revolution: a sudden, extreme, or complete change in the way people live, work, etc.
ongratulations to Bernie Sanders. He won the expectations game last night. Good for him. But jeez, is it too much to ask that he tone down the rhetoric just a bit? Here’s what Bernie said after his 1.5 percentage point victory in Michigan last night:
What tonight means is that the Bernie Sanders campaign, the people’s revolution that we are talking about, the political revolution that we are talking about, is strong in every part of the country, and frankly we believe that are strongest parts are yet to come.
Revolution? Oh, my.
Since Bernie had been in bed when the race was called late last night and had to get up and make the above statement, perhaps we can and should forgive him for still being in a dream state.
Today, in the freshness of morning, we can and should look at the real world, as brought to us by the Associated Press:
As you can see, Hillary Clinton is more than half way to becoming the Democratic Party nominee. Ouch.
When someone, especially a politician, tells us there is a political revolution going on and it is “strong in every part of the country,” we should be able to easily see the evidence. It should be everywhere. But as the graphic above illustrates, there ain’t much of a revolution going on. There is a campaign. A political contest. And right now one side is crushing the other side in the race for delegates—the only race that matters—and the side getting crushed is the side that keeps talking about a revolution. Obviously, talking about a revolution is not the same as producing one.
Bernie squeaked out an unexpected victory in Michigan last night—getting just short of 50% of the vote—a state to which he committed a lot of time and resources because a loss would have been devastating. Simultaneously, he got thoroughly crushed in Mississippi. If Bernie’s “people’s revolution” is “strong in every part of the country,” apparently he doesn’t consider the people in Mississippi (where he got less than 17% of the vote) as part of the country. Or Louisiana (he got 23%) or Virginia (35%) or Texas (33%) or Tennessee (32%) or Arkansas (30%) or Alabama (19%) or Georgia (28%) or South Carolina (26%). Combined with Hillary’s narrower wins in Massachusetts, Nevada, and Iowa, the one thing we can say with certainty is that Bernie’s campaign isn’t revolutionary-strong in every part of the country.
But last night Bernie did win in an important general election state. I will give him that. As I said, he beat expectations, which is what you have to do these days, since journalists thrive on setting up expectations and then announcing this or that candidate “failed” to meet them and thus everyone is “shocked” by the results. That’s how the media game is played.
But the real result of Bernie’s earnest efforts last night was that his opponent won 17 or 18 more delegates than he did. And I’m pretty sure that doesn’t, at least arithmetically, qualify as a revolution, “strong in every part of the country” or otherwise. But it does mean that Bernie has some momentum and, although the biggest of underdogs, is still in the race for the nomination. And while that fact isn’t revolutionary, it does mean this thing will go on and on and on.
[Photo credit: Associated Press]