Published at 09:49 on 26 February 2020
Doomed to lose either the primaries or the general election, that is.
As much as I’d personally like to see a socialist in the White House, when you stand on stage and get booed for praising a dictatorship and your reaction is to cluelessly ask “Really? Really?,” your chances of winning in November are probably pretty slim. Just telling it like it is.
And yes, Bloomberg has done worse. He’s not merely praised certain isolated aspects of communist dictatorships, he’s praised an actual communist dictator, going to far as to deny that the dictator is in fact a dictator: “Xi Jinping is not a dictator. He has to satisfy his constituents or he’s not going to survive.”
Bloomberg is not getting heat for it while Sanders is simply because Bloomberg is a capitalist, and is issuing the praise so that he can personally profit from doing business in the country the dictator rules. Yes, this is unfair. Yes, it shows what a rotten farce our bourgeois society is. Welcome to the real world. (It’s suddenly news to you that bourgeois society is a rotten farce?)
But, guess what? Sanders could have used the above facts to rip Bloomberg an entirely new asshole. Instead, he blurted out the name “Xi Jinping” without providing further context, then went back to his lame shtick of left-splaining Castro, and couldn’t understand why he got booed for it.
Sanders sounded like nothing but an out-of-touch old grandpa. An old grandpa steeped and marinated in leftist subculture, to be sure, but still an out-of-touch old grandpa. He failed to go on the offensive and eviscerate one of his opponents. His handling of the issue was political malpractice of the first order.
Of course, if when verbally eviscerating Bloomberg, Sanders used words like “bourgeois,” it would make his counterattack totally fall flat. I can get away with using that word, because I am not running for president.
After I settle in for a few more years, I could probably even get away with using such language publically and then run for local office here in Bellingham. We’re a college town, with a history of also being an industrial town where organized labor was very strong (so strong that the local newspaper of record was run by unions, not capitalists, for many years). We’re also a hippie haven.
Most people here are not anarchists, socialists, or communists, but most people here know someone who identifies as one of the above labels, and know that most movements to accomplish worthy things have had radicals in them. They wouldn’t find my my choices in labeling toxic. Quirky, yes. Toxic, no.
If my opponent tried to red-bait me, the most likely overall response would be “F.U., you corporate droid, I’m voting for the scruffy anarchist just to piss you off. The world won’t end, and unless he’s an obvious failure at preforming his office, I won’t have a problem with him representing me. That will piss you plastic corporate types off even more.”
My guess is that Vermont operates in a similar way. The whole state has something of a reputation as a haven for old hippies. But the USA as a whole is not Vermont. What can play in a hippie haven can’t always play well nationwide.