Do Warren and Sanders preview a Democratic populist crack-up?

Although the populism of Warren and Sanders overlaps with the right-wing populism of President Trump, the left-wing version has a distinct fascination with organized movement politics. Sanders has certainly seen himself as the leader of a movement. He took his campaign assets and converted them into “Our Revolution,” a political organization devoted to recruit, support, promote, and elect far-left candidates (and not coincidentally benefit Sanders).

Similarly, at recent campaign rallies, Warren has spoken about using movement-driven pressure from outside groups while she works inside the system. It is easy to imagine her following Sanders in repurposing her campaign assets into an outside group, regardless of the outcome of the 2020 cycle.

Indeed, Sanders can be seen as following in the footsteps of Barack Obama. The then-president used the Democratic National Committee to form “Organizing For America” (OFA), which became the so-called grassroots arm of his re-election campaign. The group was later spun off into the nonprofit “Organizing For Action,” which now assists the “resistance” to President Trump.