DECLARATIONS OF INDEPENDENCE

1. It’s Wednesday, April 20, 2016.

2. Maybe the Mets should have saved some runs for tonight’s game. But I do like 11-1 wins!

3. There’s a lot to ponder after the New York primaries. So let’s start with a general observation.

This is my 12th presidential election, and I’ve voted in New York in every single one. So I can understand why anyone who’s voting for the first or second time might be a little flummoxed by the byzantine way of elections in the Empire State.

But this morning, some of the Bernie Sanders backers are complaining that independents, who have strongly supported their man in other states, couldn’t vote in yesterday’s Democratic primary. That, they said, made the difference in what was otherwise a blowout win for Hillary Clinton.

This didn’t seem to come up much in the run-up to the vote. But I’ll leave that part aside.

The idea that people who don’t declare for a political party can influence the nominee of one or the other party is a two-way thing. I’m a Democrat, I believe in what I think the Democratic Party stands for. And because I’ve made that declaration, I believe I – and others who’ve taken the same stance – should have the say about who our party’s nominee is.

And, following that logic, I shouldn’t have anything to say about who the Republicans nominate. There are Republicans who believe in what they think their party stands for. And because they’ve made that declaration, they should have the say about who their party’s nominee is.

If I believe that Donald Trump is the worst possible candidate the Republicans can run, and I’m happy whether Sanders or Clinton is my party’s nominee, it’s in my interest to cross over to the Republican primary and vote for Trump.

It is not in the interest of someone who has made a commitment to the Republican Party and believes that Trump is a disaster. And that Republican would have a legitimate case for claiming that I’m screwing around with the political process and their party’s right to put forth the candidate that best represents its members.

So I’m perfectly happy with the fact that only members of a party can vote in that party’s primary in this state. If independents want to support a presidential candidate, they can create a party and hold a primary that puts her or him on the November ballot.

The Sanders people knew the rules before the contest started. You can’t cry about it after the fact.

4. New York City’s comptroller will investigate the fact that the Board of Elections lopped 120,000 voters off the rolls in Brooklyn.

The Board of Elections is notorious for the mysterious ways in which it operates. That’s been the case for as long as I can remember, going back to my first journalism job in 1976 helping to set up the city vote-counting center on the Lower East Side. There was an always an issue with the Board of Elections, even when your side included the New York Police Department, which was officially responsible for counting votes.

Voting should be among the easiest things we do. In every city, in every state. But because of the way this nation is divided, setting a national standard that would make American democracy as transparent as other nations is a dream with little chance of reality.

Since Clinton won Brooklyn, I’m skeptical that Sanders would have picked up more than half of those disenfranchised, as some of his backers claim. Even so, those people should have been given the right to express their support for him.

5. Ted Cruz is right about New York values. For him, they equal zero. He didn’t win a single delegate in the nation’s fourth-largest state, and not because the rules were winner-take-all, like they are in Florida.

That appears to be just the start of his terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

Apparently, Cruz spent a part of an e-mail to supporters whining about the strain of campaigning for president. He complained about a lack of personal time, being away from his family and little sleep affecting his health.

Unfortunately for Cruz, one of those who got access to the note was Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the liberal firebrand from Massachusetts. She sent out a series of sharp-tongued tweets pretty much putting Cruz’s “sacrifices” in perspective. 

“Are you kidding me, @TedCruz? We’re supposed to pity you because trying to be the leader of the free world is hard?! 2 words: Boo hoo.” was the third in the series, after she introduced the issue.

And then she attacked.

“Know whose health is limited? Workers w/ no paid leave who can’t stay home when sick or caring for kids. @TedCruz won’t support it.”

“Know whose sleep is limited? Working parents who stay up worrying about getting kids thru college w/o big debt. @TedCruz blocked #refi.”

And more along those lines. If you follow @elizabethforma, you can see the whole thing.

Sometimes I wonder how different this race would have been if she had gone for the presidency.

She probably would have gotten clobbered, much as Sanders would if he were to win the nomination. But she would have been a lot more substantive in her solutions to the nation’s problems.

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