- - Thursday, November 5, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Vermont’s favorite Socialist has watched his early advantage over Hilary Clinton dissipate and now he thinks that maybe he isn’t as tired of her “damn emails” as he thought he was. Maybe he should stick to talking about how to redistribute the nation’s wealth and punish those who create jobs and economic growth. That’s what the kids in his left-wing base, Hillary and Debbie Wasserman Schultz want to hear, even if no one else does.

The liberal pundits fell over themselves to congratulate Mr. Sanders for “putting the issue to rest,” but it’s an uneasy rest. The Democrats are determined that Hillary’s emails must not be raised within the party no matter how nervous everyone may be. The party is stuck with Hillary and the party is determined to ignore her reckless handling of classified information, her irresponsible handling of security for American diplomats in danger in the hot spots where diplomats must be, and her greedy demands for contributions to the foundation that is the family gold mine.

She laughed at the Benghazi questions and the party is trying to laugh with her, and trying to believe that her competing narratives about what happened there will suffice through next November. The party is desperate to believe that the Clinton Express is back on track and ready to roll. A bridge over troubled waters may be out somewhere up the line, but why worry?

This partisan optimism is so far not reflected in the facts. Joe Biden was hailed as the party’s great white hope, but he took a powder and an early exit, and now the old Socialist’s early lead in New Hampshire has vanished. A Boston Globe/Suffolk poll earlier this week shows Hillary leading by a slight margin, and perhaps poised to put Mr. Sanders away on his own turf, putting the party back to square one with nobody to love.

Still sniffing an upset in the wind, Bernie isn’t ready to go quietly into that bad night. He regrets his happy talk for Hillary in the Democratic debate. He concedes that maybe the Republicans saw something he didn’t. He told a reporter this week that the email scandal may too serious to be dismissed so quickly. He’s willing now to urge the FBI to get on with tracking down any wrongdoing that can be ascribed to Hillary. The “twelve seconds” he spent clearing Hillary of high crimes and misdemeanors, or even little crimes and misdemeanors, weren’t enough to say how he really feels. “I did not say end the investigation” he says. “That’s silly.” (We thought so, too.) Now he wants the FBI investigation to “proceed unimpeded.” (We do, too.)

Obsessed as he is with reordering the American economy, limiting the choices of consumers and making America safe for an expanding bureaucracy, Bernie hadn’t realized that Hillary’s problem — and probably an insoluble one — is that nobody likes her and nobody trusts her. He wants to return to those “damn emails” and get on with uncovering the truth about her. Isn’t that what a lot of us have been saying? What a difference a day and a new poll can make.


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