Sad Sack Sanders

Six months ago, Bernie Sanders was on top of the world.  He had inspired millions of ordinary Americans to fund a truly insurgent campaign against a Democrat political dynasty with enough enthusiasm and support to win caucuses and primaries in those states Democrats historically won.  He had enough popular backing to leave Hillary slithering toward the nomination by winning in conservative states that never vote Democrat.

While Hillary drew "crowds" that included little more than campaign staffers and cleaning crews, Sanders drew large and raucous crowds.  Bernie was dead wrong on ideology and policies, of course, but he seemed, in spite of that, to be as near a breath of fresh air as the Democratic Party had had in many elections cycles.  He seemed, as much as anything, authentic and independent.

Who thinks that now?  The steady flow of damning emails shows that everything the angriest Sanders supporter feared and suspected about Hillary is worse than he feared and suspected.  She has utter contempt for ordinary Americans and particular contempt for the gullible supporters of Bernie Sanders.

Hillary is utterly bought and paid for by the super-rich and the powerful elites, those very forces that had Sanders supporters show up in long lines on cold winter nights to make sure he won this and that small state, while Hillary and her fat-cat pals sat in comfortable and luxurious seclusion.

Sanders, who has prided himself through his political career on being a Socialist and not a Democrat, who ought to owe nothing to a political party that deigns to let him add his Senate vote to its caucus – and which, no doubt, will count on that vote to help Democrats organize the Senate should they gain four seats – has proven in crunch time to be more hapless, more gutless, and more clueless than lifelong Senate Democrats like Joe Lieberman and Joe Manchin and Zell Miller, who stood up to their party leadership when it really counted.

Republican politicians, whether we like it or not, have also proven willing to condemn what they see as Trump's misconduct, while Sanders, not even a Democrat himself, walks in lockstep with Hillary's campaign, with misconduct much worse than anything Trump has been accused of doing.  Why, one must ask, did Sanders ever decide to choose the Socialist label over the Democrat label if he was going to slavishly follow every twist and turn of the Democrat party line?

Bernie Sanders looks more and more like "Sad Sack," the cartoon buck private who was the butt of every joke, the clownish and pathetic figure assigned to permanent latrine duty or endless potato-peeling jobs.  His life's work has drooped from a genuine candidate in a wildly improbable election year into a comic footnote in American political history.

Even more embarrassing for Sanders, who early on in debates with Clinton famously told America that he was sick to death of hearing about email scandals, the revelations that expose Hillary as a hyper-plutocrat in the employ of other hyper-plutocrats and that mock his followers as living in their parents' basements have come out of Hillary's emails. 

Sanders did not have to endorse Hillary, and he did not have to stay out of the election or abandon his stated political principles.  Jill Stein is the Green Party nominee, and she is on the ballot in 44 states (she can be written in on the ballot in three other states).  Dr. Stein, of course, is a radical leftist like Bernie, but unlike Bernie, she has proven willing to see Hillary as a flack for the rich and powerful, and there is not a single sentence in the Green Party Platform for 2016 that Bernie would not agree with completely. 

What would happen if Bernie flipped his endorsement out of disgust with the rampant cronyism, corruption, and "capitolism" of Clinton and her gang and instead urged his supporters to vote for an honorable leftist like Dr. Jill Stein?  Sanders has about $4 million in campaign funds that would help Stein get her message out to voters.  Sanders has millions of supporters who are now disgusted with Clinton but might vote – and vote for Stein – if Bernie asked them.

Of course, Bernie will never do anything truly brave and noble like that.  He loved the limelight of his nomination campaign run, and he loved prancing around like an outsider, but Senator Bernie Sanders is a lifelong politician and a permanent Democrat water boy, just as he has always been.

Six months ago, Bernie Sanders was on top of the world.  He had inspired millions of ordinary Americans to fund a truly insurgent campaign against a Democrat political dynasty with enough enthusiasm and support to win caucuses and primaries in those states Democrats historically won.  He had enough popular backing to leave Hillary slithering toward the nomination by winning in conservative states that never vote Democrat.

While Hillary drew "crowds" that included little more than campaign staffers and cleaning crews, Sanders drew large and raucous crowds.  Bernie was dead wrong on ideology and policies, of course, but he seemed, in spite of that, to be as near a breath of fresh air as the Democratic Party had had in many elections cycles.  He seemed, as much as anything, authentic and independent.

Who thinks that now?  The steady flow of damning emails shows that everything the angriest Sanders supporter feared and suspected about Hillary is worse than he feared and suspected.  She has utter contempt for ordinary Americans and particular contempt for the gullible supporters of Bernie Sanders.

Hillary is utterly bought and paid for by the super-rich and the powerful elites, those very forces that had Sanders supporters show up in long lines on cold winter nights to make sure he won this and that small state, while Hillary and her fat-cat pals sat in comfortable and luxurious seclusion.

Sanders, who has prided himself through his political career on being a Socialist and not a Democrat, who ought to owe nothing to a political party that deigns to let him add his Senate vote to its caucus – and which, no doubt, will count on that vote to help Democrats organize the Senate should they gain four seats – has proven in crunch time to be more hapless, more gutless, and more clueless than lifelong Senate Democrats like Joe Lieberman and Joe Manchin and Zell Miller, who stood up to their party leadership when it really counted.

Republican politicians, whether we like it or not, have also proven willing to condemn what they see as Trump's misconduct, while Sanders, not even a Democrat himself, walks in lockstep with Hillary's campaign, with misconduct much worse than anything Trump has been accused of doing.  Why, one must ask, did Sanders ever decide to choose the Socialist label over the Democrat label if he was going to slavishly follow every twist and turn of the Democrat party line?

Bernie Sanders looks more and more like "Sad Sack," the cartoon buck private who was the butt of every joke, the clownish and pathetic figure assigned to permanent latrine duty or endless potato-peeling jobs.  His life's work has drooped from a genuine candidate in a wildly improbable election year into a comic footnote in American political history.

Even more embarrassing for Sanders, who early on in debates with Clinton famously told America that he was sick to death of hearing about email scandals, the revelations that expose Hillary as a hyper-plutocrat in the employ of other hyper-plutocrats and that mock his followers as living in their parents' basements have come out of Hillary's emails. 

Sanders did not have to endorse Hillary, and he did not have to stay out of the election or abandon his stated political principles.  Jill Stein is the Green Party nominee, and she is on the ballot in 44 states (she can be written in on the ballot in three other states).  Dr. Stein, of course, is a radical leftist like Bernie, but unlike Bernie, she has proven willing to see Hillary as a flack for the rich and powerful, and there is not a single sentence in the Green Party Platform for 2016 that Bernie would not agree with completely. 

What would happen if Bernie flipped his endorsement out of disgust with the rampant cronyism, corruption, and "capitolism" of Clinton and her gang and instead urged his supporters to vote for an honorable leftist like Dr. Jill Stein?  Sanders has about $4 million in campaign funds that would help Stein get her message out to voters.  Sanders has millions of supporters who are now disgusted with Clinton but might vote – and vote for Stein – if Bernie asked them.

Of course, Bernie will never do anything truly brave and noble like that.  He loved the limelight of his nomination campaign run, and he loved prancing around like an outsider, but Senator Bernie Sanders is a lifelong politician and a permanent Democrat water boy, just as he has always been.