Bernie Sanders, the victor in Tuesday’s New Hampshire Democrat primary, has terrified moderate and even liberal Democrats who think the No. 1 priority on Election Day is defeating Donald Trump.
Sane Democrats foresee electoral apocalypse if the party imprudently permits the wacky socialist to run against Trump. Thus has the party’s reliable information ministry, the mainstream media, sounded the anti-Sanders alarm.
Sanders could propel GOP victories over vulnerable, down-ticket candidates and perhaps even jeopardize the recently won majority in the House of Representatives, the media warn. The Las Vegas Sun even published an abridged warning editorial in its subsidiary alternative weekly.
The message: If Sanders wins the Democrat nomination, Trump wins on November 3.
Ever since last week’s caucuses in Iowa, the air raid sirens have been blaring like it’s London during the Blitz. Also known as “the bum who wants your money,” Sanders won more votes than former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and pulled 12 delegates to the lavender candidate’s 13. Two days ago, the Soviet apologist won the New Hampshire primary. Sanders and Buttigieg each received nine delegates.
Thus did the Sun agree with Democrats who “see an urgent need to defeat Donald Trump and save our nation from an autocrat.”
“Autocrats” don’t allow elections, but in any event the newspaper endorsed two candidates in the Silver State’s caucuses on February 22: former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.
Klobuchar’s “vision is that of a presidency working across party lines to solve problems, as opposed to pursuing policies that could further polarize the nation” such as “free” college and Medicare for All.
Unlike Sanders, the paper concluded, “she also knows exactly how to pay for her initiatives and would take a trustworthy, incremental approach that offers enormous appeal,” she “possesses both the appetite and ability to return us to our finest America,” and “is a unity candidate for the Democrats.”
The newspaper endorsed Biden because of “his suite of effective policies that offer a clear vision for America, his support among a broad coalition of voters and his ability to pull together a high-functioning leadership team that can guide this nation back to stability and respect.”
The newspaper is “puzzled” about Biden’s failure to be “a more effective salesperson for his own policies,” but “nonetheless, a Biden administration would clearly be up to the task of repairing the wreckage caused by the GOP.”
The newspaper did not explain what that “wreckage” might be.
Amusingly, the newspaper granted that “several candidates ... can clearly beat Trump,” including enviro-crackpot Tom Steyer and Elizabeth Warren, “who is certainly the blazing intellect of the field.”
Sanders is a “non-starter,” the newspaper continued, because of his “Trumplike mold”:
He seldom has shown an ability to build consensus and threatens to use executive orders extensively, just like Trump. It’s also doubtful he could assemble a highly qualified Cabinet, meaning he’d essentially be the left wing version of Trump: isolated, angry, unable to work with others and showing too little respect for dissenting opinions. A Sanders candidacy simply guarantees a Trump second term.
Beyond that editorial, headlines suggest that Sanders is in for a comeuppance. “Some Democrats fear fallout from Sanders atop the ticket,” The Associated Press averred.
Freshman Democrat Tom Malinowski of New Jersey is in a “competitive district,” AP reported, and said the Democrat choice for president shouldn’t “scare all those future former Republicans more than Trump scares them.” Malinowski said the GOP will smear all Democrats as socialists, AP reported, but added that “there’s one candidate for whom that would not be a lie.”
Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., who backs the candidacy of former Vice President Joe Biden, warned a group of Democratic voters this week in Carson City, Nevada, that with Sanders atop the ticket, “you’re not going to take back the Senate. There’s not any way, because everybody’s going to be tarred with the same brush. We will probably lose seats in the House.”...
One House Democrat said colleagues from swing districts are scared ... while another said moderates are increasingly concerned that a Sanders candidacy would devastate their prospects for winning the White House and retaining the House.
The headline in The Hill sent the same message: “Vulnerable Democrats fret over surging Sanders.” Democrat Representative Scott Peters of Califorina told the newspaper that “having Sanders at the top of the ticket would be an electoral disaster that could put the ‘House majority at risk.’”
Freshman Rep. Max Rose (D-N.Y.), whose Staten Island district went for Trump by about 10 points in 2016, also sought to distance himself from any socialist label.
“I’m not a socialist. I’m thinking about printing T-shirts saying as much. I think socialist economic policies fail, inevitably,” said Rose.
Representative Henry Cuellar of Texas is another Sanders foe. “I’m a Democrat," he told the newspaper. “I think it would be difficult to have a socialist at the top of the ticket. I think he clarifies it and says ‘a democratic socialist,’ but a socialist is a socialist.”
Photo: AP Images
R. Cort Kirkwood is a long-time contributor to The New American and a former newspaper editor.