Friday, January 22, 2016

The Democrats Have Their Own Face-Off

Sanders/Clinton heading for its own smackdown? Looks like it...

Paul Krugman's lining up with Hillary...
People are choosing sides, as one might expect. Two favorites of mine -- Paul Krugman and Robert Reich -- are placing themselves on opposite sides of the Clinton/Sanders divide. Krugman lines up behind Hillary, stressing that the kind of change Bernie Sanders stands for doesn't have a snowball's chance in Hell. Robert Reich cries foul, saying Bernie's a better candidate against the GOP, and polls show it. What's more, if Sanders gets in, he may drive the millennials to give him the Congress he needs for his revolution.

Reich sees how Bernie can win...
Hmm. I wonder. I've been through this back and forth, starting in the Krugman camp, believing that Hillary's pragmatism would triumph over Bernie's idealism. Bernie's the better man, as far as I'm concerned -- policy-wise -- but I ran with the Hillary's-more-electable crowd until recently. Reich gives me reason -- a welcome reason -- for pause. I want to go all-in for Bernie, and if it's not a suicide pact to support him, count me all-in.

Just as the conservative establishment is beginning to devour itself in its frenzy to prevent Trump -- a usurper in their eyes, could be right! -- I can see a destructive face-off between pragmatic Hillary and idealistic Bernie. The difference here is that both candidates are largely admirable, despite the baggage Clinton seems destined to carry, however unfair, and the charges sure to be leveled at Sanders, who's a goddam socialist after all!

A point I'd like to make in favor of Bernie is that he is the only candidate of either party that currently has a net-positive favorability rating.

As a college student, I was solidly behind Robert Kennedy in 1968, until his assassination left us in tatters. Johnson had already dropped out, the Chicago riots at the Democratic Convention put the party in an unflattering light, and Hubert Humphrey couldn't pull everything back together fast enough. This is how an unpopular Richard Nixon got into office. In 1972, Democrats, deeply against the Vietnam War by this time, offered up idealist George McGovern for the slaughter, which is why to this day, Democrats are afraid of idealists. Obama might have been a one-off because, man, could he speak (still can).

I'm watching and waiting, looking for a reason to be hopeful. If the GOP keeps collapsing in front of us, Democrats could nominate a ham sandwich -- as they say -- and win in 2016. In that case, I want Bernie, but I'll take Hillary. Not a bad place for the party to be in.

No comments:

Post a Comment