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Thursday, May 12, 2016

DOES BERNIE HAVE A SHOT?

It is now more than two months [a lifetime] until the Democratic Convention.  Let us suppose:

1:  Bernie keeps winning some primaries, and even wins California, coming into the convention several hundred pledged delegates behind Clinton [entirely do-able].

2.   The Republican Party coalesces around Trump, who stage manages an entertaining Convention [probable].

3.  Trump fudges some of his most hideous proposals [likely].

4.  Polls, of which there will be a great many, show Trump and Clinton virtually deadlocked [all too conceivable, alas].

5.  The same polls show Bernie beating Trump badly [highly likely].

6.  The Democratic superdelegates begin to contemplate just how big a risk they are taking of a disaster for the country by sticking with Clinton.

Then:  It is just barely conceivable that enough superdelegates might peel off to throw the nomination to Bernie.

Without some such fantasy, I do not think I can bear the next two months, let alone the next six, even though I shall leave for Paris on Monday for a four week stay.

8 comments:

David Auerbach said...

This time take a field trip to the 11e./12e.
Worth a detour.

mesnenor said...

The Democratic Party Superdelegates will not act in the best interest of the party. They will act in the interest of their own place in the party's power structure, even if that means doing harm to the party as a whole, and to the country as a whole. That's just how organizations, and the people within organizations, work.

glotzerg said...

I fully understand why the folks around these parts support Bernie. But I keep going over and over it in my head, and I just can't see any way that Bernie makes a good president. It seems to me, if everything breaks perfectly for him, we're looking at Jimmy Carter part II. And that probably means Reagan part II or worse in four years. I know that we can't expect anything more than a continuation of Obama from Clinton, but it really looks like the better alternative to me, both for the Democratic party and the country as a whole. Plus, a Clinton presidency can co-exist with an ongoing progressive movement. If Sanders does get the job and fails, which seems likely to me, it would kill any movement that he's started.

We seem to be forgetting that it's a minor miracle that the Republicans couldn't manage a single respectable candidate. If they had had anyone better than Cruz, Trump and Carson, they would have won this election in a laugher. After the economic conditions of the last 8 years, at least four more for the Democrats is an amazing gift. Even if you disagree with me about how strong a president Bernie would be, let's not let the best become the enemy of the good.

It's almost like the word socialism, or the fact that the man himself is a true progressive (whatever that means), has obscured the big picture for everyone on the left. The last thing we want is another Nader. The longer it takes Bernie and his supporters to start helping Clinton, the better the chances of Trump winning.

Tom Cathcart said...

What glotzerg said. Bernie is a better gadfly than executive. He's already accomplished more by moving Hillary than he would by moving Congress.

s. wallerstein said...

Tom Cathcart,

Whether Bernie would be a better gadfly than executive depends a lot on how much power the president really has.

I suspect that after being nominated or even before being nominated, any possible president receives a discreet visit from the CIA where they politely, but firmly explain the rules of the game, if the candidate does not already know them (Hillary knows them already) and if the candidate suffers from an oppositional disobedient syndrome (that's an officially catalogued psychological disorder), our friends from the CIA explains that mishaps and accidents can occur, so very unfortunately, in the best families.

Tom Cathcart said...

Oooh. Not a response I expected. Too cynical for me. What the CIA can get away with in Chile and what they can get away with here are (I hope) two different things.

s. wallerstein said...

Tom Cathcart,

The U.S. is a global empire with trillions of trillions of dollars in corporate investment throughout the world supported by trillions of trillions of dollars worth of military bases.

A lot of powerful people benefit from that global empire, and I doubt that they are cynics (in the philosophical sense of the term) or even epicureans or stoics. That is, the benefits they derive from their empire, money, power, social status, even sex appeal, are more than preferred indifferent to them, and as history shows, they are willing to assassinate, to torture, to destroy, to bomb civilians to protect their power.

One might think that rational, long-term enlightened self-interest would dictate that they grant certain needed social demands such as a single-payer healthcare system, since, after all, a healthier population is more productive, etc., but short-term lust for profit and power seems to trump rational, long-term enlightened self-interest in a contemporary capitalist empire.

Still less are they willing to give up any control over their geopolitical interests in Latin America, the Middle East, the Ukraine, etc., with a smile just because one oldish peacenik, Bernie Sanders, was elected president.

Obviously, I have no idea whether the CIA would actually visit and threaten Sanders if elected president, but they and the Pentagon and Wall St. have their ways of making their power and influence all too obvious.

That's why I agree with you that Sanders would better serve as a gadfly than a president, because you need a real mass movement from below to change things. You need to, say, shut down New York, New York for a few days with a generalized (if not general) strike demanding single-payer healthcare and to keep shutting it down, as for example the population of another island, Chiloe, in the south of Chile have shut down things for about two weeks in protest against the environmental destruction done to their way of life by the salmon cultivating industry.

Anonymous said...

Well glotzerg, if Carter produced Reagan, what does it say about Clinton and Obama that they produced Bush 2 and now Trump? The Clintonite ruling party seems to be giving us worse and worse results over time. And the worse their performance becomes, the more insistent their supporters get about the necessity of their rule.