The media have revived their Democrats In Disarray meme, but actual Democrats aren’t in disarray at all…. (More)

“The choice is not even close”

Last night Bernie Sanders delivered a ringing endorsement of Hillary Clinton:

This election is about remembering where we were 7 1/2 years ago when President Obama came into office after eight years of Republican trickle-down economics.

The Republicans want us to forget that as a result of the greed, recklessness and illegal behavior on Wall Street, our economy was in the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Some 800,000 people a month were losing their jobs. We were running up a record-breaking deficit of $1.4 trillion and the world’s financial system was on the verge of collapse.

We have come a long way in the last 7 1/2 years, and I thank President Obama and Vice President Biden for their leadership in pulling us out of that terrible recession.
Yes, we have made progress, but I think we can all agree that much, much more needs to be done.

This election is about which candidate understands the real problems facing this country and has offered real solutions – not just bombast, fear-mongering, name-calling and divisiveness.

We need leadership in this country which will improve the lives of working families, the children, the elderly, the sick and the poor. We need leadership which brings our people together and makes us stronger – not leadership which insults Latinos, Muslims, women, African-Americans and veterans – and divides us up.

By these measures, any objective observer will conclude that – based on her ideas and her leadership – Hillary Clinton must become the next president of the United States. The choice is not even close.

If you didn’t watch his speech, read it in full. It’s strong stuff. Not “I support Hillary Clinton because she’ll be the Democratic candidate and I ran as a Democrat and I guess she’s at least a little less awful than Donald Trump.”

No, he talked about the issues that drove his campaign, how he and Clinton agree far more than they disagree, how Democrats have the most progressive platform in the party’s history, and why Clinton’s experience and leadership offer the best hope to turn that platform into reality.

So of course some of ‘his’ supporters booed….

“Bernie or Bust people, you’re being ridiculous”

Sarah Silverman and Al Franken put them in their place:

Silverman, herself a Sanders supporter during the primary, incurred a wave of boos upon saying, “Hillary heard the passion of the people.”

She continued, “I am proud to be a part of Bernie’s movement. And part of that movement is to make sure Hillary Clinton is our next president of the United States.”

As the crowd began to chant, Silverman was joined on stage again by Minnesota Sen. Al Franken and joked, “Bernie or Bust people, you’re being ridiculous,” drawing loud jeers and “BERNIE!” chants.

“Look at what you did,” Franken said. Silverman responded, “Thank God they can fix this in post-[production].”

Slate’s Seth Stevenson reported that Susan Sarandon – who backed Sanders during the primaries – walked out during his speech.

Ridiculous, indeed.

“It’s being attacked from the outside”

Sarandon may usually vote for Democrats, and may even be a registered Democrat. But most of the “Democrats” who are “in disarray” aren’t, or weren’t until this year, as the Washington Post’s Paul Waldman explains:

Perhaps it was inevitable that one way or another we’d get a spate of “Dems in Disarray!” headlines as the Democratic National Convention begins, since for a long time that has been the default story many reporters write about the Democratic Party. And there is a story to be told about conflict in Philadelphia. Unfortunately, it’s not the one that everyone seems to be telling. The Democratic Party isn’t being torn apart from the inside; it’s being attacked from the outside.
And this is what’s important to understand about the protests now going on: They aren’t Democrats fighting with Democrats. I wasn’t able to go to Philadelphia this week, so I’d encourage the reporters who are there and are covering the anti-Clinton protests to ask those participating a simple question: Do you consider yourself a Democrat? Because I’m fairly certain that they’ll find almost no one who says yes. This is even true of some of the people who are Bernie Sanders delegates; they got involved in the Sanders campaign, but they weren’t Democrats before this election began and they won’t be after it’s over. We’ve seen this at the highest levels: Consider that Sanders appointed Cornel West to the Democrats’ platform committee, and after helping decide what the party stands for, West promptly turned around and endorsed Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

Fact is, most of these ‘Sanders supporters’ are far-left protesters who want to destroy both parties and replace them with … umm … something. People like this:

“I fear Hillary more than I fear Trump,” said John Deebus, 66, who attended one of the many alternative events for democratic socialists and left-out activists in Philadelphia. “If Trump wins, he’s in for four years. If Hillary wins, she’s in there for eight. That’s not how we stop the corporate parties.”

As Waldman wrote:

For a certain kind of activist on the left, the real enemy is never the right; it’s always the liberals who are insufficiently committed to their brand of revolution.

He concludes:

To be clear, there are people staging protests in Philadelphia with worthy causes who are using the opportunity of the convention and the assembled media to call attention to those causes. But they’re different from those who are there to protest Hillary Clinton and urge her defeat because she isn’t far enough to the left for them. So yes, this conflict, which now has an interesting Sanders-vs.-the-Sandernistas subplot, is newsworthy. But it’s not at bottom a story about the Democratic Party itself, which actually seems pretty unified. Even if some Democrats would have preferred that someone other than Hillary Clinton was their nominee, they’re not the ones holding signs and plotting how to create chaos on the convention floor.

And by the end of the night they’d mostly lost their steam.

But the chaos didn’t persist through the night. The turning point arguably came when comedian and Sanders supporter Sarah Silverman brought the house down with the line that the Bernie or Bust movement was “being ridiculous.” And the convention crowd rallied from there.

Michelle Obama said, “There is only one person who I trust with that responsibility, and that is our friend Hillary Clinton,” and people cheered. Elizabeth Warren called Donald Trump “the kind of man who must never be president,” and people cheered. Bernie Sanders said, “Hillary Clinton must become the next president of the United States,” and people cheered.

So ignore Ron Fournier’s Back-to-Both-Sides-ism lament that “All hell is going to break loose,” and the handful of anti-Clinton demonstrators who are echoing the ugly chants of the Republican Convention. A new Pew Poll found that 90% of heretofore unwavering Sanders supporters will vote for Hillary Clinton.

And for good reason. Lots of good reasons, actually….

“She never buckles under pressure”

First Lady Michelle Obama summed up those reasons eloquently last night:

Make no mistake about it, this November, when we get to the polls, that is what we are deciding. Not Democrat or Republican, not left or right. In this election, and every election, it is about who will have the power to shape our children for the next four or eight years of their lives. I am you tonight because in this election, there is only one person who I trust with that responsibility, only one person who I believe is truly qualified to be president of the United States, and that is our friend Hillary Clinton.

She talked about Clinton’s lifelong commitment to children’s issues. She talked about Clinton swallowing her disappointment after the 2008 primaries and agreeing to serve as Secretary of State. And then she said this:

But here’s the thing: What I admire most about Hillary is that she never buckles under pressure.

She never takes the easy way out. And Hillary Clinton has never quit on anything in her life. And when I think about the kind of president that I want for my girls and all our children, that is what I want. I want someone with the proven strength to persevere.

Somebody who knows this job and takes it seriously. Somebody who understands that the issues of our nation are not black or white. It cannot be boiled down to 140 characters. Because when you have the nuclear codes at your fingertips and the military in your command, you can’t make snap decisions. You can’t have thin skin or a tendency to lash out. You need to be steady and measured and well-informed.

I want a president with a record of public service. Someone whose life’s work shows our children that we don’t chase fame and fortune for ourselves; we fight to give everyone a chance to succeed. And we give back even when we are struggling ourselves because we know that there is someone worse off. There but for the grace of God, go I. I want a president who will teach our children that everyone in this country matters.

As the cheers rose, the First Lady concluded:

Don’t let anyone ever tell you that this country is not great. That somehow we need to make it great again. Because this right now is the greatest country on Earth.

And as my daughters set out on the world, I want a leader who is worthy of that truth, a leader worthy of my girls’ promise and all of our kids’ promise. A leader who will be guided every day by the love and hope and impossibly big dreams that we all have for our children.

In this election, we cannot sit back and hope that everything works out for the best, we cannot afford to be tired or frustrated or cynical. Hear me: Between now and November, we need to do what we did eight years ago and four years ago. We need to knock on every door, we need to get out every vote, we need to pour every last ounce of passion into electing Hillary Clinton as president of the United States of America. Let’s get to work. Thank you all and God bless.

The applause was thunderous. So much for disarray.


Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla (Getty Images)


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