By now, the GOP Establishment’s claim that Donald Trump would lose to Hillary Clinton has become an oft-repeated trope.
So, it’s refreshing to read a Democrat saying exactly the opposite.
Steve Almond is a Bernie Sanders supporter and seriously delusional, as you’ll see when you read what he says about Hillary — that she is “brilliant” and a “compassionate public servant,” and that Benghazi and her private email server are “phony scandals”. At the very least, his essay should be good for some laughs.
Below are excerpts from Almond’s essay of March 14, 2016, for Salon.com, “Hillary will never survive the Trump onslaught,” interspersed with my comments colored yellow-green:
[…] listening to Hillary partisans explain to those of us who support Bernie Sanders just how naive we are. Only Hillary, we are told, has a real shot at winning in November. She’s the only one with a realistic grasp of how Washington works, whose moderate (and modest) policy aims might, realistically, be enacted. It often sounds as if Clinton’s central pitch to voters isn’t that she has a moral vision for the country, but that she owns the franchise on realism.
[…] Hillary’s reality brigade […] need to face the reality of what the 2016 election is going to be like with Hillary at the top of the ticket.
Before I outline that particular shitstorm, let me issue a few […] First, I myself was a Hillary supporter until Sanders entered the race. (More precisely, until I read his policy positions.)
Second, I will enthusiastically support Hillary when and if she is nominated. Years ago, I interviewed the secretary and I say now what I said then: She is a brilliant and compassionate public servant. If presidential elections in this country were based on policy positions and moral intention, on how each candidate hopes to solve common crises of state, Clinton would win going away.
[Hillary is a “brilliant and compassionate public servant”? HA HA HA HA! See “Hillary Clinton’s accomplishments as first lady” and “Hillary Clinton is a monster, says Secret Service agents”.]
Alas, the reality is that Hillary is among the most hated politicians in America. There is, to begin with, her dismal favorability rating, which stands at 53 percent, with a net negative of 12 percent. (Sanders has a net positive of 12 percent.)
But even more important is the intensity of the animus against her, and the sad mountain of baggage she carries with her as a candidate.
No matter who the GOP nominee is, the battle plan against Hillary will be the same: a tawdry and unrelenting relitigation of all the phony scandals cooked up by the “vast, right-wing conspiracy” that she identified nearly two decades ago.
Cue up the Pearl Jam, folks, because we’re going all the way back to the ’90s: Whitewater, Travelgate, Troopergate, Lewinskygate, with a little Vince Foster Murdergate, for a dash of blood. But wait—those are just the golden oldies! You’ll also be hearing about the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Pardons. Of course, what respectable slander campaign would be complete without the new material? Benghazi, the private email server, the Wall Street speeches?
The dark corporate money and talented propagandists aligned against Hillary will make the Swift Boat Veterans look like toy soldiers.
[Note: HA HA HA HA! Does Steve Almond not know that Wall Street, especially, Goldman Sachs, are Hillary’s biggest donors? See “The biggest Wall Street whores among 2016 presidential candidates are…”]
And because our Fourth Estate is driven at this point almost entirely by the desperate promotion of scandal narratives and conflict, every one of these paid attacks will be amplified by so-called free media, or what us starry-eyed hippies used to call journalism.
[The media are against Hillary? HA HA HA HA! See “News media are big donors to Hillary’s corrupt Clinton Foundation”]
I’m not blaming Hillary for this sad state of affairs. I’m just trying to be—what’s the word I’m looking for? Ah yes, here it is—realistic about how it’s going to go down.
Republicans tend to lose when they have to talk in specific terms about policies, priorities and solutions. They win when elections are reduced to brawls and/or personality contests. (See Reagan/Carter, Bush/Kerry, et al.)
But if Donald Trump is the nominee, as seems most likely right now, he will also enjoy two genuine lines of attack against Hillary.
The first is the same one Bernie just used to upset her in Michigan: the fact that free trade pacts are wildly unpopular with many Americans. Trump has been full-throated (and, as usual, somewhat full of shit) in his condemnation of free trade, and it has been one of his most successful pitches. You can bet your bottom yen that he’ll hammer Hillary on this, as if she personally whipped votes for NAFTA. He’ll excoriate various forms of crony capitalism (deals cut with big pharma, bogus military contracts, etc.) that Democrats such as Hillary either endorsed or enabled through timidity. And he’ll blast her for backing our trillion-dollar boondoggle in Iraq, too.
These accusations will be framed in terms of a larger narrative: that Hillary represents business as usual in Washington, that she’s just another career pol beholden to the donor class and to the Wall Street swells who paid her millions to deliver her secret speeches.
Trump may be a sexually insecure adolescent with a penchant for inciting racial violence, but the one undeniable aspect of his appeal is that he recognizes the toxic nature of the status quo and will, by sheer force of personality, bring it down. […]
All of which brings us back to that credulous waif from Brooklyn, by way of Ben and Jerry’s. Donald Trump can holler all he wants about how Crazy Bernie is a socialist. But he (and the super Pacs) won’t be able to distract voters by digging up scandals in his past. Nor will Trump be able to portray him as a corporate stooge.
In fact, the shocking success of the Sanders campaign is predicated on many of the same essential frustrations Trump is exploiting: corporate influence, wage stagnation, trade. This is why polls consistently show Sanders beating Trump more convincingly than Clinton does.
The right wing […] are going to have a more difficult time smearing a candidate whose biggest liabilities are his “extreme” policy positions, most of which sound more like a common sense corrective to the excesses of capitalism. Higher taxes on corporations and the super-wealthy? Healthcare as a right? A higher minimum wage? Increased funding for education and infrastructure? Good luck demonizing those positions, Big Donald.
My favorite Salon readers’ comment on Almond’s delusional essay is by Sicilian Papa:
Trump vs. Clinton? She better hope she wins because Trump will prosecute her.
- Satanists endorse Bernie Sanders for President
- Supporters of socialist Bernie Sanders can’t define socialism
- Why you should be concerned that the largest U.S. nursing association endorses socialist pro-euthanasia Bernie Sanders for President
- Bernie Sanders supporters’ knowledge summed up in one Tumblr post…