Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Bernie Scores A Resounding Win in NH: Can He Go All The Way?

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks at a campaign rally Monday Derry, N.H. (Andrew Burton, Getty Images)
It was gratifying last night to see Hillary delivering her concession speech for the New Hampshire primary with the clock not having even reached 7.30 p.m. Mountain time. By the time of her concession Sen. Bernie Sanders had amassed a nearly 21 percentage point lead in the count (59% to 40%) or very close to the margin that the polls had forecast.

Bernie's victory speech - televised in full on MSNBC and FOX (split screen - share dwith the Trumpies waiting for their own winner)  embodied all the themes he's sounded in this campaign so far, including the corrupting presence of campaign finance contributions from Wall Street's high rollers  (see also my post yesterday). One intriguing stat was that females in NH went for Sanders by 53% to 47% with younger women (18-45)  favoring the 74-year old by nearly a 69%-29% margin. It appeared the brash putdowns by Hillary surrogate Madeleine Albright ("A special place in hell is reserved for women who don't support other women....blah, blah") didn't have their intended effect and in fact may have backfired.

To the electrified, energized crowd gather in the victory venue, Bernie said:

"It is a political revolution that will bring tens of millions of our people together. It will bring together working people who’ve given up on the political process; it will bring together young people who’ve never participated.”

He then delivered his website, 

to which supporters can donate - noting "this is my campaign fund raiser". Today he will be in New York, including for guest appearances on the network shows.

Has he achieved any respect from his momentous win? A little. But as is their wont, the Neoliberal media is still unprepared to award an unqualified victory - any more than they allowed it in Iowa where Hillary surrogates gamed the outcome -  literally - with at least 6 coin tosses (prompting a call for investigation by the Des Moines Register). Their belief, expressed also last night, is that he achieved his wins in two "white states" but would have serious problems in the South or anywhere else.

As UK Guardian writer Lucia Graves pointed out:

"He is going to need more than just those young voters in the weeks to come: he has picked up plenty of delegates in the small, overwhelmingly white states of Iowa and New Hampshire because of them, but it’s not clear if they alone can carry him to continued victories as the election moves south."

But unlike the U.S. Neoliberal media she did caution against belittling his Iowa caucus and NH primary success:

"There are a lot of pragmatic reasons that Sanders and his team ought to feel trepidation looking at the long primary season and Clinton’s polling leads – but a pragmatic man probably wouldn’t have challenged her to a primary in the first place. And if pragmatism was winning over Democratic voters, they wouldn’t be voting in droves for the candidate promising a revolution."

Bingo! And as NH exit polls showed, an increasing fraction of Dem voters are demanding character over "experience". (By about 32 percent to 27 percent).  I believe this trend will continue as more and more is learned  about Hillary's Wall Street speeches, for which transcripts are sought. After all, as a presidential candidate who promises to rein in the money boys, we have every right to know what she told them after being paid $675,000 (by Goldman Sachs).

Lastly, the other outsider, Donald Trump, did congratulate Bernie before taking the stage for his own victory speech - but in a way it was back-handed. He told his own supporters "Bernie wants to give away everything free" but that in fact perverts the facts.

Making a single payer health care plan available to all citizens is not "giving away everything for free" given the U.S. was a signatory to a UN 1994 Declaration making health care a RIGHT. Too few people now recall that salient fact. And, if it is a RIGHT, then it must be accessible to all citizens, not unaffordable (driving people into bankruptcy) or selective.  Hence, Bernie is merely seeking to honor that edict as opposed to neglecting it as U.S. leaders have done the past 21 years. He is asserting that if and when this country is a signatory to a UN Declaration it means something. This as opposed to not being worth the paper printed on.

As for the expansion of Social Security, to ensure our elder citizens aren't scrounging the rest of their lives, that comes under the General Welfare clause of the Preamble to the Constitution, e.g.

“We the PEOPLE of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare..."

For more on this, and why more conservatives (like Trump) need to study it, see:

 As for Bernie's continued primary challenges I believe he will meet them head on, even as the fight intensifies. The only proviso I would make is don't take any weapon off the table. And if Hillary continues to bash him as "unelectable" because of his democratic socialism - well, then it is time to play the email card!

See also:

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