Not a Democrat - often enough, not a democrat. Credit - Public Domain via Congress

I have to admit that this mooted move by the Democratic National Committee seems entirely reasonable to me. The effect of it will be to prevent Bernie Sanders from running as the Democratic candidate for President next time around. On the – to me thoroughly reasonable – basis that he’s not actually a Democrat. And it does seem reasonable enough that if you want to run as part of a party then you be part of that party you’re running as.

I would note that I’ve walked this walk myself – I have run for political office (as an MEP, no, didn’t get elected) and I did indeed join the political party I ran for (Ukip). Would have seemed rather off not to be a party member really:

Democratic National Committee officials on Friday moved forward with a proposal to force the party’s presidential candidates to identify as Democrats, a move that drew immediate criticism from a top official in Bernie Sanders’ 2016 campaign.

Leave Bernie out of it for a moment. What is actually the justification for allowing non-party members to run as candidates for the party? There aren’t any that come to mind. It seems definitional that if you’re going to call upon the party loyalty of some significant section of the population (what, 25%, 30% of the population will vote straight party ticket, either way?) then you should be a member of that party calling upon that loyalty:

The Democratic National Committee adopted a new rule Friday aimed at preventing non-Democrats, such as independent U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, from seeking the party’s 2020 presidential nomination, reports said.

The rule change, adopted at a DNC meeting in Providence, R.I., requires all candidates for the party’s nomination to “run and serve” as Democrats, Yahoo News reported.

Some supporters of Sanders — who caucuses with the Democrats despite declining to declare a party affiliation — say the move was motivated by “spite” after Sanders gave Hillary Clinton a run for her money during the Democratic primaries in 2016.

OK, now add Bernie back into it. Is this a reaction to Bernie’s near-successful run? Sure it is. But is it the wrong thing to be doing whether we’re talking about Bernie or not? Not that I can see, not that I can see.

After all, it wouldn’t actually be difficult for Bernie to join the Democratic Party, would it? I’m sure these people could help him out.

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Rhoda Klapp
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Rhoda Klapp

You are right, Tim. He shouldn’t have been in for 2016. However, the dems needed to find a few credible candidates but could not and still can’t.

Spike
Member

The Democrat crop was and will still be “credible” to illegal entrants voting illegally, to welfare case “workers” and their “clients,” to men pretending to be women and insisting that others play along, and to anyone else who wants a law declaring that he outranks other Americans. The Republicans, however, have to do better than merely not be that loathsome. There will be no one on my ballot willing or able to counter the current Congress’s double-cross in failing to repeal Obama-care. All we got is the zeroing out of one of its many taxes, and only effective next year,… Read more »

Spike
Member

Agree. Democrats have slow-walked or stymied most of the Republican platform, notably the repeal of Obama-care, by being so relatively united and unanimous that the only division of note is TEA (“Taxed Enough Already”) Party Republicans versus Nevertrumpers. Sanders has stood in solidarity with the Dems, but it is entirely reasonable to deny the Party’s fundraising, mass-mailing, ballot-access, and legal-challenge muscle to a candidate who wants the luxury of being officially exempt from its discipline during the Congress. As the Democratic nominee in 2020, he could both take advantage of Pelosi’s contacts and disavow any relation to her whenever convenient.… Read more »

Rhoda Klapp
Member
Rhoda Klapp

Of course, Bernie could join and then how would they stop him?

Spike
Member

If Bernie became a Democrat, it would mean that, with this motion, the Democratic National Committee solved the problem it set out to solve. It might give Bernie some minor problems with the most hard-core of his base of Burlington socialists.

The problem, as always, is: What does it mean? Bernie has been an ally of the Dems despite lack of the label; slapping the label on him doesn’t oblige him to keep doing so, nor board planes to give speeches in 2020 for Gropin’ Joe Biden or Kumbayah Kamala Harris or whoever is the nominee.

Spike
Member

Back in Burlington, by the way, the Governor has just signed into law a tax for citizens not anticipating their needs by enrolling with a member of the corporate oligarchy. Earlier, he broke Vermont’s status as a relatively gun-friendly state. (Punch line: He is a Republican.) https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/jun/10/vermont-require-all-residents-have-health-insuranc/

Hector Drummond
Member

The Sarah Wollaston mistake comes to mind.