First, and foremost I think about politics, policy, and how government should work each time I sit down to blog. I have been quite dismayed over the past months with the Bernie Sanders campaign and some of his backers on Facebook who state they can not support a nominee other than Sanders in the general election.
Needless to say it is those types of comments which add weight to the mature voices in the Democratic Party who speak of pragmatism. At the end of this process Sanders and his adoring fans will be left with some campaign bunting and a memory that wanes over time.
But what I desire for my nation and my party–a party Sanders only recently joined and now wants to radically change–is a victory this fall by a Democrat for the White House.
I want to win.
Over the weeks I have taken to this blog to register my unease with Sanders and what he is doing by elongating this nominating process. Sanders has exactly zero chance of securing the nomination but can harm the eventual Democratic nominee by his actions. But since he is not a Democrat what the hell does he care?
This week I posted that Democrats need to ask if Sanders is not the modern-day Gene McCarthy? My blog post was picked up and linked by the Capital Times.
History shows what happened when a failed candidate and his youthful, but short-sighted followers, failed to support the eventual nominee. Richard Nixon won the White House, expanded the Vietnam War, undermined the Constitution with all the crimes that fall under the term Watergate, faced articles of impeachment, and resigned.
Those words are simply the truth as history clearly proves.
Today Paul Fanlund, Editor of the Capital Times, nails if perfectly in a column as to why he has differences with the Bernie Sanders campaign. I absolutely concur with his words and sentiments. He too echoes back to the time when Nixon won due to short-sighted reasoning.
Even in liberal Madison, many progressives regard Clinton as the logical successor to Obama, and more importantly, as the candidate with the widest general election appeal. Some of us remember how Richard Nixon got elected president in 1968 because liberals just couldn’t get excited about Hubert Humphrey. The result? The Vietnam War — and the military draft — went on for years.
That brings me to Ralph Nader, who, like Sanders, remains a darling of the far left for his ideological purity.
Four decades ago, I recall my unbridled admiration as I heard Nader speak in person on Capitol Hill. Nader was already a celebrated consumer advocate and I was in graduate school in Washington, D.C.
But today, I could hardly be more disdainful of Nader.
In a recent opinion column in the Washington Post, Nader defended Sanders against criticism by Democratic leaders after the senator said he was running as a Democrat to raise money — not, apparently, out of affinity for party principles.
Think about that: Sanders apparently believes he has the charisma and the message to recreate a party substantially to the left of the one that’s been led by Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. That party is apparently the one Nader sneeringly refers to in the Post as the “corporatist, hawkish establishment.”
In that column, Nader also described himself as “one of the more successful third-party presidential candidates in recent U.S. history.”
Yes, Nader’s right, if your definition of success is depriving Democrat Al Gore of enough votes in 2000 to defeat George W. Bush. That Bush victory, in turn, delayed action against global warming, brought the unspeakable carnage and ongoing quagmire in Iraq and helped set the stage for a financial crisis unmatched since the Great Depression.
That is not my definition of success.
With true believers such as Nader and Sanders leading the way, you say you want a revolution?
You can count me out.