Clinton's strategy of ignoring Bernie supporters will backfire on her during the General Election

While it seems Hillary Clinton is most likely going to win the Democratic nomination, she still has to prove herself when it comes to persuading Bernie Sanders supporters to enthusiastically cast their vote for her in the coming general election.

Hillary, while pulling off victories in recent crucial primaries, hasn’t been willing to concede any ground in order to woo Bernie voters to her side. In fact, if anything, Hillary has been reacting stubbornly to the notion that she needs to earn the votes of Bernie supporters rather than simply demand their votes.

It is now more than likely that Hillary will become the Democratic nominee. There are some small routes Bernie can travel in capturing the nomination, but it seems highly improbable at this point. We have to stay real to the facts. However, while it seems Hillary is on the victory path, she has not been very open to the idea that she has to win over Bernie voters by promising to fight for issues they care about. In fact, Hillary has been giving a rather Trump-like response to the valid question of whether she needs to earn votes rather than feel entitled to them.

In the recent town hall before the April 26th primaries, Hillary was asked three separate times by Rachel Maddow whether she would try and persuade Bernie voters to support her in the general by adopting issues Bernie cares about to her platform. Hillary’s answers to those questions was that she received more votes, therefore she doesn’t need to sway Bernie voters to her case. In essence, Bernie voters need to just fall in line and vote for her, she doesn’t need to fall in line with them.

This is a very dumb strategy, not wanting to appeal to Bernie supporters. She sounds like Trump in her reasons, by just saying “I’m winning! I’m winning! So there!” That doesn’t mean anything. There is no substance to this. It does not give Bernie supporters a reason to vote for you. Just saying she’s a Democrat isn’t good enough, and saying she has more votes does not shore up any reason for Bernie supporters to enthusiastically cast their vote for her. It makes her sound arrogant and childish if anything.

This is not how you supposedly “unite” a divided party. Clinton is saying that because she received more votes, she isn’t beholden to sway her progressive skeptics. We should just automatically grant her our vote in the name of party unity. This is a disastrous and extremely arrogant approach to unity.

The fact is whether Hillary and her supporters accept it or not, a large swath of the liberal base in America does not trust her and her so-called “progressive” record. Because of this, it is up to Hillary to make the case to these voters as to why they should trust her and cast their vote for her in the general election. It is not up to Bernie’s voters to fall in line, it’s up to Hillary to make the case for them to do so.

I thought liberals were not supposed to be Republicans? We are not robotic voters who are supposed to “fall in line” because a party says so. We are supposed to challenge our candidates, and expect them to make their case to us for a vote. We are not supposed to robotically swallow any candidate, we are supposed to ask questions and hold them to a higher standard than the sheepish conservatives. It seems, however, Hillary supporters are arguing that we forgo our higher standard and essentially act like Republicans.

Asking liberals to disregard their skepticism of Hillary is a failing strategy.. The fact that Hillary has many liberal skeptics is not our issue to toss aside, it’s up to Hillary to make a compelling case to us so that she earns our vote. Hillary has a floppy record when it comes to certain core issues progressives care about, and I won’t relist all the points here. But, it is not our job to simply forget these inconvenient truths and fall in line for the party. Again, it is Hillary’s job to convince us that she truly has changed her positions and that she will fight like the progressive she claims to be.

How anyone can argue that she doesn’t have to earn our vote is just maddening. Yet, Hillary supporters will craftily argue that yes she doesn’t have to earn our vote or that she already has by winning, so therefore we just need to suck it up and “accept reality.” We just need to stop complaining and get in line, and do what the establishment says is right (even though they lose time after time).

Hillary and her supporters have rebutted that our support for her shouldn’t be conditional. She makes the case that she didn’t impose conditions on Obama when she endorsed him after the primary in 2008, therefore Bernie and his supporters shouldn’t do the same for her now. This, of course, is a gross oversimplification of how politics works. Hillary claims she didn’t set any conditions, but how mighty convenient it is that she wound up getting a job as Secretary of State after endorsing Obama. I’m sure no deals were made in this regard…

Also, there was not much ideological difference between Hillary and Obama the way there is between Hillary and Bernie. While Obama positioned himself as the more liberal candidate in the primary against Hillary, it turns out there was no more than an inch in difference between their stances on key issues. In fact, Obama adopted much of Clinton’s stated positions after he was elected, especially on foreign policy. The difference between Hillary and Bernie is much wider than Hillary would have us believe.

Bernie’s voters are not robots, we do not heel to the word of anyone, even Bernie. Remember, Bernie is merely a standard bearer of a larger movement. The movement existed before Bernie and it will exist long after him. Bernie can’t just wave his finger and say to his supporters to uniformly vote for Hillary. He can only implore his voters to make the decision they feel is right based on their points of view. Bernie’s supporters are not sheep willing to follow any shepherd, they actually vote based on the issues and nothing else. Many of Bernie’s supporters are independents as well, not rank and file Democrats, so that also has to be considered. His voters actually expect something from their candidate, and expect their votes to be earned and not demanded. How any liberal can see this as unreasonable is beyond me.

It’s a new age in American politics. The reason the establishment has become so frustrated by Bernie is that he is not willing to simply cut a deal with Hillary for some obscure cabinet position, and hence abandon the movement for his own personal gain. Bernie knows his supporters will never trust him again if he simply retracts his criticism of Hillary and establishment Democrats for the sake of unifying a party and a new job. The establishment will give him a worthless position with little power, trap him up, and give him little platform to affect anything. Meanwhile the movement he helped cultivate will turn against him, and he will lose any ability to affect the changes he truly wants to see.

The age of cutting deals is over. The fact is, Hillary has to earn our votes not demand them. Her strategy so far is simply to flaunt herself as the winner, and therefore we all have to fall in line around her, because the Republican will be much worse. That’s not how you get voters excited about you, you actually have to give them a reason to go vote for you other than “Trump is worse.” Any candidate is better than Donald Trump. Marco fucking Rubio is better than Donald Trump by leaps and bounds, what does that matter? Why should we be excited to vote? What will Hillary do for progressives when she is elected?


  1. Childish and egotistical are good words to describe her reaction to everything. Like a child, she ran around “La la la, I didn’t violate any laws with my private server” “Lalalala it’s totally okay to skirt the FOIA and hide my emails from voters”. Tips – neither of these things are okay.

    Now “Lalala all the progressives will just vote for me!” Nope, we won’t. Seriously, the DNC should not push on this issue, unless they really really really want to see a Trump presidency because this whole-life-democrat might just vote for him to call their bluff. Real progressives are tired of being sold out by their own party, and Clinton is a symbol of that. She isn’t a real progressive – she’s a neoliberal DINO, and I won’t vote for her. #BernieOrBust

  2. My conservative, Republican-for-generations, very wealthy brother-in-law will never vote for Clinton, and he didn’t even consider Bernie much until I told him what I knew. He was actually considering Trump until we talked.He just knew that his conscience would not allow him to vote Clinton. Your “infantile egoism” doesn’t ring true to anyone but you. There are good, solid reasons that people don’t trust Clinton. If you can’t see them it is because you decided you don’t want to.

  3. HillBillary Nixon deserves to get schlonged by Trupturd. I’ve stopped being afraid of a Trumpturd administration because– what;s he really going to do? No one knows. There is a chance he may turn out to be a benefit to liberalism. With HillBillary we know exactly what we are going to get– more of the same BS. Screw that. No one should vote for her. Period.

  4. The system is corrupt and and broken on both the Republican and Democrate side, we are not going to fall back in line, just because you say so. We knew this was going to be hard going in, we are not beholden to your set of rules….We are going to figure out a way to Vote Bernie in the November Elections. To us Hillary is the perfect Candidate for the system, the system “We” don’t believe in any longer and that makes her just as bad a choice as Trump…..Hillary does not have our trust and we will not cater to your “lesser of two evils argument”… mock the movement, call us names, say we are being unreasonable, but my eyes are open, I have a Candidate that I believe in and will not throw my vote away on someone I do not……I will vote my conscious and live with my head held high the consequences….#StormIsComing

  5. I find myself amazed at the way some of the newly-born “progressive movement” characterize both Hillary Clinton and anyone who is, apparently, moronic enough to support/vote for her.

    “HillaryBought Peanut Gallery?” “Hillary’s Robotic Shills?” “Ignoramuses” who have “no idea what a Progressive is” and lack “the intellect to defend Hillary’s indefensible pandering?” “Gullible moron(s)?” “Sick at the thought of voting for Hillary Clinton?”

    It sadly sounds like the “Progressive” end of the Tea Party spectrum.

    I’m sure there are Hillary supporters who diss Bernie, perhaps using some of the same classy characterizations. I just don’t see them that much. They disagree with him. Or, they disagree with the way he is going about his campaign. Or, they disagree with, as Timothy Egan wrote in the NYTimes, the “substance-free” quality of his policies. But I don’t much hear them calling either him or his followers names.

    I’m not going to debate either character or policies. Nothing comes of it and I’m tired of being called a “Robotic Shill.”

    But I will say this:

    (1) While the younger “progressives” seem content to have shoved we older “liberals” aside, it still seems important to say that the term “progressive” has never, until, apparently, now, meant “substance-free.” And it is almost uniformly noted in the media and in the hinterlands that Bernie’s policies, while important and attractive at the same time, are skeletal—there isn’t any meat on those bones. Of course, I’m just an old “liberal,” though I have fought battles and I’m still fighting battles most of you have never thought about fighting—too busy partying in Washington Square. How many of you have ever canvassed neighborhoods? How many of you have ever fought the voter registration fight? How many of you have ever been part of providing rides to the polls on “Souls to the Polls” Sunday or on Election Day itself? How many of you ever finished school and, instead of going for the bucks, became community organizers or went to work for Marian Wright Edelman or schlepped for a medical clinic for the homeless in the 1970’s 10th & 14th Street area of Atlanta? How many of you have ever pressed a fight in your own small town—where people know you—per red-lining in neighborhoods?

    (2) You younger “progressives” have a lot more riding on this election than an old “liberal” like me. I’ve got mine and more, so to speak. The reason I’m still fighting is that some in my generation never had a chance to “get theirs” and even more in your generation will not have the chance to “get theirs” if we fail to elect not just a Democratic president but a down-ballot full of Democrats. I’m not fighting for me. I’m fighting for my son and his children and you and your children. So, if you evidence what Charles Blow calls the “pathetic petulance” of the “New Left” and decide, during the general election, that your conscience will be sullied and your fingers disfigured by pulling a lever for Hillary Clinton, you and yours will be the big losers. And your “movement” will be put on the waiting list for the nearest Hospice bed. Been there, done that.

    (3) As I’ve done before, I’ll offer you three names: Eugene McCarthy, George McGovern, Ralph Nader. I was there to see what all three and their followers would eventually mean for this country and for the American Left and none of it—Richard Nixon (twice) and George W. Bush—was good.

    (4) Hillary Clinton has never indicated she wouldn’t incorporate modifications of Bernie’s ideas—they aren’t policies because policies aren’t “substance-free” (though Bernie does have some substance on his signal issue of breaking up the banks, though I disagree, like most economists, with his substance)—into her policy platform. But, she’s not stupid. She’s aware that Bernie is still campaigning against her and Politics 101 says you don’t put an imprimatur on your opponent’s ideas while he is yet beating you over the head with them.

    (5) Bernie isn’t going to win. But he is still in a position where he can have more influence over public policy than he has ever had—and he hasn’t had much. However, if he chooses ego over influence and damages Democratic prospects from the presidency all the way down the ballot, his political career will functionally be over. I can promise you that those on down-ballots will forever close their ears to anyone who becomes divisive and makes it even harder for them to be re-elected. And the down-ballot campaigns—especially for the Senate—are as important for liberal/progressive policies as the presidential primary in this cycle.

    Sorry for the length. Just tired of “progressive” haters and being called “HillaryBought” or a “Robotic Shill.” And I’ve earned the right to say that such name-calling is not only counter-productive but demeaning to the movement one is trying to push.

    • As you didn’t have the guts to address me personally while quoting most of my quite accurate comments I decided to face the music point by point >>>

      1) If I’m not older than You are We are most definitely from the same Generation, just as Bernie is… and while You seem to have rejected what we fought for back then some of us haven’t!! and Never have… “Power to the People” means just as much to a Progressive today as it did back in the 60s!!

      Your opinions of Bernie’s Policies are not supported by Global facts… they are just your Ostrich-like opinions, bought by FEAR and the Lobbing efforts of the People who Profit from the destruction of the Middle Class. I assume you are one of them… Yes … HillaryBought!!

      2) You seem to believe that the DNC and establishment politics have some restorative powers… unfortunately, through your rose-tinted glasses you have conveniently ignored the Complicity of Democrats like The Clintons (and even Obama) and Most of those Elected to Congress today that have sold out their Democratic progressive principles to the power of Money and position while ignoring their duties and who and why they were sent to Congress in the First Place.. They are DINOs, and We do NOT consider DINOs Democrats!! .. They are more Akin to Mainstream centrist Republican everyday!! And we do NOT vote for Republicans..,. even those impersonating Democrats!!

      3) Old History does NOT impress us… This is 2016… and the Oligarchy has gone too far and gotten too greedy… This is NOT an Election.. It is a Revolution… and the Pitchforks and Tar & Feathers are coming out!! WE are MAD.. and We are coming to get ours!!

      4) Hillary can say anything she wants… We do not Believe her pandering and we do not TRUST her words… She is a tool of Wall Street and we have already been sold that Bill of Goods… “Hope & Change”.. we are still waiting… NO Hope and Even Less Change… but the 1% got theirs… and They want More with the TPP… No fucking way…
      and WHERE are the Transcripts???

      5) Bernie winning the Nomination or not does not dictate who we vote for… We don’t vote against our Best Interests… and enabling more Establishment politics is NOT in our Best Interests.. Democrats or Republican are both parties of Wolves… Neither are a Party of and for the People… We will vote our Conscious and our Principles… and Bernie can not get us to go against those.. Nor would he try… so Scream Party Unity all you want… we Want Party Destruction and a NEW system with New Parties!! We are NOT DINOs.. we are Progressives… so take your unity and shove it!!

      Trying to convince us that Bernie is in a position to influence Policy and the platform is a non-starter… We do NOT trust you… Bernie will be sidelined and ignored ASAP… and NO platform ever written has any controlling force over an elected President… otherwise Obama would have been impeached already by the DNC for ignoring Its platform from day one!!

      We don’t care about any Down-ballot campaigns except those by Progressives trying to unseat DINOs in their primaries… like Tim Canova’s campaign to turf out Debbie Wasserman Shultz.. an election in which I get to exercise my Franchise… how lucky for me!!

      Hillary will NOT be able to Beat Trump in a General Election where she can’t stop Independents from Voting… Only Bernie can… and those Super-Delegates that have Perverted the democratic Electoral Process, had better wake up to that fact at the Convention… Or you all will get the Government YOU deserve!!! Enjoy what you have wrought… After 4 Years of that, we will elect Elizabeth Warren, as the First Woman President!!

    • With respect, I’m probably not quite as old as you, but I’m much closer to your age than the millenials you’re deriding in your comment. What you fail to grasp (or acknowledge) in the above is that there are very specific policy reasons why many of us cannot support Hillary … being the Democratic nominee does not guarantee that our concerns will be addressed, as President Obama has tragically demonstrated. I refer, primarily, to two areas:

      1) Wall Street and corporate finance. It is clear that Hillary will double down on Obama’s policy of completely failing to rein in the big-moneyed interests who caused our last recession. The darling of Goldman Sachs cannot and will not be trusted to loose the stranglehold that the so-called “financial industry” has on politics.

      2) International policy. No one, quite definitely including Hillary herself, disputes that she’s far more hawkish than Obama … in fact, it’s well known that she has repeatedly been the voice in the President’s cabinet who called for more aggressive action, more frequently. With her far-closer ties to Netanyahu and AIPAC (not all Jews/Israelis, please understand, but the Likud right wing of both), and her general bellicosity, the probability of a U.S. war with Iran or others in the Middle East is possibly even greater under Hillary than under Trump, the latter being mostly bluster.

      I do not believe Hillary is either desirous or capable of changing on those two issues, but I’d have to see her change before I could cast a vote for her, even against Trump. Failing that, I’ll “throw my vote away” by writing in Bernie Sanders before I cast an affirmative vote for nearly-certain war.

  6. OK Julian and/or Quiet Mike – let’s be clear – what does “she still has to prove herself when it comes to persuading Bernie Sanders supporters” mean?

    Hillary has not argued with the precepts of Bernie’s positions. Just that they are not realistic. As she (and he) have said from day one – they are IN COMPLETE AGREEMENT on 95% of Democratic policies and positions. So how often is anyone expected to “win over” that last 5%?

    Again – Hillary is being held to a standard (by Bernie and his supporters) that is unprecedented…

  7. What a piece of self serving and demeaning post by a supposed “staunch progressive.” Move like a uninformed guppy..Hillary has earned our votes with a long and history of working for the American people, Promoting human rights, women & children rights worldwide..and her vote totals over your pretender, show exactly what the American people think of Bernie…Game over, yet he is still threatening to cause problems and give Trump ammo..So my review of your article is go flaunt yourself down on Bourbon Street where the poor folk continue to buy republican bs.

    • You obviously don’t know much about Clinton, Sanders or how politics works if you think Hillary doesn’t need to attract Bernie’s supporters for the general election. It doesn’t matter what you think of Bernie or whether his forty year career has all been fake. If Clinton or people like you continue to balk at his progressive policies, good luck in November. Actual progressives follow policy; we don’t give into Republican type fear mongering. If Trump wins, it’s on Clinton, not us.

      • Oh we don’t know about how politics works? Enough with the condescension…

        Tell me why you would not support a person who has fought for 95% of Democratic principles? Why would you facilitate a loss to whatever Whackjob the GOP puts on their ballot?

        You know that Hillary was the 11th most Liberal Senator for her 8 years in the Senate, correct? And has also fought her entire professional life for Progressive causes, right?

        • Yes liberal according to today’s established standards, that doesn’t say much at all. She might be liberal on some social issues, but that doesn’t impress me, most democrats are. When it comes to the economy, she bought into Neoliberal/trickle-down economics a long time ago along with the rest of the Democratic Party and we are still paying for it. When it comes to foreign affairs, issues that affect everyone, she could run as a Republican, especially as it relates to the Middle East.

          • So what are you saying, Mike? That if Hillary doesn’t damn well adopt Sanders’ entire platform including free college for all, destroying the big banks, and raising taxes on the 1% you are not voting for her?
            How much of Bernie’s platform do you think Donald Trump is going to adopt?

            • Even “IF” Hillary were to adopt Bernie’s Entire platform and Swear on a Stack of Bibles… I would NOT believe she would implement any of it… Or even Try to….

              You do Not get it… We are Not voting against Hillary because we don’t want HER… we are Voting against the DNC and the 1% owned establishment because we have had enough of Them….

              In our Mind, the destruction threatened by Trump is No worse than the Actual destruction that Hillary already slipped under the Radar… the Only Difference is that Trump tells us to our face and his threats do not necessarily become Reality, and Hillary slips her deceit behind our backs, dressed in Sheep’s clothing… However Hillary’s demonstrated lack of Judgement is historical and provable… Hillary is who we fear more!!!

              4 Years of Trump may prove less of a danger than 8 years of Hillary…. Elizabeth Warren then will have 8 years with a Strong Progressive Congress backing her to clean up what ever Mess Trump left us!!

              Besides… the Election is not until November… and it is NOT over for Bernie until the Fat Birdie sings!!!

              And… as far as SCOTUS goes… may I remind you that a progressive Congress has the power to Impeach Justices that misuse their authority to push an Unconstitutional agenda!! Short-term pain can be rewarded with Long-Term gain… and a recovery for the Middle Class.

    • And now We have a word From the HillaryBought Peanut Gallery…. Every time one of Hillary’s robotic Shills bloviates, another reason Why NOT to vote for Hillary is born.

      These ignoramuses have no idea what a Progresses is, let alone have the intellect to defend Hillary’s indefensible Pandering!! Isn’t it time they Signed up for their DINO-Republican Coronation rehearsal…. WHERE ARE THE FUCKING TRANSCRIPTS???

      Trump needs No help from Bernie to Destroy Hillary… and when he beats her Untrustworthy ass, be sure to Look in a Mirror and KNOW that He was elected because YOU are a gullible Moron, that doesn’t recognize Truth and Integrity when it was spoon-fed to you, and the Government/President that was Elected is exactly the one YOU Deserve!

      • Allan Finklestein – you may be a nice guy, with a nice family, and nice pets and nice intentions. But you can’t envision Donna and I in the same terms, can you? We are the enemy, aren’t we?

        Peanut Gallery? Ignoramuses? Like many Bernie supporters you stoop to personal attacks versus actual facts about Democratic policies and positions.

        You don’t know us, do you? Husband and wife. Parents. Grandparents (of soon to be 13). Founders and keepers of a special needs canine Non-Profit (Upright Canine Brigade).

        Oh and Donna and I are life long (decades of) Progressive Democratic supporters and activists. You?

        Union President, Vice President, Steward for decades. Fighting heart and soul for the good of my peers in the American workforce. You?

        Advocates and contributors to Planned Parenthood, NOW, Human Rights Campaign, League of Conservation Voters, LPAC, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Moms Demand Action, etc, etc, etc. You?

        We don’t just talk the talk. You?

        Bernie has made it clear. He and Hillary are IN AGREEMENT on 95% of Democratic principles. And said this:

        “Yes, we do agree on a number of issues, and by the way, on her worst day, Hillary Clinton will be an infinitely better candidate and president than the Republican candidate on his best day,” he said.

        So listen to your hero. And if/when the time comes, support Hillary over whatever dangerous clown the GOP puts up.

        • Bernie does Not Speak for Me… He is still a Politician and He must still work with these people in Congress after the Election… I, on the other hand, am completely free to tell 100% of the truth and NO I do Not agree with Bernie that Hillary is Better than any Republican, Because Hillary is a Republican… or DINO if You Prefer… there is no factual difference!!

          And Bernie, being a politician can not call BULLSHIT on the idea that Hillary’s policies are even within 50% of his… but I can! Her love for that fraudulent Health Care that Obama passed called the ACA is case in point… What a scam Obama pulled over on the American people with that One!! Heath Care for Profit is NEVER Progressive!!! Any system that does not cover EVERYONE, Cradle to Crave is NOT Progressive!!

          IF you were progressive at one time, you have forgotten what that was, because you have now bought into your Privilege and the FEAR that possess far too many in my own generation, of which you unfortunately seem to be One… You have forgotten the meaning of “Power to the People”… I have Not. That 2 Political parties that together struggle to represent 50% of the Population Control and can lock the other 50% out of the Electoral Process is Not People Power… NOR is it Progressive!! Shit… It is NOT even Democratic! It is a Global Joke !!

          You may have been a Union person at One time, but obviously You are a union traitor now… Otherwise there is no way you could be supporting a person that doesn’t support a living wage or your right to Organize…

          A Progressive does Not support WAR!! A Progressive supports FREE Public education!! Not some half-baked plan to keep the banks with there inflated Loans in the Loop… a Progressive Believes in Social Democracy… Not Privatization and Runaway Capitalize… A Progressive means that while they support Profit… they do Not support Greed… and Most of all a Progressive would NEVER EVER support the Patriot Act or the TPP… and would NOT have to think about it and later apologize for making the Wrong Decision…. A Progressive would NEVER pander… A Progressive would Not Run from Transparency and Where are the fucking Transcripts???

          This is NOT an Election… This is a REVOLUTION.. so chose a side… Cause this Does NOT end in November… It’s just getting started!

          We want out Country and Our Democracy back!!

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