Wow. If you haven’t watched Bernie’s speech last night, you need to.
Bernie started off by praising Obama and Biden for pulling us out of a depression. He then thanked his supporters who’ve broken a record for American campaigns with 750,000 individual 3 months before the Iowa caucuses.
But Bernie finally did what many expected him to do at the debate: he contrasted his record next to Clinton’s. And oh my, what a contrast.
“In 1996, I faced a very difficult political decision. It was called the Defense of Marriage Act … Let us remember, that support for gay rights back in 1996 was not what it is today. … Today, some are trying to rewrite history by saying they voted for one anti-gay law to stop something worse.”
That’s obviously a response to Hillary’s bizarre comments on Maddow that DOMA was a “defensive action” to protect gay people from something worse. Bernie has supported gay marriage since the 1980s. Hillary came out in favor just two years ago.
He went on..
“And if you agree with me about the urgent need to address the issue of climate change, then you would know immediately what to do about the Keystone pipeline. Honestly, it wasn’t that complicated.”
Bernie has opposed Keystone since 2010. Hillary just came out against it one month ago.
“After I came to Congress, corporate America, Wall Street, the administration in the White House and virtually all of the corporate media pushed for passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement. I didn’t believe their arguments. … I also opposed CAFTA and Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China. History proved me right. Since 2001 we have lost nearly 60,000 factories in this country and millions of decent-paying jobs.
And let me be clear about the current trade deal that we are debating in Congress, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. It is not now, nor has it ever been, the ‘gold’ standard of trade agreements. I did not support it yesterday. I do not support it today. And I will not support it tomorrow.”
Of course Hillary not only supported TPP but helped negotiate it and now denies (falsely) that she called it the “gold standard.”
But it’s not over yall…
“My friends, I want to bring you back to a very eventful year and a tragic moment in the modern history of our country. The year is 2002. The issue is whether Congress should vote to invade Iraq. Public opinion and most of the media were for the war. And it turned out that big majorities in Congress were too. The vote was 296-133 in the House 77 to 23 in the Senate voted to give President Bush the authority to go to war. Let me tell you that I listened to what Bush had to say, to what Cheney had to say, to what Rumsfeld had to say. I didn’t believe them and I voted no.”
I don’t really need to jog your memory on that one, do I?
His sharpest contrast was the issue of Wall St.
“Throughout my years in Congress I have voted time and again to rein in Wall Street, the big banks … And today those Wall Street interests are trying to buy the government of the United States with their bundled contributions and their super PACs. Well I don’t take their money and I never will. Telling the big banks to cut it out is not going to work unless we cut it out.
By far Sanders biggest applause line of the night was this:
“The pundits said that, in this day and age, you can’t win a campaign without a super PAC, without raising millions from the wealthiest people in this country. Well I am the only Democratic candidate for president who does not have a Super PAC and we are going to prove them wrong.”
And finally, Sanders reminded people what many forget:
“And by the way, eight years ago the experts talked about how another Democratic candidate for president, Barack Obama, couldn’t win. How he was unelectable. Well Iowa, I think we’re going to prove the pundits wrong again. I believe we will make history.”
The same people saying a “socialist” can’t get elected in America said that a guy named “Hussein Obama” couldn’t get elected. And that guy was also polling 25-30 points behind Hillary Clinton in October 2007. And, more importantly, as I’ve pointed out, the “Hillary is more electable” talking point has no basis in reality. Bernie polls better against Rubio, Trump, Bush, and Cruz.
But my favorite part is this. After Hillary spent the past two weeks implying that Bernie Sanders is a misogynist because he said that “shouting” won’t lead to gun legislation, Hillary supporters are upset that Bernie has the audacity to point out Hillary’s record:
So when Hillary attacks Bernie at a debate or implies he talks down to women, it’s just politics. But when Bernie does it, it’s “bad form.” Got it.
As you can imagine, there were also about a million tweets about how Sanders “isn’t a real Democrat” or something, even though he voted for virtually all of Obama’s policies. The two-party system is gross, and it is literally one of the main reasons voter turnout is so abysmally low. Most people aren’t down with the tribe mentality and so they’re left out of the political process. Bernie Sanders is speaking to those people. People vote for policies, not parties.
Let me remind everyone, as I’ve said over and over, I will support whoever the nominee is. But that doesn’t mean I will be excited about it. [Progressive Issue Editor Comment: We do not support voting for whoever the nominee is. At this point, only Bernie Sanders supports a Progressive Agenda]
The full text of his prepared remarks here.