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Bernie Sanders, Your Time’s Up

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Time’s up for Bernie Sanders as his chances of winning the Democratic nomination slip further and further away. It’s true. He’s done for.

Baloney! you say, Hillary could still be indicted for her salacious email scandal (possible, yet unlikely) and there are a bunch of primary states left that could rally behind the Sanders camp.

Sure, there are certainly delegates out there that are up for grabs, but it’s becoming quite clear they are Hillary’s to lose. Super Tuesday could well be the deciding factor with polls showing that she is killing Bernie in virtually every single state.

Of course, that’s not even mentioning the (undemocratic) Super Delegate allocation which, despite close contests thus far, puts Hillary up by over 430 delegates. Bernie has fought a good fight, but he’s toast. The Clintons are just too ruthless and the primary process too rigged in favor of the establishment. The worst thing about the whole ordeal is that Bernie’s vowed to back Hillary when she ends up becoming the nominee.

In an ABC News interview with George Stephanopoulos on May 3, Bernie had this to say:

STEPHANOPOULOS: So if you lose in this nomination fight, will you support the Democratic nominee?
SANDERS: Yes. I have in the past.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Not going to run as an independent?
SANDERS: No, absolutely not. I’ve been very clear about that.

All of this is reminiscent of Dennis Kucinich’s shallow run in 2004 when the Ohio representative rolled over and played dead for John Kerry just days before the Democratic Convention in Boston. “Unity is essential to bring change in November,” Kucinich preached to his supporters, “Unity is essential to repair America. Unity is essential to set America on a new path.”

Despite Kucinich’s emphasis on the importance of “unity,” it wasn’t exactly clear what his “new path” mantra was all about. After all, Kucinich delegates failed (though they never really had a chance) to make “immediate troop withdrawal from Iraq” a central plank in Kerry’s narrow platform one week earlier. Kerry, of course, promised to put more troops in Iraq and call on NATO to intervene in the occupation.

The second Democratic presidential candidate to abandon his anti-war base in 2004, Kucinich allowed his candidacy to be absorbed back into the dank establishment sponge. Two months earlier Howard Dean embarrassingly touted the novel Democratic line of “unity at all costs,” snarling that, “In the end, it is Generation Dean voting for John Kerry for president of the United States that is going to send George Bush back to Texas, where he belongs.”

Like Dean, Kucinich urged his former supporters not to succumb to Ralph Nader’s tempting lure even though Kerry did not oppose the war in Iraq or the ongoing occupation. “I intend [to] reach out on behalf of the Kerry-Edwards ticket to unite our party with all those who may have felt left out,” Kucinich contended. “I will let them know that the time has come to unite in a common effort for change, which is essential, not only for America but for the world.”

Of course, Kerry lost bad and progressives had nothing to show for supporting for his lackluster campaign. This should be a fair warning to Sanders’ supporters that may be tempted to back Hillary in November – there’s a far better candidate out there and her name’s Jill Stein.

Back to Bernie Sanders, who, like Dennis Kucinich before him, is willing to turn his back on the movement he helped spark under the guise of solidarity with Madam Hillary – Wall Street greed and income equality be damned. Here’s to hoping all those Sandernistas out there see Hillary for what she is and don’t fall victim to Bernie’s imminent plea for Democratic unity. Keep the battle raging over the real issues even after he waves his surrender flag.

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JOSHUA FRANK is managing editor of CounterPunch. His most recent book is Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, co-edited with Jeffrey St. Clair and published by AK Press. He can be reached at joshua@counterpunch.org. You can follow him on Twitter @joshua__frank

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