This past Thursday’s PBS Democratic debate in Milwaukee was apparently not important enough for the Seattle Times to put on its front page, or at least above the cutline. Political commentator Buck Sexton, offering an opinion on CNN’s website, claimed that Hillary Clinton “won” the debate by not “losing” it, or at least she said all the things her diehard supporters wanted to hear. While this seems to be the general consensus amongst the mainstream media following her unprecedented 22-point loss in New Hampshire, this once more flies in the face of current reality, as more and more Democrats and left-leaning young voters are getting “The Bern.”
While Saturday Night Live is showing its “age” by airing skits that clearly show a pro-Clinton bias and suggesting that Bernie Sanders is “insensitive” to blacks despite a civil rights record dating back to at least 1962 as a student activist (back when Hillary was a teenager canvassing for votes for Richard Nixon and Barry Goldwater), in the real world on-line polls once more showed Sanders trouncing Clinton, in some cases by 4-1 and even 8-1 margins. What are the pundits listening to? They certainly are not hearing what the “people”—or at least those who are politically and socially aware—are, only those who have already made-up the minds that it is Hillary or else, like real racial bigots like Harriet Christian in 2008.
No, the problem wasn’t that Clinton looked “unpresidential” in that outfit she was wearing, but that many people remain unconvinced of her “commanding” way of delivering her manipulative and opportunistic lines, women being told that they will “burn in hell” if they don’t vote for her (that didn’t sound like a “joke” by Madeline Albright), or turning people off by making accusatory demands on their gender consciousness (Barack Obama for his part never demanded that people vote for him because he was “black”). I admit that Clinton’s late night talk show appearances made her look like a “good sport,” but that is easy to be when you are the center of attention of a captive audience--and the audience isn't "captive" anymore, and those who are not following the "party" line are feeling the backside of Clinton's hand.
Furthermore, the “card” that Clinton and her media supporters believe she can play against Sanders (besides the gender card)—that his plans are “unrealistic”—holds no water. What Clinton and her supporters don’t understand is that if you think small (i.e. “pragmatic”), you’ll get even less than that from those who oppose your plans. You might even get nothing, because both your friends and enemies do not think you are even serious, expose you as being disingenuous to begin with.
What we need now is someone who thinks “big,” is a “populist” who can both strongly and energetically articulate the issues and make it “big” in the minds of the people, enough to convince at least a few Republicans in Congress in less hidebound states to realize it is bad for their own electability to be hidebound in their thinking. This might not be as “impossible” as some people might think; as mayor of Burlington, Sanders was able to find common ground on a variety of public programs with people who were opposed to him ideologically, which was cause for USA Today to rank him as one of the country’s best mayors back in the 1980s.
Obama himself didn’t have quite the reach he could have had for gaining widespread popular support for his policies, since those inclined to look at the world in the narrow confines of their own prejudices chose to be completely tone deaf to anything he said. Clinton, meanwhile, is the kind of person who either “loves” those who love her—or hates those who don’t love her. We remember what happened in 2008 when black voters proved less “loving” to her—she disparaged Martin Luther King, Jr and Bill called Obama a “fairytale” while campaigning before the South Carolina primary (black leaders and voters apparently have forgotten all of that). Since Clinton needs to feel the “love,” she increasingly patronizes minorities like she is their “great mother”—or rather, grandmother. Perhaps out of desperation, she naturally plays her other “trump” card, shaming people for blocking her “historic” election, accusing those Democrats who don’t support her as misogynists, sexists or "traitors"; that in itself tells the self-obsession and megalomania that drives her. But Sanders, on the other hand, is enough of a “populist” the he will at least have the advantage of not immediately shutting ears on the “assumption” that he isn’t speaking for all of us. Because he is.
Yet the Democratic Party leadership sits like a block of lead behind Clinton, mainly because the DNC has been behind the times and has lost track of the newer generation of Democratic voters for some time. Instead of standing with core progressive principles, we are “reminded” ad nauseam that Clinton is “experienced.” What the New York Times said in its 2008 endorsement of Clinton over Obama will likely be repeated this year, that her resumé was “one of the most broadly and deeply qualified presidential candidates in modern history.”
I wish someone would please explain to me how her resumé is “deeper” than Sanders’—or her husband’s, or John McCain’s or John Kerry’s or even Barack Obama’s or Mitt Romney’s. OK, I’ll concede Sarah Palin’s, but the guy elected dogcatcher probably does too. This is just more of the outrageous and dishonest hyperbole the media has bestowed on Clinton. For her time as First Lady, she is most famously (or infamously) known for her botched effort to sell health care reform. As Senator her most notable “accomplishment” was voting for the Iraq war, in which more than 4,000 Americans were killed and many thousands more maimed to no purpose. As Secretary of State, the only things that come to mind are the Benghazi tragedy and her illegal use of her personal computers for classified state department information, no doubt to keep her own shenanigans a “state” secret. In fact, her only “accomplishments” in public life have been taking up space—and giving it “substance” for the mere fact that she is a woman; someone should remind her that two women before her held the title of “Secretary of State.”
The aforementioned commentator, Buck Sexton, tells us that despite the fact that Sanders is “what the Democratic base wishes it could elect in an attempt to change the country,” he states that while being “the quintessential politician-for-sale,” Clinton’s “disingenuousness and dishonesty is the price Democrats are willing to pay in order to keep one of their own as commander-in-chief…This most recent debate served as a reminder of that unsavory truth.”
One can read between the lines a sense of defeatism or fatalism, giving in to the tyranny of feminist self-entitlement both from the Clinton campaign and its supporters in the media. There are many who demand that Hillary Clinton is “owed” the nomination and even the presidency, but those of us who care about the direction this country is going—particularly in the face of the demagoguery of hate being espoused by Donald Trump and Ted Cruz—don’t wish to be shackled by this defeatism and fatalism or the idea that they “owe” something to someone to satisfy an outdated ideology largely fueled by hate in the service of self-victimization. Sanders can win if people like Sexton do not allow themselves to persuaded by the myth that he can’t; that is only what the pro-Clinton media desperately wishes you to believe.