09 March 2016

Encouraged by Bernie's win in Michigan? Sure...

​A friend asked if I was encouraged by Bernie's win in Michigan. My answer: 

Well, of course a win is a win, and this one was rather unexpected. In fact, before the votes started being announced, I was heard to say "This one is do or die for Bernie, and the polls say it doesn't look good." (And they did; some showed her with a 20% lead). 

Thing is, she has a tremendous advantage in delegate count, even without counting the superdelegates, who mostly stack up for her (but are unpledged and would possibly mostly go to Sanders if he ends up with a majority of elected delegates). Every additional delegate she gets makes it more difficult for Bernie. Even if he wins a bunch of big states, she gets delegates, because the Dems (unlike the Reps) DO NOT have Winner Take All in any states. Bernie does much better among Independents (which is one of the reasons I believe the electability argument for Clinton is totally WRONG; he will get more Independents than she does). So, he does better in open primary states not in the South. (New Hampshire, Michigan, and upcoming big states Ohio and Illinois, possibly). Where only Democrats can vote, she tends to poll well ahead of him, even in the North and West. She has Southern African Americans locked up, and even outside the South African Americans go for her 2:1. 

So, sure, I'm very glad to have this win, but it's still a tough slog. If Bernie manages to win Ohio and Illinois, he will still be in the race, but there's a fairly high chance that by the end of this month he will be locked out of any realistic path to the nomination. Just being realistic here. 

Now, what he should do, in the upcoming debates, is ask her to pledge to do some things she's said she'd do. So she can't wiggle out. 

Like this, 

"Madame Secretary, will you commit to the voters right now that if the Trans Pacific Partnership ratification comes to your desk if you are elected president, you will veto it? The voters have a right to know."

"Madame Secretary, will you commit right now to signing a bill adding a Public Option to the Affordable Care Act? The voters have a right to know." 

"Madame Secretary, will you commit right now to signing a bill closing the carried interest and offshore stashing of cash loopholes, to help address the income inequality problem plaguing our country? The voters have a right to know. "

Madame Secretary, will you commit right now to signing legislation implementing and strengthening Dodd Frank, to make sure that Wall Street doesn't wreck the US economy all over again? The voters have a right to know."

It's all about leverage, and it looks likely the only leverage Bernie will have will be of this kind, and the clock is ticking. 

Hope the Bernie folks are heeding this advice, which is not just coming from me. 

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