FOR many on the American left, Tuesday was meant to be the day Bernie Sanders solidified his lead in the Democratic primaries.
With polling swinging in his favour after his decisive win in Nevada, Sanders seemed set to scoop the lion’s share of delegates in the crucial Super Tuesday contests and make his path to victory seem increasingly certain.
Such hopes were resolutely dashed.
Former Vice President Joe Biden scored victory in 10 out of the 14 states that voted on Tuesday. The significance of this should not be understated. In primaries on both sides of the aisle, the winner of Super Tuesday almost invariably goes on to be the nominee.
With all the remaining establishment and neoliberal Democrats now out of the running and uniting behind Biden, the chances of an anti-imperialist ticket running against Trump in November seem to be dwindling.
There is little to praise in the former VP’s foreign policy record. He supported the invasion of Iraq and the so-called War on Terror. He has voiced support for Juan Guaido in Venezuela. He stood by President Obama’s side during every single foreign policy failure of that administration.
Moving forward, Biden’s opponents must ferociously hold him to account on this record.
Only Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard remain in the race to oppose Biden, both of whom should take every opportunity to take him to task.
Gabbard has a strong history of challenging candidates on foreign policy issues throughout this primary season, having memorably clashed with Pete Buttigieg and Kamala Harris on the debate stage last year.
She claimed two delegates in American Samoa which, while failing to earn her frontrunner status, may yet get her onto the debate stage – where she excels.
If both Sanders and Gabbard make the debate stage in Arizona on March 15, they can afford to pull no punches.
In the meantime, another batch of primaries is set to be held in Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota and Washington state on March 10.
This will likely be a make or break day for Sanders. Super Tuesday was a huge setback for his campaign, and a further loss of momentum would be devastating, especially when the machinery of the Democratic establishment is so efficiently whirring away.
In order to beat Trump in November, the Democrats need to give the electorate the chance to vote for something positive and not simply rely on the president’s unpopularity.
But when the frontrunner is Joe Biden – a candidate who stands for ‘business as usual’ at a time when political disillusionment is rife – it would appear the party’s establishment has failed to learn any lessons from 2016.
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