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Bernie’s revolution will be postponed until further notice

Joe Biden's supporters show preference for a different approach

“You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it’s evolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
But when you talk about destruction
Don’t you know that you can count me out”

— “Revolution,” The Beatles, 1968

OPINION | It now appears that most Democrats don’t want a revolution. Change? Sure. Revolution and chaos? No thank you. The country already has that with the guy in the White House.

But after a very rough Super Tuesday, Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders has doubled down on his attacks on the corporate elite, complaining about the conspiracy between the political establishment and billionaires who aim to deny him the Democratic presidential nomination.

Sanders, like all ideologues on the left and the right, sees elections as little more than choices between voting records and agendas.

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So, he’ll now attack former Vice President Joe Biden’s record on the war in Iraq, Social Security, trade agreements and anything else he can find from Biden’s years in politics, portraying the former vice president as a tool of corporate America and, I suppose, George Soros, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.

Sanders is the Jesse Helms of the Democratic Party. He is never satisfied with compromise legislation, so he votes against many half-a-loaf approaches.

It’s easy to criticize those who compromised, since the nature of a compromise involves agreeing to things you don’t prefer, even things with which you seriously disagree.

But that’s how government usually works. Certainly, it’s been Biden’s approach, and it is the approach offered by both former Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Minnesota Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

Unfortunately for Sanders, older voters are not clamoring for a revolution. Nor are African Americans. Both groups want progress and change — from Donald Trump — but they aren’t interested in burning down the building.

They’d rather make repairs, which is why both groups gave huge majorities to Biden, not Sanders.

Sanders’ strongest demographic continues to be young people, including voters 18-29. They are enthusiastic and important — or at least they would be if they voted as regularly as their grandparents do.

Biden needs to turn them out in November, but he needs a message than entails more than offering everyone free stuff and promises of a revolt. Perhaps turning Trump out of office might be enough.

One of the things Sanders doesn’t get is that candidates are more than merely the embodiment of their issue positions.

Biden comes across as a truly caring person (because he is one), who is both kind and empathetic.

Sanders, in contrast, yells, even when he is complaining about how poorly some people are treated. He is more interested in settling scores and punishing his adversaries. Gee, who does that sound like?

Yes, Sanders talks about the poor and the marginalized, and he wants to be their advocate. I believe that he really does care about people. But he doesn’t know how to relate to them on anything other than a policy level. In that way, he is still the ‘60s radical he once was (and is).

Sanders now finds himself in a very different place than he was just 10 days ago. He has discovered that most Democrats don’t want a revolution.

The fractured opposition, which helped him early on, has disappeared, with pragmatic progressives lining up behind Biden.

The only option left for Bernie is to blow up the former vice president. That’s quite a challenge — and a risk — given the affection that many Democrats hold for Biden.

Of course, most of the South has voted, and the remaining states in the region will vote shortly.

After that, Sanders can hope for more favorable turf, where he can continue his calls for a revolution. When you are leading a “movement,” as Sanders says he is, it’s hard to throw in the towel. And when you are calling for a revolution, you can’t compromise.

For now, Biden appears to be in a strong position to win the nomination. But I have not forgotten how the Democratic presidential contest looked just a week ago.

This race has already taken so many unexpected twists and turns that I, for one, am not ruling out other surprises that could remake the Democratic race.

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