Sweet Jeebus of Cold Brew, people, I declare. There are two (2) stupid things — no, not just stupid things, but things possessing a quality of stupid that’s actually sufficient to lower room temperature — Bernie supporters keep saying. They are as follows:
- Stupid Thing One: it ain’t over.
- Stupid Thing Two: Senator Elizabeth Warren is a traitor.
First, it’s over. Hillary won, Bernie lost, and as painful as it may be to accept, it’s the reality. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s technically not over until the convention officially nominates Hillary — but unless a fucking meteor plummets out of the sky and vaporizes her, she’s the nominee. And that business about ‘but wait, they’re still counting ballots in California’ is moot (moot — adj. A discussion of a hypothetical case as a form of academic exercise). It’s time to call in the dogs and piss on the fire. The hunt’s over.
Second, here’s what some Bernie supporters have been saying about Elizabeth Warren on her Facebook page. She’s “a traitor for supporting Hildamort.” A “sellout for endorsing Shrillary.” A “trained monkey” and a “prostitute for Killary” as well as “a disgusting person” who is supporting “an inauthentic millionaire war criminal.” She’s “a scumbag” who “betrayed Bernie” and “stabbed him in the back.” She’s “a modern day Judas” and “a snake” who’s undergone “some MK Ultra treatment” that turned her into a “puppet for Hellary.”
Okay, I like that MK Ultra bit. Nice touch. But seriously, what the hell happened to you people? Elizabeth Warren is a treasure. She’s the best thing that’s happened to the Democratic party in recent memory. The difference between Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders is…well, I’ll come back to that in a bit.
This ridiculous Warren-bashing is the sort of frenzied, agitated bullshit that caused me to stop supporting Bernie’s campaign. Note that I didn’t say I’d stopped supporting Bernie — just his campaign, which turned paranoid and irrationally outraged toward the end (yes, I said end, on account of his presidential campaign is over). I still prefer most of Bernie’s political positions to Hillary’s, but the scent of burning martyr offends me.
Does that mean I think Bernie should fold his tent and go home? Hell no. I don’t think he needs to concede, though it’s clear he’s been beaten. I have absolutely no problem with him continuing to make speeches and hold rallies and press home his policy points. I do wish he’d stop grousing about how some of his policies aren’t in the Democratic party platform — not because they’re bad policies, but because it’s one of the realities of losing. The winner’s positions carry more weight. I’m okay with Bernie continuing to make a fuss, but I wish he’d stop acting like he’s the only person who really gives a rat’s ass about working people.
Does it hurt the Democrat party for Bernie to continue making a fuss? Yeah, maybe, a wee bit. But why should that matter to him? That difference between Bernie and Elizabeth Warren I mentioned earlier? This is where it comes into play. She became a Democrat in the mid-1990s because she believed the Democratic party more closely aligned with her political beliefs. Bernie, on the other hand, became a Democrat about nine months ago. Not because he believed in the Democratic party, but in order to run for president. He’s a Democrat of convenience. He simply used the mechanisms of party affiliation to promote and support his candidacy.
That’s NOT a slur on Bernie. He’s smart enough to know that if he’d run as a third-party candidate, hardly anybody would have paid any attention to him. Running as a Democrat gave him access to a massive fund of voter data, guaranteed him a spot on the debate stage, granted him credibility on a level he’d never have attained running as a socialist. He’d have been stupid NOT to take advantage of that, and Bernie Sanders is anything but stupid.
So if his reluctance to acknowledge defeat and his unwillingness to endorse Hillary hurts the Democratic party, he’s okay with that. He hasn’t any real loyalty to the party — which, of course, means the party doesn’t have any real loyalty to him.
Bernie has lost the Democratic nomination — but he may be setting the first stones of a foundation for a viable third-party. IF his followers participate in this and future elections. IF they get involved and run for local, county, and state offices. IF they don’t pout and whine and decide they’re too pure to participate in the grunt and squeeze of actual politics.
Now that would be a smart thing.