The leaders of both parties are underestimating Bernie Sanders

Now that the worried Clinton campaign has turned its guns on a surging Bernie Sanders, Clinton's supporters have begun to express concern that the Vermont senator will be especially vulnerable to attacks from the right (so vulnerable, in fact, that the Clinton campaign itself is using them).

What the Republicans will do, of course, is try to slime the Democratic nominee, whoever he or she is.

Barack Obama, who gave his enemies nothing to work with beyond the color of his skin, was vilified as an alien, Muslim, Socialist Pawn of Wall Street, and tyrant -- a weak one at that, but they rarely bothered to question his ethics, because no one would believe that he was personally corrupt. In Sanders' case, too, they have little to work with, now that it has become apparent that "socialism" is no longer frightening the horses, although the GOP will probably attempt to have the voters take notice of his age, as one Clinton surrogate is already trying to do, and his ethnicity.

Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, is the best Democratic opponent you could wish for, if your only hope of winning is a smear campaign.

Reading list:
Democrats can't hold the White House forever. Losing in 2016 might make more strategic sense than losing in 2020. Fine, give the GOP four years: The liberal case for either Bernie Sanders, or electing a Republican president by Walker Bragman (Salon).

What kind of experience does Bernie Sanders have? Let's take a look. Bernie Gets It Done: Sanders' Record of Pushing Through Major Reforms Will Surprise You by Zaid Jilani (AlterNet).

Want specifics?: Bernie Sanders Releases Details on Health Plan That Would Raise Taxes but, He Argues, Save on Costs by Yamiche Alcindor and Alan Rappeport (The New York Times).

The Clinton camp is lambasting Bernie Sanders' health care plan, but its critique is blatantly dishonest. Clinton's Health Care Attack Makes No Sense by Pat Garofalo (U.S.News).

Extra credit:
Rant o' the Day: How the Democratic Establishment Manipulates Us by JosephK74 (Daily Kos).

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