Just as was true for Corbyn, there is a direct correlation between the strength of Sanders and the intensity of the bitter and ugly attacks unleashed at him by the DC and Democratic political and media establishment. There were, roughly speaking, seven stages to this establishment revolt in the UK against Corbyn, and the U.S. reaction to Sanders is closely following the same script:
STAGE 1: Polite condescension toward what is perceived to be harmless (We think it's really wonderful that your views are being aired).
STAGE 2: Light, casual mockery as the self-belief among supporters grows (No, dears, a left-wing extremist will not win, but it's nice to see you excited).
STAGE 3: Self-pity and angry etiquette lectures directed at supporters upon realization that they are not performing their duty of meek surrender, flavored with heavy doses of concern trolling (nobody but nobody is as rude and gauche online to journalists as these crusaders, and it's unfortunately hurting their candidate's cause!).
Corbyn urged to curb online abuse by supporters as MPs are sent sickening tweets https://t.co/GYdg7D2USG pic.twitter.com/ZX6JVNnAjp
-- Sun Politics (@SunPolitics) December 3, 2015
I've written about every candidate this cycle & without fail Sanders supporters are the most consistently abusive & rude ...
-- Michael Cohen (@speechboy71) January 19, 2016
STAGE 4: Smear the candidate and his supporters with innuendos of sexism and racism by falsely claiming only white men support them (you like this candidate because he's white and male like you, not because of ideology or policy or contempt for the party establishment's corporatist, pro-war approach).
STAGE 5: Brazen invocation of right-wing attacks to marginalize and demonize, as polls prove the candidate is a credible threat (he's weak on terrorism, will surrender to ISIS, has crazy associations, and is a clone of Mao and Stalin).
STAGE 6: Issuance of grave and hysterical warnings about the pending apocalypse if the establishment candidate is rejected, as the possibility of losing becomes imminent (you are destined for decades, perhaps even generations, of powerlessness if you disobey our decrees about who to select).
STAGE 7: Full-scale and unrestrained meltdown, panic, lashing-out, threats, recriminations, self-important foot-stomping, overt union with the Right, complete fury (I can no longer in good conscience support this party of misfits, terrorist-lovers, communists, and heathens).