Wednesday, August 12, 2015


When Bernie Sanders rallies are disrupted by Black Lives Matter protesters, it never seems like a serious threat to his campaign because the crowd at his next rally is huge and enthusiastic. When Donald Trump is threatened by the latest apparent campaign-ending gaffe, a raucous crowd shows up for him at his next public appearance.

There are Berniebots and Trumpbots. There are crazies for Cruz and zealots for Carson and Walker. In 2008, there were voters who were crazy for Hillary Clinton, even after (maybe especially after) Barack Obama took an insurmountable lead in the delegate count.

Where are those voters now? She could use a few. It's a really bad news day for her, as you probably already know: It's been determined that there were a couple of top-secret emails on her private account; she's turning her server over to the FBI; oh, and a new poll shows her trailing Sanders by 7 in New Hampshire.

I know, I know -- she can lose Iowa and New Hampshire and still have a firewall in the subsequent states, because the later states aren't lily-white and she retains strong support among blacks and Hispanics. But the press will be giddy if she loses an early contest, or two. I think it's more likely that she'll limp to the nomination than lose, but I think she'll get there limping. And the press will regale in every awkward step. As it is, there's already a sad-sack quality to her campaign, at least as it's presented by the media; she stakes out solidly progressive positions on issues and nobody cares. Where's the passionate base of support to push back against negative coverage?

Jeb Bush has this problem, too, obviously -- and he really might lose the nomination as a result (though probably to Walker rather than Trump). If he does limp to his own nomination, however, at least he'll get to sell himself as a change from Obama (plus, he'll have the media's goodwill, because the media hates Hillary, and because the perception is that Hillary has skeletons in her closet of a magnitude that Jeb has never approached). Otherwise, I think the GOP ill nominate someone with a real fan base. I'm not sureHillary will be able to compete.

The electorate wants to believe in someone or something. If Hillary can't find a way to seem like a source of hope, and can't seem like any large voter group's champion, she's in trouble.


Redeye said...

The FBI can investigate Hillary's emails but they can't investigate the death of Christian Taylor in Texas. I could care less about Hillary's emails, and after Bernie Sanders sat back and allowed his supporters to try and trash the Black Lives Matter Movement I'm through with him.

Philo Vaihinger said...

Bernie's fan base includes a lot of folks who see him as a representative of the long tradition of New York Jewish socialism, and for those folks it's not all about race by a long shot.

Like Bernie, these same people are two-state solution, traditional Jewish-State Zionists for whom the point of Israel is that it is a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

For them, schwartze unrest is primarily a tool for the advancement of domestic political aims defined in terms of class.

Their sympathies for the racial interests and grievances of blacks per se are limited by the nasty history of anti-Semitism among black activists.

And black activists are notoriously out of sympathy, nowadays, with traditional Zionism, seeing it as morally of a piece with European settler colonialism in other areas of Africa and the Maghreb like Algeria, Rhodesia, and South Africa.

For them as for increasingly many on the left, the solution to the Palestine issue is a one-state, majority rule Palestine which would include Israel's population as well as all the Arabs of the West Bank, Gaza, and the camps and to which Arabs would have a "right of return."

On this issue Hillary looks no better to black activists than Bernie.

But at least she's not Jewish.

Philo Vaihinger said...

The mutual hostility between traditionally Zionist, New York Jewish socialists and black activists is coming to the fore.

As to actual programs, projects, and legislation, Hillary would be little or no better for blacks than Bernie, and she has been actually to the right of Bernie on Israel for many years.

But she's not Jewish.

petrilli said...

Until it is determined that she didn't receive permission at the time to use her own private server or that someone later voiced objections, or if they find an email marked TOP SECRET on the date sent, there is nothing to see here. the emails in question were not marked marked TOP SECRET when they were sent.

Every couple of days there is going to be another email and another headline. So HRC, get used to it and get your message out.

To be fair, Bernie is taking a few shots too. So Bernie, get used to Teabagging, Sara Palin loving, BLM posing trolls jacking your mike at your rallies. Or do something about it.

The McClatchy headline is only slightly less misleading than the the NYT story. As with that, the public will catch up to it if the HRC campaign does its job, because there isn't anything new here in terms of culpability or even questions of judgement on her part. That makes this a manageable shit storm IMO.

Pops said...

Steve I have been following you for several years now and your prognosticating, while not Kristol horrid, is getting to be a little too much CW.

Diane said...

I wish the Democratic party would come up with a fresh face or two instead of people who are near or over 70.

In 2008, Dick Durbin told Obama it was now or possibly never, regardless of his youth. Candidates have a "freshness date". Hillary is past hers but too many Democrats are unwilling to see it.

Unknown said...

I suppose it's possible this particular Bernie Bounce has nothing at all to do with N.H. being contiguous with Vermont, or with both states being located in a corner of the country that features a distinct absence of cultural and ethnic diversity. And I guess it's just wrong to consider the mere possibility that those factors are obscuring Sanders' lack of a broader national appeal relative to HRC outside of heavily white regions, like in and around Minnesota and the Great White Near North.

Nonetheless, here goes: I love Sanders' political values, his humanity, his personal and political courage, his determination, his reliability, and a whole list of other things about him that I've followed as closely as I can from my quite far remove. But besides those two factors noted above, and the timeliness of his putting himself forward out now (a non-egomamiac so Dem he's not even Dem, he nonetheless is the ONLY candidate picking up the one thing Edwards had going for himself in 2007-8, and the spirit behind Occupy, and the intellectual heft of Thomas Piketty's thesis), there's the facts that he's about as close to being the Great Mythical Outsider as a long-time fairly high profile denizen of Washington D.C. can be, and that despite being not just known but highly energizing among high information political news consumers, he's still something of - I think very largely - an empty vessel to the decided majority of those being polled in the Dem nomination process.

And I can't help noting as well what an ill-advised strategy it would be for HRC to even ALLOW her campaign to ramp up enthusiasms to the level of Sanders Surgency this early in the process (and indeed 15 freaking months before Election Day). If I were advising HRC, I'd be saying, Hold fire, take the hits on the self-inflicted email non-scandal scandal etc now and for what's left of this calendar year, IOW do what Ali did with Foreman in Zaire.

It doesn't do any good to panic or to abandon now a sound strategy based on the beating her campaign took from Obama in 2007-8; indeed, doing those things could well prove fatal to her chances. If she stays the course, her campaign can ride this out, take control in the truly large and ethnically diverse state primaries, and watch as Sanders gets up at the DNC and urges his voters support her on Election Day, BECAUSE he's succeeded in his main goal all along, of getting her to commit to policies she otherwise might not even discuss except in generalities and platitudes.

theHatist said...

Hey, Redeye, make sure you sharpen that knife before you cut off your nose to spite your face.

Unknown said...

This, together with the latest poll news showing not just Trump trouncing but also Carson & Carly cruising up above all those current and former governors and senators, beyond the obvious inference that nominal Republicans hate anyone who's not just served but even been ELECTED to public office, I wonder -

What % of nominal Dems (and more broadly, eligible voters per se) don't consider Sanders a political "professional"?

This is actually something that can be polled for.

joannis said...

It would ironically in these climes be electoral wisdom (yet swallowing a difficult pill) for the Dems to go to Webb and for the Repubs to go to Kasich. I would mushc rather see a Webb vrs Kasich election than a Sanders vrs Trump!!! Because Trump would win!!! Its America:: remember?

Michael Wells said...

Why are you equating the supporters of Senator Sanders with those of Donald Trump? Because their supporters are similarly passionate about the issues? Trump has no policies or issues, he has a pose. It is xenophobic, sexist and vulgar. Because they are insurgent campaigns? Sanders is in it to influence public policy. Trump is in it for...Trump.

Steve M. said...

I know the difference -- see the last paragraph of this post.

Luigi said...

The east coast media hates Hillary. She'll probably win it al and they'll hate her every step of the way.
You can't change City Hall, nor , apparently, The New York Times.

Luigi, Pemberton, Dixie, Shed & the Silkster

Inconstant Reader said...

Philo, my grandfather was a dyed-in-the-wool socialist Jewish New Yorker only a bit older than Bernie, and I have to stick up for that group on racial issues (Israel I won't touch, except to note that I doubt it's in the forefront of issues important to BLM protesters). I never heard the word schwartze used in my house — it would have been like saying the n-word. Racial justice was hugely important to him, and to my (non-socialist) mom. He was horrified by the growing rift between the black and Jewish communities. The night Obama won the presidency, I kept thinking how sad it was that my grandpa didn't live long enough to see it.

Obviously I can't speak to what's in Berne's heart, but don't blame his Jewishness.