Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Getting Berned

David Roberts apparently has to make a case of the obvious about Bernie Sanders: He simply hasn't been attacked.

Yes, Clinton is making points about how political change works and the impracticalities of Sanders' plans.  But that's what a primary is supposed to be about.  Clinton has largely held back from the sort of attacks that Sanders will face in the general election.  Roberts does a pretty decent job of running down how awful the attacks will be and how vulnerable Sanders is to them.

You thought Obama's "palling around with terrorists" was bad, because he went to a few parties where William Ayers was?  Just wait until they get their hands on people Bernie Sanders used to hang around with.

You thought the distortions over Obamacare were bad?  Just wait until they get their hands on true socialized medicine.

You thought the lies about Obama's tax increases were bad?  Just wait until they show how Sanders will actually raise taxes on everyone.

This goes to two points that have me supporting Clinton over Sanders.

The first is that the Sandernistas basically live in their own little bubble, where everyone would see the light if only someone made the case.  Everyone would support Sanders' policy solutions, because they are self-evidently superior to what we have now.  Except that they aren't self-evident to a broad swath - probably the majority - of Americans.  The bully pulpit is a weak institutional lever.

The second is that I just don't think Sanders is mean enough for American politics in 2016.  Clinton has been savaged for 25 years.  She is arguably the toughest person in American politics.  And while the GOP has been working for years to draw up her negatives with some success, they may have squeezed all the juice out of that particular apple.  Sanders will get hit from every side should he win the nomination, and with a vehemence that he hasn't experienced in Vermont.

Them's the fact, y'all.

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