And Create An Un-Christian Coalition
By Greg Palast with Dennis J. Bernstein for Nation of Change
Bernie Sanders may have conceded the nomination, but he can still win control of the Democratic Party. By harnessing the power of his people, Bernie could ensure Hillary keeps the promises she made to him in exchange for his endorsement. And with 13 million supporters in his pocket, Bernie has the chance to create something far stronger than the Christian Coalition, which has shaped GOP policy for over two decades. He could lead a mighty Un-Christian Coalition, if you will, that moving forward could force Hillary’s hand so she has little choice but to serve the people as opposed to her corporate paymasters. In this week’s Best Democracy Money Can Buy, Election Crimes Bulletin, Dennis J. Bernstein and Greg Palast explain how Bernie can take a tip from Satan’s playbook and seize this moment to create one hell of a powerful a movement!
TRANSCRIPT (Originally broadcast on July 13, 2016)
Dennis J. Bernstein: Today we’ve seen Bernie came out strong in support of Hillary Clinton. Many people are troubled, some are supporting it, some aren’t. Let’s talk a little bit about what this moment means. Is this the end of a moment or the beginning of a movement?
Greg Palast: Well, that’s up to the people, and Senator Sanders. When you saw him on stage, he looked like those guys who are reading those confessions from a North Korean prison: “I am sorry… I have disgraced the party… and I will atone for my sins.” I know a lot of people in the Sanders crowd, and the Bernie or Bust people, good friends of mine, are crying about Bernie drinking the Kool-Aid for the Democratic Party, but that was foreordained, they weren’t going to let him win.
Barack Obama beat Hillary Clinton, but he had something else on his side, which is not the people — remember he actually lost to Hillary Clinton in the primary by total number of votes — but he had the votes that counted. That is, he had the support of Robert Rubin, City Bank, Jamie Diamond…
DB: Don’t forget my friend Penny Pritzker…
Palast: Penny Pritzker, who is currently our unindicted Secretary of Commerce and billionaire banker of the Pritzker family. Obama had those three votes — and they’re the ones that counted! So it’s interesting, even though Hillary says, “Well, I deserve it because I have the most votes.” She deserved it in ’08 but she didn’t have the bankers’ vote. This time she does. But that’s not the issue, I want to talk to you about something that I think should comfort people…
I want to tell you about advice I got in a very similar situation from just about the most brilliant man I’ve ever met. Many of you know of him as Satan, and some of you know him as the Reverend Pat Robertson. I was investigating Pat Robertson for The Guardian newspaper, so I went in to meet him secretly wired. Robertson had run, just like Sanders, for president. And just like Sanders, did not get the nomination of his party, the Republican Party. That went to George Bush. So I asked the Reverend Pat Robertson, because he had said that God had told him to run for president, I said, “With a campaign manager like that, how could you have lost?” And Robertson said to me, “The Lord did not tell me to win the presidency. He told me to run.”
Now what that cryptic message meant (and it’s worth Bernie taking notes), as Robertson told me, he may have lost the presidency but his list of followers, 3 million people, became the Christian Coalition. So now is Bernie’s moment. I’m completely non-partisan, but when you change from partisan activity to a movement, then I can say something. This is Bernie’s chance to turn his political moment into a political movement, to create the un-Christian Coalition.
As Pat Robertson told me, nothing moves in the Republican party, you can’t get a nomination for dog catcher anywhere in America without the approval of the Christian Coalition. That later morphed into the other evangelical crew. And we know that you can’t win without them. Trump had to win them over… The Republican Party has now been seized by the Evangelical Christian Right.
So they have shown us, through satanic means, what we can do to create a movement to scare the hell out of the Democratic Party. Bernie has a lot more than 3 million followers. He’s bigger than the Christian Coalition. His Un-Christian coalition could shake up American politics, if he doesn’t do a Ralph Nader and run off… When Nader ran in 2000, I wasn’t disturbed that he may have taken enough votes to have elected George Bush. What disturbed me is that he didn’t fight for the black people whose votes weren’t counted. He ran away from creating a permanent movement…
Dennis, here’s a pop-quiz: What was the Democratic Party’s position in 2012 on the minimum wage?
DB: Uh, I don’t know.
Palast: Well, no one knows…
DB: And, no one really cared, right?
Palast: Nobody cared what the party platform is. So if you want the movement to die, spend all your bullets on changing the party platform. If you want your movement to thrive, it’s more than handing the activists over to Hillary to avoid a Trump presidency, it’s about keeping America sane.
For example, instead of arguing over whether there ought to be a vote on the TPP, Bernie’s Un-Christian coalition, 2 years from now, can tell President Clinton, “I hear you are now saying that the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal meets your standards and so you’re going to sign it. But it doesn’t meet our standards, so we’re going to take our 7 million members and we’re all going to de-register from the Democratic Party.” Now do you think that Hillary Clinton would continue on such a course? Basically, the Sanders’ people have the ability to veto all the major policies of the Democratic Party, to seize control and have ultimate power within the Democratic Party.
Read the rest of the interview at http://www.gregpalast.com/