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Bernie’s Thrown Away His Shot

Bernie Sanders in Nevada

Bernie Sanders in Nevada

With each passing day without endorsing the presumptive Democratic Party nominee, the influence that Senator Bernie Sanders could have had over the Democratic Party platform wanes. Candidates who finish second don’t get to set terms or call the shots.  And for his supporters, withholding support for Secretary Clinton because you’re #BernieOrBust just makes it all that much easier for someone like Donald Trump to get elected president.

If you’re a Bernie supporter and you’re not going to vote for Hillary Clinton this November, there’s no gentle way to say it – you’re an idiot.

FiveThirtyEight.com shows Clinton rising in the polls and ahead in every major swing state. Looking at the FiveThirtyEight numbers, which aggregate all polling and run the numbers again through a customized algorithm, and assigning uncommitted states through www.270towin.com, my map shows Clinton being elected with 347 electoral college votes to Trump’s 191; but Arizona, Georgia and Missouri could still flip between now and November (each state is within 2 percentage points).

It’s hard for me to buy the notion that Bernie is now all about saving the Democratic Party. Isn’t he still a registered Democratic Socialist?  But let’s take a closer look at the reforms Bernie wants.  Spoiler alert: the changes would have benefited him.

  • A call for open primaries which allow people to ask for any party’s ballot, no matter how they are registered. Sanders was a popular guy among independents. But if you want your vote to be one that nominates someone for the Democratic Party, then voters ought to join the Democratic Party.
  • Ending the practice of super delegates is also self-serving because so few of them signed up with Sanders and his supporters desperately need them if Bernie is to have a chance. Since super delegates were added to the elective process in 1984, they have always supported the candidate that was the choice of the Party’s majority of voters. If Republicans had super delegates, it’s probable Trump wouldn’t be at the top of the ticket.
  • The call for Social Security expansion and the $15-an-hour minimum wage into the Democratic Party Platform in addition to a new version of Glass-Steagall to reign in Wall Street are actually areas where Democrats and Berniecrats agree, so it’s not a win for the Sanders camp as much as it is Party unity.

Team Bernie is still hoping beyond hope that Secretary Clinton will somehow be indicted for the email server “scandal” as she just had a three hour interview with the FBI. The New York Times and Los Angeles Times are now reporting the FBI is recommending no criminal charges against Clinton but called her use of a personal email server “careless.”  So kiss that option goodbye.

I’m taking bets to see in Senator Sanders releases his full tax returns for 2015 and at least the past 10 years leading up to the convention (he released a summary of 2014).  I’m particularly interested to see what his wife earned while her management (or lack of management) skills led to the demise of Burlington College where she was president from 2004 to 2011.  Not so transparent, is he?

I’d also like to know when Sanders will ask the Democratic Party to replace caucuses with primary elections. Bernie benefitted from caucuses, which are the most undemocratic part of the nomination process, because they disenfranchise voters who just can’t make it to the caucus sites due to work or child care commitments.  It’s also easy to bully folks into submission in a caucus, where you can’t in a voting booth.  If Bernie could re-do everything, I’m sure he’s like a caucus in every state.

The BernieBros are convinced Bernie is the only one who can fix our government. The reality is he represents the core of why our candidates lose.  Virtually every initiative he proposes is a new tax and spend program.  If – by a miracle – he was elected, “Tax and Spend Socialists” would result in a tsunami of new Republicans to Congress and the Senate by 2018.  The political process is a marathon and not a sprint – we need to convert conservatives who hate what’s happened to the Republican Party because of Donald Trump into voters who no longer think “compromise” is a dirty word and when that happens, meaningful change to the left can happen.

There are charges Clinton isn’t progressive enough. Bull.  As a senator, her voting record placed her as the 10th most liberal senator in the country.  Her platform is not all that different from Sanders, except for extensive detail and the ability to pass legislation with a divided House of Representatives (something Bernie’s platform has no prayer of doing).

Clinton, like Sanders, wants universal health care but by shoring up ACA (Bernie’s single-payer plans are off by $1 trillion to $3 trillion with how it’s paid for). Clinton wants to raise the minimum wage. She wants to overturn Citizen’s United, she has a plan for climate change, she has a plan for student debt, and much more foreign policy experience than Sanders or Trump combined.

In February, Marketwatch published a humor column of sorts of all the terrible things Clinton has been accused of and it’s worth a read:

So today I’m performing a public service on behalf of all the voters. I went back and re-read all the criticisms and attacks and best-selling “exposés” leveled at Hillary Rodham Clinton over the past quarter-century. And I’ve compiled a list of all her High Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Here they are:

  1. When she was first lady, she murdered White House lawyer Vince Foster and then dumped his body in a park.
  2. She drove Vince Foster to commit suicide through her temper tantrums.
  3. She was having an affair with Vince Foster.
  4. She’s a lesbian.
  5. Chelsea isn’t Bill Clinton’s child.
  6. She murdered Vince Foster to cover up that she once bought a tract of undeveloped land in Arkansas and lost money.
  7. She murdered Vince Foster to cover up her role in firing the White House travel department.
  8. After she murdered Vince Foster, she ransacked his office in the middle of the night and stole all the documents proving her guilt.
  9. When Bill Clinton was governor of Arkansas, she was a partner in the state’s top law firm, and it sometimes did work involving the state government.
  10. She once invested in commodities futures on the advice of a friend and made $100,000, proving she’s a crook.
  11. She once invested in real estate on the advice of another friend and lost $100,000, also proving she’s a crook.
  12. Unnamed and unverifiable sources have told Peggy Noonan things about the Clintons that are simply too terrible to repeat.
  13. The personnel murdered at Benghazi make her the first secretary of state to lose overseas personnel to terrorism — apart from Condi Rice, Colin Powell, Madeleine Albright, George Schultz, Dean Rusk and some others.
  14. Four State Department staff were murdered at Benghazi, compared with only 119 others murdered overseas under every secretary of state combined since World War II.
  15. She illegally sent classified emails from her personal server, except that apparently they weren’t classified at the time.
  16. She may have cynically wriggled around the email law by “technically” complying with it.
  17. She once signed a lucrative book contract when she was a private citizen.
  18. Donald Trump says she “should be in jail,” and he’s a serial bankrupt casino developer in Atlantic City, so he should know.
  19. Former House Majority Leader Tom Delay says his “law-enforcement sources” tell him she is “about to be indicted” — and if a man once convicted of money laundering and conspiracy doesn’t have good law-enforcement sources, who does?
  20. She’s a hard-left radical who wants to break up the nuclear family.
  21. She’s a conservative “mousewife” who refused to break up her own family.
  22. She’s in favor of single moms.
  23. She refused to be a single mom.
  24. When she was first lady of Arkansas, she pandered to conservative voters by dyeing her hair.
  25. Before that, she totally insulted them by refusing to.
  26. She’s a frump.
  27. She spends too much money on designer dresses.
  28. She has “cankles.”
  29. She has a grating voice.
  30. She yells into the microphone.
  31. She spent 18 years in Arkansas and some of the people she knew turned out to be crazy rednecks and crooks.
  32. She’s in the pay of the mafia.
  33. She’s in the pay of the Chinese government.
  34. She’s in the pay of the Wall Street banks.
  35. In order to suppress the billing records from her time at the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock, she cleverly packed them up and took them to the White House rather than shredding them.
  36. When she handed over the documents to public officials, they couldn’t find any evidence she’d committed any crimes, so she must have doctored them.
  37. Congress spent tens of millions of dollars and six years investigating her investment in the Whitewater real-estate project, and, while they didn’t actually find anything, they wouldn’t have spent all that money if there weren’t something there.
  38. By cleverly hiding all evidence of her crimes in the Whitewater affair, she caused Congress to waste all that taxpayers’ money.
  39. When she ran for senator of New York, she was still a fan of the Chicago Cubs.
  40. She once said the Clintons were thinking of adopting a child, and they didn’t follow through.
  41. She was photographed holding her hand near her mouth during the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
  42. She’s got brain damage.
  43. She’s old.
  44. She’s really ambitious and calculating, unlike all the other people running for president.
  45. She secretly supported Palestinian terrorists, Puerto Rican terrorists and Guatemalan terrorists.
  46. She secretly supported a group that wants to give Maine back to the Indians.
  47. She’s a secret follower of “radical prophet” Saul Alinsky.
  48. She did her law degree at Yale, and it’s a well-known “socialist finishing school.”
  49. When she was young, she did things to build up her résumé rather than just for their own good.
  50. When Bill was president, she “allowed” him to keep people waiting.
  51. She’s married to a sex addict.
  52. She’s an enemy of traditional marriage.
  53. She didn’t divorce her husband.
  54. His philandering is her fault because she is too strong, and too weak, and too frumpy, and too fat, and too cold.
  55. She’s hostile to women who fool around with her husband.
  56. A divorced taxi driver in Florida told me that if Hillary is elected president, “women will take over everything.”
  57. She insulted Tammy Wynette.
  58. When they left the White House, she and Bill bought a big house in New York that they couldn’t afford.
  59. She sometimes calls her staff during dinner, even when they’re out at a restaurant.
  60. She claimed there was a “vast right-wing conspiracy” against her husband, and it turned out there was nothing but a bunch of tycoons financing private investigators, and some fake think tanks and books and news sites and stuff.
  61. When she got married, she didn’t “stay at home and bake cookies.”
  62. She supported the Iraq war because she’s a secret foreign-policy conservative.
  63. She’s a secret foreign-policy radical with a plan to impose worldwide “radical social experimentation” through the World Bank.
  64. She is secretly plotting to let children sue their parents for making them take out the garbage.
  65. She looked bored during the Benghazi hearings.
  66. Oh, yeah — and she totally has a vagina.

I came across this paragraph about Bernie Sanders in Medium from a story published a few months ago and it holds up quite well:

As rightly intentioned as Bernie Sanders might be, his presidency could cause near fatal damage to the progressive cause. Should he bumble his way through Washington with nothing but rhetoric, fantasies, unworkable plans, and impossible promises, he could make a pathetic joke of everything we’re fighting for. The idea of democratic socialism will be solidified in the American consciousness as unworkable and foolish.”

Bernie’s lack of an endorsement for Clinton, despite somehow realizing he won’t be the Party’s nominee, weakens him. For Bernie supporters, Senator Elizabeth Warren has stolen Sanders’ thunder. His voters who adore Warren are now flocking to Clinton making a not-in-the-foreseeable-future Sanders endorsement a disappointing under-heated appetizer to the convention. A lack of endorsement pretty much shuts Bernie out of the new Clinton administration as any sort of cabinet position or Obama/Clinton Partnership that unified the Party in 2008. It’s clear Bernie has no interest in unifying the Party.

If you’re a fan of Lin Manuel Miranda’s “Hamilton” on Broadway, Sanders “threw away his shot.”


  6 comments for “Bernie’s Thrown Away His Shot

  1. Gustavo Arellano
    July 5, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    Dan keeps descending into Bloviator territory, just like the prophecy said…

    • Dan Chmielewski
      July 5, 2016 at 5:17 pm

      why don’t you write a story that resonates with people — like who invented Taco salad and why that is so important. How are those gigs with Bordertown coming?

    • Cynthia mae Curran
      July 6, 2016 at 7:31 am

      15 an hour in the long term is going to reduce Mexican maids in Orange County since Elon Musk has talk about using a more intelligent robot to do housekeeping. This is why unlike Gustavo I support Ford and many other factory jobs in Mexico. This is also different than Trump’s thinking. IN 15 years, Mexico will be number one in car manufacturing which means that some Mexicans will leave OC for Mexico again. Wages are lower than the States but housing is cheaper. Food and clothing more expensive. The 15 an hour is making lots of companies support ways to reduce labor costs through automation and robots like it has already been done in factories and office work. Dems would have been smarter to went for only 12 an hour in Ca and 10 an hour in other states. Keep the present welfare state for Walmart and Mcdonalds.

  2. Robert Lauten
    July 5, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    Hillary Clinton should lose her security clearance to view classified documents. Clinton is not qualified to be President. The Super Delegates, at the Democrat Nomination Convention, should give the Nomination to Bernie Sanders; if that does not happen, then the Bernie Sanders voters, should vote for Trump.
    “No Criminal Charges for Hillary Clinton!”

  3. jose s.
    July 7, 2016 at 9:43 pm

    well cheminowski I guess I’m an idiot because I just refuse to vote for a war mongering piece of garbage filthy wall street whore like Clinton. ill live with my vote regardless of what happens but eating shit and accepting that it sucks just isn’t my thing. maybe its you that’s the idiot?

  4. July 9, 2016 at 11:49 am

    Thanks for admitting you’re an idiot. I’m not buying into the GOP narrative about Hillary.

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