The notion that anyone would think he has no baggage just shows that he’s benefitted somewhat from the media not taking him seriously.
Bernie’s electoral baggage is his association 35+ years ago with parties far to the left of the Democratic Socialists of America, and ideas that today seem radical like reducing the military budget by 50 % or eliminating the CIA completely. There are a thousand good reasons not to actually hold any of this against Bernie (he was in many cases right, guilt-by-association is bullshit, his views have moderated since then, etc), but the Republicans are going to spend $500 million exploiting even the most tenuous connections or long-abandoned views from the worst possible angle. And when those connections include things Bernie really said at the time, or the official platforms of parties he participated in, the media’s going to end up chattering about them nonstop no matter how unfair and dishonest the attack ads are.
The fuel in Bernie’s past make the Rev. Wright / Bill Ayers smears Republicans used against Obama look like child’s play, even though the attacks will be just as stupid and unreasonable as those were. There’s just so much more for them to work with. And this stuff has never really been highlighted because Bernie has never faced an opponent that stood to gain from it and was willing to stoop that low. Hillary correctly figured she could beat him by other means (fair or unfair) without pissing off his base by delving into this stuff (and losing even more of them in November). Trump will have no such restraint.
I’ll probably get downvoted to hell, but I’m right and this is important. It sucks, but it’s reality. It does no good to pretend this information doesn’t exist, or to pretend that the Republicans won’t use it, or to pretend that it won’t be effective on the kinds of people who are stupid enough to even consider voting for Trump in the first place. If you want to disagree, then explain rationally how this material does NOT pose a serious risk of Trump getting re-elected. Because I just don’t see it. Nominating Bernie feels like walking into a trap.
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