Sunday, October 16, 2016

Rigging the system - some more "rigged" than others

Donald Trump has been invoking Bernie Sanders campaign's primary-season complaints about "rigged" caucuses and the Democratic delegate system in support of Trump's reckless encouragement of post-election resistance by his followers to Hillary Clinton's election.

Politics is politics, and procedural issues are hard to make into ideological benchmarks. But the superdelegate system was set up to make it difficult for political insurgent challengers like Bernie to win the nomination over an establishment candidate like Hillary Clinton.

The Sanders'campaign's complaints about voting being "rigged" had to do with the superdelegates in particular and some of the politics-is-politics maneuvers around the party caucuses. Some of which are anything but models of democratic transparency. However shocking Bernie's proposals on, say, breaking up the too-big-to-fail banks may have been to some Hillary partisans and financial supporters, the Sanders campaign held up democratic elections as a solution to the ways in which business elites actually do unethically and illegally manipulate the economic and political system, the current poster-boy for such being the no-longer-CEO of Wells Fargo, John Stumpf.

No doubt, Stumpf considers it terribly gauche to call what he did rigging the system. But I'm more stunned than any of our star reporters seem to be about what he did. Having bank employees create fake bank accounts? And doing so with collusion and coercion of management.

They were stealing money out of individuals' bank accounts. If that's not rigging the system, then we may need to retire "to rig" from the American English vocabulary!

What Trump is doing with his current rhetoric is to encourage violence against Democrats in general, and Hillary Clinton in particular, after she wins the vote in November. Sanders never did anything remotely like that.

The most disturbing moment for me in the primary campaign was when the payday-loan industry's BFF Debbie Wasserman Schultz issued her anathema on behalf of the national party over the violence and death threats that the Clinton campaign alleged to have occurred around the Las Vegas State Convention. Not only did Sanders explicitly denounce any such actions. But if even a single act of violence there by a Sanders delegate, or a single one of the digital death threats was even linked to anyone remotely connected to the Sanders campaign - for that matter if *anyone* was ever charged for that serious federal felony in that instance - I've yet to come across it. (Which actually surprises me, since no campaign is ever totally free of fools or impulsive people.)

There's just no comparison between Trump's present encouragement of civil violence and what Bernie advocated and is still advocating, now on Hillary's behalf.

Speaking of the Vegas accusations, Megan Messerly made a further report referencing them in Some Sanders supporters still not sold on Hillary Clinton going into Democratic National Convention Las Vegas Sun 07/23/2016:

Clinton won Nevada’s caucuses in February by about 5 percentage points, but an ensuing tug-of-war over delegates at the Clark County and state conventions protracted the hard-fought battle.

Sanders supporters alleged the state convention had been rigged to favor Clinton. Sanders said that Democratic leadership “used its power to prevent a fair and transparent process from taking place.”

The state party repeatedly pushed back on those assertions showing why it hadn’t. At the same time, state party Chairwoman Roberta Lange received numerous death threats and misogynistic messages via text and voicemail from those unhappy with her role as the convention’s chair.

In one of the leaked emails, Wasserman Schultz used choice words to talk about Sanders campaign Chairman Jeff Weaver after he made a television appearance defending the actions of Sanders supporters at the convention.

“Damn liar. Particularly scummy that he barely acknowledges the violent and threatening behavior that occurred,” Wasserman Schultz wrote.

In response to the email leak, Lange said the state party has moved forward from the events of the state Democratic convention.
Journalist David Cay Johnston addresses Trump version of the "rigged" accusation in Getting to Grips with the Trump Phenomenon New Economic Thinking 10/04/2016:

Rob Johnson, Interviewer: I agree with you that he has no prescription. But the attraction comes from a diagnosis. And it's in one phrase and everything else is a variation on that: "The system is rigged."

David Cay Johnston: Yes. And he's right about that. I mean, That's the subtitle of one of my previous best-sellers, The System Is Rigged. And he's right. And you know what? Donald Trump is one of the people who rigged it. And he brags about that.

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