... Independent U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders will announce his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday.Yes! Finally Hillary Clinton will be challenged by a genuine progressive!
Sanders will release a short statement on that day and then hold a major campaign kickoff in Vermont in several weeks.
Sanders' entry into the Democratic race ensures that Hillary Clinton will face a challenge to win the support of the liberal wing of the party.
If Bernie Sanders became president, how long would it be before some on the left would call him a sellout and traitor? 5 minutes?— Erik Loomis (@ErikLoomis) April 28, 2015
Well, it's already happened. In fact, it's been happening for years. Here's Jane Hamsher at Firedoglake in 2011:
Bernie Sanders to Primary Obama? Don’t Make Me Laugh(This is accompanied by a photo of Sanders on the floor of the Senate with the caption "Last Train to Loserville.")
... Whenever the talk of a primary comes up, I always ask “who is going to do this?” The answer is always someone like Bernie Sanders or Jan Schakowsky, the same people whose job it is to put the Good Liberal Housekeeping Seal of Approval on whatever piece of neoliberal shit the White House cooks up to please the bond vigilantes. The people who suddenly become okay with war when the White House says so, who shake their fists in the air with outrage right before they fold, the people you can count on to always be there when there’s nothing they can do…and are nowhere to be found when they can.
... Yesterday Bernie’s job was to stand up in the Senate and whine about Tea Party extremists. If Bernie had one-tenth of their conviction, his vote alone could have saved the country from the shitty health care bill that put them all in office.
But Hamsher was late to the game. Alexander Cockburn was bashing Sanders as a sellout in the pages of The Nation years before Hamsher started blogging. From 2000:
Independent in name only, Sanders sold out to the Democratic machine long ago. He's no longer part of a movement.... In his re-election race for November, he's outflanked on both politics and gender....The column goes on to refer to "Sanders' dismal trajectory." Yup -- he was a sellout fifteen years ago, long before he reached the Senate.
And then there's this, published in 2011 in CounterPunch shortly before Cockburn's death. It was writted by Thomas Naylor, but it appeared when Cockburn was well into his second decade as the magazine's co-editor:
The Myth of Bernie SandersSo, yes, if the Democratic Party shifted far enough to the left to nominate Bernie Sanders, and the country shifted far enough to the left to elect him, there'd be plenty of lefties in America who'd be looking for someone to save us from the latest faux-progressive phony.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has recently been elevated to near godlike status by the political Left in the United States.... The more often he is accused of being a socialist by his political enemies on the Right, the more convinced the Left becomes that he surely walks on water.
Although Sanders may have once been a socialist back in the 80s when he was Mayor of Burlington, today, a socialist he is not. Rather he behaves more like a technofascist disguised as a liberal, who backs all of President Obama’s nasty little wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen. Since he always “supports the troops,” Sanders never opposes any defense spending bill. He stands behind all military contractors who bring much-needed jobs to Vermont....
Sanders is the darling of the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee and the right-wing Likud government of Israel. He has done everything within his power to keep the myth of Islamic terrorism alive. He never questions the U.S. government’s unconditional support of Israeli acts of genocide and ethnic cleansing against the Palestinians. It is as though these are nonevents....