It’s Time for Sanders to Concede

Continuing the fight at this point is not just Quixotic, it's unsporting.

clinton-declares-victory

While it has been clear for months now that Hillary Clinton would be the Democratic nominee, an unexpectedly strong showing by Bernie Sanders has given him and his supporters reason to carry their fight forward. Even when enough party insiders with “superdelegate” status announced their support for Clinton for her to unofficially “clinch” the nomination, he could cling to longshot scenarios to justify staying in the race.  After being trounced in New Jersey and, especially, California yesterday, it’s time for him to concede.

Clinton claimed the nomination last night, but Sanders vowed to continue the fight:

Hillary Clinton claimed her place in history Tuesday as America’s first female presumptive presidential nominee but rival Bernie Sanders is refusing to drop his bid despite overwhelming odds.

The former secretary of state immediately pivoted from her victory to a full bore assault on the presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump and made a sweeping effort to reach out to Sanders supporters in an attempt to unify Democrats.
But hours after Clinton’s euphoric victory rally in Brooklyn, Sanders spoke before a roaring crowd of his own in California to declare “the struggle continues.” The Vermont senator pledged to stay in the race through next week’s primary in Washington, D.C., and to fight on for social, economic, racial and environmental justice at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

[…]

Sanders confounded the notion that the end of the state primary races would mean the end of his campaign.
“Next Tuesday, we continue the fight in the last primary in Washington DC,” Sanders said. “We are going to fight hard to win the primary in Washington, D.C., and then we take our fight for social, economic, racial and environmental justice to Philadelphia.”
“I am pretty good at arithmetic and I know that the fight in front of us in a very, very steep fight.”
But Sanders vowed to fight on for every delegate and every vote.

President Obama has stopped pretending to be neutral:

President Barack Obama, who waited until voting ended in the last six primary states to weigh in on the race, called both candidates to congratulate them for “running inspiring campaigns that have energized Democrats,” according to a White House statement.

But the President, who will meet with Sanders Thursday at the Vermont senator’s request, clearly sided with Clinton by lauding her for “securing the delegates necessary to clinch the Democratic nomination for President.”

“Her historic campaign inspired millions and is an extension of her lifelong fight for middle-class families and children,” the statement said.

Reaching the highest peak yet in a tumultuous and trailblazing political career, Clinton claimed victory exactly eight years after folding her 2008 Democratic primary campaign against Obama.

Winning in California, by far the nation’s most populous state and a bellweather for the Democratic Party, would have given Sanders some justification to fight on. But, while he did much better than anyone would have predicted months ago, Clinton is going to win the primary easily. The results aren’t final but she’s up 56% to 43% with 88% counted. That’s a landslide in a state that should be favorable to Sanders.

Politics is personal and conceding defeat after a long, hard fight is a bitter pill. It’s even harder if you truly believe your opponent’s victory will be harmful to your party and your country. Ted Cruz, who was never as strong a challenger to Donald Trump as Sanders was to Clinton (albeit in a much larger field), ultimately swallowed the pill once the math turned from implausible to impossible. It’s time for Sanders to do the same.

The press anointed Clinton the “presumptive nominee” a day early, in my view. But she’s certainly that now.  Regardless of whether Sanders concedes or obstinately fights on, the coverage will now turn to the Trump vs. Clinton general election contest. Sanders’ continued campaigning for the Democratic nomination will either be dismissed as the rantings of a lunatic or seized upon as fodder for Trump.  Either way, it’s a bad look.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Liberal Capitalist says:

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  2. Pch101 says:

    There’s no strategist pulling the strings, and no collection of burn-it-all-down aides egging him on. At the heart of the rage against Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party, the campaign aides closest to him say, is Bernie Sanders.

    It was the Vermont senator who personally rewrote his campaign manager’s shorter statement after the chaos at the Nevada state party convention and blamed the political establishment for inciting the violence.

    He was the one who made the choice to go after Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz after his wife read him a transcript of her blasting him on television.

    He chose the knife fight over calling Clinton unqualified, which aides blame for pulling the bottom out of any hopes they had of winning in New York and their last real chance of turning a losing primary run around…

    …Sanders is himself filled with resentment, on edge, feeling like he gets no respect — all while holding on in his head to the enticing but remote chance that Clinton may be indicted before the convention.

    http://www.politico.com/story/2016/06/bernie-sanders-campaign-last-days-224041
    __________________

    If that’s accurate, then this is looking like an emotional grudge match that could end badly, not a strategy.

  3. James Joyner says:

    @Pch101: I just saw that, via an Ezra Klein piece. It’s not unusual—it’s what I was getting at with the “politics is personal” bit. Campaigns are about contrasts and nobody’s skin is thick enough not to get upset by the other candidate’s name calling and unfair characterizations of their positions by opponents and their supporters. That’s especially true after a long fight.

  4. Todd says:

    The tone of Sanders’ speech last night was different … no direct criticism of Clinton at all. That was probably the closest we were going to hear to a concession, at that specific time, in front of that specific crowd. It will be more interesting to see what both Sanders and the President have to say after they meet on Thursday.

  5. C. Clavin says:

    Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to introduce the next President of these United States, Hillary Clinton!!!
    In the meantime Donald “The Comb-Over” Trump is claiming his racist and misogynist comments about judges not being able to adjudicate cases fairly, simply because of their race, religion, and/or gender, were totally mis-construed.

  6. Grumpy Realist says:

    Eh. I think if Sanders doesn’t start turning his firepower on Trump soon, he’s going to quickly turn into the “old man yells at clouds” school. He will be especially ignored after Hillary wins sufficient delegates to put her over the top no matter what the super delegates do.

    I suspect Sanders will run out of gas very quickly.

  7. C. Clavin says:

    @Grumpy Realist:

    I suspect Sanders will run out of gas very quickly.

    I suspect Mr. Obama is going to have a very frank talk with him tomorrow.

  8. Jen says:

    From Politico:

    The meetings in Philadelphia have already started, with the platform drafting committee set to have its opening session on Wednesday. The Sanders team is headed by Mark Longabaugh—Devine’s business partner, but who’s veered closer to Weaver when it comes to eagerness to headbutt. There are negotiations with the Clinton campaign and the DNC over what they’re going to force them to agree to, from speaking slots at the convention to long-term control over party operations to the order of early state voting (Aides say Sanders believes the race would have been radically different if the order were different, and more states were by themselves on the calendar instead of lumped together on super-ish Tuesdays).

    Emphasis added. Good lord–having more states by themselves instead of grouped would make this process last even longer. I am not a fan of this “reform” suggestion. I’d much rather see the entire process shortened by at least a month or so. Yeesh.

  9. stonetools says:

    I’m hoping that this meeting with Obama will begin a process where he walks back his “On to Philadelphia!” rhetoric. I am hoping that there will shortly be a meeting with Clinton, after which Bernie will say , “I’ve gotten some concessions, Hillary understands my positions, etc. Its time for us to unite and take on Trump!”
    There are ways to work out this kabuki.I think the Democratic leadership will manage this over the next couple of weeks. Obama is good at reconciling rivals. I expect Warren will play a role too.

  10. JKB says:

    Sanders hasn’t really been running against Hillary for a long time. He’s been running against alt-Hillary that the DNC is prepping to insert should Hillary, uhm, run into trouble: legal, health, etc.

  11. stonetools says:

    @Jen:

    I like the idea of twelve regional primaries, each spaced a week apart. You start around the beginning of February, and end it by Mother’s Day. You rotate who goes first.
    It will never happen, of course.

  12. Andre Kenji says:

    To be fair, California never favored Sanders. Not enough white people.

  13. Tyrell says:

    @stonetools: The Democrats have to avoid a repeat of the 1972 disaster: radical philosophies and primrose path proposals. Senator Warren: why should she have a role more than someone else ? And what role should she have ? I would suggest a role of investigation of the Federal Reserve Board. She wants to go after these big banks, let her get inside the FR. This is something neither party will take on, and even the presidents kneel to their power.
    See “Secrets of the Federal Reserve”.

  14. C. Clavin says:

    @Tyrell:
    See “Secrets of the Federal Reserve”.
    For a more fact based read, see also –
    National Treasure; Book of Secrets

  15. Hal_10000 says:

    I kind of took a shine to Sanders early on because of his earnestness even though I disagreed with him on almost everything. And I tend to be sympathetic to protest candidates who stay in because they think an important issue is being ignored. But yeah, this is looking more and more like Sanders has swallowed his own hype.

  16. Dave Schuler says:

    I’ve asked the question before and I’ll repeat it now. What in Sen. Sanders’s past behavior leads anyone to believe that he’ll withdraw for the good of the Democratic Party?

  17. An Interested Party says:

    …should Hillary, uhm, run into trouble: legal, health, etc.

    Well certainly that is your last, best hope…

  18. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Dave Schuler:

    I can’t point to anything in his past, other than the Democrats haven’t ran a candidate against him for Senate. I assume there has been a tacit agreement between him and the Democratic party.

    And Chuck Schumer is a vindictive son-of-a-bitch.

    I’ve been operating under the assumption (one which I acknowledge could be completely and utterly wrong), that Sanders doesn’t want his political career to end with an ignominious defeat* in his home state.

    *Defeat from either a Dem winning against him, or more likely the Dems splitting the vote and a Republican gaining his seat.

  19. Todd says:

    Bernie Sanders is not going to try to take down Clinton/the Democratic party. But he’s also not going to just concede/endorse without concessions.

    I suspect that will be the main subject of Thursday’s meeting with the President.

    Something along the lines of …

    Obama: “ok Bernie, what do you want?” … “ok Hilary, what are you willing to give?” … “now let’s work something out.”

  20. Modulo Myself says:

    Sanders and his supporters should have one goal: making sure the left does not do what it always does, which is back down and be placated by vague themes of unity. The Clinton presidency is going to be regrettable at best. More importantly, it’s going to be completely grotesque and it will blow up the Democrats the same way Bush II and Obama blew up the GOP.

  21. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    And Chuck Schumer is a vindictive son-of-a-bitch.

    I’ve noted this in the past as well. If Sanders continues this internecine warfare thing he has going on at present, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least for him to find himself stripped of his committee assignments in January, when it would be far too late for the potential blowback from his acolytes to cause any real consequences for the party.

    I don’t think the party would try to primary him out of his seat, as it would arguably be self-defeating / damaging for the party. Forcing him into further irrelevancy via wandering in the Senate wilderness would be more their style IMO.

  22. Modulo Myself says:

    And Chuck Schumer is a vindictive son-of-a-bitch.

    So what? This whole Andrew Cuomo/BDS blacklist has his fingerprints all over it, and it’s just embarrassing. High-level Dems seem to be people who can handle zero deviance from viewpoints that were crafted and calculated to appeal to voters who aren’t really there.

    I mean, Hillary Clinton won the nomination partly with the votes of black people in places that are dominated by hard-core racists. Schumer might be vindictive to Bernie, but he’s useless in the fight against dumb Southern governors and legislatures.

  23. An Interested Party says:

    More importantly, it’s going to be completely grotesque and it will blow up the Democrats the same way Bush II and Obama blew up the GOP.

    How?

  24. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    I mean, Hillary Clinton won the nomination partly with the votes of black people in places that are dominated by hard-core racists. Schumer might be vindictive to Bernie, but he’s useless in the fight against dumb Southern governors and legislatures.

    You are going to have to explain what this has to do with the question I was answering, or my answer itself. It was asked what motivations Sanders might have for not breaking apart the Dem coalition. I answered with some thoughts regarding his current job–that of a Senator. You seem to be discussing general election strategy…but I’m really not quite sure.

    This whole Andrew Cuomo/BDS blacklist has his fingerprints all over it, and it’s just embarrassing. High-level Dems seem to be people who can handle zero deviance from viewpoints that were crafted and calculated to appeal to voters who aren’t really there.

    Again, Dave’s question and my answer has nothing to do with ideology or viewpoints. In case it wasn’t clear, I was stating that Schumer would have incentive to hurt Bernie if Bernie actively tries to hurt the party. At no point did I insinuate that Schumer could, should, or would try to hurt Bernie because of his views.

  25. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    I mean, Hillary Clinton won the nomination partly with the votes of black people in places that are dominated by hard-core racists. Schumer might be vindictive to Bernie, but he’s useless in the fight against dumb Southern governors and legislatures.

    Bringing the South back into a competitive state for Democrats is likely a 20 year project Nothing will resolve that problem, if indeed it even can be resolved, other than the dilutive effect of time.

    In the meantime, if we’ve proven anything in 2008 / 2012, it;s that we no longer need the South to win presidential elections. It’s nice when we pick up FL or NC, just as examples, but we don’t really NEED them in order to win.

  26. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    This seems to me to presume that the response to Sanders candidacy represents a tidal shift in the future electorate.

    I’m not really seeing it. the SDS didn’t accomplish it, nor did Nader, nor did Johnson nor did Paul.

    For one simple reason – the people who show up to cheer for their candidate at rallies and babble about him/her on Facebook & Twitter still tend not to show up to vote, at least not until later in life anyway. By that time, they’re no longer supportive of the fringe view they once cheered for. The exuberance of youth has never really translated into political power, and that’s at least partly IMO due to the anti-establishment nature of their cause joining in the first place. It’s difficult to mount an effective, workable plan to change a system when your primary driver tends to be contempt for that system.

  27. Modulo Myself says:

    @An Interested Party:

    Let’s leave aside the judgement that led her into this stupid email thing or the not-so-stupid Iraq and LIbya things.

    The bottom line is that GOP governors are on a path to turn their domains into de facto apartheid states where people trained by five-week Koch University extension courses will be in charge of testing for toxic elements in the ground water. In Trump’s wake will be a million small-time white supremacists who will try to make South Carolina, Alabama and Oklahoma pro-white for the first time ever. The economy will not get better, except for a few places, which will make it only worse. You’re going have professionals who had their own lives paid for them by their parents explain that not everybody can hope to go to college and have a good painless life, so maybe our expectations about the future should be scaled down a bit.

    How does she plan on fighting inequality? How is she going to try help people who live outside the northeast and the west coast? Obama did not do anything on the first and really teh second. The only thing that has held the Democrats together is that he is a genuinely remarkable person, even if he’s also fighting a war with a theocratic regime in Yemen and never did anything to fight inequality.

    But Hillary Clinton–to me–will not be able to do it. She’s not a remarkable person, no matter how hard it’s spun.

  28. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    The bottom line is that GOP governors are on a path to turn their domains into de facto apartheid states where people trained by five-week Koch University extension courses will be in charge of testing for toxic elements in the ground water. In Trump’s wake will be a million small-time white supremacists who will try to make South Carolina, Alabama and Oklahoma pro-white for the first time ever.

    You can’t help people who refuse to let you help them. It’s why I honestly couldn’t care any less at this point about Kansas, just as an example, circling the drain. They voted for it – twice – even after seeing the disastrous effects of the first term and therefore being in full knowledge of what they were voting for.

    At some point you just have to accept that people bent on self-destruction have to be allowed to destroy themselves. You can’t save a guy who won’t leave his house because he refuses to believe it’s on fire.

  29. bookdragon says:

    @Modulo Myself: Neither is Bernie remarkable enough to make any difference in your dire predictions. In fact, since his plans, such as they were, for fighting racial and gender inequality were secondary to economic inequality so he likely would be even less effective.

  30. Modulo Myself says:

    @bookdragon:

    Sanders plans for fighting economic inequality were pie-in-the-sky–free college and single-payer health care.

    What are Hillary Clinton’s? Is she in favor of reparations? Will there be forced busing in Boston, New York, and DC in an attempt to integrate public schools? No. There are laudable policies in her plan–get rid of mandatory sentencing for nonviolent offenders, and try to keep black students from being screwed by overzealous administrators–but she’s careful not to lead with anything to threatening to the white voters who live in cities and want to vote for her. It’s not much of a fight. More like a compromise.

  31. Modulo Myself says:

    My main point is that Hillary Clinton is not going to do anything but keep up the status quo. And the status quo is unpopular. But just like the GOP leaders after 9/11–which believed that it was a party of straight Christian warriors who knew how to make a buck and yet turned out to be hand-job artists into being bottoms in pyramid schemes–the Democrats who run things are people who believe that Clinton is committed to equality but who would lose their s–t if their property values dropped because their school system had some undesirables.

  32. KM says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    And Chuck Schumer is a vindictive son-of-a-bitch

    Why yes, yes he is. Which Sanders should know first-hand considering he’s been a insider for over 3 decades now. No one is entitled to a committee seat or chair of anything – something Sanders may be unfortunate enough to learn quite soon. At this point, there’s no nice way of stating Sanders is playing with fire. He’s going to start hemorrhaging supporters who understand President Trump is a horrorshow no one can afford, the money will dry up, and criticism will come raining down from all sides. He will come home to the Senate in disgrace, only to find a very very cold reception from those he’s hurt in this process. That’s what happens when you burn bridges, folks – you have no way to retreat when it hits the fan.

    Sanders is entitled to take this to the convention floor if he wants to. He’s also entitled to whatever consequences that might bring, up to and including being ostracized from his erstwhile Party.

  33. An Interested Party says:

    @Modulo Myself: Oh my, that’s pretty apocalyptic…are the end times near…

    Is she in favor of reparations?

    Putting aside whether or not that is the right thing to do, exactly how achievable is that?

    More like a compromise.

    That’s what politics and government is, or at least should be, all about…

  34. charon says:

    @Jen:

    There are negotiations with the Clinton campaign and the DNC over what they’re going to force them to agree to,

    At some point, HRC needs to refuse to be jerked around by these jerks.

    @C. Clavin:

    I suspect Mr. Obama is going to have a very frank talk with him tomorrow.

    I hope such an approach does not just make Bernie more combative. Bernie seems more driven by emotion than by rational self-interest.

  35. charon says:

    @C. Clavin:

    The meeting exists at Bernie’s request. I would think the smart play by POTUS would be to try to calm Bernie d own and defuse the tension and emotion.

    @Jen:

    Bernie’s attitude is disrespectful. HRC is experienced at dealing with disrespect.

  36. KM says:

    @Todd:

    Obama: “ok Bernie, what do you want?” … “ok Hilary, what are you willing to give?” … “now let’s work something out.”

    “What are you willing to give me?”

    “I won’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out, how’s that?”

    So very arrogant of him to assume he’s entitled to something for failing to win – and the more he pushes this, the less likely it will be he has everything he started with. His leverage slips with every day because he has a deadline too. Less then 50 days left and he slides back to where he came from, one among a hundred. He’s saying he’ll take it to Philly, thinking they will be more desperate as the convention grows near and he’ll have a grand last spectacle. If I were Hillary, it’d be the other way around: you’ve 50 days to concede mister and the longer it takes, the less beneficial it will be in the long run. Tick-tock Bernie, what’s it going to be?

  37. Modulo Myself says:

    @An Interested Party:

    It’s hardly apocalyptic. It’s been in the cards for a long time. GOP tax cuts are designed to blow up the public sector. Plain and simple. Cruz’s, if anyone read it, had the same intention on a federal level. In its place there will be a bunch of BS privately-owned agencies, and much of this country is going to be a hellhole. Black people will bear the brunt of it.

  38. Todd says:

    @KM:

    So very arrogant of him to assume he’s entitled to something for failing to win –

    Wow, actually this is exactly how it always works. The loser of the primary gets some sort of concessions in exchange for their support. Hillary Clinton in 2008 didn’t endorse Barack Obama out of the goodness of her heart, of for Democratic unity. You can bet your bottom dollar that negotiations took place to make that endorsement possible.

    I know in our current hyper-partisan environment some people have gotten used to the idea that if our candidate gets 50%+1 of the vote part of the “prize” seems to be that the winners to get to tell the other side “we won, you lost, now STFU”.

    This ritual is ill advised even when dealing with those from the other party. But in a primary, it’s just plain dumb.

    Furthermore, this idea that Sanders and his supporters need to be “punished” in some way for their transgressions only serves to highlight one of the very problems many of Sanders supporters have had with the Democratic establishment in the first place.

    For instance, the idea that part of the reason for some of the super delegates to be publicly supportive of Clinton was because they were scared of what would happen to them if she won and they were stuck on the other side, lives firmly in the realm of conspiracy theory … no real evidence to support it.

    … but then you get Clinton supporters running around wondering how Hillary is going to make Bernie “pay” for not giving up sooner, and it certainly feeds into some of the most unflattering Clinton mythology.

    None of this is helpful if the goal is ensuring that Donald Trump doesn’t get into the White House.

  39. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Todd:

    At this point, what does Sanders have to offer in exchange? Polling indicates that some 75% of this supporters will vote for Clinton in the general anyway, and the rest appear to be ideological bombthrowers currently occupying themselves with ranting about burning it all down.

    We’ll get the bulk of that 75% whether he’s stroked or not, and he likely can’t reverse the 25% who are fanatics at this point no matter what he does. He has nothing left to bargain with. He foolishly missed his chance weeks ago, when there was still cause for concern about her getting the nomination. That concern has now evaporated – she’s going to be the nominee.

    Short version: Sanders has little, if anything to offer to the party at this point that it wasn’t going to end up getting anyway, and a great deal to lose if he doesn’t wise up and start playing nice. He let the game progress too far before trying to play his cards. Now he doesn’t have any and he’s at the mercy of the dealer.

  40. charon says:

    @Todd:

    Hillary Clinton in 2008 didn’t endorse Barack Obama out of the goodness of her heart, of for Democratic unity. You can bet your bottom dollar that negotiations took place to make that endorsement possible.

    Assumes facts not in evidence.

  41. DrDaveT says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    My main point is that Hillary Clinton is not going to do anything but keep up the status quo.

    My main point is that the status quo looks like heaven, compared to the GOP vision or the Trump vision (and no, they are not much alike).

    If Hillary can stave off what the GOP-dominated Congress wants, and appoint some long-term sensible SCOTUS justices, and give the GOP some time to finish self-destructing, I’m content.

  42. humanoid.panda says:

    @JKB:

    He’s been running against alt-Hillary that the DNC is prepping to insert should Hillary, uhm, run into trouble: legal, health, etc.

    The best hint of the stench of desperation coming from these people: to imagine a scenario where they are not trounced in November, they have to fantasize about lightning strikes.

  43. charon says:

    @Todd:

    The longer Bernie dawdles, the more reluctant to endorse he will appear. The more reluctant his endorsement appears, the less it would be worth.

    An endorsement seen as purchased by some quid pro quo would, as a “paid testamonial,” be of little worth anyway. Dude has nothing to bargain with. Nada.

  44. Todd says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Short version: Sanders has little, if anything to offer to the party at this point that it wasn’t going to end up getting anyway, and a great deal to lose if he doesn’t wise up and start playing nice.

    Holy cow, it’s exactly that sort of attitude that gave rise to the Sanders “phenomena” in the first place. The idea that all of these voters can just be taken for granted … because really, what other choice do they have?

    You’re right, in Presidential years, especially when the R’s nominate Donald Trump, it probably won’t matter. But we’ve already seen the disastrous effects of this attitude during the past two mid-terms.

    Any concessions that the Clinton team makes aren’t about Bernie Sanders. It’s about the millions of people who voted for him.

  45. the Q says:

    This just in:” Commissioner James Joyner of the NBA just told LeBron and the Cavs the NBA Finals are over.”

    “Look, there’s no way the Cavs are going to win down 2 – 0 especially after absorbing two losses by huge margins and now K Love won’t play in game 3. Sorry Cleveland, but its time to move on and avoid embarrassing yourselves. But in true baby boomer fashion, we will give you trophies for your participation. Congratulations Warriors.”

    Another: President Joyner today surrendered to the Japanese. “Its apparent after our total defeat at Pearl Harbor, Wake Island and Coral Sea that its over. We give up and will throw in the towel. However, I want every soldier to know that they will all get participation trophies.”

    James Joyner, manager of the Boston Red Sox answering questions “why didn’t I tell Dave Roberts to steal? Hell we are down 3 games to 0, what difference would it make. No way we score against Rivera the greatest closer in history. No, I just told the boys, “just wait till next year. On your way out the dressing room, Theo Epstein has your participation trophies.”

    I am sick of this bullschitt of quitting. In 1932, the Dem slogan was “the party with a soul” and thats what Bernie is fighting for against the soulless corporate hag who just might be indicted before the election.

  46. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Todd:

    As I noted, we look to get roughly 75% of those people whether we pat him on the head and placate him or not, so why should we bother? Pretending he’s in a position of power just encourages him to keep playing this hostage game.

    If these people remotely gave a damn about anything beyond their sloganeering and pseudo-hippie angst, they’d already be turning out in off year midterms. They didn’t even care enough to show up in sufficient numbers to get him nominated here in the present.

  47. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @the Q:

    LOL, speaking of that disaffected minority currently ranting about burning the entire thing down … 🙂

  48. the Q says:

    All you HIllary RINOs, I guess you don’t mind the Clinton trailer trash mafia grifters redux. The lies, double speak, shady corrupt dealings of the CGI, Hillary’s total phuck ups at State, her innate paranoid insecurity.

    She is the liberal Nixon. No wonder she quotes Kissinger. You neo libs can welcome back scum suckers to the Oval office like Larry Summers, the Podestas, McAuliffe and Poindexter and the Stanford swimmer, er I mean Bill….it will be 1992 all over again….

    The guy had his dyck in the mouth of an intern while talking to Arafat over something trivial like Middle East peace plans. Disgraceful behaviour and he dragged the country through the schitt just to safe his own selfish skin.

    Boy, I am jumping with excitement at he prospect of these fine folks back in the White House.

  49. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @the Q:

    🙄

  50. KM says:

    @Todd:

    Furthermore, this idea that Sanders and his supporters need to be “punished” in some way for their transgressions only serves to highlight one of the very problems many of Sanders supporters have had with the Democratic establishment in the first place.

    Holy cow, it’s exactly that sort of attitude that gave rise to the Sanders “phenomena” in the first place. The idea that all of these voters can just be taken for granted … because really, what other choice do they have?

    What the hell, man? Where did I say supporters need to be “punished”? Methinks you’re over-identifying and projecting quite a bit on this one. HL92 and myself were talking about Bernie himself. Supporters are not Sanders – what happens to him is not happening to you. His fate is his own, his choices and his actions.

    Concessions are made when there’s benefits to gained; you are right in that it’s not out of the goodness of someone’s heart. What we are trying to point out is Sanders is going to be shedding political capital over the next 50 days like a balding border collie. If Sanders is truly trying to gain something for the People, then he’s going about it ass-backwards. You don’t piss off the people you expect to cut a deal with and think you are going to get what you want. And he’s pissing people off more and more every day. He is in the weaker position and he’s weakening it with every supporter that’s turned off by the stubbornness, every voter rethinking their position. Nobody’s taking them for granted; we’re waiting for them to realize the war’s over and it’s time to come out of the jungle.

  51. CB says:

    @the Q:

    Do you have a newsletter I could subscribe to?

  52. Mikey says:

    @Todd:

    AHoly cow, it’s exactly that sort of attitude that gave rise to the Sanders “phenomena” in the first place. The idea that all of these voters can just be taken for granted … because really, what other choice do they have?

    Well, there’s Trump, you know.

    As far as the Democrats, the choice has been made, and it is Hillary Clinton. She won more states, she won more votes, she won more delegates. Now Sanders is reduced to trying to sway the very superdelegates whose very existence he has, for months, consistently derided as fundamentally anti-democratic.

    HL92 is right, Sanders has little to offer and even that diminishes with each passing day. Sanders doesn’t appear to understand the loser generally doesn’t have much luck trying to wring concessions out of the winner.

  53. bookdragon says:

    @Todd: As I recall Sanders was already given the opportunity to name 5 DNC chairs (kind of unprecedented for the loser). The fact that one of his choices was Cornel West probably does not encourage anyone as far as offering him more concessions in that regard.

    As to platform, he and Hillary are already embarrassingly close considering how much strum and drang is going on. The difference in goals in minimal. The main disagreement is in how to get there, and frankly, what anyone can really achieve will ultimately depend on how many dems wind up in congress.

  54. KM says:

    @the Q:

    I am sick of this bullschitt of quitting.

    Sounds like a personal problem. Have you considering winning? After all, winners don’t quit!

  55. the Q says:

    HL 92, you wrote, “If these people remotely gave a damn about anything beyond their….” let me finish it for you….. “If these people remotely gave a damn about anything beyond their own infatuation with a corrupt, paranoid, lying resume builder who was a Goldwater gal and a conniving scheming grifter who won’t release CGI emails and transcripts of Wall St. speeches because no doubt they would prove her critics correct, then perhaps the Democrats can again begin to address the horrible healthcare industry, the abysmal growth of real income and the widening gulf between the rich and poor.”

  56. humanoid.panda says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    How does she plan on fighting inequality? How is she going to try help people who live outside the northeast and the west coast? Obama did not do anything on the first and really teh second. The only thing that has held the Democrats together is that he is a genuinely remarkable person, even if he’s also fighting a war with a theocratic regime in Yemen and never did anything to fight inequality.

    The ACA did not happen on the earth on which you live? And, more importantly still: what exactly would an exceptional person like Sanders would do to, say, force GOP governors to accept Medicaid money by careful manipulation of the federal bureacracy ? Is he gonna call a march on DC to put some fear of God into the governor of Alabama?

  57. humanoid.panda says:

    @humanoid.panda: Look, I am sorry for the harsh tone, because I see where you are coming from, but you are basically on a left wing version of the Trump fantasy: some hero to throw away the inertia of American history and the cumbersome structure of our institutions and just bring about the final victory of what everyone but the corporatists knows is true and right.

  58. humanoid.panda says:

    @humanoid.panda: Look, I am sorry for the harsh tone, because I see where you are coming from, but you are basically on a left wing version of the Trump fantasy: some hero to throw away the inertia of American history and the cumbersome structure of our institutions and just bring about the final victory of what everyone but the corporatists knows is true and right.

  59. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @the Q:

    Watch out, the Purity Police are in the house! 🙂

    Take your meds, old man, before you give yourself a stroke …

  60. the Q says:

    KM, WTF? Winners don’t quit? Yes, thats why Bernie is not quitting. This isn’t about superdelegates in North Dakota, this is a wake up call to all the party. Another 8 years of the Clinton gang paying lip service to the working class while they pile up $200 million more in income?

    I guess I am an old school New Deal Dem. Like LBJ, lets lose the south over something big…civil rights and voting rights.

    You dipschit neo libs. “lets make sure 9 year old transgendered kids can schitt wherever they want and we will withhold federal funds to punish any local school district that dares phuck with us.”

    I guess you guys are the courageous, brave ones……

  61. Tyrell says:

    @C. Clavin: I have seen those two movies a few times – very well done; a clever of facts and fiction. I know a social studies teacher who uses those films in his class.
    Booth’s diary- some day those missing pages may turn up – probably stored away in some long forgotten government warehouse in D.C.

  62. the Q says:

    HL 92, And what kind of narcissistic jerk puts his law school down as moniker?

    I guess my moniker would be “old man who made a fortune and remembers what true democratic socialists look like and recognizes how worthless neo lib boomers have done little to move this country forward.”

    There, now I can be like you and call attention to myself.

  63. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @the Q:

    The kind looking to jerk the chains of erstwhile Debs disciples now frothing in anger at a world which didn’t turn out like Democratic Left promised that it would.

    Looks like it worked 🙂

    What’s your position – that I should be ashamed of the degree and hide it under a bushel, so as to not offend those special snowflakes of lesser accomplishment? No thanks …

  64. KM says:

    @the Q:

    I guess I am an old school New Deal Dem

    No you’re not. You’re just angry and rather rude.

    Bernie’s not quitting because he still thinks he’s going to be President next year, not just making a point or delivering a wake-up call. From the original article:

    “I am pretty good at arithmetic and I know that the fight
    in front of us in a very, very steep fight”.

    There’s a huge difference between someone going the distance for symbolism’s sake and someone who truly thinks they still have a shot at the gold when 10 miles behind. We admire the former for their tenacity but look in askance on the later for their refusal to live in the real world.

  65. humanoid.panda says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    We’ll get the bulk of that 75% whether he’s stroked or not, and he likely can’t reverse the 25% who are fanatics at this point no matter what he does. He has nothing left to bargain with. He foolishly missed his chance weeks ago, when there was still cause for concern about her getting the nomination. That concern has now evaporated – she’s going to be the nominee.

    Sorrry, but that’s just totally wrong: history tells us that the majority of that 25% are people who are pissed, but will be back home for the general. Which is why it is always the job of the winner to ruffle the feathers of the loser. Seriously: one of the key points Hillary’s supporters make (and I am one) is the importance of pragmatisms and coalition building. So why the obduracy towards Sanders?

  66. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    Aside from the fact that I more or less disagree with most of his policy proposals, he lost, ergo he has no business trying to extort concessions at gunpoint out of the party he’s seemingly done his best to destroy over the last months.

    I’m a party loyalist. As far as I’m concerned, over the course of this election cycle Sanders has equally been as much of an enemy of the party as Trump has been. Now that the real battle has begun, it’s time for him to get out of the way, go back to his cubicle and write his book.

    The polling makes it clear that some 75% of his supporters will support the eventual Democratic nominee. That’s all we need. I’m fine with letting the other 25% – who, with the obstinacy of the fanatics that they are – will never accept anything other than them getting 100% of what they want (see Q above …) – drown themselves in depression and booze. You can’t make an honest deal with a fanatic. I would think the GOP’s impending implosion due to trying to placate the Tea Party would have made that more than clear. The last thing we as a party need to be doing is emulating their mistake.

  67. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @the Q: @HarvardLaw92: When I first saw the screen name, I said oooh, a Hahvahd man; when I read the comment, I yawned.

  68. charon says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    Bernie lost.

    Bernie ran on the concessions he is demanding.

    Thus, when the voters rejected Bernie, they rejected Bernie’s demands as well.

    Thus, giving in to Bernie would be wrong.

  69. PJ says:

    @the Q:

    This just in:” Commissioner James Joyner of the NBA just told LeBron and the Cavs the NBA Finals are over.”

    “Look, there’s no way the Cavs are going to win down 2 – 0 especially after absorbing two losses by huge margins and now K Love won’t play in game 3. Sorry Cleveland, but its time to move on and avoid embarrassing yourselves. But in true baby boomer fashion, we will give you trophies for your participation. Congratulations Warriors.”

    You’re so funny.

    The current situation is more like the Warriors having won game 1, 2, 3, and 5, with the Cavs winning game 4, and the Cavs refusing to acknowledge that they have lost and demanding to play game 6 and 7 too, because maybe one or more of the Warriors wins may be nullified due to some controversy or conspiracy.

    Sane people in the sane world understands that Sanders isn’t going to be able to get super delegates to switch from Clinton.

  70. Jen says:

    I think Clinton will be able to figure out something to throw Sanders’ way, and she’ll do so because she is a grownup and that is how gracious winners behave.

    The determination of how much–and how important–those concessions are is squarely in the lap of Sen. Sanders. He alone determines how successful his requests will be, depending on two things: timing and attitude.

  71. wr says:

    @the Q: “I am sick of this bullschitt of quitting”

    What quitting? It’s over. Hillary has more than 50% of the delegates.

    I’ve got news for you — no matter how much you like Cleveland, once the Warriors have won four games, they don’t keep fighting. And if they want to, they’ll soon find there isn’t a game to play in.

  72. wr says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Wow, you and Q really are a match made in heaven. I hope you can get Jenos involved in your conversation so that we can all be truly enlightened.

  73. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker:

    By now you should know me well enough to know that I largely don’t concern myself with what others think of me unless they have some degree of power to affect my income.

    The last group of opinions I’d ever worry about / lend any weight to is that of strangers on the internet. Some of you guys take this WAY too seriously.

  74. charon says:

    @Jen:

    He alone determines how successful his requests will be, depending on two things: timing and attitude.

    Here is how Bernie’s attitude currently presents itself:

    https://berniesanders.com/press-release/the-struggle-continues/

  75. charon says:

    From my link:

    SANTA MONICA, Calif. – To chants of “Bernie or Bust,” U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders told a roaring crowd of supporters on Tuesday that he will carry his White House campaign and their fight for a political revolution to this summer’s Democratic National Convention

    .

    (My emphasis)

  76. Scott F. says:

    @Todd:

    Any concessions that the Clinton team makes aren’t about Bernie Sanders. It’s about the millions of people who voted for him.

    I believe we’re already seeing indications that Clinton has a clear understanding of this. Sherrod Brown has been out in front on communications (the unity message in particular) from the Clinton camp since Tuesday’s primaries and he’s got great credibility with Sanders and Sanders followers who are paying attention. I have a strong suspicion that Clinton will tap Brown as VP for his progressive bona fides and his sway in the Rust Belt states, especially Ohio.

    As for concessions, the lion’s share of the disagreement between Clinton and Sanders concerns how to get to objectives they more or less agree on. I don’t see Clinton conceding much on tactics (how we get there and how long it will take), while allowing Sanders to draw some lines in the sand on principles.

  77. stonetools says:

    @Scott F.:

    As for concessions, the lion’s share of the disagreement between Clinton and Sanders concerns how to get to objectives they more or less agree on. I don’t see Clinton conceding much on tactics (how we get there and how long it will take), while allowing Sanders to draw some lines in the sand on principles.

    There is some disagreement on objectives, although not as much as the most fervent Bernie supporters would have it. Despite this, I largely agree with you. There will be a couple of weeks of negotiations, a few token concessions, then Sanders will declare victory and endorse Clinton.
    If he resists beyond that, he runs the risk of a Trump Presidency and being condemned as stabbing the Democrats in the back like Nader did. I’m certain he doesn’t want that as his legacy.
    I doubt Sanders will be as gracious a loser as Clinton was in 2008,but I think he will do his duty. I think he particularly wants the last hurrah of a “Bernie night” at the convention, and Clinton will give it-in exchange for a warm endorsement.Things like a Veep or Cabinet position will be off the table.

  78. stonetools says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    Which is why it is always the job of the winner to ruffle the feathers of the loser.

    Honestly, I don’t remember this being a job of the winner. I don’t remember any feather ruffling back in 2008. When did this become a thing?
    What’s sad is that we seem to have given up on the idea of the gracious loser, who says , “Well played, but you beat me fair and square. Now let’s unite for the general.” This is what Clinton did last time, to her great credit.
    Frankly, this is what Bernie should be doing now.

  79. Guarneri says:

    So many theories. Maybe Bernie is simply a man of principle, and doesn’t want to see one of the most execrable people on the face of the earth in the presidency.

  80. EddieInCA says:

    @Scott F.:

    I have a strong suspicion that Clinton will tap Brown as VP for his progressive bona fides and his sway in the Rust Belt states, especially Ohio.

    No chance. No way Hillary picks any Senator from any state with a Republican Governor. If she picks Sherrod Brown, and HIllary and he win, John Kasich gets to pick the replacement.

    No way it’s Sherrod Brown.

  81. Scott F. says:

    @EddieInCA:

    I hadn’t thought about Kasich naming Brown’s replacement. You’re probably right about the calculus.

    Too bad. Sherrod would have been a great choice.

  82. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @HarvardLaw92: And yet, you thought it was important to tell me this. Hmmmm…

  83. Todd says:

    After watching some of the Interviews today, I’m less worried about all of this. Democratic Senators, and Clinton herself seem to “get it”. They are not going to play this stupid vindictive let’s get revenge on Bernie game.

    By early next week, I expect this will be all but “resolved”. Now some diehard Bernie voters are not going to give it up right away. And perhaps even the candidate himself may not formally “concede/endorse” right away. But I think that any overt criticisms of Hillary Clinton from the Sanders’ campaign itself are in the past. And I think at the very least you will see Senator Sanders turn his fire much more towards Donald Trump.

  84. Todd says:

    I think the VP choice may still matter on the margins as well. If Clinton selects Elizabeth Warren (and if Warren accepts), it will almost certainly be much easier for all but the most diehard Sanders supporters to vote for the Democratic ticket in November. If on the hand, she selects someone like Tim Kaine (or another DLC type moderate) she might lose even some of the “ok I’ll hold my nose and vote for her” types from the Sanders’ side. And I don’t think it works the opposite way either. Selecting Tim Kaine is not going to sway some moderate Republican in Ohio to vote for Clinton when he/she wasn’t planning to otherwise.

    Note: Sherrod Brown or Tom Perez will not have the same effect as Warren. Most people don’t have a clue who either one of those guys are.

  85. EddieInCA says:

    @Todd:

    Jesus, Todd.

    Can’t be Warren. No way is she prepared to be President. She’s not. I love the woman, and think she’s very good for the country, but she’s not prepared to step in an be President. A President Warren would be no better than a President Sanders. She’d be able to get NOTHING done.

    Additionally, she has zero Foreign Policy experience. I’d rather see Warren as Sec of the Treasury, or Sec of Education. Get her in an administration for four or eight years, then she might be ready.

  86. Todd says:

    @EddieInCA:

    I think the idea is that this helps Warren get the experience, and makes her the presumed 2024 (or 2020 if say Clinton ran into health problems) Democratic nominee.

    Ultimately though, the way this primary has ended, the VP pick probably does need to be at least partially about unifying the party, and turning out as many voters as possible in November.

    In a more “normal” circumstance, I agree that Warren might not be the best pick. But right now, it’s an option that Hillary Clinton probably needs to seriously consider.

  87. Jen says:

    I’ll admit I’m fascinated by the VP stakes on both sides. Trump needs someone who will give the ticket gravitas and stability, while Clinton needs someone with energy and passion–they each need “personality balancing” choices.

    Reid’s statement that he’d prefer not to lose a sitting Senator would theoretically eliminate Warren and Brown, as both are from states with sitting (R) governors. A Tim Kaine selection doesn’t do much for the energy/progressive side. Castro seems a bit young to me, and along the lines of Warren might not have the breadth of background to be considered someone who could step into the top spot on Day 1 if necessary.

    All that said, Warren’s upcoming speech and the way in which it is being positioned certainly look like an audition to me. The idea of having a two-woman ticket competing against America’s Lead Misogynist might seem irresistible right now, but I’m not sure it’s a perfect chess move–however fun it would be to watch Donald’s reaction to it.

  88. Tyrell says:

    Sanders is meeting with the president today. He will be getting his orders.
    Everything going to the plan. So far.
    It would be interesting to know who else is in on this meeting.

  89. Christopher Osborne says:
  90. Jen says:

    @Christopher Osborne: Yup–I’m from a neighboring state (NH) and saw the Globe piece. Researching the state election laws is certainly intriguing. The only reason I could see for Reid to be loosening up on his prior statements is that he’s seen polling that shows a sufficient number of seats will be flipped to get a majority. If that’s the case, I’d look to Ohio and Sen. Brown, but from what I’ve read, Sanders is pretty ticked at him for his early backing of Clinton. Warren was far more cautious and garnered the love of Bernie’s supporters for it.

  91. wr says:

    @Guarneri: “Maybe Bernie is simply a man of principle, and doesn’t want to see one of the most execrable people on the face of the earth in the presidency.”

    I believe this is exactly the case, and that’s why he’ll fully endorse Hillary. Because he knows a Trump presidency will set about undoing everything he’s spend his entire adult life working for.

  92. wr says:

    @Tyrell: “It would be interesting to know who else is in on this meeting.”

    George Soros
    Bernadine Dorn
    Bill Ayres
    Jeremiah Wright
    Saul Alinsky
    Stalin
    The Trilateral Commission
    The Illuminati
    JFK’s reanimated corpse
    A Rothschild
    Satan

  93. Todd says:

    There you go. Sanders just spoke at the White House, and while he did not formally concede, he did end his statement with “I look forward to meeting in person with Secretary Clinton to discuss how we can work together to defeat Donald Trump.”.

    That’s about as clear cut, not going to burn down the party as you’re going to get.

  94. stonetools says:

    As for a Clinton-Warren ticket, is the country ready for an all-female ticket?

    Just to be clear: I don’t care. I have no problem with two women on the ticket, but there are a lot of men (and some women!) that could have a problem. Discuss.

  95. Todd says:

    @stonetools:

    As for a Clinton-Warren ticket, is the country ready for an all-female ticket?

    While I don’t deny the sentiment does exist out in the wild, I think the idea that resistance to Clinton’s candidacy had/has anything to do with her being a woman is at least somewhat overblown. In fact, my favorite comeback to charges of misogyny about Clinton was to ask those who opposed her if they’d vote for Warren if she ran. If the answer was yes, their problem with Clinton was not likely gender related.

    So no, I don’t think a Clinton/Warren ticket would be a problem.

    In short, anybody closed minded to object to two women on the ticket, almost certainly already falls into that smallish group who refuses to vote for Clinton primarily because of her gender.

  96. EddieInCA says:

    @Todd:

    In a more “normal” circumstance, I agree that Warren might not be the best pick. But right now, it’s an option that Hillary Clinton probably needs to seriously consider.

    Horsesh*t. What does “right now” mean? What’s different?

    Oh, that’s right. The little whiny kids (yeah you too Susan Sarandon) who somehow think that getting less votes, delegates, and states entitles you to victory because of your positions.

    Here’s a clue. You lost.

    Here’s another clue. Your positions wouldn’t get passed. For that you need a majority of the country. You couldn’t even get a majority of Democrats, who are your natural allies, to sign on to your agenda.

    I’m tired of Sanders supporters acting like Clinton and Trump are somehow equal. If that’s your position, you can go screw yourself. All of you.

  97. Todd says:

    @EddieInCA: Dude, take a chill pill. Seriously.

    The primaries are over, it’s time for the circular firing squad to end. Turn your guns on Donald Trump. Bernie Sanders and his supporters are not the “enemy”.