Why Blaming Bernie Won't Help Hillary's Weak Candidacy

For the Clinton campaign, the Democratic establishment and the corporate media, the blame game has begun. For weeks now, talking heads everywhere have been attempting to instill the false narrative that Bernie Sanders is to blame for Hillary Clinton's weak candidacy and her eventual loss to Donald Trump in November's general election. Paul Krugman, Barbara Boxer, Barney Frank, Paul Begala, Chris Matthews and many other Democratic establishment vehicles in the media have been weighing in to that effect. All this while there is still a contested primary going on and nearly two months before a nominee is officially chosen at the Democratic convention. Why are they so nervous? Because Hillary Clinton has fallen sharply out of favor with the Democratic party's progressive base and, more broadly, the American people.

According to these establishment blowhards, Bernie Sanders' attacks have brainwashed his supporters, convincing them Clinton is untrustworthy. His mere presence in the ongoing primary race is damaging her favorability ratings and distracting her from focusing on Trump, which explains her dismal general election polling numbers. They claim his supporters are ignorant, can't do math and Bernie's only in it for himself. They think it would be best for the party if he were to bow out of the race now, the week before California, and whip his supporters in line behind the inevitable Clinton.

On all of these counts they couldn't be more wrong. Let's discuss each ludicrous position individually.

Bernie's "attacks" on Clinton are not really attacks at all, unless you consider stating facts about her record and contrasting her views with his own to be "attacks." Most people outside the Democrat bubble understand those for what they truly are: a necessary, informative part of the democratic process to select the best possible candidate. Most people get that, but most people do not have the ability to appear on national television every other hour to spread partisan propaganda as the Clinton surrogates do. They repeat their talking points ad nauseam in the hopes that people will just accept them as truth, which becomes much easier to accomplish when the media ignores his speeches and rallies.

Bernie's supporters aren't "brainwashed" by any means. In fact, they have had their eyes opened to the political realities in this country and they are disgusted by what they see as the perversion of democracy. The parties are essentially private political clubs that can choose whichever nominees they want. This is deplorable not just because it isn't democratic, but because the parties pretend that it is. Primary voters are given an illusion of choice when in reality party elites still ultimately decide who gets to play and who doesn't. In truth, the entire primary process is an elaborate fundraising and voter identification scheme to benefit party infrastructure.

Hillary's untrustworthiness can be attributed to her and her alone. She refuses to release her Goldman Sachs transcripts reinforcing the perception she has something to hide. She takes money from private prisons, oil companies, Big Pharma, Big Agriculture, Wall Street and nearly every other industry she has rhetorically vowed to fight against. She lies constantly, whether it be her fabricated sniper-fire landing in Bosnia, a la Brian Williams, or that she and her husband left the White House "not only dead broke, but in debt," or that all of her grandparents were immigrants, or that her private email server was "allowed" by the rules and regulations at the state department, and many, many more. Whether or not you consider any of these issues to be irrelevant is beside the point. The fact is she has no problem being utterly duplicitous about nearly anything on an incredibly consistent basis.

Her plummeting favorability ratings, again, are of her own making. Beside the many reasons listed above, the American electorate does not agree with her hawkish, interventionist foreign policy nor her laissez-faire economic policy. She has never seen a conflict she didn't support and has called for a no-fly zone in Syria, a move that would undoubtedly escalate tensions with Russia and require U.S. ground troops to enforce. She recently said she would make her husband her economic advisor, disregarding the fact he oversaw the deregulation of Wall Street and the dismantling of Glass-Steagal, arguably the single biggest cause of the 2008 financial meltdown. Her judgement in these two crucial areas is indefensible, is it any wonder she has nearly the highest unfavorable ratings in the history of U.S. presidential candidates, second only to a racist, narcissistic demagogue?

The claim that Clinton has been distracted from focusing on Trump is completely baseless. For months she has been talking as if the primaries are already over and in her latest speeches and interviews she's reluctant or outright refuses to say Bernie Sanders' name. Her general election polling against Trump has been falling due to the fact that she is under an FBI criminal investigation and acts as if the rules shouldn't apply to her. Think to yourself: would it be ok if Bernie Sanders were facing the specter of a criminal indictment from the FBI? I didn't think so.

Bernie's supporters are not ignorant. They know what the math says. They know the prospects are dim for him to draw a winning hand, especially since the deck has been stacked in Hillary's favor since before anyone else was at the table. Their stubborn support is a reflection of confidence in their candidate's superiority and in the power of political movements to change what pundits and entrenched politicians consider unchangeable. Progressives are uniting behind Bernie's ideas and ideals in a way Hillary Clinton could only dream of when she talks of party unity.

Make no mistake, Bernie Sanders' campaign is a political revolution for the people, not for him, and one that will not be extinguished with a primary loss. The progressive movement has been growing for years and was merely brought to the surface by Bernie for the broader public to see. As much as he epitomizes the goals the movement is trying to achieve, he is not a messiah and his supporters will not blindly follow him into the arms of corruption, even if he tells them that corruption is a lesser-evil. Over the past 40 years, the path to greater evils has been paved by lesser ones and progressives will walk it no longer.

The Democratic party needs to wake up to the outcry from their base urging them to choose their candidate wisely. There is one candidate who represents the ideals of FDR, JFK and Martin Luther King Jr. which made the Democratic party great. There is one candidate who has higher favorables than any other. There is one candidate who beats Trump by a landslide in every major poll to date. There is one candidate who is bringing millions of Independent, disillusioned and disaffected voters back into the political process. There is one candidate who has made his political career about honesty, integrity and putting the public good ahead of selfish gain. That candidate is Bernie Sanders.

The party has one last chance to do the right thing for the people they purport to represent, one chance to revitalize their standing with voters and ensure victories down the ticket and for generations to come. If they can't see the writing on the wall and are willing to risk a mass exodus of millions of progressive voters to protect their vanity and line their pockets, then so be it. Hillary Clinton will lose come November and they will only have themselves to blame.