Bernie Sanders Still Not Conceding

Bernie Sanders doesn't seem to realize that the political world has already moved past the race for the Democratic nomination.

Bernie Sanders Speaking

In his first speech to supporters since losing the District of Columbia primary and meeting with Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders said that his campaign was continuing at the same time that he vowed to help defeat Donald Trump in the fall:

BURLINGTON, Vt. — The primaries are officially over. Hillary Clinton andDonald J. Trump are attacking each other over the Orlando tragedy. Final touches are being made to convention plans. Running mates are being vetted.

But on Thursday night, Senator Bernie Sanders stood at a podium in a small, chilly television studio here pointing his index finger at a camera and insisting to his supporters that his campaign was fighting on. With five bright lights illuminating him, Mr. Sanders delivered a shortened version of his stump speech via livestream to his supporters, saying his “political revolution” was just beginning and reeling off the many injustices it would set about to end.

Although it covered a lot of ground, from the influence of money to poverty wages to fracking to the cost of college, the speech did not include the one thing some Democratic leaders have awaited: an endorsement of Mrs. Clinton, who last week became the presumptive nominee.

“The major political task that we face in the next five months is to make certain that Donald Trump is defeated and defeated badly,” Mr. Sanders said. “I personally intend to begin my role in that process in a very short period of time.”

“The major political task that we face in the next five months is to make certain that Donald Trump is defeated and defeated badly,” Mr. Sanders said. “I personally intend to begin my role in that process in a very short period of time.”

But if that sounded like a hint he would get behind Mrs. Clinton, in his next breath he made clear that helping her was not necessarily his top priority.

“Defeating Donald Trump cannot be our only goal,” he said. “We must continue our grass-roots efforts to create the America that we know we can become. And we must take that energy into the Democratic National Convention on July 25 in Philadelphia.”

Mr. Sanders’s advisers say he wants assurances Mrs. Clinton will fight for his ideals before he throws his support — and potentially the support of millions of his voters — behind her. Throughout the speech, Mr. Sanders seemed defiant as he repeated his critiques of economic, racial and environmental inequalities in the country, this time with the spotlight a bit dimmed.

As Mr. Sanders spoke of continuing his political revolution, much of the mainstream media that he regularly bemoans had moved on. CNN dedicated its coverage to the Orlando massacre, while Fox News hosts discussed the scourge of terrorism. MSNBC aired the beginning of his remarks live and then cut away.

But Mr. Sanders’s core supporters, who have given his cause voice on Twitter for more than a year, were still there for him. The hashtag #OurRevolution became the fourth-most popular in the United States as he spoke. Some of his fans quoted his every word; others expressed nervousness that he might formally drop out of the race.

One die-hard supporter of Mr. Sanders summed up his feelings for the candidate by invoking the Batman movie “The Dark Knight”: “The president we needed but didn’t deserve.”

The Sanders campaign said the speech was streamed to at least 218,000 people. Some were gathered at Bernie-watching parties, like one in the East Village of Manhattan, where 20 supporters in the upstairs dining room of the Bareburger restaurant broke into raucous applause when he said his 12 million votes proved that his was not a radical campaign, but rather “mainstream.”

Jessica Stokey, 43, a television editor, shed tears when Mr. Sanders suggested he might eventually endorse Mrs. Clinton to help beat Mr. Trump.

“I don’t know if it’s just my imagination, but it looked to me like the bags under his eyes got bigger and his face grew more thin,” she said. “That’s when I started crying.”

“It’s like knowing the zombies are here and you have to save your child; that’s how heartbreaking it is,” she added.

Despite not endorsing Mrs. Clinton on Thursday night, Mr. Sanders showed signs that he was pivoting to other races, imploring supporters to run for “school boards, city councils, county commissions, state legislatures and governorships.” He kept his feud with the Democratic Party leadership on a low boil, criticizing it for letting Republicans dominate state legislatures.

Notwithstanding the fact that Sanders has yet to formally endorse Clinton, it seems clear that at least he realizes that the end is at hand. As The Washington Post notes, Sanders does not appear to be following through on threats he made during the final weeks of the campaign to try to wrest Superdelegates from Hillary Clinton in an effort to basically steal the nomination from her on the convention floor. That plan, of course, was always something of a fantasy to begin with since it has always been unlikely that he would be able to persuade any high level Democrats to switch their loyalty to him from Clinton given the fact that Clinton won far more delegates and a far bigger share of the popular vote than Sanders did. Additionally, the fact that polling is now showing Clinton seemingly pull ahead of Donald Trump as Democrats rally around her while Trump continues to stick his foot in his mouth means that the race is essentially set and that it’s essential for the Democratic Party to unite behind its nominee. To a large degree then, Bernie Sanders is irrelevant to the race at this point except to the extent that he and his supporters could potentially disrupt what seems as though it will be an otherwise smooth Democratic National Convention that will likely contrast significantly that looks more and more like what could become a Republican Party that meets for a convention amid what is arguably its biggest split since the 1912 election when Teddy Roosevelt led the progressive wing of the party into what become a third-party run for under the “Bull Moose” banner that eventually cost the GOP control of the White House for the first time since the election of 1892.

Taking all of this into account, it seems likely that Sanders is risking losing whatever leverage he may still have the longer he waits to get behind Clinton in a formal way. Whether Sanders or his supporters have noticed it or not, the 2016 campaign has already moved past him and on to the General Election match-up between Clinton and Trump, as has the vast majority of the media coverage. The longer Sanders waits to strike whatever kind of deal he wants to make with Clinton and the DNC, the less he’s likely to get on the bargain. For example, we’re still at the point now where Sanders and his delegates could have a real influence over the party platform, the makeup of the Democratic National Committee going forward, and the general themes of the convention itself. As it happens, these are largely the issues Sanders has said that he wants to influence. The longer he insists he’s “staying in the race,” though, the less influence he’s going to have over any of it, especially as attention shifts to the General Election. One would think he’d be smart enough to realize that.

Or, as one Twitter user put it:

In all honesty, this analogy could apply to Sanders, his supporters, or both.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, 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. Pch101 says:

    Some folks can’t accept the obvious, I guess. I randomly came across this bit from editorial cartoonist at Counterpunch:

    Unless you follow politics closely, you could be forgiven for thinking that Hillary Clinton has locked up the Democratic presidential nomination. This is not true. She still doesn’t have the requisite number of delegates. That could, and probably will, happen next month when her lead in superdelegates puts her over the top at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia – when the superdelegates actually, you know, cast their actual votes…

    …it’s obvious to everyone that Hillary Clinton will need as many Bernie Sanders supporters as possible in November if she indeed becomes her party’s nominee.

    Obvious to everyone but Hillary.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/06/16/can-hillary-win-over-bernie-voters/

    What’s funny is that he goes on to note that “Bernie Sanders is essentially a Democrat circa George McGovern in 1972” as if that’s a feature, not a bug.

    They can’t even come close to winning the primary, yet they think that they’re the linchpin of American politics. I had no idea that we had so much cognitive dissonance and so many delusions of grandeur coming from left; this is the sort of irrational thinking that I would expect from the populists of the right who inadvertently work overtime to keep their party out of the White House. The Tea Party cancer has metastasized enough to leap across the aisle.

  2. CSK says:

    Between them,Trump and Sanders are bringing new dimensions to the word “petulance.”

  3. Jc says:

    Further proof of so many people living in their own reality. How else can you explain it? Possibly the bulk of Bernie supporters grew up in the participation trophy era? Never dealt with losing. Well here is your participation trophy, now go home or come out to the after party and support the winning team. You can’t stay out on the field replaying the game in your head. The game is over.

  4. Tony W says:

    @Jc:

    You can’t stay out on the field replaying the game in your head. The game is over.

    To be fair, I’m sure the Republicans are saying the same thing 🙂

  5. Tyrell says:

    He is either trying to leverage for a big cabinet position or a bunch of stuff in the party platform.
    After this is finally over, he should work on starting a 3rd party. He gets a lot of support and enthusiasm. Go with that into the future.

  6. michael reynolds says:

    He’s an old man who was excited to get all the attention. He started believing his fans, started imagining himself as this transformative character. Now he can’t let it go. He knows this is it for him, his last (only) hurrah. Someone the other day dropped this reference, (@grumpy realist?) but you can never have too much Shakespeare:

    Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
    And then is heard no more. It is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
    Signifying nothing.

    Bernie was just this year’s Gene McCarthy. As McCarthy was a never-gonna-happen stand-in for Bobby Kennedy, so Bernie was a never-gonna-happen stand-in for Elizabeth Warren. Now Warren has endorsed Hillary, and it’s all over, long over, but old Bern is still strutting and fretting.

  7. CSK says:

    @michael reynolds:

    That might have been me, talking about Trump strutting and fretting on the stage at Cleveland.

  8. Andre Kenji says:

    Bernie Sanders is Jesse Jackson, not McGovern. He is much more vulnerable than McGovern. And unlike McGovern he does not have so many principles.

  9. Scott F. says:

    Based on the reporting from the NYT linked, both Sanders and his supporters are positioned much more inoculously than tweet and some commenters here would suggest.

    Sure, Sanders says “We must continue our grass-roots efforts to create the America that we know we can become”, but he goes on to include in that effort not only the convention, but statehouses across the country. If the Sanders camp responds to this defeat in similar fashion to Howard Dean with his 50-state strategy and takes the battle to winning state and local elections, it can only benefit the Democrats.

    And the supporter channeling Batman isn’t all that die-hard. Sanders’ whole campaign was premised on the idea that a populist revolution of sufficient magnitude could overcome the entrenched power of the corporatist establishment – mass scale “revolution” of the people was not only possible, but necessary for success. Citing a line like “The president we needed but didn’t deserve,” indicates to me a recognition that we as a country haven’t reached the tipping point necessary for such a revolt. That’s pretty astute, if you ask me.

  10. Andre Kenji says:

    Sanders did not create a movement. The so called Establishment won every single primary that they wanted, in part because most Liberals Activists were spending their time attending Sanders rallies.

    Going to a few rallies is easy, fighting for elections in County Level is not.

  11. michael reynolds says:

    @CSK:

    I suppose it’s unfair, after all Bernie’s not an idiot, whereas Trump is.

  12. MarkedMan says:

    It’s a bit sad. If Sanders had more political savvy (something required of any executive branch leader at any level of government) he would have realized that his endorsement had a bell curve of value in helping achieve his goals. Once it was obvious in May that his momentum was skipping the endorsement started climbing that bell curve. It probably reached a peak June 4th or so and has declined steadily since.

    It turns out, to almost no one’s surprise, that although he had a movement he never had a plan. So while the endorsement still has value for Hillary, she doesn’t have much to offer him. Party Platform? Who cares about party platform? No more super delegates? But that’s about Bernie’s disappointment. It doesn’t actually achieve anything. And would be incredibly stupid given what we just saw on the Republican side. They would give anything for Super D’s right now and we would be better off as a country if they had them.

  13. Facebones says:

    It’s in the best interests of Sanders and his followers to work closely with Hillary.

    If they don’t support her and Hillary wins, then they have shown that they are not an essential part of the Democratic coalition and she can feel free to ignore them.

    If they don’t support her and Trump wins, then they will be reviled in the party and ostracized, and it’s not like Trump would enact any kind of progressive legislation.

    But if they support Hillary and she wins in a landslide, then they can claim it was thanks to their support. They’ll have a voice at the table and leverage.

    This really isn’t hard to figure out, and it’s only sore loser petulance that is blinding the Bernistas to it.

  14. michael reynolds says:

    @Facebones:

    Excellent summary of the tactical position.

    As Kenny Rogers once said, “. . . know when to fold ’em.”

  15. DrDaveT says:

    @michael reynolds:

    He’s an old man who was excited to get all the attention.

    I think that’s the whole story. Once he stops being The Bern, he goes back to being plain old Clark Kent Bernie Sanders.

  16. al-Alameda says:

    Jessica Stokey, 43, a television editor, shed tears when Mr. Sanders suggested he might eventually endorse Mrs. Clinton to help beat Mr. Trump.

    “I don’t know if it’s just my imagination, but it looked to me like the bags under his eyes got bigger and his face grew more thin,” she said. “That’s when I started crying.”

    “It’s like knowing the zombies are here and you have to save your child; that’s how heartbreaking it is,” she added.

    Just maybe I’m a bit cynical but, there’s a lot of drama queen in there:
    ‘He might eventually endorse Mrs. Clinton ….’
    “that’s when I started crying.”
    “… that’s how heartbreaking it is,’ she added.
    Please. Bernie exists as a candidate only because Hillary is weak on the campaign trail, and everyone is tired of the drama that surrounds the Clintons.

  17. stonetools says:

    Guys , I come not to bury Sanders but to understand him( Is that Shakespeare, too, Mike?)
    First of all, losing is hard ( I think that is one reason Clinton has been so patient with him-she knows). For the past six months, Bernie has been at rallies with thousands of youths screaming at him , “Help us, Bernie wan Kenobi! You’re our only hope!” It’s hard to just give that up.
    I’m sure too Kylopod will be along to remind us that Clinton didn’t concede until a week after the final contests.
    What Bernie gave last night was half a concession speech. It shows to me that he is on the way to the right place, and he will eventually get there. Some of his most fanatical supporters, OTOH…

    I also think that some of his “supporters” are American Crossroads ratfvckers, too-but of course I can’t prove it.

  18. michael reynolds says:

    @stonetools:

    As I’ve said before I’ve had a tiny bit of this – theaters full of a thousand kids or whatever laughing at my dumb jokes and applauding – and if you don’t watch out you can start taking that stuff seriously. Having been a huge fwck-up for much of my life I’ve been inoculated against self-importance but I don’t sense that Bernie has ever developed much of a sense of humor, certainly not about himself and to me that is key: never start believing your own bullsh-t. Lie to other people if necessary, never lie to yourself. He’s lying to himself. He thinks he’s a messiah, and he’s closer to being a fad, a meme. Hubris, dude, gotta watch that hubris.

  19. grumpy realist says:

    @michael reynolds: nah, I was the one who compared Bernie Sanders to the Black Knight from Monty Python and The Holy Grail.

  20. grumpy realist says:

    @michael reynolds: Probably one reason I’m glad I’m a physicist. If you’re a scientist, you will invariably at some point have it slammed home to you in big bloody letters that Your Ego Is Worth Nothing In Comparison To Reality. Mama Nature Doesn’t Care.

    I think in my case it was when I was bitching to my boyfriend (also a theoretical physicist) about how working in physics meant you were running up blind alleys 90% of the time. He looked at me in exasperation and said “that’s theoretical physics. Get used to it or get out of the field.”

  21. PJ says:

    I think what Sanders is doing right now has been agreed upon with Clinton/Obama/the DNC/etc. Sane Sanders supporters are already going to vote for Clinton in November. The rest need to carefully walk back from the ledge, pulling the rug from underneath their feet will only result in them jumping of the ledge.

  22. dmichael says:

    @michael reynolds: Michael: First, welcome back. Second, while it is valid to distinguish between being captured by mass adulation (I wouldn’t know having never experienced it) and objective analysis of the way forward, the enthusiastic crowds that have appeared at Sanders’ events speaks to something that HRC and Republicans, if smart, need to pay attention to. We might consider his supporters too young and naive, too white and too rigid but there is widespread anger over income inequality in this country and it must be addressed. Third and finally, Gene McCarthy was not a “never-going-to-happen-stand-in for Bobby Kennedy.” McCarthy ran against a sitting president (LBJ), ran a stunning strong second in New Hampshire representing the anti-war Democrats and then, and only then, did Bobby Kennedy get off of the sidelines and say: “Gee, I might be able to take down a sitting president.”

  23. Ben Wolf says:

    @michael reynolds:

    He’s an old man who was excited to get all the attention. He started believing his fans, started imagining himself as this transformative character. Now he can’t let it go

    Or you can’t see past your basic assumptions and so don’t understand what you’re seeing. Have you considered confronting them before they confront you? Prejudice derives from pre-judgement.

  24. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @MarkedMan: I’m not sure that Super Delegates help in the case of the GOP. Everybody keeps noting that Trump was not wanted by 60 some percent of the selectorate. Fine. But he still was the leader in the plurality–more people wanted Trump than any of the other yahoos in the Clown Nascar Race. Who, pray tell, do the Super Ds side with–the guy not supported by 60%? the one not supported by 72%? maybe the one not supported by 78% or the one not supported by 83%. Or maybe JEB!–the one not supported by over 90%.

    The GOP doesn’t need Super Ds, they need to decide what to do about the fact that roughly 50% (maybe more) of their party are ugly, evil, racist, misogynistic, goons like Donald Trump and are willing to vote for an idiot because they expected their party to keep it’s promise and destroy the economy of the world back in 2010.

    It was either Lindsay or Mitch (can’t remember which) who put it bluntly in 2012 by noting that the party was in trouble because its constituency–angry old white men–was dying off. This is the AOWM’s last hurrah. Maybe the party will survive. I hope not–the country needs a loyal opposition party.

  25. al-Alameda says:

    @dmichael:

    McCarthy ran against a sitting president (LBJ), ran a stunning strong second in New Hampshire representing the anti-war Democrats and then, and only then, did Bobby Kennedy get off of the sidelines and say: “Gee, I might be able to take down a sitting president.”

    Exactly.

  26. michael reynolds says:

    @Ben Wolf: @dmichael:

    Sanders never had a plan. He wanted to raise my taxes to 70% (from the current 50%+) and use the money he imagined he’d get to produce a bunch of debt-free but unemployable English majors, and shunt still more money into health care and the pockets of old people. He was handing out free diplomas along with a lifelong burden of taxes that would have done nothing for kids.

    It was nonsense from the start. There was never even a slight chance of any of his agenda becoming law in the United States of America. It was pie in the sky and he sold it to yes, naive kids.

    I have a different approach to the youth – and bear in mind my income derives almost entirely from said youth. My approach is to tell them the truth, not bullsh-t them. I think bullsh-tting kids is cynical. Had he told the truth he’d be an idealist. He didn’t tell the truth, he sold them a fantasy and rode the wave of adulation. Forgive me if I am unimpressed.

  27. michael reynolds says:

    As for Gene McCarthy, this was 1968 not 2016. Far fewer primaries and they were far less influential. Gene had no money, no organization and no friends in the Democratic Party.

    The proof that he was effectively a stand-in for Bobby is in the fact that the instant Bobby got in, a whole lot of clean Gene’s followers defected to RFK – who did have the money and the party connections, and who won their debate and went on to win California. I don’t mean to imply that McCarthy saw himself that way, but that’s what he was in the end.

    And then all those youthful idealists conspired to destroy Humphrey – a man with more bona fides on Civil Rights than Bobby and Gene put together – and ended up giving us Nixon and seven more years of Vietnam with a side helping of Cambodia.

    I’m not impressed by idealists, they’re close cousins to ideologues.

  28. MikeSJ says:

    I’d promise Sanders a prime A1 super duper speaking slot at the convention.

    I’d send a Rolls Royce stocked with Champagne to pick him up and take him there.

    I’d politely usher him to his green room…and then I’d lock him in for the next three days.

    A loaf of bread, some lunchables and a sink and toilet. If I’m in a bad mood that day no lunchables and no running water from the sink. (think about it)

    When it’s time for his speech I’d send out Larry David. Nobody would miss Bernie and half his imbecile supports couldn’t tell the difference.

    What else? I’d sic the FBI on Jane “Orange is the New Black” Sanders. 7 to 10 at least in the Big House for her for bank fraud.

    Did I forget anything? Oh yeah. When she’s being driven up Pennsylvania Ave. to the White House I’d have Bernie strapped to the hood of her limo, his head propped up as Hillary’s hood ornament.

    The old crank loves to complain, well now he’ll have something worth kvetching about.

    I really don’t like Bernie.

  29. charon says:

    @DrDaveT:

    Exactly. Bernie has a narcissist’s craving and need for attention.

    If Bernie’s real motivation were his supposed goals, policy initiatives, whatever, he would have conceded and endorsed soon after April 26. Whatever he may have persuaded himself into imagining his objectives are, his real motivation, perhaps only subconscious, is his need for continuation of his new celebrity.

    That is why his campaign style was so oriented toward rallies before large crowds. Bernie loves it when a crowd is chanting “Bernie or Bust” for him. He just needed his adulation fix.

  30. Ben Wolf says:

    @michael reynolds: I’ll take that as a “No.” I’m sorry you can’t see it’s problematic, narcissistic and just plain incorrect to proclaim one’s self as a truth-teller; it indicates a closed mind unwilling to change or acknowledge the perspectives of others have any validity.

  31. Ben Wolf says:

    @charon:

    Exactly. Bernie has a narcissist’s craving and need for attention.

    So certain and quick to judge others.

    If Bernie’s real motivation were his supposed goals, policy initiatives, whatever, he would have conceded and endorsed soon after April 26.

    That doesn’t make any sense. Endorsing on April 29th wouldn’t have accomplished anything for his agenda because at no point has Clinton offered anything substantive.

    Whatever he may have persuaded himself into imagining his objectives are, his real motivation, perhaps only subconscious, is his need for continuation of his new celebrity.

    That is an extraordinarily hubristic statement. You do not know any such thing.

    That is why his campaign style was so oriented toward rallies before large crowds. Bernie loves it when a crowd is chanting “Bernie or Bust” for him. He just needed his adulation fix.

    Then you believe this of Obama as well.

  32. charon says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    That doesn’t make any sense. Endorsing on April 29th wouldn’t have accomplished anything for his agenda because at no point has Clinton offered anything substantive.

    So what has Clinton given Bernie so far that you see as substantive? What furhur substantive peachy keen gifts do you look forward to?

    Maybe a stong united party and campaign might be good for the long game though.

    Then you believe this of Obama as well.

    Explanation please, I do not see the reasoning.

  33. Ben Wolf says:

    @charon: It would likely be of benefit to re-read what you wrote in the comment to which I responded.

  34. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    The point is that he’s not going to be the nominee, and that has been exceedingly clear (arguably even to Sanders) since at least the beginning of May.

    If he were truly focused on his agenda & goals, he would have approached with the intent of cutting deals to advance those goals in exchange for his eventual support. The longer he waited, the less receptive the party was going to be in that regard.

    Now that it has been made clear that he isn’t going to be the nominee, he will begin (indeed he has already begun) to shed political weight like a Husky with a skin condition. He waited too long, because being adored became more important than what he ostensibly set out to achieve. The net result is that he has few chips left to bargain with and those lose value by the day. He has already started making ludicrous demands (DWS? Frank? Molloy?) and been swatted away by the DNC. I’m not sure how much more clearly “you have no weight here and we’re humoring you” could be said.

    Once the convention is over, the media will drop him – hard – and he’ll start fading back into obscurity. Cold hard truth.

  35. DrDaveT says:

    [reply reconsidered]

  36. michael reynolds says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    His principled demands seem to be mostly personal pique and silliness. Get rid of super delegates? After seeing what happened in the GOP? And the DWS thing? That’s what all those shiny-faced college kids were working for? So Bernie could knock of DWS? 200 million dollars to push out a woman who will be out anyway in a few months? What’s next, he wants extra crackers with his soup? Revolution!

  37. michael reynolds says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    Dude, if I say I’m telling the truth it’s understood I mean the truth as I believe it to be at a particular moment. I’ve never claimed omniscience. I’m not a believer in God and even if I were, I’d be pretty sure it wasn’t me.

    Bernie had nothing. His plans would have had, what, ten votes in the Senate? Massive tax increases, free college, Medicare for all? 10 votes, tops. Not that any of his agenda would have gotten to a vote. Day 1 of the Sanders administration he’d have sent his bills over to Paul Ryan, who’d have wiped his ass with them and sent them back.

    Ah, but of course that’s when the True Revolution would have come. Right? Because 2 years later Bernie – by then an incumbent – would somehow rally his army to turn over a couple hundred House seats and a few dozen Senatorial seats. Because that’s reality.

    It was a fantasy, it was b.s., it was left-wing hucksterism. We don’t do revolutions in this country, this is not Central America. It’s not even France. This is the world’s sole superpower, the world’s largest economy, the world’s cultural, diplomatic and military leader. We are the embodiment of stability in a wacky world.

    Break up some banks? Sure. Everything else on Bernie’s wish list? Not happening.

  38. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jc:

    Possibly the bulk of Bernie supporters grew up in the participation trophy era?

    No. The bulk of Bernie voters have already come over to Hillary. It is just that the loudest most obnoxious ones haven’t figured it out yet.

  39. Kylopod says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: The superdelegates were created in direct reaction to the McGovern and Carter candidacies. The elites wanted an escape hatch in case a candidate they found unacceptable dominated the primaries. But the thing is, ever since being introduced in the 1980s, they’ve never been used in this way–to overturn the winner in pledged delegates. And I think both this race and 2008 revealed an unexpected consequence of the supers: they give losing candidates a pretext to stay in the race under the delusion that the supers will side with them. (Whether Clinton in ’08 or Sanders this year believed this argument is less important than the fact that they felt they could convince people of its validity.)

  40. Ben Wolf says:

    @michael reynolds:

    He wanted to raise my taxes to 70% (from the current 50%+) and use the money he imagined he’d get to produce a bunch of debt-free but unemployable English majors, and shunt still more money into health care and the pockets of old people.

    I should make clear this is a categorically false statement. One, you clearly have no idea how few people study english. Two, my taxes would have increased, not yours, in regard to tuition. Three, the elderly are already receiving medical care; for some reason you oppose extending this to others. Four, only a few years ago you were regularly claiming you wanted your taxes to go up, at least when Obama was proposing it.

  41. Davebo says:

    @michael reynolds:

    He wanted to raise my taxes to 70% (from the current 50%+)

    I will literally swallow my shoe if you’re paying anywhere close to 50% in federal income tax (and then offer some reasonably priced tax advice!).

  42. Ben Wolf says:

    @HarvardLaw92: There are no deals to be had. Clinton, her husband and her surrogates have repeatedly stated there is no place for Sanders’ agenda and have done so since New Hampshire. Democrats despise the left.

  43. Davebo says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    Democrats despise the left.

    And that’s it ladies and gentlemen! Fonzie has jumped the shark!

    Oh, wait, you were going for a caricature of a Sanders supporter right? Sorry.

  44. stonetools says:

    I’m not going to be as dismissive of Bernie as some here. He did run a remarkably successful campaign and did highlight the important issue of inequality. He also showed that you could finance an insurgent campaign without recourse to super PACs. So let’s give him his props.
    That said, I think the most Bernie can get at this point is a “Bernie Night” at the convention.
    HIs process issues will probably be farmed out to a commission, and he’ll get some language in the platform. I don’t see him getting any more than that, nor should he. I’m not sure what the negotiations are, but I hope he is not really trying to get more than that, despite his talk of removing Malloy and Frank.
    I’ll take him at his word and hope he truly intends to work hard with Clinton to defeat Trump. If he does THAT, he can look for a seat on the Senate Banking Committee. HRC can twist Schumer’s arm to make that happen. But she’ll only do that if Sanders goes all in on supporting Clinton’s campaign the way she did with Obama. That is what Bernie should do.

  45. stonetools says:

    @Kylopod:

    But the thing is, ever since being introduced in the 1980s, they’ve never been used in this way–to overturn the winner in pledged delegates

    To be honest, they’ve never had to.They’ve never had to use the emergency brake. But an emergency brake is good to have (see Presidential Campaigns, 2016 Republican).

    they give losing candidates a pretext to stay in the race under the delusion that the supers will side with them.

    Yeah, but in the end the supers can disabuse the candidates of that delusion.

  46. stonetools says:

    Elizabeth Warren showed up at Clinton HQ today, to give the staff a pep talk.

    This shows that she is fully on board with Clinton, and where Warren goes, most Sanders supporters will follow.

    Cue Ben Wolf condemning Warren as a sellout in 3…2…1..

  47. Christopher Osborne says:

    @Ben Wolf: Can you imagine if Senator Sanders had won exactly how gracious he would have been to Secretary Clinton? Senator Sanders, his wife, his campaign manager and his surrogates have made it very clear that there is no room for Hillary Clinton in “their” party. I think it’s not surprising that there is a little spiking the ball by the Clinton campaign (except for Hillary Clinton) especially since Senator Sanders has not publicly congratulated her, recognized her stunning achievement and stopped his attacks on his borrowed party. Cornel West? Really?

    and Davebo I think Michael was probably referring to his total tax burden, not just federal income tax.

  48. anjin-san says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    Clinton, her husband and her surrogates have repeatedly stated there is no place for Sanders’ agenda and have done so since New Hampshire

    Cites?

  49. michael reynolds says:

    I will say this for Bernie Sanders, this thing he pulled on his live-cast of asking for volunteers to step up and actually run appears to be producing amazing results. Maddow says 6000 have signed up. Say only 10% are serious, that is still a hell of an accomplishment and in every way a good thing. Kudos to Bernie for that.

  50. An Interested Party says:

    This weeping and gnashing of teeth about how Hillary is not liberal enough is ridiculous…incremental change is certainly better than change that has no realistic chance of happening…surely none of these righteous and pure Sanders supporters would prefer Donald Trump as president, would they?

  51. Ben Wolf says:

    @anjin-san: If the continual stream of Clinton operatives and Clinton herself calling the man a fraud, calling his supporters stupid fools, telling corporate donors his agenda will “never happen” (when the DNC isn’t actively sending personnel to derail state-level legislation similar to Sanders’ as it has in Colorado) isn’t getting the message through, you can google “Bill Clinton toast” and see what he has to say about Sanders voters.

    Clinton and Sanders just held a meeting. If Clinton had made a significant offer and Sanders had refused she’d have been beating him over the head with it across the media for the last four days. The logical conclusion is she offered nothing concrete and Sanders walked.

  52. PJ says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    Clinton and Sanders just held a meeting. If Clinton had made a significant offer and Sanders had refused she’d have been beating him over the head with it across the media for the last four days. The logical conclusion is she offered nothing concrete and Sanders walked.

    Why would she beat him over the head with it? Sanders is no longer an opponent, he, much like the Democratic primary, is over. All focus should be on Trump.

    I don’t see any upside to attacking Sanders at this time for Clinton, would it change the mind of any of his supporters who already isn’t going to vote for her? Would any of them actually believe her?

    So, if Sanders refused what Clinton offered him, then there’s no reason to waste any more time on him.

  53. anjin-san says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    Do you honestly think Bernie and his operatives/supporters got any worse than they gave? I expect the persecution complex thing from the right, I really hate seeing it from the left.

  54. Ben Wolf says:

    @anjin-san:

    Do you honestly think Bernie and his operatives/supporters got any worse than they gave?

    This is exactly the problem: you don’t listen, you just wait for your turn to speak. Where have I written anything about Clintonites being mean to Sanders supporters?

    Nowhere. You simply decided to shift to another argument.

  55. Ben Wolf says:

    As I’d written, there are no deals to be had for the left in this Democratic Party when Clinton is signaling like a lighthouse it ain’t happening:

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/hillary-clinton-invokes-unlikely-allies-000000292.html

  56. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Ben Wolf: What???? You just got done saying

    If the continual stream of Clinton operatives and Clinton herself calling the man a fraud, calling his supporters stupid fools, telling corporate donors his agenda will “never happen” (when the DNC isn’t actively sending personnel to derail state-level legislation similar to Sanders’ as it has in Colorado) isn’t getting the message through, you can google “Bill Clinton toast” and see what he has to say about Sanders voters.

    You’ve bot some issues, not the least of which is short term memory.

  57. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    The more logical conclusion is that he went in there with a list of demands he’s intransigent about and got told no. They’ll give him a few trophy concessions for the optics, and that’s about all he will get.

    Because he’s no longer in a position to bring any real ammunition to the negotiating table. It has evidently become clear to everyone but Sanders and his most vocal acolytes that the bulk of his supporters will support Clinton in the fall. Once he lost that bargaining chip, he became the gadfly buzzing around the fringes of the picnic.

  58. stonetools says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    As I’d written, there are no deals to be had for the left in this Democratic Party

    Dude, what deals are talking about? Seriously? What exactly do you think Clinton can offer? In case you haven’t figured it out, its the REPUBLICANS who have Congressional majorities, which means that any liberal legislative proposals are DOA unless that changes. It’s why Clinton spent time (which Bernie didn’t) fundraising for down-ticket candidates.
    I would be really interested in your idea of what a “deal” for the left would look like. Frankly, I don’t think you know and I don’t think Bernie knows either, which is why he is casting around for something to do, before the inevitable concession/endorsement speech.

    Meanwhile, for the general readers, here is an interesting exploration of where the Sanders movement could go next. There’a a lot there. Excerpt:

    The new movement should mobilize around a limited agenda that takes on issues of economic and racial exploitation on the one hand, and the reclamation of our democracy on the other. Such an agenda should be clearly understood as an effort to hold the new President and elected Democrats at every level accountable to the yearnings of tens of millions of Americans for racial and economic justice. This issue mobilization must begin—starting at the Democratic National Convention—by uniting forces both inside and outside the Sanders campaign to kill the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement (TPP) once and for all. This is not only the right policy, but critically important for the electoral success of the Democratic Party. So called “free trade” embodies the deep contradiction between the neoliberal bankers and technocrats, on the one side, who have dominated Democratic Party economic policy-making since the Clinton Administration, and its traditional working class base, on the other. It is also now the Party’s most vulnerable Achilles heel with white working class voters, whose sense of betrayal and economic hopelessness drive Trump’s right-wing, nationalistic populism and reduce Clinton’s support among these voters to abysmally low levels. Sanders has already pushed Clinton to rhetorical opposition to the TPP; in the run up to the convention, Sanders and Clinton should work together to extract a promise from Obama that the treaty will not be taken up in the lame duck session.

    A lot of folks here would roll their eyes and these and other suggestions, but at least it’s a path forward for the Sanders movement.

  59. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @stonetools:

    Eyes indeed rolling. The Democratic Party began losing white working class voters in the 1950s, and that process has only gone in one direction. Thinking we can reclaim them at this point is largely a fantasy, and will remain one unless and until they figure out that post-industrialism is a one way street. It can’t be 1955 again.

    Republicans have won them over by lying to them and telling them that it can be – but the party can’t deliver on that promise. As boomers scope locked on buying that snake oil die off, the political situation will reconfigure itself, but the only recipe for that realignment is time. Our choices as a party are to lie to them as well in order to try to peel them away from the GOP, or just wait for the inevitable to happen.

  60. charon says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    It has evidently become clear to everyone but Sanders and his most vocal acolytes that the bulk of his supporters will support Clinton in the fall.

    Elizabeth Warren is getting so much attention to help bring that about.

  61. stonetools says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    You should stop rolling your eyes and then read the article ;-).

    Look, even if de-industrialization only goes one way, there is no need why capital has to get all the profits and labor only has to get dog food. A better deal can be struck, with more generous subsidies for relocation and and re-education going to displaced workers. Practical proposals to help such workers is something that liberals, including unions and the Democratic Party, can work together to achieve.
    Again, there are more interesting ideas in article about what the left and Sanders followers can do. I’d much rather see them working on those ideas, rather than doing demonstrations or sitting out the election in a stupid attempt to “send a message.” The point is to have the Sanders people engaged and productive, rather than disaffected and disruptive.

  62. Pch101 says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    Where have I written anything about Clintonites being mean to Sanders supporters?

    On this very same thread just hours earlier, you said this: “If the continual stream of Clinton operatives and Clinton herself calling the man a fraud, calling his supporters stupid fools…”

    If you aren’t going to keep up with your own arguments, then you might want to find a proxy who can make them for you.

    This is reminding of your support of Brexit, i.e. whining about what you perceive to be the establishment position or candidate for the sake of it without understanding what it is that you’re complaining about.

  63. grumpy realist says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I suspect that Bernie supporters are split between the young and restless who think they can solve every problem if the old farts would just get out of the way, and said old farts like myself, who voted for Bernie to Send A Message to the DNC Hillary Triangulation crowd, but who are reasonably happy with what we’ve got with Hillary now and will go ahead and vote for her, especially when the alternative is Donald Trump.

    Anyone who thinks there is no difference between the parties should sit down quietly and think hard what the difference would have been had Al Gore been POTUS when 9/11 happened as opposed to an idiotic huckster who decided to send the US military into Iraq because of daddy issues.

  64. michael reynolds says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    Yes, Ben and my taxes did go up. They went up because I supported Obama knowing he’d raise my taxes, and I supported Jerry Brown and Prop Whatever which aslo raised my taxes.

    So, just so we’re clear: that’s me spending my own money. Real money. Not someone else’s money.

    And it’s silly of you to deny my taxes would go up – I am self-employed, so I pay both sides of SS and Medicare. At present I pay it on a portion of my income, Bernie wants to lift the cap entirely, so that, all by itself, raises my taxes by six figures, setting aside his proposed income tax increase.

    You are wrong. I am correct. My taxes would go from approximately half to approximately 70%, for which I would get fwck-all in return but better-educated baristas.

    And I note your stubborn refusal to face the reality that there would be essentially no support in the Senate – even if Dems take it back – and no likelihood of Paul Ryan bringing any such proposal to the floor.

    Your fantasy requires you to simply ignore political reality.

  65. Anjin-san says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    So in addition to the perseuction complex, you have a dandy alternate reality going. The symptoms of TP delusion syndrome have indeed jumped across the aisle. 🙁

  66. anjin-san says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    As I’d written, there are no deals to be had for the left in this Democratic Party when Clinton is signaling like a lighthouse it ain’t happening:

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/hillary-clinton-invokes-unlikely-allies-000000292.html

    The only thing I see Hillary signaling here is that she wants to make a play for the votes of Republicans who are not happy about Trump. That seems like smart politics, no some coded message to to far left.

    Are you getting enough sleep these days?

  67. Matt says:

    @michael reynolds: I know more then one self employed / independent contractor who make 6 figures annually. So I’m very curious to know if you’re including state taxes and other taxes on top of the federal taxes? I’m curious because I don’t know of a single one that is paying anywhere near your claimed tax rate.

  68. stonetools says:

    @anjin-san:

    What Ben is going through here is a peculiar form of Clinton Derangement Syndrome that affects the left wing. They invested in a Bernie Sanders victory to an extraordinary extent, and so had to portray Clinton as the the Evilest, Most Corrupt Neo-Liberal who ever Neo-Liberaled and Sanders as Saint Bernard , the Purest Leftist Ever. Now that Saint Bernard has lost, they are having trouble recalibrating and accepting Clinton as the only realistic alternative to Trump. They can’t even use the out that “There’s not a dime’s worth of difference between Clinton and Trump” because Trump is obviously so much worse than Clinton.

    So now Ben is going through the Five Stages of Grief( he’s somewhere between Denial and Bargaining) and is busy evaluating no hopers like Jill Stein and the Libertarian Party. Eventually he will end up holding his nose and voting for Clinton, but he’ll be going through all sorts of drama before reluctantly pulling the lever for The Lesser Evil.

  69. michael reynolds says:

    @Matt:

    The fed top rate is 39%, the California top rate is 13%, I pay both sides of payroll taxes since I am my own employer, and since almost all of my income is taxed at the top rate, my net tax burden is right around 50%. That’s not counting sales tax, property tax, various fees and so on.

  70. Matt says:

    @michael reynolds: I already know the top theoretical fed rate but I am sure others might not (hence my request for clarification). The two people I’m talking about are also their own employer. One of them runs their own one man corporation which allows them to pay much lower than 39%. I of course have no idea how your situation is setup so I cannot comment on such things. I was just surprised to see you actually paying the full rate in federal taxes.

    I applaud you for not playing tax games and just paying your full share.

    People in the state of Texas like to brag about not paying state taxes but they end up paying more overall through the thousands of fees assigned to every financial activity. Even a world of warcraft subscription is subject to fees. I pay more here in fees than I did in taxes in Illinois.

  71. Todd says:

    For months I got beat up here in this comments section for my (justified) criticism of Hillary Clinton.

    Now that the primary is over, some of my crazier Sanders supporting friends are very frustrated about how quickly I’ve “sold out” for the lesser of two evil. At this point it’s just nuts to me that anybody could say (with a straight face) that Clinton is as bad as Trump.

    Overall, this primary season has been very enlightening to me. I’ve learned …

    1) An uncomfortably (for me anyway) large percentage of partisan Democrats are condescending, arrogant a$$holes, with little integrity or principle.

    Balanced a bit by the fact that when it comes to some Bernie Supporters, they were a somtimes right …

    2) A lot of the Bernie or Busters are pie-in-the-sky, fantasy obsessed, conspiracy believing morons … even if in many cases I know them to be perfectly intelligent and rational people when it comes to almost any non-politics topic.

    Thankfully, the Bernie or Busters suffer from the same affliction as their conservative tea party counterparts … they WAY overestimate their own numbers. Even now, I’d say there are not enough of them left to make a difference … many of those left in the Bernie or Bust crowd probably didn’t vote for Barack Obama in 2012 either, because he was also “too conservative”.

    Sometimes I sure am jealous of the people I know who can legitimately claim to not care about politics. I’ll likely always be interested and even involved. But over time it’s becoming harder and harder to believe that I’ll ever actually be excited about or proud of that involvement.

  72. Kylopod says:

    @Todd:

    Thankfully, the Bernie or Busters suffer from the same affliction as their conservative tea party counterparts … they WAY overestimate their own numbers.

    That seems to be a near-universal phenomenon in politics: assuming without evidence that most people agree with you. It’s not just the Bernie-Bros or the Tea Partiers that do this. I see it among so-called “centrists” as well. (If I could have a penny for every time a DC pundit declared that Americans are “fiscally conservative and socially liberal,” I’d be richer than Trump…. Yet it’s fabulously wrong. When you get down the specific policies it implies Americans are anything but “fiscally conservative,” and at least until recently they did not tend to be all that liberal on social issues from gay rights to school prayer.)

    For a while I’ve had this rule about reading the commenting sections of political blogs. Whenever you see a commenter use the phrase “the American public,” you can figure out the truth of the matter simply by replacing it with the word “I.”

    As in:

    COMMENTER: “The American public is sick and tired of trade deals that steal jobs from the American worker.”

    TRANSLATION: “I’m sick and tired of trade deals that I believe are why the 7/11 didn’t hire me.”

    etc., etc.

  73. An Interested Party says:

    People in the state of Texas like to brag about not paying state taxes but they end up paying more overall through the thousands of fees assigned to every financial activity. Even a world of warcraft subscription is subject to fees. I pay more here in fees than I did in taxes in Illinois.

    This point cannot be stressed enough…beware those tax cutters who claim that taxes can be so low and the government can still function as they will look for the money needed through other means…

    Sometimes I sure am jealous of the people I know who can legitimately claim to not care about politics. I’ll likely always be interested and even involved. But over time it’s becoming harder and harder to believe that I’ll ever actually be excited about or proud of that involvement.

    These people who say they don’t want to get involved in politics because it is too messy or not pure enough for them have no right to complain when politicians do stupid things that hurt our country…when it comes to this, inaction is certainly an action…