Burn it down, Bernie!
“Liberal allies turning on Bernie Sanders after Nevada donnybrook,” ran a Washington Post headline. After a public snubbing of Bernie supporters during the Nevada State Democratic Convention, the senator’s groupies are learning a hard lesson: The Democratic leadership hates their guts.
The animus was on full display last week when, according to NPR, “Sanders supporters allege they were denied being seated at the convention and that the state party chairwoman, Roberta Lange, was slanting the rules in favor of Clinton.” This led to a violent uprising, as Hillary was awarded five more delegates than the Vermont socialist, even though she narrowly won the state.
The Bernie Bros. weren’t having it and reportedly created a ruckus after being slighted by party leadership. When Hillary proxy Senator Barbara Boxer got on stage to woo the crowd, the Bernie Brigade let loose a torrent of boos and jeers.
A few thrown chairs and death threats later, the Nevada Democratic Party filed a formal complaint, accusing Sanders of initiating violence. DNC Chairbitch Debbie Wasserman Schultz called the senator’s response to the mayhem “anything but acceptable.”
To his credit, Sanders didn’t take the charges lying down. “At that convention, the Democratic leadership used its power to prevent a fair and transparent process from taking place,” he shot back. Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver accused Wasserman Schultz of “throwing shade on the Sanders campaign since the very beginning.” Bernie even endorsed Wasserman Schultz’s primary challenger – sparking headlines about the senator going rogue and threatening the ability of the Democrats to unify behind Queen Hillary.
Now, former friends of the senator are turning their back on comrade Sanders and begging him to support the all-but-certain nominee Hillary. John Marshall, Kevin Drum, Dana Houle, Jamelle Bouie, Joan Walsh – all are demanding that Bernie bend down and kiss the Clinton ring. In doing so, they reveal their nakedly partisan allegiance to the Jackass Party.
Sanders has a choice to make: Will he, as the Post’s Greg Sargent asks, “burn it all down?” At this point, the senator is mathematically eliminated from getting the Democrats’ presidential nod. He has to decide if he’ll urge his fiery supporters to support the woman he once called “unqualified” to be commander-in-chief, or if he’ll lead a revolt to deny Clinton the White House.
From the beginning, the odds have been stacked against the Bernster. Superdelegates – the Democrat Party’s loyalists who lock in the nominee prior to any actual voting – made it nigh impossible for anyone but Hillary to succeed.
That didn’t much matter to Sanders, though. His campaign wasn’t about winning; it was about spreading 20th century socialist ideals that have proven ineffective and grotesque. Somehow they caught on among impressionable young Americans, once again demonstrating the vacuity of Reagan shibboleths.
Like Donald Trump, the Sanders campaign wasn’t taken seriously at first. But somewhere along the line, between the promise of free college and veiled pledges to euthanize the rentier class, he started filling stadiums. His prole-inspired messaging became a movement filled with indignant, indebted youth. The enthusiasm undergirding his campaign led to a few primary victories, but not enough to wrestle the nomination from the Chosen One.
So what’s a democratic socialist to do when his followers feel cheated?
If Bernie plays nice, he’s stuck with an army and no fight. If he dares challenge Clinton and the Democrat Establishment, he’ll be shut up and shut out faster than the Party’s history with eugenics.
I had high hopes for Bernie. I thought his Peter Seeger-like communitarianism would be a stronger counterpunch to Hillary’s neoliberalism. Just as Trump forced the GOP to reconsider its stance on open immigration, I thought Sanders could challenge the globalist orthodoxy in the Democratic Party. I was mistaken. Nevertheless, it was nice watching septuagenarian northerner get under Hillary’s scaly skin.
As we inch closer to the Democratic National Convention, I expect Bernie to start pulling his punches. The truth is that despite his tough talk, the Vermont senator is a pushover. He riles up crowds with his Marxist bromides, but lacks the balls to actually follow through on toppling the Democrat elites. He’s a useful idiot for Goldman Sachs execs who want young folks to believe their voice matters while they fill Hillary’s purse with campaign contributions.
The DNC is already looking to give Bernie’s campaign more pull in the upcoming national convention. Party poobahs want to ensure there aren’t any ‘68-style riots in Philadelphia. The offer to give Sanders a chance to shape the party platform is a nice gesture, but it won’t bring about the real change Sanderistas want. Should Sanders demand that, say, candidates cease taking Wall Street donations, you can bet he’ll quieted faster than Juanita Broaddrick.
All in a day’s work for the Clinton Industrial Complex.