Bernie’s Mistake

Bernie Sanders isn’t alone in wondering if a woman can be elected president of the United States. I’ve wondered the same thing. I’ve said the same thing: I don’t think a woman can be elected president.

I think Hillary Clinton’s loss had an enormous amount to do with her being a woman, with the sexism from the right and the left so thick sometimes it made my eyes water. Her defeat depressed me so much that it called into question what might be a fundamental truth about my fellow Americans – they can’t bring themselves to vote for a woman. Oh, they hide it pretty well. But those of us who grew up in the swamp of sexism can smell all the creatures who live there from 5,000 miles away.

So Elizabeth Warren says that Bernie expressed his view that a woman couldn’t be elected president. And then ensued a media happy dance about Bernie’s apparent sexism which I thought was nuts because I have thought the same thing. Such a statement can represent astute political judgment – like mine and Bernie’s – as much as sexist determinism.

So I was ready to let Bernie off the hook.

But then he said it never happened. He stood right next to Elizabeth Warren last night on the debate stage and he said he never said it. He didn’t say he was misunderstood. He didn’t apologize if anyone was offended. He flat out said it didn’t happen. He basically called Elizabeth Warren a liar or, more accurately, a hyper-sensitive, overly emotional girl who got herself riled up over an imaginary slight. Nothing she said was true. Only what he said was true.

It was a master class in marginalizing a woman. But in this case, the woman was his longstanding friend, a fellow United States Senator, a woman of substance and character. But it didn’t matter. He couldn’t apologize, couldn’t acknowledge, no. He had to be right.

Bernie Sanders reminded us that the sexism he denies having is just as robust as it ever was, it’s just hidden until he’s poked. And he got poked last night and the sexist bullshit came flowing out of him like pus from an abscess. No wonder she wouldn’t shake his hand.

8 Comments on “Bernie’s Mistake

  1. I don’t think a woman can be elected, either, not now, not as long as the old boys who thought grabbing us at a Christmas party was to be expected. And when a woman is elected, it won’t be a woman from our generation. Nor should it be. It should be a woman from a generation in which increased rights have been a fact of life. Why? Because men have also changed. I don’t know who or when, but it will happen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think you are probably right about this. You observation about women ‘from a generation in which increased rights have been a fact of life’ is really right on target. That will make all the difference.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Watching Amy and Kamala, listening to them vs. E. Warren was eye-opening. Our generation had to prove something (we really did have to) and, I think, like many women of our generation the fight went on until the bitter end (retirement) because the old f*&%s were still around, still doing their numbers on us. The relation of the younger women to those men is different. I remember going to my boss (a woman, some 12 years older than I) with a legitimate complaint of sexual harassment perpetrated by a guy of our generation and she just said, “There’s no way you can prove it. Poor guy. He must be going through some stuff.” Seriously.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. What is it about a woman being president that is so triggering? I’m afraid all this has inflamed those good ole Bernie Bros. They’re having a heyday on Twitter.


  3. So, Bernie is just another flavor of Trump? I think that more than any other time we NEED a woman in the highest office. Just an aside, Look how long it’s taking for the Equal Rights Amendment to be ratified by all states. With Virginia we’re only up to 38.., WTF? What is this tendency to treat women in an unfair way? the men have screwed it up now for decades, we need to try another path.


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