Bernie Has A Big Problem, But the GOP Has A Bigger One

Due to various brain problems I can’t help but absorb every piece of news that flits across my computer screen, which is why every day of my life is like falling down a Wikipedia hole.  The only reason I sleep at night is because cruel biology demands that I do, and so each night I grudgingly accede and drink wine until I lose consciousness.  Biology herself doesn’t demand the wine, but it’s the only thing that turns down the volume on the world besides heroin, and that stuff isn’t easy to find in Tokyo unless you want to deal with Nigerian gangsters.  Or, even worse, Japanese gangsters.  

I mention all this because a lot of things have been happening, and if social media and television are anything to go by, they’re happening at a pace that is leaving many behind.  Which is understandable, since this election is getting weirder and weirder every week.  Let’s take a minute to slow down and catch ourselves up on what’s been happening. 

BERNIE HAS A PROBLEM: Nevada Caucus, Before and After

First, a lot happened for the Democrats after the previous debate.  Bernie Sanders was always expected to win in New Hampshire, but few foresaw Hillary Clinton suffering what NPR called a “blowout loss”.  This almost certainly wasn’t part of her plan, but Clinton is no fool and handled herself well in Milwaukee at the last debate.  Her game plan has always been to cast herself as the pragmatist with actual plans in contrast to Sanders’ idealism and talk of a political revolution.  Her primary problem, as I see it, is not that she’s anything less than a slick political operator.  If it were anyone else running against her, she’d be picking her teeth with their bones by now.  But Sanders has a big-T “Truth” on his side, and as someone who literally worships the god of liars I know better than most that old Jonathan Swift adage “Falsehood flies, and the truth comes limping after it”, and I know that when the truth does finally arrive it often has a weight and presence that can blow away all the lilting, airy lies.

john lewis

Pictured: John Lewis saying things he will regret saying

Unless, of course, you find new lies to keep ahead of the game.  Hours before the debate, Hillary Clinton managed to snare the Congressional Black Caucus PAC, a key minority voting block that helps strengthen her lead on Sanders in that area.  John Lewis, a house representative from Georgia and well-known civil rights leader, was moved — or perhaps forced at gunpoint — to proclaim that he didn’t remember Bernie Sanders hanging around back during the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. days, something he had to walk back after the enormous backlash.  “I’m not saying he wasn’t there,” Lewis said later.  “I’m just saying I never saw him or met him.” 


Let’s be clear.  The Black Caucus supporting Hillary Clinton is a political move based on past favors and *insert political spiel here*.  They clearly see her as the frontrunner and they’re doing what they can to support the DNC.  They’re not stupid for doing so, even if it’s getting more and more apparent that Clinton is losing young voters of every race at an alarming rate.  But the real question, of course, is Will It Work. 

It’s tempting to shout “no!”, but in truth the answer is “probably!”  The minority vote is the best route to victory for Sanders, and Clinton is still leading him by comfortable margins.  “But Sanders got more latino votes in Nevada!” I hear you say.  Well, guess what!  No he didn’t.  The Quartz article, and pretty much every person proclaiming a victory for Sanders in regard to Hispanics, was using entrance and exit polls, which are notoriously bad at predicting the latino vote.  The truth is this: Clinton won by large margins in areas of the state with a high density of hispanic voters.  So when you see tweets like this, know that it is almost impossible for Sanders to have lead Clinton on hispanic voters by that large a margin and still lose by 6%. 

Look, guys: Bernie Sanders still has a minority problem, and if he doesn’t fix it he will not win the nomination. 



Tuna Ghost lives in Tokyo and has been a contributor to Japan Times and Kansai Scene.Follow him on twitter (@Tuna_Ghost) to read about US politics, the underground Tokyo metal scene, and which brands of 7-11 wine will make you fight like a homeless werewolf prostitute.