Not a Democrat - often enough, not a democrat. Credit - Public Domain via Congress

I have to admit that this mooted move by the Democratic National Committee seems entirely reasonable to me. The effect of it will be to prevent Bernie Sanders from running as the Democratic candidate for President next time around. On the – to me thoroughly reasonable – basis that he’s not actually a Democrat. And it does seem reasonable enough that if you want to run as part of a party then you be part of that party you’re running as.

I would note that I’ve walked this walk myself – I have run for political office (as an MEP, no, didn’t get elected) and I did indeed join the political party I ran for (Ukip). Would have seemed rather off not to be a party member really:

Democratic National Committee officials on Friday moved forward with a proposal to force the party’s presidential candidates to identify as Democrats, a move that drew immediate criticism from a top official in Bernie Sanders’ 2016 campaign.

Leave Bernie out of it for a moment. What is actually the justification for allowing non-party members to run as candidates for the party? There aren’t any that come to mind. It seems definitional that if you’re going to call upon the party loyalty of some significant section of the population (what, 25%, 30% of the population will vote straight party ticket, either way?) then you should be a member of that party calling upon that loyalty:

The Democratic National Committee adopted a new rule Friday aimed at preventing non-Democrats, such as independent U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, from seeking the party’s 2020 presidential nomination, reports said.

The rule change, adopted at a DNC meeting in Providence, R.I., requires all candidates for the party’s nomination to “run and serve” as Democrats, Yahoo News reported.

Some supporters of Sanders — who caucuses with the Democrats despite declining to declare a party affiliation — say the move was motivated by “spite” after Sanders gave Hillary Clinton a run for her money during the Democratic primaries in 2016.

OK, now add Bernie back into it. Is this a reaction to Bernie’s near-successful run? Sure it is. But is it the wrong thing to be doing whether we’re talking about Bernie or not? Not that I can see, not that I can see.

After all, it wouldn’t actually be difficult for Bernie to join the Democratic Party, would it? I’m sure these people could help him out.