By not dropping out NOW Bernie allows his online army to rage like a wildfire. What could possibly go wrong?
by Sasha Stone and Ryan Adams
When people like Elizabeth Warren and others treat Bernie Sanders like the fragile crystal unicorn in The Glass Menagerie, saying things like “Bernie needs space to decide” to drop out of the race, they are forgetting that Bernie’s army is not just casually destructive, they’re on a kamikaze mission to destroy the Democratic Party itself. Because Bernie has convinced them is the source of all their problems and that he and HE ALONE can rescue them from the evils of “the establishment.”
Each and every day, his supporters are out there piggybacking on lies being spread by Trump supporters and Russian trolls — that Biden has dementia, that he’s been hidden away in a hospital room, and even that he’s dead. Meanwhile, anyone with eyes and a willingness to see reality, saw the one on one debate in which Bernie regurgitated his stump speech while Biden ran relaxed rings around his petulant opponent.
Even after Biden beat him in landslide victories in South Carolina, North Carolina, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Virginia, and even after Biden beat him in a decisive victory in Michigan, and even beat him in Washington — Bernie Sanders still can’t let go. He’s lost states he won in 2016. He has virtually no realistic shot at winning the nomination. And yet…
Why does he refuse to leave?
Whether Bernie could ever make good on any of his promises is irrelevant (he can’t). If he can’t beat united moderate Democrats, he most certainly can’t beat united Republicans. The primary is OVER.
In 2020, voters will show up in unprecedented numbers for two reasons:
- To vote Trump out.
- To vote against a socialist.
“But millennials!” some might say. Oh sure, if they turned out by the millions the way they do whenever Kylie Jenner posts a bikini pic. If they turned out in numbers like they do to amplify hashtags on Twitter. But they DON’T. If they did, Bernie would be winning the primary not by a little but by a lot. The fact is, displaying allegiance to Bernie is a status booster online but that appears to be as far as it goes.
What Americans want, save for the faction of Bernie supporters who genuinely believed Trump’s election would “bring the revolution,” is to remove Trump from power. And the person voters most trust to do that is, by overwhelming majority, Joe Biden.
Despite all the stats and facts that dispute Bernie’s ability to beat Trump, including recent head-to-head match-ups that have Biden way ahead, his supporters continue to live in denial. That denial would be sad enough. But that isn’t all they are doing. While Bernie insists on clinging to his place in the dimming limelight, refusing to drop out, his most zealous supporters are driven by their despair to viciously attack Joe Biden every single day.
In their desperation, believing Bernie will miraculously be the chosen one (he won’t), they maniacally echo the lies put out by Russia and Trump. The Bernie affiliated members of the Squad are even in on it.
The Intercept’s Jeremy Scahill dripping with faux concern, amplified by all manner of Trump/Putin trolls making them all think they are on the right side of history. Anyone in the real world who watches Biden gets it that he has a stutter and gets it that he lived through enormous grief and gets it that we accept him just as he is.
All of this was made much worse by a recent column in the New York Times which (incorrectly) blamed Bernie’s inability to attack “his friend Joe” as the reason he never took the lead.
How far will they go, how bad will it get? Did Joe Biden also murder someone? Is some crazy Trump or Bernie person going to show up with a shotgun at a pizza place? By the end of it, Trump will have a multitude of material to use for targeted voter suppression in key swing states.
But just as Bernie could never accept that Hillary Clinton had cleaned his clock in 2016, he can’t grasp the reality that his friend Joe has also beaten him, fair and square. No doubt Bernie and his disciples are mystified that Joe Biden has been able to step up and appeal to so many voters that were turned off by Bernie’s sermons. “How could this have happened? Again! Twice in a span of 5 years?!”
Because this election is one thing and one thing only — a referendum on Trump.
The only person who doesn’t see writing on the wall is the guy living rent free on the fold-out sofa-bed that Democratic Establishment graciously offers him every four years.
The problem with Bernie is he never knows when to give it up and pitch in to join forces with the candidate that has bested him, even when his failure to unite with poise and readiness comes at an enormous cost. He can’t bring himself to bow out gracefully because he spent decades in Congress being mostly ignored, only passing four bills in total in 30 years and two of those did nothing more than famously re-name small-town post offices.
“Where’s the harm if Bernie stays in?” his supporters ask. The harm is that every single day his online army of diehard zealots are so enraged that their messiah has fallen twice that they too are loathe to get down off their merry-go-round. So instead of channeling their endless anger toward Trump, they aim their frustration at Biden. A disturbing number of them would rather do Trump’s work for him — AGAIN — dividing the party, weakening the Democrats overall — rather then use their energy to help us tip the balance back into liberal hands, in what promises to be another feverishly close election.
Their flimsy excuse will always land on something like “if he can’t handle the attacks from the left, how can he handle them from the right?” The problem is that it isn’t the right we have to worry about. It is the small fraction of people who will turn into petulant brats at the end and refuse to vote for Biden all because of this pointless fake controversy only social media could enable.
One man can apply the brakes to this runaway trainwreck, if only he would. Enough, Bernie. Enough.