Bernie Sanders LEAVES the Democrat Party
The ink is barely dry on the official nomination papers declaring Hillary Clinton as the 2016 Democratic Presidential nominee. The Party is in the midst of a scandal that will continue to have negative ramifications over a year-long DNC e-mail hack. The chairwoman, in an unprecedented move, stepped down from the leadership position and went to work for Hillary Clinton’s campaign. And now, before Hillary even makes her acceptance speech, in what can only be described as the ultimate vote of “no confidence,” Senator Bernie Sanders abruptly quits the Democratic Party.
Bernie Used the Democrats
Bernie Sanders, who has always been an Independent member of Congress, only joined the Party to run for the nomination. His views have always been closer to a Socialist leaning; much further left than any Democrat candidate, but he needed a larger audience to be heard, so he joined. Now, after being defeated on so many levels he’s quickly breaking ties with the Party and heading back to Vermont and carry on in his position as a Senator as an Independent. The irony of the story is the fact that Bernie has encouraged his supporters to turn their support to candidate Clinton. On paper this sounds reasonable since he has always been closely aligned with the Democratic Party and has been endorsed by high-level Party members in his past Senate campaigns. Yet, despite the coziness, he always seemed to have difficulty calling himself a Democrat outright, even during the presidential run. In the end, he’s pushing people to support the Democrat agenda, perhaps hoping that his input moved the Party platform more to the left.
Back and Forth
The recent Wikileak e-mail drop clearly demonstrated that the DNC was actively working against Senator Sanders in his quest for the seat. As far back as April, Sanders had been vocalizing what he felt was happening and former DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz responded to his accusations sharply. She called him out as someone who had no understanding of the Democratic Party and highlighted how he only joined to run for President. Yet, after the e-mails were released, the tables turned and Sander’s was vindicated. But, now it appears that pendulum is once again in motion, swinging the other direction and giving some validation to Schultz’s statements. Bernie Sanders only joined the party to benefit himself and his own aspirations for higher office; which didn’t line up with the ideals of the Democratic Party. What’s again ironic is that his demands for changes within the Democratic Party leadership are continuing; even though he’s no longer part of that organization by his own choice.
What Happens Now?
There still remain the 13 million people who came out and voted for Sanders in the state primaries; what will become of them? Candidate Clinton certainly hopes that the parting words of Bernie Sanders were enough to encourage them to move to her side of the bench, but at this point it’s unclear on what they will do. Different sources have projected their version of where the bulk of them would move, but after this new announcement, those projections could change. Several scenarios could emerge over the next few days, all with negative ramifications to the Party. Sander’s supporters could see the move as a sign from their champion to also abandon the Democratic Party; possibly for good. Regardless of his earlier speech, this action will most likely speak louder to voters. Alternately his supporters may see his quitting the Party as a protest against the many misgivings that were handed to him along the way and go fully against Mrs. Clinton and even possibly turn to Donald Trump just to see her ultimately lose the election; sort of a payback approach. Or, his supporters, many of the young, may just quit politics altogether. He quit, therefore they will follow his lead and quit too.
His choice to make the announcement prior to Clinton making her acceptance speech was a strategically sound move. Reports that his delegates and supporters are already leaving the convention is huge groups, leaving large gaps of empty seats in the hall, won’t help the “unity” narrative the DNC is trying to show. The longstanding friction between the Clinton camp and Bernie’s supporters will most certainly come to a head in the next few days, and massive protests are expected. Bernie appears to be using this parting shot moment to cement the fact with voters that the DNC is corrupt and by exiting it now, he’s demonstrating leadership.