One of the phenomena of this year has been the introduction of the #BernieBro. No doubt there has been casual, and even direct sexism, for a long time in Democratic Party politics, but the scale and near excitement of these guys to tear down Hillary Clinton is astounding. Frankly, it all starts at the top with their leader, Bernie Sanders himself.
If you watch closely, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are remarkably similar. Both revel in their “let anything go” style, and both have made centerpieces of their campaigns that they can get what they want (and what the respective polar ends of our Parties want) done just because they’re that magnanimous. This despite neither having much of a track record of success in public policy.
Both are obsessed with polls. Oh. My. God. Are they obsessed with polls. Sanders and Trump probably talk about polls more often than the details of how they would engage in a diplomatic solution to the Syrian crisis, or work to expand green energy manufacturing in the United States.
They also both enjoy the classic, “If I were going to say this, I would, but I’m above that, so I won’t.” Some easy examples: Donald Trump (para-quoting): “I’m not saying Ted Cruz is ineligible because of where he was born, he’s a great guy, but the Democrats might.” And Bernie Sanders (para-quoting): “What Bill Clinton did was horrible, but I’m not going to talk about that.”
When you bring it up you just talked about it. And in the society in which we live, not only is this a dick move (dredging up a horrible part of Hillary’s life [assuming that’s not how she and Bill roll]), but the implication is clear – if Bill couldn’t stick with her, why should the American public
It’s a clever trick, but in the end, it does nothing except feed the manliness of the #BernieBro. Not the best move.
I was tagged in a Facebook feed that Ben Anderstone does, and one thing that immediately stuck out - #BerniBros having a heyday every time Hillary’s caucus numbers went down. Literally typing berserk! Of course, where was the excitement when they would go back up? Oh yeah – that isn’t the game. Or when one commenter put up “Is that Monica’s tie?” and followed with “Bill looks like he just looked at Hillary tonight and though, ‘Man, she is kinda cute!’” And let’s not forget “I think Sanders proved he is a viable candidate which gives HRC a real case of butthurt.”
Even how the race has been “called” – and this applies to media as well. In 2008, Hillary actually took second in delegates (where you win matters just as much, and sometimes more, than how much you win by in caucus states), but because she came in third overall, was declared the loser. Here, Hillary comes in first, and not only is she declared the loser, but pundits are quick to point that there is a chance that Bernie gets more delegates, so she would be the loser again.
Frankly, I don’t care who people support. My desire for Washington to return to Partisan Primaries is primarily centered on participation opportunity – people who want to vote Green or Libertarian should be able to – not be forced to settle for what they think of as a least worst option. That said, the blatant sexism – and then piling on (particularly women) who call it out with even more dickishness – is not just off-putting, but sets our whole Party back. I don’t want my daughter to see Hillary torn down because of her husband, or because all women are liars, or because women in power can’t be trusted. Fact is both Hillary and Bernie are politicians. Politician is gonna politician.
Which is all that more true when we look at the result of Iowa. Frankly, why anyone would want to lay claim to a win in a relatively small state that is super white (91.3% compared to 63.7% nationally), with the most urban city with a whopping 209,000 people is beyond me. It is a failure of leadership within the Democratic Party to continue to allow such outsize influence for Iowa and New Hampshire – states that in no way represent the United States demographically, and especially not the diversity within the Party that we hold so dear.
However, the stock put in Iowa is historically misplaced. Since 1972, only three candidates have won a contested Iowa and gone on to become president – Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. Only three Republicans have gone on to become their Party nominee (Ford, Dole, and W.), and only three Democrats (Mondale, Kerry, and Obama). (Some could argue that the 1980 and 2000 Democratic primaries were “competitive,” in which case the D number goes to five with Carter over Kennedy, and Gore over Bradley).
Put plainly – Iowa really doesn’t matter, and in 2016, it is atrocious that the Democratic Party leadership has been unwilling to re-examine our nomination process. And with the howling of victory I’m hearing from team Sanders, all I can think is: congratulations. You did well in a very white, rural state. If that’s your socialist utopia, I don’t want to be a part of it.