Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Is there any hope for Bernie Sanders?

Over at the Washington Monthly blog, Ed Kilgore administers a fairly severe beating to the so-called Republican moderates who think they will eventually put the likes of a “Jeb” Bush  on the ticket — and thus whack The Donald back to the third hole one of his golf courses.

Says Kilgore:
At this particular moment, Donald Trump is running better than Jeb Bush in trial general election match-ups with Hillary Clinton. You heard that right: Trump is pulling 45% to HRC’s 51%, while Jebbie’s at 43% compared to Clinton’s 52%.
The numbers don’t line up nearly as nicely for Bernie Sanders as they do for Trump. Not yet, anyway. But  the same rules that apply to Trump might apply to Sanders if the probes into “Servergate,” or whatever Republican opposition research is concocting against Hillary, have their intended effect.

It’s popular among the  press and punditocracy to say that a Sanders presidency is a laughable lost cause. All those huge crowds he draws, with minimal publicity and little campaign money? Oh, those don’t count, because, umm, Bernie can’t win. 

This may be why, unless a Black Lives Matter activist nearly grabs Bernie’s microphone from his hands, there’s so little coverage of what Bernie actually says at his hugely well-attended rallies. And why gaffers like Joe Biden (I like him, but talk about self-destructive foot-in-mouth disease!) or nonentities like Governor Whatzisname of, (is it Maryland?) get mentioned by the oh so thoughtful press, but not Sanders, whenever it looks like Hillary might go under.

But don’t write off Bernie so fast. If Hillary flounders, his momentum will pick up. And given that this could be a populist vs. populist race, Bernie just might make more sense to populist voters.



10 comments:

Victor said...

If, FSM forbid, Hillary's campaign founders of collapses, I don't think the Dem's will back Bernie. He's big on the coasts and college towns, but he's a Democratic Socialist - and we know how cursed that word has become: Despite the millions and millions of people on SS, Medicare, and Medicaid, etc. So, he'll be a hard sell - if not an impossible one - in Heartland Murka!

O'Malley's ok, but he's not exactly a ball of fire.

If not those two, then who?

I'm not sure.
But if the Dem's want to go populist, I'd beg Elizabeth Warren to run on an anti-corporatist/bank, increase SS payments by eliminating the cap, raise minimum wage, put liberals on the courts - among other things- platform.

And I'd have either one of the Castro brothers as her VP. I suspect that that might be Hillary's VP plan, as well.

Them's my $0.02!

The New York Crank said...

"But if the Dem's want to go populist, I'd beg Elizabeth Warren to run on an anti-corporatist/bank, increase SS payments by eliminating the cap, raise minimum wage, put liberals on the courts - among other things- platform...And I'd have either one of the Castro brothers as her VP. I suspect that that might be Hillary's VP plan, as "well. "

Uh, Victor, I have no problem with Elizabeth either. In fact I adore her, but what you've just described when you described Elizabeth is another socialist. It's just that most 'Muricans don't use the word in polite society.Bernie ain't polite. that's why he might stand a chance to knock The Donalds toupee from here to eternity.

Yours Crankily,
The New York Crank

Victor said...

NYC,
Yeah, but will Bernie play in fly-over country?

Sure, what I said about Warren makes her a Democratic Socialist, too. But, Bernie OPENLY calls himself that.
And that "S"-word don't play in all of the Hooterville's and Mayberry's.

Buford said...

what is with all the panic? this is what the media wants...this is corporate propaganda...

Infidel753 said...

But if the Dem's want to go populist, I'd beg Elizabeth Warren to run on an anti-corporatist/bank, increase SS payments by eliminating the cap, raise minimum wage, put liberals on the courts - among other things- platform.

Bernie could embrace those policies. He probably already supports them. And he's the one who's already in the race and drawing support. Warren, for whatever reason, has said she's not interested in running (not everybody even wants to be President).

I used to think Bernie couldn't win nationally and that his support was confined to liberal areas which would get swamped in a national general election. But how well he's polling suggests it's broader than that.

I still think Hillary is our best candidate. Most of the current polling shows her beating most of the possible Republican candidates, while Bernie doesn't do as well. He has problems appealing to minority voters and he's over 70, which would be issues. But he does well enough to be a plausible candidate if she declines. He'd have a shot.

Americans hate the word "socialist", but when individual specifics of the platform are presented without the label, they like them. Maybe Bernie's the guy to bridge the gap.

BKT said...

I don't know-- I live in flyover country, and Sen. Sanders is already starting to play well here. His talk on the Des Moines Register's Iowa State Fair Soapbox was massively attended, and that was on the day that Clinton and Trump were also coming (yes, that first Saturday is typically the highest attendance day at the Fair, so there were just lots of folks around, anyway-- but a ton of them stopped and listened to him).

He spoke here in Iowa City last week, too. Granted, this town is a liberal oasis in an otherwise fairly conservative desert, but Iowa also went Dem in the past 2 presidential elections, and that was with a "Kenyan Socialist Tyrant" running. I think more voters in the Midwest will vote for left(ish) populism than far-right "populist" demagoguery.

For the record, I listened to Martin O'Malley speak at the State Fair last Thursday, and he's surprisingly charismatic in person. He's got a bit of that (Bill) Clinton-esque natural ability to work a crowd. And He drew a much bigger throng of listeners on the same day than Huckabee (who won the Caucus on the Republican side back in 2008).

swkellogg said...

@Victor

"If not those two, then who?"

Jim Webb?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

petrilli said...

Yesterday I was having dinner with an (beloved by me) elderly Clinton hater and Fox watching aunt who said, "Clinton sent Top Secret memos in her email!" I asked, "If you sent a letter to someone, and a year later, the government labels your letter top secret, should you be blamed for sending out top secret information?" She said "No." I told her that the top secret memos she heard on the news that Clinton sent were done the exact same way. It didn't change my friend's opinion, nor did I expect it to. But I had to try. I know that emotionalism trumps facts in propaganda, but it's important to try with Fox victims whenever the opportunity arises.

Unknown said...

Nobody who, for weeks and weeks before he filed, listened to him talk about why he might run, is about to 'write off Bernie'. He's presence in the contest is already paying off for progressivesD in multiple ways, including a number of policy positions that HRC has been pretty much left with any choice to take on.

But Servergate's going to prove where Sanders will constitute a big positive for HRC in the general election. All this hype over slaughtered emails is going to require one of two things between now and September 2016 when voters really start paying attention: either there's some huge payoff on the Hunting of the Servergate Snipes in the interim, or a big deal Dem candidate other than Bernie gets up and joins the hunt, beating the drums daily - which Bernie's not going to do it for the same reason he doesn't answer questions about the head hair of Trump, HRC or himself.

Roger said...

Bernie seems to be doing OK in flyover country. I don't think Americans hate the word 'socialism' as much as they used to. They used to associate it with anarchism and the Haymarket bombing and Sacco and Vanzetti, but since the days of Saint Raygun and the end of the cold war the current fear generating word is 'terrorism.' Also, Bernie hasn't been emphasizing the socialistic implications of his beliefs. He's been talking more like Sweden or Denmark. I only wish he was ten years younger. I'm 78 and in pretty good shape but I know that once you pass that 70 mark it's harder. You get tired, and time seems to pass faster. Of course, there's also the slogan, "Over the hill and on a roll."

I hope Elizabeth Warren isn't prevailed upon to run. I think she's where she wants to be and where we need her to be, where she can do the most good.