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.

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This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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