The Corner

Politics & Policy

Bernie Sanders’ 2016 Story Comes to an End

A little before 11 p.m. Eastern Monday, Bernie Sanders spoke to the convention and demonstrated he had no Cruz-esque defiance in him. In the end, Hillary Clinton – the one who took all that Wall Street money, who received gobs for speeches to every big firm and bank, the woman who had a personal foundation collecting donations from foreign countries while she set U.S. foreign policy – was good enough for the man who promised a political revolution was nigh.

“This felt more like a convention for Bernie Sanders than for Hillary Clinton, with many of his supporters refusing to embrace her candidacy and the convention floor descending into chaos for most of the day,” said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus in a released statement. “Throughout this primary, a 74-year old socialist from Vermont has encouraged grassroots Democrats to reject Hillary Clinton’s pay-to-play politics and cronyism, and the deep division that has fostered was on full display.”

Bernie Sanders fans have every reason to be disappointed and angry. We now know, thanks to WikiLeaks, that not only did the Democratic National Committee staff strongly prefer Hillary Clinton, but they sat around thinking up new ways to hit Sanders, including contemplating making him elaborate on his religious beliefs. They scheduled the minimal number of early debates and put them in the most inconvenient timeslots. In a party without super delegates, the entire narrative throughout the primary would be different. We can’t know for certain that a different DNC and Democrats using a super-delegate-free system would have elected Sanders, but it probably would have been even closer.

Bernie Sanders promised his supporters they could change the world if they just tried hard enough and worked hard enough. “Temper your expectations, be reasonable, compromise and settle” was the opposite of Sanders’ rallying cry for the past year, and yet that’s pretty much what he’s asking of his supporters now.

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