*The following is an opinion column by R Muse *
After a long tiring primary season, Democrats are starting to reassure each other that the party is not divided and instead is laser-focused on preventing a Republican winning the White House. It sounds really encouraging, and crucial, but no-one on the left sent the memo to the Bernie Sanders campaign. Oh it’s true there are quiet mutterings that the Senator is reassuring other Democrats that he is a party unity kind of guy, but that is contrary to what is coming out of his campaign.
According to reports from the Sanders campaign and The New York Times, the Democratic candidate is Hell-bent on transforming the Democratic Party and will do whatever it takes to achieve his goal; even if it means helping Republicans in November.
Word from the campaign is that Senator Bernie Sanders is unleashing the “scorched Earth” phase of his run for the presidency and aiming to inflict some heavy blows to seriously harm Hillary Clinton.
Senator Sanders’ goal, according to his campaign advisers, is to amass enough leverage to win the nomination, or at the very least force his agenda on the Democratic convention in July. The frightening aspect to this “more of the same” GOP-driven character assassination from a ”fellow Democrat” is that Sanders or his campaign appear to not care if their attacks on Hillary Clinton help Donald Trump win the White House. More on that later.
What is an interesting ploy as a neophyte Democrat is openly admitting to being willing to “inflict damage” on the leading presidential candidate to transform the Democratic Party and force it to embrace his agenda.
This is a particularly curious, and a frankly arrogant position to take since Bernie Sanders is still registered as a Vermont Independent according to two separate filings with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) for the 2015 -2016 and 2013-2018 time frames. As noted here, Democrats are not prone to demean the character of another Democrat; it leads one to reexamine if Mr. Sanders running as a Democrat is borne solely of political expediency. It doesn’t appear it is because he agrees with or wants to be affiliated with the party or its agenda.
As The New York Times article noted, Bernie Sanders says he does not want Donald Trump to win the White House and that is completely believable. However, his advisers and allies say he is more than willing to harm former Secretary Clinton if it means capturing California delegates and arriving at the Philadelphia convention armed with “maximum political power.”
As noted here, Sanders will have to win over 68 percent of the remaining delegates to have a chance at the nomination and that doesn’t seem remotely possible. Thus far he has only garnered 46 percent of delegates in the primaries.
According to a senior adviser to Senator Sanders, Tad Devine, the campaign does not think its attacks on Hillary Clinton will help Mr. Trump win in November. But he was quick to add that it is something the Sanders’ team was “not thinking about.” Mr. Devine said,
“The only thing that matters is what happens between now and June 14. We have to put the blinders on and focus on the best case to make in the upcoming states. If we do that, we can make the best closing argument before the convention.”
This is a political campaign and politics are generally messy affairs. But if Senator Sanders or his campaign people are not concerned about aiding a Republican win the White House, it is not messy politics, it is seriously selfish, careless and dangerous. As aptly stated by David Nir over at Daily Kos;
“Flat-out ‘not thinking about’ whether his efforts to hurt Clinton could aid Trump is an absurd and outrageous win-at-all-costs strategy. Absurd because Sanders cannot even win, no matter what ‘power’ he might grab hold of, and outrageous because Trump poses an existential threat to this country—and to this world.”
The unnerving revelation of the Sanders’ campaign tactics is not even thinking that trying to “hurt Hillary Clinton” at all costs will help Donald Trump win the White House. It is not the kind of thinking that inspires confidence that the Left can be united, at least not with any assistance from Senator Bernie Sanders. One thing is certain, Republicans are getting united behind the former reality television and World Wrestling Federation celebrity and they will dependably turn out to vote en masse for whichever maniac Republicans award the nomination to.
Contrast that Republican willingness to unify behind a circus candidate like Trump with the Sanders’ campaign perpetuating division among some on the Democratic side, and inspiring unwarranted suspicion of Hillary Clinton among politically ignorant millennials and independents. It is true there is plenty of talk of the unity among Democrats, but it appears that everyone forgot to inform Senator Sanders or his campaign that inflicting damage on the leading candidate is not a unifying maneuver by any stretch of the imagination.
As noted here, former Secretary Hillary Clinton is 96 percent of the way to clinching the Democratic nomination. And yet instead of focusing on keeping a Republican, any Republican, out of the White House, Senator Sanders is “hoping to inflict a heavy blow and is willing to do some harm to Mrs. Clinton;” simply so he can “arrive at the Philadelphia convention with maximum political power” when there is no apparently plausible way he can win the nomination.
It is not what one expects from a Democrat, or an American terrified at the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency, but as the Sanders’ campaign said, helping Donald Trump win the presidency is something they are just “not thinking about.” It is odd because it is the only thing every Democrat in America should be thinking about; not amassing “maximum political power.”
That particular comment sounds suspiciously like something Donald Trump would say, and it is honestly something that one never ever expected to hear from any kind of Democrat.
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.