Thursday, January 21, 2016

Hill's Shills Slander Sanders Demanders

Given Bernie Sanders's surge in the polls, it should come as no surprise that the Clinton campaign has been eager to discredit him. And, of course, that means the pro-Clinton mouthpieces are also ready to do their part, spitting out their pre-packaged, mass-produced propaganda like the dead-eyed robots they are. We've heard the "electability" lie about a thousand times now, and about "experience," and "practicality," and so on. But it's not enough, and the Clintonites know it's not enough. You don't kill a movement like the one behind Sanders by appealing to the criteria that vapid, corporate-funded pundits use to declare who the "better" candidate is. It doesn't work. So, swine-like, they've gotten down in the mud and begun to use some truly scummy tactics.

Sanders is too congenial for them to truly demonize him. The Clinton campaign did their best, insinuating he was a racist, and a sexist, and a thief, but nobody bought it (except, of course, Clinton's supporters). So instead one can only demonize his supporters. It's the natural next step: promote the lie that Sanders supporters are a bunch of depraved half-wits, foaming at the mouth and unable to hear any criticism of their candidate, and every noncommittal primary voter will flee like a scared jackrabbit. Or so that's the thought. Or maybe it's just putrid whining from a group of people angry their candidate has some competition and who are looking for the nearest rock to throw.

Allen Clifton, one of my favorite targets, is at the top of the list of people eager making these attacks, with tweets like this gem:
With one stroke of the brush, the people who back Sanders are lumped in with the nematodes propping up the Trump campaign--Nazis, xenophobes, and friendly neighborhood racists. Is the comparison fair? Of course not. There are no records of Sanders supporters attacking Hispanics or Muslims, or beating up protesters, or shouting Nazi salutes at his rallies. And of course Clifton's not saying anything like that. But the seed is planted. Deep down, they're the same. Don't want to be part of the kind of mob you see at Trump rallies? Stay away from that Sanders guy. His supporters are bad news.

Michael Cohen, a hack writer who recently churned out a piece (about how Sanders doesn't understand politics) that might as well have been stamped with the official Hillary Rodham Clinton Campaign Seal of Approval, also made sure to throw in his two cents.

Michael and I must have been dealing with different groups of Trump supporters. The ones I've dealt with have accused me of being disloyal to the white race. Or maybe Cohen is just less bothered by accusations like that than he is by intelligent people waving away his huckstering and laughing in his face, knowing he doesn't have much to offer but a coughed-up load of advertising slogans for his favorite candidate.

With these two goons, we can also toss in Amanda Marcotte, who's busied herself concern-trolling about how overwhelmingly male Sanders supporters supposedly are. Like them, she's not above vague, unsubstantiated comments intended to jab at Sanders supporters:

Notice the lack of nuance from all three. It's not even that some Sanders supporters are the vile creatures they're warning us about--rude, abusive, just like the Trump clan--it's just "Sanders supporters" as a group. Oh, of course, it's not like they're saying that every Sanders supporter is like that, or even a majority, but clearly it's a real problem among Sanders's supporters (the whole boorish, unsophisticated bunch of them).

These are the cries of people who know they've run out of real arguments to make. They can rehash the same talking points in favor of Hillary from now until the end of primary season, but when the Sanders supporters hit back and claim that Clinton is corporate-backed shell of a candidate, a tool of the master class, a sneering war-hawk with an itchy trigger finger, they can't do much but shake their heads and mumble. So better just to complain about the Sanders supporters who say those sort of things.

But their efforts are failing. Sanders continues on, unabated by his detractors from the chattering class. He's a longshot candidate, but in a country as angry and disgusted as ours is now, he's far from out of the question. That anger can be channeled into fixing the problems of society, or, as with Trump, it can be channeled into a Neanderthal rallying cry to bash out the brains of the weak. But the anger has to go somewhere, whether the pundits like it or not.

POST SCRIPT: While not strictly the subject of this article, after I had written a draft of it I discovered a truly nausea-inducing slam against Sanders by Clinton ally David Brock, who said (based on an ad Sanders ran that he viewed as lacking in racial diversity) that "From this ad it seems black lives don't matter much to Bernie Sanders." This is disgusting on at least two levels: one, because of its mendacity about Sanders (who attended Martin Luther King's March on Washington and has a 97% rating from the NAACP), and two, because of its sickeningly cheap invocation of not caring about black lives, which has been (and continues to be) a serious problem in the United States. I sincerely hope that Hillary Clinton denounces this remark; as little regard as I have for her, I'd like to be able to believe that she's at least not as much of sick-minded political monster as Brock clearly is.

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