Bernie Sanders Surges, Establishment Continues to Freak Out


The Democratic political establishment has gone into full panic mode as anti-establishment candidate Bernie Sanders surged past Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire and pulled within striking range in Iowa. We can certainly count on more ridiculous hyperbole coming out of the Clinton machine now that the latests CNN/WMUR polls have Senator Sanders up a whopping 27 points in the Granite State and a strong 8 points in the Hawkeye State. Establishment politicians and operatives, including Chelsea Clinton, started spouting dangerous political nonsense that they will want to walk back if Senator Sanders wins the nomination.

Strangely, Clinton backers, including the former First Lady’s daughter, falsely accused Sanders of supporting a plan that would “take away health insurance for low-income and middle-income working Americans.” After that didn’t work, then entrenched Democrats, including a couple from my birth state of Missouri, started playing the “socialism” card, a card better-suited for right-wing Republicans, as many Democratic primary voters understand that some of America’s most popular programs, namely Social Security and Medicare, are socialist policies. In fact, more Democratic Iowa caucus goers consider themselves socialist than capitalist.

After the socialism scare tactics didn’t derail, Sanders’ momentum, the mudslinging David Brock, the leader of a pro-Clinton Super PAC, ridiculously trotted out the race card after Sanders’ new “America” ad hit the airwaves. Brock, who once was a right-wing mudslinger that denigrated Anita Hill and claimed that Arkansas State Troopers arranged sexual liaisons for then-Governor Bill Clinton, is now a poltical hatchet man that Hillary Clinton should be embarrassed to have as an operative.

We can expect the establishment to continue to freak out. Some members of the Clinton campaign and Democratic power players have tried to put up a brave face, claiming confidence that the front-runner’s strong support from people of color will provide a firewall in Nevada, South Carolina and more diverse states across the map. However, strong victories in Iowa and New Hampshire could swing many more voters into Sanders’ camp, as Representative Clyburn has stated to The New York Times:

Mr. Clyburn, who is not endorsing a candidate before his state’s primary, said Clinton aides in South Carolina had expressed misgivings to him about the state of her campaign.

“It has to do with what things ought to be done and when they ought to be done,” Mr. Clyburn said, declining to provide more details. “The reality is, if Mrs. Clinton loses Iowa and New Hampshire, that could create new and real problems for her here.”

The actions of Hillary Clinton and the Democratic establishment clearly show that they are now very nervous. Secretary Clinton was the inevitable nominee in 2008 and many are seeing parallels to 2016. It was once unthinkable that a first-term African-American senator with the middle name Hussein could defeat Hillary Clinton. Iowa helped propel Barack Obama to the Democratic nomination in 2008, even though Clinton came back to win in New Hampshire. If Bernie Sanders can exceed the early performance of Barack Obama and win both Iowa and New Hampshire, his long history of being on the right side of history on the Civil Rights Movement, women’s rights, gay rights and matters of war and peace, will bring along more and more voters, including those of color, to #FeelTheBern.

Anthony Johnson

Anthony, a longtime cannabis law reform advocate, was Chief Petitioner and co-author of Measure 91, Oregon's cannabis legalization effort. He served as director of both the New Approach Oregon and Vote Yes on 91 PACs, the political action committees responsible for the state's legalization campaign. As director of New Approach Oregon, Anthony continues to work towards effectively implementing the cannabis legalization system while protecting small business owners and the rights of patients. He sits on the Oregon Marijuana Rules Advisory Committee and fights for sensible rules at the legislature as well as city councils and county commissions across the state. Anthony helps cannabis business comply with Oregon's laws and advises advocates across the country. He also serves as content director of both the International Cannabis Business Conference and the Oregon Marijuana Business Conference, helping share the vision of moving the cannabis industry forward in a way that maintains the focus on keeping people out of prison and protecting patients. He was a member of the Oregon Health Authority Rules Advisory Committee, assisting the drafting of the administrative rules governing Oregon’s state-licensed medical marijuana facilities. He first co-authored and helped pass successful marijuana law reform measures while a law student at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law. He passed the Oregon Bar in 2005 and practiced criminal defense for two years before transitioning to working full-time in the political advocacy realm. His blogs on Marijuana Politics are personal in nature and don't speak for or reflect the opinions of any group or organization.