Bernie Sanders Continues To Wage War Against The Party He Claims To Support

Even as it becomes more and more apparent that he cannot win the Democratic nomination for President, Bernie Sanders is not letting up on his rhetoric against the leadership of the party he claims he'll support in November.

NPC LUNCHEON SANDERS

Even as the race for the Democratic nomination dies down and Hillary Clinton prepares to shift her attention to the race against Donald Trump in the fall, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is continuing his war against the leadership of the Democratic Party over what he contends has been an ‘unfair’ primary process:

Doubling down on his feud with the Democratic Party leadership, SenatorBernie Sanders said that if elected president, he will not reappoint Democratic National Committee chairwoman, Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida.

He made the comments during an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper that is set to air on Sunday. Mr. Sanders also said he was supporting Tim Canova, a law professor who has begun an insurgent campaign against Ms. Wasserman Schultz for her South Florida congressional seat. They will face off in a primary this summer.

“Well, clearly, I favor her opponent,” Mr. Sanders told Mr. Tapper. “His views are much closer to mine.”

For months, Mr. Sanders has accused the party of favoring Hillary Clinton, often calling her the “anointed candidate.”

He has criticized the party for a debate schedule that his campaign says favors Mrs. Clinton; an arrangement under which Mrs. Clinton raises money for the party; and the appointment of Clinton supporters as leaders of important convention committees.

Most recently, he and the party have sparred over what happened at the Nevada Democratic convention a week ago. There, Sanders supporters disrupted the proceedings in a fight over delegates and the state party chairwoman was later threatened. After the party rebuked Mr. Sanders for not clearly condemning what had occurred, his campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, accused Ms. Wasserman Schultz of “throwing shade on the Sanders campaign from the very beginning.

This week, Ms. Wasserman Schultz pushed back against the Sanders campaign in an interview with CNN. “We’ve had the same rules in place that elected Barack Obama,” she told the network. “These rules were adopted for state parties all across the country in 2014.”

In a statement on Saturday, she said that “even though Senator Sanders has endorsed my opponent, I remain, as I have been from the beginning, neutral in the presidential Democratic primary.”

As president, Mr. Sanders would have the ability to appoint the committee chair, though it is not likely he will get that chance, as Mrs. Clinton is close to clinching the nomination. Nevertheless, he can try to draw a little blood from Ms. Wasserman Schultz with his endorsement of her primary opponent, Mr. Canova, the underdog in the race.

Sanders has also not let up on his attacks on Hillary Clinton even as she inches closer to the Democratic nomination:

American voters should not be forced to pick between “the lesser of two evils” this November, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders says.

Asked in an interview airing Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” if that’s how he’d describe a possible match-up between Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, Sanders said it was not him making the characterization.

“That’s what the American people are saying,” he said. “If you look at the favorability ratings of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, both of them have very, very high unfavorables.”

A recent CNN/ORC polls showed 57 percent of voters nationally viewed Trump unfavorably, while 49 percent viewed Clinton that way.

Sanders continued to emphasize that he’ll stay in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, though he acknowledged the delegate math provides for “a very steep uphill climb.” He also appealed to so-called super delegates, who are not bound to any candidate at the Democratic National Convention, to consider switching their support from Clinton to him over issues of electability.

“If you look at virtually all of the polls done in the last six, seven weeks, in every one of them, nationally polls and statewide polls, we defeat Trump by larger margins — in some cases, significantly larger margins — than does Secretary Clinton,” Sanders said.

One thing that Sanders, and his supporters, don’t seem to be considering when they point to these polls that show him doing better against Donald Trump than Hillary Clinton at the moment is that they are largely ignoring the main reason that this is the case. It isn’t because the public is massively in favor of the redistributionist economic policies that Sanders favors, it’s because he isn’t Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. In many respects, this years election is going to be unique in recent American history in that it will feature two non-incumbents who have been well known to the American public for the better part of two decades. As a result of that familiarity, public opinion about both candidates is already pretty much baked into the cake and unlikely to change between now and November. Sanders, on the other hand, is something new on the political scene for most Americans and most Democrats. As such, it’s not surprising that potential voters might view him more positively than they view Clinton or Trump. Despite that positive view, though, Sanders has not been able to achieve widespread political appeal and it’s likely that if he did get more widespread national exposure his positive numbers would sink rather fast as voters realize just how far out of step with even the mainstream of his own party Senator Sanders actually is.

Leaving aside the polls, though, and the fact that Sanders is insisting on continuing a fight against Hillary Clinton that is quickly moving from quixotic to silly, the fact that Senator Sanders is continuing to attack Clinton, but also continuing to stir up his supporters with claims about how he can win the nomination, something which is all but mathematically impossible at this point, and attacks on the leadership of the party he has pledged to support in the General Election leads one to wonder just what his intentions are for the Democratic National Convention and how sincere he is when he says he’s dedicated to making sure Donald Trump isn’t elected President. If that were the case then it seems clear that he ought to be thinking about finding a way to help reconcile his supporters to the idea of Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee the way that Hillary Clinton helped reconcile her supporters to the idea of Barack Obama as their party’s nominee. There are signs in the polls that this won’t be as difficult as some headlines make it seem, but, nonetheless, Sanders’ insistence on continuing to run a campaign that makes it appear that he believes that anything other than a Sanders victory in Philadelphia would constitute a stolen election makes one wonder just how committed he is to unity in the Democratic Party.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, Hillary Clinton, Politicians, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Moosebreath says:

    Meh. I have been against the Bern-it-downers in several threads, but saying he wouldn’t reappoint Wasserman Schultz is pretty weak tea as far as waging war against the party.

  2. Bob@Youngstown says:

    Sanders says: what the American people are saying,” If you look at the favorability ratings of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, both of them have very, very high unfavorables.”

    and I say to Bernie, that if you continue your present track, this member of the electorate will look less favorably on you.

    I like(d) Bernie, but if he throws the November election by feeding more ammunition to Trump in his quest for his agenda, then I can’t back him for the nomination and would actively work against him.

    What is it that he doesn’t understand about that?

  3. Pch101 says:

    The question at this point is whether Sanders cares more about making some progressive inroads within the Democratic party and the presidency, or his brand as an independent. I had presumed that it was the former, but it’s starting to look more like the latter.

  4. And suddenly the Democrats discover that the guy who up until six months ago explicitly went out of his way to make sure everyone knew he was not a Democrat may not have the best interests of the party at heart.

    It will be entertaining to watch Sanders’s reaction come January when the next senate is organized and he discovers he’s losing his committee seats. Let’s see if people still listen to you when you’re not longer the ranking seat on the Budget Committee, eh?

  5. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    Wasn’t Hillary, at this point in 2008, making the argument that “hard working Americans” [i.e. ig’rant crackers much like yours truly] “won’t vote for a candidate like Barack Obama” [i.e. a n…well I just won’t go there, but she did]?

  6. edmondo says:

    how far out of step with even the mainstream of his own party Senator Sanders actually is.

    Yeah, he’s more conservative than FDR.

    And if you think Sanders’ softball attacks on Hillary are hurting her, wait till The Donald gets done wiping up the floor with her.

  7. Pch101 says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker:

    The difference is that Clinton was and is a Democrat, while Sanders wasn’t and isn’t.

    Clinton waged a nasty primary fight in 2008, but then fell into line when the time came. That was a predictable outcome, given her party loyalties.

    In contrast, nobody can be sure whether Sanders is going to change his tune and fall into line once the convention is over, or if he’s going to behave like a spoiler who seeks to divide or reduce the Democratic vote in November. As noted, I have presumed that Sanders was simply using this primary campaign as part of a greater negotiation process that was intended to influence a Clinton White House, but now I’m starting to have my doubts.

  8. Mikey says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    And suddenly the Democrats discover that the guy who up until six months ago explicitly went out of his way to make sure everyone knew he was not a Democrat may not have the best interests of the party at heart.

    I’m pretty certain this was neither a sudden nor a recent realization among the Democratic establishment. The entire primary process to this point has clearly revealed the Democratic leadership’s understanding Sanders is not in this to advance the party’s objectives.

    What gets me is how many Sanders supporters–especially the young, who have little experience with political machinations and campaigns–don’t understand why a guy who, as you said, has spent so many years emphasizing he is an I and not a D, and who has been actively working to undermine the candidate who has been a reliable D for decades, doesn’t have the support of the party leadership.

  9. James Pearce says:

    If Bernie thinks Clinton’s less-than-impressive campaign creates an opportunity for him, he’s fooling himself. Just look at Donald Trump’s improving poll numbers.

    Competing headlines on CNN’s politics page:

    Clinton: Trump is in the pocket of the gun lobby.
    Radio host Sykes: Trump reaching out to #NeverTrump movement

    One candidate is making the same predictable enemies.

    And another candidate is unpredictably seeking to turn former enemies into allies.

    * Memo to Hillary: Being “in the pocket of the gun lobby” is not the slam you think it is.

  10. Danders in June or Trump in November says:

    Golly Doug, this post looks a lot like the one you posted back in 1517:

    The problem is NOT that the Catholic Church is corrupt, the real problem is that Martin Luther is pointing it out.

  11. edmondo says:

    Let’s see if people still listen to you when you’re not longer the ranking seat on the Budget Committee, eh?

    Oh please, please make that happen! if it does, I will personally donate 10K and my time, sweat and tears to the new political party the erupts from that.

  12. Pch101 says:

    It would seem that “corruption” and “unconstitutional” have both been redefined by populists as “perfectly legal stuff that me no likey.” It’s a hollow appeal to authority that is heavy on rhetoric and lightweight.

  13. David M says:

    Sanders is effective in attacking Clinton from the left in a way that Trump can’t in a general election. When he and his supporters accept reality, and see the choice is Clinton or Trump, the election will change dramatically. The really isn’t much difference between the two candidates compared to The GOP, so there’s no reason to think most of the Sanders supporters won’t vote rationally.

  14. Slugger says:

    I will not be voting for him, but I don’t have a problem with what he’s doing. I understand the value of loyalty to family, wife, friends, and country, but I am not sure that political parties deserve loyalty. The spirit that ensures partisan feelings can and has damaged the country as a whole. Go ahead and buy a banner to wave at your school’s football games, but be very suspicious of all political parties especially your own because loyalty blinds one to serious faults.

  15. David M says:

    @Slugger:

    Except that’s not really how it works. If Party A supports an issue you care about, and Party B opposes it, you should vote for Party A regardless of the individual candidates beliefs. Even if the candidate for Party A differs from the majority of their party, and opposes the issue, it doesn’t matter.

  16. Pch101 says:

    @David M:

    We’ll see what happens, but Sanders could prove to be a latter day Nader. Some of these presidential state races will be won on pretty thin margins, so a spoiler on either side could make enough of a difference.

    If it’s a two-person race, then the Dems have little to worry about. But if Sanders turns out to be the Pied Piper of progressives (and that doesn’t necessarily need to be in the form of a third-party run), then the outcome becomes more uncertain. Fortunately for the Dems, Florida alone isn’t enough to change the outcome in 2016 as was the case in 2000, but there is still some risk.

  17. edmondo says:

    Here’s another malcontent who just doesn’t realize what’s “good for him”

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/king-leaving-democratic-party-article-1.2644307

    I guess there’s enough Hill-bots left to drag her across the finish line (maybe).

    “The thing is, though, the Democratic Party isn’t really very democratic. It’s sincerely just a machine for Hillary Clinton.”

    “It has never been more clear to me that millions and millions of us do not belong in the Democratic Party. Their values are not our values. Their priorities are not our priorities. And I’ll be honest with you, I think too highly of myself, of my family, of my friends, and of our future, to stick with a party that looks anything like what Hillary Clinton and Debbie Wasserman Schultz are leading right now.”

  18. @Pch101:

    For the democrats, the issue this election is more the Midwest (Ohio, Michigan), where there’s a big pool of white labor voters for whom the “America first, down with banks and foreign trade”, message Trump and Sanders were going with during the primaries really appeals.

    Now admittedly, Trump seems to be pivoting toward those banks now, so he is probably wasting any chance to take advantage of this, but Sanders’s hammering of Clinton as the Wall Street candidate does make her weaker against this sort of attack and risks turning people who would have been “I prefer Bernie, but Clinton is still better than Trump”-voters into people who stay home or who end up as “Trump may be racist, but at least he’s not screwing ME over” voters.

  19. charon says:

    @Pch101:

    As noted, I have presumed that Sanders was simply using this primary campaign as part of a greater negotiation process that was intended to influence a Clinton White House, but now I’m starting to have my doubts.

    Question, which is his priority. Is it the issues he claims to care about? Or his it his psychological satisfaction, perhaps advanced by asserting his power?

    Picking a fight with Debbie Wasserman Schultz suggests the latter, as it seems pretty pointless for accomplishing anything useful.

    Demanding quid pro quo from HRC as the price of his endorsement also seems more about drawing attention to Bernie’s importance (and humbling his enemy) than in accomplishing anything useful.

  20. @edmondo:

    Oh please, please make that happen! if it does, I will personally donate 10K and my time, sweat and tears to the new political party the erupts from that.

    Except you probably won’t, because they’ll wait until after the election to do it. At that point no one will be able to do anything about it for two years, and by the time 2018 arrives, everyone will be like “Bernie who?”

  21. David in KC says:

    I like Sanders, I like his fire and passion, but, unless he pulls over 67% of the non-super delegates, Clinton is going to win the “popular” vote in the primary. At that point, the only way he wins is if the super delegates, who he has criticized about overturning the popular will of the people, overturns the will of the people.

    He really needed to start his run years ago, build up or work with a true grassroots movement, get people elected at the local, state, and federal level and then make the run at the presidency. Trump is where he is at because of what happened to the Republican Party since 2008 and the rise of the Tea Party. Trump certainly had no hand in creating it, but he certainly knew how to harness it to get the nomination. The democrats didn’t have that type of internal revolution for Sanders to take advantage of.

  22. An Interested Party says:

    And I’ll be honest with you, I think too highly of myself, of my family, of my friends, and of our future, to stick with a party that looks anything like what Hillary Clinton and Debbie Wasserman Schultz are leading right now.

    That’s nice…he can maintain his purity with Trump in the White House and the GOP in control of Congress…

  23. edmondo says:

    @An Interested Party:

    Yes, because the opposite of evil is …. evil in a pantsuit?

    Good Luck with that message in November!

  24. James Pearce says:

    @Pch101: @Pch101:

    If it’s a two-person race, then the Dems have little to worry about.

    And yet I can’t help but worry with this attitude being so prevalent.

    If she wants to win this thing, she’s going to have to not only bring her A game, but bring nothing but. Has she? No.

    Be very worried.

  25. An Interested Party says:

    Yes, because the opposite of evil is …. evil in a pantsuit?

    As it is very well known that you are afflicted with HDS, it is hardly surprising that you don’t see any difference between Hillary and Trump…

  26. Kylopod says:

    @Pch101: I was paying close attention to the race back then, and I still remember it vividly, and at the time Hillary’s acquiescence to Obama didn’t seem the least bit inevitable. Among other things, she:

    (1) repeatedly attacked Obama as unqualified, out-of-touch, even a plagiarist
    (2) stated that Obama was a Christian “as far as I know”
    (3) invoked Bobby Kennedy, a man whose bid for the presidency ended when he was shot dead
    (4) demanded that she be awarded the delegates in Michigan, a state where she’d scored a meaningless “win” despite Obama not being on the ballot
    (5) repeatedly made the false and misleading claim that she’d won the popular vote
    (6) invoked Bush v. Gore and implied the nomination had been stolen from her
    (7) called upon the superdelegates to choose her over Obama despite his having won a majority of pledged delegates
    (8) apparently believed in private that the apocryphal “Whitey tape” was about to emerge, destroying Obama’s candidacy

    At this point eight years ago there was simply no rationale for her to remain in the race. She wasn’t trying to push the party to accept a set of policies she favored, as Sanders is now. All her actions served no purpose other than to damage Obama’s chances in November. She legitimated a variety of Republican smears against him, from his being a Muslim to his having voted “present” an inordinate amount of times as state senator, and it really was not clear whether she was going to endorse him in the general election, or how strong her endorsement would be. Furthermore, despite the impression you get from Twitter now, the PUMAs far outnumbered today’s anti-Clinton Sanders voters.

    In hindsight, of course, we know she endorsed Obama fairly quickly after the last primaries were over, that she campaigned strongly for him, and that Obama ended up uniting the entire party and scoring a huge electoral victory against John McCain.

    But this outcome was anything but obvious before it happened, and there was a very real possibility that she wanted to torpedo Obama’s chances in the general election. Why would she do that? I dunno, maybe to give her a chance to run in 2012 with an “I told you so” message.

    Now, I’m not saying any of this because I’m making any predictions about what Sanders will do at the end of the primaries. What I am saying is that you should never underestimate the power of ego and ambition in warping a politician’s good sense.

  27. stonetools says:

    @Kylopod:

    At this point eight years ago there was simply no rationale for her to remain in the race. She wasn’t trying to push the party to accept a set of policies she favored, as Sanders is now.

    I didn’t like her campaign either , but TBH, it was a closer race, and she did not say explicitly that the nomination process was corrupt, and imply that Obama’s victory would be illegitimate.

    In hindsight, of course, we know she endorsed Obama fairly quickly after the last primaries were over, that she campaigned strongly for him, and that Obama ended up uniting the entire party and scoring a huge electoral victory against John McCain.

    Well, bingo. I may have forgot, but I don’t ever remember saying she was going to take it to the convention floor. Jamelle Bouie:

    Democratic leaders say they’re worried, and it’s easy to see why. In the past month, Sanders has switched gears, from a policy critique of Clinton to a process argument against the Democratic Party. The argument? That any outcome short of full deference to his campaign is evidence of corruption and betrayal. “The Democratic Party has a choice,” he said in a statement, issued after a near riotous confrontation between Sanders and Clinton supporters in Nevada, where the former accused the latter of rigging the process for their candidate. “It can open its doors and welcome into the party people who are prepared to fight for real economic and social change … or the party can choose to maintain its status quo structure, remain dependent on big-money campaign contributions and be a party with limited participation and limited energy.”

    Clinton took a terrible turn in the last weeks of the 2008 campaign, where she cited the possibility of Obama being assassinated as one reason to stay in the race. But this is different. Less crass and more destructive. Even at her worse, Clinton never wavered from Democratic unity. And after she conceded the race, she urged her supporters and delegates to back Obama. Sanders, on the other hand, has offered a stark analysis to his voters. If Clinton, the winner of the Democratic primary, bends the knee, Sanders says the party is salvageable. If she doesn’t, it’s not.

    Note that Bouie and I are African American, so neither of us are inclined to give Clinton passes on her 2008 campaign excesses. The fact is that Sanders is going beyond Clinton 2008, unless all that talk of taking it to the convention is just a lie, meant to energize his supporters.
    Sanders is playing with fire, here. The rhetoric of Sanders and his supporters has gotten to the stage where they can’t simply walk back stuff. How can you walk back “Clinton is a corrupt, criminal , corporate whore who stole the nomination?” You can’t say that, and follow up with “But I wholeheartedly endorse her and urge you to vote for her in November.”
    At this point, I’m OK with Sanders playing out the string and staying in till California. But all talk of Clinton being corrupt and stealing the nomination should stop, and Sanders need to start walking that stuff back.

    I’m also going to point out that for those of you who think that the 2008 campaign is typical , parties tend NOT to unite after a long, acrimonious primary campaign, pundit talk to the contrary. I’m so old, I remember back to the 1976 Republican and 1980 Democratic campaigns, where the parties DID NOT unite-and lost.

  28. David M says:

    @stonetools:

    Sanders is playing with fire, here. The rhetoric of Sanders and his supporters has gotten to the stage where they can’t simply walk back stuff. How can you walk back “Clinton is a corrupt, criminal , corporate whore who stole the nomination?” You can’t say that, and follow up with “But I wholeheartedly endorse her and urge you to vote for her in November.”
    At this point, I’m OK with Sanders playing out the string and staying in till California. But all talk of Clinton being corrupt and stealing the nomination should stop, and Sanders need to start walking that stuff back.

    You’re definitely right here, Sanders doesn’t have to drop out, but the rhetoric needs to be a positive message that doesn’t include any attacks on Clinton. He’s no longer competing for the nomination with an equal, she is the nominee and his message should acknowledge that.

  29. Pch101 says:

    @Kylopod:

    But this outcome was anything but obvious before it happen

    That may be true for you, but you’re not speaking on my behalf.

    Clinton is the wife of a former party leader and her ambitions didn’t stop with the 2008 election. If she went nuclear after the 2008 convention, she would have been torching her own legacy and her future chances within the party, and Clinton is not so dumb that she would commit political suicide on purpose.

    Unlike Clinton, Sanders brands himself as an independent. It serves its self interests to act like a maverick; the question is how far he is willing to take it. Their situations are not analogous.

  30. Kylopod says:

    @stonetools:

    and she did not say explicitly that the nomination process was corrupt, and imply that Obama’s victory would be illegitimate.

    Um….:

    Desperate to get attention for her cause to seat Florida and Michigan delegates, Hillary Clinton compared the plight of Zimbabweans in their recent fraudulent election to the uncounted votes of Michigan and Florida voters saying it is wrong when “people go through the motions of an election only to have them discarded and disregarded.”

    “We’re seeing that right now in Zimbabwe,” Clinton explained. “Tragically, an election was held, the president lost, they refused to abide by the will of the people,” Clinton told the crowd of senior citizens at a retirement community in south Florida…..

    In just one day, Clinton has used a variety of arguments to convince her party to seat Florida and Michigan delegates, going as far as comparing the struggles of the voters in Florida and Michigan to those of abolitionists, suffragists, to the plight of Zimbabweans. Clinton even warned that if a resolution is not reached, Democrats in these two states would feel abandoned and likely jump ship to Republican John McCain.

    And here’s her invoking Bush v. Gore:

    “We believe the popular vote is the truest expression of your will. We believe it today just as we did back in 2000 when right here in Florida, you learned the hard way what happens when your votes aren’t counted and the candidate with the fewer votes is declared the winner,” Clinton said.

    “The lesson of 2000 here in Florida is crystal clear: if any votes aren’t counted, the will of the people isn’t realized and our democracy is diminished.”

    For those who may have forgotten or who weren’t paying attention at the time, here’s a refresher to the controversy. In 2007, the DNC penalized Michigan and Florida for some rule violations, and the punishment was that they wouldn’t get any delegates placed at the convention. All the candidates agreed not to campaign or place ads in those states, and in Michigan several of the candidates, including Obama but not Hillary, had their names removed from the ballot.

    The two states still held elections there, and technically Hillary won both, but her win in Florida was questionable and in Michigan it was totally meaningless, since voters were denied the ability to vote for her leading rival.

    Hillary didn’t utter a peep of protest about the DNC’s decision–until January, after Obama had scored his surprise win in Iowa and was closing in on a huge victory in South Carolina. That’s when she suddenly began arguing that the voters of MI and FL deserved to be represented at the convention.

    She maintained this position all the way through the spring, and it became the basis of her absurd claim that she had “won the popular vote,” an assertion that depended entirely on counting her votes in Michigan, a state where Obama wasn’t on the ballot.

    It was on these grounds that she compared her plight to that of Gore in the 2000 election, Zimbabweans, and black slaves in the Antebellum South.

    As I said, I am not making any predictions about Sanders today. All I’m doing is trying to push back against these attempts I see to forget how far down the rabbit hole the Clinton campaign in 2008 really went.

  31. grumpy realist says:

    @Pch101: Make that the pied piper of IDIOT progressives. I’m disappointed–I would have thought that Bernie would understand that he’s losing all chance of getting the Democratic Party to reform itself. You don’t negotiate with someone by torching his house first.

    The only thing that I can think Bernie’s is doing is a) make enough of a stink that he acts like a third-party spoiler, b) get Donald Trump elected, and then c) plan to totally rebuild the whole structure after Trump turns the entire US into Kansas under Brownback and picks a fight with everyone else in the world.

    Oh well. Stupidity should hurt, and I expect both sides will (painfully) learn the truth of this axiom. But I sort of wonder about whether it’s really useful trying to salvage the sort of people we see in Oklahoma, where the state is in the ditch to the tune of a billion dollars, they’re having to worry about earthquakes caused by fracking, and they can happily waste their time on the sort of kabuki abortion politics we’ve been seeing.

    At some point, everyone is going to learn: you can’t negotiate with rising seas or traveling mosquitoes. They don’t give a crap about PR or American Exceptionalism.

    Mama Nature ALWAYS wins.

  32. wr says:

    @edmondo: Wow!!!! Someone no one has ever heard of is leaving the Democratic Party!!! We’re doooooooooomed!!!!!!

  33. Facebones says:

    I really do not understand the demonization of Debbie Wasserman Schultz by the Sanders campaign or why they think it’s a political winner. 90% of democrats – including Berniacs – couldn’t pick her out of a line up, yet she is allegedly the font of all evil.

    When I ask why, I’m told “she fixed it for Clinton!” When I ask how she did that, I get told, “Debates!” Does anyone think there were too few debates? Did DWS create anti-Bernie rules just for this cycle? Not that I can tell.

    I’m sure it’s just a complete coincidence that it’s a woman the Bernie bros have a problem with.

  34. stonetools says:

    @Kylopod:

    Point taken. But all that talk stopped after ( and indeed, before) the final primaries. I would agree she fought hard right to the end. Despite that, from the Wikipedia summary, :

    Ahead of the West Virginia vote, Obama took the lead in committed superdelegates on May 9. Obama had picked up seven endorsements from superdelegates since the May 6 primaries.[367][369] Recognizing that the nature of the contest had changed, Clinton largely eliminated mention or criticism of Obama from her stump speeches and advertisements.[367]

    Clinton won the state by a 41-percentage-point margin,[368] and told supporters that she was “more determined than ever to carry on in this campaign”.[370] After exit polls revealed that large numbers of Clinton supporters were planning to vote for John McCain rather than Obama should she lose the nomination,[368] Clinton said it would be a “terrible mistake” for those voters to do so: “I’m going to work my heart out for whoever our nominee is. Obviously, I’m still hoping to be that nominee, but I’m going to do everything I can to make sure that anyone who supported me … understands what a grave error it would be not to vote for Sen. Obama.”[368]

    The bolded sections are what is different from the Sanders campaign. Again, the Sanders campaign is calling the whole process illegitimate. Clinton never did that.Clinton never talked about taking it to the convention.
    Now Sanders can still decide to turn things around and call for unity after the final primaries. But there is no inkling he will do that.
    Now maybe it’s par for the course that a candidate never talks about conceding till the day he concedes. But at this point, I have to believe that Sanders is going to do what he says he will do, and fight on till the convention.Historically, that’s not been a good thing for party unity- or party success in November.

  35. Sleeping Dog says:

    meh, its too late for bernie to run as an independent, but I bet the SWP nomination is still up in the air and he’d fit in well there.

    As a life long Dem, if Bernie got the nomination for some reason, I’d either leave the presidential choice blank or perhaps vote for Trump. Either will be a 1 term prez, so best it be the Rethug.

    I completely acknowledge that HRC could be a one termer also, see #41.

  36. EddieinCA says:

    Please release my comment from spam.

  37. Mikey says:

    @Facebones:

    90% of democrats – including Berniacs – couldn’t pick her out of a line up, yet she is allegedly the font of all evil.

    Not possible. The font of all evil is Comic Sans.

  38. michael reynolds says:

    This is not about the Democratic Party, Sanders’s agenda, progressive ideals or anything else. This is about stopping an authoritarian strongman from sitting in the White House.

    What is it about people that they cannot see the clear line from A to Z? We have one goal. Just one goal. No other goal. No other consideration.

    Sanders is not getting the nomination barring a miracle. And yet he’s busy trying to bury his boot in Hillary’s ribs as she crawls to the finish line. I don’t care if Hillary is a lousy candidate, it’s too late to go shopping for a good candidate. She’s all we’ve got. Why is that so hard for people to figure out?

    Waaaah, but I don’t wanna get in that lifeboat, it looks damp. I don’t wanna be saved by that fireman, he’s not cute. Jesus Christ. Prioritize. Focus.

    One goal. Period. Everything else comes later.

  39. wr says:

    @michael reynolds: “One goal. Period. Everything else comes later.”

    Absolutely. But I’m not too worried about all the yelling and whining now. When Hillary is nominated, the vast majority of Democrats will rally around her… no matter what they say now. Just look at the Republicans — you’ve got people who said that Trump was a cancer and worse now crawling up to lick his boots. It’s just the way we’re wired — when the team has a captain, the team members rally around.

    And I know there are lots of people worrying that this year is different, that Bernie is different… Every year is different, but this year the outcome will be the same.

    Bernie is talking tough now because he feels he’s still in the game. And when the primaries are over, he’ll find a way to support Hillary. Because he has devoted his entire life to progressive causes, and even if he feels HRC won’t do enough to champion them, he knows that a Trump White House will undo decades of progress.

    He may not remember that this morning, but he will in July.

    I don’t think I’m a Pollyanna. I’m certainly not saying that defeating Trump will be a cakewalk. But I have no doubt that Sanders will come around, and that the vast majority of his followers will as well.

  40. Tyrell says:

    It has been obvious that Debbie Schultz has favored Hillary. The organization that has been controlling this had the skids greased, the ramps lowered, the roads lined up, and the gears synchronized for the Clinton machine. Sanders came along and has been the bump in the road, the storm at the picnic.
    This was seen in the so-called “debates” which were scripted and choreographed like a Hollywood musical. Then Sanders got off the script and would not go along with the set up.
    See Federal Reserve Transparency Act. It is all starting to make sense.

  41. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @edmondo:

    I’d be willing to wager that the vast, vast majority of voters couldn’t name the ranking Democrat on ANY congressional committee. By the time that January rolls around, Sanders will have faded back into the obscurity from whence he came. Nobody will care …

  42. Tillman says:

    @Facebones:

    Does anyone think there were too few debates? Did DWS create anti-Bernie rules just for this cycle?

    Why would you schedule a debate on the weekend before Christmas if the point was to give your party’s candidates maximum exposure? Or how about the one that coincided with football games? The whole talking point that Sanders’s favorability comes from being unknown is a direct effect of the debate scheduling minimizing exposure. The DNC always had its thumb on the scale for Clinton, that’s not in contention. (it doesn’t qualify as “corrupt” per se) They had a specific strategy of letting Republicans self-destruct on the air waves while they quietly anointed a well-known and respected candidate, and that strategy has backfired in both areas. They overestimated the acrimony of the Republican race, and they underestimated the appeal of Sanders.

    @Kylopod: No, see, the whole Bobby Kennedy thing? She didn’t honestly mean it that way. That was people putting words in her mouth! She’d only associated Obama with Louis Farrakhan and circulated the Muslim Garb photos from Indonesia before mentioning how Kennedy was assassinated on the campaign trail.

    Seriously, ’08 was more bitterly divisive than today. The idea that this can all be excused because she is a party apparatchik is basically “It’s Okay if You’re Democrat” and is another way of Other-izing Sanders’s behavior today.

  43. Pch101 says:

    @Tillman:

    There will have been eleven Democratic debates. How many more do you want?

  44. al-Ameda says:

    In the hamlet where I live it seems clear to me that Bernie Sanders will get a clear majority of votes in the upcoming June primary. This area is strongly Democratic and the Republican Party hardly exists here. Most aging Boomer voters around here are in Bernie’s camp and they view Hillary as a sell-out establishment politician. It’s almost like it’s 1968 again, and Hillary is Hubert Humphrey to Sanders’ Gene McCarthy (but without McCarthy’s Midwestern sensibility.)

    Now, I’m not sure if Bernie’s people are the same elsewhere across Blue States, but Bernie’s people around here do not seem to be the type to realistically assess the potential November outcome and vote for Hillary, they seem more likely to sit it out.

    Hillary will have to finesse that bulls**t and put a strong liberal on the ticket. If the Sanders’ people still don’t like it, well they (like the rest of us) will have to deal with a President Trump.

  45. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @al-Ameda:

    True, but you live in California, if I’m not mistaken. Obama took California in 2012 by over 3 million votes, and we’ve seen a wave of Hispanic registration there over the past few months.

    The odds of California going red aren’t good, IMO, with or without Sanders supporters on board for Clinton.

  46. SKI says:

    Reminder:
    In May 2008 only 60% of Clinton supporters said they would vote for Obama
    In May 2016, 75% of Sanders supporters stated they would vote for Clinton.

    The issue isn’t whether Sanders supporters will, by and large, vote for Clinton. They will.
    The issue is whether Clinton can keep turnout high and keep Dems and Dem-leaners form being complacent. .

  47. An Interested Party says:

    Seriously, ’08 was more bitterly divisive than today. The idea that this can all be excused because she is a party apparatchik is basically “It’s Okay if You’re Democrat” and is another way of Other-izing Sanders’s behavior today.

    No, the idea is that what happened in 2008 can be excused because she came around in the end and supported Obama…if Sanders does the same, that’s fine, but who knows if he will…

    The issue is whether Clinton can keep turnout high and keep Dems and Dem-leaners form being complacent.

    The specter of a Trump presidency should help her very nicely with that…

  48. al-Ameda says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    True, but you live in California, if I’m not mistaken. Obama took California in 2012 by over 3 million votes, and we’ve seen a wave of Hispanic registration there over the past few months.

    The odds of California going red aren’t good, IMO, with or without Sanders supporters on board for Clinton.

    I’m not worried about CA going red, I’m worried about other states (so-called ‘purple’) where Trump has to run the table to win, and where it is important that Hillary get the kind of turnout that ensures that Trump is not going to be making the next set of nomination to the Supreme Court.

  49. Tillman says:

    @Pch101: And again, you demonstrate an inability to read. Point to me the part of my post where I wrote there weren’t enough Democratic debates held. My complaint was the same as it was back in December, that the DNC scheduled their debates during times guaranteed to result in low viewership. That has little to do with the number of debates.

    @An Interested Party:

    No, the idea is that what happened in 2008 can be excused because she came around in the end and supported Obama…if Sanders does the same, that’s fine, but who knows if he will…

    The exact same things Clinton partisans accuse Sanders of doing in this primary, field-testing Republican attacks on a likely nominee, are precisely what Clinton did in 2008 to a worse degree. Sanders says Clinton is unqualified in ’16? In ’08, Clinton says McCain was more qualified for the presidency than Obama. Sanders says the nomination process is rigged in ’16? In ’08, Clinton makes parallels to Zimbabwean elections in how representative the nomination process is. Sanders implies Clinton is corrupt from campaign donations in ’16? Clinton implies Obama is a foreigner in ’08, leading to one of the great conspiracy theories that gird relentless Republican obstruction to his presidency. And yet, these attacks of Sanders, minor in comparison, are the subject of such relentless vainglory around here. People write about how much respect they’ve lost for his candidacy, presuming they had any to begin with that wasn’t predicated on it being a flash in the pan over by Super Tuesday.

    And now, we can judge Sanders harshly because he hasn’t yet folded his campaign and allowed Clinton to go full bore at Donald Trump, despite how she hung on till June when the Republicans had wrapped it up in March of ’08 and Trump only just got the nomination a few weeks ago. (But it was so close in ’08!) Forgive me if I find this slipshod and relativistic. Thinking that accepts all of this as a given won’t gain success in November on any sort of merit.

  50. HarvardLaw92 says:

    Much like 2008 and the Ronulans, I will be overjoyed when Sanders is finally, officially eliminated and his army of fawning, genuflecting acolytes begins to STFU.

  51. Pch101 says:

    @Tillman:

    My complaint was the same as it was back in December, that the DNC scheduled their debates during times guaranteed to result in low viewership.

    I’m not sure what your gripe is. Do you not think that Sanders has enough opportunity to shine during the ten other debates that are part of the cycle, or are you unhappy that the Democrats had a consecutive series of debates during the middle of each month before the voting began?

    Actually, I know the answer: You just want to complain for the sake of it. You can’t just admit that Sanders is losing by a landslide because Democratic primary voters prefer his opponent.

  52. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    meh, its too late for bernie to run as an independent, but I bet the SWP nomination is still up in the air and he’d fit in well there.

    Not really possible. Too many states set their registration deadlines for the general election concurrent with their primary / caucus deadlines. For example, the deadline to register for the general election in California passed way back in March. Sanders would have to withdraw his registration as a Democrat for the general election in California, then file as SWP.

    Which he can’t do because the deadline to withdraw also passed back in March. The rules are set up precisely to prevent this sort of last minute shenanigans. In those states, which is most of them by this point, Sanders has to either run as a Democrat (which entails winning the nomination) or his name simply won’t be on the ballot at all.

    That same factor (too many missed deadlines) prevents him from running as a write in candidate as well.

  53. James Pearce says:

    @Pch101:

    Actually, I know the answer: You just want to complain for the sake of it.

    Once you get done beating that strawman, you won’t have any energy to address Tillman’s actual point.

  54. al-Ameda says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Much like 2008 and the Ronulans, I will be overjoyed when Sanders is finally, officially eliminated and his army of fawning, genuflecting acolytes begins to STFU.

    LOL!

  55. Pch101 says:

    @James Pearce:

    I suppose that it would have been preferable to have the December debate one week earlier, i.e. during Chanukah.

  56. Jen says:

    Reluctant to wade into the debate debate, but I thought that part of the problem with the debate schedule was that the DNC wanted to have at least half of the debates carried on the major networks vs. cable networks, citing an access issue for those who don’t have cable TV. The networks, on the other hand, were loathe to give up weekly prime time slots, which is why they ended up with such a weird schedule.

    I’m fairly certain I heard this very point discussed somewhere, but I can’t for the life of me track it down–could have been On The Media, or might just have been a panel discussion on one of the Sunday morning talk shows. Am I not remembering this correctly?

    At any rate, I don’t really think this was the biggest issue ever.

  57. An Interested Party says:

    @Tillman: Once again, if Sanders ends up endorsing Clinton once the dust settles, all of this is water under the bridge, but if he doesn’t, this year is going to look a lot uglier than 2008…

  58. James Pearce says:

    @Pch101:

    I suppose that it would have been preferable to have the December debate one week earlier, i.e. during Chanukah.

    Suppose what you want about an argument no one is making.

    If you want to beat up on Tillman, rather than just the Tillman-shaped shadow you’re currently boxing, attack this:

    “They (the DNC) had a specific strategy of letting Republicans self-destruct on the air waves while they quietly anointed a well-known and respected candidate, and that strategy has backfired in both areas.”

  59. Pch101 says:

    @James Pearce:

    There’s always be something to whine about. If it isn’t the Evil Debate of December, then it will be some other non-issue.

    Sanders is losing the Democratic primary because he is less popular than his opponent. Some folks need to get over it. Having a debate between Chanukah and Christmas that is so much of a secret that it can be easily found on YouTube and elsewhere on the internet has had no bearing on this defeat.

  60. An Interested Party says:

    They (the DNC) had a specific strategy of letting Republicans self-destruct on the air waves while they quietly anointed a well-known and respected candidate, and that strategy has backfired in both areas.

    Did it backfire? The GOP ended up with, arguably, the worst standard bearer for their party and, despite it all, Hillary is still the best chance the Democrats have to keep the White House…

  61. Jenos Idanian says:

    I feel the need to offer some extended observations.

    The discussions about how to handle Sanders and his supporters betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of Sanders and the Sandernistas, as the ideas tossed around for bringing them in/bringing them to heel are laughably wrong-headed.

    There are two concepts that define Bernie Sanders that must be understood to understand him, what motivates him, and what will not motivate him.

    The first is that he is incompetent. He was an utter failure in the private sector, and only found any kind of success in public office. He reacted like too many do to such failures — he refused to acknowledge his own shortcomings, and instead blamed the “system” for being rigged. That extends to seeing those who are successful as somehow undeserving of their success, because they only won because they cheated and the system was unfair.

    The first is that he is an idealogue. He views pragmatism as selling out. This is why, despite his longevity in Congress and tremendous electoral successes, he’s achieved astonishingly little in all his years of service.

    When he was mayor of Burlington, he was a member of the Socialist party. He didn’t change any of his principles when he ran for Congress, he just dropped the party, and he won repeatedly as an independent (who reliably voted with the Democrats). He didn’t join the party until recently, so he has no great loyalty to the party. So threatening him with some procedural penalties if he doesn’t knock it off means less than nothing to him — literally. He would see it as a badge of honor.

    The Sandernistas identify with Sanders on the “idealogue” part. (A lot of them also fall into the “incompetent” part, too, but that’s not part of their self-image.) They don’t see things mainly on a left-right axis, but a pure-corrupt axis. The good guys can’t be bought, the bad guys can.

    Sanders can’t be bought. He’s proven, repeatedly, that he has no interest (or ability) with money. His wife is equally lacking — she headed up Burlington College for years, took on a ton of debt to buy more land, and the college just folded because it couldn’t handle that debt. (Yo, college students — you’re backing a man whose wife killed a college.)

    Trump, likewise, can argue that he can’t be bought. For one, he says he’s wealthy enough. For another, he freely admits that he’s bought politicians in the past, and it sickened him enough to want to clean up the system. For a third, political corruption works best quietly, and Trump’s style is to reward his friends and punish his enemies — but to do it publicly. He doesn’t want to cover up his actions, he puts up billboards bragging about them.

    Hillary Clinton? Not only can she be bought, she has been bought. Repeatedly. For years. Trump openly bragged about buying her and Bill’s presence at his last wedding. They made millions off “speaking fees” from Wall Street and Big Banks and Big Business and foreign countries since he left the White House. The whole Clinton Foundation was set up to launder money into their pockets.

    As far as ideology, Hillary has plenty of non-progressive baggage that the Sandernistas won’t be likely to forgive. Her husband’s tenure was remarkably progressive for the times, but in hindsight a lot of those have become toxic. NAFTA. His crime bill. Welfare reform. “Don’t ask, don’t tell.” And Hillary herself voted for the Iraq War.

    On the other hand, Trump is no idealogue. His political philosophy is all over the map, and incredibly fluid. (That’s a polite way of saying “he’s totally inconsistent, and flip-flops.”) Which means casting him as the Right-Wing Extremist Boogeyman (Standard Democratic Tactic #1) ain’t gonna fly. Not even the Sandernistas are stupid enough to fall for that one.

    So that leaves their idealism. And on those grounds, Hillary is in even worse shape. She’s built her whole political life out of saying that she’s special, she deserves things, and ordinary rules don’t apply to her. She’s everything the Sandernistas hate about the establishment.

    On the other hand, Trump can tell them that he’s seen the establishment from the other side, and it’s just as ugly from there, and he wants to smash it too.

    Trump is already playing major-league hardball with Hillary, and it’s only going to get uglier.

    And more entertaining.

  62. James Pearce says:

    @Pch101:

    There’s always be something to whine about. If it isn’t the Evil Debate of December, then it will be some other non-issue.

    Well, first, there was no “whining” in Tillman’s comment. Second, while you thought he was talking about the debate schedule, he was actually talking about overall strategy, which is one of those very issue-y “non-issues” that should not be so smugly dismissed.

    Sanders is losing the Democratic primary because he is less popular than his opponent. Some folks need to get over it.

    And this is the smugness I’m talking about…

    Of course Clinton is going to win the primary. But the DNC needs to know: She’s vulnerable. Sanders has exposed just how vulnerable.

  63. Jenos Idanian says:

    @James Pearce: But the DNC needs to know: She’s vulnerable. Sanders has exposed just how vulnerable.

    And I don’t see her getting any less vulnerable. Quite the contrary.

    Her only chance is to make Trump even more vulnerable, and I don’t see that happening, either.

    The DNC better have their Plan B ready. Time to dust off the playbook from the 2002 New Jersey Senate race…

  64. James Pearce says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Trump, likewise, can argue that he can’t be bought.

    His big treatise is called “The Art of the Deal.” He can most definitely be bought. You just have to name the price. (Think of it this way: You or I don’t have that kind of money. But Vladimir Putin does…)

    I like that Trump’s not an ideologue, but he is kind of all over the place, isn’t he? And that hair, and that orange tan, and those flapping lips just flap flap flapping away.

    Yeah, he’ll say mean things about Hillary, some of them even true, but that doesn’t mean he should be in the White House. Don’t be fooled, Jenos. Hillary Clinton is a goat, but Donald Trump is a disaster in waiting.

  65. Pch101 says:

    Things that I learned from the internet today:

    – By beating the pants off of Sanders in the primaries, Clinton is proving how vulnerable she is in the general election.

    -Debates shouldn’t be scheduled in December, lest someone find something to complain about. (Of course, not having a debate in December would probably also provide something to whine about, so you just can’t win this one.)

    I’m starting to think that this internet thing might be overrated.

  66. Jenos Idanian says:

    @James Pearce: Yeah, he’ll say mean things about Hillary, some of them even true, but that doesn’t mean he should be in the White House. Don’t be fooled, Jenos. Hillary Clinton is a goat, but Donald Trump is a disaster in waiting.

    You’re overreaching a bit there. I’ve said a lot of “this is what I see happening,” a lot of “this is what I think will happen,” and a lot of “this is why I think it will happen.” I have been very, very careful to NOT say “and it will be awesome.”

    Absolutely Trump is a potential disaster. Hillary’s a potential disaster, and Sanders is pretty much a guaranteed disaster. We’re boned, and we boned ourselves.

    To my way of thinking, Sanders is a guaranteed disaster, Hillary’s a very likely big disaster, and Trump is a slightly less likely but potentially worse disaster than Hillary. So, for me, it boils down to:

    Sanders: virtually guaranteed huge disaster.

    Hillary: extremely likely very big disaster.

    Trump: pretty likely huge disaster.

    This time around I’m feeling remarkably detached and uninvested, so I’ll bet on Trump. I see him as slightly less likely to fail than Hillary, but if he does he will fail at least as badly as she will, and probably worse. So I’ll hold my nose, vote for him, and hope I read the odds properly.

    But neither are yet the official nominee, and we still have half a year of things that can happen, so I’m reserving my right to change my mind should circumstances warrant.

  67. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Pch101: And today I learned just how obtuse and stupid you can be if you really, really set your mind to it.

    The DNC scheduling matter wasn’t that they were in December, it was that they put them on during television graveyards. Saturday nights. Up against major sporting events. Against other big draws.

    They timed them for times when very few people would be watching.

    Now that it’s been spelled out to you, can you drop the stupid act? There are some people here who I know are really that stupid, but I didn’t think you were one of them.

  68. Pch101 says:

    The Republicans have two of their debates on Saturdays, and nobody cares.

    The Democrats have two of theirs on Saturdays, and it’s some sort of vast conspiracy.

    The internet is like a magnet for the stupid.

  69. Jenos Idanian says:

    @James Pearce: His big treatise is called “The Art of the Deal.” He can most definitely be bought. You just have to name the price. (Think of it this way: You or I don’t have that kind of money. But Vladimir Putin does…)

    There’s a difference between cutting a deal and being bought. Trump’s argument is that he’d be cutting the best deal for the nation, not himself. And I’ll repeat: part of “being bought” is the covert aspect of it, and Trump’s deals are anything but covert. He loves to brag about the deals he makes, he loves to show how he rewards his friends and punish his enemies. He can argue that his ego won’t let him make such secret dealings.

    Again, I’m not saying that is the case, but it’s an argument that can be made.

    Finally, as far as being bought by Putin, we’ve already seen that Hillary’s price is a hell of a lot less than President Trump’s would be.

  70. James Pearce says:

    @Pch101: Close enough, I guess.

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Hillary: extremely likely very big disaster.

    Trump: pretty likely huge disaster.

    See, the problem for me, is that the way I see it, Hillary is the only one of them most likely NOT to be a disaster, and I say that as an 08-style Obama partisan who really doesn’t like her in public life at all.

    And Trump in anything but the “guaranteed disaster” category? His presidential run is the latest in a long list of cons he’s been running in this country. This one seems like a no-brainer to me.

  71. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Pch101: OK, you really are that stupid, so let me do a little homework — the kind you aren’t smart enough to do.

    Debate 1: Tuesday, October 13. Up against both Games 4 of the baseball playoffs.

    Debate 2: Saturday, November 14.

    Debate 3: Saturday, December 19.

    Debate 4: Sunday, January 17. New England Patriots and St. Louis Cardinals both make it into their Conference championships.

    Debate 5: Monday, January 25. Broncos and Panthers both win, getting into the Super Bowl.

    During that same stretch of time, the Republicans held 7 debates. And to record audiences.

    I really didn’t think you’d be this good at playing stupid, but I guess I underestimated you.

    Or you’re not playing.

    Did you get a little too close to the magnets again?

  72. Jenos Idanian says:

    @James Pearce: Then I think we’ll have to agree to disagree.

  73. Pch101 says:

    Of course, nobody in the media talks about or show clips of the debates once they haven taken place and recordings of the debates aren’t posted on the internet, so there’s no possible way for anyone to see or know about them after the fact. Who knew?

  74. James Pearce says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Debate 5: Monday, January 25. Broncos and Panthers both win, getting into the Super Bowl.

    I missed this debate. But it was a real satisfying game.

  75. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Pch101: Dude… just stop.

    When I’m the one telling you that you’re embarrassing yourself, that you really need to stop digging, that it’s time to stop f$cking that chicken, you know it’s bad.

  76. Jenos Idanian says:

    @James Pearce: I didn’t miss it.

    I didn’t see it, but I didn’t miss it one bit.

  77. Pch101 says:

    Er, some folks need to figure out that there is some sort of MLB playoff game every day during October.

    And there is that whole recorded-material-on-internet thing that I mentioned, but whatever; it’s not as if anyone has heard of Youtube or anything.

    How we manage to have elections when there are sports on TV, I don’t know.

  78. An Interested Party says:

    Which means casting him as the Right-Wing Extremist Boogeyman (Standard Democratic Tactic #1) ain’t gonna fly.

    Of course that wouldn’t work and Democrats are well aware of that…it will be much more successful to paint him as he appears to be–a sexist, racist, xenophobic, conspiracy-spouting pig who will do who knows what once he has his grubby little hands on the nuclear codes…

    Trump is already playing major-league hardball with Hillary, and it’s only going to get uglier.

    And more entertaining.

    It’s hardly surprising that you find that entertaining…after all, you’re part of that bitter, middle-aged to older, lower middle-class heterosexual white male demographic that he appeals to so well…but others, particularly women, minorities, and other groups who already despise him, won’t find such things entertaining…

  79. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Pch101: Congrats. You’ve proven that the material is available — if someone’s willing to put the effort into it. The political junkies.

    The casual voters, the ones who start flipping channels when they’re bored and might get interested in passing, the ones to whom following politics isn’t a top priority (namely, not us) — not so much.

    Dude, I’m one of the most disliked people on this site. There are several of the commentariat who outright hate me, who pick fights with me at every opportunity, who will just plain make up crap to get me into a fight.

    They aren’t here defending you against me.

    No one is defending you.

    And I’ve got a bum leg, so I’m going to stop kicking your ass. I’m going to honor the Mercy Rule this once.

    Not out of pity for you, though. Never out of pity for you. But because my leg hurts, and I like to think I’m not that kind of bully.

  80. Jenos Idanian says:

    @An Interested Party: Damn, I just Beetlejuiced you in here, didn’t I?

    DAMN YOU, PCH!

  81. Todd says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I don’t care if Hillary is a lousy candidate, it’s too late to go shopping for a good candidate. She’s all we’ve got. Why is that so hard for people to figure out?

    I’m betting that we’ll get there when the primaries are actually over. I understand the math, but what’s annoying is that many in the Clinton camp have calling for Bernie Sanders to drop out since February … when Clinton won the SC primary.

    In the end, I think the best that Clinton Democrats can hope for is that Sanders takes to the trail this fall with a strong “stop Trump” message. That will probably be enough to bring around the great majority of his supporters.

    What could possibly ruin it, is if the Democrats decide that’s not good enough … and demand (publicly) that needs to be more “pro Clinton”.

  82. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian: Shorter Jenos: Even when I cut and paste from Red State I end up making it even dumber. Because that’s how special I am!

  83. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian: “The first is that he is incompetent. He was an utter failure in the private sector, and only found any kind of success in public office.”

    So competency only applies to the private sector? Being a multiply re-elected senator has nothing to do with competence?

  84. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian: How to tell when Little Jenos realizes he’s getting his butt kicked in an argument, step one:

    “When I’m the one telling you that you’re embarrassing yourself, that you really need to stop digging, that it’s time to stop f$cking that chicken, you know it’s bad.”

    Step two is to start flailing his little hands and screaming “You’re stupid stupid stupid stupid,” just like the alien invader in Plan 9 From Outer Space.

    Step three is to announce that his multiple minimum wage jobs are keeping him too busy to possibly waste his time in a forum like this.

    Oh, step four is to pretend to disengage with whatever silly buzzphrase he’s decided on for the week, whether it’s the current “click” or the previous “I’m not responding” (posted after every message).

  85. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian: “They aren’t here defending you against me.”

    Only because what you’re “arguing” is so boring and unimportant no one can be bothered. “Oh, noes, evil Dhimmis scheduled debates wrong!!! Icky Dems did something something something Hillary icky waaaahhh!!!”

    The fact that no one’s arguing doesn’t mean people agree with you. It only means that you have finally found an argument that is actually beneath even you.

    Please proceed.

  86. Jenos Idanian says:

    The Beetlejuice Effect… do NOT mock it. It is all too real.

  87. Jenos Idanian says:

    @wr: There are several of the commentariat who outright hate me, who pick fights with me at every opportunity, who will just plain make up crap to get me into a fight.

    TOTALLY called it.

  88. Blue Galangal says:

    @Jenos Idanian: This was interesting so I put together a Google spreadsheet with both parties’ debate schedules versus MLB and NFL playoff schedules. Long story short, each party had one debate during the MLB playoffs. The Democratic debate was during the NLDS Game 4 (two games) and the GOP’s was during the World Series, Game 2. The GOP managed to avoid any debates during the NFL playoffs; the Democrats had one (NFC and AFC each playing a game that night).

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1aoiHLQh3-KtJjh4OqfcFQfaxCFLdiTpoGEY51hkxDkc/edit?usp=sharing

  89. Pch101 says:

    @Blue Galangal:

    One of the issues is that the Democrats make more of an effort to get their debates on broadcast TV. That necessarily restricts the schedule, since the networks are reluctant to give up their primetime slots to political debates.

    The Republicans rely more heavily on cable, particularly various Fox channels.

  90. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Blue Galangal: Interesting chart. Congrats on the work, and for avoiding certain people’s fixation on “day of the week” and looking at other elements.

    Taking a look at it, several factoids jump out at me.

    1) 12 GOP debates, 10 Democratic debates.

    2) Weekend debates: Democrats, 4/10 or 40%; Republicans, 2/12, or 16.6%.

    3) I recall several of the GOP debates collecting “record ratings,” but I don’t recall if those were records for their hosting networks, or in absolute terms. I don’t recall much talk about the Democratic debates garnering really high numbers.

    4) I introduced the “sports events” because I recall that as being talked about at the time. Other events also tended to overshadow some of the Democratic debates. For example, the November 14 debate took place the day after the Paris terrorist attacks. (Let me head off the idiots saying “so, the DNC coordinated with the terrorists on the timing?” and say that no, it could not have been planned, but it certainly changed the hell out of the dynamic of that debate. Some people would have been interested in other matters, and some would have watched the debate more closely.)

    5) Martin O’Malley dropped out on February 1, leaving just Bernie and Hillary. By that date, the Democrats had held 5 debates, the Republicans 7.

    6) The Republicans had a major advantage in audience draw: Donald Trump knows how to get attention and dominate the news cycle. He will likely be far more interesting to watch than either Hillary or Sanders.

    My basic point stands: the DNC set up the debates to minimize the risks to Hilllary, who is a terrible campaigner. The GOP figured that Trump would not be able to withstand too much scrutiny, plus they had a huge field, so they went for maximum attention.

    No judgments there, just observation.

    And again, nice work.

  91. Blue Galangal says:

    @Jenos Idanian: If I had time (and I actually did start to do this!) I’d have cross referenced it with TV premieres/ratings, current events, etc. It is very, very true that Trump is able to grab headlines; I remember thinking at the time that even though I knew a Democratic debate had been held, the headlines were either recapping what Trump had said/done, or speculating what Trump was going to do/say. And, as you say, the most people the Democrats fielded in a debate was five; I think the Republicans were still going strong with a full slate, and secondary debates, throughout the fall and even into winter. And let’s be real: in today’s reality-based TV world, it’s a lot more fun to watch Trump take on Megyn Kelly than to watch Clinton and Sanders talk about the nuances of tax plans. NOW I think Clinton and Sanders debating would garner a lot more attention and viewers, but it certainly didn’t in the fall and winter; although the DNC has a May debate listed in the schedule still, it’s all “TBD” so I did not include it in the spreadsheet. It would probably be a mistake for Clinton to debate Sanders at this point.