Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Blaming Bernie for 2016 Isn't Going To Defeat Trump in 2020
Look, no one was harder on Bernie Sanders and his supporters - Bots, I believe is what I called them - than I was. If I had a dollar for every swipe I took at them, my wife and I could've gone to very fancy restaurant in Manhattan and left a very generous tip. I mean a VERY generous tip! I won't rehash some of my comments here; suffice to say they weren't all that delicate and rubbed more than a few people the wrong way.
But you see, here's the thing. Bernie was right and I was wrong. I didn't see the tsunami that was coming; Bernie did and he tried to warn all of us. He knew what was going on in the Rust Belt states; how the Democratic Party was about as popular among blue-collar workers as a cockroach at a picnic. And while Hillary racked up huge margins in states that haven't been in danger of going red since some of you were in diapers, Trump eked out small but significant enough margins in most of the rest of the country.
The only analogy that comes to mind is the 1960 World Series. The Yankees routed the Pirates in three of the seven games, but Pittsburgh won the other four by a combined total of seven runs. In the end, the total number of runs the Yankees scored proved irrelevant; the only result that counted was the total number of wins.
Funny thing, politics isn't all that dissimilar. California may qualify as the world's sixth largest economy, but it is still only one of fifty states. And whether you win it by three million votes or, say, thirty thousand, it's the same result: you get to put that state in your win column and all the electoral votes that go with it.
Democrats, for the most part, still haven't gotten this memo. The reason I know this is because they keep trying to relitigate the November election. I keep hearing the same bullshit: "But, she got more votes." "We have to abolish the electoral college." "Comey threw the election." "Putin hated Hillary." "Trump won because of racism."
Let me, for the last fucking time, take on each of these asinine points one by one:
She got more votes. See above example.
We have to abandon the electoral college. Good luck with that. With this Congress? With two thirds of the state legislatures in the hands of the GOP? Right.
Comey threw the election. Clinton's poll numbers were heading south before his little October surprise. Face it, she never made her case to the American people that she was the better candidate. The truth hurts.
Putin hated Hillary. Know what? He hated Obama; he hated Bush; apparently now he hates Trump. Last time I checked he hates just about everyone and everything that goes against him and his world view, which I guess makes up about 90 percent of the planet.
Trump won because of racism. So how do you explain Obama's success - twice, mind you - in the same region of the country? Did all of the racists get bussed in just for that election? And did they only vote in the states Trump won? You mean there are no racists in New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Virginia, Minnesota, Colorado, New Mexico and California? Really?
If you seriously think that racists don't live in Democratic strongholds, you've obviously never been to the neighborhood I grew up in. Or to South Boston. Or to Chicago. Or to Los Angeles. Or to your own fucking block. Face it: you went to school with them, as did I. Hell, you probably work with a few of them. They're everywhere: north, south, east, west; in the cities, in the burbs, in the sticks. But so far as I, or anyone else for that matter, knows, they've never decided a presidential election. And thank God for that.
To paraphrase Louie De Palma, get me a bar rag for Christ's sake. I'm so fed up with this shit. Mussolini is living in the White House and all Hillary supporters seem to care about is trying to exact vengeance on Bernie or anyone else who just happens to agree with him. Oh my God!
Latest on the shit list is none other than Tom Perez, the recently anointed chairman of the good ship Titanic. So what was Perez's crime? Oh nothing much. He just decided to team up with Bernie in what is being called a Unity tour, but for many Hillary supporters is nothing more than a Rub It In Your Face tour.
You should hear them. "Bernie's not a Democrat." "What's he doing teaming up with the DNC Chair?" "How dare Perez share the stage with that Judas!"
Like I did above, let me tackle each one of these protestations:
Bernie's not a Democrat. Guess what, Trump isn't a Republican. What's your point? Ask most people and they'll tell you that party identity ain't what it used to be. In the Midwest, it don't mean shit. And that just happens to be where the 2016 election got decided.
What's he doing teaming up with the DNC Chair? Oh, I don't know. Maybe he just has a natural revulsion about seeing a xenophobic wanna-be dictator in the White House and would like to do whatever he can to expedite an exit for said dictator.
How dare Perez share the stage with that Judas. Last time I picked up my Bible, Judas was the guy who sold out Jesus for a few pieces of silver, not someone who tried to warn him about what the religious authorities were planning to do to him, which if you think about it, was pretty much what Bernie was trying to do for the Democratic Party. If you're going to impugn the integrity of someone at least have the decency to get the right historical context.
Democrats need to do a lot of soul searching and stop their infighting. Blaming Bernie for 2016 isn't going to defeat Trump in 2020. Indeed, it's a damn good way of ensuring his reelection. They should listen to him and adopt some, if not most, of what he's saying. The truth is that in the heartland of this country, Bernie is more respected than the Democratic Party. That's just a fact, a fact that Perez gets.
You don't have to like a fact to accept it. For instance, this Wednesday my New York Rangers will face off against the Montreal Canadiens in the first round of the playoffs. They have not won the Stanley Cup since 1994. In fact, since 1940, they've only won it once. Do I believe they have a shot this year? The fan in me says yes; the realist says no way. We'll know soon enough which one is right.
Democrats may believe with all their heart that all they have to do is tweak a few things and the glory days will magically reappear. I know a lot of Ranger fans who feel the same way about their hockey team. In about two weeks the air will go out of the balloon for them yet again. That moment of truth for Dems will likely occur on November 3, 2020.
When that happens both groups can go out and cry in their bar rags while the Republic goes down the drain.