And it shows that Clinton supporters really don’t have a clue as to what motivates Sanders supporters.
It started with a call by Politico’s Bill Scher for Minnesota Senator Al Franken to be nominated for vice president, followed by many suggestions that Elizabeth Warren should be the vice president (or perhaps progressive Sherrod Brown). These are all really fucking dumb ideas.
In each of those states, a very good senator will be replaced with, at best, someone who’s probably not as progressive, and at worst, a Republican disaster*. This, in order to move someone worth a damn from a position of power to a ceremonial position (a vote in the Senate is a lot more important than some horseshit ‘seat at the table’).
Let’s not forget that in Massachusetts, there was a disastrous off-cycle replacement election for Kennedy’s seat which led to … Republican Senator Scott Brown. And the loss of a Democratic Senate supemajority (i.e., Democrats could override a filibuster). How’d that work for you?
But I’m sure after a long, ugly presidential campaign, voter turnout in an irregular, off-cycle election would be sky-high…
So, in terms of pragmatic politics, removing a reliable left-leaning senator makes no sense.
But these suggestions have a much deeper problem: they are what Clinton supporters think Sanders supporters want. I realize there’s no way my personal sample is at all representative, but I have not met a single Sanders supporter who thinks this would be a good idea. Reactions range from puzzlement to outright cursing. Appointing Warren to vice president (or Franken or Brown) is the equivalent of rewarding failed challengers with an ambassadorship to Luxembourg. That’s not what motivates Sanders supporters. We can be bought by making policy concessions, but not like this.
Like it or not, New Democrats might actually have to negotiate with the liberal wing of
their our party on policy issues. If they can stomach negotiating with Republicans who want to annihillate, well, everything Democrats care about, then they can screw up their courage and do this as well.
I can think of few better ways to anger Sanders supporters than by removing good votes in the Senate.
*In Ohio (Brown), Republican Governor Kasich would appoint Brown’s appointment making that an even dumber idea.