Put a fork in Bernie

He’s done.

I’m sure many clarifications, perhaps even abject apologies, are forthcoming (or have already been issued), but you can’t recover from this in 2018 (or 2020) in today’s Democratic Party. He already had trouble getting black support in the primaries. Why would we think that could possibly improve now? And if he somehow narrowly won the nomination without significant black support, he would be a fatally wounded candidate for the general election.

I don’t know. I think he was trying to reach out to some moderate republicans in the south who maybe would vote democratic based on the dems economic message.

Sanders won’t win a primary due to his lack of support from the black vote just like in 2016. But I don’t think this dooms him on the national stage.


Were you under the impression that Sanders had any chance at the the Democratic nomination in 2020? If so, why?

Or is this just schadenfreude?

Why wouldn’t he? He almost won in 2016 despite coming from nowhere, having no name recognition and having no mainstream support from his party.

He had been looking pretty strong by a number of metrics, as 538 pointed out. And I know a number of people for whom he is (or at least was) their top choice.

The metric he’s doing well on is name recognition. Which means absolutely nothing, because whoever the nominee is will get all the name recognition they need, just by virtue of being the nominee.

I mean looking strong for the nomination.

Not that any individual has the kind of chance you’d take over “the field” by any means, but I think he had a 10-20 percent chance of winning the nomination before this, which is pretty signiicant. Now I don’t see it.

I disagree.

In the Democratic Party there are certainly some people who feel that rigid political correctness is a requirement for their nominee, and thus that this portion of a sentence will utterly disqualify Bernie in their minds. Probably the typical employee of Huffington Post or PBS thinks that way. But I am not sure that the typical Democratic voter thinks that way.

Indeed, I would guess that there’s a sizable chunk of Democrats who are growing tired with political correctness, with their leaders’ constant focus on boosting “diversity” rather than pocketbook issues, and with the way that liberals devour their own kin at the most minor violation of the unwritten rules for speaking about race, gender, etc… Actually I don’t guess it, I know it. And I think Bernie might well appeal to that chunk of voters precisely because he’s willing to talk about the problem.

I think that Bernie has a good shot at the Democratic nomination if he decides to run, and a good shot at beating Trump as well, because he has actual policy positions. He knows where he stands on health care, education, taxes, and other questions that people actually care about. Something beats nothing. (What’s Joe Biden’s position on health care again?)

It’s true that Bernie struggled with winning over black voters in the last primary, but that may not matter. He got 43% of the vote, but there was only one other candidate running after the first few contests so 43% lost. In 2020 there will be over a dozen candidates running and thus Bernie could easily win with 43%, or even 33%.

I don’t think Bernie is running for president; he used 2016 to start a movement.

He’s running. Or he was, before this.

He was demolished in the 2016 primaries. He fell way behind in pledged delegates after Super Tuesday and was all but mathematically eliminated after New York.

Damn lazy media who refused to learn about how pledged delegates are allocated in the Democratic Party. There are no winner take all or winner take most primaries or caucuses for the Democrats. All contests feature proportional allocation of pledged delegates, so you can’t fall behind.

I agree. I don’t think he can easily recover from this. He was being torn apart today.

But how is any of that relevant to 2020, when Hillary Clinton is no longer running? In the GOP, Rick Santorum was the first runner-up in decades to fail to get the nomination the next time. Different story for Democrats, but there’s no fundamental reason it couldn’t work the same way.

haHA! Gotcha, Bernie! You phrased a comment poorly, and it can be read as saying that a racist action isn’t racist. YOU MUST BE A RACIST BERNIE!

This is a super good thread that’s totally fair and not at all a contemptible bit of petty smearing.

Here’s his clarification. It sounds to me like he was trying to get across a couple of ideas:

  1. The white folks for whom race played some part in their voting decision weren’t necessarily Klan hood wearing dyed-in-the-wool racists; and
  2. The blame for their race-based decision should be placed entirely on the racist campaigns of their racist opponents.

Now, I have some disagreements with that. A person who is persuaded by a racist campaign to make a racist decision bears some of the responsibility for letting themselves be persuaded; they also, in this specific case, are by definition racist. Sanders is wrong twice over.

But a point very close to his is absolutely right. Folks who have grown up under white supremacy, and who haven’t freed themselves of its ideological yoke, aren’t necessarily enemies to the death, and other white folk* might do more good by gently persuading them that black people aren’t scary than by treating them as enemies. And if we’re looking for the real enemies here, we shouldn’t be looking at the masses of voters who are muddling through (poorly, in this case); we should be looking at the brilliant, cynical, corrupt, and thoroughly racist campaigns run by DeSantis and Kemp.

I maintain that what he said was poorly phrased, but essentially accurate.

  • I clarify “white folk” here because I don’t think it’s reasonable to ask black folk to have to do the work of gently persuading white folk not to be racist.

The relevance is that he lost to a weak and inept candidate (she lost to the Orange Hairball, for Ghu’s sake!), which strongly indicates that he is weaker and inepter in that regard.

I pretty much agree with this.

For all the hype about Bernie, he ran a gimmick campaign that caught fire because people had Hillary and Jeb fatigue, and he was proposing new ideas. Nothing wrong with that, and in fact, I like the fact that Bernie has pushed the country in a direction where we can talk about Medicare for all and higher minimum wages - those are good things and progressives shouldn’t be fighting with each other over these ideas.

But at the end of the day, it was still a gimmick campaign. There was very limited discussion about foreign policy. Moreover, there was his common refrain that Corporate America is a villain and that the two parties, including the one he used as a platform to launch his independent movement, were essentially hopelessly corrupt. And in that sense, he did more damage than good, because he gave Trump and conservatives a path to victory by validating the notion that both parties are equally corrupt and that there’s really no difference between Hillary and Trump. His implication that Hillary rigged the vote also did permanent damage, validating the notion among independents that Hillary Clinton herself was hopelessly corrupt and that there was nothing to lose by voting for someone who was so unbelievably and so obviously unqualified for the role of president.

What bugs me the most about this statement is its outdatedness; its like something you might’ve heard someone say in the 80’s. It overlooks that the country was recently led for 8 years by a black man and the sky didn’t fall, the four horsemen didn’t appear, and the world never stopped turning. That was only a couple years ago, and it’s almost 2019 now. If white Americans still need help seeing black candidates as vote-worthy, I don’t know how he concludes next time around it will suddenly be easier for them. Creating responsibility-dodging excuses for them certainly isn’t going to do it.

To me, the only non-racist reason for rejecting a candidate because of race is if you honestly believe it hurts their electability overall. And even that can be tricky, because if you’re racially biased you’re more likely to project your own bias onto other voters.

I agree that it’s a case of “gotcha”, but Bernie has always struggled to make inroads with the African American community in particular. Bernie Sanders is obviously NOT a racist or a bigot of any kind. But he occasionally displays blind spots when it comes to communicating with Black audiences, and I suspect that’s a product of living in lily white Vermont all these years.

It’s not exactly in his explanation, but not voting for a black candidate because you don’t feel that he has your interests in mind isn’t necessarily racist. It would depend on the campaign rhetoric, etc… If the campaign is cast as about race by either side, then things become strange- it does start looking like the other guy isn’t looking out for you, no matter which side of the race divide you’re on.

I mean, looking at local politicians here in Dallas, I’d vote for just about any white candidate for mayor instead of certain black politicians(like say… John Wiley Price), from other parts of town. Not because I think there’s something wrong with them because of their race, but because they’ve made a point over the years of making race (and baiting the white part of town) a focal point of their political personas. Why, as a white man, would I think that these guys would have my interests at heart? The message has historically been that they’d go out of their way to screw me around.