Sanders victory would spark a political crisis

Bernie Sanders

If Bernie Sanders actually were elected President in 2020, it would ignite a major and continuing political crisis.

Neither the Wall Street financial establishment nor the pro-war intelligence establishment (aka the “deep state”) would accept his victory as legitimate.

The Washington press corps would be against him.  Nor could he count on the support of leaders of his own party.  He threatens their sources of wealth and power by showing it is possible to be elected without big donations from rich and powerful interests.

We saw a taste of what could happen with the election of Donald Trump in 2016.  Democrats and liberals refused to accept his victory as legitimate.  A few of them proposed a silly plan to have the Electoral College disregard the instructions of voters.  I think we could expect a revival of this idea, this time on a bipartisan basis.

Then Democratic leaders and their sympathizers in the CIA put forth the idea that Trump’s victory was due to Russian agents hacking the Democratic National Committee and manipulating the voters via the Internet—the so-called Russiagate conspiracy.  Democrats still haven’t given up on using this to drive Trump from office.

(I think Donald Trump is a bad president, but I think he should be attacked for the things he actually did and I don’t think it is possible to undo the 2016 election.)

Some Russiagaters said the Russians also backed Bernie Sanders.  We’ll hear a lot more of this if Sanders ia nominated, and we’d probably get a new Russiagate investigation if he is elected.

The Wall Street banking establishment has their own method of dealing with populist presidents.  It is to “lose confidence” in the administration, which pushes up bond interest rates, which in turn pushes the federal government budget out of balance.

Bill Clinton complained about being subject to the will of bond traders.  His friend and adviser, James Carville, said that if he died, he would like to be reincarnated as the bond market, because he would be all powerful.

Going further back in American history, Nicholas Biddle, president of the then Bank of the United States, deliberately induced a financial crisis by tightening credit in order to discredit his enemy, President Andrew Jackson.

Barack Obama was thwarted in enacting his very moderate political program by the intransigent opposition of Republicans in Congress.  In a Sanders presidency, we could expect the same thing not only from Republicans, but also from pro-corporate Democrats.

Maybe you think I’m alarmist.  I hope I am.  But I’m not predicting anything that hasn’t happened before.

Back in 1933, a group of business business leaders talked about a military coup against President Franklin Roosevelt.  The plan was exposed at an early stage, and might not have gotten far even if it hadn’t been, but it shows such thinks are thinkable, even in the USA.

Am I saying that Sanders’ candidacy is futile?  No, of course not.  He is campaigning in such a way as to build support for his ideas so that, win or lose, his political successor will have a better chance.  And if he wins, a president has a lot of independent power and also voice that can’t be ignored, as the incumbent has demonstrated.

What I am saying is that the election of Bernie Sanders would not be the end of the struggle for reform, nor even the beginning of the end.  It might, however, be the end of the beginning.


Why Bernie Sanders Is Smeared by the Press by Matt Taibbi for Rolling Stone.

Why They Hate Bernie by Branko Marcetic for Jacobin.  [Added Later]

Here’s What Bernie Could Do in Power by Meagan Day for Jacobin.

Tags: , , ,

8 Responses to “Sanders victory would spark a political crisis”

  1. whungerford Says:

    President Wilson was elected as a reformer; he claimed to be indebted to no one but the people for his election. He was successful in his first term in enacting good government reforms, but a backlash frustrated his postwar foreign policy and undid many of his reforms.Unless we care a whole lot about good government, we aren’t likely to have much of it.

    Any candidate, Republican or Democrat, elected in 2020 will face the challenge of bitter partisan opposition with a ballooning budget deficit.


  2. philebersole Says:

    A Bernie Sanders victory would threaten the wealth and power of the financial establishment in a fundamental way.

    This is not true of the other principal candidates, including Elizabeth Warren, as I wrote in a previous post.

    It was not true of the great reformers of the 20th century, including Franklin Roosevelt—even though some plutocrats did plot against FDR, not realizing he was their savior.

    Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt were nominated with the backing of political bosses of their time. Theodore Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson were vice-presidents who became president by means of succession rather than election.

    All four had the backing of a section of the business community. I recommend Thomas Ferguson’s THE INVESTMENT THEORY OF POLITICAL PARTIES and Nomi Prins’ ALL THE PRESIDENT’S BANKERS for background.

    The question is whether this is still possible. For reasons i’ve stated in previous posts, I don’t think so.

    The financial and business elite are more class-conscious and much better organized than they were in the time of TR, Wilson, FDR and LBJ.

    It would take a powerful labor movement and similar mass movements, such as existed in the 1930s, to offset their power. Sanders is the only important candidate who seems to understand this. That is why he is regarded as such a threat.

    The other question is whether the political establishment would tolerate a peace candidate, or whether leaders of both parties would turn against such a candidate, as they did George McGovern.

    Unless we the American people can move our country away from a permanent war footing, meaningful reform is impossible.

    But unless we achieve meaningful reform, there will be a social breakdown, followed by revolutionary violence—which I dread.

    Woodrow Wilson sought to be a representative of the public in general. He did not consider himself beholden to the political bosses who supported his nomination and election. Elizabeth Warren is a great example of a such a would-be nonpartisan reformer in our own day—someone who’s impartially trying to do what’s best for everyone.

    I would vote for Warren, but I prefer Sanders because he understands the nature of his struggle for power. That is precisely why the powers-that-be would not regard his election as legitimate.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. whungerford Says:

    I see no trend to diminished corporate influence, to less militarism, or to public demand for good government. If we are ever to elect a candidate like Sanders, 2020 might be an opportunity, but his election no panacea–widespread demand for government or, by, and for the people must come first.


  4. whungerford Says:

    What about Tom Steyer?


  5. whungerford Says:

    In an earlier article I read this as a reason to support Bernie Sanders:

    “He regards billionaires and CEOs of big corporations as his enemies, and his aim is a political revolution that takes away their power.”

    Steyer’s TV ads express the same idea.

    He is billionaire who’s never run for political office before, much like Trump. Steyer has little chance of being nominated by the Democratic Party, he doesn’t lead a popular political movement, there is little reason to think he would be effective as a President.

    Has Trump led the way to billionaire candidates and billionaire presidents?


  6. Craig Says:

    I’m guessing that this will be the last opportunity in my lifetime to vote for a democratic socialist. I’m sure there would be a lot of chaos if he is elected, but it would be the kind I could support. At any rate, I will vote for the Democrat nominee unless it is Biden.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: