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Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Sanders Scandal Pundits Have Failed To Note

After trolling for months about how disastrous it was for Hillary Clinton to lack a primary challenger, the pundits are now drooling at the prospect of trolling for months about how disastrous it will be for Hillary Clinton to have a decisive victory in Iowa over her primary challenger Bernie Sanders (say, 55% Clinton, 15% Sanders, which is my expectation, give or take). Of course, Hillary Clinton will get the Democratic nomination, Sanders (whose political views are far closer to my own than Clinton's are, since we are both democratic socialists after all) will not provide even a remote electoral challenge for Clinton, while I suspect she welcomes the "pressure" he provides to enable her to frame her campaign to the left of her husband's politics with which she is historically identified -- as has the party and indeed the whole country also shifted leftward -- while still signaling moderateness by performing contrasts at the level of tone.

The truly notable thing about the Sanders' candidacy at this point -- apart from the wholesome effect yielded by the wider platform for his ideas which will eventually prevail if we are to have a chance to survive and flourish in freedom in the world -- is that in the latest Quinnipiac Poll, at 15% support (against Clinton's 57% support) Sander's is more popular than any of the top five Republican contenders who presently have 10% support each. Talk about scandalous! Given the development that Democratic party identification is now slightly higher in recent polling than Republican party identification, the support for Sanders over the Republican frontrunners is if anything even more pronounced than initially appears. Sanders exposes no weakness in Clinton's support (which for now is highest among those Democrats who are most activist and informed, contrary to pundit gossips who assure us her support in the Base is universally lukewarm), and almost nobody who is supporting Sanders now will not vote for Clinton when the time comes to do so, as of course it will, nor does anybody to speak of even think otherwise already.

No doubt the Beltway press corps remain annoyed because Clinton is continuing a listening tour in which she is ignoring their efforts to cough up the usual hairball of false-equivalence and horse-race narrative with the racist sexist homophobic bully-the-poor bomb-first gun-nut forced-pregnancy science-and-macroeconomics illiterate killer clowns of the Republican party, the better instead to understand how her actually likely voters are experiencing politics and framing issues in their lives outside the beltway. Clinton is right to ignore them, and I hope she will continue to do so for as long as possible -- heaven knows she will receive no more reward for satisfying their demands for attention, as inevitably she will, than for ignoring them.

For now, they are content to spin yarns about dramatic threats to Clinton represented by a Sanders challenge that isn't, and a deep viable Republican bench that isn't either. That a diversifying, secularizing, planetizing American people is leaving the Republicans behind, while they eschew adaptation to the reality of anthropogenic climate change, the failure of market fundamentalist pieties, and the collapse of the white-racist Southern Strategy to retreat into suicidal, genocidal madness seems to me a fairly dramatic story that could be told instead -- and it has the virtue of being much closer to the truth at hand. Ask Bernie Sanders -- he has much more to say about all that than he has to say against Hillary Clinton.

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