In my time in politics, I’ve read plenty of articles where someone tries to analyze data to make a point, only to fail miserably. My rule tends to be that people who don’t know how to read polls (or understand when they should be taken seriously) really shouldn’t try to analyze them.
This brings me to an article on The Huffington Post by H.A. Goodman titled “10 Reasons I’m Only Voting for Bernie Sanders and Will Not Support Hillary Clinton” which might be the biggest pile of garbage on 2016 I’ve seen yet. Not just because that mindset is probably the dumbest possible type of “logic” I see coming from some liberals, but his arguments against Clinton are so flawed and ridiculous that I’m shocked this trash was even allowed to be published.
He starts off by selectively handpicking several polls trying to prove that Clinton is “unelectable” because in a few of these polls her “trustworthiness” has been questioned and her favorability numbers weren’t great. That sounds really bad until you realize the article he links to “prove” this was taken from polling numbers done in July and August – even reaching back to a CNN poll done in June – when Clinton’s campaign was struggling. Clearly the last 6 weeks she’s had a massive resurgence, with the polling numbers to prove it.
In fact, in the newest Quinnipiac poll, Clinton’s favorability (42 percent) is higher than Sanders’ (39). Oh, and Ben Carson comes in as the “leader” for overall “trustworthiness” – even ahead of Sanders – just to give you an idea of how unreliable those numbers are in general.
Just for the record, anyone who actually knows how to read polls or write about polling results wouldn’t cite numbers from 4-5 months ago when there have been several updated polls done since then showing updated results. Goodman obviously wanted to use the older polling results which were much more favorable toward Sanders to suit his narrative.
Then he goes into the typical conspiracy theory I’ve seen quite a few people on the left push about polling results showing Clinton with a healthy lead over Sanders. He suggests that these results aren’t accurate because the use of landlines negates their credibility. His argument gets exposed by the fact that these polls (CNN/ORC, Quinnipiac, Monmouth, NBC/WSJ) didn’t suddenly change their methodology from August when many of these same polls showed Clinton’s lead shrinking.
Then to further prove how flawed his “logic” is, Goodman uses the polling numbers from these same polls to “prove” that Clinton is unelectable – even though those results were gathered using the same combination of landlines and cell phones.
Oh, and he also predicted a “Sanders surge” following the first debate – which didn’t happen.
He also goes on to break down head-to-head data which is absolutely worthless at this juncture because everything is far too fragmented to get honest results from most people. There’s still a large contingency of voters out there who won’t be honest about who they would actually vote for because they’re still rooting for “their candidate” to win. These head-to-head polls are nothing more than pointless fodder for the media to discuss, but they’re worthless until, at the earliest, next spring.
Just to prove my point, in the latest head-to-head results from Quinnipiac, Bernie Sanders trails Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Chris Christie. Yes, in the newest Quinnipiac head-to-head polling, Sanders trails Chris “polling at 2 percent in the polls” Christie. So, you tell me, how credible are these head-to-head polls right now?
I also notice how Goodman made no mention of the truly damning poll for Sanders showing that 41 percent of Democrats and 51 percent of independents won’t support a socialist for president. While he plays up 14 percent of Democrats showing they won’t support Clinton claiming that’s “proof” why she is unelectable, he completely ignores that a much larger percentage of Democrats and independents have said they wouldn’t support a socialist.
But then he gets into his list of ten, which is even more absurd than his incompetent breakdown of polling results. I’ll put his reasons quoted in bold, and give my response to each beneath.
“The Iraq War. Sanders was on the right side of history.”
We get it, Sanders voted against the Iraq War while Clinton voted for it. She admitted her mistake nearly a decade ago – as did many other Democrats who also supported the war, including Joe Biden. You really have to be anti-Clinton to not vote for her based on something she did over a decade ago and has since repeatedly admitted was a huge mistake.
“The Keystone XL Pipeline. Bernie Sanders has always been against Keystone XL.”
Considering Hillary Clinton never took a stance on the issue until she came out against it a few months ago, she was never for it either. So he makes absolutely no point here. Like I said earlier, this guy is rabidly anti-Clinton so he’s really nitpicking with a lot of this nonsense.
Yes, he really tried to claim that Clinton’s use of euphemisms is a valid reason why he won’t vote for her. Apparently he thinks Sanders never lies or doesn’t say what’s on his mind. If Goodman really believes that, it just shows how gullible and infatuated with Sanders he really is.
“One candidate is the Charles Darwin of politics.”
He literally trashes Clinton for “evolving” on issues. To Mr. Goodman, it’s apparently a bad thing to admit your past mistakes and embrace better policy stances. By his standards almost no one is worthy of being president – except Bernie Sanders, of course.
This is basically just the Iraq War vote point rehashed in a different package. He claims Sanders is the only true Democrat running, calling Clinton a Republican. I guess Goodman is unaware that when Clinton was a senator, she was ranked as the 11th most liberal in the Senate.
(As a side note, President Obama came in at #23 and Biden #33. In other words, as a senator, Clinton was ranked even more liberal than both our current president and vice president.)
If you’re someone who really believes Clinton is no better than a Republican, you should never be taken seriously when discussing politics again. If someone dislikes Clinton, that’s fine. If someone doesn’t think she’s any different than Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz, they don’t know a damn thing about what’s going on – and they damn sure shouldn’t be taken seriously.
Like #5, this is just the “evolution” comment reworded with a different topic. Clinton supported the TPP, said she looked at the final details that were released a couple of weeks ago and didn’t see what she liked. Is this her playing politics? Possibly. But like I said before, I’m not going to fault a candidate for admitting they were wrong and embracing a better idea – only someone with the mind of a child would do so.
“Clinton’s 3:00 a.m. ad and Racism.”
He claims Clinton is at least partially racist because one person from Harvard – yes, one – suggested that an ad her campaign used in 2008 had “racial overtones.” Meanwhile, the ad simply suggested that she was more qualified than Obama to be president – it wasn’t even remotely racist. To watch that 30 second ad and think “wow, that’s racist” is completely ridiculous.
“I want a Democrat in the White House.”
Again, ranked the 11th most liberal senator ahead of Barack Obama and Joe Biden. I guess Mr. Goodman also forgets that Clinton was on the forefront fighting for universal health care in 1992 when she was First Lady. She’s also spent most of her life fighting for women’s rights and education, even before her husband became president.
“The DNC needs to end its fear of being too progressive.”
I find it funny how early in his article he cites the power of independents to support his anti-Clinton rhetoric, while completely ignoring that most independents are moderates – not far-left liberals. Otherwise… they would be liberals, not independents. Democrats would be foolish to embrace nothing but far-left policies, leaving moderate votes in play for Republicans to capture.
Goodman’s attitude here is the liberal version of what people like Ted Cruz think when they say Republicans keep losing the White House because the RNC is “afraid of being too conservative.”
It’s the same “my way or the highway” mentality that’s actually ruining our government. Trust me when I say insanity is found in elements of both the far-left and the far-right.
“Bernie Sanders is a ‘once in a lifetime candidate.'”
My God, can this guy get any more ridiculous? Now he’s predicting the future? How about Elizabeth Warren, isn’t she very similar to Sanders?
Listen, I like Sanders, but this sort of hyperbole is flat-out comical. While Bernie Sanders is definitely a unique candidate, to call him a “once in a lifetime candidate” is just immature and small-minded. Especially when you factor in the reality that initially it was Warren – not Sanders – who most on the far-left wanted to run.
H.A. Goodman is the exact type of “liberal” who’s going to hand Republicans the White House in 2016. I use the word “liberal” loosely because anyone who says they wouldn’t vote for the Democratic candidate based on a list of reasons as ludicrous as this might as well call themselves a Republican.
Hillary Clinton doesn’t support:
- Trying to overturn the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage.
- Legislation that makes climate change worse.
- Deporting 12 million illegal immigrants.
- Eliminating the minimum wage.
- Gutting Social Security or Medicare.
- Stripping away voting rights.
- Stripping away abortion rights.
- Passing massive tax breaks for the rich.
- Rolling back Dodd-Frank.
- Getting rid of the Affordable Care Act.
- Laws that allow for discrimination against members of the LGBT community.
Or a whole host of other horrific policies that real Republicans support. Is she as liberal as Sanders? No, she’s not. Is she perfect? Nope, and neither is Bernie Sanders. But to suggest that she’s no better than Trump, Cruz, Carson or Bush is probably one of the dumbest things I hear Goodman and others on the left say.
The bottom line is, as I’ve said plenty of times before, the number one goal for everyone on the left in 2016 must be to keep a Republican out of the White House. I don’t care if it’s Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, one of those two must win; I’ve been extremely consistent on this from the very start. Not only is control of the Supreme Court for the next 20-30 years up for grabs, but a Republican winning in 2016 would literally set progressives back decades.
That only happens if progressives and liberals let it happen. Because the truth is, if the progressive/liberal vote shows up – we win. If Republicans do win in 2016, it’s going to be short-sighted jackasses like H.A. Goodman who will be the ones to blame. In their immature lust for ideological purity, they apparently believe that getting 80 percent of what they want is somehow worse than getting practically none of it. This moronic fantasyland belief that Hillary Clinton would somehow be as bad or worse than Trump, Carson or Cruz shouldn’t make the slightest bit of sense to anyone who’s even remotely rational.