Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Josh Marshall: A Requiem for Bernie Sanders' Presidential Campaign - Talking Points Memo

Why did a marginal member of Congress, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’ campaign take hold? And what does it bode for the future of the Democratic Party?  What good did it do?  And what harm?

We live in an age of anxiety.  People want jobs, not gigs; educational opportunity, not heavy debt; health care not deductibles and co-pays.

The good - and the why.  Sanders was the anti-Reagan.  For thirty five years the GOP has worked from Reagan’s premise: government is the problem, not the solution.  The Sanders campaign is its antithesis: government is good - and we need more of it: universal free health care, free college tuition and the universalization of post high school education.  Bill Clinton called for this twenty years ago; so has Barack Obama.  But they, of course, faced the wall of anti-tax sentiment.  Sanders acted like it didn’t exist or would somehow be knocked down by a “political revolution”

Let’s look at the harm next: the character attack on Hillary Clinton did damage - to her campaign and to the chances of defeating any Republican candidate.  The “corruption” issue synchronized with twenty five years of Republican slanders.  Sanders broadsides were much repeated by GOP propagandists who used Sanders as liberal corroboration for there own attacks.  The ad hominem attacks on Clinton undercut the necessity of getting out the youth vote in November. Hillary Clinton is not personally corrupt.  But she has worked within the existing system which meant compromising with certain forces: major financial players (like Goldman Sachs); catering to the Zionist vote.  And her paranoia led her to ignore norms - like sending her email from her own domain.  Her support of the right to choose, expansion of health care, and gay rights gained little traction among Sanders supporters because they take such positions for granted.

Those of us who reacted against Sanders naivete and embraced the necessity of an incremental approach punched against a rising tide of youth sentiment which rejected the Reagan model, and knew so little of the Cold War that red baiting the pinko meant little. The youth versus age divide is powerful, as the Brexit vote shows.  Young people voted Remain, the elderly leave. Now for Josh Marshall's take.  - gwc

A Requiem for Bernie Sanders' Presidential Campaign
by Josh Marshall Talking Points Memo
By endorsing Hillary Clinton for president, Bernie Sanders will finally and officially end his campaign for the presidency – and fittingly so. Was it all worth it? Political history is littered with dissident campaigns that made a splash but didn’t have much impact after they were over – Brown in ’92, McCain in 2000, and Huckabee and Edwards in 2008 – as well as those that did – Reagan in 1976, Hart in 1984, and Dean in 2004. It’s too early to tell about Sanders’ campaign, but here are several aspects in which Sanders either reinforced a trend or, perhaps, began one....

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