Hillary and Bernie supporter smackdown

I usually hate it when pundits try to play peacemaker, lamenting divisiveness and partisanship when there may be very good reasons for such behaviors to exist. But when it comes to the Democratic primaries, which I’m observing with no particular sense of attachment, I think things have taken an unnecessarily ugly turn lately. Yes, supporters and surrogates of both candidates have said stupid things. Hillary would do herself a favor by avoiding going negative on Bernie and his supporters, which only backfires (as some of her more prominent defenders demonstrated spectacularly over the weekend). I question some aspects of Hillary’s record, but she doesn’t deserve the outright demonization coming from some quarters of the left.

Let’s not lose sight of the big picture. Ted Cruz is my senator, okay? We’re bickering over two pretty acceptable candidates while the political equivalent of the bubonic plague is threatening to descend on the United States.


  • Caleb Thom

    I’m just bummed that RuPaul dropped out of the race.

    Wait, that was Rand Paul? Who would vote for Rand Paul?

  • Benjamin Schwab

    In 2000, after two terms of triangulation, that brought us NAFTA, welfare reform, and a war against Iraq that killed half a million children, some people voted for Ralph Nader precisely because of the alienation of Democratic Party policy towards liberals. Despite the fact that the “centrist” democrat contempt for liberals was the cause of the defeat, Ralph Nader voters are still blamed for George Bush’s presidency and its neo-conservative policies.

    In the wake of the 2000 election, instead of adjusting to accommodate liberals, Democrats, moved to the right and focused on ostracizing liberals in an effort to win elections. This included domestic policy as seen by the yes vote of 12 of the 43 Senate Democrats (30%) and 28 of 181 House Democrats (15%) who voted on Bush’s Tax Cuts (though Senator Clinton, to her credit, voted no though she did vote for the Iraq War and the Patriot Act amongst other conservative votes). The Iraq war was made possible by a majority of Senate Democrats and a large minority of House Democrats. I could cite more examples but suffice it to say, the Democrats in the 2000s were much more pliable to President Bush’s agenda then the Republicans are to President Obama’s these past 7 years.

    Despite this contempt, Democrats continually convince liberals to support them. Because of this, the competitive pressure is on Democrats to move to the right. Over time the Democratic Party continues to move to the right. There is plenty of hyperbole to go around; I have faced some myself and I’m sure I use some of my own. I try to avoid its use but it seems that our minds are geared towards it in this context.

    The point remains that the rightward shift of US politics should be stopped and that won’t be done until liberals change their behavior. If your goal is to never have a Republican elected to the US Presidency then you are certain to fail (more certain than the unlikelihood having a truly liberal President elected) and I would cast suspicions on your commitment to multi-party democracy. While I do think that Ted Cruz or Donald Trump would be scarier than any Republican Presidential candidate since Regan, every single election is “the most important election in recent history,” and the opposition candidate is super scary who must be stopped at all costs otherwise there will be a disaster that America can never recover from.

    Either these claims are hyperbolic and should be ignored or American politics are headed somewhere far scarier than I have imagined. In either case, a change in strategy needs to occur. It’s one thing to complain about war, and regressive taxation, and excessive policing, and other issues but when one votes for candidates who, while in office, support such measures, one is, in a sense, supporting them. I am not saying that Hillary Clinton is equivalent to George Bush, I am saying that if liberals never withhold a vote from candidates for House, the Senate, or the Presidency, with a ”D” next to their name then they are assisting in the rightward shift of national politics.

    I understand there is a tension here. I believe I have talked about this before. It seems, for liberals, there is a Lincoln’s choice (referring to the decision that Presidents Lincoln and Buchanan had to make in either to allow the Confederate States to succeed or not: either choice had literally dire consequences): do I vote for the candidate who is less conservative and thus achieve better policy alignment in the short term or do I withhold my vote for a liberal candidate and thus achieve better policy alignment in the long term? In either case, one is sacrificing people’s lives.

    It’s a difficult choice to have to make and I sympathize with people who disagree with what I’m advocating and don’t seek to demonize you but I do know that if liberals as a whole always make the choice for what is better in the short term, liberalism in the long term, is completely lost. What I despair over is that it appears that in the 7 national elections since 2000, liberals have consistently chosen the short term. Where the center is maters much more then whether someone is just to the right of this center or just to the left of this center.

    Much more than a prospective Cruz administration scares me, I am scared by the fact that the prospect of a Clinton administration, that will likely be the most conservative Democratic administration since the Cleveland administration, is considered “pretty acceptable.” What does make me hopeful is that for the first time in my memory (the first election I have any meaningful memory of is the 1996 election), there is a significant liberal challenge in the Democratic Party Presidential primary.

  • Rubicon

    Liberals should stop being so afraid of being called liberals. If for no other reason than they’ll be called commies no matter what. Hillary is basically Dubya in drag but is still considered a spiritual sibling of Stalin by the right.

    • Stevie Ray Vaughn


  • Stevie Ray Vaughn

    As long as Dems close ranks and vote Dem, this cartoon is moot.

Jen Sorensen is a nationally-published political cartoonist. She is a 2017 Pulitzer Finalist and recipient of the 2014 Herblock Prize and a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.