Bernie Sanders is not a Democrat. It all comes down to that. Everything he does makes perfect sense, once you’ve considered that he isn’t on our side.
A great deal of the blame for what happened in 2016 can be attributed to that fact. The primary started out well enough. Both sides were respectful and willing to dialogue. Both agreed that they had more in common than not, and that the entire thing basically amounted to a quarrel between brothers. We had a passionate, issues-focused, ideologically driven primary. It exemplified all that is right with the American political system. Everything was going fine.
Then Bernie started losing.
April was the turning month. On the seventh, he reviled Hillary Clinton in a speech in Philadelphia, calling her “unqualified” to be President, a blatantly sexist and stupid thing to say. It drew him a monstrous backlash from across the country, and from that day forward things began to change.
Bernie himself walked back from the comments. And many of his supporters refused to sign on with them. But many others, most notably the members of Bernie or Bust, followed their leader out too far and burned their bridges. That caused a schism in the Democratic Party, and things were not to improve.
As the weeks went by, things got worse for Bernie nearly every Tuesday. The delegate count and the popular vote were against him after Super Tuesday, and it just kept getting worse. By the time May rolled around, it was all but mathematically impossible for the Sanders campaign to prevail. It had been a good fight, but barring an unforeseen tragedy he was lost.
The best thing for the party, and for the country, would have been for Bernie to concede the race by June. Had he spent his time as vigorously campaigning for Hillary Clinton as he had for himself, things may well have worked out differently. As it went, by the time he finally gave his endorsement, far too much had happened.
The story of sensitive e-mails suggesting that Debbie-Wassermann- Schultz and Bernie did not like each other turning into an anti- Sanders conspiracy in the minds of his devotees has by now become legendary. They rioted in the streets while Paul Simon was playing “Bridge Over Troubled Waters”.
Their attitude was a giant wet blanket on the enthusiasm of the general election, which was almost anticlimactic after the primary. There was nothing unexpected. Clinton and Trump were polar opposites; everybody knew what they were getting. But many in the Sanders camp persisted in drawing false equivalencies.
On Election Day, the former supporters of Bernie Sanders went around saying, “Hold your nose to the polls!”.
The day after the election, Bernie was trending on Facebook. Everyone was talking about whether Bernie could have won. Anyone who watched last night’s debate with Ted Cruz should be wondering no longer. It was a slaughter. Trump would have taken Bernie to the cleaners.
Since then, the gap between the Democratic Party and the rogue Sanders element has widened continuously. The 2017 Democratic National Committee chairmanship election between Labor Secretary Tom Perez and Representative Keith Ellison of Minnesota was the first contested DNC chair election since 1985. It gave us a solid look at the discord brewing in the party.
For more than a year, real Democrats have been asking our leaders to deal with this matter, in no uncertain terms. It’s dangerous to be in a trench with people who are trying to kill you. The time has come to settle the issue.
This is why the DNC has offered a formal invitation to Bernie Sanders to join the Democratic Party. It’s time we all knew which side we were on. If you are one of us, then say so, and we’ll start burying the hatchet. If you are not, then form your own party. One way or the other, this internecine war has got to end. It does nothing but rip us all up.
The DNC has also announced its picks for the DNC’s at-large positions ahead of this week’s fall meeting in Las Vegas. The party’s new slate of at-large delegates is reflective of reality. The radical left elements in our party have seen themselves ousted, and replaced with personnel who are both competent and loyal. Millennial Democrats is happy to welcome back Donna Brazile.
The beneficiaries of all this infighting have been the Republicans and Donald Trump. The man is insane and also a billionaire. We have got our hands as full as we can handle. We can fight a war on two fronts, if we have to, but we cannot fight one from within. Join us or don’t, Senator Sanders. We’ve all got work to do.