No Matter What Happens Tonight & Beyond, We Will Not Yield

The establishment coalescence is upon us, Elizabeth Warren’s gambit, Super Tuesday predictions, and beyond

Today, March 3rd, 2020, fourteen states across the Nation will take part in the Democratic Presidential nomination via their state held primaries and caucuses. There are a whopping 1,357 delegates at stake equating to roughly a third of all delegates. So far, fewer than 4% of the delegates have been awarded.

All signs point to a close race between Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and former Vice President Joe Biden. Late last night, former Texas Representative Beto O’Rourke endorsed Joe Biden which will serve to decrease the gap between Biden’s second place and Sanders’ Latino driven lead in the Lone Star state. Combined with a slew of other endorsements from moderates such as Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg, Biden has risen considerably following his win in South Carolina. Splitting the moderate vote between Biden and himself is former NYC mayor, and 9th richest man alive, Mike Bloomberg. Likewise, partially siphoning the progressive vote away from Bernie Sanders is Massachusets Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Warren’s Gambit

Despite the coalescing of the establishment behind Biden, Sen. Warren, the only remaining candidate who is perhaps the closest thing to a progressive on this side of politics aside from Sanders, has curiously opted not to drop out and endorse the only candidate left with a chance of winning who has a truly progressive agenda — Bernie Sanders of course. To be clear, Warren has been awarded exactly zero delegates in the last three state contests (SC, NV, NH). Sanders currently leads the pack holding 60 delegates with Biden following closely behind with 54. Buttigieg accrued 26 delegates before dropping out and endorsing Biden on Sunday night. Elizabeth Warren currently only has 8 delegates and isn’t even projected to win her home state tonight. In plain terms, she has no path to victory. So, why remain in the race? She remains in the race for the same reason that Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg have dropped out — to stop Bernie Sanders from winning on the first ballot with an outright majority and to force a brokered convention in June. Her campaign has openly stated as much.

Glenn Greenwald, in his latest piece for The Intercept, details the lessons Democrats have failed to learn from the 1968 brokered convention and articulates the dissonance present within the DNC’s current strategery.

For four years, Democratic officials have insisted that Donald Trump is an unprecedented threat to the republic, a fascist and racist dictator whose removal from power is the paramount, if not the only, political priority. Yet the strategy on which they are now explicitly relying to prevent Sen. Bernie Sanders from being their 2020 presidential nominee — a brokered convention at which party elites anoint a nominee other than the one who receives the most votes and wins the most delegates during the primary process — is the one most likely to ensure Trump’s reelection.

The criticisms coming from Warren and her camp fail to even make sense at this point. In the Senator’s 5th place SC victory speech, she called out Sanders, levying the critique that he is a senator with good ideas “ whose 30-year track record shows he consistently calls for things he fails to get done and consistently opposes things he nevertheless fails to stop”. Yes, it’s true, Sanders has so far “failed” to deliver Medicare-for-all and expand social security on his own, and he certainly failed in stopping the Iraq war despite being one of the only people in the government who vehemently opposed it. He “failed” to stop Trump’s military budget increases just like he failed to prevent Trump’s disastrous USMCA trade deal from passing — both pieces of legislation that Sen. Warren has voted for. If holding principled stances in the face of vast institutional opposition makes you a failure then perhaps a failure is just what this country needs at present. Watch Sanders respectfully respond to Warren’s claim that he fails to get things done with a two-minute list of things he got done.

Predictions & What to Pay Attention to

None the less, the show must go on and as such here is a quick and dirty rundown of my predictions for tonight’s contests from 1st through 3rd place. Despite the Biden surge, I still have Sanders winning California by a wide 10%+ margin, as well as winning Texas within a margin of 5%. California is of particular note since if Biden, Warren, and Bloomberg fail to meet the 15% viability threshold, Sanders will walk away with a massive treasure trove of 415 delegates. North Carolina, one of the most diverse states up for grabs, should be what you pay attention to early as the polls close around 7:30 tonight. The composition of the state allows it to serve as a kind of roadmap for the rest of the night’s results.

But, Sanders needs to win more than just the delegate count on Super Tuesday to win the narrative. That’s built into being opposed to the establishment. As a result, Sanders will need to win big in the areas that he does win and come in a close second in the areas where he doesn’t. It’s an uphill battle, but one that the Sanders campaign is uniquely poised to undertake coming off the heels of a $46.5 million fundraising haul in February — the most of any 2020 candidate by far.

Going Forward

Regardless of what happens tonight and beyond, I am proud that of the fact that I can tell my grandkids (who I’ll probably never have) that I worked hard to support a candidate for president at a crucial time when America desperately needed a leader of his ilk. A candidate who has unequivocally fought for universal economic justice and dignity for the working-class as well as racial and social justice for people of color and members of the LGBTQ+ community for as long as he has been politically active — not just when it was politically expedient to do so. A candidate who often stood alone, proudly so, for decades during a time in America when operating even marginally outside of the established neoliberal consensus spelled catastrophe for one’s career. It says a lot about the establishment that the remaining presidential candidates opposing Sanders and his grassroots rainbow coalition are:

  • a man who clearly lacks the stamina to face and defeat Trump, let alone run the country, who has passed some of the most destructive legislation to date and can be seen in several videos creepily touching and sniffing young girls’ hair
  • an openly racist, misogynist, authoritarian, paternalistic billionaire with a God complex who implemented apartheid policies in his city as mayor — imagine Donald Trump if Donald Trump actually gave a damn about governing and was ruthlessly efficient
  • and a former Reaganite Republican who consistently flips her stances on key issues and believes technocratic hall-monitoring of the capitalist system to be the solution to our present crises

But, it says even more about America that a relatively unknown Jewish Independent senator from the cold state of Vermont could come out of nowhere in 2016 and shift the national consciousness to where it is now in only four years. Indeed, this fight is one for the long-term as the seeds planted in 2016 sprout anew, this time with formidable roots supplanting them. A self-described Democratic Socialist is the front-runner in the race for the presidential nomination. Let that sink in as it’s nothing short of amazing. If, and when, Bernie Sanders takes the Whitehouse, the broader struggle will only have barely begun. The eventual goal of an equitable society for all will not be won without great sacrifice nor immense resistance from the wilting establishment order. Unquestionably, the movement which Sanders has had a hand in nurturing back to health has long since outgrown him as an individual. That much is reflected in his campaign slogan Not me. Us. However, as far as the avenue of electoral politics goes, Bernie Sanders is the only vessel that we can reliably propel towards our end goals, and that is why he will win the nomination and defeat Trump in November — because of us. And, because we will not yield.

Economics student committed to leveraging the power of data science from a left/humanist international perspective; for the good of all and not the few.

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