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Sunday, March 26, 2017
 
How Democrats Could Snatch Defeat Out of the Jaws Of Victory

How Democrats Could Snatch Defeat Out of the Jaws Of Victory

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The many high-level officials in the Democratic Party, including super delegates, who strongly support Hillary Clinton, are extremely confident that she will become their party’s nominee and then win in the general election. But they would be wise to hold off on their celebrations because dark, menacing clouds continue to loom over her candidacy.

Sure, she was a big winner in New York but her huge disapproval rating still represents a major liability; far too many Americans just don’t like or trust her.  So even if she beats Sanders, which might be a safe bet at this point, she will, thereafter, come under a withering, relentless attack in the general election when Republicans take aim at her political baggage and the many skeletons in her closet.

Those Establishment backers of Hillary who dismiss Sanders’ chances are ignoring those dark clouds and don’t realize how easily things could unravel for Hillary. They need to pay attention to the succession of polls which measure how the current candidates of each party would do against each other in the general election. They consistently indicate that Sanders would beat any of the three Republicans quite handily.

Conversely, Hillary’s margins over Trump and Cruz are far slimmer than those of Sanders and, of great significance, there are solid indications that she could very well lose to Kasich. These ongoing poll conclusions should be setting off the alarms in the Democratic hierarchy and should call for more in-depth consideration of which of these two candidates gives Democrats the best chance of winning.

The mainstream media is using its power to convince the public that Hillary is invincible and make Sanders look like a loser, in order to shape the outcome. This media has been giving the lion’s share of the primary reporting to Trump and Clinton, since those who call the shots know that a race between those two will give them the highest ratings in the upcoming election. So Sanders has largely been shoved to the side, getting minimal coverage.

We don’t know for certain how these primaries on either side will end and who will come out on top but, in this analysis, let’s say that Clinton does become the Democratic nominee, most probably facing off against Trump. What then? Well, we will, no doubt, see the bloodiest fight in presidential election history.

While the Republicans will be the underdogs they will turn into attack dogs, doing exactly what they do best. They will utilize strategies designed to destroy Clinton, concentrating on the issues and reasons underlying her unfavorable rating of 56%; which makes her the most

unpopular democratic presidential candidate in the history of Gallup’s presidential polling.

Here are the key issues that I think that the GOP will address to show her as untrustworthy and lacking credibility, as a means to try to take her down.

*A ticking time bomb; Hillary’s speeches to Wall Street: if she becomes the Democratic nominee the Republicans will make a big issue out of the fact that she refuses to publish the transcripts of those speeches, in particular the ones to Goldman Sachs. That she stubbornly refuses to present them to the public is an indication that they may contain damaging information that would further add to her reputation of being closely tied to Wall Street and its interests.

Even though the GOP itself is guilty of strongly backing Wall St. manipulators it will connect her with them to discredit her in front of many of her supporters who find that situation very troubling.

*Hillary’s email server: not only are the transcripts of Hillary’s speeches a huge problem but questions remain about the use of her personal email server to store sensitive government documents. The FBI continues to pursue this case to determine if she committed some federal crime; it won’t be long before the investigation is concluded.

Just recently we’ve heard that a federal judge will shortly decide if lawyers from Judicial Watch will be allowed to initiate a lawsuit over this issue and depose Clinton’s top aides. So if this situation is not resolved before the start of the general election it will remain a thorn in her side.

*Benghazi all over again: everyone may be tired of hearing about the Benghazi attack on the U.S. embassy but we can look forward to the GOP to continue to beat those drums and accuse Clinton of gross incompetence as well as ignoring clear signs that something really bad was about to happen. They will beat the issue to death.

*Hillary the war hawk and Libya: Clinton is coming under attack by an increasing number of critics, including Republicans and many progressive Democrats, who believe that she acted irresponsibly when she planned and facilitated the attack on Libya that accomplished nothing positive and, instead, devastated that country.

The devastation was bad enough but it also paved the way for ISIS to establish a presence in that country. This is a person who claims to be a strong decision-maker but when accused of making that gigantic military blunder she covers up her role and says that it was Mr. Obama who made the decision. Another case where Sanders is entirely correct in saying she uses bad judgment.

For the Republicans to accuse her of being a war hawk may be a perfect example of the pot calling the kettle black but it could be a very effective strategy because a great many Democrats are totally fed up with these misguided wars. They do not want another aggressive war hawk in the White House; as a result, many will think twice about voting for her.

The Republican Party may currently be in a state of disarray with Trump and its hierarchy engaged in a bitter, divisive fight over who will determine its future direction. But no one better underestimates their collective power in developing ways to destroy their opponents. And if they have these four issues that illustrate extremely bad judgment and poor decision-making by Clinton just wait until they fully open that closet containing a great much more.

Card carrying members of the Democratic Establishment such as former governors Howard Dean and Ed Rendell are so strongly for Clinton that they seem to be unable to comprehend that, in the general election, all of these many vulnerabilities will be spotlighted.

These Establishment Democrats don’t really like Sanders because, in their minds, he is far too progressive in wanting to extract America from its decade’s long state of stagnation; all caused by a government that is completely out of touch and out of sync with the vast majority of the American people.

The one thing that the Democratic Party leaders and super delegates must do is to keep an open mind and monitor the national polls which show that Sanders has just about pulled even with Hillary and that he continues to represent the best chance to beat any of the Republicans. If this trend persists then they need to put their party first and support the candidate who has the best chance of winning.

If they doggedly support Clinton no matter what, they risk losing a brilliant opportunity to retain the White House, recapture the Senate and, quite possibly, the House of Representatives; thus succeeding in snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory.

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Michael Payne
Michael Payne is an independent progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues; and especially with the great dangers involved with the proliferation of perpetual war, the associated defense industry, and the massive control that Corporate America holds over this government and our election process; all which are leading this nation down the road to eventual financial ruin if the conditions are not reversed. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois and a U.S. Army veteran.

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