Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Yes, the System Was Rigged, in Bernie's Favor

Markos Moulitsas -- Kos of Daily Kos -- takes us to school on how Sanders was helped, not hindered by the primary system. Who knew? (Not his legions of followers...)

The system was rigged all right, but in Sanders' favor. Is Sanders the last to know?

Kos's explanation won me over:
Bernie Sanders’ closing argument was predicated on “finishing strong,” which would then give him “momentum” and thus convince superdelegates to overturn the will of the Democratic electorate with a coup of their own. It was never a good argument, but at least it gave him a rationale to stay in the race, bolstered by arguments about a supposed rigged system and a hostile establishment arrayed against him.
Of course, the system was rigged, but in his favor. He benefited with Iowa and New Hampshire, two white states with zero resemblance to the party electorate, then leveraged low-turnout undemocratic caucuses and our proportional allocation of delegates to win far more than his popular vote merited.  While they’re still counting votes in California, as of right now, Sanders has gotten 45.3 percent of the delegates, while notching only 43.3 percent of the popular vote.
Hillary Clinton has won in every category imaginable except caucuses (she’s even won more open contests, even though they should all be closed). And the two caucus states that ​had subsequent higher-turnout primaries, the win flipped from Sanders to Clinton (though it had zero effect on the delegate allocation). Her popular vote lead is now at 3.7 million (including caucuses!), and will be closer to 4 million when California is finished counting and DC has its say (not including non-binding primaries in Washington and Nebraska, which would boost her margin further).  
And she did all that despite being heavily outspent by Sanders. His problem wasn’t that he didn’t have the resources to get his message out. His problem wasn’t that he ran out of time, or that the more people saw of him, the more they liked him. Last night proved that theory wrong. The problem was that in a Democratic primary, Democratic voters went with the person they knew and trusted, who had spent the last three decades helping build the party and getting Democrats elected. And that was doubly so with people of color.
Kos goes on to say he wants the superdelegate system gone. But he maintains the superdelegates went for the person that had supported them for thirty years. The Clintons have been very successful moneyraisers and have spread the wealth around like good party members do. So the superdelegates want to dance with the people that brung 'em, as the saying goes.

One more very telling point: Barack Obama was essentially an insurgent candidate like Sanders. The only difference is Obama by-passed the superdelegates, winning the pledged delegates by winning the party voters. No sniveling, just hard work.

Bernie didn't, maybe couldn't, do that. He lost, Hillary won. It's time to move on. Speaking of moving on,, a big supporter of Sanders, has nudged him in the direction of moving on, too. Take the hint, Bernie.

Now it's Joe Biden. I guess Barack Obama's turn comes tomorrow.

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