Why It's Over For Bernie

| by Nik Bonopartis
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders of VermontDemocratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont

What a difference a week makes.

When Bernie Sanders earned a surprise win over Hillary Clinton in Michigan -- despite polls heavily favoring the former Secretary of State -- out came the think pieces about the "cracks in Clinton's campaign" and how momentum might carry the Vermont senator to more upsets.

No one's making that argument anymore.

In the Washington Post, Dan Balz says the Democratic frontrunner "padded a lead in delegates that now has become almost insurmountable." Other pundits said Clinton enjoyed two major victories in the Super Tuesday sequel, with her decisive wins over Sanders and the suspension of Republican Marco Rubio's campaign. Rubio had long been seen as the greatest general election threat to Clinton, but her wins on March 15 were "substantial enough to allow her to pivot once and for all toward the general election," writes RealClearPolitics' Tom Bevan.

Sanders won't bow out of the race, not just yet. He'll still make optimistic noises, talk about his nebulous "political revolution," and bask in the kind of adoration Ralph Nader used to get from idealistic college kids and other young voters.  

But the truth is, Sanders is not going anywhere, and he knows it. His chances of winning the Democratic nomination at this point are pretty much nil.

Sanders supporters won't accept it. Take CNN's Sally Kohn, who violated Godwin's Law in a March 9 column and helpfully showed how unhinged she is by comparing Republican frontrunner Donald Trump's campaign to "the early moments of Adolf Hitler's rise in Germany."

On the morning of March 16, she was among the very few praising Sanders and denying his campaign is over, arguing that he's made Clinton a better candidate and bolstered the Democrats' strength with his "movement masquerading as a campaign."

Over on Common Dreams and the Huffington Post, Sanders supporters grumbled about how the "corporate media" refused to air Sanders' late-night speech, and how their candidate was suffering from a #BernieBlackout because big business is so terrified of him. Or something.

There's only one thing that can save Sanders now, and it's entirely out of his hands. If the Department of Justice indicts Clinton over her use of a private email server as Secretary of State -- and mishandling of classified documents -- it could derail her campaign.

With a Democrat in the White House and a Department of Justice that interprets the law from a partisan perspective, that's looking increasingly unlikely. It's also unlikely Democrats will care, if the Democratic debate in Miami is any indication. When Univision anchor Jorge Ramos asked about the scandal, Clinton brushed him off, and the audience cheered, as if even questioning Clinton is absurd.

"Oh, for goodness, it's not going to happen," Clinton told Ramos, per The Hill. "I'm not even answering that question."

The Clintons have long been adept at redefining reality, and the unfortunate reality for Bernie Sanders is that he's living in Hillary's reality, not his own. Sanders can bow out gracefully, or go out with a whimper after the delegate gap widens, but he's not going on to the general election as his party's nominee.

Click here for the opposing view on this topic.

Sources: Real Clear Politics, Washington Post, CNN (2), Common Dreams, The Hill / Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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