I just voted for Bernie…on the condition that he lose


If you read more than a little bit of what I’ve written over the past year, you could probably have taken a fairly educated guess as to who I just voted for in the Virginia Democratic primary. If the pretense of objectivity is silly for reporters, which it is, then it’s even more silly for bloggers like me who trade in opinions about all things political.

So I guess I might as well say it: I just voted for Bernie Sanders. I don’t think that compromises my ability to blog effectively. To the contrary, I think I owe it to my readers to state that up front.

However, now that I’ve actually cast my ballot, I think it’d be somewhat useful to flesh out why, exactly, I voted the way I did. The Internet is a pretty wild place to talk politics, but stick around the liberal punditocracy long enough and you’ll hear some good cases for both Democratic candidates. With that in mind, here’s hoping I’ve got one.

This is a bit of a long and winding argument, and there’s something in it for people who support Sanders and Clinton to hang their hats on. As a reward for those who make it all the way through — Don’t cheat and scroll down! — I’ve included that John Oliver clip everyone’s raving about at the bottom.

It is important that Bernie Sanders do well

One of the most frustrating things about American politics over the last 25 years has been the radical centrism of moderate Democrats on core economic issues. The slightly-to-the-left American political party’s decades-long race to the political center has contributed to the formation of an economic consensus in Washington that has killed politics as we once knew it.

The history is more or less common knowledge. Following a string of Republican victories the 1980s, Bill Clinton pitched himself to the Democratic Party as a moderate who could finally take back the White House and restore Democratic power nationally. Appealing to “common sense” and the desire for consensus, he declared the era of big government to be over and proceeded to adopt a string of decidedly conservative policies — from slashing capital gains taxes to introducing work requirements for government assistance to championing rabidly pro-business free trade agreements.

Bernie Sanders, via AFGE / Flickr

Bernie Sanders, via AFGE / Flickr

With one side of the national debate over core economic issues having effectively given up, an economic consensus (pitched as mere compromise) was formed. Reasonable people in Washington now all agreed that government should err on the side of not helping the poor. Reasonable people in Washington now all agreed that the government should err on the side of not regulating business. Reasonable people in Washington now all agreed that taxes on anyone making below a politically satisfying level of household income were bad — even if those taxes could pay for good things. Bill Clinton’s embrace of Third Way politics may have helped Democrats win elections by allowing them to own the middle and cast themselves as reasonable, compromising problem-solvers, but as a consequence it marginalized the left. Not only did economic progressives now lack serious representation within the Democratic Party, they were by and large dismissed as loons — despite the fact that their ideas remain wildly popular with the American public.

This led to many negative outcomes, but two in particular stick out. First, the marginalization of the left within the Democratic Party on core economic issues allowed the Republican Party to accelerate its own rightward shift with minimal electoral consequences, resulting in a wholesale shift of the American ideological spectrum. In other words, by tacking to the right and taking the “reasonable,” compromising, centrist position in the 1990s, the Democratic Party allowed the Republicans to redefine what “centrist” meant in the first place. We’re now at a point where raising taxes on any household making less than $250,000 per year is considered a radically leftist idea — a view that forecloses on any possibility of meaningful expansions of the social safety net. We’re also at a point where, in a Democratic primary, the frontrunner’s first case against single payer health care and tuition-free public college wasn’t that they were politically unfeasible, but rather that they were bad ideas on the merits. I disagree.

Second, the formation of an economic consensus didn’t just change how we argued; it changed what we argued about. Since an economic consensus, by definition, largely dismisses serious economic disagreement as unreasonable, all it leaves on which to disagree are non-economic, social issues. Those produce a much different kind of discourse, as economic debates are founded on facts, while social debates are founded on values. And values, almost by definition, are incredibly difficult to compromise. We tend to blame the Internet, talk radio and cable news for the acrimony in our political discourse, and they certainly don’t help, but there’s an argument to be made that the very topics on the table for debate contribute to our tone. Put another way, when we’re arguing over the costs and benefits of a $15 minimum wage, “You’re going to hell if you disagree with me” isn’t a valid claim on either side. “This set of data says I’m right,” on the other hand, is.

All this is to say that I feel it is incredibly important that Bernie Sanders do well in the Democratic primary precisely because he is questioning the Third Way-driven economic consensus. The very fact that he is dismissed as unreasonable in Washington — nothing in his incredibly popular agenda will ever pass because even Nancy Pelosi will laugh it off in Congress — is an indication of how desperately we need to rebuild the left flank of the Democratic Party. In the long run, rebuilding that left flank isn’t just good policy — it’s also good politics.


It is important that Bernie Sanders lose

You’ll notice that nothing in my case for Sanders mentioned anything about his ability to actually carry out his duties as President of the United States, nor did I make the shaky-at-best claim that he is a more electable general election candidate than Hillary Clinton. I don’t think I could safely make either of those arguments, which is why I’m only voting for Bernie Sanders on the condition that does not actually become the Democratic nominee. While Bernie Sanders more accurately reflects my politics, I want Hillary Clinton to be on my ballot in November, which is why I’m glad that I could cast my vote for Bernie today without being under any illusions regarding his chances of winning.

I’m comfortable admitting that I’m being scared into the same calculation that Democrats make every year. As Alex Parenee phrased it earlier this year, “The deal mainstream Democrats make with liberals (and to a lesser extent, properly left-wing voters) is you hold your nose and vote for the less-bad one, because the Republicans are terrifying, and in exchange Democrats will do their best to at least not make liberal outcomes less likely.” Clinton’s case for the presidency is no exception. Throughout this campaign, she has presented herself as an effective bureaucrat who can manage the status quo; a not-socialist not-Republican who will make the right judicial appointments, take the right executive actions and make the right vetoes of the legislation sent to her by a Congress that will still have at least one Republican-controlled chamber in 2017.

That may not be inspiring, but to me it’s fairly compelling. My vote for Bernie Sanders is based in a long-term desire for a progressive economic agenda to be taken seriously in Washington — something that a competitive Sanders candidacy can advance — but I also want to win. And I really want to win this specific election because the presidency means a whole lot more to Democrats than it does to Republicans. As I wrote last year:

If the eventual Republican nominee wins the presidency, they will almost certainly hold both chambers of Congress and will be able to make at least two Supreme Court appointments. In other words, they will have total control of the federal government, save for Senate Democrats’ ability to filibuster. The social safety net? Somewhere between decimated and eliminated. Wall Street? Deregulated. Roe v. Wade and other Supreme Court victories? Overturned. Conservative fever dreams like the REINS Act and the Fair Tax? Legitimate possibilities. More war(s) in the Middle East? Absolute certainties.

The reverse does not hold true for the eventual Democratic nominee should they win the White House: Republicans are going to control at least one chamber in Congress no matter who wins the Electoral College.

I know, I know. Polls currently show Bernie Sanders performing better in general election match-ups than Hillary Clinton. Bernie Sanders is also largely unknown to the general electorate. He is only just now gaining a national profile, and has never been subjected to a sustained attack from his right. There is every reason to believe that, in an actual general election, Hillary Clinton will wind up with more votes and more states than Bernie Sanders would. What’s more, Sanders’s primary argument for his electability hinges on a massive voter registration and turnout operation among previously inactive voters — with the goal of raising turnout among the voting-age population by roughly 50 percent — that I seriously doubt he will be able to realize in just a few months. Political revolutions don’t happen overnight. All this is to say that while it’s fairly well-established that America is ready for a female president, it remains a relatively murky question as to whether America is ready for a democratic socialist president (or a secular president, for that matter). As noted above, Bernie Sanders’s agenda may be a necessary addition to our political discourse, but for the time being it is still considered unserious and unreasonable, in mainstream politics. Even compared to Donald Trump, who has already undermined democratic norms even before securing his party’s nomination.

That may be nuts, but it’s also the hand we’re dealt. As Rolling Stone‘s Matt Taibbi lamented last week, “If it comes down to a Sanders-Trump general election, the matter will probably be decided by which candidate the national press turns on first: the flatulent narcissist with cattle-car fantasies or the Democrat who gently admires Scandinavia. Would you bet your children on that process playing out sensibly?”

By dint of her radical centrism a la her husband, Hillary Clinton is in a better position than Bernie Sanders to win the general election and in doing so save the country from complete and utter collapse. It isn’t an inspiring message, but this year in particular it’s going to have to be enough. I want Bernie Sanders to do well enough in this election that I get to vote for more candidates like him in the future up and down the ballot. That’s why I was excited to vote for him this morning, and why I think you should vote for him, too. But only on the condition that he doesn’t actually win. Political revolutions take years — perhaps decades — to build, and our country hasn’t caught up to him yet.

Now, as promised, here’s that John Oliver clip:

Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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61 Responses to “I just voted for Bernie…on the condition that he lose”

  1. Moonbeam_Song says:

    Oh, I believe Howard Dean was quite sincere about a 50-state strategy, although it doesn’t matter if he was or wasn’t — it’s the CORRECT strategy the Democrats should be following. With a lot more attention paid to local and state races. We need to be standing up for the progressive side of things at every level, because that’s how you influence national politics and also build a deeper bench of future candidates for the national stage. It’s also why the GOP has been able to continue to win elections and stymie President Obama so successfully even as most opinion polling shows that the majority of Americans don’t side with the GOP stance on most issues. We’d be a lot further along the progressive agenda if the Democrats hadn’t been “playing it safe” for so long.

  2. Skye Winspur says:

    I never really believed Howard Dean was interested in a “50-state strategy.” Maybe a 50-HMO strategy, as his current career path indicates.

    I am frustrated with many Democrats in Wisconsin, who are happy to let the same people (white men, overwhelmingly) sit in their state legislative seats forever and ever. They may vote well most of the time, but their campaigning strategy is basically “let’s talk about how great it was in the 1950s here.” Or “Wasn’t Fighting Bob a great man? We need another Fighting Bob. Here’s a 70-year-old white teacher who can tell you more about Fighting Bob.”

  3. Mike_H says:

    That’s where organizing locally is so important! I’m still frustrated that the Democratic leadership hasn’t pursued Howard Dean’s 50-state strategy more vigorously. That seems like a huge error to me.

  4. Steven Jaeger says:

    So handing the SCOTUS to another Scalia or worse, and whoever would replace RBG is perfectly fine for you? Unfortunately these days most progressive legislation is coming from the courts, are you willing to stop ALL progressive motion because of your distaste of HRC and potential interventionism? SCOTUS and appellate appointments are probably more important than anything else done by any president these days. The courts can stop religious right to discriminate, they can stop abortion restrictions, they can even protect the environment. I will vote for whomever is the D in November to PREVENT the next 30 years of progress being halted by a conservative court put in place by the Repugnicrats. REMEMBER the WH also appoints all appellate judges too, who are also often the defenders of progress. As long as we have gerrymandering by states to dilute progressive voters we cannot control congress, we can win the Senate, but not with districts, We can hold out w/ the Senate and the WH, but not if ALL 3 are Repugnicrats. Get out and vote for D all the way down to school district, library boards, city councils; so we can get districts back to being BLUE, not faintly purple or DEEP RED.

  5. Steven Jaeger says:

    Sitting out / voting 3rd party will just give the election to THE Donald or whichever minion gets it. And hand the SCOTUS to the conservatives for ANOTHER 30years.

  6. Steven Jaeger says:

    I’m in blue california, many local elections I have the choice in local “non-partisan” races (mandated) between righter wing and reichstag wing; no local blue candidates at all.

  7. Steven Jaeger says:

    He has supported transferring jobs overseas in the past.

  8. Steven Jaeger says:

    Votes for the green party, or libertarians or whatever can give the repugnicrats the white house, and by extension the SCOTUS. HRC is not my first choice, but I will do everything in my power to prevent a REPUGICRAT sweep and hold on the WH and both houses. Like it or not, we are essentially a two party state, votes for fringe parties are essentially lost and could tip the balance further to the right, which makes the greens even more of a fringe. If we changed to proportional voting like most parliamentary democracies then we could do hold on, but we don’t work that way. Voting for a democrat you may not like, is safer than voting for a fringe party; because in a tight election we could get another shrub, rather than a Gore. Protest votes are all good and fine in the primaries but in the big ones it has to come back to R or D. If the the fringes could get big enough that might change, but for now, vote for the candidate you may not like to prevent a horrid choice from being elected.

  9. Steven Jaeger says:

    I have been hearing of bernie supporters saying they won’t go to the polls if he’s not the candidate and HRC is, that is giving the election to the repugnicrats. I have to and will continue to emphasize to all progressives we have to vote even if our candidate is not “pure” enough, because then there are 2 consequences, one the repugnicrats win, because they do vote, and 2 then anyone who doesn’t vote cannot complain one bit because the non-voters did not prevent the end of progressive politics.

  10. Skye Winspur says:

    It has NEVER crossed my mind not to vote in November, if I’m still breathing.

  11. fredoandme says:

    i gave you an upvote, but it’s not neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerly enough.

  12. Steven Jaeger says:

    I have to agree totally with the political calculations, but SKYE, I would have to say even if HRC is the nominee in NOV, we have to have her. The damage a repugnicrat administration, let alone a tRUMP administration can do to progressive views is incalculable, mostly in packing the SCOTUS with more Scalias. I will hold my nose to vote for HRC, but I WILL VOTE for her if she is the nominee. Not voting is voting for TRUMP / Rubio / Cruz and SCALIA. We all want our favored positions to win but we have sometimes take second best to prevent something worse. GET OUT AND VOTE in NOV.

  13. JamesR says:

    Good post, though I think in a fair system and with a fair vote he could win handily the primary and general. But as-is, for me, the primary vote is the only one that counts as far as registering an opinion. [As much as the proprietary electronic vote-stealing devices will allow, if one’s not able to vote absentee, which then often isn’t counted unless an election is close…(another thread.)] I feel the Bern as do the majority of those I know and I have diverse friends. No, he won’t ‘win,’ even if he gets enough votes of the common people, but he can provide a necessary pole for the Clintontriangulation. A pole of sanity. AND if Hillary is smart she’ll get him on her ticket as VP ’cause few remember / want to remember what a TRULY AWFUL campaigner she is. [Plus all her real negatives.] Even shooting fish in a Trump shaped barrel she’s gonna need all the help she can get. And she needs to know, if she wants to know, how much of the country wants Sanders’s ideas and that they ARE the (or at least a) real mainstream and that it’s OK to take the risk of doing the right damn thing.

    My 2¢ = as much as I LOATHE the idea of voting for Clinton and how much I resent being blackmailed / threatened into it, it’s not about me or my feelings, it’s like a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, with hot sauce, vs being crammed live into a wood chipper. I’ve got two eyes and I can wait, if America can endure. Because Supreme Court and INSANITY.

    I’m not losing any ideals, but for me the primary is where you vote for who you want, the general who you have to. In our extraordinarily fucked up system. If we had instant runoff elections we’d have a whole different result in our campaigns and in our nation. One Day. If we survive. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Y3jE3B8HsE

  14. Skye Winspur says:

    Thank you for your honesty about your political calculations, Jon. I can’t argue with anything you’ve stated here, although I am not 100% sure about voting for Clinton in November. For me it just depends on how things develop, and how dangerous the Trump dragon gets.

  15. Skye Winspur says:

    Erm… I don’t think Trump gives a damn about TPP. I think he could, maybe, pull off his mass deportation plans, absent a massive civil disobedience uprising by the people. I’d rather not put that to the test.

  16. Skye Winspur says:

    Yes, for sure. The Republicans churn out young, white telegenic politicians like Cheetos and thus they always have a large pool to draw from. Their lack of appealing policies cannot hurt them, very much, as long as Democrats have such a meager pool in comparison that there is simply no competition for many offices (as is still true for too many House seats).

    Democrats must start finding young talent and promoting it. And there is a lot of subtle racism standing in the way, as old white people refuse to pass the baton of leadership.

  17. dcinsider says:

    For gays and lesbians (and most progressives) this election is about the Supreme Court. Need I remind you that our current rights stem from Supreme Court decisions. Nothing – and I mean nothing- is as important as this.

    So for all the juvenile nonsense about Hillary and the corporatists, and all the whining that she’s somehow no different than the GOP (a totally delusional premise), at the end of the day, we will be faced with two starkly clear choices that have the potential to lead our rights in two very different directions.

    Any gay man or lesbian who votes GOP, or who sits home on some self-righteous temper tantrum, is a traitor to our rights and unworthy of membership in this community. Your failure to vote is a vote for the GOP, so don’t think you have some moral high ground from those who will vote Republican, you do not. There is not a thing that separates the progressive who fails to vote from the lowliest Trump supporter. They are one in the same, both working toward the same goal.

    I have no tolerance for political purity. Is Hillary the answer to a progressives dream? Hardly. Guess what, politics is compromise. And making a decision, and casting your vote, even if you don;t like the choice, is not only your civic duty, it is your duty as a grown up.

    Childish temper tantrums are for two year olds. Put on your big girl panties and make a choice. However, if you decide to stay home, STFU, because you are as Mr. Trump woudl say “a Loser.”

  18. ckg1 says:

    “If you choose not to decide/You still have made a choice.”

    -the music group Rush, “Free Will”

  19. ckg1 says:

    What you lament could just as easily be said against Trump. He’s also accumulated quite the paper(and broadcast)trail that Hillary’s oppo research team can EASILY dig up.

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  21. FLL says:

    The Republican Party is splintering at this very moment, and the news is plastered all over the Internet:



    Marco Rubio, who is making no moves to drop out, is openly calling Trump a “con man.” Republican senators, governors, congressman and longtime Republican voters are publicly declaring that they will either sit this one out or vote Democratic. What is with the fools on this thread who hope predict that Trump will win the general election. Are they deaf, dumb and blind? Hint: The Internet is your friend in this case.

  22. FLL says:

    I will write a lengthier comment on this later, but just take a look at the goldmine in the link below. Republican U.S. senators, Republican congressman, Republican governors and just plain old representative Republican for who say #NeverTrump:


  23. FLL says:

    If your comment is read as a threat or an effort to give people the sadz (for your amusement, I suppose), it sounds silly and I can’t take it seriously. Nobody agrees with your assessment of Trump’s chances in the general election. Not the betting markets, not polling professionals, and especially not Republicans. (Please go to this link for just a sample of how perfectly Republicans understand the looming disaster of Trump in the general election.) To be more charitable, let me read your comment a different way. I’ll read your comment as a complaint of some kind, which I think is a little closer to the truth. Let’s review the ground rules, which never really change:

    (1) If Hillary wins more votes in more states in the primaries, she becomes the nominee.
    (2) If Bernie wins more votes in more states in the primaries, he becomes the nominee.

    So what exactly is your complaint? Huh?

  24. Finn says:

    It will have nothing to do with Bernie supporters when she loses, although I’m 100% sure HRC supporters will cling to that pathetic narrative when it happens. HRC winning will depend entirely on motivating sometime-voters and new voters to go to the polls, not the people who are already heavily involved in primary season. She will fail to do it.

  25. pyrewoman says:

    I think we were hosed either way with that election. Sometimes the GOP just needs to come around again to light a fire under our collective arses. Apathy is our own worst enemy, and boy did W motivate the masses to get to the booths his second time around.

  26. pyrewoman says:

    Sorry, Jon-That was meant to be a “you” collective as in all of us, not a you personal. I think you’re article was a really great example of what a lot of us are feeling about voting out of a place of “who can win” vs what we want.

  27. trinu says:

    What are they going to do to him? Their favorite insult, socialist won’t change anyone’s opinion because everyone, even the people not following politics, already knows he’s a socialist. Also, I voted in 2014 and if Hillary is the nominee, I’ll be voting for the Green Party this November. She will continue the NSA spying program and I cannot in good conscience vote for any candidate whom I know will violate the Constitution, even if she has an even worse opponent who would also violate the Constitution.

  28. Houndentenor says:

    In the 70s people went to jail for loan sharking for charging as little as 25% interest. Now many credit cards charge far more than that.

  29. Houndentenor says:

    DWS needs to be fired. In fact I hope her primary challenger knocks her out. She is indeed a disaster. If the Democrats can’t take back the Senate in November heads should roll. They ought to be able to do it, but then they’d have to get their shit together which doesn’t seem to be happening.

  30. Houndentenor says:

    It’s so frustrating to watch people (across the spectrum) pull one fact out and then extrapolate that into a national trend.

  31. Houndentenor says:

    No Reupblican is carrying Vermont. Would he get 20% of Republican votes in Ohio or Florida?

  32. Houndentenor says:

    By the time the GOP was done with Sanders there’s have been nothing left. Yes, he polls well now. There haven’t been ANY negative attacks on him at this point. Not really. It’s naive to think that decades of demonizing anything liberal much less socialist as evil incarnate won’t affect the election. Yes, he has a following and I hope they stay active and engaged but all I see from that crowd are temper tantrums and threats. Oh, noze they might stay home in November. Did they vote in 2014? Nope, didn’t think so. Sorry but if they want the rest of us to take them seriously and feel we can count on their votes they need to start showing up in significant numbers.

  33. Finn says:

    Dem victories depend largely on turnout. Hillary the corporate shill will not inspire turnout, and fear mongering about Trump won’t motivate turnout either. If Hillary is the nominee I hope you like writing the words ‘President Trump’ a lot.

  34. Bill_Perdue says:

  35. 2karmanot says:

    Oh how quickly Demos forgot “Yes We Can,’ ‘Hope & Change’ from the lying changeling that is Obama. Hilary’s running on Obama’s do nothing or if doing something, make sure it is a piddling, mediocre, incremental and barely sufficient piece of forgettable theater. The exception being constant warfare, spreading misery and death over the far corners of the globe and maintaining the ruinous grip of a marginally regulated Wall Street. Hillary promises to be the Hover of the Democratic Party when true greatness needed for the present age is AOL.

  36. nicho says:

    The thing with Trump is that on the things he actually could do something about, I agree with him – Anti TPP, against corporate control of government, anti-interventionist where we are not threatened,against bad trade deals that disadvantage us.

    On the points where I disagree — heartily — with him, his racist and xenophobic plans, he wouldn’t be able to pull them off.

    Hillary, on the other hand, can do the most horrible things — more wars, more slaughter of innocent people, more destabilizing democratically elected government, more pandering to Wall Street. And she’s not even saying she won’t. Meanwhile, she’s said she won’t even try to do things that will benefit us — too hard.

    Here’s a a good summary of what voting for Hillary is a bad idea.


  37. Outspoken1 says:

    Not to vote is to vote – just like not making a decision is making a decision.

  38. Outspoken1 says:

    Did that with Kerry and Gore – didn’t work out so well. I always do better when there is a Dem in the White House instead of a GOP.

  39. UncleBucky says:

    No. The worst thing that can be done is to allow the GOPee’ers’ candidate win in November.

  40. UncleBucky says:

    Correct. On 8 November 2016, VOTE BLUE, no matter what.

  41. Bill_Perdue says:

    “The main question now is whether he can get his enthusiastic supporters to hold their nose and vote in Democrat primaries and in the general election.” It looks like we have the answer. Sanders cannot stop the hemorrhaging of support for Democrats as a result of the right wing politics of the Obama regime. It began in 2010 when 27 million (!) former 2008 Obama voters deserted the Democrats. It continued later when they lost the Senate and would have likely lost the WH if it weren’t for Romney’s blurting out his utter and disgusting contempt for working people and his forgetfulness about how cell phone cameras operate. (None of these people – Ds and Rs alike are very bright.)

    It continued tonight as we see the overall Super Tuesday votes for Democrats and Republicans are reversed – in 2008 it was 8 million+ for Democrats and 5 million + for their Republican brothers and sisters while this year it’s 8 million + for Republicans and 5 million + for their Democrat brothers and sisters. Sayonara young Democrats. Hello Whigs.

    BTW, it would be extremely valuable if we could get Gaius Publius to post here again. I didn’t always agree with him but his posts were valuable and fact filled.

  42. Shivani Sharma says:

    i hv no time to read this all … please write some short. so that people read this easily.. i summerised this.. open this link nd check what exectly he want to say… https://goo.gl/js34bQ

  43. trinu says:

    Pulling her to the left means nothing in the likely event that she moves right back to the right. She knows the right words to say, but that’s not the same as making any attempt to follow through.

  44. mark_in_toronto says:

    If nothing else, Bernie has pulled HRC (and a lot of Dems) a little more to the left. That was evidenced tonight when I saw her “Super Tuesday” victory speech that sounded more like Bernie than Bernie himself. I just can’t believe she would actually act on many of these promises since she is so beholden to so many “establishment” entities. Her presidency would be Obama 2.0 – with lots of bugs.

    The REAL problem with HRC has all of that excess baggage that a Republican candidate can use against her in the general election. Emails, Wall Street, Iraq War, etc. (Remember the Swift Boat campaign against Kerry? Those Republican over-simplified sound bites can be devastating). Bernie has no such baggage – what can Trump say about him other that spew some anti-Semitic remarks?
    Here is a post from Liberty Blitzkrieg that says it much better than I can:

    Be careful what you wish for.

  45. hiker_sf says:

    It is despicable as it pulls millions of dollars out of the hands of the poor and their communities, where every dollar counts. I’m shocked at the audacity, but sadly, I’m not surprised.

  46. Dick_Woodcock says:

    Do not underestimate Bernie with moderate Repubs.
    I’ve talked to two lifetime Republicans who have said that they will vote for Bernie, if he gets the nomination.
    Both said they would not vote for Drumpf or Hillary. It’s Bernie, or no vote for them.

    I was shocked to hear that from them old timers.

  47. BeccaM says:

    Can you imagine Hillary ever getting 20% of the GOP vote?

    Yes, in conservative states, especially if the GOP nominee is Drumpf.

    When Sanders runs in Vermont, 20% of the Republicans are moderates or left-of-center, because that’s what Vermont is like. Think Sanders can win 20% of the GOP voters in, let’s say, Texas? As I keep saying, I support Sanders myself, but I already know he’s going to have a hell of a time if he’s the nominee and the Republicans start painting him in the media as a wild-eyed revolutionary wealth-redistributing communist.

  48. andyou says:

    Hillary is despised by the GOP and Independents aren’t so fond of her either. Her unfavorable rating of 54% is almost as bad as Trumps. I wish people would stop parroting conventional wisdom that Hillary is more electable. When Sanders runs in Vermont, he gets 20% of the GOP vote. Can you imagine Hillary ever getting 20% of the GOP vote? Also, the rise of both Trump and Sanders is testament to how anti-establishment the current electorate is. The worst thing the Dems can do is nominate a candidate who epitomizes the establishment.

  49. BeccaM says:

    Yeah, I saw that mentioned on dKos. I can’t think of anything less of a disservice to American citizens than supporting those legalized loansharking operations. It is a prime example of money being put ahead of people, and the Dems have been doing it over and over…and then wonder why their base is losing interest in voting for their coronated candidates. Which is then usually followed by some old fashioned hippie-punching and minority-blaming.

    It sure does seem like DWS is the personalized epitome of everything that went wrong with the Democratic party starting with the ‘Third Way’ / neo-liberal / center-right conservative BS that really gained steam in the 1990s.

  50. hiker_sf says:

    As usual, I agree with everything you wrote. The apparent lack of planning for to take back congress is really troubling. Speaking of Wasserman-Schultz, Did you see this:

    “Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) is co-sponsoring the Consumer Protection and Choice Act, which would delay for two years pending rules from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) meant to crack down on abusive payday lending.”


  51. BeccaM says:

    A few random thoughts:

    – Wasserman-Schultz has been an utter disaster as DNC chairwoman and ought to have been replaced a long, long time ago with someone who actually knows how to run a national political party and not just a center-right corporatist agenda.

    – Neither Sanders nor Clinton nor the Democratic Leadership have advanced a coherent plan for winning back the Senate (at the least) and the House (at the best), and to make it last for more than a single popular presidential candidate’s personal coattails. Basically, a number of electoral issues desperately need to be addressed including partisan gerrymandering, vote tabulation integrity, and rolling back the GOP’s blatant voter suppression measures.

    – When voters stay home, it is not the voters’ fault. It is a failure of a party to address its voters’ desires and needs. It’s what happens when a party forgets who elected them in the first place. It’s what happens, for example, when the Democrats embrace what they call ‘reasonable’, when in fact what they are doing is rejecting populism and, while kowtowing to moneyed interests, forgetting that campaign spending alone does not turn out voters.

  52. Mike_H says:

    Both candidates have their strengths and weaknesses, and I’ll have no problem voting for either Clinton or Sanders in November.

    However, if we want a real progressive revolution, we need to do a heckuva lot more than just pin our hopes on one candidate for President in one primary. This is something Democrats in general (and I think progressives in particular) have been really bad at, in my view.

    The elections that really matter are the small ones. Local and state level. We need to build a deep bench and yet too often it’s *only* about the Presidential race for us.

    We need a few cycles in a row of more elected officials like Sanders, Warren, Schumer, Franken… in the House as well as in the Senate. In the Governor’s mansions and in the state legislatures.

    But the turnout figures for Democrats in non-Presidential year elections are dismal and discouraging. We really need a longer view if we’re going to be serious about changing things. It’s going to take a lot more than just getting super-excited about Sanders and then giving up and staying home if he doesn’t win the nod.

  53. Doug105 says:

    Some people can’t get it through their head it’s the number of votes that matter, not the number who didn’t.

  54. Demosthenes says:

    I early voted yesterday (I’m out of town when my state votes on March 15). I voted for Ms. Clinton. She isn’t my favorite, but I believe — current polls notwithstanding — she will be a strong candidate against a misogynist like The Donald.

  55. Bill_Perdue says:

    Sanders, as I pointed out months ago, has a chance of being nominated and winning. But he has no chance at all of reforming the right centrist, bankster dominated Democrat (there’s nothing democratic about it’s internal life or it’s program) Party.

    The main question now is whether he can get his enthusiastic supporters to hold their nose and vote in Democrat primaries and in the general election. We’ll now more about that in the next few weeks. Left leaning youth have no stomach for the racists, warmongers and union busters who run both parties. If they do elect Sanders they’ll quickly bolt as he adapts to the ‘reality’ of his party and moves right as Obama did. Sayonara young Democrats. Hello Whigs.

    Among Republicans, the likelihood of their party being shredded by Trumps candidacy as just as high as they are for Sanders candidacy and or the Democrats.

  56. Jon Green says:

    This is an article explaining why I *didn’t* vote for the candidate I think can beat the GOP in November. I did exactly what you just told me I should have done.

  57. Jon Green says:

    I’m concerned about Hillary’s interventionist tendencies. I even think that, for you, that’s a perfectly acceptable reason to withhold your vote from her. It just isn’t enough for me, personally, to sit out when she’s the nominee in November.

  58. pyrewoman says:

    IF you want reform then you also need to stop doing the “reasonable” thing and holding your nose while voting for the candidate you only think can beat the GOP. Vote with your heart, not your fear.

  59. kladinvt says:

    So you’re not concerned about Hillary’s interventionist tendencies? Because of her repeated history of bad judgments on international issues, I cannot possibly vote her Hillary. I’ll reserve the right to say, “I told you so”, when she involves the U.S. in another conflict or war.

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