Surprise! Democratic primary as divisive as GOP one

As entertaining (if a train wreck can be entertaining) as the Republican primary for president has been, the Democratic primary may be even more divisive. Larry wrote yesterday how the Left is starting to eat its own, but things got even more fun when Bernie Sanders announced he’d accepted an invite from Fox to be part of a debate. Via Politico:

“Both campaigns have been invited by Fox News to a debate. We have told the network that we would accept the invitation with the understanding that we can reach mutual agreement on the debate moderators, the format and other details,” Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ campaign manager said in a statement…

Back in February the Clinton and Sanders campaigns agreed to extend the Democratic debate schedule by four more debates. Three have been held, but the final debate, to be held in California in May before the state’s June 7 primary according to the agreement, didn’t seem to be on anyone’s mind as of last week. The public statement accepting the debate is similar to the public negotiation the Sanders and Clinton campaigns engaged in before the last Democratic debate, hosted by CNN in Brooklyn, which came together just ten days before the event. A Sanders adviser told POLITICO last week that they expected a similarly public debate about the debate to happen again.

Hillary Clinton’s camp hasn’t said anything (yet) but Sanders and his supporters will probably keep pressuring her to agree to one more denate before California. They’ve got every reason to because Sanders has won 21 out of 44 primaries and caucuses (if I did my math right) with six to go. It’s certainly got Democrats concerned, according to The Washington Times.

Democratic Party insiders fear Sen. Bernard Sanders and his “revolution” followers have little to lose by pursuing a scorched-earth campaign against Hillary Clinton, and the unease is growing despite vows from the maverick politician’s camp that violence will not erupt at the Democratic National Convention in July…

“I think he has no real conscience about whether or not he’s dividing the Democratic Party. When you have a candidate that actually doesn’t care about the institution they’re purportedly running to head, their motto seems to be, ‘Burn it all down,'” said Lara Brown, a political science professor at George Washington University who studies the evolution of political parties. “I don’t think he’ll necessarily be a gracious loser. And it’s because he doesn’t have any institutional investment. He has nothing to lose.”

And here we thought all the chaos was on the GOP side. The division within the Democrats is so bad it’s caused Rem Rieder to wonder at USA Today if Donald Trump might benefit because Clinton has her own uniting issue to figure out.

The hardening of feelings could have serious consequences. So much attention has been paid to the question of whether the Republican Party will be irrevocably split by Trump’s triumph, harming his chances of gaining access to the White House. But, with the exception of what Bruce Willis would call a few stragglers, the GOP appears to be rallying around The Donald, never mind all the dark declarations back in the day that nominating him would be the end of Western Civilization as we know it.

But if the forces of Bernie don’t rally to Hillary’s side, that could doom her candidacy. Can you say President Trump?

I’ve seen Trump supporters start tweeting #FeeltheBern folks in hopes of luring them into his camp. It shouldn’t be surprising since the two are two sides of the same coin, and it will be interesting to see if Sanders supporters start taking up the Trump mantle (Trump has said he’ll start appealing to the Sanders camp). If Trump is successful in his outreach, then Clinton might really be in a bind (unless Neocons 4 Hillary succeeds or Clinton picks Liz Warren as VP). It also might cause some people in the GOP to look elsewhere (Libertarian Party says, “Hi”) for a candidate who isn’t a massive statist interested in growing government.

All this shows is both the Republican and Democratic parties are dealing with civil wars. The GOP mostly ended theirs by saying, “Fine Trump,” (with a few exceptions) and I’m curious to see how the Democratic Party will handle the Sanders revolt. If it gets to the convention and Clinton wins, will Sanders’ followers be willing to support her or will they look elsewhere (Trump)? Or will they just decide to sit home? We’ll just have to wait and see.

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