Can Dems Stop Bernie Without It Backfiring?
(UnitedVoice.com) – It’s deja vu all over again in the Democratic presidential primary.
Yesterday, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) created a firestorm when Hillary Clinton-backed moderates were overwhelmingly appointed to powerful committee positions.
Allegations are being made that the DNC is, once again, rigging the primary in an attempt to block Democratic Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Instead of Sanders, the DNC leadership seems to want to nominate a more moderate candidate that it believes can defeat President Trump.
Here’s the real question: is it too late to stop Sanders? Does he have the momentum with voters and the majority of party insiders?
According to the latest polling, Sanders is surging and is in a dead heat with former Vice President and front-runner Joe Biden.
It’s about to get interesting for those paying attention to the Democratic primaries that kickoff next week with the Iowa Caucuses.
Moderate Democrats Express Worry
Sanders’ campaign polling numbers show evidence of support at the expense of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). Polls numbers show Sanders picking up steam as Warren has quickly lost support.
Centrist Democrats are warning the party that waiting to attack Sanders could present a serious problem for the party’s chances of victory against Trump.
Former advisor to President Obama Dan Pfeiffer said, “A lot of the party was naive to Bernie’s strengths, and didn’t fully realize how well-positioned he was until this last week. This is very well set up for Bernie.”
Matt Bennett is the Vice President of Third Way, a centrist Democratic group. He told The Washington Post that “People need to start taking Bernie pretty seriously — there is a really substantial risk of him becoming unstoppable if he wins these early states by large numbers.”
Division Developing Between the Democratic National Committee and Sanders’ Campaign
In 2016, Sanders lost a long and divisive primary battle to Hillary Clinton. Sanders and his supporters alleged that the DNC stacked the committee and super delegates against him in favor of Clinton — the ultimate DNC nominee who lost to Donald Trump.
Suspicions of the DNC’s motives still run deep in the Sanders campaign. The DNC appointed moderates and Clinton supporters to important positions that shape and oversee the rules and party platform for the DNC nominating committee this summer.
DNC Chairman Tom Perez named numerous moderates and only a handful of select Sanders’ supporters to committee seats. Among the appointments is 2016 Hillary Clinton surrogate and former Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), who was named co-chair of the convention’s Rules Committees. Additionally, 2016 Clinton campaign manager John Podesta was appointed to serve on the committee.
In 2016, Podesta was quoted as saying, “…not opposed” to grinding [Bernie] Sanders to a pulp. Where would you stick the knife in?”
Sanders supporter and DNC committee member Yasmine Taeb said that “there’s a very small number of appointments of allies to Sen. Sanders. The appointments also include individuals that are outright hostile to Bernie Sanders and his supporters. It’s not the message the DNC should be sending to the grassroots right now when we’re all working aggressively to defeat the racist in the White House.”
Sanders’ Supporters Walk Out
On Monday night in Des Moines, Iowa, a mock caucus was held and Sanders’ supporters walked out when it was obvious they could not meet the minimum 15% threshold to earn delegates. Normally, candidates would lend their strength to help another candidate.
This suggests that divisions in the party are deeper than many want to believe. In 2016, some of Sanders’s supporters abandoned Hillary Clinton and helped elect Donald Trump as a result.
The national co-chair of Sanders campaign, Nina Turner, said, “The DNC should be ashamed of itself, because it really is a slap in the face to folks who were asking for reform… if the DNC believes that it’s going to get away in 2020 with what it did in 2016, it has another thing coming.”
Could history be repeating itself?
By Don Purdum, Freelance Contributor
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