She didn't say it. Everybody but the most die-hard Sandernista gets it. Sanders wouldn't walk it back. And this, from the man who is supposedly more honest than Hillary Clinton. Finally, this morning on the Today show, Bernie admitted that she was "qualified." But this incident sheds light on the entire Sanders campaign from day one. It was originally constructed as a protest campaign, but when Sanders and his team saw the size of their crowds, and won some caucuses and a few primaries, their own ambition got the better of them.
The Sanders campaign made sense as a protest movement, but as a real campaign it has been built on this supposed contrast, of Honest Bernie and Dishonest Hillary. And yet, when the going gets tough, and the math doesn't work, to what lengths will Bernie go?
The Sanders campaign knows it is losing. They can read a delegate map, they can do the math. Perhaps they turned a corner when a few days ago a long article published in the New York Times laid out a scenario, presented by Sanders' own top aides, that the campaign had made a mistake in not attacking Clinton more forcefully. Perhaps it is no coincidence that just a few days later, and following hard on the heels of a Daily News editorial board meeting that appears, from the word for word transcripts, to have been a disaster, that Sanders decides that he has suddenly been called "unqualified to be president," and must respond.
This is the man who has been attacking Hillary Clinton for months on the slimy innuendo that if she accepts any money at all from anyone connected with finance or banks or the oil industry, that she's become their puppet, without offering a single shred of evidence, not one vote, that shows Hillary Clinton is in the pocket of any special interest. No proof that she's some secret, behind the scenes champion of Republican policies. And the whole time, the Clinton campaign has been taking it without much comment, because they have been warned not to offend Bernie's supporters.
When it has been brought to Senator Sanders' attention that President Obama, John Kerry, Al Gore, and virtually every Democrat in the House and Senate has also taken this money that supposedly turns them into puppets, he does not respond, because he can't. The superdelegates have understood this from the very beginning. They all know that in order to raise the money necessary to fight and win for progressive candidates in most states and congressional districts, they have to raise money from people with money. Democrats would prefer a system of public financing of all campaigns, but this is the system we have now. And within this system, Democrats have been championing the working people of this country without any purity lectures from Bernie Sanders.
The entire Sanders campaign is built on a lie; that only those who take no money from people who work on Wall Street or fill-in-the-blank special interest can be champions for progressive causes. Tell that to Al Franken and Sherrod Brown, tell that to the Congressional Black Caucus. Tell it to them with a straight face.
Let me end with this; the biggest lie of the entire campaign is the viability of a superdelegate strategy at the convention. For the last two weeks the Sanders campaign has been saying that this is their path to the nomination. It is a desperate Hail Mary pass. They know it won't work. They have no momentum with superdelegates. And just a few months ago they were denouncing the entire idea of superdelegates as undemocratic.
You know what is guaranteed to make superdelegates furious? Doing the Republican Party's work for them. And now that Sanders has decided his last stand will be built around the notion that Hillary Clinton is unqualified to be president, this mistake has closed the door to his supposed winning convention strategy once and for all.
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