Bernie Sanders Leaves the Democratic Party
By Emily Zanotti | 5:41 pm, July 27, 2016
The nomination was barely sealed up at the Democratic National Convention before Bernie Sanders, who had campaigned against Hillary Clinton for the partys nod, went back to being an Independent.
Sanders, who considers himself, officially, an Independent in Congress because his views lean further left than the Democratic partys platform, caucuses with Democrats. But until declaring an intention to run for the presidency in 2015, he had rarely, if ever, identified as a member of the Democratic Party (hes been in politics since 1979).
And now, despite pleading with his base to support Hillary, even though theyre concerned that shes too moderate, Sanders will return to Vermont and to his seat in the Senate, and hell do it with no official party affiliation.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who was forced to resign as Chairwoman of the DNC after leaked emails revealed shed tried to keep Sanders from challenging Clinton for the partys nomination, might even be vindicatedsort of.
Sanders has struggled all along with whether to call himself a Democrat, even ducking the question of his party affiliation, raised by local Vermont media, just days after he declared. He later tried to reinforce that he was, indeed, a Democrat. But Sanders certainly wasnt a party playerand thats exactly the concern Wasserman Schultz voiced in the Wikileaks document dump.
In an April 24 email she received with an article describing the ways Sanders felt the DNC was undermining his campaign, she wrote back, Spoken like someone who has never been a member of the Democratic Party and has no understanding of what we do.
If Wasserman Schultzs job was to ensure that a Democrat got the Democratic party nomination, then she might have been doing her job correctly (even if Bernies supporters would disagree).
Theres the additional complication, of course, that Wasserman Schultz was a vocal Clinton supporter, a Clinton surrogate and is now a senior adviser to the campaign, as shes been officially booted from her DNC duties. But if anyone is vindicating her position, its Sanders, dumping the Democratic party as soon as it was no longer useful.