Bernie’s Answer Problem


He always has a response. It hardly ever answers the question.

Socialist Candidate Bernie Sanders was at the She The People forum and was asked a question on how he would address violence by white supremacists.

In a particularly striking moment, host Aimee Allison asked Sanders what he would do to fight white-supremacist violence. In response, Sanders launched into a familiar anecdote that — perhaps precisely because of its familiarity — seemed to crash and burn.

“I know I date myself a little bit here, but I actually was at the March on Washington with Dr. [Martin Luther] King back in 1963,” Sanders began, as audible groans and jeers broke out at the auditorium at Texas Southern University. One person apparently shouted, “We know!”

“And,” Sanders continued, as he held his hand up to quiet the crowd and apparently to wag his finger, “as somebody who actively supported Jesse Jackson’s campaign, as one of the few white elected officials to do so in ’88, I have dedicated my life to the fight against racism, and sexism, and discrimination of all forms.”

It seems that Bernie is more interested in trying to shore up his creds as if somehow his participation in events decades ago matters today, or even to the question.  The audience members hissed and booed of his lack of answers which has been his modus operandi for years – deflect on how bad things are, blame others for the problems, and if necessary, share how he has always had a stance that favors the moment.

Over the past few days, I’ve had a chance to review the town halls and interviews Bernie has given over the last few months and you can predict his answers as follows:

Question:  How will you handle/pay/address/fix _____________________?

Answer:  Trump is a racist. The current system is broken. Democracy is under attack. We’re going to tax the wealthy. Trump is a terrible person.  I have always been on the just side of this issue.

Absent from his responses: An actual answer to the question.

While it is fascinating that progressives are beginning to see that Bernie, and for that matter all the other candidates who are also unable to answer a question directly without deflecting or making some comment about Trump, the next year of whittling will be fun to watch.

Of course, Bernie’s other problem is that when he feels the moment is slipping away, or his competitors are feeling the love, he comes up with a brand new farther left position, like criminals still serving in prison should have the right to vote.

Apparently, while he understand the “rule of law” and wants all of it to apply to Trump, he fails to grasp the reasons why convicted felons lose their privileges.  He hasn’t so far responded to reconcile that bad people who deprive others of their constitutional  rights, including the right to live, deserve to lose their constitutional rights and freedom.  He doesn’t seem to have an answer for that.

Karl Rove had mentioned that Bernie seems to handle the Fox News town hall quite well. It was pretty obvious he wasn’t really paying attention to the answers.  Bernie’s progressive wing is paying attention.  I hope it continues.

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