Writing at The American Conservative, Jim Antle III takes on the question of whether or not self-proclaimed Socialist Democrat Sen. Bernie Sanders, is progressive enough to succeed in today’s Democrat Party. Antle writes (abridged):
Bernie Sanders’s quest for the Democratic presidential nomination was one of the biggest surprises of the 2016 campaign, surpassed only by the election’s ultimate winner.
On Tuesday he announced he wants to try again, this time in a race with no obvious frontrunner.
To get a sense of how the Bernie revolution might eat its own, let’s reflect on why he fell short the first time. Sanders is an old-school leftist who believes in the centrality of class, not race. Hailing from one of the whitest states in the country, he never made inroads in the communities of color that have become such a large part of the Democratic primary electorate—and the crucial reason Obama prevailed where Sanders’ fellow Vermonter Howard Dean did not.
Sanders was pilloried for his refusal to support open borders in a 2015 interview with liberal pundit Ezra Klein. “No, that’s a Koch brothers proposal,” Sanders replied, later calling it “right-wing.” He added, “It would make everybody in America poorer—you’re doing away with the concept of a nation state, and I don’t think there’s any country in the world that believes in that.”
In the primaries, Sanders will have to share the left lane with others. Elizabeth Warren can compete with him on economics, Tulsi Gabbard for antiwar street cred. Nearly all the contenders now support “Medicare for All,” with many signing up for the $42 trillion Green New Deal.
If Democrats decide they want an aging white male for old times sake, Joe Biden could do the trick. His eight years as vice president under Obama revived his political fortunes, as Trump says in less flattering terms
The modern Democratic Party is like a parade marching leftward so rapidly that it is hard for anyone, even Bernie Sanders, to keep up for long.
Read more here.