Friday, August 21, 2015

The Angry Wizard

Back in the early days of the year 2000, the Republicans had not sorted out who was going to be their nominee. Saturday Night Live did a sketch where Will Ferrell as George W Bush complained about the presence of other GOP candidates, remarking testily that "Don't they know the fix is in?"

15+ years later and I wonder if Hillary Clinton has a similar thought in mind when it comes to the this guy.

While pursuit of the 2016 Republican nomination has been likened to a clown car, Clinton's opponents for the Democratic nomination has been a more sedate affair. With the exception of Bernie Sanders.

Sanders is loud and brassy and defiantly liberal. As Clinton tries to position herself for maximum gain among a wide swath of voters, Sanders has planted his flag of defiance firmly in the ground of the political left. The result has been that Clinton seems almost disinterested in her own campaign while Sanders has inspired passion among Democratic voters.  Bernie Sanders has done this by employing a weapon that has been the mainstay of the political right for nearly two decades: anger. 

And Bernie Sanders is angry.

Sanders is angry that ordinary citizens are increasing marginalized in an American society where corporate power overrides the needs of the individual. 

Sanders is angry that the needs of those who can't help themselves are not being effectively met. 

Sanders is angry that the desires of the few are more important than the needs of the many. 

The consensus is that Bernie Sanders does not have a chance at securing the Democratic nomination from Hillary Clinton's grasp. But then again, in advance of 2008, the consensus was that the Democratic nomination for President was Hillary's. But Illinois Senator Barack Obama had other plans. While frequently derided for being too cool and polished, Obama was able to call up a level of passion and fervor that seemed beyond Clinton's ability to deliver.

Now we have Bernie Sanders contending with Hillary Clinton and no one has ever accused him of being too cool and polished. Yet look at Sanders' campaign events which draws crowds in the thousands. And not just people in large numbers but people with strongly stoked passions about what America really needs. 

Is Hillary Clinton doomed to have history repeat itself? Probably not but consider the murmurs within the Democratic Party. Is Vice President Joe Biden going to run? Did Al Gore's name actually turn up? And it doesn't help that the whole debacle with Clinton's e-mails from her time as Secretary of State just won't go away. Is Hillary Clinton's fait accompli ascension to the Democratic nomination no longer a sure thing? Is she damaged goods?

Over on the Republican side, the clown car rumbles on, driven by the outrageous Donald Trump and all the other clowns shouting to be heard of the din of their mindless prattling. It is a sorry spectacle but it is nonetheless a spectacle that has gotten our attention. Even Hillary Clinton, leading contender for the Democrats, has to fight to be heard over this mess.

And on the other side, Bernie Sanders is angry. And right now, he's the one the Democrats are listening to.

Everyone be good to one another.


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