Wednesday, May 4, 2016

One party will have a contested convention ...

... but not the party you might think. John Nichols at The Nation makes the case for a contested Democratic convention. His reasoning rests more on bold ideas vs. cautious incrementalism than on Sanders vs. Clinton. He's got good reason to think that.

Joe Biden understands something about the Democratic Party and its future that his fellow partisans would do well to consider. “I don’t think any Democrat’s ever won saying, ‘We can’t think that big—we ought to really downsize here because it’s not realistic,’” the vice president told The New York Times in April. “C’mon man, this is the Democratic Party! I’m not part of the party that says, ‘Well, we can’t do it.’” Mocking Hillary Clinton’s criticism of Bernie Sanders for proposing bold reforms, Biden dismissed the politics of lowered expectations. “I like the idea of saying, ‘We can do much more,’ because we can,” he declared, leading the Times to observe that, while Biden wasn’t making an endorsement, “He’ll take Mr. Sanders’s aspirational approach over Mrs. Clinton’s caution any day.”

Sanders backers want to win [the] platforms fights—not to make a point about their campaign, but to make a deeper point about what the Democratic Party must stand for in order to win the 2016 election and the future. “The convention can amplify what this campaign made visible—that there are millions of Americans who are hurting—and say that the Democratic Party has to respond to that pain with bigger and bolder policies,” says Working Families Party national director Dan Cantor, a veteran of the 1988 Jackson campaign who is now a Sanders backer. “Democrats who want to win a big majority in November, to take back the Congress and to move forward in the states, know that the party has to stand for something that excites young people, that excites working people. No matter who the nominee is, the party has to take a big-vision stand.”

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