2016 Democratic Convention

Inside the Socialist Caucus at the DNC: Liberals Are 'Not Our Friends' but 'Not the Main Danger'

Democratic socialists urged to make nice with Clinton fans, free Puerto Rico.

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In a packed, sweltering room on the top floor of the William Way LGBTQ Center, labor leaders, Bernie Sanders fans, and other stripes of American leftists gathered Wednesday to talk about the next steps toward revolution. First, it meant making peace with Hillary Clinton and other liberals.  

"We don't want to make the classic error, in which we think the liberals are our enemy," Bob Master, legislative/political director for Communications Workers of America and co-chair of the New York Working Families Party, tells the audience. "They're not our friends, but in this environment we've got to be crystal clear that they are not the main danger." 

The main danger, according to Master, is the "proto-fascist right-wing populism" of Donald Trump. 

"We must defeat Donald Trump and we must defeat him resoundingly," says Master, to raucous applause. "We've gotta kick his ass because the ideas he represents must be so resoundingly rejected—the maligned, bigoted, racist, anti-immigrant idiocy. Right? … We have to demonstrate that that is completely unacceptable." As for Hillary Clinton, she "is going to be as good or as bad as we collectively make her," he says. 

Master is one of several speakers at this "Socialist Caucus," organized by the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), on the third day of the Democratic National Convention (DNC). After he urges the audience to make 2018 "a referendum on corporate liberalism," he yields the mic so a very special guest in the audience can be announced: Bernie Sanders' nephew. The crowd breaks into a chant—"Bernie! Bernie! Bernie!" upon hearing this.

"I just wanna thank you guys for being here," says Levi Sanders. "By the way, my name's Levi, though."

"Levi! Levi! Levi!" they chant. 

José La Luz, a vice chair of the DSA and a former leader of the Puerto Rican Socialist Party, works up the crowd further with an impromptu speech about colonialism in Puerto Rico. "The fundamental difference between a liberal and a progressive," says La Luz, "is where he or she stands on the very question of colonialism." 

"There will be a political revolution in Puerto Rico!" he promises.

As for the rest of the U.S., La Luz hopes to build on momentum Sanders started. "Whether you call yourself a socialist, a social democrat, or a democratic socialist, you and I know that what Sen. Sanders has done is to build a strong foundation from which we need to build a powerful mass movement," says La Luz. It is not a movement "to bring socialism to the U.S," but to "fight for economic justice" and "to expand fundamental democratic and human rights." 

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  1. In a packed, sweltering room on the top floor of the William Way LGBTQ Center

    *reads twice*

    Say what?!

    1. It doesn’t take long for socialists to turn anything into a shit hole.

  2. The main danger, according to Master, is the “proto-fascist right-wing populism” of Donald Trump

    That’s rich, coming from a bunch of brownshirts.

    1. No no no. They prefer gray. Totally different!

  3. The aptly named Bob Master. Yeah, the liberal Democrats are going do wonders with this crew in their ranks.

    1. I refuse to believe that is the real name of a real person. Atlas Shrugged is not a documentary! The looters and slavers are not literally called Mr theives and Miss Slav. People just don’t have themed names in real life!

  4. Forget it ENB, it’s commie-town.

    1. “Shes a liberal!”
      “Shes a socialist!”
      “Shes a liberal AND a socialist!!!”

  5. Liberals Are ‘Not Our Friends’ but ‘Not the Main Danger’

    But enough about Reason.

  6. “We don’t want to make the classic error, in which we think the liberals are our enemy,”

    The real enemy of socialism was, is, and always will be, reality.

    1. The real enemy of socialism was, is, and always will be, reality.

      And hits it out of the ballpark!!!

  7. In a packed, sweltering room on the top floor of the William Way LGBTQ Center

    I hope some of those folks chose to wear deodorant not labeled “natural” or “organic.”

  8. As for Hillary Clinton, she “is going to be as good or as bad as we collectively make her”…says Master

    Master? MASTER? FUCKING MASTER??????

    That’s racist, right?

    1. It is. Though if he adds -bater to the end of it will just be sex-positive. Or more likely, sexist.

  9. First, it meant making peace with Hillary Clinton and other liberals

    Clinton is liberal?

    I know, that word had been stolen for decades.

    1. Proggies don’t understand what liberal means anyway. Try to use the phrase “liberal markets” around them.

  10. “There will be a political revolution in Puerto Rico!” he promises.

    The madness started after Marc Anthony and J-Lo split.

  11. Liberals are not our friends but not the main danger.

    Elizabeth are you sure you are not confusing this with a reason staff meeting?

  12. “The main danger [is] Donald Trump”

    Sound reasonable. I can’t bring myself to vote for HRC and thus will be casting my vote for Jill Stein, but it’s absolutely possible to draw distinctions between the “crazy-town” positions of the Republican Party and the Democrats, who seem to be sensible, successful, and data-driven technocrats. I’ll also try to make sure that anti-abortion extremists, gay marriage bigots, and right-wing warmongers don’t get elected to Congress.

    1. So you’re voting for an anti-science candidate who ignores scientific evidence regarding GMOs and vaccines so she can play to her base. Talk about crazy?

      1. That position isn’t really that different than Rand Pauls, who think people should be able to refuse vaccines and/or pursue alternative treatments. There was really no problem with that when he proposed it so I’m wondering what the problem is now.

        1. Well, in this particular example, Rand Paul is advocating the right of individuals to make decisions for themselves, whereas Jill Stein is advocating the use of government force to quell her own anti-capitalist paranoia. It’s not surprising that you can’t tell the difference, comrade.

        2. Actually, she called for a “moratorium” on GMOs and pesticides. Doesn’t sound very respectful of individual choice. Not to mention the whole thing about socialized taxpayer funded homeopathic medicine, and doing quantitative easing to solve our economic problems because “it’s magic.” (Note, I’m not even criticizing her liking of QE, but her understanding of the economy makes GWB look like Gary Becker)

          AmSoc, Jill Stein is the mayor of Crazytown.

    2. Re: American Stultified,

      it’s absolutely possible to draw distinctions between the “crazy-town” positions of the Republican Party and the Democrats, who seem to be sensible, successful, and data-driven technocrats.

      “Data-driven”?

      I remember there used to exist a country whose economic system was ostensibly driven by sensible and data-driven technocrats and yet failed to feed its people.

      I don’t mean to be rude but I think you’re just full of shit.

      1. OM,

        How tall should the border wall on the entire Mexican border be? Should it also contain a moat and, if so, what concentration of crocodiles and electric eels should it contain?

        1. He points out your bullshit, and then you assume his politics…

      2. Needz moar five year plans.

    3. Amsoc: “I support sensible, successful and data-driven technocrats who don’t have ‘crazy town’ positions! That’s why I’m voting for the party that supports the teaching and funding of homeopathy!

    4. That’s cool. Just as long as you don’t bring us Venezuela.

      You know: price controls, nationalizations, etc.

      1. Brian, you told me last night that you didn’t think HRC was a socialist. Maybe you should tell your friends.

        I really don’t understand what I take as antipathy toward HRC on your part. Of any modern politician she seems to be the closest ideologically to the idea expressed over and over here that technological innovation spurred on by hipster entrepreneurs will solve all our problems. Really, she’s your candidate– much more so than Donald Trump, whose attention span seems to compete with the average housefly on any matter of policy.

        1. Just as long as it’s better than full-blown socialism.

          See? There’s a silver lining to everything.

    5. Successful at what?

      1. Getting re-elected.

  13. Free Puerto Rico? I’ll take it!

    Who wants to buy some real estate?

    1. Don’t fall for it! I paid good money for that bumper sticker and I’m still waiting for my Tibet.

  14. Hillary Clinton, “is going to be as good or as bad as we collectively make her,” he says.

    Which reminds me of the ridiculously overblown high-regard that all leftists have for the power of their sheer collective will

    The corrupt-to-the-bone awfulness of Hillary will somehow be cleansed by their collective wishes and dreams…

    ….which is really just their way of saying, “WE CAN GET HER TO FUNNEL MONEY AT OUR SHIT TO MAKE US SHUT UP” without making everyone depressed about the enormous gap between their self-image and who they really are.

  15. The crowd breaks into a chant?”Bernie! Bernie! Bernie!” upon hearing this.

    “I just wanna thank you guys for being here,” says Levi Sanders. “By the way, my name’s Levi, though.”

    “Levi! Levi! Levi!” they chant.

  16. Liberals Are ‘Not Our Friends’ but ‘Not the Main Danger’

    “We know how to deal with them when the revolution comes.”

    1. “We know how to deal with them when the revolution comes.”

      Well if you shoot everybody there’s nobody left to send to the re-education camps.

  17. Let’s go waaaaay back…to 2012. Here is Politifact, responding to Rick Perry’s claim that Obama is a socialist:

    “In our super-heated political discourse, explosive words get tossed around pretty easily these days. Hitler comparisons and terms like *Nazi* and *socialist* have become the currency of political attacks not just in the blogosphere but also by elected officials….

    “We’ve addressed Republican charges of Democrats being socialists before. In 2008, we explored a claim by Sarah Palin based on Obama’s conversation with Joe the Plumber (as Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher came to be known after that conversation) that Obama’s tax policy was socialism (Pants on Fire). Last year, PolitiFact Oregon and other PolitiFact state sites checked a claim by bloggers that 70 House Democrats are socialists (Pants on Fire)….

    “There are plenty of ways to have a meaningful, substantive conversation about the differences of the Republicans and Democrats in tax policy, economics and the role of government. But it’s simply preposterous for Perry — and Gingrich — to refer to Obama’s policies as socialism or to say he is a socialist. Obama’s policies may have expanded government, but they don’t justify this ridiculous hyperbole. We’re reaching for the matches — Pants on Fire!”

    1. I’m not sure what your point is. There’s obviously a socialist contingent within the Democratic base, but that doesn’t tell us whether Obama or X number of House Democrats are socialists.

    2. I think at this point, ‘Fabian socialist’ describes the majority of the Democratic party, maybe down to the voting public. Definitely people like Warren, who is broadly popular. But even listening to ostensible moderates like Paul Krugman criticize Sanders supporters, it’s always that his ideas are “too much, too soon”, or “not practical in the current environment.” They use to draw a fundamental distinction between their ideology and that of socialism. No more it seems. Fundamentally, they seem to accept the same ultimate goals, but merely differ on ‘how much how fast.’

  18. Inside the Socialist Caucus at the DNC: Liberals Are ‘Not Our Friends’ but ‘Not the Main Danger’

    “We’ll place them against the wall once the revolution succeeds but in the meantime they’re our vehicle towards power!”

    No, that wasn’t the Socialists from the Socialist Caucus in the DNC. That was the Bolsheviks talking about the Mensheviks and we all k iw how that went down…

  19. It is not a movement “to bring socialism to the U.S,” but to “fight for economic justice” and “to expand fundamental democratic and human rights.”

    Bull. Shit.

    1. Socialistarian moment!

  20. Inside the Socialist Caucus at the DNC: Liberals Are ‘Not Our Friends’ but ‘Not the Main Danger’

    The main danger to you, is YOU and your insane ideas, you dimwits.

  21. “Whether you call yourself a socialist, a social democrat, or a democratic socialist, you and I know that… there are lots of people who want free stuff, and there are still a few working people we can take it from, if we band together!

  22. “he yields the mic so a very special guest in the audience can be announced: Bernie Sanders’ nephew. The crowd breaks into a chant?”Bernie! Bernie! Bernie!” upon hearing this”.

    “I just wanna thank you guys for being here,” says Levi Sanders. “By the way, my name’s Levi, though.”

    “Levi! Levi! Levi!” they chant.

    Right there. There is not a shred of independent thought among these idiots. That is the real danger of socialism, as it helps foster the growth of their disastrous policies.

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