Thursday, February 25, 2016

An Endorsement. And An Explanation.

I’m supporting Bernie. He better (not best, better) represents the values I want to see in a Democratic candidate. 
But Hillary is a very very close second. Close enough that the bullshit BernieBros and BernBots are tossing out there made me reconsider my vote, which is why I'm late to the endorsement. 
I've decided that I’ll vote for him anyway, if only to register my support for a left-wing platform, but it will not be a particularly happy vote unless the rhetoric starts redefining itself.
I have very serious practical & pragmatic concerns about a Sanders candidacy:
1) He will have to raise at least a half billion dollars, and more likely $2.5 billion (if you include SuperPAC and 501(4)c spending). The Kochs have committed $1 billion to getting a Republican in the Presidency already. I don’t see how that happens without going to Wall Street and even then, how that happens going to the very people he’s vowed to destroy….unless he sells out the way BernBots claim Clinton has. 
Maybe….MAYBE…if he gets the 50 million or so people who vote for him to pony up $50, he covers that nut. Maybe. Which brings me to point two:
2) He’s going to have to, inside of three months, define his brand of socialism to that slice of the population who have made reality TV popular — in other words, the uninformed. 
In fact, I think I should probably amend that $2.5 billion to $3.5 billion because a rough estimate of the ads he’ll have to run that say “No, the OTHER kind of socialism!” is massive. Meanwhile, the Republican strategy to defeat him is simple: Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Sanders. 
Hillary hasn’t stooped this low, thank God but does anyone think the Trumps of the world will play nicely? Which raises point three:
3) Right now, Bernie Sanders is the only candidate in either party with a net positive favorability rating (Dr Ben Carson flatlines at neither positive or negative. Hillary has a -8 net unfavorability rating). But you’ll notice, apart from the occasional joke tossed Bernie’s way, no one has truly vetted him in opposition research. There are serious issues surrounding him that have not come to light (or have been investigated and dismissed, a possibility I will admit). Burlington College will be an issue for his campaign (Jane runs his staff). His missing mid-1960s years (he’s not particularly forthcoming about them). His conscientious objector status during the Viet Nam war (remember, these are people who Swiftboated a decorated hero from that war). 
None of these have to be true to quickly turn that positive into a negative, in the skilled hands of Frank Luntz and Karl Rove. Hillary, for all her baggage, is pretty much naked in the fields: her ratings build in the best the Republicans have smeared her with.
So well have they smeared her that Bernie’s most zealous supporters are parroting Luntz talking points. 
So yea, I’ll vote Bernie and if he’s the candidate, I’ll work my ass off to get him elected because the alternative is Trump and the Idiocracy. But I hold no illusions that it will be hard work. Very very hard.