Monthly Archives: June, 2016

“Uncle Bernie”. A third party run would be a disaster!

Imagine a president no one voted for.
 
While Bernie Sanders has rebuffed all questions about whether he will try an independent run at the White House, his stance may be softening as the Vermont senator now appears open to the idea of bucking the Democratic Party and going it alone in his bid to win in November.
 
“Uncle Bernie” has been steadfast in his stance that keeping Donald Trump out of the White House is his top goal, and had used that justification against the possibility of a third-party run this fall. Sanders said he would refuse to play the spoiler, potentially splitting the left-leaning vote and allowing Trump to win.
 
Yet last night while watching his “concession” speech, it dawned on me he is unhappy that he was slapped down badly in California and his ego (pride) has been damaged / hurt. Many of his followers are rabid (to say the least) and also some …let me tread carefully here may have a delusional disorder thinking the “democrats” system of nominating is rigged. Here is a short history of the “super delegate” (thank you msnbc).
 
To understand why superdelegates exist at all, it helps to go all the way back to the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago, at which the party establishment chose Vice President Hubert Humphrey as the nominee, angering grassroots activists who felt they’d been shut out of the process, and fatally splitting the party. In response, Democrats opened up the primary process in the early ’70s, requiring all delegates to be chosen by voters, not party leaders. That’s when the modern primary system came about.
 
But by the early ’80s, there was a feeling that the cure had been worse than the disease. In the two elections after the reforms were put in place, Democrats nominated insurgent candidates—George McGovern in 1972 and Jimmy Carter in 1976. McGovern suffered a landslide defeat. Carter beat a weak President Ford, then, after four mostly unsuccessful years in the White House, was crushed by Ronald Reagan in 1980, leaving him a deeply unpopular figure in the party.
 
So in 1982, the Democratic National Committee created superdelegates, with the primary goal of handing a bit more control of the nominating process to party insiders. From now on, sitting Democratic members of Congress, governors, big city mayors and a few other party bigwigs, including the president, if he or she was a Democrat, would all be delegates, meaning they would get a vote at the convention for who should be the party’s presidential nominee. The new rules, reported the New York Times in 1981, “seemed infused with a desire to deny future nominations to political reincarnations of the Jimmy Carter of 1976.”
 
In the 1984 election, superdelegates helped put the establishment candidate, Walter Mondale, over the top. But Mondale, like Clinton this year, had more pledged delegates—that is, delegates elected by voters—than either of his rivals, Gary Hart and Jesse Jackson Jr. Virtually any broadly democratic system would have given him the nomination.
 
It wasn’t until 2008 that the issue of superdelegates arose again. In the winter and early spring of that year, as Clinton and Barack Obama were battling it out, it looked possible that superdelegates, most of whom at the time favored Clinton, might tip the scales in her favor. But as it became clear that Obama was going to win more pledged delegates than Clinton, the superdelegates responded by gradually moving into his camp. They appear to have recognized that it would be disastrous for party insiders to be seen to be taking the nomination away from the candidate who was the choice of the party’s voters.
 
That truly will leave a mathematical opening for Trump. Although a majority of the US voting population have an unfavorable opinion of him, if 30% of Sanders’ supporters don’t back Clinton, Trump won’t need the backing of a majority of Americans. With a republican house and senate imagine that no candidate gets 270 electoral votes! This is something that happens after every presidential election and if neither candidate has the required 270 electoral votes the constitution gives the authority to select the new President of the United States to the US House of Representatives if there is an electoral tie. Wow.
 
So “Uncle Bernie” please do not run third party, suggest or encourage your supporters to petition for you to get on the ballot (in states where the deadline has not passed) or write you in. If we think the candidates we have are bad, imagine a president no one voted for.

Great day to “Coast” here at the beach!

Today, my neighborhood and a few streets in Santa Monica were transformed, with no automobile traffic!!!

With the city’s first open streets festival the was called “Coast”, a play on our location on the Pacific Ocean and cruising on your bicycle. There were many neighbors out and of course new visiting friends all enjoyed (in the thousands) bicycling, walking, skateboarding and scooter through the performance art, music groups, dancing, food, and politicians visiting (damn you Bernie for coming to the pier and interrupting an otherwise fun day).

The amazing part this afternoon was that it was just beautiful and the temperature was in the mid to high 60 degrees, a bit cooler for the season, but made it even more fun watching the Samba dancers, the musicians, a few talented artists and more important the hot women of our city.