Buckle up, folks, because the bloated Democratic 2020 presidential primary circus is about to take off. The first round of debates is scheduled for June 26-27 in Miami. As we saw with the large Republican field in 2016, candidates will turn their guns on intra-party opponents in an attempt to score points and separate themselves from the pack.
A hint of the hostility to come can be found on the highly entertaining Twitter account of key Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) supporter RoseAnn DeMoro. DeMoro retired in 2018 after a long career as a top union executive. Sanders has referred to her as an “invaluable ally.” Feisty and combative, DeMoro undoubtedly represents the views of a significant portion of the hardcore Bernie base with her razor-tipped tweets aimed at the Democratic “establishment” and rival Dem candidates that she sees as puppets of the corporate forces that control the party’s Old Guard.
Seeing Enemies Everywhere
A typical tweet, from June 9, opens a window into the current state of Bernie Bro Paranoia that strongly resonates three years after ultimate establishment candidate Hillary Clinton captured the 2016 party nomination in what Sanders backers believe was a “rigged” primary contest:
First they tried to delegitimization our campaign from the Right.. failed.
Next they tried from the Centrist.. failed.
Now from the sort of left.
— RoseAnn DeMoro (@RoseAnnDeMoro) June 9, 2019
The tweet is telling on many levels. First, it shows that Sanders supporters do not remotely trust the so-called mainstream media, even with their constant attacks on President Trump. Second, they suspect Democratic National Committee machinations to boost rivals on the center, right, and left with the sole intention of harming Sanders. Joe Biden is clearly the centrist bogeyman in this nefarious drama. Another Sanders backer replies to the tweet by complaining, “The media refuse to vet Joe Biden!” DeMoro says of that same media, “If it were up (to) the #MSM #Bernie2020 would be nonexistent and remember they had Clinton as the clear victor over Trump.”
If Biden continues to hold his early lead into the debate season, look for the former vice president to be portrayed as the Democratic National Committee’s Hillary 2020 by Sanders backers. But other opponents are already being skewered. In a June 6 tweet, DeMoro asked her followers for their guesses on “who the corporate #Democrats will tap next to try to stop #Bernie2020?” Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) were popular choices.
“I think they’re hedging between @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris,” reads one feverish response. “They will prop up @ewarren to prevent @BernieSanders from winning on the 1rst ballot. The Super Delegates are itching to crown the next nominee.”
DeMoro believes Warren will be used to “split the left” before being cast aside by establishment powerbrokers because she “has some Wall Street reforms that they will never allow.” This will allow them to “Get a new Centrist or a recycled new Centrist” not named Biden after Warren is discarded, according to this scenario.
Harris may just fit that “new centrist” bill, at least in DeMoro’s eyes. She retweeted a stinging rebuke of the California senator’s not-so-progressive record as Golden State Attorney General:
At a Kamala Harris sales pitch in her own state, the crowd chanted "Bernie. Bernie."
I assume the crowd wanted her to lock Bernie up. Sorry to disappoint, but Kamala would never lock up a white millionaire. https://t.co/mNCsQtzCKP
— Nate's Liver (@SilERabbit) June 1, 2019
DeMoro and her pro-Sanders cohorts frequently use the hashtag NoMiddleGround, buttressing a campaign talking point that nominating anyone who isn’t a democratic socialist would serve as a half-measure to real change and lead only to the re-election of Trump. The hashtag and the conspiracy theories about the primary process all bring to the forefront something Democrats would much rather ignore for the moment.
Their Way or the Highway
In short, Sanders voters are throwing down a Bernie or Bust gauntlet for 2020. DeMoro’s cyber bomb-throwing is meant to send a very clear message: We will not support any Democratic nominee not named Bernie Sanders.
The party has only itself to blame for this precarious situation, which will surely be exacerbated in coming months unless Sanders happens to run away with the race. As Fox News’s Katie Pavlich notes, the DNC has done nothing to mend fences with the Sanders camp. “The sentiment is still the same,” Pavlich correctly observes of the bitterness of the Bernie Bros. “The problem is the DNC has not done a real reconciliation of what happened in 2016 to regain the trust of Sanders’ voters.”
This Sanders Psychosis is sure to rear its ugly head as the debates get underway. It will be interesting to see how Biden, Warren, Harris, and the rest of the field react to being dragged into the fray. One thing is for sure: Bernie Nation is in no mood for a friendly discussion on the way to the 2020 nomination.
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