Go West, Young Man: Bernie’s Path to Victory and Political Revolution

So last night was pretty tough for Bernie Sanders.

Hillary Clinton won 4 of the 5 primary contests at play in Super Tuesday Number 3, and leads in a fifth contest in Missouri that’s still too close to call. She also added to her already significant lead in delegates.

The mainstream media, of course, has now declared the Democratic race for president over, and Hillary Clinton is now once again the “inevitable” nominee, and they couldn’t be happier.

This is probably the reason not one of the major networks covered Bernie’s speech live last night. They’re already writing him off as a cute, but harmless, afterthought.

But here’s the thing: this race isn’t over -- far from it.

Bernie still has path to the nomination, and a strong one at that.

Over the next few weeks, the primary schedule shifts to the West and upper Midwest where Bernie has already had success and where he’s favored to pick up even more victories.

If Bernie manages to win by big margins in states like Wyoming or Wisconsin, he can whittle away at Clinton’s delegate lead, which, despite what you might hear on the mainstream media, only grew by a net total of 57 delegates last night.

But more importantly, success out West and in the Midwest could win Bernie some much-needed momentum and media coverage, which will mean a lot when voters in big states like Pennsylvania, New York, and California head to the polls later on in the year.

What happens after that is anyone’s guess, but in the wake of what happened last week in Michigan, when Bernie won the largest primary election upset in history, there’s no reason to think the “impossible” couldn’t happen again.

The experts and pundits in the establishment media industrial complex have written Bernie off before, and they’ve been wrong about pretty much everything this election.

So we should take what they say with a gigantic grain of salt.

Even so, Bernie could still end up losing this race.

Even if he does win big in the West, he has to win really big (or at least not lose big) elsewhere to overcome Clinton’s substantial pledged delegate and superdelegate leads.

That superdelegate lead will be the hardest to overcome because superdelegates ARE the establishment, and likely won’t ditch Clinton, the ultimate establishment candidate, unless things go really bad for her.

They ditched her back in 2008, but that was a different race -- a personality clash between mainstream Democrats as opposed to an ideological clash between a neoliberal and a true-blue progressive.

All this is to say that while Bernie supporters should ignore the conventional wisdom BS that Bernie can’t win and that this race is over, they should also be prepared for the real possibility that he won’t be the Democratic nominee for president.

And they should be prepared because an electoral loss is the not the end, not if a political revolution is what you’re fighting for.

It’s only the beginning.

There is no better example of this than Ronald Reagan’s first campaign for president.

Although a conservative, Reagan was a revolutionary who wanted to fundamentally transform his party and his country. And so in 1976 when conservatives called for a true right-winger to challenge President Gerald Ford, he threw his hat into the ring.

Reagan lost, but it was a very, very close race that was only decided at the convention.

This close loss then set stage for Reagan’s 1980 campaign, the campaign that set in motion the chain of events that led to the Reagan Revolution, which persists to this day.

Now, Bernie Sanders may not get the nomination, and he most likely won’t run for president again, but for progressives, a narrow loss like Reagan’s in 1976 might, in the long run, be almost as a good as an electoral victory.

That’s because it would cement the progressive movement as the kingmaker in the Democratic Party, and signal to the establishment Clinton Democrats that their days are numbered unless they return to the FDR roots of the party.

It would also give Bernie a chance to play a big role at the convention, perhaps even a role writing the party’s platform.

So, in other words, the political revolution wins regardless of whether not its leader does.


KCRuger's picture
KCRuger 7 years 11 weeks ago

I have yet to see 1 instance in any mainstream media recognizing that Sen. Sanders lost Clinton's home state by 1%, & neighboring Missouri by the same percentage. It's like they think it will go away if they ignore it. Hillary's voters are doing the same thing as poor Republicans: voting against their own interests.

TarryFaster 7 years 11 weeks ago

Is there any chance that Hillary could be indicted for her failure to label some of her emails as Top Secret? What could happen if someone comes forward with one/some of the transcripts from one/some of her speeches? What about all of the money that Bill has received in his organization that seems connected to Hillary's decisions as Secretary of State? What would happen if one or more of these events occurred after she wins the race for the nominatin, but hasn't won the general election? IOWs could Hillary still be brought down due to her own corrupt behavior?

ErinRose's picture
ErinRose 7 years 11 weeks ago

I'm sorry Bernie pledged not to run on an Independent ticket if he loses the Democratic nomination. The DNC and most of the Democratic Party is an Establishment status quo rigged game and I think a Hail Mary is just what is called for in the event sHillary Wall Street Clinton becomes the Wasserman-Schultz nominee. Why do I say it's a rigged game? Have a close look at the Iowa six-for-six (precinct) coin toss and tell me it isn't.

The Glenn Beck Review's picture
The Glenn Beck ... 7 years 11 weeks ago

Bernie needs a "miracle" to pull this out now, and Revolt Against Plutocracy calls that miracle "leverage." Have you taken the #BernieOrBust pledge yet?


ErinRose's picture
ErinRose 7 years 11 weeks ago

On an interesting note, some reporter pointed out that in each and every one of the Hillary-gates she's been involved in from Vince Foster to Whitewater to the current Email-gate, etc., her blanket response to each and every allegation down the line has been that she had no knowledge of it. How can someone careen so close to the edge of so many problematic scenarios and not know a thing about any of them? This would seem to suggest that HRC is a(n alleged) chronic liar. Do we really want a chronic liar in the WH? as leader of this nation? Didn't we learn our lesson with Reagan and Dubya and Darth Vader? Bernie! Bernie! Bernie!

Strafford5 7 years 11 weeks ago

Tom: I am a strong believer in what Bernie Sanders says and beilieves, but I am not certain he will be the Democratic candidate. If he is not, will you pledge to support Hillary and discourage the "Bernie or Bust" mantra that seems to exist at present? We need to present a united and strong front against any republican candidate, no matter who the democratic candidate is. I will support, without reservation, the Democratic candidate. We must not have a republican in the White House. If we do, the country will be completely at the mercy of the one percenters and their ilk and their lacky republican senators and congressmen. So, we must support in totality the Democratic candidate, no matter who it is. Please let me know what you think. Thanks.

Comfort Myrtlebank's picture
Comfort Myrtlebank 7 years 11 weeks ago

Well, you're real positive. That's nice. I'm trying to focus on the fact that Bernie still has a chance. These are the happy days when all hopes are not crushed, when there is still that possibility. I will savor each of these days, and then, it will just go back to the way it was before, when I thought our government was pretty much useless in terms of generating real social change and politically Left ideals, and when the idea that I could ever have access to universal healthcare, or we could have a carbon tax didn't dare creep into my mind. I'm really tired from working all day, so probably my despair over this is more than it should be tonight (and I've just got word from my Obamacare thingy that I now have to provide a photo copy of my social security card and my drivers license, even though I already did that, or I'll lose my health insurance...this is something related to some doings of my Republican governor I'm sure, but healthcare coverage shouldn't be this hard to keep). At any rate, I'm just feeling like, "Well, we can't have nice things!" should be the new American modo. Canadians were able to elect Trudeau. We can't because of our stupid, sell out media that manipulates everybody's worldview. Thanks for your continued support of Bernie, regardless.

Comfort Myrtlebank's picture
Comfort Myrtlebank 7 years 11 weeks ago

Also, just if you want, you might want to take an extra "the" out of this sentence in your blog above: "And they should be prepared because an electoral loss is the not the end, not if a political revolution is what you’re fighting for."

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 7 years 11 weeks ago

Hillary says that NAFTA helped some, and also hurt some. She's correct, it helped a very few add billions to their ongoing extreme concentration of our wealth, while hurting multi millions of us, with job loss, union busting, and stagnant wages.

The corpse media continues to bend over for Richie Rich like a ten dollar whore. When will the American people realize that self puffed billionaires like Trump, the Kochs, Waltons, all got to where they are, not because they care about the general welfare of the country, they simply care about feeding their own out of control lust for endless wealth and power???

The Koch's have a couple hundred billion, and yet are still obsessed and dithering about working class citizens having a tiny amount of Social Security, a program all of us working people pay for. In other words they want citizens to work their asses off for decades, enriching the rich, and then suffer in abject poverty in old age. This is who they are, guys like Trump. He's an arrogant billionaire oddly willing to put his sad self on full display to the public, the classic ugly American.....what don't people get about wealth and power???? It always foments bad government, no exceptions.

Bernie is far more popular than Trump, virtually all polls support this fact. We need a media that reflects the principles this country was founded on, not a whore willing to sell us all out for temporary monetary gain.

That all said, I don't believe for one minute any of Trump's Teapublic Party competition is any more moral, ethical, or less nuts than he is. Cruz is a very dangerous religious zealot, while Trump's god is money and power. Kasich is delusional. The Teapublic Party with the help of the media created this mess.... and they own it together.

Bernie remains our only hope.

wslifko 7 years 11 weeks ago

Having spent 23 years with a TS clearance in the military, I was intimately familiar with the rules regarding handling of classified material. Part of my job was to train others (most junior, some seniors) in proper handling to include cryptographic and non-cryptographic materials. The rules were clear and simple and to break those rules was unthinkable for two reasons: first, national security was foremost on our minds; and second, penalties were severe. Even in cases where espionage did not play a role, we were threatened with decades in prison and fines that could never be repaid by a typical salary that you could never even hope to earn if ever convicted by UCMJ for breaking those rules.

I did that for 23 years. Hillary was possibly exposed to highly classified material for a fraction of that time and broke the cardinal rule of potentially exposing classified material to a non-secure environment. I would still be in prison had I done that when I was responsible for safeguarding the material I was accountable for.

I don't trust Hillary and hold her in contempt. She doesn't take our country seriously and is only interested in furthering her own agenda. She put her personal comfort above the law and the safety of our country at risk. She is not capable of understanding the consequences because she knows she'll never be held accountable. I've worked for other leaders like that in the past and they were truly horrible people to work for. She's not leadership material.

She's not worth spit and will never get my vote. I won't vote for Trump but I'll sure as hell write in Bernie if I have to. And if that leads to a Trump victory, I'll hold idiots who vote for Hillary accountable.

wslifko 7 years 11 weeks ago

ErinRose: Wish there were a 'like' button. I'd probably break my mouse button liking both of your comments.

cccccttttt 7 years 11 weeks ago

In a rational system Sanders and Trump would form their own parties.

We need a federal election law that would let new parties register in

one place for the whole country.

The two parties we now have are draconian and stifling!


Kend's picture
Kend 7 years 11 weeks ago

Comfort. Yes we elected Trudeau. His work experience is a part time drama teacher, ski instructor, and he worked in a bar. We are screwed. He has already spent three times what he ran on four months ago. We are going into a recession almost immediately after he was elected. My point is if you promise enough free stuff you can get elected. Trudeau's dad was a far left Prime Minister it helped a lot.

Instant-RunOff-... 7 years 11 weeks ago

Well, you can't blame that on Trudeau. And only real job Harper ever had was as a mailroom attendant for Big Oil, a job his daddy got for him. Harper committed Canada to be a petro-state and many warned that just this disaster would occur. It's called the Dutch disease and Canada now has now been infected as predicted:

How the Tar Sands Threaten Canada's Economic Fate. A short course in Dutch Disease, deindustrialization and the Bitumen Curse.

By Andrew Nikiforuk, 13 Aug 2010, TheTyee.ca


Canada, Ontario was doing great things with overseas CANDU nuclear reactor sales, but Harper trashed AECL, gave it away to some Oil service supply company. While America blockaded CANDU sales in spite of their capability to burn US nuclear waste - supposedly important. Harper allowed that. Ask Harry Reid. Harper ordered the sophisticated MAPLE medical isotope reactors trashed. Part of a total abandonment of Canadian manufacturing, including relegating our large mining & forestry industries to technology from Sweden, Finland and the USA.

PowerToThePeople 7 years 11 weeks ago

"Even if he does win big in the West, he has to win really big (or at least not lose big) elsewhere to overcome Clinton’s substantial pledged delegate and superdelegate leads. That superdelegate lead will be the hardest to overcome because superdelegates ARE the establishment, and likely won’t ditch Clinton, the ultimate establishment candidate, unless things go really bad for her." - Thom Hartmann

Thom - why are you talking about superdelegates?

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was on Rachel Maddow a few weeks ago and had this to say about superdelegates:

From an article at HuffPost entitled "The National Media Has Been Instructed By the DNC Not to Count Superdelegates, So Why Have They Refused?"

...And Wasserman Schultz has been clear, as evident from the video above, that the national news media must stop tallying and reporting "super-delegates" immediately.

"The way the media is reporting this is incorrect," Wasserman Schultz told Rachel Maddow of MSNBC on February 20th. "There are not pledged delegates -- or 'super-delegates' -- earned at any of these caucus contests."

She went on to note that super-delegates are "free to decide [who to vote for] anytime up until July," and can change their mind at any time -- one reason they can't be reported as being conclusively attached to any particular candidate. "So combining them [the voted-on or 'earned' delegates and the super-delegates] at each phase of this contest is not an accurate picture of how this works," she said.

"It's really important to report these [super-delegates] in a completely different way," she added, in the event her repeated admonitions on the topic had been unclear.


Thom - please stop talking about superdelegates. It's not accurate and it's not helping.

Scotty11 7 years 11 weeks ago

I believe that a good way to build the credibility of Bernie's chances are to graph his approval ratings in the last dozen states...where he was in the polls 60 days, 30 days, 15 days, 1 week...

If it's possible to show the same graph for Clinton...then?

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 7 years 11 weeks ago

I think Friday's anti Trump riot hurt Bernie on Tuesday. Many people confronted me with it, about how rioters chanted Bernie slogans while committing acts of vandalism and violence.
I think we need Bernie, this movement would be nowhere without him.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 7 years 11 weeks ago

It's not free stuff Kend, it's ours already, that's why we don't have to pay again for it.
Trudeau might not be professional politician but that could be good.

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