Democratic Civil War or Business as Usual?
“Look, I like Joe. He has promised me to be there for me in case I got the nominee, and I promised him I would be there for him also.” It is a sentence Bernie Sanders would repeat during his Sunday afternoon TV appearances this Sunday.
The approach, of course, is reasonable. Inevitably, Democrats should get behind the eventual candidate, no matter their original choice. However, while Sanders preaches unity on TV, his surrogates and supporters seem to play to a different tune, which begs the question: is Sanders’ pledge genuine?
Are the Democrats Truly Unified?
Throughout his entire campaign, Sanders has never gotten tired of emphasizing the importance of defeating Donald Trump and uniting the country. Nonetheless, his supporters do not seem to share the unconditional love for the Democratic Party. Months ago, many of them had already said that they would vote for Sanders only. To achieve this option, they are currently attacking Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren for the fact that she still has not yet endorsed Sanders — not Trump.
For example, “Bidencare” would “kill 125,000 people” due to lack of insurance, the left-wing think tank People’s Policy Project recently announced. Its founder Matt Bruenig demanded Warren’s exit weeks ago in favor of a Sanders endorsement.
Congresswoman Ilhan Omar also criticized Warren by tweeting after Super Tuesday: “Imagine that the progressives had united as the moderates did – who would have won?”
Justice Democrats: Leader in Democratic Division
Meanwhile, the uber progressive group Justice Democrats continually criticizes Biden. The vice president was “in almost total opposition to what is now the center of energy in the Democratic Party,” the group wrote. Biden stood for the “old guard” of the party, which “failed to prevent” Trump. Naturally, the group considers Sanders as a “stronger candidate” to defeat Trump, Justice Democrat-elected Alexandria-Ocasio-Cortez emphasized on Twitter recently.
And then there are the Teachers for Bernie who are currently exemplary for those activists who are heavily invested in targeting Biden over Trump. “We are forming a coalition that will defeat Trump,” Biden had tweeted on Wednesday evening. Less than two hours later, Teachers for Bernie retweeted his comment with the remark the establishment is not a coalition.”
How seriousl;ly could one take Teachers for Bernie if they were not reminding the public of Biden’s plagiarism case, which is now more than 30 years old and once forced him to leave the presidential race?
More Examples of Anti-Biden Fearmongering on the Left
The magazine The Nation, which supports Sanders, recently published a tweet stating that Biden promoted racial segregation and “mass detentions,” as well as a step back in women’s rights and environmental protection. Biden’s policy was Trumpian according to them.
Ironically, the most Trumpian approach has been one the Bernie Bros have been utilizing online. On Twitter — in particular — Sanders supporters have continuously attacked Biden’s cognitive abilities and essentially sided with the Trump camp in “diagnosing” Biden with dementia. Doctored clips of Biden seemingly forgetting Obama’s name etc., were supposed to present the “evidence” collected by the bros.
By no means can Sanders held accountable for anyone on social media or in the streets who are expressing a negative opinion about Biden. However, his surrogates, AOC and Ilhan Omar, in particular, are currently conducting Biden’s bidding and thus will not make any comments that have not been blessed by Sanders himself beforehand.
And so far, the attacks have mostly been in accordance with what both Biden and Sanders concurred on: a campaign without dirty tactics. However, it will be interesting to see whether Sanders’ camp is continuing this approach if he continues to trail Biden on Tuesday.
All of a sudden, Biden’s son Hunter, who has been off-limits during the whole Democratic race, could become the star. The same would likely apply to Biden’s brother. It is what Democrats need to avoid at all costs, however, as they can ill-afford a candidate who has been severely damaged and borderline unelectable before facing Trump. It would make the quest for the White House significantly more difficult.
Whether Sanders sees it this way, however, must be questioned, considering the current polling numbers are going. Sooner or later Sanders is likely to direct the Bernie Bros as well as the Squad to change their approach towards Biden.