Sunday, March 15, 2020

Sanders and Biden Debate

"Last of all Bernie stood alone. Then he cast aside his shield, and wielded an axe two-handed; and it is sung that the axe smoked in the black blood of the troll-guard of Clinton until it withered, and each time that he slew Bernie yelled: ‘Medicare for All!! Power to the People!!!’ Seventy times he uttered that cry, but they took him at last alive, by the command of Biden, for the Democrats grappled him with their hands, which clung to him still though he hewed off their arms; and ever their numbers were renewed, until at last he fell buried beneath them. Then Clinton bound him and dragged him to MSNBC headquarters with mockery."
-Apologies to J.R.R. Tolkien

Senator Bernie Sanders was defeated convincingly in most states that had contests, including my own, this past Tuesday, March 10. Although Sanders is down, he's not yet mathematically eliminated. Sanders still has a most unlikely path to victory. Sanders must win the remaining races with about 60% of the vote. Sanders is making some reconciliation sounds to Biden voters while still planning to debate Biden Sunday night. 

Compared to four or certainly eight years ago, Biden is having more challenges getting the right words to come out of his mouth. He's forgetting more. Is it dementia? It may happen to us all if we live long enough. Sanders is apparently hoping that when he gets Biden one-on-one he can press Biden on issues, evoke some gaffes, and put a verbal beatdown on Biden so that Biden "ain't pretty no more". Evidently aware of some of Biden's issues and unwilling to provide any more ammunition to the Trump campaign, some of Biden's supporters have called upon the Democratic Party to cancel the remaining debates and/or for Sanders to concede.
I don't know if Biden or Sanders will beat Trump. They each have flaws that Trump will exploit. 

The Republican propaganda machine is so powerful and Republicans so aggressive that any Democratic candidate will be portrayed as a baby-killing pan-sexual who's determined to ban Christianity, outlaw capitalism, make abortions and homosexuality mandatory, and open the borders to coronavirus infected Chinese.

That's just how Republicans do it. They are very good at ginning up fear. What fascinates me though is just how much many Democratic donors, pundits, and elected officials HATE Bernie Sanders and the people who voted for him. 

Many seem to have far more vitriol for Sanders than they do for Trump. I think this is in part because in being who he is, Sanders holds up a mirror to certain people. And they don't like what they see. 

Sanders failed miserably at motivating young or new voters to get off their behind and vote for him. And yet some people are primed and salivating to blame Sanders if he can't get young people to vote for Biden? That doesn't make sense. 

I don't know if Biden will increase Democratic turnout if he's the standard bearer. 

What I do know that is if Biden wins the Presidency the Democratic political establishment isn't likely to give Sanders and his voters anything. 

And should Biden lose to Trump, well just like the embittered Hillary Clinton, imagine another four years of toxic potshots at anyone to Biden's left. Everything will be Sanders' fault. 

Sanders is an imperfect politician with plenty of blind spots. But I think that Sanders' campaigns in 2020 and 2016 have shown that it might be time for the Democratic party to split up. A lot will depend on the tone that Biden and Sanders take with each other on Sunday night.

Biden's supporters can't take for granted that Sanders' supporters will vote for Biden in the fall. Yelling at them and insulting them as national pundits and some of my circle of friends and family like to do probably won't convince them to vote for Biden. 

Saying that Trump is evil may also not be enough of a motivation for some who are convinced that the Democratic Party must be at a minimum deloused if not dismantled and rebuilt. Sanders may not want to go full kamikaze. But some of his people might.

What do you think???

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