“I am often asked by the media and others, ‘How did it come about that
True enough. But here’s what Sanders and his supporters refuse to admit: Bernie himself was a major reason why the
Of course Clinton was a poor candidate, with visible scars and an invisible message, who made many unforced errors. It was crazy for a woman who intended to run for president as a defender of middle-class families to take gobs of money from
But Sanders was an irresponsible candidate who advanced an impossible set of proposals that bore little relation to reality. It’s both careless and cynical to yell “free” at every opportunity with absolutely no notion of how to pay for all those goodies. (
The result was to excite Sanders’ base, especially young and inexperienced voters, and deepen their disillusionment with Clinton, who was burdened with a sense of practicality and responsibility. Sanders aggravated their disdain by indulging his ego, staying in the race long after the outcome was clear and implying that a rigged system designed by establishment mandarins had cheated him out of the nomination. No wonder so many Berniecrats voted for third-party candidates or simply stayed home.
This would all be ancient history, except that Sanders is still singing the same old song. As he said in
But why should
Moreover, while the system is far more polarized than in the past, the rules of arithmetic have not been repealed. The Berniecrat Creed — that the
In the last election, only 26 percent of voters identified as liberals, while 35 percent called themselves conservative and 39 percent moderates. This is not a leftist country, and every time the
Take 1972, when
There are important lessons going forward here for the Democratic Party. As The New York Times reports, the party is “facing a widening breach” as it prepares for next year’s elections, a “growing tension between the party’s ascendant militant wing and
A strategy that focuses on energizing the Democratic faithful on the west sides of
This is all playing out in suburban
His “message to Washington,” he told the
No, they can’t. Not if they want to win.