A (revealing?) local take on Bernie

From Seven Days (Vermont's independent weekly):

Bernin' Rubber: Inside Sanders' Rust Belt Road Trip

Historically, the relationship between 7D and Bernie is best described as "No Love Lost." Bernie refuses to grant interviews to local press, which antagonizes certain reporters into critical coverage. (Note: I have no problem with this). So it's no surprise that the overall tone of this one is somewhat snarky (though it ends on a high note), and even I admittedly bristled at a few characterizations that uphold the 2016 narrative. For example:

But the man simply couldn't let go of 2016

No mention of Herself and Her supporters, whose bitter acrimony still pervades and drives political discourse these days.

And he still complains about the unelected superdelegates who, in his view, tipped the primary toward Clinton.

Well, it's true, isn't it?

As his campaign convoy steered east from Lake Michigan toward Lake Erie earlier that day, Sanders chose to publicly reignite an old feud with a top Clinton adviser.

Emphasis mine. Perfect example of the slant Seven Days always applies when reporting about Bernie. And there's more of this throughout.

Nevertheless, all of the above aside, the article does a thorough job "exposing" the (disappointing to many, unsurprising to perhaps more and more of us) fact that this campaign will not (because it can not) usher in a political revolution. When you read the whole article, a clear picture emerges: everything about it is SOP. Exchange "Bernie Sanders" with "Any Democratic Candidate," in other words. Seven Days' prejudice aside, it's hard to see how his campaign hasn't already fallen in line:

The Sanders campaign was quick to monetize the [Tanden] dispute

Sure, he's not monetizing the latest Twitler Cheetolini dumbfuckery in the name of "Resistance," but the tactic is the same.

Rather than answer her query, Sanders moved on to the next questioner and then the next and the next. "OK," he said five minutes later, standing up at the table and looming over the local notables. "The advantage of having a number of people make comments and ask questions, you can kind of lump 'em together...And then the senator launched into his stump speech.

This seems a far cry from the Sanders of 2016. Typical politician pivot.

At every stop, the senator described the president as a "pathological liar" — and in most places he threw in "racist," "sexist," "homophobe" and "xenophobe," for good measure.

Though Sanders claims his campaign is one of "optimism" and "love," his stump speech has grown darker than ever.

Emphasis mine. If you don't agree with my previous "typical politician" assertion (fair enough), it's hard to deny that this approach is straight out of the DNC playbook. There's no reason for Bernie to choose this route save one.

And there are a few other tells, including:

"We've gotta try to educate folks about the role that they're playing."

Huh. Who does this sound like?

Unlike his first foray into national politics, when he was largely ignored in the early months of the race, Sanders is already a main attraction.

C99 discussed this at some length in a different essay last week. Why is Bernie suddenly headlining in the MSM? Things that make you go, hmmmmmmm.

It's a meaty article, and if you have time, I encourage you to read the entire thing. There's also some evidence (whether it's veritable is up for debate) that at least one of his stops included an audience plant.

As Linda Richmond would say, Discuss.

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lotlizard's picture

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Eagles92's picture

@lotlizard I agree. Sad!

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detroitmechworks's picture

Bernie, why do you want to impress people who wouldn't be on your side normally? Changing to suit THEM doesn't really work. The best response you got was on FOX when you acted like the old Bernie.

On the other hand, telling your voters that THEY need to change in order to be worthy... well, does the term "Fluffer" mean anything to you?

/snark

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

Eagles92's picture

@detroitmechworks The "old" Bernie is slowly being (and allowing himself to be) buried/co-opted.

Some likely would argue he wasn't truly authentic in 2015 / 2016; I don't know that I agree with that. But I was also hopelessly naive about his chances then, so who knows.

Reality sucks.

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Not Henry Kissinger's picture

At every stop, the senator described the president as a "pathological liar" — and in most places he threw in "racist," "sexist," "homophobe" and "xenophobe," for good measure.

Though Sanders claims his campaign is one of "optimism" and "love," his stump speech has grown darker than ever.

So we're upset with Bernie because he's too tough on Trump? Huh?

it's hard to deny that this approach is straight out of the DNC playbook.

Not so hard: Bernie used the same rhetoric during the 2016 primary about Trump.

SANDERS: Gay and straight. People born in America, people who have immigrated to America. When we bring our people together, when we do not allow the Donald Trumps of the world to divide us up.

This campaign is about defeating Donald Trump, the Republican candidate for president. After centuries of racism, sexism and discrimination of all forms in our country we do not need a major party candidate who makes bigotry the cornerstone of his campaign. We cannot have a president who insults Mexicans and Latinos, Muslims, women and African-Americans. We cannot have a president who, in the midst of so much income and wealth inequality, wants to give hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to the very rich. We cannot have a president who, despite all of the scientific evidence, believes that climate change is a hoax.

SANDERS: You know, as I just said Steve, I think that a Donald Trump presidency would be a disaster for this country.

I am the most progressive member of the Unites States Senate, I think. I have fought as hard as I can for working people, and I'm not going to see a president come into office like a Donald Trump, who is busy dividing us up in terms of picking on Mexicans, and Latinos, and Muslims, and women, and veterans, and African-Americans. That is not the type of president that we need.

Bernie has always been very tough on the dangers of Trump, and if he has has gotten 'darker', it only because President Trump has given him far more to work with than candidate Trump did.

And so what? Where is it written that Bernie has to campaign like some kindly old uncle? Especially against an actual racist like Trump, and especially when that's never been his style in the first place?

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Peace Sells

Eagles92's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger I'm certainly not saying that Sanders has to campaign like a kindly old uncle. Some would argue that his choice -- at least initially -- not to go on the offensive during the 2016 primaries was a mistake.

I have no problem with that tactic. And certainly Trump is vile. If Sanders wants to attack him, fine. That's his prerogative. But I think we have seen, and discussed at length here, that voters are sick and tired of hearing about "not-Trump" and want instead to hear about the issues, the policy, the solutions.

And this was the point of the essay. Bernie's campaign tactics are increasingly taking on the stench of the DNC. Bernie does not need to campaign on "not-Trump." He does not need to monetize the outrage du jour as whipped up by the MSM (see: Tanden). In fact, while on one level it was refreshing to witness him smacking her down the way he did, you could also argue that that was by design. He does not need to go negative at all. His 2016 "America" campaign ad was freaking inspiring. Why pivot from this?

(That's a rhetorical question).

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Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@Eagles92 @Eagles92 @Eagles92

of what you mean by 'not Trump'.

at voters are sick and tired of hearing about "not-Trump" and want instead to hear about the issues, the policy, the solutions.

...because I don't see Bernie's criticism of Trump's racist policies on immigration, the Border Wall, Puerto Rico, etc. as 'not Trump', I see it as raising important issues that affect millions of people.

Isn't that what elections are supposed to be about?

He does not need to go negative at all. His 2016 "America" campaign ad was freaking inspiring. Why pivot from this?

What pivot? I just posted a bunch of 2016 quotes. There is no pivot.

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Peace Sells

Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@Eagles92

He does not need to monetize the outrage du jour as whipped up by the MSM (see: Tanden). In fact, while on one level it was refreshing to witness him smacking her down the way he did, you could also argue that that was by design.

Seriously? I know we all remember Kos used to attack DWS to burnish his progressive bona fides, but this isn't the same thing.

DWS didn't spend an entire election cycle plotting nasty ways to steal an election from Markos, nor did she publicly slander him before he called her out. Neera Tanden is not Bernie's friend, and you'll have to show me something other than a full throated defense of his own campaign before you convince me he is conspiring with her.

He does not need to monetize the outrage du jour

Of course he does. Bernie needs to raise as much money as he can to beat all the corporate lobbyists lined up against him in both the primary and the general. If gifted with a stupid attack by a Clinton shill, why shouldn't he exploit it to the hilt?

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Peace Sells

Eagles92's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger And that's totally fine. It's the beauty of participating in this community.

I understand that no matter what points I may produce to support my view, you will have an equal number to dispute them. Which is also totally fine.

I unfortunately don't have the time to engage at that level this afternoon, because the exercise will be endless.

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

reporters on a weekday XM Radio program. Basically, it's like an extended reporter's round table--they discuss their pieces, and areas of expertise (reporting-wise).

Anyhoo, their complaint is the lack of transparency, which I've also noticed. One reason that they conduct very few interviews with him, is the stringent limitations regarding which topics are open to discussion. As much as I detest many of the MSM reporters--and I do, I have to admit that I can understand why they'd chafe at being asked to be reduced to being no more than stenographers. Unless they're HuffPo, of course. Biggrin

As an aside, earlier this afternoon, I heard Ro Khanna on MSNBC, who's one of Bernie's national co-chairs, and frequently speaks for the campaign.

After assuring the host that Bernie was not going to "blow the place up," (IOW, he would work within the established system, whatever that means)--Khanna discussed Warren's stance on the Mueller Report. Then, he claimed that he didn't know what Bernie's opinion is--on impeachment. Seriously? BTW, Khanna's laid down the law--apparently, he won't speak ill of fellow Democrats.

See below.

Ro Khanna told Bernie Sanders he wouldn’t ‘disparage’ other Democrats

April 3, 2019
In The News, Tal Kopan, San Francisco Chronicle

WASHINGTON — When Fremont Rep. Ro Khanna agreed to be co-chair of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign, he had a requirement: no mud-slinging against fellow Democrats.

Khanna signed on early to Sanders’ campaign, having also backed the Vermont independent in his 2016 run against Hillary Clinton. But Khanna said part of the deal was that he wouldn’t attack other Democrats in the race. Those include at least one candidate from his home state, Sen. Kamala Harris, and probably Rep. Eric Swalwell of Dublin, who is expected to run.

“I said to Sen. Sanders ... when I accepted this position as co-chair that I would only say positive things about other Democrats running,” Khanna said. “And I wasn’t going to disparage other people, who I think are very talented, but I would stick to making the positive case for him.”

In a conversation with reporters this week in his Capitol Hill office, the second-term Democrat predicted the primary campaign would be less bitter than the 2016 contest was.

Noting that Sanders has been drawing large crowds to campaign events — several thousand showed up to see him at San Francisco’s Fort Mason last month — Khanna said the “urgency of beating Trump” will keep 2020 “less divisive than the past cycle.”

“If I were on some other team, I would say, ‘Well, we’ve got to be probably pretty nice to Sanders, because if we won the nomination, we’re going to need that base,’” Khanna said. “So I think that there’s a recognition — both on Sanders’ team that we’re going to need to build a coalition beyond just his supporters — and for other people that they’re going to need his supporters.”

Khanna acknowledged that doesn’t mean the primary campaign will “stay positive,” but said he already has detected less acrimony toward Sanders. He credited that to a variety of factors, including Sanders’ learning “lessons” from the last campaign and bringing on a more diverse staff with better infrastructure.

Yesterday, C-Span reported that he wouldn't take any questions on the Mueller report--or, presumably, whether or not he supports impeachment, after his Saturday Campaign Rally in South Carolina.

IMO, all candidates owe it to the public to answer 'reasonable' questions related to the pressing matters of the day. (BTW, not including silly stuff like "boxers or briefs," okay? Smile )

And, that would include questions regarding Julian Assange, a candidate's stance on whether or not articles of impeachment should be filed, etc. IOW, candidates shouldn't have the luxury of addressing only their pet issues. (Applies to all candidates, not just Bernie.)

Frankly, don't know anything about this author, or this publication. All I know is that all candidates should regularly make themselves available to the media--to take questions. Anything less, is simply not full transparency. (IMO)

PleasantryMollie

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.
~~Gilda Radner, Comedienne

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"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

Eagles92's picture

@Unabashed Liberal Thanks for adding your always-thoughtful analysis and opinion.

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Eagles92

EOM

PleasantryMollie

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.
~~Gilda Radner, Comedienne

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"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

Amanda Matthews's picture

SJW in the race.

Bernie Sanders says felons, even Boston Marathon bomber, should have right to vote in prison

*

He was pressed on whether it was appropriate to enfranchise sex offenders or someone convicted of a heinous crime like Tsarnaev, who with his brother carried out the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing that left three dead and injured hundreds more.

"Yes, even for terrible people, because once you start chipping away and you say, 'Well, that guy committed a terrible crime, not going to let him vote. Well, that person did that. Not going to let that person vote,' you're running down a slippery slope," Sanders said in response to a question about restoring felons' voting rights.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.usatoday.com/amp/3548232002

I’m seriously wonder what the Hell ever made me think the old duffer was presidential material in the first place.

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I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

@Amanda Matthews
to be allowed to vote.

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The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01, a Boeing 757 (AA Flight 77) flew into the Pentagon.
If you can't accept these indisputable facts, I can't fake an interest in your opinions about anything else.

Amanda Matthews's picture

@UntimelyRippd
that the families of the dead and wounded in the Boston Marathon mighty not feel that way. You know, people who are really invested in these murders.

I’ve known a couple women, my ex-sister-in-law, and her daughter, who were slaughtered by their son/brother. (He got off because a cop tried to pull a slick one and ‘entrapped’ him and got a confession.) He sat on Michelle’s chest, his little sister, and choked her out and then lit her body in fire. Actually he lit more than one fire to hide what he did. He tried to burn down the whole house.

Susie, his Mom, was attacked with hedge clippers and was not only full of holes but most of her fingers were cut off when she was trying to fight him off. (He had help, the cops even knew who it was, but they could never prove it.)

That little SOB can vote thanks to a fucking idiot cop who thought he was slick. So there’s nothing we can do about that. But savages like Michael Patrick Anglim Jr or the Boston Marathon Bomber belong in a deep hole never to be heard from again. Allow them to vote??? You must be freaking kidding me. But I guess it’s real easy to overlook someone else’s suffering when you want to play SJW and you have lost nothing.

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I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

@Amanda Matthews
on the principle of satisfying each citizen's very personal hatreds.

what could go wrong?

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3 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01, a Boeing 757 (AA Flight 77) flew into the Pentagon.
If you can't accept these indisputable facts, I can't fake an interest in your opinions about anything else.

Amanda Matthews's picture

@UntimelyRippd
destroy and take the lives of innocent people shouldn’t lose anything themselves. Hate. You damn well betcha there’s hate for those ‘types’ of people. And then there seems to be others that don’t think delravity and evil should matter.

Of course, they’re almost always the ones who haven’t lost anyone that way, have never faced the forever loss of their friend(s) or loved one)s). They just do the typical wagging of their fingers, lecturing people who HAVE.

This is why the stupid ‘left’ will lose again. So many love to play SJW with other people’s lives. They pay nothing, they lose nothing. But boy can they be generous with other people’s misery.

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I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

@Amanda Matthews

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0 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01, a Boeing 757 (AA Flight 77) flew into the Pentagon.
If you can't accept these indisputable facts, I can't fake an interest in your opinions about anything else.

Amanda Matthews's picture

@UntimelyRippd @UntimelyRippd
wishful thinking on your part.

I remember the morning that I got the call Susie and Michelle we’re dead. ALL of us do. And then came the news how they died.

And if you think I’m ‘insulted’ or ‘care’ about your crude response, all I can say is BWAHAHAHAHA!!!!

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I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

Amanda Matthews's picture

NEVER got the chance.

5C345ADA-5DFC-4093-9FEA-959B6741C4F8.jpegCEE25190-1DDA-4B1B-8351-77EFA27212DD.jpeg

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1 user has voted.

I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa