Monday, February 24, 2020

THE PRAIRIE EDITOR: Bernie Declares War

Bernie Sanders, some leading Democrats believe, is highjacking
the national Democratic Party --- whose establishment has so far
been locked into the political pilot’s cockpit while the plane has
been commandeered in flight and ordered to land in hostile

Senator Sanders’ supporters, of course, don’t agree, and see their
quest as redemption for 2016 when traditional liberals gave the
Democratic presidential nomination to Hillary Clinton --- who
subsequently lost the November election to Donald Trump.

Justified or not, most conservatives and Republicans are looking
on at the growing civil war in the other party not only with some
astonishment, but also with the optimism that it helps them in the
imminent 2020 national elections.

Sanders’ outspoken socialist and fiscally controversial new
entitlement policies, even more moderate Democrats and their
strategists say. will not only cost them the presidential election,
but could also cause them to lose control of the U.S. house and
increase GOP control of he U.S senate.

The voters who will decide these questions are independents and
the undecideds of both parties, but polling so far seems to indicate
large numbers of Americans do not favor policies which cannot be
paid for except by draconian confiscatory taxation that eliminates
market choice and the private sector.

Sanders, a socialist Vermont city mayor in the 1980s, and
subsequently a socialist U.S. senator who caucused with the
Democrats,  has declared war on liberals and progressives he feels
don’t go far enough to combat the capitalist system and
conservative policies.

The question of the hour is whether the Democratic Party
establishment and his major presidential rivals, have enough time,
and votes. after Sanders’ successes in Iowa, New Hampshire,
Nevada, and possibly in upcoming South Carolina and Super
Tuesday, to block his nomination at the party’s July convention in

He already leads or is strong, in polls in several Super Tuesday
states. The most likely alternatives to Sanders are Joe Biden, Mike
Bloomberg, or Pete Buttigieg, but none of them have yet
demonstrated any momentum among primary or caucus voters.
The longer the other candidates, especially those failing to win
many delegates, remain in the race, it divides the anti-Sanders
vote, and helps the Vermont senator accumulate an unbeatable
lead, if not a majority, before July. (This is what happened in the
Republican nomination contest in 2016).

Almost certainly, Sanders political ideology and policies will
become the main issues of the 2020 cycle --- and not as much the
controversies surrounding Donald Trump. At the outset of the
2020 cycle, Democratic strategists planned for the latter --- it
was, after all, the primary reason for the partisan impeachment.
Democratic candidates for house and senate would now almost
certainly be asked by their opponents in November if they support
the views of their own candidate for president. How would this
play out not only in districts and states carried by Mr. Trump in
2016, but also in districts and states carried for Mrs. Clinton by
moderate Democrats?

In the next several days, the national Democratic Party will come
to a proverbial fork in the political road. Which direction its
voters take will reveal a great deal about what will happen eight
months from now when decisions are finally made.

Copyright (c) 2020 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.

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