Tiller wrote:you seem to be under the impression that Bernie would be utterly unable to contest such negativity.
They won't need to go that negative on Bernie. They'd just need to keep saying "socialist" and "he'll raise your taxes."
And Bernie would just need to remind the older folks susceptible to namedropping "socialist" that he would be strengthening Social Security and Medicare, not turning America into the Soviet Union.
The whole "scary socialist" argument, that 50% of America wouldn't vote for a socialist, misses the part that if Bernie is the nominee, the ballot says "Bernie Sanders", not "Socialist". If there were any lines of attack they'd be prepared for in the general election, this would be at the top of the list.
As someone who knows some people who viscerally hate Obama (family is forever
), I'll submit this as an example of the sentiment I've seen on this topic, as it matches well:
http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2016/01 ... socialist/
The contrast is telling.
Bill O'Reilly wrote:“Senator Sanders has no chance,” O’Reilly said. “America will never vote for a socialist as commander-in-chief.”
Nearly every commenter wrote:Um, Bill…… I think that horse was let out of the barn about 8 years ago. The difference is that Sanders admits it."
Those who would most tend to by the line that Bernie = Communism are already pretty far gone, though they still like him over Hillary or Obama since they view him as more honest (and is a white man, though being jewish is a downside for some). That doesn't mean they will vote for him, of course. We'll have to see how the "Socialism" vs "Social Security/Medicare" argument goes.
With America being as highly polarized as it is today, the Socialist argument would only help in the margins (being one of few things they can really hammer him on to turn out their base, the other thing maybe being "Terrorism"), and isn't some magically "disqualifying" issue like it would have been in the 80's.
It's probably easier for Bernie to respond to charges of "Socialism" and "Terrorism" than it is for Hillary to respond to "Benghazi", because citing that "giant right-wing conspiracy" against her won't dissuade the republican base, while the Social Security and Medicare many of them are reliant on will give them pause.
There are real benefits to starting off clean, since you actually have an opportunity to shape perceptions of yourself. It's not only about winning the white house, which is important, but also trying to regain control of offices down ticket. Bernie does better in rural areas of MN compared to Hillary, so having him on the ticket would help us regain the state house next fall.