Bernie Sanders says the model of the Democratic Party is failing.

Bernie Sanders: “The Model of the Democratic Party Is Failing”

Bernie Sanders: “The Model of the Democratic Party Is Failing”

The Slatest
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April 23 2017 12:46 PM

Bernie Sanders: “The Model of the Democratic Party Is Failing”

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) speaks to a crowd of supporters at a Democratic unity rally at the Rail Event Center on April 21, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

George Frey/Getty Images

Fresh off his “Unity Tour” alongside Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez, Sen. Bernie Sanders said on Sunday that the Democratic Party needs to change. “I think what is clear to anyone who looks at where the Democratic Party today is, that the model of the Democratic Party is failing,” Sanders said on CBS’s Face the Nation.

Why does the senator have such a dim view of the party that almost turned him into a presidential candidate? Because it keeps losing. "We have a Republican president who ran as the most unpopular candidate in the modern history of this country,” Sanders said. “Republicans control the House, the Senate, two-thirds of governor chairs, and in the last eight years they have picked up 900 legislative seats. Clearly the Democratic Party has got to change."

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As far as the Vermont senator is concerned, the Democratic Party should become “a grassroots party, a party which makes decisions from the bottom on up, a party which is more dependent on small donations than large donations.” Once the party really takes up the issue of standing up “to the billionaire class,” then turnout will soar and Democrats will start winning again.

Sanders made his comments shortly after a poll identified him as the country’s most popular active politician, revealing that he is viewed favorably by 57 percent of registered voters. Yet he is also angering Democrats, in part because he refused to identify himself as a member of the party last week, preferring to continue to label himself as an independent. He also raised the ire of many in the party when he refused to wholeheartedly endorse the Democratic congressional candidate in Georgia Jon Ossoff.  

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the Today’s Papers column from 2006 to 2009. Follow him on Twitter.