contrary to what you might hear on the mainstream corporate media, Bernie’s win in tiny Rhode Island is actually a pretty big deal. It wasn’t the last gasp from a candidate who’s well past his sell-by date that establishment types are making it out to be. It was a wake-up call to Democrats everywhere about what they need to do to expand their party.

You see, there’s a reason why Bernie Sanders did so well in Rhode Island: it has an open primary, and Bernie Sanders often does really, really well in open primaries. Including Rhode Island, most of the actual primaries he’s won this election season have been open contests or virtually open contests.

This isn’t a coincidence. It’s the logical result of the strong support Bernie has among the independent voters who play a big role in deciding open contests, because independents can actually vote in them.

Some establishment Democrats have shrugged off Bernie’s rapport among independents as yet another example of how he’s not a “true Democrat.” The way they see it, he’s just a Johnny-come-lately who only has support among other Johnny-come-latelies who couldn’t care less about the future of the Democratic Party.

Source – Thom Hartmann: Bernie’s Rhode Island Win Is an Opportunity for the Democratic Party to Reflect