Politics

Sandbagging Sanders

The Democrat establishment is again working to block Bernie's primary rise.

Arnold Ahlert · Feb. 6, 2020

When are “coincidences” no longer believable — and a Democrat Party civil war seemingly inevitable?

On February 1, the Des Moines Register informed its readers why it decided not to release the final installment of the CNN/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll, indicating where the Democrat presidential candidates stood heading into Monday’s first-in-the-nation primary (caucus) vote. According to the paper, “A candidate’s name was omitted in at least one interview in which the respondent was asked to name their preferred candidate.” And despite the fact that it appeared to be a single instance, the paper decided not to publish the same poll it has conducted and published for 76 years “out of an abundance of caution.”

Perhaps. Or perhaps, as a tweet by reporter/conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich indicated, Bernie Sanders finished first and Joe Biden finished last. For the less conspiratorial, political analysis website FiveThirtyEight’s final poll on February 3 had Biden in second place, but Sanders still maintained the top spot.

After Monday night, none of it was supposed to matter because the Iowa caucuses would remove all doubt as to which candidate the voters preferred.

Except that they didn’t. Although denied by party officials, a disastrous new smartphone app created for caucus organizers by Shadow, a tech firm run by veterans of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, failed to properly tally the votes. The chaos continued into Wednesday evening. While results remained officially unfinished, three things became clear: Biden’s media-anointed status as the frontrunner is a sham, Sanders remains a potent force, and a Democrat Party that wants to run the country is composed of embarrassing incompetents bedazzled by dubious technology.

Yet for Sanders supporters, two other developments also seemed destined to undercut their candidate. One is the reality that the DNC has changed the debate rules — candidates no longer need to meet a minimum number of donations to appear on the debate stage in Nevada on February 19. This paves the way for the appearance of billionaire Mike Bloomberg, who is not soliciting any campaign donations. Again, it is undoubtedly sheer coincidence that Bloomberg is the only Democrat candidate who has personally donated money to the DNC, to the tune of $300,000.

Two, Sanders supporters believe House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s delay in sending articles of impeachment to the Senate was designed to keep Sanders off the campaign trail, while Biden remained unimpeded by the subsequent trial. This particular manipulation was seen as a reprise of the DNC’s effort to undermine Sanders in favor of Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Democrats are facing a “damned if they do, damned if they don’t” conundrum. If Sanders wins the nomination, the man who honeymooned in the Soviet Union, praised Fidel Castro’s revolution in Cuba and the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua, and advocates for free college, free healthcare (even for illegal aliens), a moratorium on deportations, and just about every other big-government, redistributionist, national-debt-exploding scheme imaginable would likely get crushed in the general election.

On the other hand, if Bernie loses the nomination and his supporters believe it’s due to DNC malfeasance or subterfuge, they will likely stay home, or possibly vote third party, also enabling Trump to prevail.

A brokered convention? According to Politico, a handful of Democrat insiders have “discussed the possibility of a policy reversal to ensure that so-called superdelegates can vote on the first ballot at the party’s national convention.” This is viewed as a way to “potentially weaken Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign and head off a brokered convention.”

In 2016, superdelegates were allowed to vote on the first ballot, and they overwhelmingly sided with Hillary Clinton. The rule was changed to placate the party’s increasingly leftist members, who viewed it as an integral part of the effort to sandbag Sanders. His supporters would undoubtedly be enraged by any reversal of the reversal.

Yet if a brokered convention occurs and a possibly front-running Sanders is still sandbagged by party insiders? At the 1968 Democrat Convention, there was rioting in the streets outside the International Amphitheatre in Chicago. This time there might be rioting on the convention floor itself at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, especially when one considers some of the revealed comments made by a Sanders campaign operative. “If Bernie doesn’t get the nomination or if it goes to a second round at the DNC convention, f—ing Milwaukee will burn,” said campaign staffer Kyle Jurek. “It’ll start in Milwaukee. And when the police push back on that, other cities will just explode.”

As for Sanders himself, The Washington Post reports that, if elected, he would issue a series of executive orders “he could unilaterally enact.” They include a halt of border-wall construction, a reversal of Trump’s immigration policy, the reinstatement of the Obama administration policy granting legal status to illegal aliens, declaring climate change a national emergency (and thus halting the exportation of oil), and the cancellation of federal contracts for businesses paying workers less than $15 an hour.

For Democrats who don’t “feel the Bern,” such policies are untenable. “Democratic donors and party insiders are warning that large swaths of their voters could stay home — or even defect to Trump — if Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders snags the nomination,” the New York Post reports. Michael Kempner, a longtime Democrat donor who has given money to Biden and Pete Buttigieg, sees the proverbial writing on the wall. “For Democrats to win,” he warns, “the election must be a referendum on Trump and not a debate about socialism.”

By contrast, columnist Roger L. Simon believes that debate is exactly what America needs. “This wouldn’t be a so-called ‘uni-party’ election resulting in minor differences in the tax code, as it usually does,” he explains. “Trump versus Sanders would be capitalism versus socialism!”

Undoubtedly. Moreover, there is a searing irony attached to this ongoing debacle: A Democrat Party that has long cultivated an increasingly radical-leftist, power-consolidating agenda now has a genuinely radical-leftist candidate with the backing of equally radical supporters — but the party establishment is terrified.

Why? Because unlike other Democrats, Sanders has upended the party tradition of obscuring its radicalism until after the election. In short, Sanders won’t make phony centrist appeals that conflict with his agenda just to win votes. He is, as they say, “all in.”

The Democrat establishment? It will go all out to stop him. “Hell hath no fury like Bernie’s millennials if they are thwarted,” warns columnist Miranda Devine.

Thwarted? Betrayed is the far more likely scenario. And it won’t be even slightly coincidental.

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