The Democrats have managed to strangle dissent within the party and smother Sen. Bernard Sanders‘ vibrant crusade in the crib — for the second time in four years.
Yet again, The Man won. Doddering, bewildered and bumbling former Vice President Joseph R. Biden “will be the nominee,” Mr. Sanders told supporters in a strange quarantine video Wednesday.
Four years ago, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was The Man and she used every pulse of power inside the Democratic National Committee to strongarm the nomination away from Mr. Sanders.
Swindled, his rabid supporters walked away, paving the path for President Trump’s historic election.
For anyone accustomed to the ruthless nature of the modern Democratic Party, it is hard to imagine Democrats actually going into general election war with someone as pitiful as Mr. Biden. Perhaps they are banking that somebody so ineffective, irrelevant and inoffensive as Mr. Biden is the perfect strategy — especially after the debacle of 2016.
Mrs. Clinton had all the warmth and charm of Lady Macbeth herself.
Or maybe Democrats will pull some rabbit out of the hat at this summer’s convention — made all the easier for chicanery by plans for a “virtual” gathering. Whatever that is.
For all of his faults, Mr. Sanders‘ surrender video revealed a decency, respect and regard for the country that Mrs. Clinton has never displayed.
In 2016, she throttled Mr. Sanders by hook and crook — with a major assist from the DNC.
In 2008, she got trounced early by then-Sen. Barack Obama. Yet she refused to give up, even long after any hopes of her grasping the nomination had vanished.
Mr. Sanders said he would have stayed in the race if he believed he had a “feasible path” to the nomination.
Feasible path be damned, Mrs. Clinton maintained in 2008 to the very bloody end.
No sense during these desperate times, Mr. Sanders told supporters, to mount a campaign he had no hope of winning.
Such clear-eyed modesty is not a hallmark of Democrats today.
Just ask House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who mounted an impossible and divisive — yet entirely hopeless — campaign to impeach and remove President Trump. Even as the most destructive pandemic to hit the world in a century leached out of the wet markets of Wuhan, China, into the civilized world.
Any time Sen. Sanders, Vermont socialist, is the sober-minded, clear-eyed modest one, you know you are in serious trouble.
During his quarantine surrender video, Mr. Sanders compared himself to Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr.
He had won “the ideological struggle,” he declared. An odd thing to claim when you just, you know, lost. Seems like a pretty high technical hurdle.
Actually, Mr. Sanders, “the ideological struggle” is exactly what you just surrendered. Supposedly moderate “lunch pail” Joe just beat you from the race. The party — beholden to big money special interests — chased you away like a scalded dog.
You are finished.
Yet, Mr. Sanders also hilariously claimed, he “transformed American consciousness.”
OK, if by transforming American consciousness you mean you got fewer votes, then yeah, OK. If by that you mean you got fewer delegates and lost the nomination, then, yeah, OK, you transformed American consciousness.
In these dark times, Mr. Sanders said, his services are most desperately needed back in Congress, where he has served without distinction for nearly 30 years.
Because what America really needs today is more of the same from the past three decades. You go, Bernie! Never stop “winning” the ideological struggle!
• Charles Hurt is opinion editor of the Washington Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or @charleshurt on Twitter.