By James A. Kidney
The “top stories” section of The New York Times online this morning featured news articles about “Bill Clinton Unleashes a Stinging Attack on Sanders” and another about Madeline Albright and Gloria Steinem criticizing women who support Bernie Sanders rather than Hillary Clinton. All three essentially called female Sanders supporters traitors to their gender – “Aunt Thomasina” rather than “Uncle Tom.”
Bill Clinton also blamed Sanders for internet trolls who, according to Clinton, used vicious, sexist language in online comments directed to female columnists and others, male and female, supporting his wife. This raises a question: Has Bill Clinton ever looked at internet comments before? Does he understand that internet trolls are mostly folks holed up in their basements with no friends? They are not manning the computers at presidential candidate headquarters. Those folks instead are sending out bothersome emails about the virtues and pressing financial needs of their own candidates. Well, Bill has his own server as well as servants, so maybe he doesn’t see email spam.
The cause of these attacks is that young voting-age females in New Hampshire are polling overwhelmingly for the old guy and Clinton is getting desperate in the state. Young and even middle-aged women don’t seem attracted to the Hillary Clinton drumbeat that, no matter how cozy she is with Wall Street and the Robert Rubin crowd, she is a proud standard-bearer for every self-identified racial and sexual group on the planet demanding its rights — except those who are male, straight and white.
Here is an excerpt from her opening statement at the debate with Sanders last week in which she barely recognized the importance of economic issues and jumped to race and gender, which Sanders has not made a focus of his campaign:
“Yes, of course, the economy has not been working for most Americans. Yes, of course, we have special interests that are unfortunately doing too much to rig the game.But there’s also the continuing challenges of racism, of sexism, of discrimination against the LGBT community, of the way that we treat people as opposed to how we want to be treated.”
[Let’s make it clear that either Sanders or Clinton would be head-and-shoulders better than any Republican running for president. This was proved conclusively at last week’s Democratic candidate debate – the first in which it was just Sanders and Clinton, head-to-head. It was mostly a mature, thoughtful discussion of issues, with much agreement. Backers of either candidate would be stubbornly wrong-headed to stay home on election day if the other person was nominated instead.]
A key issue in the Democratic race is electability. It always is for both parties. That is where the attacks on Sanders by Clinton supporters are most pronounced and effective. The second, and as effective, attack on Sanders is for lack of foreign policy chops. There is merit to the second claim,