Sunday, June 19, 2016

Raul Grijalva's advice to Bernie Sanders

Greg Sargent (WaPo Plum Line) explores Bernie's speech from the 16th.

It’s hard to argue with much of the broader message that he delivered to his supporters yesterday. He reminded them that his campaign has been all about shifting the conversation in a dramatic way, so that it is no longer seen as beyond the boundaries of acceptable discourse to advocate for a retirement with dignity in the form of expanded Social Security benefits, a commitment to universal health care in keeping with other major industrialized countries, and real opportunity in the form of a college education as a matter of right. He also made a robust pitch to young people to get involved in public service for the long haul, and made an affirmative case for government’s “enormously important role” in, well, preserving human civilization. Whatever Sanders’s flaws, it is a positive that he continues to try to engage millions of his supporters in our politics on these terms.

Sargent goes on to downplay Sanders' failure to endorse Clinton. He notes that the campaigns are negotiating.

... While I don’t have any clear sense of what the end product will look like, they probably won’t have that much trouble working out compromises on the platform, on process, and on Sanders’ involvement going forward that do not require too much from Clinton but also allow Sanders to argue to his supporters that the outcome of the process was legitimate and that their movement has a role to play in the party’s future. I don’t sense any panic about this coming from the Clinton camp.

However ...

Obviously Sanders shouldn’t let this drag on too long. One hopes he won’t force any divisive convention scenarios or somehow hold back from persuading his supporters that a President Clinton will move the country in the direction of his vision, if not quite as quickly as he would. Meanwhile, however, it’s perfectly plausible that he thinks slow-walking things a bit right now could help bring along his supporters more effectively by persuading them a legitimate process is unfolding.

Grijalva offers observations and advice.

"Protecting the movement is a priority to Bernie, and he should do that,” Dem Rep. Raul Grijalva, a Bernie supporter who has now endorsed Clinton, tells me. If he moves too quickly now, Grijalva said, “people will jump to the conclusion that this rigged system includes his campaign. He needs to be careful. What he did yesterday is important. He let his supporters know that he is still fighting on their issues.”

But Grijalva added: “There’s a point at which it’s too late, too. I don’t know where that point is. But I would hope that before the convention, we’ve resolved the platform issues, integrated Bernie’s delegates, and figured out a respectful and significant role for Bernie. That requires Bernie to indicate public support for Clinton.”

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