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A Plea to my Fellow Progressives

There are a number of excellent reasons progressives should vote for Hillary Clinton for President while the arguments in favor of Jill Stein or sitting out the election do not hold water.

1. If Clinton loses, the progressive cause will be set back for decades perhaps for the forseeable future.

George W. Bush's win in 2000 did grievous harm to our nation. W lied us into a costly destructive war in 2003, slashed taxes on the wealthy thereby ballooning the national debt, and failed to stop the financial crisis. If popular sentiment had prevailed and Ralph Nader had stayed out of the race, it is probable that America would right now be enjoying broad-based prosperity, peace, and would be leading the world towards a sustainable energy future.

The Pence Pick Helps Trump

For the record, I don't think Donald Trump will be the next President. Although a CBS/NYT poll published Thursday shows a tight race and oracle Nate “Tarnished” Silver now gives Trump a 1 in 3 shot at winning, I would argue the racist deadbeat's chances are more like 1 in 4 or less. For one thing, a slew of NBC/WSJ polls released Friday show Clinton with commanding leads in Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia. Of even more consequence is the “hot mess,” in the words of the New Republic's Jeet Heer, that is the Trump campaign. Finally, Silver lost his air of infallibility by his insistence last year that Trump would not be the Republican candidate.

The Five Stages of Bernie Grief

1) Denial - there's no way this can be happening. Bernie really won New York if you don't count Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx and Long Island.  Just look at the returns from Jamestown and Elmira.

2) Anger - it's all Debbie Wasserman Schultz's fault.

3) Bargaining - if we just win the District of Columbia on June 14, the super delegates will abandon Hillary en masse.

4) Depression - man this sucks let's move to Canada.

Rift between Environmentalists and Unions Highlights Clinton's Weaknesses

Unions representing construction and manufacturing workers may not line up behind Hillary Clinton and down ballot Democrats in the general election.  Clinton's opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline and an announced partnership between three unions representing government employees and environmentalist Tom Steyer have incensed some labor leaders and their rank and file.  White-collar unions and the green billionaire have created the "For Our Future" super Pac in hopes of raising $50 million to help defeat Trump and Republican candidates in November.

Making the right moves - Clinton takes steps to the White House

Hillary Clinton is the odds-on favorite to succeed Barack Obama as President. Despite historically high unfavorable ratings and being the ultimate insider in the year of the outsider, the prize remains hers for the taking. The electorate dislikes Donald Trump even more and the vagaries of the electoral college in recent years bespeak a pro-Democratic bias.

But the road to the White House will not be smooth for Clinton. Trump the Insult Reality Show Politician ran roughshod over the Republican field and is now training all his fire on "Crooked Hillary." Meanwhile, she has yet to dispatch the still-dangerous, albeit mortally wounded, Bernie Sanders.

Potentially Fatal Mistakes and the Necessary Correctives

A year ago political insiders expected Hillary Clinton to waltz to the Democratic nomination.  Last July, Five Thirty Eight's Nate Silver opined Clinton might well win every primary except the first two.  Things didn't turn out quite that way.

Clinton had to weather a surprisingly strong primary challenge from a self-described democratic socialist.  Weather it she did thanks to overwhelming support from both "strong" and "weak" Democrats.  Anxious moments came courtesy of "independent Democrats," among whom Bernie Sanders has a 10 point edge, and independents who prefer Sanders by a 5 to 1 margin.  Young voters, those least likely to register with either major party, have mostly abandoned Clinton.  The under-30 cohort favors Sanders by more than 3 to 1.

Whither Sanders supporters?

Goliath has won.  Barring something truly extraordinary or tragedy, the Democratic presidential nominee will not be Bernie Sanders.  Not only does Hillary Clinton have a nearly unassailable advantage in pledged delegates and the support of the vast majority of super delegates, she is ahead in the few states which still haven't held primaries and which she needn't win in any event.  Under these circumstances, it does not behoove progressives to engage in magical thinking.

Bernie's best . . . but

Bernie Sanders is my favorite politician. Among U.S. Senators, it's likely my views align a little more closely with those of Elizabeth Warren and possibly Sherrod Brown (more on this in a moment). But Bernie's the one with the guts to take on the corrupt Clinton cabal and the neo-liberal Democratic establishment. For this, he deserves ever-lasting credit.

Bernie or Bust?

The "Bernie or Bust!" movement asks Sanders supporters to commit to vote for only Bernie in the general election. If he's not on the ballot in November, busters say they won't vote for President or will write in Bernie's name even though this could lead to the election of "il Duce" Donald Trump or Torquemada Ted Cruz. I am not a buster, although I certainly understand the movement's appeal.

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