- - Sunday, April 10, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Only yesterday the Democrats expected to sit back and enjoy the spectacle of the Republicans tearing each other apart as Hillary Clinton plodded slowly but surely toward her coronation. Now they’re learning that the rain that falls on Republicans gets Democrats wet, too. The party is getting ugly as the crucial primary in New York approaches.

The Clintonistas once considered a 76-year-old socialist from Vermont, a fashionable boutique of a state, little more than an amusing distraction. Now they’re waking up to the reality of the wedge Bernie Sanders is driving between Hillary and Democratic core voters. He represents a threat not to her quest for her party’s nomination, which still seems likely hers, but to her election in November.

Mr. Sanders probably can’t win nomination in the face of rules that were rigged to assure Hillary’s coronation, but he has demonstrated that she can’t take a punch, and neither Donald Trump nor Ted Cruz pull their punches. If Bernie banks the bern tomorrow he could take a certain satisfaction in that his campaign against her would make it difficult for her to defend her ever harder left positions in September and October, when the campaign sizzles. But he’s not about to fold his tent, because Bernie and the hard left are on the verge of ratifying full-throated socialist control of a party that has been moving ever leftward for years. Bernie’s folks are eager to consign soft leftists like Hillary to that famous “scrap heap of history.” By virtue of record and rhetoric she is too conservative, relatively speaking, for the Democratic core voter. She’s the star of the Democratic version of Gerald Ford facing a Reagan challenge in a party in transition.

In desperation, she’s mocking her challenger’s Democratic bona fides and leftist Democrats are questioning hers. They’re engaging not only Hillary, but Bubba, too, in shouting matches across the hustings, portraying her as a misanthropic racist they could never support. Both parties now worry whether their faithful will stick with nominees chosen by conventions shattered by rebellion in the partisan ranks.

The Democratic left is unhappy that President Obama is not dismantling America’s defenses swiftly enough, dismantling the nation’s energy production fast enough and not moving forcefully enough to eviscerate the First and Second Amendments that are the obstacles to the transformed America they were promised eight years ago.



Hillary first argued her case on her inevitability, and on her record as Barack Obama’s helpful assistant at the State Department. Bernie Sanders has amply demonstrated that she is far from inevitable, that her record is far less appealing than her supporters first believed, and that she’s far more inept now than when Barack Obama emerged from nowhere to clean her clock in 2008. Young Democrats, traditional Democrats and the like are beginning to see her as the McGovernites saw Hubert Humphrey in 1968, a relic of the past. This poses a greater threat to her chances in November than whoever emerges from the Republican convention in Cleveland.

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