Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Clinton lost. The end.

Do you know who Bernie Sanders is? Probably, especially if you avidly followed US politics during the "primaries" to choose presidential candidates for the Democratic and Republican parties. Mr Sanders, together with Patrick Leahy, is a senator representing Vermont state. Before that, he served in the US House of Representatives and before that he was the mayor of the city of Burlington. 

Mr Sanders was, until he decided to challenge Hillary Clinton for the nomination of the Democratic Party, an independent, that is, he wasn't a registered member of the two main political parties of the US or any of the other half-dozen obscure political parties, such as the Green Party, on whose platform Dr Jill Stein campaigned for the presidency of the United States. Mr Sanders is credited with having cost Mrs Clinton the presidency by refusing to concede even after it became "mathematically impossible" for him to secure the Democratic Party's nomination. He is also accused of being a sore loser and of inspiring Bernie Bros to stay at home during the general election, thereby depressing the Democratic Party vote and gifting the odious Donald Trump victory over Mrs Clinton.

Mr Sanders' actions in 2015 and 2016 have left a bitter aftertaste in the mouths of Mrs Clinton's supporters, even here in Kenya, and they can't help but relitigate the US presidential election. I am not a fan of the forget-and-move-on chorus, but looking at how Mrs Clinton has comported herself since the election, perhaps her ardent fans need to take a leaf out of one of her books. Mr Sanders, true to type, goes back to being the politician he always has been: the excoriator of Wall Street and the usually ineffective voice of the residents of Main Street.

Mr Sanders has his niche; it is not presidential politics but financial regulation. Mrs Clinton had her niche: she was always running for president and had done so ever since she discovered political power as one-half of the Arkansas state house. She wasn't very good at running for president, though; she made too many unseemly compromises, shook hands with too many unseemly Wall Street types and was willing to overlook some of the worst habits of her lecherous husband in order to remain near the levers of power and use them to her own political ends. She was a flawed candidate who couldn't hack it against an even worse winner.

Mr Sanders will not seek the US presidency again; he'll be 79 when Mr Trump's first term ends. Mrs Clinton will not be seeking the US presidency again. She lost the nomination in 2008 to Mr Obama. She lost the race to Mr Trump eight years later. She's done. Mr Sanders, meanwhile, like Mr Leahy, Vermont's "senior" senator, can camp out in the US Senate until some young up-and-comer shoves him out.

Kenya's ardent Clintonistas need a new obsession. Given that #TukoPamoja, #NASA, #LipaKamaTender and any number of hashtags have animated them over the past three months, they need to get over their heartache at Mrs Clinton's loss, their rage at Mr Sanders' betrayal and their grief that Mrs Clinton has no political heirs now that Mrs Obama has no intention of dipping her toe in that particular cesspool. Mrs Clinton lost. The end. Deal with it!

No comments: