I've long been an advocate for electing women. In fact, I wrote a blog post about it in 2006, which has been visited more than 6000 times.
Enthusiasm for women candidates was part of my motivation for supporting Elizabeth Warren for president. I like her progressive positions in general, but I also wanted to see a woman at the top of the ticket. I was heart-broken when she dropped out, which is what I imagine many Bernie Sanders' supporters are this morning. It's a sinking feeling that's hard to get past.
Unfortunately, I found myself frustrated by the swarm of Sanders' supporters on social media yesterday. Many expressed disbelief that he was suspending his campaign, and many more went on to criticize Joe Biden for (fill in the blank). I'm not going to regurgitate their complaints, but I will say they seemed hell-bent on dividing the Democratic party. After several unsatisfying conversations, I had to disengage. There was no point in getting mad.
As I said at the top, I wanted Elizabeth Warren to be our nominee. She's not. Biden is. And at this point it does absolutely no good whatsoever for me to be lambasting Biden for not being Warren (or anyone else). Actually, it does worse than no good. It's destructive. It dampens enthusiasm, sows distrust, creates division, and feeds GOP talking points.
Why would anyone want to do that unless they don't care if we get Trump again?
Some of the people I engaged with I know to be real people, but the volume of anti-Biden posting seemed like the work of Russian trolls. I decided I'm not going to put up with it. If you're a Democrat and you're bad-mouthing Biden, you're part of the problem.
A person I admire, Heather Cox Richardson, had this analysis today:
Today’s biggest breaking news was that Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign for the Democratic nomination for president. He will keep his name on the rest of the primary ballots, intending to get as many delegates as possible for the Democratic National Convention to enable him to have a say in the party platform.
This is disappointing to his supporters, but a good move for him and his ideas. Sanders’s strength has always been in inspirational rhetoric rather than in the coalition-building necessary to get legislation passed, and this will enable him to get his ideas into the Democratic argument for the 2020 election while leaving to others the wheeling and dealing it takes to get those ideas into legislative development. Sanders reminds me of Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner of the Civil War era, whose speeches inspired his supporters to take on the institution of human enslavement when few others wanted to touch it, but whose skill set was never in the gritty work of getting legislation passed.
After Sanders dropped out of the race, former vice president Joe Biden issued a statement complimenting Sanders on creating a movement, “a good thing for our nation and our future,” changing the national conversation on income inequality, universal health care, climate change, and free college tuition. For his part, Sanders called Biden “a very decent man, who I will work with to move our progressive ideas forward.”
Jane made hot cross buns yesterday, it seems like she is discovering her inner housewife. Meanwhile, I'm spending hours sweeping up the mountains of hardwood pollen that have covered the ground around us. Plus more furniture refinishing on tap for today.