‘Bernie Bros’ Were Invented as Sexist, Racist and Anti-Semitic

The Establishment uses identity politics to divide those who might otherwise find a united voice and a common cause, writes Jonathan Cook.

By JonathanCook

The Democratic presidential nomination race is a fascinating case study in how power works – not least, because the Democratic party leaders are visibly contriving to impose one candidate, Joe Biden, as the party’s nominee, even as it becomes clear that he is no longer mentally equipped to run a local table tennis club let alone the world’s most powerful nation.

Biden’s campaign is a reminder that power is indivisible. Donald Trump or Joe Biden for president – it doesn’t matter to the power-establishment. An egomaniacal man-child (Trump), representing the billionaires, or an elder suffering rapid neurological degeneration (Biden), representing the billionaires, are equally useful to power. A woman will do too, or a person of color.

The establishment is no longer worried about who stands on stage – so long as that person is not a Bernie Sanders in the U.S., or a Jeremy Corbyn in the U.K.

It really isn’t about who the candidates are – hurtful as that may sound to some in our identity-saturated times. It is about what the candidate might try to do once in office. In truth, the very fact that nowadays we are allowed to focus on identity to our heart’s content should be warning enough that the establishment is only too keen for us to exhaust our energies in promoting divisions based on those identities. What concerns it far more is that we might overcome those divisions and unify against it, withdrawing our consent from an establishment committed to endless asset-stripping of our societies and the planet.

Neither Biden nor Trump will obstruct the Establishment, because they are at its very heart. The Republican and Democratic leaderships are there to ensure that, before a candidate gets selected to compete in the parties’ name, he or she has proven they are power-friendly. Two candidates, each vetted for obedience to power.

Although a pretty face or a way with words are desirable, incapacity and incompetence are no barrier to qualifying, as the two white men groomed by their respective parties demonstrate. Both have proved they will favor the Establishment, both will pursue near-enough the same policies, both are committed to the status quo, both have demonstrated their indifference to the future of life on Earth. What separates the candidates is not real substance, but presentation styles — the creation of the appearance of difference, of choice.

Policing the Debate

The subtle dynamics of how the Democratic nomination race is being rigged are interesting. Especially revealing are the ways the Democratic leadership protects Establishment power by policing the terms of debate: what can be said, and what can be thought; who gets to speak and whose voices are misrepresented or demonized. Manipulation of language is key.

As I pointed out in a previous post, the Establishment’s power derives from its invisibility. Scrutiny is kryptonite to power.

The only way we can interrogate power is through language, and the only way we can communicate our conclusions to others is through words – as I am doing right now. And therefore our strength – our ability to awaken ourselves from the trance of power – must be subverted by the Establishment, transformed into our Achilles’ heel, a weakness.

The treatment of Bernie Sanders and his supporters by the Democratic Establishment – and those who eagerly repeat its talking points – neatly illustrates how this can be done in manifold ways.

Remember this all started back in 2016, when Sanders committed the unforgivable sin of challenging the Democratic leadership’s right simply to anoint Hillary Clinton as the party’s presidential candidate. In those days, the fault line was obvious and neat: Bernie was a man, Clinton a woman. She would be the first woman president. The only party members who might wish to deny her that historic moment, and back Sanders instead, had to be misogynist men. They were supposedly venting their anti-women grudge against Clinton, who in turn was presented to women as a symbol of their oppression by men.

And so was born a meme: the “Bernie Bros.” It rapidly became shorthand for suggesting — contrary to all evidence — that Sanders’ candidacy appealed chiefly to angry, young, entitled white men. In fact, as Sanders’ 2020 run has amply demonstrated, support for him has been more diverse than for the many other Democratic candidates who sought the nomination.

How contrived the 2016 identity-fueled contest was should have been clear, had anyone been allowed to point that fact out. This wasn’t really about the Democratic leadership respecting Clinton’s identity as a woman. It was about them paying lip service to her identity as a woman, while actually promoting her because she was a reliable warmonger and Wall Street functionary. She was useful to power.

If the debate had really been driven by identity politics, Sanders had a winning card too: he is Jewish. That meant he could be the United States’ first Jewish president. In a fair identity fight, it would have been a draw between the two. The decision about who should represent the Democratic Party would then have had to be decided based on policies, not identity. But party leaders did not want Clinton’s actual policies, or her political history, being put under the microscope for very obvious reasons.

Weaponization of Identity

The weaponization of identity politics is even more transparent in 2020. Sanders is still Jewish, but his main opponent, Joe Biden, really is simply a privileged white man. Were the Clinton format to be followed again by Democratic officials, Sanders would enjoy an identity politics trump card. And yet Sanders is still being presented as just another white male candidate, no different from Biden.

(We could take this argument even further and note that the other candidate who no one, least of all the Democratic leadership, ever mentions as still in the race is Tulsi Gabbard, a woman of color. The Democratic Party has worked hard to make her as invisible as possible in the primaries because, of all the candidates, she is the most vocal and articulate opponent of foreign wars. That has deprived her of the chance to raise funds and win delegates.)

Sanders’ Jewish identity isn’t celebrated because he isn’t useful to the power Establishment. What’s far more important to them – and should be to us too – are his policies, which might limit their power to wage war, exploit workers and trash the planet.

But it is not just that Democratic Party leaders are ignoring Sanders’ Jewish identity. They are also again actively using identity politics against him, and in many different ways.

The ‘Black’ Establishment?

Bernie Sanders’ supporters have been complaining for some time – based on mounting evidence – that the Democratic leadership is far from neutral between Sanders and Biden. Because it has a vested interest in the outcome, and because it is the part of the power-Establishment, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) is exercising its influence in favor of Biden.

And because power prefers darkness, the DNC is doing its best to exercise that power behind the scenes, out of sight — at least, unseen by those who still rely on the “mainstream” corporate media, which is also part of the power-Establishment. As should be clear to anyone watching, the nomination proceedings are being controlled to give Biden every advantage and to obstruct Sanders.

But the Democratic leadership is not only dismissing out of hand these very justified complaints from Bernie Sanders’ supporters but also turning these complaints against them, as further evidence of their – and his – illegitimacy. A new way of doing this emerged in the immediate wake of Biden winning South Carolina on the back of strong support from older black voters – Biden’s first state win and a launchpad for his Super Tuesday bid a few days later.

It was given perfect expression from Symone Sanders, who despite her surname is actually a senior adviser to Biden’s campaign. She is also black. This is what she wrote: “People who keep referring to Black voters as ‘the establishment’ are tone deaf and have obviously learned nothing.”

Her reference to generic “people” was understood precisely by both sides of the debate as code for those “Bernie Bros.” Now, it seems, Bernie Sanders’ supporters are not simply misogynists, they are potential recruits to the Ku Klux Klan.

The tweet went viral, even though in the fiercely contested back-and-forth below her tweet no one could produce a single example of anyone actually saying anything like the sentiment ascribed by Symone Sanders to “Bernie Bros.” But then, tackling bigotry was not her real goal. This wasn’t meant to be a reflection on a real-world talking-point by Bernie supporters. It was high-level gaslighting by a senior Democratic Party official of the party’s own voters.

Survival of the Fittest Smear

What Symone Sanders was really trying to do was conceal power – the fact that the DNC is seeking to impose its chosen candidate on party members. As occurred during the confected women-men, Clinton vs. “Bernie Bros” confrontation, Symone Sanders was field-testing a similar narrative management tool as part of the Establishment’s efforts to hone it for improved effect. The Establishment has learnt – through a kind of survival of the fittest smear – that divide-and-rule identity politics is the perfect way to shield its influence as it favors a status-quo candidate (Biden or Clinton) over a candidate seen as a threat to its power (Sanders).

“Sanders’ Jewish identity isn’t celebrated because he isn’t useful to the power Establishment. What’s far more important to them – and should be to us too – are his policies, which might limit their power to wage war, exploit workers and trash the planet.”

In her tweet, Symone Sanders showed exactly how the power elite seeks to obscure its toxic role in our societies. She neatly conflated “the Establishment” – of which she is a very small, but well-paid component – with ordinary “black voters.” Her message is this: should you try to criticize the Establishment (which has inordinate power to damage lives and destroy the planet) we will demonize you, making it seem that you are really attacking black people (who in the vast majority of cases – though Symone Sanders is a notable exception – wield no power at all).

Symone Sanders has recruited her own blackness and South Carolina’s “black voters” as a ring of steel to protect the Establishment. Cynically, she has turned poor black people, as well as the tens of thousands of people (presumably black and white) who liked her tweet, into human shields for the Establishment.

It sounds a lot uglier put like that. But it has rapidly become a Biden talking-point, as we can see here:

The DNC’s wider strategy is to confer on Biden exclusive rights to speak for black voters (despite his inglorious record on civil rights issues) and, further, to strip Sanders and his senior black advisers of any right to do so. When Sanders protests about this, or about racist behavior from the Biden camp, Biden’s supporters come out in force and often abusively, though of course no one is upbraiding them for their ugly, violent language. Here is the famous former tennis player Martina Navratilova showing that maybe we should start talking about “Biden Bros:”

Being Unkind to Billionaires

This kind of special pleading by the Establishment for the Establishment – using those sections of it, such as Symone Sanders, who that can tap into the identity politics zeitgeist – is far more common than you might imagine. The approach is being constantly refined, often using social media as the ultimate focus group. Symone Sanders’ successful conflation of the Establishment with “black voters” follows earlier, clumsier efforts by the Establishment to protect its interests against Sanders that proved far less effective.

Remember how last autumn the billionaire-owned corporate media tried to tell us that it was unkind to criticize billionaires – that they had feelings too and that speaking harshly about them was “dehumanizing?”

Again, it was aimed at Sanders, who had just commented that in a properly ordered world billionaires simply wouldn’t exist. It was an obvious point: allowing a handful of people to control almost all the planet’s wealth was not only depriving the rest of us of that wealth (and harming the planet) but it gave those few billionaires way too much power. They could buy all the media, our channels of communication, and most of the politicians to ring-fence their financial interests, gradually eroding even the most minimal democratic protections.

“The DNC’s wider strategy is to confer on Biden exclusive rights to speak for black voters (despite his inglorious record on civil rights issues) and, further, to strip Sanders and his senior black advisers of any right to do so.”

That campaign died a quick death because few of us are actually brainwashed enough to accept the idea that a handful of billionaires share an identity that needs protecting – from us! Most of us are still connected enough to the real world to understand that billionaires are more than capable of looking out for their own interests, without our helping them by imposing on ourselves a vow of silence.

But one cannot fault the power-Establishment for being constantly inventive in the search for new ways to stifle our criticisms of the way it unilaterally exercises its power. The Democratic nomination race is testing such ingenuity to the limits. Here’s a new rule against “hateful conduct” on Twitter, where Biden’s neurological deficit is being subjected to much critical scrutiny through the sharing of dozens of videos of embarrassing Biden “senior moments.”

Yes, disability and age are identities too. And so, on the pretext of protecting and respecting those identities, social media can now be scrubbed of anything and anyone trying to highlight the mental deficiencies of an old man who might soon be given the nuclear codes and would be responsible for waging wars in the name of Americans.

Russian ‘Agents’ & ‘Assets’

None of this is to overlook the fact that another variation of identity politics has been weaponized against Sanders: that of failing to be an “American” patriot. Again illustrating how closely the Democratic and Republican leaderships’ interests align, the question of who is a patriot – and who is really working for the “Russians” – has been at the heart of both parties’ campaigns, though for different reasons.

Trump has been subjected to endless, evidence-free claims that he is a secret “Russian agent” in a concerted effort to control his original isolationist foreign policy impulses that might have stripped the Establishment – and its military-industrial wing – of the right to wage wars of aggression, and revive the Cold War, wherever it believes a profit can be made under cover of “humanitarian intervention.”

Trump partly inoculated himself against these criticisms, at least among his supporters, with his “Make America Great Again” slogan, and partly by learning – painfully for such an egotist – that his presidential role was to rubber-stamp decisions made elsewhere about waging wars and projecting U.S. power.

Bernie Sanders has faced similar smear efforts by the Establishment, including by the DNC’s last failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton – in his case, painting him as a “Russian asset.” (“Asset” is a way to suggest collusion with the Kremlin based on even more flimsy evidence than is needed to accuse someone of being an agent.) In fact, in a world where identity politics wasn’t simply a tool to be weaponized by the Establishment, there would be real trepidation about engaging in this kind of invective against a Jewish socialist.

One of the far-right’s favorite anti-Semitic tropes – promoted ever since the publication of the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” more than 100 years ago – is that Jewish “Bolsheviks” are involved in an international conspiracy to subvert the countries they live in. We have reached the point now that the corporate media are happy to recycle evidence-free claims, cited by The Washington Post, from anonymous “U.S. officials” and U.S. intelligence agencies reinventing a U.S. version of the Protocols against Sanders.

And these smears have elicited not a word of criticism from the Democratic leadership nor from the usual anti-Semitism watchdogs that are so ready to let rip over the slightest signs of what they claim to be antisemitism on the left.

But the urgency of dealing with Sanders may be the reason normal conventions are being discarded. Sanders isn’t a loud-mouth egotist like Trump. A vote for Trump is a vote for the Establishment, if for one of its number who pretends to be against the Establishment. Trump has been largely tamed in time for a second term.

By contrast, Sanders, like Corbyn in the U.K., is more dangerous because he may resist the efforts to domesticate him, and because if he is allowed any significant measure of political success – such as becoming a candidate for president – it may inspire others to follow in his footsteps. The system might start to throw up more anomalies, more AOCs and more Ilhan Omars.

So Sanders is now being cast, like Trump, as a puppet of the Kremlin, not a true American. And because he made the serious mistake of indulging the “Russiagate” smears when they were used against Trump, Sanders now has little defense against their redeployment against him. And given that, by the impoverished standards of U.S. political culture, he is considered an extreme leftist, it has been easy to conflate his democratic socialism with Communism, and then conflate his supposed Communism with acting on behalf of the Kremlin (which, of course, ignores the fact that Russia long ago abandoned Communism).

Anti-Semitism Smear at the Ready

There is a final use of weaponized identity politics that the Democratic Establishment would dearly love to use against Sanders, if they can get away with it. It is the most toxic brand – and therefore the most effective – of the identity-based smears, and it has been extensively field-tested in the U.K. against Jeremy Corbyn to great success. The dream of the DNC would be to denounce Sanders as an anti-Semite.

There has been only one thing holding them back so far: the fact that Sanders is Jewish. That may not prove an insuperable obstacle, but it does make it much harder to make the accusation look credible. The other identity-based smears have been a second-best, a make-do until a way can be found to unleash the anti-Semitism smear.

“Yes, disability and age are identities too. And so, on the pretext of protecting and respecting those identities, social media can now be scrubbed of anything and anyone trying to highlight the mental deficiencies of an old man who might soon be given the nuclear codes and would be responsible for waging wars in the name of Americans.”

The Establishment has been testing the waters with implied accusations of anti-Semitism against Sanders for a while, but their chances were given a fillip recently when Sanders refused to participate in the annual jamboree of AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a prominent lobby group whose primary mission is to ring-fence Israel from criticism in the U.S. Both the Republican and Democratic Establishments turn out in force to the AIPAC conference, and in the past the event has attracted keynote speeches from Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

But Sanders has refused to attend for decades and maintained that stance this month, even though he is a candidate for the Democratic nomination. In the last primaries debate, Sanders justified his decision by rightly calling Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a “racist” and by describing AIPAC as providing a platform “for leaders who express bigotry and oppose basic Palestinian rights.”

Trump’s vice president, Mike Pence, responded that Sanders supported “Israel’s enemies” and, if elected, would be the “most anti-Israel president in the history of this nation” – all coded suggestions that Sanders is anti-Semitic.

But that’s Mike Pence. More useful criticism came from billionaire Mike Bloomberg, who is himself Jewish and was until last week posing as a Democrat to try to win the party’s nomination. Bloomberg accused Sanders of using dehumanizing language against a bunch of inclusive identities that, he improbably suggested, AIPAC represents. He claimed:

This is a gathering of 20,000 Israel supporters of every religious denomination, ethnicity, faith, color, sexual identity and political party. Calling it a racist platform is an attempt to discredit those voices, intimidate people from coming here, and weaken the US-Israel relationship.

Where might this head? At the AIPAC conference last week we were given a foretaste. Ephraim Mirvis, the chief rabbi of the U.K. and a friend to Conservative government leader Boris Johnson, was warmly greeted by delegates, including leading members of the Democratic Establishment. He boasted that he and other Jewish leaders in the U.K. had managed to damage Jeremy Corbyn’s electoral chances by suggesting that he was an anti-Semite over his support, like Sanders, for Palestinian rights.

His own treatment of Corbyn, he argued, offered a model for US Jewish organizations to replicate against any leadership contender who might pose similar trouble for Israel, leaving it for his audience to pick up the not-so-subtle hint about who needed to be subjected to character-assassination.

Establishment Playbook

For anyone who isn’t willfully blind, the last few months have exposed the Establishment playbook: it will use identity politics to divide those who might otherwise find a united voice and a common cause.

There is nothing wrong with celebrating one’s identity, especially if it is under threat, maligned or marginalized. But having an attachment to an identity is no excuse for allowing it to be coopted by billionaires, by the powerful, by nuclear-armed states oppressing other people, by political parties or by the corporate media, so that they can weaponize it to prevent the weak, the poor, the marginalized from being represented.

It is time for us to wake up to the tricks, the deceptions, the manipulations of the strong that exploit our weaknesses – and make us yet weaker still. It’s time to stop being a patsy for the establishment.

Jonathan Cook is a freelance journalist based in Nazareth.

This article is from his blog Jonathan Cook.net. 

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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50 comments for “‘Bernie Bros’ Were Invented as Sexist, Racist and Anti-Semitic

  1. Vlodek Gabara
    March 13, 2020 at 15:49

    Frank, Ruth, Seamus
    I have one advantage over you and that is that I lived in a system which is not that dissimilar from what Sanders is advocating “socialism”. The various forms of that has been tried and not a single one worked: working people were much worse of than is American version of Capitalism with a significant governmental controls (pre 1929 capitalism has been non for 90 years so we do not need to debate with it) or social democratic systems which prevailed in W Europe. The last one is based on capitalism as a structure for production/manufacturing etc but has a larger government participation than in US. I assume when Sanders calls himself a “Socialist” he knows what that means. I find it demeaning to Sanders when some of his supporters invent new term Democratic Socialist without explaining what it is just trying to divorce his image from what the population at large knows about socialism. Ruth,
    I am not sure what in my comment gave you a sense that I am naive, easily manipulated. Take a bit more serious approach to these issues, a bit beyond what mass media offer (whatever is their color). Today, in this country if you want to learn (seriously) what is going on you can do that,. Stop infantilizing anybody who disagrees with your views. I have no doubt that Democratic Party is not interested in having Sanders representing them. I am surprise that taking Sanders point of view he still runs under Democratic Party flag. He should have enough courage and honesty to run nationally as independent the way he does and is planning to do in Vermont.
    I am afraid you guys will not have very pleasant political summer. But enjoy it as much as you can

  2. Vera Gottlieb
    March 12, 2020 at 15:20

    The days of “fair play” went the same way the Dodo bird. Now it is “hit below the belt”, muckraking, slandering, lies…you name it. This is not “democracy”, this is a “free for all”. Shameful.

  3. William H Warrick III MD
    March 12, 2020 at 15:16

    This is a sexist article about a Political Party that came out of the Confederacy, allied with Wall St that has erased the only Woman candidate also a Woman of Color from the Presidential Race. This is very typical of the Liberal Democrat Elite that toes the line of the DNC.

  4. Peter Loeb
    March 12, 2020 at 12:47


    Most of the arguments above fail to confront the basic issues that neoliberalism in Clinton and Obama resulted in the
    election of Donald Trump. This recognition is too painful. This analysis is made in part by Paul Street in 2008 in BARACK OBAMA
    AND THE FUTURE OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY and more comprehensively in Jack Rasmus 1. THE OBAMA ECONOMY:
    RECOVERY FOR THE FEW and more profoundly 2. THE SCOURGE OF NEOLIBERALISM (Clarity Press, 2020, see
    especially Chapter 6, “Neoliberalism on Opiods”). One must also concede the fact that while his ideas were admirable, Senator
    Sanders presented a slightly arrogant version for general consumption. These thoughts are from a former Democratic Socialist
    within the Swedish political context. (Sweden is no “commune; Volvo is not a Mom and Pop store, nor is Sweden’s giant bank,
    Stockholm’s Enskilda—Marcus Wallenberg— “socialist enterprises!)—Peter Loeb, Boston

  5. joe
    March 12, 2020 at 07:07

    The Democratic Party of the last 80 years has gone from have FDR, a man who was confined to a wheelchair and still won 4 presidential elections, got the US out of the Great Depression, and won WW2, plus giving us social security, 40 hour work week, and many other great success. President Truman who is now ranked amongst the great presidents. JFK who saved us from nuclear war. LBJ who gave us civil rights, medicare and medicaid. The similarities of these presidents are they worked for you average American.

    Fast forward to 2016 and the Democratic Party put up a candidate/nominee for the presidency who was under active FBI investigation. And now in 2020 the Democratic party has backed a candidate for President of the United States who they know is suffering from dementia. The similarities of these candidates are that they are subservient to the rich and corporate elite.

  6. Chris Reed
    March 12, 2020 at 06:27

    Sanders had five years to make the case to the Black community that Obama is part of the establishment. Just look at the company he is keeping by hobnobbing with NHS would be buster Richard Branson. With Biden it was always Barak this and Barak that. The confusion arises when you look at Obama’s electoral coalition, which was quite diverse. I think Cornel West best described Obama’s governing coalition, which exhibited all the tendencies that MLK attributed to white moderates in his Letter from Birmingham Jail. An honest assessment of Obama’s record couldn’t have led him to doing any worse in the South than he did.

    • joe
      March 12, 2020 at 20:32

      Sander’s should of resigned his senate seat 3 or 4 years ago. He could of used the time to campaign in states and win-over minority groups he would need in 2020. He could of used the time to make a nationwide grassroots organization with tons of donations. He could of searched and put up under his umbrella like minded candidates for office throughout the country. But he is too much a creature of the senate, he did the same, boring campaign that everyone has done for 30- years. He learned nothing from what happened to him in 2016.

  7. NOBTS
    March 11, 2020 at 20:31

    If Bernie is real; ie. not sheep-dogging for Hillary again, he can prove it by dropping out immediately and throwing his delegates to Tulsi so she can debate Joe Biden on Sunday; then watch the fur fly.

    • ML
      March 12, 2020 at 09:16

      Excellent idea, NOBTS! Sigh… doubtful he’d do something so brave. He lacks a fighting spirit and fierce chutzpah and that is why he has lost so much support from the left flank over the last few years.

    • March 12, 2020 at 13:06

      That would be fantastic strategy IF Bernie wasn’t the obvious sheepdog he is. I would love to see Tulsi reduce Biden to the blathering fool he is. Then again, the debate would probably be cancelled, blamed on the Corona virus.

    • Frank Titterton
      March 13, 2020 at 15:42

      She has not built the same following, She should try again in 4 years time.

  8. Anon
    March 11, 2020 at 18:58

    Very good observations on the oligarchy vs. Sanders et al.

    Except that we should dump the term “anti-s*mitic” because there is no such thing. We all know that almost no one in the US is anti-J*wish, which is the proper term for the ethnic discrimination. I have never met a J*wish friend who had been discriminated against; just compare that with the obvious discrimination against African-Americans in the 1950s and earlier, to see what a propaganda operation is entailed in the use of that term.

    The term has no correct meaning, because S*mites includes Arab groups.
    Those who use the term do not say “anti-J*wish” because no one would believe them without evidence, and they have none.

    It is only the radical Z**nists who claim that anyone who does not give them everything in foreign policy is secretly plotting to destroy everyone of their ethnic group. They are the extremists, and they are very fanatical and highly organized demagogues, essentially terrorizing other J*ws to secure compliance. So any use of the term supports radical Z**nism, and the apartheid and tribal prejudice that it includes. It is better to explain these things and dispose of any such claims as nonsense.

    • AnneR
      March 13, 2020 at 13:02

      True indeed. Judeophobia would be a practical alternative with a hint of “intellectualism” behind it. But anti-semitism is inapplicable – the overwhelming majority of those who claim a Jewish background are of Ashkenzi origin, and *they* are most decidedly not of semitic origin (no matter how frequently they use the Bible to make their claims – a book of myth, legend and imagination, anyway).

      Palestinians on the other hand fully semitic – clearly their native language, Arabic is semitic (as are Hebrew and Aramaic – all related) – and, given how zionists use the term (anti) semitism to include “racial” (we are all of the human species, there are no races but definitely ethnicities and differing skin, hair, eye colors all of which are fundamentally meaningless) belonging, supremacy, victimhood etc etc – and also ethnically (and “racially” using zionista usage). One can therefore rightly ask: how on earth can Palestinians be “anti-semitic”?

      As for Bernie – his positions are not in the least radical beyond these shores. They are common sense, humane, righteous.

      But they will never have the necessary funding *until* the obscene, unimaginable sums of $$$ we lavish annually on the MIC and all related pig troughs are totally ended, the standing (mercenary – volunteer and paid) military is stood down, all of those hundred of bases around the world are closed and we simply maintain a small genuinely defensive corps within these borders (rather like Russia, in fact). And, of course, we end all tax evasion/avoidance loop holes and the upper 10% pay their full share annually.

      I’ve not read anything that suggests that Bernie has posited these as the true and real sources of the funding for the absolutely necessary free at point of service health care, free higher education and the building of all needed social housing…. That he would, in fact, end our war-making, aggression, invasions, coups…and end our support of “Israel” (Occupied Palestine).

  9. NOBTS
    March 11, 2020 at 16:41

    If Bernie is real; ie. not sheep-dogging for Hillary again, he can prove it by dropping out immediately and throwing his delegates to Tulsi so she can debate Joe Biden on Sunday; then watch the fur fly. ….last chance for the left.
    Seriously, the only positive play left for Bernie, (if positive change is his intent )would be to immediately drop out and throw a “Hail Tulsi Pass” downfield ahead of the Sunday debate.

    • Skip Scott
      March 12, 2020 at 08:48

      Great idea! I haven’t been watching MSM, so I’m not sure of Bernie’s current relationship with Tulsi. Another good idea would be for Bernie and Tulsi to run together as Independents after Tulsi’s debate performance. In fact she could announce it at the debates on live TV! The 40% who stayed home in 2016 are a huge untapped potential who could blow up the utterly corrupt two party (one party) flim-flam game for good.

    • ML
      March 12, 2020 at 09:21

      Positive change on the order you suggest is not what Sanders wants, I’m afraid. I do think he’s a nice little doggie though and rivals Border Collies for herding abilities. He hears the whistle and he’s off and running for the DNC.

  10. Marko
    March 11, 2020 at 16:33

    Something to keep in mind in November – some sage advice from a Democratic Party insider , Lawrence O’Donnell :

    ” If you don’t show them you’re capable of not voting for them they don’t have to listen to you. I promise you that. I worked within the Democratic Party. I didn’t listen or have to listen to anything on the left in while I was working in the Democratic Party because the left had nowhere to go.”


    Video description : This is a brief clip from a 2006 documentary about Ralph Nader called, “An Unreasonable Man.” Lawrence O’Donnell and Journalist William Greider of The Nation magazine explain how the corporate centrist Democrats think. They explain why it’s so easy for Democrats to ignore the left and to ignore progressives.

  11. John Pretty
    March 11, 2020 at 16:03

    I commented on a piece by Glenn Greenwald on the Intercept a few days ago on similar lines and was pleased to see that my comment was not censored for “ageism”.

    I believe that there ought to be an upper age limit of 70 years for running for the post of President of the United States. That might bar 78 year old Bernie Sanders, but it would also solve the States’ current problem.

    Surely Bernie Sanders in a country of 330 million people is not the only individual capable of making a claim for universal healthcare provision and a fairer system of taxation?

    I like what he has to say a lot of the time, but surely he, like Biden is just too old. Can he guarantee that he will still be physically and mentally fit in 2025 when, aged 83 his first (and presumably only) term of office would complete?

    Fair enough electing an elderly man to run your local tennis club, but I’m not sure it’s appropriate for arguably the most important job in the world.

    Why did he not run 20 years ago?

    • Frank Titterton
      March 13, 2020 at 15:41

      It can take a long time to build a following, and people are living longer. I believe Elisabeth Warren made a mistake not running 4 years ago, she did not have Clinton’s reactionary track record or dangerous rhetoric, so some may have voted for her who could not vote for Clinton. I actually prefer Tulsi Gabbard to Bernie Sanders but she has not built the same following.

  12. rosemerry
    March 11, 2020 at 14:50

    I have just found a very interesting post on why Biden might suddenly have been raised from the dead(!) in recent days.


  13. Edward
    March 11, 2020 at 14:48

    It is rich that the establishment strategy is to accuse Sanders of calumny against a “black establishment”. Years ago Pelosi organized an effort to purge Congress of certain Democrats, probably because they showed an inadequate fealty to Israel. This purge included Dennis Kucinich, but most targets were black, such as Cynthia McKinney.

  14. rosemerry
    March 11, 2020 at 14:25

    Jonathan is a treasure whose views are always worth reading and absorbing. The “Christians” like Pence and Pompass (sic) should be taking some notice of a person who lives in Nazareth!!
    The shameful way Jeremy Corbyn in the UK was tossed out, greatly aided by the “Chief Rabbi” who is now interfering in the USA too, shows us how careful we must be in choosing to blame foreigners when our own officials are able to manipulate candidates so well. Poor Bernie felt obliged to keep on with the Russophobia, and anyone who thinks Pres. Putin would delight in helping Trump win again when the latest oil price decision to destroy the US fracking industry and punish the USA for stopping the gas pipeline to Europe has been clearly explained by Russia right now.

  15. March 11, 2020 at 12:25

    Todd, I beg to differ. Identity politics are the bread and butter of the Democratic Party Establishment. And they are anything but progressive, although they have the gall to call themselves progressives. True progressives, while endorsing tolerance and acceptance of “the other” whatever the other might be, do not weaponize this concept for the purposes of smearing their opponents and control the narrative. Establishment democrats do.

  16. Brian James
    March 11, 2020 at 11:25

    Mar 7, 2020 Joe Biden’s ‘confused crazy rants’ should have discounted him years ago

    Ms Panahi said it’s surprising the candidate, who is “so confused that he has trouble remembering where he is and why he’s there,” has not been discounted.


  17. March 11, 2020 at 08:23

    Ah, the proud glories of American democracy.

    But I think they’ve backed themselves into a corner with Biden.

    Here’s just some of the things against him as a candidate. I definitely believe he would be Trump’s own choice as an opponent.

    Perhaps, there’s secret plan to substitute someone else at the last moment?

    Biden is a man who is able to generate no excitement or enthusiasm. He’s a place-filler. And a very temporary-looking one, given both his age and feeble behaviors.

    Biden can display quite a temper in public at times. He just angrily told worker at a plant in Michigan that he was a horse’s ass and full of s—t.

    Perhaps Biden’s most dangerous view is about Russia. He is quoted as saying, “[I regard Russia as] an adversary or even an enemy,” a tired repetition of the warmongering Pentagon attitude. He also repeats the completely unproven claim that Russia works to “subvert democracies in western Europe and the United States.”

    Biden has a habit of pawing of women, including young girls, at many public events, something attested to by many easily-found photographs on the Internet.

    Biden’s 1988 Presidential campaign effort was embarrassingly ended by the clearest evidence of his having plagiarized speeches of British Labour Party politician Neil Kinnock. He also plagiarized Bobby Kennedy.

    Biden supported Bill Clinton’s most conservative policies, including an “end to welfare in our time.”

    Biden actually said of Obama in 2007, “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.”

    Biden voted to overturn the Glass-Steagall Act, an important Roosevelt era law which protected insured consumer deposits from the predation of investment banking.

    Biden opposed school integration through bussing in the 1970s, and he was asked to speak at the funeral of Strom Thurmond, unrepentant southern racist politician, in 2003, which he did.

    For years, Biden described the driver of the truck which killed his first wife and daughter in 1972, as a drunk, saying things like, “He drank his lunch instead of eating his lunch.” He was not. The official investigation found the truck driver completely innocent. The driver’s family, obviously exposed to great anguish, pleaded with Biden to stop, but he would not, even after the unfortunate driver died.

    Biden also has the same annoying tendency as Hillary Clinton of just suddenly blurting out some claim about his past that’s just complete fiction, as his recent claim about being arrested when trying to visit Nelson Mandela in prison decades ago. It resembled Hillary’s proven-false claim about coming under sniper fire in Bosnia. He has done that kind of thing many times over many years, including a story about being asked to award a Silver Star to a heroic soldier in Afghanistan, an event which never happened. Again, he claimed he always opposed the invasion of Iraq when just the opposite is the case, he is remembered as an enthusiastic supporter, and an early one.

    That kind of story-telling isn’t about the forgivable failings old age. It represents an inherent mental or psychological problem, the need to present yourself to others as being at the center of events. It’s almost a version of Munchausen’s syndrome.

    I just can’t imagine how they are going to prevent some aspects of his behavior in Ukraine from surfacing. Ukraine itself might have incentive for providing evidence to ingratiate itself with Trump.

    At the very least, and something we know without additional evidence, Biden’s behavior as Obama’s proconsul to the new coup-installed government of Ukraine included effectively taking a large bribe, one in the form of the appointment of his son to a company director’s position.

    His son, Hunter, was completely unqualified for the position. He had no industry contacts or influence. It was in an industry about which he knew nothing, and it concerned a country whose language he could not even speak. On top of all that, he had a record as a serious drug addict. He received, for years, an unheard-of salary (for directors of companies) of $50 thousand dollars per month.

    Out of 330 million people, the best the two national parties can come up with is Biden and Trump, neither of whom is entirely rational.

    • Frank Battaglia
      March 11, 2020 at 09:20

      John, I believe you touched on their strategy… they’ll replace him at the convention… that is if he survives the debates…

    • Tony
      March 11, 2020 at 12:03

      I think he described Jesse Helms as a ‘friend’.

    • John Wright
      March 11, 2020 at 12:22

      If one is committed to propping up the rapidly failing U.S. PetroDollar, as Biden and the entire U.S. political class are, then Russia is your adversary, as is China, India, Brasil, Iran, Venezuela and the rest of the world.

      But the world is weary of footing the bill for U.S. profligacy, and the Russians have now seized a perfect opportunity to expose the financial house of cards that is the U.S. economy, from a deck the U.S. shuffled; the long bluff is now over and the rest of the players are anxiously waiting to see if the broke cowboy pulls his pistols and tries to shoot his way out of his losses.

      (With the cowboy’s pox laden blankets a desperate attempt to distract and disable everyone in the saloon)

    • rosemerry
      March 11, 2020 at 14:03

      Correct. I am not a US citizen, but can see NOT ONE good point about Joseph Biden. The disgusting slurs on Bernie, whose good points far outnumber those of any recent candidate for POTUS of either of the main Parties, despite his support for militarism, show that the Dems would rather lose to Trump than win with Bernie.

    • robert e williamson jr
      March 11, 2020 at 14:14

      Thank you John I’m with you.

      I’m thinking, of which my former boss said, “When Bob thinks he endangers the country”, we had a testy relationship, he was a person who bullied, and lied when the truth worked better. He was a conservative , hated unions and was a racist.

      What am I thinking? I’m thinking that if the candidate for president is from either party I don’t want him.

      By the way I figure that Ukraine thing will come back to beat Biden out of the race for president. The democrats have left the him naked to attacks by republicans and Bernie fans aren’t feeling the least bit sympathetic to his cause.

    • Joe Tedesky
      March 11, 2020 at 15:10

      John great run down on Lunch Bucket better said Food Tray Joe … I just want to tell you that I think the Donor Class is just down right giggling & shaking it in our faces right now with this Biden thing.

      I must say to my fellow seniors that if you accepted the ‘Any Body But Trump’ motivator your goal in selecting a candidate to run against Trump that you were once again fooled by the same corporate pundits into another poor choice for a presidential candidate. The only good news my dear seniors is that the kids are up and that they are watching in objectivity as they scratch their heads in confusion and let me tell ya fellow oldster that the youngsters aren’t happy with their easily duped Boomer grandparents on post mini Tuesday primary day (don’t worry they’ll still love you BUT)… makes one yearn for 2024 doesn’t it? Only but call me an old dreamer if I’m still here.

      Good one John

    • Tim
      March 11, 2020 at 15:27

      > there’s secret plan to substitute someone else at the last moment?

      The plan seems pretty obvious to me:
      — By hook or by crook, Biden is nominated
      — Three guesses who his running mate will be…
      — She does most of the campaigning, and he is wheeled out only when necessary
      — If, by an off chance, despite “getting out of Afghanistan” (really only a one-third reduction in forces, but who’s counting?), Ukrainegate (I predict Senate hearings in fall, with an Americanized version of the exposé by Les Crises), and constant re-runs of Biden’s “senior moments”, and so on, he still gets elected, then
      — A couple of days after being sworn in, he has another stroke or something, and Killary takes over

      Sound like a plan to you?

    • Neil S
      March 11, 2020 at 16:13

      They’ll either replace him at the convention with Hillary, or he’ll pick Hillary to be his V.P. and later drop out, elevating her to Presidential candidate.

    • Eddie S
      March 11, 2020 at 20:33

      Good comment!

    • Kelvin Yearwood
      March 11, 2020 at 22:43

      All you say about Biden is incontestable, but I think you’ve missed a crucial aspect of establishment relations with politics now. The political question is, ‘Who gets to decide who is the best person to be in office?’ and not, ‘Surely among 330m people we could do better, couldn’t we?’ Trump was a symptom of the further, radical hollowing out of political culture in the West in favour of establishment parachuted in creeps and pricks (Boris?) and the occasional properly schooled and obedient non-establishment figure (Obama), who can be depended on to service concentrated wealth and power. The DNC is entirely bought and sold, and is trying its best to provide a presidential candidate for the occasion – a warmongering, Cold War 2.0, Wall Street serving sack of creepy shit. And the corporate press and useful idiots – from tennis stars to Holywood actors – will swamp the narrative with toxic shit to achieve this.

    • Eugenie Basile
      March 12, 2020 at 04:28

      Sanders would have won in 2016.
      Sanders would win in November 2020.
      Why does the DNC do everything to lose the presidential election ? Can’t be that stupid.

    • Tony
      March 12, 2020 at 07:59

      On the question of Strom Thurmond, I must admit that he was a much more complex character than I had thought. He was a supporter of FDR and took a strong stance against lynching.
      I think he also advocated abolition of the poll tax.

      He later became very important in helping Nixon to win the Republican nomination in 1968 and to win in November that year.

      The biography of him by Jack Bass and Marilyn W. Thompson is very interesting. I think that his awful segregationist stances were motivated in large part by electoral calculation rather than by genuine belief. That was true also, of course, of George Wallace.

    • Skip Scott
      March 12, 2020 at 08:56


      The DNC represents the Oligarchy. Their definition of “losing” would be for Bernie to win the nomination. They would prefer four more years of Trump to a Sander’s presidency.

  18. March 11, 2020 at 07:41


  19. March 11, 2020 at 07:35

    The Establishment? Identity politics apoplectic fits were invented by Progressives. My belief is when you concentrate too much on things that are inherent to being born you get this stupidity. Live by the sword die by it. It’s a double edged one too.

    • March 11, 2020 at 12:24

      Todd, I beg to differ. Identity politics are the bread and butter of the Democratic Party Establishment. And they are anything but progressive, although they have the gall to call themselves progressives. True progressives, while endorsing tolerance and acceptance of “the other” whatever the other might be, do not weaponize this concept for the purposes of smearing their opponents and control the narrative. Establishment democrats do.

    • Thirdeye
      March 13, 2020 at 05:03

      There’s some truth to what you say, but starting in the 1970s the Democratic Party has maneuvered identity politics advocates into the role of controlled opposition. The power that they gained in various bureaucracies and academia is essentially a buy-off to turn what were independently organized movements into loyal Democratic constituencies. Upper class urban and suburban whites and their identitarian lapdogs share a toxic hostility towards the working class that poisons any coalition that contains them.

      This primary cycle exposed how limited the appeal of identity politics is. The candidates who made it a big part of their campaigns – Castro, Booker, Harris, Gillibrand, and Warren – didn’t last. Buttigieg’s “Douglass Plan,” a shameless act of identity politics pandering if there ever was one, got him no traction at all. Sold-out former civil rights leader James Clyburn demonstrated how little principle matters in racial politics. Biden got his endorsement with a record that is an anathema to black identity politics, simply by being in his same power clubhouse.

      Having supported Sanders in 2016, he showed some poor political instincts that seem magnified this cycle. His tendency to pander was concerning. The Democratic establishment treated him like shit, which left him no reason not to go scorched-earth in 2020. Instead, he let his message get diluted and pandered to the pearl-clutching over Trump. He overrode his prior, realistic, position that illegal immigration is part of class war and substituted pie-in-the-sky. He failed to confront the Russiagate nonsense for what it was and remained silent when McCarthyite smears were being directed at Gabbard. Then those same smears came his way, which he invited with his silence. He was a much more attractive candidate in 2016. Too bad Gabbard doesn’t have his base of support. She’s a much better candidate because she has the balls.

  20. OlyaPola
    March 11, 2020 at 06:41

    “Establishment uses…”

    The notion of prime agency and the conflation attempt/achievement facilitate the “Establishment” and the social relations they seek to establish and achieve.

    Some are engrossed in holograms including but not restricted to beliefs of what-isms, but not all in the same assay.

    A useful hypothesis to test is Why do some continue attempt to use in respect of widening purview and increasing dosage?

    Or in the vernacular of Messrs Holland, Dozier and Holland – Why is it the same old song?

  21. Eddie S
    March 11, 2020 at 04:55

    Excellent analysis of the efforts aligned against Bernie Sanders and the larger structural reasons/policies behind that. And I entirely agree with his critique of ‘identity politics’ — one has only to look at female leaders like Margaret Thatcher(UK) or Jeane Kirkpatrick (US) as recent examples (history can provide additional monarchical examples) of women with ANTI-progressive policies, and the same can be found with blacks, Jews, Muslims, gays, etc, etc, — virtually ALL identity groups have their conservative factions, so voting for someone SIMPLY because they belong to a broad identity group is foolishly simplistic and can often be destructive to the basic economic needs (food, clothing, shelter, etc) of that group. It’d be just as stupid as a old white-male like myself saying “Oh, I’m going to vote for Trump (or Biden) because he’s an old white male like myself and he ‘gets-me’!” You really have to have an idea of how the candidate has voted on bills that have come before him/her to be able to form a meaningful opinion of them.

  22. ML
    March 10, 2020 at 23:21

    Excellent piece, Jonathan! Thank you.

  23. John Wright
    March 10, 2020 at 20:51

    Thank you for this excellent article which carefully and thoroughly exposes how an inversion of identity politics is being used against Senator Sanders.

    I will be sharing this widely.

  24. Vlodek Gabara
    March 10, 2020 at 17:09

    Couple of comments. Saying that these views represent only authors perspective can not be true. You have selected this article versus many other articles dealing with the same topic. So yes, the article represents authors views but its selection represents your views. The next one: complaining about Democratic Party is not treating Sanders equally to other candidates. Sanders is NOT a Democrat (his own statement), registered for an election in Vermont as independent but for the Presidential compaign filed with the Democratic Party papers stating that he is a Democrat. Seems that he is a Democrat when he needs to use Democratic Party machine (databases, debates etc). Seems to be less than ethical but obviously I am not a Bernie Bros.

    • frank
      March 11, 2020 at 09:28

      Vlodek, the issue is that unless you register with one of the two parties your chances of getting elected are compromised. That is a reflection of the system. If the Democrats really believed Bernie was not a Democrat they could of denied Bernie the opportunity to register… they did not. Why?
      Chris Hedges delivers a powerful lecture on how the Democrats, beginning with Bill Clinton, sold the Middle Class in America down the proverbial river. Well worth a listen as Hedges offers game plan to change the system as he defines the current state of affairs as “inverted totalitarianism.”

    • Ruth the Truth
      March 11, 2020 at 11:42

      “I am not a Bernie Bro”- No one is a Bernie Bro. That was an MSM myth that you are repeating. Sanders’ base is diverse, he has more women donors than any other candidate, and an analysis of commentary proved that Sanders’ supporters are not more negative than anyone else. If you still believe that nonsense about Sanders’ supporters, you’ve been brainwashed.

      It doesn’t bother you the Democrats, and the corporate media are not treating Sanders in a fair and unbiased manner because he is NOT a real Democrat. So you are okay with being lied to and manipulated as long as the Democrats are lying about a candidate that isn’t a Democrat? According to an analysis conducted by Politifact, NBC and MSNBC pundits and on-air personalities’ claims have been rated Mostly False, False or Pants on Fire 45% of the time. At Fox and Fox News Channel, it’s 58 percent. At CNN, it’s 22 percent. Why are you not outraged that the MSM media is deliberately deceiving and manipulating the public?

      You may be a registered Democrat, but Democratic politicians represent their donors, not you. Case in point- The Democrats, (not Bernie) voted for Trump’s bloated military budget even though 90% of registered Democrats (and also a majority of Republicans) polled are against increasing military spending. When what the people want is contrary to what the corporations want, our legislature does what the economic elites want and ignores the will of the people. According to research, we live under the rule of a corporate oligarchy. Sanders is the only candidate who isn’t controlled by the corporate and economic elites. If he becomes president, the working people will once again have a voice in government.

    • Seamus Padraig
      March 12, 2020 at 07:19

      Sanders is NOT a Democrat …

      Of all the anti-Bernie talking points, this one is probably the silliest. The Democratic Party has open primaries doesn’t it? And they surely want the votes of people other than registered Democrats next fall, don’t they? So why close the primaries off to indy candidates like Bernie? Of course, if the Democratic Party is just a private knitting circle, and you’re happy with your own little votes and nobody else’s, then at a minimum, you should probably consider scrapping the open primaries.

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