“The divided-party narrative was already firmly in place by the time liberal crusaders Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders took the stage Monday night,” the Washington Post’s Aaron Blake writes, and far be it from Blake to diverge from that narrative—however much straining it takes to stay on message in the face of the reality of the speeches he’s writing about. He had a Ted Cruz comparison to make, and he made it. He had a “Dems in disarray” story to tell, and he told it:
Warren and Sanders did nothing to exacerbate those tensions like Cruz did. They didn't necessarily defuse them, either.
Oh, sure, they pointed to Clinton’s support of a host of the policies they and their supporters want passed, like paid family leave and raising the minimum wage; they drew strong contrasts between her and Donald Trump; and—having both already endorsed her at campaign rallies—they reiterated their endorsements for her. But somehow all that was inadequate to Blake:
Instead, the case for Clinton from both Warren and Sanders basically boiled down to this: Clinton is right on the issues that are important, and she's better than Trump.
Um … kind of important, no? That’s really what the choice of president is all about, isn’t it? So why is this framed as an “instead” of fully defusing tensions? Because Republicans had a major disunity problem and a few jerks had booed at the Democratic convention, so yay! False equivalence time! Finally, in the third paragraph from the bottom, Blake gets to the poll numbers showing that nine out of 10 Bernie Sanders primary supporters have unified behind Hillary Clinton, and that the charmers booing on the convention floor are a tiny minority of Sanders supporters. In other words, there’s not much to “defuse” to begin with.
Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders showed up at the Democratic National Convention to repeat strong endorsements they’d already made. They did that—both by pointing out how truly awful Donald Trump is, and by emphasizing their vast areas of agreement with Hillary Clinton. The vast majority of Democrats have already unified behind Clinton. A Washington Post reporter like Blake can’t ignore all that … but that doesn’t mean he’s going to lead with it.