Hillary Rodham Clinton, the darling of the moneyed and elder denizens of the Democratic Party, has been relatively quiet, polite, and reserved toward her sole remaining challenger for the Democratic presidential nomination, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, but that appears to be changing. Sanders, who is a couple of years older than the former Secretary of State, has nevertheless shown strength among the younger and more progressive elements of the party - and has won seven of the last eight nominating contests. Now it appears that the equanimity of Mrs. Clinton is finally beginning to wear a bit thin. Yesterday after Sanders picked up yet another win, this time in Wisconsin, a state that had been thought until very recently to be firmly in the Clinton camp, Hillary began wondering aloud if Sanders was even a Democrat.
Well, let's see.
Bernie Sanders has a long history of supporting the nation's poor and disadvantaged. He promotes the idea of free college for all, and is steadfast is his support of a woman's right to choose, believing it is a decision that should be left to the women involved and their physicians. He supports universal background checks on gun purchases. Sanders is for comprehensive immigration reform, something that will provide a path to citizenship for the eleven million undocumented immigrants currently living in this country. He also believes that banks and corporations should pay their fair share of taxes and not exist on corporate welfare. And, over ninety-nine percent of his campaign contributions are in form of small, individual donations - and are not rooted in corporate treasuries or Super PACs.
Yep, he sounds like a Democrat to me.
Mrs. Clinton, while being on the Democratic side of most of the major issues, is much more open to corporate and lobbyist cash and a bit more beholden to entrenched party bigwigs, many of whom will go to the convention as "super delegates" without any public vetting for that particular honor. As a former six-year veteran of the Walmart Board of Directors, she has a familiarity and comfort around America's boardrooms that would be an anathema to people like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
Hillary is currently leading in pledged delegates, but she does not have the nomination sewn up. While she did win a string of victories across the cracker south, none of those states will support her in the general election. Sanders has won seven of the last eight Democratic contests - in places where Democrats can and must win in the fall. He appears to be the candidate that the party base is turning to, and no amount of finger-pointing and name-calling is likely to change the direction of that prevailing political wind.
The primary in New York state in two weeks will be the big kahuna. If Hillary loses her adopted home state, the state that sent her to the U.S. Senate twice, then she should pack it in and let the public will prevail. The Democratic party should pick its nominee based on the desire of the people and not on the rusticated party machinery grinding along under the tight control of entrenched party hacks, like Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and hoary old "super delegates."
Bernie is about the future - and unfortunately Hillary appears to be more about business as usual. They are both Democrats, and either would be preferable to what the Republican Party seems ready to cough up for the 2016 election, but only Bernie is expressing a clear vision of what America really could be.
Not only is Bernie Sanders a Democrat, he is a damned fine one!