Why I'm voting for the Nominee.
I am avoiding watching any TV, or attending any rallies for any of our candidates, because I really don't care which of them gets the nomination. I will vote for the nominee, donate to the nominee, work my heart out for the nominee. I'm actually agnostic as to which I prefer because I don't think either of them is as good as they say, or as bad as their critics pretend they are. But having said that, because I'm voting for the nominee, I'm also, in essence, voting for the Democratic party as it is currently consistuted. Not as I wish it were consituted. Not as a perfect liberal dream of a Democratic Party, but also not as an obstacle to be overcome.
You go to an election with the party you have, not the party you wish you had. I need my future President to share my values and goals, and to promise to work hard for women's rights, minority rights, climate change, and a whole lot of things. But I also need a savvy infighter, someone who knows the ropes and knows where some of the bodies are buried. Because in the best case scenario, the one where we manage as a party to retake the House and Senate, or just the Senate, even a holding action is going to require some incredible negotiating skill, parliamentary maneuvering, and ability to lay off the slagging and trash talking. Is that too small bore? Too merely “liberal” and not progressive enough for you? Sorry to be so practical and down to earth. Sorry to talk in prose when some want poetry. Sorry to be an incrementalist. No doubt these are all dirty words.
But the reality of our political system is that no savior from outside of the party, no holy fool* with excited rallies but no tolerance for minutiae is going to be able to wring anything from the choked sewer that is our political system. You need a forensic plumber (hat tip Miles Vorkosigan) not a hand grenade.
I'm reminded of something some commenter said to Ralph Nader during his run for the Presidency. “Ralph,” she said (and I'm paraphrasing here) “You are like a great pair of shoes that I really want, but which are too expensive and I know they are going to pinch if I buy them. I want them, but I can't afford them.” If I imagine that the Presidency is like being King for four years, I'm excited for Bernie. When I remember that a far more skillful political actor, a deeper political thinker, and a younger and stronger person named Barack Obama just tried to run the actual office of President for 7 years, and what happened to his attempts, I despair for the Bernie victory. I think he can win. But I don't think we can afford him. I don't think he has the temperament or the skill to work with the party apparatus, state by state, congressional district by congressional district, to get anything done. Not a few limited things. Anything.
ETA to add paragraphs and break up the wall of text. And to add that I cross posted at my own blog I Spy With My Little Eye.