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How Sanders Lost South Carolina, And Why He Won’t Win the Nomination

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Some excellent reporting by Hunter Walker:

African-American voters carried Clinton to an overwhelming victory over Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, in the state’s Democratic presidential primary. African-Americans typically make up the majority of South Carolina’s Democratic electorate and, according to CNN’s exit polling, Clinton won with the support of 84 percent of the state’s black community.

[…]

Sanders, on the other hand, struggled to gain traction with black voters in South Carolina, hampered by the very thing that has lifted him elsewhere: his position as an outsider and newcomer on the state’s political scene. Attempts at outreach came late and were described by some local African-American leaders as ham-fisted.

[…]

A source told Yahoo News that an influential member of the state Legislature received several direct appeals from Clinton asking for an endorsement. They were taken aback when the Sanders campaign reached out and the call came from the senator’s wife rather than Sanders himself.

Darby, the vice president of the NAACP’s Charleston branch, said he’s seen a “clumsiness” in Sanders’ “approach to the leadership” in South Carolina’s black community.

“Let me put this very carefully,” Darby began, “Sometimes my good and well-meaning liberal brothers and sisters get the feeling that they know what’s good for black folk. … They don’t try to reach out. They don’t try to check in and affirm, ‘Do you really think that this is good for you too? What do you think of our plans? … I’ve picked up little whiffs of that in the Sanders campaign, and I don’t think it’s served them well. … You have to meet people on their terms.”

Darby said the only contacts he received from the Sanders campaign came from people who were “white” and “out of state.”

“Nobody really local reached out to me. These were folks that were brought … into South Carolina from the campaign. … This was not African-American outreach. This was white outreach,” Darby said.

[…]

Dot Scott, the president of the NAACP’s Charleston branch, was similarly critical of Sanders’ team. Scott, who admitted being family friends with Clinton’s South Carolina state director, said she only had one contact with the Sanders campaign, and it went “sour.”

Like many South Carolinians, Scott has received calls at home from phone bankers. She said one of these entreaties from the Sanders campaign led her to go off on a 10-minute tirade and demand an apology.

“One of my experiences that I think I won’t forget for a long time is a call that I got from the Sanders campaign. This person that called asked me was I voting for Sen. Sanders. I said no. I was voting for Secretary Clinton. The phone went silent for a little bit,” Scott recounted. “You could hear this person struggling to come up with what they’re going to say next. … They call that a real pregnant pause, nine months’ worth of pregnant pause. And he finally came back and he says to me, ‘You know, Senator Sanders is for welfare.’”

This did not provoke a positive reaction from Scott.

“I lost it. So you’re going to assume either from my voice or from my selection that the most important thing that Sen. Sanders is going to be working on that would interest me is more welfare?” Scott said. “I went on to read him the riot act. Listen, I’m not only a college graduate; I’ve got a masters. My daughter is a college graduate. I have never had one ounce of welfare before. I ain’t never lived in public housing. None of those things.”

According to Scott, the Sanders supporter who called her “didn’t know what to say.”

“By the time he hung up, it was ten minutes later,” she said. “I got one of the managers to call me back and apologize.”

Scott made it clear she does not believe that is something “Sanders would tell them to say” and added that the call probably came from a volunteer or low-ranking staffer. Still, she said it is the only contact she has had with the Sanders campaign, while Clinton’s team has made much more substantive outreach.

I think this all speaks for itself. In addition to its obvious intellectual limitations, “class not race” is not a viable means of securing the Democratic nomination in 2016.

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  • Ktotwf

    I feel honor bound to point out that “class not race” isn’t anything anyone attached to the Sanders campaign has said or advocated. It is a lazy, hostile caricature.

    • joe from Lowell

      Indeed.

      If Scott has walked down from the claim that the structural advantages Clinton entered the race with made her inevitable, to arguing that the outcome will come down to Bernie Sanders’ messaging decisions, he should really write a post about his earlier method of analysis breaking down.

      • Murc

        This.

        I’ll be the first to admit Sanders has made some big messaging mistakes, but substantively his entire legislative and personal record indicates he knows damn well that class and race are completely intertwined and has made every attempt to govern with that in mind.

        • ChrisTS

          But, class and race are not “completely intertwined.” They are very much interrelated, in complicated ways, but they are not merely two sides of one coin.

          • joe from Lowell

            Right.

            Sanders’ Racial Justice platform, for instance, breaks the issue into five parts, only one of which touches on economics:

            Physical Violence
            Legal Violence
            Political Violence
            Economic Violence
            Environmental Violence

            The notion that he’s burying race under class seems to rely on an innate hostility towards economic leftism that treats its mere presence in a platform as a rejection of the significance of race.

            • weirdnoise

              And how many voters have actually read Sander’s platform? Or Clinton’s, for that matter? Campaigning isn’t just putting words up on a webpage.

              • joe from Lowell

                His public speeches demonstrate a similar breadth of issues, and his commentary on racial justice shows a similar focus on non-economic issues.

                The entirety of the “class not race” storyline is Clinton campaign messaging, making its way into mainstream coverage. It’s not an accurate reflection of his campaigning.

                • JMP

                  It’s a completely accurate reflection of Sanders’ campaigning. While his fanboys may wish it were not the case, he has proven time and time again to be seriously inept at handling racial issues.

                • joe from Lowell

                  Oh, look fanboys.

                  Thank you for your objective, nonpartisan thoughts.

                • ChrisTS

                  I have not seen this from the Clinton campaign other than her rather recent “I’m not a one issue candidate,” although I have seen it from [likely Clinton supporting] women and PoC for quite awhile.

                  Of course, if supporters and surrogates are doing “Clinton campaign messaging” for her, then turn about is fair play.

                • ChrisTS

                  Sorry, Joe, your suggesting that others are ‘partisan’ (as between two purported Democrats) and not objective is kind of laughable at this point.

                • joe from Lowell

                  I have not seen this from the Clinton campaign other than her rather recent “I’m not a one issue candidate,” although I have seen it from [likely Clinton supporting] women and PoC for quite awhile.

                  Not only does the second part, happening with such consistency, suggest that the campaign is at least on board with the message, but the context in which that line was adopted – just before the states with large black populations vote, but after the “ignores issues of race” line has been put out there with such determination – makes it clear what the issues he’s allegedly ignoring are.

                  And Chris, you opinion of me is really neither here nor there. It’s a completely accurate reflection of Sanders’ campaigning. While his fanboys may wish it were not the case, he has proven time and time again to be seriously inept at handling racial issues. is an obvious bit of propaganda-victim partisan hackery, whether I’m the one pointing it out or not. “Fanboys?” C’mon. ‘Yeah but joe…’ doesn’t change that.

                • kped

                  Joe…calling people fanboys when you are acting as a mouthpiece for Sanders in this thread is kind of lame. Have a little self awareness.

                • Joe…calling people fanboys

                  To be fair, JMP used “fanboys”. I believe joe was referring to their use of the term, but didn’t put the mention quotes in.

                • JMP

                  So I’m apparently guilty of “propaganda-victim partisan hackery” for using the word fanboys to describe the rabid fannish Sanders supporters who refuse to accept even the most mild criticism of their savior. Huh. And that obnoxiousness of many of his supports is exactly why I’ve moved from supporting Sanders to supporting Clinton.

      • Redbeard

        1) “Class not race” is not that lazy or hostile of a caricature. Sanders really, really emphasizes class, and whatever a politician emphasizes, that creates openings for opponents to say “he/she is NOT emphasizing this other principle.” Just how debates go.

        2) The structural advantages Scott spoke of are not nebulous things. They are shown in how Hillary (and the people who participate in her campaign) have experience and familiarity with the way to address and connect with the constituencies who vote. The phone banker and Killer Mike, had he spent more time persuading voters, might not have used their unfortunate choice of words if they had had more experience persuading voters. Maybe 4 or 8 years down the road, the phone banker and Killer Mike will have better wording to support their candidate of choice.

        • joe from Lowell

          1) Note the difference between “not” and “emphasizes.” Shuffle-steps like that are almost the entirety of how one creates a hostile caricature.

          2) Even if everything you wrote here is true, you’re still describing a candidate who went into the race with 85% support ending up with about that same level of support primarily as a consequence of phone banking.

        • DocAmazing

          Sanders emphasizes class over race.

          Until pushed hard by the pressures of competition, Clinton emphasized neither class nor race.

          One might be lost in the weeds of orthodox Marxism or something, but the other’s just slippery.

        • socraticsilence

          Maybe 4 or 8 years down the road, the phone banker and Killer Mike will have better wording to support their candidate of choice.

          Possibly, though 8 more years don’t seem to have helped Hillary Clinton with her near complete inability to connect with young voters.

      • Tybalt

        The linked discussion *is* about structural advantages. The unprofessionalism of the Sanders campaign springs directly from its material circumstances. And not even that they don’t have money; they have plenty of money. What they lack is a committed group of political professionals who can organize a presidential nomination campaign in a decent chunk of 56 primaries.

        • joe from Lowell

          See, we get to read the piece through the lens of Scott’s OP.

          The sole statement Scott provides is, In addition to its obvious intellectual limitations, “class not race” is not a viable means of securing the Democratic nomination in 2016.

          The entirety of his take on the outcome, and on the article, is about ideology and messaging.

          • Tybalt

            Very fair.

    • ThrottleJockey

      And Gore never said he invented the internet.

      Its ironic that after decades of the most cynical treatment of blacks by the Clintons that a white man who probably would do more for blacks than the Clintons appears that he will lose because of blacks. World’s a crazy fucked up place, and this year more than most.

      Charles Blow had some great insight here though.

      There isn’t one black America, but two: The children of the Great Migration and the children of those who stayed behind in the South.

      There is a scene described in the Stanley Nelson’s fascinating documentary “Freedom Summer” about an integrated delegation from Mississippi to be seated at the 1964 Democratic Convention instead of the all-white one.

      At one point, Congressman Adam Clayton Powell Jr. of New York is dispatched to the integrated delegation to persuade them to accept a pathetic compromise to remedy the standoff between the delegations.

      Powell reportedly said to Fannie Lou Hamer, a member of the integrated delegation, “You don’t know who I am, do you?” Hamer responded, “Yeah, I know who you are. You are Adam Clayton Powell.” She continued, “But how many bales of cotton have you picked? How many beatings have you taken?”

      Southerners in general bristle at this idea that they must be steered, that they can’t set their own course.

      • slothrop

        This. Also, Glen Ford:

        Generally speaking, Black voters support national parties and tickets that they perceive as the more “friendly” to Blacks – and, most importantly, that they believe can win. It is a calculus of fear. Certainly since Emancipation, there has always been a self-styled White Man’s Party – formerly the Democrats, now the Republicans – paired with a less overtly anti-Black national rival. In the main, African Americans cast their votes in national elections seeking protection from the Greater Evil, rather than voting their line-item policy preferences, or even considering the platforms of parties that challenge the duopoly system. Believing they cannot take the risk of voting in accordance with the historical Black political consensus – which is significantly to the left of white Democrats, including Bernie Sanders – or of splitting the Black vote, they lock themselves in the duopoly trap, where an ossified and corrupt Black Democratic leadership keeps vigil. Three generations after the fall of de jure apartheid, the institutional hegemony of the Democratic Party in Black America is all but complete, effectively straight-jacketing Black civil society’s ability to politically express itself through the electoral process – certainly on the national level.

        • random

          It is a calculus of fear.

          Yeah, except for that one time they actually nominated a black guy who’s slogan was “Hope and Change”.

          Sanders called for primarying that guy in his first term. The implication of his whole campaign is that the first black President is somewhere between a sellout or a failure presiding over a corrupt party. Also the 80-90% of the black vote that went for Clinton in 1996 were suckers who voted for a giant exploitative racist.

          • This. It’s really the central fact.

          • oneslyfox

            Who was the viable non-racist to vote for?

            • Drexciya

              This is forever my question and problem.

              • random

                Both BS and HRC have great favorability ratings from black voters, long personal histories of backing black civil rights, and voting records that track pretty strongly with CBC.

                That first one in particular is important to me. I think in order to label someone as bigoted against a group, you should consult the opinion of that group. And black voters say on polls that they like both Sanders and Clinton quiet a bit and would vote in overwhelming margins for either of them in November. So I don’t see how you can label either of them ‘racist’ really.

                • Having high favorability ratings from black voters doesn’t preclude candidates from being racist in many dimensions, right?

                  Carter is an interesting example of someone who pandered to racists to get elected but had good relations with the black community. Of course, at least part of what was going on there was the idea that Carter was pandering.

                  Black people deal with racists all the time, eh? They don’t have the luxury, in general, of just rejecting interaction with every white person with some degree of racial fail.

                • ChrisTS

                  Right. I don’t see even people like Propane Jane claiming that Sanders, himself is ‘racist’ in any meaningful sense.

                • random

                  Having high favorability ratings from black voters doesn’t preclude candidates from being racist in many dimensions, right?

                  In any non-theoretical sense, yes it does.

                • In any non-theoretical sense, yes it does.

                  ?? This seems bizarre.

        • Phil Perspective

          Good on you for posting this here.

      • joe from Lowell

        Popular political history tends to discuss the black vote in the 20th century as realigning from the Republicans to the Democrats because of the New Deal, but that’s not not quite right.

        Northern blacks did that, flipping from red to blue over the course of just one or two elections in the 30s. In the South, the process was much slower, with black voters splitting much more evenly between the parties until the mid-1960s.

        One way to interpret this would be to see African-Americans in the north as weighing issues of class heavily, while those in the south gave greater weight to race.

        • joe from Lowell

          Which, itself, tells us something about their different experiences in different regions.

          • ThrottleJockey

            I think Slothrop’s quote above might explain 1930s Black Southerner voting a bit better: It is a calculus of fear. Certainly since Emancipation, there has always been a self-styled White Man’s Party – formerly the Democrats, now the Republicans – paired with a less overtly anti-Black national rival. In the main, African Americans cast their votes in national elections seeking protection from the Greater Evil, rather than voting their line-item policy preferences, or even considering the platforms of parties that challenge the duopoly system.

            • joe from Lowell

              But isn’t that just saying the same thing? Explaining how their experiences led (some of) those New Deal era southern African-Americans to vote based on race (opposition to the white people’s party), rather than on New Deal economics?

              That observation raised the obvious question, why did black people in the south split in their opinion of who the lesser evil was, while those in the north during that era concluded that it was the Republicans?

              And I’m assuming that answer has to do with there being actual differences in how they were treated in the different regions.

              • Lee Rudolph

                And I’m assuming that answer has to do with there being actual differences in how they were treated in the different regions.

                That seems (to me) like a reasonable assumption. There might also be actual differences between the people who migrated and those who didn’t (most obviously, I’d guess that the former were generally younger).

        • Redbeard

          Another way to interpret it is that in the 1930s Northern Democrats treat black voters as constituency to be courted, like when Mayor Hubert Humphrey reformed the Minneapolis police, but the Southern Democrats kept abusing black voters, Richard Brevard Russell in Georgia did (too many abuses to list.)

          Condi Rice had a story about how her father in Alabama got rejected by Democrats in the county clerk office, but he found that if he said was a Republican, the Republican in the clerk office would register him.

          • joe from Lowell

            Courting, how? What were northern Democrats offering them during the 30s-mid-60s? I love me some northern New Dealers, but they weren’t exactly promoting a message of racial justice. They were making an economics-based appeal.

            And we needn’t conclude from this that it was the strength of that “courting” that mattered so much, but the absence of the type of abuse that was going on in the south. People who aren’t literally fighting off state-supported terror are going to be in a position to give other issues more attention.

            • I’m pretty sure mayors like Humphrey–and from Daley on the “right” to La Guardia on the left–were getting black people decent-paying jobs, and bringing them into the power structure. The latter is how black politicians like William Dawson, Ralph Metcalfe, and Harold Washington came up in Chicago, with the assistance of Richard J. Daley.

              • joe from Lowell

                Jobs, eh?

                Something, other than the obvious, that I notice about your description: it’s how northern politicians treated all of the other voting blocs, too.

                • Except that started 50 or 75 years earlier. The point is that the northern Democrats of the middle 20th century were implicitly seeing African Americans as people, with agency and value, for the first time, even if they didn’t yet have a civil rights language to express it in, and that was a major part of what black voters responded to, not just the money.

                • Pat

                  My recollection is that Mayor Daley the First worked hard to gather African Americans in public housing, then abandoned said housing to crime, then attacked the African American community as a public menace.

                  Didn’t his son have to publicly apologize to the community for the actions of his father?

            • Black people began to achieve political power, as black people, in the Northern cities from the New Deal, and it was the Democratic party where they found it. You can see that transition from Progressive-Republican to Liberal-Democrat in the career of Arthur Mitchell.

          • sharonT

            My grandparents had commemorative plates with portraits of Ike and Mamie Eisenhower on their living room wall. I didn’t understand why they would have had those two portraits in their house.

            Years later it dawned on me, Little Rock. That Republican administration in the 50s was a beacon of racial justice vs. the Virginia Democratic Party of the same era.

        • oneslyfox

          You’ve given us no reason to interpret it that way other than you just proclaiming it.

          • joe from Lowell

            And you’ve given us even less than that.

            But, you’re right. It’s almost as if I was formulating a hypothesis to consider and discuss. That seems to bother you more than it should.

            ETA – there is also the fact that the New Deal offered an explicitly economic appeal, while the Republicans in the South did not, relying instead on a reputation for concerning themselves with questions explicitly tied to race.

            Unless there is some racial-appeal aspect to the New Deal I am unaware of, or some economics-based appeal the southern Republicans were making towards African-Americans. I’m pretty confident the former did not exist; perhaps there is some undiscussed aspect of southern Republicans’ support among blacks in the South that I haven’t read up on.

            • oneslyfox

              That’s because the burden of proof wasn’t on me, sorry I wasn’t aware you didn’t know how this worked.

              You’ve still yet to support the idea that northern blacks were making purely or primarily class considerations, which is different from economic considerations, over race.

              As far as support in the South, you just babbled. No the New Deal wouldn’t have been very beneficial to Southern blacks, ok?

              • joe from Lowell

                Your first line is why it’s a good idea to read the whole comment before typing your reply.

                The rest of it is why it’s a good idea to think about what you’re writing before hitting submit. For example, pointing out that the New Deal made an explicitly economic appeal is both 1) in my comment and 2) an indication that people who were attracted to the Democratic Party at that time were responding to an economic appeal. This would have been a relatively easy thing to figure out if your primary purpose in replying wasn’t to insist that I hadn’t done something you wanted me to do.

                • oneslyfox

                  Except economic consideration isn’t purely a class consideration when you’re a racial minority. Economic security in the North meant they didn’t have to move back to the Jim Crow south or send for family to move with them. I’m sorry, I wasn’t aware of how much you needed me to walk you through your half baked musing but you should at least demonstrate some humility when you require this much help.

                  For instance, your initial post said northern blacks switch from red to blue relatively quickly and yet the parties hadn’t become ideologically coherent yet so your framing is flawed from the start. Secondly, you made no mention of how the CIO specifically pushed to integrate their union and the non-class considerations that too may have had. But lazy and arrogant is an interesting choice, as well.

                • Breadbaker

                  As I was reading this discussion, the first name that cropped into my mind was Walter Reuther. The mother of a good friend of mine, who passed away only a few years ago in her late nineties, was with him at many of those civil rights events. John Conyers was the main speaker at her 90t birthday party.

        • Matt McIrvin

          African-Americans in the south lived in the same states as white Southern Democrats.

        • kped

          …you guys are talking about black people like you are anthropologists…maybe…that’s not the best way to talk about a group. “Maybe this group did it because of X, you see, in the past…”

          That goes to the phone calls. Hillary called people, and spoke to them as equals. The Sanders campaign had low level staffers call and awkwardly talk about welfare, like they had never spoken to a black person.

          • Breadbaker

            And she knew them, rather than needing to be introduced to them.

      • LosGatosCA

        There’s a lesson there for union organizing in the South, too.

        People want to write their own history not just be a means for other people to extend their own.

        Black, white, organized or not, highly educated or not that’s a pretty natural reaction – don’t tell me why it’s important to you, help me understand why it’s important to me.

      • Docrailgun

        So, are you saying that the black voters in SC are incapable of educating themselves or are you suggesting that they’re simply not willing to be educated about HRC’s baby-eating? After all, it must just be the media that is keeping them ignorant? Right? Right?

        Its ironic that after decades of the most cynical treatment of blacks by the Clintons that a white man who probably would do more for blacks than the Clintons appears that he will lose because of blacks. World’s a crazy fucked up place, and this year more than most.

        • ChrisTS

          I’m an old white woman and even I am offended by this whitesplaining shit.

      • ResumeMan

        That was very insightful. I really never considered the significance in the different perspectives between Great Migration blacks and those who stayed in the South.

    • AlanInSF

      It’s odd that a black community leader would find it insulting that Sanders would want to discuss welfare — when Bill Clinton’s welfare “reform,” which HRC supports, doubled the number of American households (primarily African American) who live in extreme poverty.

      Also, why is it a huge insult to imply that African-Americans, and their leaders, don’t always vote in their community’s best political interests? 98% of Americans don’t always act in their best political interests.

      • JL

        It’s odd that a black community leader would find it insulting that Sanders would want to discuss welfare…

        Except that that’s not what happened. What happened was that some dumbass phone banker made an assumption that the black person on the other end of the phone who supports Clinton could be flipped specifically by “but welfare!”

        • dr. hilarius

          I didn’t read it as the phone banker assuming that that specific African American person needed welfare, just that they would care about welfare in general. But yes, a boneheaded remark on the part of the phone banker.

        • AlanInSF

          “Welfare” had become a very hot topic with the release of the study showing twice as many households living in extreme poverty, it was a key vulnerability for HRC, and would logically be seen as a good thing to lead with — not because (and did the recipient really make this assumption?) the caller assumed any black person would want to talk about welfare.

          • joe from Lowell

            And it well could have been.

            But that still doesn’t make the caller’s line a good one, because of the cultural baggage of welfare-as-dog-whistle politics.

      • Scott P.

        Also, why is it a huge insult to imply that African-Americans, and their leaders, don’t always vote in their community’s best political interests? 98% of Americans don’t always act in their best political interests.

        This is extremely patronizing. Certainly I feel most Americans are much better judges of their own interests than you or I are.

        • AMK

          most Americans are much better judges of their own interests than you or I are

          Then why have political movements or political discussions at all? Defining and reconciling what constitutes the “best interests” of individuals and society at large is a core function of politics. If we’re all just going to say that everyone is a platonic philisopher-king unto themselves, then there’s really not much of a point.

          I think that when liberals (particularly white, northeastern liberals) talk about “self-interest,” they mean economic self interest—as in “why does anyone making less than 415K vote Republican? It cuts so clearly against their own self interest” etc. This is a perfectly legitimate argument to make about Sanders v. Clinton……and easy to argue against by saying that for black people, history has made “self interest” more complicated than tax brackets and subsidies. You can argue the merits of each side, but you can’t just revert to calling one side patronizing or ignorant by default.

          • AlanInSF

            Americans know what their interests are but for the most part have zero to less than zero idea how our political system works, and less interest in finding out, and with very few exceptions vote tribally. I would posit that 98% of HRC’s supporters, and 98% of Bernie’s supporters, could not name a single legislative accomplishment of either. I would posit that 98% of Americans could not tell you what TPP was or identify HRC’s or Rubio’s position on it.

          • Sly

            I think that when liberals (particularly white, northeastern liberals) talk about “self-interest,” they mean economic self interest—as in “why does anyone making less than 415K vote Republican? It cuts so clearly against their own self interest” etc. This is a perfectly legitimate argument to make about Sanders v. Clinton…

            This is a bullshit argument to make when talking about Republican voters, and depends entirely on this idiotic notion that class interests are the only interests and class identities somehow don’t constitute actual identities. In other words, its an argument made by the ideologically insulated who has never actually engaged with the people about whom he or she is denigrating.

            • AMK

              Well again, it depends on how you define “self- interest.” It’s not unreasonable to define it in economic terms, because most people (1) actively want to have more money in their pockets and (2) all sorts of positive life outcomes trend upward with more money. So if you do that, it’s a mathmatical fact that the rank and file GOP voter is siding against their own interests when they pull the lever for supply-side voodoo.

              • Breadbaker

                You’re assuming a ladder, aren’t you?

        • kped

          Amanda Marcotte had a great article in Salon recently about just that. How patronizing it is that liberals think that poor white southerners are voting against their interests by voting Republican…but maybe, these people know more about their interests than we do, and maybe, they feel that they are voting in their interests. Maybe keeping racial superiority is in their best interest. Maybe ending abortion is in their best interest.

          Maybe we should stop telling people what’s in their best interest, and assume that they know for themselves, and they are voting accordingly. We may not like the result sometimes, but that’s our problem, not theirs.

      • Spiny

        Also, why is it a huge insult to imply that African-Americans, and their leaders, don’t always vote in their community’s best political interests?

        I remain stunned that any sentient human can be this dense.

        • AlanInSF

          Okay, I surrender. It’s only white people who don’t always vote in accordance with their own interests.

          • Spiny

            It’s still dense when you say it about white people. You should rethink your belief that you know others’ interests better than they do.

            • Ronan

              ?? It’s a central question to most social sciences to ask how people come to decisions. Voting behaviour being one, extremely important part of this. Would a,political scientist say people “don’t vote in their interests”? Maybe not explicitly, I don’t know, but it’d certainly be implied that their choices were often less than awesome

              • Spiny

                People very often make choices in their day-to-day that are less than awesome. You can point out ways in which those choices might be harmful, or argue strongly against, but it’s probably not best to question their basic competency to direct their own lives. It sounds pretty damned arrogant, especially if you’re just a rando that doesn’t know them from Adam, and especially if you’re talking to a person from a demographic group whose basic competency has been historically denigrated.

            • galanx

              There’s a difference on an issue like abortion: I’m pro/ I’m anti. People know their position.

              But how about: I want our economy to provide good jobs for the American middle class so they can give their kids a better life and have a dignified retirement with decent healthcare- that’s why I support the Tea Party.

              • Spiny

                There’s no reason why voters can’t – at the same time! – believe that they have an interest in a strong middle class and still vote based on ingrained suspicion of government, or on prejudice against immigrants, or on fear of a changing country, or [insert Tea Party favorite here]. Racism, sexism, religious bigotry, etc. all make it hard to get consensus on common vs. individual interests. And conflicting interests are a real thing, too.

                Tell them why the policies they support are bad. Don’t condescend about knowing their interests better than they do themselves.

                [Aside: Abortion is also obviously a tangle of religious, economic, and social interests for many voters.]

      • tsam

        It’s a huge insult because it reduces a large population of individual people to a monolithic thing that votes, acts and thinks just like all the rest of them. (Hear the coded language in that last phrase?)

        You don’t remember NPR asking the world why Barack Obama didn’t have 100% of the black vote all locked up in 2008? Black people don’t really appreciate the implication that they’re zombies who do everything the lead zombie does. Can’t imagine why. Oh wait, I can. Look at Trump and his supporters.

        • Ronan

          The very starting point to a phone campaign is imagining some degree of homogeneity among the population you’re targeting, and there’s nothing wrong with this. People, collectively, aren’t so complex and individualistic that you can’t draw some general group particulars. This doesn’t assume that “all population x” are exactly the same, but it does mean that for the purposes of what we’re doing we can generalise a little (and we often generalise, without it being seen as problematic. Such as on this blog, all the time. Hell on this very thread!))
          Now , was it wrong to bring up welfare? Well obviously, because the target was offended by it and the customer is always right. But how far does this anecdote go in describing Sanders failure in SC and how receptive was someone with Dot Scotts background (strong Clinton backer, head of the local NAACP) realistically going to be to Sanders? (Of course such a person shouldn’t be contacted in such a manner anyway),

          • If you try to appeal to a black person in the US by saying, “But welfare!!!” you are highly likely to piss them off. And rightly so. It’s a definite dog whistle. Blacks are fairly varied in their support for various forms of welfare.

            Really, it’s hard to image that there are many voters in the US who are going to be swayed by an appeal to welfare per se. They are the likely outliers.

            And it’s one thing not to be receptive and it’s another to be pissed off.

            • Ronan

              I agree it’s not really leading with your strongest argument. Was the person on the other end of the phone call someone who had internalized racial tropes, someone inexperienced who fluffed the call for unknowable reasons, a strong proponent of welfare who fell back on their personal hobby horse ? I mean why does it matter ? How important is this anecdote?

              • I agree it’s not really leading with your strongest argument.

                That’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying that it’s a nonstarter at best and offensive a lot of the time.

                Was the person on the other end of the phone call someone who had internalized racial tropes, someone inexperienced who fluffed the call for unknowable reasons, a strong proponent of welfare ? I mean why does it matter ? How important is this anecdote?

                Without knowing how often it happened, it matters mostly for the symbology. Maybe Bernie was just unlucky with this one volunteer who just blew it due to a brainfart. It’s fine to argue that that incident isn’t known to be representative. But you keep arguing that such an incident isn’t a bad incident. Even if it was mere brainfart rather than internalised racism, it still is not something you want happening with any voters. You super don’t want such messaging getting into the press.

                • ColBatGuano

                  I find the idea that a Sanders phone banker was so stunned they called a Clinton supporter in S.C. that they completely lost their cognitive function fairly incomprehensible.

                • If it was a mere brainfart, it doesn’t have to be because they were stunned that they’d encountered a Clinton supporter. They could have been tired. They could have had 10 Clinton supporters in a row and wanted to try something…anything.

                  There’s lots of ways our cognitive processing goes wrong.

                • joe from Lowell

                  Almost unbelievable.

                  Almost literally incredible.

                • Again, it’s literally incredible that a phone banker made an error? I don’t see why.

                  I have no idea if this was a common incident or not. Of course, it doesn’t have to be for it to be a PITA for the campaign. We’d need a lot more data to determine whether poor phone banking had any effect on the SC outcome.

                  That’s orthogonal to whether that reported incident was bad (contra Ronan’s earlier argument).

                • Ronan

                  It was certainly an unluckty turn of events for the caller.
                  Put it this way, I used to work in a call centre when younger, and the one that would always shake you was the one you’d least expect (cliche over) and muddle your response. The woman who asked me was it company policy to hire morons was fine (because hilarious) the soldier who demanded a supervisor and refused to talk to me because I asked him where was he going that he needed his roaming bar lifted, genuinely got under my skin.
                  These sound like after the fact justifications for my arguments above, but I do have sympathy for the caller (I could imagine it going another way as well. It being mentioned that the person was talking to the head of the local NAACP, and the caller losing their nerve and stuttering out this line. Probably more inexcusable, but understandable)

                • joe from Lowell

                  Made an error like that? Like, not having anything whatsoever to say when encountering someone who expresses a preference for Hillary Clinton? In South Carolina?

                  He’s a phone-banker, encountering someone who doesn’t say “your candidate” or “undecided.” And he goes blank.

                  He didn’t mispronounce the name of a town, Bijan.

                • Ronan

                  I do still think the story, while not irrelevant, is not saying as much as SL implies in the op

                • Made an error like that? Like, not having anything whatsoever to say when encountering someone who expresses a preference for Hillary Clinton? In South Carolina?

                  Yes?

                  He’s a phone-banker, encountering someone who doesn’t say “your candidate” or “undecided.” And he goes blank.

                  Yes, and? People get tired. People take shots. People get frustrated.

                  I’ve said things that were ridiculously false about topics I’m expert on in conversation because, you know, my brain went “ploop”. I usually recognise it immediately (not always!) and am embarrassed. I’ve seen other people have similar incidents.

                  He didn’t mispronounce the name of a town, Bijan.

                  Yes, I know.

                  Is this really so outside your experience?

                  In any case, it doesn’t affect my point. Suppose, contrary to your credulousness, it was an innocuous brain fart. That’s all I needed.

                  Sheesh. I’m glad all you all are such perfect cognizers that you never make a mistake of this order and live and work with people who never do. But it’s not all that uncommon in my experience. I’m not saying that that’s what happened either!

                  I have no idea why this banality is an issue at all.

                • liberalrob

                  Bijan Parsia, 8:17 pm:

                  I have no idea why this banality is an issue at all.

                  Bijan Parsia, 6:14 pm:

                  …you keep arguing that such an incident isn’t a bad incident. Even if it was mere brainfart rather than internalised racism, it still is not something you want happening with any voters. You super don’t want such messaging getting into the press.

                  How can something you “super don’t want…getting into the press” be such a commonplace occurrence as to be a “banality?”

                  ColBatGuano:

                  I find the idea that a Sanders phone banker was so stunned they called a Clinton supporter in S.C. that they completely lost their cognitive function fairly incomprehensible.

                  I don’t. They’re probably some unpaid volunteer just going down a list they were given. They probably don’t even know Sanders’ platform in its entirety, they just like him and wanted to help him campaign. It’d be a different story if it was a paid full-time staffer instead of some nobody off the street.

                • How can something you “super don’t want…getting into the press” be such a commonplace occurrence as to be a “banality?”

                  The “banality”, I refer to,is someone making such a mistake which ColBatGuano and JFL don’t think is even conceivable.

                  ETA: I should give up commenting, at least for tonight.

              • Hogan

                (Of course such a person shouldn’t be contacted in such a manner anyway),

                That’s the importance of the anecdote.

                Scott is the president of the NAACP chapter in the largest city in SC. Her only contact from the Sanders campaign was from a volunteer who, faced with the wrong answer, had to think for a minute to come up with something black people like and went to “welfare,” a term that’s been racialized to hell and back for fifty years. The least she should have gotten was a call from a senior staffer (or possibly from Sanders) asking for a meeting where someone could make a focused pitch. (Rural health clinics!) Maybe no one had the time to do that, but that’s also a problem–you need more people with more time.

                And if that happened to her, I’m pretty sure you can find similar stories elsewhere in the state.

                It makes the campaign, at the very least, appear not ready for prime time. And it’s prime time now.

                • ChrisTS

                  THIS is what I don’t get. Why would you have the number/name of *this* person of all people in SC handed over in a just ‘whatever’ kind of phone list?

                  Sanders’ campaign – and not just the lowly local volunteers – have screwed up fairly often. And, it’s not as thought all those people are rank novices.

                • It seems feasible: People are on multiple lists derived from multiple sources. Plus people change roles. Maybe her household was on the list because of someone else and they got her. Etc.

                  It’s not easy!

                • liberalrob

                  It makes the campaign, at the very least, appear not ready for prime time.

                  So the problem is that Sanders’ campaign isn’t “professional” enough? Maybe he needs to hire Mark Penn?

                • Hogan

                  So the problem is that Sanders’ campaign isn’t “professional” enough? Maybe he needs to hire Mark Penn?

                  That would have been feeble in 2008, so I don’t know why you’re bothering now. Shouldn’t you be calling Clinton supporters in Minneapolis and telling them Sanders is for lutefisk?

              • Ronan

                Bijan, I take your point. Hogan, after all my bellyaching, I also take your point, and concede you are both right and I (unfortunately) am less right.

                • ChrisTS

                  Isn’t Ronan a cutie? (ducks)

                • Ronan

                  I couldn’t possibly comment on that.

                • Ronan

                  Now people, it’s two in the morning here and your tribal rituals are keeping me awake(he says, as he goes to leave the party no one invited him to)

    • UncleEbeneezer

      It’s been in his actions. “Pivot to the economy” is not something his critics just made up. It’s the move he’s been doing time and time again throughout the campaign and it’s been especially noticeable on issues that effect minorities because they are minorities. In the last debate I saw there was a segment devoted to race issues. Bernie talked about unemployment and the need for jobs and even went so far as to point how much higher unemployment is for Black people. He was justifying his goal of increasing employment for everyone. But he missed the crucial opportunity to note that even with more jobs for all, Black people still get less of those jobs and to offer some possible ways to solve that problem. That’s the kind of moment that screams “class not race” to alot of skeptical (especially minority) voters and there have been many of them throughout his campaign. He doesn’t need to say it overtly for people to notice patterns, and it’s not a case of mass delusion or ignorance from those who are given pause by those patterns and what they say about his priorities.

    • aaronl

      Here’s a walk down memory lane,

      Curtiss Reed Jr. executive director of the Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity, recounted a 2006 candidate forum for the open U.S. senate seat Sanders eventually won. To Reed’s surprise, Sanders “was just really dismissive of anything that had to do with race and racism, saying that they didn’t have anything to do with the issues of income inequality.”

      “He just always kept coming back to income inequality as a response, as if talking about income inequality would somehow make issues of racism go away.” Reed complained that Sanders seemed to handle black activists in Vermont with “benign neglect.”

      And in his own words, during the Feb. 12 debate:

      WOODRUFF: So race relation was be better under a Sanders presidency than they’ve been?

      SANDERS: Absolutely, because what we will do is say, instead of giving tax breaks to billionaires, we are going to create millions of jobs for low-income kids so they’re not hanging out on street corners. We’re going to make sure that those kids stay in school or are able to get a college education. And I think when you give low-income kids — African-American, white, Latino kids — the opportunities to get their lives together, they are not going to end up in jail. They’re going to end up in the productive economy, which is where we want them.

      That is, he has a one-size fits all solution to race relations, which is to improve the economic position of low-income young people. You may argue that it’s a fair approach, but you can’t deny that it’s (a) economic and (b) is implicitly dismissive of how race factors into minority youth poverty rates.

      He’s not completely dismissive of race, but he clearly sees this as primarily an economic issue:

      IFILL: Senator — Senator, I want you to respond to that, but I also want you to — am I wrong? Is it even right to be describing this as a matter of race?

      SANDERS: Yeah, you can, because African-Americans and Latinos not only face the general economic crises of low wages, and high unemployment, and poor educational opportunities, but they face other problems, as well. So, yes, we can talk about it as a racial issue. But it is a general economic issue.

      There are economic issues, which are listed, and “other issues”, which are not.

      The problem here is that Sanders keeps merging two issues, both of which need to be addressed — because although there is definitely an economic side to the impact of racism, there’s also the side that has “driving while black” being something that can still get you pulled over if you’re in the wrong neighborhood, where getting into an argument with a police officer in your own home seems more likely to get you arrested even if you’re a Harvard professor, where police shooting rates reflect a level of suspicion that can’t be easily explained by anything but race, where blind submissions of equivalent résumés show that having a “black sounding” name can cost you a job, where a major presidential candidate can give a wink to white supremacists and, in all likelihood, go on to dominate on Super Tuesday….

  • Dilan Esper

    That all seems a little pat. Like if Sanders had more blacks working on the campaign or a better phone script for endorsements, all those black politicians who endorsed HRC for institutional reasons (and many of whom endorsed her initially in 2008 until it became clear that her opponent would be a black man) might have tipped for Sanders?

    • ThrottleJockey

      To be fair, I think there are many reasons why white progressives have trouble reaching blacks. For starters there’s a big difference in priorities–Environmentalism and LGBTQ Rights, for instance–loom larger for progressives while Economic and Union policy loom larger for blacks.

      Probably more important are the cultural differences. The typical black voter (at least my age) think of the typical white liberal as someone who wears Birkenstocks, drinks fair trade coffee, eats free range chicken, and hugs trees. Those aren’t intractable differences by any stretch–my college roomie for 4 years was exactly that way and decades later we remain the best of friends, and political compatriots. But its a helluva divide. Unfortunately.

      • Davis X. Machina

        To be fair, I think there are many reasons why white progressives have trouble reaching blacks

        One of them — an old, deep-seated, atavistic reason– is the theory that if you could supplant the existing capitalist mode of production, the existing social relations associated with it would disappear sua sponte, and of necessity.

        The preface to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy still casts a shadow.

        • Ktotwf

          How many people phone banking for Sanders do you think are even vaguely familiar with Marxist ideology? I mean, really.

          • Davis X. Machina

            It’s been absorbed by the Left… people don’t know the source, but they operate according to to the Weltanschauung.

            The world’s full of liberals who’ve never read Mill.

            • Ktotwf

              Meh.

              • Davis X. Machina

                Debs.

            • ChrisTS

              Heh. I’ve noticed this with my more lefty but non-philosopher colleagues. They just have absorbed vulgar Marxism. And, if one points out that Marx probably thought and Engels explicitly said that this stuff was crap … well, you might find out how little they understand that collaboration. (Much less dialectic.)

      • Ronan

        But by that analysis aren’t Sanders politics more amenable to black voters , as they (afaict) are more focused on economic issues than tree hugging ?(What do you mean by union policy btw)

        • ThrottleJockey

          Yes, Sanders policies are more amenable to black people! Substitute “Labor Policy” for “Union policy”. I haven’t had any coffee yet.

          Before someone will agree with you they have to trust you. Otherwise they’ll think you’re selling them a bill of goods. There’s a lot of cultural baggage that makes blacks somewhat skeptical of white progressives. How can I trust a guy who wears Birkenstocks and doesn’t eat meat?

          Sanders (probably) was too crunched for time and resources to properly get to know South Carolinians and earn their trust. You don’t just parachute in and earn their trust. Not to put too fine a point on it but I voted AGAINSTBarack Obama and FOR Bobby Rush because Obama had a funny name and I knew I could trust Rush because he was a former Black Panther. Blacks can be very risk averse.

          • Ronan

            So you’re saying everyone is getting it wrong, and the black vote is primarily an anti birkenstock vote? ; )
            (More seriously though, your comments on this are interesting. I think they give a deeper insight into the “black vote” than the , perhaps, more reified white liberal boilerplate would have it)

            Edit: Google tells me I don’t really have a clue what reified means

            • Linnaeus

              I suspect “rarefied” is what you were looking for.

              • Ronan

                It probably was

                • LFC

                  Could write a quite long comment on this, but don’t have time/inclination right now. So I’ll just say that, IMHO, a pretty good rule of thumb is not to use the word “reified,” even if you have some idea of what it means, unless there is absolutely no available alternative.

                • tsam

                  I like my beans that way

            • ThrottleJockey

              LOL. Pundits are more charitable than me. They’d never cite Birkenstocks and veganism as challenges!

              My white college Birkenstock-wearing roomie once visited me over the summer. My parents (who take hosting very seriously) insisted on having pizza ready for him as soon as he arrived. When I told pop that Mike was vegetarian and so we couldn’t order a “Meat Lover’s Supreme” Pizza he look at me like I had just cursed him out. He literally couldn’t believe it (“Maybe they just haven’t tasted this pizza”). He ordered a Meat Lovers Supreme anyways. I had to call back and order a 2nd pizza, Cheese and Veggie Lover’s Pizza. Poor pop couldn’t wrap his head around that if I had given him a vise and some pliers!

              • Ronan

                How did they get on with your roomie after the initial shock?

              • Redbeard

                I have seen this happen. Many, many times.
                “You don’t want meat? Do you hate sunshine, too?”

              • I had to call back and order a 2nd pizza, Cheese and Veggie Lover’s Pizza. Poor pop couldn’t wrap his head around that if I had given him a vise and some pliers!

                Well, this is hardly limited to the black community.

                I’ve had many a conversation with the grandparental generation about what I can eat. They struggle. “Can you eat salad?”

                Re Pizza. There are plenty of people who prefer plain (for example) or other non-meat pizza.

                • joe from Lowell

                  My vegetarian former boss used to talk about Chinese restaurants.

                  “Is there meat in this?”

                  (Huddled conversation) “No meat.”

                  “No meat? This doesn’t have meat in it?”

                  (Huddled conversation) “No, no, no. No meat.”

                  Takes a big bite.

                  “Just pork.”

                • Oh yeah! Japan is also terrible in spite of having multiple robust vegetarian traditions!

                  I’ve had multiple experiences like that.

                • galanx

                  scene from “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”:

                  Aunt Voula: WHAT DO YOU MEAN HE DON’T EAT NO MEAT?
                  [the room goes silent]
                  Aunt Voula: Oh that’s ok, That’s ok, I make lamb!

          • sharonT

            Oh, come on and admit it, you and your fellow Rush voters were running around telling each other that Obama wasn’t “black enough”.

            Politics in minority-majority districts cab be so demoralizing sometimes.

          • random

            How can I trust a guy who wears Birkenstocks and doesn’t eat meat?

            There’s probably at least as many black vegans and vegetarians per capita, if not more. The only Presidential candidate out there right now who’s vegetarian is black and it’s not actually a coincidence.

            (Not that this distracts from your main point, there’s definitely a cultural divide between crunchy white ruralish liberals and your average black voter.)

            • dr. hilarius

              Wow, I didn’t realize Ben Carson was a vegetarian.

              Cory Booker is a vegan as well.

          • DAS

            I lived in a predominantly African-American apartment complex during the 2008 primary season, and most of my neighbors supported Hillary Clinton because, in the words of one of my neighbors

            there’s a lot stuff that needs to be done to fix this country: if a Black person named Barak Obama even tries to do those things, he won’t get anywhere because he’ll be tarred and feathered as an “angry Black man”, so he probably won’t even try to change things. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand will have more latitude to fix things

            These arguments might also apply to “Socialist Bernue Sanders” vs. Hillary Clinton. My neighbors may have been poor, but they were NPR listening , sandles wearing urbane liberals (FWIW this was in the South), so I am sure dislike of a certain stereotype of white liberals wasn’t an issue. For that matter, Mrs. DAS supports Clinton, and she is about as much described by the old “Stuff White People Like” as any white person.

            • dr. hilarius

              I dunno, instead of “angry Black man,” Hillary will be tagged as “shrill ballbusting bitch” (well, she already is referred to that way by many people). I mean by that logic we should only vote for bland white dudes like Martin O’Malley.

              • DAS

                I wouldn’t be surprised to find out my former neighbors are O’Malley supporters: they love NPR after all

          • oneslyfox

            No, this is your issue. Black votes aren’t being flipped by concerns for a vegetarian wearing sandals. You’re incredibly racist, you seem to be humored for some reason but you say patently bigoted things about black people.

      • JL

        Environmentalism and LGBTQ Rights, for instance–loom larger for progressives while Economic and Union policy loom larger for blacks.

        There are a lot of black progressives out there, and black people largely support LGBTQ rights. Plus, there are an awful lot of LGBTQ black people. In fact, in the US, black people are more likely to identify themselves as LGBTQ than any other race.

        • ThrottleJockey

          I have to disagree with ThinkProgress that black people largely support LGBTQ rights. We support ENDAs because we always have and we’re one of the prime beneficiaries. For almost the entirety of my life I’ve been the 1 black person who supported LGBT rights. In college the LGBT activist organization approached the Black Student Union to help support its efforts. I was president of the BSU and we supported them, but the vast, vast majority of the organization opposed it. I couldn’t even get anyone else in my cabinet to pose for a “Friends and Allies of Gays and Lesbians” pictures (that long ago “T” and “Q” didn’t figure prominently). Just eight years ago blacks didn’t like referring to gay marriage as a Civil Rights issue: “We’re forced to be black, they choose!”

          I followed that whole string of articles in progressive media. I think it was a well intentioned but inaccurate effort to mend the liberal coalition. Ask Drex what he thinks about the black community’s receptivity to LGBTQ people (if not issues like ENDA).

          • Drexciya

            My opinions on this topic aren’t reducible to or consistent with the argument you’re trying to make here.

            • ThrottleJockey

              I’m sorry, Drex. I thought you’d written before about homophobia and the black community. Sorry for misremembering!

          • JL

            I have to disagree with ThinkProgress that black people largely support LGBTQ rights.

            They’re not making it up out of their asses. They’re citing a major study. Their results may contradict with your experience, but saying “Well I disagree” doesn’t refute their data.

            We support ENDAs because we always have and we’re one of the prime beneficiaries.

            ENDA, in this context, is specifically a pro-LGBTQ law, not a general civil rights law that also covers straight cis black people. And the results reported in ThinkProgress are also not just about ENDA or other employment-related laws, they’re about opposition to religious refusals and support for anti-discrimination laws in employment, housing, and public accommodations. Again, specifically for LGBTQ people, not wider laws that benefit cis straight black people and happen to include LGBTQ people as a category.

            For almost the entirety of my life I’ve been the 1 black person who supported LGBT rights.

            So…does that mean you don’t know any LGBTQ black people (or is it that the ones you know don’t support their own rights)? Because that’s kind of surprising, given the stats I cited above that black people are the most likely to identify as LGBTQ. And the fact that LGBTQ black people exist is finally starting to get mainstream recognition, with activists and political figures like DeRay McKesson or (first lady of NYC) Chirlane McCray, media figures like Janet Mock, entertainers like Laverne Cox or Frank Ocean or Azealia Banks.

            I couldn’t even get anyone else in my cabinet to pose for a “Friends and Allies of Gays and Lesbians” pictures (that long ago “T” and “Q” didn’t figure prominently).

            Hey, you left the B out altogether! We’re our own letter with issues that affect us disproportionately, not just a watered-down version of the LG part of the acronym! :P

            Also, how long ago was this? Because it wasn’t all that long ago that most people were really hostile to LGBTQ rights regardless of race.

            If you’re interested in adding some more black LGBTQ voices to your regular reading, and you don’t already know about them, you might try Black Girl Dangerous – it’s LGBTQ writers of color, but the site owner is black and a large number of the contributing writers are black as well.

            • Drexciya

              This is an excellent post, and I would only add, largely anecdotally, that what you might be interpreting as a more generalized “black homophobia” (which has now settled into the more forthright support you see demonstrated above) was, in part, a negative response to the really, really tone-deaf framing used to guilt black support (which was overly assumed as a given) and to pathologize black communities with the perception that homophobia was a particularized dynamic in their communities. The consequence of mainstream LGBTQ organizations largely freezing black people out of representations of queerness and cementing their gains in largely white spaces, pitched to largely white audiences first is that many black people I know were doubly alienated from what was growing to become (and eventually did become) an axiomatic and conventionally liberal position.

              When I made the post you were likely talking about, I was discussing the dynamic where white analysts failed to factor racial dynamics in how they determine what left/right issues are, and don’t know when left/right dynamic fails to neatly map onto black political expressions. Assessments of Uniquely Homophobic Black Homophobia Because They’re Evangelicals tended to be off-base and nuance/context free in ways that relied on that ignorance (and relied on the, IMO, forced invisibility of feedback from actual black queer people, as well as black people generally) to legitimize that point. And because they had the power, they set the rules, and the narrative’s wrongness did little to ease is its longevity (indeed, we still deal with argumentative embers from those days).

              I will also note that I am gay, and that many of my formative frustrations with how black people are discussed began with lectures about how homophobic black people are without considering the bind that narrative put people like me in or caring about the invisibility you’d have to impose to make that point to begin with. That those lectures and empathetic absences came from people who resided in generally white spaces and were also willing to draw spectacularly lazy civil rights parallels was just icing on the cake.

              • JL

                This is a great comment. Another relevant bit of data that I want to add: According to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey (which I think is from 2012?), out black trans and gender nonconforming people were the most likely of any race to have been accepted by their families after coming out, at 55%. White trans/GNC people, on the other hand, were less likely to have been accepted by their families than black, Native, Asian, or Latinx trans/GNC people.

            • ThrottleJockey

              Hey, JL, I was in college decades ago (early 90s) and we’ve seen a sea change in the black community just since ’08, so when I say I was commonly one of the few blacks to support gay marriage I’m not referring to over the last decade when you saw blacks begin to change, I’m talking the first 30 years or so of my life. In the ’90s you still had black gay men so afraid of homophobia in our community that they were “on the DL”. To the extent that blacks were disproportionately LGBTQ they were also disproportionately subdued, at least in the community. Back then I had a couple of gay cousins and while it was known within the family that they were gay it was kept very quiet. Now I have queer nieces and they are quite public about it. So, like I said, sea change.

              I’m not saying that TP pulled the stats out of their ass, but TP is definitely skilled at, ahem, selective stat picking (you recall what Twain on the subject). Supporting ENDA isn’t really supporting LGBTQ rights. As recently as 2013 55% of blacks said that same sex marriage was not a civil right, and even fewer (40%) supported same sex marriage (as recently as 2015).

              And then we have Houston’s recent vote on a ENDA–which even though blacks would be prime beneficiaries of it, most still opposed (I can’t post a 3rd link but there’s enough here to Google if you’re so inclined. This is from The Atlantic):

              As Rice University Professor Robert Stein told Next America, turnout appears to have grown in predominantly Republican and Black precincts, and both demographics, although not monoliths, appear to have come out against the measure…Stein’s early assessment suggests that Republicans came out by as much as a three-to-one margin against the proposition, and Blacks by as much as two-to-one against it

              In tests of three different messaging tactics, Stein found that Patrick’s messaging strategy, that women were in danger, was particularly effective in swaying Black women. That’s important, he pointed out, because most Black voters (more than 60 percent) are women.

              • JL

                Why do you keep saying that black people would be the primary beneficiaries of an employment nondiscrimination law? Because black people are the most likely to be LGBTQ? Or some other reason? Because these are laws that are about LGBTQ people – race is already a protected class in Texas, even if Houston didn’t have its own redundant ordinance about it, while sexual orientation and gender identity are not protected classes in Texas. Also, something that covers housing and public accommodation rights isn’t “an ENDA,” ENDA is a specific proposed federal law that is about employment.

                Supporting ENDA isn’t really supporting LGBTQ rights.

                Why is supporting LGBTQ employment, housing, and public accommodations rights less of an LGBTQ rights issue than supporting same-sex marriage rights? I mean, I think people should support all of the above, obviously (and really, if you want to be on board, there’s a whole bunch of other issues I want you to care about, but tons of people of all races have yet to come around on those and we’re talking basics here). But none is less an LGBTQ rights issue than any of the others.

                The sea change that you’re talking about is real, but it’s not just a black thing. It’s an everybody thing. I was a little kid in the early ’90s and I’ve seen similar change in white attitudes since then. And I was in college when Massachusetts got same-sex marriage, and I remember the rallies in 2004 and subsequent years from both sides outside the State House, and the crowds of angry same-sex marriage opponents who were mostly white.

                The South Dakota state leg just passed one of those scummy bathroom bills, using the same arguments that swayed black women in Houston. You can’t tell me that’s because South Dakota is so black. Massachusetts has been struggling to get a trans public accommodations bill passed for the same reason, and it’s not black people blocking it.

          • DAS

            Controlling for religiosity (both strength and nature of the religious belief involved), are African-Americans any less supportive of LGBTQ rights than other races/ethnic groups? Isn’t it more that African-Americans with certain religious beliefs and level of practice are more likely to be economically liberal than say whites with similar religious beliefs and practice?

            • ThrottleJockey

              Why, I’m glad you asked that question, sir. From Pew:

              There are some notable differences in how groups feel about allowing gays and lesbians to marry. For example, a majority of whites (59%) and Hispanics (56%) favor same-sex marriage, compared with 41% of blacks. Religion continues to be a major factor in attitudes as well. Fully 85% of those who are religiously unaffiliated favor same-sex marriage, as do 62% of white mainline Protestants and 56% of Catholics. Among black Protestants, 33% favor same-sex marriage (57% oppose), and 27% of white evangelical Protestants favor it (70% oppose).

              Relying on the fact that Pew reports that 74-78% of blacks are Protestant, we can crunch the numbers. That would imply that support among black non-Protestants ranges from 64-69%.

              So, yeah, outside of black Protestants support among blacks for gay marriage is high. But there’s a ton of black Protestants.

      • brad

        Much as I hate to sound like a concern troll, consider for just a moment how a reversed crudely drawn sketch like yours would appear.
        Just the kind of thing some of Sanders’s supporters are rightfully getting criticized for.

      • Docrailgun

        Delicious right-wing Kool-Aid there.
        I guess I’m lucky as I don’t know any white liberals/progressives who think that environmentalism and LGBTQ equality is more (or less) important than economic policy or union activity.

    • twbb

      It also assumes black people vote emotionally and idealistically and earnestly, and that black votes are a reward for showing some sort of purehearted virtue rather than being cast by adult human beings who make tactical and strategic decisions.

      I’m supporting Hillary because I think she has a better chance of not losing the general and because I think she might be incrementally more effective in getting things done than Sanders; a black person in my position might be doing the same thing. I suspect a lot of Sanders’ supporters are very well-meaning but very sheltered white kids whose understanding of black interests comes from white savior movies.

      • Ktotwf

        So to be clear, Clinton voters are hardheaded trench fighting pragmatists who have a lot of really good sex while Sanders voters are all basement dwelling idealists who probably play D&D every Friday night?

        • ThrottleJockey

          “who have a lot of really good sex”???

          • djw

            Ktotwf is in the ‘anger’ stage and lashing out, I think.

            • ThrottleJockey

              That’s good, I was worried I was going to have to get a prescription of Viagra AND switch to being a Clinton supporter!

            • Ktotwf

              I’m just a brutal tower of rage.

              • brad

                Certainly inchoate and incoherent.
                Stop taking it so damn personally, you’re not Bernie.

                • Ronan

                  You don’t think that it’s a bit much at this stage all these white people implying that they get “the black vote” and that Sanders voters are well meaning but naive kids who don’t understand the real concerns of the real people and are blinded by their white suburban privilege? I think it’s ridiculous tbh, and the Clinton base are coming off much worse from this elections than Sanders base.
                  We had a recent election in ireland where a lot of working class areas went varying degrees of radical left (some as far as anti capitalist candidates). I don’t think these caricatures people draw (often conveniently supporting their own side and politics)go very far

        • twbb

          That is so far from what I’m saying that I can’t even figure out which parts of what I said you’re misinterpreting.

        • malraux

          I’m pretty sure the game night got moved to Saturday to make room for phone banking for sanders on Friday.

          • Ktotwf

            Leveling up!

        • Lurker

          Playing D&D is not really such a marker of true nerdism. If you play D&D every Friday night, this shows that you have actual a stable circle of friends to play it with. Thus, you have at least some social skills and, if you’re not a complete munchkin, this will, sooner or later, manifest itself in getting laid. In fact, if you are spending your Friday nights sober, playing D&D, you are likely to get laid sober, also. This will mean the sex will be better.

          I’m not speaking of personal experience, though. I got my understanding of D&D from books, never playing it. That is true nerddom, in negative sense.

          • ThrottleJockey

            The problem with drunk sex is that I can never remember it the next day! I once had a woman who I had pursued for some years tell me we had hooked up. I said, “We did?” I was so drunk I didn’t even remember it! College sucks!

            PS–by the way, never tell a woman you’re interested in hooking up with that you don’t remember having hooked up with her. Its rather hard to come back from that!

        • tsam

          Ok, fucking stop.

          Bernie voters have higher aspirations for American politics and economic policy. That’s a good thing, but they’re absolutely not a group that even approaches the ability to elect a president.

          Ok? Stop the temper tantrums and lashing out at people who you think are too stupid to see things at your superior level of enlightenment.

        • Docrailgun

          People who play D&D every Friday night often have really good sex, thanks!

      • twbb

        Oops, I meant to say “[A] lot of Sanders’ campaign workers” rather than “supporters.”

      • manual

        Some interesting news in the last few days. 1st the emails about Clinton support for the Colombia FTA and now the Libyan article in the NYT.

        I mean, trade affected job loss has had no impact on the South or, especially South Carolina.

        Oh wait.
        https://itif.org/publications/2012/03/19/worse-great-depression-what-experts-are-missing-about-american-manufacturing

        Im sure the anguished posts about trade loss and black unemployment will take note of this issue.

        • Scott P.

          That article is from 4 years ago. US Manufacturing is now ahead of its previous peak in 2007-8.

          • manual

            Ha. This is a joke, right? You are not familiar with what that claim means im guessing. It’s up from a blip from its historic low because there has been a bit of recovery from the recession. Come on down to a USW local at take a look at the TAA applications.

            https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/MANEMP

            The problem didnt start with Obama, obviously, but dont pretend he’s the manufacturing president or that Columbia, KORUS or Pananama – or TPP – has anything to do with helping American workers.

            • Scott P.

              There is no ‘historic low’ — manufacturing output is at an all time high.

              Link.

              • Pseudonym

                Output yes, employment no—and don’t expect to sell someone named manual on the benefits of automation.

              • weirdnoise

                And what about manufacturing employment?

                • joe from Lowell

                  Manufacturing employment.

                  An extended upward trend about as long and steep as that during the 1990s boom, and not plausibly characterized as a mere blip from the bottom of the Great Recession.

                  It’s also notable that the non-recessionary period of the Bush years showed a continued drop, not any kind of growth.

                  Which is why today’s number is, indeed, still well below the pre-2000 heights (which, themselves, were below the actual peak in the late 70s).

                • manual

                  If people clicked on my link they would see that the lines of historic employment has a small, meaningless uptick.

      • dr. hilarius

        I think the Sanders/Clinton suitability for the general election is a valid consideration, I just don’t think the data or even a common sense analysis show a major advantage for one over the other. I can see it as a tiebreaker but mostly it seems like a wash.

    • CrunchyFrog

      The article may be slanted, and may be picking some of the worst examples to exaggerate the point. Unfortunately, with any group of volunteers working the phones for a candidate you’re probably going to get some really poorly constructed calls.

      At the same time, this is a continuing theme, and the gist of the post is absolutely correct. While I – a white man – think Sanders’ policies would be best for America, he’s not going to be the consensus choice for the Democratic party without getting across-the-board support from all, or most, of the constituencies. His – and his team’s – complete lack of experience in campaigning with non-whites has become glaringly evident and it’s his campaign’s fatal flaw.

      What worries me the most is that he’s getting something like 84-86% of the vote from the youngest Democratic voters (and that includes minorities in that age group). When he loses – and that is no longer in question – will Clinton be able to get the same voters to support her, or will they give up? Just as Trump has tapped into the anger and isolation of the older white population, Sanders tapped into the discontent and isolation of the younger population. Clinton – she who is of, by, and for the status quo – represents what they were voting against. If the Democrats can’t attract those young voters without Sanders, where will they go?

      • Dilan Esper

        I don’t think Sanders’ problem is lack of experience with blacks. I think his problem is that the votes were never available. As I said, HRC had all these same endorsements in 2008 and it only changed when Obama became viable (and for a reason not available to Sanders).

        • Ktotwf

          That seems like the most common sense reading. The notion that Sanders’ campaign was color blind and tone deaf is a way of putting a moralistic “progressive” spin on what actually happened – the Democratic party clubbed his campaign to death like a baby seal.

          • ThrottleJockey

            Dude, 2 things can be true at the same time. My brothers and sisters were unpersuaded. Honestly, to lose the black vote in South Carolina–where Bill Clinton famously had to prove that he wasn’t a racist–by such a lopsided margin took some skill. Shit, Sanders blinked when it came time to hold Hill responsible for her 2008 campaign. He failed to wrap up black churches in his campaign. He apparently failed to woo anyone.

            • Ktotwf

              Sanders was not as hopeless with younger black people. He lost them, IIRC, by a single digit margin. Older black people went for Hillary by like 95%.

              • ThrottleJockey

                Someone should’ve given Sanders a book, Campaign Strategy 101: Old Voters Vote, Young Voters Don’t.

                My (black) father–whose 84–snorted everytime Sanders came on the news. “What has he ever done?” he said. My aunt, whose 74, never gave any thought to voting for Sanders. Those are the people Sanders needs to be exciting…From what I’ve read its not even clear that he was exciting young voters at a big enough clip to enact the wave of change that he needs to promote his policy platform.

                • sharonT

                  My black father who is 77 is a huge Bernie fan, so what’s your point?

                • dr. hilarius

                  in TJ-land, anecdata = data.

                • kped

                  Yeah…but, given that older black people voted for Clinton by huge margins, his anecdote is probably closer to the truth then yours.

            • Manny Kant

              Yeah, just because Clinton had a built in advantage doesn’t mean that she was guaranteed to get 85% of the black vote no matter what Sanders did.

            • ASV

              Bernie can never fail; he can only be failed.

          • Scott Lemieux

            the Democratic party clubbed his campaign to death like a baby seal.

            What does this even mean? “Sanders would have won the Democratic nomination if not for those meddling Democratic voters and public officials.”

            • Ktotwf

              The Party clearly didn’t want him, weren’t comfortable with his politics, and used every surrogate they could from Lewis to Krugman to undermine him.

              I am not saying it it is illegitimate to do so, but let’s call a spade a spade.

              • Scott Lemieux

                I mean, yes, I concede your point — Clinton has much more support within the Democratic Party than Sanders. What your point is remains clear.

                • Ktotwf

                  Then why did you attempt to challenge what I said if you didn’t even see the point I was making? Just rote hostility?

                • random

                  Then why did you attempt to challenge what I said if you didn’t even see the point I was making?

                  I apologize for piling on here.

                  I just wanted to point out that every time you guys claim the Democratic Party and the primary system that nominated Obama over Clinton in 2008 is a huge corrupt machine where the Fix Is In, you’re probably alienating a lot of black voters right there.

                • weirdnoise

                  I just wanted to point out that every time you guys claim the Democratic Party and the primary system that nominated Obama over Clinton in 2008 is a huge corrupt machine where the Fix Is In, you’re probably alienating a lot of black voters right there.

                  He’s alienating a lot of older lifetime Democrats of whatever color as well. People don’t take kindly to being told they are chumps.

                • Brien Jackson

                  This is sort of an inherent problem for the leftier-than-thou’s: They’ve spent so much time telling themselves that they’re THE BASE of the party that the only reason they can think of to explain why they don’t win is corruption. But that just alienates the larger bloc of party voters who don’t agree with them further.

                • The Temporary Name

                  Then why did you attempt to challenge what I said if you didn’t even see the point I was making? Just rote hostility?

                  Not to answer for Scott, but it seems to me that you’re missing the politics part of being a politician. HC has gone out of her way to make sure she has folks backing her up long before the primaries started. Now people are voting and, surprise, the playing field is tilted in HC’s favour because she did the job that a serious candidate has to do.

                • galanx

                  Then why did you attempt to challenge what I said if you didn’t even see the point I was making? Just rote hostility?

                  Uh, I think his reply was sarcasm?

              • Spiny

                I am not saying it it is illegitimate to do so, but let’s call a spade a spade.

                No, you’re just implying it’s illegitimate to do so. Otherwise you would express your point like this: “A clear majority of Democratic party actors decided that Clinton would be a better nominee, and made efforts to persuade voters likewise. As people do in democracies.”

                • Ktotwf

                  Phrasing it that way would be naive. Ignoring the ideologies, the institution, and the power structures at work.

                • Spiny

                  Phrasing it that way doesn’t ignore any of those things. Ideology and institutions play into why those actors chose HRC. My phrasing just doesn’t imply those actors are agents of a mind game to unjustly sway voter opinion.

                • Ktotwf

                  You can read my comments how you like, but you are importing things that are not there.

                • Pat

                  Actually, phrasing it that way reminds me of the racist past of that phrase.

                • Ronan

                  Its past is spade = shovel though, rather than a racial slur ? Or was it used in a racist manner in the US?

                • “Spade” is a racist slur for black person.

                  “Call a spade a spade” antedates that use by quite some time. Nevertheless, I’m personally a bit cautious about using the phrase. It seems quite possible that someone intending to sneak in a slur might use it to do so and I prefer to be unambiguous about the fact that I’m not using such slurs.

                • Ronan

                  Coincidentally (completely seriously) the phrase has just been used this minute on the architecture show I’m watching (crazy)

                  I know spade can be a racial slur, and for the same reason (possible misunderstanding) probably would try to use a different phrase. But has it ever been explicitly racialised as a general saying?

                • twbb

                  The phrase as a whole has never been part of the racist’s repertoire; the individual word “spade” has been, though.

                • joe from Lowell

                  I once saw a guy who wanted to make the point that gay critics of President Obama were applying overly-high standards, and demanding an implausible level of perfection.

                  Regardless of what you think about that argument, his phrasing – “a bunch of anal gay men” – left something to be desired, despite the usage of “anal” being intended to express something entirely harmless.

                  I advised him that it would probably be best to just avoid “the entire colorectal oeuvre” in that particular context. The existence of an alternate meaning notwithstanding, if there could be a double entendre, and you don’t intend one, it’s just bad writing. You’re just getting in your own way.

                • dr. hilarius

                  See, e.g., the song Everyone Has AIDS from Team America World Police: “the gays and the straights and whites and the spades”

                  Just like even though “niggardly” is a perfectly cromulent word, probably better to use “miserly” or another synonym in that context.

              • Gregor Sansa

                Protip: not a good idiom.

                Lewis is a politician, and he played politics against Sanders and beat him badly. Krugman is an economist, and he did economics against a halfassed pro-Sanders analysis and crushed it. Those are two totally different things; only the former counts even remotely as baby-seal clubbing, the latter was an unforced error. And insofar as there was any baby seal clubbing, the lesson is, don’t be a political baby seal. Yes, Sanders did better than we had any right to hope, and it still wasn’t enough. But in order to crash the gates, you have to be Obama-level skilled, which is just hard to find.

                • Ktotwf

                  I’m not sure why you seem to think my argument was anything other than “Sanders got outpoliticked.” I’m the last person to make excuses for a failed campaign.

                  But the people here seem to be freely switching between levels of cynicism.

                • BubbaDave

                  don’t be a political baby seal

                  I think this is the “It’s the economy, stupid!” of 2016.

                • Phil Perspective

                  Krugman is an economist, and he did economics against a half-assed pro-Sanders analysis and crushed it.

                  You do know that Friedman supported Clinton and donated money to her campaign, right? Also, too, I suppose you didn’t hear what Galbraith had to say about Krugman.

                • joe from Lowell

                  Yeah, Krugman didn’t “do” any economics before he wrote that. Like, at all. He didn’t seem to have even looked closely enough to tell that one of the outcomes of the actual analysis he was critiquing wasn’t an assumption they plugged in.

                • ColBatGuano

                  Yeah, Krugman didn’t do “economics”. He used common sense instead.

                • joe from Lowell

                  Lol “common sense.”

                  Apparently, that now means “not even reading it.”

                  Look, man, you clearly wanted to come back with something, but…

                  “common sense.” Come on. You just responded to the observation that the economist’s opinion didn’t involve any economic analysis with the words “common sense.”

                • ChrisTS

                  don’t be a political baby seal.

                  Thanks for this. That was my first thought: why would you want to depict your favored candidate’s campaign as a baby seal. Are they cute? Hell, yes. Are they powerful? Uh, no.

                • galanx

                  When someone like Krugman uses “common sense” on something like this, it’s based on a background knowledge of how the economy works- or doesn’t, in this case i.e. what things are plausible and what aren’t.

                  http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/02/26/romer-and-romer-on-friedman/?module=BlogPost-Title&version=Blog%20Main&contentCollection=Opinion&action=Click&pgtype=Blogs&region=Body

              • Moondog

                What’s the mechanism by which The Party Uses Surrogate Krugman?

                • CD

                  I was about to say. PK is a card-carrying neoliberal. He was actually way nicer to Sanders than he could have been.

              • cpinva

                “The Party clearly didn’t want him, weren’t comfortable with his politics, and used every surrogate they could from Lewis to Krugman to undermine him.”

                perhaps the reason (or one of the reasons) the “Party clearly didn’t want him”, is because for 40 years prior to this past summer, he very clearly didn’t want them. oh sure, he caucused with the dems in congress, but he always, always, always made it very clear he wasn’t “one of them”, he was an “independent”, a “democratic socialist” (whatever the hell that is?), and he wasn’t going to be roped into blindly supporting whatever the official Democratic Party Platform was. well hey, that’s fine and dandy, it’s a (mostly) free country, and it obviously worked for him back home.

                all that said, I don’t then want to hear you whining about how the party doesn’t want him and hasn’t supported him enough. why the fuck should they? for that matter, to this day, the only reason, as far as I’m concerned, that he’s running at all, is “because Hillary”, and someone needed to run against her. again because, well……………HILLARY!

                what I thought was going to happen to Sen. Sanders, once out of his native comfort zone, has started. way, way, way more people know and like Hillary, all over the country, than even know who Sen. Sanders is, or why he’s running. sure, he was involved in the early civil rights movement in the south, then he went back home to Vermont, pretty much stayed there and has evolved into the crusty old white guy liberal/progressive/old “revolutionary”?

                whatever you may or may not think of Ms. Clinton, she can step out of a car pretty much anywhere in the country, and be almost immediately recognized and engulfed in a warm crowd of admirers. 9 out of 10 people outside VT/NH/ME wouldn’t have a clue who Sen. Sanders is.

                • joe from Lowell

                  for that matter, to this day, the only reason, as far as I’m concerned, that he’s running at all, is “because Hillary”, and someone needed to run against her. again because, well……………HILLARY!

                  In a campaign season full of people saying dumb things, the notion that Bernie Sanders – Bernie Sanders! – only chose to run for President because he’s got it out for Hillary Clinton is quite possibly the dumbest.

                  Bernie Sanders. You’re “convinced.” Good for you.

              • The Lorax

                Krugman is not a Democratic Party surrogate…

              • kped

                Krugman takes marching orders from DWS and the DNC too? The conspiracy theories do you all no good.

            • manual

              A political scientist who doesnt understand how political parties operate and make decisions?

          • ChrisTS

            You don’t think having Cornell West, a man who has said the foulest things about Obama, as his black outreach guy absolutely infuriated lots of PoC? Because it did, and, no, Killer Mike is not a big win, either.

            • dr. hilarius

              Dr. Cornel West. One L.

              • ChrisTS

                Sorry. (As a Dr., myself, I couldn’t give a crap about the form of address.)

          • Tybalt

            Well, sure: he’s not a Democrat. If he wanted to be a Democratic presidential candidate he should have given some thought to, once upon a time, becoming one.

            It’s no wonder, not surprising, and probably healthy for Democrats that when sh** got real, the party turned on the outsider. This is unfortunate in my eyes because I like Bernie and actually think he’d be a good candidate.

            • Pat

              Maybe. Just not as a Democrat. Because, you know, he isn’t one.

            • ChrisTS

              Indeed, he has said many nasty things about our party over the years. If he thought it would be ‘hypocritical’ of himself to run as a Dem previously, why is it not so, now?

              And if the Reps and Dems are “Tweedledum and Tweedledee,” why pick us rather than the Rs?

        • Craigo

          You’re making a basic error in assuming that endorsements are a cause of popular support, and not an effect.

          • Dilan Esper

            I am not making any such error. The endorsements, even if they are an effect and not a cause, reflect the conclusion that the votes are already wrapped up for HRC. So either way they mean the votes are not available to be won by Sanders.

            • Manny Kant

              Hillary had many of the same endorsements in 2008 and got embarrassed. I think it would have been very difficult for Sanders to have outright won the black vote in South Carolina, given Clinton’s inherent advantages. That doesn’t mean that it was inevitable he’d only get 15% of the black vote. That’s on him failing to convince anyone to vote for him.

              • Dilan Esper

                Hillary in 2008 was running against a black guy, and even then the polling and endorsements flipped ONLY after said candidate turned out to be viable.

                Obama may have literally been the only person who could have beaten HRC in a Democratic primary in South Carolina.

                • Scott Lemieux

                  And, also, Clinton did not lock up major endorsements in 2008 in anything like the way she did in 2016.

                • ThrottleJockey

                  After Sanders #BlackLivesMatter moment he should’ve rushed to create a “black campaign” and enlist in it someone other than Cornel West, a man who all but said that Obama is a sell out (and my memory may be generous on this). West is despised by huge swaths of Black America. The man is literally a laughing stock…and Spike Lee has become a footnote. The problem was that Sanders’ campaign strategy failed to be as grand as his policy vision.

                • Darkrose

                  Yeah, you’re giving Brother West the benefit of the doubt. He’s said that Obama is “niggerized” and that he’s afraid of strong African-American men, so he prefers to surround himself with white Jewish men. And all because he’s hurt that Obama didn’t personally invite him to his second inauguration.

                  Honestly, I don’t think West had much impact on the campaign. He’s even less relevant than Spike Lee. But I do think that choosing black spokesmen who have been highly critical of Obama–especially when that criticism had often taken the form of accusing Obama of not being black enough–was a tactical error.

                  Even those of us who have serious problems with some of Obama’s policies agree that the level of disrespect he’s been shown is unprecedented and racialized. That’s become even more clear since Scalia’s death. Asking two guys who are known for their racialized criticism of Obama doesn’t work any better because they’re also black.

                • dr. hilarius

                  @Darkrose

                  The problem I think Sanders had is that, when you’re running against someone who’s basically promising a third Obama term (and Obama being the first black president and all), it seems like it’s very hard to find black endorsers who aren’t sharply critical of Obama.

        • ThrottleJockey

          I don’t think Sanders’ problem is lack of experience with blacks.

          Cites omitted.

          Where did he earn this “experience”?

          • Dilan Esper

            I didn’t say he had experience. I said lack of experience wasn’t what cost him the election.

            • ThrottleJockey

              So he has no experience winning black votes, but said inexperience was not a factor in losing a campaign where 2 out of 3 voters was black?

              That’s an “interesting” theory.

              • Dilan Esper

                I don’t think a campaign with more experience courting black voters could have beaten HRC in South Carolina, unless the candidate him- or herself was black and viable (as Obama turned out to be in 2008).

                This cake was baked long ago.

                • ThrottleJockey

                  There’s *possibly* some truth to that, but even so he didn’t have to get blown out by 50 points! A blowout would’ve been 20 points! I don’t even know what the fuck a 50 point blow out is.

                  You’re assuming that the black establishment has too much sway over the generic black voter. I can tell you the Congressional Black Caucus and Jim Clyburn’s endorsement of Clinton made me more likely to support Sanders. I have relatives who can’t fully fathom voting for Hillary in the general, much less the primary.

                • Gregor Sansa

                  Right. If Sanders had lost SC by 20 points, he would have had better than even odds of winning overall. That would have been effectively a tie. 50 points is a blowout squared.

                • cpinva

                  “I don’t even know what the fuck a 50 point blow out is.”

                  it’s a “Your ass had no business being on the same field with us to begin with.” kind of blowout. 20 points would have been a “Well, everyone has a bad day.” kind of blowout.

                  you see the difference there?

          • random

            Hey guys, again sorry for jumping in, but….

            Sanders’s ran a ‘change’ campaign. Which would be fine, except that the current 2-term President is from the party he’s seeking the nomination of, and is also the first black one, and has a 90% approval rating with black voters.

            It may not have mattered if BS had more experience with black voters, his basic campaign message at Square One starts off by alienating people who really like Obama.

            Any candidate who was hugging Obama and not attacking the party that nominated and elected Obama was probably going to beat him with that demographic. I don’t think you have to actually be Hillary Clinton.

            • BubbaDave

              The thing I don’t get is, you can run that same “change campaign” while hugging Obama.

              “Barack Obama has done a great job; following the worst two-term President in US history, he’s managed to not only stop the bleeding but to make huge progress on social justice, on world peace, on immigration, and on economic justice. The question now is what path do we take going forward? Do we build on the foundation President Obama has laid and work to limit the power of the one percent, to make college affordable and [etc]”

              He didn’t have to make it about “Obama has failed, it’s my turn to try.” But he did….

              • dr. hilarius

                Indeed, he could have framed it as “Obama was Tom Brady, he engineered an amazing 80 yard drive, he set up a lot of good stuff and did a lot of heavy lifting. Now we’re at 4th and goal-I want to run the ball in, Hillary wants to be safe and go for the field goal.” Maybe not a football analogy, but that basic idea.

                But again, Obama is probably the best president in…a long time. When your competitor for the nomination is bear hugging the first black president and you are seen (fairly or not) as an outsider to the party establishment, and your message is anything less flattering to Obama than “I want to finish what he started,” I think you’re going to have trouble getting any black endorsers who aren’t people like Cornel West.

              • joe from Lowell

                He didn’t have to make it about “Obama has failed, it’s my turn to try.” But he did….

                No, he really didn’t. You are not describing his messaging, but his opponent’s characterization of his messaging.

                To prove me wrong, you could cite some examples of him denouncing Barack Obama.

                • random

                  He certainly did. His entire campaign (and even his political career, to some extent) is explicitly and implicitly a referendum on recent Democratic Presidents and the Party Establishment that nominates them.

                  That the current incumbent President selected by and presiding over that Establishment happens to be black and have 90% approval rating with black voters is incidental to this fact (Sanders would be running this same campaign if Obama had never been born).

                  But the end result is still that Sanders has spent the entire primary attacking both individuals and an institution that black voters have favored more than white voters, going back for generations in fact.

                • joe from Lowell

                  Oh, I get it. You’re trying to conflate a substantive policy differences with “attacking Obama,” regardless of how he actually runs.

                  The comments directly above ours, which mine was written in response to, all assume exactly the same policy positions for Sanders, and discuss how his messaging could or could not have been supportive towards Obama.

                  For example, The thing I don’t get is, you can run that same “change campaign” while hugging Obama. Or Indeed, he could have framed it as “Obama was Tom Brady, he engineered an amazing 80 yard drive, he set up a lot of good stuff and did a lot of heavy lifting. Now we’re at 4th and goal-I want to run the ball in, Hillary wants to be safe and go for the field goal.”

                  If you wish to argue with the two commenters above, who were talking about message framing, and first put forward the idea I picked up on that one could have some policy distance without “attacking Obama,” you should take it up with them.

                  Instead, you appear to believe that writing critically about Sanders while recognizing that distinction is ok, but writing supportively about Sanders while recognizing that distinction required some correction.

                • The Lorax

                  He ran against a system in which everyone save him is on the take, and Obama is part of that system. But when Obama or his policies came up, he was complimentary. (Still, the takeaway from many Sanders supporters I encounter is that Obama does the bidding of BigX: the ACA is a giveaway to Big Insurance, or Big Pharma, (or both!), Dodd-Frank is a giveaway to big banks, his environmental policy is a giveaway to Big Oil and Big Coal. (I’m not sure to which Big entity something like Lilly Ledbetter was a giveaway.).)

                  As I’ve said elsewhere in the thread, I’m concerned with the implications of what many Bernie supporters (I’ve encountered) believe: the entire system is corrupt a la Tammany Hall, and only Bernie is above board. So only Bernie can save us. If you believe all that, why bother voting or participating once Bernie is out?

                • joe from Lowell

                  I think, Lorax, that the difference between the Sanders campaign’s messaging and that of “many Sanders supporters” you’ve encountered is useful to keep in mind.

                  I’ve seen such explicitly anti-Obama implications from Sanders supporters, too. I suspect, though, that it is more of an internet-political-geeks thing.

                • The Lorax

                  I agree, JFL. But I hold Bernie partially culpable, as he knows how people will take what he’s saying. It’s part of a general phenomenon of Bernie oversimplifying things.

                  “Every other advanced country has single payer.” Well, yes. Kind of. But most of them have private supplemental insurance as well. (With the sorts of cost controls that look a lot like what exists in the ACA.)

                  “Elections are bought by a handful of billionaires.” Well. Sometimes. But a) it’s not like people are all like Duke Cunningham. b) And tons of money isn’t sufficient (Jeb!) for doing well. (Plus there are steep diminishing marginal returns on ad buys in swing states.)

                  “Dodd-Frank hasn’t broken up the banks, and thus we’re in serious trouble of another bailout situation.”

                  Well, really the issue is one of leverage, not size. (As HRC points out.). And leverage is down. From both supply and demand sides.

                  Unrelated: do you have a personal blog where you post often? I learned a hell of a lot from you in Yglesias’ comment section.

                • joe from Lowell

                  I don’t think leftists like Bernie have any greater responsibility to run their campaigns like educational seminars than do centrists or moderate-liberals. Now he needs to provide his own “yes buts” to his best stump speech lines?

                  I really should start my own blog, shouldn’t I? My wife keeps telling me that.

                • “Every other advanced country has single payer.” Well, yes. Kind of. But most of them have private supplemental insurance as well. (With the sorts of cost controls that look a lot like what exists in the ACA.)

                  This, even with your amendments, is just false. Cf Germany:

                  Germany has a universal[1] multi-payer health care system with two main types of health insurance: “Statutory Health Insurance” (Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung) known as sickness funds (Krankenkasse) and “Private Health Insurance” (Private Krankenversicherung).

                  France is closer, but still arguably multi-payer. Switzerland too.

                  (I’m really focused on the “core” health care. I would call the UK single payer, even though we have private care for which you can get private insurance.)

                • I really should start my own blog, shouldn’t I? My wife keeps telling me that.

                  I rather suspect that some of your thoughts would be better expressed as OPs rather than comments. (Maybe, as active rather than reactive?!)

                  So I would read your blog!

                • The Lorax

                  I know Bernie will do all he can to make sure no Republican wins the election in November. To that end, I think, yes, absolutely he should campaign in such a way that the well isn’t poisoned in November. (Of course, Hillary and her PUMAs didn’t do this in 08. But–most still came around. So maybe I’m overestimating the effects of the primary campaign.)

                  Your wife is right. Invite people like pseudonymous in NC to argue with you. I’d hit that site.

                • The Lorax

                  Bijan: well, right. Thank you; that’s exactly the point.

                  Those sorts of errors/omissions/obsfucations make me uncomfortable. (It may be a psychological artifact of mine given all the time I’ve spent reading blog threads on policy!)

                • The Lorax, I feel ya!

                  We’re rather nerdy, so what bugs us might make fine politics. But it won’t not bug us :)

        • Brien Jackson

          Did she have the same endorsements? I remember Clyburn waited until the end of the race to endorse, and I seem to remember most of the state’s black leadership holding off or endorsing Obama.

        • CrunchyFrog

          I doubt that you meant it to read this way, but this sounds like “Black voters just follow orders from their leaders, so of course they’d never consider Sanders”.

      • ThrottleJockey

        Luckily for us, Trump will give Hill ample material to rile them up. Hell, with that material she will scare the Bejeebus out of them. I’m thinking she’ll dust off the Daisy ad. Maybe do it up in Technicolor, ya know?

        • Karen24

          Her opponent will be a guy who quotes Mussolini approvingly. I do hope someone somewhere is making an ad featuring just that Tweet superimposed over Il Duce hugging Hitler. It only needs to run once.

          • Murc

            And after it runs, the media will talk about how Hillary is bullying poor ol’ Donald with wholly unwarranted comparisons to Hitler, and how uncivil that is. Donald’s just a boy from Queens, he can’t be expected to know about dead fascists!

            • Karen24

              In a sane or ordinarily insane world that’s exactly what would happen. Trump or his supporters might just embrace the image.

            • ChrisTS

              This reminds me of a really bizarre comment from Rachel Maddow last night: she said Hillary had to worry about hurting the feelings of Bernie supporters by wining by a big margin. WTF?

              • ThrottleJockey

                In college its considered impolite to “run up the score”…Politics ain’t college.

                • kped

                  And how do you not run up the score? Do you tell people to vote for Bernie, you already have enough votes?

              • wjts

                Well, now I’m tempted to write a letter.

                Dear Secretary Clinton,

                Did you ever, even for a single second, consider how your performance in South Carolina might hurt my feelings? Because the answer is so very obviously, “no”, I will now proceed to hold my breath until I turn blue or you withdraw from the race.

                Yours sincerely,

                wjts
                Pittsburgh, PA

                P.S. Please inform me as soon as possible that you have received this letter so I will know when to begin holding my breath.

                P.P.S. You are mean and I hate you I hate you I HATE YOU!

              • BubbaDave

                I have no idea how Clinton was supposed to take a knee after she got the 30-point lead.

              • Brien Jackson

                The MSNBC crew was just visibly devastated last night.

              • ColBatGuano

                “I used to vote Democrat, but after Clinton ruthlessly won by 50 points I endorsed fascism.”

            • dr. hilarius

              I dunno, the media seems to hate Trump at least as much. Maybe Clinton rules will be suspended if Trump is the nominee.

        • cpinva

          “I’m thinking she’ll dust off the Daisy ad. Maybe do it up in Technicolor, ya know?”

          no, it works best in B&W. as an 8 year-old watching that ad, it scared the shit out of me.

        • EliHawk

          I’m thinking of some other LBJ classics, like the KKK for Goldwater, The Republican Convention, and Confessions of a Republican.

      • dr. hilarius

        Well, I’m a young Sanders voter (albeit at the older end of the 18-29 range) and I’m also not a moron, so I have no problem voting for Clinton.

        Actually, I started out pro-Clinton, and then when Bernie Sanders threw his hat in the ring I remember thinking “Oh yeah, he’s that old dude my friend’s always talking about.” I have a friend who’s been evangelizing Bernie Sanders since 2001, when we were in seventh grade. That same guy said he was voting Trump if it was Trump vs. Hillary because at least then America gets a bullet to the back of the head instead of a slow and painful death or something like that. He’s actually a smart guy he just does not pay too much attention to politics…and I don’t know if he’s representative of other Bernie supporters. He’s in Florida too, so…eep.

        Ever since 2012 I’ve been saying that I’d happily vote for Clinton but I probably wouldn’t canvas or phone bank for her like I did for Obama both times. But now I wonder if I should rethink that and do more work for Clinton. Since I’m young maybe I’m in a good position to help fellow youngsters pull their heads out of their asses.

      • dr. hilarius

        will Clinton be able to get the same voters to support her, or will they give up? Just as Trump has tapped into the anger and isolation of the older white population, Sanders tapped into the discontent and isolation of the younger population. Clinton – she who is of, by, and for the status quo – represents what they were voting against.

        I was going to say she could start talking more like Bernie Sanders to attract younger voters, but that would just feed into the narrative of being opportunistic or something (I mean, calling a politician opportunistic is just one of the oldest truisms around, it’s just an empty criticism, but whatever, Clinton rules.

      • The Lorax

        I worry Bernie’s narrative may work against her: the entire political system is corrupt, with every politician save Bernie meeting in back alleys to collect bags of cash from the same 5-6 people.

        Why vote at all if they’re all on the take?

    • Scott Lemieux

      Yes, to be clear, this is more the symptom than the cause per se. Sanders won’t win the nomination because the typical Democratic primary electorate is more like South Carolina than New Hampshire. This is very favorable for Clinton, and Sanders has done nothing to change the calculus.

      • Manny Kant

        Outside the South, the typical primary electorate isn’t too much like either New Hampshire or South Carolina, really.

        • Scott Lemieux

          It’s still more like the latter.

    • socraticsilence

      Honestly even if he’d won Iowa and Nevada (where he did possibly win Latinos), SC and the SEC states were always going to pose a near fatal obstacle to his hopes at the nomination. On the other hand given how 2008 went I’m going to laugh my ass off at the first Hillary person to call for Sanders to withdraw.

      • kped

        Given that Clinton won every one of the majority Latino neighborhoods, I’d say there is about a 1% chance that he won that demo in Nevada. Those early exit polls are really not a good barometer.

        • Jackov

          If you match precinct results (as shared by the Nevada Democratic Party) with the Hispanic population in the populous area around Las Vegas, you can see that there isn’t a 1 to 1 correlation between strong support for Clinton and heavy Hispanic populations. It’s more mixed than that; some areas have strong support for Sanders.
          But there doesn’t seem to be a link between a heavy Hispanic population and heavy Clinton support.

          WaPo Phillip Bumb Feb 22

  • Joe_JP

    I put this in the other thread:

    I was recently reading The Girls in the Van: Covering Hillary [in 2000] by Beth Harpaz. It’s a good read and her success appealing to black voters, especially in churches, helps explain her dominance in that demo in the SC primary.

    http://www.c-span.org/video/?167562-1/book-discussion-girls-van-covering-hillary

    [Harpaz now handles travel for the AP but back then was a political reporter]

    The book does a good job showing how much work it takes to connect with the voters and Clinton made a strong effort to do that, including for “soccer moms” who were at first wary about her. Here, e.g., she over and over again went to multiple black churches each Sunday, showing a comfort level with their religious language that had a strong emotional appeal.

    Trump’s II Corinthians blunder also sort of happened in that race. Rick Lazio — like Sanders not a big foreign policy guy — spoke of Kim Jong Il the Second.

  • junker

    Some of the Killer Mike stuff there is brutal. I have no idea why he would think “take away the idols” would be persuasive, particularly to older black voters.

    • ThrottleJockey

      Pols have to learn to handle celebrity endorsers warily. The only thing I’ve heard about that guy has been trouble. For the slew of celebrity endorsers Obama picked up I wonder how he managed to avoid the Killer Mike pratfalls.

      • djw

        For the slew of celebrity endorsers Obama picked up I wonder how he managed to avoid the Killer Mike pratfalls.

        My hunch/sense/memory is that he pool of celebrity endorsers was large enough and the Obama campaign sufficiently competent at managing them such that greater exposure went to the ones less potentially off-putting to the median voter. Thus, we remember that nice young man from the Black Eyed Peas’ Obama video, but Young Jeezy’s entry in the genre disappeared down memory hole.

        • junker

          Another of those structural advantages by Clinton. Sanders has fewer black surrogates and can’t be as choosy.

          • Ktotwf

            Killer Mike has a kitschy appeal that comes from his total physical dissimilarity to Sanders.

        • Scott Lemieux

          I remember Yglesias saying that will.i.am’s video was Bad.News.For.Obama because the U.S. is a middlebrow country. Uh, Matt…

          • ColBatGuano

            If you didn’t supply a link I would have sworn you made that up.

      • Moondog

        and Obama never had a Susan Sarandon (OMFG!) far as I can recall

      • socraticsilence

        The same way he avoided the Clinton Administration run of scandals (both real and imagined)– Obama and his team are the best Democratic political operation since LBJ at the earliest and possibly since FDR.

  • ThrottleJockey

    LMAO. I still lean Sanders, but how many times have I said this thing myself?

    “Let me put this very carefully,” Darby began, “Sometimes my good and well-meaning liberal brothers and sisters get the feeling that they know what’s good for black folk.”

    “I lost it. So you’re going to assume either from my voice or from my selection that the most important thing that Sen. Sanders is going to be working on that would interest me is more welfare?” Scott said. “I went on to read him the riot act. Listen, I’m not only a college graduate; I’ve got a masters. My daughter is a college graduate. I have never had one ounce of welfare before. I ain’t never lived in public housing. None of those things.”

    • Murc

      … without knowing the larger context of what you’re quoting, that quote seems weird. I’m a white guy, and precisely the most important thing that Sanders has ever worked on that interests me is more welfare. That’s the entire basis of his campaign!

      And it also seems hypocritical on the part of the speaker. Unless the person who is bragging about the educational attainment of themselves and their daughter paid for it out-of-pocket, of course they received a form of welfare; the government both gave them a bunch of money to go to college and guaranteed their loans to borrow the rest of it.

      But I don’t know where this is from and what the larger context is.

      • junker
      • Anon21

        It’s actually disjointed; those two paragraphs aren’t adjacent to one another in the article. You can see the second part in context in Scott’s original post, and the interaction is at the very least tone-deaf.

      • djw

        It’s in the link. Here’s what came immediately prior to TJ’s second quoted para:

        “One of my experiences that I think I won’t forget for a long time is a call that I got from the Sanders campaign. This person that called asked me was I voting for Sen. Sanders. I said no. I was voting for Secretary Clinton. The phone went silent for a little bit,” Scott recounted. “You could hear this person struggling to come up with what they’re going to say next. … They call that a real pregnant pause, nine months’ worth of pregnant pause. And he finally came back and he says to me, ‘You know, Senator Sanders is for welfare.’”

        It’s just a low-level staffer or volunteer, but nonetheless what we’re seeing here is an epic failure of either screening or training.

        • Thom

          True, but all we know is that one low-level person said this. It is not even as bad as the high-profile gaffes by Steinem and Albright (because they were high level). It is an interesting story, becuase it reinforces a perception (borne out by the vote) that Sanders failed to connect with black voters. But it is a tiny piece of evidence.

          • Scott Lemieux

            But the bigger problem is that a low-level staffer was the person from the Sanders campaign phoning the head of the Charleston NCAAP. Throughout the piece, it seems clear that Sanders pretty much wrote off the African-American leadership of the state. And maybe he’s right that it wouldn’t have mattered, but then he’s pretty much conceding he has no actual path to the nomination.

            • ThrottleJockey

              In reality this specific anecdote was probably an IT failure. I doubt the phone bank list indicated that person #1,469 on the list was a senior party leader. It was just a phone bank list…In addition to the training problem that DJW indicated above.

              • Manny Kant

                Senior party leaders should be taken out of the damned phone bank list.

                • ThrottleJockey

                  That’s why I said its a failure of IT. Believe me, I have some experience here. Unless the organization is very experienced–and very well resourced–this is a ‘thing’.

                • weirdnoise

                  Senior party leaders should be brought in before the phone banking even starts. It’s not an IT issue. It’s a complete failure of outreach.

              • heckblazer

                That it was the only contact says there’s a bigger problem.

            • Thom

              Deleted.

        • NonyNony

          Failure of scripting. There is no way that the script the volunteers were reading from didn’t have an option for what to do if the person on the other end said no. I’ve done phone banking in the past – you follow the script as a guide when you’re dealing with mildly hostile but persuadable potential voters. Even the loosest phone bank I volunteered for at least had an outline of how to respond to various situations.

          And if the script didn’t have that branch, then the campaign is being horribly mismanaged.

          • JL

            Interesting. I phone-banked for Obama in 2008, and I don’t remember getting a script for various situations (I do remember getting one when I phone-banked against Prop 8 in California the same year). It’s possible that my local Obama phone bank organizers didn’t have their shit together, I’d believe that.

            • Lee Rudolph

              My two phone banking experiences were scriptless; but the first was in 1982, and the second was a town election.

            • Ktotwf

              Yeah, phone banking for Obama in 2012 I had a loose set of guidelines at best.

          • Gregor Sansa

            I did phonebanking for Bernie. The script said if they support Hillary the correct words are “thank you for your time, goodbye”.

            • BubbaDave

              Same with what the Obama campaign told us doorknockers in ’08. “Thanks for your time, and have a great day.”

      • brewmn

        Oh, come on. The impression location there was not “government spending in a general sense.” You’re displaying the same level of tonedeafness as the Sanders supporter displayed in that telephone call.

      • Ronan

        Precisely

      • ThrottleJockey

        Sorry, those were 2 separate sections, but the point it makes is that just because certain wisdom is the received wisdom among progressives, and just because intentions are good, it doesn’t mean that style is unimportant. Some white progressives come off as Moses coming down the mountaintop with a tablet of commandments that are “best” for people. This leads to problems.

        I have LGBT activist friends who were shocked–shocked–that blacks supported Prop 8. I wasn’t even surprised. During the lead up to that vote there was no observable outreach or activism. Fast forward and after years of effort and support by Obama even my father–who is religiously to the right of TD Jakes–is somewhat supportive of gay marriage. Four years ago he didn’t even support Civil Unions.

        • Darkrose

          The No on 8 campaign was a clusterfuck. The only call I got was from the other side.

      • cpinva

        “Unless the person who is bragging about the educational attainment of themselves and their daughter paid for it out-of-pocket, of course they received a form of welfare; the government both gave them a bunch of money to go to college and guaranteed their loans to borrow the rest of it.”

        I hate to break the news to you, but unless you attended a private, for profit school, where no gov’t subsidized/guaranteed loans/grants/etc. were involved (I don’t believe there is such a school), everyone received, directly or indirectly, some form/level of public support. everyone.

    • Ronan

      See my addendum to that thread

  • Anon21

    It’s a good article, but a highly questionable editorial decision to have auto-play video of the Walter Scott shooting at the top of the page. There are a lot of people who do not care to be confronted with unexpected images of a black man being murdered.

    • Dilan Esper

      I agree about the video, but I also think auto-playing any video or audio is a questionable editorial decision. I hate that!

      • Anon21

        Yes, the practice is generally obnoxious. And once you’ve gone down that road you want to think extra-carefully about whether a particular clip is going to upset, shock, or offend your readers.

      • junker

        I’d like a candidate who is against auto play videos, just once.

        • Ktotwf

          Make Auto Plays Great Again!

    • Scott Lemieux

      Whoever taught me how to disable Flash autoplays did a great deal to improve my life.

      • Manny Kant

        How does one do that?

        • Scott Lemieux

          On Firefox, go to preferences — applications, and you can require that Flash get your permission before playing anything.

          • JL

            That doesn’t appear to work anymore (at least not on my computer and Firefox version). The new way to do it is to open a new tab, type about:addons as your address, go to the plugins tab, and then require that Flash get your permission before playing anything.

    • NonyNony

      That’s not really a “questionable” decision. It’s obviously a bad one, no question about it.

      • Anon21

        Yeah, I over-euphemized there.

  • MPAVictoria

    People can vote for whoever they want and Clinton will be way better than any republican.

    Still it would have been fun watching a real idealist be president. Who knows? He might have managed to change things.

    • Ktotwf

      I still feel the biggest thing he might have changed would have been bringing social democratic politics into the respectable mainstream.

      • JL

        I think they’re heading that way anyway, and just the fact that he’s made the primary competitive has advanced that cause (as Occupy and Fight for $15 have already advanced it in different ways).

    • Murc

      I think Hillary Clinton (and her husband for that matter) are both plenty idealistic.

      I just think she has a long-ass track record of both being wrong substantively (as in, she believes in policy that isn’t actually good) and wrong politically.

      Like, I hold her warmongering against her, but I kinda feel like that warmongering was of the “If I don’t support this, I’ll get murdered, and that’ll preclude my ability to keep fighting to get stuff done” persuasion, rather than the “LETS BOMB SOME BROWN PEOPLE WOOOOOO” persuasion. And while a lot of people argue that motivation doesn’t matter, well, all I can say is that it kinda does to me.

      • postmodulator

        I guess, but it doesn’t end up mattering to the brown people.

        • cpinva

          “I guess, but it doesn’t end up mattering to the brown people.”

          true, but her vote wasn’t going to stop that, now was it? but I’m not real clear on which “warmongering” you’re talking about here? her vote on the AUMF, or her subsequent budget votes, to continue paying/supplying the troops, once they’d been lied into the field? lied into the field not once, but twice (both Afghanistan & Iraq).

        • dr. hilarius

          I think it might matter to the brown people we bombed. And their families.

    • NonyNony

      We actually need more idealists in the Congress if we want things to change.

      Presidents can make court appointments and get us into or keep us out of wars. Real change come from controlling the legislature and I’m really annoyed that nobody seems to have a long term plan to win it for Dems beyond hoping for demographic changes.

      • MPAVictoria

        Keeping us out of wars is aperture big deal. And Sanders would be the best person in the race for that

        • Ktotwf

          Speaking of which, the Neocons are already threatening to ditch the Right over Trump and line up behind HRC. Broadening the party!

          • dr. hilarius

            Yuck. I don’t want the neocons anywhere near a Democratic White House (or any White House for that matter). They can vote for Hillary, fine by me, and I hope she gives them the finger when she’s staffing her administration.

            • humanoid.panda

              There is something bothersome about this approach. When an open fascist is running for office, we should expect people who have some basic allegiance to liberal norms to defect to the other party- not darkly insinuate this means that our candidate is a secret Republican.

              There are things much worse than neoconservatism.

              • tsam

                Hillary’s secret plan to be a Republican president is all coming together.

              • dr. hilarius

                Um, no, this is an egregious misreading of my comment. I am glad that neocons have at least sense enough to abandon a Trump-led GOP. But neocons absolutely do not belong in the Democratic fold, is all I’m saying.

                I’m not a firebagger. I trust Hillary’s judgment enough to trust that she’ll keep any neocon courters at arm’s length. Just saying-fuck em.

                • joe from Lowell

                  I read your point as a distinction between votes and government posts.

              • dr. hilarius

                There are things much worse than neoconservatism.

                Very few things. Neoconservatism threatens just about everything I hold dear, so kindly don’t be so glib.

                There’s the type of fascism Trump represents, the white nationalists he courts. Racism is very bad too, structural and otherwise.

                Why should we accept these neocons into the Democratic fold? It seems far from obvious that we need them for Hillary to win.

                • humanoid.panda

                  I don’t think we should accept them into the Democratic fold. I do think that their supports tells us exactly nothing about Hillary Clinton, which was the insinuation behind Ktotwf’s “expandindg the party” quip.

                • dr. hilarius

                  Since your reply was nested directly under my comment and not Ktotwf’s, I thought you were misrepresenting what I said. My mistake then.

        • Darkrose

          I’m on both Twitter and Tumblr. Black Tumblr, which tends to skew young, is largely supporting Bernie. Black Twitter, which seems to skew more my age (30-50) seems to lean Hillary/agnostic. The difference that I’ve noticed is that Twitter has more interaction between the Hillary/uncommitted people and the hardcore Bernie supporters, most of it negative. Until Steph Curry took over Twitter last night, I saw a lot of the same shit that I saw after Prop 8 passed, with white so-called progressives blaming black voters for the loss. It’s not a good look, especially when the response to any criticism of Sanders on race is “You’re in the tank for Hillary because you don’t know what’s best for you.” And while I’m not saying all Sanders supporters are doing that, I’ve seen enough of it that it’s made me simply not interested in engaging in dialogue with them, especially since my primary vote is largely irrelevant.

  • NewishLawyer

    A friend of mine from college is a writer and is at least Facebook friends with Freddie DeBoer. Boners was going on about how no one is really enthusiastic about HRC. I needed to point out that he meant no one in his circle and the fact is that white liberals flocking to Sanders are just a small (but potentially growing) part of the Democratic coalition.

    I also know some really well-off and privileged white guys who are talking about how they just can’t vote for HRC in the general. Luckily these guys are in deep blue states and their whines are negligible.

    On the one hand, I find it admirable that these guys are supporting Sanders even though it is not in their economic self-interest. There tax rate is going to go up (though maybe they don’t realize that) and they do seem to have enough knowledge of their gilded existence and feel guilty about it.

    On the other hand, they don’t realize how they can pass through a Republican presidency relatively to completely unscathed because they are white guys and minorities and/or women don’t have the same luxury.

    • Dilan Esper

      I am probably in a similar demographic, and while I am not a big fan of HRC, I know a number of women who are VERY excited about her.

      None of this means anything statistically, of course, but if you niss the excitement, you aren’t talking to the right people.

      • NonyNony

        Agreed – most women I know are very excited for Clinton. Even the under 25 crowd that Sanders is supposed to be popular with.

        But then I live in Ohio, so we may skew a bit conservative href even among our liberals.

        • manual

          But I thought they just wanted to be where the boys are?

        • JL

          Statistically, young women mostly support Sanders – even more than young men do – but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any young women excited about Clinton. Even in my rarefied deep-blue-state left-activist bubbles (which, to be clear, are not my only bubbles) there are a few.

      • JL

        FdB sometimes has a bubble problem. I mean, we all do, it’s not unique to him. But I can remember pushing back, years ago, when he claimed that Occupy had turned primarily into a vehicle for middle and upper-class college kids to complain about student debt instead of caring about the issues of non-college-grad poor and working-class people. My point was something along the lines of “Dude, you’re on a college campus, observing a college campus Occupation, it’s probably going to be biased toward college student issues – I haven’t seen this subordination of all other issues to student debt in any of the big-city Occupations or multi-city action days I’ve been involved with or visited.” He was skeptical about my point, though IIRC he did say that he hoped I was correct. Totally different issue, but then, as now, I think there was a bubble effect going on.

    • dr. hilarius

      A friend of mine from college is a writer and is at least Facebook friends with Freddie DeBoer. Boners was going on about how no one is really enthusiastic about HRC

      Man, I am so sick of this enthusiasm bullshit. Having an Obama is great-great speaker, very inspiring life story, all that. But what’s wrong with boring and competent? Why do voters demand to be teased and titillated?

  • pianomover
  • manual

    This is a silly blog post. Sanders was never going to win SC, or even come close. The Clintons, deserved or not, have spent a number of years building an incredible network in the black community. Bernie Sanders didnt start catching momentum until Iowa. The only reason Obama won is because he was a once in a lifetime talent, started proving he could win, and it probably didnt hurt that he was black. Sanders has none of those qualities.

    Campaign politics, especially with surrogates, is about power, networks, and history. Sanders’ doesnt have those.

    The median voter knows the name Clinton and not Sanders. The idea that this somehow proves that African American voters policy preferences are a more militarily robust, less generous state belies what we know about voter preferences.

    • Dilan Esper

      Didn’t hurt that Obama was black is the understatement of the year. Of course a viable black candidate was going to flip South Carolina. A viable white candidate in the same circumstances never could have done it. That was really the determinative factor.

      • cpinva

        well, the only reason catholics voted for JFK is because he was good, irish catholic boy, married to a lovely catholic girl, with cute kids. take that away, and they’d all have voted for Nixon.

        you know what, people vote for people they feel comfy with, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I’d have been more shocked if the AA community hadn’t voted for Obama. I’d have wondered what they knew about the guy, that no one else seemed to, that would cause such a thing to happen?

        if I were black, I’d have voted for him in the primary, just because. as it was, I happily voted for him in two generals. hell, turn those pictures B&W, and I’d swear the Obama family was the young JFK family reincarnated (well, except for the whole family money/connections things): good looking/articulate/smart/funny guy, pretty/smart/articulate/funny wife, all with two cute kids. that family was photo-op central, just looking for a place to happen.

        i’ll give Obama one thing, he doesn’t look like he’s aged nearly as much as most other two-term presidents. maybe he’s got a portrait in the attic? if so, I want one too!

        • Hogan

          well, the only reason catholics voted for JFK is because he was good, irish catholic boy, married to a lovely catholic girl, with cute kids. take that away, and they’d all have voted for Nixon.

          Jackie Kennedy said she didn’t know why Jack was getting so much criticism. “He’s such a bad Catholic,” she said.

    • junker

      The median voter knows the name Clinton and not Sanders. The idea that this somehow proves that African American voters policy preferences are a more militarily robust, less generous state belies what we know about voter preferences.

      Not sure why you think “The only reason Sanders lost is because voters are too ignorant” is a winning argument.

      • Ronan

        Because voters are philosopher savants is the more accurate description ?

      • Ronan

        Not that your response really has anything to do with manuals point ..

        • junker

          The point he’s making about “the median voter” is that the only reason one could possibly vote for Clinton is because they aren’t well-enough acquainted with Sanders and his ideas. So Clinton wins because voters are low-knowledge or… ignorant.

          Note Sander’s speech in Minnesota last night – “I have a good feeling we’ll win Minnesota because you’re all smart.” Note the implication: I lost in South Carolina, Nevada, and to a lesser extent Iowa because voters there are idiots.

          • Ronan

            I don’t read manual as saying that,I read manual as saying it’s very difficult to compete with that organisational capacity and name recognition that Clinton has. Perhaps if everything was equal Sanders would pick up some of those votes, and perhaps he wouldn’t. If your (generally, not specific to you) explanation isn’t including these hurdles for Sanders then I don’t think it’s explaining a lot, and I do wonder how far all these anecdotes about “why Sanders doesn’t appeal to black voters” go (with the caveat that I’m more than open to a “you don’t understand US politics” rejoinder, which I think is fair, but the point is a more general one)
            Btw I don’t think Clinton should apologise for this fact, and if I was American I wouldn’t necessarily be a Sanders voter, but manuals context for Clinton’s success among black voters in SC seems fair to me

    • Scott Lemieux

      I don’t see how this contradicts the article at all. Indeed, it’s the whole point of the article.

      • manual

        Because it has nothing to do with Sanders lack of outreach or concern for black issues. It has to do with institutional factors. The article imputes a lot to supposed outreach failures, when it appears there wasnt much connection to be had.

        • Ktotwf

          +1

        • Because it has nothing to do with Sanders lack of outreach or concern for black issues. It has to do with institutional factors.

          Again, I’m confused. Clinton built up a network with the black community (leadership and voters). That’s…outreach, right? Sanders didn’t have enough outreach to remotely offset that which is not surprising given how little time he had. HRC clearly had a connection with voters.

          • Voting is very much a social act for people who vote in primaries. They vote in primaries because they are already connected to the political process or are in families, communities, churches or schools where voting in primaries is a common and valorized act. Phone banking that reaches out to individuals, at long distance, is a very awkward way of reaching such people. It works, when it works, because the person already is planning on supporting your candidate but needs a final push to get out there and vote.

            Occasionally a candidate comes along who is so exciting–Barack Obama and Sanders both fall into that category, that they touch a core constituency who then reach out in all directions and drag their elders, their friends, their acquaintances to the polls. But that has to happen. If it doesn’t then the person who has spent years building up name recognition, ties, and support is going to have the advantage. This really isn’t surprising and its not “the fault” of Sander’s phone banker or even the phone bank training. Its just that a single phone contact is never going to be that successful. And a person who is the head of a prominent local organization should never be called by a phone banker at all–they should be reached personally and included in the team building that leads to votes down the line.

            • I wanted to add this but missed the editor window. During some election, can’t remember but it might have been bush/gore, I remember local republicans in some place like Iowa or Ohio saying, pityingly, to the campaign organizers who were door knocking close to the election: “My vote is spoken for. Its been spoken for for months.” This is the function of churches and other local civic organizations. Many people are already spoken for, or connected to people who will be persuading them or helping them on the day.

            • grrljock

              Agree to Amai’s very good points. Phone banking is effective as a way to nudge people already leaning a certain way, less in getting them to go another way. Also, I think a lot of the the result may come down to HRC being a known quantity who “grew up” politically in the South, vs Sanders as some old senator from a small Northern state.

        • sibusisodan

          Because it has nothing to do with Sanders lack of outreach or concern for black issues. It has to do with institutional factors.

          But those are the same thing, in the final analysis.

          A candidate who does not have robust connection to the community of voters they are trying to reach is a candidate who is leaving one method of demonstrating concern and outreach unused.

          That’s not some kind of abstract institutional factor. It’s literally how trust gets built.

        • Docrailgun

          Do voters have to be reached for them to be educated about a candidate? Would much “outreach” have mattered? Surely at this point in the campaign black voters know perfectly well the differences between HRC and Sanders. Do you not trust them to make their own decisions?

    • Moondog

      Campaign politics, especially with surrogates, is about power, networks, and history. Sanders’ doesnt have those.

      The median voter knows the name Clinton and not Sanders.

      Then how do you explain the races that Sanders won? Does your statement only apply to black people, and not the “smart” voters in places like Minnesota?

      • CD

        +1. If we take

        Campaign politics, especially with surrogates, is about power, networks, and history. Sanders’ doesnt have those.

        The median voter knows the name Clinton and not Sanders.

        seriously, then the whole enterprise was doomed from the start, with no chance outside New England.

        The argument for Sanders was that he had a message that would resonate. And to some degree it worked — he’s pretty popular out here in the Pacific NW. We’re now finding the limits to that resonance, and those limits are really interesting and important if we want to think about building long-term politics.

    • Hogan

      The median voter knows the name Clinton and not Sanders.

      The median voter doesn’t vote in primaries.

    • The Clintons, deserved or not, have spent a number of years building an incredible network in the black community. Bernie Sanders didnt start catching momentum until Iowa.

      How do they not deserve a network they spent years building? Do you mean that they don’t deserve black support on policy grounds?

      • manual

        yes. when you cut away welfare, end direct provision of housing assistance, push a bad crime bill, pass nafta and execute ricky rector, you are not really pushing the agenda of the black working class.

        This is the argument of Adolph Reed, who most people think of here as some bad, black anti-democrat. But if you study black political science, he’s fairly renown (probably teaches at better schools then the people who dislike him here, sorry) for his theory of black brokerage politics.

        Basically, the people who make up professional political class in black life have very materially different interests and outcomes than the people for whom they advocate.

        That said, I dont think hillary is so bad and bernie is the best. Simply that I think the Clinton’s reputation requires a little more scrutiny, and yes, they might not deserve.

        Just as Mitt Romney might not really have been doing the bidding of the median white person whose HH income is about 58,000.

        • My impression is that the Clintons connect fairly directly with black voters, i.e., they are part of the network. That doesn’t mean they are perfect expressions of the black electorates.

          • manual

            Again. Connecting with the network, per Reed, does not mean helping the average black person. Ever been called a superpredator? Or had cash assistance ripped away in a highly radicalized manner such that the original architect or reforming welfare resigned from the administration in shame?

            Someone can both connect with an audience and not actually be helping them. Again, Mitt Romney wins lots of median white people; he’s probably not gonna help them.

            It’s deeply cynical that people believe black voters are to be spoken to rather than taken care of. Outcomes, not presentation, is what should matter for liberals. That is doesnt. Well…

            • I said “connect directly with black voters” to make it clear that I wasn’t talking about connecting with the power structure.

              I agree that outcomes matter.

              I agree that the Clintons have some serious blemishes on their record both rhetorically and substantively. Just look at her recent encounter with a BLM protester or lots of stuff from 2008.

              They also seem to connect well with black voters. Black voters get to vote for whomever they want to.

              I still don’t understand the notion of desert at work here. They did the work to get the connection which holds in spite of their failings and failures.

  • DAtt

    Just gonna put a couple of reflections out here. I’m obviously disappointed, but am trying not to fall into the trap of excoriating people for failing to see the light. If this still seems too white-lefty false consciousness-y, then feel free to let me know.

    1) This is obviously a huge failure on the part of the Sanders campaign, and should provoke a lot of introspection. You can’t win the Democratic nomination without the black vote, and I’d be deeply uncomfortable going that route even if it was feasible. I’ve talked w/ some people on twitter who are convinced Sanders actually doesn’t care about the black vote and is trying to win with whites only. I see this result more as a failure than as a sign of indifference.

    2) I can’t tell the degree to which this defeat was about policy and rhetoric or if this was more about Clinton’s ties to the popular Obama administration, support among influential figures in the AA community. Sanders didn’t do a good job speaking to the interests of African Americans (his racial justice platform actually reads like a sensitive, if somewhat detail-light response to BLM, but he never managed to get this across in places like the MN Black Forum). But I don’t know the counterfactual– if he had hit all the right notes, had more detailed anti-racism policies, does he still get crushed, given Clinton’s built-in advantages?

    3) “Class not race” is obviously naieve. Middle class blacks are also vulnerable to police violence, to housing/employment discrimination, to environmental racism and more. But conversely, economic populism is not a white issue either. A $15 minimum wage and the unionization of the service sector would be one of the largest shifts of political and economic power to POC in the history of the country. I wish Sanders spent more time talking about this, and a bit less talking about Wall St. (which doesn’t speak to people’s day-to-day experiences in the same way).

    In my limited experience working in a progressive org, this was a key (if not THE key issue): integrating economic and racial justice into a coherent ideology that can maintain the broad appeal of universalist social democracy without ignoring the specific challenges faced by minorities in this country. Part of this challenge is about message/policies and part is about representation. The progressive left within the Democratic Party cannot be white people telling black people how important a political revolution is. Would be great if in future primaries, we have candidates carrying Sanders’ message without being old, white guys. If we want to push the Democratic Party left, it’s going to be a long slog, and we’re not going to be able to do it without making the case to African Americans that this is equally their fight.

    Anyway, sorry for the rant, looking forward to hearing your guys’ thoughts.

    • Scott Lemieux

      I’ve talked w/ some people on twitter who are convinced Sanders actually doesn’t care about the black vote and is trying to win with whites only. I see this result more as a failure than as a sign of indifference.

      I agree with your take entirely. To say that Sanders “wanted” to win with white votes is silly — not only is he a committed supporter of civil rights, he’s not dumb.

      But I don’t know the counterfactual– if he had hit all the right notes, had more detailed anti-racism policies, does he still get crushed, given Clinton’s built-in advantages?

      Probably. It was always an enormously difficult lift for Sanders. The fact that he underachieved rather than overachieving in South Carolina, though, does make me think that it was worse for him with African-American voters than it needed to be, and messaging did hurt him at the margins.

      • joe from Lowell

        It was always an enormously difficult lift for Sanders. The fact that he underachieved rather than overachieving in South Carolina, though, does make me think that it was worse for him with African-American voters than it needed to be, and messaging did hurt him at the margins.

        Why is nobody discussing this in terms of Clinton doing something right?

        • Tybalt

          Actually not too displeased that that is the case. Let her opponents sleep on her.

        • ChrisTS

          Well, thank you, Joe. I suppose partly it’s framing: ‘why did he do so very badly?’ rather than ‘why did she do so very well?’

          • wjts

            In part, I suspect, because a big part of the answer (“spent ~25 years working to develop a national network of support”) is something Sanders can’t do absent access to the proverbial Obama Time Machine.

            • joe from Lowell

              This is something everyone seemed to know in July and September and December and January.

              Now, however, the reason for Hillary Clinton’s strong support among black peole in the south is In addition to its obvious intellectual limitations, “class not race” is not a viable means of securing the Democratic nomination in 2016.

              • Moondog

                Because he apparently failed to make even the slightest inroad in SC despite all the recent momentum? i.e., he was crushed?

                • joe from Lowell

                  And this requires explanations that don’t discuss Hillary Clinton, why, exactly?

            • Scott P.

              Well, he can’t do it at the last minute, but he could have been working on it — he’s been in Congress for 25 years.

              • joe from Lowell

                That makes no sense.

                Hillary Clinton’s didn’t build up her networks in the South while serving as Senator from New York State. Rather, they stem for her years as First Lady of Arkansas, First Lady of the United States, and candidate for the 2008 Democratic nomination.

                But by all means, I could be wrong. Could you name for us some figures who have built up strong political networks in one region of the country while holding a legislative seat from another part?

                • Bill Clinton and Obama?

                  Each had a key convention speech that put them on the map but then build up connections and a network that served them well.

                  Maybe this isn’t quite what you meant?

                • joe from Lowell

                  Bill Clinton never served as a legislator from any part of the country.

                  Obama didn’t build any kind of network elsewhere in the country during his term in the Senate, except while running for President.

                • Nancy Pelosi? The fundraising feature of being a Senator or a Congresswoman is a huge part of the power politicking that goes on. People in safe seats, or with proven records of raising money, routinely disburse it throughout the country creating ties of loyalty and a deep bench for their party. Its routine.

                • Bill Clinton never served as a legislator from any part of the country.

                  True but does that matter? I thought the point was “localness” not “legistlativeness” per se? I mean, both governors and senators have similar stature.

                  Obama didn’t build any kind of network elsewhere in the country during his term in the Senate, except while running for President.

                  My impression, right now, from reading around is that he got some high power advisors early on, did more or less normal big events, but yes, didn’t have any sort of deep organisation before the campaign. But…he was laying groundwork early on and…was serving as Senator when he built it up. Granted, it does seem to be in the context of a campaign. So If you mean, “Without any overt presidential aspirations or runs” I agree.

                • joe from Lowell

                  So, a President, a President, and the Speaker of the House in charge of disbursing campaign funds.

                  Yes, being Speaker of the House involves being a legislator the represents only one location. It also involves, as Aimai points out, extensive national involvement and resources.

                  Let’s recall Scott P.’s explanation for why Sanders could have built up a political network in the south: “he’s been in Congress for 25 years.”

                • joe from Lowell

                  True but does that matter? I thought the point was “localness” not “legistlativeness” per se? I mean, both governors and senators have similar stature.

                  Bill Clinton was a governor in the South. It is, indeed, the localness that counts here. That’s part of why we’d expect Sanders to do better in New England – because he’s been better able to build up a network in his home area.

                  So If you mean, “Without any overt presidential aspirations or runs” I agree.

                  Yes, indeed. Running a presidential campaign is a national post, with nation-wide resourced coming in an and nation-wide responsibilities, like being a Congressional party leader or a President.

                • It’s clearly not a fault of Sanders that he didn’t build one up. Scott P.’s comment isn’t helpful. There’s not a lot of motive to build one up unless one is going for president.

              • wjts

                And hasn’t shown the slightest interest in the presidency until last year.

              • Hogan

                He must have at least a nodding acquaintance with Jim Clyburn, but apparently he never approached him about an endorsement. He had contacts; he just didn’t use them, possibly because he didn’t think he’d be in this long enough for them to be useful.

                • Moondog

                  That’s the thing that keeps getting overlooked. Sanders was obviously as surprised as anybody at how well he did. Winning was not his initial goal.

                • Redbeard

                  Sanders knows Clyburn well. During the time when the ACA was still just a bill, Sanders & Clyburn had a provision to create lots of rural health clinics. Unfortunately, the slowness of the Senate & the election of Scott Brown shortcircuited adding that during conference committee.

        • Scott Lemieux

          Very fair point, yes.

      • Gregor Sansa

        There’s “crushed” by 20% (still on the path to winning); crushed by 30% (bad news but possibly survivable); and CRUSHED by 45% (game over). I doubt he could have gotten to the former without force majeure (an Obama endorsement, a serious Clinton gaffe of “macaca” level; neither of which was remotely in the cards). I think he could have gotten to a 30% loss if he’d played his cards right.

    • manual

      I completely agree on point 3. The Wall Street rhetoric while correct needs more direct connection to peoples’ lives and comes across ideological rather than personal

      • kped

        Agreed. “I’m going to break up the big banks” isn’t really intuitive. Why does that matter? Were the big banks the ones that caused what happened? And why do countries like Canada, with 6 large banks and no real network of small local banks, survive the financial crisis better?

        If you biggest message is banks are too big, you need to really work on why I should care about that. Why does it matter to me?

    • Spiny

      I can’t tell the degree to which this defeat was about policy and rhetoric or if this was more about Clinton’s ties to the popular Obama administration, support among influential figures in the AA community.

      Over 70% of the SC Dem electorate said they wanted to continue Obama’s policies. This doesn’t prove that perceived closeness of Clinton to Obama impacted black voters in SC, but I think it would be wrong to think that played no part.

      Sanders seems to agree that the Obama administration has been a good thing, but too often (at least to my mind) makes arguments that imply not only did the administration not do enough, it didn’t do enough because of Obama. This was never going to play well.

    • tsam

      To your first point: I disagree that his campaign was a massive failure. One important component of politics is energy, and Sanders sparked a bunch of that. He was up against a titan in the party. He fought and lost. That’s not something that earns disappointment, in my opinion. Your people on Twitter accusing him of just going after white voters and not caring about black voters are dumb assholes and you should ignore them. It’s not true. He maybe wasn’t very good at it, but that’s irrelevant at this point.

      To point 2: Again, Hillary Clinton has been a titan in the Democratic party since 1992. Some of the commenters here weren’t even born then. Hillary Clinton is pretty good at this shit. He was out of his league from day 1.

      3: I don’t think Bernie specifically meant “class NOT race”. To say that Sanders doesn’t understand race, as it pertains to class and American culture, is kind of stupid. If he could answer the question honestly, I know he’d say class and race matter, both to the degree to which they are inextricably intertwined, and how they are separate issues that both demand the full attention of the Democratic party and everyone who really takes this silly ideal of Liberty and Justice for ALL seriously.

      Bernie Sanders is great. If he were still in it by the time he got to Washington, I wouldn’t hesitate to caucus for him. But this race, despite what US Uncut, Occupy Democrats, and all those other social media dumbshits would have you believe, was never really contested.

      • DAtt

        I don’t think his campaign in general has been a failure or a disappointment, but his AA outreach and performance in South Carolina definitely was.

        I totally agree with you; that this race has been even vaguely competitive given Clinton’s in-built advantages is a success in and of itself. Sanders’ campaign is, at a minimum, keeping Clinton honest and helping to build the left within the party. Given his enormous success with young voters, I’d go further and suggest it’s going to be clear to future generations of Dem politicians that advocating full-throated social democratic policies can be a route to success. So this has been far from a waste of time, and I’ll happily be knocking on doors for Sanders here in North Carolina.

        • I totally agree with you; that this race has been even vaguely competitive given Clinton’s in-built advantages is a success in and of itself.

          I’ll be interested to see how the polysci plays out on this. We’ve had several Democratic primaries where a youth/perceived-as-left movement generated early excitement (Dean, Obama, and now Sanders; you could count Nader in some sense as well). It seems to be a resilient phenomenon, though only Obama incorporated it into a winning coalition, thus far.

          This is not to denigrate Sanders’ campaign! They’ve clearly tapped this phenomenon quite well.

          Sanders’ campaign is, at a minimum, keeping Clinton honest and helping to build the left within the party.

          This is v. true.

  • wengler

    Sanders should probably focus on the north and west. There just aren’t a lot of leftists down South. I really hope those stupid Obamacare lies that Hillary told hurt him too much in the black community.

    • Scott Lemieux

      1)I think he’s one step ahead of of you. 2)If you think that northern white liberals are a winning coalition for the Democratic primary, I don’t know what to tell you at this point.

      • joe from Lowell

        Did wangler edit his comment to add “and west,” and to remove “white” after you replied, or did you decide to misrepresent him?

        • joe from Lowell

          I swear to God I spelled your name right, wengler. Stoopid auto-correct.

  • DAtt

    As an aside, I don’t understand why Sanders didn’t put forward Rahm Emmanuel as exhibit 1A) in why we need a political revolution within the Democratic Party, as well as the country. The political establishment covers for police violence, not just the abuses of the 1%. Seems like a huge missed opportunity.

    • Scott P.

      Is running against Rahm Emmanuel (!) really going to sway votes in South Carolina??

      • DAtt

        On the (arguable) assumption that Sanders getting crushed was about tone-deafness on issues of race, then yes it seems like a good bet.

        Rahm Emmanuel and Laquan McDonald is about Chicago in the same way Freddie Gray is about Baltimore. Of course it’s a local issue that has driven local mobilization. But it’s also obviously seen as an example of the wider national issues of police violence against black people, and the complicity of the justice system and politicians in protecting police from accountability.

        HRC’s support for Rahm, in contrast to Sanders’ call for his resignation, seems to me a good way to undermine Clinton’s claim to a superior civil rights record in a way that reflects his underlying challenge to the centrist elements of the Democratic establishment. If he played it right. Of course, if this is just about longstanding ties in the AA community and name recognition then it doesn’t matter.

    • IM

      Rahm Emmanuel is an obession of the left blogosphere. Nobody in the real world cares about him.

      • Hogan

        Rahm Emmanuel is an obession of the left blogosphere. Nobody in the real world else outside of Chicago cares about him.

        Fixted.

        • sharonT

          I hate the man with the heat of 1,000 suns and I don’t live in Chicago.

      • JL

        I was in Chicago last month, and they certainly care about him.

        • IM

          Yes, Chicago of course. Sanders can try an anti-Rahm crusade in Illinois. But outside of Illinois?

    • ASV

      If Bernie was so concerned about the revolution reaching Illinois, he might also endorse somebody in our open Democratic Senate primary, which will produce a nominee with a great chance of flipping a seat. Election’s in 16 days.

      • kped

        It’s a one man revolution!

  • sleepyirv

    Now that it’s clear that Sanders is not going to get around Hillary’s “firewall” (i.e. a majority of Democratic primary voters), the question becomes “how does Sanders land the plane?” He’s always been (ironically) a party loyalist, so there’s very little doubt in my mind that he’ll back Hillary. But what does he want to do with his new found revolution of young people? I would advise he focus their energy in helping liberal Democrats in local elections/primaries without getting into too much in stumping for Hillary with the tacit understanding that his kids voting in November for liberals on the bottom of the ticket are also voting for Hillary.

    • Ktotwf

      There is not a never was a “revolution” – just a mobilization of a pre-existing and latent constituency of the Democratic Party. He will say “Vote for Hillary because she is better than the alternative”, and we will, at best, get 8 more years of holding off Republicans.

    • joe from Lowell

      Now that it’s clear that Sanders is not going to get around Hillary’s “firewall” (i.e. a majority of Democratic primary voters)

      Conservative white people and African-Americans don’t make up even close to a majority of Democratic primary voters.

      • kped

        What about women and hispanics? The firewall is black voters, hispanic voters, and women voters. Apart from younger voters in some of those categories, Clinton is leading in them all.

  • jpgray

    I think this is the answer. People who are arguing for a vast clear space in statements/positions, where Sanders failed to acknowledge racism outside of economics, while Clinton did so in a spectacular way seem to be pursuing a narrative out of data that are not speaking to that narrative.

    Where there is vast clear space is in institutional advantage. Clinton has the in-state connections to make sure people that matter in SC were called by people who matter, in their state or broader community. The inexperienced lightweight reach-out was to be Sanders’s only choice in many cases.

    Based on other polling data vis a vis honesty, etc., it seems that minority voters are not as into vanity candidate shopping as white people. What I mean by this is that morbid sifting of past statements/positions and obsessive searching after contradiction or ideological purity just doesn’t seem to play such a major role, or result in “dishonest” or “sellout” condemnations.

    Absent something spectacular, it seems clear a huge institutional advantage will result in a huge margin with minority voters. It did for a long time in 2008 as well.

    What I don’t understand are the people who, pundit-like, quest after a narrative for these data to match their own proclivities in selecting a candidate, meaning they have to see the difference as a vast gulf between the candidates’ statements and positions. I just don’t see that as being the case here, but it’s true we know what to say about that sort of vast gulf. What do we say about an institutional gulf having such a massive impact?

    • Mr. Ziffel

      …Sanders failed to acknowledge racism outside of economics

      From his website:

      We are far from eradicating racism in this country. Today in America, if you are black, you can be killed for getting a pack of Skittles during a basketball game. Or murdered in your church while you are praying. This violence fills us with outrage, disgust and a deep, deep sadness. These hateful acts of violence amount to acts of terror. They are perpetrated by extremists who want to intimidate and terrorize black, brown and indigenous people in this country.

      And:

      It is an outrage that in these early years of the 21st century we are seeing intolerable acts of violence being perpetrated by police and racist acts of terrorism by white supremacists.

      A growing number of communities do not trust the police. Law enforcement officers have become disconnected from the communities they are sworn to protect. Violence and brutality of any kind, particularly at the hands of the police meant to protect and serve our communities, is unacceptable and must not be tolerated. We need a societal transformation to make it clear that black lives matter and racism will not be accepted in a civilized country.

      I think Senator Sanders is very clear in acknowledging racism outside of economics.

  • brad

    Honest question that I apologize for any offense it may cause anyone, but how much of this is simply a matter of the large cultural gap between older African Americans and older Jewish folk? Bernie did fine with younger black voters, it was the older generation that gave Hillary her victory, in the end.
    SC isn’t Brooklyn, so I’m not saying I know shit about shit, but it’s not uncommon here to hear incredibly antisemitic things said by, in particular, older black men. Or very racist things by older Jewish folk. In part it’s hard not to ascribe that to the landlord/renter divide, along with the greater remove chosen by many in Hasidim and Orthodox communities, but it remains a significant thing which I have to suspect plays a role here.

    • jpgray

      I’m not sure the baseline voter is even that aware of Sanders period, let alone his being Jewish. Like the narrative Clinton is some kind of supergenius at connecting with minorities through her statements/positions, I think it would be hard to find data that justify casual antisemitism as a cause for the gap here.

      • brad

        Just to be clear, I’m not saying it’s antisemitism, for many reasons. A cultural divide is a different thing, of which antisemitism and racism are only the ugly edges.

        • Gator90

          Then it is not clear what you are in fact saying. It sounds like you’re suggesting older black men are more likely to be anti-semitic than other gentiles, and that older Jews are more inclined toward racism than other older white people, and I think both assumptions are highly questionable.

          • brad

            No, I’m saying that there’s a culture gap between the two groups which all too often leads to misunderstanding, suspicion, and division. It’d be simplistic and reductive to just call it hate. It’s not, it can turn to hate, but it’s a divide, not inherently antagonistic.

            • Gator90

              Is there more misunderstanding, suspicion and division between African-Americans and Jews than between African-Americans and other, non-Jewish white people? Than between Jews and white gentiles?

              • brad

                I’m talking about the specific nature of Bernie’s electoral campaign and the dynamics of the race, and asking what I hope is an honest question.
                I’m not impugning anyone or their motives.
                Political candidacies are about all kinds of appeal or lack thereof, some are easily measured and quantified, not all. It’s a vague and fumbling question and I understand annoyance at it, I’m simply wondering out loud.

                • Gator90

                  I’m saying that there’s a culture gap between the two groups which all too often leads to misunderstanding, suspicion, and division.

                  That’s not a question; it’s an assertion. I just found it odd because, as a Jew who has known many black and white gentiles, I’ve seen no evidence whatsoever for a black-Jewish divide that is any greater than the black-white divide generally, or the gentile-Jewish divide generally. (I’m not annoyed, just perplexed.)

                • brad

                  Well, where have your formative experiences taken place?
                  I’ve grown up in areas where being Jewish has been… de-Othered to a very strong degree, which I realize is still a new and far from universal thing in the US. I’m also removed from the average white SC voter’s experience, you have a good point to consider.

              • joe from Lowell

                There is more of a cultural distance between the median South Carolina black voter and Bernie Sanders, Joe Kennedy, Christine Gregoire, or Harry Reid than between the median South Carolina voter and Bill Clinton.

                I don’t think we’re talking about prejudice against Jews, but southern, and southern black, localism. Eats different foods, talks funny, dresses different, calls things by the wrong name – “goes to a different kind of church” is just another marker of “not from around here.”

                • Breadbaker

                  Hillary, of course, is not Southern. She’s from Illinois and she represented New York in the Senate. She’s spent a lot of time in the South, but no Southerner would ever call her a Southerner.

                  She did the work to learn the mores. Bernie could have, too. He, after all, was hanging out in the South well before she was (we’ve all seen the photos). He could have done that without any idea he was running for President one day because it’s a thing you can do if so inclined.

    • Linnaeus

      I’d have to see more evidence before I could say that this kind of cultural gap is playing a role. Sanders is very much a secular Jew and doesn’t talk about being a Jew, culturally or otherwise.

      • brad

        True, but (and I say this lovingly), there is simply no mistaking who Bernie is and where he comes from. It takes about 5 words from his mouth.

        • Linnaeus

          Maybe it’s just me, but when I first heard Sanders speak, I figured he was from New York City (he certainly didn’t sound like a New Englander to me). I had no idea that he was Jewish until years later.

          • postmodulator

            Well, he is. He was born in Brooklyn. He moved to Vermont in his late twenties.

            • Linnaeus

              Well, yeah, I know that now. I didn’t know that when I first heard him (and heard about him) 20 years ago.

        • JL

          That’s true if you’re familiar with Ashkenazi communities and culture in the US (as you are and I am). I’m not sure it’s true if you’re from somewhere that doesn’t have a significant Ashkenazi or other Jewish community (unless you’re Jewish yourself). And South Carolina is only 0.3% Jewish as of 2014.

          • brad

            Fair enough. I’m not of the tribe but have more or less always lived surrounded by them, very much to my benefit and enjoyment, grew up in upstate NY and have lived in NYC since 99, and I have family in Vermont as well so Bernie’s been on my radar since childhood. My experience definitely is different from the average black SC primary voter, just maybe in a few other ways as well.

    • heckblazer

      I wouldn’t link it to Sanders’ Jewishness, but to the fact that his 40+ years in politics have been spent in one of the whitest states in the country. This is the first campaign where he had to court minority voters, and it shows.

      • brad

        True insofar as it’s why he never had to learn to bridge the gap. And I’m not trying to blame or cast aspersion on anyone or any groups. I just wonder if it’s essentially a structural aspect to the race.

      • He also has never had to run a presidential campaign–or assist in one, perhaps. Its hard to grasp how to scale up the personal politics of a place like Vermont, with year ’round contact between you and potential voters–and the kind of fly in fly out meet and greet that you do on a national scale.

        • CD

          Yes! It’s the second-smallest state by population. You can build a political career based on showing up for a lot of things. He actually scaled it up better than I thought he would.

  • Lasker

    It is really hard for me to square the linked article with this earlier one from Joy Reid, who is hardly a Sanders booster. That one really made it seem like Sanders had the right idea. Given the obstacles there was no way he was going to win the state but winning young black voters and at least a quarter of older ones should have been within reach. I agree with most of the analysis here.

    I really hope the progressive wing of the party, and those to the left of the party, take the right lessons from this. And that disappointed Sanders supporters dont make utter fools of themselves in their fustration. I mean, a few have already but from where I’m sitting, it has been worse than I’d hoped but not as bad as I’d feared.

  • Mike in DC

    I read a diary over at dKos about some Sanders volunteers canvassing neighborhoods in SC. It was very positive and upbeat, and all of the volunteers were white and from out of state. I can say that, if this was the general trend or practice, it’s easy for me to understand why Sanders didn’t improve his margin with black voters in SC any. If he had used a mixed group of volunteers, including mostly people from in state, he would have made inroads, imo. Also, more testimonial ads like the one from Garner’s daughter, more church appearances by Bernie and surrogates, and maybe one big speech that saved the income inequality stuff for the end and focused on issues of particular interest to black voters.
    I think multicultural social democracy, focusing on major rather than incremental change and shunning corporatism in the party, is the way for the left wing of the party to succeed going forward. But I think the Sanders campaign is not the vehicle to get there.

  • joe from Lowell

    I have a wacky theory: Hillary Clinton entered the race with broad support among African-Americans in the south, and held onto most of it by 1) failing to screw it up, and 2) making Bernie Sanders appear to be an unacceptable candidate to them.

    At some point, shouldn’t the discussion of the race that, allegedly, has been locked up for Clinton all along involve some consideration of her half (or more) of the equation?

    • jpgray

      What this theory fails to acknowledge is that she had similar institutional advantages and margins across many voter groups. Some of her voter margins evaporated rapidly, but not others.

      Despite some really dumb narratives trying to gild the result from both sides, the cause of this difference still hasn’t been adequately explained by any analysis I’ve read.

      To be clear, “Sanders was all ‘class not race'” and “black people can’t recognize their own interests” are not adequate explanations in my view. :D

      • joe from Lowell

        I think it takes that observation into account just fine.

        She didn’t screw up among African-Americans as she has among other groups. (I think this, too, is inadequate, since Sanders’ rise among white, Latino, Asian, and Native American voters is more about him than about her screw-ups, but her conservative rhetoric on economics couldn’t have helped. I’m just talking about her side of the equation.)

        Her efforts to make Bernie Sanders seem unacceptable have been targeted towards African-Americans.

        • jpgray

          I didn’t witness any major screw ups from Clinton when it comes to non-minority voters. I also don’t think her actual statements trying to alienate black voters from Sanders have been very compelling and I doubt they really penetrated to the extent that would explain the margin of loss.

          What makes your theory too pat for me shows up in exit poll data as well. In SC Bernie and Hillary split the honesty and cares about me voters, whereas in others it was landslide Bernie. Three quarters Hillary to two thirds Bernie for voter perceptions of honesty.

          What accounts for this in your view?

          • joe from Lowell

            Hillary’s embrace of conservative economic rhetoric to attack Sanders throughout January and February alienated a lot of people. Wall Street is just a street, single payer sucks, he’s going to raise your taxes – the whole “being to my left on economics is pie-in-the-sky irresponsibility” effort was a blunder.

            I don’t think Clinton’s efforts to otherize Sanders among black southern voters explains the margin of the loss itself. I think her institutional strengths do so, and her messaging on that point was necessary to keep that strength from being eroded.

            I explain that poll data as demonstrating Hillary Clinton entered the race with broad support among African-Americans in the south. They knew her, and felt favorably towards her, coming into the race. That’s where those personality-based impressions come from, not her campaigning this year.

        • ForkyMcSpoon

          Is there data out there for candidate support levels among Asian and Native American voters?

          https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/wapo-univision-poll-2016/en/

          Sanders is certainly doing better with Hispanics than he is with black voters, but it does not seem that he’s winning them. I trust this large national poll a hell of a lot more than I trust one exit poll in Nevada to represent Hispanic voters generally.

          Texas and Colorado will give us a lot more insight into this question, in case you think that poll should just be ignored.

          • joe from Lowell

            Me:

            (I think this, too, is inadequate, since Sanders’ rise among white, Latino, Asian, and Native American votersis more about him than about her screw-ups, but her conservative rhetoric on economics couldn’t have helped.

            Sanders is certainly doing better with Hispanics than he is with black voters, but it does not seem that he’s winning them.

            I don’t engage with people who lead off with their bad faith.

            You blew it pretty damn badly on that last thread. You give off even a whiff of bullshit, and I’m ignoring you.

            • jim, some guy in iowa

              promises, promises

            • ForkyMcSpoon

              Ok, it does not seem to me that he’s even close to winning them. Is that better? The main data point I’ve seen other people using has been that Nevada entrance poll, which said he won Hispanic voters there.

              The point is that I don’t know what evidence you have for his “rise” among Hispanics. Has he risen since the beginning of the campaign when he was pulling 10% in the polls? Sure.

              But you led off with:

              She didn’t screw up among African-Americans as she has among other groups.

              Asking what substantiates the notion that she has screwed up or that Bernie is doing particularly well* with those other groups is not “bad faith”. That WaPo/Univision poll suggests that he is not getting close to the numbers he needs.

              *Meaning either winning them, or doing well enough to win in combination with his white support, or at least close to reaching that point.

              • joe from Lowell

                I didn’t think I was being all that opaque last time, but sometimes I can misjudge these things.

                So…

                Fuck off. Capice?

                I’m so disinterested that I won’t even reply when you respond to this reply (to a comment I didn’t read) with “You just admitted I was right!

                • ForkyMcSpoon

                  Capisco, but no.

                  Who knew that just reading someone the polls could enrage them so.

                • joe from Lowell

                  Mmm-hmmm

                • ColBatGuano

                  And people say Sanders supporters are unreasonable.

                • joe from Lowell

                  Why, some people say nothing but.

    • Ktotwf

      Everything that can be said in the negative against Clinton has been said. The vast majority of the Dem Party has decided it doesn’t matter. The End.

      • joe from Lowell

        But, I’m talking about positive things one could say about how she’s run her campaign.

        • Ktotwf

          She hasn’t killed someone on live TV. She hasn’t openly converted to Islam. She never said she was a fan of Jar Jar Binks.

          • postmodulator

            Christ, what an asshole.

          • tsam

            Right. She’s good at keeping the murders off of the TV.

    • Hogan

      Well, there’s this, but it may not be quite what you had in mind.

  • Tybalt

    Loved this quote from the piece

    “Your talking point to the black community can’t be, you know, ‘I marched with Dr. King.’ … That’s cool. My dad made cheese sandwiches at the March on Washington. What else? Tell me more,” Sellers said. “Like, you have a picture of getting arrested. I thank you so much for your efforts in Chicago, but I mean, all I’ve got to do is go down the street to find a civil rights hero in South Carolina.”

    Politics is really, really hard. I couldn’t do it, that’s for sure.

    • Drexciya

      That quote by itself is worth a post.

      • Tybalt

        “Tell me more” is the takeaway, isn’t it. Tell. Me. More.

        • petesh

          “Tell me more” would be much better coming from not to a campaign.

  • Tybalt

    Interesting that if you open the South Carolina primary, Clinton wins despite the over 2:1 advantage in Republican voters.

    (In thousands)

    Clinton 272, Trump 240, Rubio 166, Cruz 165, Sanders 96, JEB! 58, Kasich 56, Carson 53

    • Breadbaker

      True. On the other hand, the state won’t be in play in November and your numbers show why that is true, too.

  • Docrailgun

    Surely none of this is true, because the intarwebs tell me so!
    After all, someone I respected a lot on Twitter retweets everything he can thst’s anti-Clinton. He teeter after the SC results that “SC is Goldman Sachs’ country”. Yesterday he retweeted a link to an article which explaind thst Sanders lost in SC because the main-stream media wasn’t educating black voters enough on HRC’s faults and how evil/Republican she is.
    I guess I don’t understand this – how did the author educate herself? Websites. I guess, but however she did it, why does she think that black voters couldn’t use the same resources to find that Clinton is a baby-eating demon-spawn? What I took from the article was that black voters are in fact unable (or unwilling, maybe?) to educate themselves “properly” and thus vote for the One True Candidate, Senator Sanders. It seemed rather a racist idea to me, actually.
    The response (when I pointed that out was) “why does everything HRC supporters say have to be about race?” The funny thing is that I had intended to vote for Sanders in our caucus until my Twiiter feed was filled with “Goldman Sachs” and ‘#don’tbeevil” thirty times a day. Now I think I’ll let everyone else decide because I can’t separate my frustration with a few (but noisy) Sanders supporters from Sanders’ campaign. I realize this is irrational, but there you go.

    • jim, some guy in iowa

      y’know, you should go caucus for Sanders, if you think he’s the right person. it’s just not his fault if some of the people who support him are kind of rough about it, just as it isn’t Clinton’s fault if people who support *her* get out of hand sometimes. And hell- depending on what comes next, your vote might count for a lot more than you think- and at the very least, it keeps Clinton aware of her left

      • Docrailgun

        I have a couple of days to try to stomp down my irrational frustration

  • tsam

    OT:
    What happened between Melissa Harris-Perry and MSNBC?

    • N__B

      The network is too chicken shit to fire her for their stated reason that supposedly her audience doesn’t meet their target number – which has not, to my knowledge, been demonstrated – so they kept pre-empting her show to make her position untenable.

      • tsam

        Wow. Can just imagine what those meetings about what to do with her must have sounded like.

    • Jezebel said it was precipitated best mhp covering the Formation video instead of the election a few weeks ago.

      http://jezebel.com/msnbc-official-cuts-ties-with-melissa-harris-perry-over-1761809936

  • AMK

    Moral of the story is that politics is about meeting people on their own terms.

    I would bet that Hillary has no more natural, personal understanding of race-centric issues than Sanders does. She’ll be back in the Hamptons soon enough, with neighbors asking how she held it together so well while constantly being yelled at by protesters and “those people.” And I would bet that many, if not most black voters know damn well that this is the case. But Clinton understands well enough that politics is about hearing people out and being clear they are valued enough to get a seat at the table, even when the organic connection isn’t there.

    • jim, some guy in iowa

      twenty-some-odd years of building personal connections probably means Clinton has more personal understanding of race-centric issues than a *lot* of people- including people on this thread- do. It might not have come naturally, but that’s the thing about Clinton- she *is* a worker

      • altofront

        It’s way more than 20 years–Clinton’s first job out of college was in South Carolina, working for the Children’s Defense Fund, and she networked extensively there when Bill was governor. The Hamptons may be where the Clintons are now, but it’s not where they’ve been.

  • PJ

    Yikes. That last line in the OP is not something I agree with in re to how Bernie was actually trying with regards to Black voters. Nevertheless …

    1) It’s easy to make fun of the Nader/Stein dead-enders, because …. well, a lot of things. It was easy to make fun of the Edwards folks because, in the words of Jeet Heer, he was a bit of a Potemkin candidate. Bernie’s policies and his campaign is for real, though, and it would seem like people on the leftish side of things would welcome the opportunity to assess how their specific policies and theories of change actually played out in a competitive campaign. So he lost — but it was competitive so that should be a good thing for future prospects!

    2) I really don’t like the response “It was machine politics!” The thing I really hate about socialist academic types is that they think pointing out the hegemony is enough of an argument against mainstream politics. Like, duh. Of course people like HRC have the advantage of the system helping them out. The question, kids, is how you’re going to organize to beat it. And the point of some of the reporting coming out of SC is that Sanders’ organization failed to make basic connections, not that he was prevented. And how he failed is also crucial. By the time he got Keith Ellison and other prominent Black Dems, it was TOO LATE. When the only Black surrogates you have for months and months is Killer Mike (that coveted Pitchfork/Stereogum block) and Cornel West (the ???? block), this is a problem, as many people have been pointing out for months.

    In this sense, it’s not bad to point out that a lot of Black voters probably haven’t heard of him and chose to go with someone they knew, but that’s like every politician’s problem with every voting block. But Bernie (if he was, in fact, running to win) should have thought about pre-empting Black political “power brokers” for HRC (in Adolph Reed’s phrase) long before 2016 if he wanted to bring AA voters in play or even just to make a good showing. It’s also a worthwhile question to ask why he didn’t think of fixing it earlier even though it was clearly something that people pointed out.

    3) PoC voters are not a monolith, as people keep saying but apparently not understanding. I don’t understand the tendency to assume all Black voters would have automatically glommed onto quasi-socialist policy. Economic leftism isn’t automatically antiracist in people’s heads. You actually have to present/argue it to people. Again, a lot of this is about organizing.

    4) Black women are a major part of the Dem party’s base, especially the older ones. It’s not whites, even progressive whites. Because they fucking vote. For Democrats. Every time. We can jettison certain wings of the left for being irrelevant for all sorts of reasons, but ignoring their power/judgment will land you in a whole heap of trouble.

    • Breadbaker

      The last part is one of the truest. The motivation of women of color to show up at the polls this November is likely to be the single most important factor in not having Donald Trump as President. It will take hard work and it will take money. And it will take a message that comes from themselves, not one ginned up in some think tank of white/man-splainers.

  • pianomover

    So if Sanders doesn’t win the democratic nomination will his supporters chose not to vote?

    • joe from Lowell

      Some, not many. Then again, some of his support consists of people who wouldn’t have otherwise been involved in a Democratic primary.

      • I would love for whomever is the eventual nominee to be able to unite Clinton and Sanders supporters with at most minor loss of enthusiasm. I mean, of course, that’s basically what Obama did. I’m not sure it is really possible. I tend to think (on no strong evidence) that Bernie could pull Clinton supporters better than Clinton could pull Bernie supporters, but it’s hard to say how big the difference would be.

        I’m very interested to see how Obama gets used, either way.

        • John Revolta

          Well I strongly suspect that Sanders will endorse Clinton and work to get her elected. To what extent this influences his followers will tell us a lot about who they are.

          • Well I strongly suspect that Sanders will endorse Clinton and work to get her elected. To what extent this influences his followers will tell us a lot about who they are.

            Maybe? Enthusiasm isn’t necessarily transferrable. To the degree that turnout is driven by personal enthusiasm of core supporters, it’s not unreasonable to think it will be difficult to transition them over.

            It’ll be interesting if she can tap his donors.

            • kped

              If Clinton and Obama were able to bury the hatchet and her supporters were pretty enthusiastic about voting for him. I’ll give Sanders supporters teh same benefit of the doubt, as polling shows actual voters from the primaries liking the other candidate just fine.

              I think the negativity is mostly on twitter and comment sections.

              • I’m not worried about negativity. The more likely case is that Sanders is pulling some new or typically low turnout groups and Clinton will struggle to fire them up similarly.

                It’s not impossible for her to do so, but big turnout is pretty important in the general.

  • JG

    While I very much prefer Bernie, the condescension emanating from some Sanders supporters is rankling. The people of South Carolina couldn’t have chosen Hillary on their own accord: they must have been dupes for corruption and neoliberalism! Poor black folk don’t know what’s best for them!

    • dr. hilarius

      Well, it’s not so much that people always vote in their own best interests, or that sometimes a politician’s aggressive courting of community leaders and a community does not always equal best interests. It’s that who are we to tell them what their best interests are? Why should we assume they are any more irrational than any other kind of voter?

      • JG

        agreed

      • LosGatosCA

        Why should we assume they are any more irrational than any other kind of voter?

        People who vote with me are pretty rational, not to mention smart, sophisticated, probably extremely well informed, caring, and conscientious.

        As opposed to the folks who irrationally disagree with me because they’ve allowed themselves to be manipulated by false promises, fear, or tribalism that causes them to vote in a careless, confused, unsophisticated, uninformed manner.

        It’s really a perfect, pretty simple model I use and works as well on simple or complex issues. If you have any doubts about its complete accuracy or how it works in a given situation just let me know and I can explain the flawless application to you in a way you are guaranteed to feel eternally grateful.

      • Ronan

        Nobody is implying that, and in fact republican voter preferences are often picked apart here (including the partly apocryphal white working class voter voting against their interests). I have no idea what the big hullabaloo is. If you have a large demographic voting solidly in a specific way then that’s interesting, and if it’s sticky over long periods of time, and difficult to budge, then there’s probably some reasons beyond “well my side just gets this favoured demographic because we’re more tuned in to the preferences of the people”. Or whatever nonsense is being pushed today.
        This talking point is just getting odd

      • Ronan

        But the question is why assume black voters are any more “rational” than others? There seems to be a weird, almost patronising, take on the “black vote” here , that it can’t be analysed or discussed in normal ways. And then the tendency to shield a side beyond a caricatured picture of “the black voter” who gets stripped of all complexity (including pathology) to back up some white liberal’s position (not personalised at you dr)

    • ProgressiveLiberal

      No one here complained when this was the conventional wisdom after the last unionization vote failure in the south. Indeed it was the company line.

      Try to stay consistent.

  • MilitantlyAardvark

    I wish I could feel any enthusiasm for HRC, who is pretty clearly going to be the nominee, but when I contemplate the thought of her as the best the Democratic party can manage, my heart sinks. I find her claims to “get things done” profoundly unconvincing, I find her record on foreign policy deeply questionable and I have no appetite whatsoever for seeing her husband and his greedy, self-satisfied neoliberal entourage anywhere near power again. I am far from sure that HRC’s negatives are fully priced in for the presidential race and her apparent inability to connect with young voters, especially young women, is extremely troubling. I dislike her lack of interest in building up the party at state and local level and her cronies who run various Democratic institutions are remarkable only for their lack of talent and rather too obvious loyalty to the Clinton faction. I believe that if the GOP could find an even marginally competent candidate for the big race that HRC would lose despite the tilt towards the Democrats in the Electoral College. I am agnostic on whether Bernie Sanders would do better as the nominee and I think he has some pretty obvious flaws, but I am sure that he would be better for the longterm future of the Democratic party than a Clinton restoration.

  • ProgressiveLiberal

    Union gets voted down in the south: “These people don’t know what’s good for them.”

    Sanders gets voted down in the south: “Don’t you DARE say these people don’t know what’s good for them.”

    Hilarious.

    Now can we all get to explaining away her Iraq vote and all the trade pacts she’s been for, forever?

    I can’t believe I’m going to vote for a candidate that voted for the Iraq war. And its bad enough that Obama lied about trade and fucked us in the end. Now we get to do it again!

    This election has been stupid and its only going to get dumber. Can I get an over/under on how many months before Clinton sells us out in some “compromise” that didn’t have to be made?

    • MilitantlyAardvark

      Clinton has been trotting out this line about “knowing how to get things done” without actually telling us the things she achieved as a legislator. One wonders whether this reflects a certain… emptiness in the Things That Got Done bucket list. Perhaps some kind fan of HRC can list her three greatest achievements as a legislator?

      And before anyone says “But she is all that stands between us and the apocalypse of Evil Republicans Triumphant..” yes, I know and it’s pretty thin, sour gruel to be offered as a reason for voting for Corporatist Mediocrity Personified.

      Now, how about those greatest legislative achievements?

      • Clinton has been trotting out this line about “knowing how to get things done” without actually telling us the things she achieved as a legislator.

        Interesting narrowing of scope. Not intellectually respectable, but interesting.

        • MilitantlyAardvark

          So, what has Clinton done as a legislator? No one’s forcing you to defend her by evading the question, Bijan. Tell us what she’s actually done. Tell us her three greatest achievements. She must have managed something more than naming post offices, surely.

          • Escalating doesn’t make your comment more intellectually respectable. It’s pretty much as silly as it was before, maybe a tad more.

            I’m not defending her, nor am I evading the question. I’m not answering your question, of course, but surely I’m not obliged to.

            I do find it interesting that you seem to think it’s some sort of interesting and actually dialectically significant question. It isn’t. Most obviously, a claim to being able to get things done as president is not refuted by pointing to lack of legislative success. By harping on legislative success (of a two term senator), you seem to be steering the argument in a fairly transparent and thus ham-fisted way.

            And that’s silly. Your silliness doesn’t make Clinton right about her capabilities (though, really, neither Clinton or Sanders are going to get a lot done, esp. legislatively; if they succeed at getting stuff done it will be by other means). But you cannot evade your silliness and my commenting on it by doubling down.

            • MilitantlyAardvark

              No, Bijan, you aren’t obliged to answer the question, despite apparently volunteering to respond. You can continue complacently down the glide path to mediocrity. You can throw a few unoriginal insults trying to hide your complete inability to say anything meaningful. I just wonder why you want to sell your critical faculties off so cheaply. Don’t you want to vote for a candidate whose record you can actually defend intelligently? Or is that just too controversial and edgy and something that only radicals and liberals could possibly believe these days?

              • No, Bijan, you aren’t obliged to answer the question, despite apparently volunteering to respond.

                There’s no “despite”. I didn’t volunteer to answer the question. I didn’t implicitly volunteer. I chose to critique your very very silly question.

                You can continue complacently down the glide path to mediocrity.

                Mediocrity in what? Blog comments? Feel free to check my commenting history. I’ve gotten quite good feedback for some of it.

                You can throw a few unoriginal insults trying to hide your complete inability to say anything meaningful.

                Well, that’s nicely ironic.

                I just wonder why you want to sell your critical faculties off so cheaply.

                To whom have I sold them? For how much? I saw your comment and made the obvious and a correct critique. So far, not a big deal.

                Don’t you want to vote for a candidate whose record you can actually defend intelligently?

                And agreeing with you or answering your silly and obviously rhetorical question will do this? Do you think these things through at all?

                Or is that just too controversial and edgy and something that only radicals and liberals could possibly believe these days?

                I don’t think a poorly constructed, obviously silly, rhetorical question is edgy, intelligent, or something only radical and liberals would believe. Alas, silliness is distributed far and wide.

  • libarbarian

    Too many comments! :p

  • LuigiDaMan

    But Bernie is in charge of a revolution…right?

    So, get out of the way and get on board. The Bernie Bros got no time to talk to you.

    By the way, I really think it stinks the way the Bernie flamers on this board treat people who have a different point of view than their scared beliefs.

    Just sayin’.

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