Déjà Vu All Over Again

Déjà Vu All Over Again

As the late Yogi Berra said, "It's déjà vu all over again."

Cliché as that might be, it's the most apt description for what's going on among Democrats and liberals when it comes to Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders: it's a repeat of both 2008 *and* 2000.

Liberals are doing the same thing they did with Hillary back when they fell in love with Barack Obama: she's "untrustworthy," or she's "unlikeable," Now that liberals have stopped crying in their lattés because Elizabeth Warren isn't running, they've perked up their ears at Bernie Sanders, an old white man from Vermont who is an unabashed socialist and says a lot of things they like to hear, and that in fairness, he does believe himself.

Suddenly, Bernie Sanders is the cure-all for what is a long standing left-wing problem: Anybody But Hillary Syndrome. Until Sanders' campaign started gaining some momentum, Hillary's numbers were very high, but you know that liberals were disgruntled because there's another curious pathology among Democratic voters: they hate anyone named Clinton. Sure, Bill Clinton is one of the most successful Democratic presidents in recent electoral history (you can't count Obama's presidency yet), but in the time since Sanders entered the race, you would think that Bill Clinton was horrible. So horrible, in fact, that the name "Clinton" is tied up with "Bush." "We don't need another Clinton," came the weary calls from the left, as if it was Bill who tripled the national debt and started two wars that no one's paid for yet. With Sanders, they've been able to let loose their pent-up Clinton hatred, rolling out the tropes they used in 2008: Hillary is a "corporatist," a "hawk," "too friendly with Wall Street." The only thing they can't say (anymore) is that she would be Bush's third term, because *that* belongs to Obama, who has continued much of his predecessor's policies and hasn't prosecuted a single banker for ruining the economy. How corporatist can you get with that?

And here is where the election of 2000 comes into play: despite what he said, there is no way I believe Bernie Sanders will not run as an independent if he fails to clinch the Democratic nomination. I admit that I could be wrong, but I fully expect something along the lines of "this election is too important" to cross his lips when he justifies why he's going to keep running. His entire campaign is based on the notion that *he* can offer real change to the status quo, and the growing number of people at his rallies means that it's striking a chord and not just because they hate Hillary. But if I'm right, then we're going to have the Nader effect once in play. While it's not a scientific fact, it's likely that Al Gore would have won Florida had Naderites voted for him rather than for their candidate who had no chance at that point of winning. But, we know what happened: the Supreme Court decided the election. You think this ghost would still haunt liberals: it clearly does not.

And that brings up an additional point: political purity tests. Liberals are of the opinion that such a thing is the exclusive domain of right-wing voters, often observed with a slow shaking of the head for those who "vote against their own best interests." Yet they forget that conservatives actually go out and vote, and that leaves liberals again shaking their heads with a furrowed brow in a vain attempt to understand how it all happened. To whit: the last mid-term elections. Sure, they'll blame Republican gerrymandering and there is meat on that bone, but it's a convenient excuse to ignore the fact that *they* did not go out and vote. And if Hillary is the Democratic candidate, Sanders' voters are unlikely to rush to support her, and instead either vote for him as an independent, or as a write-in candidate.

And then they'll wonder how it is that a Republican is taking the oath of office in January 2017.

Yes, this is a partisan post, but it's also a call for Democrats to, for once, show some spine and some discipline. It's the Republican side that's in disarray, but Democrats seem to want to join in on the fun, what with insisting that Bernie Sanders can win a nationwide election or believing that a Joe Biden run will be awesome because it will "make Hillary a better candidate." What a joke this idea is. People already know who they are likely to vote for; it's self-deception to think that people ponder deeply which candidate to support. This is like a Mets fan deciding that he should support the Yankees because they have a compelling lineup and talent.

So, that is the fear for this election cycle: Democrats flocking to an old, angry white man (but mocking that when it comes to conservative voters, oh, the irony) whom they see as their new political messiah with the added relish of running over Hillary Clinton like they did in 2008. And, the potential bonus of a Nader-splitting vote that costs Democrats the White House because they need to "stick with their principles." Don't break arm patting yourself on the back when you lose the general election.