Do better, Bernie

Mmmmmm snausages

I try not to engage in “Democrats in Disarray” bullshit, and I am a fan of Bernie Sanders – I truly am – but he’s got some feral campaign staff members and he consistently fails to rein them in.

Joe Biden has a really serious history of trying to fuck us on Social Security. No, really. You don’t have to make it up. You don’t have to be deceptive or cherrypick to find evidence of it. It’s everywhere. From a long time ago, from recently. Tons of evidence.

An advisor to the Sanders campaign released part of a video of Joe Biden discussing cuts to Social Security – I cannot for the life of me find that clipped video, but his campaign’s newsletter quoted the clip. The quote, emailed out by Bernie’s speechwriter David Sirota, would tell you that he is a big Paul Ryan fan. From the newsletter (which…um….I will comment on “Bern Notice” in general another time):

4. IN 2018, BIDEN LAUDED PAUL RYAN FOR PROPOSING CUTS TO SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE: The Week reports that in 2018, Biden gave a speech declaring that “I don’t think 500 billionaires are the reason why we’re in trouble” and then declaring that “Paul Ryan was correct when he did the tax code. What’s the first thing he decided we had to go after? Social Security and Medicare … That’s the only way you can find room to pay for it.”

However, as Politifact and reputable sources have pointed out, that when you see the full context, he’s clearly mocking Ryan and then goes onto elaborate.

From The Guardian:

The video in question, circulated on Twitter by a top Sanders adviser, does not appear to be altered. But the short clip omits Biden’s larger argument over how Ryan handled the 2017 tax cuts and subsequent budget debates.

Here is the full transcript of the speech. Here is the full context of the quote in question:

Here is the quote that came directly after that quote in question, in case you don’t want to watch the video:

“Now, I don’t know a whole lot of people in the top one-tenth of 1 percent or the top 1 percent who are relying on Social Security when they retire. I don’t know a lot of them. Maybe you guys do. So we need a pro-growth, progressive tax code that treats workers as job creators, as well, not just investors; that gets rid of unprotective loopholes like stepped-up basis; and it raises enough revenue to make sure that the Social Security and Medicare can stay, it still needs adjustments, but can stay; and pay for the things we all acknowledge will grow the country.”

After watching the video, if I could paraphrase that questionable quote, using the tone and the context surrounding it to make it clearer, this is what he’s saying: “The tax code is in shambles, Paul Ryan is right about that. But then what does he do? Goes after SS and Medicaid, which do need some adjustments but aren’t the real problem here.”

But I’m not here to defend Biden, nor his history on Social Security. I’m actually annoyed because there is real evidence of Biden’s history being extremely Republicunty on these issues. But to be the bigger, more trustworthy candidate, you have to do better. In fact, in this speech that the whole fight is about, Biden is basically advocating for means testing! WHY NOT BRING THAT UP?!

What is this amateur hour horse shit?!

To add insult to the situation, Biden is now running around claiming they released a doctored video when that’s not even what happened. But we only have Bernie’s stupid campaign staff to blame for this stupid argument.

Biden is saying the right things for this campaign, but as usual, refusing to acknowledge that his stances were different in the past. Yet here those two campaigns are, where Bernie’s campaign picked a stupid fight instead of important one – which he can win.

You don’t have to deceive voters to question Biden on this. At all. So why do it? Why sow confusion and present yourselves to the voters as untrustworthy? For the love of fuck please don’t fuck this up for us and give Biden an opportunity to defend himself!

I’d rather have ants.

TL;DR – Sanders’ campaign put out a misleading claim about something Biden said in a speech a couple years ago, whilst ignoring the actually dumb things he said in that speech.



  1. They actually released a bunch of videos of Biden saying similar things to show that he’s been trying to do this for a while. And that specific clip includes him talking about how it “needs adjustments”.

    And then Politfact decided that the best way to fact check it was to take Bidens teams interpretation of what he was doing and confirm it by getting a think tank whos goal is to cut federal spending to weigh in.

    And strangely, as of 1/20/20 at 10:16am Mountain Time, Politico has not fact checked Bidens statement about doctored video.

    So what’s happening here is just another version of the fact checkers deciding that several million people isn’t millions of people. Our fact checkers are broken. They’re addicted to being opinion columnists, and it’s a huge problem.

    But also, I feel it’s my duty to post this article everytime politico comes up:

    That’s politico randomly deciding to fact check a retired tennis player and deciding that her plainly true claim that X can happen is only half true because X might not happen.

    • Lol you’ll notice I said politifact “and reputable sources.” But yeah, there is a ton of evidence for Biden’s fuckery a I just hate they took this one quote out of context, inaccurately analyzed it, and injected questions into what they say about him from now on. It was sloppy.

      • My thing is that I don’t think the Bernie campaign got it wrong. Biden does this whisper thing a lot, usually when he’s telling “harsh truths”. And he’s got a really long record of taking the stance he’s claiming is sarcasm.

        This feels to me like your average internet shitposter saying something racist and when people get mad saying “it’s just sarcasm bro”. And then a bunch of supposedly reasonable people buying into it.

          • But he was working with Paul Ryan on a “grand bargin” that would have cut a bunch of things including social security. The only reason it failed is the tea partiers refused to take yes for an answer.

            I don’t think Biden really wants to cut social security. I think he’s just stuck on the idea of “responsible” bipartisan deals and social security is something he’s willing to toss overboard to get there.

  2. It feels like, at times, that our whole political apparatus is run by coffee boys and receptionist ladies who have no one to double check their work. These people are essential because candidates can’t run their own campaign and can’t micromanage their administration.

    But here we have Warren and Biden closing in for the kill on Bernie because his staffers don’t know how to handle situations where they are on the defensive and Bernie, being Bernie, doesn’t know how to explain his way out of situations where he’s in the wrong or hadn’t presented himself clearly.

    So where do we go from here when the knives are out? Even though I’m voting for Bernie in my primary, I have no expectation of him getting the nomination. All of his proposals are dead on arrival when Biden gets the nomination and then when Biden loses the presidency Warren and Sanders will be blamed for poisoning the electorate with Biden’s actual positions.

    • I won’t concede Biden the nomination yet, but I am worried. If Biden gets it and loses the general, progressives will be blamed. If he wins, it’ll be considered proof that progressivism isn’t potent.

      • …the “advantage” Biden appears to cling onto in the polling is anathema to me – there just isn’t anything actually appealing about the idea of a Biden presidency

        …obviously it could hardly be worse than a 2nd bite at the cherry for the alleged administration since my bet would be they couldn’t fill all the posts even if they had the full 8 years & at least ol’ Joe has a decent rolodex going for him full of people who’ll actually take his calls

        …but if he gets the nomination that would be about as much disappointment as I think some of us could handle – if he gets it & then fucking loses because he might know the guy but he isn’t looking to actually step aside & let his best bud Barack run the show…then I’ll be out back digging myself a bunker most likely?

        • I prefer Biden to Trump but, as my caption says, I’d still prefer ants to Biden.

          Honestly if Biden gets it and wins, I’m still going to work on my bunker because all that tells me is that we’ll have a moment to breathe before we keep sliding right, at best.

      • That’s what’s so devastating to me in all of this: if Trumps and Bidens continue to win each party will take it as a mandate that Americans are mostly happy with the way things are going, therefore they have no incentive to change anything.

        Poll after poll, survey after survey, tells us that things are very much NOT OK for the average American who can’t afford housing, or cars, or the occasional night out. It’s simple economics that, say, if you could free up a few hundred dollars for each American, they’d go out and spend it on treats and vacations once their basic needs are met.

        Our government refuses, and will continue to refuse, the basic humanity of citizens. Another BIG disaster is on the horizon, whether it’s environmental, economic, or international, and our country won’t survive it if we don’t do something soon. The recession might have been a decade ago but it’s as if everyone has forgotten the impact that is still very much alive today and how the next one is going to be even worse unless we shore up our resources and spend on citizens now.

        • The corporate media & large corporations are NOT going to let Warren or Sanders win as much as I hate that fact. They will do all they can to promote any stories that hurt them and keep the status quo. After listening to Biden at the debates, I would feel better w/ Bloomberg or Steyer than Biden. At least those two have talked about climate change & Steyer actually has some plan for it. Also, they are not beholden to the medical industry donors. I am not promoting or endorsing them, I still dream of Warren or Sanders being president but I’ve become more of a realist in my old age.

          • I get the sentiment of disliking Biden so much that you would want to dash yourself against some rocks rather than having him lose the presidency (or, maybe that’s just me).

            But even so we do not need another “billionaire” as a president; they aren’t beholden to special interests because they’ve made their money exploiting others and are above accountability. This country isn’t a business. Steyer has never held elected office. Bloomberg will just say whatever he needs to to be president and would not give use meaningful environmental reform or healthcare reform because it would get in the way of him or a friend of his making money.

            I know Warren’s and Sanders’ best hope is that they win a few primaries over Biden but the chances are slim. Neither of them are going to win the nomination and I honestly don’t know what to do with that fact. I really don’t know how to face another election night where Trump wins or another four years of his presidency. The Democratic party will let this happen.

          • I’m not sure I would choose BLOOMBERG over Biden, but it’s a close race in my mind. I would choose Steyer over a few of the candidates, though I don’t really want him either.

            This morning I saw a photo of Bernie and Warren at an MLK Day thing locking arms and laughing. I’m sure they are still feuding, right, media?

        • I know. It’s extremely maddening – we are being gaslit on such a grand scale. “You’re fine, the economy is great, you’re great.” OH REALLY? Housing costs are higher than ever before, the cost of buying a car is higher than ever before (if you can’t afford the housing near your job or decent public transportation), municipalities are going broke, healthcare costs have been skyrocketing – no we aren’t fucking fine!

          I was also thinking, if a progressive actually wins and beats Trump, it’ll then be written off as just a reaction to Trump and shrugged off as a teenage rebellious phase we are all going through.

          • We should have had high speed rail yesterday and we should have had rent fixed to income a long, long time ago. But the Dems think they can put a bandaid on it and we’ll be set.

            I’m not under any illusion that a progressive will have their whole agenda achieved. But if they could do a push for at least one big thing like single payer, I don’t see how they couldn’t win with the short Dem majority they might have. The Dems will find a way to make it happen, but it would look bad after four years of a GOP lockstep with Trump for the Dem party to chirp from all sides about fiscal responsibility and try to undermine their progressive leadership.

            All of this is speculative of course. Let’s see if we can get Warren/Sanders to the finish line first.

  3. I’m with you, I’m not fond of another billionaire (though I don’t believe Trump was one of those before he took office), just throwing out there that I don’t think Biden is mentally competent. Ironically, I got this in an email right after I posted that:

    Here’s more of why Joe Biden is not Democrats best foot forward:

    Recently, Biden said Clinton should have taken the high road on the Access Hollywood tapes and called women candidates “angry.”
    Biden voted for Wall Street deregulation, NAFTA, and the Iraq War.
    After immigrants confronted Biden at a recent campaign event about Obama’s record of deportations, Biden told the speaker, “You should vote for Trump.”
    Biden tried to cut Social Security benefits multiple times — a position that alienates Republican, Democratic, and Independent voters.
    In response to a debate question about the legacy of slavery, Biden’s rambling answer included an old racist idea about how parents of color don’t know how to raise their kids: “It’s not that they don’t want to help — They don’t know what quite what to do” he said. His answer? “Leave the record player on at night” to teach kids more words.
    When fondly recalling days of greater civility in the Senate, Biden invoked memories of working with two staunch segregationists to “get things done.”
    Biden has been recorded making old fashioned, sexist jokes to young women, like saying “I’ll bet you’re as bright as you are good-looking” to a 10-year-old, and telling men they have “great taste” while looking their wives up and down.
    His attempt to seem in touch with racial strife recently was to talk about a “gang leader” he once knew named Corn Pop. Many Black leaders mocked him.
    Biden implied the solution to sexism was…nominating him. Emily’s List’s VP Christina Reynolds rebutted.
    Biden represented the credit card capital of Delaware — and opposed Elizabeth Warren for years as she tried to get relief for victims of spiraling, predatory credit card debt.

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