Bernie Rigged Himself With Progressive Hypocrisy

13325608_10154220032724513_4807963912794455261_nWill the self-described progressives who are still complaining about Hillary’s win?—?men like blogger Ron Chusid and Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi?—?learn anything from Bernie’s loss?

I think not, since the fact that they are complaining about the party and its process rather than looking inward indicates they still don’t get it. They can’t be taken seriously trashing Hilary Clinton for not being progressive enough while enthusiastically pushing Bernie, a candidate whose record and campaign are full of holes that disqualify him from being the bouncer at Club Progressive.

Bernie fans can’t be taken seriously criticizing Hillary’s alleged closeness to Wall Street while supporting Bernie, who gladly took Wall Street money for his Senate campaigns for years?—?schmoozed with big bankers at high-dollar DSCC retreats?—?and who was the only candidate in the race who ever actually voted to deregulate Wall Street banks.

Bernie fans can’t be taken seriously criticizing Hillary through Latino Democrats while supporting Bernie, who voted to support right-wing border militias, he profits personally from environmental racism with the Sierra Blanca waste dump the he co-sponsored; he went on Lou Dobbs in 2007 and trashed Latinos for allegedly taking American jobs, and he voted against the comprehensive immigration reform bill supported by Ted Kennedy, Dolores Huerta, La Raza, SEIU, UFW, and Hillary Clinton.

Bernie fans can’t be taken seriously slamming Hillary for alleged conservative views while supporting Bernie, a candidate who sold out to the corporate gun lobby multiple times?—?voted five times against the Brady Bill, voted for the loophole that lead directly to the Charleston church massacre, voted against Sandy Hook families and with the NRA to protect the gun lobby from liability, and voted to allow loaded guns in public parks and on public transportation.

Bernie fans can’t be taken seriously calling out Hillary for allegedly extreme views on militarism while supporting Bernie, who voted in support of regime change in Iraq in the 1990s, voted to give Bush unilateral war powers, voted to bomb Somalia and Yugoslavia and Kosovo and Libya, voted for every one of Bush’s wartime defense budgets, and supported a Republican-backed resolution endorsing a Gaza War while Hillary was negotiating a peaceful cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.

Bernie fans can’t hold Hillary accountable for a crime bill she never voted for but addressed in speech two years after it passed while giving Bernie a pass for actually voting for that same crime bill, and gave a floor speech calling its targets “sick and sociopathic,” then bragging about his vote on his website for years until it was time to pander to Progressives.

Bernie fans can’t be taken seriously criticizing Hillary for evolving on gay rights along with the rest of the country while supporting Bernie, a candidate who was M.I.A. during the AIDS crisis. Unlike Hillary, he never marched in Gay Pride parades when it counted. Bernie, whose staff told papers he was only opposing DOMA on states rights technicalities not principle; who signed a traditional marriage day resolution in 1982; who voiced support for a Cuban dictator who put gays in concentration camps, and who is quoted in Vermont newspapers as recently as 2006 opposing gay marriage.

It wasn’t progressive of Bernie to white flight to one the least diverse states and to never hire a black staffer in four decades until it came time to pander to blacks. It wasn’t progressive of Bernie to dismiss Southern Democrats, who are disproportionately nonwhite, and who are trying to make progressive gains in hostile territory, as “conservative.” It’s not progressive to insult black history by exaggerating Bernie’s role in the civil rights movement

It wasn’t progressive of Bernie to lie about having no Super PAC support. Neither was it progressive of him to steal Hillary’s voter data and blame others rather than take full responsibility. It wasn’t progressive of Bernie to fake endorsements from veterans groups. Neither was it progressive of him to take no responsibility for his VA oversight failures as chairman of the Senate Veterans Committee. It’s not progressive of Bernie to flaunt precedent and only release one year of taxes, hiding his true income and investments.

It’s not progressive of Bernie to complain the process is “rigged” while enthusiastically supporting caucuses, the most undemocratic election method possible. Neither is it progressive to try to delegitimize Hillary’s crossing the delegate threshold when Bernie had no problem endorsing Obama in 2008 as a superdelegate himself; and declaring the race over before all states voted once Obama had passed the same threshold the same way.

It wasn’t progressive of Bernie to vote against Amber Alerts back in the day. And it definitely wasn’t progressive of Bernie to lie to his supporters that it’s possible to have Scandinavian-style “free” and unrationed social programs” without levying Scandinavian-level tax rates of 50%-70% on all levels of income.

The stunning hypocrisy reveals that anti-Hillary complaints from the BernieOrBust segment are not about progressive principle but about a personality cult of white identity politics.

If Bernie’s fans want their criticisms of Hillary to be taken seriously, they must first hold their candidate and their own standards.


Dude Kembro, a California-based singer and actor, was a Warner Bros. fellow in screenwriting at USC and holds a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Pepperdine.

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