Warnings For Democrats If Clinton Is Nominee

Sanders Clinton

Bernie Sanders has an op-ed in The New York Times warning that Democrats Need to Wake Up after the Brexit vote in Great Britain:

The notion that Donald Trump could benefit from the same forces that gave the Leave proponents a majority in Britain should sound an alarm for the Democratic Party in the United States. Millions of American voters, like the Leave supporters, are understandably angry and frustrated by the economic forces that are destroying the middle class.

In this pivotal moment, the Democratic Party and a new Democratic president need to make clear that we stand with those who are struggling and who have been left behind. We must create national and global economies that work for all, and not a handful of billionaires.

As an aside, if Sanders is going to lecture the Democrats on policiy, I’d also mention the argument in Truthout that “the Sanders “Revolution” Must Take on the Permanent War State.”

Of course Sanders prefers to deal with the economic issues and, despite the importance of responding the warfare state, economics and trade will probably have more of an impact in this year’s election, possibly hurting the Democrats. As Matthew Yglasias warns, “Clinton is personally and politically tied to Bill Clinton’s administration in the 1990s and to Barack Obama’s administration more recently, both of which sought to advance a free trade agenda.” He points out that one problem Clinton has is that nobody believes her:

Clinton’s problem: Does anyone believe this?

The problem with Clinton’s preferred line of attack is it fails to pass the basic “does anyone actually believe this?” test.

The stated reasons for Clinton’s opposition to the TPP didn’t make any sense and were immediately panned by observers such as Vox editor in chief Ezra Klein as smacking of opportunism. Having come out against it, Clinton will in all likelihood follow through and scuttle the agreement.

There’s no question that her position is based upon opportunism. It is far from certain that she will actually scuttle the agreement if elected.

While things can change between now and November, and neither major party nominee is yet official, Clinton has a considerable advantage over Trump. Trump already is far behind Clinton in organization, fund raising and, most importantly, public support. Plus Clinton starts out with the Democratic edge in the electoral college She will probably win if scandals and legal action don’t stop her. Democrats should be concerned.

With the most recent revelations (here and here), Chris Cillizza writes that, Hillary Clinton’s email story continues to get harder and harder to believe.

The latest batch of emails suggest that Clinton’s filter to decide between the personal and the professional was far from foolproof. That these emails never saw the light of day before Monday — or before a conservative legal advocacy group petitioned for their release — opens up the possibility that there are plenty more like them that Clinton chose to delete but shouldn’t have. And it provides more fodder for the Republican argument that Clinton appointing herself as judge, jury and executioner for her emails was, at best, a very, very bad decision and, at worst, something more nefarious than just bad judgment.

…this email to Abedin — which came at the start of her four-year term in office — suggests a bit more active agency than Clinton has previously let on. “I think we need to get on this asap to be sure we know and design the system we want,” doesn’t strike me as Clinton simply wanting convenience and following the instructions of her IT people on how to make that happen. It reads to me as though Clinton is both far more aware of the email setup and far more engaged in how it should look than she generally lets on publicly…

For a candidate already struggling to convince voters she is honest and trustworthy enough to be president, stories like this one are deeply problematic.

While I generally agree with his assessment, I would also point out in response to the title that Clinton’s story was already quite obviously a bunch of lies from the time of her first response to the scandal.

Even if Clinton can sustain her rather impressive lead over Trump, this does not mean everything is fine for he Democrats.  Taegan Goddard warns that Clinton Is a Drag on Congressional Candidates:

The new NBC News/Wall Street Journal confirms what we observed earlier this month: Despite the tremendous unpopularity of Donald Trump and of congressional Republicans, there doesn’t appear to be a wave forming which would give Democrats a chance to take control of the House.

The generic congressional ballot actually shows voters deadlocked over which party they would prefer to control Congress, 46% to 46%. The RealClearPolitics average shows Democrats ahead by just one point on the generic ballot.

This indicates the problem for Democrats goes beyond gerrymandered congressional districts and poor recruitment efforts. The problem is that Hillary Clinton is nearly as unpopular as Trump. While she may be favored in the presidential race, she’s also weighing down congressional candidates…

I wonder how many voters will split their ticket this year, having qualms about whichever candidate they vote for in the presidential race. Many might want to see the other party control Congress to place checks on the president. Far more might vote against this year’s winner in two years.

Bernie Sanders has continued his campaign based upon the argument that he does better than Clinton in the head to head polls against Trump. As Clinton has an excellent chance of winning despite her narrower margin, Sanders might have a stronger argument that having him head the ticket would be better for all the down ticket candidates. Sanders can expand the Democratic Party, while Clinton could do long term damage to it.

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10 Comments

  1. 1
    SocraticGadfly says:

    Bernie's 'too good of a Dem' to do anything more than that op-ed. He's long ago made his Democratic Party bed: http://socraticgadfly.blogspot.com/2016/06/bernie-sanders-wants-to-tarpaper-over.html

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    Gadfly, He is very unlikely to do anything such as run third party. He will probably be supporting Clinton after the convention, unless she takes too sharp a turn to the right too quickly.

    He still might do more of value beyond op-eds. Hopefully he will be campaigning for more liberal candidates down ticket and help influence the direction of the party beyond Clinton.

  3. 3
    Susan Pippin says:

    The Democrats need to be worried. I live in Oklahoma where the Republicans revile Hillary Clinton. We opened our Democratic Primary to Independent voters and Bernie Sanders won. This should tell the party that their candidate of choice is flawed, she cannot win Republican states, even though her inside supporters managed to minimize Bernie enough before the primary that she was able to take the early lead. The fact that millennials do not support her should worry them. The entire south will go to Trump and her ability to win is in question. 

  4. 4
    Ron Chusid says:

    I think Clinton will probably win because of how awful a campaign Trump is running. Obviously things could change between now and November so nothing is certain. Either way, the Democrats have certainly given up an opportunity to expand the party–losing independents and younger voters. Sanders would be competitive in states where Clinton will not be. Democrats will be happy because more young voters will vote for Clinton than Trump, but they will have fewer younger voters, and fewer young voters who become long term supporters of the party.

  5. 5
    Philo Vaihinger says:

    This is not Bernie using his hard won high profile to shift from seeking the Democratic nomination to supporting Hillary and the Democratic Party against Trump and the Republican Party.

    This is Bernie the Seattle rioter, the global anti-capitalist revolutionary jumping up and down and angrily shouting in rage.

    Rage at the global poverty against which progress still races, and at the inequality that is in any case intrinsic to capitalism.

    Rage at the global capitalism, itself, that Obama and Hillary support, endorse, and seek to ameliorate.

    We so are not all socialists, now.

    And then he pivots to briefly damning those who supported Brexit and those who support Trump while espousing the left-wing fake version of economic nationalism, before with his usual hypocrisy pretending to take their side and share their rage, as he has done throughout his campaign.

    We need to fundamentally reject our “free trade” policies and move to fair trade.

    "Fair trade" is what cosmopolitans urge to steal votes from economic nationalists who call for tariffs or even ban imports of certain products.

    It does not and cannot keep jobs in America and is not intended to, but only ensures that the foreigners who get those jobs are not too awfully exploited.

    It is what Denis Kucinich and David Sirota used to talk about while pretending they wanted to stop factories moving to Mexico or China when what they really wanted to do was make those lost American jobs even more beneficial to the Mexican and Chinese workers who got them.

    Americans should not have to compete against workers in low-wage countries who earn pennies an hour.

    Absolutely not.

    We need to insure those workers in low wage countries at least earn dimes and quarters.

    That is what "fair trade" is about.

    We must defeat the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

    And then he ends pretending, as he has all along, that he wants to prioritize Americans while demanding policies that would harm Americans for the purpose of benefiting others around the world, as well as future owners of beach-front and shore level property.

    We must help poor countries develop sustainable economic models.

    . . . .

    We need to create tens of millions of jobs worldwide by combating global climate change and by transforming the world’s energy system away from fossil fuels.

    We need international efforts to cut military spending around the globe and address the causes of war: poverty, hatred, hopelessness and ignorance.

    Those are the causes of war, huh?

    The notion that Donald Trump could benefit from the same forces that gave the Leave proponents a majority in Britain should sound an alarm for the Democratic Party in the United States.

    Millions of American voters, like the Leave supporters, are understandably angry and frustrated by the economic forces that are destroying the middle class.

    In this pivotal moment, the Democratic Party and a new Democratic president need to make clear that we stand with those who are struggling and who have been left behind.

    We must create national and global economies that work for all, not just a handful of billionaires.

    So writes the global radical.

    There is a lot more Chavez/Madero/Pope Francis in this fellow than he has clearly let on.

    Had he been chosen as the Democrats' nominee, Trump and the Republicans would have eaten him alive.

    But wait.

    That could still happen.

    Hillary could be indicted before the convention.

  6. 6
    Wayne King says:

    #IPledgeMyVoteToBernieSanders #NeverHIllary #WhenWeStandTogether_WeWin  Whatever you consider, consider 10 million of us all choosing together.

  7. 7
    Ron Chusid says:

    “Had he been chosen as the Democrats’ nominee, Trump and the Republicans would have eaten him alive.”

    Yet Sanders has consistently done much better than Clinton in head to head polls. Sanders does better with independent voters. Sanders does better in the swing states. Those who have looked at his record (including his business-friendly record when mayor) realize how he was a pragmatic politician, not the leftist radical Clinton supporter claim. However he has consistently promoted liberal goals, as opposed to undermining them as Clinton has throughout her career.

    “Hillary could be indicted before the convention.”

    Low likelihood but definitely possible. It is also not clear what would happen then as a strong majority of Democrats have said they would still support her even if indicted in one poll I saw. It is a safe bet that Clinton would continue to fight for the nomination if she thought she had any chance to win it. Hopefully, if she was indicted, enough super delegates (along with some of her own delegates) would break from her to keep her from getting the nomination.

    In such a situation, I would hope Sanders would get the nomination, but he also would not have enough delegates to win without the support of more super delegates and/or current Clinton delegates. He might get the nomination, but I could also see the party turning to someone like Biden, Warren, or Kerry.

  8. 8
    SocraticGadfly says:

    Ron I know Bernie won't run 3rd party. I knew that a year ago when he announced.

  9. 9
    philo vaihinger says:

    I think you are right she would not withdraw if indicted and that Bernie might then be nominated. 

    But then he would be red baited mercilessly and would lose.

  10. 10
    Ron Chusid says:

    Clinton already engaged in plenty of red bating and yet he does better than Clinton in the general election polls.

    Republican red bating wouldn’t do any harm. They have called Obama a Marxist Socialist for years. They claim that Hillary Clinton is far left. They claimed that John Kerry was the most liberal Democrat in the Senate. They use similar red baiting against any Democrat. The only people who fall for it are those who would already not vote for any Democrat. At least Sanders isn’t tainted by all the scandals Clinton is, and won’t be dragged down by Clinton’s record of having been wrong on pretty much every big question during her disastrous career.

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