Post California: Bernie Sanders Gains Leverage As Hillary's Bullying Backfires, Dem Party Loses Support

Bernie Sanders won a bigger contest on June 7. He solidified support for a revolution based on the rejection of the corrupt establishment.

Even the Los Angeles Times warned, "Sanders and his followers have a list of demands for changes... they intend to press at the convention in Philadelphia next month."

Hillary Clinton made a bullying move reminiscent of Donald Trump, holding a media-studded event in Brooklyn -- the birth city of Bernie Sanders -- proclaiming herself the Democratic nominee a full seven weeks before she could actually officially become it and before the polls in California had even closed.

This came on top of Bill Clinton mocking Sanders' supporters, saying "They're toast for election day."

Add to that the suspicious California vote tally in the face of such fervent Sanders' support, and the result was the further mass rejection of the establishment -- especially the Democratic Party.

Bernie Sanders inspired 227,000 people to attend his rallies throughout California in the weeks before the primary there. This and other record-breaking feats, such as his mega fundraising from average Americans instead of large corporations, has proven that there is a significant sector of the United States' population that supports Sanders to be the Democratic presidential nominee.
It remains to be determined if that sector represents the majority of Americans. While Clinton is on the record as having more votes than Sanders, it is difficult to know how many people actually support Sanders to be the Democratic nominee due to challenging factors such as the awkward vote counting of caucuses, the primaries that denied Independents the ability to vote, and the voter issues in several states, where ballots were allegedly missing and polling places were shut down.

But June 7 made clear that whatever the total of Sanders' supporters -- and it is millions -- those self-named "Bernie Believers" are moving further away from Clinton and the Democratic Party, not closer.

Supporters of Sanders' movement became more staunch screamers for revolution when the California early results showed Hillary Clinton leading by more than 24 percent. Rally goers in Santa Monica, California, chanted "B.S." without the acronym. The score the day after was a closer gap of 55 to 43 percent, but many are both doubting the California results and challenging them.

There were potentially millions of ballots that had yet to be counted the morning after the California primary. And this state's contest was not open -- it was a "modified closed primary" where No Party Preference voters were the only people other than registered Democrats who could vote for Bernie Sanders. However, there was a catch -- the No Party Preference voters had to know to request the Democratic Ballot. Otherwise, they were given one with no presidential candidates on it.

Everyone in California and other states who faced voting challenges in the primaries will be able to vote much more easily in the general election, and they still want to vote for Bernie, as evidenced by the hashtag, #StillSanders.
Excitement is building for a showdown at the Democratic Convention where the Bernie Sanders-led revolution will just be beginning, not ending, no matter the decision of the super delegates.

As the New York Times reported, "Far from backing down, Mr. Sanders promised to take his campaign to the Democratic convention in Philadelphia this summer."

And there remains a path for Sanders to run for president via the Green Party, if he is not happy with the outcome at the Democratic Convention. The Green Party's presidential candidate, Jill Stein, has been wooing Sanders, and perhaps she would allow him to be at the top of the ticket.

After June 7, Bernie Sanders and his supporters have become a bigger problem for Hillary, not a smaller one, despite her jumping to the conclusion of being the nominee. At best, she is the presumptive nominee, presumed so by the establishment and the mainstream media, which excludes millions of Americans, and angers them in a way that is likely irreversible.

Bernie Sanders and his supporters are enjoying a summer of increasing leverage against an establishment that is embodied by Hillary Clinton. As Sanders supporters' have long said, their movement is bigger than the presidency, but they want the presidency, too.

For Bernie Sanders and his revolution supporters, BBC News summed it up.

"It's not that Mr. Sanders and his most dedicated supporters aren't going down without a fight. It's that they're not going down at all."

[Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images]