Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders speaks at a campaign event in Las Vegas, Nevada, February 19, 2016.
Photo by Dina Litovsky/Redux for MSNBC

The fallout from Nevada’s Democratic unrest

In contemporary politics, when there are reports of partisan activists making death threats, throwing chairs, and scrawling ugly messages on walls, it’s easy to assume Donald Trump supporters are responsible. But in Nevada, it’s actually Bernie Sanders’ proponents.
 
We talked yesterday about the alarming unrest at the Nevada Democratic Convention, held in Las Vegas over the weekend, which ended with security shutting down the event, followed by pro-Sanders activists rushing the stage, “yelling obscenities,” and “throwing chairs.” The New York Times reported overnight that Sanders supporters soon after leaked the state chairwoman’s phone number, and she’s received calls threatening her life and the lives of her children and grandchildren.
 
As if that weren’t enough, Sanders backers scrawled messages on the walls outside the state Democratic Party headquarters – “You are scum” was one of them – and the Democratic offices were closed yesterday out of fear of possible security concerns posed by Sanders advocates.
 
If state party officials were, in fact, responsible for genuine abuses at the convention, perhaps some of the outrage would at least be understandable, but Jon Ralston, Nevada’s top political reporter, published a piece late yesterday saying that the opposite is true.
Despite their social media frothing and self-righteous screeds, the facts reveal that the Sanders folks disregarded rules, then when shown the truth, attacked organizers and party officials as tools of a conspiracy to defraud the senator of what was never rightfully his in the first place.
 
Instead of acknowledging they were out-organized by a Clinton campaign chastened by county convention results and reanimated to cement the caucus numbers at the Paris, the Sanders folks have decided to cry conflagration in a crowded building, without regard to what they burn down in the process.
The Nevada Democratic Party also took some time yesterday to publish a piece explaining that, despite the near-riot on Saturday, and death threats that have followed, the convention was actually fair to Sanders and his supporters.
 
Last night, the state party also lodged a formal complaint with the Democratic National Committee against the Sanders campaign. It concluded:
“The people who fostered, encouraged, and gained from the unsettling scenes at the  Nevada State Democratic Convention bring dishonor and discredit to our state and national parties. Having seen up close the lack of conscience or concern for the ramifications of their actions – indeed, the glee with which they engaged in such destructive behavior – we expect similar tactics at the National Convention in July.”
That last point, of course, is of particular interest. As the New York Times report noted, Democratic officials hope “that what happened in Las Vegas stays there,” but there is the possibility that Sanders supporters will pursue a similar confrontation in Philadelphia over the summer. The Vermont senator himself has vowed more than once that he wants a convention fight, though it’s not altogether clear to what end.
 
If the national convention in any way resembles the Nevada convention, the odds of a President Trump will improve considerably.
 
 
 

Bernie Sanders, Democratic National Convention and Nevada

The fallout from Nevada's Democratic unrest