Bernie Sanders Won’t Drop Out. Here’s Why.

By Thomas L. Knapp

Bernie Sanders says he’s taking the Democratic presidential nomination contest all the way to the party’s national convention in Philadelphia at the end of July. Believe it.

With increasing intensity after each primary or caucus he loses — and for that matter after each primary or caucus he wins — party big-wigs call on him to concede the race and get out of Hillary Clinton’s way. Politico‘s informal April survey of anonymous Democratic “insiders” has nearly 90% wanting Sanders out no later than the DC primary in mid-June and only 10% urging him to hold out to the bitter end.

Why isn’t he listening to the 90%? As a Florida Democrat told Politico, “[t]here is no path, and there is no math.” Actually there are at least four paths.

Path #1: Clinton’s health fails in a very big and very public way. She’s had multiple public fainting spells since 2005, including one resulting in a broken elbow in 2009. In 2012, she suffered a concussion and was hospitalized with cerebral venous thrombosis, a life-threatening blood clot condition. Her campaign health statement acknowledges these problems and throws in hypothyroidism to boot, although characterizing the 67-year-old as enjoying “excellent” health.

Path #2:  Clinton is indicted in, or otherwise dragged down over, the “Servergate” affair, in which she appears to have illegally mishandled classified information while Secretary of State.

Path #3: Clinton comes to big legal or political grief over apparent connections between large donations to her family’s foundation on one hand and her actions as Secretary of State on the other. For example, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia donated $10 million to the Clinton Foundation and Boeing donated $900,000. Later, Secretary Clinton cleared a $29 billion arms deal involving the two parties. You can see how that kind of thing looks. There may be some “there” there.

Path #4: The texts of Clinton’s Wall Street speeches, for which she received millions of dollars in honoraria, are leaked. Clinton’s refusal to release those texts tells us that their release would be politically damaging. Everything comes to light sooner or later. If it’s sooner — that is, before July —  we may find out how just how damaging.

Any of these four scenarios might result in Hillary Clinton’s ignominious withdrawal from the presidential race and release of her delegates, followed by the party’s scramble for an alternative nominee. If Bernie Sanders doesn’t quit, he becomes the odds-on favorite for the job.

So he won’t quit. And now you know why.


Senator Bernie Sanders


Thomas L. Knapp

Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism ( He lives and works in north central Florida.

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Clive Leeman

A follow up to Thomas Knapp’s,”Bernie Sanders Won’t Drop Out:
Here’s Why” May 18, 2010

                      Pragmatic Fallacy:  Hillary vs Bernie

The most common argument in favor of Hillary is that she gets things done.

“Hillary is an insider, she knows every dirty trick there is.
Many of you think those are bad things. I don’t. I think the president has to get shit done….

…”If you must put a label on me, then that label is `pragmatist.’ ”

Jim Wright
May 14 at 11:13am · Palmer, AK ·

“Where there is no vision the people perish,” Proverbs 29:181

Pragmatism offers nothing other than practical efficacy, getting things done, being efficient.  That
mindset can apply to any great administrative machine, like the U.S. Social Security Administration.
or the Nazi extermination system.

Pragmatism requires that things get done, like skydiving or drones’ bombing weddings.  The
moral purpose of these actions is irrelevant. “Getting shit done” (to quote Jim) is the be-all and
end-all, the end and the means.

The people perish when there is no vision such as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, just a
shallow and reductionist reliance upon utility instead.  The welfare of the people is in jeopardy when
their leaders are dishonest and venal, intent on promoting their own interests and those of
their friends.

We all know that Bernie has clearly and eloquently presented his vision for more than
40 years (just watch the way he excoriated Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan
before the House Finance Committee on July 15, 2003  five years BEFORE the great crash
of 2008 and then watch Alan Greenspan’s penitent mea culpa in 2008 for having relied on the
wrong economic model for 40 years.)

Hillary’s only vision is “what’s in it for me.”

Since Michigan (March 8), Bernie has won all the open primaries (Wisconsin, Indiana,
Rhode Island, West Virginia) and now in Oregon he has won his first closed primary by 10 percentage points . In New York, another closed primary (April 19), Bernie would have won in a landslide
if the three million Independents had been allowed to vote.  Yesterday, Bernie also held Hillary
to a draw in Kentucky, another closed primary, which Hillary won by 35 percentage points in 2008
against Barack Obama.  As of today, the  Associated Press has refused to call the Kentucky 
primary–some provisional and absentee ballots have not yet been counted.

The Bernie campaign now has 21 outright victories and four virtual ties where the margin was
less than one percent of the vote.

Bernie is riding a rising tide.  In California, the campaign does face one rocky reef–about
400,000 members of the American Independent Party, founded by segregationist George
Wallace, believe they are registered as Independents,  If they want to vote for Bernie,
they will have to re-register as Democrats or No Party Preference (NPP) by May 23.

Despite the apparently insurmountable obstacles facing him, Bernie has been winning. His recent victories, including his stunning triumph in Oregon, raise some questions:

Why are hundreds of thousands of voters still flocking to the polls to support Bernie when
they have been told the race is over?

Is it because they trust his vision, his integrity, his honesty, and his transparency?.  Is it because
they believe he cares for them and will do everything he can to help them?

Is this why as the most popular politician in the country, Bernie continues to win races against an establishment that can only stay in power by stacking the cards against him?

Clive Leeman, Ojai


Thomas Knapp

Just to be clear here, I’m not predicting that any of those things WILL happen. But the fact that any of them COULD happen makes them incentives for him to stay in instead of dropping out.

If we look at the disincentive side, the obvious comparison is Howard Dean. He was treated as the front-runner but bombed in Iowa, dropped out of the race, and got something he wanted out of the deal (chairmanship of the DNC, from which he ran a 50-state campaign that took Congress over for the Democrats).

Sanders is just the opposite: Instead of bombing early, he beat expectations and started winning when he had been down by 50 points at the beginning of his campaign. And neither Clinton nor the Democratic Party really have anything to offer him that he wants and can’t get elsewhere. What he HAS is a new movement that he can lose in a moment if he drops out and vigorously supports Clinton, but that he can keep and use if he stays in and either doesn’t endorse Clinton at the end or gives her a tepid pro forma endorsement. His people don’t like Clinton, don’t like the Democratic establishment, and do like the Bernie Sanders they’re seeing now. So he has an incentive to keep being THAT Bernie Sanders instead of the Bernie Sanders who throws in the towel and acts like a dutiful party soldier.

Anyway, that’s all I was saying. I don’t support Sanders (or Clinton, or Trump, or Cruz, or Kasich, or any major party candidate). I just wanted to explain why I think he’s going to do what I think he’s going to do.

Citizen Reporter

That’s a fair analysis, Mr. Knapp.

By the way, there are 39 presidential candidates on the Ventura County ballots.

Read about candidates and offices:

Primary season is ON! List of candidates on VC ballot here

William "Bill" Hicks

We can only hope one of these scenario’s will put the death knell on her aspirations to the White House. Realistically, none of these are likely.

With a 90%, your figure not mine, dissatisfaction with Bernie, that would put the election well within a republican candidates reach that Bernie could not aspire to, regardless of the republican candidates last name.