Sunday, April 17, 2016

If the Democratic presidential race was an NFL event

   Viewers would have turned off long ago if the pundits covered the Democratic presidential race like the NFL. Everyone knows where teams benefit from the schedule, and when they are likely destroyed by it.
   Bernie Sanders has feasted on lightly attended caucuses that few people understand, and even fewer have the several hours needed to attend one to demonstrate support for their candidate. Many of them are open, meaning anyone, Democrat, Republican or independent can vote.
   He won two primaries, Wisconsin and Michigan, both of which allowed non-Democrats to vote. On one of his web sites Sanders said open primaries can be used for “political sabotage,” by allowing non-party members to determine its future.
  In Sanders’ words, posted on a web site:
  “Why do some states have closed primaries and caucuses while others do not?
Closed primary elections and caucuses exist as a defense mechanism against political sabotage. Some states’ political parties are concerned that voters, instead of using their vote to support the candidate with whom they agree the most, will vote for a weak candidate in the opposing political party. That is to say, these individuals may subvert the opposing political party’s power as a way to advance the potential of their own political party. By hosting a closed primary election, states force individuals in their electorate to register as either a Republican, a Democrat, or another political party, and then participate in only their own party’s caucus or primary election. In this way, both the state parties ensure that they are not undermining each other’s political efficacy.”
   After suffering a string of primary losses that built up Hillary Clinton’s lead to possibly insurmountable levels, Sanders won a series of causes that drew small numbers of votes in small, mostly white states with few minorities. Cable TV called these victories, even when there was a delegate draw in one, Wyoming.
   Not unaware that there was no path to victory, short of an improbable indictment of Clinton, Sanders did what he has in past campaigns: raised the volume. The New York Times reported Sanders has become very combative in past campaigns when he was in difficulty, including a 1986 campaign against incumbent Gov. Madeleine Kunin.
He said things like: “Many people are excited because she’s the first woman governor. But after that, there ain’t much.” Kunin crushed him, getting 47 percent to his 14. Peter Smith got 38.
   Sanders even tried a Hail Mary, flying his family to Rome to shake hands privately with the pope, who said it was only manners to greet him since he was in the path.
   Polling reveals double-digit leads for Clinton in next week’s New York primary, and similar leads in Pennsyvania and California.
   Convention playoffs seem unlikely for what Saturday Night Live called Donald Trump’s cartoon opposite this weekend.

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