Jane Sanders, who is married to Bernie Sanders, appeared on MSNBC yesterday and, incredibly, attacked Hillary Clinton for campaigning with the Mothers of the Movement, doing so in a way that was deeply hostile to the women's agency:
Female Anchor (whose name I don't know): Both candidates campaigning in Wisconsin right now—earlier today, Hillary Clinton held a forum about gun control and gun violence in Milwaukee, and one of the mothers, who had actually lost her son to gun violence, she had some tough words for your husband, for Senator Sanders. I want to play that and then get your reaction.Okay, that is a misrepresentation of Clinton's record on gun reform, and it is further a misrepresentation of Sanders'. His proposals are not so much "common sense" as they are terrible, because, as I've previously noted, the proverbial rural hunting guns are also used to kill and threaten, especially by domestic abusers, and the dichotomy often drawn between guns used by rural hunters and guns used by urban criminals is a false (and implicitly racist) one.
Jane Sanders: Okay.
Video clip showing Hillary Clinton sitting beside Annette Nance-Holt; Holt is holding a microphone and saying: I applaud Secretary Clinton for reaching out to us, because that other candidate on the Democratic side did not reach out to us.  Now I'mma tell you: I think if you want my vote, you better work for it. She's working for our votes. [applause; edit] I'm not going to give it to you just because you say you can do free college, because if my child is dead, he can't go to college! [applause; cut back to studio]
Anchor: Ms. Sanders, what would you say to her if you had a chance to address her?
Sanders: I guess I'd say my heart goes out to you, for losing your child. It's— I can't imagine anything worse. And, I mean, we just don't go after those votes, to call people out of the blue at the worst time in their life and ask them to support him as a candidate. It's just not what we've done. We've reached out to groups—Black Lives Matter and a number of groups—on his whole platform. Um, in terms of gun control, Bernie has very common sense gun control. Secretary Clinton has been all over the map on this. In 19— In 2008, she was very opposed to gun control; now that she's running against Bernie, she's very for gun control. Bernie comes from a rural state, and he has common sense solutions. I think all the solutions that are being offered down in Congress right now, he's been supportive of.
But I'm more concerned about Jane Sanders' contention that Clinton essentially preyed on and is exploiting women like Annette Nance-Holt, coercing them into supporting her rather than having reached out to them to see how she could help them, and her further implication that the women are themselves apparently too daft to even know they are being used.
These women have agency. And perhaps they don't want to be left alone during "the worst time in their life," but instead want to hear from people in power who recognize their pain and want to do something about its cause, to prevent more parents from suffering the same agony of loss.
Goddammit. Sanders was trying to smear Clinton, but, in the process, she said something deeply offensive, belittling, and infantilizing about the black women who have chosen to campaign with her.
And she owes them a fucking apology.
Previously: On the Breaking Down Barriers Moms.
[H/T to Aphra_Behn.]