We Berners all want the same thing. We want to see Bernie Sanders as president.
Whether that will happen depends on how well he does in the remaining primaries leading up to the Democratic convention in Philadelphia.
And whether the ongoing federal investigations into Hillary materialize into charges or recommendations for prosecution of Hillary or people who closely surround her.
If Bernie somehow pulls off winning the Democratic nomination, it will be one of the greatest political upsets in American history. it will also mean that Bernie Sanders becomes the 45th president of the United States.
Much as we hope for that eventuality, the odds are stacked against Bernie, and have been from the beginning. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is run by Hillary operative Debbie Wasserman Schultz. The DNC controls the primary process and scheduling of Democratic primaries and caucuses. They control who becomes a superdelegate and who does not. They set the convention ground rules by appointing the members of the Rules Committee, who in turn determine how the convention will be run and organized.
To guarantee that only acceptable, bought-and-paid-for candidates, survive the primary process, the political party operatives throw up huge roadblocks, ones which require astronomical amounts of money to surmount, assuring that only candidates who have establishment money at their disposal are able to proceed toward the nomination.
Additional safety checks are superdelegates, made of up elected officials, lobbyists, and establishment political hacks, plotting a primary schedule that works to run up victories by well known candidates versus unknown ones, setting convention rules that almost guarantee insurgent candidates can neither win a nomination or control the party platform
The result is that the ultimate winner is always someone they have a hook in.
We still do not know if Bernie can defeat Hillary and the system that has been rigged in her favor. If he does, Bernie will be president. If he does not, we need a plan to keep the revolution alive, well, and successful.
Bernie has promised to support Hillary if she is the nominee. He really did not have much choice in the matter if he were going to compete for the Democratic nomination. His decision was influenced, I’m sure, by the futility of running as a third party candidate, a write-in candidate, or as an independent.
Bernie understands, as much as does anyone, that a third party race for the presidency is doomed to failure. The American political process is designed to thwart any third party challenges to the major parties.
In the most spectacular effort to win the presidency by a third party, former president and American hero Teddy Roosevelt was defeated leading the Bull Moose (Progressive party) in 1912.
There is no way in Hell Bernie could win as a third party candidate, a write-in candidate, or as an independent.
The reason is simple. The Electoral College.
Two hundred seventy electoral votes in the Electoral College are required to claim the presidency. If no candidate reaches 270, the race is thrown into the House of Representatives.
While Bernie would undoubtedly do spectacularly as a third party candidate, there is no way he could secure the 270 electoral votes necessary to win outright. And once sent to the House, Bernie would be doomed.
The House votes for president by state congressional delegations. Each state gets one vote. California or New York has no more political clout than has Vermont or Rhode Island. And the party which controls the most state delegations would select the president. This election cycle, that means the Republicans. As for the number of states that would vote for Bernie? Zero.
The question for all of us who support Sanders is whether we will support Hillary in the general election.
Bernie has said he will support Hillary if she is the nominee. He also said she would have to earn all of our votes.
There is no way in Hell Hillary Clinton can WIN our votes. She may be able to bully some Berniecrats to vote for her by frightening them that Trump will bring fascism and the vagina police to America. She may frighten others that Trump is a racist. Or that he is going to cause World War III.
All are ludicrous, ridiculous assertions.
Many, and I hope most, Bernie supporters wish to see Bernie’s political revolution succeed. For that to happen, Hillary Clinton must not become president.
If Hillary is elected, almost everything we have worked for will be destroyed. As president, Hillary will be able to use the power of her office to make sure her cronies are in control of the DNC, that Wall Street money flows to incumbent Wall Street Democrats, that challengers to incumbent conservative Democrats are defeated in primaries in 2018 and 2020.
Many Berners are threatening to write-in Bernie, to vote for Jill Stein of the Greens, or promising to stay home and not vote at all if Hillary is nominated.
Each of those courses of action is as unproductive as it is stupid. Throwing away one’s political power is like howling at the Moon. The Moon doesn’t care and you look ridiculous to anyone paying attention.
The only effective strategy to maximize Bernie’s influence and help assure the political revolution continues is to deny Hillary Clinton the presidency.
If Trump is president, progressives, liberals, and most moderate Democrats and independents will flock to the polls in 2018. Greatly enhancing the likelihood that Democrats will capture enough statehouses and legislative chambers to control reapportionment in 2020.
Democrats will undoubtedly nominate an Elizabeth Warren, an Alan Grayson, or a Russ Feingold in 2020. With a progressive president and control of the House through 2030, Bernie’s revolution will be in full swing.
But consider the dim future if Hillary is president. Just as in 2014, Republicans will sweep the medterm elections. And likely by a much wider margin than they did under Obama. Barack Obama was a popular president in 2014, and even he could not hold the line against major Republican inroads across the country. There is no reason to suspect Hillary would do better in 2018. Indeed, she will almost assuredly be an unpopular and failed president, having been unable to accomplish anything substantive in her first two years in office. Even if the Democrats retake the Senate, The House will continue to be dominated by Republicans. Gridlock will continue as it has under Obama. And Democrats will be unable to win enough statehouses and legislative chambers to stop the Republicans from committing the exact same gerrymandering outrages they enacted in 2010.
Bernie’s revolution will ultimately prevail. But whether it simmers or boils depends on who is president in 2017.
It is the height of irony that Donald Trump will be the catalyst for democratic socialism in the US.
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