It won't do.
It is simply not the case that "nobody likes" Sen. Bernie Sanders. It isn't true that he hasn't accomplished anything. He ignited the progressive movement within the Democratic Party, and for 2020, Democrats will need every person who likes him.
In 2016, 13 million Democrats liked Sanders better than Hillary Clinton; she had trouble beating the aging Jewish socialist from New York. He is not my choice for president. But it doesn't matter. If Bernie should win the nomination, I'm still not going to vote for President Donald Trump.
Clinton, on the other hand, refused to say just that, holding open the possibility that she will vote for the man who beat her and whose supporters she deemed "deplorables."
Four years ago, Clinton dismissed Sanders' army of young supporters as well, suggesting that they were supporting him instead of her they are "children of the Great Recession" who "are living in their parents' basement." Really? Talk about reinforcing the most sexist stereotypes out there. Sanders may not like Clinton, but he appeared at 39 rallies for her.
The question is not whether anyone likes Sanders. People do.
The question is whether anyone likes Clinton anymore.
Why does this woman make it so easy to not like her? Why can't she ever take responsibility for anything? She might have won if she had. Blame former FBI Director James Comey all you want, but the truth is Clinton handled the private server as she usually handles things: She found someone to blame; wiped the server clean before admitting to a mistake; and attacked those who were criticizing her, rather than looking in the mirror. James Comey wasn't running for president. She was.
And Trump? Let's be clear. Impeachment notwithstanding, Trump will be harder to beat this year, with a strong economy and presidential power, than he was in 2016.
So why go after one of the leading Democrats in the race? Was she cheering when Sen. Elizabeth Warren shot herself in the foot by refusing to be gracious and shake Sanders' hand? As I watched it, I cringed.
It was a Hillary-like moment.
Except Hillary never makes a mistake, at least if you ask her. Asked by the Hollywood Reporter this week about whether she stands by her comments, she, of course, said yes.
Ask anyone else on the planet and they will tell you that she is her own worst enemy, a very smart woman and a committed public servant who, unfortunately, lacks the instincts, the political skills and the engaging personality of former President Bill Clinton.
Her attack on Sanders may cost her a prime-time speech at the Democratic National Convention. Did she not understand that?
I understand why she is angry. Who wouldn't be if they had lost to Trump? But anger isn't very pretty unless it's directed at terrorists. Petulance will never win friends. Clinton didn't just hurt herself this week. She also put people like me, who have long supported her, in an impossible position.
The Democratic contenders have agreed to a kind of nonaggression pact (with the exception of Warren's attack on Sanders) that keeps the focus on Trump. Almost everyone understands that Democrats need to be united to beat Trump. If anyone should understand that, it's Clinton. Attacking Sanders is not the answer, and she has made it impossible to defend her. I stood up for Clinton for decades. I published a book way back in 2006 titled "The Case for Hillary Clinton." Sadly, I can't make that case anymore.
To find out more about Susan Estrich and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
Photo credit: Steve Jurvetson