It’s time for Bernie Sanders to rethink his end game

(AP)

Bernie Sanders lost any chance at the Democratic nomination a long time ago. He didn’t lose because the system was rigged against him, he didn’t lose because of a conspiracy within the Democratic Party. He lost it fair and square.

He lost it in the voting booth, where he trails Hillary Clinton by more than 3 million ballots. He lost it in the delegate count, in which Clinton leads 2,291 to 1,528. If you want to exclude superdelegates from the count, fine. Sanders also lost it in the earned delegate count, where he trails Clinton by 279, with no chance of making up that margin in the remaining few primaries.

In short, he lost.

Nonetheless, despite the clear verdict of primary voters and caucus attendees, Sanders and at least some of his followers appear to believe that the nomination ought to be given to them anyway. Judging from their rhetoric, they believe that they deserve it because they believe that they are very very right and everybody who disagrees with them is very very wrong and also corrupt and stupid.

I don’t like that kind of arrogant self-righteousness coming from the right, and I don’t like it any better coming from the left. I also don’t like the outburst of personal threats, misogyny, abusive language and attempted intimidation that came from Sanders supporters in wake of last weekend’s Democratic state caucus in Nevada.

Back in February, Clinton won the actual Nevada caucus by more than five percentage points. Based on that margin, it was estimated at the time that she had won 20 delegates and Sanders 15. But Saturday, at the state convention called to finalize that delegate count, the Sanders campaign attempted to overturn the voters’ decision. After considerable maneuverings, heated rules fights and protests, they lost that battle too. The final delegate allocation was 20 for Clinton and 15 for Sanders, an outcome that fairly reflected the choice of caucus attendees.

Sanders supporters found that not just unacceptable, but a monstrous outrage and evidence of the duplicity that they claim is stealing the prize they deserve. Afterward, the state party chair was attacked viciously on Twitter, in emails and phone calls. Her employer was threatened, as were her family and grandchildren. Physical violence was threatened repeatedly, and in explicit terms. “I think people like you should be hung in a public execution,” one caller said in one of the milder reactions.

Such behavior has no place in politics and ought to be condemned strongly. But given the chance to do so, Sanders has declined.

In a statement released this week, he noted almost in passing that “Our campaign of course believes in non-violent change and it goes without saying that I condemn any and all forms of violence, including the personal harassment of individuals.” But the remainder of his lengthy statement — basically a rehash of his campaign’s grievances — reads as an attempt to justify what had happened and explain why it was necessary.

There can be no such justification, and Sanders is treading dangerous ground here. A leader is responsible for what his followers do. That’s the essence of leadership. And a half-hearted condemnation in passing can easily be read by followers as an implicit form of permission.

To this point, Sanders has earned a considerable amount of respect and has succeeded in shifting the internal Democratic debate in a direction that it badly needed to go. He has accomplished a lot, but he is placing all that and more at risk now. He says that he still has a message that he wants to communicate, and that’s fine. But if you are more interested in “sending a message” than you are in the real-world consequences, if you indulge yourself in conspiracy theories to explain away your own failure, then those who do care about the consequences have every right and indeed the obligation to oppose you. Because the consequences are real.

The consequences of Ralph Nader’s destructive vanity campaign in 2000 — the election of President George W. Bush, the subsequent invasion of Iraq and perhaps the economic meltdown of 2008 — were very real. The consequences of a Donald Trump presidency would likely be far more traumatic.

As a leader, Sanders has the obligation to himself, his cause, his followers and his country to rethink where this thing is headed, and to take a wiser course.

 

 

 

Reader Comments 0

1544 comments
BunniM
BunniM

I couldn't agree more. It's time to step aside and begin supporting Hillary.

Marvin Junior
Marvin Junior

What about all the places where Sanders name wasn't even on the ticket? If that isn't rigged I don't know what is.

Jim Chapman
Jim Chapman

I am so sick of the lamestream media marginalizing Bernie Sanders. It is disgusting.

Andrew Spencer
Andrew Spencer

Loosing and he thinks everything is rigged against him. He lost. But he's going down like a baby, a trump.

Don Jordan
Don Jordan

Give it a rest! You didn't say all this BS when Hillary lost to Obama! And the rules were the same then as they are now.

Steven Mills
Steven Mills

Is there going to be any representative of the Sanders campaign, who speaks out against the claim that there was violence by his supporters at the Nevada convention? There were no arrests made, there was no video evidence, and no testimony from any persons (other than those belonging to the DNC leadership) of there being any form of violence whatsoever. There is also no proof that the harassing calls were made by Sanders supporters. It is possible these were paid operatives of Correct The Record (Clinton's $1 million Super PAC of Internet trolls), or Trump supporters capitalising on the opportunity to undermine their rivals party. The number was publically leaked by unknown individuals. These methods would be far more consistent with those groups than the kind, caring and decent people who I know to #feelthebern. The entire ethos of the campaign is inclusion and compassion, and those calls were profoundly out of character with that. It is more credible that the DNC orchestrated the undemocratic process at the convention to block caucusing attempts, they were aware were going to be made by Sanders supporters, who were seeking to secure a majority of delegates for Sanders, and hoping to antagonise and provoke reactions from Sanders supporters, to sabotage his vote prior to the June 7th primaries. Such a strategy would further serve as a pretext to legitimise the selections for the committees of the national DNC convention, which are prejudicial against Sanders, and the biased process, in favour of Clinton, which will doubtlessly ensue from this. It is not a strain to imagine this is plausible when there has been constant rigging of proceedings by the DNC and this is not beneath their moral benchmarks, which have been demonstrably low. Its nothing they have not done in other forms in this campaign, not to mention in 2008. I am afraid that the Sanders campaign can tolerate too much in the name of party unity, when this is an example of the type of political misbehaviour that so many people are against, and supporting Bernie as the opposite of this. The Clinton campaign should not be given a free pass, when it is apparently distorting the truth by misrepresenting the facts, for its political advantage again. I do not believe you can win this argument, unless you tell the whole truth, and to do less than this is to accept being damaged when you do not deserve to be. Lastly, I want to call to task the media, who clearly subscribe to the premise that the facts of the situation, derived from objective and balanced journalism, should not represent an obstruction to the ratings and profits generated from controversy. This is yet another illustration of the mentality which creates an abhoration such as Trump, whilst it diminishes a progressive such as Sanders. There have been only few and far voices of impartiality, and they have been drowned out by the volume of the biased voices jumping on the Clinton bandwagon. This is the corrupting influence of money over fairness, justice and equality, or in other words, this all serves as a timely reminder for Sanders supporters to remain resolved to help his cause, and bring an end to the broken system of this corrupted democracy.

DerekGator
DerekGator

You could say that Bernie cares so much that he will do anything to see that Hillary does not get elected. 

Kamchak
Kamchak

@DerekGator 

You could say the Baseball Writers Association will award me with an MVP.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

So what...are Thursdays set aside for staff meetings at the AJC? Everyone's in their assigned cubicles?

Bernie Sanders die-hards aren't ready to hear that his fight for the nomination is nearing an end — even from some of his most prominent surrogates.

On Thursday, Sanders ally Robert Reich published a Facebook post urging readers to not "demonize or denigrate" Hillary Clinton, and to be prepared to vote for her in a general election against Donald Trump.

"If [Clinton] wins the Democratic nomination, I urge you to work like hell for her," said Reich, who endorsed Sanders months ago. "She’ll be an excellent president for the system we now have, even though Bernie would be the best president for the system we need."

It didn't go over so well.

http://www.vox.com/2016/5/19/11712146/robert-reich-bernie-sanders

No need to bell me. They've been making the rounds here at jay's place.


rimsky
rimsky

Sheeeets about Bernie again.

ptcrunner
ptcrunner

My favorite lines: "A leader is responsible for what his followers do. That's the essence of leadership." Indeed it's applied to Sanders here, but can be much more to Trump who holds strong sway over his followers.

rimsky
rimsky

What I would say out of experience is this sudden disappearance of the flight means the plane either exploded in the air, or plunged into the sea. No matter what the cause is, there was no indication. It happened all of a sudden.

Serafeim Petrou Head of the Greek Air Traffic Controllers' Association, in a BBC interview///////       Sounds like it was blown out of the sky

td1234
td1234

@rimsky Millions more of the non vetted Muslims in the US would make it all better. 

breckenridge
breckenridge

@rimsky @td1234 

Plenty of people shot dead in America so far this year TD.  But none by Muslims.

You do, I'm sure, know what you can do with your Islamaphobia..........

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@td1234 @rimsky  "Millions more of the non vetted Muslims in the US..." 

I believe there is a simple, one word description for millions of Muslims in the US - "citizens"

Starik
Starik

@breckenridge @rimsky @td1234 Not necessarily. Planes crash from all sort of things other than bombs. Air France (440?) was caused by frozen pitot tubes & pilot error. 


Somebody has to find the plane and the black boxes, actually orange, which apparently sleep with the fishes.

breckenridge
breckenridge

re: Morley Safer, 60 Minutes

I can't think about 60 Minutes without recalling the Minkman Toys parody on SNL back in the '80s.  That was some really funny stuff.

Clifton Goodwin
Clifton Goodwin

Look when the primary started the first thing you mentioned was Hillary Clinton have 400 something super delegates so from beginning of this robbery he had lost so if you constantly drive him losing and losing to the people of course he's going to be fighting from beginning to end

rimsky
rimsky

Re Plane crash:   You can count on the early reports being full of wrong information,////

I agree Mr. Heathen.  

Then Twunt has opened his clap trap and opined. 

None of the leaders EU or America or Hillary Clinton have said anything.  

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

As I recall about 10 to 15 years ago in Atlanta a surgeon was performing a circumcision on a newborn boy. He messed up or the surgical equipment was faulty. Bottom line: the boy was turned into a baby girl by creating a vagina where the boy's penis had been before the failed circumcision. As I recall that newly created girl never really felt like a girl in the years that followed. If people were either wiser or more informed they could understand how one's gender identification does not simply depend upon whether one has a penis or vagina. (Some people have been born with both.) We must start to understand beyond the very literal and mundane.

rimsky
rimsky

@MaryElizabethSings That surgeon must have been drunk.  I could have pruned that sucker with my eyes closed and leave his junk healthy and alive. 

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@rimsky @MaryElizabethSings


The sad thing was that another baby boy was damaged in circumcision within the same month in Atlanta, by another surgeon, as I recall.


That second baby boy had enough of his penis remaining to be called a boy, unlike the first one I mentioned, but his penis was damaged and its size changed forever.  Both were sad stories and both were true.


When we think of stories like the two I just shared, it makes one realize how silly this "heated debate" over what bathroom to use has become throughout our nation.  We need so much more compassion and understanding in America than small-minded judgment of others.

breckenridge
breckenridge

I remember the time J Edgar Hoover walked into the ladies restroom at FBI headquarters wearing just a pink mini-skirt, low heels with black socks, and a Minnie Pearl hat.  The screaming could be heard all the way over in Arlington.

St Simons he-ne-ha
St Simons he-ne-ha

It's obvious at this point that the party of dck jokes during the family hour & junk checkers is going to try to drag everybody down into their pig sty - that way everybody is muddy.

I know Hils will, but stay above this, people. Because you are above this.

rimsky
rimsky

@St Simons he-ne-ha I have this philosophy Mr. Simons if you have to fight the pigs you got to get dirty.

At the end of the day you will find out negative politics wins the race.

ByteMe
ByteMe

 Flew into a rage over a failed anti-baldness surgery....


To me, that's the big highlight reel for this event.

ByteMe
ByteMe

Police in northeast Washington, D.C. charged a security guard with assault on Wednesday after she physically forced a transgender woman out of a grocery store women’s bathroom, local TV station WRC reported.

Ebony Belcher, 32, told the news outlet that a female security followed her into the restroom of a Giant grocery store and told her to leave the store.

"She opened the door and came in and started calling me derogatory names," Belcher said.

The guard then grabbed her by the shoulder and arm and pushed her out of the store, Belcher told WRC.


Cons make terrible bathroom monitors, too.

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@ByteMe 

"Wanna use the toilet?  Show me your birth certificate and your junk." 

Takes a special kind of person to tell you this makes sense. 

Apparently the kind of person who gets elected to the NC legislature.

gotalife
gotalife

trump is a rapist.


 Explains his hatred for women and why rush said to legalize rape.

ByteMe
ByteMe

Well, Josh Marshall over at TPM is now onboard with our latest con fetish about Bill Clinton allegations:


Trump himself has now moved on from immigration politics to dredging up allegations about Bill Clinton that range from unsubstantiated to discredited to ridiculous. But here's the thing: Trump's former wife Ivana said Trump raped her in a sworn deposition. Given how central a role rape accusations have played in Trump's campaign - against Mexicans, political opponents, etc. it is clearly a highly germane question, as frankly it would be for any presidential candidate.

The details surrounding the alleged rape are bizarrely novelistic even by Trumpian standards. According to Ivana, Trump was driven to freakish rage by a failed anti-baldness surgery - a so-called 'scalp reduction'. But the actions are very clear cut. According to her deposition, Trump flew into a rage, attacked her, held her down and began pulling hair out of her head to mimic his pain and then forcibly penetrated her.

Trump of course denies Ivana's claim. And Ivana Trump, who now has an amicable relationship with her ex-husband has gone to great lengths to downplay the incident. But she has never taken back the claim only stating that while she said he had "raped" her she did not "want my words to be interpreted in a literal or criminal sense."


Do ya really want to go there, cons?

td1234
td1234

@ByteMe ""I have recently read some comments attributed to me from nearly 30 years ago at a time of very high tension during my divorce from Donald," she said in the statement today. "The story is totally without merit. Donald and I are the best of friends and together have raised 3 children that we love and are very proud of."

Ivana Trump had already walked back the rape allegation in 1993 as the book was about to be published.

“During a deposition given by me in connection with my matrimonial case, I stated that my husband had raped me,” Ivana Trump said in a statement at the time, as the Daily Beastreported. "[O]n one occasion during 1989, Mr. Trump and I had marital relations in which he behaved very differently toward me than he had during our marriage. As a woman, I felt violated, as the love and tenderness, which he normally exhibited towards me, was absent. I referred to this as a 'rape,' but I do not want my words to be interpreted in a literal or criminal sense."


http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/donald-trumps-wife-ivana-disavows-rape-allegation/story?id=32732204

_GodlessHeathen_
_GodlessHeathen_

@KUTGF @ByteMe I side with the victim.
" I referred to this as a 'rape,' but I do not want my words to be interpreted in a literal or criminal sense."

KUTGF
KUTGF

@_GodlessHeathen_ @KUTGF @ByteMe So when "siding" with the victim......  when do you chose to side.... her words in a sworn deposition or later?  When they recant or when they make the accusation? 

Making a predetermination to side with any one side is rather foolish when not based in evidence and considering all circumstances including credibility. 

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@td1234 @ByteMe 

td, you believe EVERY derogatory rumor if the subject of it is a Clinton.  Ever think that, maybe, you don't really care about reality at all?  That you are perfectly prepared to believe lies?

KUTGF
KUTGF

@ByteMe Hey, td has told us that Ivanka was lying under oath for the divorce money....  So that does not count in his book because its against a Republican. 

The td takeaway:  Women NEVAH lie when they bad mouth a Dem, Women LIE when they bad mouth a Rep. 

_GodlessHeathen_
_GodlessHeathen_

@KUTGF I would tend to believe her explanation of her testimony outside the emotion of a divorce trial.

breckenridge
breckenridge

@ByteMe 

Big deal. Slick Willie got really drunk one night and dry-humped the Statue Of Liberty.  Oh wait - did I just make that up out of thin air? 

Umm....never mind.

ByteMe
ByteMe

@td1234 Ya really wanna go there con?  There's more:


After The Daily Beast resurfaced Ivana's claims that Donald had raped her, she issued another statement saying the story, which was based entirely on her own sworn deposition, was "totally without merit." Yet again, she didn't dispute her words or the incident itself. It is true that lots of accusations get made during acrimonious divorces. But this was a pretty concrete and specific. And the author of the book that first surfaced the deposition said he'd found numerous friends of Ivana's who she had confided the incident to at the time.

KUTGF
KUTGF

@_GodlessHeathen_ @KUTGF Foolish is foolish.  There are reasons that courts have rules and process regarding "credibility" and that these should not be seat of the pants. 

ByteMe
ByteMe

@Nick_Danger We all think that for him.  He doesn't need to think about it at all.

KUTGF
KUTGF

@_GodlessHeathen_ @KUTGF First...its not "testimony" outside the divorce trial.  Its not sworn.  It's merely a statement which may be self-serving (for you too).  You have no idea about her "emotions" at the deposition.  Rather foolish to fall for spin and to ignorantly make your "choice" rather than properly question the credibility in its entirety.