Civil War on the Left, Ch. 68: Bernie Fratricide

Looks like the Bernie Bros are starting to have some fratricidal impulses. First up, Bernie lashed out at the Center for American Progress according to CNN:

Sen. Bernie Sanders has accused a leading liberal think tank, founded and run by longtime Hillary Clinton allies, of orchestrating attacks on him and two other 2020 Democratic presidential candidates.

In a letter provided to CNN by his campaign, Sanders addressed the board of the Center for American Progress and CAP Action Fund on Saturday, alleging that its activities are playing a “destructive role” in the “critical mission to defeat Donald Trump.” Sanders cited two posts about him by ThinkProgress, a website run by CAP’s political arm, and past pieces focused on Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker. . .

“Center for American Progress leader Neera Tanden repeatedly calls for unity while simultaneously maligning my staff and supporters and belittling progressive ideas,” Sanders wrote, adding: “I and other Democratic candidates are running campaigns based on principles and ideas and not engaging in mudslinging or personal attacks on each other. Meanwhile, the Center for American Progress is using its resources to smear Senator Booker, Senator Warren, and myself, among others. This is hardly the way to build unity, or to win the general election.”

The New York Times account (no link—because screw their paywall) has more detail:

“This counterproductive negative campaigning needs to stop,” Mr. Sanders wrote to the boards of the Center for American Progress and its sister group, the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

Well of Bernie is upset with the “negative campaigning” of CAP, wait till the current issue of The Nation lands in the mailbox at any one of this three houses:

The Liberal Case Against Bernie

by Eric Alterman

Senator Bernie Sanders’s presidential candidacy poses a conundrum for progressives. Not since 1936, when Franklin Roosevelt said that he “welcomed” the hatred of corporate interests, has a serious presidential candidate offered so aggressive a challenge to the conservative powers that be. At the same time, however, a dangerous lunatic is president of the United States, and Sanders, of all the major Democratic contenders, is the one who will make Donald Trump’s reelection most likely.

Not so sure about that. I think Elizabeth Warren would also assure Trump’s re-election. Still, that’s no reason not to soak up all the schadenfreudey goodness of this piece, such as:

A Sanders nomination would, I fear, deliver the country to Trump. It would depress turnout among all the groups I mentioned; increase support for the likely spoiler in the race, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz; and keep a significant number of swing voters in Trump’s column. Additionally, some of the moms and grandmas who make up the backbone of the #Resistance told researcher Theda Skocpol that, owing to Sanders’s harsh treatment of Clinton in the 2016 election, they might sit out 2020 if he’s the nominee.

Pass the popcorn.

Postscript—Nancy Pelosi disses the AOC progressives:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told CBS’s “60 Minutes” that the left flank of the House Democratic caucus represented by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is “like five people” in a Sunday interview.

Asked by Lesley Stahl about potential insurrections or pushback from the progressive wing of the party, Pelosi responded, “That’s like five people.”

When Stahl asked for Pelosi’s thoughts on the left wing of the party pushing initiatives such as “Medicare for all,” which Stahl said were “allowing the president to say you’re all socialists,” Pelosi noted the GOP made similar claims when former President Lyndon B. Johnson led the creation of Medicare in the 1960s.

“This is an ongoing theme of the Republicans,” Pelosi said. “However, I do reject socialism as an economic system. If people have that view, that’s their view. That is not the view of the Democratic Party.”

It’s like Nancy is nervous or something.

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