Friday, April 22, 2016

No Democratic Party to Unify. Sanders shouldn't drop out.


In 2008, Hillary Clinton wasn't asking the Democrats to "unify" until after the very last person had voted in the primary. So we shouldn't be having this conversation until the very last person has had their say in 2016 — and that doesn't happen until June 14th.

During the 2008 Democratic primary, Hillary Clinton had won the popular vote because Obama’s name didn't appear on the Michigan ballot. But it was still a very close race — within 1% — but Obama had won most of the delegates, winning the Democratic nomination.

Image from Wiki
2008 Democratic Primary

In 2008, Clinton didn't think superdelegates were fair. In 2016 they support her. Now there are those who are calling for Bernie Sanders to drop out of the Democratic primary race to "unify the party". But there are a few problems with that. So far, in the 2016 Democratic primary...

  1. Many people who are voting for Bernie Sanders aren't traditional "moderate" Democrats.
  2. Many people who are voting for Bernie Sanders only registered as a Democrat to vote for Bernie Sanders.
  3. Many people who are voting for Bernie Sanders have "no party affiliation".
  4. Many people who are voting for Bernie Sanders are Independents, or belong to another party.
  5. Many people who are voting for Bernie Sanders are now "Berniecrats", no matter what party they belonged to before.
  6. Many people who are voting for Bernie Sanders would not have even voted in the primary if Bernie Sanders hadn't run.

So hypothetically speaking, there's no "party to unify" — at least not yet — and Bernie Sanders' supporters are already unified behind Bernie Sanders. And asking them to vote for a "moderate" Hillary Clinton might be like asking them to vote for a "moderate" Republican, such as Mitt Romney or Jeb Bush.

While Hillary Clinton didn't contest Obama's nomination in 2008, she did make sure that every last person had voted. Although she didn't take her fight to the DNC convention to try and swing superdelegates in her favor, Bernie Sanders campaign (despite protests from his supporters at, should do exactly that. Because the Democratic Party (superdelegates, not the voters) and the media had already chosen their preferred candidate long before Bernie Sanders had entered the race.

Hillary Clinton said she feels sorry sometimes for the young people who don't do their own research; but it's the young people who do their research that are voting for Bernie Sanders (just read their comments online). The Democratic Party and the superdelegates (many who are members of Congress) don't need to do any research, they know EXACTLY who they are backing to maintain the status quo in Washington D.C.

The latest Gallop poll shows 79% of Americans disapprove of Congress — and these are the people backing Hillary Clinton — so 79% Hillary's supporters (Democrats) are voting for someone they disapprove of. Go ahead . . . vote for someone you don't like or trust. It doesn't mean everybody should.

A comprehensive survey in all 50 states conducted over several months shows Bernie Sanders has the highest approval rating of any U.S. Senator — so 100% of Bernie's supporters (Berniecrats) are already voting for someone they approve of . . . someone they like and trust. (Doesn't that make much more sense?)

The establishment pro-corporate moderate/centrist Democrats in Washington are already unified behind their chosen one. And Bernie Sanders's supporters are already unified behind their candidate — so trying to "unify" both groups would be like trying to unify vinegar and oil.

In 2016, the Democratic nominee needs 2,383 delegates to win the party's primary nomination. As of April 20, so far Hillary Clinton has won approximately 1,428 delegates and Senator Bernie Sanders has won 1,151 — with about an additional 1,646 delegates still outstanding

That does not include any of the 719 superdelegates, because these party insiders don't actually vote until July during the DNC convention. So far, most of the superdelegates (about 500) have already endorsed Clinton. Most had already committed their vote to Clinton long before the very first person had even voted in the Iowa caucus.

Although, they can also their mind at anytime up until the July convention — but that is very unlikely, as most of them are corporatists and loyal establishment party members — and keeping in lockstep, will tow the moderate/centrist Democratic party line.

These "Democrats" have done very little for the working-class in decades. They could have raised the minimum wage in 2009/2010 — but didn't. In 2013, a few had voted against raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. And most had voted for the bailouts and tax breaks for the very rich and big corporations — not to mention, their government subsidtities. And 20% of Democrats in Congress (all who back Clinton) also voted to give Obama fast-tract for the TPP trade agreement (which has been described as NAFTA on steroids).

8 years ago they were calling for Hillary Clinton to drop out.

The 2008 California Democratic primary took place on February 5, 2008, also known as Super Tuesday. California was dubbed the "Big Enchilada" by the media because it offers the most delegates out of any other delegation. It was a battle between then-Senator Hillary Clinton and then-Senator Barack Obama.

This year California doesn't vote until June 7th — so the superdelegates and surrogates backing Clinton want Bernie to drop out now, because those with "no party affiliation" can vote in the Democratic primary — unlike many who were locked out from voting in New York and in other closed primaries.

The last poll for California in 2008 by Real Clear Politics was very close: They had Clinton at 51.9% and Obama at 42.3%. The final election results for California had Clinton at 51.5% and Obama at 43.2% — but although Clinton had won the "Big Enchilada" — even still, during this time the media was already calling for her to drop out.

Newsweek (February 23, 2008):

If Hillary Clinton wanted a graceful exit, she'd drop out now and endorse Barack Obama. To withdraw this week would be the best thing imaginable for Hillary's political career. Withdrawing would be stupid if Hillary had a reasonable chance to win the nomination, but she doesn't. The much-ballyhooed race for superdelegates is now nearly irrelevant. Hillary agreed that the process would "sort itself out" so that the will of the people would not be reversed by superdelegates. Obama has a commanding 159 lead in pledged delegates and a lead of 925,000 in the popular vote. Closing that gap would require Hillary to win all the remaining contests by crushing margins. If she wants to stay in anyway, one way to go is to play through to June so as to give as many people as possible a chance to express their support. While this would be contrary to the long-stated wish of many Democrats (including the Clintons) to avoid a long, divisive primary season, it's perfectly defensible. The conventional view is that the Clintons approach power the way hard-core gun owners approach a weapon — they'll give it up only when it's wrenched from their cold, dead fingers.

The Washington Post (February 25, 2008):

Even before Senator Barack Obama won his ninth straight contest against Senator Hillary Clinton, wise old heads in the Democratic Party were asking this question: Who will tell her that it's over, that she cannot win the presidential nomination and that the sooner she leaves the race, the more it will improve the party's chances of defeating Senator John McCain in November? But telling her to end her candidacy and avoiding a bloody battle stretching to the party's national convention in Denver might not have been achievable.

The former sense of inevitability regarding Clinton becoming the first female president was based on her dominance over weak fields in both parties. McCain was the one Republican who worried Democratic strategists, and he appeared dead three months ago. Mitt Romney, the then-likely Republican nominee, was viewed in Democratic circles as unelectable.

Obama's improbable candidacy always worried Clinton insiders, which explains the whispering campaign that the Illinois neophyte would prove vulnerable to a Republican onslaught as the presidential nominee. That private assault continues to this day, with Obama described as a latter-day George McGovern whose career record of radical positions will prove easy prey for GOP attack dogs.

But Clinton could not go before Democratic primary voters and assail Obama for being too far to the left. Instead, she insinuated moral turpitude by asserting that Obama had not been "vetted." When that backfired, she claimed plagiarism by Obama in lifting a paragraph from a speech by his friend and supporter Deval Patrick, the Massachusetts governor -- an approach that yielded mainly derisive laughter among politicians. Clinton herself raised the bogus issue again at Thursday night's debate in Austin and was rewarded with boos from the Democratic audience.

Clinton's burden is not only Obama's charisma but also McCain's resurrection. Some of the same Democrats who short months ago were heralding her as the "perfect" candidate now call her a sure loser against McCain, saying she would do the party a favor by just leaving.

After a severely contested primary season, by the the time June 3rd rolled around (the day of the final primaries in South Dakota and Montana), Barack Obama rolled out about sixty superdelegate "endorsements". Those endorsements, together with the pledged delegates awarded in the final primaries, put him well over the "magic number" of 2,117 delegate votes necessary for a majority at the Democratic National Convention.

By early in the evening, all the major media organizations had announced that Obama had clinched the Democratic nomination. Obama had claimed the status of presumptive nominee in a speech at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota before a crowd of 17,000 people. An additional 15,000 supporters watched the speech on a big screen outside the arena as Obama became the first black candidate in the nation's history to become a major party presidential nominee.

"Tonight, after fifty-four hard-fought contests, our primary season has finally come to an end. Tonight, I can stand before you and say that I will be the Democratic nominee for president of the United States."

Speaking from her home state New York, (where she walloped Obama in that primary — and by a wider margin than Bernie Sanders in 2016), Senator Hillary Clinton, congratulated Obama for his campaign; but she did not concede the race — nor did she discuss the possibility of running as vice president. (A deal was later reached for a job as Secretary of State in exchange for Bill Clinton's endorsement at the DNC convention — for "party unity".)

"This has been a long campaign, and I will be making no decisions tonight," she said. There were reports earlier in the day that she would concede, but her campaign said she was "absolutely not" prepared to do so.

On the morning of June 5, Clinton posted on her website an open letter to her supporters, which she also sent by e-mail that day. It announced that on Saturday (June 7) Clinton would endorse Obama's candidacy. During a concession speech in Washington D.C. that night, Hillary Clinton finally endorsed Obama:

"The way to continue our fight now, to accomplish the goals for which we stand is to take our energy, our passion, our strength, and do all we can to help elect Barack Obama, the next president of the United States. Today, as I suspend my campaign, I congratulate him on the victory he has won and the extraordinary race he has run. I endorse him and throw my full support behind him."

Of the roughly 37 million Democrats who voted in the 2008 Democratic primary, almost 18 million supported the former first lady and New York senator. In formally ending her quest to become the first female U.S. president, she had said:

"Although we weren't able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it has about 18 million cracks in it and the light is shining through like never before."

That was when Senator Barack Obama had "pivoted" to Senator John McCain. Later in November Obama had won 69,498,516 votes (52.93%) to John McCain's 59,948,323 votes (45.65%) to become America's first Black President.


In the 2016 primaries Donald Trump had been asking Republican candidates to drop out because they were taking votes away from him. Marco Rubio eventually did, but only after losing his home state of Florida to Trump.

John Kasich is at the very bottom of the lsit for the number of votes he has won — among all primary contenders — and many are calling for him to drop out as well, even while some political strategists still aren't ruling him out yet. The only state Kasich has won was his home state of Ohio.

On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton in his home state of Vermont by a huge margin — 86.1% to 13.6% — but recently, Clinton beat Sanders in her home state of New York: 58% to 42%. But even so, not only did Bernie Sanders win more votes that night in New York than Barack Obama did in 2008, but Bernie also won more votes than both Donald Trump (in Trump's home state) and John Kasich combined. Bernie had also lost by a narrower margin than Obama did in 2008 against Hillary Clinton (The media ignored these tidbits.)

But now, after Sanders' recent loss in New York, the media (especially MSNBC and CNN) and the political pundits are talking about Bernie Sanders dropping out — and "unifying the party" and trying to get Bernie to "tone down" his campaign and to stop making "attacks" against Hillary Clinton so she won't be "damaged" in the general election — and so she can "pivot" to Donald Trump instead of always having to "defend herself" against Bernie Sanders and his "negative campaigning".

Huffington Post (April 20, 2016):

A day after Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) lost the New York primary election that he desperately needed to win, there were no signs that he would dial back his campaign against Hillary Clinton before the Democratic convention in July. Mark Longabaugh, a top aide to the senator, told The Huffington Post that Sanders is prepared to stay in the race, even if it becomes clear that Clinton has a majority of the pledged delegates and an insurmountable lead after the final primary on June 7. The strategy outlined by Longabaugh echoed the case made the night before by Sanders’ campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, who told MSNBC that the campaign will try to flip superdelegates away from Clinton before the convention. Neither candidate, Longabaugh argued, will have enough pledged delegates to secure the presidential nomination without the help of superdelegates. The latter officials will then have to decide which candidate gives the party the best shot to win in November. Sanders and his aides believe they have the better case. Longabaugh said, "We intend to go to the convention and make the superdelegates vote".

Now Hillary Clinton is trying to completely ignore and dismiss Bernie Sanders (as though she had already won the nomination) and "pivot" towards Donald Trump. Whenever Trump calls her "crooked Hillary" she responds: "I don't respond to Donald Trump and his string of insults about me. I can take care of myself."

But whenever Sanders draws legitimate contrasts between he and her on various policy decisions (such as the Iraq war, the Social Security cap, the crime bill (that Bernie blasted her for), the bankruptcy bill she promoted (that Elizabeth Warren blasted her for), the speeches Clinton gave to Wall Street, the bad trade deals she advocated for (like NAFTA and the TPP), her superPACs and campaign fundraisers) — she, her husband, her daughter, her surrogates, her supporters in Congress and her superdelegates have all been calling Bernie's arguments "attacks" (maybe because he "shouts") — almost as though Bernie had been launching a full scale left-wing conspiracy against her.

But Clinton says, "I can take care of myself." But yet, she would love to see Bernie Sanders drop out of the Democratic primary race before the last vote is cast so that she can take the "real" fight to Donald Trump — someone who won't be near as kind or as gracious as Senator Sanders has been.

Because Clinton feels confident that she has already won the Democratic primary (or is acting as though she has to influence voter sentiment), she might start being "nicer" to Bernie and his supporters, because she will need them to beat Trump in the November election if she becomes the Democratic nominee — and if Bernie Sanders doesn't run as a third party candidate.

But the electorate is ripe for an Independent candidate in this general election — so if Bernie doesn't get the Democratic nomination, he should most definitely run as an Independent against Clinton and Trump in the general election. Then Clinton won't have to be "nice" to anyone — and she can "pivot" to anyone she pleases: Trump, Sanders or both.

UPDATE - From an article at the Huffington Post on April 22, 2016:

Hillary-2008 might have said eight years ago, had she not already been planning a Hillary-2016 — demand the following of Democratic primaries going forward:

  • Abolition of super-delegates.
  • Abolition of closed primaries.
  • Abolition of super-PACs.
  • Abolition of regulations prohibiting same-day party registration.
  • Abolition of inconveniently timed primary debates.
  • Abolition of artificially limited debate schedules.
  • Abolition of shady “joint fundraising” efforts like those of the DNC and HVF.
  • Abolition of caucuses (assuming no more closed primaries, either).
  • Abolition of a set (rather than rotating) state primary schedule.

States where Bernie Sanders can still win big and pick up many more delegates
(* Many states have closed primaries where Independents can't vote, and Bernie does best with he would outperform Hillary in a general election.)

April 26 Connecticut 70 delegates
Delaware 31 delegates
Maryland 118 delegates
Pennsylvania 210 delegates
Rhode Island 33 delegates
May  10th and last Democratic debate?
May 3 Indiana 92 delegates
May 7 (Guam) 12 delegates
May 10 West Virginia 34 delegates 
May 17 Kentucky 61 delegates 
Oregon 73 delegates
June 4 (Virgin Islands) 12 delegates
June 5 (Puerto Rico) 67 delegates 
June 7 California (the "Big Enchilada") 546 delegates
Montana 27 delegates
New Jersey 142 delegates
New Mexico 43 delegates
North Dakota 23 delegates
South Dakota 25 delegates
June 14 Washington D.C. 46 delegates (last to vote)
July The Democratic National Convention will be held in late July in Philadelphia, Pa. where the nominee is chosen.
Sept. 26 First presidential debate at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio
Oct. 4 Vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Va.
Oct. 9 Second presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis
Oct. 19 Third presidential debate at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas



  1. David Corn at Mother Jones makes a silly argument against Bernie Sanders as to why he shouldn't be taking his fight to the convention to win delegates: Because the Republicans would call him a Socialist if he was nominated to run in November:

    "The Myth of Sanders' November Advantage: He has yet to fully face the obvious attack."

    My reply in the comments section:

    David Corn has also missed one very important point: No matter how bad a Republican attack against Bernie Sanders might be, it still won't get any reasonable Democrat to vote for a Republican. Would David Corn vote for Trump if Sanders is the nominee? Hill no he won't!

    Everybody has already heard the "Socialist" barbs, but yet, the national polls have still been trending UP for Sanders while the polls (ALL POLLS) have been trending DOWN for Clinton. And Sanders polls better with Independents (who are locked out from voting in many of the state primaries) than does Clinton and Trump — COMBINED.

    So if Sanders doesn't get the Democratic nomination, he could run as an Independent — and he wouldn't be "splitting" the Democratic ticket, because "centrist/moderate" Democrats" are already voting for Clinton. And Bernie Sanders is no "Ross Perot". The super-delegates should back Sanders (if they are so afraid of Trump winning) if only for that reason alone — so that Sanders won't run as an Independent.

    And David Corn, by comparing a Russian "Socialist" to a western European "democratic socialist", is doing the same red-baiting that the Republicans use as a scare tactic. So what makes the "moderate" Democrats any better than the Republicans?

    1. David Corn also thinks Clinton's speeches to Goldman Sachs are nothing to be concerned about...

      So I left him this link...

  2. Kshama Sawant: The (un)Democratic Primary: Why We Need a New Party of the 99%

    Maybe we need to start sending Bernie ideas for a new party



  3. The (un) Democratic Primary: Why We Need a New Party of the 99% (by Seattle City Council Woman Kshama Sawant on April 21, 2016)

    Hillary Clinton emerges from the New York primary more damaged, her party more divided, than she entered it. What came to be called "The Battle of New York" has served only to further expose what millions of people in the U.S. are becoming painfully aware of – the Democratic Party primary is rigged in favor of the establishment ... It is equally clear that if independents and others wrongly excluded could vote, the outcome would have been far closer and Sanders might even have won ... The primary as a whole is heavily skewed toward older, wealthier party loyalists. Nationally less than 15% of eligible voters will participate in the Democratic primaries and caucuses ... Democratic leadership bases itself on the exchange of favors and on a revolving door of influence between elected positions and lucrative corporate and lobbyist careers ... One simple fact reveals the rigged character of the system: National polls consistently show Bernie Sanders enjoys, by far, the highest favorability rating of all presidential candidates, and beats out all Republicans in head-to-head match-ups. Yet he will very likely be eliminated before the general election if he plays by the rules of the two-party system ... We are entering what is possibly the most favorable moment in U.S. history to launch a new left party ... Beginning his campaign with no name recognition, polling 3%, and without any elected figures of national significance backing him, Bernie has won more votes, more state primaries, raised more money, and mobilized more volunteers than any comparable left challenge in the Democratic Party’s history ... Michelle Alexander, speaking with Chris Hayes on MSNBC on April 1st: “I believe that we need to think very seriously, particularly as folks of color and progressives, about building either a new party or a new movement…” -- Three days later, writing in New York Daily News, Shaun King added: “I not only agree with Alexander, but I want to take it a step further — I think it’s already happening right before our very eyes. Political progressives across this country, in supporting the candidacy of Bernie Sanders, are completely rejecting the Democratic Party… We should form our own political party..." If despite all their dirty tricks against him, Sanders remains loyal to the Democratic Party and backs Clinton in the general election, it would mean the demoralization and disorganization of much of our movement. Yes, we need a strategy to push back right-wing Republicans, but collapsing the anti-establishment movement behind Bernie into the Clinton campaign – a false unity with the candidate of Wall Street and the political establishment – would leave the field wide open for right-populists like Trump or Cruz to expand their base. If Sanders chooses that path, continuing the political revolution will mean "Sandernistas" boldly moving beyond Bernie. An aggressive independent campaign for president by Bernie Sanders, linked to building a new mass party for the 99%, could dramatically transform American politics ... If Sanders drops out and endorses Clinton after the primaries, the Democratic Party will be free to tack right in the general election, relying on fear of the Republicans to keep their progressive base in line. The stakes are simply too high to let this moment slip through our fingers ... Bernie’s campaign shows a viable fightback is possible ... Now is the time for bold action to build a fighting, working class political alternative – a party for the millions, not the millionaires.

    Sign #Movement4Bernie’s petition calling on Bernie to run all the way and launch a new party of the 99%.

  4. Critics, including Bernie Sanders, argue that because the registration deadlines for many states fall months before the primary vote, it effectively bans independents or others hoping to vote in the Democratic primary from participating. Many Republicans might have voted for Sanders, too, given their field of candidates. Clinton has won every state so far that's held a closed primary.

    Shaun King (New York Daily News) April 20, 2016: We have 19 primaries and caucuses remaining — many of them with far more progressive and fair voting laws in place than New York. While Bernie Sanders is running as a Democratic candidate, a strong percentage of his supporters don't identify with any party. Many of the upcoming states have open primaries that allow such voting. People should be able to vote in whichever primary they want for whatever candidate they prefer. I'm not saying he would've won New York with less restrictive laws in place, but it certainly would've been a lot closer.

    The Week (April 21, 2016): New York's decision to have a closed primary is fine. But what's not defensible is how hard New York makes it to join a party. Its unnecessarily early deadlines unquestionably have the effect of disenfranchising voters...The New York electoral system is a mess, designed to protect incumbents rather than facilitate voter participation. There's nothing wrong with New York having a closed primary system. But it needs to make it easier for registered voters to switch parties.

  5. How Sanders Could Lay the Foundation for a Third US Political Party

    Enough with the Hillary cult: Her admirers ignore reality, dream of worshiping a queen

    Sanders Campaign’s Commitment To Victory Irritates Media, Offends Clinton Campaign

    Hillary Clinton Won New York, But Her Image Is Underwater

    Reuters Poll

    Sen. Bernie Sanders offends some with comments about South (For saying what everybody already knows to be the truth.)

    Election Fraud Proven at Audit by Chicago BOE - flipped precinct by 18 pts from Bernie to Hillary

    Provisional Ballots Poised To Rock The Vote: Brooklyn Protested Board Of Elections, Voters’ Lawsuit Moves Forward

  6. President Harry S. Truman (May 17, 1952)

    "I've seen it happen time after time. When the Democratic candidate allows himself to be put on the defensive and starts apologizing for the New Deal and the fair Deal, and says he really doesn't believe in them, he is sure to lose. The people don't want a phony Democrat. If it's a choice between a genuine Republican, and a Republican in Democratic clothing, the people will choose the genuine article, every time; that is, they will take a Republican before they will a phony Democrat, and I don't want any phony Democratic candidates in this campaign. But when a Democratic candidate goes out and explains what the New Deal and fair Deal really are--when he stands up like a man and puts the issues before the people--then Democrats can win, even in places where they have never won before. It has been proven time and again."

  7. Bernie can consider dropping out AFTER Clinton releases her paid speeches to Wall St.

  8. Now #BernieSanders should run with #JillStein as VP in the #GreenParty in the general election. #RalphNader and #RobertReich can hold posts.