This morning, the Washington Post is reporting Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders plans to stay in the race for the Democratic Party nomination through the New York primary, scheduled for April 28, but likely to be postponed. Sanders’ surrogates also say he will participate in the next debate though none is currently planned by the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
Conventional wisdom says Democrats should not be pushing Bernie to drop out of the race. Give him time to come to his own decision. Conventional wisdom, as we know, is not always right. This may be one of those cases. It is time for Joe Biden, the DNC, Democratic senators, representatives, governors and mayors to inform the INDEPENDENT senator he has a choice. Endorse Joe Biden so the party can get on with the task of making sure Donald Trump vacates the White House. Or you are no longer welcome to use the Democratic Party mechanism to promote your revolution.
- It is time because there is enough empirical evidence, i.e. primary results, to know that an overwhelming majority of Democratic voters do not favor a Bernie-style revolution.
- It is time because the more desperate his campaign becomes, the more he begins to sound like like a left-wing version of Trump, attacking the party establishment and the media for his lack of success.
- It is time because, again like Trump, he believes the Twitter-verse and rally size are representative of the nation’s preferences.
- It is time because, once more like Trump, he has only campaigned for Democratic congressional candidates who agree with his agenda. To my knowledge, he has not had one joint appearance with the Democratic incumbent in a 2018 flipped district on which Nancy Pelosi’s speakership will again depend in November.
- It is time because, need I say it again, like Trump, the only reason for staying on the stage is to stroke his ego, not to, as he says, keep alive the debate over the issues.
On this last point, Post columnist Jennifer Rubin writes:
The notion that Sanders is there to “discuss” the issues is preposterous given that the only issue right now is the coronavirus. Moreover, that was his excuse for staying in for the debate on March 15, two days before he was crushed in Illinois, Arizona and Florida. Haven’t we discussed the issues for over a year and through 11 debates.
Add inability to accept reality as one more Trump-like behavior Sanders now exhibits.
Which brings me to my last point. If Sanders continues on his present course, it is time to tell him to take his ball and go home. (Yes, I know this is trite, but it is all I could come up with because I know my wife would not have been pleased if I had written, “It is time to tell Bernie to go f*** himself.”) What’s more, the Democratic leadership has an opportunity to again demonstrate the difference between themselves and the Trumpists in the Senate. There are consequences for being a jerk. Chuck Schumer should strip Sanders of all his committee assignments. Let him go to the leader of the Revolution Party to get his assignments. Sanders should not be allowed to stand along side Democratic senators at press briefings. The next time Sanders appears at a Democratic event it should be to endorse Biden and talk about how he is going to work for Biden’s election. [NOTE: If Mitch McConnell could get his head out of his shell, he would have done the same with Rand Paul.]
And sure, conventional wisdom suggests this approach would depress the youth vote for Biden and guarantee a Trump second term. Right, the same youth vote that was going to carry Sanders to the nomination. NOT! And young Americans need a better reason to vote for Biden than “Bernie told me to.” I trust Biden, as he did yesterday, can make his own case that the future for anyone under 45 years old will be much brighter under his stewardship than four more years of lies, slogans and gross incompetence.
Enough of the preliminaries. It’s time for the main event.
For what it’s worth.