Going into July 2015 4 Democrats, including Sanders, shedding his Independent moniker for expediency and inclusion, had announced their candidacy for presidency. Jim Webb had not yet officially announced. Vice President Joe Biden was sending signals that he would openly challenging the notion held by the Democratic party aristocracy that someone could challenge Hillary Clinton without committing party sacrilege. Biden has the name recognition and the party support to prove a contender, but Sanders should never lose sight of the fact that his one true adversary is Clinton. Through the convention and nomination, no other candidate from any party matters for Sanders but Hillary Clinton.
The first week of July Sanders stunned the race by attracting thousands in standing room only audiences in Minneapolis Minnesota and Madison Wisconsin. Thousands were turned away from the packed Minneapolis rally. The Clinton camp certainly took note that Sanders not only drew far more than they could, but that there was so much energy and excitement. For the time being, for Clinton, Sanders is her primary concern.
Those numbers, representing many times more who support Sanders but could not attend, portends not a small number of potential voters. Common among many of them is a distrust and even dislike for Clinton. Whether or not all of those Sanders devotee will actually come out to vote in primaries, let alone the general, is uncertain. Voters on the Left are a fickle bunch, and tend to be more opposed to the bipolar parties. That should concern both the democratic establishment and Hillary Clinton. It should also concern the Clinton camp that these voters might abandon a Clinton presidential ticket or refuse to turn out to vote at all. That could represent, given the early and unprecedented excitement for Sanders enough voters to cripple Democratic hopes for a 2016 win.
There are critical weaknesses within the party itself, some driven by the sort of politics, either real or perceived, Hillary Clinton reportedly practices. Clinton is accused of having a history of retribution against fellow democrats who oppose her or who fail to fall in lock step. On Lawrence O’Donnell’s MSNBC program at the end of June, Thom Hartmann explored that while recommending Elizabeth Warren needed to endorse Sanders.
That seemed unlikely for the time being, given that making the wrong choice at this juncture could draw that feared retaliation from Clinton. That describes a serious problem within the democratic party which is far less of a burden for republicans within their ranks.
It describes a hierarchy to the democrats that wields undemocratic amounts of power. That power was more than apparent as far back as 2014 when it had all been decided by the democratic media elites and the democratic establishment that Hillary would be the candidate. It describes a party that dictates to its constituency rather than engages and listens to it. Many progressive and liberal voters scoffed, and either threatens to opt out of voting for Clinton or who may look to other candidates like Rand Paul or to the Green Party. At the beginning of July that attitude about an assumptive Hillary coronation was still prevalent and even dominant within the party and the media.
Besides Sanders there isn’t a great deal left to choose from for democrats. With ex=republican Lincoln Chafee, whom few have heard of, or Martin O’Malley who would engender the disdain of Black voters after the Baltimore unrest in April, or Joe Biden and Jim Webb, the field begins to resemble the dismally dull offering by democrats in 84 and 88.
Of course the confused opposition on the Republican ticket doesn’t look very good either Still, there is cause for concern. The issue with the confederate flag, rather than rightfully shame those captivated by a symbol of disunity, hate, slavery and rebellion, it could well backfire on hopes for democrats in the south. We’ll explore the Republican field next.
Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray and guests on Chicago’s real alternative media, AM1680, Q4 radio, streaming at www.que4.org.
WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. His new book “A Tragic Fate: is an unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com
The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) is a conservative think tank with offices in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, and member of the State Policy Network. IPI is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. IPI is also a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force. Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting. Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IPI. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit. In its 2006 annual report the Cato Institute states that it made a grant of $50,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank founded by Charles G. Koch and funded by the Koch brothers. .