Monday, May 23, 2016

Sanders' problem in facing reality

Bernie's angry face is all over the Internet, photo via the New Yorker.

Senator Bernie Sanders stepped on the national stage with a halo around his head, proclaiming he was above politics and holding up his flag of idealism for all to see. He roused the college kids with his notions of starting a revolution and leaders on the ultra Left, old enough to know better, were also stirred by Bernie's inflammatory rhetoric. The Democratic Party welcomed Bernie into its fold as he non-idealistically needed its cash and support for his presidential run.

What has Bernie done for the Democratic Party since it embraced him? Well, he sued the DNC for penalizing his team for hacking Hillary Clinton's files. He has repeatedly accused his newfound political home for rigging the election of its nominee in Clinton's favor, and among other things, he's threatened to depose Debbie Wasserman Schultz, DNC Chair, when he's elected.

Then there was his response to the Nevada episode where his supporters - the Bernie or bust folks - got a little out of hand, as noted by New York Times columnist Paul Krugman who titled his recent post: 'Questions of Character:"

Like a lot of people, I was shocked by the statement Bernie Sanders put out about Nevada. No hint of apology for his supporters’ behavior, lots of accusations about a “rigged” process when the issue in Nevada was whether Clinton should get more delegates in a state where she won the vote. And the general implication that the nomination is somehow being stolen when the reality is that Clinton won because a large majority of voters chose to support her.

But maybe we shouldn’t have been shocked. It has been obvious for quite a while that Sanders — not just his supporters, not even just his surrogates, but the candidate himself — has a problem both in facing reality and in admitting mistakes. The business with claiming that Clinton only won conservative states in the deep South told you that; and even before, there were strong indications that he would not accept defeat gracefully or even rationally.

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