The Democratic Party establishment fear Bernie Sanders more than they do Donald Trump. And they don't much like his friends either....
I'M CERTAINLY not a conspiracy theorist but as I watched the debacle unfold in the Iowa Democratic primary, I couldn't help thinking that the campaign against Bernie Sanders had begun in earnest. Its not enough for Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez to stack the Democratic National Convention committees against progressives, and especially Sanders, but they want to kneecap him in the primaries as well.
At the time of writing there was still no sign of the Iowa results being released. At first it was claimed it was just a matter of 'quality control' but those claims soon evaporated and talk became one of 'technical issues', a more polite term for 'botch-up'. There are calls for Tom Perez to resign. He won't.
But Bernie Sanders' team has been keeping its own score and they say Bernie has won. But his political opponents could well be thinking that they have at least knocked a bit of the wind out of the sails of the Sanders campaign. With the nation's attention turning to Donald Trump's 'State of the Nation' speech and the final verdict of his Senate impeachment trail, BernIe Sanders will no longer be centre stage. Has there been any design in this madness? Suspicions have been raised and if the DNC behaves in the same way as it did in 2016, there is a real chance of the Democratic Party itself imploding.
Despite the fact that a corporate Democrat like Hillary Clinton was unable to beat Trump, the Democratic Party establishment wants to fight him with yet another centrist candidate. Unfortunately for them Joe Biden is as popular as Hillary Clinton. So could it be Peter Buttigieg? Or Amy Klobuchar? They'd even allow billionaire Mike Bloomberg to buy the nomination, if it meant bringing to a halt the campaign of Bernie Sanders.
Bernie Sanders might be the most popular politician in the United States but, for the political establishment, he represents a threat to their interests. And that's what counts in the end. The fact that America is a country wracked by increasing poverty and inequality is merely an afterthought.
More worryingly for the political establishment, a Sanders presidency (assuming he actually won the Democratic Party nomination and beat Trump) would see a wave of young and radical politicians and activists descend on Capitol Hill. The Democratic Party elite might be worried about Bernie Sanders now, but the prospect of someone like the equally popular Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez getting anywhere near the Oval Office must fill them with dread.
The tragedy is that any vibrant political party would be embracing people like Bernie Sanders, not working against them. The alternative is not the resurgence of centrism led by a machine politician like Joe Biden but four more years of President Donald Trump.