Here’s the moment last night where I learned that making Hillary “feel the Bern” means inviting her to put her feet up by a cozy fire. It’s also where I learned that Sanders isn’t actually trying to win the nomination.
The strategy behind this, I guess, was to stay focused on his message that there’s a war on the middle class and that no petty scandal should distract us from that. That’ll play well with many lefties and it’ll earn him some goodwill with other Democrats who have zoned out of the stories about her server and know it only as some sort of Republican hatchet job on her. Sanders should be able to walk and chew gum at the same time, though, pushing his class-warfare campaign while making the case that Hillary’s unfit to win that war both because she’s not all that progressive on some issues and because she’s deeply compromised by scandal. He makes a point here about the perils of “oligarchy”; well, one characteristic of oligarchy is that the oligarchs believe, correctly, that rules that apply to lesser people don’t apply to them. They’re accountable to no one, and they’re willing to risk the security of the average person in order to make themselves more comfortable. That’s the deeper point about Hillary’s freakishly reckless insistence on setting up her own server, not what’s in her “damn e-mails.” She exposed classified information to foreign intelligence and she did it because she didn’t want to be subject to the same oversight at State that the other chumps there are. How does a populist like Sanders fail to note, at least, that this scandal is dripping with ruling-class entitlement?
At the barest minimum, the public backlash to Hillary over the server scandal in the form of horrific poll numbers about her honesty is something that should worry him and the left, as it may end up making the difference in the general election next year. If you’re hot for a socialist revolution, you’ll care a lot about her e-mails if Ted Cruz ends up being elected president instead of Hillary because voters simply don’t trust her. The fact that this guy was unwilling to devote so much as a minute of his time to making that case suggests he’s a hack who’s in the race as nothing more than a morale booster for liberals until they finally sigh and resign themselves to Clinton 3.0. Pitiful.
So that’s one thing we learned last night, that Sanders doesn’t want to win. The other thing we learned is that Geraghty is right — this party now is, for all intents and purposes, loud-and-proud socialist. What Jim Webb was doing there, I have no idea.