Washington Gadfly

Communist Party USA Chairman Voting for Hillary Despite Backing Bernie In Primary

The Hillary Clinton campaign, worried that Bernie Sanders supporters might stay home or even vote for Donald Trump in November, just picked up support from one of the Vermont senator’s most ardent fellow travelers:  Communist Party USA chairman John Bachtell.

Yes, the CPUSA still exists, although it has officially renounced violent revolution. Maybe they decided Donald Trump rally protestors cornered the market on that one.

“The most important thing is keeping our eye on this extreme right-wing danger and really hoping that all political organizations and democratic forces will unite together to try to defeat that,” Bachtell told U.S. News and World Report.

“Whoever emerges from the primary fight, there will be a very broad coalition to try to get them elected,” he says. “We support independence from the Democratic Party and work with forces laying the groundwork for a third party, but it’s not realistic in this election.”

Bachtell, a Chicago resident, voted for Sanders in the Illinois primary but worries that many of his comrades who can’t stomach Hillary in November might pave the way for Republican ascendancy. “The [Sanders] political revolution will mean nothing if the extreme right and the Republican Party dominate the presidency and Congress and the Supreme Court. It will set back that political revolution many, many years,” he argued.

Interestingly, the commie chieftain offered more measured criticism of Donald Trump than many conservative intellectuals do these days. Robert Kagan, a leading neo-con intellectual, just wrote an article in the Washington Post that purported to explain how Trump is bringing “fascism” to America, expressly comparing his appeal to what Hitler and Mussolini offered supporters.

But Bachtell said Trump is not “a fascist like Hitler,” just “an extreme right-wing demagogue.”

Clinton was actually officially endorsed by the CPUSA this February. But the thumbs up received no mainstream press attention, even though David Duke subsequently trying to play footsie with Donald Trump was extensively covered.

Party spokesman Sam Webb’s endorsement in PeoplesWorld.org made the classic Popular Front argument that liberals should work with Communists. “Hillary isn’t Bernie; no question about that,” he conceded. “His positions go beyond the conventional boundaries of the Democratic Party; hers don’t. His campaign feels transformational; hers doesn’t.”

But Webb said that if elected, Hillary would “build on the achievements of Obama’s presidency” by fighting for “the full range of democratic rights — collective bargaining rights, wage rights, job rights, women’s rights, civil rights, gay rights, voting rights, immigrant rights, and, not least, health rights — as well as defend the integrity of democratic structures, governance, and traditions.”

Democratic National Committee vice-chair and CNN analyst Donna Brazile declined this morning to disassociate her party from the party endorsement of its expected standardbearer.

Brazile, an ardent Hillary apologist, said she was “not aware” of the matter. Although a Democratic Party official herself, she told me to call the DNC for an “official response.”

The DNC press office was radio silent. Ditto for Brazile after being emailed the U.S. News piece so she could be fully aware.