Juan Williams: Bernie's backers need to see sense

Juan Williams: Bernie's backers need to see sense
© Greg Nash

Is the Trump campaign going to make a political ad showing several times when Joe BidenJoe BidenSunday shows preview: Coronavirus dominates as country struggles with delta variant Did President Biden institute a vaccine mandate for only half the nation's teachers? Democrats lean into vaccine mandates ahead of midterms MORE lost his train of thought?

Bet on it.

Will they make Biden’s son, Hunter, into a China-loving villain?



Most of all, you can count on President TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger says Trump 'winning' because so many Republicans 'have remained silent' Our remote warfare counterterrorism strategy is more risk than reward Far-right rally draws small crowd, large police presence at Capitol MORE to continue saying “The Bernie people” should “come to the Republican Party.” Trump tweeted that message earlier this month.

Trump is targeting the 27 percent of Democrats who told a HuffPost/YouGov poll last week they are “dissatisfied” or “upset” with Biden as the party’s presidential nominee.

Much of that discontent comes from Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSunday shows preview: Coronavirus dominates as country struggles with delta variant Democrats urge Biden to commute sentences of 4K people on home confinement Briahna Joy Gray: Push toward major social spending amid pandemic was 'short-lived' MORE’ (I-Vt.) supporters. Fifteen percent told an ABC/Washington Post poll in March “they’d back Trump over Biden.”

Like soldiers hiding in the hills, shooting at shadows long after the war is over, these dissident Democrats are mostly a threat to themselves.

Last week, Sanders and the other leading light of the party’s left wing, Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenFederal Reserve officials' stock trading sparks ethics review Manchin keeps Washington guessing on what he wants Warren, Daines introduce bill honoring 13 killed in Kabul attack MORE (D-Mass.), gave strong endorsements to Biden. So did the most progressive president in my lifetime, President Obama.

They don’t want the nightmare of four more years of Trump assaulting healthcare in general and ObamaCare in particular; provoking racial tensions by ignoring the rise of white supremacist groups; demonizing immigrants; and showing indifference to climate change.

But somehow there are still leading voices on the left who say that it will be “four years of darkness” for progressives seeking structural change in America no matter who wins between Biden and Trump.

Say what?

Never forget that the two most progressive Supreme Court Justices, Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgTo infinity and beyond: What will it take to create a diverse and representative judiciary? Justice Ginsburg's parting gift? Court's ruling on Texas law doesn't threaten Roe — but Democrats' overreaction might MORE and Stephen BreyerStephen BreyerBarrett: Supreme Court 'not comprised of a bunch of partisan hacks' Sunday shows - Manchin says he won't vote for .5 trillion bill Breyer says term limits would 'make life easier for me' MORE, are 87 and 81, respectively.

Ginsburg has had four bouts with cancer, including undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer last year.

The dissident Democrats might want to ask themselves if they are willing to give Trump two more appointments to the Supreme Court.

If Trump makes those nominations, he will create a 7-2 conservative majority on the Court for another generation. That conservative majority will aim to end legal protection for abortion by overturning Roe v. Wade as well as reversing the legalization of gay marriage.

Trump has already appointed nearly 200 right-wing judges to the federal bench.

Last week, he threatened to forcibly adjourn Congress so that he could ram through a new slate of far-right presidential appointees.

When he endorsed Biden last week, Sanders said any of his supporters who cite policy disagreements with Biden as a reason to vote Republican or sit out this election are being “irresponsible.”

But not everyone sees it that way.

Briahna Joy Gray, Sanders’ former press secretary, last weeek tweeted about her admiration for “ideas like #MedicareForAll, cancelling ALL student debt, & a wealth tax.”

She immediately added that “Biden supports none of those,” to explain why she is not getting on board with Biden.

But in Sanders’ words, anyone who decides to stay on the sidelines will be guilty of allowing “the most dangerous president in modern American history to get reelected.”

Obama is also trying to rein in discontent among the Bernie Bros.

“Of course, Democrats may not always agree on every detail of the best way to bring about …[progressive] changes, but we do agree that they’re needed,” Obama said. “And that only happens if we win this election.”

Obama also took responsibility for some of the bitterness among Democrats on the left. He knows some on the left view his presidency as having been too moderate. They blame him for failing to blast Republicans who blocked his nominees and refused to act on his agenda.

If he was running for the White House this year, Obama said, he would be more aggressive and not run on the same platform as he did in 2008.

“The world is different,” he said during his 12-minute video endorsing Biden. “There is too much unfinished business for us to just look backwards. We have to look to the future.”


Obama’s pitch fits with the fact that two-thirds of Democrats are “satisfied” with Biden as the party’s nominee, according to the HuffPost/YouGov poll.

It is also a fact that Biden won the majority of votes in the Democratic primaries. He won despite Sanders raising the most money. He won after losing the first three contests for the nomination. He won while being attacked by Trump, and without a big establishment campaign organization.

And now, Biden is attempting to build a bridge to Sanders voters.

Biden last week announced support for lowering the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 60. He has also come around to making public colleges and universities cost-free for most students. These are both ideas from the Sanders playbook.

As Obama was fond of saying, let’s not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

One of the most memorable moments at the 2016 Democratic National Convention featured comic Sarah Silverman, a Sanders supporter. She went on stage to say it made no political sense for people like her to abandon the Democratic ticket because Sanders lost the nomination.

“To the ‘Bernie or Bust’ people,” she said, “you’re being ridiculous.”

Here we go again. Bernie or Bust people, stop being ridiculous. Again.

Juan Williams is an author, and a political analyst for Fox News Channel.