I’ve been anticipating the day when Clinton and Trump would emerge as the nominees since last fall, but when the day finally came it still surprised me to experience how it felt. I don’t think I can compare it to anything since the day in college when I sat in my dorm room watching CNN as the Soviet Union collapsed before my eyes.
I had to actually feel what it was like as an actuality before I could begin to wrap my head around it. This has been a dizzying day.
For the first time, the idea of a Clinton-Sanders ticket made some sense to me.
It really didn’t before, because…well…because of a lot of reasons.
I have a strong preference against choosing a running mate who will be too hold to serve as a potential successor, first of all. I don’t think it worked out for the Republicans to have Dick Cheney serve as their vice-president, and not only because he’s a terrible person who did a criminal job in office. When Bush and Cheney left office, they left their party rudderless. And I think it’s unfortunate that Joe Biden isn’t able to run for a third term for this administration because I surely believe they deserve one.
I also don’t want to have a bunch of distractions about the meaning of Democratic Socialism or why Sanders traveled to the Soviet Union, or anything along that line that is really unnecessary.
I’m not even sure that Sanders is temperamentally well-suited to be president. And I have my doubts that he’d get along with the Clintons or that they’d made a good team either on the campaign trail or as partners in the White House.
I also doubted that Sanders would want the job or that the Clintons would have any inclination to offer it to him.
But the spectacle of the Republican Party being divided this way has made me reconsider whether it might not be best for the nation if the Democrats can meet this national emergency with the unity and resolve it deserves.
It’s certainly possible to offer Sanders something less. He might have someone else beside himself in mind to be the vice-president. It’s also easy enough to offer him a prominent cabinet position but that can get tricky for a couple of reasons. First, a candidate doesn’t usually announce their cabinet before getting elected, and cabinet positions are subject to confirmation in the Senate. Sanders could probably get confirmed to some cabinet positions, but not necessarily the ones with the prestige he probably requires. Trying to put him in charge of the Treasury Department would cause a pretty big battle royale, and it might not be successful. What would be the back up plan? Health & Human Services?
If he’d agree to serve as vice-president, it would immediately unite the Democratic Party and put its activist base into organizing mode. It would inoculate Clinton somewhat against the attacks Trump will bring on free trade and the Iraq War vote.
I can see how Sanders would bring some unnecessary difficulties in the campaign, but I don’t see how a Democratic Party that is strongly united could fail to rampage on the Republicans up and down the ballot.
There are still arguments against this move, including that it will give a lot of Republicans a little more justification for sticking with Trump. It will freak the business community out at the exact moment that they’re realizing that they need to come to Clinton with hat in hand or get shellacked early in her administration.
I can probably find more reasons it’s not a great idea, perhaps related on a granular level to how it would impact a few select suburban House races. And, personally, I’d rather see Sanders back in the Senate.
But, after really feeling the demise of the Conservative Movement, I’m kind of convinced that the biggest possible hammer blow is Democratic unity on the biggest possible scale.
If Hillary goes with a Clinton-Sanders ticket, I think it will knock the fucking House down.
I’ve almost convinced myself.