I’ve written a few times that my greatest fear of a Sanders general election campaign is that it would be one half against Donald Trump and one half against the Democratic party itself. The results last night help us understand some of these liabilities and dynamics. Insurgent candidacies and movements have certain enduring, inherent qualities. The simplest is the belief that there’s something wrong, outdated or corrupt about the organizational leadership you’re trying to overthrow. That’s obvious. Otherwise, why are you an insurgent?
Sanders is a twofold political figure. He’s been a federal legislator for a quarter century operating within the conventional political system. He’s also been a left activist for almost 60 years. That oppositionist mentality is deep in his political DNA and that of his campaign. It’s one of its core strengths. It’s magnified among his most vocal supporters.