The Progressive Bloc: Bernie Sanders vs The Democratic Establishment

Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders speaking at an event. (Source: Bernie Sanders / YouTube)

The Progressive Bloc is a weekly opinion column by Contributing Writer Quinton Bradley that discusses politics, society and culture from an unapologetically left-wing perspective.

After days of hit pieces and baseless attacks hurled at Bernie Sanders, it appears that the Democratic establishment has called in one of their big guns: Hillary Rodham Clinton.

If you’re a fan of the Sanders campaign, you have a lot to feel optimistic about right now. For the past several weeks, the Vermont senator has been gaining solid ground in the polls lately. He has begun to slowly eclipse fellow candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), strengthening his razor-thin lead against her from December into a nearly ten-point lead in the latest polls as the first Iowa caucus peaks over the horizon.

To date, Sanders has raised a total of $73.8 million, $42.9 million of which was raised solely by small individual donations (accounting for an astonishing 58% of his campaign’s fundraising).

He is by far the nation’s most popular senator, edging out Republican senator Susan Collins of Maine and fellow Democratic primary candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), ranked second and seventh, respectively. And as if that wasn’t enough, several voters in the aforementioned state of Iowa care little for the “he said, she said” smear by Warren in last week’s debate.

The Hill’s Krystal Ball called out Warren for her attempt to vilify Sanders as a misogynist. (The Hill / YouTube)

The fact of the matter is that the Sanders campaign is heating up. And almost as if on cue, corporate media staples such as the New York Times, CNN and MSNBC have been working overtime in their attempt to thwart a possible Sanders nomination.

Since the last debate, several acid-tongued anti-Bernie opinion pieces have appeared in The Times. Last weekend, MSNBC went as far as to have “body language expert” Janine Driver appear on the weekend morning show “AM Joy” with host Joy Reid to brand Sanders as a liar. Afterward, people on Twitter did some digging into Driver’s background and revealed that she has close ties to former Vice President Joe Biden (surprise, surprise).

Jacobin Magazine’s Meagan Day pointed out how blatant the media and corporate elite are in their combined effort to tarnish the Sanders campaign. (@meaganmday / Twitter)
Past tweets from Driver, proving that her MSNBC appearance was by no means a mere chance occurrence. (@johnnyjohns211 / Twitter)

In spite of the anti-Sanders dog-piling and the Warren campaign’s obvious ploy to paint him as a sexist, the media-led attempt to curb his steady rise has backfired and led to even more support among his followers according to Buzzfeed News.

Not willing to give Sanders a fair shake, it appears that the establishment democrats have turned to Clinton in their latest smear attempt.

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In both an upcoming Hulu documentary and a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the former First Lady voiced her disgust regarding Sanders, saying that “Nobody likes him, nobody wants to work with him, he got nothing done.”

In the interview, Clinton was even more venomous, saying that the candidate and his supporters (trashing them under the worn-out “Bernie Bros” moniker) have been responsible for “…relentless attacks on lots of his competitors, particularly the women.”

What was even more bizarre was the implied parallel that Clinton made between Sanders’ campaign and President Trump’s campaign in 2016 when she said “…it’s the culture around him…it should be worrisome that he has permitted this culture…I really hope people are paying attention to that because it should be worrisome that he has permitted this culture…And I don’t think we want to go down that road again.”

Exactly what “culture” are you talking about, Ms. Clinton? Those who support universal health care and view health care as a basic human right, not a privilege afforded to a lucky few? Those who yearn for an end to the war-mongering and foreign interventions that you’ve been notorious in supporting? The rising anti-corporate sentiment among the American public?

Hillary Clinton—noted foreign policy Warhawk, Wall Street cheerleader and 2016 electoral candidate who managed to lose in what should have been a slam dunk victory against one of the most disliked presidential candidates in history by virtue of her own arrogance and indifference toward America’s working class—has the nerve to tell Americans to feel “worrisome.”    

“Nobody likes him,” yet he’s the most popular senator in the country. The “culture” surrounding his campaign is “worrisome,” yet he has one of the most diverse groups of supporters among anybody else in the field, especially in the case of young female voters.

Clinton’s harsh words angered many people on Twitter Tuesday morning, making her the target of the hashtags #ILikeBernie and the sarcastic #nobodylikeshim, which were both trending.

“The Young Turks” host and executive producer Ana Kasparian minced no words when she grilled the former First Lady on Twitter. (@AnaKasparian / Twitter)

If anything, these attacks against Sanders do nothing more than motivate those of us who support the senator’s campaign. 

One can speculate about the “Who,” the “What” and the “When,” but regardless, you can count on the corporate elite pulling out all the stops to prevent Sanders from getting the nomination if he starts to further close the polling gap between himself and Biden.

The Democratic establishment is starting to get nervous. And they should be.

Quinton Bradley
Contributing Writer

Quinton Bradley is an Ohio-based writer. He runs a blog called Hammers and Papyrus and can be followed on Twitter @QBAbstract.

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