Actually it was an historic upset. Here is Harry Enten from 538 who was convinced that Hillary would win Michigan last night.
“He won the Michigan primary over Hillary Clinton, 50 percent to 48 percent, when not a single poll taken over the last month had Clinton leading by less than 5 percentage points. In fact, many had her lead at 20 percentage points or higher. Sanders’s win in Michigan was one of the greatest upsets in modern political history.”
Again, the people have spoken and they are saying “hold on, why isn’t anyone listening to this guy?”
And nobody is listening, at least not those who normally would or probably should. Not the NYT, not the Boston Globe, not Paul Krugman, not Sharrod Brown, Allan Grayson (was for her before he was against her), not David Brock, the founder of Media Matters, not Kevin Drum, not Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos and not all but 5 of national Democratic elected officials.
So how the heck is Bernie getting all these votes from largely rural Democrats outside of the South? It is his message and these Democrats and independents and even possibly cross over Republicans are voting for Bernie’s admittedly single message of bringing back the middle class.
And this is not about identity politics no matter what the exit polls and geography points to. I don’t want it to be, so maybe this is spin, but I can’t believe that there is a racial difference in the platform Bernie is fighting for. Yes he comes from a nearly all white state, yes, I’m blogging from a nearly all white county in Northern California, yes, Bernie’s strengths is with Democratic voters of similar demographics (rural and white) but I contend that Bernie’s voter’s understand that Black Lives Matter, not all lives and why.
They understand inequality in justice and wealth when the only variable is race because many of them understand this themselves as they have been on the short side of influence even though they make up the 99%.
Hillary of course won a commanding victory in the Republican strong-hold of Mississippi and won more delegates yesterday because of it. But Bernie’s upset victory in the populous and diverse Midwestern state of Michigan means that Bernie’s candidacy has every chance to last until the California Primary.
Here is what Bernie is doing and why his candidacy is important:
a) He is changing the Democratic debate on trade and making the point this is not about nationalism, it is about fairness and our government does have the responsibility to fight for a living wage for it’s people. We’ve voted in some of the world’s toughest labor and environmental protection laws, now we have to make sure that Americans remain working too. Not only is it good for American jobs, it’s good for the American and global environment as we produce locally and sustainably.
I also will not believe that our gain will mean a loss for citizens of other countries either. Actually the opposite, I believe we can be a leader worldwide in becoming a high standard of living manufacturing country.
also changing the Democratic dialog on…b) Campaign finance, c) Universal health care, d) Expanded public education and e) A federal living wage
Additionally, I believe voters are also voting for Bernie despite the polls and the odds because of the integrity of this political ideas. This is not to say that Hillary has any less personal integrity, but what Bernie is fighting for is the political idea that the economy and politics serve the people and not the other way around and this idea is not subject to compromise when the other side uses imagination, fiction and denial to make their cause for governing.
So when the Vice President of Donor Relations for the United Way asked during the Fox News Democratic town hall Monday night: “How do you anticipate getting anything done in Washington when compromise is a bad word”.
Hillary’s answer was her record in finding common ground like working for important programs like CHIP despite the odds.
But after 35 years have proven that Reagan’s ideas and ideals fail consistently, the voters are proving that liberal ideas are in the ascendancy and as one example, we now we finally have the ACA instead of CHIP to cover not only children, but entire families and adults without children. Don’t forget that not a one Republican compromised to vote for the ACA and they have been throwing tantrums about this effective government program to this day.
In 2008 Hillary lost to the eventual Democratic nominee who, like Bernie, was an elected official who did not fall for the on-it’s-face-wrong idea of attacking Iraq because a group in Afghanistan employing Saudi Arabians attacked the Twin Towers and the Pentagon and murdered thousands of people along the way. Compromising is definitively not a “bad word” but how do you compromise with destructive and wrong ideas as going back into Iraq in 2003? The only answer is you shouldn’t have.
I’m sorry Hillary, I would be proud to vote for you if you are the nominee in November, but the past 2 decades of governing actions and policies remain with us today and they need to be a subject we debate. We should be also noting that we will be re-working the policies of the past 3 and a half decades which continue their decimation of our middle class.
Thanks to states like Michigan and Minnesota Bernie now has another month or two (if not more) to make his case to the American people.