Monday, May 9, 2016
No, Bernie Has ZERO Aspirations To Be Veep!
In the blogosphere one must not be surprised at the frequency with which facts, statements and issues get muddled because often the bloggers are not careful enough in their choice of sources, or in the sourcing of second-hand comments. Such is always the case when one gets information say from a mostly propaganda stable like FOX News and fails to process it through a critical thinking filter. And even CNN can be dicey when the source is a twit like Wolf Blitzer.
Thus, the spreading meme - mostly in Right circles - that Bernie Sanders is hankering for the VP position on a "Killary" ticket is pure balderdash.
Perhaps the most illuminating (direct from the "horse's mouth") interview of the past week was the one Bernie gave to Rachel Maddow last Thursday. Maddow grilled him for over 40 minutes and this included: his plans at the Dem convention (i.e. whether he has any office aspirations other than President, if he would instigate a "floor fight" and over what) as well as DNC decisions , and the future for the millions of Sanders backers. (Including a Sanders Super Pac).
In response to the first, Bernie made it abundantly clear it was the top spot or nothing. He wasn't going to play "second fiddle" to anyone, although (with a gleam in his eye) he said he would consider Clinton for the Veep post in his cabinet.
While it's the right of the most brazen, unhinged Trumpie to mock Bernie ("commie loon") , it is also true that - if Trump is to have any chance of getting elected this fall- he will need many of Bernie's 7-8 million supporters. Hence, it appears rather foolish to be dissing and dismissing (as well as disrespecting) their standard bearer - especially as they check out blogs too.
Bernie didn't mince words and - after dispensing with any and all VP nonsense (Hillary wouldn't have him in any case, but rather someone like Elizabeth Warren). He also emphasized any floor fight or contested convention would be over two things:
1) Failure to allot his campaign a proportional fraction of floor delegates-reps, which only number 3 now compared to Clinton's 16. Thus, he sent a letter to DNC head Wasserman-Schultz warning of a floor fight if - for example - he didn't get many more in tandem with the states won and population voting for him. He noted that if he ended up with 25 pledged delegates when the final primary count is made he ought to get close to half the assigned floor reps for the convention.
2) Bernie expects Hillary to accept one or more of his proposals in her platform. If not, yes there will be a floor fight and it will get ugly. Also, as I noted before, this will almost certainly cost her millions of Sanders' supporters.
Sanders, make no mistake, will be coming into the July convention with plenty of leverage in the form of over 1,600 delegates and likely at least 22 primary wins. He fully expects his demands to be taken seriously, and you may be sure he will not offer any full throated endorsement of Clinton or implore his followers to vote HRC- if that commitment is not forthcoming.
The Economist (April 23, p. 20) has already noted Hillary is mostly just feigning allegiance on key progressive issues:
"Mrs. Clinton has largely avoided lurching to the left after Mr. Sanders."
The author then describes how she can wrangle out of each agreement or promise made. For example, if the Senate ratifies the TPP this year she can say, "Sorry, folks, it was out of my hands!"
As for the Trumpies dumping on Bernie, again, this is all mostly over-heated, 50s- style anti-commie hysteria and hyperbolic bile coming out. Even The Economist (May 7, p. 21) observed in its article on Donald Trump ('Fear Trumps Hope'):
"He would be a disastrous president. If Mr. Trump's diagnosis of what ails America is bad, his prescriptions for fixing it are catastrophic"
For example, his tax -debt plans are magnitudes more fantastical than Sanders' most extravagant socialist ideas. The Economist again:
"He has pledged to pay down $19 trillion national debt in eight years while at the same time cutting taxes by $10 trillion. Given that he has also pledged to protect Social Security, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget has estimated he would have to cut other areas (e.g. VA, Medicare, military-defense) by 93 percent to meet his objective."
And yet he plans to build up the military! Even the Economist agrees that if Bernie is in fantasy land, the Donald is Donald Duck stuck in "Never Never land". And yet Trump's supporters dump on Bernie at will believing he's the one who's lost his marbles. Well, not by a long shot..
Clinton is anything but unpredictable. Rather than trying to court those disillusioned Sanders supporters and left-wing malcontents, Hillary seems to believe that she has a better shot with the “fiscally conservative, socially liberal” country club Republicans (who like their foreign policy hawks).