Bernie: ‘I’m not a Democrat; But I am the Conscience of the Democratic Party’
Listen-I agree that we don’t want to refight the primary. But Bernie just makes it very hard. He was extraordinarily ungracious in his interview on Chris Hayes with Tom Perez. He says he’s not a Democrat. But he also seems to think that he’s the expert on what the Democrats have to do to win.
Bernie is incapable of being a team player. Some Berners on Twitter say who are we Democrats to say Bernie is not a Democrat? Uh, could it be based on Bernie’s own words?
But ok, he doesn’t want to call himself a Democrat. But can he at least not throw actual Democrats under the bus when we’re desperate to take back the House?
Explain to me what the value is in Bernie saying Jon Ossoff isn’t a ‘true progressive?’ Bernie’s favorite hagiographer, Dave Weigel, is at it again.
— Ed O'Keefe (@edatpost) April 19, 2017
— Peter Daou (@peterdaou) April 19, 2017
Yes, that’s it. We’re desperate for Bernie’s direction and help. It’s all about Bernie. The #Resistance is about Bernie Sanders. Except it’s not. A lot of the #Resistance is thematically closer to Hillary’s themes than Bernie’s-which is why you’ve seen some Berners on Twitter saying ‘Beyond Resistance.’
“Our job is to radically transform the Democratic Party into a 50-state party,” Sanders said. “Our job is to create a democratic Democratic Party, a grass-roots party, where decisions are made from the bottom up.”
Ok, but there is a lot of grassroots excitement right now, and not all of it is about Bernie Sanders. Ossoff also has grass roots support, but Bernie’s not a fan.
“Since Clinton’s general election loss, there was little resistance inside the party to Sanders’s politics. As the plane flew to Louisville, a Harvard-Harris poll was being released that found Sanders polling at 57 percent favorability with all voters. No politician in America was better-liked.”
As Peter Daou pointed out, Hillary was at 69% before the 2016 campaign-when the GOP, the media-with the enthusiastic piling on of Bernie and friends-assassinated her character. Because he’s currently got a 57% favorability now in 2017 tells us little about state of play 2020.
“On Tuesday, as the tour continued, Perez and Sanders fell in and out of sync. Perez had spent weeks talking up Jon Ossoff, the Democrat trying to win the suburban Atlanta congressional district vacated when Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price joined the Trump administration. After a closer-than-expected April 11 defeat in a Kansas district, Perez thought Democrats needed to “swing at everything.”
“Sanders was less interested in the Ossoff race. “He’s not a progressive,” he said. He was endorsing Democrats based on their economic populism; they could differ from progressives on social issues but not on the threat of the mega-rich to American politics. Soon, he said, the 5-to-4 majority on the Supreme Court was likely to make it legal for the wealthy to give unlimited sums to candidates, and the only way to fight back was grass-roots politicking and small donations.”
“If you are running in rural Mississippi, do you hold the same criteria as if you’re running in San Francisco?” he said. “I think you’d be a fool to think that’s all the same.”
So what he’s saying is you don’t hold the same criteria in Mississippi and San Fransisco on social issues but you do on economics. Bernie is saying that he doesn’t care if Ossoff wins or not, that he’s no better than his GOP opponent who is rabidly anti abortion.
“Karen Handel Has a Complicated History With Planned Parenthood. She Doesn’t Want to Talk About It.”
This same 5 to 4 majority could also further rollback a woman’s right to choose, to birth control, and further endanger the healthcare needs of women. But Bernie sees this as mere identity politics.
You’re not allowed to vary across states and districts on economic issues but social issues. That makes a lot of sense.
Ideally, to be sure, Democrats should be pragmatic. They should support Hillary candidates like Ossoff in Georgia and Bernie candidates like James Thompson on Kansas.
But Bernie doesn’t approve of this. He and the Berners don’t want a seat at the table. They want to own the table.
Meanwhile. Bernie lets women and minorities know yet again that he thinks they’re a special interest.
Not for nothing if he’s so worried over the Supreme Court he should have campaigned better for Hillary. Maybe not waited so long and done it so halfheartedly.
Again, Dems should be pragmatists. Some states and districts may prefer Bernie candidates and some Hillary. We should elect them all.
But Bernie doesn’t see it this way. He refuses to see that even if he prefers a Bernie Democrat to a Hillary Democrat, a Hillary Democrat is light years better than a Trump Republican or even a non Trump pro Paul Ryan Republican.
I hope Bernie paid Rush to use his attacks on the East and West Coasts.
We need to make the Democratic Party a party not just for the east coast and west coast but a party for all 50 states.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) April 19, 2017
I actually think he’s right that some districts will be more socially conservative and Dems should cut such candidates some slack if they are more socially conservative than the national party.
But the same applies on economics. If a candidate is more economically conservative than the national party they also should get some slack if that’s their district. And the fact is that on issues like the minimum wage, there are states and districts that will want a higher MW than others. But this is too in the weeds for Bernie Sanders, the angry populist prophet who has no time for policy details, just broad moral themes.
P.S. As we saw in my poll out last week, the long awaited poll results are in, and right now I’m just 11 points down vs. Peter King (GOP-NY-District 2). And the voters don’t even know who I am yet.
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