Why is Bernie Sanders running for president? The 70-some-year-old pop culture curmudgeon has gone through all the motions of showing up, dancing on Ellen and alongside Larry David on Saturday Night Live and the Today Show. He got a multimillion-dollar book deal and a new house out of his last presidential run, which was launched with the blessing of the DNC establishment as little more than a tune-up for Hillary Clinton.
But something went amiss. Bernie caught fire, particularly with the loudest online contingent of the left, on college campuses and dirtbag alternative-media podcasters. And then, just when Sanders could have hit Hillary Clinton on her distracting and ultimately crippling national security email violations, he backed down and ultimately lost the nomination. He didn’t want to talk about her damn emails, even though his base of voters almost assuredly did. Now, almost four years later, Bernie finds himself being assailed on multiple fronts. As of now, he has not learned his lesson.
Last week, a story leaked (or was fed to the press by the Warren campaign) that Bernie Sanders had told Elizabeth Warren in a meeting that a woman could not beat Trump. Scandal! Those parts of the media which claim not to be political versions of Inside Edition and Entertainment Tonight leapt to Elizabeth Warren Aniston’s side, calling Bernie a sexist, a dinosaur and a misogynist. None of them asked if the noted personal fabulist Warren was telling the truth. The Warren camp remained silent as Bernie was pilloried by a media giddy at the prospect of a Warren presidency. And finally, when it came time to the debate stage, Bernie outright denied he had said this. When a CNN debate moderator ran with it anyway, Bernie simply shrugged and laughed.
For all the similarities between Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump and their respective campaigns, the difference is very simple: Trump would never have let a debate moderator off the hook, and his throngs of MAGA-headed followers would have cheered him on. Trump gained his loyal following not just by slapping the ‘fake news’ media around; he took on all challengers on the debate stage and in the Republican party, weaponizing his Twitter feed and two million followers. The base ate it up and carried Trump on a tidal wave of primary victories.
On Sunday, Sanders’s surrogates released a campaign memo accusing Joe Biden of ‘a big corruption problem’. The memo, published by Zephyr Teachout in the Guardian, flamed Biden for perfecting ‘the art of taking big contributions, then representing his corporate donors at the cost of middle- and working-class Americans’. Less than day later, Bernie himself personally apologized for the hurt caused to Biden, even as his rabid online base cheered the op-ed. ‘It is absolutely not my view that Joe is corrupt in any way. And I’m sorry that that op-ed appeared,’ Sanders told CBS News.
And then Tuesday, Gamma Clinton reared her defeated head once more to promote a HULU documentary. According to the Hollywood Reporter, she says in the documentary that Bernie ‘was in Congress for years. He had one senator support him. Nobody likes him, nobody wants to work with him, he got nothing done…it’s all just baloney and I feel so bad that people got sucked into it.’
Hillary gave Bernie yet another fresh opportunity to paint himself as the angry outsider, yet again fighting a corrupt and rigged primary process, and yet again contending with an establishment that wants nothing more than to see his campaign die a quick and silent death. Sound familiar?
Yet again Bernie pulled back with a timid statement that focused back on Trump. How must this be playing out with his loudest and most eager defenders, as their great anti-establishment fighter withers in the face of a hostile DNC, current contenders and former opponents?
Hillary saw Bernie as a joke. Elizabeth Warren, backed by a sympathetic mass media complex, sees him as an obstacle. Right about now, Donald Trump must be looking at him like a meal.
Bernie claims he is the fighter in the race. But at every opportunity to show his base he is just that, he throws in the towel. Eventually the extremely online Bernie Bros will tire of this. The loudest, most bombastic and most confrontational candidate simply disappears at the very first signs of any confrontation. Team Trump are licking their chops.