Thursday, April 30, 2015

Bernie Sanders: What the HECK Is He Thinking??

Bernie! Bernie! BERNIE!!!
Bernie Sanders, Independent of Vermont, at 73 years old, has announced he's gonna run. He's going to run against Hillary Clinton--what the heck is up with that?
"Hillary has her work cut out for her. Her Democratic challengers are a 'Who's Who' of 'who's that?' Jim Webb, Lincoln Chafee, Silas Phelps, Peter Wilks… now those last two were characters from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. You didn't even notice, did you?"--Cecily Strong from the White House Correspondents Dinner
Who is he? He's a long-serving Vermont liberal: he identifies as a socialist (albeit a 'democratic socialist' like they have in Denmark and other Soviet-style hell-holes). He's about as liberal as you can be in anything approaching mainstream politics (for the converse, he let down the real leftists when he voted to allow F-35 fighter planes to be stationed at a Burlington Air-force base). He's gotten an 'F' from the NRA (if there's, like, a certificate or something, he's probably framed it).

Right now he trails Clinton by 57 points in a national election. Is he the come-back kid . . . or what?

He Ain't A-Gonna Win
There is literally no piece of analysis The Omnivore could find that thinks Sanders has a chance: FiveThirtyEight notes he couldn't raise funds like anything approaching Hillary Clinton, isn't a natural fit for the growing minority-group of the Democratic party (he's an old white guy from 94% white Vermont), and there doesn't even seem to be a real hunger for a Hillary challenger anyway.

Disappointingly, FiveThirtyEight didn't even have a graph or chart The Omnivore could steal.

It's that bad.

Maybe he's doing what the other no-chancers are doing and angling for a spot on FOX News? Doubt it seriously . . .

On The Other Hand . . .
By dint of being maybe unique (or at least one of a very few) as a Hillary challenger, he may well get into debates and stuff. There is not a serious hunger for a real Democratic challenger--but there is some appetite among Democrats to see Hillary actually have to mix it up in the debates. Let's also remember that while Dems on the whole are happy (or at least not horrified) by Clinton there are a bunch of things like her Iraq vote that still stick in their craw: Berine, who voted against the Iraq war, can smack her on those.

And . . . then . . . there's the 'Edwards Scenario.' What if, midway through the primaries, some scandal comes out and sticks? The idea that Hillary could collapse is not massively far-fetched: her behavior (and her husband's--to whom she is pretty seriously entangled) has been (perhaps, erm, justly) paranoid--but what if it's gone beyond that?

What if there's an actual smoking gun? A LOT of people are looking.

If that happens in the primaries the rear-guard suddenly have a real battle on their hands against each other. Warren might well be nominated at the convention--but what if she's still out? Biden vs. Sanders? It's not an insane match-up.

While we'd be looking at President Walker in a Sanders-Walker election, at least he might--maybe--get to be the 2016 nominee.

Finally, there's the real reason he's running: hes going to get to be on stage speaking his mind--something for which he is actually quite accustomed--to a national audience. Will he be able to "move Hillary to the left?" The Omnivore doesn't think so. Politicians move their positions to secure more vote--Hillary mathematically already won the Democratic Primary so she will effectively be running the General--but that won't stop Sanders from trying.

Alright, But What's He THINKING?
The Omnivore will TELL you what he is thinking: He is thinking I'm over 70 years old and I've gotta do this?? This is going to suck. He's also thinking: I'm gonna give the bastards hell!

Let's peek inside his mind . . .

What's happened to this country? War-war-war and nobody cares because it looks like the movies is what! After Bush we're maybe getting another Bush? Or that idiot from Wisconsin who thinks the best thing Reagan ever did on the world stage was bust the Air Traffic Controllers Union?? I'm not in favor of an IQ test for voting--but . . . maybe we've hit the stage where there oughta be one for running

Okay, Hill, let's see what you got. I'm gonna have Federal Matching funds, a lectern* on the debate stage, and a bottle of Metamucil. I'm commin' at you.

* Bernie Sanders knows the correct word . . .

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