We were talking about last night’s so-called debate, which was like last week’s debate but even nastier. A bunch of wrinkled old hustlers (except for young hustler Pete Buttigieg) shouting each other down, desperate to sell themselves in South Carolina before their market value falls any further. Vote for me, you fools…! No, look over here, vote for me!
Another battle royale, for sure, but this time with most of the punches thrown at front-runner Bernie Sanders.
“Ain’t no way the media gonna stop bashing Bernie,” Swamp Rabbit said, checking out the tweet I’d sent him. “They don’t like nobody they can’t put a label on.”
I tossed a half-eaten apple at the willow tree that hangs over the swamp in front of my shack. “They’re calling him a communist, a modern-day George McGovern, a left-wing Donald Trump. They’ll keep trying labels until one of them sticks.”
“They were hoping he’d lose ground by calling himself a Democratic socialist, but it ain’t happening yet,” Swamp Rabbit said. “Maybe the peeps believe he’s really gonna take on the big banks and them corporate lobbyists and the student-loan and health insurance rackets.”
“I don’t know,” I said, unfolding my beach chair on the porch. “Bernie’s a humanist and an honest man, but what happens if he wins the nomination and has to go one-on-one against the most dishonest, most anti-human president ever? You’ve got a lot more faith in the peeps than I do.”
I reminded him that millions of Americans wanted General Douglas MacArthur to run for president (he did, unsuccessfully) after Harry Truman fired him, even though MacArthur had wanted to drop nuclear bombs along the Chinese border. That Richard Nixon beat George McGovern 49 states to one in his re-election bid even though he’d reneged on his promise to end the Vietnam War. That George W. Bush won re-election despite evidence that he’d made a disastrous mistake in invading Iraq.
“Trump will wave the flag and try to scare people into thinking Bernie is the boogeyman,” I said. “Like you said, the corporate media are piling on, too.”
Swamp Rabbit scowled. “So Biden or Booty or whoever is a safer bet to beat Trump than Bernie — is that what you mean?”
“Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good is all I’m saying. A flawed Democrat is better than a Republican dictator.”