I’m Sorry Sanders Supporters, but Bernie is Being Fairly Hypocritical on a Few Things

While I have been critical of some of Bernie Sanders’ tactics over the past year, I still do think he’s a good guy who has a lot of great intentions. I don’t agree with all of his policy stances, but I do agree with most of them. If he ended up being the Democratic nominee this year, I would proudly fight for and support him just as I would Hillary Clinton or pretty much any solid Democratic candidate.

As I’ve said more times than I can count, there’s too much at stake this election for us to not unite behind Democrats this November to keep Republicans out of the White House and hopefully take back some power in Congress. Especially now with a dangerous fascist like Donald Trump winning the GOP nomination.

All that being said, and while I know his supporters are going to bash me relentlessly for saying this (the comments section and “unlikes” I’m sure to get will prove this), Bernie Sanders is being quite hypocritical right now.

Look, if you’re someone who honestly believes the system is “rigged” against Sanders, or “voter fraud” gave Clinton wins in New York, Arizona and Nevada, then stop reading this now. Nothing I say is going to convince you that you’re wrong. Heck, even when FiveThirtyEight.com (a website that does nothing but statistically break down things) used indisputable math to prove that the system isn’t “rigged” against Sanders — many called them a “shill for Clinton.” That’s what I mean when I say a lot of people really don’t want facts, they just want to be told what they want to hear.

But the truth of the matter is, Sanders is being rather hypocritical with his criticism of the primary process and superdelegetes.

First, let’s start with his complaints about the primary process itself.

He’s been a vocal critic of closed primaries for some time now, which makes sense from his perspective considering he performs better in open primaries. So, he’s argued that they’re unfair and they disenfranchise voters, and his supporters have agreed that they’re not very democratic.

Okay, fair enough.

However, I notice he never complains about caucuses which are much less democratic and far more effective at suppressing the vote. To vote in a caucus often means you have to dedicate hours of your day just to cast a “vote.” It’s ridiculous some states still use this process when a primary is simple, easy and has proven to get many more people involved in the voting process. Then again, he does extremely well in most caucuses so, clearly, he’s not going to complain about those too much.

Just look at the state of Washington which oddly holds both a caucus and a primary (even though they only count the caucus results). In March, Sanders soundly beat Clinton in the Washington caucus 73 to 27 – with a voter turnout estimated at around 230,000. Meanwhile, in a primary where everyone voting knew it was basically pointless, the Washington primary election had a turnout of over 700,000.

Think about that for a moment: more than three times the number of people showed up for a pointless primary than the caucus which actually mattered.

But Bernie Sanders wants to complain about closed primaries? Seriously?

That’s just flat-out hypocritical. It’s kind of ridiculous to act concerned about wanting to make sure voter turnout is high, and claim you want a primary environment that’s more inclusive to everyone who wants to vote, then completely ignore the fact that caucuses are, by far, much more undemocratic simply because he does well in them.

Furthermore, based on indisputable statistical data, FiveThirtyEight.com stated that Clinton’s lead might even be larger if all the states held open primaries — which is what Sanders and his supporters say would be more “fair.”

Then there’s the superdelegate situation.

Originally the argument from Sanders and his supporters was that superdelegates are undemocratic and only the pledged delegates should count. This eventually morphed into the claim that superdelegates should side with whichever candidate won their particular state. While that argument makes sense, it also defeats the purpose of superdelegates. So if we’re going to say that superdelegates should side with the candidate who wins the state, then just get rid of them. That’s probably what needs to happen anyway.

However, now his argument seems to flip-flop between they should support the candidate who won their particular state and they should side with him because he polls better against Donald Trump.

In other words, he seems to be arguing that all the superdelegates in the states he won should side with him, because he won their state. However, he’s completely ignoring his very own “rule” by saying that in the states Clinton won, they should ignore the voters there and side with him based on polls.

So, which is it? It has to be one or the other — but it can’t be both.

Not only that, but even if superdelegates did align with the candidate based on the election results from their state, he would still be losing to Clinton rather badly. This argument doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense if we’re talking about his chances of becoming the Democratic nominee.

Again, this is not meant to be an “attack” on Sanders, but he’s being a hypocrite with these arguments. He’s picking and choosing parts of the primary process that don’t favor him and arguing that they should be changed. Yet he’s not speaking out against the parts of the primary process where he’s done well, even if those parts are far more “undemocratic.”

Moreover, these rules have been around for decades. As a 25+ year member of Congress, he’s known about them since he was first elected, so he absolutely knew about them when he decided he was going to run for president last year. Yet I’ve never once heard him complaining about any of this stuff until after the primary was clearly not going his way. It’s a tad hypocritical for him to demand that the party make all these changes (nearly all that would have benefitted him), when he never seemed to have an issue with them before.

Is any of this a big deal? No, not really. He’s a politician, they all lie and they’re all hypocrites at times.

It just so happens that Bernie Sanders is supported by a very passionate group of supporters, many of whom seem to think that he can say and do no wrong. But the truth is, while he’s a very good man and has been an extremely valuable member of Congress for over a quarter century — he’s clearly still a politician.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • cratewasher
  • BFlatlander

    The millennials will stay home in droves. And it will not matter in the least. Their age bracket NEVER votes. Twas ever thus. When they hit their 30’s they’ll regret it. Still, this is the least powerful generation so far. Mommy boys playing dress up. So frigging weird.

    • J.

      It’s true. When only 20% of the demographic that shows up at your rallies actually vote, you’re screwed.

      • BFlatlander

        Its over for Bernie. You need to accept that. And for your demographic, it means you stay and home and sulk. Things will look different when you next get to vote on a presidential election when you are in your 30’s.

      • J.

        Wow, Jerk. 1. I never voted for Bernie. I was for Hillary since 2008. 2. I have voted in every election- even midterms, since I was 18 (10 years ago). So you can right F* off with your patronizing bullsh*t. POS.

      • BFlatlander

        Typically emotional. And you are lying. That much is obvious. Why would you lie to complete strangers? You kids are so morally flexible it makes me sick. Thanks for trying to impress me.

      • J.

        You need to get your ego in check you entitled piece of trash.

      • BFlatlander

        Typical response from kiddies like you. I see you’re still emotional and powerless. That pleases me. You’ll never have what other generations had. We screwed you over badly. Best not be late with that rent check, victim. This is the New America, and turds like you are getting flushed.

    • Zombie Hunter

      What your forgetting is the student debt crisis. Its like Ss/Maid for the oldsters. Hes fighting for them w free collegs. They will come. Oh you underestimate the power of a $$$student$$loan$$$. We need to equally offset the tea party with our own progressive counteragenda or the dem party will shrink and die. This season is a battle between core ideologies either believe them and vote or trump.

      • BFlatlander

        You underestimate the power of actual tax payers. Bernie is over. Thats a fact. Decent Americans will be voting for Hillary. Bernie is no longer an option. HE DOES NOT HAVE ENOUGH SUPPORT. You’ll understand why when you buy something and stop renting.

      • Zombie Hunter

        it will be a fight but bern has all the momentum, hrc is pulling a hindenberg. in 2 weeks her ratings have plummeted and the answers to her lies doesnt look good. the superdelegates have two months to figure it out.

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  • Michael Wallingford

    There are really no games here! Anyone, regardless of politically party, who votes for someone being investigated by the FBI, and whose record is so tarnished and tainted, must not be thinking straight. Allen, you can be as defensive as you like, but you have become a Hillary-bot! Hillary will never become President of the US. People are smarter than to allow that to happen.

    • J.

      So you’re voting for Trump I take it?

      • BFlatlander

        Looks like he did. And you no doubt flushed your vote down the Jill Stein toilet.