Not sure Bernie Sanders is a real Democrat? First of all, what does that even mean? Republican candidates have always had to toe the party line to be considered conservative enough, but Democrats have never been so forcibly maintained.
“I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.” ~Will Rogers
Whatever it may mean, that is the latest accusation flung at Sanders by Secretary Clinton during an interview with Politico‘s Glenn Thrush.
The bias throughout the interview is clear. Here is a quote from the introduction: “This year, the foil is independent democratic socialist Bernie Sanders, a stubborn Brooklynite with a nearly nonexistent path to the nomination and a nearly unquenchable thirst for humiliating the Democratic front-runner in her home state’s April 19 primary.”
Not only does Thrush assume that Clinton is the only possible nominee, he seems to forget that Brooklyn is in New York while simultaneously forgetting that Hillary is actually from Chicago. The spin is clearly in her favor before the interview even begins.
Most of the conversation was simply an opportunity for Clinton to make unsubstantiated claims against Sanders without challenge. She complained about Sanders attacks against her, her husband, and President Obama without actually citing any specific examples. Thrush didn’t press any of the issues, either. It was more of a political advertisement than a hard-hitting interview.
The soundbite currently making the most headlines came from the last question of the interview, “When he puts his head on the pillow at night do you think he goes to sleep a Democrat?” Clearly, a nice set-up for a baseless attack but one she could have avoided if she so desired.
“Well, I can’t answer that,” she said before going on to answer that. “He’s a relatively new Democrat, and, in fact, I’m not even sure he is one. He’s running as one. So I don’t know quite how to characterize him.”
The Young Turks‘ Cenk Uygur has done a wonderful job of showcasing just how wrong it is for Hillary to attempt this line of attack.
“What they’re actually doing, by mistake, is revealing what the Democratic party actually is. […] Part of the reason he’s an independent [is] ’cause he’s more Progressive than the Democratic party,” said Cenk Uyger in a Young Turks analysis of Clinton’s interview. “What they’ve revealed is, and almost kind of proud of it, the Democratic party isn’t that Liberal. ‘We’re not that Progressive.'”
In a time when anti-establishment candidates are surging in popularity despite their lack of support at the Party level, an accusation that Sanders is not part of the establishment is extremely counter-intuitive. Though, perhaps that is just too hard to see from inside the bubble.
“The Democratic Party is part of the same establishment, and we’re on Team D, they’re on Team R. But you know we’re all going in the same direction and we’re all playing the same game. We all take the same donor money. And Bernie’s a rabble-rouser over there trying to change the system,” Cenk translates from Hillary’s accusation before answering it with, “You’re g*d-d*mn right he is.”