Bernie’s blowing it again.
After his loss to Killary in 2016’s very close Democratic primary race, Bernie’s lieutenants formed an organization called “Our Revolution.”
This group was supposed to be the continuation of Bernie’s grassroots agenda. They were meant to support pro-Socialist candidates and inspire would-be Comrades all across America. But Our Revolution hasn’t had much of an impact at all.
They’ve shown no ability to turn a major Democrat election for a Socialist candidate, even though they have the email list from Bernie’s campaign. (Bear in mind, this is a list the DNC would give its left nut and its right kidney to get its hands on.)
Our Revolution’s total inability to actually, you know, launch a revolution, has left a lot of Bernie Bros feeling a little… Bernt Out.
Sanders supporters may feel that by now, two years after the fact, Bernie’s machine should be running a little more smoothly. The feeling that his grassroots operation has gone off the rails is probably justified too.
And it’s left Sandernistas pissed off, alienated, and uncertain about whether Bernie has a chance in 2020. Bernie’s opponents saw his unanticipated juggernaut of a campaign in 2016 (which Killary only defeated through underhanded trickery and the combined swamp-powers of the Democrat super-delegates), and they feared that he would be able to harness that into a real grassroots movement.
Sort of like how the Tea Party took hold of the right, and eventually gave us Trump.
But the fear of a Democratic-Socialist uprising has largely faded. Unsurprisingly, people who just want to sit on their ass and let the government take care of everything for them don’t actually make very good employees.
The cracks in Our Revolution stem from a number of sources. For one, the group has so far served mostly as a PR firm for its combative president, Nina Turner. There is a growing suspicion that Turner is using Bernie’s name, likeness, and intellectual inheritance to support her own presidential ambitions and to get back at the DNC for their treatment of Bernie in 2016.
Fundraising has also been a challenge for the group; they’re earning just a third of what they did last year. Earlier this month they filed paperwork to launch their own Political Action Committee, which would allow Bernie himself to raise money directly for Our Revolution. It would also allow them to communicate more directly with political campaigns.
Although Bernie himself still arguably has an outsize impact on leftist politics in America (see the “Medicare for All” plan that so many Dems are tripping over themselves to embrace), his political movement has more or less stalled.
The people he has allowed to take up his mantle with the grassroots are making a hash of things, and have so far been unable to get even one pro-Bernie candidate elected. (That includes Bernie himself.)
They’ve largely stayed by the sidelines in Democrat primaries so far, and when they have been involved, like in Ohio and Illinois gubernatorial primaries, their candidates have usually lost. All this, in addition to their leadership controversies (a lot of Bernie people apparently really don’t like this Nina Turner lady) has Berners and Bernettes worried that Sanders’ main body of footsoldiers won’t be ready to support him if he runs again in 2020.
And given that the if in that case is really a when, that ought to tell you something about the state of the “Socialist Revolution” in America today. Bernie himself is (perhaps justifiably) seen as a firebrand and a figurehead, who is able to channel a little bit of Real America’s anger at the establishment.
But the people who work under him and attach themselves to his name?
Not so much.