Reality is setting in for supporters of Bernie Sanders, the quixotic Vermont (via Brooklyn) senator who ignited a movement among younger voters who want to rage against the machine. The demographics, closer scrutiny of his policies and his electability (or lack thereof) are his undoing. Hillary Clinton will romp in South Carolina and beat Sanders in the states that follow and end Sanders’ bid. The southern “firewall” is indeed the antacid to stop “The Bern.”
The preceding paragraph will be enough for the “Bernie Bros” who are in my Facebook and Twitter feed to go all looper on me. Their message is very clear: Criticize Bernie at your own peril. This group of supporters wigs out at the first whiff of criticism. I’ve never seen a more condescending, arrogant, holier-than-thou group.
These are a combination of facts, my opinion and common sense:
• Sanders’ proposals—the major ones anyway—are unworkable, economy-threatening, pink puffy unicorns.
• There are always economists one can find to fit one’s desired narrative. After doing way too much research, I’m going with Paul Krugman and other left-leaning number crunchers.
• Sanders’ free-college-for-all pitch is simply not workable. Hillary’s debt-free goal is much more reasonable.
• Single-payer, Medicare for all is great. But how do we get there? Sanders wants to start over, 86-ing Obamacare. Does he not remember the struggle it was to even get that far?
• Sanders spent the bulk of his career-politician work trashing both major parties. Fair enough. There’s been plenty of material. But he doesn’t suddenly get a pass on the fact that he wasn’t a member of the Democratic Party until it was convenient to run for president (last year). Not exactly “revolutionary.”
• The stats show Bernie is done.
Bernie held a huge rally in Greenville, SC. Sunday. There was an impressive 5,200 people there. But upon further review, you’d be hard pressed to find a person of color. The group was overwhelmingly white and young—in South Carolina! More than 50 percent of voters in the Democratic primary will be African American (55 percent in 2008) and older. I don’t need to be Pythagoras to figure out THAT adds up to bad news for Bernie.
According to the Washington Post, in 2008, blacks accounted for 51 percent of the electorate in Alabama and Georgia. Their share was 48 percent in Louisiana, 30 percent in Virginia, 29 percent in Tennessee and 19 percent in Texas.
Nevada, while not delegate rich, showed Clinton’s wall is firm. She won the African American vote three-to-one in the caucuses there. An NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll last week put her ahead 68 percent to 21 percent among likely black voters in South Carolina.
Is Hillary the ideal candidate? Please. Not even close. But she is more realistic. She also supports the Brady Bill (Sanders voted against it five times). She voted against a bill that protects gun manufactures from liability in mass murders. Sanders voted for it.
The clincher for me is despite Sanders’ recent, self-declared “Democratic Socialist” status, he is too close to what we normally call a Socialist.