A Party That Works

Democrats are unifying behind Hillary. Will Republicans take the same path?

Yesterday both President Obama and VP Biden endorsed Hillary Clinton. Last night on the Rachel Maddow Show, Sen. Elizabeth Warren did so as well. Martin O’Malley, a former candidate himself, made a similar announcement. While not a formal endorsement, Sen. Jeff Merkley said this during an interview with Greg Sargent.

“Once a candidate has won a majority of the pledged delegates and a majority of the popular vote, which Secretary Clinton has now done, we have our nominee,” Merkley, who is Sanders’ sole supporter in the Senate, told me. “This is the moment when we need to start bringing parts of the party together so they can go into the convention with locked arms and go out of the convention unified into the general election.”

Those are some of the few national Democrats who had either waited on the sidelines during the primary or supported Sanders. So what we are seeing is the final phase of unification behind the presumptive presidential nominee. Once Tuesday’s primary in Washington D.C. is over, it will be up to Bernie Sanders to join them.

What we will witness over the next month is that Democrats will put to rest any attempt to find a false equivalency in the idea that both parties are engaged in an internal civil war. With Donald Trump as their nominee, the battle will continue for Republicans. But while Democrats might not agree on everything, they will demonstrate to the country that they have a party that knows how to work together. In talking about how President Obama started the process of handing the baton of leadership off to Hillary Clinton yesterday, here’s how Francis Wilkerson described what is happening.

This transition is structured, anticipated, consistent, orderly and boring. Which is one way of saying that the Democratic Party is a coherent, well-functioning political institution that bears little resemblance to the cascading disasters that define the Republican Party and yielded Donald Trump as its likely presidential nominee.

The one thing Donald Trump and the Republicans have going for them is that they are definitely not boring. But that comes with a pretty heavy dose of “cascading disaster.” We all know that humans seems genetically coded to slow down and watch car wrecks. But after a while, that gets boring too. The question on the ballot in November will be whether we want to careen our entire country into one massive car wreck, or if we’re more interested in continued progress on the challenges we face.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.