Bernie Sanders won’t be the Democratic nominee for president. And it’s not because of superdelegate shenanigans or imaginary Clinton conspiracies* or the media’s reluctance to validate his candidacy. It’s not even because I endorsed Hillary and voted for her in the primary.
*Honestly, I don’t get the Clinton hate. To hear some of my leftish acquaintances tell it, the Clintons are somewhere between Richard Nixon and Attila the Hun on the universal scale of evil.
But give the guy credit. He did better than expected on Super Tuesday. Not well enough to give him a shot at the nomination, but more than well enough to keep his candidacy going all the way to the Democratic convention.
Which is an absolutely worthwhile goal: get all the publicity you can for progressive ideas, and compel the Democratic Party to honor the left wing for the first time since, oh, 1972. Bernie has proven that the left wing is as strong a potential source of energy (and even money) that the party can’t afford to ignore. That is his enduring gift to our political discourse.
Last week, a whole bunch of Vermont Republicans (including Phil Scott) issued a mass endorsement of Marco Rubio, forswearing their perceived favorite, John Kasich. They argued that Rubio was best positioned to block the establisment Republican bete noire, Donald J. Trump.
In doing so, they well and truly shot themselves in the foot.
The Vermont primary results: Trump narrowly beat Kasich, while Rubio was a distant third and failed to win a single delegate. It’s hard to imagine a worse outcome for the state’s Republican establishment.
And it seems obvious that if Vermont Republicans had stuck with Kasich, he would have won the state. He trails Trump by less than three percent, while Rubio took almost 20 percent.
In the long run it makes no difference, but it would have saved the VTGOP the embarrassment of being one more state in the Trump column. Vermont Republican leaders made their distaste for Trump abundantly clear; now, he is their standard-bearer, and they could have avoided that fate if they hadn’t been too clever by half.