Tuesday Morning Open Thread

As an early morning chew toy, consider the following excerpts from a New York Times editorial board op-ed published today, which serves as a counterpoint to Cole’s “Pissing It All Away” post from last night:

Bernie Sanders’s Gift to His Party

The Democratic Party and Mrs. Clinton are better off for Mr. Sanders’s presence in this race. His criticism, as Winston Churchill might say, was not agreeable. But it called necessary attention to unhealthy developments in the Democratic Party, including its at ­times obliviousness to the lingering economic pain of the middle class and the young, and its drift toward political caution over aspiration.


Mr. Sanders’s unwillingness to compromise has contributed to a thin record of accomplishment over his decades in Congress. While Mrs. Clinton outflanks him on both knowledge and practice of foreign policy, on domestic policy he has forced her to address the impact of trade deals and globalization, spell out her stances on clean energy and oil and gas exploration, and put more meat on her plans for college affordability. He’s exposed her failure to support $15 an hour as a federal minimum wage, and rightly called her out on the Wall Street speeches that earned her millions and her refusal to make the transcripts public.

Mr. Sanders has exposed a broad vein of discontent that Democrats cannot ignore. Predictions that Mr. Sanders’s supporters could migrate to Donald Trump in the fall are overstated, despite Mr. Trump’s cynical efforts to woo them. It’s more likely that some simply won’t vote. Mrs. Clinton is betting that many Democrats will be motivated to get to the polls if Mr. Trump is the Republican nominee. But to truly unify the party, Mrs. Clinton and party leaders must work to incorporate Mr. Sanders and what he stands for in the party’s approach to the general election. It would also help to acknowledge that the party has strayed at times from its more aspirational path.

Unlike the voices on the Republican side, Mr. Sanders’s has elevated this campaign. The Democratic Party should listen.

So who is right about the Sanders effect, Cole or the NYT editorial board? That depends on how this all winds down.

I still have a Pollyanna-ish hope that it will end well — that BernieBros and Hilldebeasts will join forces to crush Trump, restock Congress with sane people and continue President Obama’s work of dragging this nation out of the cold, dead clutches of Reaganism.

Discuss this or anything else — open thread!

Pissing It All Away

The Sanders campaign is pissing everything they accomplished all away:

Bernie Sanders predicted Sunday that Hillary Clinton would not win enough pledged delegates to claim the nomination ahead of the Democratic convention in Philadelphia, and he delivered his most forceful call yet for superdelegates in states he’s won to consider throwing their support to him.

Speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., the Vermont senator argued that Clinton “will need superdelegates to take her over the top at the convention in Philadelphia. In other words, it will be a contested convention.”

Sanders said that in the states where he handily defeated Clinton, superdelegates who aren’t supporting him should reconsider aligning themselves with the will of voters of those states.

“In the state of Washington, we won that caucus with almost 73 percent of the vote there — 73 percent of the vote. In anybody’s opinion, that is a massive landslide. But at this point Secretary Clinton has 10 superdelegates from the state of Washington, we have zero,” Sanders said, offering an example of a state where he won the popular vote but did not collect any superdelegates. “I would ask the superdelegates from the state of Washington to respect the wishes from the people in their state and the votes they have cast.”

Sanders’ comments came just ahead of Tuesday’s Indiana primary, as his path to the nomination has become even more narrow due to recent defeats. The campaign recently laid off a large number of staff members in states that have voted.

Caucuses, we must note, are less democratic than even closed primaries. Yet there he goes. Kthug cuts to the chase:

What we’re getting instead is an epic descent into whining. He dismissed Clinton victories driven by black voters as products of the conservative Deep South; he suggested that his defeat in New York was unfair because it was a closed primary (you can argue this case either way, but requiring that you identify as a Democrat to choose the Democratic nominee is hardly voter suppression — arguably caucuses are much further from a democratic process); then, with the big loss in the mid-Atlantic primaries,he has turned to a sort of fact-free complaint that any process under which Bernie Sanders loses is ipso facto unfair, and superdelegates should choose him despite a 3 million vote deficit.

At this point it’s as if Sanders is determined to validate everything liberal skeptics have been saying all along about his unwillingness to face reality — and all of it for, maybe, a few weeks of additional fundraising, at the expense of any future credibility and goodwill. Isn’t there anyone who can tell him to stop before it’s too late?

FWIW, Nader Be Sirens is an anagram of Bernie Sanders.

This Is Why I Will Support Either Democratic Nominee And You Should Too

Last night, in his town hall on MSNBC, Sanders made a statement that made my blood boil:

Sanders said that “If we end up losing,” it would be “incumbent upon [Clinton] to tell millions of people who right now do not believe in establishment politics and establishment economics” that she supported Sanders’ Medicare-for-all plan.

“I think Secretary Clinton is going to have to explain to millions of young people and a lot of other people that climate change is a real crisis and incrementalism is just not going to solve it,” he added.

Whether Sanders throws his support behind Clinton if she wins the Democratic nomination — and how enthusiastically he endorses her — will play a major role in determining whether his supporters end up backing her too. That will give Sanders some leverage, even if he loses the Democratic nomination, in shaping the party’s platform.

What. An. Asshole. Of course Clinton will have to continue to do everything she can to reach out to all voters. But this response, disregarding the fact that he used it to throw more attacks at Clinton, is why I am so sick of the god damned Sanders purists and his campaign. The correct answer is “I don’t think we are going to lose, but should that happen, I would hope my supporters would vote for the Democratic nominee.” You don’t even have to say her name.

And this is but one example why:

Ted Cruz’s tour de transphobia, launched last week to capitalize on Donald Trump’s criticism of North Carolina’s anti-transgender law, has embraced a new extreme position. Speaking to reporters this weekend in Indiana, he actually admitted that he doesn’t believe transgender people should be allowed to use any restroom except the ones in the privacy of their own home.

“Every one of us has the right to live our lives as we wish,” he said. “If any one of us wants to dress up as a woman or man and wants to live as woman or man and believes that we might be something other than what we were born, God has made each of us with free will and the ability to choose to do that if man to wants to dress as a woman, and live as a woman, and have a bathroom at home.”

A reporter sought clarification on the remark: “So then they shouldn’t use the bathroom out in public?”

Cruz then confirmed just that. “You don’t have a right to intrude upon the rights of others because whether or not a man believes he’s a woman, there are a lot of women who would like to be able to use a public restroom in peace without having a man there — and when there are children involved, you don’t have a right to impose your lifestyle on others.”

You don’t get to call yourself a moral crusader or revclutionary when if you don’t get your way, you let the bigots take over to heighten the contradictions, because real people’s lives are at stake.

You fucking asshole. Not to mention, revolutions don’t start at the top. Coups do.