Wednesday, June 08, 2016


Hillary Clinton is the presumptive presidential nominee of the Democratic Party, and the New York Times editorial board thinks it's her job to rebut crazy claims that she won the nomination through fraud:
Now comes more hard work for Mrs. Clinton. Many in this newest generation of American voters say that they don’t trust her, or that she represents a Washington disconnected from their struggles. They backed Bernie Sanders and his demand that government provide health care, education and opportunity for everyone. Among some of his supporters there will be lingering frustration and a belief that the party’s leaders conspired to deprive them of their choice.

This isn’t an accurate or fair assessment, but Mrs. Clinton must address it.
Unlike the Democratic stalwarts Mrs. Clinton delivered to Barack Obama in 2008, younger voters, including many Sanders supporters, are generally less likely to turn out. Unless she makes a substantial effort to win them over, they might stay home, and low turnout historically helps Republicans.
(Emphasis added.)

Why is this her responsibility? Why is it not the responsibility, at least in large part, of the Sanders campaign, which has allowed that notion of a "rigged system" to fester and metastasize among supporters?

A story that appeared at Politico last night makes clear that Bernie Sanders really is not interested in reconciliation:
There are many divisions within the Sanders campaign....

But more than any of them, 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....

Take the combative statement after the Nevada showdown.

“I don’t know who advised him that this was the right route to take, but we are now actively destroying what Bernie worked so hard to build over the last year just to pick up two fucking delegates in a state he lost,” rapid response director Mike Casca complained to Weaver in an internal campaign email obtained by POLITICO.

“Thank you for your views. I’ll relay them to the senator, as he is driving this train,” Weaver wrote back....

Top Sanders aides admit that it’s been weeks, if not months, since they themselves realized he wasn’t going to be win....

They haven’t been able to get Sanders focused on any of that....

“He wants to be in the race until the end, until the roll call vote,” Weaver said.
He made clear in his speech last night that mending fences is not a priority:
In a speech of striking stubbornness, he ignored the history-making achievement of his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, who became the first woman in American history to clinch the presidential nomination of major political party....

At almost every turn, he was grudging toward Mrs. Clinton, passing up a chance to issue the kind of lengthy salute that many, in and out of the Democratic Party, had expected and craved.
At this point, I think in some ways it's less important for him to say nice things about Clinton than it is for him to say that she won fair and square. He doesn't even have to stop complaining about what he regards as inherent problems with the Democratic primary process. But he needs to say that this was a legitimate election. This is important because a significant percentage of his voters don't believe that.

I live in New York, where there's no early voting, where primaries are closed, where unaffiliated voters who want to register with a party have to do so many months before an election, and where elections are controlled by incompetent hacks who can't manintain voters rolls properly. All of this should be reassessed. None of it was in place specifically to thwart Bernie Sanders.

The superdelegate system wasn't put a place specifically to thwart Sanders. The notion of a Super Tuesday, early in the primary season, that's focused largely on Southern states wasn't put in place specifically to thwart Sanders. Good or bad, these were fixed aspects of the primary process. There's nothing devious or secret about them. It was up to Sanders to find a way to address them. (Superdelegates were always likely to gravitate toward the party favorite. Barack Obama had to overcome that hurdle in 2008, and he did.)

What's happened now is that many Sanders voters now sound like Obama birthers or 9/11 truthers -- to them, at this point, every fact or rumor or offhand remark or stray pixel in a digital file becomes part of an ever-expanding web of deceit.

Trump World is now taking advantage of Sandersite fraud memes. Donald Trump said this in his speech last night:
To all of those Bernie Sanders voters who have been left out in the cold by a rigged system of superdelegates, we welcome you with open arms.
Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit, a Trump backer, is spreading the ridiculous notion that the Clinton campaign was "CAUGHT COLLUDING With AP" because graphics in a Clinton campaign email celebrating her attainment of presumptive-nominee status were apparenly dated a couple of days before Clinton actually reached that status, as determined by Associated Press and other media organizations. The notion was first spread by Sandersites.

Basic notions of delegate math that are knowable and have been accepted throughout the world of politics for many election cycles are now deemed fraudulent by conspiratorial Berners. Delegate math is why the Clinton could foresee victory this week and had a staffer creating victory graphics over the weekend. But Sandersites are scrutinizing those graphics the way wingnuts scrutinize Obama birth documents.

Sanders needs to tell his followers that this was a legitimate election. This absolutely isn't, as the Times ed board argues, all Clinton's responsibility.

But I don't think Sanders will ever do this. He's too angry.


Tom Hilton said...

I didn't stay up to watch his speech last night, and I'm glad of it. Sounds like the vindictive narcissistic asshole didn't stop being a vindictive narcissistic asshole.

And to the Sanderista commenters who will chime in here saying "criticizing Sanders is just hurting the party" (or similar shit): go fuck yourselves. At this point it's obvious to anyone who's paying attention who's responsible for 100% of the acrimony, and if you want to be in denial about that then I don't give a shit what you think.

flipyrwhig said...

Sanders will never get over the feeling that millions of people got an impression of Bernie Sanders, didn't care for it, and affirmatively chose the other person. He just doesn't accept that. He thinks that everyone who gets The Good News is an instant convert, and if you haven't converted yet, it's because of a conspiracy. This has a lot to do with why millions of people learned NOT to like Bernie Sanders: the intolerance, the bullying, the zealotry, the bad faith, the rank-pulling, and so forth. How many stories have you ever heard from someone who worked alongside Bernie Sanders -- not FOR Bernie Sanders -- who liked the guy, on any level beyond professional respect for his principles? He just seems like he has a Romney-sized belief in his own status as the fulfillment of some sort of political prophecy.

Ten Bears said...

You've alinated for a generation the largest voting demographic in a generation, and all you have to say for yourselves is "go fuck yourselves."

That makes me smile.

Victor said...

I love Bernie, and supported him.
But I wasn't delusional. It was obvious at a certain point that, barring some unforeseen circumstances, the nomination was Hillary's.

Hillary won a majority of the popular vote.
And yes, we Dem's need to go a long way to fix our primary system. NY's sucks, as Steve explained.
But a lot of Bernie's wins were in caucus states - not exactly the most democratic system.

It's now up to Bernie, Hillary, and that inept imbecile, DWS, to make the case for Bernie's folks to continue his and their battle within the Democratic Party.

The Republicans didn't stop tRUMP.
The alternative is unthinkable.

rclz said...

Ten Bears I didn't say it but I'm going to butt in here. Alienated how, by not letting them win when they didn't have a majority or not letting them win just because.....what? First off weather you like it or not a lot of those people are going to go back to the dems and vote for Hillary. I think this large voting block you talk about doesn't really exist.

Gerald Lillpop said...

Bernie said all of the right things. He said he was taking the fight for social,racial, economic ad environmental justice to Philadelphia. Thank God for this someone needs to get the Democrats back to there FDR roots. My big fear isn't Hillary in the WH it's Bill. She has said he will advise her on the economy well look at how badly his policies have screwed up the economy NAFTA or the repeal of Glass Stagal anyone?

Professor Fate said...

alas she is going to have to explain this , and why Trump is saying such nasty things about her and why they are still holding hearings on Benghazi! and the e-mails and and and until November after which of course she's going to have to explain why folks are calling this the failed Clinton administration even before she takes to oath of office.
It's going to be a long election - and an even longer 4 years if she wins.

Charon04 said...

Bernie is vindictive and holds grudges - cases in point, Barney Frank, Dannel Malloy. And, Bernie hates those, like HRC, who obstruct his access to anything he considers himself entitled to, like the nomination, which Bernie thinks he deserves as rightfully his.

His speech last night demonstrates what can be expected of him - ongoing vindictive attempts to damage Hillary Clinton (probably his current greatest hate object.)

BKT said...


I think Ten Bears was talking about voters aged 18-35, i.e. - "Millennials." They exist, and they outnumber Baby Boomers. They are the largest discrete voting demographic in the country.

I don't think they will be completely alienated by Sanders not getting the nomination, but the attitude of Tom Hilton above dismissing their concerns and telling people with legitimate concerns about the primary process to "fuck off" just isn't productive.

Rand Careaga said...

A relative of mine (a late Boomer, not a Millennial) is bitter about the Hillabeast/AP "collusion," claiming that it was intended to, and did, depress turnout for the Sage of Burlington. If this bloc is so easily discouraged, are they altogether to be relied upon, regardless of the candidate, to turn up in November? If someone hurt their feelings, might large numbers of them stay home as an act of self-validation?

rclz said...

If his point is the primary process then fine. I'm with him. I live in a caucus state that went for Bernie and would have gone for Hillary if the primary we had later would have counted. NY isn't the only place that's messed up.

Sweet Sue said...

Get rid of caucuses; they are profoundly undemocratic.
Btw, the economy under Bill Clinton was great.

Kathy said...

Of course Clinton is supposed to make nice and smooth things over, just as she was supposed to (and did) make nice and smooth things over in 2008. I have my suspicions as to why the New York Times and others would automatically assume this. Not hard to guess.

Philo Vaihinger said...

Sanders turns out to be a much more personally bitter asshole than I had ever thought he would.

And the real ugliness of all his resentments and hostilities toward "the rigged system" and the Democratic Party that have driven his entire political career is something to watch.

I still prefer closed primaries to open, and a big voice for party professionals and office holders thru the votes of the superdelegates.

Too much democracy gave the Republican Party to Trump, who may yet reach the White House.

Too much democracy has given Bernie and his supporters too good a shot at sabotaging the Democratic Party.

Tom Hilton said...

1)My comments were directed not at Sanders supporters in general but specifically at a particular kind of concern troll that pops up in comments here & elsewhere and, while vilifying Clinton, warns people that saying anything even slightly negative about Bernie will cause Sanders supporters to stay home/vote Trump/vote Jill Stein/whatever and thus doom the Democrats.

2) Since you bring it up, those "legitimate concerns about the primary process" are fucking bullshit. This is demonstrated by the fact that Sanders & his supporters aren't up in arms about the single most anti-democratic practice--the most effective form of voter suppression in the whole primary process--which is the caucuses; coincidentally, the caucuses overwhelmingly helped Sanders. Closed primaries don't violate any recognizable principle; Sanders opposes them because they worked to his disadvantage. (His opportunistic embrace of superdelegates as the only path forward while still decrying them as undemocratic speaks for, or rather against, itself.) There were unconscionably long lines in Arizona (which most likely cost Clinton more votes than Sanders, given where they were), and congratulations to Sanders supporters for finally waking up to the fact that this is a very bad thing (many of us have been on that train for a decade or more); the Brooklyn voter purge (which, again, probably cost Clinton more votes than Sanders) was bad, but again this kind of thing has been happening in predominantly minority areas for ages without anything like the outcry we're now seeing from white lefties. And if you believe either of these constitute fraud (or the Sanderistas' failure to hijack the Nevada caucuses or Puerto Rico's underfunded election system or anything else that some are crying 'fraud' about), then you're too fucking deranged to reason with at all.

Yastreblyansky said...

"This absolutely isn't, as the Times ed board argues, all Clinton's responsibility."

Indeed. If only there were some world-class organization staffed with professional researchers and writers with the ability to determine the truth about these allegations and publicize it. You could call it the New York Times.

Jim Snyder said...

@Yastreblyansky: Or you could call it Nova Pravda, you know, on the Hudson.

Never Ben Better said...

Not hard to guess at all, Kathy. Spot on.

Chai T. Ch'uan said...

That's some epic pearl-clutching. Maybe grinding your teeth louder at how angry those mean Sanders supporters are making you will help get them onboard.

Jeff Ryan said...

It is thoroughly fitting that the NYT, the entity most responsible for spreading various nefarious false allegations against the Clintons in general, and Hillary (for our purposes) in particular, would put the burden on Hillary to prove her innocence of electoral shenanigans. As a former prosecutor,I was foolishly under the impression that fundamental fairness requires the accuser to prove guilt, not the accused to establish innocence.

For all of its "liberal" reputation, the NYT invented Whitewater with the aim of knocking Bill Clinton out of contention in 1992. If you read the original pieces by Jeff Gerth, and can divine exactly what the Clintons were supposed to have done wrong, then you should have a great career in cryptography. No person of any intelligence could figure it out, but that wasn't any barrier to Republicans who pushed the story far and wide, even if they couldn't explain it. From there it was off to the races: Whitewater (Clintons cleared of any wrongdoing), Travelgate (Clintons cleared of any wrongdoing), Filegate (Clintons cleared of any wrongdoing), the death of Vince Foster (Clintons cleared of any wrongdoing), etc.

Having helped hang the label of "scandal" around the Clintons' necks, having created such false and imaginary "scandals" in the first place, the media, with the enthusiastic help of the NYT, has now created the environment in which Republicans gleefully remind voters today of these scandals in their attacks on Hillary Clinton, without ever once adding that she was never found guilty of anything. No wonder there are Clinton Crazies. Having been told, falsely, for years that she has committed any number of offenses, without ever adding there's nothing tying her to illegal behavior at all, it is now accepted "wisdom" that Hillary is corrupt.

The NYT has persisted in this, through the days of Howell Raines, to the more recent past, wherein the NYT misreported a story, sourced from Republicans, that Hillary Clinton was personally the subject of a criminal investigation by the FBI over the email "scandal." (This led to days of "corrections" and "retractions," after the damage was done. What a standup outfit.)

So, given that the NYT has never accorded the Clintons the same protections we give to serial killers, this is hardly a surprise. It's obscene, unfair and libelous. But no surprise.

Ten Bears said...

At least once a month or so I find myself telling some dipshit 'conservative' redneck "if you think the NY Times is 'liberal', you don't read it."

Ten Bears said...
This comment has been removed by the author.