Sanders sinks again: The populist Democrat departs the race just when his message was most relevant

By George Galloway
Apr. 8, 2020

Senator Bernie Sanders, the left-populist candidate for the nomination to fight President Trump in November, has suspended his campaign and instead will seek to influence the party’s program at the forthcoming convention.

Like the Grand Old Duke of York, though with far more than 10,000 men, he has marched his army of young and blue-collar activists – which once looked likely to sweep him to power – up to the top of the hill only to march them down again. Twice.

When cheated by the DNC and the oligarch-soaked party establishment in 2016, he threw his weight behind the now discredited Mrs. Clinton. Not that she felt any gratitude; having nursed her wrath towards him for four long years, she did everything she could to stop him winning this time around.

Now, even worse, he has pledged his troth to a candidate even more unelectable than Hillary Clinton: sleepy, creepy Joe Biden.

Biden was the DNC pick from the beginning, but the caucus and primary season began not just with three smashing Sanders victories but with Joe Biden bringing up the rear – beaten not just by the front-runner Bernie but Tom, Dick, and Harry from the boondocks too.

Then something inexplicable happened. It may take another set of leaks from the DNC to prove this but Biden who looked out of the race was suddenly back in the saddle, with candidates who had beaten him soundly started pulling out and endorsing him. Only the spoiler-supreme Elizabeth Warren, still posing as a leftist, stayed in to split the Bernie bounce.

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Whatever happened – whether rigging manipulation, voter-suppression or what passes for divine intervention in the Democratic Party, the guiding hand of Barack Obama – Biden suddenly went from zero to hero, from loser to winner. Even more oddly the more it became obvious that – to put it kindly – Biden’s cognitive decline was accelerating, the bigger he won.

Despite the fact he now faces allegations of rape from a former staffer, he’s just won the biggest prize of all: the endorsement of Senator Sanders.

The Democrats seem to feel that if the so-called mainstream media in America simply ignores the fact that Biden can literally no longer string a half-coherent sentence together, often forgets the names of his closest colleagues, confuses his wife with his sister, doesn’t know which state he’s in or which office he is running for, they can afford to risk him up against the bear-like prizefighter Donald Trump.

Even more strikingly, given that every liberal journalist in America and every Democrat grandee is a zealot for the #MeToo movement, the rape allegations are simply being treated as if they had never been made. No journalist will raise this with Biden, any more than his serial lying over everything – from his civil rights role or being arrested by apartheid cops on his way to try and see Mandela (possibly plagiarised from me, to whom this actually happened) to his academic and political record. Recall that plagiarizing a speech by British politician Neil Kinnock forced Biden out of the presidential race in the 1980s.

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But this reckons without two things. Firstly social media. Many millions of Americans already know about the rape allegations. The semi-unhinged meanderings of sleepy Joe Biden are already legend, particularly amongst young voters who have been Sanders’s main support base.

Secondly, the aforementioned Big Ugly Bear, Donald Trump. When it comes to the presidential debates, which it will not be possible to avoid or rig as Biden did in relation to Bernie, Trump will likely play with Biden as the cat plays with the mouse.

Trump’s rich and ruthless backers can afford and will deploy a public relations onslaught on Biden that will make the Swift-boating of John Kerry look like a paddle-boat trip on the pond in the park. They will tear Joe Biden alive, limb from limb. It will not be a pretty sight.

Many think that Bernie Sanders lost his chance to run as a credible third-party candidate in 2016, against Trump and Clinton. I don’t agree. Trump was a lesser-known quantity then and was in any case not expected to win. For all her venial sins, Clinton was a political professional not easy to overtake. And the economy was in a very different place to where it is now.

Ironically the “socialist” Sanders has pulled out of the race when capitalism in America has never been in worse shape since the 1930s.Ten million people in America have become unemployed, just this week. By the end of the month, there may be a higher percentage of unemployed people in America than there was in the Great Depression. According to a study, 40 percent of Americans cannot handle a $400 emergency. And up to 50 million Americans have no health insurance, a number which will rise in tandem with the unemployment rate.

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The health catastrophe sweeping the USA has suddenly demonstrated that the Empire has no clothes. It stands naked and exposed. Never were there more fertile conditions for a a left-populist like Huey Long to run for office.

To paraphrase the great American country and western star Kenny Rogers, who sadly died recently: “You picked a fine time to leave me, Bernie Sanders…”

* George Galloway was a member of the British Parliament for nearly 30 years. He presents TV and radio shows (including on RT). He is a film-maker, writer and a renowned orator. Follow him on Twitter @georgegalloway