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A Message of Optimism from a Veteran Raiser of the Alarm (Part 1)


by Andy Schmookler

Recent developments bearing upon the contest for the Democratic nomination for President have revealed to me a possible political scenario by which the ongoing battle over America’s destiny – against the destructive force that has taken over the political right — might just possibly — be won.

This scenario begins with a prediction of what will happen in the coming months in the Democratic race, and continues (in the next installment) with a prescription for what should happen between our two major candidates – Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders – at a point that will predictably arise in the early months of next year.

The Democratic Race: A Prediction
From now on, the question of what the leadership of the Democratic Party will be like will be focused on Hillary Clinton, because – with her two recent bravura performances — she is now nearly certain to be the Democratic nominee.

  • In the first Democratic debate, she demonstrated an ability to be both commanding and appealing. This is a combination that will make her highly electable.
  • In the Benghazi hearings, she showed that not only can she stand up to Republican assaults, but also that she knows how to make them look bad in the public eye. This is of vital importance, because getting the American people to see clearly what an atrocity the Republican Party has become is, as it has been for some time, Job One for rescuing America from that destructive force.

With Hillary having demonstrated these strengths, a majority of Democrats will consolidate behind her—a process that the polls show has already begun. And it is difficult to see how someone who has showed these strengths would make a blunder serious enough to turn that process of consolidation back around.

But in the meanwhile, that consolidation will not be complete until we’ve gone some distance into the primaries. There is an important, even special part of the Democratic Party base that has rallied with great excitement behind Bernie Sanders. They will not quickly abandon that valuable cause. Nor should they.

And indeed, I hope that Bernie Sanders will make a respectable showing in the contests in Iowa and New Hampshire. Because that will give him a kind of moral capital that, as I will explain in the next installment, can be spent – at a point pretty sure to come as the primaries unfold — in ways that will be good for the Party, and likely even for Hillary, as well as for the nation.

That point in time will be when the unfolding of the process of the primaries –after South Carolina, or perhaps Super Tuesday, or maybe soon thereafter – has so fully confirmed that the Democratic Party has chosen Hillary to be its standard bearer that people will start to look to Bernie to acknowledge her leadership and bring his supporters around behind her.

It is at that point that I believe Bernie will be in a position to make a bold and highly useful move—a move that could help make Hillary’s leadership what it should be.

(to be continued)