Anyone can be smart after the event but, in hindsight, on balance, he should have probably run outside the Democratic party as a Green. The whole time he’s been trying to sit on two stools when he’s only got one derrière: aiming to win but not looking to make Hillary a potential General Election loser; trying not to damage Hillary as a candidate when her record is just horrible and should be anathema to him. Sanders’ FDR New Dealism and Hillary’s neoliberal, neo-con-artistry just aren’t very close together at all.
Sanders refused to go after her for her emails – something that was correctly posited as a mistake in that hugely funny ‘Saturday Night Live’ bit; he refused to go after her for the Clintons’ seemingly obvious shadiness (an awesome Joan Walsh article from the time before she became a ‘Soldier For Clinton’) and, one excellent tweet aside, Bernie pulled his punches constantly and gave her a pass, mindful of the need to ‘sheepdog’ the left in behind her when the time comes in order to keep out that orangutan-haired, short-fingered, anti-Christ. That he only lost 54% – 46% using such an approach suggests that she was there to be beaten and he couldn’t, or wouldn’t, do it and follow through. Scared and mindful that he was going to be scapegoated if she still won but then lost the general? They would have done that to him anyway, and will do it to him now if she loses, so he should have gone all out in the first place.
Some argued that he should have taken up Jill Stein’s magnanimous offer to run at the head of her ticket but, to me, he was right to turn that down. He rolled the dice to run inside the Democratic primaries and in doing so signed a pledge to support the eventual nominee if it wasn’t to be him and he stood by his word. He boxed himself in and sometimes you have to know when to take things on the chin.
He went all in; he was brave; he almost pulled it off but he lost. It doesn’t essentially matter that the table was slanted against him from the start. Like betting on a soccer team that loses to a side that dives for penalties and successfully fakes fouls and injuries to get your players sent off, try to go to the betting window and argue that you won a moral victory so that you should get at least some of your projected winnings and see where that gets you. Anyway, Sanders made his bed and both he and his supporters have to now lie in it and vote Clinton, I’d suggest, or else it’ll be they who get figuratively, politically “necklaced” with her defeat to a short-fingered simpleton, not Hillary.
“…..the left should also recognize that, should Trump win based on its failure to support Clinton, it will repeatedly face the accusation (based in fact), that it lacks concern for those sure to be most victimized by a Trump administration….”.
Soon: an examination of the possible ways for the American leftists and progressives to vote against Drumpf yet not have their vote interpreted as a vote for Hillary, even while voting “for” her.
Next time: Madonna’s 1987 film flop ‘Who’s That Girl’ and its nexus to one of the best albums by R.E.M.