Horns of the dilemma

From Frank Miele via RealClearPolitics:
While any or all of the bottom four candidates might drop out [after Super Tuesday], it is unlikely that enough support will go to Sanders in subsequent primaries to give him the 50%-plus-one majority he would need to ensure a first-ballot victory at the convention July 13-16 in Milwaukee. If he does win outright, then the party will have nominated a cranky 79-year-old socialist with a man crush on authoritarian communists like Fidel Castro. That would normally be a nightmare scenario, but this year it is the best-case scenario.
If he doesn’t win outright, then pandemonium is sure to ensue. The Democratic establishment would have to decide whether to endorse a socialist as its standard-bearer, in which case they would be responsible for the subsequent George McGovern-style bloodbath, or to stop Sanders by throwing their support to another candidate, possibly even one who has not campaigned but is willing to be drafted as the nominee. (The possibilities: Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Michelle Obama or even Adam “You Won’t Have to Ask Me Twice” Schiff.)


MikeD said...

If Sanders doesn't win outright, but has the majority of delegates, and is still denied the nomination by the party through the use of superdelegates, I think you can expect one of two things. Either outright violence the likes of which haven't been seen since the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, or at a minimum a splitting of the Democrat party. I wouldn't even really rule out a third party run by Sanders. Unless he decides he needs a fourth house.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Those four "possibilities" all depress me, as I don't even want to think about any of them more than a minute or two, let alone honor them with a major party nomination. That they would all likely be good news for the Republicans in the general election, it still should be worrisome.

E Hines said...

We're starting to see how desperate the Progressive-Democrat lights are to block Sanders.

First, but not too separately, Steyer dropped out Saturday, but Sunday evening he was still running campaign ads, these explicitly attacking Bloomberg. That struck me as fundamentally dishonest--he had lots of time in which to pull those ads if he truly wanted out of the race--as well as curious: he'd spent his active campaign mostly attacking Trump.

Back to the subject. Buttigieg and Klobuchar have dropped out--before Super Tuesday. This seems especially curious to me, since they could have dropped out Wednesday with more delegates to use as broker/barter tokens at the brokerage.

Rather than a move to support an "establishment, uniting" candidate, as Buttigieg claimed as the reason for his magnanimous sacrifice, I've seen polls that indicate that Buttigieg's putative votes will be spread among the remaining candidates, with a plurality going to...Sanders.

I think the preemptive drops will backfire on Party and strengthen the likelihood of a brokered convention. And if Party succeeds in blocking Sanders at the Milwaukee brokerage--don't discount Bloomberg's ability to buy his own nomination, or failing that, to buy a non-Sanders nomination, much less the Super Delegates'/Party MFWICs' collective vote after the first ballot--look for the Bernie Bros, who've already engaged in violence and threatened further, to make the '68 Chicago convention look like a grade school recess shoving match and to last far longer.

A Sanders-originated 3rd party run isn't beyond the pale--and while it won't succeed in 2020, it easily could be a viable party in 2024 and beyond. Steyer could have gone this route last spring, but he didn't have the heart for it, almost didn't have the heart to run at all, and now has demonstrated that he doesn't have the heart for much of anything beyond yapping about a climate crisis that's going to kill us all even faster than Ocasio-Cortez says.

Eric Hines

J Melcher said...

Texas uses "early voting". Anybody who has availed themselves of the very real convenience of voting last week, before the recent drop outs, has risked wasting a vote. I would advocate our legislature shorten the early voting window to fewer days.

It does raise the question, what happens if Pete or Amy or Tom (or any combination) earn a delegate or two on Tuesday. Does the party free them to vote their conscience? Does the drop out candidate get to direct that delegate's vote?

Anonymous said...

My understanding, from the government textbook, is that the pre-votes still count, and those delegates will be bound to whoever the former-candidate chooses. So Klobuchar backs Biden, and the delegates she has already been awarded will go to Biden.

Note, the party sets the rules, and this might be incorrect now. The textbook was written in 2018.