Responding on Sanders and reforming the Democrats – Australia News

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In his response to my August 1 (GLW #1148) piece on the strategy of US Senator Bernie Sanders, Danny Fairfax writes in GLW #1150 on why he thinks the Democratic Party can be reformed.

One error the comrade makes is his view of the primary system in the United States. He thinks it gives roughly the same chances for “grassroots movements to defeat entrenched [Democratic] party elites” as the structure of the Labour Party in Britain allowed Jeremy Corbyn’s rise to the leadership. It doesn’t.

The Democratic Party is not a membership organisation, unlike the Labour Party. It was the Labour members’ vote that elected Corbyn as party leader.

Democratic voters do not meet to nominate candidates or anything else, unlike the Labour Party’s constituent local organisations. Democratic candidates for primary elections are not chosen by any democratic process, but by the candidates themselves announcing they are running.

Democratic Party primary voters get to choose from among the self-proclaimed candidates, if they meet internal Democratic Party rules that are established by the party machines in each state.

Rigging the rules

Moreover, the Democrats have adopted rules (super-delegates composed of establishment Democrats) that make it virtually impossible for an insurgent candidate to win. For the party to actually be reformed it would have to be reformed not only at the top, but top to bottom.

If Sanders had won the Democratic nomination in 2016, and then beat Donald Trump, he would have faced not only establishment Republicans, but mostly establishment Democrats, too, in Congress. He would have had to “compromise” with them on his platform by moving to the…

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