Prior to the election, Bernie Sanders said that it was ‘very, very, very unlikely’ that he’d run for president in 2020 but, post the miserable, humiliating fiasco on 8th November, both Sanders and his wife Jane have opened the door again.
An interesting piece on TYT on the other day wherein Cenk Uygur nails his colours to the mast and says that Bernie Sanders should be the Democratic nominee in 2020.
The first thing that comes to mind regarding Bernie is that he’ll be 79 years old and that that’ll probably be an issue. As Cenk says, that’ll only be a few more years than 75 year old Trump (if he hasn’t gone back to New York City with his tail between his legs or ended up in jail), than 73 year old Hillary (ditto) and 71 year old Elizabeth Warren. How strange it was that Hillary’s age was projected to be a possible issue in 2016, although she still would have been a year younger than Ronald “Mad Dog” (McDonald) “Ray-Gun” Reagan on taking office, but then Trump, the short-fingered, orange bandit, and Bernie both superseded her in that regard.
Age shouldn’t matter and supposedly both Hillary and Bernie left other members of their staff in the dust as they campaigned hard in 2015 and 2016 but maybe some ages comes loaded with psychological import? Also, the resentment from a swathe of Hillary supporters is still flinty-hard. Previous honest actors still seem drunk on revenge against anyone and anything for Hillary’s miserable loss against an orange game show host. Why is their bitterness so deep?
When watching the magnificent Ezra Edelman documentary ‘O.J.: Made In America’ recently, it struck me that OJ Simpson supporters were like those who voted for Trump. They were living, breathing, thinking people: they knew about Simpson’s spousal abuse; they knew about his shadiness and his thin excuses; but they still let him off of the hook. In the Edelman documentary, it’s postulated that it was, consciously and subconsciously, payback for both the 1992 Rodney Kind decision and the decades of abuse beforehand.
The Trump voters simply must know that the short-fingered orange bandit is a rancid individual, a failure as a human being on myriad levels yet he was the only tool to hand to fight against their perceived injustices: whether that was the racist bemoaning of USA becoming less caucasian; the sexism of males believing that they were being somehow sidelined; or the economic anxiety of forty years of the neoliberalism onslaught hollowing out the country from the inside. Like when Jason Bourne’s facing down an assassin and the only tools to hand are a pen and a thick magazine, one might desire a more useful and honest ‘weapon of choice’ but Trump – the orange el diablo; the snake oil salesman’s snake oil salesman – was the only possible thing to hand.
But, as others have also said as well, maybe that mob mentality also applied to Hillary voters? She was the only tool in reach to counteract the poison of sexism and misogynistic prejudice that had been messing up their own lives too. Hillary was a terrible candidate anyway but a dream candidate for Trump as she gave him cover of all of his drawbacks and weaknesses. Trump’s misogyny? Bill Clinton’s treatment of women and Hillary’s collusion. Trump University? Clinton University. Trump’s dumb wall? Hillary’s vote for a fence. Trump’s mass deportations? Hillary was running as Obama’s third term and Obama deported two and a half million while Hillary supported sending back children fleeing from violence in Central America. Trump possibly colluding with Russia? The Clintons helping Russia to Uranium while Bill Clinton got paid $500,000 for speaking to a Russian state-backed bank. And so on. But they still decided to get behind this Democrat-in-name-only to play the long game and get a woman into the biggest office in the world.
Still, that long game should have been worth it because demographic changes in the United States were supposedly going to make the next president a Democrat in 2016. The Republicans knew this too, hence their “autopsy”, post Romney’s miserable 2012 defeat. That they didn’t follow their findings and just went further “up river” Colonel Kurtz-style doesn’t change the fact that they thought that they were in trouble.
So, from a establishment Democratic perspective, a Democratic 2016 president was inevitable and Hillary was going to be that president. Anyone who got in the way of that inevitability was, therefore, to blame in part or in whole. This narrative was in play for years so the distasteful shock when Hillary lost to the orange game show clown engendered deep bitterness for the next presidency being snatched away from all womankind.
Name recognition. Name recognition is gold dust for U.S. elections. Hillary’s colossal name recognition gave her a sixty point lead over Bernie Sanders but it ended up only 54 – 46 in Hillary’s favour. There are some very strong arguments for the U.S. electoral process to be cut down and be much, much less punishingly long. However, one argument against shortening the process can be highlighted by Bernie’s 2015/2016 run. He’d never have got close to Hillary without those months of being able to eat away at her massive lead. Now, though, Bernie’s no longer an unknown quantity to the US, more the most popular senator, the most popular politician in the whole country.
If Bernie Sanders were to run in 2020, how about if he offered the country a two-for-one? It’s not the ‘done thing’ to say who’s going to be your running mate until you’ve got your hands on the nomination but the run, and ludicrous success, of the short-fingered vulgarian , should surely mean the traditions are out of the window? It’s also not the done thing to run for president when you lie like you breathe, turn out to be a total degenerate, and be as thick as two short planks but that never stopped Trump. Also, Zodiac killer, Ted Cruz, in desperation, named Hewlett-Packard hack Carly Fiorina for a few days before Trump crushed him like a bug. Indeed, when the Democratic primaries began, some argued that Sanders should have said, there and then, should have let it be known that he should promise to offer his vice-presidency spot to Elizabeth Warren, thus putting pressure on her to accept but also giving Bernie an important boost, but it wasn’t an accepted move at the time.
Just as a side note, Elizabeth Warren paid a political price for not endorsing Bernie in 2016; for evidently calculating that Hillary was nailed on to win and she wanted to then make her move and swing in behind Hillary once it was over. Some argued that she left Bernie to die out there; that when there was a fight to be had, she goes missing. Perhaps. And perhaps her correct move was to have endorsed Bernie to begin with and then, if needs be, she could have then endorsed Hillary as the Clintons would then have respected her strength and conviction? As it was, she was seemingly used as a useful idiot, to pretend to the left-wing that Hillary was considering her as vice-president before she went for Tim Kaine – one of the few Democrats more right-wing than Hillary – and went off to pander to non-existent ‘NeverTrump’ Republicans. (Wikileaks later informed us that Hillary had told Tim Kaine that he’d be her vice-president back in July 2015.). All of this might be true, but it shouldn’t be forgotten that Warren wrote two or three op-eds during the primaries that were like smoke signals, saying: “Vote Bernie! Vote Bernie!”.
So, how about if Bernie runs from the outset with his vice-presidential pick already confirmed? If it was Sanders/Warren? Or Sanders/Gabbard? Or Sanders/Turner? Or Sanders/Gillibrand? But why the two-fer? Eighty years old might be a psychological barrier for voters so Bernie could promise that he’ll serve for nine months, until he turns 80 and then he’ll step aside; or for 21 months, until the day before he turns 81; or for 24 months and one day – in line with section 1 of the 22nd Amendment – thus allowing his vice-president the chance to then see out the last (nearly) two years and still be able to run for two terms on her own.
This would be a way to unite the party; to utilize Bernie’s now stratospheric name recognition; to slay the beast of the US never having a female president….and to win. The disgraces who still attack Sanders for no good reason, other than those phonies who think that they’re ‘left’ seemingly hate those who outflank them to the left, more than they do the right-wing, would be leveraged into voting for Bernie because that would guarantee the first female president for them. Sure, there would be problems with some of the vice-presidential candidates: Nina Turner got bad-mouthed shamelessly by the establishment Democrats/neoliberals; as did Tulsi Gabbard – like Nina, another Sanders 2016 surrogate – for being independent minded on various issues: like immigration and being too close to India’s own maniac, Narenda Modi. From another perspective, Kirsten Gillibrand seems to be in the process of re-writing over her previous neoliberalism, perhaps understanding which way the wind’s blowing and positioning herself for 2020 as a progressive firebrand but that’s why you’ve got the other person on the ticket, to ameliorate the other’s possible shortcomings.
In 1960, JFK took LBJ as his vice-president, even thought he thought LBJ to be a toxic individual. They won LBJ’s Texas in a very close 1960 election versus Nixon. Ronald “Mad Dog” (McDonald) “Ray-Gun” Reagan had more trouble against George H.W. Bush in the Republicans primaries than anyone else. It was Bush who attacked Reagan’s ‘trickle down’ economics canard as ‘Voodoo’ economics but Reagan still shored up his base and picked Bush for his ticket. This is just common sense. It was malpractice by Hillary to pick Kaine. If she picked Elizabeth Warren or Sherod Brown or Bernie as her vice-president the election would have been over last August. Instead, she ‘punched a hippie’ or many hippies, because she thought that she couldn’t lose.
There’s a path for the Democrats to cover all the bases next time, unite the party and kick Pence out of office. I always thought that last November would be a vote for the 45th and 46th president no matter how it turned out. Never really thought that Trump would last a year but, as of typing, six months looks like it might be a stretch for that Godless orange hooligan. We’ll see. He’s been pronounced politically dead many times before.