Bernie Sanders is starting to scare them

Democrats are coming to the slow, unpleasant realization that maybe it's going to be Bernie Sanders who ends up as their nominee.

That's the story from Politico, which reports that Democrats are getting the willies:

Suddenly, Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign is being taken seriously.

For months, the Vermont senator was written off by Democratic Party insiders as a candidate with a committed but narrow base who was too far left to win the primary. Elizabeth Warren had skyrocketed in the polls and seemed to be leaving him behind in the race to be progressive voters’ standard-bearer in 2020.

But in the past few weeks, something has changed. In private conversations and on social media, Democratic officials, political operatives and pundits are reconsidering Sanders’ chances.

They start out with a quote from the ultimate Democratic creep, David Brock, of MediaMatters, but go on to quote three far more respectable Democrats after, citing Sanders' solid support and steady capacity to stay our of scraps and scandals. Short story: It's starting to sink in for Democrats that Bernie might just be their man.

Oh, they cite their reasons for it, noting Sanders' steady poll numbers, around 30%, neither rising nor falling. By contrast, the other stars of the field, such as Elizabeth Warren, a favorite of the Democratic establishment these days, with Hillary Clinton advising her, have seen their poll numbers fall.

Worse still, Democrats' initial favorites - Cory Booker, Kamala Harris and Beto O'Rourke, all put there for their pitch-perfect identity politics and just-right ages, the new generation of leaders -- have already crashed and burned. Those heavily promoted ones with fawning media coverage didn't even make it primary one.

What's left now are mostly old-people white candidates, the seventy-plus crowd -- Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders - plus youthful upstart Pete Buttigieg, which is another crisis for them. They bent their debate rules at the last debate to include Andrew Yang in order to keep the podium a little "diverse," and some candidates disingenously lamented the absence of their "diversity" competition. 

But Elizabeth Warren is constantly being exposed as a phony. Pete Buttigieg is failing to draw in Black voters, the absolute bedrock of Democratic support. Joe Biden has been hopelessly, damaged in the Trump impeachment, his son's crony pocket-lining being the center of the matter from the start. Warren's numbers are collapsing. Joe's support seem tissue thin, and that damage factor goes head-to-head with Trump, you can just imagine Democrats cringing at the picture of Biden going head to head against Trump in the big debates and him having to explain Hunter Biden. Buttigieg, meanwhile, mostly polls in single digits.

Bernie, though ... survived a heart attack, lost no support, and won the much-coveted Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez endorsement. Bernie's numbers, around 30% of the Democratic electorate, have not risen but they have not fallen.

But it makes sense that Bernie could walk away with it, not just on the soggy grounds that Bernie's support has held steady, his rivals are collapsing and his supporters are sticking with him, as Politico and its quoted Democrats are arguing.

It makes sense because socialist Bernie Sanders is the actual burning flame of ideas that animate the Democrats.

The entire Democratic field has swung socialist-left. Since Bernie entered the field, each Democrat has tried to out-socialist the next one. In the past, Democrats had been a motley crew of moderates and leftists, with a sizable blue-dog and Bill Clinton-style incrementalism in the bunch, but now, groupthink has taken over, and it centers on the socialism of Bernie Sanders.

These days, they all favor some kind of "free health care." They all want "free" college. They all claim to stand for "working families," a lefty pseudonym for working class for decades. They all favor open borders and free health care even for illegal aliens. They all pay their respects to Bernie-ism with this swing leftward, something that didn't exist before he came along. They all want to out-Bernie Bernie.

Why would Democratic voters go for a pale imitation, or johnny-come-lately to the socialist fest the Democrats have now become. Better to go with the original, the 100-proof socialist, the socialist who doesn't mind telling voters their taxes will go sky-high? Why take the pale(-faced) imitation when you can have the real Soviet-honeymooned socialist?

Voters, even lefty voters, always will go for authentic over imitation...

Even if, in the general election, he's not electable, something that Democrats seem to be hypersensitive to. Not too long ago, a recent poll signaled that general election voters abhor socialism above anything and remain concerned about candidates of advanced age. Not a good look for Bernie in the general, but inside the groupthink box of the Democratic Party, he still computes.  

And for Dems, the electability factor is just one problem. It's also got to be scary for them, because Bernie's the one they stiffed back in 2016. It was their shenanigans against him that the Russian hackers exposed in Democratic National Committee chairman John Podesta's hacked emails. The Russians, based on what I've been able to gather, wanted Bernie to be the nominee, much more so than Hillary Clinton, even as Donald Trump, a man they thought could never be elected, was liked by many of them. Trump of course took the blame, even though Bernie's the one they really wanted. The Democrat leadership stole the nomination from Bernie even though Bernie clearly won all of the 2016 Democratic debates and seems to have had much higher support, only to be done in by the old line Democratic establishment. If Bernie's the nominee, even by default, there will probably be some housecleaning and payback, and the Democratic establishment knows it.

But the logic of it all is unmistakeable as talk leaks out about a brokered convention or a sudden black-swan late entrant, such as Hillary Clinton or Michelle Obama to "save the day.' It's a sign of desperation, actually, That might just be because Bernie is all they have.

Image credit: Gage Skidmore, via Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0





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