Protest canceled outside Hillary Clinton Rutgers event

Bumped with UPDATE: Registration is now open for non-Rutgers personnel for this event. Getting a ticket (free) is a little more complicated than a single click. You’ll need to provide some additional info. I just went through the process in less than 10 minutes. Bear in mind, the location has been changed to a larger venue, the Rutgers Athletic Center (RAC) in Piscataway (8,000 seats). If you’re going, here’s the link.

Pretty sure Hillary spox Philippe Reines would deny Bernie Sanders campaigning for her ever happened …

Elly Faden, a local Our Revolution volunteer leader in Hazlet, has called off an event she planned to protest a speech by Hillary Clinton March 29 on the Rutgers New Brunswick campus. This, after backlash from Clinton supporters, including at least at least one senior staff member of Clinton’s 2016 campaign. This, and the protest cancelation, made national news.  Because, of course. Our Revolution is the group that grew out of Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. He doesn’t run it, not that that matters to his detractors; former Ohio state senator Nina Turner does. [Nina Turner will also be coming to the Rutgers campus – Saturday afternoon, April 7th].

Typical of the coverage, NBC News seemed to take in the protest cancelation like it was just a self-indulgent pissing contest the local Bernie people lost and had to back down. There’s some truth; Jeff Weaver, Bernie Sanders’ close advisor, distanced Sanders from the protest against Clinton, for whom he campaigned in the fall of 2016. No doubt that the Hillary-Bernie fissure, that rift, still affects the party, but there’s something more serious than a pissing contest going on when you see this kind of disagreement spike. The direction of the Democratic Party is at stake here. And it’s hard to take seriously the Party’s promises to reform when Hillary’s still blaming the multitudes, reformers are still called disloyal, and the Party whistles past the common perception that it’s corrupt. There’s a lot of self-correcting the Party still has to do (Unity Commission, a good start), and you cannot change what you do not acknowledge. And there’s work to do to give alienated progressives reason to come back, and disillusioned millennials reason to join a party whose nominee and national chair scorned them. That’s work worth doing.

And here comes Hillary Clinton, symbol for some of everything wrong. No surprise a protest was planned. No surprise far more people here want to praise Hills than protest her; New Jersey’s not particularly progressive,  it’s a machine state, and Hillary dominated both primary and general. This is Hillary country. And no surprise a fight broke out about it on social media.

Of course, this is Clinton, so the Bernie trash-talking has a professional campaign assist. Philippe Reines, Hillary’s 2016 campaign spokesman is a real class act:

That is the Hillary Clinton playbook; you criticize our candidate and we will burn your shit to the ground. Professionally.

I should make clear at this point that I am as Bernie as anyone, I was a New Jersey delegate for Sanders at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. And I knew Elly was planning this protest; I like and admire her. But my plan all along was to get a seat for Clinton’s speech. I voted for her against Trump; reluctantly, with considerable disgust, and knowing she would probably lose. I still believe she was a fatally flawed candidate, saddled as much with her own arrogance as with the FBI’s investigation into her actions as Secretary of State. I particularly don’t appreciate Hillary today, the 15th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War (and how that war built the modern Dem Party). But for all that, Clinton, whose New Jersey trips were nearly all high-dollar private house parties where she never had to see anybody who didn’t adore her, is still a great get for Rutgers, for its students, and for Eagleton. I’m sure her speech will drive my blood pressure up (oh yeah), but I do want to hear what she has to say. Because she did run our foreign policy (for a president I cared about), because she’s still very important to many people I value (and the Resistance is all of us), and because I want to support Eagleton’s great get.

To put it another way, if Elly’s protest was still on, I know I’d have friends outside, and friends inside. I’d especially love the ones outside. But I’d be inside, ears open, note pad out, phone live streaming, blood pressure meds taken. And so it goes.

Comments (5)

  1. Laurel Kornfeld

    I live in NJ, and sorry, but this is NOT “Hillary’s country.” She may claim it is, but this is a progressive state and home to many who oppose her and any corporate candidate.

    1. Sam

      Anyone who supports Hillary Clinton is a complete and total moron. I honestly don’t care if anyone supported any of the other candidates who ran- but Hillary? Her cult followers are the type that live under a rock and are in complete and total denial of all of her crimes. It’s such a disgrace that universities pay her to speak on their campuses. How about you brainwashed Hillary supporters watch “The Clinton Chronicles” and educate yourselves a bit? Why don’t you watch any of the other movies that are out there, particularly the ones that mention how the Clintons pardoned the FALN terrorists who killed and maimed innocent people in New York and Chicago, one of the deceased victims being from New Jersey? Wake Up, losers.

      1. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

        Sam, I decided to post your comment, as opposed to junking it as offensive and insulting, because I wanted other readers to see it, and how crude and nasty it is. We don’t talk to each other that way here either in posts or in comments. I don’t remember seeing you here before, so consider that a warning. I’ll spam your next comment like this.

        I don’t have a problem with you disagreeing with Hillary Clinton, or any politician, on substance. That’s not what you’re doing here, you’re trash-talking her voters, which is as stupid as when Clinton trash-talked 2016 voters who didn’t go for her.

        By the way, you seem to be a right-wing troll, touting “The Clinton Chronicles,” which I never heard of before but seems to be quite the hot ticket on far-right conspiracy theory sites.

        Washington Post calls it a “bizarre and unsubstantiated documentary” that Jerry Falwell, that stable and honest political commentator, used to hawk on this TV show for $39.95.

        On Blue Jersey’s old platform, we used to have a simple set of Rules for participation here. “Don’t be an asshole” was Rule #1. Maybe we need to publish that again.

    2. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      I hear ya, Laurel.

  2. Bertin Lefkovic

    Not that this is completely relevant to this thread, but it isn’t completely irrelevant either, our state’s neoliberal DINO United States Senator, Bob Menendez, who only escaped conviction for his corrupt activities because corruption has for all intents and purposes become legal, is more or less running unopposed in the Democratic primary election this June.

    I wonder if one of the candidates who are currently running for Congress in CD7 at the moment, who has hundreds of thousands of dollars in the bank, but zero party lines and very little, if any, grassroots support, might consider using his money to take on Menendez instead of splitting the anti-establishment vote that will be needed to be unified if there is any chance of defeating Tom Malinowski for the Democratic nomination.

    To paraphrase a quote that the Israeli, Abba Eban, used to use to describe Palestinians, progressives never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. Never before has an incumbent United States Senator been more vulnerable to a primary challenge yet go unopposed.

    It is only by virtue of a miraculous gift that seems to always keep on giving, who goes by the name of Murray Sabrin, and the inability or unwillingness of the Republican Party to recognize how dangerous a challenger former State Senator Jen Beck might have been to Menendez’s re-election chances if she had run against him that Menendez will most likely win re-election in a landslide.

    His victory will most certainly be a victory for the Democratic majority in the Senate that we desperately need to win this November, but more than anything, it is a testament to how broken our political system is in this state and how completely feckless we (and I most certainly include myself in this) progressives are. We should be ashamed of ourselves and I most certainly am of myself for not being able to do more and for that I apologize.


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