I’m going to step out of my “let’s all be friends” mode for a minute to talk about what happened in Michigan last night.
Clinton won that debate in Michigan. She reached out to the African American community. She fluffed Obama til it hurt. She still lost. Now, I would still vote for Bernie in a heartbeat over whoever the Republican challenger turns out to be and I’m not even going to say that this would turn out to be a McGovernesque mistake. But something else is going on this election year that Hillary’s campaign staff is not catching on to.
Also note that if anything, the winner in Michigan has a much more awkward and less nuanced attitude towards race and gender. It’s not that he’s a racist. It’s that he looks very uncomfortable talking about it. And we can’t rule out the relentless attacks on Hillary’s character from almost everyone. Someday, we might have to address the scapegoat mechanism and why Americans are so determined to resolve a conflict by making the woman take the fall. But that’s for another post.
In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this comment from tdraicer from about a week ago. He summed up this election season and Hillary’s plight pretty well. Unlike the Republican party, the Democratic party has mechanisms to shape the outcome, as we saw in 2008. I’m not advocating cheating and rewriting the rules like it did for Obama. But Democrats have proportional delegation instead of “winner take all” and the superdelegates can throw their weight to their preferred candidate.
The Democratic nominee might not have a chance in November if the feeling of impotence among the electorate forces it to vote for drastic and dangerous change in order to make a point: They will not be ignored.
Here’s tdraicer’s comment (hope he doesn’t mind):
I confess to both enjoying and being appalled by the ironies of this campaign season.
In 2008, despite winning a majority of primary voters, Hillary was kept from the nomination by an alliance of mostly young white Democratic activists and black voters who chose symbolism over substance (an alliance backed by Wall Street money who knew exactly which Democrat was friendliest to their interests). At the same time I warned that an anti-liberal Democrat like Obama in the WH would push the GOP even more to the extreme right.
Now, 8 years later, after Obama disappointed those who saw him wrongly as a liberal, Hillary is again opposed by mostly young white Democratic activists, forcing her to embrace Obama and rely on the exact black symbolic attachment to Obama that cost her their votes 8 years ago. And minus those voters, (and to be fair, the Wall Street money), Bernie demonstrates the limits of the Obama coalition of 2008.
Meanwhile, having failed to elect two Right-wing candidates to the WH in 2008 and 2012, the GOP has finally gone off the cliff, apparently intent on nominating someone so far to the right it scares even many Republicans (which won’t stop them backing him in the end).
Which doesn’t, alas, mean Trump is doomed to lose. Apart from black voters, Obama isn’t that popular, and Hillary’s being forced into his arms could cost her, especially if the economy collapses between now and November. If there is a Revolutionary mood in the country, it lies among Trump supporters, not Bernie’s.
In 2000 when W. “won” I said, Better hope nothing like a major terrorist attack happens in the next four years. In 2004, after listening to Obama’s speech at the Democratic Convention, I said, Better hope he never becomes President. In 2008 and 2012 I warned there was much worse than McCain or Romney waiting in the wings. In sum, I’m gaining a lot of sympathy for Cassandra: seeing the future and having no influence over it is not as much fun as one might wish.