Tim Robbins vs. South Carolina Democrats

Perhaps you are a great admirer of Tim Robbins, the actor/activist. I am not. To me, the pinnacle of his career was when he played the insufferable, insipid Ian/Ray in “High Fidelity.” Fairly or not, I saw him as playing himself in that role, and it’s an impression I’m unlikely to shake.

See the clip above. To me, that’s Tim Robbins. Go get him, Rob!

Now we have Tim Robbins commenting on South Carolina politics, in a manner worthy of Ian (or is it Ray?):

Pretty much everyone seems to think Robbins looked foolish here, including Philip Bump at The Fix:

This is a not-uncommon argument among supporters of Sanders. Yes, Hillary Clinton is winning. But she’s winning largely because she ran up big margins in Southern states. That, the argument goes, bodes poorly for the general, since those Southern states usually vote Republican.

This is a bad argument that borders on insulting.

First of all, South Carolina has a lot more people than Guam. Among the other bits of data one can point out about the 2016 Democratic primary is that Clinton has received far more votes than  Sanders — 2.5 million more. Among those is a margin of about 175,000 more votes in the state of South Carolina, a margin that by itself is larger than the population of Guam.

Which means that Clinton came away from South Carolina with a net delegate haul of plus-25 — she earned 25 more delegates than did Sanders. In the Democrats’ proportional system, that’s a big margin. It’s a margin that Sanders has only managed once, in the Washington caucuses late last month. So in that sense, South Carolina matters a lot more than Guam….

But the person most worked up about what Robbins said may be South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Jaime Harrison. Here are some of his Tweets on the subject. He started off nice enough, but by the end he was about ready to rip the air-conditioner out of the wall like Dick in the clip above:

5 thoughts on “Tim Robbins vs. South Carolina Democrats

  1. Doug Ross

    Robbins’ movie “Bob Roberts” is one of my favorites… It has a “Rosebud” moment near the end that captured everything you needed to know about politics in one shot of a foot tapping to the music.


    Documentary-style look at the fictional Senatorial campaign of Bob Roberts, an arch-conservative folk singer turned politician. This political satire includes several original songs co-written and performed by writer/director/star Tim Robbins, and cameo appearances by other stars as reporters and news anchors.

  2. Brad Warthen Post author

    There’s a subtext here, which Jaime lightly alludes to: Black Voters Matter, which is a point often lost on Bernie Sanders admirers.

    As Bump writes:

    This is very tricky territory, of course, and I don’t want to imply that the wish to dismiss Clinton’s Southern victories is motivated by race. But there is often a sense that because Clinton dominated with black voters in the South that somehow makes those votes an anomaly — as though those victories somehow don’t represent the Democratic Party. Voters in South Carolina may not look much like the folks who came out to caucus in Washington, but their votes count. Those victories are significant because they were big wins in big states — neither of which applies to Guam….

  3. Susan Corbett

    As a Bernie supporter, I am disappointed in this kind of behaviour…we should always take the high ground. Hillary started working on the ground in S.C. several years ago with her Ready for Hillary campaign, before she announced. She’s done her home work here, and earned the win she got. That said, the Democratic party was obviously caught flatfooted by the enthusiasm and momentum of Sanders supporters. The party’s unwillingness to embrace him as a legitimate candidate, and to downplay and often trash his platform has led many to question the credibility of the party. We progressives should be delighted that we have two candidates that embody the best of our issues, and rise above this infighting. Shame on Mr. Robbins for belittling our state -we should give credit where it’s due, and work like the devil to win the rest of the country.


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