Bernie’s win in Indiana proves that Billary’s brand of Democrat is still weak

Reuters photo

Bernie Sanders and his wife Jane appear at a campaign rally in Louisville, Kentucky, today. Thus far, per Politico, Bernie has won 53 percent of Indiana’s vote to Billary Clinton’s 47 percent, not enabling him to put a significant dent in Billary’s lead in pledged delegates (delegates won in presidential primary elections and caucuses), but certainly demonstrating that he still can win a populous state and that a sizable chunk of the Democratic and Democratic-leaning electorate still wants him, and not Billary, to lead the party and the nation.

Bernie Sanders’ presidential-primary-election win in Indiana today, coming on the heels of his loss in New York two weeks ago and his winning only one of five states that were up for grabs a week ago, is great but also a bit cruel, as it remains close to impossible for him to go into the party convention in late July with more pledged delegates than Billary Clinton — and that was his best argument for the super-delegates to vote for him instead of Billary.

As I type this sentence, Bernie’s estimated pledged delegate count is 1,370 to Billary’s estimated 1,665, a difference of 295 that Bernie is highly unlikely to surmount with the only nine more states to go (plus D.C.).

That said, again, every state that Bernie wins is a state that Billary didn’t win. Yeah, I know, deep, but, again, this hasn’t been just a battle for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, but has been a battle for the direction — and the soul — of the party itself.

Bernie very probably won’t win the nomination, but when he has won as many states as he has — and here they are, mapped out in green (to Billary’s puke yellow):

File:Democratic Party presidential primaries results, 2016.svg

WikipediaWikipedia graphic

— he can’t be called a “fringe” candidate, especially given how this has been his first crack at the White House.

Bernie thus far has won 45 percent of the pledged delegates to Billary’s 55 percent — again, this puts him well out of “fringe” territory (just 5 percent more and he’d be tied with Billary), and again, that it is this close shows what a weak candidate Billary Clinton is within her own party; she’s been shrieking on the national stage since the 1990s and this is her second run for the Oval Office, for fuck’s sake, and this is the best that she can do.

Of course, Billary just wants a win; I can’t imagine that she’s any more concerned about the margin of her win than George W. Bush & Co. were when Bush “won” “re”-election with only 50.7 percent of the popular vote in 2004. (This 50.7 percent was a “mandate,” the Bushy traitors claimed.) Power is power, no?

If Billary makes it to the White House — and yes, Donald Trump could beat her, as right now match-up polling has Queen Billary beating Der Fuehrer Trump by only 6 percentage points (Bernie beats Trump by 14 percentage points) — I predict that she’ll be another Jimmy Carter or George H. W. Bush, a one-termer.

Either way — if she wins the White House or loses the White House in November — I surmise that the Clintonesque bent of the Democratic Party ends with her.

And the presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders, which represents the face of the future as much as Queen Billary represents the mouldered dead hand of the past, has been instrumental in driving a stake through the vampire’s cold heart at long last.

And that, my friends, can be described only as a victory.

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Still not supporting Billary. Nope.

Reuters photo

Billary Clinton celebrates her presidential primary election win in Pennsylvania tonight in Philadelphia. Seeing Bill Clinton in the background fills me with disappointment and depression and disbelief that the Democratic Party has become so unimaginative and so devoid of political talent that we must rehash the 1990s. Indeed, Team Billary played Prince’s “1999” at the celebration in Philadelphia tonight, when in 1999, Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial was held in the U.S. Senate… And Philadelphia’s history is one of opposing dynastic rule…

So Billary Clinton had a good day today, winning four of the five states that held a presidential primary today, including biggie Pennsylvania. (Bernie won, um, Rhode Island…)

Yes, obviously at this point it’s highly unlikely to impossible that Bernie could go into the late-July Democratic Party convention having won more pledged delegates (delegates won in the primary elections and caucuses) than Billary. And, again, unless something big were to happen, I can’t see the super-delegates giving the win to Bernie over Billary, not when he’d won fewer pledged delegates than she.

Nor should Bernie try to win the majority of the super-delegates if he hasn’t won more pledged delegates than has Billary, very probably. You can push the envelope too far, to your own detriment (and to the detriment of your cause).

Why has Bernie very most likely lost this thing?

Well, there are many reasons. Some of them are, not necessarily in this order of importance:

One, people routinely vote against their own best interests. To wit, Billary Clinton has done better than Bernie in states with the most income inequality — even though tackling income inequality has been the fucking centerpiece of his campaign. Bernie has taken some heat for explaining that by proclaiming that poor people don’t vote, and there definitely is more than just a little truth to that, but it’s also the case that lower income means less education, and less education often means voting against your own best interests.

(Less education and more religiosity, for example, which go hand in hand, easily can have you focusing on “morals,” especially others’, while ignoring your own poverty and other problems and shortcomings, and certainly more religiosity can have you more obedient to authority, which would include, of course, our corporate overlords, especially since capitalism and “Christianity” have become so intertwined — even though Jesus was a socialist. [Very conveniently for the capitalists, “Christianity” often teaches that suffering is Godly and that there will be future reward for it.])

Two, the Democratic Party stopped focusing on income inequality and other socioeconomic justice issues many years ago and has become all about identity politics. Many people, even those struggling to make ends meet, appear to care more about knee-jerkedly defending their identity group than in doing anything to arrest, much more reverse, income inequality.

Tribalism is a powerful, visceral force — to the point that many voters care more about having our first female (and “third” “black”) president than they care about anything else, even the fact that Billary is another Repugnican Lite, a multi-millionaire herself (Bernie isn’t a millionaire; he’s not worth even $1 million) who as president is quite unlikely to lift all boats (unless we’re talking about her doing nothing substantive about climate change because her oily corporate sponsors don’t want her to do anything about climate change, which indeed does lift all boats).

And into this environment of toxic identity politics and rank tribalism, here comes Bernie Sanders, yet another old white guy — even though he’s a secular Jew (and, it appears to me, an agnostic or maybe even an atheist) and even though he’s the furthest-left, most progressive contender for the Democratic Party presidential nomination whom we’ve seen in ages — and the fact that superficially he is yet another old white guy shuts down those tribalists who would lump him, quite incorrectly, with all of the other older white guys in American history (and their wrongdoings).

Three, Billary’s hubby was president from January 1993 to January 2001, giving her supreme name-brand recognition, and it was clear when she carpetbaggingly ran for a U.S. Senate seat for New York in 2000 that she was angling for the Oval Office. (It was clear even before then, actually.)

And, of course, Billary already ran for the White House in 2008, and as of late when you come in at No. 2 in your first bid for the White House, there is the widespread belief within your party, then, that next time it’s “your turn.” This was the case with John McCainosaurus, for example, and for Mittens Romney, when they came in second place in 2000 and in 2008 and then became their party’s nominees in 2008 and 2012.

In the end, in a nutshell, we can say that Bernie Sanders just couldn’t overcome the Clinton brand name — but that as a democratic socialist from Vermont, by doing as well as he did, he sure the fuck exposed how weak the Clinton name brand and the Clintonian Democratic Party are right now, and I expect this weakness to linger over Billary Clinton for the remainder of her political career — and I expect the Democratic Party to return to its progressive roots within the next few presidential election cycles.

For the time being, I hope that Bernie Sanders makes good on his promise to campaign at least through June 7, when my home state of California votes. All 50 states deserve the chance to weigh in on Billary vs. Bernie, because weighing in on Billary vs. Bernie also is weighing in on the direction of the Democratic Party: whether it should remain the same-old, same-old, center-right Democratic Party, as it will/would under Billary Clinton, no matter what the fuck she is promising today, or whether it should return to its progressive roots, not just in rhetoric, but in actual actions and in deeds.

Billary is a weak candidate, which is why her bots have been calling for Bernie Sanders to drop out early (every state that he wins is a state that she didn’t — even Rhode Island) and why they have claimed that Bernie has made poor Billary look bad when, of course, the self-serving, corrupt, center-right, flip-flopping, calculating, triangulating, multi-millionaire Billary has needed zero help in that department, and, of course, rather than admit how flawed, politically weak and widely disliked (outside of the Democratic Party hacks, who are a minority of Americans) Billary is, the Billarybots would much rather turn Bernie into their scapegoat.

I just can’t see Billary having a successful presidency — the Repugnican Tea Party will/would be even worse on her than they have been on Barack Obama, I surmise — and/but, truth be told, if the next Democratic Party president must be a failure, I much would rather that it be Billary (and her brand of the Democratic Party) than Bernie (and the progressive movement).

When I receive my vote-by-mail ballot for California’s presidential primary election next month, I will fill in the oval for Bernie Sanders.*

When Billary is president and it’s disastrous, as was so fucking predictable, don’t blame me.

I voted for Bernie.

*In November the Democratic presidential candidate, whichever individual it is, is going to win California and all of its electoral votes anyway, so no, my refusal to support Billary Clinton in the June presidential primary election or in the November general election — not a penny and certainly never my vote — won’t make a fucking difference, so hold your ammo.

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AfterBern

Associated Press photo

Bernie Sanders speaks in Rhode Island today. Rhode Island is one of five states that vote in presidential primary elections on Tuesday, and then 10 more states, including Democratic powerhouse California, vote after that. “A future to believe in” is an apt slogan, as indeed, it’s probable that we progressives need to look beyond Bernie Sanders for the materialization of our political revolution. That said, Bernie has given us a strong base to build upon in taking back the Democratic Party and returning it to its progressive roots.

As I type this sentence, Bernie Sanders’ estimated pledged delegate count is 1,205 to Billary Clinton’s 1,446, a 241-delegate difference. Billary is 937 delegates away from the necessary 2,383 delegates to clinch the nomination, and Team Bernie should make her win every one of those 937 delegates if she’s to be the Democratic Party presidential nominee.

If the states that already have voted and caucused did so again today, Bernie would be significantly further along than he is now, I surmise. Nationwide polls of Democrats and Democratic leaners (those who already have and those who haven’t yet participated in a Dem presidential primary election or caucus) put Billary at 2.2 percent to 4.3 percent ahead of Bernie right now, but on February 1, when Iowans caucused, Billary’s lead on Bernie nationwide was 14.4 percent, according to Real Clear Politics.

But the way the game is set up right now, with states voting and caucusing over the course of several months, even if a candidate loses ground with the voters nationwide over the course of those months, if he or she garnered enough pledged delegates in the early states, those pledged delegates that already are in the bank can help him or her greatly when/if he or she loses popularity as the race drags on.

Indeed, this is the dynamic that we’ve seen with Billary Clinton, and indeed, the Democratic Party presidential primary and caucus schedule appears to have been designed by the Democratic National Committee to give Billary early wins in the South in order to save her ass should she falter later in the race. Billary’s early wins in the South helped give her a 200-and-something pledged delegate lead that Bernie has been unable to shake.

While I support Bernie’s campaign to the bitter end — yes, I even gave him yet another donation after he lost New York on Tuesday by double digits — at the same time it is time to strategize for the future.

I agree with Salon.com writer Michael Lerner that it’s time to start “the tea party of the left.”

If Billary Clinton is the proxy for the stale, calcified, sellout, center-right Democratic Party establishment that she and her husband started in the 1990s (utilizing divide-and-conquer toxic identity politics while not only enabling, but even encouraging, income inequality to worsen) and that Caretaker in Chief Barack Obama has preserved — and she is — then Bernie Sanders is the proxy for “the tea party of the left.”

And, of course, the seeds of “the tea party of the left” already were sown, back in 2011 — those seeds were the Occupy movement, which indeed was the left’s proto-“tea party,” and Occupy was a response to the fact that in 2009 and 2010, when both house of Congress still were controlled by his party, President Hopey-Changey squandered spectacularly the shitloads of political capital that he brought with him to the White House in January 2009. (No, forcing people to buy for-profit health-care insurance, as “Obamacare” does, is not progress.)

By 2011, it was obvious that Barack Obama’s ubiquitous, relentless campaign promises of “hope” and “change” either had been bullshit all along or that once he actually got into the Oval Office, he just didn’t feel like fighting that hard; it was just a lot easier to just sit back and enjoy the perks of the presidency.

In any event, Obama’s stunning failure to push through a progressive agenda in 2009 and 2010 led to the Repugnican Tea Party’s takeover of the U.S. House of Representatives that persists to this day, a takeover that ensured that the rest of the Obama years would be gridlock.

The Occupy movement fizzled, in my estimation, because taking over public spaces certainly drew attention to the problem of the insane income inequality here in the United States (and elsewhere) — indeed, the Occupy movement’s central complaint about the “1 percent” is Bernie Sanders’ central complaint — but taking over public spaces doesn’t change how things are done in D.C.

Until and unless there is a revolution that upends our political system, our political system remains in place, and the system requires that if you want political gains, you must seek them via the system.

Even the “tea party” dipshits have known that — that if you want power, you have to take it, and that the best way to do that is to infiltrate the party that (at least in your estimation, anyway) isn’t doing your bidding.

The “tea party” has been pretty successful — formed in 2010, two of its champions, Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, who were elected in the “tea party” wave of 2010 and in 2012, have run for president and both of them at one point were two of the top three Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidates, along with Der Fuehrer Donald Trump. (“Tea party” darling Sen. Rand Paul, also elected in the “tea party” wave of 2010, also ran for president this cycle, but of course he fizzled before Rubio did, and, of course, Cruz remains in the running.)

Those of us on the left have not had nearly the success within the Democratic Party that the “tea party” set have had within the Repugnican Party, but Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign has been a great start.

Keep in mind that it was way too taboo for any Democrat to step on Queen Billary’s cape by also running for the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination. Not even the very popular Sen. Elizabeth Warren would dare to do so, so, from what I can tell, it was up to democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders to run to the left of Queen Billary if anyone was going to. (Anyone viable, I mean. I mean, Martin O’Malley, Lincoln Chaffee and Jim Webb — um, yeah…)

It has been an uphill battle for Bernie Sanders from Day One, with the pro-Billary Democratic National Committee (whose chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, was on Team Billary in 2008) making all of the rules and calling all of the shots to support their darling Billary, to do all they have been able to do to ensure her coronation.

But despite the corrupt, moribund DNC’s best efforts to shove Repugnican Lite Billary Clinton down our throats, democratic socialist Bernie Sanders of Vermont has won these states, chronologically:

  • New Hampshire
  • Colorado
  • Minnesota
  • Oklahoma
  • Vermont (of course)
  • Kansas
  • Nebraska
  • Maine
  • Michigan
  • Idaho
  • Utah
  • Alaska
  • Hawaii
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

A “fringe” candidate doesn’t win 16 states. Bernie won the Democrats Abroad, too, and several states were very close:

File:U.S. States by Vote Distribution, 2016 (Democratic Party).svg

Wikipedia graphic

There was a 0.2 percent difference between Bernie and Billary in Missouri, a 0.3 percent difference between them in Iowa, a 1.4 percent difference in Massachusetts, and a 2 percent difference in Illinois — and, to be fair, a 1.4 percent difference in Michigan, which Bernie won (Billary won all of the other states that were within a difference of only 2 percentage points; the graph above shows how so many states that Billary won were close to 50-50).

Despite Team Billary and the Billarybots’ protests otherwise, the fact remains that Billary’s greatest margins of victory were in the early-voting South, as the graph above illustrates, well, graphically, and I hardly think that the future of the Democratic Party is in the South. No, it’s in the states that Bernie Sanders clearly has won (the states shaded in green):

File:Democratic Party presidential primaries results, 2016.svg

Wikipedia graphic

And most of them are in the North. (Note that Nevada was pretty close, too, with Billary beating Bernie there by only 5.3 percent, and, again, given its far-right political leanings, I consider Arizona effectively to be part of the South.)

Bernie has a good shot at winning the state with the most pledged delegates (475 of them), my home state of California, on June 7; Real Clear Politics has Billary’s lead in California at only 6.5 percent and The Huffington Post puts it at only 6.8 percent. Winning the state with the most Democratic voters of all 50 states would be a big victory for Bernie, even if he doesn’t win the nomination — and it would further demonstrate how weak the Clintonian brand of the Democratic Party is.

Even if Bernie doesn’t take California, it is remarkable how well the democratic socialist has done thus far. Even former political rock star Howard Dean (who now supports Billary Clinton — I’m glad that I never supported Dean, and my suspicions as to how progressive at heart he truly was apparently were spot on) won only one state in 2004 (Vermont).

If Bernie Sanders doesn’t win the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination — and my best guess is that unless Billary is indicted or has a serious medical event or the like, he won’t — the worst thing that we progressives could do would be to drop out of the political picture until the next presidential cycle.

We’d need to politically pressure President Billary (shudder) continuously to do the right thing as much as humanly possible — if she has gone to the left at all in her rhetoric right now, know that once in the Oval Office she’d revert to her old, usual, center-right self — and we progressives need to not cower to the Democratic Party hacks’ predictable, craven charge that not to support the corrupt, self-serving, center-left President Billary is to help the Repugnican Tea Party.

And, of course, just as even the “tea party” morons have been smart enough to do, we progressives need to win as many seats in Congress as we can. We have been focused too exclusively on the presidency. We need to involve ourselves much more than we do now in the down-ticket offices, and we need to show up in force in the mid-term/off-presidential-year elections.

We need to occupy not only the Oval Office, but we need to occupy as many seats in Congress and as many other seats of power in D.C. and outside of D.C. as we possibly can.

Occupying space is a great idea; but you need to occupy the right spaces.

P.S. I read now that apparently the Bernie Sanders campaign now does not plan to to fight Billary for the nomination at the convention if he does not win more pledged delegates than Billary does by the time of the convention in July. (That’s how I interpret the news article, anyway.)

I read now that apparently the Sanders campaign’s publicly voiced game plan now is to fight (perhaps only) through June 7, when California and five other states vote. (Only the District of Columbia votes after June 7; it votes on June 14.)

“We intend to take the fight all the way to California, so people throughout this country have a right to determine who they want as president and what kind of agenda they want for the Democratic Party,” Sanders reportedly stated on ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos.”

Sanders also reportedly said on CBS’s “Face The Nation,” “You can’t say to largest [most populous] state in this country, ‘California, you can’t determine who the nominee will be or what the agenda will be.’”

I wholeheartedly concur, so the Billarybots’ anti-democratic calls for Bernie to drop out before I and millions of others of my fellow Californians have even had the opportunity to vote have offended me personally.

Of course, there’s a good reason why they’ve wanted Bernie to hang it up early: After all, should he win California, then Billary Clinton’s brand of “Democrat,” which plays the best in the South, certainly will be called into question, as Bernie himself recognizes and acknowledges when he says such things as “We intend to take the fight all the way to California, so people throughout this country have a right to determine who they want as president and what kind of agenda they want for the Democratic Party.” (Emphasis mine.)

Bernie recognizes, I’m sure, that at this point his greatest lifetime achievement might not be sitting in the Oval Office, but might be taking back the Democratic Party from the self-serving, corrupt, center-right, pro-corporate assholes who have turned it into a husk of its former self and restoring it to its progressive roots.

And that is no tiny achievement.

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Team Bernie plans to play delegate hardball if need be. Good!

Team Billary and the Billarybots long have wanted Bernie Sanders to give up, but much to their chagrin, Team Bernie plans to keep playing until one of the two candidates reaches the necessary number of delegates to clinch the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination. (Bernie is shown above playing baseball in the 1980s.) Team Billary and the Billarybots have claimed that Billary hasn’t expected a coronation, but oh, she does.

So I have it now from the horse’s mouth: Bernie Sanders’ campaign manager Jeff Weaver stated recently on the Rachel Maddow show that even if Bernie hasn’t won more pledged delegates (delegates earned in primary elections and caucuses) than Billary Clinton has when the Democratic Party national convention begins in late July, the Sanders campaign nonetheless will try to persuade the super-delegates to give Bernie the nomination, on the grounds that Bernie is more likely to win the White House in November.

I have many thoughts on this.

First of all, the rules of the game were established before the first-in-the-nation state of Iowa weighed in back in February, and the rule of the game is that you have to clinch 2,383 delegates to win the presidential nomination, and that this 2,383 can be any mix of pledged delegates and super-delegates.

Them’s the rules — therefore, should the super-delegates give the win to Bernie or to Billary if either of them hadn’t won more pledged delegates than the other, it wouldn’t violate the pre-established rules. It’s how the game is played. It’s legitimate by the rules.

We can argue that the rules need to be changed, and they do (I’m fine with the super-delegates being eliminated altogether, or at least being forced to vote with their constituencies [which makes them moot, but whatever]), but they’re the rules that we must abide by for this cycle. You don’t fucking change the rules after the game has begun.

That said, as I’ve written, I don’t see the super-delegates giving Bernie the win unless he wins more pledged delegates than Billary does going into the convention.

But I wholly agree with Jeff Weaver’s argument that of paramount consideration at the convention will be, or at least should be, which candidate has the best chance of being elected president in November, and that that candidate is Bernie Sanders.

I mean, look at Billary’s favorability numbers vs. Bernie’s. Among all Americans — you know, those who will be voting for president in November — Billary is disliked more than she is liked by double digits in most of the polls taken this year. In no poll of all Americans taken this year is Billary liked more than she is disliked, even in the low single digits. In no poll taken this year is Bernie disliked more than he is liked; he is liked more than he is disliked in all of the polls taken this year.

In Real Clear Politics’ averages of recent presidential match-up polls, right now Billary beats Donald Trump by 9.3 percent, but Bernie beats Trump by 15.2 percent; Billary beats Ted Cruz by only 2.3 percent, but Bernie beats Cruz by 11.2 percent; and John Kasich beats Billary by 7.8 percent, whereas Bernie beats Kasich by 4 percent.

Indeed, if the super-delegates’ No. 1 aim is to pick the Democratic candidate most likely to do better in November than the other, their clear choice is Bernie Sanders.

But Billary Clinton & Co. long have had a stranglehold on the Democratic Party establishment for decades now, so I don’t expect the super-delegates — who are, for the most part, after all, Democratic Party hacks — to act in the most strategic, most intelligent way.

In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the super-delegates were to pick Billary even if Bernie actually manages to go into the convention with more pledged/earned delegates than does Billary.

Of course, the super-delegates who face re-election might have to face blowback if (under normal rather than under unusual or even extenuating political circumstances) they vote against how those whom they represent voted. (As I’ve noted, if Bernie manages to win my U.S. congressional district but my U.S. representative votes for Billary, I’ll never cast a vote for my U.S. representative again, and I sent her a letter to inform her of that. I hope that all of the super-delegates who vote against those whom they represent pay the price for that betrayal of democracy. [Um, no, I don’t support threatening the super-delegates or doing anything else illegal.])

And should the nomination go to the candidate who won fewer pledged delegates than the other, that might spell real trouble for the Democratic Party.

Of course, the Democratic Party is in real trouble already.

For all of the Billarybots’ blathering about Bernie not being a “real” Democrat, nationwide polls of Dems and Dem leaners have Billary ahead of Bernie by only 1 percent to 4 percent. I’d say that the Democratic Party hacks’ claim that Bernie isn’t a “real” Democrat doesn’t at all resonate with just under half of those who are voting and caucusing as Democrats, so are the Democratic Party hacks/Billarybots claiming that the very-almost-half of us who support Bernie aren’t “real” Democrats?

What a brilliant fucking strategy!

This is, as I and many others have noted, about much more than Bernie and Billary as individuals. Bernie and Billary are the proxies in a proxy war for the heart and soul of the Democratic Party.

Bernie’s strategy is correct: Rather than try to form a viable third party, which is an impossibility in our corrupt, duopolistic system (we should have a multi-party/parliamentarian system, not this duopolistic bullshit that poses as democracy), our progressives’ best bet is to take back the Democratic Party from the self-serving, center-right, Clintonian sellouts who have wrecked it to the point that except on identity politics and social issues (abortion, racial and other discrimination, gay marriage, voting rights, gun control, etc.), the Democratic Party and the Repugnican Tea Party are like the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party — largely indistinguishable, especially on the matters of domestic socioeconomic justice, environmental justice and global justice (the American War Machine continues to slaughter innocent people around the world, as do American-supported regimes, such as Israel).

I do have somewhat of a problem with the super-delegates giving Bernie the win if Billary wins more pledged delegates than he does (which, again, is pretty unfuckinglikely): The Billarybots no doubt will call his victory illegitimate, and if he’s going to be the nominee I don’t want him to be a weak nominee; I want no such dark cloud over his head.

But a lot can happen between now and the end of July.

Come the end of July, when the party convenes in Philadelphia, what has transpired by then just might make it quite clear that Bernie is the stronger candidate for November to the point that the super-delegates would face little to no blowback if they gave the nomination to him, the pledged delegate count be damned.

The White House, after all, is the prize and is the most important consideration — not Billary Clinton’s ego.

But regardless of whether Billary or Bernie emerges as the victor, there are so many things that we need to change: The caucuses need to go and be replaced by primary elections. We should consider eliminating the long, drawn-out primary voting by the different states over a period of months and consider just one nationwide presidential primary election day. Ideally, the super-delegates need to go — or at least their ability to vote against their constituencies needs to be eliminated.

Beyond that, the Electoral College needs to go; if you live in a blue state or a red state, your vote for president essentially doesn’t count, so we need to elect our president on a popular vote. And we need to make room for more viable parties. We need to get rid of the duopolistic partisan system and adopt a parliamentarian one in which far more Americans have a seat at the table. Repugnican and Repugnican Lite is no choice at all. (I’m a Green Party member at heart, but, like Bernie, I have little choice but to caucus, so to speak, with the Democrats.)

Of course, such badly needed reforms would much more likely to be initiated by a President Sanders than by another President Clinton, for whom the status quo has been just peachy keen. For the rest of us, of course, not so much.

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Is New York Bernie’s Waterloo?

Updated below (on Wednesday, April 20, 2016)

Associated Press photo

Billary Clinton, shown voting in New York today, won the state (by much more than just her vote for herself…) and appears to be on track to win the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination, but should she manage to win the White House — with her favorability rating among all Americans upside down by double digits in most polls — she’ll be a politically weak and vulnerable president from Day One, and probably will be an impeachment magnet. (A blast from the past! Good times!)

Early results from the Democratic Party presidential primary election in New York today aren’t good. As I type this sentence (at 6:37 p.m. Pacific Time; the polls closed 37 minutes ago), Politico shows Billary Clinton with 61.1 percent to Bernie’s 38.9 percent, with 26.8 percent of the precincts reporting.

Thing is, a week from today, five more states are voting — Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island — and Billary already has been favored to win all five of those states.

I don’t see Bernie recovering from a six-state loss this late in the game. Bernie really needed to win New York by a decent margin in order to help him win the majority of the pledged (democratically earned) delegates — and he needed the momentum that a surprise win in New York would have given him in the 15 states that are left (including my home state of California, which votes on June 7).

That said, 2,383 delegates are needed for the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination, and as I type this sentence Billary stands at 1,307 pledged delegates to Bernie’s 1,097.

Billary is more than a thousand delegates away (as I type this sentence), so if Bernie wants to take it to the party convention in late July until one of the two of them definitively reaches the magic number of required delegates (and that appears to be the case), that’s perfectly fine by me.

I’ve written before that Bernie Sanders might be the left’s Barry Goldwater — he might not get us to the promised land himself, but within a few presidential election cycles, we progressives just might get there. (We probably will, methinks.)

Indeed, the center-right, pro-corporate, sellout Democratic Party that Billary Clinton represents is on its last legs. This is why although Bernie Sanders is lambasted by Billary and her legions of bots for supposedly not being a real Democrat, we, the people, feel quite differently about that; recent nationwide polls of Dems and Dem leaners have Billary leading Bernie by only 1 percent to 4 percent. (The Democratic Party hacks believe that they get to decide who is and isn’t a real Democrat, but no, it is we, the voters, who do, fuck them very much.)

The Democratic Party hacks don’t want to see how irrelevant they have become and how endangered is their grip on power, but their end is nigh. How else to explain how their darling Billary still is duking it out with democratic socialist Bernie Sanders of Vermont? (In 2004, John Kerry had won the number of delegates that he needed to clinch the nomination by March 11 of that year.) And how else to explain that Billary is ahead of “fringe” candidate Bernie in the nationwide polls only within the margin of error?

The establishmentarian Democratic Party’s popularity is nosediving. We, the people, are beyond fucking sick and tired of being expected to choose between two evils, the Repugnican candidate and the Repugnican Lite candidate.

Barring something catastrophic (well, catastrophic for her, but good for the rest of us), Billary Clinton looks like she’s on a path to win what very well might be the current Democratic Party establishment’s last presidential nomination victory.

History very well might show that Billary was able to use her surname and her Clintonian brand of politics (which, in no certain order, consists of: flip-flopping and prevaricating, triangulating, deflecting, pandering to identity groups and stoking division within these groups for political gain, practicing corporate whoredom, etc.) — and the fact that her primary opponent always was an underdog, and was the only (viable) one who dared to challenge her cakewalk coronation — to win the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination.

Winning the White House in November when her favorability ratings are upside down by double digits in most polls of all American voters, however, would be another thing.

But should Billary Clinton manage to scratch, claw and crawl her way to the big chair in the Oval Office, she’ll start off in January 2017 as one of the least-liked new presidents in American history. Being thoroughly despised by the Repugnican Tea Party traitors and by a huge chunk of the independents and not being all that popular even within her own damned party (as Bernie’s success has demonstrated), she would have precious little political capital with which to work, and, as Bill Maher has (jokingly?) indicated, perhaps the Repugnican-controlled House of Representatives will impeach her in short order.

Another Clinton presidency would pretty much guarantee that the Democratic Party will, sooner rather than later, return to its progressive roots from which it strayed, under the “leadership” of the Clinton dynasty, no later than in the 1990s.

Sure, I’d love for Bernie Sanders to still win the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination.

But in the end, it’s the longer game that counts, and it always was about much more than Bernie Sanders, the man, but rather about what he stands (and doesn’t stand) for.

Indeed, while he has been an excellent champion of progressivism, Bernie didn’t start the fire of progressivism. He, a democratic socialist, picked up the progressive torch when no one else within the Democratic Party would because the Democratic Party is this fucking broken.

Indeed, the Clintonian Democratic Party’s long-standing deep brokenness — its selling out of the middle class, the working class and the poor to our corporate overlords in exchange for its focus on craven, divide-and-conquer identity politics while it ignores the insane income inequality that it not only has enabled but has encouraged — no doubt is why Bernie has been an independent in Congress for all of these years.

Who the fuck can blame him?

P.S. It’s 7:26 p.m. right now and New York was called for Billary a little while ago. Right now Politico reports that with 66 percent of the precincts reporting, it’s Billary’s 58.4 percent to Bernie’s 41.6 percent, a difference of almost 17 percent, which is at least a few percentage points higher than Billary had been polling in the state.

Donald Trump handily won New York, too, and his favorability ratings are even worse than Billary’s, so if he should win the Repugnican Tea Party presidential nomination, besides being a statement on the way-beyond-sad-and-sorry state of the body politic in the United States of America that it’s Billary Clinton vs. Donald Trump, that will/would/could be another factor in why and how Billary managed to get into the White House: not because she was beloved by the American people, but because the American people hated her opponent Donald Trump even more than they hated her.

Again, should we actually have a President Billary (shudder), she is going to start off as an incredibly weak and vulnerable president. And it probably won’t get better for her from there.

Update (Wednesday, April 20, 2016): Politico reports that with 98.5 percent of New York’s precincts reporting, right now it’s 57.9 percent Billary to 42.1 percent Bernie, a difference of almost 16 percentage points, which is a little bit better than Billary had polled up to election day yesterday.

After New York, the estimated pledged delegate counts are 1,446 for Billary and 1,205 for Bernie, a difference of 241 delegates. Billary has maintained a lead of 200-and-something pledged delegates for a long time now; it’s a lead that Bernie just hasn’t been able to cut into after Billary’s early-state wins.

While Bernie in the end might be able to cut Billary’s lead down to only 100-and-something pledged delegates, if he does exceedingly well in the remaining states, I just don’t see him going into the convention in July with a majority of the pledged delegates.

And, again, only if something big happened, such as Billary being indicted or having a significant medical event, would it be OK for the super-delegates to give the nomination to Bernie if he hadn’t won a majority of the pledged delegates, in my book.

Barring catastrophe (again, catastrophe only for her and her bots), I expect Billary Clinton to be the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nominee, which means that after the party’s convention in July I’ll probably check out of the presidential race, as it will be between two evils: Billary Clinton and whichever Repugnican Tea Party candidate emerges, probably Donald Trump.

I suppose that I’ll pay attention to the news, but my heart won’t be in it, and I don’t see myself being able to defend Billary against the predictable Repugnican Tea Party attacks against her.

Don’t get me wrong; I would want to defend the Democratic Party presidential candidate, but the corrupt, craven, center-right Repugnican Lite Billary Clinton is just way too fucking indefensible. I can’t work it (defensiveness or the enthusiasm that it would require) up for her.

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The lack of conscience of a liberal: Paul Krugman’s new low against Bernie

Updated below (on Sunday, April 17, 2016)

In last night’s debate, it’s quite true that Bernie Sanders was dismissive of Billary Clinton’s big wins in the Deep South.*

I’m glad that he finally went there in the debate; I’ve gone there many times here myself.

But leave it to New York Times liberal (note that I said “liberal,” as in “limousine liberal,” not “progressive”) columnist Paul Krugman, who brands himself a progressive economist yet whom supports the center-right Billary Clinton, to proclaim, in his latest Bernie Derangement Syndrome-induced screed, that Bernie’s spurning of the South minimally is just like Sarah Palin’s having called the red states the “real America” — but probably also even is about Bernie (and, by extension, apparently, his campaign and his supporters) spurning black Americans. But only Krugman actually raises that specter:

… Over the past week, Mr. Sanders has declared that Mrs. Clinton leads only because she has won in the “Deep South,” which is a “pretty conservative part of the country.” The tally so far, he says, “distorts reality” because it contains so many Southern states.

As it happens, this isn’t true — the calendar, which front-loaded some states very favorable to Mr. Sanders, hasn’t been a big factor in the race. Also, swing-state Florida isn’t the Deep South. But never mind. The big problem with this argument should be obvious. Mrs. Clinton didn’t win big in the South on the strength of conservative voters; she won by getting an overwhelming majority of black voters. This puts a different spin on things, doesn’t it?

Is it possible that Mr. Sanders doesn’t know this, that he imagines that Mrs. Clinton is riding a wave of support from old-fashioned Confederate-flag-waving Dixiecrats, as opposed to, let’s be blunt, the descendants of slaves? Maybe. He is not, as you may have noticed, a details guy.

It’s more likely, however, that he’s being deliberately misleading — and that his effort to delegitimize a big part of the Democratic electorate is a cynical ploy.

Who’s the target of this ploy? Not the superdelegates, surely. Think about it: Can you imagine Democratic Party insiders deciding to deny the nomination to the candidate who won the most votes, on the grounds that African-American voters don’t count as much as whites?

No, claims that Clinton wins in the South should be discounted are really aimed at misleading Sanders supporters, giving them an unrealistic view of the chances that their favorite can still win — and thereby keeping the flow of money and volunteers coming. …

Maybe I have Krugman’s intent wrong — maybe (but probably not) — but why would he write such phrases as “on the grounds that African-American voters don’t count as much as whites” when no one ever said or otherwise even semi-indicated that that was the case?

Blacks voted more for Billary than for Bernie, especially in the earlier contests. She has worn — depressingly successfully — the mantle of wanting to be our “third” “black” president. I get that. (But that doesn’t mean that most black Americans are smart to vote for Billary — no one is smart to vote for her, unless he or she is a fellow millionaire or billionaire who wants to preserve his or her own little private empire by maintaining the insanely unjust socioeconomic status quo.)

The problem that Bernie, his campaign and many if not most of us Berners have with the South — which Krugman conveniently doesn’t mention in his hit piece — is that it indeed is a conservative, Repugnican Tea Party bastion, a spiritually dead, barren land where for the very most part Democratic presidential candidates don’t win presidential elections.

Therefore, one calling him- or herself the mostest Democratiest presidential candidate when he or she actually does the best in Repugnican Tea Party/red states and his or her opponent does the best in actually Democratic/true-blue states is, um, odd. This is, after all, the Democratic Party primary race that’s going on right now.

Further, the Repugnican Tea Party doesn’t exactly embrace such deep-blue states as California and New York and Massachusetts; why the holy fucking fuck, then, should Democrats, or at least those of us who actually are left of center, embrace such deep-red states as Texas, South Carolina and Georgia? (And Florida, while it might not be in the Deep South, is in the South, as is Texas. And both states were slave states, which Billary can “brag” that she won, so please, Paulie Boy.)

Are all of these political concepts foreign to Krugman? (He is not, as you may have noticed, a details guy.)

All of this said, a pledged delegate is a pledged delegate and at the party convention should count the same regardless of the state from which that delegate hails, and we progressives in the blue states probably should not abandon the good progressives of all races and of all other demographics who have the misfortune to live in the red states. I get that, but at the same time, the red states make it very, very difficult for us denizens of the blue states to wuv them.

The red states have, after all, been holding the nation back even before the Civil War. They have been a drag on the nation, not a boon to the nation. But we blue-staters are to just adore the red-staters even while the red-staters routinely openly show nothing but contempt for us, even though our tax dollars keep them afloat.

We Dems and those of us who lean Dem (usually having no other real left-of-center electoral option) have to ask ourselves if we really want our party to be overtaken by red-state beliefs and values (even more than it already has been, that is) — and, again, we should ask ourselves if the members of the Repugnican Tea Party would allow their party to be overtaken by blue-state beliefs and values.

Krugman does make one apparent quasi-valid point in his column, albeit buried within what as far as I know is a patently false accusation:

… So the Sanders campaign is arguing that super-delegates — the people, mainly party insiders, not selected through primaries and caucuses who get to serve as delegates under Democratic nomination rules — should give him the nomination even if he loses the popular vote.

In case you’re rubbing your eyes: Yes, not long ago many Sanders supporters were fulminating about how Hillary was going to steal the nomination by having super-delegates put her over the top despite losing the primaries. Now the Sanders strategy is to win by doing exactly that. …

To be clear, I haven’t yet seen or heard or read (in print or via video) any actual proclamation from Bernie himself that he wants the super-delegates to vote for him to give him the nomination even if Billary won the majority of the pledged delegates (the delegates won in the primary elections and caucuses).

I’ve seen this meme that Bernie “wants it both ways,” that he’s only OK with the super-delegates voting for him regardless of who ends up with the most pledged delegates, but, again, I’ve yet to see, read or hear him make that claim. (If you have a link to a credible, neutral source, please leave it in the comments section and I’ll check it out.)

I’ve long understood Bernie’s argument to be that if he manages to win more pledged delegates than Billary does, then the super-delegates should follow the will of the people who voted and caucused and vote to make him the nominee. That seems fair and democratic to me, even though under the current rules of the game the super-delegates certainly don’t have to do that.

I doubt that the meme that Bernie “wants it both ways” is true because I don’t see the super-delegates swinging to Bernie unless he manages to win more pledged delegates than Billary does. I don’t see Bernie seeing that happening, either. Call him whatever you please, but one thing he is not is stupid.

Secondly, if the candidate who wins the most pledged delegates doesn’t end up as the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nominee (under normal political circumstances), the Democratic Party will have a real problem on its hands, since Democratic and Democratically leaning voters nationwide are split almost 50-50 between Bernie and Billary, and one of the two winning the nomination through the super-delegates alone is going to be a real problem with about half of the members of the party.

Bernie knows this, and I very much doubt that he’d really want to be the presidential nominee with the dark cloud over his head that Billary, not he, had won the most pledged delegates.

Only if something serious were to happen — such as Billary being indicted (between now and the party convention) for her home-brewed e-mail server as secretary of state — could it be justified for the super-delegates to hand the nomination to Bernie if Billary had won the most pledged delegates.

Otherwise, wherever possible, we must respect the will of the voters, even when we believe, even quite correctly, that they’re quite wrong.

I mean, don’t get me wrong: I believe that Billary Clinton would be anywhere from lackluster-at-best (like President Hopey-Changey) to disastrous as president of the United States of America. And, again, I believe that unless they’re rich, those who support Billary aren’t very smart people, as voting against your own best interests isn’t very smart.

But you aren’t a true progressive if you don’t respect the democratic process. And Bernie and his followers are true progressives. And I’ll say it yet again: Despite the talk of Bernie “wanting it both ways,” I’ve yet to see, hear or read any assertion of his that the super-delegates should choose him over Billary even if she has won the most pledged delegates going into the convention (and details guy Krugman, alas, provides in his column no link for his assertion that Bernie anti-democratically and hypocritically “wants it both ways” on how the super-delegates should vote).

Krugman’s claim that “claims that Clinton wins in the South should be discounted are really aimed at misleading Sanders supporters, giving them an unrealistic view of the chances that their favorite can still win — and thereby keeping the flow of money and volunteers coming” is bullshit and condescending, as we Berners have known from Day One that preventing Queen Billary’s dynastic coronation would be an uphill battle. Very few among us don’t know that Bernie’s path to the nomination is razor-thin right about now. We have, in fact, done our research.

And Krugman indeed appears to be accusing Bernie Sanders of being an anti-black racist, because he ends his hatchet job with this:

Just to be clear, I’m not saying that Mr. Sanders should drop out. He has the right to keep campaigning [Oh, gee, thanks for the permission there, Paulie Boy!], in the hope either of pulling off huge upsets in the remaining primaries or of having influence at the convention. But trying to keep his campaign going by misleading his supporters is not OK. [It isn’t, but he isn’t.] And sneering at millions of voters is truly beyond the pale, especially for a progressive.

Remember … : We’re all real Americans. And African-Americans are very definitely real Democrats, deserving respect.

Krugman ends his hit piece by claiming, or at least heavily insinuating, that Bernie (and probably also his campaign and his supporters) have claimed that black Americans aren’t “real Democrats” when that isn’t at all the case. Krugman makes a false accusation and then attacks his own false accusation.

I cannot tell a lie: I don’t like the South. Many but probably most in the South don’t like me, a Californian progressive, either.

But when I think of the South and its politics and what’s wrong with its politics, of course I don’t think of black Americans, who historically and traditionally have been (yes, “have been” means that they still are) the victims of the South’s politics, as the problem of the South; for the very most part I think of the backasswards white Americans who hold this nation back, as they have for generations, as the problem of the South.

And when you look at all of Billary’s votes in the South, I’m quite confident that she received far more votes from stupid white people (if they were smart, they wouldn’t support her, unless, again, they’re rich) than she did from black people.

As far as black Americans are concerned, sure, we can call them “real Democrats,” since the term “Democrat” since the 1990s has degenerated to its center-right/Clintonian designation of today, so close to Repugnican that the distinction between Democrat and Repugnican is like the distinction between Coke and Pepsi, but if black Americans support Billary Clinton, we can’t call them both progressive and informed.

But ditto for everyone else in the South who has voted for Billary — again, most of them white people, I’m sure. Neither Bernie Sanders nor we Berners have singled out black Americans in our critique of the South.

Liberal, Billary-lovin’ Paul Krugman did that.

It’s a new low in his obedient, lockstep support of his fellow limousine liberal Billary Clinton, who one minute is telling us how much she loves black Americans and then the next minute unpresidentially is participating in what is to many an offensively racially insensitive skit.**

Perhaps Paul Krugman sees a juicy Cabinet post for himself in being one of Boss Billary’s hit men.

Update (Sunday, April 17, 2016): I stumbled upon an earlier anti-Bernie screed by Krugman, from April 8. Apparently his attempt to portray those of us who are anti-Billary as anti-black began no later than then. He wrote: “Given her large lead in delegates — based largely on the support of African-American voters, who respond to her pragmatism because history tells them to distrust extravagant promises — Mrs. Clinton is the strong favorite for the Democratic nomination.”

Again, I’m quite confident that Billary has won far more votes from whites than from blacks, even in the South. Blacks are an important part of the Democratic coalition, as are feminists, Latinos, non-heterosexuals, Asians, labor-union members, young adults, et. al., et. al., but Krugman, by repeatedly singling blacks out, is, methinks, up to something here.

His theory that black Americans gravitate toward Billary “because history tells them to distrust extravagant promises” is um, rather novel, and reads as though it were written by a Billary campaign operative: “Black Americans like progressives who can get things done!”

Methinks it’s much more the case that as Billary and Bill’s political careers began in Arkansas, and as Billy Boy was deemed the “first” “black” president, Billary simply has inherited that support, probably especially among older black voters. Also, of course, she’s been running for president at least since 2000, and is much better known than is Bernie Sanders (or at least she was so when the primary elections and caucuses began).

And if Krugman is going to write that blacks prefer Billary because “history tells them to distrust extravagant promises,” how about I write that blacks prefer Billary because history tells them to distrust old white men? I mean, as I wrote at the time, the only discernible reason that Black Lives Matter slacktivists hijacked two of Bernie’s campaign appearances last summer is that he’s an older white (albeit Jewish) guy. (I mean, he’s a progressive who’s on their side, so very apparently it primarily was his race that was their problem with him, and secondarily his sex and his age.)

Krugman in his April 8 column also casually brushes aside Billary’s disastrous 2002 vote for the Vietraq War (she said she was sorry!) and in criticizing Bernie’s policy positions as unworkable, writes, “You could argue that policy details are unimportant as long as a politician has the right values and character. As it happens, I don’t agree.”

I disagree with Krugman. Policy positions emerge from values and character, not the other way around, and in any event, all of us must realize that the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate must approve legislation in the first place (and the courts often get involved, too). And it’s the legislators’ job, not the job of presidential candidates, to hammer out all of the details.

It’s the job of leaders to give an overarching vision, and we have seen that in this race:

Billary’s “vision” is to maintain the socioeconomic status quo, with us commoners expecting no more than a crumb here or there; we are naive if we expect more than that bullshit incrementalism, an incrementalism that is so slow and that gives us so little that it never is anything remotely approaching commensurate with what is taken away from us — in large amounts and with great rapidity — by our plutocratic overlords.

Billary’s “vision” and “message,” in a few words, are “Stay the course.” Indeed, as I’ve noted many times, she uses Caretaker in Chief Barack Obama as her political human shield repeatedly.

Bernie’s vision rejects such foot-dragging incrementalism and rejects the status-quo bullshit that President Hopey-Changey has embraced and that Billary Clinton promises to continue. Instead, Bernie envisions a “revolution” in such areas as income inequality and combatting climate change; whether or not actual revolution can materialize is up for debate, but what isn’t very debatable is that if you don’t call for revolutionary acts at all, under your presidency there most likely would be no such acts.

Having been outside of the corporatized, duopolistic Democratic Party — and yes, corporate whore is a very appropriate way to describe way too many self-identified “Democrats” —  is the only way that Bernie Sanders can promise, with any credibility, that as president he actually would stand up for us commoners instead of doing the bidding of the Democratic Party establishment’s corporate sugar daddies.

Being funded by us commoners instead of by the millionaires and billionaires (with the average contribution being $27), as Bernie never tires of proclaiming that he is, is proof of Bernie’s allegiance.

Billary has zero credibility on these matters, which is why Bernie is doing as well as he is — within 1 percent to 3 percent of Billary among Democrats and Democratic leaners nationwide.

The vast majority of those who critique Bernie Sanders and us Berners as naive, foggy-eyed dreamers want Billary Clinton to win the White House because the socioeconomic status quo, which as president she would work tirelessly to preserve, benefits them.

These anti-Berners include limousine liberals like Paul Krugman — those whom the current socioeconomic system benefits greatly but who are concerned that if they don’t say the right things,*** one day the rabble might, just might, come after them and their wealth with torches and pitchforks.

*He said:

… Secretary Clinton cleaned our clock in the Deep South. No question about it. We got murdered there. That is the most conservative part of this great country. That’s the fact.

But you know what? We’re out of the Deep South now. And we’re moving up. We got here [New York]. We’re going to California. …. And having won seven out of the last eight caucuses and primaries, having a level of excitement and energy among working people and low-income people, doing better against Donald Trump and the other Republicans in poll after poll than Secretary Clinton is, yeah, I believe that we’re going to win this nomination, and I believe we’re going to obliterate Donald Trump or whoever the Republican candidate is.

I don’t know that he had to say “Deep South.” Just “South” would have sufficed.All of the South is backasswards — yes, including Florida (and, of course, Texas).

**Yeah, that skit — for the most part I’ll leave it to others to decide whether or not they’re offended, as I generally don’t believe in offense mongering, especially on someone else’s behalf (that’s one of the corollaries of our wonderfully toxic identity politics), but when I first saw video of the skit, actor Leslie Odom Jr.’s claim to be offended by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s use of the term “C.P. time” was so realistic that I didn’t realize, when I first watched the clip of the skit, that it was a pre-planned skit; I’d thought that Odom Jr. genuinely was registering his offense at a spontaneous joke by de Blasio, and when Billary stated that “C.P. time” means “cautious politician time,” I truly had thought that she had just very nimbly tried to rescue de Blasio from his poor-taste gaffe. (That the whole thing was scripted makes sense; the highly scripted, polished and pre-prepared Billary usually doesn’t think on her feet like that, nor has she ever struck me as that clever.)

I think that it would be difficult to call de Blasio a racist, as his wife is black and his two children are biracial, but minimally, we certainly can call him tone-deaf, and ditto for Billary for having participated in that skit, and what the hell was Leslie Odom Jr. thinking?

***The reason that the Democratic Party has embraced toxic identity politics and jettisoned socioeconomic justice is that for the very most part doesn’t hurt anyone’s bank account to, say, be pro-choice or to support same-sex marriage…

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Live-blogging the 9th Dem debate

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Billary Clinton and Bernie Sanders clashed tonight in a debate in Brooklyn, New York, that wasn’t as acrimonious as it could have been, but in which the audience members loudly booed Billary at least a few times and repeatedly chanted, “Bernie! Bernie! Bernie!” (There were no chants for Billary and no boos for Bernie [no loud ones, anyway].) Something that Billary didn’t respond to at all during the debate was Bernie’s quite-correct assertion that he pulls in a lot more independent voters than she does, and that independent voters are critical for winning the White House (as Democratic die-hards can’t win it alone), and that he long has polled significantly better against the Repugnican Tea Party presidential frontrunners than has Billary.

5:40 p.m. (all times Pacific Time): The ninth Democratic Party presidential debate is scheduled to begin in 20 minutes. I’m streaming it via CNN’s website. I expect the sparks to fly between Bernie Sanders and Billary Clinton tonight, and I expect Billary to lie as even she has never lied before.

5:55 p.m.: The debate is to begin in five minutes. My intent is to give my impressions as the debate unfolds, not to be a stenographer, so for complete, thorough coverage of the debate, you’d have to watch it and/or read its transcript after it’s posted online.

I tentatively plan to write only about new lines of discussion, but there may not be very many of those, so this might be repetitive of my past live-bloggings of the previous eight debates.

I’m still very much rooting for Bernie Sanders, but these debates have become a bit tiresome; they’ve been going on for six full months now.

6:00 p.m.: National anthem now. Yawn. Bernie came out first, followed by Billary. They had a cursory, not-very-sincere-looking handshake, and once again I’m wondering who the hell dressed Billary. Is that a raincoat? (In any event, anyone as chummy with gay men as she has claimed to be would be dressed a lot better, it seems to me…)

6:02 p.m.: Bernie reminds us that he started off 70 percentage points behind Billary in the nationwide polls but that a few recent nationwide polls have had him slightly ahead of her, and he reminds us that he won eight of the last nine primary-season contests.

Bernie rehashed his stump speech, but it seemed fresher tonight than it has in a long time. (Admittedly, it could just be that there was more than a month between the last debate and this one…)

6:04 p.m.: Billary reminds us that she represented New York in the U.S. Senate for eight years. She mentions 9/11 but not the Vietraq War that she voted for in October 2002.

She mentions “diversity” — a play to identity politics, because that’s all that she has left — but she doesn’t mention income inequality. (Perhaps because she’s a multi-millionaire…)

6:06 p.m.: Bernie, asked if Billary is qualified to be president, says yes, but says, “I question her judgment.” He mentions her vote for the Vietraq War and the million$ that she has taken from Wall Street.

6:08 p.m.: Oh, snap! Billary says she was elected as senator for New York twice and was selected by President Hopey-Changey to be his secretary of state. Therefore, her judgment must be swell!

She now claims that Bernie can’t explain how he’d achieve his central goal of breaking up the banks. Actually, I wouldn’t say that breaking up the banks is the central pillar of Bernie’s campaign. It’s only a part of it, one of many parts of it.

6:10 p.m.: Bernie is pretty red in the face while Billary has this self-satisfied, shit-eating grin on her face. She now says that an attack on her is an attack on Obama. She just got booed by the audience for that, appropriately.

Billary has tried to use Obama as a human political shield her entire campaign. It is demonstrative of her character.

6:12 p.m.: Repetitive stuff about breaking up the banks. (Again, this is the ninth debate that I’ve live-blogged…)

6:15 p.m.: Billary’s tactic clearly is to have this shit-eating grin, like she’s just so above it all. I don’t think that this tactic is going to work for her. (It worked for Joe Biden when he debated Paul Ryan, but this isn’t the Biden-Ryan debate.)

The audience tonight is dynamic, reflecting, I think, how the Bernie-Billary fight is coming to a climax.

6:17 p.m.: More repetitive shit, with Billary still trying to argue that although Goldman Sachs — which just paid billions in penalties — gave her shitloads of money for speeches, it has not affected her decision-making at all.

6:19 p.m.: To thunderous applause, Billary is asked why she won’t release those speech transcripts. She isn’t answering the question, but instead is trying to deflect.

6:21 p.m.: The moderator won’t let the question go, and the audience goes wild. Billary deflects again, saying that she has released 30 years of tax returns, but that Bernie hasn’t.

The moderator for a third time asks about those transcripts. Billary again says she’ll release her transcripts when everyone else (on the Repugnican Tea Party side) does and again says that she has released more tax returns than has Bernie. Apples to oranges, but that’s her game.

6:23 p.m.: Bernie promises to release more tax returns soon. He says they promise to be “boring,” as he is “one of the poorer members of the United States Senate.” (This is true. Google it.)

6:24 p.m.: Wolf Blitzer, who should work for Faux “News,” asks how Bernie, with his confrontational style toward corporations, as U.S. president effectively could promote U.S. business. (This is, you see, a U.S. president’s No. 1 job — to make the filthy rich even richer!)

Bernie is talking about how unethical, harmful corporate practices and corporate abuses must be curbed. Bernie indicates that corporations must treat their workers and the environment with respect. And that not all corporations are bad actors.

6:27 p.m.: Bernie speaks of the need to raise the federal minimum wage to at least $15 an hour.

6:28 p.m.: Billary has laughed at Bernie at least two or three times. Again, while it worked for Joe Biden against Paul Ryan, it just makes her look arrogant and condescending — especially when most of her answers to these debate questions range from vague to evasive.

6:29 p.m.: Oh, shit. Wolfie reminds us that Billary publicly stood with Andrew Cuomo for New York’s new $15/hour minimum wage but that throughout her campaign, until only very recently, she has supported only a $12/hour federal minimum wage.

Billary now supports the $15/hour minimum wage. Seriously. She is acting like she’s always supported $15/hour. This is a fucking lie.

Wow. Bernie just said that “once again, history has outpaced Senator Clinton.” Absolutely. The audience is going wild.

The members of this audience have done their research and have been paying attention, so Billary’s sudden, magical time-space leap to always having supported a $15/hour federal minimum wage doesn’t fly with them.

6:34 p.m.: Bernie laughs at Billary, as she has been laughing at him, and she says, with her false concern that she displays so often and so readily, “This is not a laughing matter.” (The topic is guns.)

I don’t believe for a nanosecond that multi-millionaire Billary truly cares about any of us commoners, and of course she is well-protected from gun violence herself, but it’s an easy issue on which to jump on board, because who is for gun violence?

6:37 p.m.: Bernie says that the National Rifle Association gives him a “D-” rating on guns. Indeed. This is a non-issue, a red herring that a desperate, pro-plutocratic Billary & Co. created from thin air.

6:40 p.m.: Again the “issue” of whether gun manufacturers should be liable for the misuse of their products. This is another non-issue. If guns are that bad, then they should be made illegal altogether. You can’t blame the manufacturer of a legal product for its misuse. This is mushy-headed liberal insanity.

(I define “liberal” and “progressive” very differently, by the way, but that’s another blog post. In a nutshell, though, Billary is a liberal — she’s a multi-millionaire who pushes social issues and identity politics that, just coinky-dinkily convenient for her and her millionaire and billionaire buddies, for the most part don’t alter or significantly threaten or jeopardize the socioeconomic status quo — and Bernie is a progressive — he wants to change the socioeconomic status quo quite radically.)

Again, the whole gun “issue” is a distraction from Billary’s flaws and shortcomings, and a rather fucktarded one.

6:43 p.m.: Billary is asked if her hubby’s 1994 crime bill was a mistake. She states that portions of the bill improved things but that other portions created new problems. She reminds us that Bernie voted for the crime bill and also has said that portions of it proved to be good and others bad.

Billary says she wants “white people” to recognize systemic racism. I agree with that, but all people are capable of racism, not just white people — let’s please not single out and demonize only white people for the wrong of racism — and again, I am incredibly leery of the Clinton brand of identity politics, which has us commoners doing nothing about our common socioeconomic plight while we fight each other, stirred up by craven politicians who maximize identity politics for their own personal gain.

6:49 p.m.: Bernie is asked how as president he would reduce the number of prisoners within the U.S. when most of the prisoners are state prisoners, not federal prisoners.

Um, federal law trumps state law. Federal laws, including civil rights laws, can tackle the problem of over-incarceration. The red states can whine, but they have to fall in line. We can bring them to heel — again.

6:51 p.m.: On break now. Billary has been booed by this lively audience several times. This audience seems to be more pro-Bernie than pro-Billary. Especially when she tries her typical evasive and deflective bullshit and her lying, the audience boos.

6:55 p.m.: The topic now is energy.

Billary claims that both she and Bernie have taken money from the fossil fuels industry. Bernie says more than 40 lobbyists for the industry maxed out their contributions to Billary.

Both Billary and Bernie apparently agree that climate change is a problem.

Billary says she worked on bringing nations together on battling climate change as secretary of state. She says Bernie wasn’t appreciative enough of the Paris agreement.

Bernie says that we have to go beyond paper agreements and actually work to combat climate change, including banning fracking. Billary supports fracking.

Billary is at length equating Bernie’s criticism of the Paris agreement as not being enough to an attack on Obama — something that she wouldn’t need to do (piggypack on Obama’s popularity) if she weren’t so widely despised herself.

7:02 p.m.: Billary now seems to be backtracking on her historical support for fracking, which she now indicates she always only has envisioned as being temporary. (Riiight!) This is still yet another issue on which history has outpaced her.

7:03 p.m.: Bernie corrects the record, stating how Billary has supported fracking around the world, and he criticizes her incrementalism. Climate change is too serious for incrementalism, he proclaims, adding that we needed to address climate change “yesterday.”

7:05 p.m.: We are on “a suicide course” with climate change, Bernie says. Yup.

Bernie says we have to phase in new sources of sustainable energy and phase out old, unsustainable sources of energy while Billary still has that condescending, smug, shit-eating grin on her face that makes her more unlikeable, not more likeable. Really, she has no one but herself to blame for her upside-down favorability numbers.

7:08 p.m.: Wolfie reminds Billary that Obama says his biggest mistake as president was bungling Libya.*

Billary blathered about Libya. I didn’t listen much, to be honest. Bernie now talks about how “regime change often has unintended consequences,” and he has mentioned Iraq and made a bit of a comparison between U.S. meddling in both nations.

Billary says Bernie in the Senate voted for the Libya intervention. This is all rehashed from the previous debates.

Bernie says that just repeating something doesn’t make it true. Bernie says that he never voted in support of “regime change” in Libya. He says he voted only for “democracy in Libya.”

7:14 p.m.: Bernie points out how much Billary has been relying on Obama as her human shield (I paraphrase) and says that Billary as secretary of state wanted a no-fly zone in Syria that Obama didn’t and still doesn’t want.

7:16 p.m.: The stupid moderator points out to Bernie that both Donald Trump and he state that the United States has to pull too much of the weight within NATO. This is supposed to be a gotcha! question, but so the fuck what?

Although I’d never vote for Der Fuehrer Trump, in the mishmash of his political “offerings” he does present some libertarian leanings, and I do agree with some of the libertarian views, such as an anti-war and anti-war-profiteering sentiment and a fierce respect for and defense of privacy rights. (I disagree with them on pretty much everything else.)

And even a broken clock is right twice a day, so there can be one or two or maybe even three whole things that Trump is actually accidentally right about.

7:21 p.m.: Israel now. Oh, God. Bernie says he is “100 percent pro-Israel,” but “we have to treat the Palestinian people with respect and dignity.” Bernie (who is Jewish) says his views on the Palestinians don’t make him “anti-Israel.”

Billary takes her predictable pro-Israel, anti-Palestinian stance. After all, it’s AIPAC that gives her the big campaign contributions, not the impoverished Palestinians. Her “right-to-defend-yourself” rhetoric makes her sound like a puppet of wingnutty war criminal Benjamin Netanyahu. (Because she is. His hand is entirely up her ass, moving her mouth and her arms.)

Cool. Bernie says that Billary’s fairly recent speech to AIPAC made no substantive mention of the rights and welfare of the Palestinian people. Of course not! She gave AIPAC the speech that AIPAC paid for!

“You gave a major speech to AIPAC … and you barely mentioned the Palestinians,” Bernie reiterates after Billary tells us how badly poor Bibi Netanyahu has had it, with those “terrorists” in Israel’s midst.

(Israelis have slaughtered far more Palestinians than vice-versa, but since Israel uses shiny, high-tech, U.S. weapons, that’s not terrorism. Only poor people who don’t have access to such high-tech killing methods can be terrorists, you see. We Americans and Israelis are civilized killers — not terrorists!)

Wow. Bibi Netanyahu, Henry Kissinger, Madeleine Albright — Billary Clinton sure loves a war criminal!

7:34 p.m.: Bernie tiresomely is asked how the nation would pay for his initiatives to improve the socioeconomic status quo, such as health care and higher education.

Bernie says he is “determined” to transfer the money that has gone to the 1 percent back to the working class and middle class.

Billary says we’re at “90 percent” coverage for health care, but we still have for-profit health care, replete with shitty health care plans that bankrupt people with the out-of-pocket-costs anyway.

Bernie reminds us that other major nations guarantee health care for their people at a much lower cost than in the U.S., and that they don’t make their college students slaves to student-loan debt. “Please don’t tell me that we can’t do what many other nations around the world are doing,” he says. Yup.

This is mostly rehashed, but it’s important. There indeed is no good reason, outside of incredible greed and politicians who treasonously sell us commoners out to moneyed interests, that the U.S. doesn’t provide health care and education for all of its people.

7:43 p.m.: Talk of Social Security now. (It’s a complicated topic. Read the transcript of the debate when it’s up.) Billary says that she and Bernie are “in vigorous agreement,” but Bernie indicates that Billary has changed her position on Social Security, as she has on so many other issues. The audience is chanting, “Bernie! Bernie! Bernie!”

Billary, under fire, now claims that Bernie isn’t a real Democrat. Wow. But this is how she operates when she is backed into a corner.

7:46 p.m: Bernie and Billary are “in vigorous agreement” on the issue of the U.S. Supreme Court, except that Bernie says he’d pick a nominee who would overturn Citizens United, and apparently that wouldn’t be President Hopey-Changey’s current moderate nominee.

Billary says her Supreme Court nominee would have to overturn Citizens United and uphold Roe vs. Wade, and she goes off onto the topic of abortion and reproductive rights.

Abortion/reproductive rights are important — I always have been and always will be pro-choice, and I believe that birth control, including entirely voluntary sterilization, should be provided to all people free of charge — but abortion and reproductive rights so easily can be used as a hot-button distraction from other issues.

Bernie says his pro-choice voting record is 100 percent, and he adds that he supports the LGBT community, and adds that Vermont led the way on same-sex marriage.

7:50 p.m.: We’re done pandering to identity groups now, thank Goddess. (I’m gay, but I sense when I’m being pandered to, and I hate it.)

Bernie is asked whether or not he’s a real Democrat. He says that he is, and reminds us that he does better among the independents than Billary does, and that the White House only can be won with independents, and can’t be won with Democratic die-hards alone — this is absolutely true, as I’ve written lately — and Bernie reminds us that in match-up polls against the Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidates he does better than Billary does.

Bernie says the “future of the Democratic Party that I want to see” doesn’t rely on big corporate cash.

Billary reminds us that thus far she has received more votes than has Bernie or Donald Trump. She claims she leads a broad coalition. Hmmm. Not really. Not when she doesn’t have the youth vote or the independent vote.

Bernie, who says he’s going to win the nomination, says “Secretary Clinton cleaned our clock in the Deep South.” But, he says, “we’re out of the Deep South now.”

He said he will “obliterate” Trump or whoever the Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate is.

Billary resists the charge that she’s a darling of the Deep South, but that is indeed her power base. I mean, here is the map of where the 2016 Democratic Party presidential primary race stands right now:

File:Democratic Party presidential primaries results, 2016.svg

Wikipedia graphic

Yes, Billary (whose victories are in golden-yellow [Bernie’s are in green]) has won a few states outside of the South (as I’ve noted, I consider Arizona to be part of the South more than part of the West), but without her wins in the South, she wouldn’t be the putative frontrunner right now. (Duh.)

Billary says she will win and “unify” the party. She has indicated that her delegate lead is insurmountable.

7:59 p.m.: On break now.

Billary can brag about her delegate lead — she leads by 214 in pledged/democratically earned delegates (1,309 to Bernie’s 1,095), and the “super-delegates” can’t vote until the party convention in late July — until she’s blue in the face, but the fact of the matter is that while John Kerry sewed up the nomination in March 2004, Billary is so widely disliked that the race is stretching out, just as it did in 2008, when she finally conceded to Obama in June.

She might win this thing, but she will remain a weak candidate. Nothing substantial has changed since the party’s voters soundly rejected her in 2008.

8:04 p.m.: Closing statements.

Bernie first. He reminds us that his father was a Polish immigrant to Brooklyn.

Millions of Americans can create a government that works for all of us, not just the 1 percent, he proclaims.

Chants of “Bernie! Bernie! Bernie!” as Billary tries to begin her closing statement.

Billary reminds us that New Yorkers elected her to the U.S. Senate twice and that they experienced 9/11 together. (Geez, the Repugnican Tea Party traitors used 9/11 endlessly for political gain.)

She does not mention her support of the Vietraq War, the most important vote that she had in the U.S. Senate — and that she fucked up royally.

Billary again plays up the “barriers” to different groups, another shout-out for identity politics. She explicitly says that it’s not just income inequality that we have to tackle.

That’s true, but her corporate sugar daddies really, really want her to focus on identity politics rather than on income inequality; they want us commoners too busy fighting each other over race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc. rather than coming after them for our fair sliver of the pie.

That is the central issue (well, only climate change is a larger issue), which Bernie Sanders identified a long, long time ago.

In closing, tonight’s debate probably helped Bernie more than Billary. There clearly was more love for Bernie than for Billary among the audience members. I don’t recall that Bernie was booed once, whereas Billary was booed at least a few times, or that Billary’s name was chanted once, whereas Bernie’s was at least a few times.

I mean, the overall audiovisual was of one candidate clearly more popular than the other, at least among that audience. How can that be good for Billary?

And Billary’s smiling/smirking and laughing — that was off-putting and probably worked against her rather than for her, as it only could have contributed to her net unlikeability and net unfavorability. Who the fuck advised her to do that?

Probably the same idiot who dressed her…

*A retrospective President Hopey-Changey recently cited his administration’s bungling of a post-Muammar Gaddafi Libya as his No. 1 failure as president, but I quite disagree.

His No. 1 failure as president, hands down, was his failure to use the shitloads of political capital that he had in 2009 and in 201o to push through a progressive agenda, when his party controlled both houses of Congress.

It was a colossal dereliction of duty as well as an unpardonable violation of his campaign promises (thus, I could not in good conscience and therefore did not vote for him again in 2012).

It also led to the rise of the “tea party” in 2009 and 2010 and lost the Democrats control of the House of Representatives for the last six of Obama’s eight years in office — guaranteeing gridlock for the last three-fourths of his presidency.

It was incredible political malpractice, something that a right-winger never would have done. (I mean, George W. Bush exploited political capital that he didn’t even have, whereas Obama refused to spend a fucking penny of the immense amount of political capital that he did have.)

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