This is not an endorsement of Hillary Clinton. While there is much I could say about her candidacy, her qualifications, or how I loathe seeing ostensibly-progressive Democrats joyously and uncritically repeating a quarter-century’s worth of slimy right wing attacks, this post is neither a defense of her record nor an attempt to compare the candidates’ platforms. In fact, I was genuinely interested and excited by the challenge Bernie Sanders presented to her ‘inevitability,’ but now I find myself sinking back into despond at the state of the Democratic Party and its constituencies. There is too much that can go wrong.

This post is about the nature of progressive politics, not the results from New Hampshire. This is about the inevitable disappointments that arise when the political leaders who capture the hopes and dreams of voters invariably end up performing short of their expectations. Remember when President Obama represented the ‘hope and change’ of closing Camp X-Ray at Guantanamo Bay? Remember when his ardent, enthusiastic supporters of 2008 turned against the Affordable Care Act and shouted “kill the bill!” because it didn’t have a public option? Remember when the Tea Party annihilated the Democratic House majority in the 2010 midterm, which also put an overwhelming number of state legislatures in Republican hands so they could gerrymander themselves a permanent power base and take America to the edge of budget disaster over and over again?

That’s what this post is about.

This is about how ‘the left’ (one of the silliest generalizations in our political discourse) always reacts to adversity by further dividing against itself. This is about why Bernie Sanders is only increasing my alarm at the highly-polarized state of our union, raising the hackles on my neck as I look to history for clues about the outcome of tectonic movements underway in America. What follows are ten points where my pessimism deepens most with the audacious hopes of a rising generation.

1. His rhetorical range is narrow — and so is his appeal

Remember when we used to make fun of Rudy Giuliani for speaking in sentences that consisted of a noun, a verb, and 9/11? I feel that way again sometimes when I’m watching Bernie speak. No matter the topic of a given question, he always returns to economic inequality in his answer, and while I don’t disagree with him at all about the essential need to close that yawning gap between richest and poorest, I also understand that you can’t reduce all of politics to a Marxian dialectic. There has been a lot of discussion about this problem, most notably after Sanders was interrupted at Netroots Nation by Black Lives Matter protesters, and his supporters really need to admit that he does have a serious blind spot as a candidate. Simply put, race matters; gender matters; progressives who disdain ‘identity politics’ are telling you how little they understand America. In my experience, such people are overwhelmingly white and usually male, but tend to not understand why most white males prefer conservative answers for their economic distress. Sanders wins millennials by a wide margin, but they are the least-coherent demographic in terms of political identity, and whereas they love the word ‘socialism,’ it is still anathema to most Americans. That’s because ‘capitalism’ is more than an economic system, it is also a cultural identification with decades of built-up resistance to the alternative. Barack Obama is hardly a socialist, but the label has been pasted on him for eight years because it’s a convenient shorthand term for everything, large or small, that confuses and angers conservatives. Sanders is playing right into Republicans’ greatest strength as a voting bloc. Can he overcome that inertia? Can he turn this linguistic feature on its head? Maybe, but I have doubts that America will be ready for him in this cycle.

2. Rhetoric aside, Bernie Sanders is just another politician

I keep encountering a certain tranche of idealistic Sanders supporters who tell me that he’s not a traditional politician, that he’s simply not swayed by the usual political considerations, that he doesn’t need big money to win. Frankly, it’s just empty political branding.

Sanders is a career politician — indeed, he has never had any other profession — and he can pass the buck just as well as any other political animal. Take the way he maneuvered and voted to dump nuclear waste on a Hispanic community, or the clever way he allows surrogates to attack Clinton while he stands above the fray of petty personal destruction, or his ‘complicated‘ voting record on guns or immigration, or his exaggerated claim of credit for helping write the Affordable Care Act, or the way his campaign keeps claiming endorsements they haven’t actually received, or the sneaky tactics they have employed to lobby union workers, or the too-clever use of online apps and user-generated content to create fake news, or the infamous data intrusion that has allowed his campaign to surge with stolen information, or the way anonymous sources in Sanders’s campaign have turned accusations over that data breach against the Democratic National Committee by accusing them of a nefarious plot to frame him. None of this is necessarily disqualifying; in fact, I am somewhat encouraged by his demonstrated ability to campaign with ruthless, shrewd determination. Politics is a blood sport, and anyone who says otherwise has never spent five minutes inside a candidate’s headquarters. But the gloss of his revolutionary image will not last forever against the eroding winds of political reality. Sooner or later, Sanders will need to compete for big donations from deep pockets. In the sense that he receives major donor dollars indirectly through the DSCC and large contributions from unions, Sanders is already competing on this terrain. When he says that he will not accept super PAC money, rest assured that he does not intend to fight with one hand tied behind his back while right wing billionaires post an endless stream of negative ads. At least, I hope we can rest assured. From the point of view of his happiest warriors, however, this will be an unwelcome development to meet with anger, denial, bargaining, and finally, disappointed acceptance.

Oh, you say that he’ll win with millions of small donations? That’s adorable, but the 1% can double his biggest-ever quarterly small-donor cash infusion in a single conference call. No one ever said life would be fair.

3. His potential path to the nomination also remains very narrow

As I write this, Sanders has just won New Hampshire, a state right next door to Vermont. The situation is somewhat analogous to 1992, when Paul Tsongas of neighboring Massachusetts beat Bill Clinton in the same primary, but went on to lose to Hillary’s husband in the south, where Clinton’s ‘Bubba’ act played better. Because he may be trending nationally, but Sanders isn’t running a national race. Instead, he’s competing in a series of state-level races — and his two best ‘tracks’ are already behind him now. It only gets worse from here: Sanders faces tough, uphill battles in South Carolina, on Super Tuesday, in Nevada, and in Michigan. Meanwhile, Clinton enjoys an overwhelming lead in committed superdelegates and endorsements from fellow Democrats. And before we dismiss such concerns as evidence that ‘party elites’ are conspiring to lock Sanders out, let’s remember that Clinton is doing so well in these regards in 2016 because she learned such an expensive lesson at the hands of Barack Obama in 2008. He was able to win an inside game that she had forgotten to play; Sanders, on the other hand, actively refuses to play the inside game. In order to win the nomination, he must beat Hillary in states where he currently lags behind her. Without overwhelming evidence of his ‘people power,’ Sanders will not swing the superdelegates away from Clinton, nor will he convince the Democratic Party to unify behind him at a brokered convention.

And therein lies the danger. I have seen the results of a split party, and they are not pretty. An extended primary season can leave feelings hurt and sour important parts of the Democratic coalition against the eventual winner. Clinton might win by a nose only to lose the enthusiasm of millennials; Sanders might overcome her lead only to lose the enthusiasm of African American and Hispanic voters. Either outcome surely makes Karl Rove happy. And don’t assume that demography is destiny, either — Democratic voter turnout is already in decline compared to Republican enthusiasm.

4. Sanders needs the Democratic Party more than it needs him

As much as I see Sanders’s supporters blaming Democrats for everything they dislike about politics, and as often as I’ve seen them rant about a potential third party campaign if he can’t win the Democratic nomination, none of them are switching to Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Which is odd, considering that every electability argument they make for Sanders works even better for Stein. ‘If you would just vote for Sanders,’ they say, ‘he would be electable!’ It’s so simple that it ought to work for her, too, so why doesn’t it?

What? You say that she can’t possibly win? Well…why not? Is it because she’s a woman? Oh, of course not, never that. How dare I even suggest as much? Perish the thought!

So why not, then? Is it because Stein is too far to the left? That’s silly, as her platform is almost a carbon-copy of Sanders’s, except perhaps with more emphasis on non-economic issues of equality. Why else would professional gadfly Cornell West be promoting both Stein and Sanders?

Let’s be honest: the reason Stein is considered unelectable, whereas Sanders is not, is that he’s running on a major party ticket. As many times as I’ve roasted dissolute leftist movements such as Occupy over the coals for always muttering about starting a third party without ever doing the hard work of actually building one, Stein is to be praised for having the guts and can-do spirit necessary to run outside the two-party duopoly that so many Sanders supporters openly despise.

Sanders can’t win without the Democrats. He needs them to stand behind him on stage, to have his back in the heat of a general election, to energize and fund his campaign, and ultimately to empower his presidency, yet he must balance this necessity with his ‘outsider’ image. That will prove increasingly difficult to do. Sanders says that he wants to change the Party, but if he does succeed in toppling Clinton and becoming its leader, watch how the party changes him.

5. The right wing Wurlitzer has yet to put Sanders on blast

We live in a post-factual era where conspiracy theories and magical thinking are the most potent political tools, while empirical data and rational debate are quaint antique notions. If there is one lesson I could impose on ‘the left,’ this would be it. I am sick unto nausea from well-meaning progressive souls who insist that ‘we have the facts on our side.’ How many seats in the House of Representatives or the Senate do ‘the facts’ control? How many state legislatures and governors are responsive to ‘the facts’? How many nominations to the federal bench and the Supreme Court do ‘the facts’ get to make? Most importantly, how do ‘the facts’ vote?

It is taboo to admit that the politician who tells the best lies usually wins, but it’s true. Look at Ronald Reagan’s invisible bridge, and all it has brought us as a nation, because Jimmy Carter was too honest about the country’s sense of ‘malaise.’ Or regard the fuzzy math of Sanders’s single payer proposal, which so excites progressives determined to re-litigate the disappointments of Obamacare that they may still elevate him over Clinton’s lowered expectations.

So just because he’s white, and lacks a funny name, doesn’t mean that Sanders can’t become a gay-married madrasa-tutored Kenyan coke fiend in a matter of minutes. As David Roberts said last week, Sanders has “glaring vulnerabilities” that will certainly be exploited should he defeat Clinton. The Fox News/talk radio war machine will immediately pounce on his avowed socialism, his age, his biographical baggage, and whatever else they can dig up (or dream up) to attack him. Conservatives will ridicule his ideas, denounce him as a communist, and raise a hue and cry over his vow to increase taxes in order to pay for all the ‘free ponies’ (single payer, free college tuition, etc.) that he wants to give away. Again, millennials and progressives might be just fine with all of this, but it will be a much harder sell for everyone else. Remember what happened to the last Democratic presidential nominee who actually promised to raise taxes? His name was Walter Mondale, and he lost badly. That doesn’t mean Sanders can’t win, but I am quite sure it will be a much more difficult struggle than his supporters seem to believe.

And don’t think he’s made of Teflon. Years of smears and falsehoods and contrived investigations have affected Clinton regardless of the truth; they can do the same for Sanders.

6. President Sanders will not deliver peace in our time

Sanders only pretends to disagree with the bulk of current American foreign policy, and he’s clearly disinterested in the topic. Aside from marginal disagreement over the outcome of the Libyan uprising against Muammar Gaddafi, and a generalized-but-incorrect image of Clinton as personally responsible for the Bush-Cheney invasion of Iraq, there really isn’t a lot of daylight between them. And in at least one contentious foreign policy regard — Israel — Sanders is arguably standing to the right of Clinton. As pacifist writer Chris Hedges has observed,

On a personal level, having spent seven years in the Middle East, I’m just not willing to forgive him for abandoning the Palestinians and giving carte blanche to Israel. He was one of 100 Senators who stood up like AIPAC wind up dolls and approved Israel’s 51-day slaughter last summer of Palestinians in Gaza — the Palestinians who have no army, no navy, artillery, mechanized units, command and control.

In recent years, Sanders has largely gotten a pass on this topic by staying quiet about it, but his past talking points have been almost as consistent as a Marco Rubio stump speech: it’s terrible, it’s tragic, but what can I do (he asks with a shrug)? Ask him about his vote on the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), that horribly-abused Congressional resolution which begat the ‘Global War On Terror,’ and you will get a similar reaction. He voted against the invasion of Iraq, but then he voted to fund the occupation. Sanders says that he would not ‘act unilaterally‘, but he supported Bill Clinton’s actions in the Balkans, and when antiwar protesters showed up at his office afterwards, he had them arrested. (It’s all well and good to say that you would be ‘less interventionist’ until you have a Rwandan genocide in progress.) A China hawk, Sanders might send slightly-fewer advisers to fight the Islamic State than Clinton, but his statements on the subject are woefully naive, sometimes totally wrong, and deliberately unresponsive.

Rather than answer his critics by shoring up his policy platform or bringing on advisers, Sanders merely complains about “being lectured.” His heart is in the right place, so why can’t we just trust him? Here’s a good barometer for you: if mendacious libertarian Conor Freidersdorf thinks that Sanders would be “less hawkish,” be afraid, very afraid that the truth is otherwise.

7. President Sanders will not deconstruct the military-industrial complex

Sanders gets enthusiastic applause when he talks about defense spending, but here again he’s rarely specific about exactly what he would cut. And that’s also deliberate, because Sanders operates on two opposite tracks when it comes to military spending.

On the one hand, he has opposed every National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) since 2011, citing exorbitant costs for weapons programs. These were safe votes, since the Senate was hardly going to interrupt soldiers’ paychecks. But Sanders also supports the most dangerously-wasteful weapons procurement program in American history — because it will create jobs in Vermont. Acknowledging the F-35 is “incredibly wasteful,” he nevertheless maintains it is becoming the “plane of record…and it is not going to be discarded.” That’s very bad news for both the military and taxpayers alike, because the F-35 is slower than its potential adversaries, carries less ammunition, has unreliable engines, remains plagued by software glitches, can’t fire its onboard gun until at least 2019, and will almost certainly not be ready to fly in combat by its project deadline. The plane has so many problems that allied air forces which had been sold on the design are quietly extending the life of their older jets — many of which can easily outfly it despite being decades older.

Contrary to his happy rhetoric, Sanders is no better than any other Democrat when it comes to supporting Department of Defense boondoggles so long as they benefit his district. And remember, if he becomes president, he won’t actually get to decide what programs get cut. He can veto the NDAA, but Congress can just override his veto, and like as not they’ll have all the people in uniform lined up behind them when they do.

8. Bernie Sanders isn’t wearing coattails

It ought to go without saying that Sanders needs a different Congress than this one if he is to have any hope of passing any portion of his ‘revolution’ into law. But I keep finding myself forced to explain this feature of the American political system to amazed Sanders supporters, particularly millennials, many of whom react by blithely dismissing such concerns because they assume Sanders will single-handedly sweep the Republican Party from power with a wave election that lifts Democrats in downballot races, or else succeed in negotiations with the ‘Freedom Caucus’ where President Obama has failed. Of course, this is magical thinking; the GOP House majority isn’t going anywhere, and Democrats are actually suffering at every level except the presidency. In order to flip this House, Democrats need to win every competitive race — and then win some more races in bright-red districts.

Democrats would need to hold all six of their seats and pick up all 27 from Republicans — 12 of which the Cook team says “lean Republican.” And even then it wouldn’t be enough.

It’s the latest evidence that a combination of Americans’ polarization, the concentration of Democratic voters in fewer districts, and the GOP’s overwhelming control over redistricting after the 2010 Census have made it a very tall task for Democrats to take back the House at any point this decade.

There’s a sharp contrast on this point which must be acknowledged. Whereas Clinton has raised $18 million to help Democrats in the states, so far Sanders has not raised one thin dime for any candidate besides himself. Instead of organizing a real slate of Democrats who can transform his platform into legislation, Sanders partisans make excuses and pretend that this is not a problem. At TNR, David Dayen recently posted a fine example of the genre when he insisted that four — four! — congressional candidates who endorse Sanders constitute an “army” for change. And first among them is Zephyr Teachout, who got creamed when she challenged Andrew Cuomo for the New York Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 2014 because she won all the rich, white neighborhoods but none of the minority districts.

Even if Sanders triumphs by a wide margin in November, there is no guarantee that his victory will translate to a Democratic Congress. He simply isn’t wearing the kind of coattails he needs to make that happen. Those Democrats who do win in November will not owe him anything, either, because he’s done nothing to help them.

9. ‘Changing the conversation’ does not actually change the laws

I don’t want to paint Sanders’s supporters with an overly-broad brush. Not all of them are young people. I run into plenty who understand the process and the numbers and the challenges of governance, yet still support their candidate anyway, and that’s fine. But I’m not the first person to note a profound ignorance about the elections process among his youngest and most ardent admirers. I don’t blame them for their ignorance, either, because this is exactly what conservatives meant to happen when they throttled American public education to produce pliable workers instead of citizens. My generation (I’m in my 40s) received an average of three years’ public school instruction on civics and government, whereas most people half my age have been educated on these topics for just one semester by the time they graduate. We don’t even have Schoolhouse Rock on Saturday mornings anymore. Gerrymandering, House and Senate rules, the Electoral College, and the Iowa caucuses are difficult enough to understand even when you do know a lot about American politics; they are impossible for a person deprived of political and civic knowledge to comprehend in a meaningful way.

And I get why millennials are angry. Burdened with student debt like no prior generation, oppressed by legacy culture warriors imposing bigoted moral codes, alarmed by the endless wars they are asked to fight, the age cohort that drives the Sanders campaign has every right to resent the yoke that has been placed on their shoulders.

Nevertheless, the Sanders campaign has developed a reputation for angry, aggressive partisans who repel potential allies with their rude behavior and purity tests. While it’s tempting to dismiss these incidents as the result of well-meaning youthful exuberance, we have seen such behavior before in progressive politics. Remember how Occupy ‘changed the conversation’ by giving us a handy phrase for discussing income inequality, but then passed away into irrelevance without making any substantive changes to the system which creates inequality?

There will be no revolution until the radicals who demand it recognize the absolute necessity of winning and holding hard political power. One of the reasons why some people embrace fringe candidates is to relieve themselves of this responsibility for actual governing; in some ways, it’s easier to be in the outgroup, preening in your moral superiority, than to make hard choices that affect real people. This kind of radicalism chafes against the politics of the possible. It is never satisfied with compromise. You can see a mirror image of it in the new breed of Tea Party Republicans, but there have never been ‘Occupy Democrats’ because the movement chose to eschew politics altogether.

Unless you have the seats in Congress, you don’t get to write the laws. Until you actually run the Iowa caucus, you don’t get to do away with the coin tosses. You may opine all day long on how you think things ought to work, but the American constitutional system is always stacked against sweeping change, and our politics are purposefully designed to allow only incremental progress. In order to enact a more revolutionary change, or any change at all, you must set aside your hipster image and become the system. But first, you have to at least understand how that system works, and ours is a zero sum game where a victory for Team A is always a loss for Team B. The right totally gets this; the left…not so much.

10. If this ‘revolution’ fails, we are totally screwed

This will be the last election cycle before the millennial cohort takes charge, and I see no convincing evidence that the rising generation is ready to take power away from the wretched old men (they are mostly men) who have made the world that they live in. Instead, I see the ‘Green Lantern’ theory of unitary change personified in Bernie Sanders, whose election (they seem to believe) will be enough change all by itself. But revolutions are carried out by mass movements, not singular personalities.

It is a simple, undeniable fact that presidents always disappoint us. At the close of Reagan’s term, I vividly remember letters to my local newspaper from John Birchers and religious fanatics expressing disappointment that he had failed to reassert control over the Panama Canal, shut down all the abortion clinics, build an impenetrable missile shield, and outlaw communism from the planet. His successor disappointed quickly by breaking his pledge not to raise taxes. That man’s son, George W. Bush, tried to pass modest immigration reforms that gave reactionary elements apoplexy. And these were Republicans, a party that marches in lockstep; Democrats rarely ever stick to the same talking points, much less the same platform.

The problem is therefore much worse for Democratic presidents. Hillary Clinton is still suffering from disappointment with her husband’s ‘Third Way’ administration and its compromises on welfare reform, ‘don’t ask don’t tell,’ and so forth. As I already said, much of the Sanders phenomenon seems to be a re-litigation of the disappointments of the Obama administration: the wars have not ended, the ACA is imperfect and incomplete, Camp X-Ray is still open, etc. In his turn, disappointment with Bernie Sanders is also as inevitable as the sunrise. The only questions are at what point it will happen, how much it will hurt him, and whether the damage to the Democratic Party — and America, and the world — will be catastrophic.

If the disappointment happens before November, it could lead to defeat, and an ascendant Republican Party would tighten its grip on every level of government to assure themselves permanent majorities, enacting an agenda precisely opposite to everything that Sanders supporters stand for, further diminishing democracy by disenfranchising voters and spreading bad ideas like Michigan’s emergency manager law around the country.

If the disappointment happens in November, it could leave President Sanders ineffective, with Republicans putting the kibosh on his platform and extending the current gridlock into the next decade.

And the disappointment will only continue after November. Democrats’ midterm election blues could get even worse in 2018 as disillusioned Sanders partisans sour on politics, choosing the more radical, but irrelevant, course when their man fails to impose his revolution on a system he has failed to change.

Perhaps I am wrong. Perhaps we’re on the cusp of a brilliant new moment in American history that will shove aside the entrenched systems of power and privilege, return to the art of compromise, bring Canadian-style single payer health care to the streets, and restore some measure of faith in the power of the people to overcome the resistance of big money in politics. Maybe President Sanders will retire in January 2025 more popular than he’s ever been.

But I have my doubts, and they are not being soothed. I simply see too many ways that this revolution can go wrong — as so many would-be revolutions have before it.

  • Feel The Bern?

    Absolutely stunning piece…

    • Thank you. I’m holding my breath in expectation of an angry wave of comments, however.

      • Michael Newell

        You’ve done a fine job of pointing out potential weaknesses but you’re pessimism is so stark that it almost blinds you from seeing any potential positive outcomes. What was the point of this op? To make progressives want to shot themselves in the face?

        Not only are the times changing, but the people are too. You’re not giving young people enough credit. The dogma of the past is dying. The internet generation doesn’t buy into political BS like people use to.

        But, by all means… barricade yourself in your fallout shelter until you think the world is finished falling apart around you. That is your right… just as it is to be a pessimistic negball.

        • Michael, the Democrats, progressive and “non progressive” have handed the Republicans the house and Senate for ONE simple reason.
          They didn’t vote. There are more Democrats than Republicans.
          If they Democrats would do just the absolute minimum and just vote, the Democrats would control the House and Senate.

          From the data I’ve seen, it’s the young Democrats who don’t vote, especially in midterm elections. I agree with a lot of what Bernie says, but in no way shape or form will any of what Bernie has to say, or wants to do will happen unless both the House and Senate go Democratic. As the author points out, the simple math of that statement is lost on the next generation.

          If Bernie is the nominee, I will vote for him. If Hillary is the nominee, I will vote for her. So many Bernie supporters feel they won’t support the Democratic nominee if it’s not Bernie. How can anybody who calls themselves a Democrat let the sorry collection of human beings that the Republican party has put forth win?

          • NW10,PATRIOT! ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            They believe that somehow, losing = winning. They believe that if the Democrats lose enough, they’re sending the party a message, and that eventually the Republicans will screw the country up enough to elect a True Progressive™ that will usher in a glitter unicorn giving utopia. It didn’t happen after Reagan was elected the first time, and it didn’t happen after the election of George W. Bush, so I don’t understand how anyone can actually believe that it’ll just take the country being destroyed badly by Republicans to get said True Progressive,™ and in doing such, many people are harmed by Republican stupidity and ignorance.

          • Scopedog

            I’ve never understood that logic either–especially when the price we’ve paid when it’s been exercised (see 1968 and 2000 f’r instance) has been very high. People will suffer and many will die if the country gets shoved down the crapper by the GOP; all we have to do is look back at 2001-2009.

            The way I see it, of course they can believe that losing = winning, because in their minds they’re not going to suffer. Chris Hedges has been outspoken about people not voting because “voting is useless” and that both parties are the same, so who cares if the GOP gets into power/ Of course, Hedges lives in Princeton in a nice house with his family, and honestly, I don’t think he’ll suffer much if the GOP comes to power. Neither will Michael Moore or Cornell West or others like them.

            The rest of us, though, will get tossed over the fence and will be given the business.

          • EmpressL

            The Democrats no longer represent the Blue Collar Worker.

            “JOBS – Much of Trump’s rise has been based on angry blue collar voters who have seen their wages and jobs eroded by decades of globalization.” – domestic and foreign! “What people want to see is their standard of living get better, and that has to be the focus.”

            http://www.politico.com/story/2015/12/economy-fed-janet-yellen-interest-rates-216272#ixzz3t5EQqOMq

            US Commission on Civil Rights Member: Illegal Immigration Accounts for 40% of Decline in Black Employment

            http://frontpagemag.com/2013/dgreenfield/us-commission-on-civil-rights-member-illegal-immigration-accounts-for-40-of-decline-in-black-employment/

        • Thank you for demonstrating the source of my anxiety that Sanders’s online army will end up pissing off millions of Americans and putting Donald Trump in the White House.

          The times are always changing. They are never not changing. Unfortunately, time is not on our side, and my enthusiasm or lack thereof will make zero difference in the outcome.

          In The Gulag Archipelago, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn recounts a party meeting where no one wanted to be the first to stop applauding Stalin, lest they be arrested and packed off to Siberia for insufficient enthusiasm. Many were visibly exhausted or in distress after several minutes. It made no difference to the outcome of the Soviet experiment.

          • Jan Allen

            Because to disagree with a piece that attacked Bernie, while claiming not too, will piss off Americans? That doesn’t makes sense. But let me tell you about pissed off, the DNC’s unfair treatment of Bernie and the superdelegates being handed to Hillary on a silver platter. Tell me how Hillary will walk about with the same amount of delegates in NH when she lost that state by a landslide? Then try to tell me this primary isn’t rigged.

          • Thank you for demonstrating that you don’t understand how the primary system works. Bernie won 15 delegates to Clinton’s 9, or 60% of the available delegates, which is right in line with him winning 60% of the vote. That’s not a conspiracy, it’s math.

          • nimh

            That’s … not right, I don’t think. New Hampshire is sending pledged delegates based on the distribution of the primary vote, but it is also sending superdelegates. Almost all of whom have pledged to Hillary. As a result – at least this is the way I’ve understood things – it looks like Hillary will get more delegates out of NH, in total, even though she got many fewer votes. That’s what Jan Allen is talking about. I’m guessing you realized that, so why elude that point?

          • NW10,PATRIOT! ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            Hillary has been working behind the scenes to get the support of superdelegates, that explains why she’s getting more delegates out of NH even though Bernie Sanders won. In order for Bernie to get some of these superdelegates, he has to demonstrate he is a legit winner first, and coming close in Iowa and winning in his backyard in New Hampshire haven’t demonstrated he’s a legit winner yet. No conspiracy here.

          • See my comment below about superdelegates.

          • jacquelynweddington

            I would think anyone who is a Hillary or Bernie fan would already know about the super delegates. Sure their staff must have known about this. New Hampshire has always had super delegates. I remember this from my high school civics class 50 years ago. And I am going to vote for the Candidate the Democratic convention gives us.

          • Aviva Miriam Patt

            Hillary has more super delegates throughout the country because super delegates are chosen by the Party leadership and the Party leadership is supporting her. It’s a crappy system, instituted by the DNC specifically so they could override any decision by the voters to nominate someone not blessed by the DNC.

          • Steve NJ

            that math is preliminary – DELEGATES don’t have to nominate who they’ve pledged to nominate – they can change their nominations… it’s still early. If I were a betting man, I’d say the nomination is going to the person with the biggest war chest, Hillary v. Trump…

          • BHS

            Bern is losing in 46 states..

          • EmpressL

            Iowa she only won by .3% and got (with a lost precinct) 44 delegates. This is also MATH!

            What if the same thing happens at the convention? You will create a lot of NEW Republicans.

          • The convention is a long way away, and there are lots of delegates to win between now and then. If you’re asking what happens if Sanders arrives to the convention with fewer delegates and tries to win a brokered convention, then yes, that is a worrisome prospect. But he can easily sidestep this whole problem by winning more delegates than Clinton.

            If you don’t like the way Iowa runs their caucus, maybe you should move there and take charge of things.

          • Kitty Smith

            Wait, wait, wait, you’re actually threatening to go with Trump/Cruz/Rubio/Clown Car if Sanders doesn’t win?

            Goddess fuck, some progressive you are. Actually, no, you’re not. You’re a goddamn spiteful cultist.

          • EmpressL

            Not me. I worked on both Obama campaigns. I’m just saying that the Democrats have turned a def ear to the Blue Collar worker and am afraid that all the Blue Collar workers who went with Bernie will just slide over to Trump as a lot of them are there now!

            “ Much of Trump’s rise has been based on angry blue collar voters who have seen their wages eroded by decades of globalization.” – domestic and foreign! “What people want to see is their standard of living get better, and that has to be the focus.” And that’s what too much immigration erodes. He’s the only one who actually has a plan to get our jobs back – deportation.
            http://www.politico.com/story/2015/12/economy-fed-janet-yellen-interest-rates-216272#ixzz3t5EQqOMq

            Democrats represent FOREIGN labor and unauthorized persons. Hispanic CITIZENS are competing with Illegals for jobs and that’s why in the mid terms only 8% of the vote was Hispanic and of that 3% were for Republicans and 5% were for democrats. Democrats better wake up and find their constituency!

          • Kitty Smith

            And yet, here you are, yammering about illegals and threatening to go with the party that’s absolutely fine with letting corporations export jobs out of the country in the name of share prices.

            Honestly, at this point, I’m thinking you just want an excuse to go for Trump and not look like you’re a dumbass racist–oops, you did that by whining about “Illegals”.

          • EmpressL

            Only 4,000,000 jobs have been off shored. 8.500,000 have been taken by Illegals. They are twice as bad as off shoring as far as jobs are concerned!

            It’s just Jobs. Don’t use the worn out SmokeScreen RACIST! 81% of the illegals are Hispanic so they PROFILE THEMSELVES and the Supreme Court agrees.

            SCOTUS “The likelihood that any given person of Mexican ancestry is an alien is high enough to make Mexican appearance a relevant factor.” United States v. Brignoni-Ponce, 422 U.S. 873, 886-87 (1975).

          • Kitty Smith

            Really? That’s a pretty big and solid number for something that’s difficult to track because people tend not to advertise that they are hiring undocumented workers.

            I get it, I get it. You’re pissed off at Hispanics. But for fucks sake, don’t come here and act like Sanders will come in and magically wipe away all the messicans and you can finally get a low wage shit job, then threaten to go to Trump if you don’t get your way. Go fuck off to Trump already, nobody cares.

            And you’re a fucking racist. Cry all you like, but suck it up chico/a, you’re a racist.

          • EmpressL

            So you were kicked off due to Ignorance:

            YOU”re the one who brought up RACE. I’m talking Illegal!

            These are they jobs they took and replaced US workers:

            In 2009

            19% of illegal workers were employed in construction jobs,

            15% in production, installation and repair, and

            4% in farming.

            17% in cleaning, and

            12% in food preparation.

            Unauthorized migrants tend to be concentrated in specific jobs: They represent

            36% of all insulation workers,

            29% of all roofers and drywall installers, and

            27% of all butchers and other food-processing workers.

            http://www.pewhispanic.org/2009/04/14/a-portrait-of-unauthorized-immigrants-in-the-united-states/

            because the Employers did have to pay day labor:

            Unemployment

            Stat, Local & Federal Taxes

            FICA

            OSHA training

            1/2 Medical

            1/2 Retirement

            Minimum wage

            Time and 1/2 for overtime

            Vacation

            The economy is stagnant and we are still losing jobs and Obama want’s to legalize 5,000,000 Illegals to LEGALLY take US jobs! Issuing 5,000,000 Green Cards to Illegals is Illegal because the prerequisite is having a LEGAL status!

            Curse all you want. Shows your ignorance!

          • NW10,PATRIOT! ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            The primary isn’t rigged, and it’s not exactly a secret that Hillary has been working behind the scenes to win superdelegates. Bernie actually could as well, but instead, he attacks the “establishment” (a term that really should’ve stayed in the 60s), and whom do the superdelegates represent?

            The Democratic Party establishment!

            You can’t bemoan the “establishment” of the Democratic Party and then cry that Bernie isn’t getting their support. Either you push Bernie to drop the “establishment” attack and he can get the support of the superdelegates in actually winning primaries and caucuses, or you can push him to keep up the “establishment” attack, and he’ll lose the upcoming primaries/caucuses, meaning he’s not likely to get the support of superdelegates. Whichever way you go, you and Bernie have to live with the consequences.

          • Aviva Miriam Patt

            People are not “crying” that Sanders doesn’t have establishment support. They are angry that the Democratic establishment can trump the will of the voters. That is a very legitimate issue. Why have primaries at all if they’re rigged to let the DNC just pick the nominee? Why not dispense with this charade and return to the bosses in the smoke-filled backroom making the decision? Why not be honest instead of pretending to believe in democracy?

          • Nick Murphy

            Question: Were you outraged when Hillary had more of the popular vote in 2008 but Obama got the nomination on delegates? Because if you weren’t you are whining.

          • chonus

            Here, here!

            Enough of this boo hoo Bernie supporters bs. They want what we have and will cry to get it.

            Feel the effin’ Bern. Sanders 2016

          • Michael Newell

            And thank you for showing your true colors as a fear-mongering, establishment conservative, reminiscent of McCarthy era politics.

            Relax, chief. The evil commies aren’t coming to force you to trade your Ford for a Moskvitch any time soon… or ever. Modern socialism is very different than Soviet communism. I’m sure you know the difference but choose not to acknowledge it. After all… then you wouldn’t have an argument, would you?

            You also missed the whole point behind the movement. Millions of people are already pissed off because of the corruption that plagues our government. THAT is what disenfranchises people and hinders voter turnout. Electing Bernie would actually give people hope that our system can evolve beyond crony politics and become an actual democracy.

            Don’t be surprised if in a few years our voting system is revamped into a more social media-like interface. Young people don’t want to go down to some local church basement to do their voting. Conservatives can only resist this for so long. The internet is coming and it will destroy traditional politics at last! Real-time, democracy for all is what we want and need and Bernie knows it!!!

          • It’s clear that you haven’t been following me for five minutes, or you wouldn’t make such a stupid accusation. But thank you for demonstrating exactly WHY the techno-libertarians should frighten the hell out of anyone who values democracy. By the time you’ve “revamped” the foundational democratic act into a “social media interface,” someone will have already figured out a way to steal elections on Facebook. I’m in favor of returning to a paper ballot, and not because of some hidden conservatism, but because I’ve been paying attention to Brad Freidman’s progressive reporting on election fraud for a decade.

          • EmpressL

            This, I can agree with you. In Kitty we have both ballots!
            This is scary:

            the federal agency overseeing changes to states’ voter registration processes — was, “not required to grant the states’ request that proof of citizenship be added to registration requirements,” reports Reuters. The court believed that the federal registration form — requiring applicants to swear they are citizens under the threat of perjury — was a sufficient safe-guard against voter fraud.
            Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2015/06

          • NW10,PATRIOT! ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            What “corruption” that plagues the government?

            Electing Bernie would actually give people hope that our system can evolve beyond crony politics and become an actual democracy.

            So everything just magically happens with President Sanders? Have you ignored how President Obama not only struggled with Republican obstructionism, but struggled within his own party to get things accomplished? But President Sanders will just break up the banks, enact single payer, and grant everyone glitter farting unicorns through sheer force of will?

            Don’t be surprised if in a few years our voting system is revamped into a more social media-like interface.

            Our system of government is the SAME system of government that has existed since the founding of the republic. The only difference is that landed white men aren’t the only ones eligible to vote. Yes, there are roadblocks in place such as gerrymandering and voter ID laws, but that’s all they are: roadblocks. In order to stop the gerrymandering and get rid of the voter ID laws, you have to get rid of the Republicans doing all that, and screaming and yelling about ANY Democrat that is even slightly center right only helps the Republicans. We need to build a Democratic majority in the government in November, in 2018, and so on until the current GOP is a distant memory. ALL elections matter, and it’s time progressives and liberals understood that and focused on increasing GE turnout to 60% and midterm election turnout to 50%. Do those two things, and mathematically, Republicans can NOT win.

          • Carpediem

            I’m sorry, but I couldn’t read this and just let it slip by without pointing out a couple of things. First off, the internet has been around for many decades, was a comm tool in the pre-GUI days of the World Wide Web (which in itself came in the early 90s and created the basis of the modern internet, the one Al Gore rightly took credit for helping create, since it was his legislation that took a mainly military legacy tool and turned it into the civilian free for all it became) with IRC and Usenet, although yes it has become far more ubiquitous since the GUI interface was created. Your tech talk is very similar to what I remember reading/hearing from Naderites in 2000 about society, sure he got a smaller base than Sanders, but the underlying arguments, the similarities here are not minor. There is one teeny weeny problem with your declarations of how the internet and social media will “Revolutionize” American democracy, its this little thing called basic human nature.

            Human nature does not change so easily, it never really has, which is why absent very bloody revolutions and the inevitable backlashes they create progress (as in the core of progressivism) tends to be incremental, especially if it is to have any chance of being socially accepted. The faster you try to change things the greater the inevitable backlash risks become, you know, like the old physics concept of for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Although the reactions may not be equal they are always there. Not to mention how any system of governance of human beings will have corruption and abuse of power issues within it by those with wealth and power, no matter how carefully designed to try and avoid such, again, study human history for proof of that. One of the impressive things about the structure of American federal democracy is how well it sets up a dynamic set of opposite functions intentionally designed to make rapid change very difficult so that what changes get made already have a certain amount of social license, and changing it requires changing the Constitution, which is no easy task.

            This is not new, this “Revolution” and the young are different, better at seeing through bullshit than the olds, I heard it when I was a kid, when I first became an adult, and I am almost 50 now. I am also a Canadian born and bred, and yet I’ve heard/seen this messaging from Americans all of my life thanks to how powerful your media tools are. So your premises are all very askew. Personally, I do not have a dog in this fight as the expression goes, save I DO NOT want to see a GOPer in the WH, because the spillover effects onto my nation are not minor since America is the global hyper-power (which BTW is why FP is so very important, it isn’t just about military force and wars, it is far more than that, and that comes as a direct result of American power inherent to itself, and that doesn’t go away so easily, and ignoring it makes it a very major destabilizing force on the planet which in time will bite Americans in the butts yet again) and the fact you are our sole neighbour (not counting Russia since it is over the North Pole and Ice flows of the Artic) puts us in the line of fire too.

            This article shows much of what I see as the flaws of the Sanders campaign, and why I worry when I watch what I see online in American politics. I pay a lot of attention to your politics because of that ripple effect I mentioned before, it is sort of like America sneezes Canada catches pneumonia (it used to just be a cold back in the 70s when PM Trudeau the first said it, but the hyper-power aspect increases in the wake of the collapse of the Cold War and the rise of the convergence of information technologies makes it much worse), so it is in our best interests to watch for warning signs of what is coming. There has been an appalling lack of understanding of how power woks in your system by many in the Sanders camp, or a brushing off of it as “doesn’t matter, the Bern will conquer all” thinking, as this article has pointed out. I’ve watched that movie before, and not just once, and it always has ended the same, and if you think that somehow dissing the establishment Dems and lumping them in with the establishment GOP and their backers is talking about the same establishment, you are clearly NOT seeing reality as it truly is, and this will again cause problems and failure.

            I’m a process geek, as in I care more about the machinery of government than necessarily who runs it at any given time in our system. Yet I had to spend over a decade trying to get people in this nation to understand that Harper was someone who was replicating the decades long strategy of attacking the core processes of government to turn them into the same sort of Conservative stranglehold the GOP had in the USA, and funded by many of the same people, like the Koch brothers. This was I might add with the example of this pattern in full effect in the USA to point to as evidence, yet it was still a very hard road to hoe. Yet as frustrating as I found the poor civics understanding of our system in the wider Canadian public it seems worse within the Sanders camp with yours, how much is true ignorance and how much is willful blindness and/or blind faith making it seem unimportant, I’m not willing to argue, but it is clearly there in significant degree.

            This is almost exactly the sort of misguided results the GOPers spent decades working towards, because it is much easier to defeat a foe that does not understand the ground it is fighting on and embraces simplistic answers which sound good but in practice fail, which is much of the Sanders message as seen by this Canadian who does understand your processes of government, who watched since the late 70s the rise of the power of your radical right, especially but not limited to the religious right, and the corrupting impacts and choices made by it to game your system of governance. I’ve watched how it spilled into my nation and nearly destroyed it with Harper. So I’m sorry, but while your notions sound great, your anger may well be truly righteous, your assumptions suck.

            So you go and dismiss the warnings you are being given and bask in your sense of moral superiority, that never goes wrong, nope, never at all. You go on enjoying living in your world of clean revolution and how the internet will change everything and how this young generation has finally seen the light about corruption and will change everything that the priors messed up. What a lot of we older folks watching are trying to tell you isn’t that we doubt your convictions about it, just your accuracy, and where it will end up going, because almost like clockwork each new generation does the same thing and has since at least the past 60+ years in American culture/society. After a while it becomes harder and harder not to see patterns when they repeat like this, it is alas though something one has to experience by living through to fully grasp. I was raised by relatives who were born at the turn of the 1900s, and they told me about such in their younger days, and I took them at their word when I was growing up and became aware of this truth a lot sooner than many of my own generation, and I live in a society that is far less aggressive than yours.

            So this again goes back to the core problem with your thesis, human nature does not change so easily, and blithe dismissals of it with righteous fury and indignation why calling all those that choose not to agree with you as sellouts and corrupt, well far from being something new you are are something very very old. This isn’t revolutionary, this is classic human behaviour, and one of the things about Sanders that bothers me so much is that he is old enough to have seen this too, and it feels to me like he is preying upon it for his own path to power, and as the original article noted, Sanders has been playing the political games for decades himself, it is rather difficult to believe he is so blind to such a basic truth of human nature and how power and politics work while being able to keep getting re-elected.

            One last point about the Sanders team that really perplexes me. Why should they have any reason to expect the Democratic party infrastructure to choose to support a man who entire political life was about trashing it as the same as the GOP, who only joined formally a few months ago, solely so he could use its machinery to gain Presidential power? Say what you want about Clinton, but the Dems know she has spent decades of sweat, blood, and tears working for their common interests and goal right alongside with them, which is why she gets that institutional support, including the superdelegates. It also speaks volumes about how Sanders is seen by his fellow legislators that he has no Senators endorsing him and what 2 members of the House?

            I read an article a while ago that compared the Sanders campaign to a hostile takeover of the Democratic Party,, and I would submit that is a fair description. Sanders is an outside force trying to take over and reshape the party into what he believes it should be and using the tools allowable for him to do so with. The party infrastructure is clearly resistant but cannot actively prevent it because he is playing by their rules, yet that is not going to endear him, not not at all. He is an outsider using them to serve his own ends, regardless of the (arguable) nobility/righteousness that is the truth of what he is doing. So why Why WHY should the Democratic Party infrastructure, which is made up of human beings like all political infrastructure, feel the warm and fuzzies for Sanders and his people, especially when they lump them in with the Establishment including the GOP and their backers? The Dems have their own issues, sure, but they clearly are NOT the same thing as the GOP and its powerful wealthy Establishment backers, yet Sanders and his people constantly equate them in the same lump. This is supposed to aid in your taking over the Democratic party and getting it to fight alongside with you to create that revolution?

            Why can’t you and those like you in the Sanders campaign understand that this is literally biting off your own noses to spite your face in action? and if anything seriously reduces the possibilities you want to create, not increases them. Sanders and you need that machinery to reach Presidential power, and Sanders clearly knows it, else he would not have reversed his decades long anti-Democratic position and become a candidate to be the Democratic Party offering for President of the USA. As the original author of the article we are all replying to notes, Sanders needs the Dems a lot more than the reverse, whatever the “revolution” thinks, because that “establishment” infrastructure is his only real path to this power, and if you do not think Sanders is above playing the power game then you have far too idealistic a notion of how politicians, ALL politicians work, even the best of them.

            I know this was a bit of a long slog of a comment, but really, your points needed to be seriously addressed. Your two comments in this thread by this point screamed out for it, especially this one.

            Scotian

          • Thank you, this comment is fantastic.

          • Carpediem

            Sometimes an outside observer can see things a bit more clearly, simply because they lack the emotional commitments, and as I said, I’m first and foremost a process geek politically speaking. I just am finding it very hard to watch team Sanders trying to eat their cakes and have them in so many things, especially as regarding to their welcome in the Democratic establishment while denouncing said establishment as part of the great evil they want to smash. The logical contradiction there alone should be painfully obvious regardless of partisanship, yet that particular blind spot is pronounced and pervasive.

            I last year was a part of team Trudeau and the Liberals to get them elected over the Harper CPC. Normally I am not a partisan of any party/leader, I tend to be an uncommitted swing voter that decides during each election based on the circumstances of each. Yet even there I was always able to separate my hopes and aspirations for the party and leader I was supporting and my understanding and reading of political dynamics in bother social and institutional terms. I really wish I was seeing more of that this year, but it almost seems like the institutionalists are with team Clinton and the rest are team Sanders, and frankly, that impressions scares the dickens out of me.

            It is one thing to have a preference and support it while understanding the realities and limitations of the overall system and environment you are operating in. It is quite another to have blind faith and Green Lanternism driving you instead. I found the article here that these comments are replying to did an excellent job of making the arguments that needed to be made, which is also a part of why I offered my own dollar’s worth (between my word count and inflation, saying my two cents worth seemed woefully shortchanging…LOL)

            Scotian

          • I have family in Canada, so I am passing-familiar with your politics and do try to keep up with what’s going on up there. Thanks again for reading, and for the tremendously insightful comments.

          • Carpediem

            I tend towards the long winded side, so if I am going to make people wade through my words, the least I can do is try and make it worth their time to do so. Common courtesy if nothing else in my books. I’m not a Twitter type, I prefer to not just declare my opinions but what they are, what they rest on, the logic/reasoning they rest on, and the facts that I am aware of that underpin them. I know, old school, but there you go, that’s me all over.

            Scotian

          • EmpressL

            Keep this under your hat. If Bernie loses the nomination 1/2 of his voters will go with TRUMP in the General! A lot of his supporters are UNEMPLOYED Blue Collar workers. The Democratic party has SPIT on US LABOR. Clinton & establishment Dems represents importation of foreign labor (she says she will legalize 5,000,000 illegals bypassing Immigration Intake, just like Obama) while Bernie wants to control VISAS to protect US workers. Over 40% of ALL voters are self declared Independent. If Hillary wins the Primary we will LOSE the General!

          • Carpediem

            Ah, another “no we can’t’er” *chuckle*

            Seriously, you are oversimplifying the situation to a great degree, and you are also making the argument that Sanders rise is fueled not by Democrat and liberals but by GOP leaners and conservatives. Which when in the general are offered the real thing will likely go to the real thing instead of staying with Sanders. So you keep telling yourself she can’t win for this reason, there are other arguments that show not only can she win, she might actually have more support in the sector that you are claiming will en masse reject her and the Dems in Nov.

            One knows a single issue that everything else like race relations is solved when you fix it, the other knows complex realities require complex solutions and approaches, and in the end I suspect the latter will be the winning argument. Besides, Sanders has to be able to win ethnic minorities and so far he has shown a distinct lack of such, so no matter how much your argument for labor may or may not hold true that is by no means the core demographic within the Democratic party itself that is needed for a win, no that is the black and hispanic vote by a much greater degree.

            This is also without taking into account how much the death of Scalia alters the conversation too, and again, I see that as much more favourable ground for Clinton than I would Sanders because of her institutional knowledge and breadth of policy over Sanders. Sanders is essentially a one issue candidate, a one issue with broad reaches and impacts true enough, but still, he sees all through its lens first and foremost. It has not worked with AA and hispanics as a sales pitch for joining camp Sanders to date , and will be even less relevant when it comes to dealing with the Supreme Court aspects.

            So excuse me for thinking you are speaking wildly and without as much substance as you appear to believe you are. I do not see her as so unelectable, I see Sanders as much more so. When I see the Sanders team and support base whinging and whining about how dirty and unfair the Clinton campaign has been to Sanders, I see a candidate and campaign totally unprepared for what is coming should they win the nomination. Believe it or not, the Clinton campaign has been unusually gentle with the Sanders campaign historically speaking, not just for them but for primaries in general. So if this is enough to freak them out and cause Sanders to get all worked up (as we saw in the last debate), then he is not the candidate that will succeed in the Fall. She has to be mindful of common pool of voters to attract, the GOP will not, and that makes a major difference in how aggressive and deceitful you can be in your attacks.

            There is also the fact that the Berning Man Revolution has not been showing up in the numbers in the first two States, in neither did the overall Dem numbers meet 2008, the last contested year for Dems, and while yes Sanders had strength show, it was not of the scale to have any real coattail effect let alone create this revolution he needs to flip Congress in any realistic timescale during a Sanders Presidency. They were significantly under 2008, which if this really was the revolution and movement that team Sanders claims it is should be at least be able to match if not exceed. So his supposed greatest strength, increasing turnout, has not shown, while his weaknesses are still all there and becoming increasingly noticeable. Then of course one looks at who has been supporting Sanders from the sidelines, and when Karl Rove spends millions aiding you to defeat Clinton, that speaks far more to which candidate is seen as the real electoral threat by the actual competition.

            So, in the end I find your argument fails on a number of fronts. You have not made your case, you have not made the case for Sanders, nor have you made the case that Clinton cannot win the general. BTW, there are a lot of independents who tend towards being moderately conservative who will find the Clinton incrementalism far more comfortable a fit than the more radical stuff coming out of the GOP debate as well as Sanders, so to presume as you did about how little appeal she can have in the independent group is seriously flawed. She has already been as demonized as one can be, it is already a part, her negatives really can’t get worse, whereas Sanders is still so unknown to so many that his can be piledriven down, and the fact that despite has agenda being so anathema to the GOP that the GOP machine has stayed away from ANY serious attack on his candidacy, well that speaks volumes about how certain they are that they can destroy his positives and drive up his negatives come the general. Not to mention their preference that he be their opponent in that general too. Which given their prior history is quite believable.

            Obama won his first term at least as much on the basis of timing regarding the economic/credit collapse as anything else, if that had not happened there was up to that point still a tie between Obama and McCain in 2008. It was only after that event happened that the polls really started to move, and having Palin join the ticket at the time didn’t help, because at the time when Americans were seeing the need for a serious leadership team to deal with that crisis they saw Palin, who was, well, not. Obama was also an electric speaker who transcended traditional demographic boundaries across the board within and without the Democratic party, Sanders has so far failed to prove he has any of that. Until he does, he is still more easily seen as unelectable in the general than not but those of us not blinded by the Bern, and since I have no real dog in this primary and only want to see a Dem WH because of its impacts on my nation, I am able to perhaps be a little more detached and clear viewed about the realities here than you appear to be.

            Basically, I find your case more of a screed than a real argument with any amount of serious analysis behind it. Fail.

            Scotian

          • EmpressL

            If she knows so much how did we get in to the situation we’re in now?

            Put your ear to the ground and hear the stampede!

            “JOBS – Much of Trump’s rise has been based on angry blue collar voters who have seen their wages and jobs eroded by decades of globalization.” – domestic and foreign! “What people want to see is their standard of living get better, and that has to be the focus.”
            http://www.politico.com/story/2015/12/economy-fed-janet-yellen-interest-rates-216272#ixzz3t5EQqOMq

            Working-class whites make up a large portion of the Trump phenomenon currently sweeping across the country.
            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/democrat-voting-donald-trump_us_56ad5d02e4b0010e80ea6021

            The Dems are seriously losing the Working Class in favor of Illegals and foreigners in general: Exit polls (midterm) were unequivocal. More than 3 in 4 voters cited immigration as an important factor in their vote, believed that U.S. workers should get priority for jobs, and opposed the President’s plans for executive amnesty. http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/11/no-surrender-on-immigration-112766.html

            WAKE UP! Your OPINION is flawed!

          • EmpressL

            US Commission on Civil Rights Member: Illegal Immigration Accounts for 40% of Decline in Black Employment
            http://frontpagemag.com/2013/dgreenfield/us-commission-on-civil-rights-member-illegal-immigration-accounts-for-40-of-decline-in-black-employment/

            HISPANICS COMPETING WITH EACHOTHER
            “Despite strong demand for immigrant workers, their growing supply and concentration in certain occupations suggests that the newest arrivals are competing with each other in the labor market to their own detriment,” said the report’s author, Rakesh Kochhar, a senior research associate at the Center.
            http://www.pewtrusts.org/news_room_detail.aspx?id=23184

            Labor Force Participation Matches 36-Year Low; 92,898,000 Out of Labor. In 2010, 8.4 million undocumented immigrants were employed in the United States. More like 9M now!
            https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/immigration/report/2014/10/23/59040/the-facts-on-immigration-today-3/
            These are the jobs they squandered and lowered the wages on:
            19% of illegal workers were employed in construction jobs,
            15% in production, installation and repair, and
            4% in farming.
            17% in cleaning, and
            12% in food preparation.
            Unauthorized migrants tend to be concentrated in specific jobs: They represent 36% of all insulation workers,
            29% of all roofers and drywall installers, and
            27% of all butchers and other food-processing workers.

            This is what they did to California: ‘’33% of the nation’s welfare recipients are Californians – even though California has just 12% of the nation’s population. California taxes are 42% higher than Texas.
            http://www.forbes.com/sites/thomasdelbeccaro/2014/08/19/calfiornias-economic-collision-course-immigration-and-water/

            Several hospitals, including ones in Stockton (40% Hispanic & Bankrupt), CA and Dallas, TX, report as many as 70% of their deliveries are to nonUS-residents. Similarly, the parents of infant citizens still qualify for welfare in order to protect the child.
            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michealene-cristini-risley/the-14th_b_1343158.html

            54.4% Hispanics enrolled in Special Education in California
            http://www.kidsdata.org/topic/97/special-needs-education-enrollment-race/table#fmt=248&loc

            1% of California’s taxpayers pay 50% of the state’s income taxes.

            52,673 US 2007 Household Income INCLUDING CA
            52,250 US 2013 -$423. US Drop in Household income between 2007 and 2013

            62,280 California Household 2007 They have their OWN Inflation going on.
            60,190 income 2013 – $2,090. California Drop in Household Income between 2007 and 2013
            5 TIMES larger drop in household income in California than the rest of the nation.
            And HILLARY will make this far worse!

          • Kitty Smith

            You know, you might be long winded, but damn if it’s not engaging.

          • Carpediem

            Funny thing, I get that more often than one might expect. I try, I feel if I am going to make people wade through the verbiage, at least make it worth their time and effort…LOL

            Scotian

            Thanks.

          • Kitty Smith

            I smell bloody rat.

          • Scopedog

            Excellent!

          • Dusty Ayres

            As a fellow Canadian, I say bravo, you are amazing. You’ve said what I’ve wanted to sat to these idiots (in the USA and here in Canada) for a while now.

          • manart

            “Young people don’t want to go down to some local church basement to do their voting.”

            So, you are telling us that young people are lazy.

            That, right there, is the problem with our voters. I have spinal stenosis, yet I manage to get my ass out there and vote. So young people don’t want to break away from their precious computers long enough to vote?

            Guess what? They stay lazy long enough, there will be no more worries about going out to vote. Not because of advances in the internet, but due to their apathy to do anything will end this country for good.

          • Scopedog

            And thank you for showing your true colors as a fear-mongering,
            establishment conservative, reminiscent of McCarthy era politics.

            To quote Palmer from The Thing…you’ve gotta be f#@!ing kidding.

        • Kitty Smith

          Wait, you’re a “pessimistic negball” if you have doubts about the superprogressive magic revolution wand that Sanders apparently has?

        • Tim Anderson

          Michael, what you fail to realize is older Democrats like myself have been down this road before…we saw a liberal Mike Dukakis get killed with brutal GOP ads, we saw Walter Mondale recruit a woman as VP and the GOP used it to ask if a woman could handle the job. The response was overwhelming…NO by America. Kerry got Swiftboated. And in 2000, Al Gore lost because liberal Ralph Nader (a guy I voted for btw) sucked just enough votes away from him to let W. Bush take Florida. Where were the “liberal Bernie supporters then? Where was Bernie then?
          Bernie’s ideas are great…I love them…but America is NOT ready for this higher tax rate in exchange for services yet. The 2014 election proved it. Our only chance is if Young people turn out…history tells us they won’t. This generation has parents who are inheriting their parents money, earned over decades of good stock market returns and they themselves have worked and saved. The children of the last 25 years expect an Iphone, a car, and college as a right. So Bernie offers them Free College…it’s pandering and it’s working for now. Get ready for a GOP ad campaign that is REALLY negative if he wins the nomination.

  • Deoliver47

    Thank you. As one of the people who was horrified by the “kill the bill” mantra from mostly white “leftists” or “progressives” or whatever they call themselves, I get the same knotted stomach reaction when I hear over and over that race really doesn’t matter, that income inequality is the be all and end all, and if that is questioned, you are a low information black person who should know who has your best interests at heart.

    The paternalism burns.

  • Jan Allen

    That you claim this is not an attack against Sanders and his supporters is laughable. That is exactly what it is. But if you want to talk about the DNC, then how about a fair race without superdelegates ignoring the voters?

    • See? How do you propose to deal with the dragon breath that the right will inevitably throw at Sanders and his campaign when you can’t stand even the most reasoned critique from a liberal?

      • chonus

        It might be seasoned but sure as heII ain’t reasoned.

        • Dusty Ayres

          Go and get stuffed, moron-somebody’s trying to explain things to you (THREE times), and this is how you respond? You Sanderites repulse me.

          • chonus

            P!ss off, Dusty B^tt.

          • Dusty Ayres

            Typical response from a Berniebot, but what else is new?

          • chonus

            And Hillary Hoes just come to talk smack.

          • Kitty Smith

            Hoes. Really? Piss off. You’ve just shown yourself as someone with nothing worth reading.

          • chonus

            Bots. Really? You piss off, hypocrite.

          • Kitty Smith

            So, not only calling people gendered slurs (that would be the reason why calling people “Hillary Hoes” is a bad thing, since you don’t seem to get this), but putting words in people’s mouths! Congratuations, you’re following boilerplate on how to defend your god.

            Sucks to be you that I’m a fucking atheist.

          • chonus

            Obviously i was referring to Hillary Hoes to the person above who called us Bots. So whatever. You want to defend name calling but then can’t take it. So cry me a river.

          • MD

            I think the implication is they believe if Clinton were not a woman you would not use such a sex-specific term in your dig. Bot is unisex. Ho implies a woman by our common parlance as it is never really used to men. that is where the sexism lies.

          • chonus

            A bot isn’t unisex. It lacks a sex and a humanity. Which is an even worse thing to imply about someone. Cry me a rivvvvver.

          • Kitty Smith

            Hoy. You dipshit cultist, it’s not about not calling people names. I love a good insult. Shit, I spent 2012 talking about “Rmoneybot2012”. 2008 was “Straight-Shooty the POW”. Or something like that.
            A creatively insulting name is a great way to mock someone who is odious. Unfortunately, you have have not managed this. You, instead, called the followers of a woman politician a derogatory slur for women. While claiming to be an obstensible progressive.

            (Yeah, yeah, I know, progressive men still have sexism issues, even while they yammer about how the republicans are banning abortion, this pastor says women belong in the kitchen, this muslim is beheading women, so they’re not bad so shut up bitch and let the men talk and then wonder why older women are like “aha nope”, but hey.)

            Instead, you’ve shown yourself to fall back on old, tired comparisons to women, and slurs for women. I know you think you’re being really witty and funny and edgy, but really, you’re not. It’s nothing anyone hasn’t heard before.

            Also, why the fuck are you whining at me about “not being able to take it”. I’m not the one who called you a “bot”. I’m just the one who told you to piss off for using “Hillary hoes” and then had to listen to you whine about how we couldn’t take namecalling. In fact, I haven’t actually started to insult you. Well, until the beginning of this post.

            Honestly, I’m willing to bet you’re delusional. Especially given your reply to MD. Really, “bot” is worse because “it lacks a sex”? Dafuq you on, son? I know weed can make you a little loopy but I know it doesn’t make you dumbfuck stupid.

          • chonus

            And, Hillary Ho?

          • Kitty Smith

            And you still have nothing worth saying.

          • chonus

            Nope. Hillary and her small army of hoes are whiny little babies that are desperate and know her campaign is falling apart right before their eyes. So they attack and lash out. It’s their swan song.

          • Kitty Smith

            Well, clearly “hoes” is the extent of your wit, or too important to you to come up with something far more interesting.

          • chonus

            Tell you what. Let’s squash it. I don’t know you and I don’t wish anything but the best for you. No reason for us to fight over the internet. May the best candidate win.

          • Kitty Smith

            And my answer is still: Piss off, you have nothing worth saying.

            With an appended, “And stop lying, you condescending chucklefuck.”

          • nero88888

            may your loved ones die of cancer

          • nero88888

            Bernie is DONE you low information parasite. hahahaah

            Hey bernie bot, EMBRACE THE SUCK.

            Hillary 468 delegates

            Bernie 53 delegates

            You lose

    • mea_mark

      If the super delegates ignore the voters, I see real problems for the democratic party. They will look like a party that is thoroughly entrenched in establishment corruption. The democrats may prove to be their own worse enemy. Hopefully, at the very least, this will teach our politicians about the cost of ignoring the will of the people.

      • They won’t ignore the voters; they never have. BUT, Sanders will need to win much more than New Hampshire if he has any hope to win them, too.

      • NW10,PATRIOT! ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

        Supedelegates are committed to the interests of the party first. They are Democratic congresscritters DNC reps, and many other Democrats who run local caucuses and chapters. They are also crucial for GOTV and assuring victories for the party in November. But, as Matt points out, in order for them to switch from Hillary to Bernie, Bernie needs to demonstrate that he is a legit winner first, and coming close in Iowa and winning in his backyard hasn’t demonstrated enough that he is a winner.

        • mea_mark

          The voters may not perceive things that way though. They may look at all this and say it looks corrupt and rigged. Many voters already think that and the DNC is doing little to counter that. The perception and feelings the voters get about the democratic party is very important, it affects turnout and how they vote.

          • NW10,PATRIOT! ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            Gee, when did it become the DNC’s responsibility for voters to actually do their research and be informed of the primary process? You’d think that in the age of the Internet, all one has to do is research superdelegates and pull up the information. This is another reason why far lefties never win anything: they’re always waiting for someone else to do their own work for them.

          • mea_mark

            It is what it is. Sometimes you have to do peoples work for them if you want their vote. At the very least you have to have their trust. Looking like your corrupt and insulting voters will not win the democrats many votes.

          • NW10,PATRIOT! ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            There are no excuses in regards to voters not being well informed enough about the process. The Democrats aren’t responsible in holding voters’ hands and babying them. The Internet exists, there’s plenty of information out there, yet too many are lazy to go out there and retrieve said information. There’s plenty of information about super delegates out on the web, but the Democratic Party is responsible for babying voters in getting that information out there?

          • Dusty Ayres

            What mea mark said sounds like the bullshit that was said here in Toronto to justify people not knowing anything (or wanting to find out anything ) about light rail, thus justifying Rob Ford getting elected and killing the light rail lines that could have been built for the inner suburbs of the city. Amazing how people can be so lazy.

          • Carpediem

            If the internet is a powerful enough tool for the Bern to catch fire, then it is also a powerful enough tool for people to educate themselves on basic political process. If you are engaged enough for the former, you have no excuse for not equally being so on the latter. It really is that simple.

            Scotian

          • If Sanders fails to win in a majority of states and doesn’t reach frontrunner status in opinion polls, then any such “perception” won’t be the result of anything Clinton or the DNC has done.

    • Barbara

      This is just more Mrs. C or right-wing propaganda. The writer wrote “There is too much that can go wrong.” What is “wrong” with
      America has been occurring for far too long. The opposite of “wrong” is “right”.
      And Bernie Sanders is the “right” person to pull America out of its collective
      delusion that everything is okay or will be okay. “Wrong” is not okay. People
      in America and this entire planet are suffering needlessly as a result of
      untethered greed. That is what is “wrong”.

      • See? You blame “greed” for all that is wrong. But do tell me how you plan to excise one of the seven deadly sins from the human condition. Did you suppose that “socialism” would be a cure-all? Because that’s not how socialism works, or has ever worked.

        The GOP has been trying to dispose of lust for decades, but has so far failed to do more than teach kids nonsense about sexuality and keep the rates of STDs and unplanned pregnancies higher than they would otherwise be. That’s a good parallel to what will happen if your revolution gets bogged down in uprooting “greed.”

  • NW10,PATRIOT! ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    This is an excellent piece, and goes on to explain how I can’t STAND these puritopians who threw President McBlackystein under the bus because he didn’t enter the WH wearing a dashiki and giving a Black power salute. He entered to govern and actually make progress, not grant the puritopians their glitter-farting unicorns, and this is why they have done everything from calling President Obama a sell-out, a closet Republican, worse than Bush, to even whining that they “voted for the black guy and got the white guy” instead (I’m looking at YOU Michael Moore!). The puritopians have been politically toxic for the past 40 years and doing nothing BUT helping Republicans getting elected in attacking ANY Democrat who isn’t pure enough for them, who includes Jimmy Carter (see how they supported Ted Kennedy in 1980, even though he could NOT answer why he was even running), Bill Clinton (they whined about the DLC, which Bill created to actually help Democrats win because of said puritopians), Al Gore (channeling Nader’s “Bush/Gore are the same, helping to elect George W. Bush through the SCOTUS), John Kerry (liberals still butthurt because Howard Dean didn’t get the nomination), and ANY conservative Blue Dog Democrat. It’s about time these puritopians are called out!

    • Scopedog

      That’s the thing–I keep hearing how a President Sanders will be the first “true” progressive in the White House and how he will usher in a progressive revolution….and I’m left scratching my head wondering, “Don’t we already HAVE a progressive in the White House?”

      I mean…have any of these folks taken a long, hard look at the accomplishments of President Obama (and Hillary Clinton, for that matter)? What this man has done has been nothing short of amazing, equal to what FDR and LBJ did. And yet Obama has faced nothing but scorn and hatred; but despite these obstacles his record speaks for itself. And we all saw what happened in 2014 when several Democrats ran away from Obama’s achievements. I’m afraid that Sanders and many of his supporters are doing the same thing.

  • jamesdigit

    Fortunately, this is Breitbart. We’re relatively safe here, gang 😉

    • Breitbart UNMASKED. Big, important difference.

      • jamesdigit

        Ah, I don’t do too much reading of either. I saw Beritbart and stopped there. Thank you for the corrections. I’m adding this site to favorites, because this does seem relatively safe, and you understand the massive problem developing here 100%. I spotted much of this a month ago, and started posting the exact same song. Several of us have. We see it.

        Anyhow, carry on, and at least the discussions here aren’t plagued with idiocy. I will only share links contained within this article and *NOT THE ARTICLE ITSELF*. That should keep us pretty sane.

  • slideguy

    “‘Changing the conversation’ does not actually change the laws”

    Tell that to Martin Luther King.

    • Tell it to the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act.

  • Thank you.

  • #HowBernie #HowDonald #How?

    There is one question for Bernie and Trump supporters.

    How?

    How will you get your outlandish promises passed?

    Trump:

    How will you get Mexico to pay for the wall? How will you make America Great again? How Donald J. Trump ?

    Sanders:

    How will you get American’s to vote for someone that has clearly stated he will raise their taxes? How will you pass single payer health care? How will you break up the banks? How Bernie Sanders?

    #HowBernie

    #HowDonald

    #How?

    For both candidates there are no plans. No real plans. No plans that could ever ever be implemented.

    There is no plan B.

    Life does not happen through magic fairy dust and big talk.

    Life happens with hard work. With action. With plans.

  • jamesdigit

    ***ATTENTION***

    I would STRONGLY recommend that you share links from the article, seeing as how this article itself is entirely too complicated for the average Bernie supporter to understand anyhow. This will keep the Bernouts from invading a space where the rest of us can have a nice, quiet chat.

    Just my $0.02…

  • mnkiwiguy

    This is SO spot on. I love the part about the immaturity and uneducated realizations of the younger generation. Perhaps it is because I had to take the US Citizenship test and served in it’s military for 6 years that I take every single election with such vigor. I am amazed at how easily American voters are swayed and the arrogance when they speak of other nations systems and leaders. At this point, there is a huge part of the country willing to vote to put a man in charge who has NEVER held one political position, dealt in ANY political negotiation, and berates, offends and degrades a majority of of the world’s population. Talk about asking for a war to be brought to our shores! Here is Bernie who as a Jew has clearly demonstrated he will not lift a finger to help Arab nations remain at peace. With a extreme right wing looking to start a war with Iran, President Sanders makes that a forgone conclusion.

    • jacquelynweddington

      We need to stop blaming the “younger generation” for their lack of knowledge. They are just as intelligent as we were. And don’t forget they have a lot, really a lot more to learn than we did.Yes they may be idealists but don’t forget the 60’s and 70’s. I was there. The older generation railed against us too. If young people are not educated in the political process than it is “our ” fault for not putting money and energy into courses that are really important those that contain information every citizen should know.

      • As I said above, we did this to them by allowing basic civics education to be flushed out of the public education system so that NCLB could “improve” their test scores.

  • Newfirelock

    The Real Fight Begins (Revised 2/11/16)

    JAMES ROGERS BUSH·SUNDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2015

    Some of Bernie Sander’s folks are not true Democrats – they are not even true Social Democrats. Those of us who are true Democrats had better wake up to the fact that these more extreme elements exist, and, if they don’t get their way, they may attempt to scuttle the Democratic Party, just as many Donald Trump people are not real Republicans and also appear to be willing to scuttle the Republican Party if they don’t get theirs.

    Disillusionment on both sides of the Democrat/Republican political divide, is dividing some within both parties, because those on the more extreme fringes of both parties have no real commitment to either party – some are even willing to destroy both parties, and the system they represent, if they don’t get what they want. Call them Independents or whatever, they do not care about parties, so they do not care what happens to them.

    The old far-left, anti-Capitalist/far-right, Nationalist fight could be about to rear it’s ugly head, and those of us in the moderate center, Democrat and Republican, had better get our acts together to defeat them – which means that we must work hard to prevent both Trump and Sanders from becoming the nominees of our respective parties.

    We are no longer in a fight that is just between old school Democrats and Republicans, we are now in a fight that is also bringing out those on the far-right and far-left, who normally sit back and complain about the milquetoast middle that never gets anything done and is always beholden to the establishment powers that be. These more extreme elements are now seeing an opportunity to come out of the woodwork and have their way, in a way that they have not for a very long time.

    Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, two men nearing the end of their lives, are seeing their last opportunity to, in the case of Sanders fulfill an ideological dream, and in the case of Trump win his last big win. They are two Pied Pipers, drawing in the young, the angry, the frustrated, the politically naive or ignorant, and those who don’t really care about anything other than rebelling against the system that they’ve come to hate.

    I’m reminded of the W.B. Yeats poem: The Second Coming

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre

    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

    The best lack all conviction, while the worst

    Are full of passionate intensity.

    Surely some revelation is at hand;

    Surely the Second Coming is at hand.

    The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out

    When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi

    Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;

    A shape with lion body and the head of a man,

    A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,

    Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it

    Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

    The darkness drops again but now I know

    That twenty centuries of stony sleep

    Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,

    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,

    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

    There is much in this poem that speaks to our times, and there is much that one could extrapolate from it – not the least of which is the fact that neither Bernie Sanders nor Donald Trump have the international geopolitical knowledge or experience that is now needed to deal with what continues to unfold in the Middle East and around our world.

    Meanwhile Hillary Clinton, the most intelligent and experienced American running for the office of the presidency; a public servant who has built her whole life on service; a woman who stands poised to be the first woman president; and a mother goddess in every sense of the word, waits for the American People to see that she is the right choice to led our country through the dark and uncertain times that it is passing through.

    Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump represent the two extremes of the American political spectrum: the old hippy socialist activist and the old ambitious rich capitalist. A win by either one could throw our country into chaos, because the followers of both of these men will never settle for a presidency by either. Not to mention that a win by either could leave us vulnerable to the likes of ISIS, Russia, and China.

    On the other hand, the presidency of a moderate woman, with experience as both a liberal activist and successful capitalist, as well as a woman who has been First Lady, senator, and Secretary of State, would do the most to bring balance to our body politic and ship of state.

    She would be a healer, nurturer, mediator, negotiator, and protector, par excellence.

    We are at a major crossroads in our history, and we have a choice: either we choose to go down an impatient extremist path that may lead to chaos, or we choose a moderate and patient path that will lead to healing, positive change, a balanced prosperity, and wise national defense, that will continue the legacy and good works of President Obama.

    I’ve never really believed it possible that the US could be threatened by the same kind of thing that happened in Germany prior to WW2, or that any nation or terrorist organization could truly threaten us with another 911. But, as I watch the latest hostile and ridiculous dramas play out, between and within the two parties, I begin to wonder if we are not on the cusp of something as terrifying as what happened in Germany happening here, or that we could once again be as vulnerable as we were before 911.

    Lets hope that I’m just experiencing an attack of paranoia, and expressing that paranoia through hyperbole, rather than having and sharing a prophetic and dark vision that could actually come to pass. I don’t think any of us, except the most cynical and nihilistic, would like to see the US fall into the same kind of trap that Germany did, or go through another 911 experience – we all know how incredibly horrifying either outcome would be.

    I’am certain of this: If we elect a Bernie Sanders or a Donald Trump, we will all live to regret it, no matter what the outcome. But if we elect a moderate, intelligent, experienced, tough grandmother, the fates will smile on us, and we will all live to rejoice in it. We will live to rejoice in it.

    JRB

  • Ed Faunce

    Glad I stopped with the first paragraph. All you did was pull up Republican talking points. I can hear those at the restaurant on Fox News.

    • Nick Murphy

      Congrats on being an informed voter…I mean, covering your ears and stomping your feet. Berners have been leveling Republican talking points at Hillary for weeks. Never did I think LIBERALS would post links from The Daily Caller, yet here we are.

      If Bernie is the nominee, you do yourself a disservice not knowing what the Republicans are going to say, and frankly, this piece is a cogent examination of Bernie as a candidate. If you can’t face that, then you’re going to wilt in the fall.

    • While I have tried to preview what Republican talking points will be, the actual Fox News/Radio Rwanda talking points will be much, much nastier than what I have said here. Thank you for demonstrating the truth of what I said about Sanders supporters being unready for the sh**storm that he will face in a general election.

    • Scopedog

      All you did was pull up Republican talking points.

      Wow…just like so many supporters of Sanders have been doing the same damned thing to Hillary (and Obama too)?

  • Steve NJ

    who wrote this hit piece?

    • I wrote this, and if you think that it’s a hit piece then just wait until the actual hit pieces start coming out.

      • Kitty Smith

        Keep in mind that, to these people, anything that isn’t FEEL THE BERN FOREVER AND EVER AND EVER is a hit piece.

        Thanks to these motherfuckers, I’m Berned out.

    • Dusty Ayres

      How did you ever graduate from high school?

  • mattdl

    I love Hillary. Her performance before the Benghazi committee should have shown everyone that this woman is incredibly strong, smart and level headed. Qualified beyond all others.
    That said, I hate this article. It’s one sided and negative and reeks of defeatism. Bernie is doing well for a reason and ignoring that and attacking his supporters isn’t doing the cause any good whatsoever.

    The right continues to move further right and they drag the center over with them. Hillary doesn’t work very hard to pull that center line back. Bernie does and it’s working. Hillary has changed positions. We need him.

    Competition is good.

    • mapleleaflover

      “I hate this article. It’s one-sided and negative” Did you read the title? Osborne is writing from his point of view and he provides facts (not just opinion) to back him up. My view about Sanders’ candidacy is coming from the “socialist” country north of the border. Sanders is a one-trick pony and seems to have NO idea of what it takes to run a country and deal with other countries. All he talks about is the 1% versus the 99%. He doesn’t know — or at least doesn’t seem to care — about foreign policy, and I urge you to remember that the U.S. is but one country in a world of over 200. The folks who follow him — just as this article posits — don’t seem to accept the realities of your Congress and its current – and probably future — make-up.
      The only advantage I could see in Sanders’ candidacy for the nomination is to help steer Hillary more to the left of centre. The U.S. has extremely powerful forces trying to turn the U.S. into the right of centre. Bernie cannot stop that, no matter how many young people are following him.
      Truly, I keep hoping that the U.S. will “see the light” and remember that the role of government is to ensure the health and welfare of ALL its citizens. But it won’t happen in one election, nor in one generation. Incremental steps…
      I also urge you to cast your mind back to the 1972 election. George McGovern had the same folks supporting him. Nixon beat him in a landslide.
      JMHO, of course….

    • I’m totally in favor of you supporting your candidate to the limits of your ability. Please! By all means, donate and organize and vote. And if Sanders wins the nomination, I’ll vote for him myself without hesitation. All I’m doing here is keep my eyes open to the nature of progressive politics.

      Competition is indeed good, as it moves both candidates to the left. Note that I say both, not just one. Sanders is being challenged on guns, on BLM, abortion, and on other issues where he has consequently improved his message. If he should win, then we’ll both be glad all of this happened.

  • muselet

    Excellent analysis, Matt.

    –alopecia

  • Scopedog

    Well done, Matt. Well done. A damned fine piece; I hope many more read it.

  • Alex Gamero Garrido

    Thank you for writing this!

  • rvnc

    So let me get this straight: Bernie Sanders is currently beating Cruz in a general election poll, Hillary Clinton is currently losing to Cruz (according to Real Clear Politics) and the results are similar against all other Republican contenders — but we’re supposed to believe that Hillary Clinton is more electable, will magically overcome 25 years of accumulated negatives and antipathy from independent voters, and that we should hold our nose and line up behind her or split the party?
    Why shouldn’t we be lining up against the candidate who’s actually doing better in match-ups against the Republicans? Wouldn’t that be the hardnosed, realistic approach?
    I think people miss the point about Sanders. His key appeal isn’t his position on health care, or education, or even foreign policy. His appeal is his position on campaign finance reform.
    If you’ve watched politics for the last 20 years, you’ve surely noticed that even if 80% of the public supports something, it almost never even gets brought up for a vote in Congress. There was a study that said that Congress was literally an oligarchy, because public opinion had a 0% influence on how Congress was voting.
    So Sanders comes along and says: if we all vote, if we gather together and we all vote for campaign finance reform, we can fix that! The system is fixable! We just have to all work together and we can get our democracy back! The reason he harps on that one issue is because he believes that if we don’t fix that issue, then it doesn’t matter what other issues are brought to Congress, because Congress won’t care. And I think he’s right.
    This is also why Sanders supporters react so badly to Clinton’s incrementalism. It isn’t because of one or another of her policies. It’s because she’s saying, “The system isn’t fixable. You’ll never have a real democracy. Democracy is gone forever. The millionaires have won — but the good news is, I’m a liberal millionaire!”
    That’s what a vote for Bernie means to Bernie supporters. Not free health care, not free college, but democracy. And a vote for Hillary is a vote for giving up on democracy and clean elections forever. Does it make sense why people are so passionate about that?

    • The reason Sanders harps on the same economic talking point all the time is because he’s an acolyte of the Tom Franks school of politics. If you recall, a decade or so ago Franks wrote a book called What’s the Matter with Kansas? that said race, gender, and culture wars were mere distractions from the core economic message that Democrats had abandoned, and that if only liberals would explain things enough to conservative voters, they would see the light and vote accordingly. Guess what? We have lots and lots and lots of data that show he was wrong. I scratched the surface of this topic in point 1. And it clarifies why so many Sanders supporters seem to think that Hillary’s supporters just haven’t had things explained enough to them yet.

      As far as head-to-head polling goes, you should know that it’s pretty much useless this far out — about as predictive as a 90-day weather forecast at best. And that’s not me talking, it’s professional political scientists who work with data all the time. Maybe math is in the pocket of the big banks or something?

      I’m glad that you at least seem to acknowledge that Congress is broken. That’s easily the biggest problem we face, but I don’t see Sanders making it any better. Clinton might end up just holding the line, yet she at least has a slate of candidates and raises money for them. Sanders needs to come up with his own slate and recruit people to run. Actually, he needed to be doing that months ago.

  • Dusty Ayres

    But Sanders also supports the most dangerously-wasteful weapons procurement program in American history — because it will create jobs in Vermont. Acknowledging the F-35 is “incredibly wasteful,” he nevertheless maintains it is becoming the “plane of record…and it is not going to be discarded.” That’s very bad news for both the military and taxpayers alike, because the F-35 is slower than its potential adversaries, carries less ammunition, has unreliable engines, remains plagued by software glitches, can’t fire its onboard gun until at least 2019, and will almost certainly not be ready to fly in combat by its project deadline. The plane has so many problems that allied air forces which had been sold on the design are quietly extending the life of their older jets — many of which can easily outfly it despite being decades older.

    Pierre Spey said it best: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxDSiwqM2nw

    • CANCEL. THIS. PLANE.

      • Dusty Ayres

        No contest on that.

  • wow, well done piece, but certainly disappointed in the title…. eventual disappointment….seems as if hope for a better way is lost, maybe your next piece is titled…. the eventual disappointment in America.

    for me, it starts with a belief….someone needs to start a movement, then s/he needs a first follower, then more… Bernie has momentum, but is it enough? if not this election, then soon…. nothing can stop an idea whose time has come…not even politics.

    Stay adventurous, Craig

    • My title was meant to link the beginning with the end. As I said in the last point, Americans are inevitably disappointed to some degree by every president, so I’ve tried to examine ten different points in time where that effect can happen.

  • editorjuno

    My expectations of a Sanders administration are realistic, as were my expectation of the Obama presidency — but at least Sanders has aspirations for our country worth striving for. HRC? Not so much — yes, she’s very clearly preferable to anyone on deck for the GOP, but considering those fools I file that under “faint praise.” I do trust she will prevent further deterioration of the SCOTUS and for that reason alone I will vote for her in the general — but, until then, I’m fully behind Sanders and, like most Sanders supporters, I will not throw a hissy fit and sit on the sidelines if I don’t get my way. The so-called “Berniebots” are a distinct minority among us — most likely a smaller faction than the loud, reflexive “Gen-Gen” (Gender- and/or Generation-based) pro-HRC partisans.

    • The ‘Berniebots’ (defined here as those who will never vote for Clinton) represent about 20% of nominal Democrats. I know this because 80% of them tell pollsters that Clinton is an “acceptable” candidate, whatever they think of Sanders. And you know what? At Netroots Nation in 2010, a poll of attendees found that 80% were “mostly satisfied” with Obama. So I would say that this tranche is always present in our center-left coalition.

  • Jim Johnson

    I was going to share this in pages and groups I admin until I was prevented from copying a paragraph to foreshadow the article and emphasize a point that is critical in this election cycle. Then I was prevented in doing so in order to obtain a license to share.

    • Copy Nut

      Just highlight the part you want and then click control C on a windows device, then share as you wish.

    • You should have the option to click “stop asking me” and it will go away.

  • editorjuno

    It’s very clear that this sort of simple message has never and will never come from the likes of HRC — she will not challenge the status quo because the status quo has given her everything she has. That is why, for all her long standing political relationships and DC insider know-how, she’s got a real fight on her hands and not a coronation. The fact is, for all her name recognition and organizational muscle, she’s a lackluster candidate who consistently fails to inspire anything but doubt.

    https://www.facebook.com/MicMedia/videos/1074942372528552/

    • It’s a very nice oratory. Does it come with congressmen?

  • BHS

    Bernie is a terrible candidate

    • I don’t know that he’s terrible, but he’s definitely incomplete.

  • Bartlet4Gallifrey

    Thank you.

  • Tim Anderson

    Number 5 is what scares me…if Bernie were to be able to win (he won’t) the Conservative Ad campaign would crank up the “Bernie wants to take your hard earned money and give it to welfare addicts who won’t work”…And then, the Republican donors like the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson will REALLY pony up the big bucks to see him defeated. What’s going on with Hillary is a lovefest compared to what the GOP will pull out. I heard on MSNBC last night, Bernie’s high tax rate could be as high as 58 percent on the One percent, and the Middle Class will see rate hikes as well…that will go over like a Led Zeppelin.

  • EmpressL

    Like you’re not biased or anything! LMAO!

    • I am biased…towards empirical evidence and hard data. TBC, those terms do not mean “this one poll out of nine that shows my preferred candidate is tied or winning.”

      • EmpressL

        Absolutely!

      • EmpressL

        Who IS your candidate, Trump? Polls don’t mean anything:

        ALL our representatives busting their A$$S to import more poverty and ignorance and refusing to deport anyone causing the race to the bottom of the wage barrel

        No one listens to the people or their polls. This is the base of the ANGER.

        If Bernie wins he will also win more seats in Congress as well and perhaps be able to enact some of his ideas. If Hillary wins the primary 1/2 the people who voted for Bernie will Vote for TRUMP and you will Lose the general election: “ Much of Trump’s rise has been based on angry blue collar voters who have seen their wages eroded by decades of globalization.” – domestic and foreign! “What people want to see is their standard of living get better, and that has to be the focus.” And that’s what too much immigration erodes. http://www.politico.com/story/2015/12/economy-fed-janet-yellen-interest-rates-216272#ixzz3t5EQqOMq

        Trump is the only one who had a solution to the job problem – Deportation.
        I guess that’s why you don’t want Bernie to win… you are scared $hitless! And you are a republican!

        • “If Bernie wins he will also win more seats in Congress as well and perhaps be able to enact some of his ideas” — prove it with data. I have data that say otherwise.

          “And you are a republican!” — prove it with data. I have data that say otherwise.

  • Keith Brody

    There is nothing wrong with this analysis per se. I do find it interesting that you wouldn’t have to change too much to make the same points about Hillary Clinton. The plain fact is that election campaigns run according to their own logic and their own goals. They are not a stand-in for social movements, and social movements are usually unable to take much advantage of them for their own purposes. In my own (admittedly very limited) interactions with other people who have something to say about these campaigns, I haven’t come across many who are investing major hopes in the candidacies. They’re not putting all those eggs in the campaign basket. If I understand the argument here correctly, the point being made is that it would be better for those interested in building a political left to build serious organizations and movements and then (possibly) shift toward electoral politics. But there aren’t too many historical instances of that. In extreme circumstances, seriously committed movements can push hard to get their policies on the agenda (e.g., abolitionism during the Civil War, some better labor legislation during the 1930s, some dismantling of legal segregation after World War II, etc.).

    I agree that movements and organizations that are non-existent or that have no motive force outside of election campaigns are essentially “captive” to them and thus tend to fall apart when the election is over, win or lose. So maybe the best focus should be on reversing those poles: social movements and organizations first, and campaigns second (i.e., subordinated to movement priorities)?

    • No, you would not need to change much to talk about Clinton, and that’s an astute observation of a point I left unsaid in this piece. We do need to have a conversation about movement-building, one that holds hard political power as important as social change. I can give you one very recent historical example: the Tea Party.

  • Mi Hi

    In short, this author wants us to give up any and all hope for a better future. To surrender to the inevitable and insurmountable rightwing Juggernaut, accept our increasing squalor, and to bow down in docile submission to our filthy rich Masters.

    NOT
    WITHOUT
    A
    FIGHT!!!!!!

    • This post is not about giving up. It is about sober appreciation for how difficult change really is. Your “revolution” is not as easy as voting for a single candidate, and anyone who tells you so is just flat-out lying to you.

  • yeap