Isaiah Webster

Tag: Bernie Sanders

Bernie’s a liar. There will be no contested convention. Here’s why…

Bernie Sanders

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders made news yesterday, when he asserted that next month’s Democratic National Convention would be “contested.” According to Sanders, neither he nor Hillary Clinton will have enough pledged delegates to secure the nomination — and since unpledged delegates (aka super-delegates) do not vote until the convention — the entire event will be “contested.”

That’s a lie.

To be fair, I don’t think Sanders lied intentionally, I just think he misunderstands what a contested convention actually is. The purpose of a political convention is to pick the leader (nominee) of said political party. Generally speaking, whoever receives a majority of all delegates gets the nomination. On the initial ballot, if any candidate gets a majority of all delegates, the process is over and the nominee is established. If no candidate gets a majority on the first ballot, then the convention is said to be “contested” — meaning that a candidate needs to build a coalition of delegates to reach a majority. Contested conventions are only likely when three or more candidates have a significant number of delegates.

Hillary Clinton will end the primary process with more popular votes, more pledged delegates, more super-delegates, and more states won. On the first ballot, all of her delegates will cast their vote for her. Because of this certain fact, there is zero chance that the convention will be contested.

Finally, there is another reason why we know the convention won’t be contested. Sanders and Clinton are the only two candidates with any delegates to the 2016 Democratic National Convention. With only two people on the ballot, it’s mathematically impossible that someone won’t get a majority on the first ballot. Think about it: The overall number of delegates is an odd number; so with only two options, someone will have a majority once all delegates vote.

Bernie Sanders has a lot great qualities, but math and logic aren’t among them.

Bernie only has one problem: Mathematics

2f9ca116e0dbf5c5c4701a72f1bafeb30f5cdc3fIn the 2016 race for the Democratic nomination for president, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders really only has one problem: Mathematics.

As the dust settles on Super Tuesday, two mathematical points that will eventually doom Sanders have become crystal clear. First, the insurgent presidential candidate has almost no support among Black voters, and very limited support among Latinos. Secondly, because of the proportional allocation of delegates in the Democratic primary, Hillary Clinton has already built an insurmountable lead.

As it pertains to people of color, Sanders doesn’t need to win Black and Latino voters, he just needs to keep the margins respectable. As it turns out, that’s easier said than done. On Super Tuesday, Clinton received more than 70% of the Black vote in every state. Every state. In Arkansas and Alabama, she received more than 90% of the Black vote. These aren’t wins; these are epic blowouts. In Texas, Clinton beat Sanders among Latino voters by 40 points! When you consider how many Latino voters there are in Texas, any double-digit win among them usually signals an electoral rout. (Clinton won Texas, 65% – 33%.)

No matter how much Sanders claims to be leading a “political revolution,” no one can win the Democratic nomination while performing so poorly among people of color. Moreover, Sanders’s inability to keep the margins closer truly calls into question his entire candidacy.

By contrast, Clinton either wins the White vote (as she did in Massachusetts) or she keeps the margins respectable (as she’s done in all the Southern states).

Demographics alone would eventually sink any chance Sanders has to win the nomination. However, he also has a very unforgiving delegate math problem.

In terms of pledged delegates, Clinton now leads 596-399. A candidate needs 2,383 delegates to win the nomination, but since delegates are awarded proportionally, even a modest deficit is hard to overcome. In fact, if Clinton narrowly lost every state from here on out — she would still win enough delegates to clinch the nomination. Because of the proportional allocation process, Sanders would need to defeat Clinton by huge margins — similar to how she has beaten him in the South.

But here’s the real problem: there are a ton of states remaining on the calendar that favor Clinton. Louisiana, Mississippi, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Florida, Illinois, New York and Pennsylvania have yet to vote. Almost all of these states have high concentrations of Black and/or Latino voters. If Clinton just breaks even among these states, she easily wins the nomination. And if her performance up to now is any guide, many of these states will be blowout wins for her.

No matter how you look at it, Team Sanders has a serious math problem that will eventually end its bid for the presidency. You could argue that these math problems have already ended Sanders’s bid for the presidency. No matter what Bernie Sanders says in the days ahead — nothing he can do from this point forward will add up to a win.

Why does Bernie Sanders keep disrespecting President Obama?

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As his “political revolution” rolls along, Sen. Bernie Sanders continues to disrespect President Obama. Unfortunately, this is not a new theme for the democratic socialist. Keep in mind, in 2011, Sanders revealed that he thought Obama should face a primary challenger prior to his re-election.

Just today, Politico ran an alarming story, “Bernie Sanders questions Obama’s leadership.” And on CNN, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed pointed out how “dismissive” Sanders has been of the president’s record.

 

Time and time again, Sanders rails against the “Democratic establishment,” but it’s important to remember that the Democratic establishment currently controls the White House. And every time Sanders paints with his broad brush, he dismisses the accomplishments of the 44th president — a Democratic president.

The president’s accomplishments are too many to list: the Affordable Care Act, the rescuing of the automobile industry, the killing of Osama bin Laden, the immigration executive action, etc. And when you consider the level of Republican obstruction and racism that Obama has faced, the president’s successes are even more stunning.

Bernie Sanders never bothered to join the Democratic Party. He has never raised money for the Democratic Party. He has rarely even lifted a finger to help elect Democrats. And now, he dismisses President Obama’s achievements. Why would Democrats want such a person as its standard-bearer in 2016?

Heart v. Head

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It’s not that liberals don’t realize Sen. Bernie Sanders is too extreme to be elected president, it’s that they just don’t care. The emerging battle between Sanders and former secretary of State Hillary Clinton, has turned into a classic head versus heart decision.

At her core, Clinton is an incrementalist. She’s a pragmatic leader, who has little interest in “changing the system” in Washington. I believe that Clinton has already come to the conclusion that Washington can’t be fixed or changed. The next best thing is to work within the system as best you can to affect change. In words and deeds, Clinton has demonstrated that this is her approach. It’s worth noting that Clinton’s political philosophy has been significantly shaped by the battles she’s waged since 1992. From health care to Travelgate to the Lewinsky matter to the U.S. Senate to serving in the Obama administration, she’s learned the hard way that politics is truly the art of the possible.

Sanders is an idealist; he is summoning a “political revolution.” Never mind that a single-payer health care bill has zero chance of passing through the Congress, Sanders promotes it anyway. And his supporters stress that it’s more important to seek what you truly want, rather than conform to political realities.

Though Sanders is the latest presidential candidate to run on a platform of “changing Washington,” he is by no means the first. In fact, Barack Obama won the Democratic nomination in 2008, by promising to “turn the page” on politics as usual. He promised a transformational presidency that would be devoid of petty politics. Before Obama’s presidency was even 48 hours old, the Republicans hatched their master plan of obstruction. Seven years later, Barack Obama’s presidency has been one of the most divisive in history. Much of this is not his fault; certainly racism has played a role and even non-racist Republicans have been completely unwilling to be partners in governing. But the bottom line remains the same — President Obama’s grand idea of transforming Washington failed.

No matter how genuine Sanders and his followers are — they can’t change Washington. If Barack Obama — with all his political gifts — could not do it, then it’s safe to say it can’t be done.

This leaves the Democratic Party with a critical choice: the safe and pragmatic Clinton? Or the wild card socialist, who promises the moon? Once again, it’s the choice that makes sense versus the choice the heart wants. In 2008, Democrats went with their heart — falling head over heels for a charismatic young Black senator. His words were soaring; his story inspirational. He wasn’t the most experienced option; nor was he the option better prepared to step into the presidency. But, Democrats didn’t care. The heart won.

In 2016, Democrats face this reality: If they lose the presidential election, the Republicans will likely control the White House, the House of Representatives, the Senate, and a majority of state legislatures. Only a Democratic president would prevent total GOP control of government. Now is not the time to chase idealism. Now is not the time for picking high-risk nominees. This choice should be one of the head — and truly, it’s not even close.

Imagine the disaster if Bernie Sanders wins the Democratic nomination

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Never underestimate liberals, and their ability to let perfect be the enemy of the good. In these early stages of the 2016 presidential race, Democrats have a rare advantage: an obvious frontrunner, who’s well-known and broadly popular. In fact, Hillary Clinton beats every Republican in every hypothetical match-up — and in some cases, by wide margins.

One of the rarest feats in American politics is for one party to control the White House for three consecutive terms. It’s a rare occurrence because, frankly, the electorate tires of one party and simply wants change. Since World War II, a party has held the White House for three straight terms only once: 1981-1993, the Reagan-Bush era.

The fact that Hillary Clinton is posed to actually achieve this rarest of feats is reason enough to nominate her. But on top of that, there are many other very good reasons: she’s the most qualified; the most tested; the most vetted. She’s also a woman, which means her nomination and subsequent victory would be historic.

But some liberals within the Democratic Party are not amused with Hillary Clinton. They contend that she’s not liberal enough, and that she’s too cozy to Wall Street. Never mind that she’s spent the first two months of her campaign pushing for voter registration reform, criminal justice reform, and immigration reform — she’s still untrusted by liberals. They crave a “real” progressive like socialist Democrat Bernie Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont.

Sanders is 73, has an extremely-low national profile, and believes that average voters will be able to draw a distinction between “socialist Democrat” — which he is; and “socialist” — which he isn’t. It would be political suicide for any political party to make Bernie Sanders its standard-bearer.

Sen. Sanders is a nice man, with great ideas — but his views are not within the mainstream of the United States. It would be simply too easy of a contrast between he and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). The youthful-looking Rubio would relish sharing a general election debate stage with Sanders, in which he highlights his genuine Latino roots and “American Dream” back story, while Sanders, who actually looks like a mad scientist, rails against the “billionaire class” that’s ruining America. There’s no way such a scene would end well for Democrats.

Nominating Bernie Sanders would be tantamount to forfeiting the presidency to the Republicans. Under no circumstance or scenario could Sanders win a national general election in 2016. So the question becomes, what’s the point of his primary campaign against Hillary Clinton? She actually could win a general election. Given the political environment and the history of voting patterns, she’s the best hope for retaining the White House for Democrats.

Despite all claims to the contrary, the Democrats don’t need a competitive primary. Hillary Clinton is the most vetted politician alive, and her positions are already sufficiently liberal. The primary challenge from Bernie Sanders will only serve to raise the hopes of his extreme liberal base of supporters — even though they have no chance of winning the nomination. And it will make Hillary’s job that much harder in making sure these voters actually support her in November 2016.

If the Republicans had a candidate like Hillary Clinton, you can best believe they would have coalesced around him or her early, and pounded the Democrats at every turn. With every possible advantage, the Democrats are spoiling for a fight that can only help the Republicans. Progressives have their hearts in the right place, but who knows where their brains are these days.