DNC Lawsuit: Three Overlooked Facts Bernie Supporters Need to Know

Bernie Sanders and Former DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Credit: Credit: AP/Jeff Roberson/Lynne Sladky/Photo montage by Salon)

If you supported Bernie in 2016, chances are you already know how the Democratic National Committee did everything in its power to coronate Hillary Clinton as the Democratic Nominee. What you may not know is that a class-action lawsuit has been filed on your behalf to hold the DNC accountable for their cheating.

In essence, the lawsuit claims that the DNC violated their charter’s commitment to “impartiality and evenhandedness between the Presidential candidates and campaigns” by helping Hillary at every turn. If this is true, the plaintiffs want the DNC to compensate all Democrats as well as Bernie supporters who donated money under the assumption that the DNC wasn’t lying about their charter’s commitment to fairness.

Naturally, the mainstream media is silent about this lawsuit.

Progressive media, however, is not. Scroll through a Google search of “DNC class action lawsuit” and you’re bound to find at least one article about a bombshell revelation: According to the DNC, it’s their right to pick a candidate in a backroom deal without caring for what the voters have to say. In fact, posits the DNC, statements in the charter concerning “impartiality” are simple “discretionary rules” that they “didn’t have to adopt in the first place.”

Wouldn’t it be great if everything worked that way? Imagine it: You’re sued for putting horse meat in the food you call chicken, and instead of compensating your customers for the lie, you just walk out of the courtroom scot-free because you “didn’t have to make chicken in the first place”.

Unfortunately, the Democratic Party is not a restaurant, and even if it was, Bernie supporters wouldn’t own it. Instead, we’re stuck with an out-of-touch institution that acts as a coronating party for their favored candidate before the first vote is even cast.

If you’re a Bernie supporter, this story has probably gotten your attention already. Rest assured, this is only the beginning. Read on for the three subtle things that make the DNC’s defense even worse than it already looks.

1. The DNC is counting on Berniecrats not caring.

Don’t take my word for it. Just ask Democratic Defendant Mr. Spiva, who on pages 8–9 of the court transcript reminds us that in order to judge the DNC Guilty, the Court would have to find that Berniecrats wouldn’t have given money if we had “known” about the “purported favoritism” for Hillary Clinton.

This is an interesting argument. How many of us gave money specifically because we thought Sanders needed it to beat an unfair Democratic Party? And if we did give money while under that impression, were we actually defrauded at all?

If it was up to the DNC, you know the answer would be no. For us, I think the answer is yes. Think about it. If it weren’t for independent media letting us know that we were being hoodwinked, would we be aware of the organized effort to coronate Hillary Clinton?

No. Judging by the DNC charter, we were donating money to a candidate running in an “evenhanded” and “impartial” primary. To violate those standards is to intentionally deceive donors, and for that, the DNC must be held accountable.

2. “Free Speech” is one of their excuses.

Sound familiar? That’s because it is. Yes, after a great surge of right-wing xenophobes trying to play the courageous protagonist by attaching #FreeSpeech to their hate filled and empirically bunk rhetoric, the #FreeSpeech defense for actual fraud is being posited by none other than the Democratic Party.

In page 8 of the court transcript, the DNC claims that holding the Democratic Party to the standards of their own charter would violate their “First Amendment” rights to “free association.”

Under this argument, the DNC would be able to have their own interpretation of “impartial” and “evenhanded” which just happens to match their interests.

Why? Because that’s what free speech is all about.

3. It’s not just about Bernie.

It’s about all of us. Remember the “free speech” excuse I just mentioned? It’s not limited to the DNC. Since the Courts work on legal precedent, if the ruling is in favor of the DNC, their “free speech” argument may be used by other political organizations who want to have their own special definition of words like “fair”, “impartial”, “neutral”, and “evenhanded.”

That’s not all. A pro-DNC ruling here would be another point in favor of the vile fusion of private standards with public elections, in which primary processes and party operations that are essential for voter representation in our two party system are systematically reduced to undemocratic behemoths beholden only to the wealthy and their corporate donors at the top of the organizations’ hierarchy. As progressives, we can’t let the corporates have this victory.

A Final Note

Think I’m fear-mongering? Look at what’s already happened. Citizens United has made it legal for superPACs to raise infinite amounts of money from wealthy corporations to support whichever candidate they’d like. Closed primaries prevent the majority of Americans who are party-independent from having a say in what their final two choices for President are. To top it all off, in 2014, a Princeton study found that public opinion has no effect on which laws are passed in Congress.

This kind of corruption certainly hasn’t helped our voter turnout. In fact, our turnout is absurdly low. How absurd is it? Let’s put it in perspective with a comparison. At 65.3%, this year’s French election saw the lowest turnout in decades. In the United States, we haven’t reached that level of turnout since 1908. Really contemplate that for a second. The lowest French turnout in decades would be our highest in a century.

While voter ID laws and a weekday election with no mandatory time off both play a part in our lower turnout, the fact of the matter is that when you make people feel like their votes are ignored, those people aren’t going to use them.

With that in mind, what better way to show that people’s votes don’t matter than to claim a Constitutional right to lie to voters in your party? If the DNC gets a judge to declare a constitutional right to ignore their own explicitly state commitment to fairness, it’ll be another middle-finger towered over a voting age population that is increasingly distrustful of the Democratic Party.

If we don’t want to see that middle finger stuck in our face over and over again, we need to pay attention to lawsuits like these and put our full weight behind them.


Originally published at berningmedianetwork.wordpress.com on May 16, 2017.