Monday, April 11, 2016

Too much, Bernie

A friend of mine wrote the following letter to Bernie Sanders.

Dear Bernie,

From the very beginning of your campaign, I was a strong supporter. Early on, I made a contribution of $100 to help in the effort. I was impressed by your honesty, your decency and your authenticity. In the first debate, when you told Hillary Clinton that the "American people had had enough of [her] damn emails," I cheered your putting aside political expediency in favor of straight talk. The next day, my wife wrote a letter, which was published in the New York Times, expressing her enthusiasm for the quality of the discourse that was evidenced by the participants in that debate. The contrast with the puerile and undignified Republican debates was overwhelming.

As a registered  Democrat in New York, I had every intention of voting for you next Tuesday. However, the tone you have taken since last week has changed my mind. Despite my admiration for the campaign you had waged up to that point, I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that by attacking Hillary Clinton as "unqualified" and your more recent though milder attacks on Secretary Clinton and her husband, you  risk providing ammunition to the Republican nominee that will result in a great disaster for our nation--a Republican president. 

The shift of my one primary vote from you to Secretary Clinton will go unnoticed. I live, after all, on Manhattan's Upper West Side, where you will prevail in a landslide but you need to hear from a formerly strong supporter that you have gone too far. Your campaign no longer serves your party, your program or your ideas. Your campaign now serves Donald Trump, Ted Cruz or whichever so-called moderate may emerge from a contested convention in Cleveland. 

With sincere regret,

 I particularly like the line "Your campaign no longer serves your party, your program or your ideas".  This is not a criticism of Sanders' ideas, but of his campaign; I fully concur with this analysis. Actually, both Sanders and Clinton should prefix each debate and public announcement from here on out with a statement that he/she will wholeheartedly support the eventual Democratic nominee, and that either Democratic candidate is totally qualified to be president and is far superior to any possible Republican nominee. Both candidates should limit their debating statements to matters of policy differences, no matter the provocation from the "moderators" or the press.

Readers of this blog know that I have been critical of the Democratic party and its office-holders on many, many occasions. Nevertheless, this election is extremely important -- perhaps historic -- because of what is at stake ... I'm sure I needn't belabor you with an enumeration. While neither Sanders nor Clinton are perfect politicians, the Republican party is so completely deficient in just about every practical and moral way, and its continued dominance of Congress and possible capture of the presidency so terrifying, that we must respect Sanders and Clinton at all times, and continually remind ourselves that defeat of the PTR is and will be more important than either of them as personalities. If only they would remind themselves of this fact more often.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Dems have the wrong strategy on Trump

I have never understood why the Democrats -- esp. Hillary Clinton -- have been expending so much energy denouncing Donald Trump. First of all, he is not even the worst of the Republican candidates (that would be the religious loony and flat-taxer Ted Cruz). Secondly, he has always done worse in national polls against any of the potential Democratic nominees. Finally, why help the Republicans put up a stronger ticket?

It's like the goal of Jiu-Jitsu: let your opponents defeat themselves. If I were a Democratic strategist, I would -- especially now -- help Trump as much a possible (though it may be too late). The best thing that could happen for the Dems is for a severely wounded Trump to get the nomination, just when his popularity and the unity of his party are about to sink beneath the waves.

Can't the Democrats ever get things straight?  Would they rather face phony Kasich (ugh: a "can-do" reactionary) in a general election, or some other phony "moderate" chosen by the Republican leadership? Don't they have the courage to face a no-nothing like Trump in a general election? Or are they still slinking with their tails between their legs from decades of red-baiting? Are they afraid that while they deny being liberal, Trump will somehow outliberal them while claiming to be conservative? You would think that Bernie would have taught them some lessons by now: that populism and even some socialism can win elections again the Party for The Rich. (Gosh, the Rich haven't been this unpopular since Hoover and the Great Depression.)

Democrats: find some way to help The Donald get the Republican nomination!!!  And while you're at it, demand that Hillary and Bernie stop attacking each other (or at least stop attacking each other so much). This ain't about Bernie and Hillary as much as B and H may think...