Bernie Sanders is too polite

Bernie Sanders

Aaron Blake counts Bernie Sanders among the losers at last night’s debate in South Carolina, but doesn’t seem very impressed with the damage:[1]

Sen. Bernie Sanders: After the candidates spent much of last week’s debate focused on Bloomberg even as Sanders is threatening to take over the race, Tuesday night represented a course-correction. Warren attacked Sanders for being ineffective. Pete Buttigieg said Russia is helping Sanders, as U.S. intelligence has stated, because the senator serves its purposes. “Russia wants chaos, and chaos is what’s coming our way,” Buttigieg said. “Imagine spending the better part of 2020 with Bernie Sanders versus Donald Trump.” Tom Steyer warned about having the government “take over the private sector.” Biden mentioned the mass shooting in a black Charleston church in 2015 and noted that Sanders voted against the Brady gun-control bill five times, which prompted Sanders to acknowledge that it was a mistake. Later on, Biden and Buttigieg ganged up on Sanders for praising over the decades the good things authoritarian socialist regimes had done. It prompted Sanders to say early on: “I’m hearing my name mentioned a little bit. I wonder why.” Indeed. The question is whether it’s too little, too late by his opponents.[2]

I’ve dealt with the Russia support issue in a previous blog post, labeling it a fallacy.[3] As to “the good things authoritarian socialist regimes had done,”[4] I would say that if we are going to paint all dictators with the same brush, we should look harder at who’s effectively been complicit with the delusional raging narcissist-in-chief, with “[t]he stupidest impeachment ever, historically notable first for all the offenses it failed to charge Donald Trump with,[5] second for its utterly predictable futility, and third for its transparent (and apparently failed) attempt to protect Joe Biden,[6][7] especially noting its authoritarian consequences as Donald Trump moves to purge the executive branch of “disloyal” staffers.[8] Either all dictators are alike or they aren’t—those who attack Sanders for appreciating such things as a literacy program and a reduction in infant mortality and those who fail to criticize the oligarchs that still exercise an often-armed, cruel, and disproportionate influence in many Latin American countries[9] need to decide which it is.

But also, I think Sanders is often too polite. He has a more robust response than he’s been deploying. Instead he appears a bit wilted.

Griff Witte, “In Cold War travels, Bernie Sanders found much to admire behind enemy lines. Now that’s a problem for his campaign,” Washington Post, February 24, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/in-cold-war-travels-bernie-sanders-found-much-to-admire-behind-enemy-lines-now-thats-a-problem-for-his-campaign/2020/02/24/fd02fb50-572a-11ea-8753-73d96000faae_story.html

Aaron Blake, “Winners and losers from the South Carolina Democratic debate,” Washington Post, February 25, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/02/25/takeaways-south-carolina-debate/


  1. [1]Aaron Blake, “Winners and losers from the South Carolina Democratic debate,” Washington Post, February 25, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/02/25/takeaways-south-carolina-debate/
  2. [2]Aaron Blake, “Winners and losers from the South Carolina Democratic debate,” Washington Post, February 25, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/02/25/takeaways-south-carolina-debate/
  3. [3]David Benfell, “Attacking the man for who supports him,” Not Housebroken, February 23, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/02/22/attacking-the-man-for-who-supports-him/
  4. [4]Aaron Blake, “Winners and losers from the South Carolina Democratic debate,” Washington Post, February 25, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/02/25/takeaways-south-carolina-debate/
  5. [5]David Benfell, “The whiteness of impeachment,” Not Housebroken, December 15, 2019, https://disunitedstates.org/2019/12/15/the-whiteness-of-impeachment/; Democracy Now, “Law Professor: Trump Could Also Have Been Impeached for War Crimes, Assassinations and Corruption,” January 24, 2020, https://www.democracynow.org/2020/1/24/donald_trump_senate_impeachment_trial
  6. [6]David Benfell, “It’s still a smoke-filled room,” Not Housebroken, December 6, 2019, https://disunitedstates.org/2019/12/06/its-still-a-smoke-filled-room/; David Benfell, “How the neoliberal (usually known as Democratic) party may well lose in 2020,” Not Housebroken, December 7, 2019, https://disunitedstates.org/2019/12/07/how-the-neoliberal-usually-known-as-democratic-party-may-well-lose-in-2020/; David Benfell, “The whiteness of impeachment,” Not Housebroken, December 15, 2019, https://disunitedstates.org/2019/12/15/the-whiteness-of-impeachment/; David Benfell, “The least violent solution,” Not Housebroken, December 16, 2019, https://disunitedstates.org/2019/12/16/the-least-violent-solution/; David Benfell, “The sham (pick your partisan flavor) is on,” Not Housebroken, December 19, 2019, https://disunitedstates.org/2019/12/19/the-sham-pick-your-partisan-flavor-is-on/; David Benfell, “The asterisk,” Not Housebroken, December 21, 2019, https://disunitedstates.org/2019/12/21/the-asterisk/
  7. [7]David Benfell, “One farce down, one to go,” Irregular Bullshit, February 5, 2020, https://disunitedstates.com/2020/02/05/one-farce-down-one-to-go/
  8. [8]Ellen Nakashima et al., “Senior intelligence official told lawmakers that Russia wants to see Trump reelected,” Washington Post, February 21, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/after-a-congressional-briefing-on-election-threats-trump-soured-on-acting-spy-chief/2020/02/20/1ed2b4ec-53f1-11ea-b119-4faabac6674f_story.html; Toluse Olorunnipa, Ashley Parker, and Josh Dawsey, “Trump embarks on expansive search for disloyalty as administration-wide purge escalates,” Washington Post, February 21, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/were-cleaning-it-out-trump-embarks-on-expansive-search-for-disloyalty-as-administration-wide-purge-escalates/2020/02/21/870e6c56-54c1-11ea-b119-4faabac6674f_story.html; Adam Serwer, “The First Days of the Trump Regime,” Atlantic, February 19, 2020, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/02/trump-regime/606682/
  9. [9]Griff Witte, “In Cold War travels, Bernie Sanders found much to admire behind enemy lines. Now that’s a problem for his campaign,” Washington Post, February 24, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/in-cold-war-travels-bernie-sanders-found-much-to-admire-behind-enemy-lines-now-thats-a-problem-for-his-campaign/2020/02/24/fd02fb50-572a-11ea-8753-73d96000faae_story.html

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