February 16, 2016

DEMOCRATS’ ESTABLISHMENT FIGHTING THE BERN: This piece by Jay Michaelson at The Daily Beast is entertaining, and telling: “Dear Bernie Voters: A Vote for Him is a Vote for Donald Trump”:

Dear Bernie Voter,

Unlike many Clinton supporters, I am not writing to you because I think you’re naïve, or misguided, or sexist, or dumb, or any of the other patronizing and condescending crap that Hillary voters often say. In fact, I probably agree with you on most issues. I am writing to you because I am sincerely worried that you will hand this election to the Republicans, and I want to do my best to convince you not to do so.

The point of primary elections is not to select a president; it’s to select a candidate. For that reason, “electability” is not just one among many issues: It is the central issue. Yet despite having absorbed several dozen pro-Bernie articles and videos, I have yet to hear a plausible path to victory for Bernie Sanders. . . .

Now, some of my pro-Bernie friends say that even if Bernie isn’t ultimately electable, they can’t vote for Clinton in the primary because she’s so awful on, well, insert your key issues here. That is, of course, a coherent position to take. If Clinton’s negatives, or Bernie’s positives, are so high as to be worth losing the general election, then of course it makes sense to vote your values. . . .

Show me a Sanders path to victory, or admit that you’re making that choice, and putting the Republican Party in charge of all three branches of government. . . It’s not compromising, selling out, or picking the lesser of two evils to choose a candidate that can appeal to the broad middle of America—it’s democracy.

Funny, this sounds exactly like the arguments that the GOPe makes against Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. The Democrats’ elite seem to think that in a Sanders vs. Cruz or Trump matchup, the GOP wins. The Republicans’ elite seems to think that in a Clinton vs. Cruz or Trump matchup, Clinton wins.

Presumably, then, both parties think that in a Clinton versus Cruz or Trump election, Clinton wins. While the latest RCP average does show Clinton beating Trump by an average of 4.7 percent, it actually shows Cruz narrowly besting Clinton by an average of 0.2 percent.  Of course none of this polling matters if you don’t believe the polls, and they are acknowledged by many as increasingly inaccurate. So who knows?

What is clear is that both parties are feverishly trying to convince their base to abandon the “outsider” candidates. It’s almost like the more the political establishment (of either party) yells and screams at the unwashed masses, the more the unwashed masses tune them out.