First, the convention:
The Montana delegation’s votes, delivered by former state senator Carol Williams, had 12 for Bernie Sanders and 14 for Hillary Clinton. It broke down thus: 11 pledged delegates for Bernie and 10 for Hillary, as reflects the outcome of Montana’s primary. The superdelgates voted 4-1 for Clinton. Sen. Jon Tester, party chair Jim Larson, vice-chair Jacquie Helt and national committeeman Jorge Quintana were in the Clinton camp. National committeewoman Jeanne Dahlman went for Sanders (bless her heart). As reported in a skimpy little piece in the Billings Gazette, superdelegate Gov. Steve Bullock did not attend.
There was some blowback at the convention from Sanders’ supporters, some of which was reported at this very site. That’s more information on Bernie’s folks than I got from the Montana or national media. But it appears that the DNC did a good job of orchestrating a message of unity after the first day of unbridled dissent.
Fortunately, Bernie Sanders is no Ted Cruz (but you already knew that). While maintaining his “revolution,” which I prefer to call a movement, Bernie did as much as he could to unite the party. Not everyone, of course, as there are still holdouts, but he brought the divisiveness down to a manageable level. To say that Bernie was gracious and is a true statesman would be an understatement.
The Democratic National Committee’s email scandal fueled the discord and rightfully so. I’m not sorry to see Debbie Wasserman-Shultz go and the DNC needs to clean up the rest of its house, quickly, so as to not continue disenfranchising Sanders’ supporters. The Democratic Party will need all the voters it can get this fall — not just for Clinton but for many important down-ticket races.
Here’s James Conner’s take on the convention. He closes with this line:
Hillary Clinton is a Democrat that Trump can defeat.
The Montana Democrats’ mantra
Democratic candidates are on message. It’s public lands, public lands and public lands. At a recent campaign event I attended — from local legislators to statewide office seekers — they were all talking about the transfer of, or access to, public lands.
This makes sense, since Republicans have a sketchy record on the issue. At the national level, the latest Republican platform is calling for a transfer of federal lands to the states or the private sector. Candidate for governor, Greg Gianforte, is getting bad press for trying to shut down access to a stretch of the Gallatin River that abuts his property. Congressman Ryan Zinke’s votes are inconsistent, to say the least. And Jennifer Fielder, a state senator and vice-chair of the Montana Republican Party, heads the American Lands Council, the organization leading the charge to transfer federal lands to the states.
There are TV spots skewering Gianforte on access, and mailers, op-ed pieces and letters to the editor are going there, too. Talking points on the phones and doors are “keep public lands in public hands.”
Recent polls indicate that Montanans support this message. But will it, alone, be enough to propel Democrats to victory?
It’s a safe strategy but I’d like to see more. Issues like climate change, racism, health care and income inequality, to name but a few, should also be in the mix. Is it too much to ask that these subjects be broached? Probably so.
I predict the general election will break down thus: 40% Clinton, 35% Trump, 5% third party and write-ins, and 20% of registered voters staying home.
This prognostication is in response to a post and comments at the We Hate Hillary, Barack and Democrats in General blog site. And no, it isn’t a Republican site, although it contains attacks that often exceed that of the right wing blogs.
Here’s the prediction in the comment section that I allude to:
My prediction for the election is: 1/5 vote democrat, 1/5 vote republican, 1/5 vote green/libertarian/3rd party/write-in, 2/5 (registered and eligible to register voters) stay home and don’t vote.
While I agree, from time-to-time, with the posts and comments from this particular writer, the scenario he lays out ain’t going to happen. He has just 20% of the electorate voting for Clinton and 40% staying home. In his staying home number he includes folks who are eligible to register but don’t. I didn’t include them because they’re not worth including. My 20% of actual registered voters staying home should be closer to the mark. But the fact that 20% stay home and 35% vote for Trump should be very disturbing to anyone who cares.
Finally, I will listen to Bernie and vote for Hillary, unenthusiastically, in November. This is not just a vote for the lesser of two evils — this is a vote against a soulless narcissist bully and for a centrist Democrat who is being pushed left, due in large part to Bernie and his movement.
I’ll leave you with a Huffington Post column on the choices ahead for Bernie supporters. Here’s an outtake:
What they seem to want, in short, is a revolution — not a violent revolution, but a political revolution, a revolution that will toss out everything that is wrong with our current system and that will enable the American people to start over again from scratch.
Whether or not their understanding of the overall state of our society is correct, the central question is whether either staying home or voting for a third-party candidate — and thus electing Donald Trump — will have the positive effect they desire.