If you are four hands into a high stakes poker game and you still haven’t figured out who the mark is, it’s probably you.
Poor Bernie behaves as if he doesn’t yet understand that he is the mark. The deck is stacked. The cards are marked. The remaining players at the table, especially that smiling dealer (the one with the press credentials, shuffling the cards) haven’t determined who the winner will be. But they have decided one thing, it ain’t gonna to be Bernie!
They’ve tipped their hands.
The New York Times Editorial Board can’t decide which woman should be nominated. They have made it clear however, it cannot be Bernie. They decided decades ago that they will never endorse a Republican. Especially a populist like Donald Trump. Bernie and his militant supporters must be brought to heel if the elites have any hope of dislodging the Donald.
Going forward, Bernie can expect the liberal media to deal him some of the same cards normally reserved only for Republicans. He should be prepared for much tougher questions. Maybe even some follow ups, a few “he claims” or a “without proof.” Anything to chip away at his credibility. Remember how the media turned the table on John McCain once it looked like he might actually win? They might even find time to examine Bernie’s life story. His infatuation with communist revolutions may be revisited. We’ve had a taste of this in the days since the release of the latest round of polling and fundraising numbers.
Bernie had a great fourth quarter. He raised more money than any other Democrat. Save of course, the self-funding billionaires who simply backed up to their personal ATMs. He has more than doubled the fundraising totals of the establishment choice, Joe Biden. A recent Des Moines Register poll of Iowa Democrats had Bernie leading the pack with Elizabeth Warren fading. And an Emerson College poll has Bernie holding a comfortable nine point lead in New Hampshire over both Biden and Warren. You could literally hear the alarms going off all over Washington among the Democrat establishment.
One Rolling Stone author described CNN’s debate questioning of Bernie and Warren as “both Villainous and Shameful.” The allegation that he had told Warren that a woman could never be elected President was a naked political hit. After Bernie flatly denied the charge, the CNN questioner immediately turned to Ms. Warren and asked her how she felt when Bernie said that? We half-expected the next question to be, “Senator Sanders, did wife beating have anything to do with your first divorce, yes or no?”
At least Bernie may now have more empathy for the treatment Republican candidates regularly receive.
Of course, bitter Hillary wasted little time piling on. Still carrying a bur under her saddle for Bernie having taken her down to the wire, she delivered a few gratuitous cheap shots. In an interview that she hopes will be seen by large numbers of Democrat activists, she unloaded on Bernie. Sounding more like the self-appointed prom queen and captain of the high school In Crowd, Hillary said, “nobody likes him, nobody wants to work with him.”
She turned the knife with a few deeper cuts. Saying, “He got nothing done. He was a career politician. It’s all just baloney and I feel so bad that people got sucked into it.”
Even those of us who may share some of these sentiments found those comments unseemly.
Some claim that Bernie doesn’t really care. He sometimes acts as if he isn’t all that committed. Ordinarily, no one does indignation any better than Bernie. But, he took the Hillary swipes more like a George W. Remember how Bernie just limped away after he was jobbed last time by Team Hillary? Maybe he understands his role. If he wins, fine. If he loses, he will write another book, make another million and remodel his dacha on Lake Champlain.
Not the worst outcome for a self-described socialist plutocrat.
His boisterous backers are another story. They see the dealing from the bottom of the deck and the other tricks. They are important players in this game. And lest we forget, they’re all in.