On Tuesday, establishment Democrats reached out to Senator Bernie Sanders to desperately beg him to encourage progressives to focus their ire not on the Democratic establishment, but on the Republican party instead.

Fearing backlash and protest from angry constituents, senior Democratic Senators asked Bernie to appeal to liberals, urging them to focus on opposing Trump instead of calling out moderate Democrats for their lukewarm beliefs and behaviors.

Senator Joe Manchin III of West Virginia attended the meeting where Sanders was asked to control his supporters. He had this to say about the meeting:

“They basically explained to Bernie, it looks like you could be the person that could calm down and make sure their energy and all this enthusiasm is directed in all the right proper channels. Bernie has a voice, and if [protesters] want to be active, then direct them to where the problem may be or where they anticipate a problem.”

But that’s the problem – those establishment figures who don’t have the gall to even vote against Trump’s cabinet appointees are the problem. To pretend as if the Democratic party isn’t in need of a major, deep overhaul is in direct contradiction to what we though we’d learned from this election.

Though Sanders did not make mention of this request, we can only hope that behind closed doors, the senator gave those establishment characters the tongue-lashing they deserved for their idiocy and gall. Establishment Democrats are the ones that got us into the current mess, and even as they roll over for President Trump and his nominees, they have the gall to ask a true progressive to call off the dogs?

Progressives are focusing their frustration and anger exactly where it should be – on the officials who claim to represent their interests. Meanwhile, Sanders has made no indication of condescending to his progressive audience or insulting their intelligence by suggesting they focus their anger elsewhere.

There is only so much that can be done directly to Trump, and voters are much better served by attempting to sway their own congresspeople and party leaders than attacking Republicans who have no interest in their beliefs.

After all, those same Democrats who are decrying Democratic senators and congresspeople who are failing to oppose Trump are also those who pour into the streets in direct protest of the President’s policies and actions. There is room enough in the Democratic party in 2017 to both eviscerate Donald Trump and clean house in the Democratic party.

That they still refuse to see this and are attempting to use the only hope we have, Bernie, to quell dissent is not a positive sign for the future of the blue party.

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Sydney Robinson is a political writer for the Ring of Fire Network. She has also appeared in political news videos for Ring of Fire. Sydney has a degree in English Literature from the University of West Florida, and has an active interest in politics, social justice, and environmental issues. She would love to hear from you on Twitter @SydneyMkay or via email at srobinson@ringoffireradio.com