Democrats are under the illusion that with Donald Trump as the presumptive Republican nominee for president, they will have an easy time winning the White House and several down-ballot races. That remains to be seen, of course, but according to the numbers of Democrats and Republicans voting thus far in the primaries, Republicans may have an easy time winning the White House and increasing their numbers in Congress and several state-level races.
Another issue Democrats have to face up to immediately is one of their own doing the GOP’s bidding in demeaning the reputation and character of Hillary Clinton. The neophyte Democrat Senator Bernie Sanders, knowingly or not, has nearly completed all the “pre-production” work for Donald Trump who gleefully announced he would use no small number of Sanders’ attacks on Hillary Clinton right up to the November general election.
Senator Sanders has the benefit of not having his character, or his record for that matter, attacked by the Clinton campaign while he has spent months depicting Clinton as untrustworthy and corrupted by special interests. He particularly never misses an opportunity to rail against Clinton’s “obscene” campaign fundraising at about the same frequency he’s railed on congressional Democrats as being “disingenuous” and “corporate shills” for not embracing or adopting his campaign agenda.
What is curious is how the Vermont senator can criticize the Clinton campaign when he has been the recipient of three Federal Election Commission (FEC) investigations while no-one has called him ‘corrupt’ or his campaign’s fundraising obscene. There is no doubt if the Clinton campaign had faced even one FEC investigation, Sanders’ campaign would have had a field day portraying what they had been calling “obscene” as outright corruption and likely criminal acts.
The latest problem with Senator Sander’s March filings is not unique, or the first, or the second of his campaign. The Senator has had fundraising “abnormalities” since July that are similar to his February filing. Each of the FEC letters cite pages and pages worth of serious issues that his opponent has not seized upon as evidence the Senator is running an obscene fundraising campaign.
Democrats are not prone to demean a fellow Democrat’s character and it is an inclination many Democrats wish Senator Sanders would embrace. His months-long defamation crusade against Hillary Clinton has borne fruit the Republican Party is more than happy to use.
Mr. Sanders has been particularly fortunate he is running as a Democrat because what he has not had to endure is the Clinton campaign citing the various “forms of corruption” that Senator Sanders would have trumpeted if any one of them had applied to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
For example, besides the several FEC investigations into his campaign’s fundraising abnormalities, no-one has called out the Senator benefiting from NRA campaign donations and then voting according to its wishes.
As reported in the Washington Post, a few days before Election Day in 1990 the National Rifle Association bought in to the Sanders’ campaign for a House seat and sent a letter to its 12,000 members in Vermont with an urgent message about “voting for the socialist.” The NRA’s campaign mailing was written by none other than the top official at the National Rifle Association then and now, Wayne La Pierre. La Pierre wrote, “Bernie Sanders is a more honorable choice for Vermont sportsmen than (his opponent) Republican Peter Smith.”
The NRA assistance helped elect Sanders to the House and this is noteworthy because unlike Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders cannot claim the he never “did the bidding of a donor or benefactor.” Bernie’s NRA-favorable voting record on gun control speaks for itself. Still, no-one, particularly no-one in the Clinton campaign has accused him of being a corrupt gun industry shill or bought and paid for by special interests.
A couple of months ago Bernie called congressional Democrats, and Hillary Clinton, “disingenuous,” another word for deceitful, because they refused to embrace the Senator’s plan to drastically raise taxes on every American to provide the infamous “free stuff” his acolytes want so desperately. And yet, no Democrats have labeled the Senator as “disingenuous” for not being honest with his supporters that he has no plan to transform congressional Republicans into “tax and spend” liberals.
Bernie claims, and staked a major portion of his campaign on America needing a political revolution of populist protests against the banks, Wall Street, and billion-dollar corporations. Yet as Burlington mayor Bernie Sanders had protesters arrested because they challenged a major corporation working for the defense industry; General Electric.
Senator Sanders was absolutely vicious in calling Hillary Clinton’s fundraising involving Hollywood celebrities “obscene,” and yet as reported in The New York Times as early as last October he was the beneficiary of more than one “high-dollar” fundraiser in Hollywood. Not only did no-one claim Senator Sanders’ Hollywood fundraising was “obscene,” they also have not accused him of being a hypocrite; likely because Democrats are unwilling to attack the character and sully the reputation of another Democrat.
Republicans certainly do not need Bernie Sanders aid in attacking Hillary Clinton’s character, but after their 23 year effort they are pleased the Vermont senator gave them a giant assist. As noted in an Atlantic article recently, “no other political figures in American history have spawned the creation of a permanent multi-million-dollar cottage industry devoted to attacking the Clintons.” If it wasn’t going to be enough of a challenge to continue dispelling every lie, fabricated ‘scandal’ and character smear against Hillary Clinton from Republicans, now Democrats have to repair the damage from another Democrat whose own record could not withstand scrutiny.
The former executive editor of The New York Times, a renowned investigative journalist Jill Abramson, admittedly is no friend of either Bill or Hillary Clinton. In fact, Abramson has spent the past twenty-plus years looking for something, no anything, untoward about Hillary. Her conclusion is that “there are no instances of where Hillary Clinton did the bidding of a donor or benefactor.” Abramson also went on to declare “Hillary Clinton is fundamentally honest and trustworthy.” Pulitzer prize-winning Politifact concurred and ruled that “Clinton has the best truth-telling record of any of the 2016 presidential candidates in either party;” including Senator Sanders.
Bernie Sanders is not a bad man, or corrupt, or obscene, or a special interest shill; he is a typical lifelong establishment politician and there is nothing wrong with that fact. However, he has done a major disservice to the Democratic Party in using decades’ old Republican character smears against his primary opponent Hillary Clinton. Coupled with the FEC investigations into his own campaign’s fundraising “abnormalities,” Senator Sanders’ record could have provided the Clinton campaign with a world of character attacks; attacks that have not materialized to maintain a semblance of party unity.
Some Democrats are calling for Bernie Sanders to concede the primary race is all but over, bow out gracefully and actually work to help the Democratic Party prevail in November. A lesser number wants him to stay the course to promote his agenda and build his movement. However, if Senator Sanders is going to stay in the race simply to help Republicans by further demeaning Hillary Clinton’s character, then he needs to get out now. Because he’s not helping Democrats in particular and the left in general and that’s a shame.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.