Bernie Sanders Kinda Sorta Officially* Admits He Lost


Bernie Sanders gets tossed a bone today:

Top Bernie Sanders supporters Dr. Cornel West and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) will be among those on the Democratic Party’s important Platform Drafting Committee after the Vermont senator won a key concession as he looks to leave his mark on the party’s platform. The roster of the drafting committee, released by the Democratic National Committee on Monday, reflects the party’s agreement that Sanders would have five supporters on the committee, compared to six for Hillary Clinton.

First off: If Bernie has officially agreed to accept five out of 11 members on the Platform Committee, isn’t that a tacit admission that he’s already lost the nomination?

But also: Does anyone care about the platform? Seriously. I know it’s a big fight every four years, but does either party platform ever have any effect at all on the election?

And as long as we’re talking about Bernie, Christopher Achen and Larry Bartels write today that his supporters don’t actually support his lefty politics:

In a survey conducted for the American National Election Studies in late January, supporters of Mr. Sanders…were less likely than Mrs. Clinton’s supporters to favor concrete policies that Mr. Sanders has offered…including a higher minimum wage, increasing government spending on health care and an expansion of government services financed by higher taxes.

…Mr. Sanders has drawn enthusiastic support from young people, a common pattern for outsider candidates. But here, too…the generational difference in ideology seems not to have translated into more liberal positions on concrete policy issues—even on the specific issues championed by Mr. Sanders. For example, young Democrats were less likely than older Democrats to support increased government funding of health care, substantially less likely to favor a higher minimum wage and less likely to support expanding government services. Their distinctive liberalism is mostly a matter of adopting campaign labels, not policy preferences.

That’s interesting, if not especially surprising. We’re all basically tribalists at our cores. Except for you and me, of course.

*Okay, okay, it’s not official. It’s…um, a semi-admission of reality? Or something. In any case, I’ve gotten a bunch of non-ranty emails about this, which is a welcome change. So I’m happy to clarify that I was sort of semi-joking. Or something.

MORE HARD-HITTING JOURNALISM

In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones, a special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.