It was just a couple of days ago that word of a “Superdelegate Hitlist,” compiled by an overzealous Bernie Sanders supporter (is there any other kind at this point?) was introduced into the media bloodstream. The deal was that a Sanders fan named Spencer Thayer had gone through the trouble of compiling the names and phone numbers of the Democratic superdelegates currently pledged to Hillary Clinton and released them to the masses, calling it a “hitlist” and imploring Sanderistas like himself to do whatever was necessary to make these people Feel the Bern and change their minds about whom they support for president.
The list originally featured an image of a donkey, the Democratic symbol, with two crossed arrows that appeared to be through its head. It’s since been changed to two crossed telephone receivers attached to spiral cords, which you have to imagine confuses the hell out of the people it’s intended to inspire, given that most college students have probably never seen a land-line. Either way, before the thing was even changed, the kids got the picture and began relentlessly harassing the superdelegates in question, calling them at all hours of the night in an effort to hector them into switching allegiances. Because that’s the kind of thing guaranteed to make them think they’d rather vote for Bernie Sanders.
Over the past week or so, we’ve heard a couple of horror stories from the pestered superdelegates, but one such tale, published yesterday by The Hill, is noteworthy because of the specific kind of threat this person has seen leveled at his colleagues if they refuse to cooperate — a threat that will sound all too familiar to anyone who’s paid attention to political extremism in America over the last eight years. According to Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, a Democrat from Missouri, members of his caucus have been warned that if they don’t dump Clinton and get on board with Bernie, they’ll be primaried from the left.
Now if this does sound familiar to you, it’s because the past several years has seen the Tea Party rise up, threaten and then purge anyone not ideologically clean enough to meet its exacting standards. The way they’ve done this is by primarying solid GOP candidates with far-right lunatics. That tactic is what gave us fringe know-nothings like Joe Miller, Ted Cruz, Sharon Angle and Christine O’Donnell and which ousted at least sane conservative candidates along the way, all of it culminating in the fall of Eric Cantor and the eventual resignation of John Boehner so that Paul Ryan could assume the speakership.
In other words, what we’re seeing here is the threat of the same kind of purge, which means that we’re seeing here, finally and officially, is the promise of the Bernie Sanders “revolution” becoming nothing more than the left’s own version of the Tea Party. No matter which side you’re on, when you demand purity, you wind up doing serious damage to your overall cause. But don’t tell the members of the Sanders superdelegate hit squad that right now. I promise you they won’t listen.
Chez Pazienza was the beating heart of The Daily Banter, sadly passing away on February 25, 2017. His voice remains ever present at the Banter, and his influence as powerful as ever.