I’m going to call this game and declare Bernie Sanders the winner. Whether or not he receives the Democratic nomination, which would effectively guarantee him the presidency, Bernie Sanders has already proven that he is the winning candidate of the 2016 Democratic primaries. Coming from out of left field, with zero establishment or mainstream media support, the independent U.S. Senator from Vermont is now defeating former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in national polls. That’s right: Bernie Sanders is now beating Hillary Clinton among Democrats. This is particularly embarrassing since Clinton has virtually the entire Democratic establishment, and the mainstream media, firmly in her corner.
Bernie Sanders, endorsed by a mere three U.S. Representatives, is taking on the rest of the Congressional Democrats and the Obama administration
. Sanders’ ability to move forward against such odds is a testament to his abilities, and Clinton’s inability to win with such astounding resources at her beck and call is a testament to her incompetence. Clinton is literally squandering the best hand ever dealt in America’s political game of cards.
If Clinton does become the Democratic nominee, it definitely won’t be due to her own abilities. Her incompetent campaigning, which has seen her flip flop between claiming moderate and progressive stances (though, of course, not quite as progressive as Bernie Sanders), has been a decided flop. She has similarly flip flopped between branding herself as a tough, iron-clad, Republican-busting commander-in-chief and as a wounded victim, cringing from the sexism of alleged “Berniebros.” In blatant attempts to garner more votes, Clinton has swung rapidly between strong and wounded, moderate and progressive, outsider and establishment, radical and incrementalist. Who is she today?
Unable to craft a coherent game plan, Clinton has fallen back on cheap politics and letting her surrogates mercilessly criticize her opponent. Instead of promoting her own policies, Clinton is trying to ingratiate herself with Barack Obama to pander to minority voters. Instead of responding to the many criticisms against her, Clinton is crying “sexism!” and complaining about supposed double standards. Instead of trying to beat Bernie Sanders in terms of ideas and proposals, Clinton sidesteps and tries to mock him as a “single issue” candidate.
Clinton is ducking and dodging, not engaging, and there is no honor in her political game. She is hoping to run out the clock on Sanders by relying on her powerful backers and legions of superdelegates
. She is ahead on the scoreboard, but knows it’s only a matter of time until Sanders begins out-scoring her. Instead of competing nobly, she has taken to gimping in front of the refs and crying “foul!” She and her supporters spend more time whining about alleged sexism and right-wing conspiracies than anything else.
The real long-run damage comes from so many establishment figures having formally supported this weakened, misplaced candidate. By trying so hard to prop up Clinton’s ailing candidacy, many vaunted Democrats will be tarnished in the aftermath. There will be asterisks on many otherwise-stellar legacies. Reputations will be tainted. From John Lewis and Hazell Dukes to Gloria Steinem and Madeleine Albright, historic figures are now being seen as angry money-grubbers rather than they revolutionaries they once were. Against their better judgment, these Civil Rights and Women’s Rights icons have spoken ill of Bernie Sanders while dancing for the Clinton political machine.
And the Internet never forgets.
In the aftermath of 2016, where Bernie Sanders has already won over the vast majority of tomorrow’s leaders by claiming the Millenial vote, Clinton Democrats will have to face the music in 2018 and 2020. Even if Hillary Clinton is in the White House, she cannot protect her 2016 endorsers from displeased Millenials as midterm elections roll around. As House and Senate seats come up for votes, those who danced for the Clinton machine may find themselves booted from office by legions of angry Millenials. The establishment will have been broken, regardless of who ends up in the Oval Office.
And the establishment did this to itself: How many powerful figures ignored their consciences by rejecting Bernie Sanders and democratic socialism? How many ignored their hearts and sought to curry favor with the Clinton machine? In 2018 and 2020, will Clinton be there to save their Congressional seats? No. If she cares at all, which is doubtful, there is little she can do. Older voters who supported Clinton will be aging out, and younger voters who supported Sanders will be aging in. Time will not be kind to those who mocked The Bern.