Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Rank amnesia

I find Reader Supported News a valuable service, but it does mean being subjected to the CDS corners of the left. Scott Galindez, one of their staffers, is its current torchbearer, and his latest post is yet another demonstration of blinkered hypocrisy.

To parse his question:

First, "establishment media": What do you mean by that? Do you mean Nate Silver's 538, which has dutifully and with solid analytics examined the likelihood of the outcomes of electoral races for the past several cycles? When the likelihood -- based on polls and other carefully considered factors -- of Hillary's winning the primaries for the following states are as high as this...

Michigan - 98%
Florida - greater than 99%
Illinois - greater than 99%
North Carolina - 94%
Ohio - 94%

... and when the only reason other big upcoming states aren't yet predicted is Silver's rigorous caution about waiting until we're closer to the event (with the most recent polls giving Clinton large leads in every one of those upcoming states (Maryland, 30 points; Pennsylvania, 21 points; California, 11 points)... except Wisconsin, which at the moment looks like a dead heat)...

... then what do you expect the "establishment media" -- or any reporting -- to report?

To claim that the "establishment media" is in the tank for Hillary is a very bad joke. They are in the tank for a horserace, and have aggressively trumpeted Bernie's prospects far more than has ever been realistic. And if anything, the "establishment media" has been a knee-jerk slimer of Hillary Clinton for decades now. Read your Somerby.

Second, what you mean "red," paleface? The people in Southern states who vote in Democratic primaries are black, not Confederate racists. What these primaries have demonstrated is that African Americans are overwhelmingly rejecting Bernie Sanders and enthusiastically embracing Hillary Clinton. Not just old African Americans, either. Bernie has won lily white progressives, period. And there aren't nearly enough of them to carry a general election.

Third, one could have asked the same question about the 2008 primaries. In fact, one did. Barack Obama won the nomination by sweeping states the Democratic candidate would never carry in November, and by gaming the caucuses. Hillary Clinton, in contrast, won all the big blue states, by healthy margins. Did progressives like Galindez complain then? Quite the contrary -- they celebrated his gamesmanship and called it a political revolution. What's consistent isn't the logic, but rather the antipathy to Hillary Clinton. People like Galindez adjust their argument to produce the outcome their biases dictate.

Hillary Clinton won the primary contest in 2008 -- she had the most popular votes, and the most electoral votes -- but the DNC at the time, Howard Dean and Donna Brazile's DNC, put their thumb on the scales and egregiously disenfranchised the voters of Michigan and Florida. This time, the DNC is at least being even-handed. And the result is again demonstrating the strength of Hillary Clinton as a candidate.

That's what the "establishment media" is reporting, because that is the obvious fact. The reality of what is happening in this campaign is very clear. Bernie's theory of the case -- a political revolution-- is not happening, at least on the left. (A revolution on the right does seem underway, and it is shattering the establishment Republican Party. But the Democratic Party remains a functioning and very unified institution.) Bernie Sanders is a vanity focus object, a piece of political pornography for progressives to jerk off to. He isn't remotely a serious candidate to be president of the United States. If he really meant the stuff he says, he would actually have done something about it over the past 40 years. He is an appealing performance artist who found a theater -- aka the state of Vermont -- where his schtick could run for decades, because the people have such a comparatively nice life that they don't actually need political action. His run against Hillary was always another piece of performance art, and it has had its maximum (and very salutary) effect -- pulling the race to the left, and freeing Hillary to go there herself.

So, thank you, Bernie. And fuck you, Scott.

No comments: