Don't call it a perfect storm. That would confer upon the Democratic debates a degree of gravitas. Call the swirl of gossipy Dem candidate stories leading up to tonight's debate a super-squall. Whining winds, big, splashy tears, a snowflake or two.
A separate storm front--capable of generating gale force screeching and several inches of angry tweets--is expected to continue. Its name: Project Veritas. More on that in a moment.
Let's start with the schism between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. The latest volley concerns Bernie's alleged claim that a woman can't win the presidency. (Funny how the press isn't calling for his head. Where are all the marching pussy hats?) As reported in Bloomberg:
“Among the topics that came up was what would happen in Democrats nominated a female candidate,” Warren said in a statement. “I thought a woman could win; he disagreed.”
Sanders earlier had denied making the remark after CNN reported the conversation, which occurred when he and Warren met privately in December 2018 to discuss their candidacies in the 2020 election. Sanders initially said the report was “ludicrous” and that Warren staff members, who weren’t present at the meeting, were “lying about what happened.”Bloomberg
It's a case of he-said, she-said, a bit of manufactured outrage meant to move increasingly static polling numbers: in the past three national polls, Biden is up by exactly six points. Sanders comes in second twice, Warren once. When her campaign promises don't move voters, Warren has a plan for that: spread rumors.
The spat likely started last week due to a Sanders staffer script that disparaged Warren voters as wealthy, older, and not likely to capture new votes, as reported in The Hill:
A script being distributed by Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) presidential campaign to volunteers reportedly presents Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) as a 2020 candidate who appeals predominantly to better-educated, wealthier voters.
According to Politico, the script instructs volunteers to tell voters leaning toward the Massachusetts senator that “I like Elizabeth Warren. [optional] In fact, she’s my second choice. But here’s my concern about her.”
It goes on to instruct volunteers to say “people who support her are highly-educated, more affluent people who are going to show up and vote Democratic no matter what” and that “[s]he's bringing no new bases into the Democratic Party,” the news outlet reported.The Hill
Is there a winner in this melodrama? Not really. If anything, a fight between second and third place candidates gifts votes to the leader. As Steve Bannon noted yesterday on his podcast War Room: Impeachment, "Bernie's a sad, old man...he didn't have the guts or the balls to take on Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary...[it was a] pillow fight."
As for Warren, she comes off like a junior varsity Jussie Smollett. If Sanders said that a woman couldn't get elected back in 2018, why would Warren have been his political BFF right up until now?
Did I bury the lede? It's a fair criticism. The much larger story today is the latest of James O'Keefe's "Project Veritas" installments, wherein Sanders staffer Kyle Jurek gets his fifteen minutes, ready or not.
In case you're unfamiliar with Project Veritas, it was founded in 2010. O'Keefe and affiliated whistleblowers obtain hidden video footage of corrupt individuals and institutions. Some of their more famous targets include ACORN, Planned Parenthood, border crossers, and CNN.
Jurek is a communist revolutionary, full stop. On video, he is repeatedly captured calling for the heads of anyone in the way of his revolution. He is unable to logically defend his extreme positions, gets several facts wrong, displays a vocabulary comprised primarily of the words "like" and "fucking", and generally comes off like a low-info fanatic. If anything good can be said of the angry young bearded man, his nervous energy could power a small communist village.
The good news is that this guy was caught. The better news: this is only part one--more to come! The bad news: all those people who said Bernie supporters are the scariest folks around? They were right.
This Berniebro is literally calling for dead cops and anti-revolutionaries shot on the beach.
It's tempting to say Jurek = Sanders. But it doesn't make it true. What is exposed is the vicious, Antifa wing of Bernie supporters. Sanders is the closest thing on the ticket to Lenin, so they're backing the old man.
Online sleuths intrigued by the Jurek story uncovered a few facts. Within hours of the Project Veritas video's release, Twitterati discovered a recent arrest record. It just so happens that our little Bolshevik got caught in Iowa for DWI and drug possession.
The true test of our free press comes tonight. Will the Project Veritas video merit a mention by debate host CNN? Will the comparatively tepid Sanders-Warren spat get a hearing?
The answers, as the poet said, are blowin' in the wind. Predicting them is every bit as iffy as a weather forecast.
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