Sanders claiming that there will be a contested convention, and suggesting that the nomination fight was rigged. Can someone tell Bernie that he’s in the process of blowing his own chance for a positive legacy?
Here’s how the narrative could have run: although he fell short of actually getting the nomination, Sanders did far better than expected, giving him and his movement a good claim to have a big say in the Democratic agenda for 2016 and perhaps setting the movement up as the party’s future. But to take that position — to turn defeat in the primary into a moral victory — he would have had to accept the will of the voters with grace.
And why is that? Because moral victories are what the Democratic Party has dealt in since Al Gore’s “moral victory” in 2000. So much in fact, when the Democrat’s obtained real victory in 2008, they reached for the moral victory in compromised healthcare reform. They can claim that for this reason, or that reason, they could not pass single payer, universal healthcare, but it is because of this feckless leadership and willingness to cater to anyone but the electorate that they lost in 2010, 2012, and 2014. What is there to gain in a moral victory?
After losing four out of five primaries on Tuesday, the overwhelming question from Hillary Clinton supporters is whether or not the legions of voters backing Bernie Sanders will fall in line, accept Clinton’s inevitable coronation, and vote for her to stop Donald Trump from becoming president. This is an unfair and illegitimate question, and completely ignores why Sanders was able to activate so many people across the country and persuade nearly 9 million people thus far to vote for him.
This threat arrives every four years during Presidential campaigns only to be replaced with these moral victories that fail on all levels during the midterms. The type of grassroots movement that the Sanders campaign generates is the same type that the Democratic Party needs to win midterm, state, and local elections, but the party’s desire for power at any cost and their unwillingness to do anything pro-active once they have it have been exposed and the liberal, progressive base it once relied on is ready to find another party. For now the party will trudge on with the loyal few that vote based on fear and pyrrhicy. But someone really needs to tell them, and Krugman, that Bernie and his supporters are not whining. We’re leaving. And your bogeyman doesn’t scare us anymore.