Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Jim Newell: Drop Out Bernie

In an earlier piece today I argued that it's time for Bernie to stop being a crabby Bernie and acknowledge history and the will of the Democratic voters.

Matt Yglesias argued last week that after the voting is done Bernie has to drop out-because he will get zero support for staying in. The Jeff Merkels and Keith Ellisons of the world will tell him it's been a great race but the votes have spoken.

Yglesias-I see he has updated his post:

"There's a reason he's saying that. Clinton, after all, will have won a majority of pledged delegates but not an absolute majority of overall delegates. That means, in theory, if Sanders can persuade a huge number of superdelegates to back him, he could become the nominee."

"She has received obviously a whole lot of superdelegate support, no question about that," Sanders told reporters outside an event in Oakland over the weekend. "A lot more than I have. But superdelegates don’t vote until they’re on the floor of the Democratic convention. That’s when they vote."

"And this is exactly what I would say if I were Sanders. He'd clearly like people in California and elsewhere to vote for him, and as long as you're in the race you need to maintain that you're in it to win it."

"But Ted Cruz swore he was going to fight all the way to the convention until the moment he announced he was dropping out. That's just how the game is played. It doesn't mean Sanders is really going to do it.

"On the contrary, once the dust settles he's going to realize that fighting on is only going to cost him support and influence going forward and he'll rapidly move to endorse Clinton."

He goes on to explain how Bernie's basic plan makes no sense. As Yglesias said, he's been running against the SDs but now will have to ask them to override the will of the voters and the pledged delegates.

Unlike Obama in 2008, Dukakis in 1988 or Mondale in 1984, she will have not just a plurality but a majority of pledged delegates after tonight.

"Clinton will gain endorsements after California."

"While Sanders's hypothetical campaign would be premised on the idea of winning superdelegates over to his side, the reality is that after California and New Jersey vote, the opposite is going to happen."

"Right now there are still 128 superdelegates who haven't endorsed anyone yet. That's everyone from Barack Obama, Al Gore, and Jimmy Carter to over 100 members of the Democratic National Committee whom nobody has heard of. None of these people are going to respond to the end of voting by coming off the fence in favor of Sanders, and some of them will respond to the end of voting by coming off the fence in favor of Clinton."

"Elizabeth Warren will say she likes both candidates and Sanders ran an inspiring grassroots campaign, but Clinton won fair and square and now it's time to come together to ensure Wall Street isn't left off the leash by Donald Trump."

"Al Gore will say the same, but he'll emphasize climate change. Carter will say the same, but he'll emphasize global humanitarian issues."

"At the same time, the small number of Sanders supporters who are also elected officials — most important among them Reps. Keith Ellison and Raúl Grijalva and Sen. Jeff Merkley — will abandon him on the same grounds. Indeed, Mekley is already signaling this."

Sanders-backer Sen. Jeff Merkley: that "Unity is going to begin today as soon as the polls close.

" …

Meanwhile, Jim Newell who has argued that Bernie has eery right to go till the end-which he does-says now that he doesn't have the right to go beyond that.

"Pundits, pols, and Democratic voters have spent the past couple of months debating when Sen. Bernie Sanders should drop out, or arguing that he should have already. But Sanders didn’t just have a right to stay in the Democratic primary race until the end of the schedule. He had an obligation to. He owed it those millions of voters and the millions of donors who contributed more than $200 million to his bid to compete until he was mathematically eliminated."

"Though the Associated Press’s tally showed Clinton hitting the overall number of delegates needed to clinch the nomination Monday night following a mini-burst of superdelegates, Sanders still had an argument for continuing, so long as she hadn’t reached a majority of pledged delegates. After Tuesday night’s primaries, however, that excuse will run out, and his arguments for holding out will be depleted."

"He doesn’t have to drop out right away. He can wait until after Washington D.C. votes on June 14. He can rest for a couple of days back home in Vermont. But then it will be time to face the reality set Tuesday. At some point this evening, Sanders will be mathematically eliminated according to the metric that all small-d democrats believe should determine a nominee: among pledged delegates, of which Hillary Clinton will clinch a majority regardless of whether she narrowly wins or narrowly loses California and everywhere else (Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, and South Dakota to be exact)."

"If the Sanders campaign—which is reportedly torn between camps—chooses to follow an aggressive path after he loses the pledged-delegate race and continues fighting into the convention to sway superdelegates to his side, he won’t just come off as a heel. He will fail, spectacularly, endangering both his legacy and Clinton’s chances in November."

If there is one thing I believe about Bernie is he doesn't want to be the next Ralph Nader. No one has talked to him since 2000-including Bernie, who never takes his phone calls anymore.

Drop out, Bernie.


  1. The problem with Bernie Sanders supporters is that they have no clue about how Sanders' policy proposals would be enacted. While the President will appoint the next Supreme Court Justice, the President could do very little except rant about enacting the legislation that Sanders' policy proposals require. I agree that ranting is Sanders forte. But even as a Senator, he accomplished very little because he is an ideologue averse to compromise. Instead of leading the fray, he became an outsider and declared himself an Independent who only caucused with the Dems. The only way to achieve the many laudable goals Sanders' has set forth is to turn Congress very blue - 60 Senate seats or more and a sizeable majority in the House, well over half, since not every Democrat will back every liberal policy. How is it the case that we have not heard any opposition party attacks on Sanders? Because they are hoping that he will either win the nomination or weaken Hillary's chances. If he were to win, then the attacks on his socialism, atheism, and age will begin. He is a far weaker candidate than Hillary and far less qualified in the one area that a President does have a major say, foreign policy. If he is the sainted idealist his supporters would have us believe, he will unite behind Hillary after the primary on June 7th, in which she won commanding victories in CA and NJ, and begin the long hard work of electing a true blue Congress with a strong Democratic Party majority in both the Senate and the House.

    1. Agreed. I think Hillary has a much better chance of actually getting things done than Bernie ever would.

      With her big wins in CA and NJ, he has no more options.

      He has to concede and will do so I believe in the coming days.

  2. Sanders is a loner and does not fear pariah status. But he should consider his legacy if he stays in and is later blamed for a Trump victory in November.

  3. The one thing I'm sure of is he doesn't want to be Nader. He has said repeatedly he wants no part of being a spoiler.

    Now that he got blown out in California, he will have no choice but to get out.

    His meeting tomorrow with Obama will be a big part of it