January 17, 2016
TO: Bernie Sanders, Socialist
FROM: Arnold Steinberg, Republican Strategist
RE: Tonight’s Debate
It’s highly unlikely you will win the Democratic nomination. But I hope you do. In a general election, you will be this generation’s George McGovern. I still remember when voters, including disaffected Democrats and a majority of independents, saw McGovern as the loony-tunes who would give their hard-earned money to able-bodied Americans who chose not to work. You are an aging white ideologue who will properly be perceived not as a savior of America’s middle class but as a radical who will destroy it. Even for a nation that under President Obama has moved so far to the Left, you will be seen as offering no hope and no change.
It’s not a good sign when Saturday Night Live already parodies a leftist like you. Larry David will make you into a lunatic. And in general election debates when you’re challenged to defend your utopia, you’ll stumble, because you’re a clueless Marxist.
Hardened feminists will see you as an older white guy (all of six years older than Hillary) who stopped the course of human history. It is, they feel, destiny for a woman to become president, and you would have stolen the nomination and thus deprived Hillary of what is rightfully hers. In disgust, some will stay home in November. And don’t expect Hillary to campaign for you. She will not be your running mate unless her 23-and-me DNA suggests that your health is worse than hers.
On the subject of health, I watched your spokesman explain how workers, through higher payroll taxes, will “pay” for “free health care.” Once younger voters realize they will pay for all your “free stuff,” many will not vote for grandpa. And if Donald Trump found Jeb Bush to be “low energy,” wait until the millennials see you campaigning among your peers at an old-age home. They’ll wonder why you don’t just stay there.
Trump has it right. You made a fool of yourself when you let Black Lives Matter steal your microphone. Get some testosterone to bring you up to Hillary’s level. Nearly a half century ago, the president of San Francisco State College stood up to some Black Power protesters. The image of this short guy pulling the wires from the loudspeakers on the protestors’ van went, as they now would say, “viral” and he ended up being elected to the U.S. Senate. On second thought, you are so far gone that the FDA would never approve the mega-dosage of T for you to be credible in our predatory world.
But if you are not the nominee, you might bloody Hillary, perhaps starting tonight. You are gaining in national polls, and victories in Iowa and New Hampshire could give you momentum. Moreover, if Hillary encounters headwinds, you might poll better in general election polls than she does, an illusion suggesting your viability in November. The resulting synergy would further boost your primary election polling.
Chelsea Clinton has imprudently attacked you as an opponent of Medicare. “I don’t want to live in a country that has an unequal health system,” Chelsea said. “So I don’t want to empower Republican governors to take away Medicaid, take away health insurance for low income and middle income working Americans and I think very much that’s what Sen. Sanders’ plan would do.”
What a stupid maneuver, because (a) it lowered Chelsea into attack mode; (b) it is implausible, and thus (c) it gives you the moral high ground. Hillary will not repudiate Chelsea, so Hillary will lose credibility. You will look like an Elder Statesman. Indeed, in response to Chelsea’s attack, you released a photo of you and Hillary. She inscribes the 1993 photo “To Bernie Sanders with thanks for your commitment to real health care access for all Americans.” Perhaps you’ll use the photo tonight as a prop. You look somewhat older, but Hillary has really aged.
“I have never run a negative radio or television ad in my life,” you said the other day while campaigning in New Hampshire. “It is my very strong hope that I never will.” That’s not exactly a Sherman-like statement about negative campaigning. And, fortunately for you, Hillary now is running scared, so she will, as The Donald would say, “throw the first punch.”
So far, you’ve been very clever. Your “two visions” ad takes on Wall Street and implies that she backs the rich crooks, but you never mention her name. I guess we’ll see more of your veiled attacks tonight. Of course, Clinton pursues the same technique. Her ad doesn’t mention you by name but the script is: “It’s time to pick a side. Either we stand with the gun lobby, or we join the president and stand up to them. I’m with him.”
Hillary is nervous, and that’s good for you because she gets aggressive. The Cosby melodrama in the age of Law and Order SVU can reprise not Bill Clinton’s infidelity, but rather the allegations of his sexual assaults, and Hillary’s role in trying to silence the alleged victims. You can say that infidelity is not the issue, but a cover-up of sexual assault would be another matter.
The just released 13 Hours may resurrect Benghazi. You can say you have not seen the movie, and criticize Republicans for partisanship. But not coming to the rescue of Americans under siege would be another matter.
And there is the specter of an expanded government investigation of Hillary. You can say that there are more important issues than her personal email. But a violation of the law, or improper influence peddling through gifts to the Clinton Foundation, would be another matter.
Bernie, after tonight, there are only two debates left. You now believe you can win. Tonight is the time to show you intend to make this a fight.
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