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The Democrats' Sanders

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

If Donald Trump supporters had booed a Republican senator at a state convention over the weekend, if they threw chairs because they did not like a delegate count, if Trump's goons published a state party vice chairwoman's private phone number -- which unleashed a torrent of abusive, obscenity-drenched voice messages that described the acts of violence she deserved -- then it would be a big story. And if Trump spoke Wednesday afternoon, you would expect all the cable news networks to air his speech live to see whether Trump would use the occasion to call off the dogs or he would further incite his throng.

Except the story I relate does not involve boorish Trump supporters. It involves boorish supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders. At Saturday's Nevada Democratic convention, some Sanders boosters, angry over state party maneuvers that they believe robbed their candidate of his due delegates, booed Sen. Barbara Boxer. After the event, some even picked up chairs as others stormed the stage. They wrote graffiti calling the party's Nevada chairwoman, Roberta Lange, "scum." Someone leaked Lange's phone numbers. The Las Vegas Sun reported on hate voice messages and texts that described the violence she deserves -- for example, "Praying to god someone shoots you in the FACE and blows your democracy-stealing head off!"

When Sanders spoke in San Jose, California, on Wednesday, he did not admonish his faithful to behave. When he introduced Sanders, supporter Cenk Uygur quipped, "The other day (the news media) were upset because you guys were a little too loud in Nevada. Well, I've got news for you: We're only going to get louder." Yuk. Yuk.

Congratulations, Democrats. Now you get to feel what it's like to have Donald Trump kicking in your barn.

Trump and Sanders have more in common than baseball caps. Bernie uses the same vocabulary as The Donald. Elections, each says, are "rigged." "The establishment" is out to defeat them both. Ditto the news media. Their language stirs up a mix of righteousness and little-guy victimhood, which instills in boosters the belief that the rules need not apply to them.

One difference: Cable newsers were slow jumping on the story of "Bernie Bros" behaving badly. Maybe they needed time to process the role reversal.

Another difference: Democratic pols are ahead of pundits in condemning the mob. When Sanders supporters booed Boxer, she badgered them about the need for civility. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid called the episode a "test of leadership" for Sanders. (It is no coincidence that Boxer and Reid have endorsed Hillary Clinton.)

So now what will the scolds who blamed a cancer in the GOP for violence at Trump rallies say when elbows are flying on their turf? The left just loved Occupy protests; now the Occupy tents are clogging their village.

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