Iowa and the caucus

Iowa is over and thank God for small favors. Hillary Clinton was declared the official winner—by one half a percentage point—and Bernie Sanders is challenging that finding. I think there is a fundamental flaw in the thinking of the Clinton campaign. I like Hillary, I really  liked and continue to like Bill Clinton, but I think they’re missing something here. The faux-explanations of “Iowa was too far left for her,” and “New Hampshire, is so white,” aren’t going to make Bernie Sanders go away. 

South Carolina may well be the downfall of Sanders, I don’t know, none of us do, nor will we, until the final vote tabulations. There is, however, something that needs to be pointed out here: Bernie Sanders supporters are new and fresh and passionate.  They see this as their chance to change the world, ala the 1960’s; it’s the same passion, freshness and new approach that supported JFK, and his brother Bobby; the same passion to make a difference, to reshape their world that drove Gene McCarthy from the ranks of the Democratic Party into an Independent party run for the Presidency—though I remain convinced that in the beginning McCarthy was more interested in trying to demonstrate to LBJ that his policies lacked wide support.

From what I read, Sanders lacks the so called ‘ground game’ that he had in Iowa; the organizational structures that led to a defeat by a margin thinner than Donald Trump’s political skin.  Now, in defense of Hillary, she was running against (at that time) 16 GOP opponents, the Koch Brothers and numerous and sundry other organizations that daily vilified her. She was also running against Martin O’Malley(now having closed down his presidential campaign), Jim Webb (we all remember him, don’t we?)Lincoln Chafee (a real barn-burner there) and Bernie Sanders—who did not. And then there were two… Bernie Sanders has run a campaign which has shown good taste, a certain amount of class and the belief that idealism still has a place in American politics.

Ted Cruz, has run a campaign that can be characterized as sleazy, but he and members of his supporters—at least the ones I talk to—say “Well, gee, that’s politics. And besides, the Supreme Court said it was okay, didn’t they?”  Don’t even go there with me—right next to Citizens United and the decision to allow certain businesses to opt out of the Affordable Care Act, that opinion ranks as the dumbest things to come down from those benches in a very very long time.  Cruz has an admitted appeal to the Evangelical right wing of the GOP, though I doubt that his support goes much further or deeper. Marco—“It’s an amazing victory”—Rubio may well have come in third place in Iowa and cheered about it but he still lacks any serious support from this Senate colleagues(he’s rarely there, so perhaps name recognition is a problem for him) or from  members of the House of Representative. Rand Paul and  Rich Santorum, have ended their quests. I suspect that lacking a very strong showing  in New Hampshire, Christie, Kasich and Carson will do likewise. Jeb Bush will, I think try South Carolina, though if given another strong repudiation of his family name will probably pack up his JEB! signs and go home.

But back to Sanders…Bernie is strong in Nevada—now, having said that, let me back up a moment. If Sanders takes Nevada, and thus far, I’ve seen, heard nor read anything that shows Black or Latino voters flocking to the Sanders Campaign, if Sanders takes the state of Nevada, Hillary Clinton will have more than a problem. She will have a full-scale crisis. Don’t be dazzled by the rumpled professor demeanor of Bernie. He’s a fighter and a good one. Where will this land us? I honestly don’t know. I’m a Democrat and whoever is nominated by the party will receive my support—in whatever form I am able to deliver said support. I would see as a true political apocalypse the election of a Republican to the White House, this time around. It would undo all of the work of eight years.

The GOP is not going to defund the ACA—they don’t have the votes and they’ve proven it time and again. But the scaling back of essential social programs will leave us in a society something like that presided over by Herbert Hoover. Social Security would be in immediate jeopardy, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program(SNAP—the program providing food stamps) would go by the way faster than the Edsel. Those would be the first to go; then we can wave bye-bye to environmental standards as the corporations take over the rotting carcass of this Great Republic.  I believe it was Alexis de Toqueville who said, “In a democracy, people get the government they deserve.”  This is the United States of America—all 50 separate states that make up who and what we are; we deserve a much better government than any of the Republican candidates can offer. Remember March 15th is the Primary election; Please, please,  please, VOTE and bend every effort to get all of your Democratic leaning or committed friends to vote as well.. God Bless the United States of America.

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