How much of the discrediting of Bernie Sanders is just show?


#1

Continuing the discussion from How the left-wing party establishment tries to discredit candidates like Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders:

Starting from your comment, I was reminded of a comment a cousin of mine made who shall remain nameless (he works as a political consultant) that Sen. Sanders is actually very much in agreement with Clinton, but that makes the primaries a little too boring. Part of the drama is actually ginned up to generate interest and keep the Republicans from totally dominating this season.

I personally think that the “establishment” as such has been pretty quiet, and that for all the hoopla the DNC and Debbie Wasserman-Schulz actually do bend over backwards to portray this as a choice between two excellent candidates in public. What I see instead is that they rely upon surrogates to generate enough controversy to get attention from the news outlets. (An example could be how Vermonter Sanders is doing well in New Hampshire polls, so this is played as Clinton being in trouble).

And for the record, though I like Clinton better, I find Sanders a good candidate. I just think his priorities are better suited for the legislative than the executive. The real difference between the two is that Clinton is more tactics, Sanders is more grand strategy.


#2

More of that, thanks. IIRC it doesn’t actually happen in politics - we get nothing but pissy tactics, and zero vision.

The Aussie series Utopia is pretty much all about that.


#3

Which surrogates are pro-Bernie?

Serious question. You assert he has them, who are they?


#4

These lists of “establishment” endorsements rather disagree with your assertion, IMO.

Played? By whom? I watch broadcast television in the Boston market (which covers Southern NH). Bernie has better ads, other than that, Trump is getting the free press, not the Democrats.


#5

It looks to me like Clinton is the establisment choice.

As was Gore before her.

I don’t want the replay where the people of conscience can’t vote for the DLC candidate… because IMO, and with Gore as an example, they can’t.

You want President Trump, because I believe that candidate Clinton is how we get there.


#6

And 4 more years of Benghazi and Whitewater are something to consider.

Is that the hell you want? More Benghazi?!?!


#7

Given the choice in a general election between the two, I honestly don’t see the bulk of Americans choosing Trump over Clinton. Sure, he’s polling well in the early what-the-hell polls where there’s no stakes and he hasn’t even detailed his platform yet, but I believe the majority of people are more or less moderate/centrist folks. They’ll be turned off by his racism and bluster.

I think a more likely scenario is Rubio vs. Clinton, but we’ll see. It’s kind of a quagmire.


#8

If he loses the R nomination, we can hope he runs as a third party candidate, as some people are very much turned on by the same.


#9

I am totally fascinated to see if that happens, and I very much expect it to. Cruz is a dingbat who the GOP establishment loathes. What I see happening is that a ‘safe’ moderate like Rubio (who is NOT A MODERATE, but acts like one) or, lordy, Bush, will get the nomination, Trump goes third party, and we get a new ultra-right-wing super-racist party to compete with the R’s for the next few years.

But I would clap my hands with glee to see Bernie debating Trump.


#10

I though the candidate was going to end up being Rubio but he seems about as hapless as Bush, and his lack of interest in doing his current job doesn’t look good either. And I agree, he’s no moderate at all.

The way it’s going, it’ll end up being Trump just because everyone hates Cruz so much.


#11

I can say that when Sanders came to ATL, not a single democrat in the city/metro area backed him. His surrogate was Killer Mike (who has political aspirations of his own).


#12

So Sanders has absolutely zero support in Atlanta? Why is that?


#13

None from the major politicians at least (Kasim Reed, John Lewis, and Hank Johnson all came out for Clinton prior to the Sander’s rally). He packed the Fox Theater for his rally. I saw a pretty good mix of older leftists and younger people, and it wasn’t a lilywhite or uber-straight crowd (though probably white majority, if a slim majority). The democratic parties backbone in the city is probably majority black and Sanders has not had an easy time convincing the black community that he speaks to their issues and needs. And I can understand that. I think that Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man still speaks to much of the tension between a class based analysis and a race based analysis of American society. The fact is socialists and to some extent Unions have, to put it mildly, spotty record on race. It’s not considered a “real” issue by many leftists, but rather merely an artifact of class struggle. It’s a major problem that Sanders needs to address if he expects to win South Carolina, Georgia, etc.


#14

That’s a really good point, and one he’ll have an uphill climb overcoming, I fear. I’ll be curious to see if Killer Mike’s enthusiasm helps.


#15

He (Mike, I mean) got into a debate with Ta-Nehisi Coates who wrote a critical piece about Sander’s saying that reparations are too divisive an issue to address (but one that Coates feels is critical to address structural racism). Mike advocated for Sanders none-the-less, arguing that the issues that Sanders brings to the table matter to the black community and would go farther than other candidates policy proposals to helping the black community overall. I do think Coates’ support would be helpful too, but I can understand his criticism of Sanders.


#16

Coates doesn’t support Clinton in preference to Sanders, from what I see, he’s just (rightly) criticizing Sanders where he’s weaker than he perhaps should be, as a ‘radical’ candidate. I’d like to see Clinton also criticized, but since she’s running on a ‘more of the same’ platform, there’s no grounds to hope for anything more radical from her.


#17

Agreed. I don’t imagine he’s backing Clinton, especially since it’s doubtful that she’d back reparations either.

[ETA] And I think this was why we saw Black Lives Matters protesters hammering Sanders when they didn’t do the same for Clinton. There is a hope for movement with Sanders.


#18

I think the other difference is that Ms. Clinton is also more careful with her positions. Decades of attacks have left their scars, but also made her a really tough person to catch off guard.

I want to thank all who replied, by the way. Pretty good comments all around, and like I keep saying, I like both candidates for the nomination. My gut just tells me that Clinton is a teensy bit better for chief executive, and I regret not being able to name specific proxies, as I don’t know the staff members of the campaigns.


#19

Well, without having to go into detail, a lot of the most out-there stuff has been from his campaign manager, and from independent supporters. If I suggested that it is somehow coordinated, then I did not make myself clear. Neither candidate can fully control their supporters, though Hillary does run a tighter ship. The kerfluffle with Sanders’ staff abusing the DNC network access was not due to a command from the top, but due to overeagerness by some on the staff (which comes naturally when you think of your team as the underdog).

Both candidates would drive Republicans wild with fury, and both will face withering attacks. Hillary is used to it, she’s got the scars to prove it, and would be good in carrying on Obama’s strategy of not offering an opening. Oh, and she is good at smacking them right back, which only makes them madder. Sanders is less of a known, but his “zero fucks to give” attitude may more likely help him than hurt.


#20

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