It seems oddly petty to talk about U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ next big political decision while Americans are fighting hammer and tong against the coronavirus pandemic that has sickened many thousands of us.
Still, I have to ask: Why doesn’t Sen. Sanders call it a campaign, step aside, cede the Democratic Party presidential nomination to Joseph R. Biden Jr., endorse the former vice president … and then make good on his pledge to do all he can to defeat Donald John Trump?
Sanders cannot win his party’s nomination. Biden has too many more convention delegates lined up than Sanders. It is impossible now for Sanders to catch up.
His campaign insists that Sanders is staying in, yet we hear of reports that the senator is “assessing” the status of his campaign. He can assess all he wants, but many of us already has issued our own assessment, which is that the fight is over.
Sanders fought hard. He has argued, with some justification, that he has won the argument over ideology. Biden has drifted a little to the left, but he’s nowhere near where Sanders is perched on the far-left end of the Democrats’ ideological ledge. That’s more than all right with me. I want a centrist to take on Donald Trump, not a candidate who calls himself a “democratic socialist” and who would be smothered by a Trump slime machine.
I don’t know what Sanders hopes to accomplish by staying in the fight. I do know what he has said is his No. goal, which is to defeat Donald Trump. Where I come from, it looks like the better way to fulfill that mission is to bow out and line up alongside the candidate who can lead that fight.