The most important endorsement of Clinton other than Sanders’ and Warren’s came today … from Al Gore
Paul Waldman has a lengthy post today at the Washington Post’s Plum Line blog titled “Despite what you’ve heard, Democrats aren’t in disarray. Their party is under attack from the outside.” He argues that the Democratic Party itself isn’t that divided, and that the divisions really are between Democrats and the outsider Sanders supporters who are trying—Sanders’ efforts to thwart it, notwithstanding—to thwart Clinton’s election.
I agree with most of what he says, but not the ultimate point that the Democrats themselves are really very divided. Yes, he says, there certainly are many Democrats who supported Sanders and who are dissatisfied with Clinton’s level of progressiveness, but they will vote for her anyway, and that means that the party itself is not very divided. He lists the many platform positions that were forced by Sanders, and says that is insufficient to gain the support of many Sanders supporters, but only the ones who aren’t Democrats.
He’s right about the latter point, for the most part, but not about the former. As an ardent Sanders supporter and a Democrat, who is no Clinton fan but who nonetheless wouldn’t be caught dead not voting for her in this election, I can attest that the party is quite divided—between Clinton fans and Bernie supporters who nonetheless, like me, wouldn’t be caught dead not voting for Clinton in this election.
Sanders is one of them, although I guess he’s not really considered a Democrat. But Elizabeth Warren is a Democrat, who clearly favored Sanders but who will do all she can to help Clinton in this election. And Al Gore is a Democrat who, I’m guessing, favored Sanders, and who today endorsed Clinton.
He knows that earth really is in the balance in November. And he is the most powerful living symbol imaginable of the abiding harm that the Sanders supporters who are trying to undermine Clinton want to do, and can do.
But Waldman is wrong about something else, too: his dismay that the many major platform concessions to Sanders and his supporters doesn’t satisfy the hostile Sanders supporters. It doesn’t satisfy them not because they feel the concessions don’t go far enough—they do feel that, but then so do I—but because most of these folks fear that Clinton will backpedal on the policy concessions once in office.
But Sanders and Warren are current senators. So is Jeff Merkley. And Sherrod Brown. And Dick Durbin. And Sheldon Whitehouse and Jack Reed. And Tammy Baldwin. And so, hopefully, will Russell Feingold and Tammy Duckworth, and three or four others, be. They’re revolutionaries. And they will have real power. But only with a Democrat in the White House.
This is one of the unremitting messages that they need to drive home. Another is Trump’s genuine fascism. They need to educate the public about the specifics of that—what Trump has actually said. What he’s referring to. What he plans. As well as what his fiscal and regulatory plan is.
I would love to see Bernie Sanders campaign with Al Gore, and together run down the many ways this country and the world would be profoundly different had Gore rather than Bush been the one inaugurated in January 2001. They can begin with the Supreme Court, and move on to environmental regulations.
I can’t fathom the point of trying to help elect Trump in order to bring down Wasserman Schultz’s candidate. Least of all in the name of Bernie Sanders’ revolution—which if Clinton is elected is positioned to march through Georgia, with or without her push. Okay, well, through Washington.