Bernie Sanders: The Thinking Man’s Trump

Over the past 18 months, the Democrats of America have invested most of their beleaguered hopes in Robert Mueller’s investigation of Trump’s Russia collusion. It is public knowledge that the Trump campaign participated in a Russian psy-op, at least “unwittingly,” and the FBI’s pursuit of the truth is the primary source of emotional sustenance for so many of us in these trying times for the country.

Despite how totally consumed America may be by this scandal, America’s Most Popular Politician™ has largely escaped criticism for his own role in it. It’s been clear for some time that St. Bernard of Vermont was playing into the information warfare campaign when he groused about the contents of the stolen DNC emails, as it was widely and credibly suspected at the time that WikiLeaks was an organ of Russian Intelligence. Furthermore, Bob Mueller’s investigation recently yielded hard evidence that a small-but-vocal fraction of Bernie’s vaunted grassroots were planted in Russian soil.

As someone written off by the Bern Feelers as a neoliberal, counter-revolutionary whore for daring to be involved in Democratic politics before the Chosen One showed up and died for my sins, I take no pleasure his unwitting culpability (okay, maybe a little). Still, I felt a profound sense of vindication this week when Bernie failed to answer for the revelation that Russian intelligence had backed his campaign, by working to inflame the highly flammable passions of his supporters.

The septuagenarian, non-traditional politician, who doesn’t put up with the same old Beltway lies that stop us from getting stuff done, responded that Russia’s support of his campaign was somehow Hillary’s fault. He followed that assertion with the easily-disprovable lie that his campaign tried to warn Hillary about suspect social media activity in their ranks. That never happened, but that didn’t stop Bern from sounding crabby that the question was even being asked.

The symmetry with the style of our 45th President is no accident. Though Bernie is vastly smarter than Trump (even more so than most people) and a roundly superior human being, he is no less intellectually brittle, and nearly as obstinate and egotistic. He can’t stand being questioned in any way, which is why he habitually snaps at reporters for wasting his time. He is Trump’s cosmopolitan, non-dumbass doppelganger; the principal difference between them is that, reporters aside, he largely hates the right people.

The following is this dyed-in-the-wool Democrat’s comprehensive accounting of his grievances against the Senator. I make no apologies for my own biases, though I’ve tried to avoid commenting on Hillary’s appeal too much one way or the other, rather than argue about her with the most aggressive assholes in the history of the internet, yet again.

I. Laying the Groundwork

For my money, Bernie Sanders’ and Donald Trump’s presidential careers began on the same day. It was November 2, 2010: the midterm elections.

I was a volunteer at DNC HQ that cycle, and I’d distinguished myself from the lesser volunteers by doing the staff’s “It Gets Better” video on short notice while all the staff video people were in Nevada fighting for Harry Reid’s life. Though they made me go back to social media bitchwork after I finished it, I ingratiated myself with the paid staff enough that they allowed me to hang out in the bullpen with them on election night. That felt like less of a privilege once the returns started coming in.

We knew it was going to be really bad, but the reality was still shocking. Two years after we won a stunning majority with a message of hope and change, we were soundly defeated by the Tea Party’s “anti-Big Government" white resentment politics and the racism of the elderly. I personally believe that midterm elections were inspired by the 17-year cicada broods that have swarmed Washington since it was just a swamp: much as those irrelevant life forms momentarily overwhelm the ecosystem at regular intervals, so too are pissed-off old white people given complete control of the U.S. Government once every four years.

We passed around a handle of Maker’s, taking funereal swigs as we watched the apocalypse unfold. I vividly remember tears streaming down the face of one of my bosses as her beloved progressive hero Tom Periello lost the Senate seat in Virginia. My head was in the federal game, so I didn’t take much notice of how bad the statehouse losses were, nor foresee the GOP’s gerrymandering and their coming onslaught against black suffrage and our labor base. I would find that out eventually, though. We all would.

After I left the Haim Saban building, I strolled a few blocks to the Capitol Lounge for more drinks. I walked in to find it packed with gloating white dudes in sweater vests, amid bar tables topped with little Gadsden flags, all of them beaming with douchey pride at their ten-year victory. RedMap was already plotting to turn the Obama Campaign’s voter data innovations into an algorithm for Democratic disenfranchisement, and the GOP had the redistricting-year majorities they needed to implement that plan. The cicadas had spoken, and their leaders were going to lock in their plurality vote for the next decade — screw democracy.

The 111th Congress passed a flurry of legislation in the lame-duck session, repealing DOMA, preserving middle-class tax cuts, and passing the Zadroga 9/11 First Responders bill (championed by the man above). It was a truly valiant last stand of our aborted national renewal, but from the moment John Boehner became speaker, the Dems were in the business of playing defense. The Republicans would subvert democratic norms at every turn, and reflexively fight everything our Kenyan, Muslim, [Black] president did. Fox News whipped their voters into a froth against any organ of the GODDAMN OBAMA MUSLIM GOVERMENT unlucky enough to make the news, so the Fox Nation demanded total organ failure.

The Right-wing media and their attendant political party were nothing more than a spiteful, white identitarian protest movement, whose highest value was not merely distaste for liberal politicians, but hatred of liberals and Democrats themselves. Communist, anti-Christian, gay, Mexican, abortion-mongering voters were the real enemies of our treasured freedom to be white, and to cause liberals pain was a virtue. Spiting them became the end of conservative policy in and of itself, and Republican voters were begging to be lead by anyone who would promise to kill those bastards. Enter Donald Trump.

Oppositely, over the next few years, my party didn’t find much time to “accomplish progressive priorities” while fighting tooth-and-nail against a ruthless, amoral, and undemocratic opposition to defend what remained of those priorities. Even though the fortunate sons of corporate America were paying billions of dollars to destroy the Democratic Party, one could ignore all context and accuse Democrats of corruption for the sin of also fundraising. I won’t deny that there was a tortured, logically fallacious case to be made that Democratic politicians were just as bad as Republicans, and I can totally see why so many liberal voters (as well as the officious, mansplanatory white dudes of America) were begging to be lead by anyone who would promise to kill those bastards.

Enter Bernie Sanders.

II. ¡Viva la Revolución!

Bernie was a social media strategy in search of a politician, but you can’t argue that the message wasn’t solidly constructed. All revolutions are produced by downturns after periods of sustained prosperity, so his timing was right. After helplessly watching the GOP-backed enrichment of every malign actor in America, from gun manufacturers to the private prison industry to hedge fund billionaires, the liberal base was fed up. They had a ravenous appetite for an American Jeremiah to excoriate all the sinners, as badly as conservatives wanted someone to excoriate the gun-hating commies who were trying to use the wrong bathroom.

Bernie certainly cut the image of an ascetic people’s champion, augmented by his Scorcesean-Jew character-actor presence. He was also pure, at least in the sense that he was unbound by big-money donors or special interests, apart from selling out to the gun lobby to get elected in his rural state. He was lauded for the allegedly groundbreaking strategy of relying on small-dollar donations — am I seriously the only person in America who can remember back to 2008? I know Obama also took big-money checks, but Bernie still followed his lead with the small-dollar legitimacy.

He also followed Obama’s lead in running as a Senator, the baseline position a Democrat needs to run for the White House. The previous Senator-Presidents were considerably more representative, hailing from the populous urban centers of Boston and Chicago; however, thanks to an undemocratic flaw in our constitution, California gets the same number of senators as a one-district Appalachian backwater of dairy farms, bed-and-breakfasts, and left-wing survivalists. Thus Bernie, an expatriate who would be a House member at best in his native New York, could tout the replacement of Burlington’s park benches to get himself elected Senator in a state of 600,000 people.

He was not particularly successful in that role, though it would have been much harder for him to maintain his purity if he had ever accomplished anything whatsoever at any point in his Congressional career. Come 2016, it was that very decades-long refusal to legislate that was paying off like gangbusters with the grassroots — Bernie’s principled stand against ever proposing a passable bill bears religious significant to his people, as it is the source of his hallowed “consistency,” the most sacred of the Bernaic virtues.

Bernie’s Marxist, class-based assessment of America’s problems was dead-on about many of their underlying causes, but much like Marx himself, his astute analysis lead him to some truly shitty ideas about how to address those problems. College debt really is a generation-ruining crisis, but that doesn’t make it wise to pour uncountable trillions into the moral sewer of American higher ed, across 50 state university systems that the federal government doesn’t control. America’s healthcare inequality is indeed unconscionable, but his commie-flavored fervor for fully nationalizing a sixth of our economy was still effing crazy — universal healthcare is not the same thing as single-payer, which only like two countries actually have.

Still, young people were inspired by his fever-dream utopianism, and thrilled at his non-rhotic outrage. They felt like Bernie never talked down to them or patronized them, even as he was openly patronizing them with the baseless promise to end all suffering by unilaterally transcending the limits of our political system. They were also seemingly unaware that their current president had said exactly the same thing when he ran and got a rude awakening from the GOP as soon as he took office, and Obama was smarter, cooler, and better than Bernie in every conceivable way. #44forLyfe

Just as it was for Trump’s audiences, it roused the spirit to hear Bernie filter all of America’s problems through an audience-pleasing “Us vs. Bastards” paradigm. Also like the Orange One, he could claim to be free from outside financial influences, though relying on small-dollar-donations is admittedly more noble than inheriting your daddy’s money and keeping it by ripping off contractors and laundering money for the Russian mob.

Generally, his branding was hella tight, but the “Revolution” was always just that: an exercise in branding. Apart from his affection for Latin American mass-murderers, he’s less socialist than he claims to be (he’s barely more progressive than Hillary in real terms), and unless he was planning on starting an actual revolution, one has to understand how our government works in order to reform it. He did cut a true revolutionary mold in one key respect, though: the truth of upheaval is unpleasant, and the difficulty of affecting real change is foreboding, so revolutionaries get pretty good at lying.

Little Miss Debate Team refused to promise her voters anything that she knew could not conceivably happen, but her opponent was not bound by that scruple. Bernie has never had a real job, having spent his adult life on a hippie commune before he went into politics, and he’s contemptuous of the bourgeois conceit of “financial math.” To the extent he even provided any, his numbers were transparently bullshit, hence him losing his own people by a wide margin. The Trumpian genius of his dishonesty was that it deprived Hillary “Homework” Clinton of any firm proposals that she could pick apart for being mathematically impossible.

And mathematical impossibility was a frequent theme — I distinctly remember Bernie proposing something that violated the law of conservation of matter at one point, though what it was escapes me. He was unbothered by the inconsistency. Being every bit as much a crotchety old man as the guy “he definitely would have beaten,” Bernie was just as convinced that he already knew everything he needed to know. Granted, he knew a whole lot more than Trump, but he likewise claimed the power to destroy institutional inertia and political gridlock using only his mind. How’s Trump doing with those psychic powers, by the way?

Bernie didn’t really grasp the basic substance of his own sweeping proposals, as he demonstrated in his infamous NY Daily News interview where he couldn’t give them any specifics about his “plan” to break up the banks, despite that being literally the only issue he has talked about for three goddamn decades. He just shat out his well-traveled thesis and assured them that “people” would iron out the details. He’s less of a political thinker than a sound board of lefty rallying cries, the bumper stickers on a gay music teacher’s Prius made flesh.

The thing is, the two candidates really didn’t disagree on much. Hillary has actually invested effort and political capital to advance universal health coverage, both in her disastrous 1993 effort and her successful passage of CHIP. She wanted all Americans to be able to afford college, she wanted better working conditions, and she wanted to help working people and the middle class — what’s more, she had actual concrete plans for all of these things, since she’s spent a lifetime working to those ends. Hillary loved the enthusiasm Bernie was bringing to the party, so she barely even attacked him. She slung less mud at her opponent in a competitive election than any candidate in recent history, and for that relative magnanimity, she earned toxic, unmitigated scorn from his voters.

In the end, the enduring legacy of Our Revolution was not its effectiveness against the corrupt institutions that exploit the American people, but its effectiveness against the only major political institution that isn’t actively trying to fuck them.

III. Party Crashing

American politics have undergone centuries of democratization, whether it be women’s suffrage, black suffrage, or the direct election of senators, but the “democratization” of the parties has been most acute in the past half-century. The supreme court ruled that parties could not act as private organizations in Smith v. Allwright, and after the 1968 DNC, primaries began to replace the party conventions that saddled this country with Lincoln and the Roosevelts.

However, parties are not purely public organizations, either, and politics is still a business of relationships. Parties are social networks that trade in the currencies of influence, goodwill, and favors. A pol gets elected to state senate, then achieves policy victories that give them profile with the state party, then they use that profile to raise money for a senator, who returns the favor by helping that pol get elected to the House, then they help another congressman get a bill passed and earn an IOU, which they cash in to earn a good committee seat, and use it build profile with the national party…

This, inexorably, is the nature of representative democracy. We can do our damndest to take the money and graft out of it, but there will always be a transactional element to the process. As anyone who’s ever done legislative work will tell you, it’s what actually makes a democracy function. You work your way up, pay your dues, earn favors from your fellow party members, and elevate confidantes and allies up in the process. Or, if you’re Bernie Sanders, you bitch about the fact that the sky is blue, and engender substantial support by doing so.

Bernie and Trump joined the two parties immediately before they ran, two political parasites in a pod, though I can’t fault the strategy. The age of democratization had banished the parties’ internal gate-keepers, but the parties themselves were still the gate-keepers of the presidency, and the two insurgents knew that their only means to claim their unearned prize was a major-party nomination.

Both men’s messaging leaned very heavily on bitching about their respective establishments, while simultaneously demanding unequivocal belief in their upstart candidacies from parties to which neither had established a meaningful connection. I know that if you’re a Bernie supporter, this is where you claim His divine right to the DNC’s absolute loyalty in all things, but that’s not how human beings respond when they’re being called amoral sellouts in a candidate’s stump speech.

The DNC didn’t quite realize how big Sanders’ candidacy would get, and they simply didn’t see the need to go through the motions of a competitive primary without any other viable Democrats running. Biden wasn’t going to run (though if he had, there would’ve been an even split of sentiment in the party) and Martin O’Malley was Martin O’Malley. Bernie had no political network and thus no significant endorsers, and all he’d ever done for the party was begrudgingly caucus with Democrats rather than get fucked out of good committee assignments.

So the DNC tried to humor him, and shuffle off the self-identified protest candidate like parties have always done with protest candidates. The debate scheduling thing was mildly shady, though not half as shady as scheduling the first one at a Wynn casino. Bernie had a massive small-dollar fundraising base independent of the Party, and he traded on being a self-starter with an independent brand, but he also expected people who owed him nothing to support him wholeheartedly — again, while he was dragging them over the coals at every rally.

To his credit, he conducted himself honorably through the early primary season and into March. He evinced a healthy opinion of himself, as anyone who seeks the presidency will, but the Democratic race genuinely felt like a positive contest of ideas between two factions of the party, one that could only make it stronger. Watching the nightmare engulfing our friends across the aisle, I was proud that we were having substantive discussions about the direction of our party, and Bernie seemed to care more about the goals of the Revolution than the Revolution itself.

Then he started losing.

IV. Kicking, Screaming, & Collaborating

Though the rabid misogyny so common in their online cohort is a matter of public record, I must give Bernie Bros credit where credit is due: when Bernie got his ass handed to him by Black voters across the South, I didn’t hear his more dickish supporters say anything racist, not even once, which feels like a goddamn miracle to someone trapped in the middle of the Trump Administration. On the other hand, I did hear a good number of them endorse a democratically illegitimate coup of the nomination, because they lacked the emotional maturity to handle a primary election loss.

To be fair to them, neither did their candidate. Bernie refused to drop out until late summer, months after he already lost, because he “owed it to the people” to keep fighting for a revolution that objectively was not happening. He was every bit as addicted to his rallies as Trump was, drinking in the sweet nectar of public adulation, and he couldn’t make peace with the end of his Cinderella run. So rather than admit defeat, he got dirty, and spiteful. He started really leaning into the idea that Clinton was corrupt, and had the stones to call a former Secretary of State unqualified—that was cute coming from a post-office-naming back-bench bomb-thrower.

Bernie’s fanatical activists won in caucus states, whereas Hillary was earning more votes in primaries. The latter is unquestionably more democratic, and by the end of the primary season, she was up by 3.7 million votes, which is 700,000 more than she would beat Trump by. The Bernie faithful’s response was that those voters were too brainwashed by the DNC’s lies to vote correctly, and that their mistake needed to be corrected by any means necessary. The cult of personality around any political candidate will handle their loss poorly, but the most devoted Bernie followers were saying some exceptionally crazy shit around this time.

When it became clear Bernie could not win, even he started to buy into the derangement of the “superdelegate strategy.” After all, believing that Donald Trump’s nomination would destroy their party (and how right they were about that) the Republicans were openly planning to steal the nomination from him at their convention. In the thinking of the Sanders camp, wouldn’t it be just as appropriate to intervene against the DNC’s nomination of Killary in favor of election-loser Bernie, who was clearly more electable?

In order to pivot from their original “the will of the people must be done” stance to the revised “superdelegates should do the right thing and throw out 16.8 million votes” position, Hillary couldn’t just be an opponent. She had to be la Diabla, the root of all evil in the world. Fortunately for them, the American Right had spent three decades weaving a tapestry of malicious lies and spurious accusations about the Clintons, the two most evil people on the face of the Earth. Bernie partisans dug up every mendacious scrap of it, joined by millions of hard-working, patriotic fake Americans at the Internet Research Agency — if it’s any consolation, the news about the Russian campaign means the most obnoxious, sexist Bernie Bros weren’t even real.

Hillary was flanked on her left with every ludicrous lie ever warbled from Rush Limbaugh’s fat throat, from Vince Foster to Uranium One, and Bernie’s camp was nearly as happy to entertain the foolishness as Trump’s was. Voting for her wasn’t just the wrong choice anymore, it was a deeply immoral act. Otherwise reasonable lefties even started to give credence to the non-scandal of the email server, if not Benghazi itself. While Trump sounded the drumbeat about Crooked Hillary, a Bernie-feeling Facebook friend of mine posted daily updates on her looming indictment.

We’ll believe anything to rationalize our emotional reality. After Hillary locked the nomination, I came across a guy at work who had bundled $1.4 million for Bernie (TWENTY-SEVEN DOLLAHS AT A TIME). I assumed he was a fellow traveler, so I mentioned the upcoming election. He proceeded to tell me about the 300 people who were murdered by the most investigated woman in America, to cover up the just-as-investigated Whitewater scandal. He then vowed to do the right thing and vote for Jill Stein, whose political career amounted to losing three elections for dogcatcher in Massachusetts. That was someone who had met Bernie, who had been integral in his efforts.

The worst was yet to come. Just before the convention, the Trump Tower meeting bore its treasonous fruit, and the deepest, darkest secret of the DNC was brought to light: one person, an employee of the most Jewish organization in America besides B’nai B’rith, suggested pointing out that Bernie was a non-practicing Jew, a topic Bernie himself had studiously avoided because he also knew it was a huge liability in the general. This sentiment elicited murmur of agreement from a few of his colleagues at the (((Haim Saban))) building, and it was never mentioned again.

That’s it. Seriously. Just for contrast, try to imagine what the worst thing they found on the RNC server was. Can you even conceive of the racist horrors found in those depths, or what twisted shadows of the darkness in America’s national character abounded there? When I found out that the Atheist Jew email was the worst thing Mother Russia could dig up with free reign over our servers, I have personally never been prouder to be a Democrat in my life. We may crank out corrupt city council members like it’s going out of style, but our national party was proven to have one squeaky-clean soul.

Bernie’s people disagreed, declaring the “revelations” from a stolen Russian intelligence product to be the greatest crime in political history. Bernie had emotionally primed his flock to view Clinton as the heart of everything wrong with the world, and to view her nomination as the sum of all fears. They reacted accordingly, rending their garments and disrupting the unity of the convention, not one week after Trump had delivered his fascist, monomaniacal manifesto to the thunderous applause of the RNC.

I produced the drawing below after hearing Bernie’s convention speech, a good-faith effort to bring his voters around that I was really touched by. It was gracious and conciliatory, hitting all the right notes, and the sensible majority of Bernie’s voters would indeed heed his words and come home to Clinton. I’d spent so long focused on the lies underpinning his speeches that I’d forgotten what it was like to really listen to the man, to give in to the emotional appeals contained therein. I genuinely enjoyed and appreciated it, even if he refused to say “I’m with her” because it would be too ‘phony’ — Dude, the phrase ends in an ‘-r’ sound, so I’m pretty sure that would’ve sounded like you.

But even after they heard their comrade general’s voice crackling on the radio, declaring that he had reconciled with the government and ended the war, the die-hard rebels weren’t coming down from the hills. Bernie’s army could not believe any peace was possible, not with the fascist pigs that their valorous commander had led them against for so long. So they called their hero a sellout, ignored him, and continued the fight. Sure, most of them quietly snuck off from their camp eventually, wandering back to civilization one by one, but they were vocally unhappy to be there.

Backed by the Russo-Republican insistence that no one on Earth could possibly like Hillary Clinton, they stated their begrudging intention to vote for her out one side of their mouths, and cursed her lamentable candidacy with the other, which mattered a lot in an election with such slim margins. There’s no saying how many of Bernie’s voters wouldn’t have voted Democrat anyway, if not for Bernie’s own appeal, but 1 in 10 of them wound up voting for Trump. Bernie got 500,000 votes in Michigan, and 10% of a half million is more than the 20,000 votes that decided the state for Trump in the general.

On November 8th, 2016, I came to regret drawing that picture. Despite everyone’s steadfast assurance that it didn’t matter how viciously they attacked Hillary because she would definitely win no matter what, the unthinkable had happened. Almost immediately, I had to hear about how it was all Hillary’s fault, because she once gave a paid speech to Goldman Sachs that could’ve been written by Gene Roddenberry.

No matter that the intensity of hatred for her was largely symptomatic of our broader polarization, or the fact that her victory was taken for granted by journalists who compared her minor missteps to Trump’s crimes against humanity, or the Trump-proven potency of toxic misogyny in America, or the fact that a woman might not have gotten equal treatment from a media run by guys like Matt “Suck my dick, bitch” Lauer, or the indefensible late-stage intervention of the FBI, or the SUBVERSION OF OUR DEMOCRATIC PROCESS BY A HOSTILE FOREIGN POWER THROUGH THE EXPLOITATION OF AMERICA’S POLITICAL DIVISIONS AND CROWD PSYCHOLOGY, THAT WORKED LIKE A FUCKING CHARM.

Bernie, in his serene self-admiration, had the same takeaway from the loss that he does from everything else: he was right.

V. Feelin’ Himself

According to quantum multiverse theory, there’s a parallel dimension where Bernie beat Hillary for the nomination (an infinite number, actually). I sometimes wish I could TARDIS myself into it, just to see what the RNC would have done with the oppo research file that went completely untouched in our own universe. After all, half the reason Bernie remains so popular is that Hillary didn’t really attack him, and the GOP kept their powder dry against him in the primary because they wanted him to hurt Hillary’s chances.

I can only imagine, if the RNC went full-throttle with the “Atheist Jew” angle, how Trump’s evangelical army would have reacted. Given the conservative mania about fighting back the Democrats to “stop socialism,” one can surmise how they would have rallied against an out-and-proud socialist. Black people were only being shoehorned into Bernie’s race-denying economic platform, but he talked about them enough to earn himself a lot of “All Lives Matter” flak. I wonder how he would have played off his commune-era advocacy of “genital touching” when that inevitably came out, and I would love to hear what Trump could do with the “Honeymoon in the USSR” story at his own rallies — I know it’s not true, but that’s never stopped Trump before.

There’s also an alternate universe where Bernie won it all, and I’m just as curious about the hypothetical liberal version of the Trump Administration. I’d like see how Bernie’s similar devotion to his own calcified worldview would make political compromise impossible, without Trump’s desperate need to be liked breaking the logjam occasionally. I’m curious how his own hostility towards critical reporters would play out in the press room. I wonder who would’ve become the Scott Pruitts of the left, unqualified antagonists handed control of bourgeois institutions in order to destroy them—the nomination of Bard’s senior professor of “Capitalism Mitigation Studies” as Fed Chair would’ve made for an interesting confirmation hearing.

But I cannot see what might have been, nor can anyone, which is how noted primary election loser Bernie Sanders can cloak himself in the unprovable counterfactual that he would’ve beaten Trump, and lord over the American Left on that basis.

Actually, “lord over” is generous, since he has no more interest in being a real politician than he ever did, hence his immediately leaving the Democratic Party after the race. He hates campaigning for other people, and I get the distinct impression that his former staffers had to set up Our Revolution on their own because, unlike their Messiah, they actually had an interest in the so-called revolution beyond his run for president. They recently endorsed Dennis Kucinich over Richard Cordray for Ohio Governor, an endorsement Sanders declined to endorse, because he can’t be bothered to get involved in a real political operation that doesn’t involve college students orgasming at the sound of his voice.

In the Senate, he now has a much louder megaphone with which to propose shit that won’t happen, and his every proclamation demands a response from the progressive wing of his party. He took the initiative to trot out his Medicare-For-All proposal, a “framework” that proposes the total nationalization of a multi-trillion dollar sector of the U.S. economy, without any mention of how we will be paying those multiple trillions of dollars—to say nothing of whether we’re going to force America’s doctors to take dramatic pay cuts, or set limits on services, or any of the other impossible intricacies of crafting actual healthcare policy. It was the sort of bullshit that jackass House members propose just to hear themselves talk, but Bernie has profile now, so this empty act of Kucinichian grandstanding demanded immediate endorsement by real Senators who know better.

His supporters are still out there nursing their grudge that the DNC stole the election from them, patronizing myself and the 16.8 million other inconveniences in that theory. The aggression with which every Wikipedia page on this subject has been edited in Bernie’s favor speaks to their continued rage, as do the progressive activist threats to disrupt the primary season before maybe the most important midterm in American history. His pissed-off voters are coveted by much of the party: Donna Brazille made up that thoroughly-disproven crock of shit about “corruption” at the DNC to score points with them, entirely because she’s afraid of being relegated as an artifact of the party’s Clintonian past.

And now the man himself is back to Iowa, laying the groundwork for 2020. This country needs a stabilizing influence to rebuild its political culture in the wake of Trump’s devastation, not a self-styled revolutionary. We need a president with respect for our institutions and a capacity for governance, but Bernie still thinks he’s the man for the job. We’ve been ruined by the rule of a fat 70 year-old who does nothing but watch TV, nap, and play golf, and that will not be reversed by a crabby 77 year-old who does nothing but write angry letters to the editor all day.

Just as he ignores everything he disagrees with, Bernie’s continued presidential ambitions ignore the Russian problem, which he cannot outrun. Every day brings fresh news of the sinister plot against America, and its implications become more and more serious. The investigation of presidential treason has produced court documents naming Bernie’s campaign as an unwitting beneficiary of the Russian operation, but Bern shrugged it off as Clinton’s fault and lied about it.

By the way, the truth contained in that lie was that someone in his campaign did independently notify the Clinton campaign of suspect social media activity. Despite what Bernie said, his campaign did not. What are the odds that this brave soul, a member of Bernie’s team, noticed the aberration and didn’t tell his own campaign first? What are the odds that when all’s said and done, we’ll have evidence that they had the information and didn’t act on it, and that their Revolution turned a blind eye to tacit assistance from Vladimir Putin, because they felt the country needed Bernie more than it needed election integrity?

Every president is arrogant, because they have to be. You have to believe that America needs you, and you alone, in order to put up with the ordeal involved in achieving our highest office. However, when your ego is so huge that you can’t admit the plain truth of an attack on the American political system just because it makes you sound less popular, and you deflect everything back to Hillary Clinton rather than face the threat to our country, you’re not a president. You’re Donald Trump.

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Jack Walsh

Jack Walsh

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Unverified. Uncredentialed. Unpublished. Uncompromising.