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By Hank Beckman –
During the 1960 presidential election, John Kennedy told journalist Teddy White, “If they turn me down, the primary system is finished for good.”
“They” were the old school Democratic bosses who were decidedly skittish about nominating a Catholic as the party’s standard-bearer. Only one Catholic had been nominated for president before, Al Smith in 1928, and religious prejudice was a significant factor in his landslide defeat at the hands of Herbert Hoover.
Kennedy’s fear was that no matter how many primaries he won, even in states like heavily Protestant West Virginia, the conventional wisdom among the big city bosses who dominated the Democratic Party—many Catholic themselves—was that the religious issue would still work against him and drag down city and statewide tickets across the country. JFK justifiably feared a brokered convention where the bosses would screw him.
Bernie Sanders must know exactly how JFK felt.
Only now, instead of just the party bosses holding their noses when he goes off on one of his half-baked rants, the Democrat primary voters are turning on him as well.
And these new bosses aren’t cigar chomping pols operating out of smoke-filled back rooms. They aren’t old fashioned ward heelers or labor leaders interested primarily in a good economy and getting a better deal for the rank and file. Long gone are the days when big city mayors like Richard J. Daley consulted with other machine politicians to determine who would benefit them best in their local contests.
The new bosses are liberal hedge fund managers, leftists tech tycoons and globalists obsessed with open borders; they’re practitioners of identity politics and environmental extremists who take their cue from the most virulent ideologues in our nation’s universities. These two groups are the people whose deep pockets fund the Democratic Party, along with labor unions, trial lawyers and George Soros.
And in the modern age, when the primary system has grown far beyond what it was in JFK’s day, the new bosses are also increasingly the Democrat primary voters.
Whatever differences the two groups might have, they share one overwhelming desire—to regain power and hold on to it, even at the cost of sacrificing the principles of the growing, radical young segment of their base.
And that’s the reason, the only real reason—that primary voters are turning on Bernie.
Bernie’s problem is that he’s the farthest left serious candidate for president since Henry Wallace and the only one with the cojones to come right out and admit that he’s a socialist.
His record of public statements, which Trump’s researchers have no doubt been salivating over, are an opposition researcher’s dream.
Fulsome praise for the Soviet Union, where he and his bride actually spent their honeymoon, is just the starkest reminder of just how far out on the looney left he is. When did love of a totalitarian state that murdered millions of its own citizens become a selling point to large numbers of Americans? What exactly is so great about the communist dictatorship 90 miles from Florida? And did he really say people lining up for food was a good thing? Out loud, where normal people could hear him?
If praise of communist dictatorships isn’t enough to make a moderate Democrat sweat, and I use the term loosely, there’s plenty more in his public record guaranteed to keep bosses awake at night, including banning the Electoral College, banning hydraulic fracking, eliminating nuclear power completely and essentially nationalizing the nation’s housing policy.
A few weeks ago, no one thought that Joe Biden’s galloping, gaffe-filled senior moment of a campaign had any chance to slow Bernie down. The enthusiasm generated among the “Bernie Bros,” especially strong in the Millennial wing of the party, and fueled in part by the perception that the party bosses had screwed him four years ago and were itching to screw him again, made it seem like Bernie had it in the bag.
But beginning with the Biden comeback in South Carolina and continuing through Super Tuesday, when Biden beat Bernie like a step child, the nomination has been all but officially won by the former vice president. (Unless he forgets himself and starts sniffing women again or forgets his name during a debate)
Democratic voters, donors, and media will do anything to have a good chance of beating Donald Trump, and Biden’s supposed moderation is thought to give them the best chance. The notion of Joe Biden as a moderate is so set in stone that even the Fox All Stars seem taken with the idea.
Well, what exactly is moderate about expanding Obamacare to the tune of an additional $750 million? Or another $750 million for education, which, in addition to essentially paying off the teachers unions for their support, includes two free years of community college or other training? Not a reduced cost, mind you, or a low interest loan to pay for it. Free! Only we all know that it’s not free, because teachers don’t work out of the goodness of their hearts; they work for money.
Is Biden’s plan for the federal government to mandate a $15 an hour minimum wage really all that moderate in a supposedly free society? And how about the $1.7 trillion he proposes to spend on climate change? With no real mechanisms to force other nations to comply; he just wants to let Americans shoulder the load and our economy to suffer.
On social policies, Biden is not making anyone forget Billy Graham. How would eviscerating the Second Amendment with his assault weapons ban be an act of moderation? Is it moderate to withdraw support for the Hyde Amendment, which exists to prevent federal taxpayers from paying for abortions? And only the most partisan Democrat can call his support of the DACA program, an unconstitutional move by Barack Obama to defer deportation of about 2 million illegals, anything remotely moderate. Not being able to work out a deal with Congress, Obama used an executive order in one of the most blatant power grabs since FDR tried to pack the Supreme Court.
Biden might not be an in-your-face socialist, but he’s certainly not a liberal in the mold of John Kennedy, Hubert Humphrey or Scoop Jackson. No matter how many talking heads describe him as moderate, the only thing moderate about him is that he’s not Bernie Sanders. Not good enough.
Nor were any of the other lesser candidates in any sense moderate. Remember these are the people that all raised their hands in the affirmative to a question about providing taxpayer-funded health care to illegals; and want to study the ludicrous notion of reparations for descendants of slaves.
But as Bernie’s finding out, the country’s not ready for that sort of nonsense yet. It will probably take another generation of media/Hollywood/university/K-12 indoctrination to get the electorate accustomed to the left’s plan for their American Utopia. That’s about how long it took them to prep the field for open borders, same sex marriage and beginning the debate on reparations.
Until then, they’ll just have to keep on fooling us.