What do Hillary supporters criticize Bernie about?

We all know the narrative promoted by Bernie supporters about Hillary: “Wall Street corporatist, warmongering, deceptive, right wing, big bank friendly, will say anything to get votes,” etc.

What’s the narrative from the other side, though? “Unrealistic, demagogue, inexperienced,” etc.?

From the last HRC supporter I spoke with, when asked that very question:

“I agree with most of what Sanders says, but he’s unelectable”

Well, if you wont vote for him on the grounds that you wont vote for him, of course he’s “unelectable.” But this person is also famous for saying “I’m allowed to use fallacies” so circular logic isn’t at all surprising.

Being too Commie, apparently.

I think it’s because Bernie is considered to be prettier than Hillary and he draws bigger crowds than she does.

My beef isn’t that he’s unelectable, but that he wouldn’t be able to necessarily get anything done once he got elected (or be unwilling to budge on things-- albeit, things I support him on), and he would end up being a one-termer, and setting back the progressive movement and thus demonizing the expansion of social programs. Electing a Democratic Socialist at this point in history would be monumental, but could potentially swing things back very hard right if he doesn’t get things done. And honestly, I don’t see him getting things done, especially with this Congress.

I’d rather see more locally-elected Democratic Socialists and members of Congress and work our way up to President. Jumping right into the top office would be bad.

I like Hillary more than Bernie, I’ll be voting for Hillary, and it seems like she is much more likely to win the nomination. But I don’t hate Bernie, and if he wins the nomination, I would vote for him. But my main objections to him, and what I think a lot of Hillary supporters objections to him are these:

[li]Electability[/li][li]If elected, getting things actually accomplished[/li][li]Focused on income inequality above all else[/li][/ol]

  1. For electability, it’s not like Hillary would breeze to a win. But she’s been attacked on so many things for so long, that it would be hard to find anything new. Bernie is known as being a socialist, but otherwise isn’t hugely known among the general populace. I don’t know if there are any actual skeletons in his closet, but I’m sure there are issues that could be brought up and detract from things. This might be confirmation bias, but it doesn’t seem like the Republicans have been attacking Sanders very much so far. If they talk about a big bad democrat for the crowd to jeer at, it’s usually Clinton or Obama. I’ve read that it’s because they think that Sanders would be easier to defeat, but I don’t know if that’s really the strategy or not. Also, I think there is a number of moderates that would vote for Clinton but not Sanders, while the number of more liberal people who would vote for Sanders but not vote for Clinton is smaller.

  2. I do think it would be harder for him to be elected, but not impossible. But if he is elected, it is hard to see how he’d get things done. I can’t find the quote now, but when asked, he’s said something about how everyone needs to come together for a revolution and basically vote out a lot of the Republicans and he’ll get things done. But that doesn’t answer what would happen if there are still Republican majorities, because of gerrymandering or whatever else. Clinton plans on getting things done incrementally, like Obama has been trying to do. I don’t love that this is the way America is, I would love it if there could be a vast radical change, but Clinton’s plans seem more realistic. Also, I’ve read various analyses that say that financially, Sander’s plans are unfeasible.

  3. And his focus on income inequality is great. It is a big issue, and it needs to be addressed. But it is also the lens through which he sees everything, and it’s the hammer which he wants to hit every nail with. From what I’ve read, that’s a big reason that a lot of non-white voters aren’t as enthusiastic about him. Attacking income inequality will help non-white people in some ways, but it won’t get rid of the systemic racism that has hurt them.

Sanders is running the kind of campaign we lefties attack the Republicans for: a feast of red meat for the more ideologically extreme end of the base, with hand-waving and empty assurances in lieu of an actual plan for delivering on his promises. He’s not being cynical: unlike Trump, I think Sanders genuinely believes what he’s saying. But I also believe he essentially set out to run as a protest candidate, suddenly found himself with an audience and is now stuck with running on an agenda he has no real hope of enacting.

That might be circular logic if they were the only one voting.

My #1 gripe with Sanders is the sheer obnoxiousness of his fervent supporters. He really needs to be an adult and tell them to back it off.

  1. He’s a one trick pony. “Big banks are bad!”

  2. I don’t want a fucking revolution. That’s tea bagger right wing nonsense. I want intelligent foreign policy such as relations with Cuba and the Iran deal. I want free trade deals like TPP. I want an economy that continues to grow jobs.

Concur with this. I also have a problem with him not actually being a Democrat and not being willing to help other Democrats fundraise, like Hillary Clinton is and does. It doesn’t help if we elect a president without a lot of downballot work as well, and it’s all well and good to be against the establishment but the party system is what we’ve got to work with. I’m not the world’s biggest Clinton fan, but she’ll do, and she’s the candidate I believe would help out most in the other races, not just hers.

That said, I would crawl through broken glass to vote for Sanders over Donald Trump or Ted Cruz, should that day arise.

Foreign policy.

Exclusive: Bernie Sanders Begins Building Foreign Policy Team

I think Hillary is much more capable than Bernie, that is what it comes down to. I don’t care about electability, neither of them has the charisma of Obama or Bill Clinton and it doesn’t matter. Who ever we nominate will win in a cakewalk. She will just make a better president once she’s there, and it has nothing to do with what each candidate believes or stands for. Edit: this is not exactly a criticism of Bernie, i would vote for him if he was the nominee and imagine he would do a decent job if elected. Just not quite as good as Hillary.


Thanks, this too. I like a lot of what Sanders talks about, but anyone who thinks putting one guy into office constitutes a revolution is kidding himself. The kind of societal shift Sanders is touting is the work of a decade or more, not one election cycle.

This is an excellent list. Generally, #1 doesn’t factor into my view of the race, but #2 and #3 most definitely does. I don’t think Sanders will be able to get anything done, and his generally principled, uncompromising nature may be a complete disaster when he goes up against a generally principled (just not principles I adhere to), uncompromising nature of the GOP Congress - I can see more than one government shutdown.

This election has reminded me, as well, that I prefer a pragmatic course of action rather than a radical one (I’d rather have stuff get done, even if its half measures, than just bluster). Therefore I would rather back the more pragmatic candidate.

Q[UOTE=dalej42;19130718]3. I don’t want a fucking revolution. That’s tea bagger right wing nonsense. I want intelligent foreign policy such as relations with Cuba and the Iran deal. I want free trade deals like TPP. I want an economy that continues to grow jobs.

So, unlike dale, you do want a revolution but just don’t think electing Sanders is enough to deliver it?

Or they are making a distinction between a “revolution” and a “societal shift” - revolution implying a sudden shift, whereas a decade of hard work is something entirely different.

I don’t think Sanders will be able to get a lot done even with a Dem Congress, and we know that’s not happening. He promises big, but will deliver less than someone who promises little but try to over-achieve. I’m concerned Sanders either doesn’t know or doesn’t care that reality is going to smack him in the face if he’s president.

As for his supporters, while I do identify with the younger crowd, they have never been that consistent with regards to voting. I’m not going to put the future of the country in the inconsistent hands of college students

Depends on what you mean by revolution, I guess. I would like a realistic, long-term plan for addressing the systemic inequality Sanders quite rightly speaks out against. If you want to call that a revolution, fine, but I’m pretty sure that’s not what Sanders means, and it’s definitely not what most of his supporters mean.

Sanders thinks that because he raises lots of money and draws big crowds that he’s the harbinger of some long-awaited mobilization of hardcore leftists, and that his election is thus just the first step in the socialist reawakening of America. By believing it, he makes his supporters believe it.

This bothers me for two reasons.

One, it’s a fantasy, and it’s one the left falls for again and again. There is no untapped army of disenchanted masses waiting for the right leader to kick open the door and lead them into the people’s paradise. People who don’t vote are no different, politically, from people who do. There is no evidence suggesting otherwise.

Two, as I said above, the kind of change Bernie is promising — revolutionary or not — takes years of unglamorous, boring organizing, using (and eventually appropriating) existing political institutions and infrastructures. Look at the Reagan “revolution,” which flowered in the early 80s but had its roots in the defeat of Barry Goldwater way back in '64. That’s when the alliance of fiscal conservatives and evangelicals that ended up blunting, and even partially reversing, decades of leftist advances was first formed.

I don’t think Bernie Sanders has any time for work on that scale. His supporters certainly don’t. There is no organizing infrastructure for them to tap into (presuming they wanted to), no comprehensive strategy for instituting what amount to radical changes to the US economy, which even if you agree with them would upend the lives of people at all levels of society. To me, this is not something you can hand-wave away, or excuse by saying, “Well, all politicians over-promise, so I’ll support the one who at least promises all the things I want.”

He’s been completely ineffective in Washington, despite all the years of lofty speeches and platitudes that have made so many people get dreamy-eyed about him. Even with the power of the presidency, he could expect to be worked around rather than through. He has little specific to offer in terms of legislation or executive orders that would implement the views he loves to talk about. He has no foreign policy at all. Not just no foreign policy experience, no foreign policy.

You’re not electing a set of canned speeches. You’re electing a person, someone to get things done, with all the compromises and realism that it takes. He’s proven himself not to be such a person.

Those are the high points. He has, however, so far, been a good sparring partner for Hillary, and has bracketed her well from the left - which I believe is the role he was recruited to play by the DNC after Elizabeth Warren refused it.