Stop the Hostage Taking

Once again, whereas PUBs and the professional left could be experiencing the fruits of an enormous victory in this election season, they are once again trying to figure out a way to completely screw it up. At the center is Bernie Sanders, who thinks the way you get “revolution” is to lose a primary race and then make demands of a party that you don’t technically belong to. And not in a nice way. I mean, come on; we have the greatest chance ever to vanquish the far right, but…

And no, pithy comedians and pundits, this is not Democrats snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Democrats don’t do that. The far left does that on the Democrats’ behalf. The anti-Democratic Party rhetoric coming from these people is what causes Democrats to lose more often than they should. But this year, it’s taken a turn for the bizarre. Again, a GOP so screwed up, the nominated a reality show host and we’re..

What in the name of all that is holy makes Bernie people think they have the leverage to basically make ransom demands of Democrats? Yes, Bernie did somewhat better than expected. Of course, it was expected that he would flame out within a few primaries and Hillary would sail to victory. The only half of that equation that didn’t happen was the flaming out part. The fact is, Hillary Clinton still sailed to victory. If you believe this race was ever close, you’re buying the media narrative. You know that media that can’t get anything right, according to you.

Let’s look at reality, shall we?

  • Hillary Clinton only lost a couple of contested primaries. Pretty much every one she was active in, she won.
  • Clinton received nearly 4 million more votes than Bernie Sanders.
  • Clinton got 56% of the primary vote to Bernie’s 43%. In the general, that would be a landslide.
  • She received about 200 more pledged delegates than the majority, which was 2026.
  • The margin of victory was far greater than the margin of victory for Barack Obama in 2008.
  • She basically won the nomination on March 1, when she swept the Super Tuesday states by a wide margin. She essentially clinched on March 15. Beginning with that date, Sanders would have needed more than two-thirds of the remaining delegates to eke out a tie.
  • Almost all of Sanders’ wins came in caucuses, which are highly undemocratic.
  • The only demographics where Bernie won big were people under 30 and white men. Unfortunately, most under 30 won’t vote in November and white men are likely to vote Republican. He lost huge when it came to the Democratic base, which are Blacks, Latinos, immigrants, LGBT and women.

Were there a few voting irregularities? Yes, and they should be addressed before November. However, the Democratic Party doesn’t run the actual voting in primaries, so no, there was no evidence of cheating. In fact, the only real evidence of a campaign cheating came when the DNC was maintaining its database and some Bernie campaign people took advantage to steal data. You can complain about the debate schedule if you want, but there is no evidence that 25 debates is better for anyone than 9. And guess which Democratic presidential candidate appeared on TV most often? It wasn’t Hillary. If elections were decided by media exposure, not votes, Bernie would have won in a walk. Yet, despite the fawning media coverage, he lost. I mean, come on. Every bit of the negative coverage was targeted at Hillary and it didn’t put a dent in her campaign. He received fawning coverage and every time he drew a huge crowd, the end of Hillary’s campaign was declared.

I hate to put it this indelicately, but Bernie got his ass kicked this primary season. By any metric, he lost and lost big. But now, like a typical PUB (Progressive Unicorn Brigade), his delusions of adequacy are leading him to demand that the Democratic Party change for his benefit. He and his followers are threatening to disrupt the Democratic Convention and they’re making demands about the rules. They seem to have zero confidence in the democratic process, which is how changes inside a political party are made. They are not made by standing outside the party and making hostage demands. The Sanders campaign has already gotten concessions from the DNC because they value his contribution to the debate. They gave him five seats on the rules committee and he already wasted one of them by handing it to Cornel West. They already have the DNC scrambling to be as progressive as possible, which is a major shift because society is shifting. But come on…

No, we are not getting rid of super delegates. They did not make the difference this year. In fact, they have never actually decided a winner. However, in a situation where a Democratic version of Donald Trump emerges, it’s a great fail-safe to have. For example, imagine what would have happened in 2008 if the race was between Obama and Edwards and the same revelations were made? Right?

And no, we are not getting rid of closed primaries. First of all, the DNC doesn’t determine that; those decisions are made by state legislatures. But closed primaries are a great way to avoid election shenanigans. If Independents want to have a hand in choosing the Democratic candidate, they should register as Democrats. It’s not hard.

Oh, yeah, Debbie Wasserman Schultz. No. She stays until after the election. Why? Because it makes Democrats look as if we’re as screwed up as Republicans, that’s why. The only people who could think DWS is consequential largely don’t seem to understand what the DNC does. It essentially raises money and spreads it around in a way that is most effective. Individual campaigns decide specifics. That’s why Bernie lost. It was a terrible campaign. And before you mention how great Howard Dean was, remember that Dean did what he did before Citizens United.

If you want to demand that you get your way, then you should be advocating for the end of caucuses in most states. I mean, you can make a case for them in states like Utah and Kansas, where there are few Democrats and they’re spread all over. But in states like Nevada, Colorado and Minnesota? No way. They are an affront to the democratic process. You don’t get to bitch about “voter suppression” and then accept that most of your primary victories were caucuses without question. That’s purely hypocritical.

Face it, folks. Bernie lost. He lost big. I don’t care if he drops out of the race, but this hostage-taking will not end well. Arrogance is never a political winner. Ask Mitt Romney. Hell; ask Donald Trump, now that the press is actually paying attention.

About Milt Shook

A writer with more than 45 years in the political game (and let's face it, it is a game). I am a liberal because facts have a liberal bias, and I really like facts. If you like facts, you'll like this blog. If not, you'll have a hard time.


Stop the Hostage Taking — 2 Comments

  1. He’s trying to change only the rules that didn’t favor him. He’s not interested in fair play or democracy; as you said he doesn’t seem to have any faith in democracy at all. Further, I think that if he doesn’t step up to support Clinton and call on his supporters to do so, the ones that will consider voting for her will have already made the switch. I’ve seen that a lot already. And the bitter-enders will never vote for her so he will lose whatever influence he may have and everyone will see that.