22 Apr 2016
Correct the Record, a pro-Hillary Clinton political action committee (PAC), is spending over $1 million on online trolls in order to ‘correct’ Bernie Sanders supporters on social media sites.
The PAC this week launched an initiative called “Barrier Breakers 2016,” which is composed of a “task force” that will debate ‘Bernie Bros,’ presumably supporters of the Senator Sanders’s campaign, as referred to by their official press release.
According to Correct the Record, the task force will “combat online political harassment,” boasting that it has already “addressed more than 5,000 individuals who have personally attacked Secretary Clinton on Twitter.”
“The task force will provide a presence and space online where Clinton supporters can organize and engage with one another and are able to obtain graphics, videos, gifs, and messaging to use in their own social spaces,” the group states.
“Additionally, the Barrier Breakers 2016 task force hopes to embrace the creativity of Hillary Clinton’s supporters by sharing their efforts and content with other groups,” it continues.
“Barrier Breakers 2016 is focused on pushing out positive content to Hillary supporters online to counter negative attacks and false narratives,” Correct the Record’s communications director, Elizabeth Shappell, told The Daily Beast. “The expanded task force was established in anticipation of the general election.”
According to Campaign Legal Center lawyer Paul Ryan, Correct the Record is “creating new ways to undermine campaign regulation.” However, it is understood the Federal Electoral Commission will not be investigating the matter.
Superdelegates Risk a Third Political Party if Bernie Sanders Isn’t the Democratic Nominee
Dominick Reuter / Reuters
During my latest appearances on CNN International, I called Donald Trump a buffoon. Twice. Although I don’t want Trump or any Republican in the White House, there’s an even greater concern for Democrats. The prospect of electing Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders will likely result in political repercussions, among progressive voters searching for alternatives, and among a disenchanted base.
While many pundits believe Clinton is the most qualified person to lead Democrats for the next four years, they fail to see the writing on the wall. Not only will a Clinton presidency result in eight years of somebody like Ted Cruz, but the resentment of Democratic supredelegates, and a system viewed to be corrupt, will reach a boiling point.
When Vox publishes an article titled Neocons for Hillary, Democrats are heading in the wrong direction. From Wall Street to war and foreign policy, Democrats have capitulated to Republicans. The formation of a third political party is a near certainty if Clinton is nominated, even after an FBI criminal investigation, and even though Bernie Sanders defeats Trump by a wider margin.
I explain in my latest YouTube segment that superdelegates within the Democratic Party risk losing their influence, and power, if Bernie Sanders isn’t the nominee.
Remember, the smartest people in the room never imagined a contested Democratic convention. They never predicted Bernie Sanders would still be in the race, and they never believed the FBI email investigation was serious. None of the experts predicted Trump (“Our emphatic prediction is simply that Trump will not win the nomination”), as illustrated by Nate Silver in a 2015 piece titled Donald Trump Is Winning The Polls — And Losing The Nomination.
For the record, Democrats have set the bar lower than ever before by championing Washington Post headlines like Officials: Scant evidence that Clinton had malicious intent in handling of emails. Scant evidence doesn’t mean “no evidence.” Malicious intent doesn’t erase other types of intent. Nothing in the article, or headline, quotes the FBI (only anonymous officials and sources are mentioned), or absolves Clinton of anything.
The FBI criminal investigation has entered a phase that should worry Hillary supporters, and Hillary Clinton will soon be “interviewed” by the FBI. This won’t be a job interview and I explain in this YouTube segment how Clinton and her staff feel about the FBI.
If anything, superdelegates exist to prevent a flawed candidate like Clinton from handing Republicans the White House. The risk of Espionage Act indictments is genuine, especially since nobody has yet been exonerated. Despite what you hear from people eager to ignore reality, the FBI email investigation is still ongoing.
Most importantly, Bernie Sanders has expressed that he will continue to fight, and plans to win. Vermont’s Senator recently stated, “We are in this campaign to win and we’re going to fight until the last vote is cast.”
While Clinton has 1,701 pledged delegates, nobody at FiveThirtyEight, The New York Times, or The Washington Post imagined Bernie Sanders would earn 1,411 pledged delegates.
The 522 superdelegates thus far who’ve sided with Clinton, even when Sanders won by wide margins, face a political future where their “honest graft” is scrutinized by Democratic voters, and especially progressive writers. For example, journalists like Lee Fang of The Intercept have documented the lobbying ties of superdelegates; just imagine the level of scrutiny these party officials will face if Clinton is nominee.
A third party will emerge from the anger, frustration, and animosity felt by millions of Bernie Sanders supporters, who believe Bernie stands for ideals, while Clinton represents the vapid allure of political power.
Gone are the days where most progressive pundits and writers spend their time simply mocking Republicans, while unknowingly adopting Republican ideology on war and Wall Street. With Tim Black, Benjamin Dixon, Walker Bragman, and Mike Figueredo, along with The Ring of Fire and others, progressives are asking relevant questions. The era of simply circling the wagons and mocking conservatives, as if Clinton accepting money from prison lobbyists never happened, is long gone.
It’s impossible for establishment Democrats to understand the level of emotion involved in helping elect Bernie Sanders in 2016. Battling a political machine that earns millions in speaking fees from Wall Street and lobbyist ties, Vermont’s Senator has raised enough money to compete and win. Also, the groundwork for a new political party is rooted in the manner establishment Democrats have treated loyal constituents.
In a Nation piece titled Why Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Deserve the Black Vote, Michelle Alexander explains why it might be too late to save the Democratic Party from itself:
From the crime bill to welfare reform, policies Bill Clinton enacted—and Hillary Clinton supported — decimated black America.
Black politicians have lined up in droves to endorse her, eager to prove their loyalty to the Clintons in the hopes that their faithfulness will be remembered and rewarded….
Doing something concrete to improve the conditions under which most black people live is generally not required…
But recognizing that Bernie, like Hillary, has blurred vision when it comes to race is not the same thing as saying their views are equally problematic. Sanders opposed the 1996 welfare-reform law. He also opposed bank deregulation and the Iraq War, both of which Hillary supported, and both of which have proved disastrous. In short, there is such a thing as a lesser evil, and Hillary is not it…
I am inclined to believe that it would be easier to build a new party than to save the Democratic Party from itself…
Like Ms. Alexander states on MSNBC endorsing the political revolution, and voting for Bernie Sanders, Vermont’s Senator isn’t perfect. The political revolution he’s leading, however, is what our country needs.
It’s important to contrast the eloquence and foresight of Ms. Alexander with a recent revelation regarding Atlanta’s Mayor. Lee Fang documents the state of the Democratic Party in an Intercept piece titled Atlanta Mayor’s Column Ripping Bernie Sanders Drafted by Lobbyist, Emails Show:
A FEW DAYS BEFORE the Georgia primary, influential Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed published a column on CNN.com praising Hillary Clinton and ripping her opponent, Bernie Sanders. Reed attacked Sanders as being out of step with Democrats on gun policy, and accused him of elevating a “one-issue platform” that ignores the plight of the “single mother riding two buses to her second job.”
But emails released from Reed’s office indicate that the column, which pilloried Sanders as out of touch with the poor, was primarily written by a corporate lobbyist, and was edited by Correct the Record, one of several pro-Clinton Super PACs.
Anne Torres, the mayor’s director of communications, told The Intercept this week that the column was not written by the mayor, but by Tharon Johnson, a former Reed adviser who now works as a lobbyist for UnitedHealth, Honda, and MGM Resorts, among other clients. The column’s revisions by staffers from Correct the Record are documented in the emails.
After reading Michelle Alexander’s piece in The Nation, and realizing that Correct the Record helped write a pro-Clinton column by Mayor Kasim Reed, voters should have a greater view of the Democratic Party establishment.
Then of course, there’s Bill Clinton quoted in CNN berating Black Lives Matter, months after Southern states had voted:
“You are defending the people who killed the lives you say matter,” the former president told protesters.
“I don’t know how you would characterize the gang leaders who got 13-year-old kids hopped up on crack, and sent them out in the streets to murder other African-American children,” the former president said. “Maybe you thought they were good citizens — she didn’t.”
One can only imagine how Bill Clinton would have treated Black Lives Matter protesters before the South Carolina Primary.
I highlight the choice faced by Democratic superdelegates in this YouTube segment and urge them to choose wisely. Both Clintons have received tens of millions from Wall Street, pushed policies that harmed core constituencies, and are close to Henry Kissinger. With millions of people around the U.S., and especially millennials, watching the contested Democratic convention, the hopes and dreams of a great many people rest with Bernie Sanders. If these dreams are shattered by the nomination of a person who isn’t popular among millions of Democratic voters, don’t expect party unity. Expect the frustration to build a new political party where superdelegates lose their power and influence.