There are lots of liberals who, whether they support his candidacy or not, love Bernie Sanders, and one of the main reasons for that is his reputation for honesty and integrity. That reputation is taking a beating this week, as Bernie continues to insist that Hillary Clinton started a fight that she clearly did not, and his deranged campaign manager goes around blaming Hillary for ISIS and saying she's in league with Satan.
Now, Bernie has also decided to risk whatever goodwill potential First Lady Jane Sanders has accrued by deploying her to further gaslight Democratic voters. On last night's Rachel Maddow Show, Mrs. Sanders repeated the whirl of lies and spin that the Sanders campaign is using to justify Bernie's attack on Hillary, and even tried to say he didn't actually call her unqualified:
What Bernie tried to do last night was to shift to unqualified, how? Unqualified in the issues. That if you’re going to talk about somebody not being qualified, then let’s talk about why. What he did was say that if I was going to say that she’s unqualified, it’s because of her support for trade deals that have been terrible for our country. It’s because she supported and didn’t have the judgment for the Iraq war or Libya.
Yeah, no. Bernie didn't say "if I was going to say she was unqualified," he said she is not qualified. Over and over again. It's on video. As for that CNN report they're talking about, no one from the Clinton campaign is quoted, directly or indirectly, saying anything like that. That was CNN's word.
Maddow meekly tried to point that out, and Mrs. Sanders triumphantly noted that Hillary also didn't step in and make an affirmative case for why a disaster of an interview with the Daily News qualifies him to be president. It's like she's his political opponent or something. Then, Mrs. Sanders threw another lie on the barbie:
Yeah, what's up with Hillary Clinton taking forever to come out with a position on Keystone, only to throw her full-throated support behind it:
Therefore, I oppose it.
Bernie, himself, has been sending mixed messages too. He appeared on Late Night Thursday night and continued to insist that Hillary started this whole thing:
But then, he made a bit of a peace offering at the end of the interview:
On Hillary Clinton's worst day, she'ss a hundred times better than any other Republican.
That's cool, then can you stop having your campaign manager blame her for ISIS and saying she's in league with the Prince of Darkness? That'd be a good start.
Look, I get that a die-hard Bernie-worshipper might try really hard to believe that it was okay for him to say Hillary called him unqualified because CNN kinda said an unnamed aide maybe did, but even if that "disqualify" characterization were a direct quote, which it is not, a "disqualification strategy" is not the same thing as saying someone is "not qualified to be president," it is a strategy that every politician everywhere always uses, including Bernie Sanders. Those reasons he ticked off for Hillary not being qualified aren't new, he's been campaigning on them, and worse, for months. That's a disqualification strategy, even if you don't call it that.
This whole thing will probably die down now, since both candidates have an opening and an interest in letting it, but Bernie has done himself no favors with voters who aren't already in the Kool Aid line.