It Is Support For Hillary Clinton, Not Bernie Sanders, Which Is Hazardous To The Democratic Party

Fox Poll May

Eight years ago Hillary Clinton remained in the race until after the last primary. Now she would clearly like to see Sanders leave the race. Even if Clinton supporters agree that Sanders can remain in the race, they think that it is wrong for Sanders to criticize both Clinton’s views and the manner in which the primary battle has been rigged to favor Clinton.

The media covers this from Clinton’s perspective–at least the corporate mainstream media, and some bloggers who identify more with the Democratic Party than promoting liberal principles. There are exceptions. Trevor Timm tried to set the record straight at The Guardian.

The idea that Sanders, and to a certain extent others on the left, should stop criticizing Clinton because it gives Trump a better chance to win is ridiculous. Do people think that Clinton should get a free pass for the next six months – and potentially incentive to move to the right – on issues like Wall Street, trade, war, foreign policy and others? Just because Trump would be a disaster does not mean Clinton should be immune from criticism, nor does it mean holding her accountable will prevent her from ultimately defeating Trump.

Around this time in 2008, Clinton was still heavily criticizing the inevitable nominee Barack Obama and making divisive statements that make this primary campaign look like a walk in the park. How quickly everyone forgets (or pretends not to remember.) In fact, some of the issues Clinton once criticized Obama for are now the same issues that Sanders hits Clinton on. Clinton supporters had no problem with it then, but are now feigning being offended now.

It’s quite possible to both continue pushing Clinton on important issues and condemn Trump. The American people are smarter than the Clinton crowd is giving them credit for…

I can’t believe Sanders isn’t enthused about the Democratic party! Let’s see: the DNC chair is a vocal Clinton supporter who tried to hide Democratic debates on the worst nights possible for exposure, the committee cut Sanders off from its important voter database, various state party representatives have unfairly given Clinton an advantage in delegate selection processes, the party has a sweetheart fundraising deal with Clinton and they recently changed their rules to accept more money from corporate lobbyists – a practice that Sanders deplores.

Why should running in the Democratic primary stop Sanders from criticizing the party leadership and apparatus? Some prominent Democrats have even insinuated that he never should have ran as a Democrat if he doesn’t like the way the party is run.

Robert McChesney summed up the problem with media coverage (emphasis mine):

Well, it’s been deplorable, even by the standards—and we’ve talked about this in past years. Grading with a curve allowing for bad coverage as a rule, this has been, I think, an all-time low by mainstream corporate media. And NPR, I’d toss right in there.

You know, you have in the Sanders campaign—whatever one might think of Sanders, as a journalist, you’re looking at one of the most extraordinary political stories in decades that’s come along. You have someone who’s galvanized young support on really an entirely different vision of our society like no other candidate, again, in decades. As journalists, you’d think this would be heaven on Earth, this is the greatest story you could possibly ever cover; you’d look to the sky and say, “Thank you for putting me here in 2016.” Yet what we’ve seen is the Sanders campaign has been largely neglected—all the data shows this—barely covered. And the coverage and the framing of it has been largely through the eyes of the establishment for the Hillary Clinton campaign: This guy is a nuisance, he’s a pain in the butt; he’s getting in the way, in front of the real candidate, the presumptive nominee—presumptive going back to the very beginning. And when you see Sanders or one of his surrogates on the air, generally the tenor of the questioning is “What would Hillary’s people want to ask him?” You know, it’s never like “Let’s take these people on their own terms.” So you put it all together, it’s been pretty distressing and the source, I think, of frustration for a lot of people, that they’ve not really had a fair hearing and a fair exposure to people who rely upon cable news networks and the mainstream media to learn about politics.

Sanders has the right to both express his views and expose the corruption of the party leadership. He has actually gone rather light on Clinton in not using the scandals which surround her in the campaign. In contrast, it has been Clinton who has waged a dishonest Rovian-style campaign against Sanders.

It is not even a case of weakening the candidate who can beat Donald Trump, as that would be Bernie Sanders. Multiple polls, including both national and battleground state polls, have shown that Trump has tied up the race with Clinton while Sanders maintains a significant lead. Two new polls out show the same trend. Fox shows Trump leading Clinton 45 percent to 42 percent, while Sanders leads Trump 46 percent to 42 percent. Rasmussen shows Trump leading Clinton 42 percent to 37 percent.

These latest polls, which are even more favorable to Trump than those earlier in the week, could be showing a trend, or could be demonstrating  a house effect for Republicans. Regardless, numerous polls show that Democrats should be backing Bernie Sanders if they want to have the best chance of beating Donald Trump. Plus Democrats should be supporting the candidate who holds liberal principles as opposed to a candidate as conservative as Clinton.

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8 Comments

  1. 1
    Sally Nedelcovych says:

    Thank-you so much for this article/blog – whatever it's called nowadays!   I love that you called out the media for its utter lack of journalism – its missed chance to cover an historic campaign and its flagrant bias.   The only explanation one can ultimately come to is that the whole system – the media, the DNC, the election officials and party officials – are all corrupted by big corporate money.   And, the other story within the election story is, in fact, the corruption unfolding before us – in each primary election, fraught with fraud – and in the media's coverage of that fraud – or its lack thereof!!!

    I'm astounded by it all, as most of us are, and I'm thankful to people, like you – for telling the truth thoroughly and articulately.   Maybe journalism hasn't died – not yet, anyway.

  2. 2
    DK says:

    Just like the arguments against affirmative action, it can never be that a white guy was just beat and just lost and that people just chose someone else. If they lose, it had to have been rigged. Just pathetic and sad.

    Hillary Clinton won 3 million more votes. Three million more voters chose her — many of those African-American voters put off by the Sanders' campaign tone deaf choice of surrogates like anti-Obama Cornel West, the candidates' criticisms of Obama's leadership qualities like calling him "weak," the candidate's offensive exaggerations of his role in the civil rights movement, his surrogates and supporters attacking civil rights icons like John Lewis, the fact that Bernie never hired a nonwhite staffer in 40 years in politics, his brain dead dismissal of Southern voters, and his campaign's attempt to rewrite the history of the crime bill to paint the Clintons as racist (hint: the black community supported the crime bill just like Bernie did).

    But no, rather than take responsibility, it just has to be someone else's fault. It's someone else's fault that Bernie lied and kept lying about the true cost of his plans on education and healthcare. It's someone else's fault that Bernie couldn't answer basic questions about the details of his Wall Street reform plan. The socialist savior from Vermont can do no wrong, has done nothing wrong, and won't ever do anything wrong — it's all and always the fault of [insert the media/the establishment/corporate blah blah blah]. Sad to see a promising movement devolved into anger, bitterness, and conspiracy paranoia because a bunch of privileged brats couldn't get their way.

    Hillary Clinton got more votes. She won more closed primaries. She also won more open primaries. She won more Southern states. She won more Northern states. She won more swing states. To the extent that anything was "rigged" it disenfranchised Hillary voters: he won the Oregon caucus which disenfranchises those who have to work during caucus time and the elderly — as was proven when the Oregon primary was held, more people participated, and she won. Without caucuses, which are anti-demoractic, Bernie would be losing even worse. If Democrats had winner-take-all primaries, Bernie would be losing even more. His supporters throw tantrums and make up conspiracy theories because they couldn't overturn the will of Nevada voters — but Bernie is the victim. Give me an effin' break! 

    The Democratic debates were among the most watched of all time. He got temporarily cutoff from voting data — because his campaign STOLE Hillary's voter data and lied about it. How arrogant and privileged do you have to be to play the victim for your own misbehavior. Disgusting!

    And as far as poll showing Bernie doing better against Drumpf, please! Bernie has never — in the entirety of his career — faced a sustained, vicious, no-holds-barred attack on his glaring weaknesses. Hillary's negatives are already baked in. Favorability polls show that still a huge chunk of the electorate doesn't know enough about Bernie to form an opinion. Republicans wouldn't place nice, like Hillary did, about Bernie's socialism and atheism. Does any sane person think his numbers would hold after a billion-dollar ad blitz slamming him an a godless communist who honeymooned in Russia and wants everyone to pay a 60-70% tax rate like Europeans do? Don't make me laugh.

  3. 3
    Ron Chusid says:

    So many fallacies in DK’s arguments. I’ll address some of them here.

    That is a rather distorted attack re race. Lying about Bernie’s record is only going to fool die hard Clinton supporters who don’t care about the truth regarding his record.

    Clinton won more votes from the people who vote in Democratic primaries, but this is not representative of all those who vote Democratic. The system was also heavily rigged for Clinton and was not a fair nomination battle. This leads to the situation where Clinton leads for the nomination with tremendous negatives nationally.

    “The Oregon caucus which disenfranchises those who have to work during caucus time and the elderly.”

    Oregon has voting by mail so these people were not disenfranchised. If you mean other caucus states, these are the party rules and not anything which was backed by Sanders. It has been Democratic-leaning independents who were most disenfranchised. The worst case was in New York, where they had to change registration by October.

    “his campaign STOLE Hillary’s voter data and lied about it”

    No, his campaign did not steal voter data. It was his campaign which reported the data breach in the system set up by the DNC.

    “Bernie has never — in the entirety of his career — faced a sustained, vicious, no-holds-barred attack on his glaring weaknesses”

    Bernie does not have the types of glaring weaknesses which Clinton has. Bernie has sustained a Rovian-style campaign from Clinton. The Clinton people are every bit as vicious and dishonest as the Republicans, including the use of former Republican attack dog David Brock. Clinton has had it easy this year with Bernie holding back on using attacks on her scandals which might have destroyed her. She has struggled both times she has run for the nomination despite her tremendous advantages. Red-baiting didn’t work for Clinton and will primarily only influence people who are not likely to vote for any Democrat–the type of people who already think Obama is Marxist and Muslim and think Clinton is far left.

  4. 4
    Ruth Chambers Holt says:

    May 20th 2016 at 6:31 pm  

    You guys are certainly covering every intelligent 'approach' to this mess of Clinton and her 'manner' of trying to get Sanders out of 'her' picture, (her picture as she would like for US to 'buy' into…

    I would say,(think), her best move right now would be to start 'hinting at';  –>  "IF she wins the final Dem. nomination that 'she' would love to have, then she should ask Sanders to run as her VP to that office,(vice president), and that way, she might be able to 'salvage' a part of the good will of the voting Democrat public… 

    If Sanders has to run as VP and she agrees to actually 'listen to' and heed his advice while/if  she is head haunch as"THE PREZ", then she might actually stand a chance to win that position away from Trump… 

    If she does NOT get on bended knee and 'beg Sanders' to be her VP,  she will be making a huge mistake, perhaps the 'hugest'/(baddest ?sp ) mistake she will EVER make in her lifetime.   SHE 'needs' Bernie Sanders right now, any way she cuts 'that' piece of 'cake' …!!!  SHE needs Sanders as much as the United States of America needs Sanders and she sure had best 'wake-up'  IF she hopes to ever set her foot back into the White House…

    O.K.  I am now at the 'end of' my tirade…  That is probably the 'only' one I will 'have' until after this 2016 fiasco is 'over'…  I promised myself that THIS time around that I would NOT jump into another fiasco head first the way I did in the last two elections…

    All have a good day and a good remainder of this year, so Happy Memorial Day, happy 4th of July, have a good thanksgiving and Merry Xmas to ALL… 

     

    Poofing out, (now out of here…)!  

     

    P O O F…!

  5. 5
    Ron Chusid says:

    Unless she would really listen to Sanders, I would rather have him in the Senate. If Clinton is president, we will need a liberal opposition to her if her conservative inclinations dominate. I fear that most Democrats will go along with her out of party loyalty, with Sanders being more likely to protest her actions on principle if needed.

  6. 6
    Marsha L St. John says:

    Don't buy into the '3 million more votes' rhetoric. The fact is that many states have caucuses, and these votes are not counted. Plus the Independents can only vote in a few primaries but are able to vote in the general election. Enough with the 'sore losers' BS, I see some people who should be classed as losers themselves posting these kinds of derogatory remarks. The fact is, if you all really don't want Trump in the White House, you need to select the best candidate to beat him, and that is NOT Clinton. Just sayin'

  7. 7
    Ginny in CO says:

    I'm wondering if enough Clinton supporters will be upset by the new State Dept email issues to decide against her. It could make it more difficult for the Bernie supporters who are Independents, GOP or new to voting to mark her box.  Overall, it makes her a weaker candidate against Trump who can/will make plenty of noise over her lack of no-brainer responsibility using the server. For a woman who is supposed to be really smart, she sure has done a lot of dumb stuff.

    Convention is 8 weeks from tomorrow, this campaign is too far out for predictions IMO.

     

  8. 8
    Ron Chusid says:

    Ginny, A lot of Clinton supporters remain in denial. After all, we didn’t need the IG report. Fact checkers and the media have been saying pretty much the same thing for a year in terms of Clinton violating policy. The one difference is that the IG report also demonstrates that Clinton tried to cover up her actions and refused to cooperate to a greater degree than we knew before. Still, the underlying facts of the scandal were out there and they still supported her. The question is whether enough superdelegates will look at this and finally realize how risky it is to nominate Clinton. Hopefully some will also question the ethics of nominating Clinton.

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