I have a proposition to make to all of the Hillary supporters who follow this blog. To demonstrate that I’m earnest in making this proposal, I’m going to start with a proffer in the form of a decisive statement and then a confession.
First, a decisive statement: Bernie Sanders is not going to be the democratic nominee. It’s just not going to happen, but not for the reasons you think. I know you’ve all been proclaiming he’s done, even as you’ve been watching him win primary after primary over the past month. Your commitment to denying what’s happening before your very eyes is adorable. Bernie isn’t going to be the nominee because neither Bernie nor Hillary are going to get enough pledged delegates to cross the finish line. They’re both going to the convention, and they both have a strong case to make for taking it to the convention.
It is mathematically impossible for Bernie to make up the 244 delegate deficit he has against Hillary at this very moment. He can’t do it. That’s a fact. He would have to win all of the remaining states by a 20 point margin to close that gap. It’s not going to happen. The pledged delegate gap at the end of all of this is going to be between 5% – 7% of the total delegate count, so it’s not going to be a decisive enough win for Hillary to reasonably claim that Bernie shouldn’t go to the convention to fight for the seventeen percent (of the total delegate count) of unpledged (or super) delegates.
Bernie will justifiably go to the convention, and nobody who isn’t completely bias can reasonably claim that he has no right to do so.
Now for my confession: At no point in this election, did I believe that Bernie was going to be the nominee. I’m not going to say that there weren’t a few fleeting moments here and there where I got caught up in the Bernmentum and didn’t think to myself, “he may actually pull this off” but those literally never lasted more than a few minutes at a time. I’m more analytical about politics, than I am emotional. So why have I so fervently supported Bernie? Why didn’t I make this confession to my closest friends until last week? Because getting Bernie as far as possible in this race has been a great thing for all of us. And whether you realize it right at this moment or not, Hillary supporters, you want him to go as far as he can too.
There are some terrible things that Hillary supported, that she can no longer do because of Bernie. She can no longer approve Keystone. She can no longer sign TPP into law. Don’t get too excited though. The fact that Hillary can’t sign TPP into law, probably means that Obama is going to have to do it as he’s walking out the door, like a thief in the night (a la Clinton repealing Glass Steagall). There are just too many corporate interests at stake for TPP not to be inevitable. There are a half a dozen less devastating (to some) bad ideas that Bernie forced Hillary to change her positions on; she no longer supports deporting immigrant kids, she probably won’t be promoting fracking (yes, she toured the world to promote fracking) in the US, she’s will never again claim that a $15 an hour minimum wage is too much to dream of. There are several more policy changes that you can Google for yourself.
My point is that Bernie made Hillary more liberal, and he so effectively cornered her on some issues, that you (Hillary supporter) are happier with her. You are. Don’t lie to yourselves.
You, dear Hillary supporter, agree that money is corrupting our political system. I know that you do, because ten years worth of polling data tells me that over 90% of democrats believe it (70% – 80% of republicans agree). You haven’t forgotten what you know, I’m positive that you haven’t. You’re just taking a little break on the issue. That’s fine, but you want this conversation to continue for as long as possible especially since I’m telling you that there’s no chance that Hillary isn’t going to be the nominee. This conversation will definitely quiet down after the election. It’s in all of our interest to keep it going for as long as we can. You, dear Hillary supporter, want single payer health care. I know you do, because I heard you while Obamacare was being hammered out. I know that for this election, you’ve convinced yourselves that single payer is a pipe dream, but it is in your self interest to keep this conversation alive for as long as possible. You, dear Hillary supporter, want tax payer funded higher education. Those of you in New York and California remember when it was available, and you got San Francisco and Manhattan as a direct result investing in education. Silicon Valley didn’t open up shop in California because they didn’t know that there were states in this country with no corporate income taxes. They opened up shop in California because that’s where they had access to a well educated candidate pool. I know you know this, Hillary supporters.
The most important reason why you (hang in with me for 2 more paragraphs) and I need for Bernie to have a strong argument to make at the convention is superdelegates. No one thinks that superdelegates are in any way, shape, or form democratic. Yes, they may be working in your favor sometimes, but you can’t fundamentally believe that the democratic party should have them. We should all be able to agree than when one candidate wins a state by twelve points, their opponent should not walk away with four more delegates in that state. We can all all agree that’s not democracy, right? I get that a fucked up thing seems slightly less fucked up when it’s working in your favor. I totally get that, but you still know that it’s fucked up. And it will continue to be fucked up long after it stops advancing your immediate goal. Seventeen percent of the total number of delegates can do whatever the fuck they want, regardless of how their constituents or former (many of them are no longer serving in office) constituents voted for. Some of them are lobbyists now. Both Dodd and Frank are lobbyists now. They’re both superdelegates, and they both have interests that aren’t yours.
We need to blow up this superdelegate thing once and for all. Getting Bernie to the convention with the closest margin of pledged delegates that we can will help to seriously damage this anti-democratic system. Let me repeat something I said earlier in this post; neither Bernie nor Hillary are going to get enough pledged delegates to cross the finish line. Superdelegates are going to take Hillary over the finish line. The closer we can get the pledged delegate count, the brighter the light that will be shone on this superdelegate system will be. We all want this. Let me repeat something else I said earlier in this post: Bernie Sanders is not going to be the democratic nominee. There is no chance that superdelegates will make Bernie the nominee. You are going to win this primary election, Hillary supporters. Bernie’s chances are as close to zero as is possible, without taking something completely unforseen (like a sudden and severe illness) into account.
It is in all democrats and liberals self interest to vote for Bernie at this point, especially if you’re on the fence. I know that some of you think that I’m trying to pull the wool over your eyes at this point. I’m not. We’re voting here in New York tomorrow. Bernie is not likely to win. He’s definitely not going to win by anything resembling enough to close the delegate gap by more than a handful of delegates. If he ties Hillary here, he’s going to have to win Pennsylvania and California by nearly 80% to close that delegate gap. It’s just not going to happen. If he loses to Hillary in New York by 5%, he’s going to have to win CA and PA by 83%. It’s not going to happen. He’s not going to be the nominee. But none of us need for him to leave the public stage before the very end.
Bernie Sanders is the first politician since Reagan started his last (of 3) bids for the white house, to reframe the public conversation in liberal terms. Bill Clinton put the final nail in coffin for liberal framing when he said, “The era of big government is over”. That’s when the left was officially shut out of the conversation. We’ve been operating under the right wing premises that taxes and government are bad ever since. Bernie has struck the only significant blow to that fucked up right wing framing that we’ve seen in thirty years. He has irrevocably changed the conversation in a way that both Hillary and Bernie supporters need. Hillary’s platform was initially based on accepting that fucked up framing, and it still is to a large extent. “We can’t afford to have the nice things that the rest of the first world has”. Bernie is literally the only candidate (on either side) who has been asked how he plans to pay for things. Ted Cruz says he wants to increase our fighter jet production by fifty percent, and no one bothers to ask him how he plans to pay for that? Hillary doesn’t have any sweeping reforms in her platform because she seems to have accepted the premise that all government spending is bad and that “big government” is bad, so she’s not going to do anything major or historic.
I know that you don’t believe that government is bad, Hillary supporters. I know you don’t, because see your non-Hillary posts.
So help me keep Bernie in this until July. You have nothing to risk and everything to gain.
I in turn, will do everything I can to get everyone to coalesce around Hillary in the general. Look, I’ve already pissed off and disappointed all of my Bernie peeps by writing this, so you know that I mean what I say.
We don’t have to wait until July to come together. We can all get what we want, and more of it if we come together now.