02 March 2016

Another rant on Bernie and the Electability Thing

I've run into a lot of people who say things like this (actual quote): "Most of us, progressives, would love to see Bernie win, and his ideas become law. But we are realists and not starry eyed idealists. We are old enough to remember the McGovern debacle. Can't let this opportunity go up in smoke, again! Even if Bernie get's the nomination, he won't win the general, against whatever clown the Republicans nominate."

I interpret this as "I'd really rather vote for Bernie, but the expedient choice is Hillary, because she'll win and he would lose."

(In some cases, one or two I'm quite sure of, in fact, (not the writer of the above), the reality is that they DON'T really prefer Bernie, they are what I refer to as Eisenhower Republicans who have found refuge in the Democratic Party, and they really prefer her on the issues, which of course is their prerogative, but they should just say so).

But back to the "expediency" argument. Here's the thing.

First, although we don't like to remember, McGovern got the nomination without a having won any primaries outright; he was not the choice of the majority of Democrats, and 1972 was an election against a popular (I know, it's hard to believe, but look at the press at the time, it's true)
president. So 1972 is nothing at all like this year, where our opponent is likely to be a clownish con-man on whom a
of oppo research has yet to spring. But I digress, because this isn't really my point.
​Which is: ​
the data shows otherwise. Sanders consistently does better in matchups against Trump, Cruz and Rubio since the first of the year. Consistently. I'm not making this up, it's just the facts. There aren't a huge number of polls, so one could say that the degree of uncertainty is relatively high, but it's a question of data vs. no data. Starry eyed idealism  has nothing to do with it. The "electability" charge against Bernie is almost entirely based on people's suppositions or instincts. If you look at the actual polling data, it's just not true. I am citing data to back up my view
​, but people who say this​
are just assuming that she is more electable, based on preconceived ideas. I wouldn't deny that it could turn out that she would win and he wouldn't, because this isn't an exact science, but, seriously, idealism has nothing to do with it. If you just look at the numbers, the conclusion has to be that the "electability" factor favors Bernie, so I really wish HRC supporters would make some other argument. Like that she's going to be the nominee anyway, which is very probable.

That is, we're mostly likely going to find out if she is "electable," because the delegate count is going to become insurmountable pretty soon; if this race doesn't break in a major way for Bernie (
​which is still possible
), she will
​ inevitably​
be the nominee. In which case we better hope they nominate Trump, because polls show her
to Rubio. (Bernie wins against Rubio, they both win against Trump). I am not a fool. I will support her if she is the victor, which seems very likely at this point. But not because she's more electable, because that
just ain't so.

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