As an early morning chew toy, consider the following excerpts from a New York Times editorial board op-ed published today, which serves as a counterpoint to Cole’s “Pissing It All Away” post from last night:
Bernie Sanders’s Gift to His Party
The Democratic Party and Mrs. Clinton are better off for Mr. Sanders’s presence in this race. His criticism, as Winston Churchill might say, was not agreeable. But it called necessary attention to unhealthy developments in the Democratic Party, including its at times obliviousness to the lingering economic pain of the middle class and the young, and its drift toward political caution over aspiration.
Mr. Sanders’s unwillingness to compromise has contributed to a thin record of accomplishment over his decades in Congress. While Mrs. Clinton outflanks him on both knowledge and practice of foreign policy, on domestic policy he has forced her to address the impact of trade deals and globalization, spell out her stances on clean energy and oil and gas exploration, and put more meat on her plans for college affordability. He’s exposed her failure to support $15 an hour as a federal minimum wage, and rightly called her out on the Wall Street speeches that earned her millions and her refusal to make the transcripts public.
Mr. Sanders has exposed a broad vein of discontent that Democrats cannot ignore. Predictions that Mr. Sanders’s supporters could migrate to Donald Trump in the fall are overstated, despite Mr. Trump’s cynical efforts to woo them. It’s more likely that some simply won’t vote. Mrs. Clinton is betting that many Democrats will be motivated to get to the polls if Mr. Trump is the Republican nominee. But to truly unify the party, Mrs. Clinton and party leaders must work to incorporate Mr. Sanders and what he stands for in the party’s approach to the general election. It would also help to acknowledge that the party has strayed at times from its more aspirational path.
Unlike the voices on the Republican side, Mr. Sanders’s has elevated this campaign. The Democratic Party should listen.
So who is right about the Sanders effect, Cole or the NYT editorial board? That depends on how this all winds down.
I still have a Pollyanna-ish hope that it will end well — that BernieBros and Hilldebeasts will join forces to crush Trump, restock Congress with sane people and continue President Obama’s work of dragging this nation out of the cold, dead clutches of Reaganism.
Discuss this or anything else — open thread!