Friday, April 8, 2016

How Bernie voters can lose the election and hand America to the authoritarians

I make you three pledges. I already fulfilled one: I voted for Bernie in the AZ Presidential Preference Election. Second, I will vote for whoever the Democratic nominee is in the national election be it Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton. Third, I will vote Democratic in all the races on the ballot.

If you are a Bernie supporter, will you make the same pledges? And actually do them? If not you place the fate of the presidency and the future of our country in the hands of the American Authoritarians.

I make you a fourth pledge. I will continue this harangue right up through the November election. Kevin Drum writing at Mother Jones ("Bernie Voters Not Very Interested in Non-Bernie Democrats") has similar worries. (h/t Sherry Moreau)

Dave Weigel notes that Wisconsin's Supreme Court race was yet another setback for Democrats:

They saw a decent chance to defeat Rebecca Bradley, a conservative justice appointed to the state Supreme Court by Walker. Her opponent, JoAnne Kloppenburg, nearly won a seat on the court in 2011.

…Bradley won the election, a surprise to Democrats. This morning, some progressives picked a culprit: voters who cast ballots for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) and left the rest of their ballots blank. According to exit polling conducted by the independent group DecisionDesk and BenchMark Politics, perhaps 15 percent of Sanders voters skipped the Bradley-Kloppenburg race; just 4 percent of Hillary Clinton voters did the same.

Bernie endorsed JoAnne Kloppenburg, so this isn't a matter of him refusing to play ball with anyone running on the Democratic ticket. Nonetheless, it's a serious issue, no matter what you think of Bernie versus Hillary on the issues. Bernie is basing a lot of his campaign not just on anti-Hillary sentiment, but on anti-Democratic-Party-establishment sentiment. That's fair enough, but like it or not, the Democratic Party is all we have to compete with Republicans.

That last point is critical; independents are not going to defend that line.

Bernie has been asked before if, for example, he'd raise money for Democrats if he won the nomination, and he responded, "We'll see." That's really not going to cut it anymore. Bernie doesn't have to mindlessly support every Democrat on the ballot, but voters deserve to know what he'd do if he won the Democratic nomination. Would it be all Bernie all the time? Or does he become a fighter for all the down-ballot races Democrats need to win in order to pass all that revolutionary legislation we hear so much about?

Like it or not, fellow Bernie supporters, if you cannot bring yourself to vote Democratic then the city/county/state machinery of government goes to the GOPlins. And that means that it does not matter which Democratic candidate wins the presidency because their levers of power will be even more compromised than they are now.

Please pass the message to other Bernie supporters who might be inclined to not vote for Democrats down ballot - or not vote at all.

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