Wednesday morning the Financial Times reported that frightened U.S. Democrats are pushing the panic button over the potential Democratic nomination for the presidency of Vermont socialist Senator Bernie Sanders.
Sanders has the hard left lane to himself with the seeming crash and burn of the Warren effort. He has done well in campaign fundraising, holds the affections of left wing youth, and will use his New Hampshire win as a springboard to Nevada and beyond.
But that doesn’t impress the few sane strategists still left in the Democratic Party.
“I like Bernie. He’s honest, he says what he believes,” Ed Rendell, former Democratic governor of Pennsylvania told the FT “But he can’t win because America is not going to vote for a socialist.”
“He is not a Democrat,” said Kenneth Baer, a Democratic strategist and Obama official, “Democrats don’t seem to be taking that seriously. Nobody is actually questioning him. Nobody is actually saying: these are his views on foreign policy, on how we deliver benefits to the least fortunate, and that is not what Democrats believe.”
An anonymous source, who likely did not want to be identified for fear of hard left political revenge, said, “Everybody I know is terrified that Bernie or Elizabeth Warren is going to get traction, and not only would they lose to Trump if you put a socialist label on the Democratic party, we would lose the House.”
The consternation of certain Democrats has become so serious that party officials are struggling to come up with an explanation for the possible march over a cliff.
Thus, an idea is being floated by Dem apparatchiks that the whole Sanders boom is a cleverly masterminded trap by Dem moderates to give the hard left enough rope to hang themselves in 2020, since Trump will win anyway. Then the Bolshies will be blamed for the loss, will lose strategic credibility, and Pelosi will have the weapon she needs to purge the party leadership of them.
Yeah, I know.
Most capable analysts will tell you America is a center right or center left country depending on the circumstances of the day. Just as a hard right type would have a difficult time appealing to the 10% of moderate swing voters who decide national elections, so would a hard leftist like Bernie Sanders.
The Democrats may find that out to their worse consternation in November.