Politics & Policy

Republicans Should Help Bernie Sanders to Weaken Hillary

Sanders campaigns in Iowa in June. (Scott Olson/Getty)
Republicans should support the Vermont socialist’s campaign to force Hillary left.

Support Bernie Sanders!

This is a call to action for every Republican anxious to win back the White House in 2016.

Bernie Sanders, the socialist U.S. senator from Vermont, is now surging in his quest to win the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. He is attracting media attention and large crowds, and is invigorated by a New Hampshire–primary poll showing him only 10 points behind frontrunner Hillary Clinton.

After a GOP power player sent me a piece from left-leaning Salon headlined “Hillary Clinton is going to lose: She doesn’t even see the frustrated progressive wave that will nominate Bernie Sanders,” my heart went pitter-patter, beginning to sense an opportunity.

But it was not until I saw a headline in The Hill warning that the “Sanders surge is becoming a bigger problem for Clinton,” accompanied by “It may be time for Hillary Clinton to take the challenge from Sen. Bernie Sanders more seriously,” that I was truly motivated to join Team Bernie and rally my fellow Republicans to do the same.

So I sent Bernie a donation and visited his campaign store, where my favorite bumper sticker was Vote for Bernie . . . you know you wanna!

Now, I don’t really wanna, and neither do you. However, supporting Bernie in the early stages of his campaign is a noble cause that makes a great deal of political sense and emboldens me to announce Operation Chaos 2016.

Perhaps you remember Operation Chaos from 2008? If not, here is a quick refresher.

In the 2008 presidential primaries, New York senator Hillary Clinton was locked in fierce battle with Illinois senator Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Those circumstances led Rush Limbaugh to wage a campaign encouraging millions of his listeners to “bloody up Obama politically” and prolong the Democratic fight.

Limbaugh’s efforts prompted a May 8, 2008, Washington Post headline: “Did Rush Limbaugh Tilt Result in Indiana?” Clinton had just narrowly won the Indiana primary, and Limbaugh’s “Operation Chaos” intervention was also deemed successful in several other states where registered voters were able to “cross over” and cast their votes in either party’s primary.

Limbaugh’s rationale was that if Clinton were to win the Democrats’ 2008 presidential nomination, she would be a weaker general-election candidate than Obama — so from February to May, Limbaugh hopped on Clinton’s bandwagon.

Later in the May 8 piece, the Washington Post reported: “But Limbaugh called off the operation yesterday, saying he wants Obama to be the party’s pick, because ‘I now believe he would be the weakest of the Democrat nominees.’”

Obviously, Limbaugh’s “strategery” (a favorite word of his) did not turn out as planned, but his interventionist reasoning should be revived and adapted for the early stages of the 2016 campaign.

For instance, Republicans have a pre-primary opportunity to strengthen Bernie Sanders’s financial position so that he will have ample resources to dog Clinton and turn her into a raging leftist during the primary season.

Republicans can strengthen Sanders’s financial position so that he will have ample resources to dog Clinton and turn her into a raging leftist during the primary season.

The GOP also needs Sanders to force Clinton into making more outrageous sound bites like this gem from the campaign trail in Boston on October 24, 2014, when she stated: “Don’t let anybody tell you it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs.” (Hillary, who at the time feared that populist Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren might enter the presidential race, was parroting a familiar Warren theme.)

Like Warren, Sanders (the only avowed socialist in the Senate) is an authentic populist, so watch as Hillary tries to emulate him. Clinton’s problem, according to another anti-Hillary Salon piece, is that she “wants to embrace populism and Wall Street at the same time.”

Nothing illustrates Clinton, Inc.’s personal embrace of Wall Street more than the presence of her loving family during her “people’s” presidential announcement on June 13. Of course, standing behind Hillary was her “loyal” husband, the former president, with his well-documented longstanding ties to corporate greed and corruption through their family foundation. Next to him was their low-profile son-in-law, Marc Mezvinsky, who just happens to be the founder and hedge-fund manager of Eaglevale Partners, LP. (Please note for Clinton’s “populist” family record that Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO of Goldman Sachs, is also an Eaglevale investor.)

Only Hillary could stand up and fight for the “little guy,” railing against Wall Street greed, while her own family, standing within earshot, are poster children for the “1 percent.”

That is just one of many reasons why all Republicans should band together and launch Operation Chaos 2016. It would have the same goal as its predecessor — prolonging the Democratic primary fight — only this time by strengthening and sustaining Sanders as he fights to weaken and debunk Clinton. Ironically, this is the polar opposite of 2008’s objective, which was to strengthen Clinton and “bloody up Obama politically.”

If you find Operation Chaos appealing, then your first step is to send ten dollars to Bernie. Just imagine: If even half of Mitt Romney’s 61 million voters from the 2012 election contributed that amount, then Sanders would have $305 million. My ten-dollar contribution bought me the satisfaction of knowing that only Sanders (and certainly not the media) can force Clinton into addressing her own hypocrisy. Only Sanders can be Clinton’s “real” primary opponent, because (unlike most other Democrats) he does not fear the Clinton Machine. Only Sanders can force Hillary into making egregious sound bites while she tries to match his natural appeal to the Democratic party’s ultraliberal base.

A Republican’s investment in Operation Chaos should eventually be repaid in full. This will happen when the GOP nominee successfully faces off against a much-weakened Hillary Clinton in a general election — using sound bites generated during her hard-fought primary against Bernie Sanders. Yes we can support Bernie! You know you wanna!

Myra Adams — Myra Adams is a media producer and writer who served on the McCain Ad Council during the 2008 McCain campaign and on the 2004 Bush campaign creative team. Her writing ...

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