I have laid off Bernie Sanders lately, but the man is truly annoying me - especially in my irritable post-hand surgery condition. Despite having NO WAY to secure the nomination, especially in the wake of the FBI and Justice Department decisions that no indictments are to be made in the Clinton e-mail "scandal," Sanders just doesn't grasp the concept of losers not getting to set the rules. I am increasingly coming to believe that Sanders' ego - and level of delusion? - is far worse than that of Donald Trump. The editorial board at USA Today have apparently reached at state such as my own. In an editorial, they slay Sanders and make the case that his Kool-Aid drinking followers cannot seem to grasp. Here are highlights:
Bernie Sanders and the
Golden State Warriorshave something in common. They both finished second this year. The Warriors lost in the NBA finals to the Cleveland Cavaliers, four games to three. And Sanders lost to Hillary Clintonin the Democratic primaries by a tally of 15.8 million votes to 12 million, or 2,220 pledged delegates to 1,831.
But the runners-up are different in one respect. So far as we know, the Warriors have not demanded the firing of NBA Commissioner
Adam Silver, or rules changes that would benefit its peerless perimeter shooter, Stephen Curry. (Instead, they worked within the free-agent system and signed superstar Kevin Duranton Monday.)
Sanders, on the other hand, has made a string of demands in the run-up to the Democratic convention later this month in Philadelphia. . . . . he's calling for open primaries and an end to superdelegates.
Sanders should not be dismissed out of hand, but nor should the Democratic Party bend over backward to accommodate him. He has little standing to make his case, having spent a lifetime in politics as an independent. He is asking for what previous second-place finishers did not. And, having lost the nomination, he will have decreasing sway over his supporters, many of whom are growing increasingly edgy about the prospect of a
What’s more, his list of demands on the platform could push the party too far to the left for its own good. A national $15 minimum wage could be devastating to rural areas. And his call for opposing the
Trans-Pacific Partnershipwould put the party at odds with President Obama.
Moreover, Sanders' demands on the mechanics of elections are selective, incomplete and self-serving. Take his call for open primaries, which allow people to ask for any party's ballot, no matter how they are registered. These play to Sanders' strengths because his anti-establishment views appealed to many independents. But they might not be in the best interest of the party. While Sanders did well with independent voters, so did Trump, suggesting that it might not always be progressives like the senator from Vermont who take advantage of open primaries.
Noticeably absent from Sanders’ list is a call for Democrats to replace their caucuses in 13 states, three territories and the District of Columbia with primary elections. Caucuses are by far the most undemocratic element of the nomination process. They disenfranchise people who work at night, have small children or otherwise can’t take a couple hours out of their schedules. . . . And he won big in caucus states he would have won narrowly in a primary.
Ultimately, Democrats should act in ways they think will help their candidates in the future, not let the second-place guy call the shots.