As someone who supported Bernie Sanders in the 2016 election and thought he would be a better candidate for president than Hillary Clinton, I had to face reality when he was resoundingly thumped in the Democratic primary. Sanders lost to Clinton fair and square, and I immediately jumped onboard the Hillary train in the hopes she could stop Donald Trump. I did not love Hillary Clinton, and still don't. However, I accept the reality of presidential politics, and recognize that nothing is perfect.
One of the hardest things about being a Bernie supporter was the truly abhorrent behavior of his diehard supporters -- the militant leftists who turned his political movement into a cult. Many in the Bernie fan club were not only sexist, but deeply disingenuous too. They lied, smeared, and distorted Hillary Clinton's record, and refused to put the interests of the country ahead of their devotion to the Sanders revolution. This was perhaps best exemplified by Susan Sarandon, who, close to the presidential election date, announced she could not endorse Hillary Clinton because, amongst other things, Clinton hadn't shown sufficient support for the legalization of marijuana (of course this wasn't true either).
Fast forward to 2019 and a new presidential election cycle, and the Bernie fanatics are gearing up for another war on reality and America's chances of getting rid of the orange mad man in the Oval Office. Case in point, David Sirota, a Bernie propagandist masquerading as a "journalist." This time, Sirota and his cohorts at The Young Turks are taking on Joe Biden -- a potential threat to the election of St. Bernie. Here was Sirota today smearing the former Vice President by alluding to him wanting to destroy Social Security:
Here's the video Sirota is referencing, a speech Biden gave at the Brookings Institute:
If you listen to the speech, you'll notice Biden is in fact arguing the exact opposite. Not only is Biden making the argument that Social Security needs to be saved, he is advocating redistributing money from top earners to pay for it. He says:
“Paul Ryan was correct when he did the tax code. What's the first thing he decided to go after? Social Security and Medicare. Now, we need to do something about Social Security and Medicare. That's the only way you can find room to pay for it. I don't know a whole lot of people in the top 1/10 of 1% or top 1% are relying on Social Security when they retire.”
Biden is saying rich people don't need Social Security, and it's unfair they are receiving it when more vulnerable people need the money. The entire speech is in fact an argument to change the tax code in America to redistribute more wealth and give working people a stake in the economy. Sirota is framing this however, as Biden agreeing with free market militant Paul Ryan, who dedicated his life to destroying Social Security and Medicare.
Fellow Bernie propagandists Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian over at The Young Turks discussed this last week, claiming Biden is siding with Republicans over cutting Social Security and Medicare:
"That is clear language that I am going to cut Social Security and Medicare, and I'm going to agree with the Republicans on that," said Uygur.
Technically, Uygur isn't wrong on this -- Biden is talking about cuts -- but it completely misses the point. Biden wants to means test Social Security so that the ultra rich don't get money they don't need. If this is inline with Paul Ryan's vision for America, then we've completely misunderstood him and his role in rigging the economy for billionaires.
We've seen these astonishingly misleading tactics used on other rising stars in the Democratic Party like Beto O'Rourke. Sirota attempted to portray O'Rourke as a stooge of big oil and gas companies, alluding to him taking money directly from the industry. O'Rourke had not taken a single dime from the oil and gas industry, yet Sirota claimed he was "the #2 recipient of oil/gas industry campaign cash". We vetted Sirota's claims and discovered O'Rourke had only taken money from individuals who worked in the oil and gas industry, not the industries themselves. O'Rourke was also the number one recipient of people working in the accounting industry in Texas too, but Sirota didn't deem that important enough to mention. Because why bother with facts if it harms your cause?
Personally, I hope Joe Biden doesn't run for president. He's too old (he'll be 78 in 2020), and there are more exciting candidates out there with fresher ideas. This doesn't mean, however, that I am willing to distort his positions and lie about anyone who threatens my preferred candidate. Sirota and the other Bernie fanatics should be ashamed.