Sanders officials say that the Democratic Party should embrace the senator's supporters, not repel them. While they say they don't condone the behavior of some of their supporters at the Nevada convention, they blame leaders of the Nevada Democratic Party for shutting out Sanders' backers, prompting the chaos.
But new audio obtained by CNN shows a senior Sanders aide -- on the eve of the Nevada convention -- encouraging the senator's supporters try to "take over" the convention, change party rules and continue the "revolution" that Sanders has long campaigned on.
"You should not leave," Joan Kato, the national delegates director, told Sanders supporters in a meeting last week at the Rumor Boutique Hotel. "I'm going to repeat that, unless you are told by someone from the campaign ... that you can leave, you should not leave."
I am not sure what the Sanders' campaign thought would happen when they instruct their supporters to "take over" and refuse to leave, but clearly they should have expected anger, disruption, and death threats directed at the party chair. Because that is what happened.
Josh Marshall over at TPM now realizes that the problem with the Sanders campaign come from the top:
For months I'd thought and written that Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver was the key driver of toxicity in the the Democratic primary race. Weaver has been highly visible on television, far more than campaign managers tend to be. He's also been the one constantly upping the tension, pressing the acrimony and unrealism of the campaign as Sanders actual chances of winning dwindled.
But now I realize I had that wrong.
This should have been obvious to me. The tone and tenor of a campaign always come from the top. It wasn't obvious to me until now.
If you think that losing a staunch liberal like Josh Marshall is bad get a load of what Markos Moulitsas wrote over on the Daily Kos yesterday:
Bernie Sanders lost the delegate battle at the Nevada State Democratic convention this past weekend, which only makes sense since he lost the state when voters voted. However, that didn’t stop one of the biggest explosions of outright crazy in Democratic politics in … forever.
Moulitsas then goes on to list all of the harassment directed at State Democratic Party Chair Roberta Lange by Sanders supporters and sums the whole thing up thusly:
This is no longer a presidential campaign. I don’t know what it is, but that moment has passed.
They say when, as a liberal, you lose Kos. You have pretty much lost your progressive credibility.
But not to worry Bernie has at least somebody on his side.
Oh yeah Donald Trump is LOVING this constant talk of the Democratic party being unfair and claims of corruption coming from the Sanders supporters. He could not have asked for a better scenario going into the general.Bernie Sanders is being treated very badly by the Democrats - the system is rigged against him. Many of his disenfranchised fans are for me!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 18, 2016
I think it is now obvious to just about everybody who is not a rabid Sanders supporter that the campaign is over and whatever Bernie hoped to accomplish has now been tainted.
In fact the campaign itself seems to have recognized the writing on the wall as well, they just don't want to the people who are still blindly following them and sending them their beer money.
Courtesy of Politico:
A handful of high-level staffers have left Bernie Sanders’ campaign in recent days, including his director of technology and three of the four members of his original senior leadership team in California — a state his team has said is critical to his bid for the Democratic nomination.
The moves come at a time of contraction for the campaign, which let go of hundreds of field staffers earlier this month amid slowed fundraising.
There are ways to end a political campaign with some dignity, but it really seems at this point that moment has passed for Bernie Sanders.
Which is too bad because I really feel that many of the issues that Sanders brought up were very important to have been included in this campaign season. However they have now been discussed, the Democratic party has taken note, and Hillary has included some of them in her platform.
So for Bernie Sanders to drag this out until the July convention, where his supporters will undoubtedly disrupt the proceedings and cause mayhem, seems completely unnecessary and even potentially harmful.
No the Clinton campaign will NOT call for Sanders to end his campaign, they can't since it would scandalize his supporters and likely anger them into skipping the November elections entirely.
But he needs to.
And do you know what? On some level I think he knows that.
Well, at least he should.