Klobuchar and Buttigieg both dropped out and endorsed Biden within 1 day of each other after more than a year long primary, with Biden having clocked in absolutely abysmal performances in all of the primaries to date. We also know that Obama at least called Buttigieg after he dropped and encouraged him to endorse Biden. Yes, I can’t give you the receipts for exactly what calls were made and who was making promises and deals with whom, but to think that this did not occur is utterly naive. As many people correctly point out, it is actually the function of the party to select and push particular candidates. Whether that process is ‘democratic’ is a separate question.
I suspect that tens of millions of Democrats wanted the moderate candidates to stop splitting their votes, certainly no secret and no conspiracy there. Facts have hard edges; the fact is that Bernie had difficulty breaking 25% in the early contests, effectively running neck and neck with a largely unknown 38 year old gay mayor of a small Midwest city. His only (and admitted) path to the nomination was to hope that the moderates continued to split their majority of votes and that he could win a brokered convention…what a mess. Most Democrats didn’t want that scenario to unfold,which they demonstrated overwhelmingly with their votes.
What democratic primary voters demonstrated is that their number one concern was electability, and that they voted against their own policy preferences in favor of perceived electability (as was also borne out in the exit polling). Older dem primary voters, who make up the majority of the voting base, are heavily influenced by a media environment (MSNBC, CNN, NYT, etc) that is aggressively hostile toward Bernie Sanders. The red-baiting and fear mongering was endless. Biden was incessantly pushed as the ‘electable’ moderate.
The playing field is always heavily tilted toward the corporate candidate. There are good reasons for that, but the fact remains. That is not a conspiracy, and that is what frustrates progressives. The naive idea that somehow voters are operating in a neutral environment left to make decisions free from external influence is infuriating. Media drives information and opinion. This is especially true for older dem voters who are very tuned into MSM. I’m not sure if people who express the neutrality idea actually believe it themselves or play dumb as a tactic. I don’t think it’s difficult to recognize the way consent is manufactured, but it is definitely easy to look away if you don’t want to see it.