With the latest round of primaries signaling a decisive victory for Joe Biden in his efforts to win the Democratic Party presidential nomination, Team Bernie needs to start asking themselves serious questions. Not merely about whether they have a path to the nomination, but concerning their future within the party. Can democratic socialism continue as a powerful force, shaping the narrative, or is there a quiet battle taking place to tear this divisive offshoot out before it takes root?
receive, they are still regarded as fringe elements within the party. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), as the unofficial leader, personifies what the group stands for: Green New Deals that would bankrupt the nation, intersectionality as the driving force in all things political, and a desire to burn to the ground the Democratic Party in its current form.
Old Guard Fear
There will be sighs of relief gusting through the offices of mainstream Democrats today as the results of the March 10 primaries signal a strong lead for Joe Biden. Is this because they seriously believe he can beat President Trump in November, or because they have fought off a fringe ideology that poses an existential threat?
In July 2019, President Trump tweeted the results of a job approval poll published by Axios:
“… Omar is polling at 8%, Cortez at 21%. Nancy Pelosi tried to push them away, but now they are forever wedded to the Democrat Party. See you in 2020!”
Although Axios reported Rep. Ilhan Omar actually had a 9% approval rating, the most interesting aspect was where these findings originated. Apparently, the polling was carried out by a Democrat group who allowed access to their findings on the condition of anonymity. Whether or not the polling was genuine, the fact that it came from a recognizable (at least to Axios) source, suggests that actions are being undertaken by the party to discredit this new band of merry socialists.
Add to this mix the timely withdrawal of Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) at just the right moment to swing things in favor of the establishment candidate, and a picture emerges of a concerted party effort to not only stop Bernie Sanders winning the nomination, but also to halt the advance of these budding insurgents.
Radicals In Name Only
The progressive wing is under the impression that it is new and unique, that the ideas are radical and could be transformative for America. This supposition is on fairly solid ground … or would be if not for President Donald Trump.
The U.S. was ready for a political revolution in 2016, and it got one. Trump’s victory against the Democrat and Republican establishment was a shake-up that rocked the nation and left politicos reeling. This is the impact that the democratic socialists were so desperate to achieve; their issue being that it was not themselves leading the revolution.
The time for radical change was in 2016 and Bernie missed his chance. The forces of the Old Guard Democrats have aligned against him and this time around they are more cognizant that unless his particular brand is erased, like the hydra, new heads will take his place. Mainstream Dems are performing a root and branch excision of the would-be usurpers, even if it means going into the next election with a candidate of questionable competence.
Democrats want Bernie to stay in the race for as long as possible. Each day he lingers provides yet more ammunition they can use to blame him and his supporters for handing a win to President Trump. For the moderate Dems, this election may be more about setting the stage for 2024 with a united party than trying to win an election against the greatest political disrupter of the generation.
Four more years may turn out to be a small price to pay for the very future and soul of their beloved Democratic Party.
Read more from Mark Angelides.
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