I just finished saying my piece to Bernie Sanders' supporters. Now I've got a few choice words for the woman who has all but stopped him from winning this year's Democratic nomination for President, Hillary Clinton.
First of all, congratulations. No matter what happens from here on in, you've made history. And that history caps off a remarkable career of public service, as First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State. No one can take that away from you, and no one should try.
But don't pick out a color scheme for the Oval Office just yet.
It's bad enough that you'll be facing a Republican nominee who have been given hours upon hours of investigation-free media exposure for whom "journalism" has become synonymous with rubbernecking a traffic accident. It's bad enough that you've been under the microscope time and time again, without anyone finding any fire behind the smoke generated by what you aptly described the vast right-wing conspiracy.
But, before you can even begin to worry about Donald Trump or a hostile media, you've got something much more basic to worry about: your own party.
We are not in the 1990s, Madame Secretary, and have not been for a while. We no longer exist in a political environment where centrism, even assuming that centrism is an easily definable thing, can cut it, politically or otherwise. That is in no small part due to many changes at the federal level during that mixed bag of a decade, changes that had the effect of undoing much of what had been accomplished by the New Deal. Those changes had the effect of pushing us back toward the economic state of the late 1800s and the early part of the last century. Economic imperialism is alive and well as a result, and any road to the center must consequently extend from the left.
And centrism, in any case, requires two sides to compromise. Where are the compromises from the Republicans who have controlled the last three Congresses? Where are their alternatives to health care reform, to fighting climate change, to fighting terrorist threats, or to address the needs of stateless immigrants living in our society. For the love of whatever Higher Power you believe in, where at least are their alternatives for creating jobs? And, above all, where is the willingness to meet with the other side to resolve each other's differences. Nowhere. To these Republicans, it is more important to be a conservative than it is to be an American.
And that is why the Berniecrats are not falling in line behind you, Madame Secretary. They remember you as part of the Administration that dealt away AFDC and Glass-Steagall, thereby giving poor people no floor to stand on and rich people no ceiling to limit their greed. They see you, even now, appearing to protect those "accomplishments" by refusing to listen to them about income inequality and too-big-to-fail banks. They remember your willingness to accept speaker's fees from at least one of those banks, and wonder why you won't tell us what you told them.
All of that has to change, as of right now. A recent New York Times article suggests that you may be able to win Berniecrats over to your cause--or, at least, enough of them to win--if you offer them the political equivalent of honey. I have two suggestions for doing just that, and they revolve around two people: Elizabeth Warren, and your husband, the 42nd President.
I'll begin with Bill first. None of us should ever forget the fact that the W-Cheney fiasco might never have been possible without your husband's extra-marital extracurricular activities. I don't like to bring up a painful subject, but how can I help bringing up something that no one has forgotten? Trump has made it clear that he has no intention of letting anyone forget it. And, in any case, no one has forgotten Bill's willingness to "deal away" key parts of the New Deal. That's why Berniecrats and folks like me cringe when you talk about putting him "in charge" of the economy.
Forget that idea. Let him adopt a cause as First Husband, and focus on promoting that. And, instead, put someone in charge of the economy who really understands it, and who also should be your running mate: Elizabeth Warren. She understands that a successful economy depends on everyone, and must reward everyone. She understands that trickle-down economics is really gusher-up for the investing class. She understands that wealth or the lack of it does not equate to virtue, and that government should be an umpire to enforce the rules for everyone.
Make her your vice presidential candidate, and she will become your Vice President, as well as making you President in the process. Put her in charge of measures to reign in Wall Street and pump up Main Street. And, most of all, admit that not all of your husband's ideas were good ones, and that some of them need to be replaced with better ones. Do these things, Madame Secretary, and you just might be in the Oval Office after all, with at least some of the Berniecrats rallying to your cause.
Take a look at what Michelle Goldberg of Slate has to say about both your husband and Warren. Please. And don't waste any more time. Get out the honey, and get it out now Before Bernie's bees decide to stay in the hive on Election Day.