The oppo on Bernie

140228155048-whispering-gossip-story-topAssorted Hillary Clinton stooges are telling lies about Bernie. I suspect that the HRC camp is seeding the ground for this effort, because paranoids have enemies too.

One area is immigration reform. Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL), supporter of Rahm Emanuel against Chuy Garcia for mayor of Chicago, has said “I don’t know if Bernie likes immigrants . . .” In 2007 Bernie voted against an immigration reform bill. It was co-sponsored by Teddy Kennedy, so it is fair game to question Bernie’s vote. It is not fair game to neglect his reason–that he thought the bill would further drive down wages. Not immigration in general, but that particular bill.

The 2007 bill was also opposed by the League of United Latin American Citizens, the American Immigrant Lawyers Association, the AFL-CIO, 15 Senate Democrats, and depending on how you keep score, Senator Barack Obama. Any honest liberal who looks at the bill can find some bad stuff in it. Bernie did back an immigration reform bill in 2013. Hence, summary invocation of the 2007 vote as a definitive indicator of anti-immigrant views is simply libelous and prima facie evidence of bad faith, or at the least, lazy-stupid recirculation of Internet bullshit.

Guns. Here is a list of Bernie votes. Some could be classified as supporting gun control, others as not supportive. You could cherry-pick from either to exaggerate in either direction. If you say he is all one or the other, you’re lyin. You could say accurately that he has been on both sides of the fence. If you were generous you would say he was faithfully representing the people of Vermont.

Bernie and the Minutemen. A blogger I never heard of until today (too dumb to link to, who has now banned me from his comments feed) claims “[H]e is on the record supporting the vigilante and racist border militia group ‘The Minuteman Project’.” Really? This gentleman needs to bone up on the meaning of ‘on the record.’ What actually did happen is that Bernie voted for an amendment to an appropriations bill for the Department of Homeland Security that included language prohibiting the Federal government from “provid[ing] a foreign government information relating to the activities of an organized volunteer civilian action group, operating in the State of California, Texas, New Mexico, or Arizona, unless required by international treaty.” This could be criticized, but not as supporting any racist militia group.

Why did he vote for it? I don’t know. A diligent blogger might have asked him. Appropriations bills for entire departments are voluminous affairs and votes are often cast to keep the process moving along, sometimes with inattention to obnoxious details.


I’ll be keeping up with this drivel as we go forward, since stupid things can grow in the intellectual wilderness of the Internet.




The oppo on Bernie — 7 Comments

  1. But the netroots thing doesn’t really have anything to do with Clinton, as far as I can see. Bernie just screwed up.

  2. Max–Have you seen some of the appalling things published in Talking Points Memo about the Sanders campaign? I just looked at a thread dealing with Democratic prospects with the white working class vote–it was stuffed to the gills with resentment addled yuppies ranting about bigoted losers. In particular, note the toxic waste tossed out by a creep who calls himself NC Steve who wallows in the notion that politics should be about nothing more than mobilizing tribal hatreds. He’s probably a Democratic consultant. Similar points have been tossed out by more prominent hacks like Ed Kilgore. Oddly, the latest uptick in cultural liberalism seems to have inflamed the economic royalism of the Democratic Party’s vast and slimy professional class cadre. From the smoking wreckage of the Clinton years, the Democratic Party is slowly but surely turning into the Whig Party. Note Jonathan Chait’s recent ante-bellum politics for 5 year olds missives in New York magazine for examples of what I’m talking about. God help us all.

  3. In the comment section at Balloon Juice there are some comments which I take to be fair criticisms of Bernie’s behavior at net roots (I haven’t looked at clips firsthand) mixed in with people positively gleeful that white lefties are fighting with people of color and acting defensive. Very petty stuff in the second case.

  4. Bernie muffed the moment. He should be able to recover. Of course the Bernie/anti-Bernie twitter talk can get very scrambled.

    As far as the working class goes, the Dem strategy is to write them off. Polling shows very low support for Democrats among that group, mainly in the South, Rocky Mountains, and the Plains. So it’s a vicious circle — neglect of them reduces support, reduced support encourages more neglect. I think Ed Kilgore regrets this as much as anyone; he’s just reporting.


    Media Matters is now officially part of the Clinton Campaign.

    “He declined to get into specifics as to why, but people who have spoken with him say he was focused on paying attention to the activities of Correct the Record and Media Matters, which will play the biggest role in defending Mrs. Clinton throughout the campaign.”

  6. This is politics as it is played. It has not changed in the 50 some years I have been aware of it (my dad was campaign manager for a Dem Congressman of many years). I don’t like it but then nobody asked me.

    I am going to caucus for Bernie because so much of what he says is what Dems should be fighting for. But I will support HRC when she gets the nomination, I just hope to pull the party leftward. I do not want a reply of 08 with a bunch of butthurt Dems, aided by ill intentioned Republicans attacking whoever gets the nomination. Even Jim Webb (yuck) would be a better President than anyone of the 17 clowns currently stuffed into the GOPs car. FIght like hell for the nomination but never lose sight of the actual enemy.

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