Listening to Hillary supporters, you’d get the sense that every hour that Bernie Sanders decides to stay in the Democratic Primary race, he risks destroying the Democratic Party, the United States of America, and very probably a few thousand orphanages and homeless shelters, as well as causing the known and unknown universes to collapse in on themselves. While to many this sounds like irrational hand-wringing over a political process not wrapping-up fast enough to suit partisan timetables, I didn’t want to dismiss this allegations out of hand. So I had our Modern Liberals crack team of researchers compile a head-to-toe, complete inventory of the things that Bernie is risking by staying in the race, and brace yourself for this list, because it’s going to blow you the shit away!
All the Things Bernie Sanders is Jeopardizing by Staying in the Race
- Hillary Clinton running unopposed for the Democratic nomination.
No, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you. It’s a one item list. Why? Because literally the only thing Sanders is putting at risk is a cakewalk to the nomination for Hillary Clinton, which is exactly the danger he’s posed from the outset. And that is precisely why Team Hillary is so desperate to move him out of the way. All this talk of him risking a permanent split in the Democratic Party, or even costing the Democrats the election is pure and utter bullshit. It’s Team Hillary spin.
For starters, check the polls. Sanders is surging nationally. Yes, he lost the overall vote count in New York thanks to Hillary’s ground game taking the very important, and highly-populated, urban centers, but it’s not like Sanders didn’t have a pretty impressive showing in New York himself. And nationally, he and Hillary are just about neck-and-neck.
CNN has him down two points. Fivethirtyeight just did a huge deep-dive on the numbers and concluded that in all likelihood more Democrats are “feeling the Bern,” as the article’s title suggested. So we can dispense withe canard that since Sanders isn’t a “real” Democrat actual Democrats wouldn’t vote for him. If anything, this confirms my own suspicions that quite a few Dems yearn for a return to embracing the New Deal, a political paradigm so important that Republican President Dwight Eisenhower pretty much said that anyone who didn’t support it was unfit for the presidency.
I’ve seen it argued that all this contention among left-leaning Americans in the Democratic Party will wind-up causing a permanent rift. People are absolutely apoplectic about the idea of a fissure in the party the likes of which could be compared to the all-out civil war currently roiling the GOP. That seems a big like hyperbole to me, because perhaps eight years have dulled our memories of it, but the 2008 campaign was nasty and neither Hillary nor Obama pulled many punches at all. In fact, it got so heated between the two, that it’s long been rumored a divide between Obama and Bill Clinton sprung up that wasn’t patched until Bill gave that now famous “arithmetic” speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
The hypothesis that Bernie vs. Hillary could split the party in two is a neat one, but it doesn’t really hold water, considering most people aren’t “Bernie or Bust” like I am, and even I’m only going that route because I live in safely non-Trump, non-Cruz territory. If I didn’t, my calculus would likely be different.
What, exactly then, is the big rush to have Bernie drop out? Wouldn’t he be doing a tremendous disservice to the people who keep giving his campaign money? I keep thinking that if the shoe was on the other foot, Hillary supporters would not be ready to throw in the towel just yet. It’s only April. In 2008, she didn’t exit the race until June. I know that Sanders is down a bit more now than she was at this time, but it’d be downright stupid and disingenuous of him to leave before California’s honey pot of delegates are awarded.
I’m not going to pretend to tell you that I can see a clear and easy path to victory for Bernie. I can’t. It’s going to be a monumental, Herculean task to get the delegates he needs. If anything, I think the likelihood of a contested convention is more likely at this point than either he or Hillary getting the majority of delegates they’d have to have to clinch the nomination outright, if Hillary doesn’t just ride her momentum from New York all the way through to the end, of course. But it’s not about that for me. Elections are hard-fought, and you at best have a 50/50 shot of winning.
What’s at stake is just how soon Hillary can pivot. Cynical folks will tell us that Bernie supporters are acting like rabid, crazy Tea Partiers who held up Romney’s pivot to the center and cost him the election. Hogwash. What cost the GOP the election in 2012 was the fact that no matter who they put up there, they would end up spouting policies and ideology that is simply out of step with mainstream thought, no matter how much conservatives like to claim they’ve cornered the market on that.