I don’t really understand what’s going on between the “establishment wing” of the Democratic party and the “Bernie wing” of the Democratic party, but I know this much: It’s petty as hell, and the NYTimes seems to be ground central for airing out a lot of inside-baseball grievances that, frankly, most voters aren’t that interested in. There’s some squabble between the think tank, Center for American Progress, and Bernie, there’s apparently a Stop Sanders movement, and the Times is unnecessarily refueling the Bernie vs. Hillary wars. There’s also a lot of shit-talking about Bernie’s economic inequality arguments in the light of the fact that Bernie is also rich (owed largely to book sales), which reminds me a lot of the way the right attacks AOC because she wears nice shoes.
This is not a defense of Bernie. It’s not an attack on Bernie. It’s not an endorsement for or against Bernie. Vote for whoever the hell floats your boat in the primary. I don’t give a rat’s ass. But I do know this: The more you attack Bernie, the more his base digs in. The more dug in they are, the less likely they are going to entertain other possibilities. Moreover, the more the “establishment” attacks Bernie, the more appealing he is to the anti-establishment, which at this point is A WHOLE LOT OF US.
I feel kind of like this about Bernie sometimes:
I find Bernie Twitter to be an obnoxious cesspool, but I’ll be the first to man the anti-anti-Bernie barricades if he’s winning and the die-hards push this kind of panic narrative. https://t.co/aAl2XSYBdD— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) April 16, 2019
And frankly, the “establishment” attacking Bernie in some ways feels like the establishment dismissing the support of the very people we need to beat Trump.
Via the Emerson 2020 Democratic primary poll released yesterday:— Jonathan Walczak (@jonwalczak) April 16, 2019
- 53% (55/103) of Bernie Sanders supporters were black, Hispanic/Latinx, or Asian
-46% (39/85) for Biden
-45% (13/29) for Beto
-44% (12/27) for Harris
-33% (8/24) for Warren
-19% (6/32) for Buttigieg pic.twitter.com/Mcmx3wkmBY
I barely even understand who the “establishment” is anymore. It seems like a relic of the Hillary era, and if Hillary were running, maybe I’d better understand these petty squabbles. Maybe I’d even entertain the possibility of voting for her (gasp!). But she’s not. And this campaign against Bernie feels like it’s being waged by Hillary’s old surrogates trying to cling to a version of the Democratic party that barely exists anymore. Or maybe they’re all backing Biden. I don’t know. But my advice is for everyone to chill the f**k out; support your candidate, whoever he or she may be; and stop trying to drag the competition, because in my meaningless opinion, the more you pile on Bernie, the more stoked his base gets.
Indeed, if the intent of the “Stop Sanders movement” is to stop Sanders from winning the nomination out of fears that he’ll lose to Trump, it’s going to backfire in two ways: Sanders’ hardened base will elevate him to the nomination in a split field, and it will make him less appealing to the rest of the party, diminishing his chances to beat Trump. It’s self-defeating. Let the individual candidates make their cases, and when a winner surfaces, then the party can get involved.
Header Image Source: Getty Images