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Mon Feb 3, 2020, 10:10 PM

 

How a smear against Bernie Sanders shows the right-wing strategy to foment chaos in the Democratic p

alternet

Written by Amanda Marcotte / Salon

Late last Thursday, I noticed the name “George Wallace” — that nightmarish icon of the 1960s pro-segregation movement, a man so vile he hid his wife’s cancer from her so he could exploit her politically — was trending on Twitter. Wallace died more than two decades ago, so I thought was it odd. As Twitter wants you to do, clicked. The situation was wild — people (and likely bots) were making outraged claims that Sen. Bernie Sanders had “praised” Wallace as being “sensitive” in 1972, when Sanders was running for governor of Vermont as an open socialist.

I was immediately skeptical, as Wallace was a notorious villain at the time and Sanders had spent the early ’60s helping organize desegregation campaigns. Sure enough, a cursory search showed that the accusation came from the Washington Examiner, a right-wing website owned by conservative billionaire Philip Anschutz.

Of course the full context of the quote soon came out, courtesy of CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski: Sanders had said that Wallace “advocates some outrageous approaches to our problems, but at least he is sensitive to what people feel they need.” Sanders was not remotely a fan: He compared Wallace to Hitler and argued that Wallace’s racism was appealing to his followers who were experiencing “rebellion, frustration, economic instability”.

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

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