Bernie Sanders Is Either Delusional, Or He’s Lying To His Supporters

Bernie Sanders is continuing to let his supporters believe he has a chance to win the Democratic nomination. He is either delusional, or he is lying to his supporters.

Clinton Sanders Debate

Before the night is over on Tuesday night, Hillary Clinton will have garnered enough delegates to win the Democratic Presidential Nomination on the first ballot, but don’t tell that to Bernie Sanders, who is vowing that the Philadelphia convention will be a ‘contested convention’:

LOS ANGELES — Bernie Sanders urged news organizations on Saturday to hold off on declaring a victor in the Democratic presidential race following Tuesday’s primaries and vowed to soldier on to the party’s convention in July.

Sanders comments come as his rival, Hillary Clinton, is poised to effectively clinch the nomination following the close of the polls Tuesday in California, New Jersey, and four other states.

But the Vermont senator insisted that the delegate count is fluid. And he expressed confidence that he could persuade some “super delegates”— the party leaders who are not locked into voting for a particular candidate — to peel away from Clinton in the “six long weeks” before Democrats gather in Philadelphia.

“Now, I have heard reports that Secretary Clinton has said it’s all going to be over on Tuesday night. I have heard reports that the media, after the New Jersey results come in, are going to declare that it is all over. That simply is not accurate,” Sanders said at a news conference here.

Sanders then added, with emphasis, that the “Democratic National Convention will be a contested convention.”

Sanders’s defiant analysis served as a kickoff for a whirlwind day of campaigning throughout the Los Angeles area. He later made an unannounced stop at Echo Park to shake hands with weekend revelers and held a town-hall meeting that focused on immigration policy.

Sanders ended the day at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, where he spoke beneath the stadium’s famed Olympic flame, which fluttered in the wind above a crowd of more than 13, 000.

Reality, of course, is far different from the fantasies that Bernie Sanders is feeding to his supporters. As thing stand right now, Hillary Clinton is within less than 100 delegates of clinching the nomination. This includes both the 2,323 delegates included in the RealClearPolitics Delegate Count, the delegates that are likely to be awarded to her as a result of her overwhelming win in yesterday’s Virgin Island Caucuses, and the delegates she is likely to win as a result of today’s primary in Puerto Rico. The final victory that is likely to put her over the top will be her expected win in New Jersey on Tuesday night, where her current overwhelming lead in the polls indicates that she is likely to win the substantial portion of the 161 Garden State delegates up for grabs.  Yes, this will include both pledged delegates that Clinton has won during the course of the campaign and the the roughly to-date 547 “Superdelegates” that have pledged to support Clinton at the convention. Theoretically, it is possible that some portion of these “Superdelegates” could change their mind between now and July, but the odds that they are going to back anyone other than the person who has earned the most popular votes, won the most delegates, and won the most states are exceedingly low to say the least.

Given all of this, it would be absurd for the news networks to ignore the fact that Hillary Clinton has passed the milestone she needed to in order to become the first female nominee for President of a major American political party. The numbers will be right there in front of their faces and not making note of it would be absurd under the circumstances. Granted, we may see the networks be cautious about making such a call early in the evening given the fact that California’s polls will remain open for several hours after New Jersey’s close, as will the polls in North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and New Mexico. However, if it is clear that Hillary Clinton has surpassed the threshold needed to win the nomination then the media is going to acknowledge that fact at some point during the evening, and most certainly after the night is over regardless of the outcome in the remaining states.

Notwithstanding all of this, Sanders continues to insist that he can still win the nomination by persuading some percentage of the “Superdelegates” supporting Hillary Clinton to switch their support to him, but even the idea that a small number of them would do so is an absurd idea that’s barely worth entertaining. Even if Sanders manages to pull off a win in California on Tuesday, something that appears to be increasingly unlikely given that Hillary Clinton continues to hold at least a marginal lead in the Golden State. A Clinton loss in that state won’t look good, obviously, but it’s also not going to matter when it comes to determining who the nominee will be, and in the end that’s all that matters.

It’s understandable on some level why Sanders is saying these things. His campaign has come a long way, and accomplished far more than most analysts and pollsters expected that he would. Keeping up the current level of enthusiasm through Tuesday, or through next Tuesday’s primary in the District of Columbia, would be difficult for Sanders to do if he admitted defeat. At the same time, though, claiming that you are going to pursue a contested convention when it’s already clear what the outcome is going to be is nothing short of delusional, and if Sanders already knows this then he is outright lying to his supporters and giving them hope where no real hope exists. Additionally, the longer he holds out from endorsing Clinton and working to heal the rift between his supporters and hers the more he risks damaging Democratic chances in the fall and the less influence he’s likely to have vis a vis the issues he claims to care about.

The ball is in your court Senator, what to do with it is your choice.

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. Lit3Bolt says:

    Why not both?

  2. charon says:

    Both. Also a pretext for using concession/endorsement as a bargaining chip. The guy is too delusional to realize that the longer he holds out, the less (if anything at all) he can get as compensation for endorsing.

    HRC has girl cooties, so giving anything at all to that male chauvinistic fellow is poor image building.

  3. Pch101 says:

    Additionally, the longer he holds out from endorsing Clinton and working to heal the rift between his supporters and hers the more he risks damaging Democratic chances in the fall and the less influence he’s likely to have vis a vis the issues he claims to care about.

    If his goal is to deliver voters to Clinton, then it would be helpful for him to put up a fight until the convention, then lose gracefully and rally his supporters to her aid while saying that they have stuck to their principles, etc.

    But I don’t know if that’s what he wants. If he does want to burn the whole thing down, then that could change the dynamics of the general election, as this one will be won on the margins.

  4. JohnMcC says:

    I recall an interview with Sen George McGovern after his crushing defeat in which the interviewer asked how the Senator kept his campaigning at a very high level until the election when it was clear for months that he was trailing terribly. McGovern replied that he thought he was going to win, despite the polls. Nothing new here.

  5. Thomas Hilton says:

    @JohnMcC: Though according to Mark Kleiman, his campaign advisors didn’t believe it:

    I bitterly recall writing what for me at the time was a substantial check to the McGovern campaign in the fall of 1972, in response to a desperate-sounding direct mail appeal and inspired by the idea that I was helping to defeat Richard Nixon. Only later did I learn that McGovern’s advisers, having given up on the Presidency by October, decided to cut back on expenditures to run a surplus, which was then diverted – perfectly legally – to McGovern’s Senate re-election campaign two years later. I felt – still feel – that I’d been flim-flammed.

  6. Thomas Hilton says:

    Reality check: if Sanders wins half the remaining pledged delegates (SPOILER: he won’t), he’ll still be nearly 500 short of a majority of all delegates. That’s ~450 superdelegates he’d have to peel off in order to get a majority. Not going to happen.

  7. Tyrell says:

    @JohnMcC: McGovern did not have a chance before he even got out of the gate. Radical leftists had taken over the party leadership. Then there was the vice president nominee fiasco. Nixon was the incumbent and riding high. It started out downhill and got deeper.

  8. Todd says:

    I’d actually be surprised if Bernie Sanders ever “endorses” Clinton … at least in any sense that she and her supporters would be satisfied with. He’s already said that if he doesn’t win the nomination he will work hard to ensure that Donald Trump does not become President. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that he will take to the stump with a “pro-Clinton” message.

    I think where a lot of Democrats get confused about Bernie supporters is thinking that it’s some sort of a top-down type phenomena. If he dropped out of the race tomorrow and endorsed Clinton, he’d almost immediately be labeled a “sell out” by a significant percentage of his supporters. And it would almost cement those voters opposition to anything having to do with the Democratic party. And I know one of the things many Democrats will expect is for Sanders to fundraise for Clinton. It doesn’t take a psychic to predict what kind of (negative) reaction such an email to Sanders’ list would likely receive.

    The best thing the Democrats can do is just let this play out. Trump himself is their best “weapon” against Trump. I’ve derided the Democrat’s message of “hey at least we’re not as bad as the Republicans” in the past. But in this Presidential race, it’s probably going to be the most effective. Calling Sanders supporters names, and trying to convince them that they have to actually like Hillary Clinton will probably not work. But after the conventions are over, and it really does become a choice between Trump and Clinton, a simple message of “you might not like Hillary Clinton, but at least she’s competent to hold the office of President, unlike thin skinned Donald Trump whose temperament disqualifies him” will probably be enough to persuade most Sanders voters in swing States to check the box next to Clinton’s name.

    … unless of course “thin skinned” Clinton supporters continue to attack them as the “enemy” instead of focusing on Donald Trump.

  9. wr says:

    @Todd: Wow, you and your little friends are a bunch of precious flowers, aren’t you? Here’s the sad news — no one’s going to bother tiptoeing around the Bernie Bros pretending that he didn’t lose, which seems to be what you expect. They’re not going to get down on their hands and knees and apologize for winning. All these spoiled children will have the opportunity to vote for a candidate who agrees with almost all the positions they claim to be passionate about or not, or they can tacitly support Trump. And all your whining about how those mean Hillary people didn’t respect our precious emotions enough to get us to help keep the country out of the hands of a madman just paints your portion of the Bernie movement as a bunch of spoiled children whose only care is a sense of their own importance.

    You guys can grow up, or you can go off in a corner and sulk. At this point, I don’t care which. I just which you’d stop posting messages in which you brag about your purity and complain that everyone who doesn’t love you is just corrupt. Just because you refuse to grow up doesn’t mean that your message isn’t getting really old.

  10. Barry says:

    @Pch101: “If his goal is to deliver voters to Clinton, then it would be helpful for him to put up a fight until the convention, then lose gracefully ….”

    The problem is that he’s been losing quite ungracefully.

  11. An Interested Party says:

    In the end, Sanders is really hurting himself…once all the dust settles, he will have completely marginalized himself and, although he thinks he is the head of some kind of movement, he won’t have any political power to make the progressive changes he wants to make, particularly in the Senate…but hey, at least he will remain pure…

  12. Todd says:

    @wr: This is not about me. At this point I will almost certainly cast an “anti-Trump” vote by checking the box next to Hillary Clinton’s name.

    But from a bigger picture perspective, every moment that Democrats spend attacking voters that they actually want on their side in November is the epitome of counter productive.

    Let’s see what happens on Wednesday morning.

    I expect that Clinton will probably win California. If she does, I expect we’ll see a pretty dramatic change in messaging from the Sanders camp. However, if she doesn’t win California, Democrats will have a real problem … and it won’t be that Sanders stayed in the race, it will be the reality that even after the nomination has been all but wrapped up for months, perhaps half of left-leaning voters in the largest (and most diverse) State in the country still want someone other than Hillary Clinton to be the nominee.

    As I said, I don’t expect that to happen … I think Clinton will win by something around 53%-47%

    But if the reverse happens, the Democratic civil war will just get bloodier (fueled by both sides). And the only one who benefits from that is Donald Trump.

  13. Tyrell says:

    @An Interested Party: Sanders and his people are not going to accept some campfire marshmallow roast and singing “row your boat” holding hands with Hillary and her people. Sanders will want a big share of the platform. But Hillary will be making a huge mistake if she runs on a platform that reads like it was co-authored by Karl Marx. That will give Trump a field day. The people will not go for more taxes and more government. This is not some country in Europe.

  14. Pch101 says:

    @Todd:

    (E)very moment that Democrats spend attacking voters that they actually want on their side in November is the epitome of counter productive.

    If you truly believe that, then stop doing it.

  15. Todd says:

    @An Interested Party:

    he will have completely marginalized himself and, although he thinks he is the head of some kind of movement, he won’t have any political power to make the progressive changes he wants to make

    This depends. If we’re talking about political power within the Democratic establishment, that was never going to happen anyway. Sanders has been marginalized, and will continue to be marginalized … even if he endorsed Hillary Clinton this afternoon.

    I think the longer term view is what Sanders is starting to do in his endorsement of progressive candidates in Congressional races. That’s not going to change things overnight, but in the long-run it is the most likely path to actual progressive change within the party.

    Sanders would be marginalized and lose all credibility on that front if he does capitulate and endorse the Democratic establishment nominee. I think this is the most likely reason we won’t see an actual Sanders endorsement of Hillary Clinton.

  16. Grumpy Realist says:

    Math–how does it work?

    Yes, there’s the possibility that Hillary will not be the candidate because a) a meteorite falls on her b) she has a heart attack, c) the dreams of the far right come true and the FBI accuses her of treason because of Benghazi/email/Whitewater, d) a rabid moose bites her.

    But aside from the above? Uhhhh—no.

    I wonder if Bernie buys lottery tickets?

  17. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Tyrell: The song you’re looking for is “Kumbaya.” Just sayin. You need to keep the dog whistles straight if you’re going to do this.

  18. Todd says:

    @Pch101

    : If you truly believe that, then stop doing it.

    First off, I’m not attacking anybody. But even if I was, so what? I’m not a Democrat.

    All of the people who love to argue with me are going to vote for Hillary Clinton in the fall anyway. Sanders supporters “bad attitudes” are not going to cause them to stay home or vote 3rd party in the fall.

    That’s not necessarily true on the flip side. I’m a pragmatist at heart. I do see the value in voting for the “lesser of two evils”. But at the same time, I absolutely understand the inclination of some to just say “screw it, burn the house down” when they are continually denigrated and attacked.

    One last time, if Democrats goal is for Hillary Clinton to win in the fall by the most comfortable margin possible, every second they spend portraying Sanders supporter as “the enemy” is counter-productive.

    It makes no sense to attack people who you want on your side.

  19. JKB says:

    As long as the FBI is in the race, Sanders would be foolish to release his delegates. The DNC isn’t helping by floating Biden/Warren as rescue candidates when they have another primary candidate right there.

    In any case, Sanders is doing party work, communist party work, in beefing up the hardcore socialist/communist faction of the Democratic party. The Dems will be moving even more to the hard Left in the future. Well, right up until the economy collapses. And if The Donald wins, that hard Left faction will rise in power with in the Democratic party

  20. grumpy realist says:

    @Todd: We’ve got “Burn it down” (or is that “Bern it down”?) from the Bernie-bots and the same from the Trumpenproletariat.

    All the while China is quietly developing its S&T base and getting more and more momentum in the technologies that will, in fact, shape the future. I just read an article on China discovering that graphene put on top of solar cells improves efficiency because the water in raindrops running down graphene turns out to act like a solar cell on its own.

    The only thing China has to do is sit back, watch us tear ourselves to pieces, and then take over.

    Time to learn Chinese….

  21. grumpy realist says:

    @JKB: The economy is most likely to collapse when Donald Trump (with the idiotic Tea Party types behind him) decides to default on the government debt.

    But it’s all the Democratic Party fault, right?

  22. Pch101 says:

    @Todd:

    It makes no sense to attack people who you want on your side.

    Then why do you keep doing it?

    Most of the whining is coming from the Sanders camp. Clinton is winning, remember?

  23. Todd says:

    @grumpy realist:

    All the while China is quietly developing its S&T base and getting more and more momentum in the technologies that will, in fact, shape the future.

    The only thing China has to do is sit back, watch us tear ourselves to pieces, and then take over.

    Isn’t it ironic that an autocratic government is actually more forward looking than the “greatest Democracy the world has ever seen”?

    Electing President Clinton is not likely to change that trajectory. The Democratic party is as bought and paid for by Wall Street and corporate America as the Republicans… and in our crony capitalist society short term profits (for the few) is all the really matters. Screw the future.

    The election of Donald Trump would only serve to speed up our demise … although with him, Wall Street would likely burn too … or maybe even first.

  24. rachel says:

    @grumpy realist:

    But it’s all the Democratic Party fault, right?

    Well they’re so sane. Only stuck-up jerks are sane like that. Not to mention that the economy tends to do better in states where they’re in charge. It’s infuriating.

  25. Andre Kenji says:

    Joe Sestak and Donna Edwards lost in the primaries. And they lost in part because the Bernie Sanders campaign diverted money and activists from their campaign. There is no movement, Bernie Sanders is the new Jesse Jackson.

  26. DrDaveT says:

    @Todd:

    He’s already said that if he doesn’t win the nomination he will work hard to ensure that Donald Trump does not become President.

    I for one would actually prefer that to having him try to convince his supporters that Hillary is A Good Thing. I agree with you that this would not be a successful tactic with many of them.

  27. Gustopher says:

    When the primaries are over, I expect Sanders will endorse Clinton, and that the BernieBros will have a sad. He’ll fight for the platform, and he won’t release his delegates, but he will endorse Clinton — and it will be a strong endorsement, not an endorse-in-the-middle-of-the-night-and-then-hide thing that so many of the Republicans are doing with Trump.

  28. Tyrell says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: It was right there, but I could not think of it for nothing. Well, my favorite part of the campfires was always the inevitable ghost stories !

  29. DrDaveT says:

    @JKB:

    In any case, Sanders is doing party work, communist party work, in beefing up the hardcore socialist/communist faction of the Democratic party.

    You say that almost as if you knew what those words meant.

    By any objective policy measure, the most extreme left-wing fringes of the Democratic party are dead center moderate on a global scale. To paraphrase Richard Farina, “Been right so long, it looks like left to me.” I assume this is the same social phenomenon whereby tiny doctrinal differences among conservative Christians lead them to label their opponents Satanists and Atheists, when the difference between them is all but invisible to outside observers.

  30. Gavrilo says:

    In 2008, Hillary didn’t drop out until after all the primaries even though she had no shot at the nomination. It didn’t hurt her politically, nor did it hurt the Democrats in November. I think this is helping Clinton. The media has to talk about the primaries instead of focusing solely on Inspector General reports and FBI investigations.

  31. Todd says:

    @Gustopher:

    but he will endorse Clinton — and it will be a strong endorsement

    That’s not going to happen, if for no other reason than there’s plenty of Youtube footage of Sanders saying Clinton was “unqualified”. He will look like a total hypocrite if he now “strongly” endorses her. The best case scenario is that he assumes kind of the same role as Elizabeth Warren has been filing lately … attacking Donald Trump without specifically endorsing Hillary Clinton.

    That also has the benefit of being the message with the best chance of swaying reluctant “anti-Clinton” left-leaning voters.

    The Clinton team finally found an effective/persuasive message the other day (please, don’t let them try to come up with something “better”)

    “Thin-skinned Donald Trump is too dangerous and unstable to be trusted with the nuclear codes”

    This is pretty much the only theme that should be repeated over and over again by anybody who doesn’t want to see him in the oval office. Trying to get people to “like” Hillary is just an unnecessary distraction … aside from the fact that it’s unlikely to work.

  32. wr says:

    @Todd: ” However, if she doesn’t win California, Democrats will have a real problem … and it won’t be that Sanders stayed in the race, it will be the reality that even after the nomination has been all but wrapped up for months, perhaps half of left-leaning voters in the largest (and most diverse) State in the country still want someone other than Hillary Clinton to be the nominee.”

    Sorry, but that’s just silly. I’m sure there are a lot of Democrats who would prefer someone other than Hillary to be the nominee. But you go on and make the assumption that this means that when Hillary is the nominee, they’ll be opposed to her because she beat their preferred candidate. And that’s just not how the vast majority of voters operate in either party.

    In the primary, you vote for who you want to be the party’s nominee.

    In the fall, you vote either for your party’s nominee or the other party’s nominee.

    There are generally small to medium differences between the candidates vying for the nomination.

    There are generally large to yuuuuge differences between the candidates vying for the general.

    So almost all the primary voters end up lining up behind their party’s nominee — as you see happening with all those neverTrump Republicans.

    Yes, there may be a handful of delicate flowers who are so crushed that their preferred candidate didn’t win that this sit this one out, or that they vote for a third party candidate they know has no chance of winning.

    But most people aren’t this narcissistic.

  33. wr says:

    @Todd: “Sanders would be marginalized and lose all credibility on that front if he does capitulate and endorse the Democratic establishment nominee.”

    Seriously? You think your fellow Bernie Bros are this stupid? Here’s the endorsement: “Secretary Clinton and I have many differences, and there are things about her platform I hope to convince her to change. But if we do not elect her this November, then we will be electing a madman who even if he does not bring us to the brink of nuclear war over some imagined slight, will destroy all the progress we have fought so hard to achieve over the last decades. This election is too important to sit out. Let us put a Democrat in the White House and spend the next four years working to elect better Democrats in every other office!”

    Anyone who turned his back on Bernie at that point is too stupid to breathe.

  34. Todd says:

    @wr:

    But most people aren’t this narcissistic.

    Democrats are on the verge of nominating someone who is objectively the most flawed candidate in modern party history. In what sane universe would a candidate with unfavorable ratings in the mid to high 50s be considered a “good” choice?

    There’s nothing narcissistic about continuing to view this as a mistake … especially when said candidate has not actually been nominated yet.

    When November rolls around, and especially if the race is close, I do agree that people in swing States who don’t hold their nose and check the box next to the Democrat’s name (even if it’s someone they don’t like) will be behaving in an incredibly short-sighted “cut off your nose to spite your face” manner. But until we get to that point, there is nothing illegitimate or wrong about continuing to oppose Clinton’s nomination.

  35. An Interested Party says:

    He will look like a total hypocrite if he now “strongly” endorses her.

    Well then he would just be continuing the trend as he has already shown himself to be a hypocrite regarding the super delegates…

  36. Todd says:

    @wr:

    Here’s the endorsement:

    There’s nothing wrong with that message. But I suspect that wouldn’t be considered a “strong enough” endorsement by many Clinton supporters.

    btw, please stop calling me a “Bernie Bro”. I’m opposed to Clinton’s nomination. I’m not necessarily a strong Sanders supporter. In truth, if we’re playing “fantasy politics”, I like this idea that’s been floating around where Sanders wins CA, Clinton has more email trouble, then a Biden/Warren ticket is nominated on the second or third ballot in a contested convention. (not going to happen … but I think that would actually be a better outcome at this point than Sanders getting the nomination instead of Clinton).

  37. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Todd:

    Isn’t it ironic that an autocratic government is actually more forward looking than the “greatest Democracy the world has ever seen”?

    No, it’s the realization, by the Chinese that economic theories are not inextricably linked to political philosophies. If Stalin had realized that Capitalism=/=Democracy, the Communists would not have needed to be replaced by the Mafia. Sadly, he was too busy being a kleptocrat to notice. The Chinese leaders have corrected the mistake. (And are still doing the kleptocrat part of it quite well from what I can see.)

  38. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Andre Kenji: Wow! Interesting idea. Thanks for being a voice of thinking on the thread.

  39. Todd says:

    @An Interested Party:

    Well then he would just be continuing the trend as he has already shown himself to be a hypocrite regarding the super delegates

    Again, you miss the point. It doesn’t matter what Clinton supporters think of Bernie Sanders. If he’s to have any influence in the future (including in the effort to defeat Donald Trump) it’s more important that he not give any reason for his supporters to consider him a hypocrite or a “sell out”.

    The Democratic Party and the Clinton Campaign need Sanders and his supporters. But especially if/when he officially loses the nomination, he doesn’t need them. It’s not like this is a young guy who is going to run for office again in the future.

    That’s the dynamic.

    There’s no incentive for Sanders to “kiss up” to Clinton … but there is incentive the other way around … no matter how much that fact may grate on the sensibilities of some of her most ardent supporters.

  40. Todd says:

    BTW, speaking of incentives … you’d have to be incredibly naive to believe that Clinton endorsed and campaigned for Obama in 2008 out of the goodness of her heart, or even for the good of the party. Unlike our current situation, she did have some good reasons to “make nice” with Barack Obama … but you can bet your bottom dollar that she also extracted some concessions in exchange for her support.

    With her likely nomination this year we are currently witnessing the end result of that deal 8 years ago.

  41. PJ says:

    @Todd:

    There’s no incentive for Sanders to “kiss up” to Clinton

    Is his campaign in debt? If so, who is going to pay it off? Is he going to ask his supporters to do so? The DNC? The Clinton Campaign? If it’s one of the latter two, then there is incentive for him to “kiss up” to Clinton.
    Does he want a speaking slot at the convention? Again, time for some “kissing up”.

    Or maybe he’s just going to go home to Vermont and sulk.

  42. An Interested Party says:

    Again, you miss the point. It doesn’t matter what Clinton supporters think of Bernie Sanders. If he’s to have any influence in the future (including in the effort to defeat Donald Trump) it’s more important that he not give any reason for his supporters to consider him a hypocrite or a “sell out”.

    Ahh, so it’s ok for him to be a hypocrite as long as his supporters don’t think that he’s a hypocrite…yeah, I get the point…for all the talk of purity, he’s just like any other politician…I bet one of the outcomes of this year’s primaries is that both parties pass rules making it very hard in the future for outsiders to run in their primaries, particularly people who only join their parties just to run in the primaries…

  43. Mikey says:

    @Grumpy Realist:

    a rabid moose bites her

    A Moose once bit my sister…

  44. Scott F. says:

    @Todd:

    Bernie was right when he said in California last night that “Hillary Clinton wants small, incremental changes. We want to transform this nation.” He has also been correct in the past when he has said this transformation can only come about through a political revolution.

    In spite of the groundswell of support Sanders has summoned with his campaign this cycle, his political revolution hasn’t even managed to wrest control of that portion of the political spectrum which should be his natural friends, so how is this force sufficient to bring about the transformational change of a nation where there are so many strong enemies?

    As of yet, the electorate is still too comfortable with the crony capitalist status quo, though populism is gaining strength. The sad truth is we have not yet reached the tipping point, especially with so many potential populist allies buying into nativist poison of Trumpism. One should not be so glib as to even faintly wish for our demise at the hands of The Donald in the interim.

  45. Scott F. says:

    @Todd:

    The Democratic Party and the Clinton Campaign need Sanders and his supporters. But especially if/when he officially loses the nomination, he doesn’t need them. It’s not like this is a young guy who is going to run for office again in the future.

    This is only true if Sanders cares not a whit for the policies he is claims to hold dear. His political future and the future he wishes for the country are not indivisible. I suspect Sanders knows this and even his most ardent supporters can be made to understand. Trump is the White House with the control of both chambers of Congress that would undoubtably come with his election would place everything that Sanders values in jeopardy.

    He and his supporters need Clinton to win. Don’t kid yourself.

  46. SKI says:

    @Todd:

    However, if she doesn’t win California, Democrats will have a real problem … and it won’t be that Sanders stayed in the race, it will be the reality that even after the nomination has been all but wrapped up for months, perhaps half of left-leaning voters in the largest (and most diverse) State in the country still want someone other than Hillary Clinton to be the nominee.

    Yeah, it was truly devastating to Obama when he lost Cali to Clinton in 2008…

  47. Pch101 says:

    Sanders has won 43% of the Democratic primary popular vote, yet he has 46% of the pledged delegates.

    That doesn’t seem fair. Do you think that Sanders will relinquish the extra delegates that he has received but did not win from the popular vote?

  48. Moosebreath says:

    @Todd:

    “There’s nothing wrong with that message. But I suspect that wouldn’t be considered a “strong enough” endorsement by many Clinton supporters.”

    I strongly doubt that. To the contrary, I think most Clinton supporters would be overjoyed at Sanders saying that.

  49. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Todd:

    Unlike our current situation, she did have some good reasons to “make nice” with Barack Obama … but you can bet your bottom dollar that she also extracted some concessions in exchange for her support.

    Uhhhh…You DO remember that she was named Secretary of State, right?

    (This episode of “Firm Grasp of the Obvious” has been sponsored by Trump Water–the only famous brand of bottled water not actually sold anywhere.)

  50. DrDaveT says:

    @Mikey:

    A Moose once bit my sister…

    She was carving her initials in the moose with the dentist’s drill I gave her for her birthday…

  51. MarkedMan says:

    @Scott F.:

    He has also been correct in the past when he has said this transformation can only come about through a political revolution.

    I wonder about this. My impression is that revolutions to get rid of corruption inevitably replace one set of corrupt leaders with another. But I’m cynical and a Who fan to boot (“Meet the new boss, same as the old boss”) and could be wrong.

    So – I can think of many cases where systems became gradually more fair, more rule-of-law based, and less corrupt. Can anyone think of an occasion where there was a sudden, dramatic change in power from a corrupt to a non-corrupt system?

  52. Mister Bluster says:

    God whispers in his ear: David, don’t be a fool!

    After days of prayer, reflection, and serious study of the possibilities, I am not going to run as an independent candidate for president of the United States.
    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/436222/david-french-not-running-president

  53. Todd says:

    @An Interested Party: I

    bet one of the outcomes of this year’s primaries is that both parties pass rules making it very hard in the future for outsiders to run in their primaries, particularly people who only join their parties just to run in the primaries…

    Oh that would be smart. Let’s give an even bigger FU to the 45% of voters who don’t wish to join either party.

    One of the most disappointing things (to me anyway) about this whole primary process is the light that has been shined on how willing Democrats are to leverage the tools of voter suppression … as long as it benefits their preferred candidate. And yes, closed primaries and/or ridiculously early registration dates are examples of voter suppression.

  54. Todd says:

    p.s. before anyone throws out a red herring, I’m not saying that Sanders “would have won”. I’m just saying that it was disappointing how gleeful some of you were earlier in the year when discussing how great it was that an upcoming State’s primary would be closed … so that only “real” Democrats could vote.

  55. Pch101 says:

    @Todd:

    One of the most disappointing things (to me anyway) about this whole primary process is the light that has been shined on how willing Democrats are to leverage the tools of voter suppression

    Yeah, I find it odd that the diehard supporters of the guy who is running a distant second believe that the loser is winning.

  56. Grewgills says:

    @Todd:
    Closed primaries and early registration dates aren’t about attempts to limit voting by independents, rather they are attempts to prevent opposition party mischief in their primaries.

    On a side note, I noticed a fair bit of complaining from Sanders supporters that they were required to join the party to vote in its primary, even it same day registration was allowed. I guess they felt heir purity was somehow sullied if they joined the party, but not if they just voted in its primary. Its that attitude and the idiocy of some (not you) that have gotten themselves in such an anti-Clinton snit that they think Trump will be better or the Trump will bring about a revolution that will somehow be better for them. It is delusional at best. I think you get caught in the crossfire a bit trying to explain their position to people who live and argue politics daily.

  57. anjin-san says:

    @DrDaveT:

    Keep in mind that JKB is someone who invented his own definition of what “socialist” means, because the actual definition is inconvenient for his rather odd political views…

  58. Gustopher says:

    @Todd: You really have a pretty dismal view of Sanders supporters if you think they will walk away or vote Trump.

    Yes, Sanders should not have called Clinton “unqualified”, and now he will have to do a little tap dance to walk it back when endorsing the party’s nominee. Sanders has been a politician for decades — he can do a little tap dance, and I have little doubt that he will. He will also seize upon something and use it to declare a moral victory, or a victory for his ideas, or a victory for the American people, so he isn’t a sell-out.

    And a few of the BernieBros will come to the sad realization that their perfectly pure hero is actually a politician. They will have a sad. A few of those will vote Trump because they want to burn down the whole system. But most will accept the inevitable — in the voting booth, you are picking between compromises.

  59. Jen says:

    The closing of primaries is potentially the most likely outcome of any waves of reform to the system. It might not be a bad thing. People have moved away from parties to call themselves independents, but most continue to vote for the party they left. Closing primaries could make those folks decide to “come back into the fold” which would present the opportunity for more, and better, representation of their ideas at the party level.

    I am still highly doubtful this will happen.

  60. SKI says:

    @Jen:

    The closing of primaries is potentially the most likely outcome of any waves of reform to the system. It might not be a bad thing. People have moved away from parties to call themselves independents, but most continue to vote for the party they left. Closing primaries could make those folks decide to “come back into the fold” which would present the opportunity for more, and better, representation of their ideas at the party level.

    I am still highly doubtful this will happen.

    I’ve seen arguments by party activists both directions. Some, like you, want to have people register to strengthen their tie/allegiance to the party. Others, and these seem to be greater in numbers and the ones who are more data-driven, believe that allowing “independents” to vote in your primary makes them more likely to also read up on and vote for the down-ballot races both in the primary and the general.

    My instincts are towards the first given that we are selecting the nominee of the party and therefore it should be done by the party members. I wouldn’t want some random people to decide where my group of friends is going to have dinner if they aren’t part of that group and joining us. And I’ve always lived in a closed primary state. That being said, I trust the voices arguing for semi-open primaries enough to be ok with those without other affiliation to able allowed to vote. What I’m adamantly opposed to are declared members of a different party, voting in a party’s primary.

    I just don’t understand the point of view that limiting primary voting, which is designed to select the nominee of a party, to the members of that party is somehow voter suppression. No one is being prevented from voting. They can vote in the primary for their preferred party. I can understand the objection to deadlines that are way in advance but not the objection to registering for a party in order to vote it its primary.

    On the broader issue, I think the best/most likely reform is dramatically limiting caucuses, possibly just to Iowa (I don’t think we could realistically eliminate Iowa’s caucus altogether at this point).

  61. Barry says:

    @Todd: “That’s not going to happen, if for no other reason than there’s plenty of Youtube footage of Sanders saying Clinton was “unqualified”. He will look like a total hypocrite if he now “strongly” endorses her. The best case scenario is that he assumes kind of the same role as Elizabeth Warren has been filing lately … attacking Donald Trump without specifically endorsing Hillary Clinton.”

    OTOH, we’ve seen a whole stampede of former dissers of Trump rushing to kiss his – ring.

  62. Barry says:

    @Todd: “Democrats are on the verge of nominating someone who is objectively the most flawed candidate in modern party history. In what sane universe would a candidate with unfavorable ratings in the mid to high 50s be considered a “good” choice?”

    Thanks for starting with this; it saved me reading the rest of your comment.

  63. Todd says:

    @Gustopher:

    Yes, Sanders should not have called Clinton “unqualified”, and now he will have to do a little tap dance to walk it back when endorsing the party’s nominee.

    I don’t agree with that. In any rational world, she would be “unqualified” to be the nominee of one of the two major parties. But considering that other major party nominated someone who is not only unqualified (with no quotes), but horrifyingly unimaginable as President of the United States, we are left to defend Hillary Clinton as “flawed but at least competent … unlike thin-skinned Donald.”

    As for Sanders supporters, I don’t have a low opinion of them at all. I do think if it looks like the election is close, most will check the box next to Democratic nominee’s name. All I was saying is that I totally understand the inclination to say “screw you, I’m staying home, or voting 3rd party” after they’ve been attacked so vigorously by Clinton supporters.

    I think no matter what the outcome of this election, the Democratic party, in the way it’s responded to how unexpectedly well Sanders did during this primary, has done lasting damage to itself. If anything, the future will likely see even more people registering as Independents.

    And in response to @Grewgills and @Jen, closing primaries will only make it worse. People will register with a party when the party represents their ideas and values. Forcing people to register with a party just to have a say in who one of the two people with a realistic chance of winning will be is coercive, and ultimately ineffective.

    The Democrats are supposed to be “the party of the people”, but in our current environment, that statement is BS.

    Let’s look back at New York for example. Closed primary, with a ridiculously early cutoff for changing party affiliation. I get that there may have been legitimate reasons for doing so (to avoid cross-party “mischief”). However, in practice, many Clinton supporters were gleeful … “Yay, those pesky unaffiliated college kids won’t be able to come vote for Sanders.” That’s not a significantly different attitude than when Republicans are happy that their “voter fraud prevention” measures have the “unintended” (yea right) effect of making it harder for minorities to vote.

    I’ll continue to vote with Democrats, because Republicans are much worse. But I’m not at all proud about the association.

    The apathy, and in some cases disgust that so many citizens have for our political process should be a surprise to no one.

  64. Todd says:

    @SKI:

    On the broader issue, I think the best/most likely reform is dramatically limiting caucuses,

    You do know why some States have caucuses instead of primaries right? It’s because primaries cost money. If the State doesn’t pay for primaries, it’s much cheaper for the party to hold caucuses. If parties want a “closed” process, caucuses are probably what you’re going to get.

    When it comes to primaries though, unless political parties are going to start paying for their own elections, closed primaries are unconscionable. Why should taxpayers who choose not register with one of the two major parties have to pay for elections that they are excluded from participating in?

    Or, if we really want closed primaries, then State laws should be changed to also pay for the primaries of other parties besides Democrats and Republicans … plus make ballot access for Independent and 3rd party candidates easier during general elections.

  65. Jen says:

    @SKI:

    Some, like you, want to have people register to strengthen their tie/allegiance to the party.

    Quick point of clarification: I did not say I wanted this, simply that I a) understand the impulse; and b) think that the outcome *might* not be an overall negative, and c) the Republican party is actively pursuing this as a possible reform, along with a proposal to “group” primaries so that the first states don’t hold as much power/sway as they currently do.

    I live in New Hampshire, where our primary turnout as a percentage of the registered voter population is among the highest, if not the highest, in the country–and a lot of that is due to the open process we have (and a lot is due to the attention and focus on NH). I think there is close to no chance that NH would be on board with changing to a closed system.

    @Todd:

    closing primaries will only make it worse. People will register with a party when the party represents their ideas and values. Forcing people to register with a party just to have a say in who one of the two people with a realistic chance of winning will be is coercive, and ultimately ineffective.

    I don’t disagree–it may end up being ineffective. But parties are under no *obligation* to allow non-members to vote for their candidates. All I’m saying is that I understand the impulse to close things given the way things have turned out this year on both sides. I also think coercive is too strong a word. Bottom line: parties reflect their memberships. Expanding memberships include more voices, which in turn forces the parties to listen to their members.

    When the people complaining about the system are NOT members, the parties have less of an obligation–or interest–to listen to them.

  66. EddieInCA says:

    @Todd:

    After reading your posts for the better part of the last 30 days, Todd. I have a few assumptions.

    1. You’re between 24 and 32.
    2. You’re white.
    3. You’re college-educated, probably went to a good school.
    4. You’ve led a very blessed life (i.e. no criminal background, both parents around when you were a kid, normal well-adjusted siblings).

    I’m guessing all that – acknowledging that I could be completely wrong – based on the simple fact that most of your argument boils down to: “I don’t like the rules, so rather than try to change them, I’m going to bitch and complain and ignore them. My position is the most pure and I’m getting dirty just talking to you people.”

    You and your kind are the left wing Tea Party. You’d rather lose with purity and help elect someone who you KNOW is horrible for the country, rather than vote for someone that holds the exact same position as you on 90% of the issues. In other words, you and your ilk are Nader 2016.

    That worked out horribly.

    So grow the eff up. Quite acting like a child.

  67. grumpy realist says:

    @MarkedMan: There usually happens to be an actual revolution (you know, people running around with munitions, massed mobs of people in the streets, aristocrats or the equivalents getting killed/driven from their homes).

  68. SKI says:

    @Todd:

    When it comes to primaries though, unless political parties are going to start paying for their own elections, closed primaries are unconscionable. Why should taxpayers who choose not register with one of the two major parties have to pay for elections that they are excluded from participating in?

    So the issue is NOT “voter suppression” but use of taxpayer funds? Are you abandoning the voter suppression argument or do you have an argument for that?

    Or, if we really want closed primaries, then State laws should be changed to also pay for the primaries of other parties besides Democrats and Republicans … plus make ballot access for Independent and 3rd party candidates easier during general elections.

    I’m pretty sure State Laws don’t specifically state they will only pay for Democrats and the GOP. they are, instead, limited to those with a certain level of support in the last general election (or based on registrations). That support level, IIRC, ranges from 5% to 15%. For example, the Independent Party of Oregon reached “Major Party” status by hitting 5% in registrations in 2015 and got a state-funded primary.

    On the broader question, why are taxpayers funding primaries, the answer is that we beleive that primaries are better for encouraging political participation – a general civic good – than caucuses. So we fund them. There has to be some criteria for qualifying for funding. The question then becomes what is the right criteria? Is 5% really too high? If you can’t reach 5% in the prior election – or in overall registrations, should we be spending money on a separate primary that covers the whole state?

  69. SKI says:

    @Jen:

    Quick point of clarification: I did not say I wanted this, simply that I a) understand the impulse; and b) think that the outcome *might* not be an overall negative, and c) the Republican party is actively pursuing this as a possible reform, along with a proposal to “group” primaries so that the first states don’t hold as much power/sway as they currently do.

    Fair enough. I misunderstood your comment.

    I live in New Hampshire, where our primary turnout as a percentage of the registered voter population is among the highest, if not the highest, in the country–and a lot of that is due to the open process we have (and a lot is due to the attention and focus on NH). I think there is close to no chance that NH would be on board with changing to a closed system.

    I don’t think it has much to do with the fact NH is open* and everything to do with its First Primary in the country + the retail politics/culture that developed as a result.

    *Also, NH is not open but “semi-closed”. That is, unaffiliated voters can vote in any primary but voters who registered with a particular party cannot cross lines. Like I said above, I can understand this approach (in terms of building the party).

  70. grumpy realist says:

    @Todd: The problem with having the state pay for ALL the primaries is you’re going to get every two-bit “party” with a name and someone running insisting that the entire mess be staged for them at taxpayer expense. You’ve got to have a cutoff point.

    And I’m not too unhappy at states insisting on a political party needing to pony up a certain number of signatures before they be allowed to get on the ballot. Especially with the advent of the internet, it’s now much easier to organize and coordinate people across that geographic chunk called a state. Demonstrate that you’re actually serious about running, jump through the hoops necessary, and you too can be on the ballot. But just sitting there and whining? (As too many third parties do) Not good.

  71. Jen says:

    @SKI: Gah, I am not expressing myself clearly today– I know it’s semi-closed, but they do make it really, really easy for those registered as unaffiliated to vote. You go in, tell them which ballot you want, they register you for that party, you vote, and then there’s a table on your way out where you can switch back to unaffiliated. I’ve lived in closed primary states and open ones, and I’ve never seen quite the organization they have here in NH.

  72. MarkedMan says:

    @grumpy realist:

    There usually happens to be an actual revolution (you know, people running around with munitions, massed mobs of people in the streets, aristocrats or the equivalents getting killed/driven from their homes). – See more at: https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/bernie-sanders-is-either-delusional-or-hes-lying-to-his-supporters/#comments

    Usually, yes. But look at what just happened in Brazil. A fairly peaceful but overwhelming shout from the people that they wouldn’t tolerate the corruption. The leader (Roussef) is drummed out and… a bunch of corrupt politicians cut a deal and take over. It seems to me that is the norm.

    Despite that, I have thought of one contrawise case: Aung San Su Kyi. Released from years of house arrest and voted into power on the backs of a popular upwelling of demand for change. So there’s that. But change didn’t immediately happen overnight despite her electoral success and now she is leading a slow and careful slog to change government practices. In an odd way, she is seems to be working from within the current system.

  73. Todd says:

    @EddieInCA:

    After reading your posts for the better part of the last 30 days, Todd. I have a few assumptions.

    1. You’re between 24 and 32.
    2. You’re white.
    3. You’re college-educated, probably went to a good school.
    4. You’ve led a very blessed life (i.e. no criminal background, both parents around when you were a kid, normal well-adjusted siblings).

    Yes, to 2, 3 and 4. Missed the age by a fair amount on #1 though. I graduated from HS in 1987.

    As far as my “argument” though, not even close. I suspect that you (like a few others here) are imputing some of the attitudes you’ve encountered in others Sanders supporters onto me.

    In reality, I’m a pragmatist at heart. I will all but certainly be checking the box next to Hillary Clinton’s name on my ballot come November … because thin-skinned Donald really is too dangerous to let anywhere near the oval office.

    I’m not at all happy that’s my only (realistic) choice though … and I resent the hell out of the implication that people like me are somehow “hurting the Democrats” by continuing to voice legitimate criticisms of HIllary Clinton.

    I will absolutely tell anyone that Clinton should win in November because Donald Trump as President is unacceptable. What I will not do though is pretend that this is an outcome that we should in any way, shape or form be proud of.

    p.s. before anybody calls me a misogynist, I have always said that i think we’re well past the point where we should have had a woman President. I just think it will be a shame that the history books with likely end up recording Hillary Clinton (who I suspect will be one of, if not the most consistently unpopular Presidents in our modern era) as the first woman to hold the office.

  74. Davebo says:

    @Todd:

    I don’t agree with that. In any rational world, she would be “unqualified” to be the nominee of one of the two major parties.

    Obviously the issue is you can’t differentiate between “qualified” and “popular” despite the fact that the two are totally unrelated.

    She’s obviously qualified, much more qualified than Sanders to anyone familiar with the concept. And if she was indeed nearly as unpopular as you claim she wouldn’t be so far ahead of her “popular” opponent.

    I’ll give you credit though Todd. You are among the best I’ve seen at making totally irrational statements “seem” somewhat rational.

  75. Todd says:

    @Davebo: It has nothing to do with popularity. In a rational world, no major party would nominate a candidate under FBI investigation (even if we stipulate that nothing is likely to come of it) and with a disapproval rating north of 50% before the general election campaign has even started.

    Objectively, (if this was just a hypothetical candidate who we knew nothing else about) those two things *should* be disqualifying criteria.

    I do realize that we do not live in a rational world though … because if we did, even the “crazy” party wouldn’t even consider nominating Donald Trump. 🙂

  76. Davebo says:

    @Todd:

    This is exactly what I mean!

    You start off saying

    It has nothing to do with popularity.

    Then mention an FBI investigation that you admit won’t come to anything (and has nothing to do with being qualified).

    Then follow it up with the real zinger.

    and with a disapproval rating north of 50% before the general election campaign has even started.

    So it has nothing to do with popularity, it’s just that she’s unpopular!

    As I said, you either don’t understand what the word “qualified” means, which I don’t really believe for a second, or you want to make your point so badly you’re willing to come across as clueless for the sake of advancing an irrational argument.

    Qualified: Having the necessary skill, experience, or knowledge to do a particular job or activity.

    Where does “popular” appear in that definition?

  77. MarkedMan says:

    @Todd:

    In a rational world, no major party would nominate a candidate under FBI investigation

    You keep alluding to this, but did I miss something? Is Hillary personally being investigated by the FBI? My understanding is there is a question as to whether some people sent her emails that should have been classified. That would have been a no-no no matter what email account they sent them through. The State Department email system is not to be used for classified correspondence. No email system is to be used for classified correspondence.

    If we say that no candidate associated with an investigation should be nominated, then no sitting president back to at least Nixon (Ford maybe excepted?) would have been able to stand for reelection.

  78. stonetools says:

    There is really no doubt that Sanders cannot win. Is he self deluded or is he lying? Hard to say, and frankly, it does not matter. What will matter is his conduct after California.
    While Sanders is talking about a fight to the end, the pressure on him to endorse Clinton and unify behind her will be overwhelming. After California, I expect that the party leaders (Obama, Reid, Pelosi, and Warren) are going to come off the sidelines, endorse Clinton, and call for unity. The media, which has been treating Sanders with kid’s gloves, is going to tell Sanders to moveon.org already, brush aside Sander’s absurd argument that the superdelegates won’t vote till the convention, and point to the looming threat of a Trump presidency. I expect that Harry Reid, in DGAF mode, will start bringing up Sander’s suspect personal views and pointing out there is a reason why the superdelegates think Clinton is a better general election candidate.
    I think the Sanders will bow to the pressure, have a “unity talk” with Clinton, extract a few concessions, grandly declare victory, and endorse Clinton.After all, a Clinton victory in November will be a win for Sanders and his progressive goals. A defeat would be a disaster, and he knows this.

  79. Moosebreath says:

    @Todd:

    ” and I resent the hell out of the implication that people like me are somehow “hurting the Democrats” by continuing to voice legitimate criticisms of HIllary Clinton.”

    Too bad. That is precisely what you are doing. Raising these issues when the primary results were still in doubt was fine. Doing it (and far worse, such as calling the Democratic Party establishment “corrupt” and Hillary’s nomination “illegitimate”, which is regular rhetoric coming from Sanders supporters) now is harmful to the goal of defeating Trump.

  80. Todd says:

    @Davebo: Ok, I think we’re talking about two different things here. Of course I think she is qualified to be President … I wouldn’t even consider voting for her otherwise.

    But I continue to believe that if let’s say you were a rich liberal donor and I came to you describing a candidate who has the experience to be President, but they are a very divisive figure, not the most charismatic on the campaign trail, and oh by the way it’s been reported by major papers and tv media organization that the FBI is investigating them.

    There is no chance that such a hypothetical candidate would even make it onto the stage at the first debate. That’s what I mean by “unqualified” in a rational world … to be a candidate in the first place.

  81. Todd says:

    @Moosebreath: Hillary Clinton’s nomination is legitimate. It looks almost certain that she will win “fair and square” based on the current rules.

    As for the Democratic party, they are absolutely corrupt.

    … fortunately, generally less so than the Republicans.

  82. Davebo says:

    @Todd:

    Ok, I think we’re talking about two different things here. Of course I think she is qualified to be President … I wouldn’t even consider voting for her otherwise.

    Actually no. You are talking about two different things.

  83. wr says:

    @Todd: “It has nothing to do with popularity. In a rational world, no major party would nominate a candidate under FBI investigation (even if we stipulate that nothing is likely to come of it) and with a disapproval rating north of 50% before the general election campaign has even started.”

    It has nothing to do with popularity — she’s bad because a lot of people disapprove of her! In other words, it’s got nothing to do with popularity, it’s just that she’s not popular enough!

    Really, Todd, give it up. We know you don’t like her. We know her voice annoys you (as you used to post before you were busted on it).

    But your personal feelings are just that. They don’t control the universe.

  84. Moosebreath says:

    @Todd:

    Duly noted that the issue of the timing of the criticisms sailed clear over your head.

  85. Todd says:

    @Moosebreath: I’m perfectly aware of the timing.

    So what, it’s not “enough” that I say I’ll vote for her … I’m supposed to pretend that any criticisms of her are invalid too?

    What’s wrong with saying something like …

    I’m very disappointed in the Democrats for nominating Hillary Clinton, I continue to have serious concerns about her ethics and judgement, but at least she’s a plausible President. The idea of thin-skinned Donald anywhere near the oval office should horrify any even moderately sane person.

  86. Moosebreath says:

    @Todd:

    You can say things like that. And we can say that by saying things like that now, you are hurting Hillary. And that’s where our discussion started, with you objecting to people saying that (“and I resent the hell out of the implication that people like me are somehow “hurting the Democrats” by continuing to voice legitimate criticisms of HIllary Clinton.”).

  87. Todd says:

    @Moosebreath: I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree on this (among other topics).

    To my way of thinking, it’s much more harmful to Democrats when they pretend (or even worse actually believe) that any and all criticisms of HIllary Clinton are merely the result of right-wing “smears”.

    That’s actually a big part of her “honest and trustworthy” problem in polls … the fact that nothing is ever allowed to appear to be her own fault … at least until there’s absolutely no way to avoid accepting at least some responsibility.

  88. Pch101 says:

    @Todd:

    To my way of thinking, it’s much more harmful to Democrats when they pretend (or even worse actually believe) that any and all criticisms of HIllary Clinton are merely the result of right-wing “smears”.

    To my way of thinking, strawman arguments should be avoided.

    I don’t recall anyone claiming that Clinton was perfect. The issue is that the motivation to attack her is often driven by ulterior motives, which leaves us with a big pile of double standards and a fixation on trivia, along with vague criticisms of her alleged trustworthiness that are lacking in substance.

    I’m not even a fan of hers, but these absurd distortions about her aren’t exactly easy to miss unless you don’t want to see them.

  89. KM says:

    @Todd:

    and I resent the hell out of the implication that people like me are somehow “hurting the Democrats” by continuing to voice legitimate criticisms of HIllary Clinton.

    Has it occurred to you that many Democratic voters are starting to resent the hell out of Bernie supporters who are becoming increasingly and obviously bitter about not getting what they want and masking it as “criticism”? It goes both ways, you know. Sanders people don’t seem to give a damn about the feelings of the majority of Democrats and consistently object to criticism of Sanders and his group from “sore winners”. There are two kinds of criticism: constructive and destructive. Constructive is designed to point out flaws with the intent to build up/correct/improve and should not be harsh or negative in tone. If you think this is what you are engaging in, I hate to tell you your doing it wrong.

  90. Moosebreath says:

    @Todd:

    “To my way of thinking, it’s much more harmful to Democrats when they pretend (or even worse actually believe) that any and all criticisms of HIllary Clinton are merely the result of right-wing “smears”.”

    No one has said that. What has been said is that the time for such criticism has passed. Once the nomination has been decided, you can either support her, or attack her. You want to do both at the same time, and can’t understand that by doing so, you are hurting her chances for victory.

  91. Pch101 says:

    @Moosebreath:

    You want to do both at the same time, and can’t understand that by doing so, you are hurting her chances for victory.

    To be fair, Todd is just a dude on the internet who doesn’t live in a swing state. He can do little or nothing to influence the election.

    He does speak to a fair amount of populist sentiment, and illustrates why populism is bad for politics generally. Populists like to complain a lot, but they don’t understand that they hold minority views and that they need to join coalitions and cut compromise deals if they want to accomplish at least some of what is on their agendas. (Populists don’t like the idea of compromise, yet they don’t recognize that they lack the numbers to get things without a coalition; when they predictably fail due to their lack of support, they blame “corruption” and The Other instead of themselves for their lack of savvy.)

  92. stonetools says:

    Greg Sargent lays out why any continued Sanders effort after Tuesday will be untenable:

    It’s this: Clinton will finally clinch a majority of the pledged delegates, i.e., the delegates that are bound by the voting in primaries and caucuses. The upshot of this will be that at that point, the only thing keeping Sanders’s candidacy alive will be the existence of super-delegates and the possibility of flipping them, and Sanders has regularly blasted their very existence as undemocratic. In other words, after tomorrow, in a world where super-delegates didn’t exist, Clinton would be the winner of the nomination.

    Sanders will simply have no rational or moral argument to make after Tuesday, which is why all the news organizations-and indeed anyone sensible-will call the race after Tuesday.

  93. grumpy realist says:

    @stonetools: Is anyone starting to think we should just be posting clips of The Black Knight?

  94. wr says:

    @Todd: “I’m very disappointed in the Democrats for nominating Hillary Clinton, I continue to have serious concerns about her ethics and judgement, but at least she’s a plausible President.”

    Actually, this is just about the first thing you’ve ever written on the subject that didn’t set my teeth on edge. Because you did here what I’ve never seen you do before — you express your concerns as your personal opinion and her plausibility as objective fact, rather than the opposite…

  95. EddieInCA says:

    Freaking hilarious. And spot on.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHS-K7OuLAc

  96. stonetools says:

    @wr:

    I don’t recall anyone claiming that Clinton was perfect.

    I constantly keep hearing about Clinton defenders who say that she is perfect and above criticism, but I have never met such a person, in the Internet or in real life. As for myself, I’ve always maintained that she is a flawed candidate that has simply been from the beginning better than anyone else who is running for President this cycle, Republican or Democrat.

    That says more about the American political system than anything else, really.

  97. al-Alameda says:

    @stonetools:

    I constantly keep hearing about Clinton defenders who say that she is perfect and above criticism, but I have never met such a person, in the Internet or in real life. As for myself,

    I’ve never heard anyone – anyone – say that Hillary Clinton is perfect, flawless and above criticism. Given that’s she’s been the subject of 25 years of opposition attacks and numerous partisan political investigations, I’d say that her main flaw, apart from the fact that she’s lousy on the campaign trail, is that she is very restrained in responding to the constant attacks.

    I have however, heard many people say that they will vote for her despite all flaws because they do not want to turn the entire federal government over to the Republican Party, nor do they want Donald Trump making the next round of nominations to the Supreme Court.

  98. Davebo says:

    @al-Alameda:

    While certainly subjective, I disagree that she’s lousy on the campaign trail. She’s no Obama, but then I don’t know who is.

    And honestly, she’s a better campaigner than Sanders by far and also has a much more organized campaign. Both of which go a lot towards explaining why she’s almost blowing him out vote wise despite her much discussed negative approval ratings.

  99. An Interested Party says:

    …and also has a much more organized campaign.

    Extremely more organized than the Donald’s $hit show of a campaign…Clinton will probably win this election and it may not be as close as some people think…

  100. bookdragon says:

    @Todd: But by that definition a black man with a name like Barack Hussein Obama who was associated with a firebrand preacher who’d said “God d@mn America” from the pulpit should also ‘rationally’ be considered “unqualified”.

    I am glad you clarified though. I saw that comment and thought WTF?!?. I mean, on the other side Trump is only the worst example of unqualified. There was Perry, Christie and Walker (all under investigation if not actually indictment for corruption). Cruz, who doesn’t seem to have any grasp of international politics (carpet bomb and/or nuke the Middle East?) or fiscal policy (filibustered to force the US to default on its debt), and Ben Carson, who was just a crackpot.