Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders Says Ann Coulter Has Right to Speak at Berkeley 'Without Fear of Violence and Intimidation'

The Vermont senator defends free speech, says censorship "is a sign of intellectual weakness."


Johnny Louis/JL/Sipa USA/Newscom

Sen. Bernie Sanders supports Ann Coulter's right to speak at the University of California-Berkeley, and told The Huffington Post that attempts to shut her down are a "sign of intellectual weakness" amongst some of her critics.

Sanders made clear that he is no fan of Coulter, but nevertheless believes students who want to hear speak deserve that opportunity.

"Obviously Ann Coulter's outrageous ? to my mind, off the wall," said Sanders. "But you know, people have a right to give their two cents-worth, give a speech, without fear of violence and intimidation."

Berkeley administrators recently cancelled Coulter's upcoming visit because they could not guarantee her safety. Protesters had threatened violence and rioting if Coulter should appear.

But giving into the protesters means succumbing to the heckler's veto—it commits the university to censoring anyone whose views displease the mob. Berkeley, thankfully, has reconsidered, and Coulter will be giving a talk.

"What are you afraid of ? her ideas?" asked Sanders, according to HuffPo. "Ask her the hard questions. Confront her intellectually. Booing people down, or intimidating people, or shutting down events, I don't think that that works in any way."

Sanders, like Robert Reich, deserves credit for taking the principled civil libertarian position that the answer to offensive speech is more speech. Howard Dean should listen to them.

NEXT: That Time a Professional Football Team Fact-Checked The New York Times

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    1. All caps are hate speech.

      1. Indeed, they should be suppressed, along with certain other prurient manifestations. Surely no one here would dare to defend the “First Amendment dissent” of a single, isolated judge in our nation’s leading criminal “satire” case? See the documentation at:

  2. Props to for realizing how Republican they were when the zeal to condemn the Left produced several letters condemning Berkeley, and hatepraising Coulter.


    “The Left” has condemned it.

    1. “Reich.
      “The Left” has condemned it.”

      Does cherry-picking get you a ‘living wage’?

      1. A broken clock is right two time a day; so I expect two broken leftist to be right someday.

  3. I find myself agreeing with Bernie.

    I fear the end times are upon us…

    1. Broken clocks and all that.

    2. Yeah, my head just asplode. I expect Reich to say something sensible now and then, because that’s the most fun thing about listening to him: he can sound perfectly sensible right up until the (inevitable) moment when the crazy comes charging out of left field. But I’m really not used to Bernie making sense on any subject at all.

      Oh, well, respect where it’s due: on this subject, Bernie and I are in complete agreement. Ann Coulter is a horrible person who is so obnoxious I want to argue even when she says something I agree with, but she should have the freedom to speak what’s on what passes for her mind.

  4. Bernie will run as the LP candidate. Sanders/Soave 2020!

    1. Or Soave/Sanders? Soave and the hair are too distracting to be in the background. Even Biden and his plugs kept eyes on him.

      1. I apologize to for not capitalizing Hair.

  5. Up next: “Bernie Sanders prefers rice pudding to tapioca pudding, and he’s right.”

    1. Since Bernie is neither East Asian nor Brazilian, eating either one would be cultural appropriation.

  6. “Obviously Ann Coulter’s outrageous ? to my mind, off the wall,” said Sanders.

    As if Sanders has done anything more than read a couple of her quotes.

    1. All you have to do is hear her one time and realize that she’s a joke. He’s right on this one. She still has the right to be heard, although I would never be in the crowd to hear this harpy.

      1. IKR, only racists and careless fools appreciate that super crazy cunt.

      2. She is a political comedian but all good jokes are based in truth.

        She just cranks up the hyberbole to 12.

    2. Which is all you need to make such a determination.

      1. Shit, even Tony is right on this one.

        1. Tony fights hard to keep his batting average almost as high as broken clock and blind squirrel, we should appreciate his effort.

        2. The last time I saw her (and that was a hile ago), she was on some show getting shit for quoting some study that said 3 things to be middle class. Graduate from high school. Get a job. Wait until you are 21 to get married and have kids. I mean Christ.

  7. “attempts to shut her down are a ‘sign of intellectual weakness'”


    1. I have a feeling that if Sanders debated Coulter everyone would lose.

  8. Huh, maybe socialism would work with the right person in charge!….nah, nice try Bernie

    1. Why are people like you so ignorant and downright stupid? I mean seriously, do you not know the difference between socialism and democratic socialism? People like you make America look like a bunch of dumb hicks, pleasssse go back to school. Bernie Sanders is more capitalist than you, but you’re just too ignorant to see that. The difference is he wants tax money to go to good things and not stupid shit like people like yourself.

      1. do you not know the difference between socialism and democratic socialism?

        the latter is just “capitalism being used to finance a welfare-state”?

        1. It’s how they fool you into thinking you have a choice right before the former kicks in.

          1. it should probably be amended to something more like this =

            Q = What Is “Democratic Socialism”?

            A = Its basically “Capitalism”…. *

            ….*albeit, Capitalism with a gigantic Welfare-State tapeworm in its guts….

            …. which vacuums up all of the profit generated by capitalism to finance expensive cradle-to-grave entitlements, diverting capital otherwise reinvested into new, economy-expanding ventures into vast, institutionalized benefits systems, which reward the lazy+partisan and punish the ambitious… producing a population which enjoys its no-risk lifestyle so much that it no longer sees much benefit in things like, ‘raising large families’ or taking on risk to launch new businesses (which would themselves be inherently disadvantaged vs. established crony competitors, and provide little reward to the investor, given the wealth-punishing tax regime) … sinking into generational cycles of social-immobility, where most people exist simply to keep the machinery of bureaucracy functioning, which they increasingly blame on the political class which now relies solely on the goodwill of the employees of the entitlement system for re-election…. inevitably coalescing into a political-economic death spiral as the ageing, childless, benefit-dependent population lashes out at the bureaucratic classes for sapping their society of all of its vigor and self-direction, culminating in fiscal bankruptcy and social dissolution….

            see = Europe.

            1. Depressingly spot-on. That is where Bernie’s path leads us, with maybe some extra surveillance state icing on the cake. If it takes longer to happen in Merica it will be because we are still a huge country that is rich as fuck, despite the efforts of the political classes and the parasites they enable.

              The only viable path forward is less government. Government cannot do these things like healthcare except in very specific circumstances, at the most local possible level, and probably not even then.

              Once a bureacracy is created, it will grow like a cancerous tumor, and be equally ruinous to the institution it has grown from, unless it is mercilessly kept in check. The problem of eradicating a bureacracy is exactly the problem of eradicating a cancer; you will necessarily kill good cells while killing bad cells, and if you are too aggressive you will kill the host. There must, after all, be SOME administration, SOME bureaucracy.

              But not ever is rule by bureaucratic fiat acceptable, and that is what government feels like today. We call it FYTY much of the time: the exact phenomenon of unelected, unaccountable alphabet soup agencies skulk-fucking normal people out of life, liberty, property, happiness. Fuck.

            2. Isn’t that what Hitler called national socialism?

              1. Yes, him, most German voters, and admiring journalists, writers and politicians in These States, Europe and Canada. None of them noticed the suggestion that selfish jewish ideas be “extirpated” in the 1939 English translation reviewed by Orwell. But the word was quietly changed to “exterminated” in postwar translations. Either way, admirers of christian socialism afterward disavowed all knowledge of any intention to do harm with their votes and backing.

            3. Can you explain why social mobility is higher in more left-wing countries such as Sweden then?

              (Hint: social safety nets make people more confident about taking risks)

              1. Demographics.

              2. Left wing countries have much more compressed income distributions and enormous wealth transfers from rich to poor, that’s why they have greater *relative* mobility.

                It’s also worth looking at Scott Winship’s essay series on the matter, “does America have less economic mobility?”

                Extensive welfare states also likely do the opposite of encouraging risk; if you basically have guaranteed income then there is little incentive to seek promotion, especially since you’d lose most of your wealth to taxation. Additionally it discourages saving, which likely helps explain Europe’s anemic economic growth.

              3. Does this Swedish social mobility have something to do with jumping off ledges?

            4. That’s a pretty good summation Gilmore.

          2. Former = LSD, before= when.

          3. Fucking SQUIRLZ.

          4. Fucking SQUIRLZ.

        2. This new batch of trolls is second rate….Soros budget cuts?

        3. This new batch of trolls is decidedly second rate……did Soros cut the budget?

      2. Sarcasm?

        1. When your handle starts with 88 does it matter?

          1. What if it starts with 69?

            1. Then it would only matter if it was a hot babe.

          2. Nice catch. So hitler isn’t a distraction from this discussion. It is a feature.

      3. The difference is he wants tax money to go to good things and not stupid shit like people like yourself.

        You got me there. I admit if someone asked me whether I’d rather have a portion of my income go to myself or an old man yelling at a cloud…I’d pick the selfish option. I just don’t think the crazy, angry old man and I agree on what constitutes a “good thing”.

      4. The difference is he wants tax money to go to good things and not stupid shit like people like yourself.

        you typed that believing it is says something profound, didn’t you? Stop projecting; ignorance and stupidity come from thinking that there are variants of socialism. There are not. First, there is no such thing as “democratic socialism” as the two are diametrically opposed. And no, Western Europe does not practice this. The nations you’re thinking of have popularly-elected govts and market-based economies. They also have lavish social programs but few delude themselves into believing that the money stems from govt goodness.

      5. 88mikell|4.22.17 @ 9:37PM|#
        “Why are people like you so ignorant and downright stupid? I mean seriously, do you not know the difference between socialism and democratic socialism?”

        Why are people like you so ignorant and downright stupid? I mean seriously, do you think anyone capable of rational thought gives a shit about your pedantic ‘distinctions’?
        Oh, and fuck off.

        1. Capitalists create. Socialists demand.

    2. Why are people like you so ignorant and downright stupid? I mean seriously, do you not know the difference between socialism and democratic socialism? People like you make America look like a bunch of dumb hicks, pleasssse go back to school. Bernie Sanders is more capitalist than you, but you’re just too ignorant to see that. The difference is he wants tax money to go to good things and not stupid things such as perpetual warfare.

      1. Bernie Sanders is more capitalist than you…

        Citation required. It seems unlikely you know dick-all about Lap, let alone where she falls on the capitalism scale as compared to Mr. Third Summer Beach Home and his wife, Mrs. Bankrupted Her College. Fine cronies they are, too, I’m sure, but nevertheless, let’s see your proof.

        1. Don’t encourage him! Little does he know that if he calls me stupid 6 or 7 more times I’ll be forced to agree with anything he says.

          1. Encourage him? Fuck him, twat that he is. There’s precious little I can say to such as him that will ever penetrate the narrative wall he is so comfortable cocooned within. But that isn’t the point. It rarely works that way.

            This wasn’t for, or about, him. Convincing him of anything rational was a futile gesture from the start. You, on the other hand. You could be convinced that there were people out there who gave a damn about you being subjected to a puerile attack for simply thinking wrongthoughts according to some little tit on the internet who demonstrably is innumerate on the federal budget, and also abysmal at intellectual debate.

            I didn’t speak up to teach him. I spoke up for you. You’re worth it, Lap; you’ve earned it, you deserve it.

            I hope this finds you well. How’s the munchkin?

            1. I hope this finds you well. How’s the munchkin?

              He’s great, thanks! About 6 1/2 months old. He doesn’t leave me much time for commenting, for obvious reasons.

          2. The Big Lie times whatever number is necessary.

      2. The difference is that Bernie wants tax money, period. I want tax money to vanish, to cease existence, to lie tits up, so *my* money will go to what *I* deem good, not what Bernie deems good.

  9. “off the wall”, takes one to know one.

  10. Bernie is an old socialist from the time before the ‘postmodern’ transformation of the (academic) left. He similarly criticized campus rape bureaucracies if I recall correctly.

    He’s a curious specimen. Among the core of his base he’s just a guy who has outlived his time; among the general public however he (like Trump) was (at least in 2016) a trailblazer.

    1. He is definately interesting. As crazy and immature as his economic views are, he’s a picture of reason and Intellect compared to the campus antifa Black Shirts.

      1. That was some faint praise there.

        1. That’s the best I can do.

  11. I’m agreeing with Bernie Sanders.

    …I need to take a shower…

    1. Don’t forget to delouse after.

    2. Until he endorsed Hillary.

  12. Bernie went to Liberty to speak recently-no riots, no protests, no tantrums of any sort. Make of that what you will, it looks to me like the crazy evangelicals are a lot more open-minded and tolerant than their lefty counterparts.

    1. They always have been. It’s the Left’s narrative that they are crazy relics. I don’t agree with them (the far right evangelicals) but they are not loons from out of the dark ages. The left cannot grok the concept of moral standards, and they will mock anyone who has them.

  13. The Bay Area hasn’t been known for serious debate in the decades I have lived or worked there.

  14. Berkeley mayor who probably ordered cops to stand down during leftist attacks on Trump rally is a member of attack organization BAMN’s group on Facebook — also friends with head honcho of BAMN.

    1. interesting probably will get little if any media coverage

  15. Everyone who says “clock is right twice a day” never joined the military and you owe me $1 as well. Send it to Bernie Sanders, he’s our only hope against Cheeto Mousilinni in the next election

  16. And for all you idiot Progressives out there Trump wouldn’t be President if you hadn’t rigged the primary for Clinton. It was you that screwed this Nation.

  17. I see Bernie’s not going to get invited to any of the nicer parties now.

  18. Well I’ll be damned! The Ribbentrop-Molotov pact is now revived as the Coulter-Sanders agreement to keep those irritating libertarians out of the picture and off the stage.
    “Should disputes or conflicts arise between the High Contracting Parties over problems of one kind or another, both parties shall settle these disputes or conflicts exclusively through friendly exchange of opinion or, if necessary, through the establishment of arbitration commissions.” How original! How unifilar! How blinkered in its tunnel-vision!

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