I was really hoping that Bernie Sanders would lose the Indiana primary, because if he did, he might be willing to concede defeat and get behind the all-but-certain nominee, Hillary Rodham Clinton. No such luck. It’s a little surprising to me that I might have wanted her to win more than she wanted to win, since she didn’t contest the state or spend any money trying to counter Sanders’ false insinuations and character assassination. Well, just goes to show why I’m a blogger and not on her campaign team. I don’t know the whole story. What I do know is this: Hillary was in a much closer contest with Obama in the 2008 primary than she is with Bernie now. Unfortunately, she did stick it out until the end, so it is hard for her to tell Sanders not to do the same. It doesn’t fit in a sound bite.
I have been saying all along that Bernie would be a poor standard-bearer for the Democrats in the general election. And that Hillary needs to resist the temptation of tacking too far to the left in order to please Bernie’s followers. First of all, a great many Berniacs are college students who have the time to attend huge rallies but are disinclined to vote. Barack Obama ran a hell of a campaign in 2008, with many similarities to Sanders’ campaign now. What happened after he was elected was regrettable. In the mid-terms, his legion of fans largely stayed home in the midterms, allowing the Republicans to retake the House first, and then the Senate. See, the Republicans are smart. They are playing the long game. Already, many of the donors are focusing on the down-ticket races and are unenthused about the presidential contenders.
We Democrats need to get our act together. Just because college students are young doesn’t mean that they are stupid. They are inexperienced. They haven’t seen what happens when a George McGovern or a Eugene McCarthy is nominated by their party. They go down in flames. Period. Which is exactly what Bernie Sanders would do if he became our nominee. They need to disengage their hormones and engage their brains. Rebellion is a hallmark of youth. I remember it well. I was as young and dumb as anybody, more so than I would ever admit in public. But rebellion doesn’t work in American politics. We are a democracy, and the only way progress is made is incrementally. The last revolution we had was in 1776. Another violent insurrection is the only way Bernie’s plans would ever bear fruition in the short term. He would go down in history as one of our least effective presidents, immune to compromise and disinterested in foreign policy. If he has any integrity left, even if he stays in the race, he will tone down the negativity and back Hillary Rodham Clinton. I like that middle name, because it encapsulates her perfectly. As straight and strong as a ramrod. An 11-hour hearing by the Republicans didn’t bend her. I am behind Hillary 110%, and I honestly believe that she will be number 45. A lucky number.