Good Point

Sanders would be the third Democratic nominee in the last eight presidential elections to emerge from New England, never having run a truly nasty race against a typical modern Republican. Is he any readier than Mike Dukakis and John Kerry were for the inevitable one-two punch of a GOP back-alley mugging and extra kicks from skeptical centrists and liberals?

Making oneself relevant to Illinois and Florida is so not the same as making oneself relevant to Vermont. I’m not saying it can’t be done – Bernie has a good in with his gun record – but it is hard.

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37 thoughts on “Good Point”

  1. If Bernie gets the Democratic nomination, our next President will be a Republican.

    (Unless, of course, Jim Webb makes good on his threat to re-enter the race as an independent.) πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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  2. Sadly, no.

    A lot of flak has been fired off at Hillary Clinton–but she has had 20+ years of experience in dealing with the GOP, especially in the 1990s when the party, under Gingrich’s leadership, started evolving into the….well, the current GOP we see today. And yet, Hillary has triumphed, especially with her win in 2000 for the seat of Senator from New York.

    I have very serious doubts that Senator Sanders could withstand what the modern GOP will send his way should he ever become the Democratic nominee.

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  3. I am getting very frustrated with Sanders supporters and, to a lesser extent, Clinton supporters. We have seen the Republican field. None of them are sane and all promise disastrous presidencies. I predict George W. Bush and worse from the current Republican candidates. The only thing that Democrats, liberals, and progressives should be discussing or worried about (to my mind at least) is who can win the national election.

    All this bellyaching that Clinton is too conservative? Fine. I find her too conservative too but she’s light years less conservative than Cruz. And the sort of shrill attacks on Sanders “racism” or “sexism” that can be found on some feminist blogs like Shakesville are equally irritating. Could Sanders be better on gender or racial issues? Sure. But he’s way better on gender than Rubio or any of the other rabidly anti-reproductive freedom candidates in the Republican field. Ditto on Sanders and race.

    Personally, I think Sanders is much less electable than Clinton on a national level. If someone thinks he’s MORE electable, I’m willing to listen. But this stupid nitpicking on who’s the more liberal or the more progressive candidate is absolutely useless. Any liberal or progressive worth his or her salt should shudder at the Republican field and be thinking strategically how to prevent any of those bozos from becoming president–not trying to score imaginary “I’m the best liberal” points.

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    1. I couldn’t agree more! The most important thing right now is winning the election. All candidates on the Republican side are absolutely horrible. And this is a very winnable election for Democrats. They just need to get it together and stop self-sabotaging.

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      1. I agree too, the Democrats need to present a united front. As a representative of ‘the rest of the world’ I find it impossible to believe that any of the republican offerings are actual, real human beings, they all seem like parodies of something deeply unpleasant and dangerous. The thought of any of them becoming your president is truly alarming to all of us un-Americans.

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  4. Another point: If the stock market continues to tank and the economy is visibly worse in November, the party in the White House will be voted out of office no matter who either party candidate is.

    Presidential elections in America always follow the voters’ perception of the economy, no matter what the voters claim or tell pollsters.

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    1. Mr. Dreidel: What if Jim Webb runs as an Independent??? The better question: What if Bernie Sanders picks Jim Webb to run for veep??? There goes a good bit of the Scotch-Irish vote and the military vote. Just saying’.

      Re the stock market and economy: American voters always do this? or that? Do you really think this an election year to bank on conventional wisdom?

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      1. “Mr. Dreidel: What if Jim Webb runs as an Independent???”

        It will be an important as frost on the far side of the moon.

        “Re the stock market and economy: American voters always do this?”

        Yes, invariably. As Mitt Romney might say, “I’ll bet you ten thousand dollars on that, right now.”

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      1. Hey, every time the stock market goes down 100 points, my net worth decreases by about $10,ooo — you think I’m jubilant about that?

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        1. Most voters don’t have even $200 in their combined checking and savings account. This, of course, testifies to how secure and kind life is in this country but getting them to care about your stocks will be a hopeless project.

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          1. Most voters don’t have even $200 in their combined checking and savings account.
            Source?

            Certain people vote the way they do because they feel their relative status has taken a beating and will never recover. Sticking a bunch of BLS charts in their face and pointing out new businesses springing up will do no good. “Life is terrible, we’re going down, everyone is beating us, we are getting weaker militarily,”says some dude pretending we’re in Weimar Germany.

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  5. Regarding electability: Sanders is too timid and fragile to survive sticks and stones outside New England??? Romney was Massachusetts governor. A lot of folks voted for Romney, but he didn’t win. Thou shalt not be prejudiced against a person simply because he’s from New England.

    There is a modicum of truth to the notion that Sanders would be a hard sell outside New England. On second thought, maybe half a modicum. He’s doing OK in Iowa. πŸ™‚

    Yes, a Democratic-Socialist would have a hill to climb to gain acceptance by 51 percent of Americans. But wouldn’t Trump or Cruz also have just as steep a climb to gain majority acceptance???

    All I’ll say here is: Bernie Sanders passes the father-figure test!! He passes the grandfather-figure test!! Americans want more than anything else is a grandfather figure for president. Who would you like to be your grandfather? Trump, or Cruz, or Sanders. I will write a post on the electability question, and hope to post it on my blog before dawn.

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  6. “I will write a post on the electability question, and hope to post it on my blog before dawn.”

    Well, I will read your opinion — I always respect the comments of people who don’t call names, and don’t fling poo around like the inhabitants of monkey hill at the San Bernardino County zoo — but I probably won’t log in to comment.

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    1. I read your post, and you totally ignored the main reason (there are several, but this is the main one) that Sanders could never be elected President:

      He’s a self-declared SOCIALIST — at the national level, that’s a dirty word in American politics.

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      1. Yes. I like Sanders perfectly well. But I think Dreidel is right. The average American voter will hear the word “socialist” and completely recoil. The word “socialist” is going to be on repeat in increasingly scary and demonic voices on every Republican attack ad. I just don’t think Sanders can win. I also think his age is a huge mark against him.

        But then again, if Clinton can’t even win her party’s nomination this time (not to mention her loss to Obama), what are the chances that she can win the national election?

        I’m becoming increasingly convinced that we will have yet another disastrous Republican presidency ahead of us.

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      2. Dreidel, I responded to your comment about the word “socialist” in the comments to the post over on my blog. I think you are allowing yourself to be blinded by your personal aversion to the word. Bottom line: grandfather trumps socialist.

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  7. Evelina, your point about “scary and demonic voices” is well taken. I think you are right. The outcome of the general election May will turn on who wins the debate over the definition of socialist. I am inclined to think that the American Center has shifted a little, and that Bernie Sanders will soon be perceived as slightly left of center.

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    1. I hope you are right Editor. πŸ™‚ I just read your post and thought it was great. But you are more hopeful than I am. I am concerned that the “grandpa” element won’t hold. We have never elected someone in Sanders’s age bracket before. Quite frankly, I’m concerned that he has the stamina for the presidency. Look how it ages people. Obama has aged about 25 years in only eight. And if Sanders is the nominee, Republicans would be smart to run Rubio. Personally, I predict that Rubio would absolutely trounce Sanders.

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      1. True. Sanders’ parental history is not so hot (and yes the primary factor in your longevity is genes. John McCain’s mother is still kicking around at 103.) Stamina is an actual concern for everyone. Clinton and Trump are approximately the same age as Reagan was when he was elected. Weirdly, you would think the actual younger candidates (O’Malley, Rubio, Cruz) would make a point of projecting youth and vigor, but they don’t. Maybe it’s because they’re not projecting the positive qualities of youth like optimism.

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        1. Yes. I do admit that Sanders has a youthfulness about him. He seems a lot younger, more vibrant, and more passionate than many of the younger candidates.

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      2. Age concerns me as well. But old men have defied expectations before. Ronald Reagan was in the same age category by his second term. The second world war was won by two men who probably couldn’t be elected today based on their age and health, FDR and Winston Churchhill.

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        1. Roosevelt was only 63 when he died after twelve years in office — but he looked much older, and some historians blame his deteriorating health for his giving so many post-war concessions to Stalin at the Yalta Conference.

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          1. Yes, FDR could not be elected today, based on the fact that he was wheelchair-bound, and his smoking and drinking habits. Ironically, the voters of the 1930s were more open-minded about FDR’s disability than voters would be today. Of course, the press was definitely more civilized about it, rarely if ever mentioning the wheelchair or printing a photo showing FDR as anything but an able-bodied man. Churchill had the drinking and smoking issues, plus age. Nevertheless, these two characters, wobbly in health and age, were effective and inspiring wartime leaders.

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