We don’t know who’s going to win the Democratic presidential primary in California today, although polling suggests that Hillary Clinton should squeak by Bernie Sanders. But, as usual with the California primary it doesn’t really matter: more than 24 hours before New Jersey and four other states vote, and California’s delegates are apportioned, the AP’s survey Monday night confirmed her as the first woman nominee of a major party (let that sink in for a moment).
Hopefully, Sanders will now do the smart and decent thing and quickly endorse Clinton, who amassed more than 3 million more votes than him during the primary season, and decide to stop pushing the silly argument he’s been pushing, with increasing vehemence, for weeks: his demand that the superdelegates, who overwhelmingly support Clinton (who, with Bubba, has raised million$ for them over decades), should hold off voting until the roll call at the Democratic National Convention; then, on the theory that he would run better against Donald Trump, overturn the popular vote and Clinton’s delegate lead to make him the nominee.
Seriously? Three reasons that makes no sense:
1. Absurdism. The argument itself is absurd. Not only is the contention that Sanders would run better based on never having faced a negative campaign, but imagine if their positions were reversed – if Sanders had more popular votes and delegates but the superdelegates overturned the will of the voters and installed Clinton as the nominee. The screaming and moaning from Sanders and his peeps would be riotous.
This is the most anti-democratic and cynical stance Sanders and his people could possibly take – that a guy who won fewer votes and delegates should be installed by the party elite, against whom he has railed for the better part of a year.
2. Perversity. Although Sanders now would like to use superdelegates to his advantage if he could, his fundamental case for months has been to decry the role of superdelegates altogether.Which is even more wrong-headed.
Superdelegates are there for a reason: they’re elected officials and party leaders who have run for office and/or run the Democratic Party nationally or in their states. They’re the last vestige of party elders who have the best interest of their party at heart. They should have a say in who their party’s nominee is.
3. Disunity. Which brings us to this point: Bernie Sanders isn’t a Democrat, has simply used the party opportunistically for a quarter century and doesn’t give a rat’s ass whether the Democratic Party’s chosen candidate is the nominee. He couldn’t care less about Democratic Party unity. Whether he cares enough to rally his troops for the party’s nominee and against Donald Trump remains an open question.
In the long run, it will benefit Sanders politically to be as graceful in defeat as Hillary Clinton was eight years ago after her bitter fight with Barack Obama when she conceded, urged her supporters and delegates to back Obama.
Delusional entitlement. At this point, Bernie’s bros and bots appear to have become so fanatic that they’re prepared to walk away rather than get behind the only candidate standing between the nation and the nightmare of a Trump Administration. As Barrett Holmes Pitner wrote in an insightful piece at Daily Beast, Sanders’ “younger, predominantly white electorate” is struggling with its sense of entitlement:
The more I reflected on them, the more I realized the key point: They felt entitled to win, and a defeat meant that someone must have cheated or that their opinions did not matter, which of course couldn’t be true. They preferred to suspend reality and fabricate injustices rather than concede that Sanders has lost fair and square.
After Obama beat Clinton in one of the most bitter primary battles in recent history, she sucked it up and worked hard enough for his election to be asked, later, to be his Secretary of State.
It’s unclear whether Sanders has it in him to play that role.