Is It Time For Sanders To Throw In The Towel?

For months, Democratic leaders have been calling on Bernie Sanders to cede the Democratic nomination for president to Hillary Clinton. What many initially thought would be a rowdy Republican convention now looks done and dusted, whereas Democratic officials appear to have a rockier road ahead to their convention in Philadelphia.

Sanders doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon, having said he will continue to actively campaign until California votes in its June 7 primary.

His supporters have heard the rallying call.

Events that transpired over the weekend are evidence of an increasingly divisive atmosphere within the Democratic party.

During Nevada’s Democratic state convention on Saturday, a sudden change in the delegate allocation rules caused seven of the 12 delegates Sanders was hoping to secure to be allocated to Clinton.

Nevada Democratic party chair Roberta Lange told the convention delegates when pressed about the rule change: the “ruling by the Chair is not debatable; we cannot be challenged and I move that … and I announce that the rules have been passed by the body.”



Some Sanders supporters reacted in a wildly disproportionate manner to the news, some going as far as making death threats against chairwoman Lange.

In another incident in Nevada, amidst boos from angered Sanders supporters, California Sen. Barbara Boxer pleaded for party unity: “We need civility in the Democratic Party. Civility. Because the whole future of the country is at stake. When you boo me, you’re booing Bernie Sanders. Go ahead. Bernie is my friend.”

Is it reasonable for the Sanders campaign to remain full-throat engaged in the primary race, particularly in light of the deteriorating relationship between Sanders supporters and DNC leadership?

Politico’s David Wade put it bluntly but accurately: “We already know Sanders isn’t going to win the Democratic Party’s nomination; Hillary Clinton has amassed more than 92% of the delegates needed to secure the nomination, and she’ll easily pick up the rest. So right now, Sanders’ campaign is the walking dead: a zombie.”

The Sanders campaign has not been afforded the platform to influence the Democratic party one might anticipate, considering the substantial support base he has developed during the primary season, and in view of the need for unity in November.

Of 45 names put forward by the Sanders campaign, three were chosen by DNC chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL) to serve as at-large members on either of the three standing committees: Rules, Credentials or Platform Drafting.

Has the Bernie Sanders campaign served its ideological purpose?

The Democratic National Convention will decide. Part of the campaign's reasoning for remaining in the race could be to block Clinton from pivoting back to the center too soon. Bernie Sanders will have the support to sustain his campaign though California, whether the Clinton campaign likes it or not.

12 comments about "Is It Time For Sanders To Throw In The Towel?".
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  1. Anglyn Hays from Free Lance Writer Hire Me!, May 18, 2016 at 5:16 p.m.

    Please, quit trying to be a pundit when you are clearly a sideliner.  Why should Sanders throw in the towel when the two candidates set to battle him are two of the most unpopular candidates in modern history? Even USA history?  The gerentocracy roars on 2016.  Two baby boomers, hugely unpopular, battle a Silent generation candidate (even older than the boomers) with a strange popular appeal to the younger-than-boomer voter.  Millennials prefer grandpa over mom and dad, respectively.  I'm happy.

  2. Philip Rosenstein from Law360 replied, May 18, 2016 at 5:53 p.m.

    Anglyn, we can leave the pundits to their punditry. You are right, there are good reasons for Sanders to stay in the race. There are also reasons, however, for Democrats to be increasingly worried about cohesion in the party. The events in Nevada are possibly leading the party down a dangerous path.

  3. Anglyn Hays from Free Lance Writer Hire Me!, May 18, 2016 at 6:13 p.m.

    The democrats have no cohesion, but not to worry.  Republicans have no more cohesion than the democrats.  Don't you think this is exciting.  We are witnessing two parites deintregrate before our eyes.  It is clear to me at least that one party is not affecting the other, but rather that both are in their death thros of natural causes.  I'm sure liberal ideology will survive the Democratic party, and I am equally sure that conservative ideology will survive the Republican party.  It isn't dangerous, it is growth, and it is exciting.

  4. Philip Rosenstein from Law360 replied, May 18, 2016 at 6:50 p.m.

    It surely is exciting. Both parties are facing serious difficulties. But for one, there isn't the variety of national leaders in the Democratic party pledging never to support Clinton, like we have in the GOP with refusals to support the nominee. The grassroots reality for Democrats is different, but the party apparatus is thus far intact. The Republican party seems to have almost come apart at the seams with leaders now trying to mend the wounds as best they can. The Democrats may not suffer the same fate this cycle, but there's certainly a big shift coming.

  5. Anglyn Hays from Free Lance Writer Hire Me!, May 18, 2016 at 7:15 p.m.

    I believe the parties are disintregrating from the bottom up so national leaders are a bigger part of the problem than they might seem in the older contexts.  Their wounds are not mendable because they are self inflicted.  It is a generational divide that a certain generation could not face was coming.  It won't collapse the government much less the nation if the old parties go down in the history books, hahaha, as long as their property transfers, lol, you know 501(c)3 style?  They are after all, artifical persons as we say. 

    As a nation, we have done this before without having a civil war over it, I think we can do it again and the benefits might be great.  The old paradigm of cold war, then post-cold-war forever, did not make my nation many friends, or win it a beloved status.  I think that could change in the near future, if we change, that can change.  Even better, I think there's a buck for everyone who wants to bounce the ball as the change occurs, so why not?

  6. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, May 19, 2016 at 6:45 a.m.

    Anglyn, regarding your "Cold War" comment, what would you have done instead? Was our engaging with the Soviets a great mistake? Should we have allowed them to take over Europe? True, some of our actions during the Cold War ( getting embroiled in Nam ) and afterward (invading Iraq ) were, in hindsight poor decisions. But then, the Communists weren't exactly nice guys---or were they?

  7. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, May 19, 2016 at 9:43 a.m.

    Regarding Anglyn's other points, I tend to agree with her about both parties reshaping themselves. In my lifetime I have witnessed some truly huge shifts in the core constituencies of both parties. For example, the Democrats could once count on the "Solid South", but their fight for civil rights---a well and proper crusade----in the late 1950s and 1960s----caused many southern whites to switch to the Republican party. And not for a very good reason---in my opinion. At the same time, over the past three decades we have seen many former Republican bastions ---such as much of New England and the midwest, become "blue" states while the party is now very heavily dependent on "ethnic" voters for its suppors. Meanwhile the Christian "Right" is very strongly entrenched in the Republican Party. That wasn't always the case.

    So change is possible---without a civil war. And it will be interesting to see how the two parties shake out---even "exciting" as Anglyn believes. Overriding all of this is the fundamental battle pitting capitalism against socialism---or the "progressive" solution. Here, we are not talking so much about political power plays, "vote buying" and voting coalitions but the future direction of the entire country. There, I'm afraid, it's going to take more than changing our party affiliations and credos to come to a resolution. There are too many of us who believe in the incentives of capitalism, hence I fear the the "progressives" will eventually realize that they must force their will upon those who disagree---no matter what age or sex they happen to be. If that decision is made and action is taken----then a civil war is not out of the question.

  8. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, May 19, 2016 at 9:56 a.m.

    Just to clarify my last post, I refer to the Democrat Party as depending heavily on "ethnic" voters, not the Republican Party.

  9. Michael Pursel from Pursel Advertising, May 19, 2016 at 6:06 p.m.

    Ed:  I understand you like history...maybe this might help.  The Civil Rights Act -- which is best known for barring discrimination in public accommodations -- passed the House on Feb. 10, 1964 by a margin of 290-130. When broken down by party, 61 percent of Democratic lawmakers voted for the bill (152 yeas and 96 nays), and a full 80 percent of the Republican caucus supported it (138 yeas and 34 nays).

    When the Senate passed the measure on June 19, 1964, -- nine days after supporters mustered enough votes to end the longest filibuster in Senate history -- the margin was 73-27. Better than two-thirds of Senate Democrats supported the measure on final passage (46 yeas, 21 nays), but an even stronger 82 percent of Republicans supported it (27 yeas, 6 nays).

    The primary reason that Republican support was higher than Democratic support is that the opposition to the bill primarily came from Southern lawmakers. In the mid 1960s, the South was overwhelmingly Democratic -- a legacy of the Civil War and Reconstruction, when the Republican Party was the leading force against slavery and its legacy. Because of this history, the Democratic Party in the 1960s was divided between Southern Democrats, most of whom opposed civil rights legislation, and Democrats from outside the South who more often than not supported it.  If you go back further than 1960 you'll find it was the Republicans that were the major force behind "White" acceptance of civil rights.   Many high level Democrats were in fact high ranking KKK members.  Like Robert Byrd.  But today.. you would think every republican wears a robe and pointy hat.  Nice how the left has revised history.

  10. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, May 19, 2016 at 6:16 p.m.

    Thanks for the added detail, Michael. Yep, history gets rewritten all of the time, not only by TV news but by the media in general---that includes Hollywood as well as much of our "entertainment" content, newspaper articles, etc. Which is one reason why I am a wary independent, politically, not the ardent Liberal I was in my youth. I've seen too many promises that were unfullfilled and premises that truned out to be false to be easily swayed by pious sounding, PC-type slogans.

  11. Anglyn Hays from Free Lance Writer Hire Me! replied, May 20, 2016 at 12:10 a.m.

    I think Derrida cleared up the history writing problem for everyone in the mid 1990s. History never ever tells us what happened back in the day so much as it tells us how it might matter today. That's why meaningful histories about the American Revolution are still being written, and will continue to be written without invalidating one another on every point. If you want one narrative, one correct witness, no complications, no ambiguities, try romance fiction.

  12. Anglyn Hays from Free Lance Writer Hire Me! replied, May 20, 2016 at 12:14 a.m.

    Now, now, just because republicans look hot in pointy phallic hats, doesn't mean the liberals are turned on.

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