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Rachel Maddow Destroys the 2008 Narrative

Bernie says he’s going to contest the convention.

I like Bernie. But I think he is beginning to listen too much to the same damn people we had to put up with in 2008. This is what they think:

Hillary is evil. She has The Ring. Her voters are unimportant. She must step aside. 

I would go even further and speculate that many of Bernie’s middle aged male Democratic supporters are suffering from what I call The More Deserving Man Syndrome. That is, no matter what over accomplished woman is competing for what has been an exclusively male position before, there will always be that one more deserving man out there that only other men can see. But I digress.

Getting back to the title.

Rachel Maddow destroyed Bernie’s argument (post from BlueNationReview) for why there should be a contested convention by taking away one of the pillars of the “Obama ran a great campaign!” argument. She pointed out just how close the convention was in 2008. Actually, I think her estimate of a 4% pledged delegate difference is too high. It depends on how she is counting the Florida and Michigan delegations. If she is counting them as only half strength and Obama getting all of Michigan’s uncommitted delegates from a primary in which he wasn’t even on the ballot, then it was much, much closer than 4%. It was statistically insignificant.

Nevertheless, almost all of the superdelegates switched from Hillary to Obama. I say there was money involved, filtered to down ticket races from Obama’s Wall Street donors. But whatever.

Here’s the bottom line: Obama “won” the nomination from:

1.) Winning mostly caucus states. He lost most of the big Democratic prizes like CA, PA, NY, NJ, MA, FL, OH, TX, MI, NJ, just go look at the primary map

2.) Gifts of uncommitted delegates in MI plus a halving of FL and MI delegates by the fiat of the Rules Committee in May 2008.

3.) Superdelegates

That’s it. There was nothing magical about Obama’s campaign. He wasn’t that successful. If it weren’t for the media helping him but constructing a false narrative about *his* inevitability, he could have been subjected to a legitimate floor flight from a opponent who had far more reason to contest his appointment. In short, he would be where Bernie is now.

Do you hear what I’m saying Emily Bazelon, David Plotz and John Dickerson??  Obama did not win in a landslide. It wasn’t even close to a landslide. He won because you guys helped him and gave his crazy ass supporters a lot more legitimacy than they deserved. Now, it is coming back again full circle because those same crazy ass guys think they can do it again.

And the reason we know just how ridiculously close the 2008 delegate count was is because Hillary was pressured to concede the nomination before the first ballot roll call ended and before California had to commit its delegates, by law, to Clinton. Pelosi et al wanted to hurry the whole thing along and flip the states without the legal requirement of a first ballot commitment before anyone caught on.

I can never listen to Love Train again without wanting to throw up.

You would think that the first female candidate to get that close to winning the nomination would be accorded the honor of a full first ballot roll call vote. How does that make you feel, Rachel Maddow? Her pledged delegates were bullied and harassed in some cases, and many states didn’t get an opportunity to vote for her during the first ballot. We’re not talking about the second ballot where they could switch. We’re saying that some states were forced to switch during the first ballot. And the vast majority of the media was totally onboard with robbing the first female candidate of a first round roll call vote that she was going to lose anyway by less than 100 votes if we count all the delegate reassignment.

The first female candidate with legitimate claim to the nomination was ordered by her party to step aside.

Does that sound cool to you now eight years later? Because it wasn’t to us.

But if the party had gone ahead with a regular roll call vote, just like every male candidate would have demanded, the vote would have looked way too close and might have roused the attention and enthusiasm of the voters who were not enamored with Obama and thought he didn’t have the experience to take on what the Bushies and the financial industry were going to leave him. And they would have been right.

But Hillary graciously stepped aside. Just like Al Gore graciously stepped aside. Just like John Kerry graciously stepped aside.

Three points. Hmmmm, there’s a trend there…  It’s almost as if someone wants a relatively weak and easy to control Democrat in the White House or a right wing Republican…

But Bernie wants to contest the convention. His supporters would like for Hillary to graciously step aside — again.

Really?  I’m talking to all you issues oriented Bernie supporters out there. Do you really want Bernie to push aside this female candidate who is winning in a legitimate, clean primary season without any hinky rules crap? Is this really what you want?

She’s winning fair and square. It’s not up to you to substitute your judgment for the judgment of other voters no matter how stupid, mislead or uninformed you may think they are. If you were able to tolerate the least prepared Democratic president, you can tolerate the most prepared. Yes, there will be people who will make her look like Satan incarnate. It’s going to be hard for her. But if she couldn’t challenge in a year when she had every right to do it, then Bernie should accept the will of the voters after everyone has had a vote, and concede graciously.

Nobody gets exactly what they want in an election year. There is no perfect candidate who will say all the right things and is certified and guaranteed to do exactly what you want once they get into office. Do you want that anyway? What if something really important comes up and that president has to do something they thought they’d never do? All you can do is look at their records, look at their accomplishments, see if they are learning as the campaign proceeds and vote accordingly.

That’s what Clinton’s voters have done and they will not step aside this year.

25 Responses

  1. How many times do we have to state the obvious? Thanks for having the courage to say the truth one more time

  2. It is still so painful to remember.

  3. Brava for a great analysis. The one thing which we could add is that the entire process was fixed from the outset in 2008, when Donna Brazile stealthily managed to create a delegate apportioning metric which gave more delegates to districts which had a larger proportion of Black voters. She called this, “rewarding districts whcih voted strongly for the Democrats in the last election,” but rest assured that it was a way to increase the power of Black voters, which by itself is completely undemocratic, however noble some might think it. Why should districts which had a high Democratic vote in the previous election get more delegates? Why not give states which went Democratic, more delegates than their population proportion? No one would have accepted that, but it would not be any more ridiculous than doing it by districts within states. I would think that Obama was gifted with 100 or so more delegates as the process continued; since time after time, Hillary would win a big state like Ohio by 8-10%, and somehow end up with only three or four more delegates, because the Black-populated districts which went for Obama got more delegates than the other ones. It is with a sort of bitter satisfaction that this is happening in Hiillary’s favor this time, but it still is wrong. Donna Brazile and others have simply instituted a system which makes Black votes count more than the others. No one has ever mentioned this rigging of the system which not coincidentally began in 2008. Without it, Hillary would have gotten more pledged delegates, even when Brazile once again cheated her by rushing to disenfranchise Florida and Michigan voters because Obama was going to lose there. And I wonder which DNC people told him to take his name off the Michigan ballot, and that they would give him at least half the delegates, anyway.

    Maybe this was because Hillary is a woman, maybe because Obama is Black, or maybe both of those, and more. No bookstore ever presented a book which recounted thiese travesties of democracy. Everyone was so eager to congratulate themselves for being so virtuous as to help us have the first African-American president. Do you remember when someone suggested that if Obama did not get the nomination, there would be riots? It is sort of sad that Maddow, who not long ago said that “the Democratic race is so tight that you could bounce a dime off it,” gets credit for pointing out that the race is not close, not nearly as close as 2008. I well remenber every Democratic official, including Pelosi, demanding that Hillary leave the race, even while she was winning primaries, and while the DNC hadn’t yet definitively cheated her out of her FL and MI delegates. This time, Sanders is prolonging a race which is over, just for his indulgence, and so he can take some more shots at Hillary, the Democratic Party, and the process. This cannot help her in the general election, but he’s going to do it up to the point where the convention is gaveled closed, and maybe even after. I would have wanted Hilary to have campaigned a bit in Indiana, just to make sure that she won there. She shouldn’t have to, but the media still wants to try to revive the Sanders candidacy. Maddow suggested last night that maybe Hillary is not campaigning there because she is not doing well, and then showed a graphic which had her winning every poll in that state, even without spending a dime. If Sanders wins the primary, we will hear the familiar refrain, even though Hillary is really trying to solidify her support for the general election against the very dangerous Trump, and cannot wait for Sanders or the media to finally decide that she won the nomination.

  4. Awesome. One thing the media has not noticed is demographics. Bernie has not been able to expand his appeal. Hillary already had long standing relationships with the minority communities which helped her. Back in 2008 demographics were much more evenly split between Obama and Hillary. But you are right. Obama wasn’t any real awesome candidate. He used the caucuses to get delegates but lost big diverse states. If he had not had the collapse to propel people to his side it’s unlikely that he would have won IMO. I’ve observed what looks like the “bad” Obama people from 2008 and the “good” Obama people have split up this year. Hillary apparently picked up the decent ones while Bernie chose the skanky ones like Revolution Messaging.

  5. I don’t like Bernie; I don’t like him one bit.

    • +1, as the kids say.

      He’s a cranky old man and it’s past time for him to go warm the seat of the rocking chair waiting for him on the front porch of his house in Vermont.

      • “cranky old man”


        If any US voter of any political party makes an anti-H Clinton ageist comment, I would not be surprised if you hypocritically cry a river noting ageism.

        Asking for bringing the social democracy policies that have proven to work in actually Civilized nations like Denmark & Canada to Barbaric Murica is “cranky”, “unpragmatic”? If so I NEVER want to her H Clinton/0bama/Rs drone on about Murica the Exceptional Nation, since she rejects that Murica should match what actual world-class nations do.

        H Clinton said “MedicareForAll will NEVER happen in Murica” during this campaign. What is worse between this & 0bama killing the Public Option, after having promised it in the 2008 Campaign. A True Lesser of 2 Evils question, not sure which is worse, they both are terrible on this issue. Harvard Public Health Profs note 45K/USians die yearly due to not having CAN-style MedicareForAll.

        • I’m sorry you don’t like the truth. The truth is after Obamacare nobody is going to tackle healthcare and Bernie is not going to deliver it either even if he was able to win. Instead of expecting a candidate to deliver something your time would be better spent actually convincing voters.

  6. I heard tonight, after Cruz suspended, that the GOP may float a third party candidate (which we’ve heard for awhile) in order to prevent any individual candidate from winning 270 electoral votes in the general election, in which case, the (Republican) House elects the President (gasp):

    “If no candidate receives a majority of Electoral votes, the House of Representatives elects the President from the 3 Presidential candidates who received the most Electoral votes. Each state delegation has one vote. The Senate would elect the Vice President from the 2 Vice Presidential candidates with the most Electoral votes. Each Senator would cast one vote for Vice President. If the House of Representatives fails to elect a President by Inauguration Day, the Vice-President Elect serves as acting President until the deadlock is resolved in the House.” (from US National Archives & Records Admin FAQ)

    • They won’t do it. But if they did, this would not help them against Hillary. In fact, it would probably help Hillary. There is no state that she would win against Trump , that she would not win because of the additional candidate. The Republicans will get behind Trump, because they want the Supreme Court, and they don’t want Hillary to win. It would be very helpful if Sanders would withdraw now, but he will not, of course. I really wanted Hillary to contest Indiana, because if she had won,Sanders would have no narrative going forward. Now we’re going to see him win some more states, while Trump is pounding away at her.

      • I agree–I was hoping for IN, too. I’m disappointed, especially after listening to Sanders during his phone call to CNN tonight. Yikes. Trump is now campaigning directly for the general, attacking Clinton. Sanders is also now attacking Clinton.

        My understanding is that the GOP may just want their preferred “3rd party” candidate to run in order to keep any of the 3 from getting the required 270 votes to win in November. If they can achieve this, they will win, even if their candidate wins the fewest popular votes. (I didn’t know, until today, that a candidate NEEDS 270 electoral votes to win the Presidency.)

        Of course, then we really would have a revolution… Gore x 10.

        • I don’t think that a third party would take any electoral votes from Hillary. It would hurt Trump a lot more. They won’t do it, anyway.

          Yes, I think that Hillary’s campaign made a mistake in not contesting Indiana and spending ad money. They could have rendered Sanders irrelevant with one more win. Now Sanders is probably going to win WV, where they are angry at Hillary, and he will promise more undeliverable things. They may well win KY, and they will certainly win MT, ND, SD, and OR. Then comes CA, where the Democratic Party very foolishly alllowed Independents to vote in their primary (the Republicans do not), and people to switch parites up until two weeks from now. We could see massive Republican voting for Sanders. This will not stop her from gathering enough delegates, but it is not a good narrative. Sanders is now doing great damage, as he cannot win the nomination, but will not and cannot stop himself from inveighing against her and the Democratic Party, and claiming the whole process is fixed against him And the media puts him on TV every ten minutes, along with Trump. Does Hillary ever get any air time on there? Does anyone ever praise her for her intelligence and grasp of issues? The media doesn’t care about such things, they try to turn politics into the WWF. So whatever Hillary says in the next month about important matters is going to be ignored in favor of the coverage of Sanders’ and Trump’s attacks. I can only hope that her face-to-face meetings, and the organizational work, help her sufficiently for now.

          • The CA primary is worrying. I agree with you about Indiana, William, and about the other states, most of which will go for Bernie (except NJ, which is big). At the same time, there are a LONG 3 months until the Democratic convention! And Trump will be campaigning against Hillary the entire time. She cannot turn back towards Sanders. There’s no time for that now.

            I’ve posted here before about being too afraid of having my car vandalized if I were to put a HC bumper sticker on it. I can’t talk to my friends about this election, and we talk about most everything–I suspect some are still too burned by ’08 and I know the males are Bernie supporters. My husband has been attacked relentlessly on Facebook (which I am not on) by his fellow peace-loving middle-aged active types for saying very, very mild things in support of Hillary. It is worse now than in 2008, and it was very bad in 2008.

            CA has the central valley and San Diego, which are both quite conservative. There is no real point for Repubs to vote in their own primary, so why not switch and attempt to get Bernie as their opponent, whom they know they can beat? Lots of delegates in CA.

      • Nothing is going to stop Sanders. Even losing Indiana would not have made a difference. He got wiped out last week and didn’t withdraw.

  7. WWTSBQ doesn’t sound any better in 2016 than it did in 2008, guys – not even when you substitute “Bernie” for the b-word.

    • I am not in that camp.
      I don’t encourage others to join it.
      That being said, people got a right to be unhappy with Bernie getting personal.

      But no one here is suggesting he quit.
      Let him go all the way, influence the platform, have a riveting convention speech, get his full delegate count in the roll call, and then do the right thing.

      It’s not too much to ask

  8. I gather that super delegates can vote for/against any nominee-wannabe that they want to. That is one of their super powers as super delegates.

    If Clinton reaches the Convention with more elected delegates than Sanders, I would expect the super delegates to add their support to Clinton’s majority-of-the-elected-delegates’ support.

    I remember several threads ago giving half-an-answer to the question of why would the Dparty leaders oppose Clinton so totally in 2008 and support her so totally in 2016? My half-answer was that in 2008 she was the less-pro-Wall Street candidate. Obama was clearly Wall Street’s carefully groomed front man. Clinton was suggesting some actions that would have cost Wall Street some real couch cushion change. So the FIRE Sector MoneyLords, working through their Democratic Party Leaders, worked to prevent Clinton from getting nominated.

    So what would be the other half-answer as to why the FIRE Sector and its Democratic Party leadership would prefer Clinton now? Because she was “read the Riot Act” at that Builderberg Society meeting at Chantilly, Virginia that she and Obama were both summoned to. And she has become a more friendly person to the agenda of the OverClass MoneyLords in 2016 than she was in 2008.
    For example, when she says America will “NEVER EVER” attain CanadaCare, that is not just a political observation about how Obama carefully poisoned the healthcare-discussion well for decades to come with his so-called “ACA” bailout for Big Insura. It is also a statement of political-economic desire on her part . . . in line with her semi-recent statement that the private insurance bussiness MUST remain at THE HEART of any health care system America has. I don’t remember when she said that, but I know she said that because I saw and heard her say it her own self on television.

    Sanders is a lot less pro-FIRE Sector OverLord than Clinton now is. Therefor, the OverClass governators will use every bit of leverage they have to make sure that the super delegates never ever vote for Sanders, no matter what. Which will put them in a bit of a bind if Sanders reaches the Convention with more elected delegates than Clinton has. But I am confident that the Pelosi-Reid-MoneyLord Democrats will not permit a Sanders nomination no matter what. The anti-New Deal pro FIRE Sector pro Forced Trade Agreement Democratic Party of today hates Sanders with a hatred that is pure and true. So Sanders will not be nominated. That is my prediction. If I predict wrong, I expect to be laughed at a lot here.

    I notice that any number of fellow commenters do indeed call for Sanders to withdraw from the race. I hope Sanders stays in till the Floor Count. It will be a temperature-taking opportunity to see just how much support Sanders does or doesn’t have.

    Finally, for those with a taste in conspiracy theory and who pin their hopes or fears on that FBI investigation hanging somewhere out there . . . . here goes the theory. The FBI is quietly assembling a shit-ton of evidence against Senator SecState Clinton regarding the private server events. But the FBI and the HolderLynchoBama Justice Obstruction Department will keep it all quiet until after Clinton has been safely nominated. Then either the FBI and the Department of Justice Obstruction, or the FBI on its own if Justice Obstruction won’t play along . . . will release that shit-ton of evidence one way or another. The goal will be to force Clinton’s sudden “resignation” from the nomination and her replacement with Biden or some other pro-Upper Class anti-New Deal establishment figure.

    I didn’t make that theory up myself, I’m not that machiavellian. I read it somewhere. But if it plays out that way, I will not vote for Biden or any other sudden “head-transplant” who would be bolted onto Clinton’s body under such a scenario.

    • I have a question for all the people who hope the FBI investigation defeats Clinton:

      Would y’all like some Spurious Special Sauce on that Big Fat Nothingburger? 😆

      • I wrote 8 paragraphs and all you care about are the last two? Well, okay.

        Predicting where “the email thingie” will go is harder than predicting that the DemParty will Not, not, NOT nominate Sanders. It could be a somethingburger, or a nothingburger, or a somethingelse burger. I just don’t know.

        I know that some serious analysts . . . former military/ diplomatic/computer/ intelligence people over at Sic Semper Tyrannis devote occasional spans of attention to ” the email thingie” for the sorts of serious reasons that military/ diplomatic/computer/intelligence people devote attention to things. It has not been their main focus, but it has garnered several passing glances from their direction. Here is the Colonel’s very latest entry on the subject.

        • Many of the Oligarchs have indicated they consider HRC a lesser evil than Tribble Hair. No oligarchy wants one of its own to elevate himself above his fellows and become a monarch. Hence, even if there is a somethingburger (which I do not expect), the FBI will receive orders that it not be served.

          I think Hillary can defeat Tribble Hair fair and square, but if I’m wrong about that, I also suspect she won’t need to. The Oligarchs can simply order their minions to use their back-door passwords to enter the proprietary software of the unaccountable vote-counting computers, and shift enough votes to Hillary in the right places.

          Il Douche would not be able to do one damned thing about that, since unlike the original Duce, Tribble Hair neglected to build a private army of hoodlums first. 😈

  9. “I say there was money involved, filtered to down ticket races from Obama’s Wall Street donors. But whatever.” Where does this come from? Do you not see that spurious allegations like this are exactly what the right wing does to Clinton? As a pro-Obama Ready for Hilary backer who supports the campaign, I can’t for the life of me understand these outrageous claims you still hold on to.

    • Um, they aren’t outrageous claims. We followed it carefully in various media outlets that didn’t exactly broadcast it. You can look at our archives from the 2008 primary season. There was a huge influx of cash to Obama from Republican donors in February of 2008. Also, he had big cash donors donate directly to the DNC in chunks of $28,000/per person at just about the time that the superdelegates were making decisions.
      We’re not making this up but I’m not going to trawl through the archives for you either.
      Only silly, naive, gullible people would still believe that Obama wasn’t pulling in large wads of cash from Wall Street. They. Bought. Him.
      He was captured before he set foot in the White House.
      Also, see this special report from Frontline.

      Poor stupid Obot.

      • Sorry, foolish of me to think you were more intelligent than simply making the “all money from wall Street is bad money” argument. The lack of self-reflexivity is fairly astonishing. Well played Rd, well played.

        • Um, I don’t make that argument. Wall Street frequently makes contributions to candidates on both sides of the aisle.
          Normally, it would amount to a hill of beans because in the general election, Wall Street is dwarfed by sheer numbers of voters.
          BUT in primary elections, it can and does make a difference because many of the primaries are closed. So, if huge gobs of cash are thrown at one candidate over another disproportionately, you can probably expect that interest to get special attention.

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