After the South Carolina debate I cautioned Swamp Rabbit against getting into a “Bernie Sanders or nobody” state of mind, because establishment Democrats are determined to sink Bernie’s candidacy and we might have to settle for a “centrist” Dem to bring down the Hog Monster.
I said, “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good… A flawed Democrat is better than a Republican dictator.”
It took Swamp Rabbit two days and a quart of whiskey to come up with a decent rejoinder: “Bernie ain’t perfect, but he’s a lot better than the other Dems except for Warren, and she ain’t got no chance.”
He addressed my swamp cats, Thoughts and Prayers: “Young Dems prefer Bernie because he wants to make real changes. Why don’t them dinosaurs get on board?”
The cats stared at him but didn’t dignify his naïve question with a response. I answered him by reading aloud from a 2007 essay by Jonathan Schwartz, quoted in a column by Jeet Heer:
The people who control institutions care first and foremost about their power within the institution rather than the power of the institution itself. Thus, they would rather the institution ‘fail’ while they remain in power within the institution than for the institution to ‘succeed’ if that requires them to lose power within the institution.”
But there are less ignoble reasons why establishment Dems are reluctant to get behind Bernie. They’re afraid young voters won’t vote in large enough numbers for him to win, that he’s too “radical” for suburban moms, that he won’t steal back enough of the blue-collar white male Dems who voted for Trump last time. And so on.
“It’s complicated, rabbit,” I said. “There’s never been a president as slimy as Trump, or legislators as corrupt as the Republicans who kiss his ass every day. It’s fascism. If the Dems don’t win this year, it might be lights out for what’s left of democracy in this country.”
Swamp Rabbit tugged on his chin whiskers. “What if Bernie wins the most delegates but them superdelegates help nominate some other Dem at the convention, like in the old days? Is that democracy?”
“I’ve got to go to work,” I said, dodging the question. “I’ll get back to you on that.”