Over 4,000 progressives gathered in Chicago this weekend for the People's Summit. We learned a lot about the base support of Bernie Sanders -- they are still with him, and they are still not happy with the direction of the Democratic Party.
During the keynote address of the three-day conference Bernie said, "The current model and the current strategy of the Democratic Party is an absolute failure."
"The Democratic party needs fundamental change," said Sanders. "What it needs is to open up its doors to working people, and young people, and older people who are prepared to fight for social and economic justice." He added that the party "must understand what side it is on. And that cannot be the side of Wall Street, or the fossil fuel industry, or the drug companies."
Sanders received his loudest applause when he called the Democratic Party model a failure. There were also "Draft Bernie" chants, which refer to an effort to recruit Bernie to form a new party.
When it was over, he gave the microphone back to Rose Ann DeMoro. "I want to say to the Draft Bernie people: I'm with you," she said. DeMoro leads National Nurses United, one of the conveners of the People's Summit.
Bernie and Jane Sanders smiled awkwardly, and DeMoro shrugged. "Heroes aren't made," she said. "They're cornered."
The next morning, Nina Turner took the over 4,000 activists to church. She echoed Bernie's criticism of the current model of the Democratic Party.
"There comes a time when you have to worry more about the next generation than about the next election. We are not going to have unity just for the sake of unity." I wasn't going to talk about the Democrats, but I'm going to talk about the Democrats. Turner said the Democrats are the party that is supposed to stand up for the people. You have to beg Democrats to pass Medicare for All in California, where Democrats are in control, not the Russians or Republicans.