The Corner

Politics & Policy

Who Can Blame Bernie Sanders for Hard Feelings?

Lots of Democrats, starting to worry about Hillary’s poll numbers and the outlook for the general election, want Bernie Sanders to quit the race and endorse Clinton. (Perhaps none more creepily than Joy Behar.)

But it’s hard to fault Sanders for any hard feelings he has at this point. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the Democratic National Committee tried to grease the skids for Clinton; initially planning the minimal number of debates and holding them at the least convenient time for viewers. Van Jones, Mika Brzezinski and MoveOn.org criticized the DNC Chair of being unfair during the primary.

Chelsea Clinton accused him of wanting to “dismantle Medicaid,” because he wanted to replace it with single payer. When Sanders said in a debate, ““All the shouting in the world is not going to do what I would hope all of us want,” Hillary later contended it was sexism: “I’m not shouting. It’s just [that] when women talk, some people think we’re shouting.”

Without the superdelegates, Sanders won 45 percent of the delegates and Clinton won 54 percent. With the superdelegates, Sanders won 40 percent and Clinton won 59 percent. Except not every superdelegate has publicly declared who they’re supporting.

Democrats kept insisting he was kaput and wasting everyone’s time, and then Sanders would go out and win another primary. He won 12 million votes and 23 states and territories. He came within three percentage points or less of beating Hillary South Dakota, New Mexico, Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois, Massachusetts and Iowa.

The night before the final primaries, the AP declared the race over, based upon comments from superdelegates… who revealed their preferences privately. Yes, right before his last shot at winning a bunch of big states and solidifying his case as the party’s safer bet in November, the news consortium declared the race over based upon some anonymous assurances.

The Associated Press — on a day when nobody voted — surprised everyone by abruptly declaring the Democratic Party primary over and Hillary Clinton the victor. The decree, issued the night before the California primary in which polls show Clinton and Bernie Sanders in a very close race, was based on the media organization’s survey of “superdelegates”: the Democratic Party’s 720 insiders, corporate donors, and officials whose votes for the presidential nominee count the same as the actually elected delegates. AP claims that superdelegates who had not previously announced their intentions privately told AP reporters that they intend to vote for Clinton, bringing her over the threshold. AP is concealing the identity of the decisive superdelegates who said this.

Everybody’s had some moment where they’ve lost in a contest they believe wasn’t fair, and faced the difficult moment of having shake hands with an opponent who broke the rules. Can any Hillary fan really be all that surprised that Sanders and his supporters aren’t ready to quit and say “congratulations”? 

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