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.