Stories from coast to coast this weekend – literally, from New Jersey to California – confirmed that the Democrats are still struggling with a proxy war between Clinton supporters and Sanders supporters.
Stories out of Sacramento, New Jersey, and Virginia this weekend confirmed one thing: the Clinton-Sanders proxy war from 2016 is still the biggest problem for the Democratic Party in 2017.
Out of Sacramento came a lengthy Politico piece about the losses Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) “revolution” is racking up in the early months of the Trump era:
The losses are piling up. Earlier this month, Democrat Heath Mello, whom Sanders campaigned with, failed to unseat a Republican in Omaha’s race for mayor. Kimberly Ellis, the candidate endorsed by Our Revolution, the successor group to Sanders’ presidential campaign, lost a fiercely contested race for California Democratic Party chair. And on Thursday night, Republican Greg Gianforte bested Rob Quist, another Democrat for whom Sanders campaigned, in a nationally watched House race in Montana.
Then, in New Jersey, ex-VP Joe Biden criticized Democrats for taking part in a “crass and mean-spirited and negative and uncomfortable” campaign in 2016:
Biden chided the “crass and mean-spirited and negative and uncomfortable rhetoric that we’ve been subject to the last 10 months” and said the “world is going to be looking” to November’s election in New Jersey to determine whether the United States would “re-establish or reassert who we are.”
…He called [Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil] Murphy a “walking refutation” that a candidate has to “focus on only the economic issues and reject the progressive issues” or “only focus on the progressive issues and forget the working class.”
Finally, CNN wrote on how the Virginia gubernatorial race has become a battle for the “soul” of the Democratic Party:
[Liberal Tom] Perriello is tapping into the angst over the Trump administration that is fueling Democratic enthusiasm in unprecedented ways. While he is not shying away from Virginia specific issues, he is also emphasizing topics like the battle over Obamacare (his campaign ad featuring an ambulance being crushed has reached viral status with more than 400,000 views on YouTube), the Trump administration’s travel ban and the controversy over Russia’s alleged meddling in the US election.
Democrats are trying to sort out their differences in time to stage competitive bids for gubernatorial races in 2017, but the real fight ahead is the 2018 midterm elections. Will they unite before then? Right now, it looks doubtful.
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