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June 26th, 2017

Insight

Hillary to Bernie fans: Be good now, and hush

John Kass

By John Kass

Published April 1, 2016

Hush, young Bernie Sanders supporters. Shhh.

Hillary Clinton's campaign wants you to change your tone. And when you've changed it, tone it down.

I don't mind you making noise. But Clinton's advisers don't like it, and they talk as if you're still in those pajamas with the feet. The message?

Be still. Good night. Hush. Go to sleep.

And there's Hillary herself in that comfy chair in the dark, right out of "Goodnight Moon," that family bedtime story by Margaret Wise Brown that you may remember from childhood.

You know the room, that big green room with the red balloon. The picture of the cow jumping over the moon. And the comb and the brush and the bowlful of mush.

And the old lady whispering, "hush."

So why would Hillary whisper "hush" to young people feeling the Bern?

Because she wants to be president of the United States and rule the world, and fulfill her destiny as queen of the new American political establishment.

And she doesn't need Sanders supporters ruining things.

Which is why her campaign has been working so hard to get Sanders voters to simmer down.

Sanders is the candidate with the momentum on the Democratic side. His voters believe that he believes in something. And I think he does. I disagree with his views, but he does stand for something.

And Hillary Clinton? What does she stand for? What does she believe in?

Herself. Power. That's about it.

She's like Frank Underwood in pantsuits.

She'll play the gender card, she'll pander to race, she'll force you to parse her sentences. These are tactics, not core principles.

But she is the candidate with establishment support, with her Wall Street friends and those neoconservative war hawks leaving the Republicans and rushing up to her for great big hugs.

And though Sanders wants to debate her in New York, the Clinton campaign has explained the rules of silence.

"Sen. Sanders doesn't get to decide when we debate, particularly when he's running a very negative campaign against us," complained chief strategist Joel Benenson on CNN. "Let's see if he goes back to the kind of tone he said he was going to set early on. If he does that, then we'll talk about debates."

She's apparently agreed to a debate. We'll see. But whether there's another debate or not, you can learn about a candidate from the demands of her campaign.

And if she's this way now when she needs votes, what will she be like when she's queen of the world? Will you be as quiet as a bowlful of mush?

For weeks now, liberal pundits and Democratic senators have been telling Sanders voters to hush, to give up Bernie, just close your eyes, roll over and join Team Hillary.

They whisper in the voice of reason in the dark -- the way all establishment whispers begin -- saying that for the sake of party unity, just dump Bernie. Then you may curl up in Hillary's lap for a bedtime story.

It's exactly the same tone that Republican establishment leaders and their mouthpieces offered to GOP conservatives years ago. It's all about how unity is strength, and only when we're unified can we hope to defeat those terrible enemies just waiting to take away our precious things.

What you may come to realize is that establishment Democrats and establishment Republicans are quite similar. They're the two horns on the head of the same goat. But don't think about this now. You'll never get to sleep.

There is something that may make you shut your eyes. It's that monster hiding under your bed: Donald Trump.

Trump is the bogeyman now. And if you insist on staying awake, Hillary would like you to focus on The Donald.

Trump says crazy things, so crazy lately that I wonder if he really wants to be president, or if the pressure has finally gotten to him. He allows stupidity to whoosh past his lips almost daily now. Perhaps he just wants out of the campaign.

Trump's latest crazy thing was saying that if abortions are banned, women who have abortions will be punished. And that drove everyone else insane -- Bernie, Hillary, conservative Ted Cruz, journalists, opinionators, everyone.

Trump later backed off on his statement. And, of course, it won't happen. Abortion is not going to be outlawed. America has become used to it now. It's not changing.

So worrying about an impending abortion ban and Trump's punishment is as realistic as worrying about Raul Castro sending his armies to occupy Wall Street.

But a bipartisan public freakout over a crazy man saying crazy things is sometimes entertaining, and Trump's nonsense helps us forget the monster hiding under Clinton's own bed:

The FBI.

Her top aides from her time as secretary of state may soon be questioned by FBI agents investigating how top secret and other classified documents came to be kept on her private server. And after they're questioned, it will be her turn.

There's no assurance that her private server wasn't hacked by foreign intelligence. At issue was whether she was merely negligent or willful, and either puts her in real legal and political jeopardy.

And so what she needs is for Democrats to have nightmares about Trump, the better to ignore whether their leading candidate may very well be implicated in a criminal probe. And with so much stress on her, we might as well put Hillary back on the comfy chair in the quiet room:

"Goodnight comb and goodnight brush. Goodnight nobody. Goodnight mush.

"And goodnight to the old lady whispering, 'hush.'"

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John Kass is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune who also hosts a radio show on WLS-AM.

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