The Bernie Sanders campaign’s increasingly quixotic pursuit of the Democratic presidential nomination has hit a big snag in the form of math and reality, as the delegate count now makes it virtually impossible for Bernie Sanders to overtake Hillary Clinton‘s lead in any conceivable democratic metric. That hasn’t stopped Bernie Sanders from making a flurry of contradictory arguments, and it didn’t stop truth-challenged campaign manager Jeff Weaver from making a claim that’s gotten him stomped by the Washington Post fact-checker. Here’s Weaver on the eve of the Indiana primary, which Sanders narrowly won. I’ve included some context that WaPo left out:
It’s worth noting that the full segment shows that the chart Steve Kornacki was referencing to Weaver was all messed up, and in evaluating Weaver’s claims, WaPo neglected to include the bit at the end where Kornacki challenges Weaver on the timing of those superdelegate flips. The fact remains, though, that Weaver is completely full of crap.
I’m no blind believer in fact-checkers, especially Glenn Kessler, but in this case, even with the added context, he’s on the money. The short explanation is that Weaver’s claim that “over 120 superdelegates switched their quote-unquote allegiance in that process” includes mostly supers who switched after Hillary Clinton dropped out of the race. Only 28 superdelegates switched before then, and as Kessler notes, only 10 of them switched before the last primary votes were cast.
Until very recently, I’ve been on Team Bernie when it comes to his continuing in the race, but it’s getting more and more difficult to maintain that position. I’ve always liked Bernie Sanders, and I would like to think that he’s not really deluded enough to believe he can still win using any of the various schemes he and Weaver have laid out, and that he’s using the remainder of his run mainly as leverage to get his supporters’ voices heard in the party platform and at the convention, and with a tiny side-purpose of keeping his iron in the fire just in case.
However, with Donald Trump now on the march and Hillary Clinton needing a clear shot at him, in order for Sanders’ quest to matter, it has to be righteous. There is a righteous case to be made that superdelegates should support Sanders in states that he won, which is one of the cases Team Sanders is making, but not if they then say this:
If you’re going to have super delegates, if they’re just a rubber stamp for the pledge delegate process (otherwise known as “the voters”), then they don’t serve a purpose.
That’s complete horseshit, and it’s horseshit that Bernie Sanders has since co-signed. I’m sympathetic to the idea that you don’t unilaterally disarm to fight a system you think is unfair, and I understand using the existing quirks of that system to achieve a righteous goal, but at this point, the goal is no longer worthy. It’s not worth the damage Sanders is doing to himself and his reputation as a man with principles and integrity. He can fight for reforms and planks in the platform without doing that, and in the end, the platform doesn’t mean jack shit. It isn’t nearly as powerful as the moral authority Bernie is currently sacrificing by hanging around under these circumstances. Better to drop out now while most of the party still harbors goodwill for him than to try and change a meaningless platform in a party which mostly hates you.
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.