You might have read Kevin Drum’s excellent, insightful piece on Mother Jones yesterday, where he blamed Bernie Sanders for the fact that Hillary Clinton is losing to Donald Trump. It included arguments like this one:
I reserve most of my frustration for Bernie Sanders. He’s the one who convinced these folks that Clinton was in the pocket of Wall Street.
That’s a hard-hitting take from a writer who is clearly done with hiding the truth about Sanders. I share Drum’s frustration, and would like to double down on his argument and even go a step further: Bernie is to blame for every single bad thing happening to Clinton in this election and in her life generally, with no exceptions. Here are five ways that Sanders sabotaged her chances to become president.
1. Bernie made Hillary vote for the war in Iraq
Much is made of the fact that Bernie stuck to his principles and voting against the Iraq invasion, but why don’t we ever hear about his conversation with Clinton that preceded that vote? It’s as simple as digging up archival Library of Congress audio, but apparently that’s too much legwork for your average lamestream journalist. Not for me, though. I got the tapes. Here’s how it went down:
Bernie: How are you voting on Iraq?
Hillary: Against, obviously. The evidence is threadbare at best, and there’s no telling what kind of powder keg we’ll be setting off in the Middle East even if we do manage to depose Saddam. I don’t want the blood of American soldiers and the destabilization of an entire region on my conscience, and if that attitude goes against the current political climate, so be it—I have the courage to stand firm, and I’m secure in the knowledge that I’m doing the right thing. Maybe I’m alone in this, but I think core values should mean more than the changeable direction of the political winds, and I’m confident that history will judge me kindly.
Bernie: Totally, totally. Although 9/11, and all that. But I’m with you for the most part. Still, I think it would be kind of hilarious if we voted different ways. I’m bored just doing the same old predictable thing all the time.
Hillary: I fail to see the humor in that, but as a woman who is relatively new to the Senate, I feel a powerful historical current demanding that I conform and mute my voice—a force so powerful that only a complete chauvinist would hold any actions taken under its influence against me. So yes, ha ha, what a concept, Bernie!
Bernie: Want to flip a coin, and whoever wins votes against, and the other votes for?
Hillary: None of this makes sense to me. And yet, as a woman struggling to make it in a man’s world, here are pressures on me to show that I can be one of the guys and not just a shrill harridan. I am powerless against this silent oppression. I will do your coin flip.
Bernie: I call heads. It’s heads. I’ll vote against.
Bernie never shows her the coin.
Horrible, isn’t it? It gets worse: Similar situations played out over the years with Libya, her opposition to gay marriage, welfare reform, the Wall Street bailout, the Patriot Act, the Patriot Act reauthorization, the TPP, the Keystone Pipeline, offshore oil drilling, super PACs, Glass-Steagall, a $15 minimum wage, and the death penalty. Through all that time, he never once showed her the coin.
2. Bernie said Clinton was beholden to corporate America, and therefore made it true
By saying that Clinton gave paid speeches to Wall Street firms to the tune of millions, or that she sat on the board of Wal-Mart, or that she took huge donations from major banks, or that she had a super PAC, Bernie Sanders literally made those things true. I’m not even arguing, as Kevin Drum did, that he brought them to the attention of the American public (who, by the way, have no right to know such facts). I’m going where even an iconoclast like Drum wouldn’t go, and saying that he actually brought these facts into existence by verbalizing them.
Can I strictly disprove anything he said? No, not now, in this current moment. But were they true before he said them? Or is Sanders capable of conjuring past realities by the mere act of pronouncing them in the present? Can we definitively say he is not the architect of our universe, a demon god living among us, despoiling all that is perfect and virtuous (Hillary)? Did he wake up one morning, say the word “Hitler,” and invoke history’s worst villain? Could he whisper the words “eternal darkness” and bring our beautiful world to a sudden and savage end? Did he mispronounce the word “Zima” at one of his fashionable D.C. pubs and afflict Earth with the Zika virus?
Whether you agree with me or just think I’m raising some excellent points, you can’t deny that these are all questions.
3. Bernie kept talking up “these cool new private email servers” around Hillary just before she became Secretary of State
Anytime he was within earshot, he’d start going on and on about private email servers, and how they were “super ill” and “more authentic” than the lame government servers, and how you could pretty much send the “dopest fucking chatz” off a private server. Then when Hillary would ask him about it, he’d get all shady and go real quiet, knowing it would stoke her interest. The only thing he’d even say, when she pressed him, was “they’re pretty obscure, I doubt you could even get one.” It was classic Iago stuff, slowly ratcheting up her curiosity until she was basically like, “It’s driving me crazy, I have to have one of these new private servers.” Then she sent Huma Abedin to IKEA, and the rest is history.
As a final coup, he ratted her out to the FBI and the Russian hackers at the same time, and then masterfully played the “bigger man” by refusing to talk about the emails throughout the campaign. It’s sinister shit.
4. Bernie Sanders wrote a book called “The Best Way to Handle Potential Negative PR Situations in Politics is to Immediately Adopt a Bunker Mentality, Look Guilty as Hell Even When You are Not, Say Absolutely Nothing Until Somebody Makes You When a Candid Explanation Would Have Put the Story to Bed, Allow Other Parties to Control the Narrative Until it Spins Way Out of Your Control, at Which Point Release Trickles of Information that are Often False or Misleading and Which Will Inevitably be Disproved by the Next Batch of Information, Lending Credence to Your Opponents Even if They Had No Ground to Stand On Originally, Until Even the Baffled Leftist Press Can’t Ignore the Story and are Almost Compelled to Give it New Momentum, and then Keep This Up for an Entire Fucking Career Until Anyone with Any Semblance of Common Sense is Forced to Arrive at the Conclusion that You are Fundamentally Dishonest and Even the People That Desperately Want You to Win are Constantly Like, Jesus Christ, What the Hell is She Doing, is She Trying to Lose, It’s Like, My God, How Can You Be in Politics This Long and Still Manage to React With the Worst Possible Instincts Every Single Time There’s Even a Very Mild Crisis? I Mean, Fuck.”
He gives her a new, updated copy each year on her birthday.
5. Bernie is actually Donald Trump’s father
Have you noticed that Trump refuses to release a full, comprehensive medical report? Conspiracy theories abound—it could be that his body is filled head-to-toe with nothing but fish eggs—but there’s one theory that nobody has yet had the courage to say out loud. What if it’s because Trump already has the report, and it says this right at the end: “Oddly, Donald Trump shares 100 percent of his genetic material with Vermont Senator Bernard Sanders.” (I don’t know exactly how genetics work, but I think my terminology is accurate.)
Need proof? Consider these three bits of evidence: Both are from New York, neither man can pronounce the letter “h,” and when Donald Trump rejected an offer to debate Sanders, he said, “why would I debate my own father?”
If true, this would mean Sanders literally spawned Donald Trump, and has been secretly campaigning against Hillary this entire time in order to weaken her candidacy so that his big blustery failson could become president. It’s tempting to shake your head and grudgingly give him credit for conceiving such a brilliant plan, but the sad truth that it may doom America to never having its very own Khaleesi slay kween.
So, as you see from these examples, Drum nailed it with his “blame Bernie” take at Mother Jones, and all the simpering little “Hillary is a terrible candidate who nobody trusts, takes no accountability for her actions, seems to have no core principles, and is pulling off the insane feat of matching Trump’s historic unpopularity and turning this into a close election” truthers are way off base. It all comes back to Bernie, and I wish more people would recognize that. Facts are facts, and until we make an honest appraisal of our own shortcomings—rather than living in a carefully constructed landscape of total denial because, like conservatives, we can’t bear to consider that there is something fundamentally wrong with our worldview, and that the lion’s share of blame lies with us, not with hazy bogeymen that we invent in desperation to stave off the terrifying prospect of coming face-to-face with our own critical errors of thought and action—there will be no chance of victory.