We are in the midst of a national — and actually, global — crisis that has the impeached President of the United States gaslighting a good portion of our citizens and enrolling people at the highest levels of government in his criminal activity. He is, piece by piece, corrupting and/or dismantling institutions with the full support of most Republican members of Congress, their livelihoods riding on their unwavering backing of a man who all at once has no idea what he’s doing and knows exactly what he is doing.
And in the thick of that stress, I have to wade into a middle school level Warren-Sanders squabble in my party.
Oh my God.
~ If either of them is the Democratic candidate for President, I will happily vote for him or her.
~ Neither of them has been canonized, last I checked.
~ I don’t particularly want to have a beer with either one because, hell, if I hear the words “Wall Street” one more time my head’s going to explode.
So let’s pull back here. Thousands of people seem absolutely certain what transpired in a conversation between two people. News flash! You weren’t in the room. Most of you have never met either one of these human beings.
We can all conjecture on what happened, but we don’t know. Yes, that’s me included.
But I can tell you this. I have said and written publicly several times that I have doubts that a woman can win the presidential election. I’m not happy I said it. In fact, it makes me profoundly sad.
However, the truth is that the election of Donald Trump made a lot of us aware just how deep-seated misogyny is in America. It’s why we marched the day after his inauguration. We felt the diss at our core. One after another, our fellow Americans cast their votes for a guy who openly disdains, dismisses and disrespects women. It didn’t matter to them.
Let’s hypothetically say Bernie Sanders expressed a similar thought to his friend, Elizabeth Warren, in that conversation. Was he wrong? It’s a legitimate observation. This makes me wonder why he wouldn’t just own it. If he said it, I assume he wasn’t also saying he supported the position. Maybe it was a read on the mood of the country. So how about this:
“Everyone knows my solid record on women. I meant it in the context of where we are in the era of Donald Trump. I’m sorry Elizabeth took it to mean she couldn’t win.”
Instead, we have full denial. Which puts him in the position of calling Warren a liar. And you know what? I don’t know any more than anyone else on that. What I do know is a whole bunch of Sanders supporters picked up right where Trump left off in calling her a liar.
Score another one for The Donald.
The one thing that has put my strong gut reaction into overdrive is the hot mic exchange after the Democratic debate. When you think no one can hear you, the truth tends to emerge.
“I think you called me a liar on national TV,” Warren said.
“I think you called me a liar on national TV.”
If Warren was lying, I would expect her to dodge him instead of being so forthright in a private moment. That’s food for thought. Sanders appeared taken aback, but that is exactly what he’d done, despite CNN moderator Abby Phillip’s attempt to spin it for Warren. The questioner’s bias was clear, but it yielded an interesting result — after the back-and-forth that happened in the actual debate I came out feeling neutral.
It wasn’t until the next day, hearing the hot mic exchange, that I paused and thought, hmmmm, I think he said it. And I still don’t care if he did. Now I care that he may have lied and smeared his friend.
We don’t know.
Maybe Warren made it up and her plot backfired. Maybe the Democratic National Committee is getting exactly what it engineered. Maybe there are Vice President deals being struck behind closed doors. Maybe the Russians are amplifying the obnoxious Sanders supporters by making it appear there are more of them than there really are.
In the meantime, the Tony Soprano-esque enterprise in the White House is wielding power at an alarming rate, with few checks left in place.
But sure, let’s worry about what Bernie said to Elizabeth in the school cafeteria. It’s urgent.
Originally published at http://unfetteredexpression.com on January 17, 2020.