Counterpoint : we actually needed to lose, and we needed to lose in exactly 2016, regardless of who we nominated. Let’s say Bernie was nominated and that upped turnout enough that he squeaked out the win instead of squeaking out the loss. That would not have significantly changed the results in the Senate or House. Unless you want to claim that Bernie would have swung an extra 5% or something, the House would have remained in GOP control. But even if the House got taken, the Senate would not have, and they only needed one of them to prevent everything other than executive orders. Yes, some things can be done without control of Congress, it’s not like Trump suddenly became unable to be shitty after 2018. But a hell of a lot of things can be stopped, and that would have applied to Bernie as well.
Therefore, had he won, Bernie would have started from the same position that Obama was in from 2010 onward. He would not have been able to accomplish all that much, and things would mostly have remained status quo. But in this timeline, since Trump is not out there alienating so many people, particularly the suburbs, that means the pattern from the Obama years would just have continued on. 2018 would not have been a blue wave, it would likely have further solidified control of Congress for the GOP. They would have continued their propaganda efforts, using Bernie as the new demon instead of Obama or Clinton. 2020 hits, GOP uses the Census and redistricting in the same way they did in 2010, and further stack the deck in their favor for another decade.
Yes, Trump has been unbelievably shitty, even worse than most expected. But without him publicly being so awful, people would have remained asleep, just as they were during the Obama years. Shit, even after almost 4 years of Trump, look at how many people STILL want to support Biden so that things can “return to normal.” There are just a LOT of people out there that want nothing more than to not pay attention to politics at all. Only someone as clearly, undeniably awful like Trump was going to wake those people up. And only if they are awake do we have any chance of regaining the Senate, so that whoever gets elected in 2020 can actually DO something.
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