There are sore losers, and then there are Bernie Sanders supporters.
Even though Joe Biden has 2,632 delegates to Sanders’ 1,076, making him the presumptive nominee after Sanders suspended his campaign this spring, that hasn’t stopped efforts by Sanders supporters to muscle their agenda onto Biden’s 2020 election platform.
Eschewing Medicare for All, Biden has his own health care ideas, proposing a public healthcare plan that would exist alongside the health insurance industry.
That’s not good enough for Democratic Party progressives.
Politico reports that more than 360 delegates, most of whom back Sanders, have signed on to a pledge to vote against the Democratic Party’s platform if it does not include support for “Medicare for All.”
In other words, Biden must morph his platform to conform to the wishes of those who weren’t backing him in the first place.
Biden has done much to appease party progressives, under the guise of “unity.” He embraced Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s bankruptcy reform plan, said he would aim to lower the age one is eligible for Medicare from 65 to 60, and forgive federal loan debt for those making less than $125,000, with some provisos.
Biden’s left turn signal has been blinking for months, but progressives won’t be happy until he’s driven in a complete circle.
The pledge is their way of saying “things are about to get ugly.”
It’s highly unlikely those who sign the petition can actually revise the Democratic platform to include Medicare for All, but they have enough people to get noticed. Which is the point.
“The sea change that’s underway could swell as a result of this initiative,” said Norman Solomon, national director of RootsAction.org and a Sanders delegate. “It’s a reasonable hope that historians will look back at the next couple of weeks as a time when hundreds of delegates stepped forward and said, ‘This is a red line for a humane society and we’re not going to stop saying so.’”
Or those historians could look back and say, “Isn’t that just like 2016?”
Back then, Sanders supporters protested outside the convention, and booed Bernie himself when he spoke in support of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
Politico reports that in a Zoom call with his delegates last week, Sanders urged his supporters to both “engage in coalition politics with the goal of defeating Trump,” and to “make sure that a Biden administration is the most progressive administration in modern American history.”
We’re not sure how the petition signers are going to make their point heard at next month’s Democratic National Convention, but we’re betting “coalition politics” will have nothing to do with it.
If the Democratic Party was hoping to underwhelm American voters this year, it’s done a great job, from the boring debates to the lukewarm campaign of Joe Biden.
A convention marked by discord between Sanders supporters and Biden boosters only serves to underscore the party’s scattershot approach to defeating President Trump.
Of course, those on Team Sanders could wait until Biden is perhaps elected and then maneuver to impeach him as soon as the Inaugural balloons have popped.
It’s been done before.