And Now, A Word From One Of My Readers.
Ed. Note: This is a posting on FB by a friend of mine who has managed to summarize my thinking on the entire Colonel Sanders campaign, where it originated, how it's whoring out the Democratic party, and what the likelihood of success would be if the Colonel wasn't being a cynical and pragmatic practitioner of realpolitik, Kissinger style. I've kept his name confidential so as to avoid him being slagged by the Bernistas.
As I have noted before, I felt the Bern....a bag of frozen peas works wonders in such instances.
You have the floor, sir.
Sorry, xxxx, but Bernie is only running as a Democrat because of the exposure it provides him. If he was running as the genuine independent he's always claimed to be, he'd have no campaign.
He'd get fractionally more press than the Green Party's Jill Stein, because he's a sitting Senator, but he'd have nobody to debate and would have to spend far more of his campaign warchest on infrastructure and phone banks, leaving him with much less available for TV ads and fundraising mailers.
What everybody overlooks is that the parties_ pay for the cost of the primaries and caucuses and conventions. the candidates pay for their own staffs, infrastructure (travel, offices, meals), fundraising and media.
In 2012, combining all national and governor elections, about $7.2B was spent. The breakdown was $2B from the parties, $3.2B from the candidates and $2B from PACs.
Bernie is dipping into a pool of around $350M dollars the DNC is spending on the national Presidential campaign. That's on top the roughly $100M he's raised himself. And it's highly questionable that he'd have been able to raise that much if he hadn't been spending DNC money to fund his fundraising.
Bottom line: if Bernie were honestly running as an independent, his own fundraising would be down in the $1-2M range. The aforementioned Jill Stein, with an actual party infrastructure (Green), has raised a whopping $320,000. As a sitting Senator, bernie would do better than that, but not much. Jim Webb raised about $800k before he dropped out. Lindsay Graham, with RNC support, only managed to raise $10M.
Without DNC support, Bernie would be somewhere in between, probably closer to Webb's total.
For Bernie, it's NOT about which party his own views are most aligned with. Bernie is much closer to the Greens than the Democrats, but they can't even afford to get their candidate on the ballots of more than 22 states.
It's also NOT about "reforming the Democratic Party." Bernie could give a shit about the party. If he did care about the party, he'd be putting resources into the party to promote like-minded candidates, down-ticket. He hasn't.
It's about which party will subsidize his ambitions, and which actually gives him a chance to win. I see him as being willing to sell out his principles in the name of pragmatism, just for a seat at the table.