I don’t believe in “dealbreakers.” In the general election, you vote for the best candidate available, and pressure them as best you can. I think Democrats should support Jon Ossoff and Heath Mello. But this is a different story:
Sanders was less interested in the Ossoff race. “He’s not a progressive,” he said. He was endorsing Democrats based on their economic populism; they could differ from progressives on social issues but not on the threat of the mega-rich to American politics. Soon, he said, the 5-to-4 majority on the Supreme Court was likely to make it legal for the wealthy to give unlimited sums to candidates, and the only way to fight back was grass-roots politicking and small donations.
“If you are running in rural Mississippi, do you hold the same criteria as if you’re running in San Francisco?” he said. “I think you’d be a fool to think that’s all the same.”
Sanders had said this before, and each time, he had sparked anger from a center-left ready to accuse him of abandoning women or nonwhite voters. On Thursday, he was set to campaign in Omaha for Heath Mello, a Democrat running for mayor who had previously backed a bill requiring ultrasounds for women considering abortions.
Sanders is right in the second graf. But of course it’s completely contradicted by his dismissal of Ossoff:
Whatever you think of what David says, I'd say that any purity test that Jon Ossoff fails and Heath Mello passes is a crappy purity test. https://t.co/0z89MWnCwU
— Sam Bagenstos (@sbagen) April 20, 2017
Any attempt to classify people as “progressive” that does not include reproductive freedom as a criterion is bullshit. That doesn’t mean that the issue is a “dealbreaker” in a general election where someone with bad views on the subject is the best you can do, but of course the same goes for candidates whose economic rhetoric Sanders finds insufficiently populist in tone.