How Much Change Can the Right Take?

Brent Budowsky is experiencing some exuberance. Whether it’s irrational exuberance or not, we may never know.

Stop the presses! According to a new poll by Quinnipiac University on Tuesday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) destroys Republican candidate Donald Trump in a general election by 13 percentage points. In this new poll, Sanders has 51 percent to Trump’s 38 percent. If this margin held in a general election, Democrats would almost certainly regain control of the United States Senate and very possibly the House of Representatives.

It is high time and long overdue for television networks such as CNN to end their obsession with Trump and report the all-important fact that in most polls, both Hillary Clinton and Sanders would defeat Trump by landslide margins. In the new Quinnipiac poll, Clinton would defeat Trump by 7 percentage points, which is itself impressive and would qualify as a landslide, while the Sanders lead of 13 points would bring a landslide of epic proportions.

Obviously, polls like this taken eleven months before a general election aren’t worth much. But there’s a point here regardless. There’s a pretty strong assumption in many quarters that a Brooklyn-raised seventy-four year old self-proclaimed socialist Jewish guy from granola-chomping Vermont doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of being elected president of the United States. Yet, this Quinnipiac poll shows he’d schlong the current Republican front-runner, and schlong him like a drum. Not only that, but he’d have more potential coattails than Hillary Clinton.

Maybe that’s true right now–maybe it would even still be true next November–but that’s not the main point that Budowsky wants to make. His point is that Trump is getting too much media attention and Bernie Sanders (especially) and Hillary Clinton are getting too little.

I know a lot of regular voters who are not media-types who would vote for Sanders over Clinton in a heartbeat if only they could be assured that he wouldn’t lose a very winnable election. And who knows what happens when the Republicans bring out all their Willie Hortons and Swift-Boat Veterans for Truth? Does Sanders have the kind of teflon that the Clintons are famous for possessing?

I don’t know the answers to those questions. I do sometimes wonder if the right in this country will just completely and finally lose their shit if we elect someone like Sanders as president. Putting up with a President Hillary Clinton seems like indignity enough for these folks who have been raised on Vince Foster watermelon conspiracies and Benghazi heat-fever dreams. But, at least the Establishment knows that the Clintons are what happens to you when you lose an election and not some earth-shattering proof that your country has been lost forever and turned over to the communists.

Then part of me just has a prurient interest in seeing just how mental the right will go if it turns out that Sanders can not only win but that he can destroy them in a wipeout landslide.

What I am pretty sure about is that Trump is at least as unorthodox and unacceptable to a huge swath of the electorate as Sanders would be. In a matchup between the two of them, we’d be assured of getting something we’ve never seen before and basically no one thought was possible.

I’d have plenty to write about, that’s for sure.

Donate Now

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly and the main blogger at Booman Tribune.