Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Sanders Gets More Trump-Like as Never Trump Republicans Back Biden

As Democrats appear to be strongly shifting to support Joe Biden and to be rejecting Bernie Sanders form of populism, Sanders is becoming more Trump-like as he blames "the establishment" and others of conspiring against him rather than admit that just maybe people do not like what Sanders is peddling politically. At the same time, Never Trump Republicans are demonstrating that they are willing to vote for Biden even as they continue to find Sanders toxic and hostile to anyone with differing views and opinions.  A column in the Washington Post looks at Sanders' Trump like behavior.  Here are excerpts:
Populist leaders present themselves as the only authentic voice of the “people.” Therefore, critics in the media are enemies of the people, for to take on the leader is to attack the people. When the leader is rejected at the polls, it cannot be an authentic expression of the people. The system must be rigged; the establishment must be out to get the candidates and, by extension, the people.
We have seen this for the three years President Trump has been in office, and previously in his 2016 campaign. The deep state, the fake news and the elites (not “real” Americans) are out to get him, he says. He insists that all these forces do not respect the people, his followers and the only real Americans.
We are reminded in watching Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), as his presidential campaign fizzles, this mind-set is not limited to the right. Sanders had this exchange on ABC’s “This Week”:
SANDERS: Well, one of the things that I was kind of not surprised by is the power of establishment to force Amy Klobuchar, who had worked so hard, Pete Buttigieg, who, you know, really worked extremely hard as well, out of the race. . . . . We’re taking on the political establishment. And what you are seeing now just in the last few weeks is Wall Street, the health-care industry, the billionaire class putting a lot of money into Joe’s campaign.
This is bonkers. Other Democrats got out of the race because voters across the country did not vote for them. Sanders sneers at them as if they are puppets on a string, yanked out of the race by nefarious forces. They actually looked at the facts, saw they could not win and decided Biden had a better chance to unify the country and beat Trump than did a self-proclaimed socialist who cannot resist the urge to pick fights with his own party.
Sanders’s complaint about billionaires giving to Biden’s campaign (they would be limited to $2,800 per person like all other donors) is part of the fixation with attributing opponents’ success to something other than popular opinion.
Sanders keeps insisting he is “winning the support of grass-roots America.” That simply is not so. Biden won 10 of 14 states, driving turnout sky-high in states he won, like Virginia. Sanders’s promised onslaught of new voters has never shown up.
Perhaps he and his snarling online supporters should confront an unpleasant truth: Sanders’s problem is not the establishment or corporate Democrats or billionaires. It is the voters.

Meanwhile, Biden is showing that he can pull in support of independents and Never Trump Republicans - something that might tip the scales in crucial Mid-West states where Sanders' mythical wave of new voters will likely fizzle as it has in state after state.  A piece in the New York Times looks at this phenomenon.  Here are article highlights:
As more data emerge to explain former Vice President Joe Biden’s stunning victory on Super Tuesday, there are two clear demographics that propelled him: African-American voters and suburban voters with college degrees.
It’s a coalition that helped moderate Democrats flip seven governorships, two Senate seats and about 40 House districts (the newly Democratic suburbs alone would have secured a House majority) from red to blue in 2018. African-Americans have long made up a core of the Democratic voting base, but many of Mr. Biden’s college-educated, suburban supporters are right-leaning independents or moderate Republicans who supported candidates like John McCain and Mitt Romney. They don’t want to re-elect Donald Trump. And they’re willing to cross over to vote for a Democrat — a moderate and mainstream Democrat.
These voters might not identify with the “Never Trump” group of conservatives who vociferously oppose the president. But in practice, that’s who they are.
These voters can create winning margins for Democrats in swing states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, Arizona and North Carolina in the general election.
Their numerical strength was on full display on Super Tuesday in the Virginia and Texas suburbs, which saw 74 percent and 87 percent higher voter turnout, respectively, than four years ago.
The responses to our outreach made clear that these voters are looking not for the democratic socialist revolution that Senator Bernie Sanders would offer as the nominee, but simply for a Democrat they could trust to govern responsibly and end the chaos of Mr. Trump’s presidency. For many lapsed and former Republicans, voting for Mr. Biden is the least-bad option. He’s considerably more moderate than Mr. Sanders and doesn’t pose the threats to the rule of law and constitutional norms that Mr. Trump does. He’s a backstop against the political insanity of the right and the left.
College-educated suburban voters often feel politically homeless, trapped between Mr. Trump’s erratic and divisive nature and a fear of Democrats’ leftward march. Mr. Biden may not offer these voters a galvanizing vision for the future. But to those exhausted by the past three years of political upheaval and nastiness, he offers something even better: basic human decency.
Especially in the focus groups in which Trump voters rate his performance as “somewhat bad” or “very bad,” these right-of-center voters are generally open to voting for Mr. Biden — though not for Mr. Sanders.
It has always been a possibility that Mr. Trump could drive a permanent political realignment in which college-educated suburban voters abandon the Republican Party for good. It remains an open question whether that will come to pass in 2020 and beyond, but the warning signs from Super Tuesday are clear.

The goal in 2020 is to defeat Trump - not force a political revolution that a majority of voters do not want.  It's a reality that Sanders seemingly cannot or will not grasp. 

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