Friday, November 3, 2017

Flashback Friday: Losing to Girls

Oh, you know, just re-posting this, from April 2016, for no particular reason.
Here are some fun narratives I'm picking up regarding the 2016 Democratic Primary:
"Bob Kerrey, a former Nebraska governor and senator who ran for the Democratic nomination in 1992 and who has endorsed Mrs. Clinton in the current race, said Mr. Sanders might be winning now if he had relentlessly pressured Mrs. Clinton since last fall over her closed-door speeches to Wall Street banks, her role in the finances of Clinton Foundation programs, and other vulnerabilities. Mr. Sanders did not raise the paid-speech issue, after long resistance, until late January."
  • Bernie is only losing because he wasn't even trying that hard anyway (especially in the states that he's lost):
Tad Devine, Sanders' strategist:: “Essentially, 97% of her delegate lead today comes from those eight states where [Sanders] did not compete.”
  • Bernie is only losing because "the establishment" has rigged the system against him:
I see this claim mostly at far left and far right websites (sometimes two peas in a tinfoil-hat-wearing pod), which I do not want to link to - although they can easily found by searching "Rigged Election 2016 Hillary." Although voter suppression is likely attributable to Republican-led legislatures, many hard core Bernie supporters believe that Hillary, who to them represents "the establishment," has a top secret "in" with voting officials in the state where she's won, thus resulting in unfair election wins for her.
  • Bernie isn't even losing, and even if hypothetically he were to lose the popular election, he'll still win at the convention:
Despite the fact that Clinton is leading the popular vote (and will likely win the popular vote nationwide), yesterday Sanders' campaign manager Jeff Weaver said he hopes and believes Sanders will come out of the Democratic Convention the nominee anyway.
Now, more than a year later, there's a lot of media hyperventilating about Donna Brazile's "admission" that the primary was "rigged" against Bernie, but if you actually read what she wrote, it's slim on details and big on sweeping accusations. The facts, at least as she presents them, are that Obama left the DNC in debt, Hillary for American and the Hillary Victory Fund resolved the debt, and the DNC and Hillary's campaign signed a Joint Fundraising Agreement whereby Hillary's campaign would control the party's finances and strategy. (This is also a good reminder that Bernie Sanders is an Independent, not a Democratic).

Okay. So, if you believe Hillary Clinton won 4 million more votes than Bernie Sanders primarily because she and/or the DNC "rigged" the contest, you would have to also believe:
  • That the impact of pro-Bernie/anti-Hillary Russian propaganda was nil, even though social media companies have just testified that Russian propaganda reached at least 125 million users.
  • That she exerted power over election officials in every state in which she won, even though each state controls their own primaries and the parties exert control over caucuses (which Bernie disproportionately won).
  • That a political and electoral system that was literally founded on excluding non-white, non-male persons from participating has no lingering, built-in "rigging" in favor of white men. 
One of the sadder aspects of all this is that Hillary is being further demonized and, instead of looking at Bernie's serious shortcomings as a candidate, he's being sanctified and a party is seeming to solidify around him and his crusty, white-male-centric worldview.

I repeat myself, but misogyny is a national vulnerability. Until we reckon with that, it will always be so.


Update 1:

Update 2: And, Brazile's claims about the funding raising agreement were, to be blunt, not accurate. Via NBC, the agreement only pertained to the general election, not the primary.

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