State of the Union

Some Democrats Are Mad at Bernie Sanders for Daring to Give SOTU Rebuttal—After Stacey Abrams Gives Hers

"Why is he talking over the black woman our party chose to speak for us?"


Abaca Press/Douliery Olivier/Abaca/Sipa USA/Newscom

For each of the last three years, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) has delivered his own response to President Trump's State of the Union speech. Tonight he will do the same.

But this year, some Democrats have a problem with it. That's because the party chose Stacey Abrams, who recently lost her bid for governor of Georgia, to deliver the official Democratic response.

"Stacey Abrams is a great choice to deliver the Democratic response," said Sanders in a statement. "I'm very much looking forward to her speech. For the third year in a row, following the Democratic rebuttal I'll be on Facebook Live, Twitter and YouTube to respond to Trump."

Sanders giving his own response, after Abrams gives hers, should be completely inoffensive. And yet some in the liberal coalition think Sanders has got some nerve: He's a white man, choosing to speak, even though party leadership has chosen a black woman to speak. (Doesn't he know it's Black History Month? For shame.)

#Resistance conspiracy theorist Louise Mensch was apoplectic on Twitter. "We already have to listen to one old white male traitor advance the Kremlin's interests, we don't need two," she wrote.

Mensch, of course, does not speak for sane Democrats. But a more respected voice, MSNBC's Chris Hayes, predicted Sanders' commitment to doing the rebuttal—again, something he does every year—"will grate/alienate." It appears he was right: Many on social media dragged Sanders for daring to speak out of turn.

"Why is he talking over the black woman our party chose to speak for us?" asked the feminist author Amy Siskind. (Again, Sanders is not talking over anyone.) "This is disrespecting black women, the most important and reliable part of our base. He can speak another night. This is Stacey Abrams' night. She was the one the party chose. Nope. This is not his night!"

This all sounds strangely familiar. Sanders, of course, was attacked by many of the very same people for seeking the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination and delaying Hillary Clinton's coronation. One might have expected these ill-feelings to have dissipated after Clinton's embarrassing loss to Donald Trump—a contest Sanders plausibly might have won—but if anything, they seem to have intensified.

NEXT: Republican Senator Pitches Weird Conspiracy Theory About Weed Legalization, Menthol Cigarettes, and the FDA

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  1. Yes, I imagine you’ll be seeing a lot of this in the coming year as the party sorts out its candidate pecking order, as the various factions jockey to be THE voice of the Democrat and as operatives find new ways to signal that they’re the most aggrieved by [fill in the blank].

    1. 2020, the intersectional primary

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    1. How dare you speak over Robby. This is *his night*

  3. I guess Bernie does not care about the Democrat’s identity politics check boxes. Or about the Democrat Party, seeing that he is not a member, however oxymoronic an independent socialist is.

    1. That’s the first thing I thought? I even re-read Rico’s article looking for the part where Bernard is not a Democrat.

  4. I wonder if they have noticed that Bernie isn’t actually a member of the Democratic Party.

    1. If they did, they might have to wonder why some unelected black woman is speaking over the rich old white guy our electorate chose to be our President.

      1. When was the last time a poor guy ran for president?

  5. It’s fun watching the Left eat itself. The 2020 primaries, when everybody runs as far to the left as possible, will be so funny in a black comedy kind of way.

    1. They should get rid of alien-looking Tom Perez and elect Tyler Perry to oversee the shit-show. It would be even more entertaining.

    2. “funny in a black comedy kind of way”

      You mean like blackface funny? You triggered me with your racism.

      1. I stand by that joke…NOT in a KKK outfit.

    3. “…in a black comedy kind of way.”

      I call dog whistle on your virtual black face, you fascist

    4. I think the joke is already getting old.

    5. I envision each “progressive” candidate trying to “one up” the other progressives. Each will adopt all of the social programs of all the other candidates and then add one more to differentiate themselves. Then, of course, every other candidate will, within minutes, also adopt the added one and add one more to differentiate themselves. Rinse and Repeat.

      Long before the convention, this death spiral will result in all the progressive candidates proposing enslaving everyone in the top 40% to serve the other 60% and distributing all the assets of the to 40% to the bottom 60%. Of course the 60% will quickly discover how hard it is to spend their newfound wealth as virtually everyone who had the skills to produce at a high level, including organizing and optimizing organizations and finances, will be enslaved and most large businesses (oil companies, supermarkets, online retailers, auto manufacturers and sales, etc) will fail and product will be hard to come by.

  6. “But a more respected voice, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, predicted Sanders’ commitment to doing the rebuttal”

    The word respected does not belong in any sentence that also includes MSNBC.

      1. Not since 1986?

        1. The initial recruiting date might be hard to pinpoint exactly. The important takeaway is, he may have been an intel asset of a hostile foreign power for roughly 3 decades before being installed as US President in a hacked election.


          1. So which is it? You morons on the left cannot make up your minds – drooling stupid moron, or evil genius uber-spy?

      2. Well then he should have no problem sending troops to Venezuela.

      3. Mmmmm, Kool-Aid.

  7. …a more respected voice, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes…


    1. But… but… Chris Hayes *is* more respected than Louise Mensch, who is an insane person.

      1. Give it up, Rico. Just be happy anyone even bothered to read the article.

      2. You know, you have a point. “More” is subjective.

        Was Louise ever sane?

      3. “But… but… Chris Hayes *is* more respected than Louise Mensch, who is an insane person.”

        Point to Robby !

      4. “But… but… Chris Hayes *is* more respected than Louise Mensch, who is an insane person.”

        To be sure.


      This, to me, was the bigger story or the ‘story behind the story’. Stacey Abrams’ rebuttal will presumably, be broadcast on all kinds of networks *and* include FB, Twitter, and Youtube. Bernie choosing just FB, Twitter, and Youtube and the democrats being concerned that he’ll drown her out pretty much says that CNN, MSNBC, various OTA affiliates, etc. are worthless.

      1. I still think it would be hilarious is Trump gives the Democrats one version of his SOTU and then does another version.

        Stacey Abrams and The Bern will have practiced on the unused version, resulting in an gibberish Socialist talking points. We’re sued to gibberish talking points from the lefties anyways.

        1. I hope they run the stupid WaPo journalism Super Bowl ad between the two of them.

          1. I don’t watch Superbowls and have not involuntarily watched a commercial in almost 10 years.

            I hear the blow back from the WaPo ad is gaining steam. Millions on the ad while the industry is cutting journalists.

            1. I think the blow back is more for pretending to be objective.

              1. Objective? What’s that?

      2. I’m half-interested in seeing what Stacey Abrams says in rebuttal. I’m 95% sure she’s going to ignore what Trump says and jump straight back into the voter suppression lie, with implications that Jim Crow is returning in the South. She’s shown no qualms about lying about that fact, and this chance to reach a nation-wide audience with that garbage is likely too much to resist.

        1. I have never seen a more Hitleresque speaker than the night of the election.
          She… didn’t concede.
          I had fallen asleep watching election coverage, but was awoken by the sound of pure hatred.
          It was a little frightening

          1. If Hitler lacked any sense of charisma, then yeah…Adolf Hitler knew how to get a crowd going without spoonfeeding their lines to them.

            She’s not going to be leading the uprising. She got people to follow what she says because she’s a member of their party and checks the right demographic boxes. I don’t know if anyone really liked her as a candidate other than “She’s a black woman who is a Democrat.”

            1. Ok, good points.
              You’re right.
              I still dont deny being frightened, though I was a bit groggy

        2. You can get a sneak preview by going down to the nearest ghetto street corner. To be fair, that will be more coherent and self-aware than anything she says.

  8. Because her words aren’t sacrosanct, no matter how much you try to pretend they are.

  9. SOTU rebuttals are inappropriate. The constitution says nothing about the butthurt loser side having to give rebuttals.

    1. +100

    2. Most Americans dont pay attention to SOTU anyways. They are definitely not going to pay attention to some publicity stunt not required by the US Constitution.

      1. Really? They pay attention to all sorts of publicity stunts which are not required by the US Constitution.

      2. Some less than others.

        Report back to us on the rebuttals.

      3. Grab some dumbbells and do squats along with all the standing ovations…makes for a decent workout.

    3. The Constitution specifies that the President “shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.”

      There is no requirement that he turn the occasion into a Speech from the Throne. He could just periodically send documents with information and recommendations – in fact I believe he does that already.

      The Speech from the Throne is a monarchical importation from the mother country.

      1. Agreed.

      2. Yeah, the speech to the nation is really nothing to do with the constitutional requirement. All it says really is that the president should communicate with congress and may suggest legislation. It doesn’t have to be an annual event or a speech.

      3. Fat chance. Presidents, especially Trump, live for these imperial moments.

      4. C’mon.
        It’s the one time of the year when the president gets to swing his dick around in the Capitol

        1. I’ll watch if that’s literally what happens.

      5. He was invited to give said speech by the Speaker of the House, wasn’t he?

      6. Dear Mr. President:

        The Constitution established the legislative, executive and judicial branches as co-equal branches of government, to be a check and balance on each other. The Constitution also calls for the President to “from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union.”

        In the spirit of our Constitution, I invite you to deliver your State of the Union address before a Joint Session of Congress on Tuesday, January 29, 2019 in the House Chamber.

        I look forward to welcoming you to the Congress.


        Speaker of the House

    4. I believe the constitution does say something about people being able to speak whenever and however they choose, though.

      The constitution also doesn’t say anything about a televised speech. Or a speech at all.

    5. First amendment?

  10. Sanders isn’t a Democrat. Apparently some of them haven’t figured this out yet.

    1. To be fair, (I) does form the backbone of the letter (D).

      1. And it must be bent to completely form the letter.

      2. Men with backbones do not belong in the democratic party.

        1. It takes quite a bit of bone to rape women at a dnc convention.

  11. One might have expected these ill-feelings to have dissipated after Clinton’s embarrassing loss to Donald Trump?a contest Sanders plausibly might have won?but if anything, they seem to have intensified.

    Ugh. The idea that “Clinton failed where Sanders would have succeeded” is sexist and gross. She was literally the most qualified Presidential candidate ever. She ran a terrific campaign. And she won by 3 million votes.

    The fact that Drumpf is now President is the greatest disaster in the history of our country, but nothing about it is “embarrassing” to Clinton.


    1. #StillWIthHim

    2. These soy-boys are impervious to logic. Sanders couldn’t even edge Clinton out in the Dem primaries. How would he carry the general election if he’s too liberal for the Democrats? Fortunately, for both main parties, we now live in a fact-free zone.

      1. He didn’t win the primaries because the winner had already been determined by the DNC before the primaries started. Sounds unfair, but tha’ts how the Democrats set up their system. Superdelegates and all that.

        Bernies mistake was crying over it instead of sending out his supporters to build up a base for a 2020 run. You can’t win a major party primary without boots inside the party doing the nuts and bolts needed to secure a nomination. At the minimum gets some boots inside the party working to dismantle the superdelegate system.

        Nope. All the Bernie Bros went home after the election with hurt butts. Which is why the 2020 nomination has already been decided. (Hint, it’s Warren).

        1. He didn’t win because he was missing two things:

          (1) A second x chromosome

          (2) chocolate

          1. So you’re saying he’d have won if he had Klinefelter syndrome?


        2. Warren is not the nominee. She Pocahantased herself out of it with that Texas bar card. She’s not it any more.

    3. #2016RussiaHackingLiterally #WorseThanPearlHarbor+9/11

  12. Can’t Tom Cruise deem Bernie the lord protector of the Andromeda Galaxy or something so that his ego is sated and we are spared yet another embarrassing spectacle of fat, bearded gamer nerds ruining the country with their stupid little bernie cult?

    1. Harsh, but we Clinton voters are still justified being angry at BernieBros. “Bernie would have won!” they say. Ridiculous. If a candidate as wonderful as Hillary Clinton couldn’t prevent Russia from installing its intelligence asset as US President, then no Democrat could have.

      1. The DNC is rigged against Bernie! The only fair thing is for the DNC to rig itself in favor of Bernie, despite the 4 million vote deficit he got!

        He was and is a nonentity. The problem is that nonentities can spoil elections in our system.

        1. And yet the D’s still felt the need to cheat to beat him.

          By the way, I’m not disagreeing with you. Just pointing out that the D’s felt the need to cheat against a non-entity with no chance of winning.

          1. That’s because when we say ‘Democrat’ in this particular case what we’re talking about is the Clinton campaign. Those two things were one and the same last election, and pretty much everyone that’s not completely fucking retarded understands that’s what happened.

          2. They cheated by letting the superdelegates vote for the majority vote winner instead of the loser, like the Bernies wanted? Or some other horseshit?

        2. They didn’t rig it. They set up the rules in prior conventions. It’s Bernie’s fault for being so blissfully unaware of the nomination rules. Bernie forgetting about superdelegates is almost as embarrassing as Hillary forgetting about the Electoral College.

          1. “…almost as embarrassing as Hillary forgetting about the Electoral College.”


          2. Well played!

  13. why does (I) owe (D)?

  14. This article is a good example of fake news. Here’s the recipe:

    – A prominent person does/says something.
    – A few people on twitter or some blog oppose the prominent person, while the silent majority of everyone else says nothing or doesn’t care.
    – A major news organization (looking to get clicks/views/likes,etc) manufactures a news event with a headline like: “ABC Under Fire for XYZ”.
    – Now everyone takes sides, conflates the issue, and attributes the actions of a small number of people to paint the entire opposition as insane.

    1. Now everyone takes sides, conflates the issue, and attributes the actions of a small number of people to paint the entire opposition as insane.

      Seriously. Who even pulls stuff like this anymore?

      1. “Seriously. Who even pulls stuff like this anymore?”

        Certainly not us (insert team). It’s the fault of those damned (insert other team), and their evil ways. Look at how they eat their own.

    2. You left out the part between points 2 and 3 where the major news organization is antiquated and looking to keep pace and stay relevant with Twitter, some blog, or the internet at large.

      1. I guess ‘left out’ is a mischaracterization. Maybe I’m splitting hairs.

    3. +100 to Eric

  15. “This is disrespecting black women, the most important and reliable part of our base”

    This is the only reason a failed candidate was chosen to give the rebuttal.

    1. Aftermative action

      1. +1000

    2. No doubt Sanders, when considering his options, thought to himself, “Caution is important, and I want to present a unified front, but I simply can’t resist undermining this black woman.”

      1. More likely, “I simply can’t resist undermining this meshuge schwartze.”

    3. Any guesses about how many black women are devout Christians and oppose abortion?
      And will now oppose killing babies after they are born?

      1. Any guesses about how many black women are devout Christians and oppose abortion?

        Irrelevant since it’s not their single issue.

        And will now oppose killing babies after they are born?

        This is still a thing, eh?

        1. A solid majority opposes third trimester abortion. I don’t think baby killing is going to be legalized anytime soon.

          1. A solid majority opposes third trimester abortion.

            Which won’t stop them from voting Democrat because that’s just what black women do.

            I don’t think baby killing is going to be legalized anytime soon.

            But INFANTICIDE!!!! How can you just let something like that go?

            1. “”Which won’t stop them from voting Democrat because that’s just what black women do.””

              They won’t vote against the Democrat, but they might just stay home and not vote.

              To win an election you have to get your supporters out to the polls. And stuff like third trimester abortions is enough to demotivate many non-ideologues.

  16. Mensch, of course, does not speak for sane Democrats.

    True but those Putin-puppets are the minority.

  17. black women, the most important and reliable part of our base

    Black women outnumber black men only because Democrats conspired with Republicans to make so many black men felons and ineligible to vote.

    It’s also interesting that she thinks black women outnumber white men and women who voted for Democrats. I don’t know the numbers, but that would be surprising.

      1. Thanks for the link, SIV.

        “How can so many black men still align with a party that, now more than ever, is unified by white identity politics?” Ren?e Graham asked in a Boston Globe column after the election. “This Republican Party is not the party of Lincoln. This is unabashedly the party of white supremacy, migrant family separations, racist fearmongering, and Brett Kavanaugh.”

        The GOP might not be the party of Lincoln but the Democratic Party IS STILL the Party of slavery.

        1. Black men just vote Republican to get white women.

          It’s science

        2. Old Kav is still trending in the garbage press, eh?


  18. Sanders is a very well-respected Democrat when compared to Tulsi Gabbard.

    1. Ted Bundy is a very well-respected serial killer when compared to Wayne Gacy.

      1. “Systemic homophobia”

      2. Clowns scare the fuck out of some people.

        Serial killer clowns scare the fuck out of nearly everyone.

        1. What about killer clowns from outer space?

          1. That’s “klowns” you Philistine

      3. No disagreement there. Of all the 2020 Democratic candidates or potential candidates, Gabbard is easily the worst.

        Russia’s propaganda machine discovers 2020 Democratic candidate Tulsi Gabbard

        1. Well come 2024 we’ll get AOC in charge and she will end this unnecessary political speech by old white men!


        2. Reason “KKKochsuckers” are considered by garbage media morons to be Russian puppets because NARRATIVE.

  19. Some Democrats Are Mad at Bernie Sanders for Daring to Give SOTU Rebuttal?After Stacey Abrams Gives Hers

    Who are Bernie Sanders and Stacey Abrams you speak of?

    1. Two people 10,000 more sane than the orange fucktard you dream of someday blowing, and Bernie isn’t even that sane.

      1. Obviously much more sane than our resident shitbag; TDS is dangerous. I am not alone in hoping it is fatal in your case.

      2. 10,000 what?

        10,000 percent…
        10,000 degrees…
        10,000 nanometers…

          1. Sounds about right.

            1. Must be from Florida.

        1. 10,000 marbles.
          Comrade Bernie lost them some time ago.

    2. Abrams is a failed gubernatorial candidate. Sanders is somebody’s crazy old uncle; he hates deodorant for some reason.

      1. he hates deodorant for some reason

        How came you by this interesting tidbit?

        1. He doesn’t hate all deodorant, just 37 of the 38 kinds.

          1. “Left Guard” is more than enough for anybody.

      2. “he hates deodorant for some reason.”

        Solidarity. No deodorant for him until there is a state brand of deodorant found at “The Store”.

      3. In Mother Russia… deodorant hate you!

  20. “Why is he talking over the black woman our party chose to speak for us?”

    If she were purple, it’d be cool?

  21. “a more respected voice, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes”

    1. I know; can’t even.

  22. “We now go to Stacey Abrams with the black rebuttal.”

    1. You said black butt…

      1. I cannot lie, that joke was truly tasteless.

        1. guy w/no arms or legs nailed to the wall? ART

      2. So much back she’s got a butt and a rebutt.

  23. I for one look forward to Bernie’s speech – mute the sound, put on a John Philip Sousa record and take a drink every time his bizarre hand chops synch up with the music. (Note: If the speech goes over 20 minutes, acute alcohol poisoning is a serious risk so be forewarned.)

    1. That is one fine game you come up with sir. Methinks I’ll give it a try. ETOH poisoning be damned.

    2. Hehehe

  24. I don’t know that this is anything to get mad about, given that every useless person in the country (i.e. the politicians and the talking heads) are going to be babbling about this one pointless speech for days.

  25. How appropriate; a loser gives the democratic apology speech.

    1. Has she conceded yet?

      1. Does it matter? The dems have not conceded 2016 yet.

  26. If I were Bernie (thank god, I’m not), I’d ask what they mean by “our” when they say, “Our party chose…” Did Bernie officially join the Democrats at some point? He’s still listed as an independent.

    I’m any case, all he has to do is identify as female next time. Then “Bernadette” can fire back at those critics with intersectional charges of his own. If he levels transphobia, ageism, and anti-semitism at them, that would be more points combined than the charge of racism and sexism they’re throwing at him.

    1. Not only will he be female he’ll be a trans-female, which is like double plus good identity. Too bad being a Jew is s strike against him in the Identity hierarchy. He’ll have to counter that by being gay or something.

      1. Angry old commie grandpa isn’t good enough?

        1. You forget that Stalin was one of the bad commies. Give them another chance. This time they’ll get it right!

      2. So, a man who identifies as female and likes to have sex with women. In other words, your typical frat house dude who’s figured out how to work the system to shield their actions from too much scrutiny.

  27. Democrats need to get over the fact that they don’t own politics in the US, Sanders wen’t back to being independent after 2016, and Democrats certainly have no right to a monopoly on opposition to Trump

  28. How come the Libertarian Party never does a rebuttal to the SOTU?

    I would actually watch that, unlike the mindless drivel if offered up by the two major fraud parties.

    1. Reason covers an LP “prebuttal.”

      1. Drugs, prebutt sex, and ‘Mesicans.


        1. That was like 8 years ago.

          1. That was like, the 70s. Just keep focussing on weed and buttsex and big govt will disappear.

  29. SOTU? More like STFU!

  30. Bernie is only an I when he is not running for president. He’s a D when he does that. I can understand how that might confuse democrats.

    However, if there are going to be rebuttals, each party should be able to do so without another party bitching about it.

    I think the networks should show the independent party rebuttal. But I get why the dem entrenched networks would be against giving the third party any spotlight.

  31. For each of the last three [sic] years, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has delivered his own response to President Trump’s State of the Union speech.

    Is it 2020 already/?!

    1. They are counting this year: 2017, 2018, 2019

      1. But they don’t know for sure yet whether he will deliver such a speech in 2019. He could have a stroke or be kidnapped at any moment.

        1. Or perhaps impeached, one might think.

  32. For each of the last three years, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has delivered his own response to President Trump’s State of the Union speech.

    How’d he manage that in 2016?

    1. I wondered the same thing. Almost as much as I wondered who really bothers to watch these rebuttals since the SOTU itself is watched by virtually no one.

      This is purely a media event, and they’re the only one’s who probably care about this stuff. Woodrow Wilson strikes again.

    2. One point twenty one gigawatts!

  33. Some Libertarians are questioning the editorial integrity of after writing an idiotic article about “some” Democrats that included Mensch and a handful of unknown Twitter users.

    I’m kidding of course. But if I used Twitter and criticized this stupid article would Reason write a self-referencing article about itself and “some” of its critics?

    1. There is some distinction to be made between articles and blog posts. If they publish actual articles for the magazine that include Twitter screenshots, that would be some bullshit. But I don’t think that happens. On a current events blog it’s still not great, but that’s the world we live in.

  34. Does Bernie have a time machine? Trump has so far only given two SOTU addresses, in 2017 and 2018.

    1. One point twenty one gigawatts!

        1. Doc! What the hell’s a jiggawatt?!?

    2. Probably, but in Marx time it’s always? 1867.

  35. This is just another step in the intersectionalization of the US and its politics. Next year we will have at least 14 SOTU rebuttals.

    1. We’ll have the Black Female rebuttal, but what about the Lesbian Trans-Male Amerindian rebuttal? Without that we won’t know what to think. Oh wait… we’re already told what to think.

    2. Good. I will happily ignore them too.

  36. Democrats seem to be losing their minds. Trump is a mess most of the time. There are a few sane politicians, but the press pays them little attention. We live in interesting times.

  37. This should be fun. Trump gives a speech that makes him look like an even bigger idiot, Abrams says “hold my beer” then Bernie says “no, you hold my beer.” Is Paulie Shore next?

  38. We should be grateful the crazy commie Jew keeps speaking on behalf of the Democrats.
    He has lots of fans in that party of kooks. So the othe wannabes have to hew left to match his stupidity.
    And the further left they go, the less likely they’ll get elected in the general election.
    Sanders is a gift.

  39. Comrade Bernie should step aside for the gun grabber, Ms. Abrams.
    That would be progress, although not the progress Comrade Bernie had in mind.

  40. Well, one idiot wants to talk over another? Why would sentient human beings care?

  41. I just want to say….


    you fucking losers may you all go fuck yourselves you fucking commie ass holes…


  42. Bernie has put more skin in the game for black democrats than all of these Twitter fools put together. Dude got hit in the face by an angry white lady in 88 after voting for Jackson in the primary.

  43. Bernie has put more skin in the game for black democrats than all of these Twitter fools put together. Dude got hit in the face by an angry white lady in 88 after voting for Jackson in the primary.

  44. Sanders is an old white guy – not a demographic the Dems give a damn about. Certainly he should be ashamed of having the gall to take the spotlight off of a black woman.

  45. Mensch, of course, does not speak for sane Democrats.

    So… she speaks for all Democrats.

  46. If everything is viewed through the lens of skin color and gender, it means you haven’t leaned a thing in the last hundred years

  47. Hmm? They could have had Chuck Todd! Oh! Right! He’s an objectionable journalist. I meant to say objective!

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