Thursday night, Bernie Sanders addressed his supporters directly, explaining how their political revolution can continue — even if he doesn't win the White House. Now, Sanders did not officially drop out, but it's clear that his focus has shifted from overturning superdelegates to more generally influencing the Democratic Party and American politics. "Election days come and go. But political and social revolutions that attempt to transform our society never end," he told supporters. One big ask he had of his revolutionaries was that they run for office, which lead Jill Stein, the other lefty who's running, to respond on Twitter. Let's just say she's not a big fan of the Democrats.
But first, what did Sanders actually say? Sanders asked his supporters to consider running for office up and down the ticket, from local school boards to the U.S. Congress. He didn't explicitly call them to run within the Democratic Party, but he did talk a lot about transforming it to allow young people in to fight special interests. What was clear was that they should be working to fight Republicans. "State and local governments make enormously important decisions and we cannot allow right-wing Republicans to increasingly control them," he told his supporters.
Queue Stein's response. She tweeted out, "Remember, the sabotage we saw from Dem Party in the Sanders campaign we see in local, state, & congressional races as well," with the hashtag #OurRevolution. She's pushing any Sanders supporters out there to consider running for office with the Greens, which makes sense since she is the party's presumptive nominee for president. She claimed the Green Party to be the only option for Sanders' revolutionaries because they are free of corporate cash.
This seems to be the latest attempt to co-opt Bernie's revolution. She tried in an open letter to the Vermont senator just a few weeks ago. She asked, "Can we think outside the box and find new and unexpected ways to synergize beyond obsolete partisan divides?” She painted Sanders' "populist progressive agenda" in extremely positive light while attacking the party whose nomination Sanders has been trying to win, calling the Democrats a "corporate political machine." Sanders would like to transform the Democratic Party. Stein would be just fine with it imploding.
On Twitter Thursday night, she went on to excoriate the Democrats, calling it an increasingly "corporatist and imperialist" party. She even tried to use Sanders own words to make her argument. She used past Sanders quotes to try and minimize the difference between Republicans and Democrats — as well as show he supports third parties. For example, she tweeted this Sanders quote: "The challenge of our time is to wake people up to go outside of the Democratic & Republican Parties to talk about the real issues."
She attacked Hillary too, writing, "Another Clinton presidency will only make things worse. Besides, the lesser evil merely paves the way to the greater evil." This is just the latest attack on Clinton (which is not unexpected since they are running against each other). In recent days, she has given interviews attacking Clinton's private email server and asking that the FBI investigation into its use continue.
Stein may not be wrong that the "toxic 2016 Presidential election is yet another manifestation of the desperate need for deep change, not slight tweaks." But for Sanders supporters — especially Democrats — it's important to note than when she tweets #OurRevolution, she really means the Green Party's revolution.