Some Thoughts on Bernie Sander’s Likely ‘Plan B’

I was going to complete and post this article a few days, but decided to wait for reasons that will be more obvious when you read it further. Well.. as many of you have read or heard in the last two weeks, many presstitutes and media personalities in the main-stream media have been busy peddling their allegedly original opinions about how Bernie Sanders cannot win the democratic presidential nomination. You might have also seen articles about how he should (or soon will) “gracefully” step aside and participate in the DNC-led anointing of Shrillary. I, for one, think that the course of events might take a rather unexpected turn- and it is not what most of you are thinking.

To be clear, Bernie’s Plan A is to win the democratic presidential nomination. However, I strongly suspect he has a Plan B- specifically, one that involves damaging the electability of Shrillary in a general election to a point where she will lose to most potential republican candidates. The beauty of this Plan B is that it runs in parallel with Plan A and does not make Bernie look bad or vindictive.

To understand what Bernie is trying to pull off, you have to first look at this from his viewpoint. First a little history and context. As some of you know, Bernie Sanders is no newcomer to electoral politics and has been involved in it at various levels for over three decades. Secondly, he always ran as an independent- even though he could have made far more money and wielded much more power if he had joined the democratic party. So, it is clear that the guy has a pretty good understanding of the political system and what he wants as a person. In other words, he knows what he is doing..

Some people think that he entered the 2016 race with the naive expectation that he would not face a very determined PR campaign against him by Shrillary, her legions of flying monkeys (media personalities and presstitutes) and the DNC. Some also think that he underestimated the support of the establishment for Shrillary. But is that really so? Do you really think a guy who has been successfully elected (and re-elected) to the house and senate is that naive? Do you really think he underestimated the support of the political and corporate establishment for Shrillary?

So why would a worldly 74-year Jewish senator from Vermont decide to seriously run for the democratic nomination against Shrillary? And why in 2016? And what does he intend to achieve in case he cannot get the democratic nomination? Why is he not taking corporate donation? Is it just out of principles or is he trying to achieve something that is not that obvious? why does he keep talking about the ‘revolution’? What is the ‘revolution’ really about? And why is he acting as if the DNC does not exist or matter?

The short answer to these and other questions lies in a peculiar convergence of electoral rules, demographic realities and the general mood of people in the country.

The somewhat longer answer is as follows: As some of you might remember from 2000, the president of USA is elected by a majority of votes by the electoral college rather than a simple majority of voters. For a large part of american history, it was possible for candidates of either party to win a significant number of states- irrespective of which candidate had won them in the previous election. To put it another way, there were many more ‘swing states‘ in the past than there are now. Starting in the 1990s, polarization of the electorate in most states reached levels that rendered most of them noncompetitive for one party or the other. Consequently, presidential candidates of each party can be fairly certain about which states they will win or not before a single vote is cast.

You might also have noticed that the swing states for the last few elections have a peculiar geographical distribution and demographic profiles. For the 2016 election- we can consider Ohio, Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Virginia, and Florida to be definite ‘swing states’. Did you notice that the major swing states (except Virginia) are somewhat poor and full of working class whites with an increasing number of Hispanics? And what does any of this have to do with Bernie’s Plan ‘B’?

As it turns out.. a lot.

Bernie has figured a way to use Shrillary’s greatest weakness, her visceral unlikeability, against her in a way that does not make him look bad. The easiest way to pull that off is to drag Shrillary and her supporters through a series of contested democratic primaries in all 50 states, but especially in those ‘swing states’ where she desperately needs a high turnout of white democratic voters. He also knows that Shrillary and her backers will do all the things that a conventionally successful political campaign will do to win the democratic nomination. He also knows that all of those things will dramatically increase her unfavorability ratings among the white working class voters she so desperately needs later in the year.

Bernie is trying to reduce the potential democratic voter turnout for her in ‘swing states’ during the 2016 presidential election.

But why take this somewhat circuitous route? And what is he really trying to achieve by making her lose the 2016 presidential election? Well.. for starters- attacking her directly at this stage might make her look more human and actually reduce her unfavorability ratings. Remember that most people felt sorry for Shrillary all through the 1990s- when she was a relative political unknown and under constant attack by republicans. The best way to defeat and degrade Hillary in a conventional political setting, as Obama demonstrated in 2008, is to get her (and her backers) to attack you.

But that still does not answer one question- why now (in 2016)?

Well.. for one major but non-obvious reason. Bernie knows that the corporate-owned DNC, not Hillary, is the biggest impediment for any real change. He also knows that the machinery of the DNC will not stop (or even slow down) as long as it is regularly fueled by its corporate backers. So how do you cut off or reduce the flow of corporate money to the DNC? The answer is.. make sure that democrats do not control the presidency, senate, house of representatives, most state legislatures, most governorships and the supreme court. Corporations do not pay political machines that lack political power. As it turns out the democrats have already achieved most of those goals- on their own.

Losing the presidency (and not regaining the senate) in 2016 will basically finish of the current incarnation of the democratic party. Of course, winning all of them might finish of the republicans via a different mechanism- but that is a discussion best left to a future post. In short, Bernie is trying to destroy the DNC by pushing it to make that one big final mistake.

What do you think? Comments?

  1. Ed
    March 1, 2016 at 9:55 am

    The standard explanation of seen for why Sanders entered the campaign is that he was hoping that some other politician on the left wing of the Demcoratic Party, maybe an actual Democrat, would challenge Hillary Clinton, and when no one did, he decided that he had to do it himself.

    Sanders is also 75 years old and there is no downside to doing a hail Mary presidential run for him. He just needs to win a primary and he will get more public exposure to his views, at least as much as Pat Buchanan got. Buchanan eventually paved the way for Trump and Sanders could have a similar effect. He is at the age where he is about to retire from politics. If he actually wins, he gets one term (he is too old for two) as President, otherwise he just retires which is what he would have done anyway.

    Actually your overall point is correct. Strategically, it is the Democratic Party and not the Republican Party that is the great barrier for getting more left wing policies implemented in the US. The Democratic Party was actually historically the more conservative of the two parties, and also the more top-down or machine controlled internally, but has had great success at convincing getting left wing support and blocking the emergence of something like the New Democrats that have carved out a niche for themselves in Canada. It would help the left if the party went the way of the Whigs, and since they have been losing a historic amount of state legislative and federal legislative races under Obama, without the presidency this could well happen. While I think Sanders hoped to induce Hillary Clinton to give more support to left wing policies, making her more reliant on a top-bottom, investment bankers plus racial minorities coalition at least hastens the demise of the Democratic Party. But I don’t think Sanders himself is really that machiavellian.

  2. neoconned
    March 8, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    You have an interesting theory, but I’m not sure that Sanders thinks turning the nation over to the GOP clowns for at least four years would be a good thing.

    The Democrats are at least another election cycle away from anyone decent emerging from the pack if Sanders (or Hillary, to be fair) doesn’t win this year. That is a long time for people to lose faith that the Democrats will ever resume the New Deal which proved to be so good for the majority of Americans. After all, Obama lost his mandate before the first midterms could be held, and that’s but half the time period I’m presenting.

  1. April 13, 2016 at 8:53 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: