Sanders and His Critics: Moving the Ball, Calling Trump’s Bluff

The headline of this article in Roll Call gets it right: Sanders and Warren have entered a high stakes poker game:  They will declare themselves “willing to work with Trump” on a range of issues which Trump campaigned on to sell himself to working class voters including rolling back free trade agreements and massive infrastructure spending.  The core of the strategy involves calling Trump’s bluff,  betting that he has no real intention of seriously following through on and then cashing in when he walks away from the table.

Not surprisingly, as they always do, Sanders’s critics have jumped on the opportunity to attack him, dividing themselves into two categories:  a) those who assume Sanders is operating in bad faith, i.e. a typical Democrat “rolling over” to the right and b) those who question Sanders’s command of political strategy. As for a), it should be recognized that most of those offering it are ultra-leftists who have opposed Sanders from the beginning, regarding him as a “faux socialist“, “corporate hack” or “sellout“. During the campaign, they tended to mute this line knowing that it would expose them to ridicule (and further marginalize the pitiful sects that they delusionally take as the vehicle toward revolution). A quick google search will reveal their history along these lines, and provide a prima facie basis for why they should be recognized as the opportunists they are and ignored.

As for b), most of those offering it have never gotten within 20 miles of political office and have no idea what is required to “move the ball forward” which is Sanders’s constant objective, as should be apparent by now. For me, I’ll take Sanders’s four decades of achievements and meaningful political victories over those who are content to second guess him from the bleachers, which is where they are likely to remain.

Whether Sanders succeeds or fails, the reality is that he is the only Washington figure possessing the moral and political authority required to lead an opposition. No one else has even an ounce of it. We either support him or we concede defeat.

Full speed ahead.

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