Timothy Egan at the New York Times sums up Bernie Sanders' stinging loss last night, and urges the Senator to stay in the race as a "statement candidate" to keep Hillary Clinton honest.
"To catch Clinton, Sanders needed to get beyond his core of young, college-educated whites. If he’d won Ohio and Illinois, where he was competitive, he’d have some wind at his back," wrote Egan. "He’s a statement candidate now — a strong one, full of integrity."
"But that doesn’t mean the 74-year-old socialist-lite should get out," he continued. "He’s done a real service, for the party he only recently joined, and for the country. Clinton is a far better candidate because of him. More than that, the Democratic Party is paying attention to the angry millions in the margins, those who may be tempted by the demagogue who wants to make America white again. Thank Sanders for that."
I have long argued that Sanders is by far the better candidate for president than Hillary Clinton, but the current political system does not allow for anyone independent of corporate interests to win. At a less crucial time in history, this might be worth making a huge fuss over, but when you have a radical, nihilistic insurgency threatening to wreck not only the country but the planet too -- it simply is not worth it. Hillary Clinton is an effective, centrist candidate who will respond to pressure from the base and govern through consensus. She is not perfect, but as history has shown, her will and resolve is nothing short of astonishing. Clinton will fight to the end, and then some, guaranteeing the Republicans are in for a very rough time over the coming months (and years should she win the presidency).
As Egan argues, Clinton has been forced to further to the left by Sanders, who has amazingly made socialism an acceptable ideology within mainstream American politics again. This makes her candidacy all the more attractive to those cautious about supporting Clinton, and Democrats of all persuasions need to get behind her as fast as possible.
And if we're lucky, we may even see this.