Continental Army (what else to call it?) is readying to throw itself
into a vital string of primaries from Wisconsin (April 5) to the
Wyoming caucus (April 9) all the way to New York (April 19) and finally
California (June 7). They tend to win "whiter" primaries and caucuses
where grass-roots organizers dominate. If Bernie splits those big and
diverse states with Hillary, she will still add important delegates to
her total of 280 pledged delegates and 440 additional super-delegates.
That gives her a 300+ delegate edge on the quest for 2,382. According
to the LA Times' poll today,
among California Democrats Clinton leads 45-37 with eight percent
undecided, a difference that Bernie might close. Interestingly, Bernie
leads Hillary among Asian voters and has risen to the high thirties
among Blacks and Latinos. Also
notable, 13% of California Democratic primary voters said that they
would outright refuse to vote for Hillary if she in fact gets the
hope is to light a fire in those big states, giving him increased
momentum, and pushing Hillary’s super-delegates to reconsider their
positions by the convention in Philadelphia. By gaining stronger
momentum and spirit, the Bernie forces are trying to convert a majority
of Democrats before the convention. The possibilities are live even if
the odds are long.
advantages are these: spirit, momentum, money and polls showing he’s
better in a showdown with Trump. His disadvantages are the lack of a
broad base in communities of color, above all, and the fear among
Democratic officials that their candidates will suffer if they run on
the same ballot with a democratic socialist this fall. However, it is
also possible that Democrats might regain Congress with Trump as the
GOP nominee. The Supreme Court gap is more likely to be filled by
Merrick Garland as well.
true that Hillary leads Bernie by 2.6 million Democratic votes and
retains a solid delegate and super delegate margin. But it’s an
impressive fact that Bernie has come farther than any progressive
candidate in history.
Their campaigns for now are on a curvature towards each other. The race is closer than the mass media ever imagined.
supporters refuse to accept any scenario short of victory. Many of them
swear they will never support Hillary as the nominee, or refuse to vote
at all. Some are giddy with the vision of a new party being created
outside the dreaded two party duopoly. A few “told you so” folk
are even hiding their dark fear that Trump will beat Hillary. The Green
Party is pulling together their ranks to ensure ballot access for next
time while somehow maintaining the threadbare argument that Trump and
Hillary are exactly the same.
Here’s an alternative scenario.
First, Bernie goes all out until the California primary.
Bernie and Hillary appoint teams to negotiate a common platform. They
agree to oppose the TPP and support fair trade, a policy designed to
pull away white working class voters from Trump’s appeal to white
nationalism. Both Hillary and Bernie agree on government job creation,
implicitly adopting a Keynesian economics, not corporate
neo-liberalism. They retain their current views on immigrant rights,
overturning the era of mass incarnation, and taming the drug war fever.
While endorsing military force against ISIS, they signal a retreat from
unwinnable, unaffordable, unilateral wars of regime change. They hammer
out a plan to achieve a Canada-style national health care system
through the next congressional elections of 2018 and national elections
of 2020. They sharply reduce escalating college tuitions.
The behemoths of K Street will strenuously resist with moans, groans and fatter checks.
Obama should provide mighty help towards his legacy.
assuming she has the delegates, needs to offer the vice-presidency to
Bernie out of respect. There are exciting alternatives like Julian
Castro and Elizabeth Warren. However there is no one but Bernie who can
unify and mobilize his base for the general election. Think of
Lincoln's 'Team of Rivals'.
are discussing Bernie’s future and the future of democratic socialism
after this election. That’s all well and good for my colleagues
at the Nation, PDA, Move On, DFA, and the American Prospect, but
the first priority is defeating Trump with a united front, one that
achieves conflict resolution without leaving the scars and bruises that
usually follow hotly disputed primaries. Conflict resolution starts
with hearing the needs of the 'Other', not trying to impose factional
control based on getting the most votes. Victory or defeat hangs in the
balance. Only then we can build the greatest Progressive Bloc since the
This commentary originally appeared on tomhayden.com