A Tree Named Sanders Fell on 2016, So Why Don’t Republicans Hear It?



History is littered with the names of once promising, supposedly viable nominees for the nation’s highest office who had their hopes dashed under the weight of scandal and/or unreasonably high personal and public expectations. This is true of both parties from all relevant American epochs. A few examples include William Henry Seward, Gary Hart, Howard Dean, John McCain and current 2016 favorite Hillary Clinton. All these names and more have known the sting of presumed favorite status, turned bridesmaid humiliation, a sense of inevitability deflated.

Such is not the case with one Bernard Sanders, who announced his candidacy for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination on April 30, 2015. While providing the progressive electoral jolt predicted by amateur pundits everywhere, even liberal media outlets such as NPR refused to take the Vermont senator seriously. Labeling his bid a “long shot,” conventional wisdom had Sanders as either (depending upon your side of the aisle) a fun variable forcing Clinton to move left, or an old, hippie, single-issue crank.


But a funny thing has happened over the course of the last three and a half months. Despite many fewer resources of all campaign kinds, Bernie Sanders is gaining steam. Earlier this week, the Boston Herald‘s Joe Battenfeld published an interpretation of the Brooklyn, New York native’s recent swell, Poll: Bernie Sanders surges ahead of Hillary Clinton in N.H., 44-37. Within the piece he characterizes Sanders’ popular momentum as “a stunning turn in a race once considered a lock for the former secretary of state.” In March the same poll in question, conducted by the Herald in conjunction with Franklin Pierce University, showed Sanders trailing Clinton in a big way at 44-8.

The Clinton campaign must be worried. It’s only natural. But my question this week: why don’t Republicans seem concerned about anyone but the former New York senator as a potential opponent? This is another in a long series of miscalculations from the GOP machine.

In fact, though our own Jason Easley reported that Bernie Sanders Was The Most Retweeted Candidate During The Republican Debate, that party’s representatives paid him no attention at all. While Donald Trump infought with Fox News debate moderator Megyn Kelly and anyone else who pressed him for actual policy positions, Sanders captured the social media zeitgeist by taking his trademark blunt ax to the foolishness: “It’s over. Not one word about economic inequality, climate change, Citizens United or student debt. That’s why the Rs are so out of touch.”

Trump, who has disparaged nearly every American in some outrageous fashion since announcing his own run, only got around to lambasting Sanders’ “weakness” a few days ago. On August 8, the Washington Post‘s Philip Bump wrote the somewhat tongue-in-cheek, Losers: A List by Donald Trump and Bernie wasn’t even mentioned. He couldn’t secure the same rhetorical ire as Glenfiddich Scotch, which isn’t even a sentient being.

So what gives? Why the rhetorical quiet from the right in the face of Sanders’ increasingly mighty roar? The answer is probably fairly simple. If Republicans fear another four (or eight years) of Executive Branch banishment at the hands of Hillary Clinton, they’re downright panicked at the idea of President Sanders. And the underpinnings of that fear are offered by Bernie’s now-ubiquitous GOP debate tweet.

With characteristic real-talk he identified four conservative untouchables that he’d have no problem confronting from the White House: economic inequality, climate change, the flood of money in politics and the crushing debt load of our country’s students. Though one man can only do so much without the active participation of Congress (just ask President Obama), Sanders as POTUS means the absolute end of business as usual. Even those who dislike the man know he’s authentic. He can’t be bought. Sanders’ refreshing lack of scripted phoniness, combined with a platform that promotes true democratic opportunity, is what’s warming public perception. That should scare the backward-looking, cynical party of Koch.

As they have in response to many of the country’s challenges, Republicans are choosing the fingers in ears approach to the threat of Bernie Sanders. If like the disparity of class and racial opportunity, environmental decay and gun violence, they ignore it, well then it doesn’t exist. And the party methodology is failing. Again.

17 Replies to “A Tree Named Sanders Fell on 2016, So Why Don’t Republicans Hear It?”

  1. If Bernie Sanders continues to pick up steam and massive support, how long before he razes the entire country with his populist message of equality and real democracy?

    We won’t have to worry about picking a Democratic candidate for President in less than 14 months–someone who can *win*.

    We’ll just look at Bernie Sanders and go, “Hell yeah!”

    And it will be a lock. Because the more Sanders puts a face out there that people can understand and isn’t scared or intimidated by propaganda and fear, the more people will begin to understand that they do indeed have a choice.

    And the GOP will still be toast no matter what.

  2. THEY HEARD IT ,,,They just dont you…to know you heard it by pretending he dosnt exist,,marginalizes and ignore his existence as much as possible. Corporate Media seems to be going along with their plan also,A nice nasty letter to them (media) is in need of order.

  3. As much as I love Bernie and his message, I see real trouble for him down the road. So far, it’s all talk about lofty goals and huge crowds who really connect with his message. Maybe he gets a positive bump in debates, and this is all good.

    No so much after the first of next year.

    Then it’s about organization, money, and staff. Then it’s about delegate count, and now the rubber really meets the road. I think Team Hillary has the obvious advantage here, and it’s up to Team Bernie to rise to the occasion.

    Can he, will he? Time is running short.

  4. It’s starting to feel like ’08 again. The pieces are very similar to that…

    You have Hillary Clinton running, probably hoping that it would be easy street for her on way to getting the nomination, but a road bump appeared in the form of Obama.

    Sanders, while being his own man and touting his own plan, is basically becoming the same road bump for Hillary that Obama became in route to him getting the nomination. Granted, there wasn’t this giant dark cloud hanging over Hillary the first time around.

    So, the right is just ignoring Sanders, like they did with Obama… that’s going to bite them in the ass once again.

  5. Of course the repukes haven’t heard. You don’t expect the corporate-owned MSM to report on a guy who wants to cut into their power, do you?

  6. Even those on this left side of the political spectrum, who are died in the wool and fervent Hillary supporters on this site disparage Bernie Sanders for all types of actions or inaction’s.

    And if any of us commenters show support for Senator Sanders, there are some who are on this site day and night, with little else to do with their lives who insult and call us all types of pernicious names. It would be nice if they could just let the process work, without being so rude and condescending.

    This is PRIMARY season – there will be either caucus or a vote in one shape or form.

    The majority will prevail. And meanwhile, there is still time for organization, delegate hunting and securing, and financial backing.

    Let the chips fall where they may, and support whomever wins the primary process.

    That is what democracy is about.

  7. Bernie Sanders is the best candidate running from either party. He is honest and can’t be bought. We need a leader who will end the corruption in US politics if nothing else. Until the legal bribery is stopped, NOTHING will improve.

    I hope the voters can see past identity politics and vote for our children’s future.

  8. Republicans are stupid.
    That’s an advantage that corporate ( bought for ) Democrats have not been willing to exploit.

    Bernie does not “owe” anyone.

    It’s up to us though.
    It IS a revolution… a revolution that we have to be willing to fight and maybe die for.

    I’m in.

  9. I’m beginning to hear smatterings of little-clips re Sanders on the Radio News…That’s a step in the right direction!

    Yet, we should be screaming our disapproval to the Media for their total lack of attention for The Bern!

    Call your Local TV, Radio, Letter to Editor.

    Tell them to Report on this extraordinary Political ‘Sanders’ Phenomenon happening all across America!

    AM News early-morning Drive-Time Radio national show:
    ‘America’s Morning News’…they say: “Journalism without Agenda”
    (But always interview The Blaze)

    Jason, they should interview Politicsusa!
    They ever mention Bernie.

    Send Matt Ray a Tweet:

    “The Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease”…
    Let’s all be Really Squeaky!

  10. The Republicans don’t hear it because they prefer hearing the flap of tens, twenties, and larger bills.

  11. Please tell me I’m wrong, Suga. Did you just say that Politicus never talks about Bernie on an article about Bernie?

  12. I sincerely disagree that Hillary believes her possible election will be just a little road bump. Not with the rethgus belief women belong at home, in the Kitchen, the bedroom and the delivery room.
    She and the Dem’s know full well, how rethugs operate. Dirty, unfair, and make sure the vote is suppressed.

  13. charlotte,

    So the GOP had no luck attacking Hillary – her voters will not budge from backing her.

    They had no luck pushing Bern as the great new socialist hope for America.

    So now it is going to be a full fledged attack (all over the internet meme today) on the DNC itself.

    You think dems are going to try to take down the dem party?

    Tell Rove he has to come up with something better than a republican poll written by idiots spewing lies on a petition website.

    Divide and conquer only works on those people who were not Dem party members to begin with. The rest of us will stop Bush.

  14. “And if any of us commenters show support for Senator Sanders, there are some who are on this site day and night, with little else to do with their lives who insult and call us all types of pernicious names”


    You noticed that too, huh?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.