Seth Abramson @SethAbramson Attorney. @Newsweek columnist. NYT bestselling author of a book on Trump's Iran policy, Proof of Conspiracy (Macmillan, amzn.to/2sQBWYL). Professor. Jan. 11, 2020 3 min read

So Sanders isn't doing well in the polls because he's one of the most popular politicians in America, or because a majority of Americans share his policy positions, or because he has both Democratic and independent appeal, or due to name recognition, but *Kremlin agents*. Got it.

PS/ Sanders is not my candidate. But I'll tell you now that the chances Democrats lose to Trump in 2020 are far higher than 50/50, and it's almost entirely because of fractures in the party—born of postmodern dialectics—that mean you must *destroy* the candidates you don't favor.

PS2/ All candidates should be vetted. And all supporters of a candidate will complain when their preferred candidate is vetted. I think Sanders should be vetted hard as hell. But if you think this is the way to do it—this destructive path—I'm sorry, I'm just not with you on that.

PS3/ I don't care which Democrat you support, or if you're an independent. Trump is an existential threat to America, and if your means of vetting potential opponents to him is to call them criminals or imply they're drafting off nefarious foreign actors, you're not helping here.

PS4/ I—like anyone—can see that bot activity favors Sanders and Gabbard more than most. But if you think a candidate being seen in a favorable light by certain actors is the same as that candidate actively colluding and message-meshing with a hostile foreign power, that's wrong.

PS5/ I don't oppose Gabbard because Russian bots love her, or because she won't speak on how Russian bots love her. I don't think that's her obligation. I oppose her because her views are abhorrent and I think, frankly, she's creepy. I don't see those arguments—at all—on Sanders.

PS6/ If you hate Bernie's views, or supporters, or demeanor, or status as an independent, I've no quarrel with you, as you've every right to that opinion. But if you're spinning BS conspiracy theories about *any* of the candidates in the Democratic primary, I'm not here for it.

PS7/ More Sanders supporters supported Clinton than Clinton supporters supported Obama—and Clinton lost anyway. There is no more unified resentment than mainstream Democratic voters spurned. I am terrified Sanders will be the candidate and Biden supporters will abandon the party.

PS8/ No one has to be okay with Bernie Sanders. Or Biden. Or any of the candidates. But if you're spinning conspiracy theories that will devastate turnout and keep Trump in the White House *if* Sanders—who is not my candidate—is the nominee, that's *really* dangerous territory.

PS9/ Back in 2016, during the primaries, I and some other attorneys worried the ongoing federal probe of Clinton—whether justified or not—could bite her in the ass eventually. And it did. Nate Silver says it's why she lost. I still endorsed her on the night she spoke at the DNC.

PS10/ I say vet Bernie's views *as hard as you want*. And if you've proof he knowingly colluded with the Kremlin, put it out there—but it better be amazing, because if you're angling at guilt by association because Putin aids *any* non-interventionist US politician, that's wrong.

END/ In any event, I see no evidence the Democrats learned *anything* from 2016. Sanders haters will do *exactly* (if he's the nominee) what they accused Sanders voters of doing in 2016, which is not vote or vote third party. And we Democrats will deserve what we get as a result.


You can follow @SethAbramson.



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