and Warren speak to the anti-austerity leanings of the Democratic Party’s captive base.”
While the rise of Sanders has certainly exacerbated the political crisis that plagues U.S. imperialism, it has also created a new set of problems for the left. U.S. imperialism is dominated by the most entrenched and opulently wealthy finance capitalist class that human history has ever known. This class is dedicated to its self-preservation and understands the crisis at hand. U.S. capital is so monopolized and so unequal that most of humanity is living what George Jackson called “half-lives.” The “political revolution” that Sanders proposes is too left for the ruling class but not left enough for humanity. Presented before poor and working-class Black Americans are two options: remain captive to the Democratic Party out of disdain for the White Man’s Republicans or chart a new political path toward socialism. This will undoubtedly require that the U.S. imperial apparatus is torn down, root and branch.
It should be obvious by now that neither Sanders nor any of the leftish Democratic Party candidates can lead the anti-imperialist movement that is necessary to bring the empire to its knees. U.S. militarism threatens to render the planet unhabitable for humanity to defend the interests of the ruling class. The U.S.’ strategy of endless war is an attempt to control the sharpening contradictions of U.S. imperialism which have damaged the legitimacy of the system to the point of no return. Massive inequality, debt, and underconsumption cannot be resolved short of a revolutionary movement that disempowers the ruling elite and redistributes the wealth that it has stolen from the people. While the starving working class cannot vote the ruling class out of power, its anger toward austerity has inspired Wall Street to encircle Bernie Sanders in the primary debates as part of its continued effort to ensure that such anger doesn’t become a mass movement outside of the ideological and institutional grip of the Democratic Party.
Danny Haiphong is an activist and journalist in the New York City area. He and Roberto Sirvent are co-authors of the book entitled American Exceptionalism and American Innocence: A People’s History of Fake News -- From the Revolutionary War to the War on Terror (Skyhorse Publishing). He can be reached at [email protected], on Instagram at danny_haiphong, and on Twitter at @SpiritofHo.
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