Not everyone signed up for the revolution
Image via CC (Credit: AFGE)
He’s the candidate for their party’s nomination who wasn’t just publicly lectured by the head of the FBI. But House Democrats booed Bernie Sanders anyway, in a gnarly meeting where Members lost patience with Sanders’ refusal to formally get aboard the Clinton train.
"The goal isn't to win elections, the goal is to transform America," Sanders told the room full of people who believe they have no power to transform America unless they win elections. Although that line set off the Dems, lingering unease over Hillary Clinton’s candidacy has haunted insiders and operators as well as the pro-Sanders grassroots.
If she wins, Clinton will likely head into office with historically bad favorability ratings—still tarnished from the email ordeal at a moment when (in all probability) Republicans will finally have Trump out of their (ahem) hair. Suddenly Ms. Inevitable could face a shockingly more challenging political landscape. Talk about transformation.
That’s why Sanders and company are so insistent on keeping Democrats’ attention on their agenda, not just their electoral fortunes. Just as many conservatives are convinced that Republicans will lose if they pander to so-called “electability,” the progressive left believes that broad, aggressive government relief directed toward America’s more disadvantaged will chime way better with the populist moment than Clintonian triangulation or Wall Street speechification.
Before anyone freaks out, however, Democrats would do well to remember how Bill Clinton wound up with a happy White House ending despite a challenge from Jerry Brown that lasted all the way to the convention. This time around, both sides could have more to gain than lose in bringing on the boos.