As noted in the last blog posted at this site (1), the Democratic contest for the party’s presidential nomination has taken a turn towards the personal and away from policy. Bernie Sanders’ (BS )part of this began with his claim that Hillary Rodham Clinton (HRC) was “unqualified”. This assertion is so laughable on its face that the senator from Vermont executed a quick pivot to the claim that his opponent lacked good “judgment” based on her support for the war in Iraq and willingness to take hefty speaking honorariums from Wall Street (2). This double-barreled “broadside” from BS has opened the door to some serious questions about his judgment which is to say that “Turnabout is fair play”.
Throughout his campaign, BS has repeatedly articulated his commitment to free college and heathcare for all, to be paid for by sharp increases in taxes on the very richest of our citizens. These pledges have caught the fancy of a large pool of potential voters, many of them in the 18 – 25 and 30 – 35 age brackets. The enthusiasm they have shown for their man’s candidacy has been something to behold, never mind that all of it is completely unobtainable without the cooperation of the Congress.
Congress, and in particular the House, would have to pass the raising of taxes needed to pay for all of Sanders’ “give-aways”. That is simply not going to happen with the GOP in control of the lower chamber, a condition that won’t change appreciably as a result of the coming November election (3). Given this certainty, one must ask “Does BS not know how our system of government works? What claim can he make on good judgment when he fails to see the obvious and continues to galvanize his supporters with promises that he has absolutely no chance of keeping?” (4).
If the contents of the foregoing paragraph aren’t bad enough, there is this: While HRC has been working diligently to raise funds for Democrat candidates running for lower offices, BS has barely lifted a finger to follow suit. In other words, he has been doing next to nothing to help change the composition of the Congress that will be seated next January even though he desperately needs precisely that to have even the slightest chance of making good on his campaign pledges. This pattern on BS’s part crosses the line out of the “odd” and moves into “fantastically absurd” territory. The man has every right to criticize HRC’s judgment. But throwing stones when you yourself live in the proverbial glass house is both unwise and a sign of poor judgment.
- See “In search of some clarity”; April 7, 2016.
- HRC did in fact, vote in favor of the war in Iraq, whereas BS did not. As for those speaking fees, Sanders is pushing the implication that the money HRC received bought the payer(s) some favors. Not a shred of evidence has been offered to support that insinuation.
- Thanks to extensive gerrymandering made possible by population changes documented in the 2010 census, Republicans took a firm grip on the majority of seats in the House. While some of those seats might be lost this coming November, there is no chance that the GOP’s majority will change.