Sheathe knives till November

Democrats’ infighting only helps Trump in the end

There’s a saying that any publicity is good publicity. Two of the leading Democrats in the presidential primary, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, have gotten a lot of media coverage the past few weeks for a remark Sanders allegedly made to Warren in the aftermath of the 2018 midterm elections about the prospects of a woman running for president. We don’t see any good from this publicity.

Set aside the question about whether or not Sanders said a woman couldn’t beat Donald Trump. The problem, in our opinion, is not a memory match between two senators. Rather, it’s the return of wedge politics from 2016—the cannibalism that helped Trump reach the White House.

Monday (Jan. 20), as the candidates locked arms on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Politico published an article about the mood in Iowa ahead of the caucuses on Feb. 3, exactly a month before the California primary.

“Interviews with more than two-dozen voters … made clear that the hard feelings between the two progressive icons have extended to their supporters,” the report said. “Despite Warren and Sanders’ attempts to move on … the interviews show that the collision has at least temporarily colored the opinions each candidate’s supporters have of the other.”

This isn’t a time for division or divisiveness. With the president impeached by House Democrats but likely to be acquitted by Republicans in his Senate trial, like-minded people need to band together. We’ve already seen what happens otherwise.

Hillary Clinton—counterargument No. 1 to any publicity is good publicity—won the popular vote convincingly but lost electorally pivotal states by thin margins. Sanders, runner-up for the nomination, had urged his backers to vote for her, and made dozens of campaign speeches on her behalf. Yet, a segment of them refused. It was Bernie or bust; Hillary was tainted.

Speaking of Clinton, her recent incendiary comments about Sanders—that he’s a career politician whom nobody likes and wants to work with, among other things—certainly aren’t helping the situation.

But back to the 2020 primary and the new rift. Did Warren create it for political gain? Did she do so for a greater good of exposing hypocrisy? That’s a matter for debate. What’s undeniable is whoever wins this skirmish will have a tougher battle with the real enemy.