In a nasty bit of political character assassination, Markos Moulitsas (kos) published a hit piece on Bernie Sanders at The Hill yesterday that retailed a number of his recent attacks on Democratic Party presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. In its sheer concentrated amalgam of invective, this article, “Sanders Socialist Coup”, demands some response.
While I see that bobswern published a diary today criticizing kos’s Hill piece, if anything it pulled its punches. Bob did not address an impassioned jeremiad by kos about Sanders supposedly using an argument about “white voters [who] prefer a white male candidate.” (See screenshot at top of diary.) Sanders never has said or even implied such a thing.
It is an insult to all of Sanders’ supporters who are people of color to imply that Sanders argues for “white privilege,” or that Sanders’ push for superdelegate support is meant in any way to conduct a supposedly “socialist”-inspired coup against the will of “Latinos, African-Americans and women” and the base of the Democratic Party.
All this is hogwash, but beyond that, it’s demagogic hogwash, as it stirs up racial and political animosities that otherwise would not exist except in the propaganda of the demagogue. It is, in fact, the kind of thing Trump does, setting one group against another, and it’s reprehensible when Trump does it, and it is reprehensible when kos does it.
In his article for The Hill, kos violence-baits Sanders. He’s been doing it for some time now. In a diary of his on May 20, kos wrote that Sanders “didn’t forcefully condemn the violence in Nevada because revolutions are violent. He doesn’t care about the will of the Democratic electorate because revolutions aren’t democratic elections.”
But NPR’s ombudsman laid to rest the lie that there was “violence” at the Nevada convention. Furthermore, Sanders’ statement on Nevada, issued May 17, said clearly, “ Our campaign of course believes in non-violent change and it goes without saying that I condemn any and all forms of violence, including the personal harassment of individuals.”
But in his article for The Hill, Kos claims Sanders “shrugged off the violence and misogynistic threats hurled at the state party chairwoman...”
If there is anyone lying here, it is kos.
Then there’s the redbaiting. Here’s kos in all his glory: “Bernie Sanders, a self-avowed democratic socialist, would toss aside the ‘democratic’ part of his self-identification, becoming an old-school autocratic socialist. It’s breathtaking how nonchalantly the presidential contender and his campaign can talk about subverting the democratic will of the voters, as if his purer ideology excused all excesses. “
Actually, all Sanders has been asking for is proportionate support from superdelegates from states in which he won handily. But kos isn’t interested in what Sanders really says. His purpose is to stir the waters of fear among Democratic Party voters, the better to push the candidate he really supports, Hillary Clinton.
In order to do this, he misrepresents Sanders as undemocratic and “autocratic,” pushing violent revolution, and at the same time taking up the cudgels of “white privilege.”
In order to keep one’s dignity, it is simple for me to conclude that one cannot contribute to a site whose owner engages in duplicitous and arguably slanderous activity. Politics is dirty, and maybe that’s how it’s played, but I, for one, don’t have to by my participation give any legitimacy to that kind of behavior.
The handwriting on the wall came when there was a failure to see that Clinton’s endorsement of a war criminal like Henry Kissinger made any difference in this election. Kos has never mentioned that aspect of Hillary’s agenda.
Kissinger was responsible for the deaths of many brown-skinned and Asian people, 100s of thousands, and more likely millions of men, women, and children, killed by massive air bombing with incendiary and cluster bombs, killed by death squads, killed by rounding up and shooting. I haven’t seen kos express his upset over that. Instead he wants to slime a man who is actually trying to do good and dedicate himself to ending poverty, and reduce the economic inequality in this country that hits Latinos, African-Americans, women and children the hardest.
I am grateful to kos for providing a platform for someone like me, who has published at this site on and off for around ten years. I wrote extensively here about torture, and very likely wrote about things at times kos disagreed with. He never censored me or tried to discourage me. I respect him for that.
But he has crossed the line with this election. He has chosen to act the demagogue. I cannot abide that, nor associate myself at all with that kind of dishonesty. I will not be posting here again.
Update: Well, I expected a negative response, as there are those who don’t mind when falsehoods are retailed in the name of their candidate. But in the 408 diaries I have written at this site, this is the first time a Tip Jar was flagged and then hidden. By leaving here, I certainly will not miss the inappropriate and immature response of so many to the attempts by diarists and commenters of all persuasions to discuss the issues.