Bernie Sanders, What Are You Even Doing This Time?

[Content Note: White supremacy; misogyny.]

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Bernie Sanders actually said this shit (emphases mine):
RS: Do you have any thoughts about the leadership in the House?

BS: I will let them work that out themselves. I'm obviously not a member of the House anymore. We'll let them make their own decisions. But this is what I absolutely do believe. I absolutely believe that from day one, the Democrats in the House have got to come out with a progressive agenda that speaks to the needs of working people. And that leads to — as you know, the Medicare-for-all bill I introduced, which is to be implemented over four years, lowers the eligibility age from 65 to 55, covers all of the children, and lowers the cost of prescription drugs. My guess is that about 80-percent of the American people would support a proposal like that. It's wildly popular. And that's what the Democrats have got to do. They've got to raise the minimum wage to 15 bucks an hour, they've got to make public colleges tuition-free, and they've got to lower student debt. All of these proposals are enormously popular. And they're good public policy. And here's what I think, Matt, that maybe nobody else in the world believes. As you know, Trump is a 100-percent political opportunist, who has no political views other than how he can win elections.

RS: Well, that's true.

BS: Today, if he is a racist and a sexist, tomorrow he may be a great civil rights champion — if he thinks it gets him five more votes. He has no core values. I would not be shocked that if the Democrats passed popular, good legislation, that Trump would look around him and say, "Hey, why not? What do I give a damn?" And he may come on board, because ultimately he doesn't believe in anything except winning. So I believe it's terribly important that the Democrats come out of the gate full-steam ahead and start passing really good legislation that puts Trump and the Republicans on the defensive.
Bernie. No.

Sure, Trump is a deeply cynical political opportunist, and he is also a master media manipulator who understands that contrarianism gets headlines just for the sheer shock value, so there is an outside possibility he might surprise everyone by scribbling his Sharpied signature onto, say, a Democratic healthcare bill someday.

But that wouldn't indicate anything about who he fundamentally is, which is a vile wreck who loves harming people so much that malice is his agenda.

Which is why it is incredibly dangerous — and straight-up fucking stupid — to suggest that he might actually become a "great civil rights champion" because he puts his name on something unexpected in the hope it will garner him even more power that he can exploit to hurt people.

Bernie's already writing the narrative that Trump would want us to believe if he pulled this opportunistic shit. WHY WOULD HE DO THAT?

I have some uncharitable thoughts about what the answer to that question is.

Further, Bernie is dead wrong that Trump doesn't have any fixed political views. Donald Trump is as committed to white supremacist patriarchy as anyone in the whole of the United States today.

As I have previously observed: Someone does not live a life careening from housing discrimination against Black applicants, to public musings on eugenics and the superiority of one's own genes, to a crusade against exonerated men of color, to a birther campaign against the nation's first Black president, to a presidential announcement address steeped in racism and nativism, to a campaign slogan that's dogwhistled white supremacy, to anti-Semitic tweets and sloganeering, to an attack on a judge because of his ethnicity, to an entire campaign exploiting racial and xenophobic fears, to a presidential agenda centered around toxic attacks on immigrants and Muslims and demonizing cities with significant Black and/or immigrant populations, to defending Confederate monuments, to defending actual goddamn Nazis, and everything that has come before and in between, if one is merely obtuse.

Trump's record on race is not one of accidental gaffes. It is one of a lifetime commitment to white supremacy.

And despite the fact that Trump has repeatedly asserted that he cherishes women, Trump is an overt and committed misogynist.

He likes to say that nobody has more respect for women than he does, but anyone who doesn't sexually assault women; anyone who doesn't use sexist slurs or publicly insult the appearance of women they don't like; anyone who doesn't fail to support comprehensive women's healthcare including reproductive choice; anyone who doesn't tell working mothers earning low wages just to work harder; anyone who doesn't direct border agents to tear babies from their mothers' arms; anyone who doesn't use their female employees as cover for their misogynistic policies; anyone who didn't turn a political contest with a woman into a national referendum on how the country values women; anyone who doesn't defend domestic abusers who work for them; anyone who didn't put a sex abuser on the Supreme Court; anyone who doesn't value women exclusively for the way we look, who doesn't reflexively objectify women, who doesn't treat women like property, who doesn't divide women into categories of worthiness based on whether we arouse them; anyone who does not subscribe to a toxic, retrograde chauvinism that upholds systemic gender inequality and relies on a posture of inherent male superiority respects women more than Donald Trump does.

These aren't even comprehensive lists of Trump's racism and sexism. His commitment to white cishet male supremacy is long, vast, and well-documented.

Suggesting that he has no fixed principles at all is to erase Trump's demonstrable history of malice against marginalized people.

And asserting that Trump could somehow undo all of that by cynically signing some hypothetical piece of progressive legislation is as incorrect as it is gross.

This is careless, at best. But I am not feeling inclined to give Bernie the benefit of the doubt anymore. He has abetted Trump with bullshit like this far too many times.

Once is far too many. And it's been more than that.

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