La La How The Life Goes On

The Sandernistas

Posted on: April 12, 2016

I have to say this, and I say it with love for my friends who Feel The Bern.

Bernie Sanders is not going to win the Presidency.

Because Bernie Sanders is not going to win the Democratic nomination.

It is NOT because “the party elites have rigged the system and votes are being stolen and he is being cheated and the will of the people is being ignored!”

It is because Bernie Sanders is not a competitive candidate on a national level when you look at actual data rather than the feelings you hold in your heart. He simply isn’t.

Let’s talk about “the will of the people,” and get this out of the way immediately: Clinton has 2.4 MILLION more votes than Sanders.

But but but! Sanders has won 8 of the last 9 state primaries! Well. He won mostly caucuses. The average turnout for primaries is around 14-20%. The average turnout for caucuses? About 3%. Alaska had a “huge” turnout. At 15%. This means only about 10,000 Dems voted out of 66,000 registered. Why? Because caucuses are hours-long affairs that involve being in high school gyms, moving to different corners to signify your obviously-not-secret-ballot vote. They can take up to three hours on a Saturday. Thereby excluding people with kids, those with special needs, folks who work hourly wage jobs who can’t take off work to go vote for THREE HOURS PLUS. Also, any observant Jews or Seventh Day Adventists, and anyone who believes their vote should be their own damn business. Think about AAALLLL the American citizens who don’t get to vote in a caucus. Then who are you left with? College students, young people with no kids or jobs on a Saturday, wealthy people, maybe, who can pay someone to babysit their kids and who don’t work Saturdays? I have two kids and a pretty cush life all things considered. It would be nonetheless extremely difficult for me and the babydaddy to go hang out somewhere on a Saturday for an unknown number of hours just to vote. And as political as I am in these pages, I very seriously do not want to “vote” with my feet in a gym with my neighbors watching. So while I congratulate Bernie Sanders on his caucus wins, you’ll forgive me for not conflating his delegate wins from these states with actual one person-one vote support.

But but but! The system is rigged! The Superdelegates usurp the will of the people! We’ve had this conversation before. Bernie Sanders joined the Democratic Party in November 2015. He ostensibly knew that the current structure is the structure under which he would run. He ostensibly agreed to this structure when he decided to run as a Democrat for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. So, again, cry me a river, Bernie, about how that system is unfair. If the system is flawed, by all means work to change it. But to have your surrogates accusing other people WHO ARE RUNNING UNDER THE SAME STRUCTURE YOU ARE of cheating or rigging or being otherwise dishonest is just really really shitty behavior. Superdelegates weren’t invented last month to stop Bernie Sanders. They’ve been around since the 80’s. Every single person who has run for the nomination since then has run under the Superdelegate system. But all of a sudden, because they aren’t necessarily for Bernie, it’s theft. Take a goddamn seat.

So let’s recap: Sanders has won eight of the last nine primaries, and as of today Clinton has more delegates. What chicanery allows this?!! Well, Clinton has won 19 of the last 36 states,  including the biggest states on the ballot so far:  Ohio, Florida and Texas, almost all of which have 100+ delegates.  So, as one would expect when one wins more primaries and wins the larger states, one leads in delegates.

The superdelegates have never, in the history of superdelegates, overturned the pledged delegate vote. I’ll say it again: the superdelegates have NEVER overturned the pledged delegate vote. They have thrown their support behind the candidate with the majority of pledged delegates. Hillary’s SDs flipped to Obama when it became clear he had the majority of pledged delegates. SDs are of course undemocratic but I would argue only if they overturn the will of the voters, which they are not going to do because Bernie Sanders will not win the majority of pledged delegates.

The math is simply not there for Bernie Sanders. No matter how fervently his supporters believe in him, no matter how they think the system is corrupt. Every single candidate since Walter Mondale has run under this system. This system has been around longer than Sanders has been a Senator. If people want to overhaul it, then have at it. But you don’t get to do it in the middle of the contest simply because you feel it does not favor your candidate.  And you don’t get to act like assholes in the process.

Should Clinton get the nomination and the projected 1 out of 4 Sanders voters who are Bernie or Busters do not vote for her, Clinton will still be able to prevail. But if she does not, I simply remind these privileged purists that when similar Ralph Nader acolytes refused to vote for Al Gore in Florida because “Gore and Bush are the same Big Money candidates!” we got two wars, torture, and an economic depression for that high-mindedness. People who refuse to vote for “the lesser of two evils” miss the point of politics entirely. Elections will ALWAYS be a compromise of our values, because that is the nature of a democratic system of government. Politics is dirty. Politics is messy. Politics is various levels of straight-up suckage. Politics will NEVER be a system under which you get exactly what you want. But it is the best alternative we have in this imperfect world to bloodshed. Our politics is what keeps us from storming the White House and killing everyone inside. It’s what stops military posses from gaining power and creating violent factions. It is what holds us together as a nation: the shared commitment to compromise and dissent and debate and a vigorous competition of ideas. It will always be messy. It will always be ugly. But it’s the only and the best thing we’ve got.





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