Horse Race Reporting: Comin’ round the bend…
The horse-race reporting is ON, Scissorheads, and coming ’round the bend it’s Tiger Beat in the lead!
The Vermont senator rakes in $5.9 million in the first 24 hours.
Cult of Personality.
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Laura – That’s my worry, too.
I see a cult of personality, too.
I was a Bernie voter (and contributor) for the 2016 primary. Then I contributed and voted for Hillary. I really hoped that for 2020 Bernie would declare victory for moving the Dem party to the left (closer to where it should be, IMHO) and not run again.
I fear that his big support is way more personality than policy. I hope I’m wrong.
Cult of personality, being reinforced by social media fuckery.
The fact is, as TG references, without Bernie setting shit on fire the way he did in 2016, today’s Dem candidates would still be floundering a hell of lot closer to the toxic focus-group and triangulating centrist windsockery that has bedeviled Dem party strategy and contributed so much to the dramatic rightward shift over the last couple of generations.
Bernie broke the glass on the fire alarm, reached in, and pulled the lever, and it freaked the Dem party establishment out. He did that himself, personally, and had to overcome a hell of a lot of headwinds and early media indifference and no small amount of bemusement and derision (the Guardian referred to him as “that unkempt socialist” literally for fucking weeks before they actually realized what was happening, just as one mild example) before he got any traction simply by the force of his ideas and pugnacity.
Given that, it would be astonishing if there was not a strong gravitational pull toward Bernie personally as well as policy-wise, and some understandable (though potentially disastrous and thus not really forgivable) hostility toward Other Candidates who might be seen as getting a free ride on Bernie’s coattails. His hardcore fans know he’s been pushing most of the policies that are at the heart of this Democratic Party resurgence for fucking decades, and almost nobody else has currently in US politics has a track record anywhere close to that. That there will be resistance to younger Dem candidates seen as “stealing his thunder”, whether that’s justified in objective terms or not, is not surprising at all.
Mike Tomasky has a piece up on the Beast where he discusses the potentially disastrous side of this personal loyalty, and suggests Bernie himself should come out swinging against a repeat of that “Bernie or Bust” thing. He has a point.
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