Steve Chapman on the Liberals' Instant Embrace of Bernie Sanders


U.S. Senate

The left wing of the Democratic Party is having a magic moment. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, an avowed socialist, drew enthusiastic throngs in Iowa last week. The 700 people who showed up in Davenport gave him the biggest crowd any candidate in either party has seen in the state this year. The audience in Kensett was bigger than the population of Kensett. 

Some people think this could be the start of something big. MSNBC's Rachel Maddow marveled at his "incredibly positive launch" and wondered, "What does it mean if Bernie Sanders continues to do as well as he has been doing?" 

Steve Chapman explains: Not much. Adoring mobs at presidential campaign events are something Iowa produces every four years, often for sharp-edged ideologues and fiery insurgents whose candidacies have the lifespan of a fruit fly.