It was only a little over a week ago that dozens of angry Bernie Sanders fanatics turned an appearance by Hillary Clinton in East L.A. into a gauntlet of screams and obscenities directed at her supporters. In spite of that fact, backed up by a whole slew of first-person accounts and on-scene pictures and video, there are still those out there who maintain that tales of Sanders's rabid fan base attacking anyone who supports Clinton, either on social media or in person, amount to nothing more than a myth. That there simply is no problem, or that if there is, it has a direct equivalent on the Clinton side. They deny the months of atrocious and often delusional behavior online and now, as the path to the nomination for Sanders has narrowed down to nothing, the very public lashing out against the sworn enemy of these dedicated disciples -- Clinton.
I don't expect what happened at the Nevada Democratic Convention yesterday to convince any of those particular people given the depth of their denial, but for the rest of us it's yet another example of just how far off the rails the Sanders campaign has gone. So what did happen? It started when Sanders supporters on hand at the Paris Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, where the event was being held, complained that a "minority report" they'd produced, alleging that 64 Sanders supporters had been denied delegate status, wasn't accepted by the state party. State Democratic officials explained that they'd denied the report because those supporters' records couldn't be verified or they weren't registered as Democrats by the necessary deadline. In response to that, a large group of Sanders supporters on-hand rushed the stage and loudly booed and shouted down Sen. Barbara Boxer when she called for unity against the Republican threat. They angrily rejected appeals for calm.
Things went from bad to worse throughout the night, particularly when the event finally came to a close because the hotel had determined that it couldn't handle the strain on security anymore. Sanders supporters had hoped that since more Sanders delegates showed up to county conventions than Clinton delegates -- what the Washington Post calls "an effort to shift the convention rules in a way that they viewed as more favorable" to Sanders -- they'd get better representation at the state convention. (Keeping in mind that Clinton won the Nevada caucus outright so what you have here is arcane, labyrinthine rule on top of arcane, labyrinthine rule.) But the party decided against that, given the circumstances, and ultimately awarded Clinton a slight edge, meaning that the state will send 20 pledged delegates to the DNC for Clinton and 15 for Sanders. There were reports that chairs were thrown and the police had to be called in to get the Sanders people to leave because they refused to do so, even after the gavel had fallen. Eventually, the lights in the ballroom were turned off and they still wouldn't go, shouting "bullshit" over and over.
As with the East L.A. incident, the images and video tell this story better than anything could. Take a look for yourself.
It's important to keep in mind that all of this insanity was over four delegates. That's it. If Sanders's people had been successful in trying to bend the rules, Clinton still would've been ahead of Sanders by 278 delegates. As it is, she now leads by 282. Wonkette really sums it up best in a hell of a snarky recap of the whole thing, pointing out that "not being able to overturn the democratic results via machine chicanery is, in Bernie supporters’ fever dreams, the day democracy died." That's how it is with these zealots: everything's a conspiracy against Sanders; he's not really losing by millions of votes, the votes in his favor are simply being suppressed; there's no problem with his rabid acolytes behaving like tantrum-throwing children, it's all a lie perpetrated by the greatest liar of all, Hillary Clinton. This is what it looks like when delusional devotion trumps the ability to accept reality. Clinton is going to win and Sanders is going to lose. Simple as that. And it's going to happen because Clinton got more votes than Sanders. There's no conspiracy. There's no Democratic skulduggery. It's the will of the people.
What's most infuriating about this is that it hints at what seems more and more likely to come at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. If Sanders doesn't drop out and make a plea for unity -- if he does what he says he plans to do and takes his pointless quixotic fight all the way to the convention floor -- we can probably expect chaos just like this on a much larger scale. That's unacceptable when you consider that it's absolutely essential for the Democrats to remain the adults in the room in the eyes of the electorate when judged against the Republican party of Donald Trump. The ethically bankrupt Republicans, even those who've spent months insulting and resisting him, are now falling in line behind Trump, because the party is apparently more important than the good of the entire country. The Democrats have to be the clear alternative, the diametrical opposite to the GOP clown show. They can't afford to be hijacked by a bunch of howling babies angry that they weren't able to subvert the will of the voters and swing the election for their guy. We can't afford it.