Friday, February 05, 2016

Bernie Shows He Is A Politician Willing To Stretch The Truth

(This image of Bernie/Hillary is from Politicususa.)

One thing we have learned from this Democratic presidential campaign is that Bernie Sanders is much like other politicians -- not afraid to stretch the truth when he thinks it will benefit him. I think this is shown by his claim to be the only "progressive" in the race. While a silly argument can be held over who is the "purist" progressive, denying Hillary Clinton's longtime support for progressive causes is just failing to tell the truth.

Sanders also implies that Clinton has been bought by Wall Street because she "has" a super-pec and he doesn't. That's also not the truth. Neither one "has" a super-PAC, because having connections between a super-PAC and a campaign is against the law. Clinton is supported by outside super-PACs, and so is Sanders (at least three of them).

Perhaps one of the most egregious examples of his willingness to stretch the truth is on same-sex marriage. Sanders has claimed that while he has long been a supporter of same-sex marriage, Clinton is late to the cause. But the truth is different.

The truth is that both have long believed same-sex marriages should be allowed -- but both have opposed federal action to make that a reality. When asked in 2005 whether Vermont should allow same-sex marriages, Bernie's answer was no. It was not until after Vermont legalized same-sex marriages in 2009 (only 6-7 years ago) that Sanders publicly voiced support for those marriages. And as late as 2007, he was saying that legalizing same-sex marriages should be left up to the individual states.

In other words, he was advocating for the status quo at that time -- that states should have the right to deny equality to same-sex couples. At that time, most progressives had already climbed on the marriage equality bandwagon. But Bernie, evidently afraid such a view might hurt him politically, was not ready to do that. And that view, which he espoused, would have resulted in many states still banning same-sex marriages today. Fortunately, the Supreme Court stepped in and changed that.

The fact is that neither Bernie nor Hillary had the political courage to support nationwide marriage equality until it was clear that a majority of the public supported it. That's sad, but fortunately both have now caught up with progressives (and others) in this country. Both have evolved, and now support same-sex marriage equality. And both now support outlawing discrimination in the workplace against the LGBT community (also supported by an overwhelming majority of Americans).

I'm glad that both candidates now see the light on equality -- but don't let anyone tell you that is a view Bernie has always espoused. That is simply a lie, and it's not the only one coming from the Sanders campaign.

No comments:

Post a Comment

ANONYMOUS COMMENTS WILL NOT BE PUBLISHED. And neither will racist,homophobic, or misogynistic comments. I do not mind if you disagree, but make your case in a decent manner.