#DraftBernie Quietly Admits It Was Wasting Everyone’s Time
Earlier this week, after thousands of social media posts and hundreds of interviews, the organizers behind #DraftBernie quietly admitted defeat. During a November 12th appearance on the Jimmy Dore Show, #DraftBernie founder Nick Brana announced the organization was moving on to a “new phase” after being rebuffed by Bernie Sanders in their attempts to force him to create a national third party. Their website and social media accounts were officially rebranded to ‘a movement for a people’s party’. Brana and his organization are now — supposedly — more focused on working in tandem with other progressive organizations, rather than clinging to the long dead hope that Sanders would assent to their demands.
While the negative effects of this failed splinter movement should not be understated, Brana’s misguided intentions appear to be the result of a prolonged, admirable effort to work inside the Democratic Party beltway to steer the party in a more progressive direction. Since launching #DraftBernie Brana has lost a lot of respect from his progressive peers for attempting to lead others to be optimistic about an even less likely strategy than reform. In light of their defeat, one wonders how the organizers can answer for using the energy and excitement of Bernie Sanders’ name to work against the express directions the man himself has given his supporters and instead work to splinter the progressive movement. It’s one thing to take the Our Revolution approach which says “We’re going to support progressives everywhere, regardless of party affiliation.” It’s another thing to do what the organizers of #DraftBernie did. Anyone on the inside who has followed Bernie, worked with Bernie, as Brana did, has known he was NEVER going to go along with the #DraftBernie demands.
In a perfect world we would all love for Bernie to start a third party and become President under a new progressive banner. Independents represent the largest portion of the American electorate today and, in a vacuum, the Democratic Party deserves to be dismantled for deserting the working class and favoring neoliberal policy over the last fifty years (not to mention the rigged 2016 primary and single handedly electing Donald Trump). Unfortunately Bernie and the progressive movement don’t operate in a vacuum. The decisions we make have consequences and Bernie understands that. He is a responsible leader who, as the longest serving independent member of congress, is the foremost expert on third parties in the country. The organization formerly known as #DraftBernie would do well to heed his calls to reform the Democratic Party instead of using his name to lead thousands of his supporters astray from the real task at hand.