Hardball host Chris Matthews has long been on a campaign to shock his party in the electoral slaughter that awaits if Democrats carry on and support Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in the primaries. The long-time Democratic insider has hit a big pitch on his MSNBC program pounding away night after night at Sanders, which results in two questions: Is Matthews right, and are the Dems paying attention?
A student of politics who comprehends his way around the Swamp set, Matthews has given up various salient points about continuing to vote Bernie: He’s unelectable, his policies will never make it through Congress, and he’s only a few degrees of separation from Michael Bloomberg in terms of trying to buy the nomination by offering free stuff. Essentially, Matthews is cautioning his Democratic compatriots that a political holocaust awaits them in the general election should Bernie get the nod.
As a cautionary note, it’s worth keeping in mind that the Republican organization was stating the same regarding Donald Trump in the last election. However, the most important distinction is definitely the political ideology of the two candidates. Mr. Trump was looking to restore a familiar system of American governance while Sanders is straining to rip it to pieces.
That Darn Electoral College
If most of America were California, Bernie could well be good to go. Regrettably, for him and the Democrats, there’s that minor hurdle known as Electoral College, which provides to put power in the people’s hands from huge and small states alike. You don’t really need to be Larry Sabato together with your Crystal Ball or a fortune-teller with an advanced degree in tasseography to be aware of that nominating Bernie will call up the ghosts of 1972 for the Dems. Matthews is old enough to keep recalling fateful year, and his PTSD flashbacks are what have him so excited.
1972 – that’s when Richard Nixon brought 49 states and, as Liberty Nation Washington Political Columnist Tim Donner points out, McGovern’s campaign of “amnesty, abortion, and acid” provided an unshakable lesson of just how to lose astonishingly. McGovern, Donner clarifies, supports the finest teachable moment for the Democrats because although Ronald Reagan similarly slaughtered Walter Mondale in 1984, Mondale wasn’t the ideological crazy aunt in the attic like McGovern.
So, Matthews and perhaps his partner James Carville – both political animals through and through – are demanding red alerts over the odds of nominating Bernie, who they find as a more extreme model of McGovern. “We’ll lose 49 states, and I was there in 1972 at the Democratic Convention when the people on the left were dancing in glee,” warned Matthews. “I saw them, literally — they were dancing in a circle … So that could happen again,” he continued. “So clearly, that is what I see.”
In case the party faithful isn’t paying attention, Matthews is using his Hardball forum as a megaphone to pummel Bernie and his supporters. “Bernie, you’re full of it,” Matthews thundered. And he sees the Democratic candidates “pandering” to the Bernie-cult as atrocious. “They’re just pandering to the Bernie people, and you know what pandering gets you? Nothing. It certainly doesn’t get you respect,” Matthews said. Then he sounded the alarm: “They’ve got to get out there and say, ‘I disagree with socialism.’ I believe in the markets. I think he’s wrong. I think he’ll never get it done, and this country will never go that direction, and, by the way, we’ll lose 49 states.”
If alarm system bells are going off in the minds of people like Chris Matthews and James Carville, Democrats might do well to listen to their words of caution. Backing Bernie, they portend, is actually a ticket to general election Armageddon for the Dems.
Will the Democratic primary voters pause, hear, and learn – from the past as well as what their soothsayers are currently predicting? Republicans can only hope they turn a deaf ear to the likes of Matthews, let him rail on, tune him out, and turn the channel.