Watched the debate last night. It bugs me that the DNC has limited the number of debates among the Democratic contenders and scheduled them for network time like the Saturday evening before Christmas. It seems like an obvious attempt by the Clinton folks to keep Bernie Sanders from scoring points against Hillary.
I like Bernie and what he mainly stands for, i.e. making the super rich pay more of their share to create benefits for the rest of us that have been lost over the last several decades of rightwing Republican influence on policy and framing the debate. I intend to vote for him in my primary in Jersey, but I recognize that he has limited appeal and that he too is human and therefor imperfect and has taken positions and actions that I disagree with (e.g. his anti-gun-regulation history etc.).
I don't see him defeating Hilary for the nomination for various reasons, including her campaign tactics, which may include influencing the DNC to have a debate on a Saturday evening before the holidays, etc. But, and this will bug a lot of my friends who support Bernie, it was evident last night, to me at least, that Hilary is still the smartest and most experienced person of any of the candidates of any party and would be the best choice after Bernie and maybe, in terms of actually accomplishing any of the things I (and Bernie) care about, a more practical choice.
My worry is that too many of those I know who support Bernie are sharing and spreading negative memes and attacks on Hilary that make her out to be evil incarnate in ways that can only help the Republican nominee. The best way to understand how wrong that tactic is, is to imagine what would best serve the Republican right and then look at the negative attacks on Hilary (which, by the way, Bernie isn't doing, just his supporters) and you can see that the attacks could easily have been created by rightwing Republican operatives.
Just as I and others learned from a lifetime of protesting for Civil Rights or against the war (pick one other than WWII) those who wanted (and still want) to stop the success of any activism on the left, or even just liberal, side often use agent provocateurs, i.e. undercover cops or operatives who foment illegal actions that will ultimately discredit, plus possibly jail for quite a while, those protesting. If I was a rightwing Republican operative and wanted to stop Hilary's chances, I would attack her as a controlled-by-the-banks, trigger-happy, angry and power-hungry woman.
Some Bernie supporters among my friends will say, well she is all that. But even if there's some truth to some of those accusations (as she pointed out last night hedge fund billionaires have been running ads against her in the Northeast so obviously some "bankers" don't want her nominated) there are other counterbalancing truths, which include Hilary's being an activist for many liberal and leftist causes for many decades, in and out of various official offices, especially for women's rights and the rights and welfare of children. But decades of experience has also taught her how to use her brain power to accomplish the possible, rather than constantly fighting losing battles for lost causes (i.e. her first attempt at reforming healthcare etc.).
She is way imperfect, as we all are, but the ideals her words and actions have often expressed are way closer to mine than any Republican candidate's, and to see her win the Democratic nomination and then lose to any Republican because those who should know better supported the negative impressions created by rightwing Republican framing of her life and experience and actions which contributes to the media then framing her image that way (remember Gore being portrayed as wooden and unfeeling and ridiculous for claiming a part in establishing the Internet—yes he was and is a bit wooden and can come across as emotionless at times and also yes he is one of those responsible for the Internet as we know it—?) are paving the way for another Bush/Cheney disaster we absolutely cannot afford.