Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Bern't Offerings

If Bernie Sanders had won all three primaries yesterday in Missouri, Illinois and Ohio by 51% to 49% margins, he would have picked up a stupendous NINE (9) more delegates than he did. Headlines would have read:
CLINTON FLORIDA LANDSLIDE SWELLS DELEGATE EDGE
Because even if Sanders had won three out of five primaries, Clinton would have picked up 55% of the delegates. The mainstream media's disdain for a non-center-right Democratic campaign comes as no surprise, however. What fascinates the Sandwichman is an insistant narrative from certain "left" critics that the Sanders campaign is the worst thing since Vidkun Quisling.

I feel their pain. The U.S. Democratic Party is a card-carrying member of the military-industrial-financial complex's bipartisan repressive duopoly. You can't teach an old hyena new tricks -- and it's dangerous to try. And all that.

But there is a tone to left anti-Sanders ranting that is reminiscent of the post-2000 Ralph Nader hate fest. "If only Nader hadn't run..." the narrative began and then proceeded to ignore the actual popular vote count, the electoral irregularities in Florida and the Supreme Court's tendentious squashing of a judicial recount AND to assume that every Nader voter would have been a Gore voter if it hadn't been for Nader. (Not to mention that if only Gore had won the presidency, the millennium would have arrived in the year 2001).

The every-Nader-voter assumption is preposterous. Probably a majority of Nader voters would not have voted if Nader hadn't been on the ballot. Some proportion of Nader voters would have voted for Bush. Some voters, who might otherwise not have voted, may have been drawn to the polls by the prospect of voting for Nader and changed their mind in the voting booth. In short, speculative reallocating of third party votes is pointless.

There is a sense in which the anti-Sanders left is making the same mistake as the anti-Nader crowd. They imply that if it wasn't for Sanders there would somehow be a genuine socialist alternative; that if all those naive BernieBros and the young women who pursue them would only give up their illusions about the Democratic Party, there would be a real revolution.

AYFKM?

The funniest part of the anti-Sanders left ranters is how eagerly they adopt DLC anti-Bernie talking points from the mainstream media. May I suggest a slogan? "I stand with the New York Times, the Washington Post and CNN Against U.S. Imperialism and White Millennial Bro-dom!"

7 comments:

rosserjb@jmu.edu said...

It is most certainly the case that the millennium would not have arrived in 2001 if Gore had won. After all, he would have been basically an extension of Bill Clinton on most things, and we did not have the millennium before 2001, although the US economy did better in Clinton's second term than in pretty much any presidential term since the 1970s or thereabouts.

I do think there were some bad things that would not have happened if he had won rather than Bush. The first is that he would not have invaded Iraq. Despite his rep for being pretty hawkish, he firmly opposed the Iraq invasion, unlike Hillary. Indeed, there might not have even been a 9/11, as he probably would have listened to the CIA folks warning about all those strange Arabs training with planes in the months before it, although he may not have been able to stop that. But, simply avoiding invading Iraq would have been far better for the whole world than what did happen.

The other is that you would not have seen the US Supreme Court go hard right, which did not happen until Bush's second term. The result of that has been a long string of very bad decisions, with the Citizens United, the Heller one on the Second Amendment, and the one on voting rights among the worst. Probably none of these would have happened.

I do not know if not having Nader run would have led to Gore winning or not. But I am quite certain that both the US and the world would have been a lot better off if he had won rather than Bush.

Oh, and we probably would have had better environmental policy also.

BTW, none of this says anything about the current race, or not much anyway, especially as I do not see either Bernie or Hillary obviously having any edge on Trump more than the other, with the ultimate outcome of this fall's race likely to depend on events in the future near the election that we cannot foresee. But I do think either of them would be substantially superior to The Donald.

ProGrowthLiberal said...

"there might not have even been a 9/11, as he probably would have listened to the CIA folks warning about all those strange Arabs training with planes in the months before it, although he may not have been able to stop that."

In light of finding out that it was Al Qaeda that took out the Cole, President Gore would have executed the Delenda plan in the spring of 2001. It was executed in late 2001 and it worked quite well.

ProGrowthLiberal said...

"Because even if Sanders had won three out of five primaries, Clinton would have picked up 55% of the delegates."

The primaries are not doing winner take all which one would think would be a good thing for the general election too. My rough estimate is that Mrs. Clinton has picked up around 58% of the circa 15 million voters in the Democratic races so far. So she leads so far in the delegate count too. But as Bill Belicheck might say - it is off to California and New York!

Jack said...

Tom, could you have chosen a more obscure reference than Vidkun Abraham Lauritz Jonssøn Quisling? Also, are there any real left oriented political critics who have some form of soap box from which to be heard?

Sandwichman said...

Jack,

No matter how obscure, there is ALWAYS an even more obscure reference out there somewhere. All the left critics I know of are either not left enough or too far left. That leaves me.

blissex said...

«are there any real left oriented political critics who have some form of soap box from which to be heard»

Both Clintons are Reagan Republicans, and that's because they think (I think mostly correctly) that the traditional Democrat voters (irish/jewish/italian working classes) became Reagan Republican property owning middle classes, and politics is about following your constituencies.

B Sanders seems to me an Eisenhower Republican.

B Obama seems to me between a Nixon and a Reagan Republican.

There are no major figures in the Democrat minority of the Democrat party probably because the citizens in the lower 50-60% of the income distribution don't vote, and the donor class is virtually entirely in teh top 5% by income of citizens. The B Sanders campaign relies less on that 5%, and as a result he can position himself as far left as Eisenhower Republicanism. But most of the upper-income 40-50% of citizens who vote are property owners (and asset speculators mainly) and that sets some boundaries to what policies are feasible.

The Overton windows has shifted far to the right, to the point that "Rubin Democrat" B DeLong recently described GH Bush, J McCain, GW Bush, B Clinton, M Romney as having "centrist technocratic" policies.

Jack said...

".. they think (I think mostly correctly) that the traditional Democrat voters (irish/jewish/italian working classes) became Reagan Republican property owning middle classes,..."

That may be so, but that only emphasizes the ignorance of those particular voters. The middle/working classes have never been well served by any form of Reaganomic ideology. Wealth doesn't trickle down, it only flows to the peaks. Yes, wealth defies gravity. What goes up never comes down and the phenomenon is exaggerated by Republican and Democrat taxation concepts. If the top 0.05% are going to pay far less than their fair share then the only remaining source of income to tax is middle class income. And that's what has been happening for several decades now. Less tax from the peaks, more perks for those at the peaks and the rest of the population left to pay for it all.

Why does the middle class identify with Reagan ideology? Let's see. Culture trumps finances. The mythological lazy and shiftless Americans need to be kept down so the bigoted American has some one to look down on while they look up to the peaks and idolize wealth. You don't think so? Look at what passes for entertainment. Look at what issues occupy the front pages of the most popular media. Ignorance of one's own best economic self interests takes a low place in the attention of the American middle class. Hopefully the thirty somethings will observe our ignorance and take a different view of their place in the economic world and worry less about socio-cultural issues.