Juan Williams: Democrats need to bury their divisions

Juan Williams: Democrats need to bury their divisions
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Or as the early 20th century writer Will Rogers put it: “I’m not a member of any organized party — I’m a Democrat.”

In the latest example of Rogers’ wisecrack coming to life, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOvernight Energy: Biden seeks to reassert US climate leadership | President to 'repeal or replace' Trump decision removing protections for Tongass | Administration proposes its first offshore wind lease sale On The Money: Democrats wary of emerging bipartisan infrastructure deal, warn of time crunch Out-of-touch Democrats running scared of progressives MORE (I-Vt.) keeps raising eyebrows with public grumblings suggesting that Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenPutin says he's optimistic about working with Biden ahead of planned meeting How the infrastructure bill can help close the digital divide Biden meets Queen Elizabeth for first time as president MORE’s campaign message lacks the populist left-wing energy to carry him to victory over President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump DOJ demanded metadata on 73 phone numbers and 36 email addresses, Apple says Putin says he's optimistic about working with Biden ahead of planned meeting Biden meets Queen Elizabeth for first time as president MORE.


Why is Sanders feeding doubts about Biden instead of pitching in to help? Why isn’t he busy corralling his big following of “Bernie Bros” to get behind Biden and beat Trump?

Here is Sanders in a recent PBS interview:

“Biden’s views are not mine. My program was much more progressive — but he has a strong program. And I think he’s got to do a better job in getting it out, to be honest with you.”

Here’s the best interpretation of Sanders’ critique of Biden:

“Senator Sanders is confident that Joe Biden is in a very strong position to win this election, but nevertheless feels there are areas the campaign can continue to improve upon,” said Sanders’ former presidential campaign manager, Faiz Shakir.

Shakir pointed to Biden’s need to boldly lay out plans to “raise wages, create millions of good-paying jobs, lower the cost of prescription drugs and expand health care coverage.”

Now let’s hear the worst interpretation of Sanders’ jabs at Biden:

“Why is it that every single year the Republicans seem to ratchet it to the right [and] Democrats feel compelled to follow them to the middle? We’ve lost all semblance of any true Left party…that is genuinely looking out for the interests of poor, working class people, in particular labor,” Briahna Joy Gray, Sanders’ former press secretary, recently argued in a Vice News interview.

Keep in mind, Gray abandoned Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump asks Biden to give Putin his 'warmest regards' Huma Abedin announces book deal Mystery surrounds Justice's pledge on journalist records MORE and the Democrats in 2016 to vote for Jill Stein of the Green Party, opening the door for Trump.

In the Vice News interview, Gray also said: “Bernie supporters aren’t rooting for Biden to lose. They’re rooting for Biden to be the kind of candidate who we believe…would be more electable and a more ethical and humane president.”

Did Gray say “ethical and humane”?

Wait a minute.

This election offers a binary choice. Does the left consider Trump more “ethical and humane” than Biden?

Are there Sanders fans who really think “ethical and humane” wins the day if they decide Biden is too moderate to get their support and stay home, or vote for Kanye WestKanye Omari WestCaitlyn Jenner: My family not 'involved whatsoever' in gubernatorial bid Chris Rock, 'SNL' cast reflect on 'messed up' year in politics, pop culture during season finale Elon Musk asks Twitter for skit ideas ahead of 'Saturday Night Live' appearance MORE — either of which amounts to support for Trump?

Meanwhile, Trump has been hammering Biden for being too close to Sanders and his brand of democratic socialism.

Trump called Biden a “puppet of the radical left movement that seeks to destroy the American way of life” at a rally in Pennsylvania last month.

A recent Trump campaign ad featured a woman insisting the president is “the only barrier between us and socialism.”

In any case, Biden’s response is clear. “Do I look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters?,” he asked reporters late last month.

He might also point to FBI reports that Russia’s authoritarian government is once again backing Trump, this time with online attacks denigrating Biden.

The facts are on Biden’s side.

Biden does not fully support the Green New Deal. He is not backing Medicare-for-All. He opposes the slogan “Defund the Police.”

This is why polls show Trump is failing to convince voters that Biden is some sort of wild-eyed radical.

Biden’s moderate positions are in line with Democrats who selected him as the nominee with the best chance to beat Trump.

By contrast, Sanders has twice been unsuccessful in winning the Democrats’ nomination, first losing to Hillary Clinton in 2016 and losing to Biden this year.


It was over a year ago when former President Obama warned Democrats against creating a “circular firing squad where you start shooting at your allies because one of them has strayed from purity on the issues.”

Obama’s words have added power because he created a winning coalition for Democrats in two successful runs for the White House.

The Obama coalition crossed racial lines. It was urban and suburban. Young and old came together. Environmentalists stood with women’s groups and labor unions.

It is one of the most impressive achievements of modern politics, especially when you consider it held together to elect and reelect the first black president.

Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in 2016 but failed to hold enough of the Obama coalition in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania to deliver a win in the electoral college.

When Sanders suspended his 2020 campaign, he told CBS’s Stephen ColbertStephen Tyrone ColbertWest Wing star equates GOP to 'negotiating with terrorists' Rand Paul's wife says package containing white powder was 'pure terrorism' Rand Paul responds to Colbert on vaccines: 'Try to ignore your bias' MORE: “I will do everything I can to make sure Donald Trump is not reelected.”

Senator, don’t take your eyes off that big prize.

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