As argued by Benjamin Studebaker, the "right nationalists" have captured the Republican Party -- and that means neither likely nominee, Trump or Cruz, can win in the general.
The Sanders candidacy is the best chance to vote in a real progressive who can return the Party to its highly successful roots in the New Deal era. But that’s not why Bernie is so good for Dems. He’s better than Hillary for their employment prospects.
Bernie is God’s Gift To The Democratic Party (Secularly Speaking)
Despite his history as an independent, Bernie provides the Democrats with their first opportunity in decades to take the Senate (and the House in a second Sanders term) and keep it (them) through the midterm elections.
That’s because Democratic voters tend to stay home in the midterms, unless they are energized to continue participating in the political process -- something Sanders’ “political revolution” has done and will continue to do. His grassroots legions ain’t going away. Unlike Obama, who effectively dismantled his grassroots operation after winning the presidency, Bernie understands that change comes from below and he will keep the grassroots well watered and fertilized.
When Sanders inspires legions of new Democratic voters to vote in the midterm elections, they will overwhelm a split and demoralized Republican Party. Those Democratic incumbents who supported Bernie will be re-elected. (Many of those who didn’t will be primaried and may lose their seats.) The Progressive caucus will swell with “Sanders Democrats.” Bernie will be able to "get stuff done."
A Hillary Presidency Will Be Crippled From The Get-Go
Hillary can't do that. If she is elected, the House and Senate will remain in Republican hands throughout her tenure in the White House. On the one hand, her limited, so-called "pragmatic" gestures in a progressive direction won’t stand a chance of passage in a Republican-dominated Congress. On the other, her corporate sponsors won’t tolerate any real checks on their plutocratic rule. She won't be able to "get stuff done.”
The crisis of legitimacy in the body politic will just get worse. The party establishment will be exposed for the undemocratic pro-corporate cabal that it is. That will sound its death nell, if not in this decade, then the next.
The End of the Dems?
If the Democratic establishment stops Sanders from winning the nomination (either through "artful smears", manipulation, or sewing up Hillary's nomination through the superdelegate process) the base will see it as a betrayal. Progressive stalwarts who have hung onto the Party despite years of wandering in the wilderness, young voters (the Party's future) and new recruits among the ranks of Independents will wage a rebellion to tear the establishment down and take the party back.
[Note: a few hours after posting this, the DNC opened the floodgates to lobbyists, overturning rules that had been in effect since Obama's candidacy. Sign this petition to tell the DNC to reinstate the rules.]
Or they will just drop out in droves. They may abandon electoral politics entirely or they may try to build third parties. Either way, the Democratic Party will lose them. And it will self-destruct.
It's interesting that the Republic Party is self-destructing because it's been taken over by its (right wing extremist) base. But the Democratic Party will self-destruct if it ignores its progressive base. That's because the American people are more progressive than their leaders -- and getting more so. With both the Republican and the Democratic Parties on a possible course for suicide, what could take their place?
I'll explore that question in my next post.