Can Hillary Win Sanders Supporters? Should She Even Try To?

Are the Bernie Bros open to switching to Hillary?

There’s one rule to remember when playing the game of presidential politics and it’s this:  Don’t play the game if you only want to win.   I’ve come around to the sad conclusion many of Bernie Sanders supporters have forgotten this rule or they never knew the rule which is worse.

Maybe I’d have to get a time machine and travel back to 2008, but dammit, I don’t remember this sort of dogmatic questioning of one’s political allegiances, intelligence and good sense by Barack Obama supporters of Hillary Clinton supporters.   Maybe it was this bad.    It sure seems worse.

I’m no Bernie Bro, but I like a lot of what he represents and repeatedly said if he’s the Democratic nominee he has my vote.   On the flip side,  I wanna know is will the Sanders supporters make the same commitment if their guy doesn’t get the nomination as it presently appears he will not?   I kept asking and could not  get a straight answer to that question.  So I kept asking until finally a Sanders gave me a straight answer.

No, I will never, ever vote for someone I don’t like or trust. To me, Hillary is what the perfect Republican should be and used to be. Bernie is what a Democrat used to be and still should be.

I will not vote for Hillary.

Trump would be no worse than Hillary as president?   So Hillary would deport 11 million people. And Hillary would bring back waterboarding and worse. And Hillary would tear up the nuclear deal with Iran. And Hillary would build a fucking wall between the U.S. and Mexico and make Mexico pay for it. And Hillary would repeal Obamacare. And Hillary’s tax cut would go to the top one percent. And Hillary would punish women who have abortions.

The “Clinton-is-Trump” in a pantsuit sort of reasoning is so wrong-headed and so far removed from who Clinton is  unworthy of being taken seriously.   You actually have people such as actress Susan Sarandon who are so far up Bernie’s butt they say things might be BETTER if Trump wins because she can’t trust Clinton and we deserve a hard lesson in tough love for the heresy of  not backing Bernie.

"Bernie or Bust?" Definitely bust.

“Bernie or Bust?” Definitely bust.

I don’t know what to say to Sarandon who says its better to lose with Trump than win with Clinton.  “Grow up and don’t play the game of politics if you only want to win and you’re a horrible sore loser,” comes to mind.   That, or simply wave “bye-bye” as she drives over the cliff in November in an reenactment  of the end of Thelma and Louise.

Not helping, Susan.

The mind-boggling stupidity of Sarandon’s “Bernie or Bust” philosophy is the hissy-fit whining of a privileged White woman who’s just been told by the waiter they’re all out of designer water and have to settle for what comes out of the tap.    Sarandon’s wealth and status will insulate her from the selfish consequences of voting for Trump far better than a crew of illegal Mexican workers mowing her lawn in Hollywood.

As the Good Ship Sanders begins to take on water and list, besides throwing staffers overboard, the campaign still hasn’t done anything to put an end to the continued harassing of Democratic superdelegates. If anything, it’s getting even uglier.

Sarandon is a Sanders Sista not ready for Hillary.

The trolling of the superdelegates by Sanders supporters is another manifestation of the “Bernie or Bust” dead-ender “strategy.” Some of these “progressives” are now pleading to the FBI for an indictment of Hillary Clinton over her email server.

How does someone call yourself a progressive and purposefully  share the same wet dream as of Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and Donald Trump?   These are some of the most juvenile acts of thumb-sucking I’ve ever seen from a losing campaign’s supporters.

Anyone who says there’s not much difference between Clinton and Trump either has no grasp of the issues at all or is so blinded by Clinton Derangement Syndrome, they can’t see the difference.

Mathematically,  its all over but the shouting for Sanders.   Clinton’s lead in the delegate count isn’t insurmountable, but whatever the closet thing to insurmountable is, it’s that.   This is not what Sanders voters want to hear, but it would be cruel to tell them this race is still winnable.  It’s not.

You have to take two things under consideration. First, it’s hard for a lifelong outsider to beat a political insider for a party’s nomination. Sanders was never going to nudge Clinton aside with the superdelegates. Big crowds are visually impressive, but they have to be matched by big wins and Sanders hasn’t racked up enough of those to deny Clinton the nomination.

Yeah. We are pretty sick of each other.

Second, if Sanders has done nothing else exposed Clinton’s glaring weakness with the progressive wing of the Democratic Party and prevented her from pivoting to the general election by rushing to the center of the lane. She can’t ignore their disdain for her and thinking they will eventually support her based on Fear of a Trump America, isn’t going to be good enough.

I’m always blown away by how losing candidates think they can demand the winning campaign adopt their issues. If those issues resonated with enough voters the losing candidate would be the winning candidate. Were the positions reversed, Sanders wouldn’t feel any compulsion to offer anything more than an olive branch to Clinton and her backers.

If Sanders wants his “Revolution” to have a lasting impact he has to stay in the Democratic Party and not revert back to his earlier Independent status and support Clinton in denying Donald Trump the White House. A third-party bid or an ugly denouncement of Clinton will only make Sanders a pariah in the party.

Clinton will make all the right noises about inviting Sanders supporters to join her and Bernie will get a nice big prime time address during the Democratic convention to plug his priorities. He’ll press on to California to bring attention to his issues, but few of them will become part of the Democratic platform in Philadelphia.

There are issues upon which the two former colleagues can and should agree on, but anyone expecting Hillary to come out in favor of free college is going to be let down. She is not going to reinvent herself as Sanders Lite.     Believe it or not, Clinton has her supporters too and there’s only so much outreach she can do to Sanders and his backers before it begins to look like appeasement.

Every campaign reaches a point when it must recognize it can’t win and must decide what sort of loser it will be.   Sanders can play this smart and maximize his support to bring about the political revolution he speaks of, but to do that he has to do in within the Democratic Party.   Go outside of it as a third-party candidate and all he will do is wound Clinton, elect Trump and earn the eternal enmity of the party.

Bernie Sanders can be a change agent or he can be a sore loser and pariah like Ralph Nader.    He can maximize his new clout into creating an enduring and empowered progressive wing of the Democratic Party.   Sanders won’t directly benefit as this was his best shot at the presidency, but if he thinks beyond himself he can turn his energized and engaged voters into something good with candidates and polices that mirror his own.  Take over the Democrats  and build a legacy than endures beyond one man’s political fortunes.

Sanders could do that.   Or he  can sulk and pout and put a reactionary Republican in the Oval Office.   The question is which course will Sanders supporters let him follow?

The Outsider and the Insider headed in different directions.

Ralph Nader: Unsound At Any Speed

Ralph Nader: Knee-capping Democrats since 2000

Ralph Nader rolled back the rock from his cave, snarled at the sunlight and spoke to The Hill to take the latest in an ongoing series of potshots at President Obama in the wake of liberals losing their shit over the tax cut deal Obama cut with the Republicans.   The 76-year-old activist says he hopes a primary challenger emerge to challenge the president in 2012. 

“There will be a primary,” Nader said. “Just a question of how prominent a person [will run against Obama]. This deal is the last straw.”

“He’s a con man. I have no use for him,” Nader said.

Feeling’s mutual, bud. 

Nader is an icon turned demagogue. A fatally flawed and perpetual failure whose flirtations with populism are undermined by his own puffed-up sense of importance and political irrelevance. 

Nader has been utterly useless and an embittered relic for over a decade now since he screwed Al Gore and delivered the country to the tender mercies of George W. Bush.   He spends most of his time thinking up new ways to screw over Democrats he deems insufficiently ideological.   

It’s a sign of how progressives are willing to cannibalize each others that they listen to this fool’s senile rants about anything.  Then again, fringe politicians like Nader still have some pull with Leftys who harbor wet dreams of a Ralph Nader/Cynthia McKinney presidency. 

Even Sarah Palin never accused Obama of trying to “talk White” or “act White.”   Nader, smugly confident of his status as a progressive pin-up  casually indulged his witless racism when he played the Race Card in 2008.

“There’s only one thing different about Barack Obama when it comes to being a Democratic presidential candidate. He’s half African-American,” Nader said. “Whether that will make any difference, I don’t know. I haven’t heard him have a strong crackdown on economic exploitation in the ghettos. Payday loans, predatory lending, asbestos, lead. What’s keeping him from doing that? Is it because he wants to talk white? He doesn’t want to appear like Jesse Jackson? We’ll see all that play out in the next few months and if he gets elected afterwards.” 

“He wants to appeal to white guilt. You appeal to white guilt not by coming on as black is beautiful, black is powerful. Basically he’s coming on as someone who is not going to threaten the white power structure, whether it’s corporate or whether it’s simply oligarchic. And they love it. Whites just eat it up.”

It’s that kind of liberal racism that made Nader dead to me.  It’s fine to ding Obama for not being sufficiently progressive and a lot of us don’t like how willing he is to compromise with Republicans.    But when a White Arab like Nader goes after Obama over how  authentic as a Black man he is, that’s check please!    Some people can ignore Nader’s offensive old man bigotry, but I will not.

Your heroes have become punch lines.

Nader’s slavish acolytes claim that unlike Obama, St. Ralph provides “authentic leadership.”  Seriously?   St. Ralph the Good rails against the evils of Corporate America holds stock in such corporate good citizens such as Wal-Mart and Haliburton according to his last presidential campaign disclosure forms.  That’s  some authenticity. 

If he really thinks he’s the man to take down Obama in 2012 and rally the progressives to his side, by all means, Run, Ralph, Run!   Nader does not represent a third-party alternative to the Republican/Democrat  tag-team domination of American politics.  Nader has abandoned the Green Party banner he ran on in 2000.  Now he just runs as St.Nader, the cranky iconoclast representing only his own hubris and exaggerated self-importance. 

All Nader is a left-wing Ross Perot with less money and much cheaper suits.  If an unelectable goofball with a Messiah complex who runs vanity campaigns is disenchanted lefties deem “authentic leadership” the Professional Left is more desperate than I thought for  anything remotely resembling a talent pool of credible contenders for higher office. 

Run, Ralph, Run!  Maybe next time you can improve on that 0.56% you got in 2008.  Or more likely Nader will firmly set up himself as this generation’s Harold Stassen.  Progressives have performed dreadfully at the polls lately.  Backing Nader’s latest narcissistic ego trip will only fling more dirt on their relevance as a political force. 

St. Ralph is more of an annoyance than a threat, but please Run, Ralph, Run! There are few things that would be more satisfying than to see Barack Obama kick your and Sarah Palin’s sorry asses in 2012.  

The good Nader did in the ‘60s when he was a consumer advocate has been mitigated by the bad he did in 2000 as a political gadfly who takes immense delight in waging guerrilla warfare, cock-blocking campaigns to subvert Democrats (Gore, Kerry, Obama) and boost Republicans.  He’s a bitter old man, an irrelevance and a spoiler.  

Ralph Nader can go to hell.