Kirk Novak: Hinkley Had a Vision

(editor’s note: originally published on Pretension Headache)


I removed references to the Green Party and a paragraph citing polling numbers, but aside from names this text is otherwise unchanged.

History repeats itself in the future.

The 2016 ELECTIONS: Angry Democrats, Fearing Sanders Cost Them Presidential Race, Threaten to Retaliate

Published: November 9, 2016

WASHINGTON, Nov. 8— Liberal Democrats today angrily threatened retribution against Bernie Sanders and his Democratic Party allies if Hillary Clinton was declared the loser in the too-close-to-call presidential election.

Pre-election polling around the country had found that if Mr. Sanders were not in the primaries, perhaps half his supporters would back Mrs. Clinton; others had said they did not know what they would do in the event of a Sanders-less race, though some said they would vote for Mr. Trump.

With the race hanging in the balance today as ballots were counted in Oregon, recounted in Florida and studied in New Hampshire, where Mr. Trump was already declared the winner, staunch Democrats and their liberal allies attacked Mr. Sanders for having refused to bow out of the primaries weeks ago.

Regardless of the outcome, they said, Mr. Sanders’ once-stellar reputation among liberals has been permanently tarnished, his ability to raise money and to work with Democrats forever damaged.

”His standing has been severely diminished by his actions,” said Amy Isaacs, national director of Americans for Democratic Action. ”People basically view him as having been on a narcissistic, self-serving, Sancho Panza, windmill-tilting excursion.”

Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, echoing the sentiments of several other Democrats on Capitol Hill, said: ”Bernie Sanders is not going to be welcome anywhere near the corridors. Sanders cost us the election.”

Other Democrats argued that if Mr. Trump won the election, Mr. Sanders should be held responsible for jeopardizing the well-being of gays and lesbians, minorities and the poor, women and organized labor.

”Because of him and his activities, there is a possibility that the people we represent can be harmed, can be hurt, that our agenda that we fought for may not take place,” said Gerald McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and chairman of the A.F.L.-C.I.O.’s political committee.

And Kate Michelman, president of the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, said Mr. Sanders had infuriated many liberal women by having effectively helped an anti-abortion candidate, Mr. Trump.

”He may pay a price,” Ms. Michelman said. ”He has damaged his own credibility by so willfully dismissing, so cavalierly dismissing, this major concern of many, many voters.”

Far from expressing any second thoughts about his campaign, Mr. Sanders seemed energized today by his intensifying combat with the Democratic Party.

At a news conference in Washington, he argued that Democrats in Congress might actually be more effective with a Republican in the White House, calling Hillary Clinton a ”snake charmer” who had weakened their resolve.

And he asserted that he was not worried about threats of retribution because ”citizen groups in this city have been shut out already” by a Democratic administration that he said cared more about campaign fund-raising than progressive causes.

”I don’t think people here realize how much ground has been lost by citizen groups in the last 20 years,” he said.

Mr. Sanders also vowed to keep building the Democratic Party, which he said would continue challenging Democratic candidates whether or not their party moved to the left.

”Even if the Democratic Party returned to its roots, it needs a progressive candidate to make sure it stays there,” he said. ”It’s like an insurance party.”

Democratic Congressional candidates may have already begun feeling the impact of Mr. Sanders on the Democratic Party.

Deb Callahan, president of the League of Conservation Voters, an environmental group that endorsed Mrs. Clinton, argued that Mr. Sanders had siphoned off enough Democratic votes to help elect Republicans in at least three House races on Tuesday.

”Clearly there were some races where strong candidates were threatened or even defeated because of Sanders,” Ms. Callahan said. ”That’s just not acceptable.”

Several Democrats said today that they expected many longtime financial supporters of Mr. Sanders to cut off their contributions to organizations with which he is affiliated.

But other Democrats said that given his prominent role in the election, they were worried that Mr. Sanders would be able to command higher speaking fees, which he uses to help finance his organizations, and more media attention than ever.

Mr. Sanders’s campaign also seems to have caused squabbling within the Democratic movement itself. An Oregon-based group called Democrats for Clinton, whose members include a founding member of the Democratic Party, issued a blistering statement today accusing Mr. Sanders of running a ”reckless, irresponsible and totally counterproductive” campaign.

And Judy Nicastro, a Seattle city councilwoman with both Democratic and Democratic ties, said she had scrapped plans to try to mediate peace talks between the two in Washington.

”I’m too angry and disgusted,” Ms. Nicastro said. ”I know I don’t have it in me to be big enough to forgive Sanders right now.”

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