Against Trump specifically, Sanders is the better Dem candidate

Yes, I realize that it’s probably too late to save the Democratic Party from itself, and that a massive shift in public opinion would be needed for Sanders to catch up to and pass Clinton’s delegate count after last Tuesday’s debacle. Still, I know that we have the nation’s opinion leaders here on the SDMB, so I am going to make a last-ditch appeal to reason.

Here is an excellent article laying out the reasons why, although the conventional wisdom would say that Clinton is much more electable than Sanders, the calculations become very different given that the GOP is likely to nominate a very unconventional candidate. Sanders’ strengths are precisely those needed to oppose Trump, and his weaknesses are ones that Trump is ill-prepared to exploit.

Trump is a bully. When attacked by a bully, you have to respond with righteous indignation or be seen as weak. Nobody does righteous indignation like Bernie Sanders.

Trump thrives on personal attacks. Against Clinton, all he will have to do is spew a bunch of crap about emails and Benghazi and Whitewater. Since the perception of being unethical is a real problem for Clinton, she will have to respond, but in the time it takes her to factually rebut one attack, Trump will have flung five more at her. Bernie, on the other hand, has no ethical skeletons in his closet. All Trump will be able to do is yell “socialist socialist socialist!”. This gives Bernie an opening to say “Well, what I mean by that is…” and lead Trump where he fears most to go, into an actual discussion of real issues.

Conversely, Trump’s own history is a target-rich environment for ethical attacks, and Sanders is much better positioned than Clinton to mount those attacks without fear of successful counterattack. A Trump-Clinton race would likely devolve into a six-month pissing contest. Clinton herself might very well win, but the sheer ugliness of the race would drive down voter turnout, hurting the Democrats’ hopes down the ticket.

Now consider the legitimate arguments against Sanders; he has little foreign policy experience and some of his policy proposals seem dubiously realistic. Against a mainstream Republican, those are problems. Compared to the Donald, he comes out way ahead on both counts.

Think about it. Tell your friends. It may not be too late.

Bernie is better. Trump is not a bully that I know of, he takes on people his own size, and except for his out of the blue attacks on Obama I don’t recall him throwing the first punch.

He still wouldn’t make a better president than Hillary, and against Trump we basically have a guaranteed win no matter who we nominate.

Clinton has had the whole right wing establishment thrown at her for 30 years. Bernie Sanders once had trouble getting some Phish Food ice cream out of the bottom of his bowl.

Sanders’ relationship with his political adversaries (mostly Wall Street) reminds me of the San Francisco-Los Angeles rivalry. San Franciscans go on and on about how LA is so much worse than the City by the Bay. Angelinos, on the other hand, don’t pay much attention to San Francisco.

Bernie has never really been tested on this type of stage. There’s no way he’d do better in debates against Trump. His most memorable line would probably be something about how he wishes people would stop talking about Trump’s damn hairdo.

Well, the San Franciscans are absolutely right!:stuck_out_tongue:

As far as I’m concerned, Sanders in a general election is basically an unknown quantity, which is why I don’t give a lot of credence to those polls that show him outcompeting Hillary against a GOP candidate. Could it be true? Of course it could. But Clinton’s digs about Bernie being a single-issue candidate or raising taxes on the middle class are peanuts compared to the shitstorm he’d be in for if he won the nomination. No one is making any serious effort to damage Sanders as a candidate; Hillary can’t hit him too hard and risk permanently alienating his supporters. All anyone has heard about him is that the young people sure do like him.

Hillary Clinton has spent the last 20 years in the right wing’s crosshairs, and is still standing. I don’t think she’ll be quick work for anyone.

Have you been boycotting the past year’s worth of political news? Among Trump’s targets are refugees, the poor, religious minorities, immigrants, and his own supporters. Which of those is “his own size”, and which of them “threw the first punch”?

First of all, I’m not going to defend Trump’s behavior, because some of it is reprehensible.

Second of all, the accusations of bullying against Trump that I have heard are remarks from people who have attacked him and regretted it, and their defenders. That’s what I was speaking to, and the OP doesn’t specify anything, but gives as an example Trump hypothetically attacking Hillary Clinton, who tried to bully him, and attacking Bernie Sanders who he spoke well of this afternoon, and I haven’t heard him say anything else about Bernie that was not a criticism of his policies.

I’m not going to quibble over the rest.

Never underestimate the Democratic party’s ability to shoot themselves in the foot. We could still end up with a President Trump.

Even if Bernie loses, this country needs a Trump-Sanders debate so so so badly.

I’m a big Sanders fan, but I’m not at all worried about Clinton’s ability to take on Drumpf. Maybe she can’t do righteous indignation quite as well as Sanders, but people have been trying to bully her for quite a while now - it doesn’t work.

I agree with the OP.

I hate responding to big statements such as this, because I’m intellectually not on the same level as most of the people here, but…

Bernie could beat Trump. People who would have voted for Hilary would, most likely, vote Bernie over Trump. There’s even a popular thread addressing those ‘Sanders supporters’ that would sit out the vote. It’s not just that people LOVE Bernie, and a lot do, but some people *HATE *Hilary.

I would vote for her out of necessity, but a lot of people I know, would not vote for her out of principle.

Even if you don’t think Clinton’s a liar, a criminal, or a callus person, Bernie’s still seemingly a morally superior human being.

This. Hillary sat through a 5 hour grilling by a House committee, fending off hours of nonsense attacks. She is tough and unflappable.

Hillary is also a mediocre candidate, IMHO – she’s a much better office manager. But she has no special vulnerability to this insecure billionaire.

I’m not that smart.

I’m just flat-out telling you guys that you’re going to lose votes…

I don’t mind voting for someone I find morally objectionable too much, because I’m worried about my lifestyle if Trump is the man. But there are people out there that just won’t vote. I’m TELLING YOU!!

I hear you Foots. This was part of the reason I supported Obama in 2008. I felt there were a lot of people who didn’t like Hillary and didn’t want to. I think the mud that’s been thrown at her is nonsense. But that’s irrelevant. Some of it has stuck.

One thing that’s shifted my position is the vilification of Obama. Obama is clean cut guy with conciliatory instincts. So the point is that the swamps will freak out with any Democratic candidate. Inevitably.

I can see why Sanders looks pretty good right now. The problem is that once he’s been through the Republican slime gauntlet, he will look much different. All of Hillary’s negatives are basically already baked into her favoribality ratings. The amount she can sink is limited.

So it boils down to, I agree with you in terms of how many people perceive Hillary. I just think other factors are also in play.
I will say one thing though. I have no problem defending Hillary Clinton. If the Dems ever nominated a truly corrupt candidate, I believe I would probably vote for a third party. But I don’t perceive Hillary to be that way and it’s not like I don’t acknowledge that politics can attract certain kinds of operators.

And it is honorable to defend an unjustly maligned person.

I was anticipating the first response to be, 'I don’t want a likable guy, I want a leader."

Though you were kind in you response, so I appreciate that.

There are a lot of reasons I DO NOT like Hilary. I think she’s lacking integrity. I think we need someone with integrity.


BTW, I didn’t mean to imply you were saying exactly what I had thought would be the first response… it was just the one I readied myself for.

There are a lot of people who think that way. I anticipate that it will be a hot topic on this board. I perceive she gets dinged for political behavior that is unexceptional and hell pragmatic. I suspect I’ll have to qualify those perceptions, admittedly.

Hillary Clinton also isn’t especially telegenic, which has to play some sort of role. But she’s a hard worker with tons of experience. Her qualifications are off the charts.

There’s some ‘risk’ with Bernie. I won’t deny that.

I think we’re overestimating the power republicans will have in the future after all of this. But I could be wrong.

I wouldn’t dislike Hilary if I didn’t think I had good reasons. I know she lived a well documented life, and I understand that anyone, under the microscope, myself included, has their flaws.

But she’s done and said things I can’t endorse.

I hope so. I would feel more reassured by your judgment if you could produce a cite from, say, three months ago, where you predicted Trump would win the GOP nomination but lose in the general. Bastard’s been surprising me for a while now.

You’re naive if you imagine Trump will be limited to calling Sanders a socialist. Do you think Clinton was a drug lord? Do you think Gore was working for the Chinese government? Do you think Kerry committed war crimes? Do you think Obama was born in Kenya? All of these charges were complete fabrications. So why do you think there won’t be similar lies told about Sanders? Sanders won’t be defending himself against accusations he’s a social democrat; he’ll be defending himself against accusations he’s a heroin addict or a child molester or a necrophile; the right wing will find some nugget out there somewhere that they can build a pile of lies around. And if all Sanders says in response is “Well, what I mean by that is…” then Trump can go ahead and start picking out his cabinet appointments.