The left-wing media is terrified to question Bernie, and the right-wing media is (mostly) holding its fire until Trump gets the opponent he wants
. As a result, a growing number of voters have fallen for the delusion that Bernie Sanders -- a nearly-80-year-old socialist with an unhealthy heart and a very
unhealthy political history -- actually stands a chance of beating Trump
If he's a strong candidate, then why is the right having a collective orgasm? Why aren't they quaking with fear instead of cooing with pleasure?
The following is a guest post from David Jay Morris.
* * *
What’s Coming for Sanders
By David Jay Morris
With Bernie on the verge of locking up the Democratic Party nomination, three questions need to be asked.
1. Why do Trump and Putin want him to be the nominee so badly?
2. What are Trump, Putin and their minions likely to throw at Bernie?
3. Will he be able to withstand it?
Whether Bernie bros or Bloombergistas, everyone committed to seeing Trump out of office and the American republic saved from an all-too-real fascist threat needs to honestly address these issues now – before Super Tuesday.
If the dirt to come really isn’t that bad, or if the enthusiasm for Bernie really is so infectious that it can be overcome, great – full speed ahead with the Sanders express.
If it really is as bad as some people think, however, it’s high time to hit the brakes.
So what do we know?
Let’s start with a look at some of comments made by former New York Times reporter Kurt Eichenwald
in a Newsweek article he wrote shortly after the 2016 election:
I have seen the opposition book assembled by Republicans for Sanders, and it was brutal. The Republicans would have torn him apart.
Here are a few tastes of what was in store for Sanders, straight out of the Republican playbook: He thinks rape is A-OK. In 1972, when he was 31, Sanders wrote a fictitious essay in which he described a woman enjoying being raped by three men.
Then there's the fact that Sanders was on unemployment until his mid-30s, and that he stole electricity from a neighbor after failing to pay his bills, and that he co-sponsored a bill to ship Vermont's nuclear waste to a poor Hispanic community in Texas, where it could be dumped. You can just see the words "environmental racist" on Republican billboards. And if you can't, I already did. They were in the Republican opposition research book as a proposal on how to frame the nuclear waste issue.
Also on the list: Sanders violated campaign finance laws, criticized Clinton for supporting the 1994 crime bill that he voted for, and he voted against the Amber Alert system. Worst of all, the Republicans also had video of Sanders at a 1985 rally thrown by the leftist Sandinista government in Nicaragua where half a million people chanted, "Here, there, everywhere/the Yankee will die,'' while President Daniel Ortega condemned "state terrorism" by America. Sanders said, on camera, supporting the Sandinistas was "patriotic."
The Republicans had at least four other damning Sanders videos (I don't know what they showed), and the opposition research folder was almost 2-feet thick.
Or how about some more recent comments by Ronald Radosh
, an adjunct fellow at the Hudson Institute, author, co-author or editor of fourteen books and expert on the history of communism and socialism in the US, made in a Daily Beast article this January:
But if past views are a major consideration, consider the baggage that Sanders drags into the campaign.
Go back over 40 years, to the start of Iran’s long conflict with the United States. On April 1, 1979, the theocratic Islamic Republic of Iran was proclaimed. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini became Supreme Leader in December of that year. His rise was accelerated by the seizure on Nov. 4 of 52 American diplomats and citizens, and citizens of other countries, at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. Dealing with the hostage taking became the overwhelming political crisis for President Jimmy Carter.
Virtually all Americans -- Democrats, Republicans and independents -- united in support of the hostages and the international call for their freedom. One prominent political figure on the 2020 stage, then almost completely unknown, stood apart by joining a Marxist-Leninist party that not only pledged support for the Iranian theocracy, but also justified the hostage taking by insisting the hostages were all likely CIA agents. Who was that person? It was Bernie Sanders.
Democratic voters today concerned above all with defeating Donald Trump and the electability of their prospective presidential candidate need to know the whole of Sanders’ history. He has not always been the democratic socialist he claims to be. Sanders could have supported the Socialist Party, the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee, or Social-Democrats U.S.A., the three leading democratic socialist organizations existing in 1980. He rejected them. Instead he embraced a Marxist-Leninist communist sect that proclaimed its solidarity with Iran.
Does Bernie have a good answer for all of this – one that will satisfy not only his supporters, but also middle-of-the-road veterans, moderate conservatives inclined to vote against Trump and voters who lived through these events themselves? If so, he needs to let us know it now, before he is the Democratic candidate and the tsunami of Republican negative ads begins.
To date, none of Bernie’s Democratic opponents have been willing to raise these issues out of fear of alienating his supporters, but Trump and Putin will have no such scruples. And let’s not be naïve – there is no reason to think that they would stop there. Rumors exist that there are pictures or videos of Bernie at a flag-burning event. If true, who would be more likely to have had an original copy of it than the KGB – and if it’s false, who would be more likely to make a very convincing fake one than Putin’s FSB? And can anyone seriously doubt that a copy would find itself into the hands of the Trump campaign, even with Roger Stone in prison? And what else would they either uncover or concoct – and how will we know the difference?
The Bernie bros and Russian bots probably don’t want this dirty laundry aired in public, but if Sanders is going to be the standard bearer in our last, desperate fight to save American democracy, voters in the upcoming primaries need to know now
if and how he can deal with it.
We also need to think long and hard about just how far Trump intends to take this. If there is one thing everyone ought to have learned by now is that reasonable boundaries aren't exactly Donald's thing. His recent words and deeds clearly show that he now feels completely free to do whatever he wants.
My prediction – if Bernie is the candidate and doesn't have a really effective counter to all this somehow hidden up his sleeve, Trump won't stop at labeling all Democrats as socialists.
Or even communists.
No, the word he will push is traitors
. "And you know what we do with traitors..."
He'll also try to rewrite history and paint Sanders as the one the Russians are out to help...in both 2020 and 2016.
If Trump pulls this off and stays in power (by whatever means), heaven help us all.
* * *
Obviously, Bernie carries more baggage than Dulles Airport sees in a decade. The Bernie cultists don't care. Living in a world of happy hallucination, they serenely tell themselves that they can counter all attacks with "education." When Trump releases all of that damning Iranian material, Bernie won't apologize, and neither will the Sandernistas. With slap-happy self-confidence, they will assert that, yes, the hostages really were
CIA agents and thus deserved their torment.
Will this claim entice rural folk in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin to vote Democratic? No, it will not.
Let us stipulate, arguendo
, that Bernie's allegation has some legitimacy. (As I recall, it was widely conceded at the time that some of those embassy personnel were
CIA.) Do you really think that Bernie Sanders has any chance in hell of persuading the American public that he was right to say what he said, at a time when our fellow citizens were under dire threat?
Older people are still bitter about the hostage crisis. Some of those hostages are probably still alive and willing to go on camera -- and if the hostages themselves are not available, then their children will certainly speak out. Can you visualize what those commercials will look like?
I can. They will be devastating.
Even many of Bernie's fervent young supporters (who are far more susceptible to right-wing messaging than most believe) will choose to sit out this election.
The hallucination that all younger voters will march behind Sanders continues to infuriate me.
The young are not a monolithic voting bloc. Young people, not old people, gave us Charlottesville. Young people, not old people, gave us Gamergate. For the past twenty years, the young have flirted with both
extremes. Many fell in love with libertarianism, which led them to the Alt Right.
When the Occupy movement was going strong, most observers associated it with the young. There was a HUGE fascist segment within that movement: See here
Y'know who is also popular with young people? Jordan Peterson.
I'm not a Peterson fan myself. Although his denunciations of political correctness and "cancel culture" are spot on, it's hard not to suspect that he functions as a sly propagandist for neo-fascism, and I won't be entirely surprised if he ends up trotting down Dugin Highway. I certainly don't like the intellectually dishonest way he associates identity politics with Marxism: Note that he habitually does so while never citing Karl Marx
. (His bogeyman is a weird Marx-free version of Marxism. Love him or hate him, Marx was a 19th century thinker who would have considered today's identity politics to be unfathomable horseshit.)
But whether you agree or disagree with Peterson's views is immaterial. My point is that he is phenomenally
popular, particularly on college campuses --
and for many years, he has spoken to massive audiences about the evils of socialism. Show him even the slightest touch of pink and Peterson will scream about gulags and commissars.
Do you really think that Bernie Sanders and his zealots have the ability to undo all of that indoctrination?
Dems for Trump: It's not a thing yet, but it will be.
I embed the following tweet not because I admire the writer but to give the reader a taste of the coming propaganda barrage -- a barrage which will result in Trump receiving many crossover votes.
If you think that this message, repeated a million times a day, will have no impact -- well, you're a fool. Plain and simple.
Meanwhile, the Bros are still being their usual vile selves
Bernie Staffer Mocked Warren’s Looks, Pete’s Sexuality on Private Twitter Account
Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg “is what happens when the therapist botches the conversion,” and his husband, Chasten, Mora predicts, will be “busted for running a meth racket” in 10 years. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), a frequent subject of Mora’s private account, is called a “dumb Okie,” “an adult diaper fetishist” who “looks like shit” and who lied about having Native American ancestry “to get into Harvard.”
That's a staffer
A lot of pissed-off Dems are going to sit out this election if Bernie gets the nod. I certainly will.