Saturday, August 29, 2015

How Bernie might prove that the system is rigged

I want to share with you all a few memes that I found floating on the internet. First there is this one:

This meme reminded me of Elizabeth Warren, quoted as follows:
"Let's just be real clear - the game is rigged and it's rigged in favor of those who have money and who have power," Warren said in an interview on "CNN Tonight."
"Watch what happens in Wall Street. If you can hire an army of lobbyists and an army of lawyers then you get what you need out of Washington - Washington will make sure that the rules work for you," she said.
In response to Bernie Sanders, I see that the opposition is marshalling their forces. In the press, we see that none of his grand events are being televised live. The Washington Post has done some very interesting analysis of media coverage and found that Trump is surging because the media prefers to cover him:
Donald Trump’s surge to the front of the GOP presidential polls has occasioned not a little media attention and endless speculation as to why. You can disregard most of that speculation. The answer is simple: Trump is surging in the polls because the news media has consistently focused on him since he announced his candidacy on June 16.
There is a chart embedded in that article showing the share of attention given to Trump at the expense of the other candidates, including Bernie Sanders. This not a conspiracy theory in the context of media ownership. Remember, 6 parent companies own 90% of the major media. Captured in this meme is one result of that ownership:

I did a search to fact-check this one and didn't see that it was covered live, but saw that local affiliates for ABC and NBC did cover the story. From what I could find in my searching, I didn't see that it was covered live. To be fair, I'm not sure that anyone else is getting priority over other programming that generates revenue. You know, like CSI.

Then I see that the Democratic National Committee has abruptly changed their rules on debates. The DNC claims that:
While a six sanctioned debate schedule is consistent with the precedent set by the DNC during the 2004 and 2008 cycles, this year the DNC will further manage the process by implementing an exclusivity requirement. "Any candidate or debate sponsor wishing to participate in DNC debates, must agree to participate exclusively in the DNC-sanctioned process. Any violation would result in forfeiture of the ability to participate in the remainder of the debate process.
In previous years there were more than 20 debates on Democrat candidates and there is now a petition in circulation to get more debates on the schedule. Many are questioning the motives behind this schedule change and the timing is rather suspect.

All of this could probably be dismissed as just a coincidence. But I do find it interesting that even though Trump has admitted that he is willing to raise taxes on himself, that no other GOP candidates admit the same. Trump has also admitting giving more money to Democrats than to Republicans. He seems to have a rather murky history in terms of his sincerity to the GOP. Yet he's still getting the lion's share of press coverage of all the candidates for president.

And then there is the Super Delegate problem for Bernie. In the Democrat nomination process, there is a rather large fraction of delegates that can vote their conscience rather than vote for who is elected through the primary process. It's not the most democratic way to select the nominee, but I guess someone had to put the brakes on any populism that might happen to break out within the party.

Sanders is filling stadiums left and right. Often, he has to move to bigger venues due to their consistent underestimation of the crowds attending. He's not getting much major media press, but the Internet loves him. Sanders could be the first president elected without any major media attention leading up to the primaries and the convention, just with internet support.

But if he's not nominated, the system is going to get a lot more scrutiny, if not ring a few alarm bells.
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