Et Tu Bernie?

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    I have had no great issues with Bernie Sanders. On the whole I feel Hillary Clinton is simply a better prepared, more pragmatic, and more experienced candidate. As such, I believe she would likely prove a more effective President. As I’ve noted here n’ there over the past few months, while my preferred nominee is Secretary Clinton I would also support (albeit with a few more misgivings) the candidacy of Senator Sanders. We’d be fine either way.

    Considering the truly alarming (or by turns laughable or repulsive) alternatives I can’t imagine anything would alter that basic premise.

    That prefaced, I’m very disappointed in the Sander’s campaign today.

    For those of you may not follow the news as closely, the current kerfuffle originated with an interview Bernie gave to The New York Daily News. I encourage you to read it, but in short he didn’t do all that well. That’s an opinion that was widely held and shared; save of course from some die hard Sanders supporters whom (IMO) are (at times) engaging in the same kind of cult of personality/somewhat uncritical support dynamics that often typify the far right.

    During an interview with MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, Hillary was repeatedly pressed to give her opinion on whether or not Bernie Sanders is truly qualified (and/or ready) for the presidency. I.e. It was all framed via that interview Bernie gave to Daily News.

    While choosing not to outright defend Bernie Sanders by refuting the question, (let’s keep in mind, this is a primary contest. I mean, why would she?) she did not allow herself to be pinned down, either.

    An excerpt:

    “Well, I think the interview raised a lot of serious questions,” Clinton said. “I think of it this way: The core of his campaign has been ‘break up the banks,’ and it didn’t seem in reading his answers that he understood exactly how that would work under Dodd-Frank.”

    Asked again whether Sanders is qualified, Clinton dodged. “Well, I think he hadn’t done his homework, and he’d been talking for more than a year about doing things that he obviously hadn’t really studied or understood, and that raises a lot of questions,” she said.

    Asked a third time, Clinton said she would “leave it to voters to decide who of us can do the job the country needs”.

    That’s all pretty standard, (inarguably political) boilerplate ways to critique an opponent while stil not actually engaging in anything that could be considered overly lowbrow; by in essence allowing others to be more blunt. She didn’t state anything a number of other people were already thinking or had out and out stated. And she avoided directly addressing the question. As she should have.

    The Sanders campaign promptly flipped their lid and stared lying about what Clinton had said. They are loudly claiming she flatly stated he “was not qualified to be president”. (That’s simply untrue.) They are fundraising off of that lie. (Which is gross.) They are now doubling down upon that lie and vamping it up to a ridiculous (and childish) degree I would expect from a Republican candidate.

    To wit, he is out and out stating that Hillary Clinton is not qualified for the presidency. And he’s doing so in a manner that’s neither particularly well mired in objective fact based reasoning and truthful dialogue nor particularly becoming of someone running for that office. It’s just kind of ridiculous. In my opinion, for the first time during this campaign (and a campaign he’s done remarkably well in and made very few previous missteps) he sounds a bit hysterical and unhinged. I don’t think it’s a good look. I don’t think it’s going to prove helpful to his efforts, either.

    I understand (and in some ways even empathize) with the Sander’s campaigns’ high level of frustration. I.e. They have vastly outperformed what anyone (including the vast majority of all political media) thought them capable of. They’ve brought out new voters. They’ve energized the left. They’ve ignited younger voters. They’ve won a number of primary contests including seven of the last eight. They’re polling ahead of the likely Republican nominees in general election matchups; in some cases even polling higher than Clinton. (Addendum: They both clobber Trump and Cruz in every general election match up that’s been polled.) And yet they are still on track to lose the nomination to Clinton.

    I get it. It sucks. I imagine it’s how a certain Senator from New York State felt eight years ago when despite many of the same dynamics, including a slew of late in the season primary wins, she was unable to close the delegate count and overtake a certain Illinois state Senator. But the math is the math. This is how the system works. And when the dust settles everyone, including Senator Sanders and his supporters, are going to have to enthusiastically support the Democratic nominee for President. That too, is how this works.

    It works the same way on the Republican side as well.(Or at least that’s how it’s generally worked until the current crop of gleeful dullards and aspiring theocrats charged onto the game board.)

    She seemingly got very little credit or recognition for it, but Hillary Clinton became one of the fiercest and most effective advocates for Barak Obama once he became the nominee. That had to have been difficult but she handled it (largely) with grace and professionalism.

    Passion is fine; don’t become a lunatic. Bernie is being disingenuous and it looks and sounds kind of gross. I’m disappointed in him and his campaign. I expect better on our side of the aisle.


    I believe Bernie will not continue down the slime road. He has impressed a lot of people thus far and there is no reason to start disappointing us just because the math doesn’t work. My bet he will withdraw gracefully and urge his supporters to take the high road, too.


    The Sanders campaign is turning into the basketball team that’s down by too many points at the end so they will start fouling.


    Clinton threw the first punches here. Did them through proxies and innuendo.

    Sanders made it clear he won’t be lied about, nor get beat up, and would much prefer we have a policy discussion.

    Heading into New York, there is no reason at all why Sanders should not respond, and he did always being careful to remind people this discussion is not his preference.

    Clinton, after losing her ass in Wisconsin, and after seeing less than favorable polling for NY, called an emergency change of strategy meeting, the outcome of which was reported on CNN a short time later, and long before Sanders response.

    Truth is, she should be talking up how much better off we all could be, and how she is the one to make that happen.

    Go ahead, look back at the messaging and who “evolved.” Wasn’t Sanders, who has been consistent on his platform for 20 to 30 years. Clinton actually adopted increasing parts of Sanders message over time.

    And it’s not Clinton drawing crowds and rising in polls nearly every week either.

    Guys, she has a great case and should be making it. Sanders has put his on the table, and it’s massive to people under 35. 85 percent support on average

    Clinton either has an answer, or?

    Maybe that explains the CNN report on strategy better.

    In general, I’m not going to get into these too much. Time is better spent reaching voters. More every week.

    But I will say Sanders is old school Brooklyn, and isn’t going to take any of that kind of shit going into a NY primary.

    Don’t blame him one bit. Clinton, by now, really should pay attention to her 2008 performance and keep a close eye on Bill, who did them no favors today

    People say it’s hers to lose. Well, that seems true, so why the BS? If she has this, sell it! Shouldn’t be hard, and definitely should not involve trying a tired, “they suck more than I do” approach.


    I think Vit’s analogy is pretty accurate. And if Bernie’s attacks on Hillary get too vicious, he should stop listening to his handlers, who are probably driving the hard-line approach. I don’t think it’s in Bernie’s nature to go down the road he going, particularly with a political compatriot.


    It’s possible to support someone and still admit when they’ve made an error, Missing.

    She did not say what he’s been claiming she did. That’s really all there is to it.

    His counter attack was both untrue, beyond the pale, and not helpful to either his candidacy nor the Democratic party as a whole.

    He’s started to walk it back today.

    That’s not really a sign they think they made a good decision.


    I think the whole dialog is regrettable. And again WaPo ran the headline “Clinton: Sanders is unqualified.” I can go fetch screen captures, if someone really wants to go and look for it.

    I also think Sanders didn’t need to respond with the level of vitriol he did, but that he absolutely did need to respond. In terms of condescending and dismissive treatment, Sanders has until very recently taken more than his share with little complaint.

    Error? Totally. He could have delivered that framed in more difficult to make sound bites ways and would have been just fine overall.

    People are tossing the term “unforced error” about. Me thinks they forgot the word gaffe, but that is just me. All of the campaigns have had those. Some a lot more than others. Sombody in this race very clearly does not understand social media. 😀

    This one was a forced error, in that a response was warranted.

    Notably, he did not walk back the meat of his response. I wouldn’t either, if I were him. He qualified it all with specifics based on facts in Clintons record. Again, warranted.

    I do not see that response as an error of any kind. Sanders should not, and did not take shit he doesn’t deserve. You all know me well enough to realize I won’t see that as an error at all.

    However, the walk back of the vitriol today is enough of a nopology for people to move on, and they will. That also serves to qualify the error as I did here.

    Neither camp is or will actually be sorry, nor should they be. It’s game on right now. I suspect NY will see a more colorful campaign overall. This was just a pre game scuffle.

    If you look at this whole campaign, and look at errors and gaffes, Sanders has performed better by far, and that’s all I’ll say on it.

    Finally, a little grit here and there isn’t meaningful to me. If there is any meaningful purity policing to be done, I would much prefer, like Sanders, to compare and contrast records and alignment with the needs of labor and the nation overall.

    On that, Sanders is untouchable. Solid for what? 30 plus years?



    That was The Washington Post’s editorial decision to frame the headline that way, Missing. The problem is: Hillary Clinton actually didn’t say that.

    The Sanders campaign took that headline at face value and exploded/ran with it, etc.

    When confronted by (many) that their reaction was overdone, hyperbolic, not likely to help them or whomever the ultimate Democratic nominee may be, and was in reaction to something their primary opponent didn’t actually say, they initially doubled down on the error and then attempted to blame the media for their decisions. That’s what happened.

    As I noted a moment ago, they’re now trying to walk it back. Clinton, to her credit, has publicly largely just brushed it off.

    I thought the entire thing was kind of ick. That was really it.

    With respect, if you’ll read my posting you’ll note the critique is specific to and only about this particular issue. Your various points about policy differences between the two candidates, etc. is not really the point. I didn’t raise any such comparative nor have I made any attempt to do so.

    While I thought his (Bernie’s) interview with The New York Daily News was somewhat alarming, (and find it odd that anyone, even a Bernie supporter, would be unwilling to admit the same) he really didn’t sound all that prepared or knowledgeable about a number of subjects I would have presumed he’d given a lot more thought to and would have been better prepared to address, as noted (on the whole) I still think he’s a pretty good candidate. Should he somehow buck the odds and the math and wind up the Democratic nominee I would support him.

    In this particular instance though, I think he acted badly. I’m genuinely baffled how anyone could objectively argue otherwise. I.e. you can still support a candidate and hold the opinion they would be the superior nominee while acknowledging when they’ve committed an error and without conflation.

    When warranted I’ve been equally critical about Hillary Clinton. She’s certainly not without general election liabilities; nor do I fully agree with her on every issue. Though, that as well, was not the point here.

    Why not simply admit this episode was a bit ugly, ill considered, and predicated on a false premise, and move on? I wasn’t trying to talk you, or anyone, out of changing whom you support. By all means, Bern away.


    And if you read carefully, Sanders didn’t either. All statements were qualified.

    Yes, they did characterize the CNN interview poorly and incitefully. (Is that a word?)

    Not long before that, WaPo ran 18 negative and dubious pieces aimed at Sanders, one per hour.

    A response was totally warranted. He is capable of better framing, the error right there. The substance of his response? Fair, but ugly ball.

    You all are well within your rights to make more of it than I do. No worries.

    From the interview above, it’s clear Sanders is gonna go with, “the media Joe” and I’m fine with that.

    None of this has a material impact on the question put before us.

    Onward! 🙂


    Onward, indeed. And (per below) clearly the Sanders campaign came to realize that was indeed a bridge too far. I’m happy it’s behind both of them, though I’m sure the words of Bernie Sanders are going to be deployed by the Republicans if Hillary ends up becoming the nominee. Which was kind of the whole point. Well whatever. It’s done. So, yup, onward n’ upward. Happy weekend, all.

    From Politico.

    Sanders reverses: ‘Of course’ Clinton is qualified

    By Nolan D. McCaskill

    04/08/16 09:11 AM EDT

    Updated 04/08/16 03:35 PM EDT

    Bernie Sanders reversed himself Friday, tempering his vicious two-day attack line that Hillary Clinton is not “qualified” for the presidency.

    “Of course” the former secretary of state is qualified for the White House, Sanders said during a town hall on NBC’s “Today.”

    “On her worst day she would be an infinitely better president than either of the Republican candidates,” he said, heaping praise on his opponent in a similar fashion to what Clinton said the prior day in response to the Vermont senator doubling down on his sharp rhetoric.

    “I don’t know why he’s saying that, but I will take Bernie Sanders over Donald Trump or Ted Cruz anytime,” Clinton told reporters Thursday.

    By Friday afternoon, Clinton was taking something of a victory lap.

    “Seriously, I’ve been called a lot of things over the years, but unqualified has not been one of them,” she said in Buffalo, New York.


    Regardless of politics, Hillary is far more qualified than anyone else in the race, hands down. This fact is inarguably unarguable. Is that possible???

    I really like Bernie. I’ve known of him far before anyone else ever heard of him. Thanks to his many appearances on Bill Maher. The problem with Bernie is that he will be 100% unable to deliver on any of his grand promises. The President is not a king.


    I believe the democrats are entering into a similar situation the GOP is in. No clear candidate, but certainly a favored candidate. This race is entering into “uncertain land”, and it should be extremely interesting going into the conventions. I think we are going to see much tumult and we probably need to fasten our seatbelts.


    On the plus side, the Democratic choices are not between a Double High Authoritarian and a Theocratic Dominionist.



    I honestly have no idea what the GOP will do, other than none of it will be good.

    Freaking Romney and Paul Ryan have been mentioned. That convention will be crazy!

    Trump might just make a Trump party and throw the whole works into turmoil.

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