Hot Air: Stacey & My Mother

That’s The Ticket

Should Joe Biden win the Democratic nomination for president this year, he’ll have to — have to — select a black woman for a running mate. Stacey Abrams comes to mind. That move would create a bit of excitement in women, blacks, and the young — three groups that right now are not exactly doing cartwheels. As for me, I’d be a hell of a lot more happy to vote for him as long as he’s running with Abrams.

The Ma Factor

The current narrative among Bernie Sanders supporters runs like this: The fix is in.

See, lots of Bernie backers think the Democratic party rigged the primaries in 2016 and is even more sly and sneaky this year, all in an effort to thwart the candidacy of a man who, frankly, scares the bejesus out of Wall Street, the Goldman Sachs crowd, and whatever plutocrats toss scads of dough the Dems’ way.

The wealthy are petrified of Sanders, it is true. As they should be. The deck is stacked in their favor these days, and has been at least since 1980 when Ronald Reagan took office on a promise that every rich guy could keep his money so long as the allowed a couple of pennies every once in a while to “trickle down” to the 99 percent of us who actually have to live from paycheck to paycheck.

Sanders essentially calls for a wealth redistribution not unlike FDR’s New Deal or LBJ’s Great Society programs. The Right and the Republican Party have magically transformed those sorta-controversial-at-the-time ideas into radical, revolutionary Molotov cocktails so effectively that most of the people who’d benefit from them are against them at this point. Anybody who even hints at wealth redistribution is immediately branded the second coming of Leon Trotsky, or at least Fidel Castro.

Anyway, many Bernie supporters are certain the Democratic leadership is forcing anti-Sanders-ism down people’s throats, to borrow an image that was so popular with Right Wing radio talk show hosts not terribly long ago. This theory holds that an overwhelming majority of Demcrats are four-square for Sanders, but the will of the people is being abrogated.


These particular Bernie supporters aren’t taking into account the fact that vast numbers of voters really are loath to a profound change in our economic system these days. A guy calling for such a dramatic rewriting of the economic rules of the game is terribly unsettling to a lot of folks.

I use my late mother as my model for this. She would never in a million years have been tempted to vote for Bernie, had she lived past the year 2014. She would have been a staunch Joe Biden supporter. Here’s why: She’d remember Biden as Barack Obama’s vice president. During the eight-year Obama term, Biden made few if any gaffes. He wasn’t caught robbing the public till. He didn’t drop the N-word. He was a good and loyal lieutenant to the first black man ever to occupy the Oval Office. Ma would feel good about him.

Ma & Dad in the backyard, circa 1964.

And Ma was a hell of a lot more in tune with the average Democratic voter than I am. I voted for Sanders in the 2016 Indiana primary. I’ll vote for him in this year’s primary too, unless by some miracle Elizabeth Warren remains in the race for the next eight and a half weeks.

Scads of Bernie people are convinced everybody wants Sanders but only some nefarious archvillain billionaires meeting in a secret cave have conceived an elaborate plot to stop him, including running a half- to a full-dozen pseudo-candidates like Pete Buttigieg and Tulsi Gabbard in order to confuse poor us.

Again, bullshit. That kind of a complicated maneuver seems entirely out of character for a party that — for chrissakes — couldn’t win a national election against an unqualified, unprepared clown four years ago.

No. Sanders scares too many people. Not me, but — as I’ve said time and again these last few weeks — I in no way represent anything within a light year of the average American voter.

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