Senator Bernie Sanders has no discernible path to a delegate majority, yet he continues to argue he ought to be the nominee. One of his arguments is more than a little ironic: that the super delegates he’s said should honor the intention of primary voters should now ignore primary voters–more than 2.5 million votes who have voted for Clinton over Sanders–and hand him the nomination.
Even more ludicrous is his claim that he is the better Democratic candidate in the general election. Yes, it is the case that he is currently polling better than Clinton against Republicans in November. But it is also the case that Clinton hasn’t run a single negative ad against him, and the Republican party has essentially ignored him until recently when Trump said he’ll use some of Sanders’ attacks against Clinton.
Certainly Sanders’ poll numbers would tank if Republicans were to go after him for his relationship with the Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party; his vote against a law establishing the Amber Alert system and one against an amendment criminalizing computer-generated child pornography–these votes, they’d say, from a man who wrote porn in his youth (see “The Revolution Is Life Versus Death”). Note: I’m not saying this essay is porn; I am saying that the GOP would call it porn and do so over and over and over again.
But wait! There’s more: Sanders has consistently supported gun manufacturers, the Sandinistas, and Fidel Castro; he’s urged we abolish the CIA which will be used to argue his national security record would jeopardize the United States—a powerful argument in this climate of all out fear of terrorism; he’s supported disbanding the Army and defunding the Defense Department, although he says he’s changed his mind about that. In the 1970s he helped found the Liberty Union Party, which called for the nationalization of all US banks and the public takeover of all private utility companies and he served as an elector for the Socialist Workers Party, which was founded on the principles of Leon Trotsky. According to the New York Times, that party called for abolishing the military budget. It also called for “solidarity” with the revolutionary regimes in Iran, Nicaragua, Grenada, and Cuba; this was in the middle of the Iranian hostage crisis. Just imagine how gleefully Republicans would exploit Sanders’ youthful opposition to the CIA and his anti-military leanings if he were to be the nominee. In a time of widespread panic about terrorism, the attack ads write themselves. This will be new information to most voters in the general election.
Someone needs to tell Sanders and his supporters that he’s not the better candidate; rather he’s the as yet to be vetted candidate.
What the GOP will throw at Clinton will be old news.