Election 2016

Is Bernie Sanders as Big a Joke Candidate as Donald Trump?

Leading media Democrats want you to think so. Here's why they're wrong about Sanders and Trump.

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On April 1 (of all days), Bernie Sanders, the independent Vermont senator who won big in the Democratic primary in Wisconsin last night, gave an interview to New York's Daily News.

The transcript portrays a guy who, though a mayor, congressman, and senator for more years than most of us have been alive, seems to have a firm grasp of virtually no real facts, deep analysis, or basic understanding of legislative processes and legal authorities about anything.

At least that's the response from the centrist liberal media, which we can safely assume prefers Hillary Clinton to the self-defined (though poorly defined!) "democratic socialist." Vox and Slate have come out against Sanders' many mistakes, gaps in knowledge, etcetera, while the Wash Post's Jonathan Capeheart found no fewer than "9 things Bernie Sanders should have known about in that Daily News interview" but didn't.

Among Sanders' parade of horribles, says Capeheart, was answering "I don't know," when asked whether President Obama was correct in taking authority to conduct drone strikes against ISIS from the CIA and giving it to the military.

Paris was attacked. Istanbul was attacked. Brussels was attacked and is basically a bedroom community for terrorists seeking to destabilize Europe. And several African nations have been terrorized by Islamic State affiliates. That Sanders "[doesn't] know the answer" to whether the president has the right policy against the Islamic State is unacceptable.

Let the record show that, though I will never vote for Bernie Sanders, I like it whenever a presidential candidate admits the limit of his or her knowledge.

Capeheart and the other critics have similar things to say about Sanders' responses to queries about breaking up the banks and prosecuting banktards for crimes against humanity and all the rest: "He should have been able to lecture his interrogators into a stupor with his detailed knowledge. Instead, Sanders sounded slightly better than a college student caught off-guard by a surprise test in his best class just before finals."

Well, sure. He should have had better answers. Or at least more stupefying ones.

I have no sympathy for Bernie Sanders, whom I think is an economic illiterate (innumerate?) and still talks like he just came, dazzled, from the original New York debut of Waiting for Lefty. If you grew up in or around New York City and are over the age of 50, every other person you knew growing up was some version of him. Maybe an Italian or Irish Catholic instead of a Jewish person, maybe even a self-hating WASP, but FFS, the world was once lousy with people holding exactly the same worldview as Bernie still does.

But it also doesn't take a genius to see what's going on in media tut-tuts of Sanders and, in a similar way, with legitimate criticisms of Donald Trump's policy chops (short version: He has none).

Centrist Democrats in the media are absolutely dumbfounded by the ability of Bernie Sanders to connect not just with embryonic-hippie college students but large swaths of Democratic primary voters (how many contests has he won in a row now?). Hillary Clinton should be sewing up the Donkey Party nomination right about now and, while the Super Delegates (and Jimmy Carter!) will give her more than enough cushion to mail it in until the DNC this summer, there's no question that Sanders has revealed a serious problem within the Democratic Party. Indeed, it's almost as serious as the problem that is cleaving apart the GOP.

Simply put: Many Democrats aren't buying what Hillary Clinton and the party establishment is selling any more than Republicans are buying what their party's establishment is selling. Clinton has a long track record not of serving the gays, the poors, the immigrants, and all the rest for whom her heart currently bleeds. She has spent far too much time servicing the wealthys, the powerfuls, and the well-connecteds. Like poor Jeb Bush, she has some real last-name-association issues, especially in an era where even conservative Republicans are assailing NAFTA and free trade as one of the major problems in today's overburdened, over-regulated, over-bailed-out economy. On top of that, Clinton was an Amtrak-style train wreck as secretary of state, presiding over (if not cheerleading for) any number of stupid interventions here, there, and everywhere.

She is still running as if her lengthy resume is enough to silence all critics, without realizing that our experiences over the past 20 years are precisely the reason why 54 percent of Americans think unfavorably of her. Her resume is her problem! Clinton and her pals in the press are right to call out Sanders on his stupidities (Vox, for instance, rightly notes that Sanders' "fair trade" ideas would doom the wretched of the Earth to even worse poverty). But they are all still working under the assumption that Sanders is somehow illegitimate because he is not Clinton.

To their minds, Sanders is precisely the sort of crypto-commie Sandalista who voted for McGovern and before that, Gene McCarthy (RFK was too right-wing back in the day and, as the protagonist of Steve Erickson's Rubicon Beach puts it, there was a moral difference between supporting the candidate who merely recited poetry and the one who actually wrote it). Just as Donald Trump is the gargoyle version of exactly what the Republican Party has been preaching for decades now, Bernie Sanders is the return of the repressed when it comes to all the Democratic blather about helping the poor, taking it to those Wall Street fat cats, and, what was it that Obama told Joe the Plumber…? Oh yeah, income redistribution, spreadin' the wealth around. None of that happened in the way that Democrats promised and so a chunk of their voters is pissed.

The 2016 election is to date the most insane spectacle in my (relatively short!) lifetime, filled with situational Democrats and Republicans making serious runs for those parties' nominations, the quick dismissal of a money-rich favorite named Bush, discussions of sex organs, and who knows what fresh hell once the second hour of John Stossel's Libertarian Party candidates debate airs this Friday at 9 P.M. Eastern on Fox Business.

But the 2016 election is also the most clarifying political spectacle of my lifetime. Precisely because of the interlopers, Sanders and Trump, each of the major parties is being held to account for its promises and rhetoric stretching back decades—and their nearly complete inability to deliver on any of the promises Republicans and Democrats made in exchange for votes. The Democrats were going to create a fairer America, one with less poverty and more opportunity and less war (because they understand the world better than all those dummy conservatives). The Republicans were going to shrink the size, scope, and spending of the federal government because THE CONSTITUTION or something. Instead, they delivered the exact opposite, while also forcefully, if inadvertently, demonstrating the utter incompetence of the federal government.

As it happens—and as a libertarian—I think the conservative and liberal, and the Republican and Democratic, agendas are misguided, incoherent, and destined to fail. But I was never the intended audience for such loose talk and false promises. The folks who were are the ones willing to burn down the two parties that have failed them so completely and so utterly.

What is it that Bob Dylan sang in the great, cryptic tune "Jokerman"?

Well, the rifleman's stalking the sick and the lame
Preacherman seeks the same, who'll get there first is uncertain
Nightsticks and water cannons, tear gas, padlocks
Molotov cocktails and rocks behind every curtain
False-hearted judges dying in the webs that they spin
Only a matter of time 'til night comes steppin' in

There's no telling what comes next in American politics. Most likely, the two parties, no matter how low they drive voter identification, will stumble on as night comes steppin' in, like Dylan's rifleman and preacherman. One of them will reach the White House in November, but who'll get there first is uncertain, yes.

This too is uncertain: Will the rest of us—the plurality that identifies as independent, the growing plurality that is identified by Gallup as libertarian, and others—sift through the smoldering ruins of the Dems and Reps, gather what is salvageable, and build a future in which politics is subjugated to its proper and smaller role in our lives, our liberties, and our pursuits of happiness?

NEXT: Life in Prison for Stealing Candy Bars in New Orleans?

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    1. Got any proof you paid up yet, welsher?

        1. just as we all know, anyway, fucking lying welsher grabastic piece of amphibian shit.

          1. Considering he didn’t leave like he promised the multiple times he got his ass handed to him, it shouldn’t really be any surprise that he would welsh on a deal.

            1. Yeah, we all know what he is, but it doesn’t hurt to keep throwing it in his face.

            2. Flacking for Hillary is Weigel’s job, so expect to see a lot of him in these parts over the next seven months.

              1. PB is a pussy.

          2. +1 Private Joker, I like you

            1. Can I go home with you and fuck your sister?

        2. How many delegates is Jeb Bush up to now? Last I looked, it seemed like he was lagging a little behind.

          1. I drew on that bet since FM had Rubio.

            (Bet was who would beat Trump).

            You fuckers just admit it – Obama is light years better than any of this cycles shitheads.

            1. He lies again! What a SHOCK!!!1!!!!!

            2. Better at what, taking his mother-in-law on taxpayer funded vacations and racking up nine trillion dollars plus in debt?

              Hillary can definitely give him in a run for his money in the pure corruption department, but yeah, he’s way better at those things than anyone.

              1. Oh sweet, a Mike M. vs. shreek throwdown? Today rules.

              2. Sanders would give his debt run-up some decent competition.

            3. Could someone put up a link to the actual bet itself?

              I’m not taking a known welsher’s word for it, after all.

              1. Can’t find it, but if memory serves it was more who would go further. I don’t think FM thought Rubio would be the overall winner, just beat Jeb.

        3. Hillary Clinton for War-Criminal-In-Chief. Fuck the jokers Trump and Sanders. They might not be as willing to nuke Somalia into oblivion.

          1. “nuke Somalia into oblivion” implies that it isn’t already there…

            1. Why would you waste a perfectly good nuke on that?

              1. Just stirring up the rubble.

  1. “Is Every Candidate as Big a Joke Candidate as Donald Trump?”. FTFY, and the answer is yes.

    1. The worst enemy of libertarians in this election are not Sanders or Trump. It is the #NeverSanders crowd and the #NeverTrump crowd. Sanders/Trump have done the best jobs of any candidates in decades at identifying the fundamental distortions in this country and the people who are responsible for them. And their ‘surprising’ support is just proof that voters do actually know what the problems are – and are amenable to listening to what can fix the damn problem. The #Never crowd are the people who are responsible for creating the mess and it doesn’t matter one whit that they utter the ‘correct’ phrases to try to gain support in opposition to those two. That #Never crowd cannot possibly be the solution to anything and they are a bunch of lying deceitful bastards who will say and do anything (including coopting every libertarian economic meme) to keep everything in their control so they can keep wrecking it all and looting everything. Shame on libertarians if they go along with the #Never crowd simply because it is much lazier and easier to just go along with whoever utters the comfortable memes.

  2. I’m skimming this post now, but I’m struck by something. After Reason helpfully pointed out that Sanders’ explicitly stated economic goal for the United States is in fact bread lines, it seems that everyone, including the Democrats could do a little more nitpicking on those issues instead of nitpicking this stuff:

    Paris was attacked. Istanbul was attacked. Brussels was attacked and is basically a bedroom community for terrorists seeking to destabilize Europe. And several African nations have been terrorized by Islamic State affiliates. That Sanders “[doesn’t] know the answer” to whether the president has the right policy against the Islamic State is unacceptable.

    Sure, even I’ve found Sanders to be the mostly harmless crazy-Uncle candidate whose candid honesty I appreciate. But let’s face it, he’s said some downright scary shit and the Democrats (to the best of my knowledge) haven’t really challenged those particular things. Could it be because the Democrats don’t have a problem with bread lines?

    1. Could it be because the Democrats don’t have a problem with bread lines?

      If you want to make an omelet you’ve got to break a few eggs, comrade.

      1. Democrats love bread lines, if the right Top Men are running them. A bigger role for the government in ensuring proper nutrition for helpless poor people. What’s not to like?

        1. well, “proper” might be taking it too far. I’d go with “wrong for different reasons”

    2. They are hoping Sanders goes away with as little damage inflicted as possible (see Trump/GOP for a real problem). Remember, not one of his colleagues has endorsed him – not even Lizzie Warren.

      1. Pay your bet, fuck knuckle.

        1. He can’t, his mom refuses to loan him any more money or even speak to him. Which is awkward, because he sleeps on her couch.

          1. Doesn’t it get crowded on there, what with Epi and all?

            1. Don’t be silly, Epi doesn’t spend the night. He’s more of a bang and leave kind of guy. He might stick around for a half hour tops if she makes him a sammich.

      2. Senators aren’t exactly lining up to endorse Cruz either.

      3. There is a reason for that; the super delegates. The Dem Est. knows that as long as Hillary keeps it close they don’t have to attack Sanders which could keep his supports at home on election day. The Repub Est have to because they don’t have super delegates to rig the primary.

    3. even I’ve found Sanders to be the mostly harmless crazy-Uncle candidate whose candid honesty I appreciate

      I thought that at first, too. The more I hear him talk, though, the more I realize how stupid (or maybe willfully ignorant, but it’s a distinction without a difference) and hateful he is.

      And even if he his harmless, he’s going to inspire someone with more self-awareness and suave who will not be harmless.

      1. In 1985 he argued that bread lines and rationing are good because otherwise rich people get all the food. To my knowledge he’s never apologized for the fact that he literally supported communism and actually worked at a Marxist kibbutz that supported Joseph Stalin.

        His beliefs are pure evil.

        1. God, Irish, you act like everyone didn’t go through a Marxist kibbutz phase at some time.

          1. It was just harmless experimentation in college!

            1. did he inhale?

          2. We already know he hates “Zionists.”

          3. I didn’t, for one.

            Nor did I go to the opposite pole and sign on as a Randian.

            There is a LOT of middle ground in between those two. That is where 99.9999999% of us live.

        2. actually worked at a Marxist kibbutz that supported Joseph Stalin

          Huh? He worked there like 10 years after Stalin had died.

          I’d be a lot more concerned about his honeymoon to the Soviet Union than the fact that he participated voluntarily in a commune. Are kibbutzes not allowed in libertopia?

          1. Kibbutzim?

          2. It was a kibbutz where they actually published newspapers mourning the death of Stalin. The fact that he chose to associate with these people is cause for worry.

            And his love of the Sandinistas and his honeymoon to the Soviet Union just provide more evidence of why the his kibbutz stay was worrisome. If he didn’t actually believe this shit, he wouldn’t have continued his flirtations with international communism.

            1. Personally, I would find it more concerning that he was only at the kibbutz for a short period of time. If socialism is so great, why didn’t he stay?

              1. The socialist utopia had already been created there. He needed to go abroad to make the whole world see the glory of socialist societal engineering.

            2. Yeah, I don’t think I agree with that. I’m okay with voluntary communism. And I’m not sure what you mean by “If he didn’t actually believe this shit” — which shit?

              1. I don’t care that Bernie was at the kibbutz, as is his right. I care that this says he has beliefs I wouldn’t want in a president.

                I’m not arguing he should be jailed. I’m arguing he shouldn’t be voted for.

                1. Okay, I’m just saying the kibbutz may be like, the least bad thing he’s ever done. It’s less evil than being a senator, for example.

                  1. Isn’t the issue the combination of all of it? As in, no single one thing Bernie has said or done is the worst thing ever… it’s the whole thing baked into an awful cake that smells like Stalinism?

                    1. Yes. You could say ‘oh, he didn’t know it was a Stalinist kibbutz!’ You could say ‘he didn’t realize how fucked up the Sandinistas were!’

                      I don’t know how you could justify the Soviet Union trip, but I’m sure you could.

                      All of it together though makes it seem like he sure loves Communism.

                    2. Isn’t the issue the combination of all of it?

                      Don’t jump in the middle of Irish and Nikki’s hate-flirting. There’s nothing to gain by it.

                    3. Oooh! So if it ends up working, that is when you get the hate….um, nevermind.

                    4. …but, but, but it’s not REAL Stalinism, it’s Democratic Stalinism.

                  2. It’s less evil than being a senator, for example.

                    *applause*

                  3. It’s less evil than being a senator, for example.

                    You know I’m down with the whole “down with people in power” thing, but merely sitting in a senate seat is not as evil as actively attempting to bring more starvation into your political district. You can be a sitting senator and spend your entire term cock-blocking government. Which would be NOT evil.

          3. So a neo-Nazi should be viewed as aomeone going through a phase?

            1. It depends on what the neo-Nazi does. If he just likes to dress up in a brown uniform and goose-step around town, I would say the libertarian thing would be to let him have his fun. If he starts to proselytize for Trump, then we speak out against him. Same thing for Bernie. I see nothing wrong with hanging out at a kibbutz and visiting Soviet Union. It’s the fact that he wants power over others now that is a problem.

              In conclusion, Nikki continues to be the best.

              1. In the context of running for the POTUS…

        3. It is good to see that Sander’s latest successes (actual losses in terms of delegates to the finish line) have gotten some of the GOP antic-communists out in force doing their “Bernie is an anti-American” thing.

          He’s gotten so many easy passes and softball questions and no hard follow-up. And Hillary has been too civil to nail his a**.

          1. ” And Hillary has been too civil to nail his a**.”
            Yes Hillary shoud be fighting dirtier. Now that’s a sentence I never thought I’d write.

    4. “candid honesty”

      *CITATION NEEDED*

      1. It’s an opinion. Opinions don’t need citations.

    5. when i bring up the bread lines bit, what i usually get back is that it’s a necessary policy measure to make sure everyone has enough to eat, and isn’t bernie compassionate, unlike all those other politicians. when i explain that this isn’t how bread lines actually work, they stop talking to me.

    6. “Sanders’ explicitly stated economic goal for the United States is in fact bread lines”

      Never heard this before. Clearly I have some reading to do, because…wow…

  3. Amtrak-style train wreck

    Too soon, Nick, too soon.

    1. Not for this audience.

      1. With Amtrack’s track record by the time it is not too soon, the next wreck will have happened.

        1. That joke was off the rails!

          1. This thread is on the wrong track!

            1. We can’t gauge how bad the jokes ill get.

              1. Sorry “We can’t gauge how bad the jokes will get.”

    2. I think Nick had a loco motive.

        1. If you ever come out with a diet pill for homosexuals you could advertize that it narrows gaze

      1. I choo-choo-chuckled at that.

  4. Let the record show that, though I will never vote for Bernie Sanders

    Sad that the editor of a libertarian website needs to make this disclaimer.

    1. Well, some of the contributors did vote for Obama.

      1. But that was historic, like this year when they will vote for Clinton.

    2. Well, his vote for Obama could have just been a stepping stone.

      1. Curses, slow again.

      2. Nick didn’t vote for Obama either election.

        1. Yes he did, he just lied about it.

          1. You probably voted for Obama too!! And you’ll probably lie and say you didn’t!!

    3. wasn’t that long ago that a writer on the editor’s staff had a piece on the libertarian case for Sanders.

  5. “She is still running as if her lengthy resume is enough to silence all critics”

    Yeah, her lengthy resume of marrying a president, having a senate seat handed to her because of her name recognition, accomplishing nothing of note while a senator, losing a primary election when the whole party was backing her, and then having an absolutely horrendous run as Secretary of State.

    I am not aware of anything Hillary has ever done in the political arena that she should be proud of. It’s somewhat telling that aging feminists love Hillary when the only reason she even has a chance of winning the election is because of who she married. That doesn’t strike me as very feminist.

    1. It’s feminist to vote for Hillary. Because VAGINA!!!11!!!!

      1. ..and let us not forget that special place in hell for those who don’t.

    2. You’re not thinking like a Democrat. Think: earn credentials, check boxes, get put in charge.

      1. How good you are at something doesn’t matter to them, because no one should ever get fired. Unless they get involved with their subordinates or something… no, I guess not even then.

    3. I find it astonishing that people think Hillary has some kind of accomplishment-studded career. As noted above, her stay in the White House is not an accomplishment. Being a junior Senator from a blue state is kind of an accomplishment, I guess, but what she did with it should be more important, and that was a big steaming pile of nothing.

      And SecState? By Allah’s left testicle, has there been a SecState that presided over a bigger set of diplomatic failures and overall decline?

      1. Not only that, but backers of socialized medicine probably think she set that cause back 20 yrs. by her Hillarycare debacle. As jerry rigged as Obamacare was, Hillarycare was even more strained.

    4. All her supporters who aren’t aging feminists support her only because they think Bill will be calling the shots again once they’re in the White House.

    5. Feminists are like environmentalists. If something is colored green and marketed in the terms of environmentalism, environmentalists will support it regardless of whether or not it is actually good for the environment, like ethanol mandates. Likewise if something is a Democrat with a vagina feminists will support it regardless of whether or not it is actually good for women’s freedom.

  6. “”as Big a Joke Candidate””

    English PhD, people. That’s some poetry right there.

    “He should have been able to lecture his interrogators into a stupor with his detailed knowledge. Instead, Sanders sounded slightly better than a college student caught off-guard by a surprise test in his best class just before finals.”

    Which is funny = this is how the typical proggy type imagines their mix of shotgun-rhetorical questions & recitation of Naomi Klein-acquired distortions of fact is *supposed* to sound. “An irrefutable torrent of detailed knowledge”. They spend so much time in their own echo chambers, they consider their own never-challenged assumptions to be devastating arguments.

    Their listening to Bernie actually speak extemporaneously… outside of a stump speech… its like hearing your own voice being played back on the answering machine = “Do I really sound like *THAT*?”

    1. Detailed knowledge clearly hates the children. In depth analysis of virtually any policy proposal leads to the conclusion that it should not be undertaken. Since all proposed policies are for the children, it is clear that in depth analysis is against them.

      1. In depth analysis of virtually any policy proposal leads to the conclusion that it should not be undertaken.

        No, not necessarily. It just often ends up clarifying that it “won’t achieve anything remotely like what is claimed”, but will cost X groups a lot of time, trouble and expense, while benefiting Y groups (who usually end up being lawyers or unions) immensely.

        1. I bow to your correction. And look at my law license sadly, clearly I am not doing it right.

  7. The transcript portrays a guy who, though a mayor, congressman, and senator for more years than most of us have been alive, seems to have a firm grasp of virtually no real facts, deep analysis, or basic understanding of legislative processes and legal authorities about anything.

    WHYCOME YOU HATE’N BURNY?

    Let the record show that, though I will never vote for Bernie Sanders, I like it whenever a presidential candidate admits the limit of his or her knowledge.

    WHYCOME YOU LUV BURNY S’ MUCH?

    1. Nick, Why do you use the word ‘though’?

      The transcript portrays a guy who, though a mayor, congressman, and senator for more years than most of us have been alive, seems to have a firm grasp of virtually no real facts, deep analysis, or basic understanding of legislative processes and legal authorities about anything.

      In my experience politicians have arrogance, they have entitlement, they have greed, they have moral turpitude. They seldom have facts, analysis, or understanding of the legal basis or limits of their authority.

    2. WHYCUS U NVR CAER BOUT DEMONCRAPS???

  8. Is Bernie Sanders as Big a Joke Candidate as Donald Trump?

    Trump’s gotta outweigh him by what, at least 30 pounds? 50?

    1. That’s some nice pedanting.

      1. Nikki is a linguistic sniper, it is known. You don’t even want to know what happens if you drop a gerund in her presence.

        1. Ask her about Basque being a “pre-Indo-European” language. Do it. I dare you.

          1. Sounds interesting. Is Basque actually a pre-Indo-European language?

            1. ^ no sarcasm intended.

            2. What Doyers meant when he called Basque pre-Indo-European was that Basque was present in a certain geographic area prior to Indo-European languages moving into that same geographic area. The idea that the language itself is “pre-Indo-European” doesn’t really make sense.

              1. I want to basque in the glow of your historical and anthropological contribution.

                1. Take a rad meter, unless you want your hair to fall out and your orifices to bleed.

          2. No way, dude. The doctors weren’t able to save any of my toes after the last time.

            1. It’s not like you need them.

        2. How is she in a dipthong?

          1. Pictures?

      2. I call it a “joke.”

        1. Which is why I said it was nice. I appreciated the use of pedantry to make the joke. It was quite clever.

    2. Trump as bigger as joke by lots.

        1. Trump comme plus grand que plaisanterie par beaucoup.

          1. I’m happily married! *slaps commodious*

            1. These masturbation euphemisms are starting to get personal!

              1. X, it ain’t wanking when someone else does it to you…es ist ein Handy!

                  1. Yes, that is what makes the German nickname so fun!

                1. I dunno, Swiss, “slapping commodious” sounds awful euphemistic to me.

                  1. braggingly euphmistic

                2. “Slapping Commodious” huh, uh huh huh huh huh huh huh

              2. +1 biggus dickus

  9. okay. But who has the bigger hands?

    1. I see where this is going.

      /removes shoe

      1. +1 ‘scuse me while I whip this out.

        1. Is that an extra belly button?

  10. His answers on Wall Street/financial regulation were embarrassing. They are Palin/Trump level bad. If anything, the Washington Post article leaves out the most embarrassing parts.

    ” Daily News: I understand that. I wanted to draw a distinction, though. Because in your speech you mention the financial industry and you focused on corporate America, the greed of Wall Street and corporate America. So I wanted to get a sense of corporate America, as the agent of American destruction.

    Sanders: General Electric, good example. General Electric was created in this country by American workers and American consumers. What we have seen over the many years is shutting down of many major plants in this country. Sending jobs to low-wage countries. And General Electric, doing a very good job avoiding the taxes. In fact, in a given year, they pay nothing in taxes. That’s greed.

    That is greed and that’s selfishness. That is lack of respect for the people of this country.”

    Complying with the laws of the United States is greed. Ok bro.

    1. General Electric was created in this country by American workers and American consumers.

      No.

      1. Edison and Coffin were both American. They both worked. They both consumed. I am going to rule that statement factual.

    2. And General Electric, doing a very good job avoiding the taxes. In fact, in a given year, they pay nothing in taxes. That’s greed.

      This, all by itself, should disqualify this man from any elective office. GE did not “avoid” taxes; it used a system that it and other campaign donors paid to rig in their favor. GE legally paid no federal income tax. The company did not create that system on its own. It had plenty of help from Sanders’ peers, but his ilk never bothers to notice that elephant.

      1. i still think fondly of the time rand paul took congress to task for bringing several companies -i think ge was one- before a committee to chastise them for not paying more in taxes.

        it’s like they’re all under the impression that there are millions of people out there who send in checks to the irs above what they had to pay, because they’re not greedy bastards like everyone else.

      2. “Avoiding” taxes means to legally reduce them. If he had used “evade” that would have been inaccurate (or at least unproven).

    3. Wasn’t GE a huge donor to Obama? Didn’t the CEO of GE get a cushy position in the administration?

      1. Yes, and yes. Without resigning as CEO of GE. Conflict of interest? Never happened in the Obama administration, at least according to David Brooks.

    4. Complying with the laws of the United States is greed.

      They’re loopholes!!

    5. I believe if GE paid no corporate income taxes, it was because they made no profit that year under the laws of the US. Possibly that accounting was not honest, but this is a lot more complicated issue than ol’ Bernie lets on or probably is even capable of understanding.

      1. Or they had losses in prior years and were using the loss-carryovers to offset profits in the current year.

      1. Kandidaat Sanders is gek.

      2. Your child has some sort of mental condition.

        1. “Danish poop has a supercomputer”

        2. You owe me a new monitor and pair of pants.

          1. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

            1. The Czech’s in the male.

              1. ..cool, I was wondering when my mail-order bride was going to show up. It took them so long I think they must have grown one.

  11. Bernie wanted to grow up to be Emma Goldman; he ended up as an apparatchik.

    1. However, like Emma Goldman, he was imprisoned for a while during the Wilson administration.

      What i’m saying is, Bernie is old as fuck, people.

      1. He and OMWC used to go skinny dippin in the Jordan River way back in the day.

        1. He had a sad, wrinkly old dick then as well.

        2. Bernie is the same age as God, but they grew up in different neighborhoods.

      2. I don’t get it.

        1. Bernie is old.

          1. Old? Old fashioned? Rye and bitters? He’s got my vote!

            1. Certainly bitter, anyway. All the rye was appropriated from the counterrevolutionary peasants by the People’s Army.

              1. But there was one place the commies never checked.

                /shifts in chair uncomfortably

                1. “You are free to go”

                  /sweating guard

                2. Like the brave People’s Soldiery of the Bern Unit wouldn’t go to any lengths to locate your ass liquor.

                3. +7 long years.

                4. Albuquerque police are on the way. You better “loosen up”.

  12. You fuckers just admit it – Obama is light years better than any of this cycles shitheads.

    Whatever.

    1. 8% better?

      Sitting on a pile of $600/oz gold?

      Helping Jeb!’s transition team at the White House?

      Paying off publicly made bets?

  13. Sanders is a bigger joke than Trump. If Sanders wins the nomination, all it would take is one national ad telling people he plans to jack up government spending by 50 percent per year, and he’s finished. Trump at least wants to cut taxes.

    1. Nope! And it’s because everybody now feels like THEY are the victim, and these new policies are gonna get the money from the bad buys and give it to them on a silver platter. These people could ***care less*** that the government is gonna jack up taxes and grow.

      1. *bad guys* Apologies.

    2. Trump at least wants to cut taxes.

      No he doesn’t. His tax plan is supposed to be revenue-neutral, according to Trump.

  14. “That Sanders ‘[doesn’t] know the answer ‘s whether the president has the right policy against the Islamic State is unacceptable.”

    OK, Capeheart — if that is really your name — what’s *your* fucking answer?

    1. I bet it starts with “H” and ends with “erself.”

  15. General Electric, good example. General Electric was created in this country by American workers and American consumers.

    Que?

    1. Capital, innovation, investment, management; none of these things matter, Brooks. Just take some random group of American schlubs, throw em together, and you’ll get another General Electric in no time.

    2. By that logic, none of those Japanese auto-manufacturers should be allowed to open factories in Tennessee. Why does Bernie hate southerners?

      1. Why does Bernie hate southerners?

        They’re voting for Clinton?

      2. This is a great point. We should all bring this up with these idiots.

  16. In any compare/contrast of Sanders and Trump, you need to ask =

    Do they both *believe* their own bullshit in the same way?

    Or, “to what degree do they spout insane bullshit simply to appeal to certain people – and to what degree do they spout insane bullshit because these are their deepest-held convictions?”

    You could ask the same thing of Trump/Bernie supporters – because in the end the candidates are really just reflections of their respective popular movements.

    I think when you dwell on this it becomes clearer that the two are nothing like one another at all.

    While Trump talks of ‘repatriating remittances’ or whatever the hell that idea was… people seem to have made the mistake of *taking him seriously*

    e.g.

    “”It is uncertain whether the proposal is legally or politically feasible, the Post said””

    No shit.

    When Bernie makes nearly-identical claims of what he’d like to do with corporate overseas-trade, you could argue “its just the same!”

    I’m not sure it is. Because the people he’s selling the argument to don’t just see that as some kind of ‘rhetorical flourish’ as much as an ideal to strive towards.

    1. This is perhaps your saddest attempt at defending Trump to date.

      1. You read that as a “defense of Trump”?

        simply saying, “they’re not the same” is a defense of one?

        1. Are you arguing that people who support Trump don’t think he’s going to be tough on foreigners and that they know he’s not going to confiscate remittances from Mexicans wire home?

          1. No, i’m arguing that they both say dumb shit for different reasons.

            Trump will say anything and change his view in a minute if political opportunity arises (and its been shown not to cost him, particularly). Sanders will say exactly the same shit 8 different ways because his anti-capitalism is essential to his being, and essential to his support.

            I’m not sure how that’s any particular ‘defense’ of Trump’s brand of insanity.

            1. The point of voting for Trump is to assert that the people will choose the Republican who is going to lie to them and disappoint them rather than the establishment picking for them.

      2. Also = what are the other examples of me ‘defending Trump’ of which this is the saddest? because i don’t recall ever having done it before either.

        1. Turn in your yokel card. We’ll Make America Great Again without your help.

          1. BUT I DONT HAVE A CARD

            Both of you fuckers are retarded.

            The only thing that makes SugarFree more retarded than you is that he thinks acting as though there are only 2 possible perspectives on Trump is somehow *intellectual*.

            You’re just a freak, which is fine*

            (*and which will be cited as evidence of Trump support! Because lack of full-throated vicious, spitting hatred for The Other is by default the same as ‘Support’)

      3. I thought he was saying Trump is spouting bullshit that comes out almost randomly (ie. don’t take anything Trump says seriously, because he is a bullshit artist – but the Trumpenvolk like the bullshit, so far) while Bernie actually is giving his true beliefs (and the Berners like that).

        1. Yes, but your charitable reading doesn’t allow SF to pretend to be Lord Commissar of the In-Group, so must be ignored for convenience’s sake.

          1. Wait, SUGARFREE is Lord Commissar of the In-Group? No wonder the membership cards are so sticky.

        2. That’s what, for me, makes Sanders more problematic. He’s a true believer and those are the types of people that give you the killing fields, concentration camps, Guernica, the Inquisition, etc.

          1. The United States gives the world Guernica on a regular basis. The war crime that occurred in Guernica was aerial bombardment of civilians present in a location of military significance. Think about that for a moment in the light of events since 1937. The iconic painting condemns as an atrocity a tactic that is now accepted as a given.

            1. Yeah, the world has not gone in a good direction.

          2. But he’s got only a tiny core of support. All the rest of his votes are just votes vs. Hillary.

      4. “This is perhaps your saddest attempt at defending Trump to date.”

        Why so negative? This comment is the strongest demonstration of his mind-reading skills I’ve seen yet.

  17. The Best Possible Scenario:

    Sanders keeps plugging away and achieves a parity of elected delegates with Her Royal Cuntness.

    She seizes the nomination through super delegates, which results in a convention the likes of which we have not seen since 1968 and alienates a considerable number of her party who just cannot hold their noses tightly enough to punch the hole in her ballot.

    [yes, that is a disgusting allusion if I ever wrote one]

    Meanwhile, the Republicans have their own problems and do anything they can to keep the Trumpster from achieving his demagogic wet dream. This results in a fractured convention, the likes of which we have not seen since 1968 and results in a dark horse being chosen [does not matter which horse, by the way]

    Consequently, many decide to “feel the Johnson” and vote 3rd party. This results in no one garnering enough delegate to since the election and it goes to the House [in accordance with 12th Amendment rules] and a competent administrator is chosen.

    The outcome of all this non democratic activity? Real revolution and major changes to our 2 party system [yeah, that’s my rainbow].

    1. cinch, not since

    2. If that shit comes to pass, I’m voting libertarian like a Mofo. Til then it’s likely Cruz or Trump for me. Triple f— fascist proggies.

    3. “Consequently, many decide to “feel the Johnson” and vote 3rd party. ”
      Why is it always sexual with you libertarians?

  18. it goes to the House [in accordance with 12th Amendment rules] and a competent administrator is chosen.

    Sounds legit.

    1. “For forms of government let fools contest. What ‘ere is administered best is best.”

  19. So Sander’s ISN’T a big a joke as Trump?

    Exactly where in the article does Gillespie get around to proving that?

  20. I think you might be able to answer the headline question better by looking at the number of Sanders fans vs. Trump fans on the basis of whether or not they should know that they are supporting candidates not one should be taking seriously.

    Trump fans may not be smart enough to realize that they are being misled, but Bernie fans aren’t being misled at all. Bernie fans both understand what Bernie wants, they agree with him and they think that he can do what they want him to do if he is elected. Trump fans hear man make loud noises and cheer. They don’t believe he can do what he says, nor do they even care. They just stare up at the fireworks show, slack-jawed in awe at someone shouting their prejudices, the ones they rarely dare to even whisper. Bernie fans are proud of the dumb things they want and make no secret of it.

    So it boils down to who do you think are more dangerous: bigoted grass-root morons bolstered by a core of cynical nihilists who want to dance in the ashes or a committed corps of high-minded idiots who want what they can’t admit has always failed?

    1. In other words: both are jokes, but the joke’s on us?

      1. Basically.

      2. Aye. And ’tis a bitter and unfunny one.

    2. Trump fans may not be smart enough to realize that they are being misled, but Bernie fans aren’t being misled at all. Bernie fans both understand what Bernie wants, they agree with him and they think that he can do what they want him to do if he is elected. Trump fans hear man make loud noises and cheer. They don’t believe he can do what he says, nor do they even care. They just stare up at the fireworks show, slack-jawed in awe at someone shouting their prejudices, the ones they rarely dare to even whisper. Bernie fans are proud of the dumb things they want and make no secret of it.

      Which is no-shit almost identical to the point I made above which you construed as “Trump Support”.

      Amazing.

    3. The Trump fans understand that the GOP is going to fuck them no matter what. They don’t really know what Trump is going to do. No one does. Trump likely doesn’t know. But they reasonably figure he might not fuck them on immigration and trade. They know that the GOP will fuck them on those issues and everything else. So, they make the perfectly rational decision to support Trump knowing that he can’t be any worse. he might be better and even if he turns out to be just as bad they at least get the pleasure of seeing the GOP not be the ones fucking them.

      It really isn’t difficult to figure out. You have a group that both sides of Washington hate and take pride in screwing over. It is not surprising they will support the first guy who comes along who promises to screw Washington for a change.

      1. Exactly….you get it.

        Those on the Right, absolutely KNOW that Hillary and Bernie will fuck them. They also know, through years of it happening repeated, that the Republicans with fuck them. They absolutely KNOW that Bush, Rubio, Kascich, Cruz, etc will say the right things, them fuck them later. “that was just pillow talk, baby”

        With Trump, they don’t know. He is an unknown. He may fuck them, but there is a chance he won’t.

        So, with complete logic, Trump is the only choice. He is the only candidate who is not guaranteed to fuck over the Republican voters.
        this is why he is winning. Not substance, not policy, not character, not style, not even what he says/promises. It solely the wonderful possibility of not getting fucked for 4 years.

  21. Yeah, this whole “Bernie is totally different and abti-establishment even though he’s as establishment Democrat as it gets” bullshit really needs to die.

  22. This morning I was behind a little pickup truck with a “Bernie” sticker on the tailgate.

    This caused me to wonder if “Bozos For Bernie” shirts would sell. Wear it… ironically.

    1. What have you got against Bozo?

      Sure he was a clown but he wasn’t an idiot.

      1. Made a hell of a living on WGN.

    2. All Toyota pickup with letters scraped off so that it just says “YOT”

  23. So it boils down to who do you think are more dangerous: bigoted grass-root morons bolstered by a core of cynical nihilists who want to dance in the ashes or a committed corps of high-minded idiots who want what they can’t admit has always failed?

    History has shown the high minded idiot to be more deadly, I think.

    1. I agree, I just don’t agree with the idea that the existence of the high-minded idiots let the populist trash off the hook. (Which I know you aren’t doing, of course.)

      1. “”(Which I know you aren’t doing, of course.)””

        but which everyone else is.

        So it *doesn’t* actually boil down to who you think is ‘more dangerous’, then? there’s “hooks” involved?

  24. Assuming Bernie actually believes what he says, does that make him an idiot or a monster?

    1. Looks like a floor wax/dessert topping situation to me, hoss.

    2. The sleep of reason produces monsters.

  25. “But it also doesn’t take a genius to see what’s going on in media tut-tuts of Sanders”…The media is tut-tutting Sanders?? When? Outside of Fox, Drudge, Breitbart-I’m not seeing that.

  26. “Centrist Democrats in the media are absolutely dumbfounded by the ability of Bernie Sanders to connect not just with embryonic-hippie college students but large swaths of Democratic primary voters (how many contests has he won in a row now?)”

    Dumbfounded? Bernie is offering, nay—*demanding* more free shit for the masses than Hillary. That is why my douchebag family loves him, and ever other economic/historic dunce is feeling the Bern.

    Barf.

  27. Bernie is painted as an ignorant lunatic because he is an ignorant lunatic. You know the kind of guy who thinks totalitarian communist dictatorships are “profound” and that deodorant choices make children starve, and bread lines are a sign of success. Yes the message is sometimes coming from Hillary fans but that doesn’t mean it isn’t spot on.

  28. Neither Bernie nor Trump are joke candidates. No matter what you think of either, the reaction by their respective parties says a lot about how intellectually bankrupt our political class is. The response to both candidacies has been “you can’t say that!!” and not much else. The Sanders candidacy as much as anything asks the Democrats the simple question, “if everything you claim to be true is true, then why isn’t socialism the answer?” And the Democrats have no response to that. They can’t explain why socialism isn’t the answer and why they are not socialists or even what they are because they don’t know themselves. They don’t have an ideology. They have a collection of rationalizations for giving their supporters what they want.

    1. Trump’s campaign isn’t as single minded as Sanders but does much the same thing to the Republicans by being a center left candidate who doesn’t pretend to be a conservative. Republicans don’t agree with Trump’s positions but seem totally unable to explain why except to say “that is not conservative”. So for example, Trump supports tariffs and the Republicans can’t defend the current trade deals other than to appeal to authority (economists say this is good), resort to buzzwords (but its free trade!!!) or just claim its not conservative. Trump says we should make Japan and Europe pay for their own defense and Republicans can’t explain why defending them for free is required and just scream “he is nuts”. Republicans like Democrats have lost the ability to defend their own positions or even have a coherent set of positions to begin with. Even when you agree with them, you have to be appalled at their complete lack of reasoning and integrity in taking their positions.

      1. So for example, Trump supports tariffs and the Republicans can’t defend the current trade deals other than to appeal to authority (economists say this is good), resort to buzzwords (but its free trade!!!) or just claim its not conservative.

        Protectionism raises the price of goods and services in the U.S., which, in turn, makes businesses reliant on those goods and services significantly less competitive on the global market. In addition, protectionism leads to domestic industrial cartelization that makes it vastly more difficult for new, even more innovative, market participants to enter the field. It consistently destroys wealth in the name of transfer.

        1. Protectionism raises the price of goods and services in the U.S

          So do taxes. All a tarriff is, is a sales tax on foreign goods. And just like the economy adjusts to other taxes, it adjusts to tariffs. At the end of the 19th Century, the United States was the most powerful industrial nation on earth. it was so after decades of strict protectionism. Countries like Japan and China have come out of poverty by protecting their own markets and exporting goods to ours. There is nothing that says you have to have an open market to be prosperous. There are too many counter examples that say otherwise.

        2. which, in turn, makes businesses reliant on those goods and services significantly less competitive on the global market.

          Experience says otherwise. Some of the best industries in the world are in protected markets. Again, you assume that producers and consumers don’t adjust to the new conditions. For example, lets say you can’t get access to cheap widgets from China anymore. Okay, the answer is to figure out ways to make them more cheaply here by investing more in capital to overcome the labor cost disadvantage or figure out ways to be less reliant on the widget. You guys claim to believe in the adaptive free market yet are totally convinced that no economy could ever adapt and recover from being deprived of access to cheap shit in even the slightest way.

          In addition, protectionism leads to domestic industrial cartelization that makes it vastly more difficult for new, even more innovative, market participants to enter the field. It consistently destroys wealth in the name of transfer.

          In the extreme perhaps, but not as a general rule. For a lot of reasons, mostly because cartels never last and because tariffs don’t prevent foreign competitors from just building factories in the US to get around the tarrifs.

          Thanks Bill for giving exactly the kind of superficial sad sack defense of free trade I was talking about. You guys can no longer defend or really even understand your own positions.

          1. In the extreme perhaps, but not as a general rule. For a lot of reasons, mostly because cartels never last…

            Oh, like the Big Three? Or U.S. Steel? or Alcoa?

            Cartels last just fine in the presence of protective tariffs. The tariffs themselves act as the means to ensure that the companies enjoying them are large enough to have sufficient market power to push out minor competitors. And the foreign competitors find that they face the capital cost of building a factory for production they could easily rely on their home country operations to produce. That puts them at a disadvantage to local producers protected by the tariff.

        3. Look Bill. I used to agree with you. I am familiar with the arguments you are making and can frankly make them a lot better than you seem to be able to make them. The problem is that things have not worked out the way my economics professors in college told me they would.

          What is supposed to happen is that when we lose industries overseas, the people here who are out of work are supposed to get new jobs at lower wages. And the lower wages are not supposed to matter because consumer goods are so much cheaper. We are supposed to end up with an economy based on our comparative advantages in high wage services.

          It hasn’t worked out that way. People haven’t been reabsorbed into the economy. And industries that have died and left the country haven’t returned. Yes, we have cheaper consumer goods but the benefits of that have turned out to be way less than advertised. And even though countries like Japan and China have over the long term paid a fairly steep price for artificially subsidizing their exports at the expense of their domestic markets, that fact hasn’t brought any of the industries the US lost as a result of those practices back or done the people who lost their jobs as a result of that any good. Those jobs have just moved on to other countries who are trying to pull the same trick. they haven’t come back here.

          1. The problem is that things have not worked out the way my economics professors in college told me they would.

            I’ve never understood this sentiment. We live in a country where even poor people have plenty, largely thanks to lower prices and foreign goods. Even the unlucky few who lose their livelihoods are generally not starving, have adequate shelter, transportation, etc. It’s an almost miraculous result of our modern global economy.

            1. We live in a country where half the working age population has given up looking for work and is living on the dole. There is more to life than having shit. Sorry but I don’t see a society where 50% of the people don’t work and can’t find jobs even if they want to work and leach off the 50% who do as any kind of place I would want to live in or any kind of society that will last.

          2. No, John. All you’ve done is ignored reality and ignored the reality and the basics of cost accounting to pretend to make a case that just isn’t there.

            And guess what, we produce more than we ever have. We only have people producing different things. We have robots to build the things we used to (that capital you mentioned above). Those robots mean we don’t really need to employ a raft of undereducated union workers to make them. Instead we can get a couple of guys who know how to maintain automated systems.

        4. No amount of magical thinking can get around the cold fact that a nation is only as rich as total of the goods and services it produces. Buying cheap shit from China with printed funny money is not wealth. And the ability to buy cheap shit does not necessarily make you wealthier. Most of the goods we get from China and overseas are consumer goods. There is no more value to be added to them. So, your contention that our access to them makes our industries more competitive or makes us wealthier is a fantasy. Access to them raises the standard of living for those who can afford them but it does nothing to make us richer, since you only get richer by producing more things. Buying shit never made anyone rich.

          1. since you only get richer by producing more things

            Yet, amazingly, this philosophy did not produce economic success for the Soviet Union.

            Maybe capital plays some part in getting rich?

            1. that wasn’t the problem with the Soviet Union. The problem with the Soviet Union was that it thought it could manage everything that was produced and ensure that it controlled who benefited from that production.

              The to the extent that the Soviets didn’t understand wealth, it was that they didn’t understand services produce wealth just as much as factories do. You can’t have a major economy that just produces steal. Of course, the opposite is true as well. Factories produce wealth just like services do. And in the same way you can’t have a successful world economy that just produces steal, you can’t have one that just produces financial advisers and free lance graphic designers either.

              Beyond that, there is the larger issue of why it is axiomatic that next quarter’s GNP is the only value to be considered in economic policy. Suppose, that it true that totally open markets makes us on the whole richer but does so at the cost of having long term structural unemployment and some significant portion of the population without any economic prospects and on the dole. Isn’t it a fair question to ask if that marginal gain in GNP is worth it? I am not saying the answer is no, but I don’t think it is automatically yes either.

              1. Sometimes John’s typos give results just as good as he intended, as in, “You can’t have a major economy that just produces steal.” Same with “leach off the 50%”, which practically means the same as “leech off the 50%”.

          2. “Buying shit never made anyone rich”

            You make someone richer every time you buy a cheap toaster assembled in China.

            Imports are also goods and services. There are Americans who work for that industry right inside this country.

            Americans aren’t nationalist for the most part. If Japan makes better cars than America, then consumers here will buy their products. Trade gives us access to quality products. I’m sorry, but America is still somewhat behind in internet technology and some other things. I buy dozens of things online or otherwise that has no equivalence in the domestic market. Koreatown and parts of downtown LA basically runs on imports.

            1. True. You do make someone money when you buy the toaster. And the service of providing cheap toasters from China is a service and does contribute to the national wealth. That is all true.

              And the problem is not that Americans buy foreign products. The problem is that those products are effectively subsidized by the taxpayers and the consumers of Japan and China. Yes, I get it that us taking what amounts to welfare in the form of artificially cheap goods is in some ways a positive. It does, however, come with some drawbacks, namely American industries that would be competitive in a free market go broke. If you are one of the people getting the Chinese welfare, it is a great thing. If you are one of the people who loses your job, it is not so good.

              1. John has a good point about the types of goods being imported, as I’ve stated elsewhere. If you’re importing consumer goods on net from the world, leaving the world to invest with what you’ve paid them, that is bad if it continues over a long run. But it’s a symptom of a problem, not the cause of the problem. The cause of the problem is that production is of less expected value than is capital consumption, and although it may be just that demographics favor retirement, more likely domestic policy is discouraging present prod’n relative to present consumption. You’re not going to fix that by making import’n more costly.

    2. “They don’t have an ideology. They have a collection of rationalizations for giving their supporters what they want.”

      I don’t really believe this. They do have an ideology. Their ideology is that society must be completely directed and controlled by top men who think like they do. Their supporters just happen to want things that generally coincide with that ideology. Note when their supporters want things that don’t forward that goal they don’t happen.

      1. To the extent “things are happening and no one is controlling them” is an ideology, yeah, I guess they have an ideology.

        1. Isn’t that the core of political ideology though? ie “What should government do”

          Their ideology says EVERYTHING!

          It’s almost like they took their model from the flat tax supporters and their small tax form. They created an ideology that is so shallow it can be summarized on a postcard or more realistically half a bumper sticker.

    3. The Sanders candidacy as much as anything asks the Democrats the simple question, “if everything you claim to be true is true, then why isn’t socialism the answer?” And the Democrats have no response to that. They can’t explain why socialism isn’t the answer and why they are not socialists or even what they are because they don’t know themselves. They don’t have an ideology. They have a collection of rationalizations for giving their supporters what they want.

      I simply can’t find anything wrong with this characterization. this is pretty well said.

    4. I think you missed the fact that Sanders doesn’t HAVE a party – he is only using one.

      The reaction among Democrats?

      Take away his independent votes and he is getting SLAUGHTERED among the actual Democrats who are going for Hillary at a 65% clip.

      The Democrats are SUPPOSED to have an answer to the brain dead question, “Why isn’t socialism the answer?” when very few of them think that? They tend to be mature enough and experienced at life enough to know that free markets isn’t the answer and full-on socialism isn’t, either. Most Democrats are moderates, and moderates don’t do extremism anymore. They got past the black-or-white, dualistic, thing long ago, and they know that there are a lot of grey areas in which workable answers can be found.

      Show me a black-or-white thinker and I will show you a mischief maker. Cruz, Sanders, Kasich, Rand Paul, Sanders. I don’t included Trump, because, as he says, he is a deal maker and knows about flexing in order to get the deal done. That doesn’t mean I want the guy in my White House, though. Of the Repugs, Christie might be the most sane, but he has so much other baggage that his sanity gets buried.

      Hillary is a moderate and sane. Add in experienced and tough enough to withstand 25 years of GOP smears and slanders, and I see the strength and sanity I want in my President.

  29. Serious question:

    How the fuck can anyone attain the “high office” of United States Senator and have no demonstrable understanding of the simplest mechanics of the American political system, wealth creation, or the Capitalism Yanqui?

    1. They run for office in Vermont.

      1. Hey! We pay a lot of money so IBM won’t leave every few years.

    2. That’s what Staffers are for (*when not molesting them)

    3. For my umpteenth time, how the frack are any of their windbag promises not being measured up to the Constitution??? That should be THE centerpiece of every debate.

      Particularly, has Bernie ever been asked about the Constitution? Or how the Constitution supports his plans for class warfare, governmental discrimination, theft & redistribution, and thought crime punishment?

      As for the Constitution and other candidates, I think closest I see is Ted Cruz (outside of Libertarian candidates of course.)

      1. Agreed — Cruz is far from ideal on certain issues, but he’s the strongest on small government and the Constitution.

  30. As much as I detest Donald Trump, he’s a piker compared to the likes of Sanders. The worst Trump would pull on the country is an intensification of the status quo with all the ensuing graft and cronyism. My guess is that, ultimately, it would be an embarrassment, but an embarrassment that would pass. More likely, he’d either back off on the stupidity when explained the consequences or he’d not take too much interest in policy in the first place.

    Sanders, on the other hand, is a true believer. He’s a guy that wouldn’t hesitate to impose policies that would harm the country to pursue his vision of utopia. This is a guy who’d harm the entire country if he thought it would have a disproportionate impact on “the rich”.

    1. The thing is, even after 55 years of thinking about these things, he has no idea how to do it or what consequences any of it will have.

      YES, he’s a dangerous person.

    2. It’s happened elsewhere. Given real power, it would hardly be surprising if Bernie were putting his political enemies against the wall with a year or two. He shows every potential of being a monster.

      1. Extremists look that way, don’t they?

  31. “…even I’ve found Sanders to be the mostly harmless crazy-Uncle candidate whose candid honesty I appreciate.”

    As much as I hate his ideas, I do consider him one of the most honest (if honestly stupid) politicians in existence. Without a doubt he’s run the cleanest campaign of any of the contestants. And I too appreciate a candidate being willing to show a certain amount of uncertainty or lack of knowledge, if framed properly.

    And yet, every time I have a tiny bit of affection for the man, he slaps me across the face with his talk of redistributing wealth and big government oversight. And then I remember that, for all his positives, he’s really not a good guy — he has a complete and utter hatred for success and personal freedom. I like him on non-interventionism, and I like him on pot, but I cannot vote for a man who stands against basic principles that this country was founded upon.

    1. “I cannot vote for a man who stands against basic principles that this country was founded upon.”

      it’s not being against the basic principles that put roofs over our heads and food in our refrigerators (and refrigerators in our kitchens!) that disturbs you?

  32. “54 percent of Americans think unfavorably of her.”

    Yep. And in the Red States that is about 85%, right? Which makes her about a 23% in the Blue States.

    The BLUE WALL (google it!) has 242 electoral votes in 18 states. So, the Democrat will win the Oval Office, and it doesn’t MATTER what the Red state folks think. Red staters have been accepting the GOP’s Hillary smears for 24 years. If their states’ electoral votes go for the loser, Red votes have NO effect on the election.

    This IS Reason.com, right? So wrap your heads around that – Red state voters’ votes don’t matter, not with the Blue Wall. She needn’t give them any more love than they give her.

    But, like Obama, once she is elected (and she will be), she will be Madam President for them as well as Blue staters.

    The generic 54% unapproval rate means SQUAT. This author shouldn’t be repeating it without caveats. It’s distribution that matters. With good approval ratings in states that are going to elect her, that is all that matters.

    1. “…she will be Madam President… or in less formal settings she will be referred to as Cankles.

    2. The Blue Wall isn’t actually a thing (if you don’t believe me ask Nate Silver). Hillary will likely win this year because the GOP has terrible, unelectable candidates and a far more divided party than the Democrats. She definitely could have been beaten by a run of the mill Republican like Kasich or Rubio (assuming the Trump crowd didn’t stay home).

      1. I don’t need to ask Nate Silver, Nate Silver is wrong on this, as it applies to THIS year. ESPECIALLY this year with the GOP nuking itself.

        SHOW ME ONE of the Blue Wall states that is going to go Red in November.

        Hillary’s coattails – added to the GOPsters who are going to stay home or vote for her – are going to be so long that she will end up with 350 EVs. Of which 242 will be Blue Wall states.

    3. There is stupid and then TEAM stupid….thanks for proving it.

      1. None of us is as dumb as all of us.

        1. “‘A person’ is smart. ‘People’ are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals, and you know it.”

      2. If you don’t believe it, watch and see.

        You obviously have no capacity for analytical thinking and get your news from FOX News.

    4. The BLUE WALL (google it!) has 242 electoral votes in 18 states. So, the Democrat will win the Oval Office, and it doesn’t MATTER what the Red state folks think.

      Don’t the Repubs have pretty much a Red Wall of their own, with at least as many electoral votes. What are the odds that Dem will win Texas, or nearly any Southern state?

      It always comes down to a handful of swing states, because both parties have a roughly equivalent Vaterland that will vote for them no matter what.

      1. RC Dean –

        Yes, there is a Red Wall.

        It has 102 EVs for the last 6 elections.

        [Wiki] “The states which Republicans have won in the last 6 cycles include Texas, Alabama, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Utah, Kansas, Nebraska, Idaho, South Dakota, North Dakota, Alaska, and Wyoming, giving to total of 102 votes.”

        There is a BIG difference between 242 EVs and 102.

        There is a BIG difference between needing 28 to clinch and 168 to clinch.

        168 means that the GOP has to take 87% of the non-wall EVs to win the WH.

        As to swing states, those are among the non-wall states. It only takes FLORIDA ALONE for the Dem to win the WH. Or any combination of 28 among OH-VA-NM-NH-MO-IA-CO.

        And with polls in Utah showing Hillary leading Trump there, anything can happen in the Red states, evidently.

        The Dem doesn’t need TX. It hasn’t and won’t.

        If the TX GOP is ever stopped from gerrymandering the state, the GOP will be toast there. The hispanics and blacks will dominate the state for the next 200 years. And that means DEMOCRATS. So you GOoPers in TX, don’t stops cheating, because you will never get your state back if you do.

  33. “How many has she lost in a row?”

    Did anybody ask that of Sanders when he lost 5 out of 5 on Florida Super Tuesday? (of course not. The media wanted a contest, not a blowout.)

    Did anybody ask how many WEEKS in a row Sanders lost ground in the delegate race? (FIVE).

    Did anybody ask how Sanders was going to come back from getting his a** handed to him and falling so far behind in the South? (He isn’t)

    Did anybody ask how many states Sanders would win that had less than half the national average of POCs? (12)

    How many in a row right now with less than half the national average of POCs? (5 – averaging 10.9% POCs)

    So Sanders is the whitey candidate and Hillary is the diversity candidate.

    Guess where the delegate density is highest?

    Watch what happens in NY-PA-NJ-CA-MD, high POC states that favor HER, not him. 1132 delegates in 5 states. Ranging from 28.2% to 41.4% POCs. If she takes only 50% in those 5, she gains 566.

    She needs about 601 right now to clinch. He needs 1289. 566 will leave her 35 from clinching, him 723.

    If she takes

    1. I actually agree with you here. Sanders has had a run of favorable states, but Clinton is going to bury him later this month in the Northeast. He has virtually no chance of a comeback (and hasn’t since Super Tuesday).

      1. Calidissident –

        Consider that she only has 601 delegates to go to clinch. He needs 1296. That is more than double. Unless Sanders wins overall by 2.2-to-1, he loses ground on getting to the finish line. In WI he got 1.26-to-1, so he fell further behind.

        He needed a MINIMUM of 60. He got 48. ADVANTAGE CLINTON IN WI.

        He has to CALL Wisconsin a win, but this isn’t about state wins. It’s about delegates. And getting to 2383. Any candidate the doesn’t know that is an idiot and doesn’t deserve to be President. (Romney didn’t, as respects electoral votes and 270.) Somehow I am getting the notion that Sanders doesn’t get it, either. If he does, he’s lying to his followers.

        The delegate math hasn’t been on Sanders’ side since NH.

  34. It should be stupidly easy for the Repubs to beat either Sanders or Hillary with almost any candidate.

    Of course, it should have been stupidly easy for the Repubs to beat Obama with almost any candidate.

    I’m still rating the election as a 50/50 tossup, no matter who is on the ballot.

    1. I’m writing it off as a total loss.

      1. I’m writing it off as a win for the state.

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  36. The biggest fundamental differences between Trump and Sanders is that Sanders actually believes everything he is saying (and has for a long time). Trump believes only in his own greatness, and is developing policies to gain votes as he goes.

    Sanders is a known quantity – he’s a hard socialist.
    Trump is a loose cannon. We have no idea what he’d do or say once in office.

    Not sure which is worse. I suppose the upside to Sanders is that our civil liberties would be respected as our economy goes down the shitter. Trump’s upside is that he may not be quite the proto-fascist he sounds like.

    1. …our civil liberties would be respected as our economy goes down the shitter…

      You really think a man who wants to take your wealth and redistribute it by force is going to respect your civil liberties?

    2. Wow. You don’t see Sanders as a loose cannon, too? LOOK AT HIS ANSWERS. He doesn’t know about the things he’s been railing about for 55 years. HOW SLOW IN THE BRAIN CAN A GUY BE?

      It’s not about walking around with a sandwich board that says, “THE END IS NIGH.” This is the most powerful position in the world.

      We don’t need a tin foil hat guy calling the shots based on 1960s revolution.

  37. A Socialist, and a Crony Capitalist: We would be in serious trouble if either one were elected to the Presidency.

    1. …We would be in serious trouble if either one were elected to the Presidency.

      Can you name a Republican or Democratic candidate for whom that is not true?

      I consider the status quo to be “in serious trouble.” We’ve been heading closer to the cliff with every Presidency and Congress in the past 50 years.

      1. Can you fit that all on a sandwich board and walk around Central Park with it, please?

        According to some people the world is ALWAYS going to hell in a hand basket. The rest of us work to make sure it doesn’t happen. But walk around with your sandwich board, if it makes you happy.

  38. the self-defined (though poorly defined!) “democratic socialist.”

    I’ll try to define that for you.

    Regular socialists are “revolutionary socialists.” They usually represent a minority in a democratic nation, or a majority in an un-democratic nation. They implement socialism through violence, as seen in Russia, China, Cuba, etc.

    “Democratic socialists” have exactly the same (impossible) goal in mind as “revolutionary socialists,” only the means of getting there are different. Maybe they think that non-violent force through a political majority in their democratic nation is attainable. See Venezuela or Greece.

    The “democratic” part of “democratic socialism” simply describes the preferred method to arrive at socialism, not the desired end product. Its moderation only lies in how much blood is spilled in the pursuit of socialism, the utopian vision of stripping humanity of desires, ambition, and action in the name of equal outcomes remains the same.

    1. “stripping humanity of desires, ambition, and action…” Gee, that’s exactly what 40 years of hard work at my well-paying job in America, the beacon of anti-socialism, did to me.

      (By the way, you forgot the part about how they’ll desecrate the churches and rape the nuns…)

  39. You gotta admire Sanders’ honesty – a progressive who calls himself a “socialist” and admits he doesn’t know shit.

    1. And I want someone in my Oval Office who doesn’t know shit?

      I don’t think so.

      I want someone in there who is sharp as a tack, not senile.

  40. I suspected at the very first debate that Bernie didn’t know what the hell he was talking about, and when his Ron Paul-esque following started spamming online polls and calling that objective evidence that he “won” these debates, I started to realize that they were delusional children. Not much has changed except mountains of confirmation, and the NYDN thing was just, yikes.

  41. Just to clarify. You say,

    As it happens?and as a libertarian?I think the conservative and liberal, and the Republican and Democratic, agendas are misguided, incoherent, and destined to fail.

    As a libertarian, you think “…shrink the size, scope, and spending of the federal government because THE CONSTITUTION…” is misguided, incoherent and destined to fail?

    1. No but their ACTUAL agendas are bound to fail, in part becuase they are obliged to pretend their agendas are not what they actually are.

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  43. While I would never vote a Sanders, I’ll give him some media advise.

    An add pointing out that Clinton is as hawkish as Dick Cheney
    A picture of Hillary Clinton wearing a pants suit
    Caption = She’s Dick Cheney in a pants suit.

    An add pointing out that Hillary Clinton is a drug warrior.
    A picture of a woman getting arrested for smoking weed.
    Caption = Hillary Clinton supports the War on Women who smoke Weed.

    1. Rockabilly –

      In other words, you are a shill troll for the GOoPers who have been smearing Hillary since 1992.

  44. The transcript portrays a guy who, though a mayor, congressman, and senator for more years than most of us have been alive, seems to have a firm grasp of virtually no real facts, deep analysis, or basic understanding of legislative processes and legal authorities about anything.

    And they are right.

    1. … and that’s exactly what makes him attractive. Sanders’s candidacy is like Trump’s in that respect.

      So all us Libertarians and Trotskyites need to do is wait for the two parties to collapse, as Gillespie suggests, and build something out of the smoking ruins. The only problem is that I’m not sure I’m ready to put a highly organized and disciplined (and in the case of the Libertarians, apparently well funded) organization in charge of ensuring my life, liberty, and pursuit of se*ual satisfaction – even if they claim they’ll be getting Government off my back.

  45. The only joke I see in this election is Hillary Clinton. I cant believe anyone could be so ignorant to even consider this criminal as a candidate.

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  46. Best article I’ve read in the past 365 days. Thank you.

  47. To their minds, Sanders is precisely the sort of crypto-commie Sandalista who voted for McGovern …

    Nonsense. Sanders backed Benjamin Spock of the far-left Peoples Party in 1972.

    Later on, Sanders also served as a presidential elector for the Socialist Workers’ Party in 1980, something that he acknowledged in a 1988 television appearance. The group at the time was a Trotskyist party that pressed for the abolition of capitalism and the peaceful establishment of socialism.

    He’s not a “crypto-commie”; he’s pretty openly Bolshevik.

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  50. Having read an intelligent, well-written article by Mr. Gillespie, am I really expected to read past the first 20 or so comments in the Comments section? The impression I get is that somebody went on vacation and left his kids in charge of his business.

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  53. The transcript portrays a guy who, though a mayor, congressman, and senator for more years than most of us have been alive, seems to have a firm grasp of virtually no real facts, deep analysis, or basic understanding of legislative processes and legal authorities about anything.

    Pretty much any transcript of any think said by Sanders is going to portray him that way (with economically illiterate and bat-shit crazy thrown in as well)….because it’s an accurate assessment of him.

  54. “I have no sympathy for Bernie Sanders, whom I think is an economic illiterate.” “Who,” Nick — not “whom.” Bernie, not “I think,” is the subject of “is an economic illiterate.”

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  58. Hillary clinton is as big a joke as Trump. just add Trump to the end of ever headline

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  62. Where are these so-called “centrist Democrats” lol… last I checked Jim Webb was out of the running. There’s nothing centrist about Clinton nor Sanders.

    Other than that, decent article.

  63. Bernie’s not a joke, and neither, really, is Trump. They’ve got legitimate gripes. Problem is becoming president is not going to solve them, even if those two had the experience and ability, which neither does.

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  65. RE: Is Bernie Sanders as Big a Joke Candidate as Donald Trump?
    Leading media Democrats want you to think so. Here’s why they’re wrong about Sanders and Trump.

    Comrade Sanders is a clueless socialist turd.
    Trump the Grump is a clueless fascist turd.
    Pick your poison.

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