Sunday, December 20, 2015

Bernie's Problem in a Nutshell

A lot of Bernie supporters wave the bloody shirt of Obama in 2008. They want to believe that this race is going to follow the same trajectory that one did.

Yes, they concede, Hillary has a big lead now, but she had a big lead in 2008. This ignores one crucial thing: Bernie is not Barrack Obama, not even close. For one thing, let's just acknowledge the elephant in the room and i don't mean the GOP's Trump problem!

Bernie Sanders is not a young,black rising star in the Democratic party like Obama was in 2007. You don't think that makes a difference?

Bernie is an old, white, pretty cranky 'democratic socialist' from Vermont. Unlike, Obama, I wouldn't exactly call his message 'hopeful' but rather, apocalyptic. It's not that I don't agree with him on income inequality but he's just such an angry prophet about it. He seems to take it so seriously he feels that even a moment's levity is kind of shameful. Obama wasn't an angry prophet on a jeremiad.

But the real key is not just race-though in that historical election, once African-Americans saw Obama could win they flocked to him in droves, It was game over.

 Bernie's real trouble is more fundamental than that. His problem is that he's not a Democrat. Like Michael Tomasky noted yesterday:

"The Sanders movement really has seething contempt for the Democratic Party, and the feeling’s pretty mutual. Which stands to reason—Bernie Sanders isn’t a Democrat! So why’d he run as one in the first place? I don’t completely know. I do know that when Sanders was holding his very first meetings with a close circle of folks and deciding whether to run, the question of whether he should run as an independent or Democrat came up, and Sanders instantly said as a Democrat. He probably felt he and his issues would get more coverage this way, and he probably didn’t want to risk going down in history the way Ralph Nader has, peeling off 6 or 8 percent and helping to give the country President Cruz."

That is the most fundamental problem, full stop. For years he ran against the Democratic party in Vermont as 'Tweeldedee' to the GOP's ''Tweedledum.' Now he's a Democrat?

For years he thought there were no discernible differences between the two parties-this is how he ran back in the 80s. Last night he saw huge differences. 

But the Bernie Maniacs that have been proselytizing for Bernie on Twitter scornfully say they don't care about partisanship, just issues. This is very mistaken view. Party matters a lot. It's the whole key of whether or not you can actually get anything done once in office. 

Actually the same reason I would oppose a President Sanders is why I would prefer a President Trump to a President Jeb or President Rubio. Trump is not a Republican-anymore than Bernie is a Democrat. 

Speaking of the GOP, consider some comments by Tom Brown, he of most favored reader status! LOL. It seems to me that Tom wants me to admit that I'm exaggerating, that there are worst things in the world than a President Jeb or President Rubio. In 2017, I don't agree. 

But let's look at what he said:

"Mike, would you rather have Putin in the white house or Jeb?"

But I didn't bite-I didn't agree that Jeb would be better. Rather I argued that this is not an apples to apples comparison to start with:

"I get you're really keen to get me to say I prefer Jeb over someone, that he's not the worst imaginable choice. Sorry, no can do! LOL."

"In comparing Putin you have to compare apples and oranges. I certainly would rather live in the American system than the current Russian system, I agree. "

"Our American system of government wouldn't allow Putin to be Putin."

"I maintain that for the American context the worst possible government is a regular generic Republican."

I meant, of course, you have to compare apples to apples. If you don't think a Republican government is the worse, just ask the people of Detroit about Rick Snyder.

He then asked me this, seeing as I've been pretty praiseworthy of Speaker Paul Ryan lately what I'd say about him being nominated at a brokered convention:

"OK, assume Ryan is put forward at a brokered convention, and ends up the nominee. How would you feel about that?"

Well, more important than how I felt would be how the base felt!

"I don't think they would dare put Ryan forward the way the base feels about him right now. LOL."

"But just because I think he's been a big improvement as Speaker doesn't mean I'd want him President."

"He's being a realist and realizing that he doesn't have the votes to do what he and other Republicans want."

"Now if he were in the White House with a GOP Congress in both Houses there'd be no natural limit on what the GOP could do."

"Remember Ryan is the architect of the plan to block grant Medicare to the states."

"At least Trump doesn't want to do that."

"A President Ryan would also be the end of Obamacare-it's less clear that President Trump would do that."
"President Ryan would cement the SJC in an even more conservative direction than it is now for the next 30 years-it's been conservative for the last 30 years."

So two things:

"1. The GOP couldn't get away with nominating him as this would surely lead to either a third party or huge block staying home. "

"2. I voted against Ryan with Romney in 2012 and this wouldn't be a hard choice this time either."

Look at it this way. I don't believe in candidate centered politics for the most part. To me what matters is the party."

Ideally, it's be better if we had a Parliamentary system like the UK where we would vote for the party rather than a specific candidate.

So my worst case scenario is the Republican party, full stop. Because at the end of the day they all want to gut a woman's right to choose, crackdown on immigration, cut taxes drastically on the rich and in effect raise them on the poor-even if in the form of cutting social spending.

"They all want to gut ACA and privatize Medicare. They all believe as Jeb does that Medicare is a Ponzi scheme."

"This in a nutshell is why I say I prefer Trump. He's not a Republican. On the Democrat side it's why I don't like Bernie-he's not a Democrat."

Again, it takes a party. I do wish we voted for party rather than candidate. The Bernie maniacs feel that parties don't matter only issues do. But there is no system I can imagine where that would really be the case.

To make issues really matter you'd have to have a single issue election for every issue imaginable-hardly a workable system.

Ironically, though, if we voted for parties, you could argue that this would give you a better chance to vote with issues in mind than on the diversion of specific candidates and their specific qualities.

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