Sen Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, the “democratic socialist” who has somehow become the Democratic frontrunner for nomination for president of the United States, does not take very well to criticism. A case in point was his reaction to some pointed things that James Carville said about him on cable TV recently. Fox News explains:
“Look, James, in all due respect, is a political hack who said very terrible things when he was working for Clinton against Barack Obama,” Sanders told CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “We are taking on the establishment. This is no secret to anybody.”
Carville, for those readers who came of age after the Clinton administration, was the architect of Bill Clinton’s 1992 victory over then-incumbent President George H. W. Bush. Carville used a tactic called “triangulation” that positioned Clinton as somehow between left and right, presenting a “third way” of politics that eschewed the extremes. He also said one of the most often quoted pronouncements about how one wins elections in the United States. “It’s the economy, stupid.”
Earlier, Carville had appeared on MSNBC to sound the alarm about Sander’s candidacy. Fox News again explains.
“James Carville, a political strategist and former top adviser to President Bill Clinton, sounded the alarm Monday about the prospect of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., winning the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, calling such a choice the “end of days” for the party. Appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Carville said the Democrats must defeat President Trump in November or the country will be in an “abyss.” But he said many of the candidates, Sanders, in particular, are not appealing to enough of the electorate, including African-Americans.”
Carville also suggested that Sanders is America’s version of Jeremy Corbyn, the British politician who led the UK Labour Party to its greatest defeat in decades at the hands of Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson. He also stated that Sanders supporters want to turn the Democratic Party into a “cult.” He said that if the Democrats nominate Sanders, it will be “the end of days.” Carville pronounced himself to be “scared to death.”
Despite what Sanders said about him. Carville is hardly a “political hack.” His strategy for Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign was considered masterful. Few people at the beginning of that election cycle would have predicted that anyone, not the least Bill Clinton, could have taken down the first President Bush. Bush had just presided over the successful Gulf War that ejected Iraqi forces from Kuwait. Clinton was morally compromised because of a series of extramarital affairs, the same sort of thing that sunk Gary Hart four years before.
Yet, a minor economic downturn and a lackluster campaign by the elder Bush combined to make him a one-termer. Clinton was lucky enough to preside over eight years of an economic boom brought on by the creation of the Internet. However, some historians suggest that Clinton made some foreign policy missteps that led to 9/11 and the long war on terror.
Carville was an advisor to Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign. Her first run for the presidency was less successful than that of her husband, mainly because she had the bad fortune to run against Barack Obama.
The fears about Sanders that Carville expressed is widely shared in the leftwing media and among House and Senate Democrats. Chris Matthews, the former Democratic operative who now works for MSNBC, is no fan of socialism, having memories of the Cold War, according to Hot Air. Matthews stated that not only is Bernie not electable, but that socialism “doesn’t fricking work.”
According to Roll Call, Congressional Democrats would prefer Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Bloomberg, even the hapless Joe Biden to Bernie. They fear that Bernie Sanders on top of the ticket would cause them to lose the House and to not take what they think is an opportunity to flip the Senate.
In the meantime, Republican operatives are gleefully tying down-ballot Democrats to Bernie Sanders and socialism. Most polling suggests that the label of ”socialist” is a deal-breaker to most American voters, despite its apparent popularity among young people.
In short, James Carville is not feeling the Bern and Sanders resent him for that. Whether or not Bernie wins the nomination only to drag the Democrats down to defeat will prove whether Carville is a ”hack” or a prophet.