Just how easy will it be for Joe Biden to stitch the Democratic Party back together again? That depends in large part on Bernie Sanders, as well as the “Bernie kids,” as Van Jones called them last night. Objecting to the celebratory mood around him on the CNN set last night, Jones declared that the panel is missing the point. Sure, Biden might be a “healer,” as they characterized him, and this might be the moment for a healer. But no one’s seen any evidence yet that Biden can reach across the divide of his own party, Jones argued, let alone the divide in the nation.
“A lot of people whose hopes have been crushed tonight” might not otherwise stick around, Jones warned:
There are “a lot of people whose hopes have been crushed tonight,” says @VanJones68 of Joe Biden's projected victories. “…They are people who don’t know how they are going to make it … and they don’t see the passion yet from Joe Biden for their pain.” https://t.co/Ost27Ec4Dp pic.twitter.com/p5pr3D4Yid
— CNN (@CNN) March 11, 2020
The problem for Biden is that he didn’t actually do much to accomplish this win, except survive long enough for Bernie Sanders’ implosion. The moderate and elderly lanes finally came together for him, but that’s it, and that was a function of others finally getting out of the way. Biden’s still barely registering with young voters and progressives. If Bernie gets out quick, maybe Biden has a shot at closing those gaps, but at least on paper Biden has less going for him in that regard than Hillary Clinton did.
Unity’s a two-way street, of course. The sooner Sanders admits he’s lost, the quicker that process becomes. Sanders eventually did line up behind Hillary in July 2016, and he’s probably going to do so sooner with Biden. For now, though, Sanders is sounding more conspiratorial than chummy about the Democratic Party:
To Senator Bernie Sanders, there is plenty of blame to go around when it comes to his recent reversal of fortune. For everyone but him and his campaign.
The “corporate media” didn’t pay attention to his agenda.
The Democratic Party establishment aligned to block him from winning its presidential nomination. …
As Democrats in Michigan, Missouri and four other states hold nominating contests Tuesday, Mr. Sanders, his team and his supporters have come up with explanations for his loss of momentum that deflect the responsibility onto others.
So when Pete Buttigieg and Senator Amy Klobuchar dropped out of the race and endorsed Mr. Biden, to the Sanders camp it wasn’t because they’d won next to no support from black voters and run out of money, it was part of an establishment plot. And Senators Cory Booker and Kamala Harris were simply joining the effort to block Mr. Sanders when they backed Mr. Biden this week.
“If they thought that Joe Biden was the best choice, maybe they shouldn’t have run,” Rasheen Aldridge, a Missouri state representative who was a warm-up speaker for Mr. Sanders in St. Louis, said in an interview. “Some of these candidates — Kamala has been out for a long time, Booker has been out for a while. It’s all very kind of fishy how things are working out.”
Does that sound like a campaign about to fully embrace unity? It sounds more like a group of people on the verge of an Illuminati hypothesis. They assumed that Sanders’ popularity from 2016 was about Sanders himself and his agenda. Like so much of the 2016 cycle, though, those outcomes likely turned out to be more about how terrible a candidate Hillary Clinton was. Without her as a foil, most Democrats have no use for Sanders, especially with his weird communist apologias.
Eventually, the Democratic Socialists will fall into line, simply because they lack any other access to power. But they won’t be happy about having their “hopes crushed,” and Biden lacks any other real passion or enthusiasm in the party. He’s just the last man (barely) standing.