Sunday, April 03, 2016

Where's The "Positive Campaign" Bernie Promised To Run ?

When Bernie Sanders tossed his hat in the ring, he promised to run a positive campaign -- a campaign based only on the issues. He has not done that. He has run a campaign of lies -- lies about his primary opponent.

With no proof at all (because none exists), he has accused Hillary Clinton of being dishonest, of being controlled by Wall Street and the corporations, of getting most of her campaign donations from special interests (like the fossil fuel industry), and of flip-flopping on the issues.

None of those charges are true, but that doesn't seem to matter to Sanders (or his supporters, who gleefully pass on the lies). He has proved himself to be just a politician -- not much better than the GOP politicians (who excel at campaigning on lies). I am sad to see this, because I used to respect Bernie Sanders (and even donated to his last senate campaign).

Bill Palmer at Daily News Bin puts this well in the following article:

Two months ago Bernie Sanders came under the mistaken sudden impression that he could win. Perhaps his advisors sold him on that nonsense so he would remain in the race longer before dropping out, so they could keep getting paid. Regardless of who planted to seed, Sanders went as negative and dishonest toward Hillary Clinton as possible. He was counting on the media to ignore his hypocrisy and continue reporting on him with kid gloves, because their “underdog good guy” narrative about him has been too ratings-friendly to poke any holes in just yet.

And sure enough, the media mostly let him get away with it. Sanders and his campaign faked the endorsements of major entities, and even when those groups cried foul, the national media ignored it. He embarked on misleading claims about Clinton’s speeches to Wall Street, attacking her character after having promised he wouldn’t engage in personal attacks. He claimed that every move the Democratic Party made was a conspiracy against him, even in the instances where he was obviously cheating. Last week he even put out a press release publicly thanking Clinton for having agreed to a debate in New York, when Clinton had actually said no to the debate. But that was just the warm up act.

I dutifully documented all of this, because it felt editorially appropriate. When the “candidate of ideas” morphs into just another scheming politician, it becomes time to cover him as scrutinizingly as any other candidate. But perhaps because I was the only one willing to go there, I sure took heat for it. Even my liberal friends and journalism colleagues, many of whom have told me privately that they think Sanders is an buffoon, suggested that I shouldn’t criticize his antics. Perhaps they were understandably queasy about the idea of having to admit that he fooled us all.

Finally, after months of Bernie Sanders growing progressively dirtier, and nearly everyone in the media but me letting him get away with it, Hillary Clinton had enough of him yesterday. She said she was “sick” of the Sanders campaign lying about her. The response from Sanders today: he wants her to apologize for finally calling him out on his torrent of dishonesty. What a sick son of a you-know-what he turned out to be.

There was a part of me that wanted to be wrong all along these months. Perhaps Bernie Sanders would quickly regain his conscience, stop the dishonest antics, and get back to the clean campaign of ideas that won people over in the first place – meaning I’d have been taking him to the woodshed all this time for no reason. But as of today there’s obviously no hope of that. Confronted head on with his own dishonest tactics, Sanders has decided to make it his opponent’s fault. It confirms and justifies every negative thing I’ve reported about him over the past two months, sadly.

(The caricature of Bernie Sanders is by DonkeyHotey.)

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