I say it often here, but I think it always bears repeating: I’m a comedian. My primary job is to try to make people laugh, and I don’t have a political science degree or anything. I just have my own powers of observation and a pretty deep understanding of history, which means I can and will get stuff wrong. Way wrong. Take everything I say with a grain of salt.
But to me, when I hear Hillary Clinton supporters trying to spin her stunning upset loss in Michigan’s primary as a win, I smell something “truthy,” do you?
Bernie Sanders winning in Michigan does not, of course, mean he has won the entire primary, nor that he has bitten off all that much of Clinton’s delegate count. Speaking of delegate counts — anyone who goes out of their way to insert superdelegate counts is being super biased to Hillary right now. Just ask Barack Obama. Up until the writing was on the wall and Hillary dropped out in 2008, the media and all her supporters kept banging on about the superdelegates being committed to Hillary and all the counts would show a gigantic lead for her (sound familiar). But no Sanders supporter should kid themselves; she’s still in the driver’s seat and this is still her primary to lose in a lot of respects.
Michigan, though, proves that she can indeed lose this primary, as many Bernie supporters posited.
Going into the primary in Michigan, it was just presumed by many outlets, and I was told by many cocky, self-assured Hillary backers that she’d cruise to a win in both Mississippi and Michigan. I myself never held out any hope that Bernie would win in the South…the thought of a southern voter pulling the handle for a septuagenarian Jewish socialist doesn’t inspire much confidence, but people like my good pal Manny being in red states trying to pull the cart for Bernie gives me hope that one day it won’t be such a laughable proposition that someone like the Bernster would end up winning a state like Mississippi.
All the confidence in the world can’t negate actual votes, though, and when they were tallied in Michigan, Bernie won.
Thanks to party machinery, his victory is emptier than it should be. If it was a winner take-all state, Michigan alone would have all but wiped-out Hillary’s actual delegate count, regardless of those stupid, anti-democratic superdelegates. Nate Silver’s Fivethirtyeight website ran a piece this morning that pretty much was about how no one on Earth thought Sanders could win Michigan, including Fivethirtyeight, and well, Sanders won Michigan.
My support for Sanders doesn’t blind me to the fact that the odds are insanely stacked-high against him. But Michigan seemed like dream, to borrow a phrase, just a day ago, and now? It’s firmly in Sanders’ victory tally. Anything is possible in American politics; that’s what I find hilarious about sycophants all across the aisle.
They get so wrapped up in believing in their candidate that they forget they still have to win the damn election to get what they want, and they forget that other people are working just as hard to defeat them.
Ultimately, it’s entirely possible that Michigan will not mean anything more than a temporary moment of celebration for Bernie and his supporters. However, anyone who is pro-Hillary who fixates only the superdelegates, or that concludes that since Bernie didn’t take a huge bite out of her lead it wasn’t a stunning upset is lying through their teeth and trying to hide their angst over Sanders’ victory. They were all supremely confident that this wasn’t even going to be an issue.
I was told by so many Hillary supporters that after Michigan and Mississippi went to her handily, Clinton would all but have to reach her anointed hand out and take the nomination from Bernie directly. That’s not happening. And if you think I’m wrong about it all being spin, just picture the headlines and their commentary had Clinton walked away with Michigan by 10 points as was predicted.
Not every victory wins the war; some just win one battle. But sometimes, entire wars turn on one battle. Is Michigan that victory for Sanders? Time and turnout will tell.