By Steve Rohosky
While he slowly fades from the conscience of the general public, the reason for the Hillary/Sanders face-to-face not long ago has become increasingly clear. Heading into the tête-à-tête, the Senator from Vermont strongly believed himself to be in position to dictate terms to Clinton and the DNC, in return for his endorsement and an agreement to prevent hostilities by his more rabid followers at the upcoming convention.
Convinced he still held the upper hand–absolutely assumed his public endorsement of Hillary remained golden–Bernard Sanders would have pressured the presumptive nominee to fold X number of his policies in the party platform, place several of his trusted inner circle into positions of influence. He’d strive to overhaul the Democratic primary system, PLUS insist upon input into the VP vetting as well as seeking a say as to the ultimate choice. Certainly those were just the highlights. After patiently and respectfully hearing Sanders out, Hillary Clinton would have looked at the frazzled old man across from her, who always looked like he combed his hair with a balloon, and she laughed. No doubt about it.
The short version of her response most likely went something like: Right now, Senator, you get nothing, no guarantees, no promises. Your requisition to “improve” the primaries will be taken under advisement, but don’t hold your breathe. All anyone from your inner circle gets to do is assist MY people. Too, YOU are going to help me get elected. An endorsement is mandatory; it should go without saying there will be several joint campaign appearances, featuring us both. Encouraging your supporters to vote not just for me but all down ticket Democrats on their ballots, is mandatory.
AFTER I become president, I will evaluate the roll you played in my election. THEN I will weigh the degree of participation and enthusiasm of everyone responsible for my victory. Positions of responsibility and assignments will be handed out commensurate to ability. And the same goes for you, Senator.
Look, Hillary is infinitely smarter than anachronisms like Sanders and Trump can possibly admit. She KNOWS, if she gives in now and makes deals, once elected Sanders will use the continued support of his minions as a weapon, playing that card repeatedly in order to extract ever more concessions.
Bet on it.
The way The Ol’ Socialist hightailed it back to Vermont, ignored the Democratic filibuster in the senate and delivered only vague pronouncements about working to defeat Trump, is virtual proof the degree of detente between the two candidates came nowhere close to his level of expectation. You see, Sanders anticipated the goody bag he’d receive from Hillary and the DNC would contain more swag than is given backstage at the Oscars and all awards shows, combined.
In reality, he was handed the equivalent to a couple of 50% off online order coupons for Papa John’s pizzas–redeemable the day after his favorite baseball team scored more than six runs in a game–and an 8 by 10 full color glossy photo of Bill and Hillary Clinton, autographed and personalized.
Despite the lack of largesse, Bernard Sanders continues to hang around the periphery of the campaign. He continues to insist, at least for public consumption, a chance for the nomination still remains, all the while tickling the hopes of the last of his True Believers. This he does for two reasons: the first, obviously, is to cut the best possible deal for himself and his chosen few BEFORE he proffers an endorsement. He does, after all, have a great many supporters, the majority of whom will vote for Clinton provided he assuages their concerns as to the degree of her Wall Street and corporate connections, as well as address several other issues that seem to give them pause.
Realistically though, there is a faction within his disciples, upwards to 40 per cent, who will never vote for HRC, will consider his exhortation to do so a betrayal. A good portion of them aren’t Democrats, never were. Some are anarchists, others are Marxists or nihilists, most are simply people virulently dissatisfied with what they perceive as the continued perpetuation of societal inequalities, the massive inequities built into this type of economic system, the rampant injustices of our legal system and just about all are quite malevolent towards a government they view as being designed to protect and serve greedy corporations and the avaricious rich. They saw Sanders’ call for “revolution” as their long awaited engine which would empower an absolute bulldozing of all things American, followed by a complete rebuild, done to their and Bernard’s specifications.
The other reason Sanders continues to linger–and Trump hit on this the other day–is the possibility, be it infinitesimally slight, that the FBI will return an indictment of some sort against Clinton in regards to the email/unsanctioned personal server investigation. Either an indictment would be handed down or a rebuke from on high would be so powerful as to preclude a continuation of the nomination process and/or HRC would have no choice but to withdraw her candidacy in order to tend to a defense.
In which case the nation would have little choice but to turn its lonely eyes to Bernard Sanders to step forward and become the anti Trump candidate. At least that’s to what he and his sycophants refer whenever a miracle is mentioned as being needed for BS to become the nominee of the Democratic Party. No one associated with his campaign will ever give this voice, but you just know it rattles around the most secret of all recesses within more than a few Sanders acolytes.
One gets the impression BS is a bit of a gambler and with nothing left to lose, has maneuvered Hillary Clinton and the DNC to engage him in a game of high stakes poker. The only problem is he greatly overvalued the hand he was dealt. As Bernard is finding out the longer HRC keeps the presumptive nominee game going by attacking Trump, more and different revelations about this GOP odd duck are coming out: The Donald fired his campaign manager. His end of the month mandatory report to the Federal Election Commission revealed just $1.3 million cash in the bank, compared to $42 million for Mrs Clinton. Her main Super PAC has $52 million at its disposal, while Trump’s has only $500K. Campaign staffers across the nation total 685 for Hillary, while he has only 69.
This while Trump’s poll numbers continue to drop. The latest Monmouth College poll has him trailing Clinton by eight points, 48% to 40.
No, this was a very bad time for The Ol’ Socialist to have overplayed his hand because as the days and weeks melt away prior to the convention, her overall position continues to strengthen, making it increasingly less likely Hillary will have any great NEED to negotiate a deal of any sort with BS. Sure, she wants to bring as many of his supporters into the fold–will indeed be thankful for their support. But the Bernie or Busters, those who swore upon the Communist Manifesto of Marx and Engels or the avowed anarchists, the nihilists, even all who simply loathe Hillary Clinton and refuse to ever cast a ballot for her, whether she receives Sanders endorsement or not?? With each passing week, as Trump finds newer and more novel ways to implode, it appears any potential votes the Busters would have brought to the table simply won’t be needed as this just isn’t going to be a very close election.
Once the poker game reached its conclusion and Sanders smugly called, he proudly presented three aces and a pair of queens, good enough to be the victor most times. This being no ordinary set of circumstances, Hillary trumped him by flashing a Royal Flush: an ace, King, Queen, Jack and a ten, all of hearts–the ultimate winning hand. Leaving his entourage to once again whine and make the usual accusations about cheating.
Meaning, come Inauguration Day in January, when Hillary Rodham Clinton is sworn in as the 45th President of these United States, Bernard Sanders will be back at one of his homes in Vermont, watching on tv, dreaming about what could have been. Perhaps if Clinton is truly magnanimous, she might extend Sanders and Janey a pair tickets to one of the inaugural balls. Otherwise, no cabinet position will await him–like she received from Obama–nor will he receive the chairmanship of an important senate committee, like banking or oversight. Cause when you try to play tough with one of the Clinton’s, ultimately you get the back of a real hand.
Had Bernie Sanders not waited so long to negotiate peace with the Democrats, endorsed Hillary sooner, done what she did eight years ago for Barak Obama, perhaps there would have a place for him within this next Clinton’s administration. But then, that’s really not his style. Bernard is a loner, invariably accomplishing little because everything must be done his way.
He jumped into the race his way, ran his campaign as he best saw fit, engendered his ultimate demise, his way. Soon he will be an historical footnote, best remembered for making Hillary Clinton a better candidate and a better president.
And Bernie Sanders, professional dreamer, can fantasize alongside his minions about what might have been. Knowing he played in the highest stakes game possible, against an old card sharp from her college days, will have to be solace enough. Knowing, accepting, that while he courted it mightily, got tantalizingly close, even held it ever so briefly, glory is just not for the likes of him.