I've expressed my doubts about that, and now we have a New York Times op-ed from Sanders that reinforces my suspicions.
Is it an attack on Trump? Yes, in part -- but mostly it's a continuation of Sanders's attack on the Democratic establishment and, by implication, the Clinton campaign.
The title is "Democrats Need to Wake Up."
Surprise, surprise. Workers in Britain, many of whom have seen a decline in their standard of living while the very rich in their country have become much richer, have turned their backs on the European Union and a globalized economy that is failing them and their children.This goes on for six more paragraphs. It's basically the Sanders stump speech from the primary campaign, retooled for the post-Brexit moment. It makes many excellent points.
And it’s not just the British who are suffering. That increasingly globalized economy, established and maintained by the world’s economic elite, is failing people everywhere. Incredibly, the wealthiest 62 people on this planet own as much wealth as the bottom half of the world’s population -- around 3.6 billion people. The top 1 percent now owns more wealth than the whole of the bottom 99 percent. The very, very rich enjoy unimaginable luxury while billions of people endure abject poverty, unemployment, and inadequate health care, education, housing and drinking water.
Could this rejection of the current form of the global economy happen in the United States? You bet it could.
During my campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, I’ve visited 46 states. What I saw and heard on too many occasions were painful realities that the political and media establishment fail even to recognize.
However, we're not going to solve the problems Sanders cites in the next four months. Right now, we have an election to win.
But Sanders still thinks the top priority is advancing his agenda right now. He's won quite a few battles in the struggle over the Democratic platform, yet he's still fighting with Democrats -- oh, and, incidentally, with Trump as well:
Let’s be clear. The global economy is not working for the majority of people in our country and the world. This is an economic model developed by the economic elite to benefit the economic elite. We need real change.In this op-ed, Sanders never endorses Clinton. He never mentions her by name. He doesn't repeat his promise to vote for her (or to vote for her "in all likelihood") -- he just ungraciously tosses off a reference to "a new Democratic president" in the very last paragraph of an eighteen-paragraph op-ed. And his attack on Trump is subsumed in a finger-wagging warning to the Democrats.
But we do not need change based on the demagogy, bigotry and anti-immigrant sentiment that punctuated so much of the Leave campaign’s rhetoric -- and is central to Donald J. Trump’s message....
The notion that Donald Trump could benefit from the same forces that gave the Leave proponents a majority in Britain should sound an alarm for the Democratic Party in the United States. Millions of American voters, like the Leave supporters, are understandably angry and frustrated by the economic forces that are destroying the middle class.
In this pivotal moment, the Democratic Party and a new Democratic president need to make clear that we stand with those who are struggling and who have been left behind. We must create national and global economies that work for all, not just a handful of billionaires.
This is still a campaign document -- and please note that the capsule bio that appears with the op-ed, which Sanders probably approved, reads as follows: "Bernie Sanders, a senator from Vermont, is a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination." Yes, "is," not "was," or even "has been."
Sanders has said, "I’m going to do everything I can to defeat Donald Trump." His campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, has said that Sanders "will work seven days a week, night and day, to make sure Donald Trump is not president."
But I suspect this is going to be his idea of working seven days a week to defeat Trump: He's going to fold his anti-Trump message into the same message he used to attack Clinton for a year in the primary campaign.
And that's not going to help elect her.