Sanders the curmudgeon wins a big one

Listen to this article

It was an interesting conversation I had with a friend, via email, concerning the Democratic primaries. Granted, “conversing” back and forth using email isn’t has quick and spontaneous as a telephone conversation or even instant messaging, but it will do sometimes because you can cram far more precise and relevant information into an email.

On the phone one or the other has to shut up so the other can finish a thought … and some thoughts can carry on for … minutes and minutes until, “Wow, look at the time, I gotta go.”

You sure as shit can’t carry on a conversation like this via text messaging or Twitter. Our thoughts take far more than 140 characters.

At any rate this friend had read my last piece, which was about the GOP and Democratic primaries and he was surprised I’ve given up the Bern to become a Hillary supporter.

He reminded me it took a revolution to get the Civil Rights legislation of the 1960s passed, but I reminded him it also took President Lyndon B. Johnson doing a lot of arm-twisting to get it through Congress.

As far as I can tell, Bernie Sanders doesn’t have that ability to twist arms anywhere in Congress, not even the Senate. He can amass all the followers he likes — and he has millions of them right now — but that means nothing to “Just Say No” Mitch McConnell and the “Do Nothing” Republicans controlling Congress.

There are a lot of voters who are excited about Hillary Clinton becoming president. Pundits shouldn’t discount their loyalty. (YouTube)
There are a lot of voters who are excited about Hillary Clinton becoming president. Pundits shouldn’t discount their loyalty. (YouTube)

Hillary Clinton has, at least, more concrete relationships with senators on both sides of the aisle in the Senate. There’s a reason why having the establishment on your side in the elections is important: you need them to get any legislation passed.

We saw how the Democratic Machine left Barack Obama hanging out to dry in the first two years of his administration. Instead of storming Congress with a progressive agenda, come what may, they played it safe and tried to protect the Blue Dog Democrats rather than help the country get out of the recession faster and with better-paying jobs.

The Dems lost control of the House of Representatives in 2010. Thanks Senate Democrats. You should have put your big boy (or girl) pants on and gone for a bigger stimulus package and a stronger Affordable Care Act — dragging along the president and Blue Dog Democrats — instead of trying to make nice with the GOP. In the past 16 years when have they ever extended that olive branch to you?

“Eff’em” I say, take control of government and get the job done. That’s the difference between Democrats and Republicans. The Dems want to be peacemakers and the GOP doesn’t. Well leave the peace making to foreign policy, but when it come to politics be ruthless butchers. Your political opponents are destroying the nation right now and you Democrats in Congress let them do it.

Right now Sanders doesn’t even have pseudo allies controlling Congress. It’s a very hostile opposition that would rather see the Supreme Court go without a justice for nearly a year than follow the Constitution — all for political gain.

Life will be a lot easier if Hillary Clinton is not only the nominee, but the president as well.

There is this thing about whether she will go to jail or not. I can’t believe there are Democrats — liberals and progressives — who talk like this behind closed email doors. It is hard to believe the Dem machine would have let Clinton gets this far if there was any chance she would be indicted for anything, let alone convicted. So no, I do not believe she will be behind bars or even under indictment — regardless of what rumors might be circulating. Put it out there publicly and then I’ll know the rumors have some weight behind them.

Like I said, ideologically I’m with Bernie Sanders. I like him a lot — both of us are known to be curmudgeons, at least that’s what my friends tell me. I tried to argue the point once, but they claimed it proved their point. Whatever.

Bernie Sanders wants universal, single-payer, Medicare-for-all health care. Count me in. Bernie wants all public college education to be free. Count me in. Bernie wants extensive judicial and criminal justice reform, including the decriminalization or even legalization of marijuana. Count me in. Get rid of private prisons. Count me in. Shut down the drug war apparatus, count me in. Not to mention his single important issue: economic equality — count me in. But there isn’t any realistic path to any of that agenda. We still have to drag Congress to the center to begin with and then think about a progressive agenda.

But having written all of that, there is this: Bernie beat Hillary in Michigan. I agree it’s a big win for Sanders, but the reality is Clinton won Mississippi so the delegate totals are almost a push. Bernie Sanders still is so far behind in the delegate count he really doesn’t have a realistic path to the nomination. At best he can keep Clinton from winning the race out right, but then it would go to the convention — which is controlled by the party establishment — and voila! Clinton has the nomination anyway.

What the Sanders victory in Michigan proves though is that Clinton has a weakness: trade. Take away the arguments about the various trade agreements from the past 20 years and Clinton would have handily beat Sanders there too.

With Trump as the presumptive nominee for the GOP, he will have that cudgel to beat her over the head with in a general election campaign.

“Of course I’m going to win. The rest of the candidates are losers.” (YouTube)
“Of course I’m going to win. The rest of the candidates are losers.” (YouTube)

That is if the GOP establishment doesn’t install someone else as the nominee. Which brings us back to the Republican side of the presidential silly season. With so many Republicans lining up against Trump — and even Mitch McConnell giving GOP candidates his approval to campaign against Trump if he is the GOP nominee, I don’t see how any Republican wins the presidency.

  • Let’s get this out of the way right now: With Trump’s wins Tuesday the other three GOP candidates are effectively out of it mathematically.

If they let Trump take the nomination, which he will surely win, there will be a lot of pissed off GOP voters who will stay home, rather than vote. Maybe Trump is bringing in enough new voters to make up that difference, but would that be enough to win a general election when Trump’s favorable ratings are so low: 25-40 percent, depending on the polls? It’s not likely he will turn many Democrats and Independents his direction.

Not to mention the number of GOP voters who will look for a third party candidate more to their liking. They can’t vote for Hillary Clinton, but they are totally disgusted with Trump for putting their prejudices out on full public display. “C’mon Donald! Why do you think we were using coded language all these years!”

If the GOP establishment stiffs Trump and his supporters, they will then kiss that voting block goodbye. It will just confirm what so many have said for decades: it doesn’t matter who the electorate wants, the party elites control everything. So why bother voting?

Hillary Clinton can still lose a general election, she isn’t invincible, but if she doesn’t sabotage her campaign the Republicans are making it much easier to win.

The same could be said for Sanders if he won the nomination, but for the Sanders Revolution to have any leverage it would have to retake both houses of Congress and many of the state houses controlled by the GOP. Anything short of that and he’s just a one-term president barking at the moon.

And to think I was 100 percent behind Joe Biden. He screwed it up again.

Now I need to kick them damn neighbor kids off the lawn. Effin’ kids …