You cant always get what you want. The Rolling Stones
A few words in defense of pragmatism.
That ideal has taken quite a beating lately, mostly at the hands of Bernie Sanders and his supporters. The Vermont senator faces a virtually impossible deficit in his battle with Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination. Pragmatism would seem to suggest its time for him to pack it in.
But pragmatism dont know Bernie. Or Bernie Nation.
If this werent clear before, it has been made abundantly so in the last two weeks, beginning with Sanders supporters in Las Vegas tearing open the Nevada Democratic convention in a protest so angrily chaotic it was shut down by security, fearing violence. But Sanders supporters werent done yet; they also sent death threats to party officials.
The proximate cause of this Trumpish behavior was a dispute over rules, a claim that, as Sanders campaign manager put it, the convention had been hijacked to award more delegates to Hillary Clinton. Politico rated that false.
In a Monday interview, Sanders told the Associated Press that this summers convention could be messy, though he later insisted that was not a tacit suggestion of violence.
Given the intensity of the emotions at play and the behavior of his supporters in Vegas, its hard to see how it could have been anything but. Which is disappointing. A few days ago, Sanders campaign seemed headed for an honorable legacy. But he has apparently decided instead upon a legacy of peevishness and sore losing, which is, as Frank Bruni noted a few weeks back in The New York Times, a hallmark of this political epoch."
Bernie Sanders should have never gotten this far.
"For nearly eight months, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders was able to skate by thanks to a willing media in bad need of a horse race on the Democratic side. Sure, it would be a historic first in our country for a woman to be the first ever nominee from a major political party, but that kind of history is so boring. There's no drama in having a clear frontrunner, running a clean campaign, avoiding any major slip ups or scandals all while running against a weak, inept, and single-issue fringe candidate with no real legislative accomplishments to his name. By giving the race the sense of being a "coronation" the networks knew that the majority of viewers wouldn't be tuning it, despite that opportunity to see what the history books will eventually show as being a historical campaign. The media needed drama and the only way to create drama was to create a sense that the race was much closer than it actually was.
So like the good little Orwellian puppets that they are, our media did everything it could to create a horse race when one never existed. Sanders does well in Iowa and New Hampshire? The media simply ignores the fact that the demographics there play to Sanders' strengths. Sanders gets destroyed in South Carolina? The media simply ignores the fact that it's clear he hasn't won over the increasingly integral African-American voting bloc. Sanders struggles to win over Latinos?"
"Donald Trump Says No, He Wont Debate Bernie Sanders
Ending nearly 48 hours of speculation
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump will not debate Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, he announced Friday, as he decided it would be inappropriate to debate the Democratic insurgent, who is far behind Hillary Clinton in their nominating contest.
In a statement, Trump ended nearly 48-hours of speculation that such a debate would take place, after he seemingly accepted an invitation to debate Sanders offered by late night host Jimmy Kimmel. Trump aides quickly said it was a joke, but the candidate followed-up in a Thursday news conference suggesting he might accept if networks donated millions to womens health charities"
Unless Hillary Clinton is indicted (which remains unlikely), Bernie Sanders will not be the Democratic nominee. Its a tiresome task, having to make this point over and over again. But its necessary. Sanders continues to campaign as though the race isnt over, and thats understandable. There are still votes left to be cast and he has every right to lobby for as many as possible.
His campaign has made it clear the goal at this point is to secure as many votes and delegates as possible before the convention. The more successful they are, the more leverage theyll have. If Sanders is sincere about reshaping the party and influencing the platform, this makes perfect sense. So when he says things like, When Im elected president, were going to open the Democratic Party wide open, as he did recently at a rally in California, thats a candidate playing to the crowd. If youre still asking for peoples votes, you have to feign optimism. We cant win the nomination but I want more leverage at the convention lacks inspiration.
Things got weird in West Virginia Tuesday night.
Bernie Sanders won the states primary over Hillary Clinton, and while the delegates he collects will do nothing to knock the front-runner off her glide path to the Democratic nomination, it will give the insurgent candidate a much-needed shot of adrenaline during what could be a good month for him.
That part was expected. The rest was not.
MSNBC LIVE, 5/10/16, 4:39 PM ET
West Virginia, like other Southern and Appalachian states, is at the tail end of a long transition away from Democratic Party, which once ruled the South, to the GOP, the natural ideological home of its conservative voters.
Democratic voters still technically outnumber Republicans nearly two-to-one in the Mountain State, even though it hasnt voted for a Democratic presidential candidate in 20 years, and isnt likely to again for the foreseeable future.
Just over half 51 percent of West Virginia voters are registered Democrats, while just 29 percent are registered Republicans, according to data released by the secretary of states office. Another 17.6 percent of voters are independents.
Many of those Democrats, however, behave like Republicans, which helps explain why Donald Trump voters played a key role in putting Sanders over the top Tuesday.
A third of those who voted in West Virginias Democratic primary say they plan to back Trump in November, according to NBC News exit polls. Sanders won those voters by a wide margin.
A Sanders Comeback Would Be Unprecedented
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APR 28, 2016 AT 6:39 PM
A Sanders Comeback Would Be Unprecedented
By Milo Beckman
Filed under 2016 Election
Bernie Sanders during a rally in Springfield, Oregon, on Thursday. RYAN KANG / AP
Dear democratic socialists, political revolutionaries, Bern-feelers at large: We need to have a talk.
Let me begin by saying that I bear no ill will towards Mr. Sanders. Nothing that follows should be misconstrued as an attack on his policies, his track record, his electability in November or his character. Im not a corporate media crony, or a plant from a pro-Hillary Clinton super PAC. Im just a guy who believes in the predictive power of cold, hard data.
And the unsexy truth is that, barring some catastrophic news event, Sanders will not win the Democratic nomination for president in 2016. In fact, most past candidates in Sanderss position dropped out long before this point in the race, and those who stayed in made little pretense of winning. (The Sanders campaign, which announced Wednesday it was laying off a ton of staff, may be recognizing this.)
Historically speaking, Democratic primary races do not have many twists and turns. Rather, the eventual winner tends to take an early lead on or before Super Tuesday and stay there. Runner-ups can kick for a while, but they tend to concede the race by February or early March.
As it stands, Sanders is firmly in runner-up territory. He is losing 9 million to 12 million among those who have already voted, and polls show him lagging by an average of 8.8 percentage points in the states yet to vote1. Sanders has gained substantially in national polls but is still the less popular candidate (outside of the Bernietopia that is social media2).
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