Monday, May 23, 2016

Why Bernie Sanders Could Not Win The November Election

(The graphic above is by the inimitable DonkeyHotey.)

The supporters (and aides) of Bernie Sanders are grasping on to a bit of hope provided by the polls -- namely some polls showing that Sanders would do better than Clinton against Trump. I'm not buying that for a minute, and I believe there are two reasons why those polls are wrong.

First, the Clinton supporters in the polls are quick to say they would vote for Sanders in a contest against Trump. But the Sanders supporters are not ready to give up, and many of them see saying they would vote for Clinton in such a match-up would be tantamount to giving up. So they refuse to say that (even though many of them would do exactly that come November).

But the main reason Sanders does well in those polls is because the Republicans have given him a free ride in the primary season. They have attacked Clinton at every opportunity, but they have had almost nothing to say about Sanders. Why? Because they are terrified that they couldn't beat Clinton in the general election, and they feel comfortable that they could easily beat Sanders. So, they have not attacked Sanders, in the hope that Democrats would somehow nominate him.

But you can be sure that would stop if Sanders became the nominee. They have plenty they could use against him, and are licking their chops at the thought of running against him. What could they have to use against him? Here are a few things listed by Trevor LaFuici at The People's View:

Bernie The Rapist

Think everything in Bernie's past is off-limits? Republicans know better. They know Bernie Sanders wrote a fictitious essay in 1972 describing the a woman enjoying being raped by three men. This was not the work of a high school boy. Or a horny college student. This was the work of a thirty-one-year-old man. With a child. If you think Republicans wouldn't go after this essay in an attempt to hurt Sanders' standing among women you'd be crazy. Republicans would plaster this essay all over a series of ads to discredit Sanders support among women voters and they'd do it without giving it a second thought.

Bernie The Bum 

Think Republicans wouldn't attempt to portray Sanders as a drain on the system? Sanders collected unemployment through his mid-30s and did a series of odd jobs including carpentry, teaching, working as a hospital aid, and working for a nonprofit. At one point, he stole electricity from his neighbor because he had failed to pay his own bills. At this time, Sanders also shared custody of his son and quite possibly struggled to pay child support. Think Republicans wouldn't try to portray Bernie as a deadbeat dad? Then you clearly don't know Republicans.

Bernie's Disdain For Latinos

Think Republicans wouldn't attempt to lessen Sanders' support among key Democratic voting blocs like Latinos? In 1994, Sanders co-sponsored a bill that would have allow low-level nuclear waste from Vermont to be shipped to the poor Latino community of Sierra Blanca, Texas. Activists from Sierra Blanca fought back for four years and even traveled 2,000 miles to Vermont to speak with then Congressman Sanders. Sanders' response? He told the activists he didn't care and that he had a re-election campaign to worry about. Republicans would be certain that Sanders would be forever associated with the terms 'Sierra Blanca' and 'environmental racism.'

Bernie's Apathy Toward African-Americans

Besides women and Latinos, African-Americans represent another essential part of the Obama coalition needed to win a general election. Sanders is proud of his early civil rights work but don't think for a second that Republicans wouldn't remind the voters that Sanders has been noticeably absent for the past half-century. They'd point out how Sanders was "invisible" to African-Americans activists in Vermont and how civil rights icon John Lewis "never saw" Sanders go to bat for civil rights issues while in Congress. Don't doubt that Republicans wouldn't gleefully use these instances to portray Sanders as someone who simply isn't invested in the African-American community.

"Bernie The Bomber" 

Think Republicans wouldn't love to shatter Sanders' angelic reputation among his core supporters? Sanders consistently touts his anti-war record. Yet in 1999, he voted in favor of NATO's military mission in Yugoslavia, much to the dismay of his hometown supporters. In fact, his supporters were so upset that they went to Congressman Sanders' office to speak to him or someone with his staff. Sanders was in D.C. but the protesters were promptly arrested without being given an audience. Yup, that's right. Civil rights hero Bernie Sanders openly arrested protesters in his own congressional office. Republicans could literally kill two birds with one stone by using this instance to show Sanders and being pro-war and pro-establishment at the same time.

Bernie The War Hawk

Sanders has also gone on record against excessive military spending. Yet Republicans would gladly point out how he openly supports the military's $1.5 trillion F-35 boondoggle that epitomizes superfluous military spending as well as perpetual war. Why does Sanders support this? Because it brings jobs to his home state of Vermont. And anything that brings jobs helps to get Senator Sanders re-elected every six years which is much more important than one's principled anti-war stance. Republicans would be sure to remind everyone in the other 49 states that Sanders loves to enrich his own pockets through war.

Calamity Jane

As we've already seen with Donald Trump, spouses are fair game in the year 2016. Unfortunately, for Bernie Sanders, his wife Jane has more than enough baggage for Donald Trump and Republicans to use. Not only has she continued to profit off of the same nuclear commission involved in the Sierra Blanca case, but she also received a $200,000 golden parachute from Burlington College, where she served as president to a for-profit school that is scheduled to close later this month due to crushing debt. She also has been accused of bank fraud for potentially having scammed the Catholic Church out of nearly $2 million in a land deal. If Donald Trump would criticize a woman for her looks, imagine what he'd do to someone who has a shady background concerning business deals and personal finances.

Bolshevik Bernie

Republicans know it's one thing to paint someone a certain way because of their policies, but it's another one entirely to paint someone a certain way because of their lifestyle. Bernie Sanders was an open supporter of Communism in the 1980s. He honeymooned in the USSR and traveled to Cuba in 1989 in an unsuccessful attempt to meet with Fidel Castro. Yet these two instances pale in comparison to Sanders' interactions in Nicaragua. Not only has Sanders gone on record in praise of the Sandinistas but he also attended an anti-American rallywhere the crowd chanted for "death to the Yankees." Combine this nugget of information along with Sanders' radical ideas on income inequality and Republicans could easily paint him as an unpatriotic anarchist hell-bent on destroying America.

Bernie The Crook

Don't think for a second that Donald Trump wouldn't attack Sanders on anything and everything related to finances. Unfortunately for Sanders, his campaign has left a lot to be desired in this regard. Sanders and his campaign have been flagged for multiple campaign finance violations including 639 pages worth this past month. These violations combined with the fact that the Sanders campaign has a mystery $10 million donation from one single address in Washington, D.C. that has yet to be accounted for. In addition, Sanders' long time friend and political advisor Tad Devine is raking in a cool $800,000 a month for his consulting firm. With this in mind, there can be no question that Donald Trump would go after Sanders for being a hustler, a con man, and a crook when it came to other people's money. 
Bernie The Hypocrite

The last line of attack Republicans use would be a culmination of everything Sanders has said or done throughout his political career. They'd point out that Sanders has railed against super PACS but is being openly supported by the National Nurses United. They'd point out that Sanders went on the picket line to support Verizon workers but he uses Verizon at his campaign headquarters. They'd point out that Sanders has spoken out against Boeing but that he has accepted over $72,000 from them this election cycle alone. They'd point out that Sanders criticized Hillary Clinton for supporting the 1994 Crime Bill but Sanders himself expressed no regret in actually voting for the bill. They'd point out that Sanders claims to be against the NRA but was supported by themfor his first successful congressional run in 1990. They'd point out that Sanders claims to be able to work across the aisle but that his blind ideology caused him to vote against the Amber Alert system. They'd point out that Sanders supports universal health care but it failed in his home state of Vermont due to high costs. They'd point out that Sanders has consistently bashed Democrats, including President Obama, and is admittedly using the party for his own personal gain. And, perhaps most damaging, Republicans would point out how Sanders has claimed to be able to save families money but has openly admitted that "we will raise taxes" in order to enact his agenda.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for tis list, but you missed what is, to me, the single biggest piece of baggage -- though others might choose some of the others you listed. (I had heard of some problems with Jane -- who -- and this is pure 'feel,' but something tells me most of his bad advice is coming from her.)
    Nut nothing tops his willingness to 'let his name be used' (or that is how he's spinning it) as a Presidential Elector for the SWP in 1980. Even from my days marching against Vietnam, the Socialist Workers Party was always a difficult and unliked group, capable r providing a few numbers to the march, but fer Kroo's sake keep them away from any decision-making part of the group, on any part of th limelight.
    They've akways been bad, in 1980 they were worse. For those of you who don't remember, the Ayatollahs had seized the Iranian Revolution years before, and were holding a large number of American hostages. Even those Americans who, jusly, hated the Shah had long since considered 'the new boss, same as the old boss' and Pete Townshend was again looking like a prophet as he 'picked up his guitar and played, just like yesterday..."
    I dob;t think that there was a single American group that did not hate the Ayatollahs, with their religious based misogyny, their seizure iif a progtessive revolution and turning it into an Islamic one, etc. not to mention peple who kust don't like to see Americans held hostage. Not one group that declared "Solidarity for the Iranian Revolution' after it had become the Ayatollah's -- apparently because anyone attacking Ameerica for anything was 'the enemy of my enemy/' Nit one group exceot the SWP.


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