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Joe BidenCongratulations to our presumptive Democratic nominee, Joe Biden!
 

Vidal

(642 posts)
Tue May 28, 2019, 08:28 PM May 2019

Bernie's Pro-Sandinista Past Is a Problem, and His Response Is Not Good

By Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine.

A week ago, the New York Times reported on Bernie Sanders’s 1980s-vintage foreign-policy stands, which at times crossed over from mere opposition to American policy to outright support for communist governments. Sanders initially refused to speak with the reporters, but after the article appeared, he called one of them and gave an extremely crusty interview. Now he has a video framing the issue, which he says is about “my opposition to war” and refusal to apologize for his opinions.

Any politician is going to frame issues selectively, but Sanders is presenting a spin on the controversy so selective it completely fails to convey any of the points relevant to the controversy.

During the 1980s, the Reagan administration was giving military aid to the Contras, a right-wing guerrilla insurgency attacking the Nicaraguan government. Most Democrats opposed aiding the Contras while still deploring the communist Nicaraguan government.

The Times shows that Sanders went well beyond mere opposition to funding the war. He wrote to Sandinista leaders that American news media had not “reflected fairly the goals and accomplishments of your administration.” On a visit to the country, he attended a Sandinista celebration at which the crowd chanted, “Here, there, everywhere, the Yankee will die,” and complained that American reporters ignored “the truth” about Nicaragua’s government, telling a CBS reporter, “You are worms.”

This is all highly relevant to his presidential campaign. It not only sheds light on his foreign-policy thinking but also illustrates the sorts of attacks Sanders would face in a general election, if nominated. Given that he identifies as a democratic socialist and promises radical change, his defensive comments about a communist regime would help Republicans paint him in the most extreme light.

In his post-publication interview, Sanders largely refused to explain these comments. Instead, he berated the reporter, Sydney Ember, with insinuations that she lacks a basic factual understanding of the issues.


Read More: http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/05/bernie-sanders-pro-sandinista-past-problem.html?

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided
29 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
Bernie's Pro-Sandinista Past Is a Problem, and His Response Is Not Good (Original Post) Vidal May 2019 OP
KR! Cha May 2019 #1
Not a problem. aikoaiko May 2019 #2
Absolutely a baseless smear, with no standing at all. Tiggeroshii May 2019 #3
So everything in the article is a lie? He did & said none of it? oldsoftie May 2019 #5
Oh really? Cha May 2019 #11
Bernie is f*cking done, and he seems to be the only one in Congress who doesn't know it. Still In Wisconsin May 2019 #4
He was right, the American media did not report accurately on Nicaragua Bradshaw3 May 2019 #6
That's disqualifying. NurseJackie May 2019 #7
... Scurrilous May 2019 #8
This is not good. It's only one of several incidents. George II May 2019 #9
This message was self-deleted by its author PupCamo May 2019 #10
I don't know just what Sanders said about the Sandinistas back then... TreasonousBastard May 2019 #12
Sanders has a lifelong emotional commitment to socialist revolution, Hortensis May 2019 #13
This causes great concern about a Sanders presidency Vidal May 2019 #16
Sanders has been open about his passionate commitment to Hortensis May 2019 #22
deep-vetting Bernie..here is his entire 1985 presser after he got back from visiting the Sandinistas Celerity May 2019 #14
Anyone who thinks the Rs won't be all over this in the general mcar May 2019 #15
Sanders may be very vulnerable here Vidal May 2019 #17
This is why vetting is important. NurseJackie May 2019 #18
I hate fucking revisionist history Politicub May 2019 #19
Sanders' weakness Vidal May 2019 #20
His weakness seems to be defending his positions in a way that's relatable Politicub May 2019 #21
Agree:"Primaries are a good way for seeing how candidates react to tough interviews and situations." Vidal May 2019 #24
Today's voters don't give a damn about what happened in the 80s. MineralMan May 2019 #23
Good point Vidal May 2019 #25
Yup. Now, Biden has some stuff that the Republicans will use, MineralMan May 2019 #26
R's have already started attacking the "Socialist Democrat Party" Vidal May 2019 #27
Well, they always throw the "socialist" word around. MineralMan May 2019 #28
Yes, those who are bragging about being socialist . . . Vidal May 2019 #29
 

aikoaiko

(34,082 posts)
2. Not a problem.
Tue May 28, 2019, 08:34 PM
May 2019

"You are worms"

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided
 

Tiggeroshii

(11,088 posts)
3. Absolutely a baseless smear, with no standing at all.
Tue May 28, 2019, 08:35 PM
May 2019

This does not belong on here.

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided
 

oldsoftie

(12,313 posts)
5. So everything in the article is a lie? He did & said none of it?
Tue May 28, 2019, 08:40 PM
May 2019

I doubt it.

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden
 

Still In Wisconsin

(4,450 posts)
4. Bernie is f*cking done, and he seems to be the only one in Congress who doesn't know it.
Tue May 28, 2019, 08:35 PM
May 2019

He needs to go home to Vermont and eat ice cream.

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided
 

Bradshaw3

(7,436 posts)
6. He was right, the American media did not report accurately on Nicaragua
Tue May 28, 2019, 08:41 PM
May 2019

I used to watch the BBC news back then and their coverage was completely different from American media, which often ignored what the U.S. was doing there.

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden
 

NurseJackie

(42,862 posts)
7. That's disqualifying.
Tue May 28, 2019, 09:03 PM
May 2019
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden
 

George II

(67,782 posts)
9. This is not good. It's only one of several incidents.
Tue May 28, 2019, 09:09 PM
May 2019
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

Response to Vidal (Original post)

 

TreasonousBastard

(43,049 posts)
12. I don't know just what Sanders said about the Sandinistas back then...
Wed May 29, 2019, 02:55 AM
May 2019

but I would assume he would be dead set against the Contras. Also dead set against Somoza, who they replaced.

That, to me, is not a problem, but whatever he said back then in the heat of the moment (and moments back then were pretty damned hot) will be spun all out of context.



If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden
 

Hortensis

(58,785 posts)
13. Sanders has a lifelong emotional commitment to socialist revolution,
Wed May 29, 2019, 07:05 AM
May 2019

even failed ones long after they've degraded into corrupt, impoverished authoritarian states. It's understandable that he's unwilling to let the dream die. But!

The President of the United States should be passionately proud and protective of democracy itself, including in the wave of new democracies that sprang up around the planet in the 1990s, many of which are under attack now. As our own democracy is.

Anyone running to be our president should be incredibly more emotionally committed to and focused on protecting our democracy than to dreams of successful socialist states, here or in Nicaragua and Venezuela. And I don't feel he is.

Many of his more zealous supporters believed our loss to the Republicans in 2016 could lead to ascendance of their leader through disaster and were outspokenly glad. Many bizarrely believe our party is evil and must be defeated for the good of the nation, and they actually worked and voted to defeat us. Above all, these deluded and often spiteful Sanders zealots were willing to risk our democracy and the wellbeing of over 300 million people in hopes of maybe getting their own way, or far too blind and stupid to understand the enormity of what they were risking.

Either way, between Sanders' own long history and some of the elements he attracts,...no.

When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time. Maya Angelou

And just who they are not will do also.

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden
 

Vidal

(642 posts)
16. This causes great concern about a Sanders presidency
Wed May 29, 2019, 08:34 AM
May 2019

Your comments are very concerning to me, especially:

"Anyone running to be our president should be incredibly more emotionally committed to and focused on protecting our democracy than to dreams of successful socialist states, here or in Nicaragua and Venezuela. And I don't feel he is."

I hope you are wrong, but you appear to be right.

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided
 

Hortensis

(58,785 posts)
22. Sanders has been open about his passionate commitment to
Wed May 29, 2019, 09:18 AM
May 2019

socialism (though he's backtracked substantially in recent decades on how much he says would be seized from private for public ownership), and about his decades of negative feelings about the Democratic Party.

Events of 2016, including the behaviors of his most ardent followers, the findings of investigations into Russia's interference, and his own behaviors, speak for themselves.

“My own feeling is that the Democratic Party is ideologically bankrupt.” “I am not now, nor have I ever been, a liberal Democrat.”

He's been believing and saying it for decades, and I do absolutely believe in his sincerity, deluded as his thinking may seem to me. But then I have at least one advantage over him: I know I'm not ideologically bankrupt. I am glad he at least denies being a liberal, but it probably explains the first quote. Conservatives don't know or respect what liberals and liberalism are either.
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden
 

Celerity

(42,105 posts)
14. deep-vetting Bernie..here is his entire 1985 presser after he got back from visiting the Sandinistas
Wed May 29, 2019, 07:05 AM
May 2019
Bernie Sanders Press Conference about His Nicaragua Trip 1985




The Sandinistas (or what they have morphed into) under Ortega have become just as murderous and corrupt as the Contras were

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/09/03/fake-news-and-unrest-in-nicaragua
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden
 

mcar

(42,108 posts)
15. Anyone who thinks the Rs won't be all over this in the general
Wed May 29, 2019, 08:06 AM
May 2019

hasn't been paying attention.

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden
 

Vidal

(642 posts)
17. Sanders may be very vulnerable here
Wed May 29, 2019, 08:35 AM
May 2019

You are right, the R's will be all over this and find many ways to attack Bernie for his background of socialism which many might consider un-American. So I do not believe he has a chance to ever be president.

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided
 

NurseJackie

(42,862 posts)
18. This is why vetting is important.
Wed May 29, 2019, 08:45 AM
May 2019

And you're correct... many haven't been paying attention. Some not close enough. Some not AT ALL.

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden
 

Politicub

(12,158 posts)
19. I hate fucking revisionist history
Wed May 29, 2019, 08:57 AM
May 2019

The Reagan administration was illegally supplying arms to the Contras, a right-wing rebel group. There were congressional hearings about this, and it was proven that this happened.

It would have been against Sanders' values to suddenly be pro-Contra then or today merely because of revisionist history-writing about the Reagan administration.

If we're going to go down this path of papering over the illegal actions of the GOP in the past, then let's at least be honest about it amongst ourselves. Sanders was on the right side of history then. But, according to this article, he should correct people if they say something that counters GOP mythology.

This article implies that Sanders agreed with a crowd's chants:

On a visit to the country, he attended a Sandinista celebration at which the crowd chanted, “Here, there, everywhere, the Yankee will die,” and complained that American reporters ignored “the truth” about Nicaragua’s government, telling a CBS reporter, “You are worms.”


As if he has control over a protesting crowd.

But for the second issue: should Sanders have handled the reporter's questions differently?

Yes. Absolutely. He's proving to be very poor at interviews, and he used to be quite good at it. This reminds me of his sloppy response to Chris Wallace's gotcha question about sex- or characteristic-based abortion. He had the chance then, as he did in this instance, to forcefully advocate for his commitment to pro-choice policies instead of falling into a right-wing trap.
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden
 

Vidal

(642 posts)
20. Sanders' weakness
Wed May 29, 2019, 09:06 AM
May 2019

You may be right but it still shows a political weakness.

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided
 

Politicub

(12,158 posts)
21. His weakness seems to be defending his positions in a way that's relatable
Wed May 29, 2019, 09:12 AM
May 2019

and being adapt at interviews.

And that is a major weakness for the general election. Primaries are a good way for seeing how candidates react to tough interviews and situations. So far for Sanders, it isn't great.

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden
 

Vidal

(642 posts)
24. Agree:"Primaries are a good way for seeing how candidates react to tough interviews and situations."
Wed May 29, 2019, 09:37 AM
May 2019

"Primaries are a good way for seeing how candidates react to tough interviews and situations. So far for Sanders, it isn't great."

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided
 

MineralMan

(146,060 posts)
23. Today's voters don't give a damn about what happened in the 80s.
Wed May 29, 2019, 09:30 AM
May 2019

However, the media and the Republicans will take Bernie Sanders' statements out of context and use them to attach the "Socialist" label to him. Nobody cares any longer about the Sandinistas and Contras. But, if Sanders is running for President, short clips of what he said and did will still be harmful to his chances of winning.

None of this stuff came out in 2016, because Senator Sanders wasn't the Democratic nominee. If, by some miraculous twist, he becomes the 2020 nominee, though, all of this and much, much more will be fodder for the Republicans.

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden
 

Vidal

(642 posts)
25. Good point
Wed May 29, 2019, 09:39 AM
May 2019

If he does become the nominee the R's will destroy him on this. Which is why so many more people are comfortable with Biden who is not open to these kinds of attacks.

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided
 

MineralMan

(146,060 posts)
26. Yup. Now, Biden has some stuff that the Republicans will use,
Wed May 29, 2019, 09:43 AM
May 2019

but not in the same way. The Trump campaign would go full speed on the "SOCIALIST" label for Sanders.

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden
 

Vidal

(642 posts)
27. R's have already started attacking the "Socialist Democrat Party"
Wed May 29, 2019, 11:30 AM
May 2019

I saw Kevin McCarthy use that phrase in a speech a few days ago. They are primed and ready to attack.

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided
 

MineralMan

(146,060 posts)
28. Well, they always throw the "socialist" word around.
Wed May 29, 2019, 11:31 AM
May 2019

Usually, though, the candidate has not proudly called him or herself a socialist.

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden
 

Vidal

(642 posts)
29. Yes, those who are bragging about being socialist . . .
Wed May 29, 2019, 12:28 PM
May 2019

will probably not win many general elections, except maybe in Vermont and in AOC's district.

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided
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