Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Dr. Strangelove Redux: The Bernie Edition

 

Slim PickensThe Democrats have unleashed a nuclear bomb meant to destroy their Public Enemy Number 1, Trump, but instead realized – possibly too late — that the plan is backfiring. Bernie Sanders was given free rein to energize the base for a turnout centered on defeating, as he put it following the New Hampshire primary, “the most dangerous president in the modern history of this country.”

But after eight years of building a coalition around former President Obama then ceding ground to the democratic socialists to counter Trump, does the Democrat establishment run the risk of blowing up its own party because of the mad ravings of a far-left radical?

During the eight years of the Obama administration, the left got what it wanted: a president who ushered in a new-wave urbane air. Barack Obama appealed to political class elites who are more interested in rubbing tuxedo-clothed, globalist elbows than the plight of the working class. At the same time, he exuded a hip vibe and baller attitude to attain hero-worship status from Hollywood celebrities and Brooklyn hipsters.

With the help of a compliant media, he was successful at straddling the line separating the Democratic Party establishment and the new radicals. Repeat something enough in Television Land, whether by “journalists” or political sycophants, it must be true, and so we have the Obama myth of a scandal-free administration, a healing of racial divides, and an America that was welcomed with open, loving arms by sophisticated world leaders.

The election of President Trump played an important role in exposing these undisputed “truths” as nothing more than a high-gloss finish without substance. Joe Biden is the last heir to the Obama legacy, and he’s the perfect fit: not much behind the flashy smile and word-salad speeches.

Perhaps “No Malarkey Joe” was banking on his BFF Barack (they do have matching bracelets!) to lend him his coattails, then combine it with a narrative that his experience, moderation, and appeal to the working class would allow him to coast through the primaries. What he didn’t anticipate was the consequences of the Democrats’ indulging in a move ever-leftward, led by Bernie Sanders. The Democrats used Bernie to signal their commitment to get Trump out of office. They knew from the fiasco during the 2016 election run-up he was a spoiler and a divider, but in the era of #Resist, he was a useful tool to wield – until he wasn’t.

Like the nuclear warheads headed straight for Russia in Dr. Strangelove, the Establishment Democrats sitting in the War Room thought they could just enter in the recall codes, and Bernie would end his mission, being a useful deterrent to the enemy. His part was to strike fear by bringing the party to the brink of the progressive war but not cross it. Except the establishment lost the codes. Bernie is hardwired for his own mission and has the momentum of the young and hip and radical on his side. And his believers don’t care who the DNC or the party elites think has the moderate appeal to overtake Trump in a general election. Theirs is a mission of destruction at any cost; collateral damage is a necessary aftereffect.

Bernie surrounds himself with what has long been the trademark of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party: a shot of youthful vigor and idealism aimed at the Establishment in order to replace it. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, and Linda Sarsour embody the movement. So too the celebrities disproportionately drawn to emotional rage causes. Cynthia Nixon of “Sex in the City” fame and her own failed attempt at the New York City mayoralty said Bernie “changed the terrain and the conversation” of the country. He certainly has. Where once socialism was a term from which Democrats shied away, Bernie made it into a t-shirt. (And would probably sell it for campaign cash – yay capitalism!)

Once the bomb-doors were opened, Bernie never looked back; he uses the socialist moniker as his badge of honor. Far past the simple goal of defeating Trump, Bernie wants to drop his payload on the very foundations of American institutions that make us a free country. Replacing all private health insurance with government plans, banning fracking and oil exploration, decriminalizing illegal immigration and advocating for open borders, giving free healthcare to illegal immigrants, eliminating ICE, free college, erasing college debt, etc. Why honeymoon in Soviet Russia when you can bring Soviet Russia to our own shores?

While the Democratic Establishment was doing all it could do to win in order to retain its Obama-era glory and power, the Bernie nuclear bomb went rogue. While the sights were set on Trump, Bernie had his sights on becoming the leader of a new progressive movement. The Democrats went with him too long in the hopes of capturing the support of his followers while keeping a moderate off-ramp available to use in the general election. But Bernie burned that bridge leaving establishment candidate Joe Biden spinning his wheels and hoping a good showing in South Carolina would put him back in the fight and defuse the bomb that could blow up the party he helped build.

But I’m not going to worry about Bernie just yet. I still think his ideas are the antithesis to the great American experiment and primary season has just begun. The Democrat primaries are meant to pick a candidate who would best defeat Trump, but are evolving into a fight for the very survival of the Democratic Party as we know it. I’m not saying it’s impossible that Bernie could win the nomination – Donald Trump defied conventional wisdom in 2016 – but I never underestimate Democrats in power to use the threat of mutually assured destruction to keep that power. For those of us bearing witness to the war, we’re stuck with our popcorn while we wait to see if anyone on the left can take a stand against the radical left, or if they feel the burn of the Bernie bomb that will surely change the political landscape of America going forward.

Published in Elections
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There are 28 comments.

  1. Stad Thatcher

    JennaStocker: But I’m not going to worry about Bernie just yet.

    Neither am I – too early.

    However, it’s always fun to watch the front runner get torn down by the others. I can’t wait to see the SC primary on the 29th. Only the Dems are having one, our state GOP deciding not to waste any money on it.

    • #1
    • February 12, 2020, at 7:57 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  2. The Reticulator Member

    Ordinarily I don’t have much patience for electoral analysis, but I read this article all the way to the end and enjoyed it, too. It was well written, and probably a good description of what’s going on.

    • #2
    • February 12, 2020, at 8:18 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  3. Bob Thompson Member

    Bernie might already be done if it weren’t for Amy’s surprise.

    • #3
    • February 12, 2020, at 8:40 AM PST
    • 1 like
  4. JennaStocker Member
    JennaStocker

    Stad (View Comment):

    JennaStocker: But I’m not going to worry about Bernie just yet.

    Neither am I – too early.

    However, it’s always fun to watch the front runner get torn down by the others. I can’t wait to see the SC primary on the 29th. Only the Dems are having one, our state GOP deciding not to waste any money on it.

    Have you seen many ads? Here in MN it was Bloomberg for the past several weeks. Bernie ads started popping up on TV the last few days. No Klobuchar though.

    • #4
    • February 12, 2020, at 8:47 AM PST
    • Like
  5. JennaStocker Member
    JennaStocker

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Ordinarily I don’t have much patience for electoral analysis, but I read this article all the way to the end and enjoyed it, too. It was well written, and probably a good description of what’s going on.

    Thank you! I had almost as much fun writing it as watching the original Dr. Strangelove!

    • #5
    • February 12, 2020, at 8:48 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  6. JennaStocker Member
    JennaStocker

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Bernie might already be done if it weren’t for Amy’s surprise.

    She’s siphoning votes from somewhere. It’s interesting to see the jockeying compared to the Republican winner-take-all nomination process. I guess we’ll have to wait and see!

    • #6
    • February 12, 2020, at 8:51 AM PST
    • 1 like
  7. Old Bathos Moderator

    Even Democrats are having a hard time buying Bernie. He underperformed badly in NH. I had hoped he would be a juggernaut by now causing a full-blown civil war between the commies and the semi-normals. But instead, there is just a big “blah” sound from Democrats for their whole field which could be bad if they had an uncharacteristic sanity attack and dumped them all for a “unity” dark horse.

    • #7
    • February 12, 2020, at 8:57 AM PST
    • 1 like
  8. Stad Thatcher

    JennaStocker (View Comment):
    She’s siphoning votes from somewhere.

    She got Biden’s dog-faced pony soldier voters . . .

    • #8
    • February 12, 2020, at 8:58 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  9. JennaStocker Member
    JennaStocker

    Stad (View Comment):

    JennaStocker (View Comment):
    She’s siphoning votes from somewhere.

    She got Biden’s dog-faced pony soldier voters . . .

    Who knew they all lived in New Hampshire?!

    • #9
    • February 12, 2020, at 9:02 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  10. Bob Thompson Member

    JennaStocker (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Bernie might already be done if it weren’t for Amy’s surprise.

    She’s siphoning votes from somewhere. It’s interesting to see the jockeying compared to the Republican winner-take-all nomination process. I guess we’ll have to wait and see!

    Warren fell far from expectations as did Biden. Some people vote on ideology and some on demographics. Amy is the moderate female candidate in contention at this point. I think Warren and Biden are done. Bernie crashed a long way from his performance 4 years ago, he was fortunate to hang on to the proportionate delegate win.

    • #10
    • February 12, 2020, at 9:05 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  11. JennaStocker Member
    JennaStocker

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Even Democrats are having a hard time buying Bernie. He underperformed badly in NH. I had hoped he would be a juggernaut by now causing a full-blown civil war between the commies and the semi-normals. But instead, there is just a big “blah” sound from Democrats for their whole field which could be bad if they had an uncharacteristic sanity attack and dumped them all for a “unity” dark horse.

    Maybe they’ll all concede defeat…

    • #11
    • February 12, 2020, at 9:06 AM PST
    • 1 like
  12. JennaStocker Member
    JennaStocker

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    JennaStocker (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Bernie might already be done if it weren’t for Amy’s surprise.

    She’s siphoning votes from somewhere. It’s interesting to see the jockeying compared to the Republican winner-take-all nomination process. I guess we’ll have to wait and see!

    Warren fell far from expectations as did Biden. Some people vote on ideology and some on demographics. Amy is the moderate female candidate in contention at this point. I think Warren and Biden are done. Bernie crashed a long way from his performance 4 years ago, he was fortunate to hang on to the proportionate delegate win.

    I agree with your analysis. I wonder what the total D turnout compared from 2016 to this year?

    • #12
    • February 12, 2020, at 9:09 AM PST
    • Like
  13. colleenb Member
    colleenb Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Excellent analysis @JennaStocker! I hope this gets linked by Instapundit or Ace of Spades. And, of course, the pick of the week by Mr. Lileks. I love especially love the line about ‘Why honeymoon in the Soviet Union when you can bring the Soviet Union to our shores.’ Congrats.

    • #13
    • February 12, 2020, at 10:29 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  14. JennaStocker Member
    JennaStocker

    colleenb (View Comment):

    Excellent analysis @JennaStocker! I hope this gets linked by Instapundit or Ace of Spades. And, of course, the pick of the week by Mr. Lileks. I love especially love the line about ‘Why honeymoon in the Soviet Union when you can bring the Soviet Union to our shores.’ Congrats.

    I’m very humbled by your comment @colleenb Thank you. It’s so refreshing to be a very small part of such a smart, fun group here. The Ricochetti community have the best conversations around, no question.

    • #14
    • February 12, 2020, at 10:43 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  15. I Walton Member

    Good article. I think the next election will defeat them, whoever the left presents, but in a little over 4 years more dumb kids, products of our educational establishment will be in place, fewer of us who lived through the Cold War will be around. We have to use the next four years to change that and it has to be quickly or it’ll just form new opposition to educational reform. Reform is the wrong word as the existing centralized system can’t be reformed it must be dismembered and replaced with whatever different states, communities and cities come up with, on their own.

    • #15
    • February 12, 2020, at 11:10 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  16. Doug Kimball Thatcher

    I love any essay that alludes to a classic movie. We need EJ to put Bernie on that bomb, hair astray, yelling yeee-hah! The bomb needs to tbe labeled “DNC” with a “do not open until Milwaukee” sticker.

    Well done!

    • #16
    • February 12, 2020, at 1:59 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  17. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    Jenna, good post.

    The one thing that I doubt is the idea of a coordinated “Democratic Party establishment.” My impression is that no one is in charge, on either side. There are complicated, shifting coalitions, accompanied by changes in messaging, with little or no coherence.

    I also don’t think that Sanders is the only radical. I think that the entire Democratic Party has been significantly radicalized, mostly on social issues. Even the apparently moderate candidates adopt radical positions that were unimaginable just 10-12 years ago. Remember, for example, that Obama ran on an anti-SSM platform in 2008. I thought that he was lying about it, but it was the bipartisan consensus that recently.

    • #17
    • February 12, 2020, at 1:59 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  18. Fritz Member

    Hah! I’d forgotten the Obama-Biden bromance –> matching bracelets!!

    Oh, it must have stung when the Lightbringer told him, “you don’t have to do this, Joe.”

    Good post.

    • #18
    • February 12, 2020, at 2:22 PM PST
    • 1 like
  19. Unsk Member

    Jenna, simply a brilliant analogy. 

    • #19
    • February 12, 2020, at 4:47 PM PST
    • 1 like
  20. JennaStocker Member
    JennaStocker

    Doug Kimball (View Comment):

    I love any essay that alludes to a classic movie. We need EJ to put Bernie on that bomb, hair astray, yelling yeee-hah! The bomb needs to tbe labeled “DNC” with a “do not open until Milwaukee” sticker.

    Well done!

    Yes! That would be awesome!

    • #20
    • February 12, 2020, at 6:30 PM PST
    • Like
  21. JennaStocker Member
    JennaStocker

    Fritz (View Comment):

    Hah! I’d forgotten the Obama-Biden bromance –> matching bracelets!!

    Oh, it must have stung when the Lightbringer told him, “you don’t have to do this, Joe.”

    Good post.

    Poor Joe: ‘I poured my retirement into running for President, and all I got was this stupid bracelet.’

    Lol.

    • #21
    • February 12, 2020, at 6:33 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  22. JennaStocker Member
    JennaStocker

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Jenna, good post.

    The one thing that I doubt is the idea of a coordinated “Democratic Party establishment.” My impression is that no one is in charge, on either side. There are complicated, shifting coalitions, accompanied by changes in messaging, with little or no coherence.

    I also don’t think that Sanders is the only radical. I think that the entire Democratic Party has been significantly radicalized, mostly on social issues. Even the apparently moderate candidates adopt radical positions that were unimaginable just 10-12 years ago. Remember, for example, that Obama ran on an anti-SSM platform in 2008. I thought that he was lying about it, but it was the bipartisan consensus that recently.

    I agree with you that the Democrats have moved closer to the far left. I remember in 2016 (I think?) when Jim Webb was practically pushed off the debate stage. I think the difference now is the full embrace of the majority of the party of socialism. They say out loud what previously was confined to whispers in back rooms. It’s not the party of working class farmers and union workers anymore. Obama’s Che Guevara-like campaign poster is closer to Democrat reality than Bill Clinton’s “I feel your pain.”

    • #22
    • February 12, 2020, at 6:43 PM PST
    • Like
  23. kedavis Member

    JennaStocker: “Sex in the City”

    A common mistake. It’s “Sex AND The City.”

    • #23
    • February 13, 2020, at 1:06 AM PST
    • Like
  24. JennaStocker Member
    JennaStocker

    kedavis (View Comment):

    JennaStocker: “Sex in the City”

    A common mistake. It’s “Sex AND The City.”

    Gah! Yes, good catch. Thank you.

    • #24
    • February 13, 2020, at 8:20 AM PST
    • Like
  25. Henry Castaigne Member

    elmo

    • #25
    • February 13, 2020, at 10:01 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  26. Postmodern Hoplite Member

    JennaStocker (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Ordinarily I don’t have much patience for electoral analysis, but I read this article all the way to the end and enjoyed it, too. It was well written, and probably a good description of what’s going on.

    Thank you! I had almost as much fun writing it as watching the original Dr. Strangelove!

    Just a personal aside…the first time I watched “Dr. Strangelove,” I was a (very) young, entirely TOO tightly-wound-up Infantry 2LT. I thought it was the dumbest movie ever.

    The next time I watched it was during class at the US Army War College, as a rather “less-young” (ahem) Colonel. I LAUGHED so hard my sides hurt! I bought a DVD copy, and it just keeps getting funnier as time goes on!

    Your “Bernie as H-Bomb” analogy is brilliant!

    • #26
    • February 14, 2020, at 10:33 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  27. Old Bathos Moderator

    Postmodern Hoplite (View Comment):

    JennaStocker (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Ordinarily I don’t have much patience for electoral analysis, but I read this article all the way to the end and enjoyed it, too. It was well written, and probably a good description of what’s going on.

    Thank you! I had almost as much fun writing it as watching the original Dr. Strangelove!

    Just a personal aside…the first time I watched, Dr. Strangelove,” I was a (very) young, entirely TOO tightly-wound-up Infantry 2LT. I thought it was the dumbest movie ever.

    The next time I watched it was during class at the US Army War College, as a rather “less-young” (ahem) Colonel. I LAUGHED so hard my sides hurt! I bought a DVD copy, and it just keeps getting funnier as time goes on!

    Your “Bernie as H-Bomb” analogy is brilliant!

    Dr. Stranglove works best for those of us who did nuke drills in school back when it was thought The Big One was imminent. I was a kid in Miami during the Cuban Missle Crisis and being “90 miles away” from Russian nukes was a big deal, conceptually speaking. Dr. Stranglove arrived at just the right time for us teens made cynical by Cold War fears to enjoy the black humor–for decades.

    I always thought Sterling Hayden should have got a supporting actor Oscar nod for his brilliant psycho Gen. Jack Ripper. Dr. Stranglove was nominated in ’65 (Kubrick did get best director) but they gave the Oscar for best picture to My Fair Lady (blech) even though Rex Harrison was the tone-deaf lead in a musical. 

     

    • #27
    • February 14, 2020, at 10:56 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  28. JennaStocker Member
    JennaStocker

    Postmodern Hoplite (View Comment):

    JennaStocker (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Ordinarily I don’t have much patience for electoral analysis, but I read this article all the way to the end and enjoyed it, too. It was well written, and probably a good description of what’s going on.

    Thank you! I had almost as much fun writing it as watching the original Dr. Strangelove!

    Just a personal aside…the first time I watched, Dr. Strangelove,” I was a (very) young, entirely TOO tightly-wound-up Infantry 2LT. I thought it was the dumbest movie ever.

    The next time I watched it was during class at the US Army War College, as a rather “less-young” (ahem) Colonel. I LAUGHED so hard my sides hurt! I bought a DVD copy, and it just keeps getting funnier as time goes on!

    Your “Bernie as H-Bomb” analogy is brilliant!

    I love this story, thank you for sharing it. I was thoroughly confused and amused the first time I saw it-but isn’t it interesting how with age, experience, and a good helping of cynicism changes our perspectives? 

    • #28
    • February 14, 2020, at 9:13 PM PST
    • 1 like