Sanders delegates, volunteers, and supporters have felt marginalized.
The Democratic National Committee professes publicly that it longs for peace and unity between supporters of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. The DNC’s actions as organizers of the convention, however, have repeatedly had the opposite effect.
To begin, no one who wanted Bernie Sanders as the nominee was ever allowed near the microphone on stage. It is an open convention, regardless of the way it’s been covered in the corporate media; Hillary Clinton did not get the required 2,383 delegates required to win outright from pledged delegates. The superdelegates are casting the deciding votes this week. Bernie Sanders, although issuing an endorsement of Clinton earlier this month, hasn’t conceded the race nor released his delegates and so he could become the nominee.
Nevertheless, the entire first day of the convention — ostensibly the “Bernie Day” — featured no speakers who favored a Sanders nomination. Several one-time Sanders supporters who now favor Clinton were allowed to speak.
“Instead of having both candidates’ surrogates make their case, even if the outcome seemed obvious, Monday only featured speakers who advocated voting for Hillary,” said Justin Baird, from the convention floor, a Sanders delegate and whip from Washington state. “It was painfully obvious that if that was Bernie Day, it was really just another Hillary Day, and it riled nearly half the delegates.”
Simply allowing a few Sanders supporters — Nina Turner, for instance, or Tulsi Gabbard, or even Jane Sanders — to speak Monday would have immediately increased feelings of unity. Instead, the convention got off on the wrong foot, fomenting feelings of suppression right away, even before Bernie gave his heart-rending “three minute ovation” speech later that night.
Barring the ‘Super Volunteers’
Even worse than preventing pro-Bernie speakers to address the convention, the DNC has barred all 824 Bernie Sanders volunteers from the convention. Yes, all of them, having traveled across the country on their own dime, expecting to be inside the convention, have been barred from the convention floor. (more…)