In her desperate scramble to the top every Hillary victory is accompanied by a setback. The corrupt Democratic machine that has kept her going this far eked out a victory in Nevada, but took down her minority firewall.
In earlier primaries, Hillary had lost women and young voters. In Nevada, she lost Latinos.
The last and only element of the Obama coalition that she has retained are black voters. Black voters helped Hillary in Nevada. While Latinos defected to Sandernistan, black voters remained loyally behind on Hillary's Happy Plantation. If the black voters, primarily women who powered the Obama campaign, wave goodbye to life on the Clinton Tara, then Hillary's path to the White House ends with Sanders' Socialist march to the Potomac.
Despite her victory in Nevada, the Clinton crisis is now real. Hillary Clinton has lost nearly every demographic of what was supposed to be her base. She has become a purely political machine candidate with no supporters, only staffers, no appeal, only strategy, and no way forward except increasingly grotesque forms of electoral fraud that risk alienating Democrats until she becomes unelectable in a general election as the voters who saw their efforts to vote for Bernie Sanders thwarted resentfully decide to stay home.
A similar stolen nomination in which Hillary Clinton was the victim led to a crisis in '08 which was only resolved with a deal between Obama and Clintonworld that allowed her to use his administration as the platform for her own future presidential campaign. But Hillary may not be able to buy the elderly Bernie Sanders, who would be 82 in time for Hillary’s two terms to end, and his supporters off in the same way.
Hillary Clinton's only political asset is her former rival. It is Obama, not Bill Clinton and his saxophone, who is keeping black voters on the Clinton plantation. Hillary Clinton's most devastating accusation against Sanders didn’t come with her gun control attacks, but by questioning his allegiance to Obama.
In identity politics, the political is tribal and personal. Policies matter less than racial allegiances. When Sanders protested that he should be allowed to disagree with Obama on occasion, black voters clearly disagreed. The black vote has been tragically distilled to personal and tribal allegiance to Obama.
The very tribal element that allowed the left to push Obama past Hillary is now obstructing their efforts to push Bernie Sanders past Hillary Clinton.
Obama has become Hillary's political human shield on everything from her controversial Wall Street cash to her various political evolutions. Her response to any Bernie Sanders attack from the left now amounts to, "But Obama did it." It's an argument that has not impressed younger voters who came of age too late to be swept away by the Obama Cult or Latino voters who were never true believers in the First Progressive Church of Obama, but it continues to hold the loyalty and faith of many black voters.
Bernie Sanders endorsements from #BlackLivesMatter figures proved insignificant to black voters next to the magic of the Obama name. Considering how badly off the Obama years have left African-Americans, her ties to that era ought to be a minus, but a confused racial solidarity has taken Hillary from losing the black vote to becoming as dependent on black political labor as any plantation owner.
But that dependency is also a weakness.
Hilary Clinton has been reduced to running the most explicitly racial campaign in history. Any state which doesn't choose her is accused of not being diverse enough. Accusations that Nevada was not diverse enough backfired. Hillary Clinton had assumed that she could count on the Latino vote while the Bernie Sanders campaign appeared to be trying to suppress Latino votes. But the actual results showed that Latino Democrats like Socialism more than they cared for Bill's Evita. Diversity was no longer a bonus. Instead the wrong kind of diversity had once again become a threat to Hillary Clinton.
The Democratic race now comes down to the question of whether the Sanders campaign can overcome the idol of Obama sitting on the mantel to lure away black voters. It comes down to an economic argument versus Hillary's rather shaky claim to racial loyalty that will vanish in a moment if Obama switches sides. Now more than ever, Hillary Clinton's political future depends on Barack Obama.
The trouble with Hillary putting all her political eggs in Obama's basket is that he does not like her and explicitly ran against her brand of politics. Philosophically he has far more in common with the Bernie Sanders version of Great Man Socialism which gets radical agendas done unilaterally than with Clintonesque political pragmatism. For now Obama has held to the terms of the 2012 deal but forces within the administration have been steadily undermining Hillary with leaks and investigations.
Obama is invested in Hillary 2016 only as a means of protecting his legacy. He will not go down with the S.S. Clinton just to protect her. Nor will he allow black voters to do so. His meeting with Bernie Sanders was far from an endorsement and he still resents Sanders for criticizing his progressive credentials, but if the Vermont Socialist becomes a viable candidate, Obama will switch his support to Bernie Sanders.
And so will Hillary's Black base. Black voters are Hillary's firewall and Obama has his finger on the button.
Hillary Clinton's real battle in the weeks ahead will be keeping black voters on the plantation. That will require her and Bernie Sanders to embrace increasingly radical and alienating policies that will do little to help black communities and that instead will actually go on hurting them.
Beyond the pro-crime policies of Black Lives Matter, pressure is mounting on Bernie Sanders to endorse reparations for slavery. If he does it, so will Hillary Clinton and that is exactly the sort of radical and alienating proposal likely to hurt her badly with voters in the general election.
Even as Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton fight over the black vote like two starving hounds, the outcome of that cynical competition may make the winner unelectable in the general election. And that is the problem with a political party dependent on cobbling together a coalition of minority groups with crude appeals to identity politics. Even one misstep in that identity politics juggling act may prove fatal.
Democrats have become undemocratic, sectarian, claustrophobic and alienating. The emphasis on base turnout has made their party more partisan and radical, gaining deeper but narrower support, contracting around its base rather than expanding. Democrats are losing locally while relying on vesting unlimited power in a heavily centralized government run by radicals whose views are at odds with most of the country. Their dictatorship of the proletariat is unstable and can fall at any time.
Plantation politics can only take Hillary Clinton and her party so far. And if black voters decide they don't want to do all of Miss Hillary's dirty work, then this time tomorrow will not be another day for her.