Bernie Sanders Wins Hearts & Minds

The Democrats in the U.S have a serious problem. Their preferred candidate Hillary Clinton was supposed to have everything stitched up by now. And then Bernie has gone and won Indiana. His 18th win in a race that was supposed to be a slam dunk for Clinton.

The Clinton team must be spewing because although they will still probably win they are missing out on most of the youth vote. And Bernie is still hanging in there despite his chances of winning looking very slim.

There is clearly very widespread discontent with Clinton as a candidate. So much so that 74 year old Sanders who just joined the Democrat Party last year has raised $182m in campaign funds and continues to win against the odds. He has done this despite a perplexed media indifference.

From here it looks like the Super delegates issue is the key. The assumption is that they will all go for Clinton and that she already has them “in the bag” but other commentary suggests that the Super delegate vote doesn’t come into play until the voting is over and that makes the race much closer than it looks.

Bernie Sanders pulls off shock victory in Indiana Democratic primary

“The Sanders campaign hopes that Indiana will mark one last turning point in a Democratic race characterised by a series of surprise comebacks that have prolonged Clinton’s otherwise relentless path toward the nomination.
 
He is well placed to pull off similar wins in West Virginia on 10 May and Oregon on 17 May, before a final showdown next month in California, whose 546 delegates present the biggest prize of the contest.”

 
And of course the California vote.

Harry Enten over at Five Thirty Eight thinks that the Sanders win still doesn’t change the momentum.

“The Democratic race remains fundamentally unchanged after tonight’s win by Sanders. Yes, his victory was somewhat surprising, given that all of the polls had Clinton winning and by an average of 7 percentage points. And yes, Sanders has promised to fight on in the primary until perhaps the convention. The problem for the Sanders campaign remains delegate math and demographics.
 
Right now, Sanders looks like he’ll earn about five to 10 more delegates than Clinton in Indiana. That means Clinton will have an elected delegate lead by the end of the evening of around 280 to 285 delegates. In order to catch Clinton in the elected delegate count, Sanders would need to win over 65 percent of the remaining elected delegates. That’s actually higher than it was before Indiana voted.”

 
Whatever happens in the next few primaries there is a very big disconnect between the Clinton view of the world and her policy positions and what Sanders is tapping into which is a growing disquiet about debt and the general decline of the middle and lowers classes. A kind of rerun of the Occupy movement against inequality. Some of those sentiments are captured in this profile from back in November last year.

The media’s lying to you about Bernie Sanders: This is why a socialist can win the Fox-loving red states

“The speech begins. I’ve rarely heard one more electric. Bernie gets to the part about how America could increase its competitiveness and move toward full employment by spending a trillion dollars rebuilding bridges and roads, and a fashionably dressed young woman next to me with a swallow tattoo on her wrist cries out like a cheerleader.

“INNNNNNNFRASTRUCTURE!!!!”

The senator follows with a disquisition about the Sherman Act.

“ANTI-TRUSSSSTTT!” she shouts.

When he gets to reinstating the Glass-Steagell act, she lets out a “WHOOOOOOOO!”

What to make of all this?

Robert Reich wrote a forecast (back in March) Robert Reich sees the future: America’s two-party system is finished. The former secretary of labor predicts a People’s Party will rise in 2020 to challenge the political establishment

He predicted that Trump will get dumped at the Republican convention and goes on to say this.

“On the Democratic side, despite a large surge of votes for Bernie Sanders in the final months of the primaries, Hillary Clinton’s stable of wealthy donors and super delegates put her over the top.

Both Republican and Democratic political establishments breathed palpable sighs of relief, and congratulated themselves on remaining in control of the nation’s politics.

They attributed Trump’s rise to his fanning of bigotry and xenophobia, and Sanders’s popularity to his fueling of left-wing extremism.

They conveniently ignored the deeper anger in both camps about the arbitrariness and unfairness of the economy, and about a political system rigged in favor of the rich and privileged.

And they shut their eyes to the anti-establishment fury that had welled up among independents, young people, poor and middle-class Democrats, and white working-class Republicans.”

 
Conor Lynch suggests Bernie is the hero of 2016: Just because he’s losing the nomination doesn’t mean he’s failed

“Contrary to the mainstream notion that America’s economic winners and losers are determined entirely by merit and the invisible hand of the market, those who win tend to be those who already have enough economic (and therefore political) power to rig the game in their favor.”

 
With the news today that Cruz has dropped out of the Republican race it seems more importnat than ever for the Democrats to take notice of the revolt on their own doorstep. Surely they are not all tone deaf about the Glass Steagall Act and mountains of student debt, and a system that promotes inequality?

How hard would it be for Clinton to support the Dodd Frank reforms and make some other policy changes to try and capture some of the passionate and important youth voters who are now supporting Sanders?

Whatever the results in California – Bernie Sanders has won hearts and minds on his quixotic campaign to change the narrative and the results in a rigged electoral landscape.

New republic says Bernie Sanders Owes It to His Supporters to Keep Fighting

“The hotly contested 2008 contest ended up helping the Democrats win big in the general election by energizing the base. There’s no reason to think 2016 is different.”

 
It is very unlikely that Bernie can win but electoral history has been made this time with scores of people voting for someone who believes in nothing and lies constantly (Trump) so just maybe we could see some votes against the run of play in California? If I was a Democrat I would be wanting Clinton to come up with better policies on “fixing income inequality, raising the minimum wage, making higher education free, and rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure.”

Those should all be vote catchers for Clinton if she really wants to get young voters on her team.