As the approval ratings for Trump, the Republican Party, the Democratic Party and Congress circle the drain, one politician remains trusted by a shockingly large number of politicians: Bernie Sanders, who is polling +41% with independents, +28% with Democrats, and whose approval rating has steadily climbed since he hit the national stage in 2015.
So, naturally, the Democratic Party establishment is doing everything they can to sideline him, and keep his supporters out of positions of party power and off the mid-term ballots.
As Politico reported on the Democrats' post-Trump strategy in February, "Democratic aides say they will eventually shift to a positive economic message that Rust Belt Democrats can run on". However: "For now, aides say, the focus is on slaying the giant and proving to the voters who sent Trump into the White House why his policies will fail."
In other words, they're doubling down on the exact same failing strategy that Clinton used in the final months of the campaign. Sanders himself put it this way in his usual blunt style in an interview with New York magazine this week – when asked about whether the Democrats can adapt to the political reality, he said: "There are some people in the Democratic Party who want to maintain the status quo. They would rather go down with the Titanic so long as they have first-class seats."
In the long term, change may be coming for Democrats whether they like it or not. Sanders loyalists are quietly attempting to take over many local Democratic party positions around the country. While Ellison lost the race for the DNC chair, it was incredibly close – closer than Sanders came to beating Clinton. And Sanders' supporters are already organizing primary challenges to incumbent Democrats who aren't sufficiently opposing Trump.
Everyone loves Bernie Sanders. Except, it seems, the Democratic party
[Trevor Timm/The Guardian]