Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Bernie's Surprise MI Win Keeps Campaign On Life Support

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks at a campaign rally Monday Derry, N.H. (Andrew Burton, Getty Images)
Bernie Sanders in the last Dem debate in Flint, MI, gave a devastating account of how free trade policies ripped jobs out of the country, including affecting Michigan. The connection to Hillary was indirect, her hubby was the one who pushed NAFTA - with the Repubs - but there just the same. Evidently his message got through in Michigan despite the elitist filters like claiming the "actual job loss from free trade is negligible". If that were so, then one of author William Greider's most significant books,  (One World Ready Or Not - The Manic Logic of Global Capitalism', 1996). would be fiction. Greider documented how American jobs dispatched to low wage nations overseas not only hollowed out our industrial cities but eliminated living wages.

Auto manufacturing jobs were also sent overseas, because it cost the "Big Three" and others less to assemble them there - saving billions.  A lot of this was traced to Clinton's NAFTA. The Wharton School site (Knowledge@Wharton) quoted Robert Scott, chief economist at the Economic Policy Institute:

“Jobs making cars, electronics, apparel and other goods moved to Mexico, and job losses piled up in the United States, especially in the Midwest where those products used to be made.....By 2010, trade deficits with Mexico had eliminated 682,900 U.S. jobs, mostly (60.8 %) in manufacturing.”

Scott went on to point out that the scuttlebutt that NAFTA helped create jobs was due to false accounting. Other sources cited by Wharton claim the losses would still have occurred without NAFTA but we will never know, will we? The point of historical note is that economies in the Rust Belt all got uniformly worse after the passage of NAFTA and most of the Left who look at this don't believe it was coincidence.

All this had to play with the Michigan audience watching the Flint debate  - which was one of the most heated - with Hillary incessantly screeching and trying to interrupt Sanders, who at one point had to admonish her to "let me finish speaking".

In the end, the result, Sanders 50% to Clinton's 48% of the vote, left the pundits gasping as they had predicted from their polls Hillary winning by something like 11 pts. (Typical polls showed Clinton 55% and Bernie 44% the day before.)

But when the dust settled last night, Clinton had 1213 delegates and Bernie 557. So she is more than half way to the D-nomination. Unless Bernie can blow her momentum up next week with YUUUUUUUGE wins in Ohio, Florida etc. his campaign remains on life support only thanks to the odious DNC  superdelegate system.. Thus, sober heads still regard his campaign as basically 'game over' and he is merely staying in to keep Clinton honest while also seeking to gain some leverage at the convention. What that will be, who can say?

Time to face facts:  even with a string of major upsets by Bernie,  Clinton will still get the secretive state  super delegates to toss their lot in with her. As one angry Denver Post letter writer and Sanders supporter put it 2 days ago: "Why are we busting our butts if all our phone calls and canvassing efforts will just be trumped by hidden party bosses and lackeys?"

Good question! It's because the "Democratic" party believes in undemocratic means for nomination. While they tout voter "choice" in the primaries, this is only a smokescreen to convey the fa├žade of democracy - while the actual wheels for the party heads spin beneath- detached from the voters' will.

Look for Bernie to take a few more contests, but ultimately the superdelegates of the Dem Neoliberals and the Clinton Machine will win.  This isn't pessimistic but being realistic.

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