Utterly Indecent

[Content Note: Guns; violence; misogyny.]

Following Bernie Sanders' disastrous interview with the Editorial Board of the New York Daily News, they ran a cover expressing their pointed displeasure with his refusal during their meeting to side with the survivors of the Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, in their lawsuit against gun manufacturers.

His position also failed to charm some of the relatives of the victims. Erica L Smegielski, the daughter of the principal who was killed, tweeted: "Shame on you, @BernieSanders try living one hour of our lives. Love, the #SandyHook Principal's Daughter."

The reactions prompted CBS News to ask Sanders what he would "say to the Sandy Hook families who say he should apologize for his position." He replied:
"Well I would say that I think that it is -- we all are aware of what happened in Sandy Hook is a tragedy beyond comprehension," he said. "But maybe Secretary Clinton might want to apologize to the families who lost their loved ones in Iraq or Secretary Clinton might want to apologize to the millions of workers in this country who lost their jobs because of the disastrous trade agreements that she supported."
My BNR colleague Susie Madrak has the video. Along with some terrific commentary.

This response is unfathomably awful. Not only does Sanders refuse to apologize for a position that inoculates gun manufacturers from accountability when people use their machines designed for murder to do what they are designed to do, but he deflects by criticizing Hillary Clinton for something totally unrelated.

Which is the very strategy his most loathsome supporters use constantly.

screen cap of tweet authored by me in January reading: ''I have a criticism of Bernie Sanders.' 'HILLARY CLINTON IS HISTORY'S GREATEST MONSTER.' Rinse and repeat all day every day.'
screen cap of tweet authored by me in January reading: 'If you don't have better rebuttals to criticism of your preferred candidate than 'but Other Candidate stinks!' you need to think about that.'

The fact that he even reached for this bullshit deflection technique is bad enough, but the fact that he did it by treating people killed in war as a rhetorical football and minimizing the deaths at Sandy Hook by equating them with job losses is unconscionable.

Sanders, however, was not done.

At a rally in Philly [CN: video autoplays] last night, he went on a rant in which he said that Clinton is not qualified to be president (I was watching the event while it was still live and transcribed the relevant section):
She has been saying lately that she thinks that I am, quote unquote, not qualified to be president. Well, let me just say in response to Secretary Clinton: I don't believe that she is qualified—if she is, through her super PAC, taking tens of millions of dollars in special interest funds! I don't think that you are [makes air quotes] qualified if you get fifteen million dollars from Wall Street through your super PAC! I don't think you are [air quotes] qualified if you have voted for the disastrous war in Iraq! I don't think you are qualified if you've supported virtually every disastrous trade agreement, which has cost us millions of decent-paying jobs! I don't think you are qualified if you supported the Panama Free Trade Agreement, something I very strongly opposed and which, as all of you know, has allowed corporations and wealthy people all over the world to avoid paying their taxes to their countries.
Now, first of all, it is not true that Clinton "has been saying lately" that she thinks Sanders is unqualified. Yesterday, on MSNBC's Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough tried to goad Clinton into saying that Sanders is unqualified, and, as this article in The Hill about that interview plainly states, she explicitly avoided saying that: "Clinton also repeatedly dodged in her Morning Joe interview Wednesday when pressed by host Joe Scarborough to say whether she thought Sanders was qualified to be president. Instead she pointed to the Daily News interview and Sanders's remarks on income inequality and breaking up big banks."

What she said is that he seems unprepared. She categorically did not say he is unqualified for the presidency.

(In fact, this morning, Joe Scarborough even admitted he tried to goad Clinton into saying Sanders was unqualified but she wouldn't take the bait. When Joe Scarborough is the voice of reason, you know shit has gone off the rails.)

So the entire premise of this attack is false. He lies about her having called him unqualified in order to call her unqualified.

On a patently and demonstrably dishonest premise, Bernie Sanders just called Hillary Clinton, arguably the most qualified presidential candidate in the nation's history and certainly the first woman with a real shot at the presidency unqualified.

And then he went on a rant that amounts to saying her failure to be perfect and ideologically pure by his arbitrary measure (it's disqualifying to vote for a war, but not disqualifying to fund them, apparently) is what disqualifies her, while his crowd goes wild with seething hatred.

The whole thing is utterly shocking. I cannot believe I watched a(n ostensible) Democratic candidate railing against another Democratic candidate like this.

Breathtakingly shameless behavior. I don't even know what else to say.

And what is the media's spin on this today? That Hillary Clinton attacked Bernie Sanders.

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