Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Bernie-Bashing Backlash Bonanza

To say that Elizabeth Warren's accusation of sexism against Bernie Sanders doesn't pass the smell test is the understatement of the year. Even total nostril blockage would not quench the stench of her allegation that he told her at a private dinner that a woman could never win the presidency. What he likely said was that Donald Trump would act like the sexist pig that he is toward any woman candidate.

Likely, given that Bernie has always stood up for women and Elizabeth does have this disturbing history of, ahem, exaggerating stuff, bending the truth, or even making things up.

What really reeks is the desperation in Warren's faltering campaign. It joins in lockstep stinkiness with the desperation of the oligarch-controlled media borg. Right on the eve of the last "debate" prior to the Iowa caucuses, CNN chose to run an anonymously-sourced story about the private dinner setting of his alleged remark, a conversation which Warren initially vowed would remain private, thus only adding to the intrigue. After several hours, she issued a statement confirming the unconfirmed CNN hit job, which was broadcast with glee by the New York Times and the whole crew of usual media suspects.

The themes of sexism and the threat to "party unity" will no doubt be the dramatic manufactured focal points of the "debate." The game show emcees ("moderators") will keep both their nostrils and their ears carefully stuffed with cotton balls as they corral the candidates into the desired tag team whose goal is to stamp Bernie into the ground. Never having had to develop the ability to actually think on the job, their careerist journalistic brains were themselves replaced by wads of cotton stuffing quite a while ago. Their minds have the handy dual function of absorbing the ooze of the plutocratic agenda while at the same time acting as protective barriers against any outside democratic contamination.

Poor Joe Biden will probably not join in the bashing with any great gusto, given his own history of sexism combined with that nasty hair-sniffing habit that the media has long since forgotten in its zeal to protect him from the Ukrainegate-based Trumpian slime machine.

Hopefully Sanders is primed and ready for the buckets of slime that are only beginning to be hurled his way. Hopefully he won't preface his defense with "Elizabeth is a good friend of mine, and she can absolutely win this thing!" 

Because judging from the backlash against Warren, the ears, noses, throats and brains of his base of supporters are absolutely clear and cottonball-free. #RefundWarren, a Twitter campaign demanding that she return donations from her small-dollar supporters, is taking off like a blast of turbo-charged nasal spray. (Notwithstanding the concern-trolling mainstream media package warnings to progressives about about the dangerous pro-Trump "rebound effects" of their righteous indignation)

Stay tuned. The ratings for the contrived slug-fest gleefully marketed by the New York Times as "Mom and Dad Are Fighting!" promise to be better than initially expected.


New York Times columnist and MSNBC personality Michelle Goldberg cloyingly advises liberals to move past the contrived Bernie/Liz battle, which originally started with Warren's accusation that he was "attacking her" via campaign workers pointing to the fact that she has well-heeled support. Goldberg sniffs that this stuff is too silly to even talk about -  before she then proceeds to spend her whole column talking about it. Her essay is essentially a thinly disguised call for Bernie to quit the race because, apparently, Warren is the only candidate who can provide that all-important "party unity"  that the Democratic establishment is so concerned about.

Midway through her piece, she casually mentions that since her husband advises the Warren campaign, she was really, really hesitant about even writing her column endorsing Warren. But needs must, when "party unity" trumps relief for the sick, the jobless, the underpaid, the desperate.

It's still all about the upper middle class pathological grief over Hillary Clinton's defeat:
Attacking another candidates’ supporters rather than her record is kind of obnoxious, but as far as political combat goes, it was pretty mild. The reason it caused a small uproar is that in much of the Democratic Party, there’s tremendous resentment of Sanders left over from 2016. Many believe he weakened Hillary Clinton by dragging out the primary — at one point even threatening acontested convention — and then only halfheartedly rallying his fans behind her when it was over. Warren alluded to this anger in a fund-raising email keyed to the Politico article that said, “We can’t afford to repeat the factionalism of the 2016 primary.”
"Many believe" is the same kind of unsourced weasel-wording smear tactic as the all-purpose "some say."

My published response to Goldberg:
How does the Sanders campaign pointing out Warren's poll-verified voting demographic amount to "attacking" her?
If this little kerfuffle is such a little kerfuffle, by amplifying it Michelle Goldberg only adds to the manufactured hysteria, and just in time for the latest episode of the Gong Show, I mean the "debate." If Warren thinks Bernie is "trashing her" simply by pointing out differences in their bases then I hate to think of a President Warren's epic meltdowns when the Republicans start trashing her for real every two minutes.
  By playing the faux-feminist victim card here, she actually disempowers other female politicians. Worse still, she is playing the crumpled Hillary card. Remember how well that pitiful ploy worked out to achieve "party unity" once upon a time? Bernie campaigned for her as soon as she was nominated. Then he was blamed for not having the magical Svengali touch to entice his supporters to actually vote for her.
The long-awaited smear campaign against Bernie has begun in earnest. The only surprising thing is that Warren has chosen to be an integral part of it.

 Goldberg's colleague Paul Krugman seemingly wrote his own anti-Bernie column before the manufactured kerfuffle over trashing and sexism broke out. Because all his does is drag out the same old narrative about Medicare For All being the terrible thing that's destroying party unity. If you want to overcome "Trump's Plot Against Health Care," then you'd better shut up and vote for somebody who will fight to the death for the restrictive, junky, predatory insurance policy that you might be lucky enough to still actually possess. In the meanwhile, don't get upset about not having guaranteed coverage. Be upset because Trump lied about protecting your pre-existing conditions!

Krugman sounds the dire warning:
Make no mistake: Health care will be on the ballot this November. But not in the way ardent progressives imagine.Democrats running for president have spent a lot of time debating so-called Medicare for all, with some supporters of Bernie Sanders claiming that any politician who doesn’t demand immediate implementation of single-payer health care is a corporate tool, or something. But the reality is that whatever its merits, universal, government-provided health insurance isn’t going to happen anytime soon.
My published retort:
 The only pre-existing condition Trump saved is that of the top 0.1% owning as much wealth as the bottom 90%.
That grotesque reality is precisely why Medicare For All is such a "tough sell." The oligarchs own our political duopoly as well as corporate media conglomerate. They spread the fear and the misinformation that make people feel nervous about losing their precarious, expensive coverage to a more equitable program covering everybody from cradle to grave with no premiums, deductibles, networks, co-pays or surprise bills from private equity vultures.
  One of the leading questions in polls is "do you know that Medicare For All would make your private coverage disappear?" -- the implication being that there looms a coverage gap of epic proportions.
 Paul Krugman does his own "there is no alternative" part by labeling those of us who demand what exists in every other advanced nation "ardent progressives" who just cannot understand that single payer is impossible even with a Democratic majority. That statement says more about the pundits and politicians in thrall to the oligarchs than it does about the "ardent progressives."
In other words, if we don't adhere to the status quo of 84.2 million of our fellow citizens staying uninsured or underinsured, Trump will up the killing ante even more.
 It's like telling the people of Flint they're better off with the toxic water they already have, what with the uncertainty and the fear that new lead-free pipes might cause.
Harking back to the sexism theme now in vogue, I got a chuckle from a simile-averse mansplaining retort from "Michael" of The Bronx. Here's what the "woke" gender-conscious New York Times, which claims that it moderates every single reader comment, saw fit to publish right below my own comment:

@Karen Garcia: A couple of your statements in your letter reveals a tendency to hysteria, with a zeal that makes you prone to believe false narratives and propaganda. First you say that Krugman's incremental (and realistic) approach "says more about the pundits...", and then you mention the Flint toxic water situation. I suggest that you investigate more thoroughly the lead levels in Flint to the lead levels in other communities and nationally, and the history of the problem. Kevin Drum at Mother Jones would be a good resource.




Jay–Ottawa said...

I'm going to let slide Warren's cheap shot at Bernie the Meek. After all, not to appear as a bully, I think it better that women confront women on their faults; it would not be proper for a man to pile on. I shall instead toss an unmentionable epithet at the male mentioned at the bottom of Karen's essay.

With the retort of Michael from the Bronx in mind I realize that many fancy terms are not only sex sensitive, they can also be employed in debate as a cheap diversion to dismiss an opponent's sound arguments. Such usage may have become more widespread with a modernist Viennese doctor called Sigmund Freud.

In men a serious resentment over gross injustice is called 'anger,' which of course is noble, even if the angry male acts violently and out of all proportion due to his anger. The next step in that direction sociologically is called war supported by the chant "support our troops."

In women an identical resentment over injustice is called 'hysteria,' an acceptable term that easily slips by NYT moderators. Hysteria is defined as something strictly feminine and always deficient: "a psychological disorder ... whose symptoms include conversion of psychological stress into physical symptoms (somatization), selective amnesia, shallow volatile emotions, and overdramatic or attention-seeking behavior."

I have read the Mother Jones article mentioned by Michael of the Bronx and have no idea what the hell that has to do with the point Karen was making in support of national healthcare sooner rather than incrementally never.

Because of widely known limitations in the male anatomy, it is impossible for men to evoke a state of hysteria. Men do, however, have a body part (unmentionable here) common to both sexes that may apply as a critical descriptor for their conduct whenever in debate with women, when they have nothing, they resort to cheap Freudian put downs, like 'hysteria.'

gregory said...

I think this is going to degenerate into the press cheering, "Let's you and him fight!" Bernie and Elizabeth, if they're smart and lucky, will move past this.

Annie said...

Political Incorrectness Alert!

I don't believe Bernie would ever say such a thing about a woman not being elected, even if he believed it was true. UNLIKE ME! Not only do I believe it's TRUE but I've been saying so for the past year to anyone who will listen.

A woman can't be elected for the simple reason that we aren't electing the leader or President of a country, we're electing an emperor and Commander in Chief of a Corporate Global Military Empire. A woman will always be viewed as unsuited for such a powerful role requiring strength and decisiveness.

As long as we are this global empire, no woman - except a phony although smart, militaristic, blowhard running on 'Strong' and 'Fight' and whose experienced husband stands close behind her to advise and prop her up - can persuade the corporate media with promises of access and money to unanimously endorse her and thus come close to having the voters elect her. No way. I'll tell you why else by being even more politically correct.

Now I'm really going to get rocks thrown at me, because I believe that any woman who stands by her man year after year, decade after decade, and depends on him for advice, collaboration and decision-making, inevitably lacks the experience to stand on her own two feet and exercise good judgment, and doesn't learn to trust herself, instead trusting advisors for everything and as a result, she blames everyone else for her failings. Ring a bell?

Here's why. It's a matter of experience, society, and personal choices. Married or single, men are as a rule more autonomous. They're also given deference by other men as well as by women. Women need more self awareness of this. Yes, society has disadvantaged women and others, but often the accommodations we choose to make also play a role. Hillary made a lot of those accommodations staying with Bill because she needed him. She's old school and could not stand on her own when it came to politics and natural good judgement and she knew it. Ditto for Warren who is reaching out to Hillary for advice.

On the other hand, IMHO, a woman who has spent years single, divorced, or widowed has to handle on her own any situation that arises, similar to men regardless of their marital status. As a result, she develops confidence, strength, and power, becoming even better able to handle any situation that arises simply because she's had to, sink or swim, win or lose. (I'm thinking Martha Steward and Oprah). Then there's wannabes like Hillary and Elizabeth Warren who want to be seen as strong, independent, capable women, but come across as trying too hard and ending up looking inauthentic.

In Hillary's case, I give her a lot of credit for realizing she had to project strength and gravitas to be taken seriously. Elizabeth Warren just doesn't get it nor does she have what it takes, no matter the cheap tricks she uses to try to get it. She runs around like a chicken with her head cut off, flapping wildly. Hardly Presidential.

Anyway, if we were a NORMAL country, a woman could, would, and should be elected. But it won't happen in this culture until there's a major change in priorities. Bernie Sanders has what it takes to effect a paradigm shift which results in a change in fundamentals, from global to domestic affairs and with a concern for the real national security - of the people. He can set the stage like no other candidate which will lead to our first woman President, but the groundwork has to be laid first, something Obama failed to do.

The first woman President will be someone who has grown up as an adult first and foremost, not a traditional, identity driven, politically correct woman - someone like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Only through a President Sanders will the fundamentals be changed in such a way that someone authentic like AOC gets 'A Fighting Chance' to become President. Put that in your peacepipe and smoke it, Senator Warren.

Stink Stank Stunk said...

Karen at her best, giving them both barrels.

I believe Bernie will weather this with his usual grace.

Annie said...

Elizabeth Warren is lame.

She waits until she's sinking in the polls, 5 years after an alleged sexist remark by Bernie that she 'leaked' to the press then 'verified' (ala the IC's modus operandi), and just weeks before Iowa, to shamelessly play the sexist card on Bernie.

She even refused to shake his hand after the debate like an aggrieved victim, making Bernie look like a guilty party trying to make up and she's not ready to forgive - straight out of the Clinton playbook. Nice move, Liz. I can almost hear Hillary cackling.

So why has Warren been shaking Bernie's hand, hugging him, and adopting all his policies (before backtracking) up to now? It's not like he made the alleged sexist remark last week. It's because she relied on an 'I'm with Bernie' message to associate herself with him just as Hillary did with Bill, and for the same reason - training wheels and a coattail ride typical of old school 'feminism'. Now that she's slipping off, it's his fault of course, bad old sexist Bernie.

Good thing Biden isn't a creepy old man who touches, sniffs, and strokes younger women, because Warren is positioning herself to be his VP running mate.

Jay–Ottawa said...

For a long time, Bernie and Liz were 'Not Just Friends, More than Friends,' but now he's in the doghouse.

"She even refused to shake his hand after the debate like an aggrieved victim, making Bernie look like a guilty party...." -- Annie's Lying Eyes

Warren keeps providing evidence she's proof of that sexist remark Bernie didn't make.

Bernie's latest note to self: Next time Liz and I have a private chat I must remember to bring along a female stenographer.

Annie said...

Wow, Liz stuck her tomahawk in Bernie's back by calling HIM the liar!