Former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), who probably would have been elected Mayor of New York City two years ago had it not been for the infamous Carlos Danger sexting scandal derailing his campaign, hasn’t officially endorsed a presidential candidate to my knowledge. However, that hasn’t stopped Weiner from attacking Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders for running for the Democratic presidential nomination:
Weiner charged that Sanders has never expressed a desire to become a Democrat before entering the 2016 race.
“He was a proud socialist and thought the institutional Democratic Party was too cautious and lacking in imagination,” he said of his time in Congress with Sanders.Weiner noted that Sanders’ reluctance to go Democrat earlier leaves the party’s voters with unanswered questions about his motivations.
This is exactly why many progressives view the Democratic Party, the left’s natural home in the two-party system that dominates American politics, as not accommodating to them. Anthony Weiner effectively said that he only wants people who are 100% loyal to Democratic Party to run for the party’s nomination for president. Not everybody who supports Democratic and progressive values has been a Democrat for their entire lifetime. In fact, Hillary Clinton was once a Republican, and, given Weiner’s close ties to the Clintons, it would absolutely shock me if he did not endorse Hillary Clinton for president, so it’s hypocritical for anyone who supports either Hillary or another Democratic presidential candidate who doesn’t have 100% lifelong loyalty to the party to attack Bernie Sanders for running as a major-party candidate for president. The Democratic Party should be as inclusive as possible while, at the same time, aggressively promoting progressive values on important issues that affect the American people.
Also, Bernie isn’t interested in being a third-party spoiler like Ralph Nader was in the 2000 presidential election (although five justices on the U.S. Supreme Court stole that election for George W. Bush. He’s running for the Democratic presidential nomination because the Democratic Party’s values are far closer to his progressive values than the values of the far-right Republican Party. As much as I despise the two-party system in this country, there’s only two political parties in this country that nominates presidential candidates and can win a general election for president, so anyone who wants to be seen as a credible presidential candidate has to run for the nomination of one of the major political parties.
The fact that some of the worst people in the Democratic establishment are attacking Bernie Sanders is damaging Hillary Clinton’s campaign and only helping Bernie build even more momentum for his presidential campaign.