The #NeverBernie Media Narrative Must be Stopped … Here’s How to Do It

These narratives are coming from the #NeverBernie media outlets, and they are designed to sound like “sensible” arguments against a Sanders candidacy. And they, too, must be debunked.

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The Smears Against Bernie Must Be Stopped — Here’s How to Do It

A rapid response guide to 28 classic anti-Bernie smears.

This is a handy guide to beating back the ridiculous and vile smears that are being leveled at Bernie Sanders, and in particular those that may compare him to Joe Biden.

*UPDATED: February 25, 2020

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Anti-Bernie Smear #28: “Bernie Will Hurt Democrats Running Down Ballot”

Now that Bernie Sanders is the presumptive nominee, and clearly the people’s choice to head the Democratic ticket in November, the Party Elites and their minions in the media are flailing about in an attempt to find some reason to oppose his nomination and overturn the will of the voters.

The narrative they are pushing, however, is a cynical reversal of their prior positions. It is also precisely wrong, and we have the receipts.

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Anti-Bernie Smear #25: “Bernie wants to let prisoners vote – even the Boston Bomber!”

People who oppose letting prisoners vote often do not have the necessary facts in order to make a rational decision.

 

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Anti-Bernie Smear #26: “Bernie is like Trump and/or his supporters are just like Trump’s”

Saying that “Bernie is just a Trump of the Left” is an intellectually lazy way to criticize a candidate. When you cannot fault him on policy or personal grounds, you go after his base of support. Such an attack is as despicable as it is stupid.

 

 

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Anti-Bernie Smear #27: “Bernie is a Communist, He Honeymooned in the USSR!”

Bernie is often attacked for having taken a trip to the USSR in the late 1980’s. This attack is as ancient and outdated as it is erroneous.

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Forget “Bernie Or Bust” – When it Comes to Climate Change, it’s “Bernie Or BURN”

People accuse Sanders supporters of being “fanatics” who push “purity tests” and adopt a “holier-than-thou” attitude towards other candidates and their supporters. They are grossly underestimating us.  We Berners are on a mission to literally save the world, and in this fight Bernie is not just the best candidate, he is the ONLY candidate.

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Anti-Bernie Smear #24: “Bernie is too far Left; he can’t win the general election – he will be another McGovern”

People who claim that Bernie is “too far Left” are mired in a false narrative that the Democratic Party itself has been promoting for decades in order to suppress and thwart Progressives.

2020 is nothing like 1972 EXCEPT in the way that the Democratic Party elite is trying to sabotage their strongest candidate.

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Anti-Bernie Smear #23: “Bernie has never been vetted, he’s been given a pass …etc.”

This smear is another one that I would have thought would disappear given all the blatant facts in evidence to the contrary. But no – there are still some people out there claiming that Bernie is popular only because no one has really challenged him, no one has investigated him, no one has really attacked him.

UPDATED: February 3, 2020

 

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Anti-Bernie Smear #17: “Bernie is not a Democrat!”

Centrist Democrats love to pillory Bernie for not being on their Team. This particular “attack” is so stupid that I resisted writing an answer to it for a long time, thinking that it would go away. Alas, there seems to be mo end to the stupidity of the centrist CorpDems and #StillWithering Hive Queen Holdovers that are still out there. Continue reading

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Anti-Bernie Smear #11: “Bernie is Pro-NRA, Pro-Gun, voted 5 times against the Brady Bill, etc.”

First, let’s be clear: Bernie is no fan of the NRA. Moreover, Bernie is by no means the most pro-gun Democrat out there. Indeed, throughout most of his career, Bernie has had a solid “F” from the NRA.

Bernie has also received a Distinction from Mike Bloomberg’s own organization, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund.

In addition, Bernie has been endorsed by the March For Our Lives anti-gun violence group that was formed in the wake of the Parkland shootings.

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This is Neoliberalism, Part V: the false promise of “Choice”

Beware of politicians, pundits and experts who say they support consumer “choice”  — that word does not mean what you think it means.

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This is Neoliberalism, Part IV: The Military Industrial Complex and the Big Lie Exposed

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Tr🍩ll Smear #22: “Bernie is an Anti-Semite”

To many people this may seem like an unlikely or even a silly smear, given that Bernie is Jewish, given that he lost his family in the Holocaust, and given that he actually lived and worked on a Kibbutz in Israel. But believe me, this is a serious smear, and the fact that serious people will level this kind of attack says more about the state of discourse surrounding Israel, Judaism and the definition of Antisemitism than it does about Bernie Sanders. Continue reading

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Anti-Bernie Smear #21: “Bernie wants to take away Americans’ CHOICE in their healthcare provider”

This is an insidious accusation that hinges on debunked ideas of “socialized medicine” and uses classic neoliberal attack strategies to promote what is essentially a massive and bold-faced LIE.

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Anti-Bernie Smear #4: “Bernie was not an effective legislator and he never accomplished anything in Congress”

In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. As explained in this article in AlterNet, and even confirmed here in PolitFact, Bernie was known as the “Amendment King” in Congress.

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Anti-Bernie Smear #15: “Bernie and Jane are Corrupt – Look at the Burlington College Deal”

The screwy accusation of “bank fraud” started by right-wing smear merchants and now pushed by anti-Bernie Democrats and most recently, the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board.

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Anti-Bernie Smear #20: “Bernie claims to be socialist and fight climate change, but flies first class on private jets”

This is a corollary of Troll Smear #19 about Bernie’s houses and net worth. This smear also seeks to portray Bernie as a hypocrite, and tries to do so by making the following “arguments”: (1) Bernie claims to fight Climate Change but spent $300,000 on private air travel, polluting the air, and/or (2) Bernie claims to be a socialist but he insists on flying first class on private jets.

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Anti-Bernie Smear #19: “Bernie is a hypocrite, he has three houses, a net worth over $2 million, and only pays 13% in taxes”

As with all smears directed at Bernie, this is typical in that it does not attack his policies, but rather seeks to disparage him personally, by saying that he “does not practice what he preaches”. The smear seeks to portray Bernie as someone who is cynically preaching to the working class while he himself is a member of the top 1% that he rails against.

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Anti-Bernie Smear #18: “Bernie also voted for the 1994 Crime Bill”

Bernie speaking against a Crime Bill in 1991

This is also a very cynical and misleading smear that needs to be explained and debunked just as much as any other.

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Anti-Bernie Smear #16: “Bernie has no support among African Americans”

This is perhaps the most hurtful and outrageous attack on Bernie — and is also the one that is most easily debunked.

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