Bernie Sanders and the Art of the Sell-Out

Bernie Sanders made his deal with the Clinton Machine, but can he force his followers to accept it? I am skeptical, but then again, the Democrats have the full support of the media in generating whatever narratives they wish.  All of those naïve kids who believed that the system is rigged and therefore they deserve free stuff are supposed to fall in line and turn out to vote for Hillary.  But they have just confirmed the first part of the proposition that animated their political activities the last few months.

Bernie’s reasons for making his deal with the devil are crystal clear. He will be returning the Senate and wants to continue to caucus with the Democrats, and maybe even have someone to eat lunch with in the Senate Dining Room now and then. The other choice, to angrily fight Hillary, and maybe even accept that offer from Jill Stein of the Green Party and go on the ballot as a spoiler is asking a lot of a guy in his mid-seventies.  And then there is the aftermath to consider.  History teaches that people who become obstacles to the Clintons do not fare well.

So Bernie has the unenviable task of persuading followers that the woman he and they have been denouncing for months as a corrupt member of a rigged system is worth supporting.  There is only one argument that he can use: Because Trump.

Trump has to be painted as scary, greedy, unfeeling, and in all these dimensions worse than Hillary.

It’s pretty clear that Bernie will do whatever he can to paint this picture of Trump. For his part, Trump needs to emphasize corruption and rigging.

We’ll see how this works out.  Meanwhile, Bernie has sold out cheap, abandoning the cause he led. In a way, it parallels his wife Jane’s experience as president of Burlington College, running up debts that forced it into insolvency. She came away with a six-figure payout to go away quietly. Bernie’s integrity did not draw a much higher price.