The basic problem with Bernie Sanders campaign is that his sole political role since the start of his career has been as the archetypal outsider. He injects ideas into the political debate that didn’t get play time, but he didn’t concentrate on making those things happen. Now it is costing him.
He has ran amazing campaigns in 2015/6 and 2019/20 raising interest amongst younger voters and even managing to encourage them to participate in the political processes that govern their lives. However I think that he is likely to not gain his parties nomination from primary voters because he has to convince existing democratic party voters to give him their primary votes.
Bernie is a one-trick pony in that he appears to only has one political gear. In my view, he just loves being in opposition, and shows no signs of ever being anything else.
It shows in that he is the independent senator for Vermont. This shows in the lack of legislation with his name on it. Sure the two things may be related. However it isn’t hard to find independent senators in US history who have managed to do that. The primary fundamental purpose of politicians is to pass legislation that provides our legal framework. Bernie appears to have limited experience with the concept. Instead he has ideas, and no apparent legislative pathway to achieve them.
His campaign, while less virulent about the Democratic party (which deserves most of the criticism it gets from the left) last time, doesn’t show any real signs of working towards that objective. It appears that winning the nomination and maybe an election is his sole purposes. The result of that is that it nows shows again in long serving Democrats involved in the structure of the Democratic Party aren’t throwing their support behind his nomination as the Democratic candidate for President.
It is a continual draining toil being involved in a political party, something that my last decade of slowly withdrawing from active involvement has made me realise. The people who do it for any length of time are there to get incremental changes passed. The way to get that happening is to build momentum with small implemented changes and ideas about how to achieve further change.
The revolutionaries who want fast widespread changes usually manage to talk a lot, but within a few years mostly wander away crying that no-one else shares their vision and that the structure is against them. They lack the dogged persistence and independence of a Bernie. But he really is a big ideas person….
If you look at the appalling American medical and employment systems for instance – his ideas are good if you were in any normal society. But I simply can’t see how he is going to achieve any of them from the position of President. It is going to require legislation from both houses of congress, require support from the legislature of the states that make up the ‘united states’ and be framed in such a way that the federal court system can’t toss it on constitutional grounds.
This is the hard place that the gormless dickhead who is their current president rails against, and one that he keeps failing to conquer. While the founders of the USA merely replicated the monarchical that they revolted against (and one that much of the world has now largely discarded), they also provided some pretty severe limits on its abilities to rule by monarchical decree. It is a system that requires the kind of political consensus building that appears to be foreign to Bernie.
The recognition of this amongst older democratic primary voters appears to be why the primary vote is moving away from Bernie winning the 1901 delegates. Sure it is moving towards a flawed, establishment, marginally less antique, and candidate. But that candidate has some proven ability to get legislation through and he may even get some progressive legislation through the logjam that is American politics.
As it stands now, Democrat primary voters don’t have a range of candidates to look at. They just have Sanders, Biden and a trailing Warren. The vote splitting has all but vanished.
The only thing that the Bernie campaign can do is to try to pivot towards convincing the remaining democratic primary older voters that he can forge a visible consensus with the other Democratic politicians (think Nancy Pelosi for instance) to work legislation through. But that balances his entire existing campaign on a knife point because too much concoiliation will probably piss off the rigidities of his existing younger support. He’ll start to look like a politician.
Personally, I wouldn’t have voted for Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders. My remote pick throughout has been Elizabeth Warren who has the advantages of intelligence, and ability to cooperate, and what looks like a viable progressive agenda…