At least for the moment, the #BernieorBust people are even more dedicated and numerous than the #NeverTrump movement, at least according to their own reckoning. And they are causing Hillary Clinton potentially serious problems in her general election matchups.
It’s one thing for Bernie supporters to say they will actually pull the lever for Trump in the general – I doubt many of them will. It would be a completely different and game changing dynamic altogether if Bernie were actually on the ballot himself in November. And many of his supporters are clamoring for just that. Take, for instance, socialist Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant:
Now look, I don’t think Bernie Sanders is going to do any such thing when the chips are down. He does still have relationships in the Senate to consider.
However, on the other side of that coin, Bernie is (as has often been observed) very old and may well see his career in the Senate as coming to an end. Furthermore, he has done nothing to dissuade his supporters from entertaining the notion that the Democratic Party has treated him unfairly and is somehow screwing him out of the nomination, even though Hillary Clinton has clearly gotten several million more votes than he has. So it’s entirely possible that Bernie himself feels that way, facts be damned.
And who knows, maybe Bernie is saying to himself, “This is my opportunity to make the socialist party mainstream in America, to run openly as one against the two most unpopular major party candidates in America.” Heck, it makes a lot of sense from where I sit as a strategic play, if Bernie really believes what he is saying.
All that having been said, I would suspect that this will likely blow over, but it’s fun to think about.