Lesson #1 of “Three lessons for PleaseNotBernie“, written by N.Y. Times columnist Ross Douhat: “You need candidates who aren’t actually winning primaries to drop out.
“The fatal conceit of establishment politicians facing an insurgency is that because the insurgent has obvious weaknesses, they should hang around and hang around, piling up third-place finishes and minor delegate hauls, in the hopes of gaining…something. What they are actually likely to gain is blame, irrelevance or both; just ask those noted influencers Jeb Bush and John Kasich.
“So if you are, say, Amy Klobuchar, the fact that you have a solid case for your own electability is not a reason to stick around for Super Tuesday if you finish behind Pete Buttigieg in South Carolina as well as in Nevada. If you’re Buttigieg, your strong Iowan and New Hampshire performances aren’t a reason to stay in if it’s clear you can’t compete nationally with Michael Bloomberg and Joe Biden. If you’re Biden, if you lose South Carolina, you should drop out the next day. And so on.
“None of this means that simply consolidating the field will stop Bernie; he might well win a head-to-head race, too. But giving him five or six opponents in every contest makes the solidity of his core support an insurmountable advantage. And if you can narrow the field.”
We all know there’s no real chance to stop Bernie. But there might be a sliver of a possibility if Biden, Klobuchar and Warren quit after the South Carolina primary.
Nicole Wallace: “[What you’re describing] sounds like political suicide.”
James Carville: “It is. If you don’t win the Senate back, you don’t get anything. Nothin’ is gonna change. If you don’t push yourself to be a majoritarian party…[especially] if you have 55% of the voters available to you, then you’re making a real mistake.”
From Jeremy Faasler:
So are Democrats really serious about running a candidate against Donald Trump who…
1. Will be 79 years old on Election Day and would turn 80 in his first year of office.
2. Had a heart attack that drastically reduced his life expectancy.
3. Has never passed any significant legislation during his 30 years in office. [HE comment: I thought Sanders had passed two or three bills…no?]
4. May cause several of the moderate House Democrats we elected in 2018 to lose this year.
5. Refused to pay child support for much of his 30s.
6. Wrote [an essay] saying “a woman fantasizes about being raped by three men simultaneously” and blaming cervical cancer on a lack of female orgasms.
7. Complains nonstop about a “Democratic establishment” even though he’s been in Congress for 30 years and is part of that establishment.
8. Supported Fidel Castro and said he wanted to “throw up” when he heard JFK criticize him. [HE question: In what year? Who recorded or documented this quote?]
9. Went to a rally for the Nicaraguan Sandinistas where they chanted “Death to America” and “The Yankee will die.” [HE: Where was the rally? Who reported or reecorded those “death to America” comments?]
10. Honeymooned in the Soviet Union. [HE to Fassler: My ex-wife and I honeymooned in Communist Czechoslovakia in 1987 — no biggie.]
11. Is married to a woman with a history of shady business dealings.
12. Refuses to speak to [reporters for] local papers in his home state of Vermont.
13. Supported a controversial bill that moved toxic waste to poor Latino communities in Texas.
14. Voted for a bill allowing undocumented immigrants to be detained indefinitely pending deportation.
15. Voted against Senator Ted Kennedy’s immigration bill in 2006.
16. Voted against the Brady Bill and received support from the NRA in his initial runs for Congress.
17. Voted against Amber Alerts.
18. Has alienated colleagues in the House and Senate who would otherwise have been his allies.
19. Called Planned Parenthood “the establishment.”
20. Has a campaign staff whose most prominent surrogates either voted for Jill Stein or refused to vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016.
21. Refuses to release either his medical records or his tax returns.
22. Tried to convince superdelegates to give him the Democratic nomination despite losing elected delegates in a landslide.
23. Allowed his supporters to disrupt the convention of the first female presidential nominee.
24. Did only 43 events for Hillary Clinton after she won the nomination – by contrast, Hillary did more than 100 events for Barack Obama in 2008.
25. Disdains identity politics, saying that it’s “not enough to say ‘I’m a woman, vote for me.’” [HE comment: Bernie’s right about that.]
26. Has an army of supporters who frequently bully, dox and harass anyone who criticizes him (i.e., Bernie Bros).
27. Frequently campaigns against more moderate Democrats in favor of far-left candidates—who usually go on to lose their primaries by wide margins.
28. Was helped by Russia during the 2016 election and is being helped by them again today.
29. Has fired staffers within 24 hours of their hiring because of their racist posts. [HE comment: Isn’t that usually regarded as an appropriate response?]
30. Yells at network executives who don’t give him more positive coverage.
31. Disdained Barack Obama in private and tried to run against him in 2012.
32. Refuses to join the party he’s running to be the leader of.
33. Most importantly: Sanders has no idea how to get any of his proposals enacted into law.
My estimation has always been that Senators Barry Goldwater and George McGovern, though political opposites, were men of character, erudition and fundamental decency. It’s also my opinion that Bernie Sanders, though sometimes given to a kind of snarly “my way or the highway” attitude with a less-than-ingratiating personality, is a decent and moral fellow as far as it goes. But taken together Goldwater, McGovern and Sanders are peas in a certain pod.
In 1964 the hard-right wing of the Republican party gave Lyndon Johnson a gift when they nominated Goldwater to oppose him. The Democrats offered Richard Nixon another gift when the=y nominated McGovern to oppose him in the 1972 election. The election-night tallies of ’64 and ’72 recorded historic landslide victories for Johnson and Nixon. Just as certainly, the Democrats will be handing Donald Trump a perfect easy-street gift when they nominate Sanders this summer. No question about it. Just ask Trump or Vladmir Putin.