Primaries and secondaries


Of course elections in New York State are deeply corrupt and compromised, and always have been. So what difference do we think that made in today’s primary results? Some, I’m sure; but I daresay not much. Maybe the real result was 42/58 rather than 60/40, or whatever. The Clintons don’t spend their money without getting some value for it.

More to the point is the general screwiness of the primary system, even without corruption. I went trolling for figures about turnout, and all I could find was anecdotal burbling from poll-watchers and such vermin about how huge the turnout was. No real comparative numbers.

I expect it was in fact bigger than usual, for a primary. 12% of eligible voters rather than the usual 10%, maybe?

And then, of course, who were these people wo turned out? Curiously, old Bernie actually edged Hillary out almost everywhere except a few highly metropolitan counties — including, of course, my own home town of New York City, and Nassau and Suffolk, and Westchester, and a few others. Lots of factors here: Zionism, grizzled 70s-vintage female nationalists, professional party hangers-on, and of course that notorious thing with black voters (or rather, with eligible black primary voters, a fascinating study in itself).

The interesting phenomenon, I’d suggest, is that even in this deeply corrupt state, and even with the demographic skew of primary voters, Old Dobbin — hardly a charismatic figure — did as well as he did. Of course this doesn’t mean he has any hope of being President, or even of being the nominee. We all knew that, all along.

But it does suggest that there are a lot of people out there so fed up that they are willing to undergo the futile humiliations of a New York State democratic party primary in order to make some kind of statement — a statement, of course, bound to go unheard as long as it confines itself to the aptly so-called electoral ‘system’.

In fact, placing the statement in that context guarantees that it will go unheard. Those are the terms of trade. You played the game, you lost, the system has spoken, now STFU and hold your nose and come out in November for the ogress. I suspect that not a few Bernie voters will actually be relieved by this transaction — and its result. They did their bit, they uttered their little bleat of protest, and now they can vote for Baba Yaga with a clear conscience.


14 thoughts on “Primaries and secondaries

  1. What I find funny is how many Dems are dead set on remaining Dems regardless, but bemoan ‘two party politics’. ‘Well, what are you going to do?’ I’m still nervous about wearing my ’08 Nader shirt because people get pissed that I’m not shrugging my shoulders.

    • Oh shit! You’re right! I will respect and defer to whomever gains access to the office, the political process only functions in an environment of decorum. My original comment was as a result of a fever, I’m better now.

    • thom hartman on RT’s the big picture. 20 minutes praising bern & slamming hilary, 20 mins scare-ifying about trump, then the conclusion: we are really lucky to have two such great candidates in bernie & hrc. he leads the flock to bern’s green pastures thru a vale of deep trumpean darkness to dwell in the house of hilary. forever.

  2. In my heart of hearts I was hoping to wake up Wednesday morning to the news that Bernie beat Hillary in NY. But it didn’t happen and we’re one “yuge” step closer to our first monster president as aptly called by Samantha Power years ago. But, no reason to despair. If as Comrade chomskyzinn predicted, her corruption and incompetence would give rise to young’uns mobilizing against her, then there is light at the end of this bleak tunnel. After all, Americans tend to judge incompetent women and minorities much harsher than their white male counterparts. Correct me if I’m wrong but wasn’t Carly Fiorina just as incompetent as John Sculley but at the end, she was more scorned than he ever was.

    I remember years ago I was working for this African American guy at a drug company. The poor guy had the ire of every white person in the department because they considered him incompetent. Mind you, he wasn’t any more incompetent than his white male or female counterparts and believe me, there is no shortage of incompetent people in high level positions in drug companies because the profit margins are so huge that any moron can run the place. Countless number of such morons would be forgiven for their incompetence but not this guy.

    So at the end, gender might come to our rescue if as I suspect, there’s less tolerance for incompetent women in high places.

  3. This will be a very, very low turnout election — by which I mean, much lower than the usual low — and most of the interesting action will continue to happen outside of the electoral “system.” Hillary v Donald/Cruz is just further speeding up young people’s — and many old people’s — education in how much the fix is in. No Hopeychangey this time! No Cheney-Bush to drive people into the loving arms of Rahm and Chuck “The Schmuck” Schumer a la 2006!

  4. ” I suspect that not a few Bernie voters will actually be relieved by this transaction — and its result. They did their bit, they uttered their little bleat of protest, and now they can vote for Baba Yaga with a clear conscience. ”

    By “not a few”, what do you estimate the % to be? A majority? And why the ‘relief’?

    Such folk are surely the strangest Bernie voters of any. By voting for Bernie they risked him winning in NY and riding a tidal wave into the convention, perhaps into the election… and yet you imagine that these same people would really be more comfortable voting for a recognizably evil witch in November and enjoying ‘a clear conscience’ thereby.

    You may be correct in every detail but the mental contortions involved mystify me.


    • I think “suspect” and “not a few” are elemental here. And nevertheless, is it really so far-fetched that relief may come by way of the reassurance implicit in the explicit permission from the Good Guy, if, as has been witnessed in this process again and again, the Good Guy endorses the nominee?

    • I actually know people who fall into this category. They went into the thing with all the usual mental furniture about electability and so on, and some of them were female-nationalist enough to think that checking off the ‘first woman president’ box was important.

      Then during the process they underwent a partial, and I suspect, temporary transformation. Partly this was because the full amplitude of the horror that is Hillary became unavoidably clear, and partly because a number of people in their reference group — people they had always thought were sane and sound and with-it — were getting over the fence into the Sanders camp. To some extent I think some of my friends wanted to be with the cool kids. This is of course very human.

      Now of course we’re back on familiar lesser-evil ground — the Supreme Court, blah blah. Hence the relief, I think. They can play this song in their sleep.

      • Yes, back to that very comfortable place: “Well, what choice do I have?”

        And for such a person, voting for Bernie in NY was a way of feeling like they had “done something” or “registered” something. I suspect they voted for Bernie knowing full well Hillary wouid win.

        I’m not clairvoyant, but yet I know this very type of person.

  5. Is it just my feeds or did progressives forget about Sanders faster than everyone forgot about Ello? A few electoral fraud pot shots aside. The transition to unbridled Hillary support isn’t complete–bumper stickers need to be scraped off etc. But I did overhear a woman in Park Slope screaming (into her phone?) “She’s going to be president. I’m so happy about that!”

    • You no doubt heard that right. #Imwithher is a rampant sentiment in gentrified Brooklyn, and the answer to any criticism or questions about Hillary. Libya? Iraq? Super-predators? Goldman? General neoliberal AND neoconservative stoogery?


      It’s going to be a long 7 months. Or an interminably longer 4 years.

  6. The Dems have spent the last 8 years putting a lot of ‘boots on the ground’ in a lot of cities. They’ve been taking advantage of lack of participation in local politics. Very organized efforts, particularly using African American groups as entree. I think Hil and her cohorts have got some horrific social engineering planned for us, excluding the wealthy, of course, for whom we’re going to be fitted even more so into their serfs.

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