Is Clinton Hurting Sanders by Staying in the Race?
Since before the Nevada Convention debacle, many so-called progressive news outlets were hinting broadly that it was time for Bernie Sanders to get out of the race. Others pointed out that Sanders is still winning primaries, and that Clinton herself did not abandon her campaign against Obama until several days after the last primary.
Then things got ugly in Nevada. Convention chair Roberta Rules-of-Disorder began receiving death threats online from people claiming to be Sanders followers. All the establishment media – which now includes most of the so-called new media – conveniently forgot that Hillary Clinton had hired professional social media “consultants”, and that Trump’s supporters were on the internet, too, and rushed to condemn Sanders and his supporters.
In the aftermath of Nevada, the media are piling on Sanders and his supporters to forget about their movement, call it a day and get in line to vote for the neoliberal Hillary Clinton so she can defeat the dread pirate Trump. I’ve let my NY Times subscription go, and after reading Talking Points Memo’s hit piece, It Comes from the Very Top, I think it is time to stop reading them as well.
I’m still not sure about FiveThirtyEight. Nate Silver and his peeps ask, Is Sanders Hurting Clinton by Staying in the Race? At least Micah Cohen gets near the obvious problem:
micah: OK, part of the GOP’s problem is that the establishment no longer holds much sway with Republican voters. Just the opposite, actually: Hitting the elites is a plus. To me, here’s one of the main questions about the Sanders campaign: Is his success, such as it is, simply what you get with a liberal challenge in a two-party race? Or is there a sizable bloc of Democratic voters, young voters in particular, who are sick of standard Democratic politics — who feel the system is rigged, to get back to the point we were talking about earlier. If it’s the latter, then I think that potentially poses long-term problems for the Democratic Party. It increases the chances that the Democrats, at some point, get a nominee unacceptable to the party elites, like the GOP got this year.
I’ll answer you, Micah. To young voters, Hillary is establishment, and part of the problem. Are they too hung up on Sanders? Yes, Sanders himself admonished one adoring crowd that he wasn’t the truth – they were. But even more than the Boomers, and late boomers like me, Millennials grew up in a age of instant gratification, and unlike the boomers, they have run into a brick wall finding jobs and getting on with their lives. Sanders is the first mainstream politician that seems to be speaking to them. So right now he’s Barney, Harry Potter and Jon Snow all wrapped into one.
In high school, one of my history teachers often used the quote, “People Get the Government They Deserve,” (which has been variously attributed). It occurs to me that older people that are willing to settle for either Hillary Clinton or Donald J Trump probably deserve eight years of more of the same, or chaos.
Younger people think they deserve better. Do they deserve Sanders? Maybe, but I think it will require a lot more politicking, and a serious commitment to the movement that Sanders candidacy has been riding.