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Democrats enter Anybody But Bernie phase



I do not go by the polls. I go by the pols. How they act in a campaign informs a person more than numbers on a spreadsheet.

Democrat elders have begun an Anybody But Bernie campaign. That surprised me because everyone is calling Biden the front runner. In presidential politics, an Anybody But campaign is the last gasp of a party's establishment to stop an insurgent.

They usually fail. I remember Anybody But Carter, Anybody But Reagan, Anybody But Clinton, and of course, Never Trump. Donald John Trump got a unique moniker for his opposition campaign because, hey, he's Donald John Trump.

(Mark Steyn ruminated on National Review's ill-fated Never Trump movement.)

In each case, an ineffective incumbent leadership in the party that lost the last election feared a hostile takeover. In each case, the fear was legitimate. In each case, they were so incompetent, their Anybody But campaign failed.

Which brings me to Bernie. My initial reaction was what the expletive? They fear a President Blinded Me With Science?



He seems like a relic of the 1980s. Surely, they jest.

But then I remembered. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez campaigned for him. And as I posted a year ago, "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the soul of the Democrat Party."

I wrote, "Just as President Donald John Trump is the soul of the Republican Party, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the soul of the Democrat Party. And for the same reason: betrayal. Both parties betrayed their supporters."

Conservatives underestimate how far short of his promise Obama fell. His posthumous adoption of Trayvon Martin as his son saved his legacy among his core black voters. But Democrats wonder where's the socialism? Obamacare was a nothingburger with free birth control added as a condiment.

Hillary bombing at the ballot box created a vacuum, which AOC filled.

Quid Pro Joe may be leading the polls. Mini Mike may be able to buy commercials on television. But Bernie has AOC.

And so the party leaders are on an Anybody But Bernie campaign.

The Daily Beast reported, "A group of loosely affiliated Democratic operatives have been in discussions about putting together an effort to attack Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) should he end up winning next week’s Iowa caucus and, potentially, the New Hampshire primary a week later.

"The talks, which two sources described to The Daily Beast, are in their nascent stages, and have already hit a snag. Big money Democrats have shown reluctance at funding such an effort, which could consist of ads attacking Sanders, and institutions associated with Democratic politics have largely shied away from being part of any campaign that goes after the senator, either out of fear over the backlash or growing acceptance at the prospect of him becoming the party’s nominee."

Politico touched on the argument that Bernie cannot win.

It reported, "Sanders is in a strong position, based on recent polls, to win Iowa and then New Hampshire. A one-two punch in the first two states could make him hard to stop. Joe Biden’s firewall — his popularity among African-Americans in South Carolina and other Southern states — would face a severe test.

"But the Democratic establishment is caught in a catch-22: Attack Sanders and risk galvanizing his supporters and turning him into a martyr of the far-left. Or leave him alone and watch him continue to gather momentum."

Bernie, no fool, sees what is happening and understands this panic is a good omen for him.

He told supporters in Iowa, "Suddenly, we have the Democratic establishment very nervous about this campaign. We got Wall Street nervous. They're starting to think, could this really happen? We are their worst nightmare."

Failure has consequences. Republicans discovered that in 2016. Now Democrats learn the lesson.

Hillary kicked off Anybody But Bernie. In promoting a flattering documentary on her (aimed at making her a feminist icon), the Hollywood Reporter played up a quote from said documentary, in which she said of Bernie, "He was in Congress for years. He had one senator support him. Nobody likes him, nobody wants to work with him, he got nothing done. He was a career politician. It's all just baloney and I feel so bad that people got sucked into it."

(His response was "On a good day, my wife likes me, so let’s clear the air on that one.")

The publication asked Hillary, "If he gets the nomination, will you endorse and campaign for him?"

She said, "I'm not going to go there yet. We're still in a very vigorous primary season. I will say, however, that it's not only him, it's the culture around him. It's his leadership team. It's his prominent supporters. It's his online Bernie Bros and their relentless attacks on lots of his competitors, particularly the women. And I really hope people are paying attention to that because it should be worrisome that he has permitted this culture — not only permitted, [he] seems to really be very much supporting it. And I don't think we want to go down that road again where you campaign by insult and attack and maybe you try to get some distance from it, but you either don't know what your campaign and supporters are doing or you're just giving them a wink and you want them to go after Kamala [Harris] or after Elizabeth [Warren]. I think that that's a pattern that people should take into account when they make their decisions."

Bernie's backers don't play nice. A party whose muscle is called Antifa complains once again about mean tweets.

Obama entered the picture. The New York Times said he told Democrat donors. "The average American doesn't think we have to completely tear down the system to remake it."

Fox Business News reported, "Obama has told people in private that Sanders is both temperamentally and politically unfit to beat Trump in the 2020 general election, these people say. Among his concerns are Sanders’ strident form of politics and confrontational manners where he was known not to seek compromise during his long years in the US senate. Meanwhile, Obama is said to worry that Sanders’ far-left policies, which include massive tax increases, free college tuition and massive student debt forgiveness, would alienate even traditional Democratic voters."

Democrats with bylines in the media took the hint. It is open season on Bernie.

Bill Kristol's Bulwark reported, "This Is How Trump Would Destroy Bernie Sanders. Bernie is Trump's dream candidate."

I agree. The Donald versus Bernie would be a final showdown between capitalism and communism.

Bernie can dust off his 2015 argument, in which he said, "You can't just continue growth for the sake of growth in a world in which we are struggling with climate change and all kinds of environmental problems. All right? You don't necessarily need a choice of 23 underarm spray deodorants or of 18 different pairs of sneakers when children are hungry in this country. I don't think the media appreciates the kind of stress that ordinary Americans are working on."

President Trump could trot out the Yakov Smirnoff line, in Soviet Russia you wait for bread, in America, bread waits for you.



The Bulwark said, "Trump has left us weary and fretful, a nation of people ceaselessly on edge. Sanders’ political revolution — his heated language, sweeping proposals, and pledges of relentless confrontation in pursuit of his societal utopia, however heartfelt, are wrong for such a febrile moment. In 2020, Messina believes, Democrats need an antidote to Trump’s shrillness, divisiveness, disloyalty, cruelty, vulgarity, volatility, and lawlessness. Most of all, they need a permanent escape from Trump’s inexhaustible, exhausting, and deeply destabilizing need for our attention.

"All of which argues for a calm and collected unifier who promises his or her best efforts to transcend divisions, seek consensus, and tackle our most pressing issues — like health care, climate change, an infrastructure overhaul which creates jobs in the present, and retraining workers for the jobs of the future — in a practical way that people can actually believe will make their lives better. In shorthand, a candidate who can win."

Winning isn't the issue. Controlling the party is. The DNC may be financially busted but it still pays good salaries and it still has power.

David Frum, another pretend Republican, wrote in the Atlantic, "'Left but not woke' is the Bernie Sanders brand. If anybody failed to recognize it before, nobody can miss it now. Last week, the mega-podcaster Joe Rogan endorsed Sanders. The Sanders campaign tweeted a video of the Rogan endorsement from Sanders’s own account. That tweet then triggered an avalanche of disapproval from other voices in the Democratic coalition."

By woke they mean he is a bigot under the Democrats' ever-evolving definition of evil.

Frum also wrote, "Bernie Sanders is a fragile candidate. He has never fought a race in which he had to face serious personal scrutiny. None of his Democratic rivals is subjecting him to such scrutiny in 2020. Hillary Clinton refrained from scrutinizing Sanders in 2016."

So?

Frum wrote, "The Trump campaign will not steer clear. It will hit him with everything it’s got. It will depict him as a Communist in the grip of twisted sexual fantasies, a useless career politician who oversaw a culture of sexual harassment in his 2016 campaign. Through 2019, Donald Trump and his proxies hailed Sanders as a true voice of the people, thwarted by the evil machinations of the Hillary Clinton machine. They will not pause for a minute before pivoting in 2020 to attack him as a seething stew of toxic masculinity whose vicious online followers martyred the Democratic Party’s first female presidential nominee."

Pay no attention to the noise. Their fear is not that he will lose. Losing goes with the territory. Half the time your party loses the election.

They fear Bernie will win and take over their party.

And by going public with that fear, they show Bernie -- not Biden -- is the front runner.

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