Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Bernie Sanders' most foolish idea (1)
"We" at Unforeseen Contingencies find ourselves enjoying the primaries for a change. For one thing, there are multiple candidates we actually like, and at least one of them is doing well. For another, what entertainment! What a show! Consider New Hampshire. For example, there was Jeb! Bush gloating about having beaten the two freshman senators... shortly before the updated vote count revealed that Ted Cruz surpassed him pushing Bush into fourth. The Bush campaign spent over $36 million to achieve this remarkable finish ($1,150 per vote compared to Cruz' spending of $18 per vote.) That's quite a message you've got there, Jeb!
There was also the bizarre spectacle of Marco Rubio repeating the same strange line about Barack Obama during the debate. The first time was simple obfuscation and use of a standard politician's technique -- don't answer questions you don't like, just say what you want -- in this case, delivering a canned campaign speech line. The second time, after Christie called him on it, was funny. The third time I found it creepy. The Rubio-unit really did suddenly sound like a computer programmed with standardized responses and unable even to recognize that the script had gone awry.
But these Republican hijinx are nothing compared to the shenanigans of the Democrats. Bernie Sanders effectively tied Hillary Clinton in Iowa (he very well may have beaten her, but the non-transparent rules of the Democrats' caucuses make it impossible to check anything) and he clobbered her in New Hampshire. So here are the current standings in delegates: Sanders 42, Clinton 394. Yes, Bernie Sanders has either won or tied the primaries so far, and he has won 9.6% of the delegates so far. Hillary even won more delegates in New Hampshire than Bernie. You have to love the way the Democrats do democracy! Feel the Hill, Bern! Hahahahaha!
But enough of these amusements, on to our first candidate for Bernie Sanders' most foolish idea: Sanders tells us that his version of socialism would be nothing like Soviet socialism. You see, it's democratic! The people get to vote on it. The people decide.
Is this a joke? We the people already get to vote on our government, and if there is anything that practically everyone across the political spectrum agrees on, it's that we have essentially no control at all over what the federal government does. One would have to be entirely ignorant of the last 20 or 30 years of American politics not to understand this. THAT'S why non-establishment candidates in both parties are battering the establishment candidates so badly. Being able to vote on something gives you no control at all. Sanders really strikes me as an idiot, and people who buy his argument simply are not thinking.
All of this doubles my amusement that the Democrat Party rules are rigging the game against Sanders. His idealistic and rather gullible followers (I think many really are idealistic, and not simply opportunists hoping to get free stuff under a Sanders regime) will be in for a rude shock if this continues. And if the candidate on whose behalf the game is being rigged ends up being indicted, well... For all the fractures in the Republican Party, I think the Democrats are in for a far worse internecine bloodletting.
A very high percentage of Americans seem to agree with us, as Bush and Clinton are both doing poorly with the electorate.