Continetti: Sanders Doesn’t Have Democratic Party’s Interests in Mind

• May 24, 2016 3:14 pm


Washington Free Beacon editor Matthew Continetti discussed how President Obama has the power but not the will to calm a tumultuous Democratic Party primary Tuesday on Fox News, similar to his reluctance to intervene in Syria.

Contonetti discussed his most recent piece with Fox News host Heather Childers, citing the descent into chaos that the Democratic Primary is experiencing as one that could be curbed if Obama intervened, since most people know he's going to back Hillary Clinton regardless. He wrote:

A few months ago a Democratic strategist and I were watching cable news. CNN had a story on the Republican primary fight between Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, and Marco Rubio. "The GOP house is on fire," the strategist told me. "But on June 7, it will be the Democratic house that’s burning down."

He said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) does not seem to have the Democratic Party's interest in mind and it was getting increasingly hard to see the party unifying under Clinton as the nominee.

"Those polls that you're looking at, those same polls, Matthew, they do show Sanders leading Trump unlike Clinton, so he does have that going for him," she said. "But, what about coalescing and having the Democratic party unify?"

Continetti explained that not only is unifying the party at this point is going to be pretty difficult, but he doesn't believe that Sanders has the party's interest in mind.

"I think it's going to be pretty hard," he said. "You know, the Clintons have already given about half of the platform committee seats to Sanders and he's starting to fill them with people like Cornel West and Keith Ellison, a congressman from Minnesota, but I don't think that's going to be enough for Bernie Sanders because I don't think he has the Clinton campaign's nor actually the Democratic Party's interests in mind.

"Remember, this is a guy who calls himself a Democratic socialist, he's an independent, and basically like Ralph Nader ran inside the party in 2000. What would that have looked like? If you have a character winning states and getting a huge financial support, but he's not beholden to any of the party interests? So, I think Hillary Clinton is going to have to do a lot more if she wants Bernie Sanders to support her. And even then, it is not clear that he will in the end."

When his article was brought up, Continetti said that, similar to Syria, Obama does not want to deal with the eventual backlash that would be headed his way. He also noted that it seems as if the GOP is starting to coalesce around their presumptive nominee, but he can't see it happening for the Democratic Party.

"Well, it's funny," he said. "I mean if there's one person who I think could really try to bring the Democratic primary to a close, it's Barack Obama. He has decided to stay out of it, even though we all basically know he's for Hillary Clinton. The question is, ‘Why?’ And I think he is probably thinking about the Democratic civil war in the same way that he thinks about civil war in, say, Syria. He thinks that getting involved would produce blowback against him and elsewhere, and so for that reason, he's staying out.

In his piece, Continetti compared Obama's lack of intervention in the Democratic civil war to his inaction in war-torn Syria:

Here is another civil war in which Barack Obama chooses not to intervene. If asked why he’s not doing more to support Clinton, he would no doubt offer the same excuses he makes when confronted with his lassitude abroad. I can hear him now: Hillary’s an unreliable ally, a freeloader, needs to fight her own battles. Confronting Sanders is unnecessary—Clinton is just a few contests away from winning the required number of pledged delegates, this fire will put itself out, socialism is an outmoded, twentieth-century way of thinking. Making the most of the bully pulpit would be counterproductive, would turn Sanders’s voters away. That’s not just my opinion. It’s what the experts say. If I got involved in the Democratic civil war, why, I’d have to get involved in the GOP civil war, in the Libertarian Party civil war, in the Constitution Party civil war. How would Americans respond? No, it’s either neutrality in this primary or droning Bernie. And I for one am not willing to do that.