|Bernie greets the Bird of Doom (3/25/16)|
Why? Because if he had something newsworthy to say, I wanted to be among the first to hear it. Also, I was also hoping for my opinion about him to shift into positive territory again even if he didn't concede the race.
Unfortunately, both of these hopes were dashed.
For one thing, I discovered that Bernie lecturing non-stop for that long was nothing short of agonizingly boring, and it didn't help that so much of it was totally familiar. After about 10 minutes I realized that I was used to hearing him talk for no longer than a couple of minutes at a time in debates and on Sunday morning news shows. And his hour-plus rally speeches were made a bit more exciting by the almost constant applause breaks and general audience participation. This extended soliloquy was just really tough to sit through.
But the main problem was that it was basically a 23-minute speech to announce that his campaign is still running but sitting in idle. In short: Continue the "revolution", reform the Democratic Party to his personal vision, Clinton is okay on some things but not on others, and oh yeah, we need to defeat Trump. It's certainly great that he keeps pressing the important issues that unite all progressives, and I hope he keeps doing that all the way to convention, general election and beyond. It's also terrific that he's encouraging his followers to run for office, as Democrats really do need to rebuild our bench on the local level.
However, he didn't come anywhere close to conceding...even though he clearly lost the nomination and there are no more battles to be fought. That's a problem.
By this time eight years ago, Clinton had already unequivocally conceded to Obama despite it being a photo finish in the popular vote, and that was just the start of her unification efforts. As for Sanders, I guess he's hoping for a miracle that will never arrive while keeping his website rolling as if the next primary is right around the corner, complete with multiple prominent "contribute" buttons. But at this point it might as well be a GoFundMe for Tad Devine and Jeff Weaver, because no events or advertising are on the horizon.
So maybe there's not much else to do but leave him be for now. The current state of his "campaign" is unsustainable and the convention is only about five weeks away. Hopefully he will end up making the right decision for himself, his (temporary?) party and his country by late July, but there's not much else to do right now but move on without him.
2016 isn't and never was about bending to the particular demands of one independent senator from a small state, even if he did win a lot of votes. It's about keeping the White House in Democratic control and retaking Congress from the Republicans. Period.
We welcome Bernie's support in this massive (or revolutionary, if you prefer) effort if or when he decides he's ready. But in the meantime, perhaps it's best for the rest of us to carry on with our efforts to win this thing in November.