Wednesday, April 27, 2016


Bernie Sanders joined the presidential race last year with a critique of politics across the board -- but as the race has gone on, his campaign has increasingly seemed like a vendetta against Hillary Clinton, who, in his rhetoric, becomes more of a representative of politics as usual than the Republicans he'd have to beat in November.

Ted Cruz and John Kasich entered the race arguing for the superiority of somewhat different strains of Republican politics -- but they've largely become focused on the goal of stopping Donald Trump.

Sanders, Cruz, and Kasich got blown out yesterday. The big winners were Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, who have plenty of negative things to say about their primary challengers -- Trump in particular (to put it mildly) -- but who have made it clear for some time now that they're gearing up for a fight with each other:
Looking past their fading rivals, the two even taunted each other in dueling election-night events. Mrs. Clinton chided the Republican’s penchant for harsh language by saying that “love trumps hate.” Mr. Trump was more bluntly dismissive of Mrs. Clinton, saying her appeal boiled down to her gender.

“Frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she would get 5 percent of the vote,” Mr. Trump said.
I know that Sanders, Kasich, and Cruz define themselves as more electable than the people they're challenging in their own parties. To that extent, they're focused on the fall. But the main Sanders selling point right now is that he's purer than Hillary Clinton, not that he's better than Trump or the other Republicans. And Cruz and Kasich just seem to be vehicles for the GOP establishment's desperate efforts to derail Trump rather than Clinton.

Voters who wanted to stop the party front-runner lost yesterday. Voters who want the party front-runner to take the battle to November won.


Victor said...

With Hillary's arrogance, and tRUMP's loud, profane and bigoted mouth, this may well be the ugliest election since the 19th Century!

Six plus months to go?


Unknown said...

I am sorry. I am a long time reader of this blog and have only commented once before, but I cannot let Victor's characterization of Clinton go unchallenged.

Hillary's arrogance? In my view of this campaign she has been the most self-effacing of any candidate running. And that includes Dr. Jill fucking Stein.

CF2K said...

+1 to Herbert's comment.

Victor said...

I actually like Hillary - a lot!

I used the wrong word.
It was before I had my first cup of coffee.
And as for her feeling a bit entitled, I can't blame her. She went through hell in the 90's, and came close to being the nominee in '09. She feels it's her turn now, and I agree. And I know millions of women feel the same way.

Now tRUMP, he's BEYOND arrogant!!!

Frank Wilhoit said...

Your subject line is spot on, now please drawe its conclusions.

People do not vote for candidates. They vote against a party. The implications of this are very far-reaching, but still apparently not at all widely understood.

Unknown said...

Victor, I appreciate your stated support for Clinton but you are still buying into what I think is a bogus narrative. To most people entitled = arrogant. In fact it is an even worse descriptor because it invokes pomposity.

I have watched how Mrs. Clinton has been campaigning in my own state of Florida and in the recent NY and Acela primaries. She has been for the most part eschewing large media grabbing events and actually engaging with people on their own turf. She does this many times a day and seems to draw energy from these interactions.

Actually listening and empathizing with people from every imaginable background is not arrogant or entitled behaviour.

I suggest you pay closer attention to how she is conducting herself this time around. She has really won me over and I was a sceptic in the beginning.

Donna said...

Another +1 to Herbert's comment. YES and THIS.

Never Ben Better said...

Well said, Herbert.

Victor said...

Ok, you're probably right, and I need to pay more attention.

I did see a number of her appearances at local places, and talking to the people, and you're right that she's very engaging.

KenRight said...

I gather Clinton gave some assurances to steelworkers yesterday.
If Trump merely outlines her history of job outsourcing advocacy contrasted with his protectionism, it doesn't matter if he does it in genteel tone or with sexist slurs.
The steelworkers will trust him before Clinton. And their wives won't care about the tone, might even prefer sexist.

Ken_L said...

Unfortunately, some of the voters who wanted to stop the Democratic Party front-runner have decided they're so pure they couldn't possibly subject their precious consciences to the trauma of voting for her in November.

I continue to have the terrible feeling that a mixture of "We've got this in the bag" complacency and "If I can't have Bernie I don't want anyone" self-righteousness will lead to record low Democratic Party turnout in November. It's going to be very, very close.

petrilli said...

I'll just paste in some good Atrios advice to Clinton supporters in light of her recent well earned victories:
Hope to be wrong, but suspect that team Clinton (very broadly defined) will still be talking about Berniebros in September. I'm quite happy for Hillary Clinton to be the nominee, as I always thought she would be. I'm not happy with the months of "we would have won it easy if not for these meddling kids who won't vote in November" rhetoric. Better figure out how to appeal to them. Stop calling them immature and stupid. The goal is to win, not to make early excuses for why you're going to lose.

Procopius said...

@Frank Willhoite I think you have a point that people do not vote for a candidate [in the last three decades, anyway]. They vote against a party. I think that's the source of the anger Bernie has brought into the open. I'm not sure if Bernie himself expected what has happened over the last year. In the beginning they tried to ignore him, but as the campaign progressed more and more people have come to see him as the candidate they want. They're not going to get him, of course, but I hope the resentment that has surfaced gets channeled into some solid organizing so that we can completely turn the Democratic Party around before 2020. I am so tired of voting for the one who isn't (quite) as bad as the other.

Tom Hilton said...

Lately Atrios has been doing a lot of concern-trolling directed at Clinton supporters.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

I have followed Atrios since the Well days before blogs were a thing. I have no problem with Millenials. I have deep respect for them. The problem I have is with 50 year-old White progressives who should know better.