Wednesday, June 8, 2016

End of Nomination Season Round Up With Suggestions For Avoiding The Same Old Mess Next Time

So, let's go over some of what we've learned from this nomination battle between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, now that it's clear that Hillary Clinton has won, at least that's clear to everyone but Bernie Sanders, his paid consultants who will delude him into thinking otherwise and those Bernie Sanders supporters who were never really Democrats and never intended to stay Democrats.

First, though, you have to go outside of the Democratic Party to observe something that Samantha Bee pointed out several weeks ago, Republicans who are merely evil and not insane are probably wishing they had the rules the Democrats did, with proportional allocation of delegates and super delegates to rescue their party from a fit of insanity among those who vote in their primaries and caucuses.  Donald Trump is a nightmare of a candidate, the past week has shown exactly how dangerous he is.  Barring some catastrophic event that removes him as their nominee sometime between now and the election, the mass defection of the racists and fascists who gave him the nomination or some gargantuan buying him off, the man who is trying to PUBLICLY INTIMIDATE A JUDGE who is overseeing a lawsuit of one of Trumps many shady business deals, one which literally robbed the poor, single mothers, etc, IS THE MAN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IS STUCK WITH.

The Super Delegates were a patch job on a seriously broken system that produced terrible Republican presidents.  It produced Republican presidents by giving the Democratic Party weak candidates who couldn't win elections.  That seriously broken system is still with us.  It hasn't been fixed.   If it takes something as unpalatable as the super delegate system to protect the party from the media induced insanity that produces a candidate like Trump, it looks like a protection of democracy, not a violation of it.   Democracy can only exist within the ambient conditions found in any society at any given time.  As pointed out here yesterday, the same corporate media that created Trump has the power to incite a rate of insanity in the American People sufficient to produce fascism.   Our media has shown that it is entirely capable of producing a Trump, it hasn't shown that it is so much a willing to fight against one.

As Bernie Sanders is going to find out to his frustration, the super delegates in the Democratic Party are not going to go against the will of the majority of Democrats who voted in the nomination process to impose him on them.  They aren't going to abandon a rational and mainstream candidate who has the majority of the votes and pledged delegates, not because he thinks he's just wonderful, something even I used to think about him.

Within the Democratic Party, the candidacy of Bernie Sanders is a two-edged sword, on the one hand it showed that a large number of voters don't like the economic policies that produce terrible inequality, which send jobs to slave wage countries run by fascist elites and produce a falling level of life here.  They don't agree that free trade and loosely regulated financial and other institutions are good for the majority.  In short, they don't agree with much of the stuff that Bill Clinton and Barack Obama have done in such matters and their dissatisfaction with the results of Democrats following corporate and oligarchic economic theories is a serious force to be taken seriously.   If Hillary Clinton is as smart as I think she is, she will not appoint people to such positions who will blithely continue such policies.  The Geithners and Summers branch of economics and finance won't be appointed to continue those policies if she wants to have the support of liberals in both the off-term election and in 2020.  

As important, she shouldn't go to the same old Ivy League trough to get an Attorney General, especially one who is thoroughly invested in the idea that there is something immoral about sending millionaires and even billionaires to jail for stealing their fortunes.   Eric Holder and the like should never be allowed to decide on whether or not to prosecute such crooks who are part of their milieu.  THERE SHOULD BE NO TOO BIG TO JAIL POLICY IN THE SO-CALLED JUSTICE DEPARTMENT EVER AGAIN.  Not under any Democratic president. 

I will grant that Bernie Sanders has, actually, proven that there are a large number of potential Democratic voters who are fed up with things such as those.  Which is just great, which is what his campaign should have been about.   If he had stuck to that he would leave this behind him with full honors and full credibility intact, more respected and respectable than he entered it.  

On the other hand, Bernie Sanders and his efforts to rig the system in his favor show up some terrible features of our nominations process, and not in the ways he would identify those.  There must be reform of the election system,  Within the Democratic Party there should be a rule adopted that bans vote suppressing caucuses.  Last night in North Dakota the results were decided by a  whopping total of 354 voters showing up to caucuses, if the numbers I read are accurate.  354.  And the fact is that in states that choose delegates by caucus had a minuscule turnout as compared to those which use a primary system.   And along with that, there should be no more of this ridiculous Nevada style multi-convention nonsense, the kind of crap that comes with caucuses.  The Bernie Sanders wing that is, actually, part of the Democratic Party should certainly not have any legitimate objection to a reform that would get rid of the most anti-democratic part of the nominations process.

And open primaries should be abolished.  There must be a rule and a policy that protects the party from non-Democrats who want to screw around with the Democratic Party's nomination system. Lots of those either voted in open primaries for him or they temporarily declared themselves Deocrats to do so, even as they openly declared their hostility to the party and their intention to not remain Democrats.  Open primaries, actual or de facto,  allow people with no commitment or loyalty to the Democratic Party or its goals to distort the process to produce a less acceptable candidate.   I will bet you that there are Republicans who regret such as those who helped give Donald Trump the nomination of their party.  Though, the Republican Party is so corrupt with every vice that is alleged to corrupt the Democratic Party that they've internalized the criminally insane within it.  Among Republicans in a position to make such decisions it's a choice between the rational criminals and the criminally insane who might lose an election, not for any higher ideals.

Bernie Sanders says he will stay in the race until the convention, though he's laying off paid staff.  If he doesn't include Tad Devine in the lay-offs, it shows that he's too green to be doing this.   I suspect that he will still play a role as a spoiler inside the party, at this point he'll have to convince me that he isn't intent on doing that.  Of all the things I've learned in the past year, it is that Bernie Sanders is a lot less than his PR image led me to believe in the past.  And that he has some seriously disturbing writings and a few shady items in his past that I'd never heard of before.  Just as all white knights promoted by the lefty media, he's merely human and a pretty much untested one, at that.  He had a minor, but important role in the Senate but who was quite unsuited to be president or even to be taken seriously as a presidential candidate.  At this point, his continued presence as a candidate can only serve to cause problems for Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party and to further diminish himself and his role in politics.  Within a week his continued presence will do both.  Count on it.  Some way has to be found to protect the nomination process from something like this happening, again.

Getting rid of the caucuses is the first and maybe even the sufficient means of doing that, though you won't prevent the New Hampshire primary from playing its unique role in elevating weak or even bad candidates to prominence by getting rid of the caucuses.  New Hampshire has a bad track record of promoting weak candidates, especially when those come from neighboring states.  It is ridiculous that California,  the largest state with one of the most diverse and characteristic populations of Democrats should come dead last when one as small and atypically white as New Hampshire comes first.   That might work for Republicans, it certainly hasn't been a reliably wise choice for Democrats.  If Hillary Clinton is a strong enough president that 2020 would be the year to do it, break the stranglehold that Iowa and New Hampshire have on first in the nation status.  Refuse to seat their delegations if they won't cooperate.  The Democratic Party doesn't owe Bill Gardner, the Secretary of State in New Hampshire, his vain conceit of keeping New Hampshire in the position it has had way too long.   The whole calendar needs to be rearranged and tightened.  I would favor a rotating system of which states come first, emphasizing those which are more representative of the Democratic base. New Hampshire and Iowa should come last next time, they've had way too much attention for too may election cycles as it is.

I don't expect any of this to happen, but it should.

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