The Brutal Truth is that Bernie Sanders Did Damage Hillary Clinton. (Part 1) : ThyBlackMan

Saturday, September 22, 2018

The Brutal Truth is that Bernie Sanders Did Damage Hillary Clinton. (Part 1)

September 9, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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( Hillary Clinton has finally taken the gloves off and spoke her mind about her Democratic presidential rival, Bernie Sanders. She flatly charged that Sanders hurt her White House bid. She got very specific and claimed that the “lasting damage” he did to her campaign did much to put Trump in the Oval Office. She took the big broad side at Sanders in her new book, What Went Wrong.  Now that she has made that charge against Sanders, the question is, “Is she right?

The brutal truth is there is more truth than vindictive hyperbole in her blame game assault on Bernie Sanders. It’s true that Bernie Sanders personally voted for Clinton, campaigned for Clinton, and urged his supporters to back Clinton. But, 3 recent surveys showed that in the 3 states that put Trump in the Oval Office, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, a number of voters who voted for Sanders in the Democratic primary in those states crossed over and voted for Trump in the general election.

They were registered Democrats. They did not simply stay home, cast a vote for a third-party candidate, Jill Stein, or write Sanders name in. They actually voted for Trump, the candidate who seemingly represented almost everything that Sanders’ abhorred. To take that step, a lot of these voters had to really, really, loathe Clinton to the point where they would do anything to keep her out of the White House. This included supping with the political Devil, in this case Trump.

So, how much should Bernie Sanders, even though he firmly backed Clinton, be blamed for his most rabid backers breaking ranks and crossing the political Rubicon to vote for Trump? Hillary Clinton says he poisoned the political well with his drumbeat attacks on her as a war mongering, handmaiden for corporate interests, hard line beltway Democrat. This did give Trump some ammunition to con voters into thinking that he’d somehow be different from her and any other establishment politician, and really do something for the beleaguered, forgotten, hard pressed workers who watched as their jobs and livelihood and future fled to distant shores.

No matter how much Bernie Sanders talked about the threat of Trump, and urged Democratic Party unity, thousands of Bernie backers didn’t hear any of that. The loud echo in their ears was that Clinton was just no good, and putting her in the White House would just be Trump by another name. This slammed the door hard on the lock down, requisite party unity needed to beat back the Trump onslaught.

There’s the counter intuitive argument that says why pick on Sanders’ backers for the Hillary Clinton defeat, didn’t a lot of African-American voters stay home on Election day? And more disgracefully, almost 10 percent of Blacks voted for Trump. Isn’t this the voter demographic that Democrats absolutely must have come out in huge numbers to offset the GOP’s bread and butter conservative, blue collar, rural, white male voters? A big Black vote turnout certainly made the difference for Obama in 2008 and 2012.

Yes, many Blacks did stay home, and many made their dissatisfaction, even bitterness, with and toward both Hillary and Bill plain on such things as Bill’s shove through of the draconian crime bill, this packed the jails and prisons with Black men, the gut of welfare, and the scrap of financial industry checks.  But the Trump Black voters were in the heavily minority cities and counties that went for Hillary Clinton overwhelmingly anyway so their vote was no factor in Trump’s win. The same could be said for the Black vote drop-off in 2016. The numbers were still high enough, though, not to be the causative factor in Clinton’s loss.

The finger still points back to the legion of Sanders’ backers in the swing states whose bellyache over Clinton was severe enough to cause them to punch the fateful vote card for Trump. Clinton says she wanted to say that at the time and warn of this danger, but she was told by Obama and others in the party to keep her mouth shut about that. And instead of hitting back harder against Sanders in their debates and on the campaign trail as she wanted, she had to stay mute.

Obama and other key Democrats said that this would further piss off Sanders supporters against her. As it turned out, she could have raged at Sanders during the campaign for sowing enough division to insure her defeat but it wouldn’t have likely changed anything. Many of those that turn-coated from Sanders to Trump would still have cast their vote for him.

Is that Bernie’s fault as Clinton complains? No, if one believes that Sanders had no sway over his backers. Yes, if one accepts the reality that his attacks on Clinton were so fervent that they hit home hard with his most die-hard supporters. The problem for Clinton was that there were just enough of them to tip the presidential scales to Trump, and that’s the brutal truth about Sanders.

Part 2;

Written By Earl Ofari Hutchinson

One can find more info about Mr. Hutchinson over at the following site; TheHutchinson ReportNews.

Also feel free to connect with him through twitter;

He is also an associate editor of New America Media. His forthcoming book is From King to Obama: Witness to a Turbulent History (Middle Passage Press).


One Response to “The Brutal Truth is that Bernie Sanders Did Damage Hillary Clinton. (Part 1)”
  1. Jesse says:

    I agree with this article in part but I believe the use of the expression “Sanders’ attacks” to be incendiary and negligent of the facts that:

    1) Hilary Clinton was and always has been pro-corporate, “muscular” in her foreign policy, and a mainstream neoliberal democrat. It isn’t an attack if it’s just true. If that galvanized people and contributed to the national zeitgeist that precluded Clinton from becoming president then I understand where you are coming from. But that is not the “fault” of anyone. We just so happen to live in an age where Americans are waking up to their political reality and they don’t like it, because it’s a reality in which they are left out. Clinton could have denounced her pro-corporate, imperial ambitions and would have won a lot of people over if she had, but she chose to equivocate on the issues that would have mattered for this new, crucial type of voter.

    2) If Sanders was on the attack then she absolutely was, too. Whether it was backchanneling with the DNC, spending political capital to get Washington Post writers to write op-eds favorable to herself but extremely critical of Sanders, or using millions of dollars to fund an online anti-Sanders trolling campaign to try and win back the internet, she was always engaging in political subterfuge to tank the Sanders’ campaign and promote her own. Furthermore she lied about his “support” for regime change and muddied the ideological waters in extremely disingenuous and harmful ways, securing victory in a primary in which her nomination was virtually an anachromistic relic from more naive times, when we believed that democrats and republicans somehow represented our interests and had contributions to make to promote the political aspirations of everyday Americans. Long gone are those days and people who engage in apologetics for the old guard are only going to make things worse, as more and more extreme, right wing politicians will continue to be elected.

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