Dosvedanya, Bernie. The honeymoon with the Democratic primary has come to as decisive an end as his old romance with the Soviet Union. 2016 is not 2020.
The bottom line: After four years of Donald Trump, Democrats have sobered up. There will be no sipping of the socialist moonshine that Sanders was purveying. He was able to dispense small batch samples but no more — even in Michigan, the site of his former triumph over Hillary Clinton. This time, voters didn’t even really bother to examine his wares.
Rather, they quite sensibly flocked to Joe Biden who rolled up victory margins that should scare the daylights out of Donald Trump. Come November, Biden is set to administer a thrashing to Trump who, in yet another fit of pique, just endorsed former college football coach Tommy Tuberville over his former attorney general Jeff Sessions. Look for Trump to become increasingly erratic as he realizes the peril he faces in the general election.
For his part, Sanders, who headed back to Vermont tonight and will likely bow out of the race this week, has every reason to feel aggrieved. He has some interesting similarities with Trump. He isn’t widely liked, which is why his career as a national politician has come to an ignominious end. There will be no prolonged primary fight. There will be no contested convention. There will, moreover, be no serious left wing presence among the Democratic party. It’s burned out before it could even reach supernova.
The surprising thing isn’t that Sanders failed but that he got as far as he did. If anything, the primary was rigged in his favor as the importance of superdelegates was reduced this time around. He still couldn’t close the sale. If he wants to retain political influence, Sanders will have to swallow his pride and campaign for Biden. But he’s already demonstrated that he can’t turn out the youth vote.
Should Sanders decide to pout, he can always remain on the sidelines. Biden himself might decide that Sanders is more trouble than he’s worth. Perhaps he’ll encourage Sanders to take a long sojourn in the Cuban socialist paradise he so admires.
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