This argument is getting annoying, so I'll put it out as a question.
When we're talking about whether Hillary is left or right of 'center', is that center defined as a particular set of policies and philosophies, or is the center the midpoint of thought between the left and right?
There seems to be a divide here, where the Hillary supporters view the center as the middle of current American political thinking, while the Bernie supporters view the center as having been defined a century ago, and cannot change along with society.
What say you?
Last night, we got to see a clean and incontrovertible example of how caucuses are voter suppression. Despite losing the Nebraska causes by 14 points, Hillary won the non-binding primary over Bernie, when the turnout jumped. That's right, more people showed up for a vanity vote that was not actually a part of the process, than did for the actual caucus. So many more people showed up that it's hard to deny something is strikingly wrong with caucuses.
It also drives a stake through Bernie's argument that he wins when voter turnout is high, but that is not the point here.
Bernie has been talking for a month now, at every opportunity, about the need to open our process. He called New York's voting laws 'voter suppression', and has been calling for a platform change to make all contests open to Republicans and independents as well.
After last night, I would like to know how Bernie can continue to make those arguments without putting caucuses as the top of the list of needed changes. We have seen before, and now Bernie has seen with his own eyes, that caucuses are the single hardest way to vote, and ensures the lowest turnout. Bernie talks about wanting fairness, but he has yet to speak out about the unfair way that he has won a large number of his delegates.
It's easy to complain about the things that you feel slight you. It's hard to complain about the advantages you have. With the tone Bernie has struck recently, he owes it to us to come out against caucuses. Today.
Something about this campaign makes absolutely no sense. Bernie has openly talked about being the most progressive candidate, questioning the progressive credentials of Hillary. It is no secret to anyone paying attention that he is (to an undetermined degree) the more liberal of the candidates. And yet, as evidenced by the exit polling out of West Virginia tonight, he continues to win in rural, red-state areas where the Democrats are perceived to be more conservative than the average.
What would make so-called 'conservative Democrats' vote for the more liberal candidate? Are those the kinds of voters more prone to being uncomfortable with a woman being in charge?
"Foreigners". So now the official Sanders' campaign position seems to be that people in other countries can't have an opinion, or they should never voice it. Classy move, Weaver.
It's things like this that lead people to lump Bernie and Trump supporters together.
The momentum of the race, if there is such a thing, continues to stay with Hillary, as she has won the Guam caucus today. The net will only be one delegate, but comparing that to the six delegates Bernie gained out of Indiana shows how little impact that state made to the race.
We have reached a point we never thought possible. Donald Trump is not only going to be the Republican nominee for President, but he will have wrapped it up long before the convention. There will be no contesting, there will be no infighting. From today until July, Donald Trump is the nominee, and he can turn to the general election without hesitation.
That is why it is incumbent on Bernie Sanders to do one of two things; 1) Drop out of the race, or 2) Justify his path to victory.
Bernie said not long ago that he will do "everything in my power" to make sure a Republican doesn't win the White House. That statement, by definition, includes his ability to end the Democratic primary season.
While we can sit here and say that Donald Trump has no chance of ever winning the election in November, we also said the same thing about the primary. The mere fact that it is possible means that we, as Democrats, should be doing everything we can to destroy his chances beginning today. That is not possible, however, while we are still embroiled in an active primary. Hillary cannot move on to raising money and fully organizing a general election campaign while Bernie is still in the race. It would be viewed as an insult by many of his vocal supporters, and party unity is too important to allow that.
That leaves Bernie in firm control of what happens next. For the sake of the party not giving Donald Trump a one or two month head start on his never-ending string of attacks against Hillary, the entire party needs to be able to respond in lockstep, without fighting a two-pronged war. Every attack leveled by Bernie at this point not only reinforces the toxic image Trump will try to portray of her, but it distracts her from being able to fight back appropriately. Though he doesn't mean it, Bernie is opening a flank for Trump to attack.
This would be moot if we were still in the midst of a close race. Bernie has lost, though. The math against him is daunting, which even he admits when he and his advisors make the case that their only path to winning is to have the establishment rig the process to steal the nomination away from the choice of the voters. By actively promoting such an undemocratic usurping of the process, Bernie is engaged in a bad faith attempt to wrest away the nomination, de-ligitimizing Hillary, and giving yet more ammunition to Trump.
It is incumbent on Bernie, if he wants to continue on in this race, to justify how he can win through democratic means. If he cannot make a case, his continued presence does not help the party by pushing it to the left, it does real damage by giving Trump a head start. Even now, as Bernie is accusing Hillary and the DNC of money laundering, we can see how easily Trump will take Bernie's own words and use them for his own benefit.
The time has passed for Bernie. With no path to the nomination, he is holding back the party from doing its job and beginning the fight for the White House. Bernie's entire campaign has been built on attacking the Democratic party as an institution, but as a man running to be its standard-bearer, he must realize that the right thing to do is to show leadership and bow out, so there is a future for him to influence.
Now that the primary looks to be all but settled, our attention needs to turn to reminding ourselves that we are more similar than we are different. The first step in that process is to remember that we all consider ourselves progressives. Just because someone isn't as far to the left as you are doesn't mean they are really a Republican, nor does it mean that they don't want to make the same progress you do.
When it comes to health care, we all want to work to universal coverage. Bernie proposes single-payer, while Hillary wants to expand the ACA to continue to build until we have full coverage. They are both progressive positions.
When it comes to education, Bernie wants to make college free, while Hillary wants to limit or eliminate the need to take out large debt to go. They are both progressive positions.
When it comes to taxes, Bernie has proposed increases for everyone, with massive increases for the rich, while Hillary has proposed a smaller tax increase focused solely on the more affluent. They are both progressive positions.
When it comes to the minimum wage, Bernie wants to go to $15 everywhere, while Hillary wants to go to $12 in some areas and $15 in others. They are both progressive positions.
We can go on and on with these examples, but the point is this; when you contrast this with a Republican party that wants to stall if not eliminate the minimum wage, that wants to repeal the ACA, that wants to reduce grants and loans to make college affordable, and that wants to slash taxes so the wealthy can pay next to nothing, it's an insult to compare anyone in our party to that level of human squalor.
If you are on the far, far left, that's great. We share the same ideals, but differ on how far we're willing to jump at once to get there. That doesn't make anyone a conservative. We are different degrees of progressive, which is exactly what these primaries are supposed to sort out.
The most important way to win support and win elections is to go state to state, town to town, and talk to the voters about the issues they care about. You have to tailor your message to fit the people you're talking to. You can't give the same speech to rural Nebraska and urban Baltimore, and expect to get the same results. They say all politics is local, and Bernie's inability to hone his pitch to the audience has proven that.