California’s official, final election results from yesterday’s presidential primary won’t be released until next month, after every last valid ballot is counted, but as of right now the vote count stands at Billary Clinton with 55.8 percent and Bernie Sanders with 43.2 percent, a difference of 12.6 percent.
Ouch. (The final polls of voters in the state had had them statistically tied.* My fairly confident prediction that Bernie would take California, even perhaps barely so, was quite off.)
I expect the final California results to be that Billary beat Bernie by at least the high single digits (but I expect her to retain her low-double-digit lead).
By having won the Democratic powerhouses of California and New York by double digits (again, I’m assuming that she’ll retain her double-digit lead in California as the vote count continues), in addition to her now having a lead in pledged delegates (delegates won in the primary elections and caucuses) that approaches 400, and in addition to the map of the final primary-race results looking like this (with Bernie’s wins in green and Billary’s in yellow) –
– Billary, unfortunately, has an argument that the super-delegates won’t ignore.
Don’t get me wrong; there is a good case for the super-delegates to pick Bernie over Billary since he continues to poll significantly better among the American electorate against Donald Trump than does Billary – and presumably, the point of the party convention in July is to pick the stronger of the two candidates to face Trump in November – but I don’t expect the super-delegates to do the smart thing. I fully expect them to do the lemming-like thing, and that would be to make Billary Clinton the nominee, as weak as a candidate as she is and as likely as Trump is to beat her in November.
As president, should she make it that far, Billary would start off weak and it probably wouldn’t get better. She would face strong Repugnican Tea Party opposition, probably much more than President Hopey-Changey ever has, and given that Bernie has won 45.1 percent of the pledged/more-or-less-democratically-earned delegates and Billary has won only 54.9 percent of them in her second time around, she would go into the White House with the support of only about 55 percent of the members of her own party. It’s a majority, but not a strong one.
I mean, think about it: Billary has been around for decades — was first lady, then a (carpet-bagging) U.S. senator (running on her political brand [sur]name), then a presidential candidate, then U.S. secretary of state, and then a presidential candidate again — yet Bernie Sanders, who has been known nationally for only about a year now, has garnered around 45 percent of the Democratic presidential primary vote. If Billary were so beloved within her own party, she’d have done a lot better than she has. Instead, she would/will go into the presidency with perhaps historically low support not only from the opposing party but from her own party as well.
Could she turn that around? Our history with the Clintons indicates not. (Indeed, just before Billary magically became the presumptuous presidential nominee on Monday, Bill Clinton’s fuck-up of a brother Roger was charged with DUI here in California. The 1990s would come rushing back were Billary to make it to the White House, and that would be going quite backwards, not forward.)
My quick post-mortem conclusion is that Bernie’s campaign’s death came through a thousand cuts, including:
- Debbie Wasserman Schultz, head of the Democratic National Committee, did everything in her power to help her preferred candidate, Billary, such as by limiting the number of debates (and Billary reneged on the 10th and final debate that she had agreed to, which certainly gives credence to the widespread belief that Billary, Wasserman Schultz & Co. wanted to limit the debates).
- Other, innumerable Dem Party hacks throughout the nation also did what they could to benefit Billary in order to ensure the security of their positions of power (even if rather petty) within the party establishment.
- The vast majority of the members of the Dem Party establishment have been just too damned cowardly to break ranks and publicly support Bernie (only one U.S. senator, in fact, endorsed Bernie, despite Bernie’s having earned 45 percent of the pledged delegates). And don’t tell me that the main reason that Elizabeth Warren didn’t run isn’t that she didn’t want to step on Queen Billary’s royal cape.
- The corporately owned and controlled “news” media have given preferential coverage and treatment to the corporately owned and controlled Billary. (Even the once-respectable Associated Press got on board the premature bandwagon, announcing on Monday, before millions of Californians and others voted yesterday, that Billary had sewn up the nomination when she can’t even do that until the party convention in July. We’ll most likely never know how this irresponsible act of “journalism” affected the vote in California and elsewhere yesterday.)
- Bernie has paid the price for having been an independent, democratic socialist during his time in Congress. It’s brave to be a lone wolf like that, but the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party are comprised of packs of wolves, packs because they are too cowardly and too weak and stupid to be independent, but must rely on a pack of fellow stupid, weak cowards.
- And, last but certainly not least, Bernie paid the price of being an older white man in a toxic political environment of mindless, knee-jerk identity politics in which his ideas were largely ignored and he was rejected by many voters primarily because he is an older white man and is not a woman or a non-white or more youthful, and his being ethnically Jewish hasn’t been nearly enough to put him outside of the old-white-man box. (Indeed, the recent rhetoric about how great it is that Billary is the first female presumptuous presidential candidate of either of the two major parties for the very most part ignores her center-right/DINO, weather-vane politics and focuses entirely on her biological sex.)
It remains the case that I won’t vote for Billary in November. She’ll win my state (California) and all of its electoral votes in the winner-takes-all Electoral College in November anyway, so no, I won’t be helping to elect Donald Trump by not joining the Lemmings for Billary. (In a deep blue or deep red state, your vote for president pretty much doesn’t even count. Only if we elected the president strictly on the popular vote would every voter’s vote truly count.)
I refuse to join the lemmings who ignore Billary’s many shortcomings and focus only on her genitalia and on how worse Donald Trump is. Yes, Donald Trump is worse than is Billary Clinton. I wouldn’t say that they’re the same, because they’re not. But they’re certainly not different enough.
So, since in good conscience I can’t support Billary, including the fact that I refuse to fall for the Democrats’ trap of voting for a self-serving, center-right, sellout candidate out of fear that the other candidate is even worse, the 2016 presidential election essentially is over for me.
What should Bernie do in the meantime? Given that he lost California yesterday by a sizeable margin, his argument that the super-delegates should choose him is seriously weakened, and he doesn’t go into the July convention with a lot of political capital. The polls showing him doing much better against Trump than Billary does won’t be enough.
I don’t mind if Bernie drops out right after the District of Columbia votes on Tuesday, the very last contest of the primary season, but I’m also OK if he doesn’t concede before the convention in July.
I hope that Bernie doesn’t push the envelope too far at the convention – if he takes it to the convention I hope that he pushes progressivism but that he doesn’t try to wring votes out of the super-delegates when/if it’s crystal clear that that would be like getting blood from a stone – but in the United States of Amnesia, it’s not like the 2016 Democratic Party national convention will/would be remembered for all that long anyway.
At this point, though, I doubt Bernie’s ability to have much, if any, lasting influence at the convention. That is, I can see Billary & Co. paying lip service to progressivism at the convention (such as via the party platform that will be forgotten even before the ink is dry) if they deem it politically necessary to do so, but all of us know that should Billary win the White House, it will be she and her husband calling all of the shots.
That’s why no, I wouldn’t be impressed if Billary chose Elizabeth Warren or (less likely) Bernie as her running mate: the progressive voice still would get smothered in a Clinton 2.0 administration, just as it was in the Clinton 1.0 administration and in the Hopey-Changey administration.
As I’ve noted (at least implicitly), perhaps the most effective thing that Bernie could do to advance the progressive agenda now would be to pack it in – and by so doing give the overconfident, presumptuous, condescending, un-self-aware Billary Clinton and crew enough rope with which to hang themselves.
Let Billary & Co. ignore the fact that Billary has the support only of only a bit more than half of the party’s voters. Let them overplay their hand.
The chickens will come home to roost soon enough.
*I’m not crying conspiracy and/or widespread fraud, though. Billary had polled in the double digits ahead of Bernie just before Michigan voted, but Bernie ended up winning Michigan by 1.4 percent.
It has been this kind of election cycle.