Bernie2020

Bernie2020 OP wrote

38) He’s old. Really old. Yes this could be called ageism but men’s life expectancy is younger than women’s. They don’t live as long. Bernie is past the average age for men. We elect people with hopes of 8 years, making Bernie 85 by the time he’s done. In all honesty, do you know a single 85 year old who could handle the job as well as someone 10, 20, or 30 years younger? No. No you don’t.

Bernie's old, yeah. I, too, wish he were younger. At least he's younger than Nancy Pelosi, Dianne Feinstein, RBG, and is only one year older than Joe Biden. And Bernie can still ball (for an old guy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OK82c5y2jE)

39) He generally only employs straight white men for high up positions.

Faiz Shakir. Carmen Yulin Cruz.

This claim wasn't even true in 2016.

40) He praised Castro

Presented as if this is ipso facto a bad thing. Doesn't cite what Bernie actually said. Anyway, yeah Castro successfully resisted US imperial efforts. They have great healthcare. Think about Nicaragua, El Salvador, Haiti, Guatemala and how US intervention has horribly damaged those nations. Cuba would just be another victim of US imperial might. Elliott Abrams being brought back out from his crypt to is a perfect reminder of this.

41) He praised Daniel Ortega.

Presented as if this is ipso facto a bad thing. Doesn't cite what Bernie actually said. Anyway, Reagan was basically funding right-wing death squads at this time, so...

42) He praised Hugo Chavez and Venezuela, even though his policies are literally starving people to death.

Sanders did call Chavez a "dead communist dictator." So this point is just wrong, and I could stop writing here, but I'll take a moment to mention Chavez was democratically elected (and survived a US-backed coup). Poverty was significantly reduced in Venezuela under Chavez's presidency. http://cepr.net/documents/publications/venezuela-2009-02.pdf

Also consider: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/09/chavez-venezuela-bolivarian-revolution-bernie/

43) He supported getting discount oil from Venezuela — capitalizing on their poverty and not chastising their government for their treatment of their people.

The linked article is from when Chavez was alive and president. During this time Venezuela was successfully reducing its poverty rates. I'm trying to imagine how we could reframe this issue in other ways, like... "He did not support getting a good price on oil from Venezuela, wasting US dollars." "Bernie Sanders topples OPEC with his oil negotiating tactics." Come off it, already. (Just in case you missed it the first time from point 42, this was during a time when poverty was significantly decreasing in Venezuela: https://revista.drclas.harvard.edu/book/poverty-reduction-venezuela)

44) His support of military actions in the 1999 Kosovo War was so bad it caused one of his advisers to quit.

Identical to point from #10 (original author even linked the specific letter of resignation in 10). So this point's redundant.

45) In 1999 anti war activists stormed Sanders office because his pro war policies were so bad… you know how he preaches against overpolicing and giving people a right to vote? He had all of the protestors arrested. Will Miller wrote about his experiences with this in 1999.

Yes, Sanders needed to clarify his FP. Perhaps he'll be stronger on the point this election than last time. But this doesn't condemn everything Bernie stands for, so it's just again a really flaccid point.

46) There’s a difference between supporting equality and fighting for equality. The truth is, Bernie has never focused on passing legislation to help marginalized groups. It’s not his focus.

Just plainly not true. Look at him protest segregation. http://www.trbimg.com/img-56cca0aa/turbine/ct-bernie-sanders-arrested-20160219

He voted against DOMA.

Check out more here: http://feelthebern.org/bernie-sanders-on-lgbtq-rights/ (which includes that great video of Sanders not allowing another rep to insult gay troops on the basis of their sexual orientation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDS1n8xIybc)

Here is a bonus smear that is brought up on Twitter often:

Bernie Sanders does not poll well with women and minorities

Alright, so what's Bernie's "Favoribility" among Americans? If everyone hates him so much, why did he clobber Kamala Harris's first 24 hours of fundraising, pulling in 4x as much?

Sorry, but the polling data does not hold on this claim. https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/329404-poll-bernie-sanders-countrys-most-popular-active-politician

Among women Bernie is 58% favorable. African Americans poll him at 73% favorable.

Another look at the polls. Seems like minorities favor Sanders more. https://twitter.com/SethAckerman/status/1078043620501057536

If you need more we can defer yet again to the excellent Katie Halper: https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/12/17/how-come-so-many-bernie-bros-are-women-and-people-color

And just in case someone tries to claim that Bernie's supports are all rich white bros, and that's how he earned his record first round fundraising, ask them why the average donation was $27 with 223,000 donors. Yeah, all these rich guys just dropping $27, because they're so rich they cannot afford more.

Second bonus: Bernie Sanders will be vetted this time! We will really get him!

Just read this while keeping in the back of your mind that it was written almost three years ago: https://fair.org/home/the-myth-that-sanders-hasnt-been-criticized-wont-go-away/

I guess the myth really won't go away!

Okay, since you've made it this far, here's some good reading in support of Bernie.

https://www.currentaffairs.org/2018/06/there-is-still-only-one-clear-way-to-get-rid-of-trump

https://jacobinmag.com/2019/01/bernie-sanders-elizabeth-warren-democratic-primary-baffler-amber-frost

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Bernie2020 OP wrote

26) His campaign hacked DNC data.

Is this just a flat, unsubstantiated lie? This appears to be just a flat, unsubstantiated lie.

27) His wife is under FBI investigation.

Sorry, try again. https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/416476-adviser-bernie-sanderss-wife-cleared-in-land-deal-investigation

28) He didn’t pay his female staffers equally.

Pay gap claims are new to me for the Sanders campaign. So just another lie made up, I guess.

29) He did nothing about the rampant sexual harassment that occurred within his campaign in 2016.

Sexual harassment from men is not unique to the staffers on Bernie's campaign payroll. And at least he didn't didn't personally intervene like Hillary Clinton did on the behalf of Burns Strider, who KNEW about the harassment (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/26/us/politics/hillary-clinton-chose-to-shield-a-top-adviser-accused-of-harassment-in-2008.html). This is such an overreach of a claim. We can read more here: https://www.gq.com/story/sexism-problem-sanders-campaign

I should also take a moment to note that the night Bernie announced he interviewed on TYT. He agreed that his campaign was too white, too male. He wants to fix these problems. He met with former campaign staffers about sexism (https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/16/politics/bernie-sanders-sexual-harassment-campaign-meeting-2020/index.html). He promises that his new campaign will have better safeguards as lessons learned from last time. He's certainly not idle or deaf to the problems.

30) He wrote an essay that says women fantasize about being raped.

Okay, this one's really been pulled outta the archives. The essay does not say women fantasize about being raped, it's really not the point of the essay at all. Some backdrop per MotherJones:

"In 1963, as a junior, he waged a crusade for sexual freedom, assailing the school’s leaders for forcing their puritan views on undergraduates—and ruining their students’ sex lives.

In doing so, Sanders made national news. This crusade was emblematic of the way Sanders conducted himself in Hyde Park and throughout his political career—firm in his beliefs, fiery in his rhetoric, and unafraid of confrontation.

It began with a 2,000-word, ALL-CAPS-laced manifesto in the Maroon, the daily student newspaper, outlining the intellectual case for sexual freedom. Titled “Sex and the Single Girl—Part Two” (a nod to Helen Gurley Brown’s feminist treatise), Sanders attacked the university’s strict student housing guidelines—which prohibited women from living off-campus and restricted visiting access for persons of the opposite sex—with the kind of fire he’d later reserve for capitalists and war hawks."

So read the "rape" essay for yourself, see how it doesn't comport with Bernie saying that women fantasize about rape. https://i.imgur.com/hJVDNT5.png

Totally misleading claim.

31) He called Planned Parenthood and the Human Rights Campaign the establishment.

Because they are. Take for example that PP's union-busting efforts last year (http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/21237/planned_parenthood_union_busting_trump_labor and https://www.newsweek.com/planned-parenthood-asks-trump-administration-help-tackle-trade-union-946084)

https://www.currentaffairs.org/2018/09/the-human-rights-campaign-has-totally-betrayed-its-constituents

These organizations are political.

32) He used the anniversary of MLK’s assassination to take jabs at Obama.

Knighted and Sainted Obama is above reproach and criticism. More at 10:00PM. Just kidding! This claim is just overblown. It's deceptive to pretend Sanders took the whole day to exclusively jab at Obama, but while we're on the topic of Obama: https://jacobinmag.com/2017/12/obama-foreclosure-crisis-wealth-inequality

33) His campaign was incredibly hurtful to HIV/AIDS activists and refused to apologize.

It is disappointing that that happened, this is a good point. One counterpoint I'll offer is this was truly in the major swing of things during primary season, so if the scheduling was tight it's not a great surprise. But does this mean he literally doesn't give a shit about HIV/AIDS? (tip: answer's no. Side note: Medicare for All would help people avoid contracting HIV, and those who need antivirals would not go bankrupt trying to afford them!)

34) Two words: “democratic whore.”

Sanders did not say these words. He condemned them, however.

35) Instead of supporting the LGBTQ march on Washington, he held the People’s Summit in Chicago — giving no mention to the lgbtq and having no lgbtq speakers.

Not much to say about this, it's just not a strong or interesting point. He was at another conference.

36) He called Hillary unqualified — someone who has served for decades, was SOS and a New York Senator. So actually he was saying women are not qualified.

To paraphrase the Medium post author, "Bernie Sanders didn't say this thing, so instead I'll offer up a strawman and claim that he did in fact say and mean this thing I just made up." Ok, next.

37) He didn’t condemn his supporters for attacking Dolores Huerta.

I'm not sure what this is specifically referring to, and "attacked" is such a strong word for me to not be able to find good context for this. I did find this: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/sanders-english-only-huerta/

Also refer back to my point 18.

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Bernie2020 OP wrote

14) He said Trump voters aren’t “racist, sexist, or homophobes” essentially defending trump and his bigotry.

Sanders knows that Trump tapped into genuine anger and resentment of the status quo, because you know what? Productivity has massively increased but wages haven't matched it. We live in deeply unequal times, economically, and Trump used that to his advantage by using proto-fascist talking points of blaming minorities and others, scapegoating those who are most vulnerable. But that doesn't mean Bernie Sanders defends Trump, or thinks Trump is anything but a racist, misogynist liar. https://twitter.com/berniesanders/status/1060589573653311488?lang=en

15) He voted against Russia sanctions twice.

Good. We've really overblown Russian meddling in our society. They influenced our elections, our country, our beliefs? Hardly. https://www.salon.com/2018/04/07/mainstream-media-sees-russian-bots-everywhere-its-a-lazy-and-largely-false-narrative/ Let me give you a more salient example of foreign influence in our country. What about when Republicans secretly worked with Israelis to bring Netanyahu to speak to Congress in 2015, without informing the White House? They literally invited foreign influence.

16) He voted against the amber alert.

Really grasping here. The article the Medium author linked says Sanders voted against the bill because he thought this part of the bill was too much and unconstitutional: "Among the add-ons placed on the bill by House Republicans was one restricting the discretion of federal judges in crafting sentences for a range of crimes."

17) He first got elected to Congress because of NRA support and money.

Don't be misled, the NRA is no fan of Bernie Sanders, though in my view I'd prefer him to have a tougher stancer on guns. Pretending the NRA and Sanders are bedfellows is wrong. Consider this: https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/apr/14/hillary-clinton/hillary-clinton-bernie-sanders-has-been-largely-ve/

18) He didn’t condemn his supporters for throwing chairs in Nevada or sending out super delegate “hit lists.” In fact, he supported them.

Just a perpetrating a lie. Consider: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/did-sanders-supporters-throw-chairs-at-nevada-democratic-convention/ Consider: https://www.counterpunch.org/2016/05/18/the-faux-fracas-in-nevada-how-a-reporters-pack-of-lies-ran-riot-in-the-fact-averse-media/

19) He voted to dump nuclear waste from several states on LatinX communities.

Here is some abbreviated remarks, it really is worth paying attention to what he is saying so this is my longest response to the Medium post. (I quote at length from: https://www.c-span.org/congress/bills/billAction/?print/1410681)

Let me address it from the perspective of someone who is an opponent of nuclear power, who opposes the construction of power plants and, if he had his way, would shut down the existing nuclear power plants as quickly and as safely as we could.

One of the reasons that many of us oppose nuclear power plants is that when this technology was developed, there was not a lot of thought given as to how we dispose of the nuclear waste. Neither the industry nor the Government, in my view, did the right thing by allowing the construction of the plants and not figuring out how we get rid of the waste.

But the issue we are debating here today is not that issue. The reality, as others have already pointed out, is that the waste is here. We cannot wish it away. It exists in power plants in Maine and Vermont, it exists in hospitals, it is here.

No reputable scientist or environmentalist believes that the geology of Vermont or Maine would be a good place for this waste. In the humid climate of Vermont and Maine, it is more likely that groundwater will come in contact with that waste and carry off radioactive elements to the accessible environment.

There is widespread scientific evidence to suggest, on the other hand, that locations in Texas, some of which receive less than 12 inches of rainfall a year, a region where the groundwater table is more than 700 feet below the surface, is a far better location for this waste.

This is not a political assertion, it is a geological and environmental reality. Furthermore, even if this compact is not approved, it is likely that Texas, which has a great deal of low-level radioactive waste, and we should make the point that 80 percent of the waste is coming from Texas, 10 percent from Vermont, 10 percent from Maine, the reality is that Texas will go forward with or without this compact in building a facility to dispose of their low-level radioactive waste.

20) He praised trump the day after the election and said he looked forward to working with him.

This is what Sanders said right after the election: "To the degree that Mr. Trump is serious about pursuing policies that improve the lives of working families in this country, I and other progressives are prepared to work with him, to the degree that he pursues racist, sexist, xenophobic and anti-environment policies, we will vigorously oppose him.”

It's a completely banal statement that you make about trying to work toward solutions. I'm certain most top politicians made statements of the sort after the election. Note how the author of the Medium piece neglected to include the second half of this quote.

Also, this is what Sanders said in his announce video about Trump on Youtube for 2020: "We are living in a pivotal and dangerous moment in American history. We are running against a president who is a pathological liar, a fraud, a racist, a sexist, a xenophobe, and someone who was undermining American democracy as he leads us in an authoritarian direction." Some praise!

21) He had an absurd amount of FEC violations (639 pages worth).

This largely stems from supporters donating more than they're legally allowed, not from Sanders being a serious bad-faith actor. He paid the FEC fines, too. Overblown issue.

22) He voted against rapists having to reveal their HIV status to their victims.

I can't find much on this other than https://prospect.org/article/his-own-worst-enemy which I'll quote: "...or on a measure giving rape victims the right to find out if their attackers had HIV/AIDS. Yes, Sanders voted against those bills, in some cases because they were attached to other provisions he opposed, in some cases because he voted for other measures that accomplished similar goals, and perhaps in some cases because, as Tarrant told me, "he too often takes the side of criminals' rights."

To that very last part, I take issue with Tarrant, Sanders' then political opponent, on claiming that Sanders takes the side of criminals. Sanders is on the side of the American people, and he's as principled as he is honest. Moving along.

23) He said identity politics shouldn’t matter.

He literally did not. He essentially said gender is not a sufficient reason to vote, your politics matter as well as your identity. Read more here. https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2016/12/bernie-sanders-nailed-it-on-identity-politics-and.html

24) He saw a bunch of very qualified women, people of color, and a gay man running and decided he’s better for the job than any of them.

Ok, what the fuck? By this rationale is it also simply anti-Semitic to not vote for Sanders? The votes reside with the people who will decide who is right for the job (ignoring for a moment that superdelegates exist). Total non-point.

25) He campaigned against several marginalized progressive candidates in the midterm elections who are women in favor of white men, like Sharice Davids for example.

This is the kind of statement made by the people who derided Taylor Swift for not supporting Marsha Blackburn. "Oh, a woman isn't supporting a woman!? L O L!" That isn't insightful, that's just dumb.

AOC also supported Brent Welder over Sharice Davids. So what? I had to do some investigation into this one.

Welder's positions: Fight for 15, M4A full-stop, equality for women & LGBTQ.

Davids supports "access" to care, and "access" to higher education.

You can compare their stances here:

https://web.archive.org/web/20181107092454/https://www.brentwelder.com/issues/ https://web.archive.org/web/20181005201751/https://www.shariceforcongress.com/priorities

It really is no surprise that Sanders supported Brent Welder. It's about the policies, not just the person. Refer to my link in 23)

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