Did Bernie Betray the Movement, or Is the Movement Betraying Bernie?

Sunday, July 31, 2016 - 6:45pm

It seems like an awful lot of Sanders supporters are disavowing Sen. Sanders - booing at the Convention, shifting their vote to Jill Stein, etc - with many expressing the sentiment that Bernie has betrayed them.

Yet, from the beginning, Sen. Sanders has said that this is a movement, it's about Us, not Him.  He took the campaign as far as he could, losing the nomination to Hillary Clinton (for reasons fair or foul).  In the process, he's advanced our Progressive agenda, and positioned Progressives for significant power in the next Congress - if we elect a Democratic majority.

  • He's shifted the agenda of the Democratic Party back toward its Progressive roots.
  • He's shifted the discussion - it seems like everyone at the Convention was talking Progressive, and talking about Bernie's leadership.  He's made it safe for Democratic candidates to be Progressive.
  • He positioned himself, Elizabeth Warren, and other Progressives to assume key leadership positions in the next Congress.
  • He's set the stage for enacting Progressive legislation and budget priorities.
  • His nomination speech for Hillary Clinton sounded a lot more like a victory speech - essentially saying "we're here, we're not going away" - with Hillary looking a lot more like a figurehead for the Progressive wing of the Party (i.e., us), than a leader.

All in all, these are big wins for the movement.  IF, and ONLY IF, WE CONSOLIDATE THESE GAINS.  We still need to regain control of Congress, and elect more progressives as we do so, and put someone in place to sign legislation & budgets.  

Right now, Bernie has gained a lot of political clout - for us.  If we stick with Bernie, we will be doing the Democratic Party what the Tea Party did to the Republicans - taking it over.  If we disavow & desert him - all that power will disapate and we'll be back to business as usual.   

Now is the time to continue following Bernie's lead - not splinter into competing factions.