Monday, August 24, 2015

Ann Coulter: Clinton's the One We Want to Run Against


Ann Coulter on Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and whom she'd rather run against (h/t Justin Lane at the Ring of Fire Radio site)

by Gaius Publius

As the video above makes clear, Ann Coulter wants a Donald Trump–Hillary Clinton contest in the general election and fears a Bernie Sanders matchup. Since she's speaking with Lou Dobbs in the friendly confines of Fox News, I take her as sincere, not blowing smoke.
I wish Fox News would go a little easier on Hillary Clinton. She’s the one we want to run against. ... Our next president could be Bernie Sanders if you people keep this up. ... We love Hillary ... I want Donald Trump running against Hillary.
This, combined with digby's recent observation that some Democratic movers and shakers may be getting nervous about a Clinton candidacy, raises again the question about whether Democrats would rather lose with an insider-friendly candidate than win with someone who wants to dismantle — or at least seriously modify — the insider-controlled DC game.

To be fair, I take digby's point to be that even among Dem circles, the Clintons are seen and treated differently than most mainstream Democrats; thus the temporary "Biden boomlet" as she calls it. Still, she sees as I do that the real competition for Clinton is Sanders, not Biden or anyone like him (my emphasis):
But going back to the 90s the Democratic elite have always been ready to abandon Clinton at the first sign of trouble. The pseudo-scandals turn them into nervous nellies every single time.

Do I think it will make a difference? No. If Clinton has a real rival it's Sanders, who has captured the imagination of the large liberal faction of the Party. Biden could jump in and it would be a thrilling story for the media, but having the support of a bunch of rich guys and timorous political types won't get the job done. 
So let's go back to Coulter's point. If she and at least some others in Republican circles prefer not to run against Sanders, why is that?

Thom Hartmann (my emphasis):
Why Republicans Vote for Bernie

... You won't hear me say this often, but Ann Coulter is right.

If Bernie Sanders ends up being the Democratic nominee for president, and it looks more and more every day like he will be, his Republican opponent is going to have a very hard time beating him.

And that's because of all the Democratic candidates running, Bernie Sanders has the best chance of capturing Republican votes.

While Americans disagree on social issues like gay marriage and abortion, they're actually pretty unified on the bread and butter economic issues that Bernie has made the core of his campaign.

In fact, a recent poll by the Progressive Change Institute, shows that Americans overwhelmingly agree with Bernie on key issues like education, health care and the economy.

Like Bernie, 75 percent of Americans poll support fair trade that "protects workers, the environment and jobs."

Seventy-one percent support giving all students access to a debt-free college education.

Seventy-one percent support a massive infrastructure spending program aimed at rebuilding our broken roads and bridges, and putting people back to work.

Seventy percent support expanding Social Security.

Fifty-nine percent support raising taxes on the wealthy so that millionaires pay the same amount in taxes as they did during the Reagan administration.

Fifty-eight percent support breaking up the big banks.

Fifty-five percent support a financial transaction or Robin Hood tax.

Fifty-one percent support single payer health care, and so and so on.

Pretty impressive, right?

And here's the thing - supporting Social Security, free college, breaking up the big banks, aren't "progressive" policies, they're just common sense, and 60 years ago they would have put Bernie Sanders smack dab in the mainstream of my father's Republican Party.

This is why Ann Coulter is so scared of Bernie becoming the Democratic nominee.
I've been in a number of discussions with other progressive activists about Clinton's electability. The contention is that with very strong support from women, Clinton's electoral advantage over Sanders is considerable. As digby wrote in Salon:
It’s worth noting, however, that in the latest Fox poll, Clinton leads Sanders by 6 points among Democratic men and a staggering 44 points among Democratic women. That’s not enough to win the general election, but it’s a fairly good indication that for a large number of Democrats, this “first” is worth the risk.
That's one case that can be made.

The contrary case is that Hillary Clinton's increasingly obvious "friend of money" status will depress Democratic turnout overall, the way that turnout was depressed in 2014 when voters were offered a field of predominately "mainstream" (insider, friend-of-money) candidates. They voted for progressive ballot measures (marijuana reform and minimum wage measures, for example), yet voted against Beltway-blessed, Wall Street–friendly Democrats who favored them.

It seems every day I see a new piece like this:

Or this:
Hillary Clinton Has Hired a Former Keystone Pipeline Lobbyist

Hillary Clinton has hired a former lobbyist for the company behind the Keystone XL pipeline, further upsetting environmentalists who have long been wary of her commitment to fighting climate change.

BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith reported on Wednesday that the Clinton campaign has hired Jeffrey Berman as a campaign consultant. Berman, who began working for the campaign earlier this month, once lobbied on behalf of TransCanada, the company that hopes to build a pipeline carrying tar sands oil from Canada to the southern coast of the U.S.

R.L. Miller of Climate Hawks Vote said Berman's hiring "is a disappointment—especially as Martin O'Malley is taking flight based on the best climate plan I've seen from a candidate, and Bernie Sanders continues to soar."
Has this information percolated down to low-interest voters? Likely not in the details. But the narrative has been set for a while, new stories keep coming, and "Hillary Clinton, friend of Wall Street" is not going to inspire much loyalty among any but the big-money set.

Could Ann Coulter could be right? If Sanders gets a chance in the primary to make his case to voters, and isn't defeated ahead of time by money-friendly party insiders, we may find out. (If you like, you can help him here; adjust the split any way you wish at the link.)


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At 4:36 PM, Blogger myxzptlk said...

Hillary's hiring of a lobbyist for TransCanada says it all. The low probability explanations are that she is too stupid to understand the consequences or that she has a tin ear. Far more likely is that she seeks a campaign funding advantage and doesn't care what those of us who pay attention think. Occam's razor.

At 8:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please. Don't be stupid. It is Coulter, not an intelligent political analyst. The best way to figure out where she and her ilk are coming from is to imagine the most childish emotional explanation possible. Here, she obviously dreams of finally putting the Clintons in their place. Sanders gets in the way of that. There is no electoral fear of Sanders at play here at all. None. It is 100% desire for Clinton-hate wish fulfillment.

At 8:40 AM, Blogger ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

By this point in 2007, there had been 9 Democratic presidential debates.

The transactional Dems have proven over and over that they'd rather lose elections than control of the party. And the graft.

At 8:54 AM, Blogger Roger said...

Anonymous @ 8:16 PM makes a good point, but I think we really need to watch Bernie. I'm trying to be skeptical, because I was suckered into being enthusiastic for Obama before January 2009. I started recovering my senses when he had that sit-down dinner for conservative columnists. The Dems who are so enthusiastic for Biden are probably the ones who supported Steve Israel for head of the DCCC -- completely out of touch with the country outside the Beltway. They seem to think a large part of the party are **to the right** of Hillary, or else they don't have any idea what Biden's record is. Just the fact that his surviving son took a position as head of legal affairs for the biggest private gas company in Ukraine would ruin Biden when the Republican noise machine started beating on it, not to mention his many other reactionary stands over the years.

At 9:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said... yeah... settle down. it's only coulter. she's not an analyst. she's a hatemonger. that's all.

If Biden enters, he'll skim some of the money whore voters from hilbillary. If Biden shows a palpable alliance with Elizabeth, as has been rumored, he'll siphon voters from Bernie. If the "party" has any say, it'll be the latter so that hilbillary and her big money team will win... cuz voters ARE dumber than shit.

I still think Bernie CAN get the nom... if the press sits on its hands. But, especially if the R nom is a bush, the fascist media will then unleash a general election blitzkrieg on Bernie (anti-Semitic hate, ageist hate, socialism-communism conflation and hate...) that would embarrass hitler.

The money wants either hilbillary or bush. They'll settle for trump or biden. They won't stand for a Bernie admin. And you know what... American voters SHALL vote as they are told (by the media)... and of course the money does count the votes... so... there's that also.


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