Saturday, June 18, 2016

Just what does a losing political candidate really owe to his victor?

So what should we make of Bernie Sanders, now that it is apparent that the senator from Vermont is NOT about to become the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee?
SANDERS: Won't wither away

He’s the man who the other day talked of the need for people to unite to ensure that the overly-vocal minority of Donald Trump backers aren’t sufficient to actually win the November presidential elections, even though an acknowledgment that he LOST the primary cycle to Hillary Clinton never actually came from his mouth.

AS REPORTED IN so many places, Sanders talked about his role in determining just what the Democratic candidates will stand for. He talked about his expectations.

Even though one could argue that as the loser, his expectations ought to be that he can slink away into anonymity and won’t face any sort of political reprisals for having the nerve to challenge Hillary – who after all was the pick of Democratic Party establishment officials.

But that just wouldn’t be Bernie’s style. He’s the grouchy old guy (actually older than Hillary – whom some Bernie backers like to think of as some old lady who’s past her prime).

So he’s going to be the one who goes about screaming and screeching what he thinks the party ought to stand for.

BUT WHAT EXACTLY will that amount to?

I could easily envision a scenario in which Sanders is put in charge of some sort of committee that helps craft the official Democratic Party platform statement that sets forth in writing a whole bunch of stances on selected issues that real Democrats are supposed to believe.

Which is about as worthless a task as one could be asked to perform. Because the platform is a document that usually does not acknowledge the wide range of stances that exist on issues. It is something that candidates choose to ignore whenever it suits them.

I can’t see Sanders being content to prepare a document that will be ignored.

BUT WOULD HILLARY Clinton dare let Sanders have any more say within the political party mechanizations? I doubt it!

She’s going to dream of what is the ideal type of political loser – someone who quietly fades away into the woodwork without continuing to try to stir up dissention. She doesn’t need Sanders to become her most outspoken advocate.

But she certainly would want for him to put a gag on himself and not say much of anything. Which is certainly not the style of the man who rose from political obscurity to national prominence to the point where some people are seriously disappointed that he did not prevail in the now-complete Democratic primary elections.

The problem is that if Hillary gave Bernie too prominent a post, he would wind up detracting from her own campaign. You’d wind up having many of those Bernie backers going into the general election campaign cycle convinced the wrong person won.

PERSONALLY, I EXPECT many of those people who felt “the Bern” and were inspired by his oft-vague rhetoric are just not going to bother to cast ballots. There may well be a sense of disappointment that drives down voter turnout.

But this truly is the year of “Who do I hate the least?” being the chief sentiment that guides people if they bother to show up at the polling place later this year.

There are Republican ideologues who have it so ingrained in their blood that a Clinton is a being to be destroyed politically that they won’t be able to conceive of voting for her. While a majority of sane people will wonder what those ideologues were thinking during their primary cycles this year that they could nominate Trump.

Right now, Sanders is meekly claiming to offer support to defeating Donald. It will be interesting to see how he winds up trying to talk himself up in the process.


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