Bernie bites the hand he wants to feed him.

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Maybe it’s just me, but this seems to be getting just a wee ridiculous. We’re still 6 1/2 months from the first primary votes being cast, as everybody likes to tell me whenever I talk about a poll, “It’s early yet!”, and already the recriminations are flying around.

In q statement to Politico, Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir dumped a bucket of shit on the heads of the very people the campaign needs for its oxygen, the media;

“This isn’t intended to be a sweeping generalization of all journalists,” he told POLITICO, “but there are a healthy number who just find Bernie annoying, discount his seriousness, and wish his supporters and movement would just go away.”

OK, chis is cheap, petty, and obnoxious for a number of reasons. For starters, while Shakir disavows making it a “blanket statement,” he goes on to infer that it’s a “healthy number,” clearly indicating he believes it’s a majority of reporters. Second, no responsible journalist would ever allow any personal feelings to seep in and color the way that they cover any candidate. And third, as long as the reporters keeps their feelings to themselves, and out of their reporting, the claim is specious and inconsequential in the first place.

This is not the first time that Bernie Sanders and his campaign have jousted with the press. The article points out that in 2016, Sanders complained that the media largely ignored him especially in the early stages of the campaign, ignoring the fact that the media regularly touted his prolific small donor contribution efforts.

Worse yet, this is not the first time Sanders has voiced public complaints this early in the campaign. Several weeks ago, when he fell further behind Biden after his campaign announcement, and as Elizabeth Warren started to climb in the polls, Sanders groused that the other candidates were holding him back by “stealing his thunder,” in pushing the same programs and ideas that he pioneered in 2016. This is like Bill Walsh complaining that other NFL teams snaffled his “West coast offense.”

The real problem here is that the optics are absolutely terrible. We’ve only had one debate, only 12% of voters have fixed on a single candidate, which means that nobody is out of the game, no votes have been cast, and yet the Sanders campaign is throwing shine all over the place. This tends to lead to two conclusions, both of them negative. Either Sanders is blaming other people for his performance and current standing in the polls, or worse yet, he’s starting to pick scapegoats to blame if his campaign fails. Neither one should be an image the campaign wants to portray, especially this early in the campaign.

Look, full disclosure, I’m not a Bernie supporter, but I’m not a Bernie hater either. I am not going to “back” any one particular candidate before the completion of the second debates at the earliest. And if it turns out that Bernie is the candidate, I will certainly vote for him. Anybody who follows politics knows that different candidates often have similar, or nearly identical solutions for major issues. Sanders should be proud that his once “radical” ideas are now a part of the mainstream conversations in the campaign. But rather than blaming everybody else for his current showing, I would think that the campaign would be better served to try to determine why his message isn’t resonating as well as he’d like and need it to be, and take steps to correct those problems. Because, this just isn’t working.

 

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23 Comments on "Bernie bites the hand he wants to feed him."

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mae
Member

There is nothing different here. This is how it is with Bernie Sanders.

rory darjiit
Member
I don’t hate Bernie or Christians, but I’m not a fan of either’s group tendency to inquisitions…that might be how I’d put it. The Sanders campaign strategy both times seems to be building a positive case around policy, and a negative case around process. In theory, this doesn’t seem like a terrible strategy…you stay on message about the things you want to accomplish, which are pretty popular, and attack groups like the media and DNC, which aren’t very popular if you attack them as broad, faceless organizations. I would have thought this would work better than attacking an opponent. And… Read more »
P J Evans
Guest

Bernie’s campaign attacking the DNC is *stupid*. He needs their help to run as a Democrat, and he knows that.

anastasjoy
Member
Not only that, but he WON his battles with the DNC to the point where many Hillary supporters cancelled their support. Between his victory on his dishonest demonization of the super delegates (which he is CONTINUING, despite winning on the issue, because it riles up his base) and the infamous DNC 2017 “Unity” tour which featured only ONE side of the contentious primary (Bernie, no one from Hillary’s campaign) and therefore was divisive instead, the DNC caved to him. It’s hugely hypocritical for him to attack them now. Also, they represent a huge swath of major Democratic worker bees and… Read more »
P J Evans
Guest

They didn’t “cave to him”. He got some things – which were relatively reasonable requests), but not others. All those requests were voted on by the DNC members.

Joseph
Guest
Since Bernie is NOT an actual Democrat (remember that he is STILL an “Independent” despite his PROMISE in 2016 to run in ALL future elections as a Democrat), I would say the DNC most definitely DID cave to him. Spin it however makes you feel best but Bernie is NOT a Democrat and should NOT be allowed in the race until he actually JOINS THE PARTY. And if he becomes the nominee? Well, I will not vote for him. (Full disclosure notice: I live in Alabama. This state will NEVER vote for a Democratic Presidential candidate in the general election–even… Read more »
rory darjiit
Member
I agree it’s not a great strategy. And to be honest, I don’t know if he’s still doing it. I largely ignore his campaign aside from actual policy speeches. Bernie is a complicated guy, which I found myself COMPLETELY incapable of writing about in my autistic, sarcastic style without pissing off everyone on all sides. I found that you’re allowed to be mean and evil, but never indifferently funny, otherwise…bam, the swift hand of internet justice shall descend upon you. But I think he’s rally earnestly motivated by a deep desire for social justice, which I admire. But I also… Read more »
Bareshark
Guest

I’m far more cynical on Bernie, Rory. I think social justice is a means to an end for him, much like it was for my distant relatives Louisiana Governors Huey and Earl Long. And the end was always the White House, which he feels slipping through his fingers yet again. Snubbing Netroots Nation because of Markos Moulitsas’ presence is evidence enough of that hate and bitterness you mentioned.

Bareshark
Guest

This was never about Bernie just changing the conversation. It’s about him becoming the President, period, because that was the real, ultimate goal all along. If that smacks a little too much like entitlement, the secular version of the divine right of kings and/or not too removed from Trump’s attitude now that he’s in the White House…well, I wouldn’t disagree.

P J Evans
Guest

It’s part of why I didn’t vote from him in the primaries in 2016. (Besides that he’s remarkably ignorant about how things are outside Vermont.)

anastasjoy
Member

Attacking the media is STRAIGHT out of Trump’s playbook and sounds very much like it came from David Sirota. And yes, I think Bernie’s ego is in control now.

anastasjoy
Member
Worse, he’s attacking grassroots Democrats — He looks down his nose at anyone who doesn’t support him and his exact ideas, phrased his exact way. He’s got David Sirota on his team whose idea of running a campaign is to put down other candidates. His emails have put down Joe Biden by name and by implication the entire rest of the field with smug, shade-throwing remarks. It seems like he views anyone who isn’t wholly on his team as “the enemy.” And attacking journalists, who have frankly ignored his mountain of baggage and gone out of their way to portray… Read more »
P J Evans
Guest

Thanks for letting us know you’re as much of a purist as his fans.

anastasjoy
Member

He’s basically dismissed me as anyone who matters so he doesn’t matter to me.

rory darjiit
Member
I get why you dislike Bernie. I have a long list of concerns about him…for one, I’ve never been able to decide how genuine he is in expressing his views. By which I mean that I’m not totally sold that he doesn’t want to nationalize every industry and tax every extraction corporation out of existence, lol. But in terms of your voting scenario, I look at it like this. When casting a vote, I’m not voting for the person on the ballot. I’m making a decision as to which option I think will produce the best possible outcome for the… Read more »
anastasjoy
Member

I think he’s genuine. I just think his outlook, experience and accomplishments are very narrowly focused and don’t include me as a women.

rory darjiit
Member
They totally include you as a woman, so long as you want exactly what he wants you to want, because total adherence to a single, central figurehead is what democracy is truly about. Sarcasm. I mean…obviously… mostly. I think. (But I get what you’re saying. I cringed at his response to the abortion question at the debates. It concerns me to think all he’d do if Roe were overturned is to continue pushing single payer. That was a really bad moment.) When I question him being genuine, I’m not sure that’s the right word. What I mean is that I’m… Read more »
Bareshark
Guest

The man has done nothing but scream “Fake!” at me for a long time now. When my alarm bells go off THIS loud, there’s a good reason why. He gets the nomination, I’ll support him with no complaints. But I’m under no unnecessary illusions here.

rory darjiit
Member
My group of friends, who are largely LGBT activists, were really disturbed in 2016 when the subject of gay rights came up in the second debate. He portrayed himself as a 20+ year gay equal rights warrior, and her as a flip-flopping opportunist. The problem was that we in the gay community understood the truth of both of their histories. They both stood for civil unions for decades…which was fine, it took a long time to move the needle on equal marriage rights. When they did flip, which was about the same time, she fought for equal marriage pretty hard.… Read more »
Bareshark
Guest

That last sentence right there…THAT is a tendency of his that reminds me WAY too much of Trump. “I alone can fix it” is what he says in his actions way too often.

HollyValera
Member
Plus ca change, plus ca meme chose. Bernie is the same vitriolic, charismatic curmudgeon he was in 2015/16, the kind of guy you’d love to meet at your aunt’s for Thanksgiving so you don’t have to talk to your racist Uncle Homophobe. Sure, under those circumstances I’d chat with him a few minutes. But not now. I noticed early in the 2016 election cycle Sanders was a one-note candidate: everything–and I mean everything–came down to a single message of unequal economic opportunity, which is fine…as far as it goes. I kept waiting for him to talk about my biggest issue,… Read more »