This Is Getting Real Old, Sanders

Yesterday, Bernie Sanders sat down for an interview with The Young Turks, and once again proved my point that he's running against the Democrats as a Democrat. Following are just two clips from the interview; more are available here.

First up, Sanders responds to a question about whether he'd put Hillary Clinton in his cabinet:

Interviewer Cenk Uygur: If you win, is Hillary Clinton liberal enough to be in your cabinet?

Senator Bernie Sanders: Oh stop. Stop getting me in trouble here! [Uyger laughs] There are other people that I would probably go to before Hillary—people like Elizabeth Warren, for example.
What I love (ahem) about this response is how it functions as two jabs in one: One at Clinton for not being good enough for his cabinet, and one at Obama for thinking she was good enough to serve in his cabinet.

Next up, Sanders responds to a question about whether Sanders will ask his supporters to support Hillary Clinton if she's the nominee:

Uygur: Now, a lot of people in the—in the movement have decided that you are their leader, partly because you're running for president, but, you know, you look at some recent polls of millennials, ah, they have you as by far the most popular politician, but they actually have you as more popular as a person they'd like to meet above BeyoncĂ©, okay? [Sanders belly-laughs] Now that's a hell of a thing, right?

Sanders: Yes!

Uyger: But! You have convinced them that Hillary Clinton is the establishment candidate. If you were to lose, and the Democratic Party comes to you and says, "Okay, now take this movement, that is full of energy and is against the establishment, and make sure they vote for the establishment candidate," what do you say?

Sanders: Well, you know, what I say— Number One, I'm not big into [air quotes] being a leader. You know, I much prefer to see a lot of leaders, a lot of grassroots activism. Number Two, what we do is together, as a nation, as a growing movement, is we say, "All right, if we don't win"—and, by the way, we are in this thing to win; please understand that—"what is the Democratic establishment gonna do for us?"

Uyger: Oh, that's interesting.

Sanders: All right, for example: Right now, you have a Democratic establishment which has written off half the states in this country, you know that?

Uyger: Mm-hmm.

Sanders: And they've given up on the slate in the South, the Rocky Mountain area—are they gonna create a 50-state party? Are they gonna welcome into the Democratic Party the working class of this country and young people, or is it gonna be a party of the upper middle class and the cocktail crowd and the heavy campaign contributors? Which to a significant degree it is right now. You know, I've talked to Democratic Party leaders and said, "You know what? Instead of going around and raising all kinds of money from wealthy people, why don'tcha meet in some football stadium and bring out fifty, a hundred thousand people; bring the damn Senate in there, Senate Democrats, and start talking to people—ask them what they want you to do. How about that?" Better? Radical? So, in other words, if I can't make it, and we're gonna try as hard as we can 'til the last vote is cast, we wanna completely revitalize the Democratic Party, and make it a party of the people, rather than just one of large campaign contributors.
A couple of quick thoughts:

1. "I'm not big into being a leader" is a very curious thing for someone to say who is running to be President of the United States, a position often referred to as "leader of the free world," and further an executive position that requires an enormous amount of skilled leadership.

2. After running a campaign centered on demonizing the Democratic establishment, and coronating Hillary Clinton as its evil queen—with either no understanding or no concern about how important the Democratic Party is to lots of marginalized people in red states—now Sanders wants to know what they'll do for him and his supporters to make them feel welcome. That is fucking incredible.

3. Sanders accuses the Democratic Party of having "written off half the states in this country," even though his campaign has explicitly delineated a strategy of writing off those precise states—and has done so on multiple occasions.

I have certainly, over the years, made criticisms of the Democratic Party's failure to invest equitably across the nation, but I am super pissed that Sanders casually elides how hard state-level Democrats often work for their constituents. Like, as but one example, when Indiana Democrats left the state in order to deny the Republican majority the quorum they needed to pass anti-union legislation. Something that Democrats also did in Wisconsin and Texas.

The Democratic establishment includes the entire national party. And crapping all over the people who are often the only ones standing between Republican state majorities and the complete annihilation of marginalized people's basic rights is not endearing Sanders to me.

You know who else is part of the Democratic establishment that Sanders feels isn't doing enough for him? Wendy Davis. Know who else? Leticia Van de Putte. Know who else? Gabby Giffords. Know who else? Tammy Duckworth. Know who else? Bonnie Watson Coleman and Robin Kelly and Yvette D. Clarke.

Are they not doing enough for you and your supporters, Senator Sanders? Are these ladies not being sufficiently welcoming to you?

I guess they're just too busy dancing the night away at cocktail parties.

I'm so fucking done.

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