Anyone Who Tries To Use A 43 Year Old Essay To Smear Bernie Sanders Is An Unethical Jerk, And You Can Tell Them I Said So

Come to think of it, Gene's poetry was as bad as Bernie's porn,

Come to think of it, Gene’s poetry was as bad as Bernie’s porn,

It is all Richard Nixon-style smearing… designed for mouth-breathing audiences, bottom-of-the-barrel, unfair, irrelevant, democracy-polluting garbage that has no more of a legitimate place in campaigns than surreptitiously commandeered laptop camera photographs of the candidates naked. To say such miserable archeological dirt-digging violates the Golden Rule is giving it too much prestige; it violates the Brass Rule, the Tin Rule, and the Cheap Styrofoam Rule. It is the kind of revelation that thrills the jerks who applauded smut-merchant Larry Flynt when he offered a bounty for proof of adulterous affairs in the distant pasts of Republican members of Congress, to support the Lanny Davis “Everybody does it” defense of Bill Clinton’s Monica cover-up.

Mitt Romney was a bully in prep school, George Allen used the word “nigger” when he was a teenager, Jim Webb had sexy passages in his novels, Hillary Clinton’s honors thesis praised Saul Alinsky, Bill Clinton maneuvered to avoid serving in Vietnam, Rick Perry used to go hunting at a lodge rented by his father that was once called “Niggerhead” and a rock with the name on it was still visible even though it was painted over…yes, the Washington Post even gave a front page story to that last one. Ugh, yuck, pooie, gag, ichhhhhhh, ew.

So now we have learned that Bernie Sanders, who is 74 years old, wrote an essay about rape fantasies in 1972, when he was 31 years old. Just as he’s too old (realistically)  to be elected President now, he was too young to be elected President then. There’s a reason for that: the Founders believed that a man isn’t mature or experienced enough to be trusted with the job until he is at least 35. The most relevant aspect of Senator Sanders’ creative writing experiment might be that it suggests that Jimmy Madison and the gang were, as usual, right. Otherwise, so what? 43 years ago, I mistreated a wonderful, sweet girl I was dating, and I’m sure she hates me to this day. If my son behaved like I did, I’d ream him out. But that distant incident no more represents who I am today than my exploits on my high school tennis team. Sanders’ essay was written so long ago, it is far beyond the statute of limitations for prosecuting actual rape…you know, like what Hillary Clinton’s husband probably did to Juanita Broderick in Arkansas (Statute of Limitations: 6 years).

Speaking of Hillary, do I see the fingerprints of the Clinton, Incorporated hit squad on these revelations about Sanders? Doesn’t everybody? Hillary will be going into the primaries as a supposed lock on the nomination and election, and also with the most disqualifying history and character of any major party candidate since Andrew Jackson, who was slave-holder and liked to shoot people. All Sanders needs to do is come close to her in the New Hampshire primary, and Hillary’s candidacy is cooked, just as Lyndon Johnson’s re-election was doomed in 1968 when Eugene McCarthy showed strongly in losing to him in the Granite State. Can Sanders, who can be charitably described as an eccentric candidate at best, come close to Clean Gene’s 42% vote against Hillary? I see no reason why he couldn’t.

Of course, it wouldn’t be out of character for the Right to traffic in this spoiled meat either…Brietbart, you know.  After all, Bernie is a head-in-the-clouds Scandanavia-style socialist who would like to change “The Star Spangled Banner” to Sweden’s catchy “Du Gamla Du Fria “…Come on, everybody,  sing!

Du gamla, Du fria, Du fjällhöga nord
Du tysta, Du glädjerika sköna!
Jag hälsar Dig, vänaste land uppå jord,
 Din sol, Din himmel, Dina ängder gröna. Du tronar på minnen från fornstora dar,
då ärat Ditt namn flög över jorden.
Jag vet att Du är och Du blir vad du var.
Ja, jag vill leva jag vill dö i Norden.

Jag städs vill dig tjäna mitt älskade land,
din trohet till döden vill jag svära.
Din rätt, skall jag värna, med håg och med hand,
din fana, högt den bragderika bära. 

Med Gud skall jag kämpa, för hem och för härd,
för Sverige, den kära fosterjorden.
Jag byter Dig ej, mot allt i en värld
 Nej, jag vill leva jag vill dö i Norden.

Ah, guaranteed college, housing and salted fish for everyone! Paradise! But never mind how gag-worthy (what a great double meaning!) Bernie’s policy ideas are, he still shouldn’t have to respond to attacks based on 43-year-old creative writing attempts, and any pundit or pol who claims otherwise needs to be filed permanently under NEVER PAY ATTENTION TO THIS UNETHICAL HACK AGAIN.”

Entertaining conservative firebrand Ace of Spades, for example, debases himself by arguing that it’s fair to slime Sanders with irrelevant junk like this because the Left would do the same to a conservative. Yes, this is classic unethical Tit for Tat rationalizating, and Ace acknowledges it, but he writes:

[T]here’s a pretty good chance that the left would demagogue me and Speechcraft Trial me as a Thought Rapist.And that’s why we must do the same to Bernie Sanders, and make him defend these So Problematic You Guys words. The left has drawn us all into its insecure, neurotic, grasping, wanting, stupid, paranoid darkness. They have effectively criminalized it to say anything other than “Women are just terrific” and “everything is awesome!”

They are broken, warped people inflicting their psychic tumult on the rest of society. I would like to get to place where we have conversations which are no longer mediated by the mentally unstable and undermedicated. But to do that, we have to teach these wretched monsters the evils of their own ways. And to do that, we need to play tit for tat.

No, Ace, you don’t. When we do that, all we do is lower the standards permanently all the way into the gutter, and teach the public that, for example, the kind of dishonest, slanderous, despicable tactics the Democrats used on Mitt Romney in 2012 (“Romney lost, didn’t he?”Sen. Harry Reid), are acceptable. People on both sides thinking like Ace is why our democracy has fallen so far: you don’t reform the unethical by adopting their tactics, you just give them license to be even worse. Tit for Tat sends the culture into an ethics death spiral. How anyone could observe the deterioration in U.S. politics over the last 20 years and make Ace’s argument is a mystery to me.

Bernie Sanders should be attacked on substance; heaven knows there’s plenty of substance to attack him on. Dredging up four decades old soft-porn musings demeans us all.

31 thoughts on “Anyone Who Tries To Use A 43 Year Old Essay To Smear Bernie Sanders Is An Unethical Jerk, And You Can Tell Them I Said So

  1. There is no Statute of Limitations on mining political dirt. I look at some of the crap I wrote back in grad school and realize I’d be hung by my own petard if someone wished to dig back far enough and deep enough.

  2. If only one side is shooting, the other side will soon be dead. That said, we on the right should keep our hands out of this slimy liberal infighting, as we will benefit from the other side weakening itself.

  3. That piece is a puzzle. It sure doesn’t seem like an attempt at black humor. It just seems to be an amateur attempt at trying to sound like Sigmund Freud. Why would someone want to do that ever is beyond comprehension. It may even be an angry rant issued during his divorce? Truly bizarre. Is it anti-women? No. Is it inexplicable? Yes.

    But I read the article surrounding it and it’s a little terrifying what a bizarre life Bernie has lead. Again, how have all these second generation, dyed in the wool lefty/socialist/commies, extras from “On the Waterfront,” infiltrated places like the White House and the Vatican and Gracie Mansion and the U.S. Senate? This guy is really a serious candidate for President of the United States? Horrifying.

      • We’re not fully formed adults at thirty? You sound like the people who call teenagers and twenty-somethings who get in trouble with the police “children.” Whatever happened to “don’t trust anyone over thirty?”

        • 1. Nobody is fully formed, ever.
          2. We learn a lot in one year, not to mention 40.
          3. We all deserve the benefit of the doubt regarding genuine mistakes of judgment.
          4. No, one tasteless essay is not signature significance.

          • Well that’s interesting. You sure you’re not a Catholic? There’s a line in the Credo which says, “I believe in the forgiveness of sin.” I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. What a curious thing to include in the list of things essential to a faith and world view, not far behind “I believe in one God.”

  4. “you don’t reform the unethical by adopting their tactics, you just give them license to be even worse.”

    This much is true, Jack. However, and I think it’s a fair question, if not that, then what DO you do? It shouldn’t come down to a choice of win at all costs or lose ethically, because then the ethical will quickly find themselves shut out every time. Like it or not, being ruthless sometimes works, and sometimes it’s the only alternative to losing.

    That said, I don’t think Clinton was at the point of her candidacy being threatened that she had to turn to this kind of ruthless tactic so soon, and the fact that she did should tell you what kid of president she would make. Obama has been pretty ruthless and willing to dig up whatever he needed to nail his direct opponents and relatively quietly use governmental power to either silence or cow his indirect opponents. Hilary would take that kind of tactic up to eleven, until no one dared say a word against her or her policies.

    This nation survived Wilson’s attempts to push Congress aside, FDR’s governing as a de facto king in time of crisis, LBJ and Nixon’s bullying (and in Nixon’s case, criminal) tactics, and Obama’s fairly successful attempt to create a cult of personality a la Venezeula’s Chavez. I am not so sure it is going to bounce back from a president who combines all of these qualities and has absolutely no scruples.

    • “However, and I think it’s a fair question, if not that, then what DO you do? It shouldn’t come down to a choice of win at all costs or lose ethically, because then the ethical will quickly find themselves shut out every time. Like it or not, being ruthless sometimes works, and sometimes it’s the only alternative to losing.”

      The answer is, as it has always been, that you have to be that much better than those who cheat, lie, murder and steal. What you wrote is the rationalization for torture, among other things. If you just corrupt yourself so you are no better than the bad guys you oppose, what’s the point? If you can’t be trusted more than they can, why not go with them? At least their more experienced at doing wrong.

      • Torture, although distasteful and wrong, might be justified IF an existential threat was involved, the same as progressively more and more brutal tactics are justified in war because the first duty is to win. Politics should not be war, but the last few elections say otherwise. It’s just a matter of who digs up the most damaging dirt and gets it out there with the best timing. Sometimes it succeeds, like 1992’s unfair late hit on Bush the elder by dredging up Iran-Contra to break his momentum. Sometimes it fails, like 2000’s similar unfair late hit on GWB by bringing up a very old drunk driving conviction, which still didn’t put Gore over the top. The one thing that might level the playing field this time out is the powerful presence of Fox News which you can bet your last dollar will be digging as deep as possible for all the dirtiest dirt on the Democratic candidates, though they might as well concentrate their efforts on Hilary.

        As for being better, let me remind you that Ataturk didn’t hesitate to eliminate the opposition and regulate every aspect of people’s lives down to the hats that could be worn. Michael Collins used terrorist tactics, and Josef Pilsudski sided with the Central Powers in WWI initially because he thought the Austrians we not as repressive as the Russians. Yet these men are hailed as national heroes to the point of if you badmouth the latter two you are likely to get beaten up, if you badmouth the first in his country you go to jail. If you look only among the totally clean for leaders you will not get very effective people.

        • Ace quoted Stephen de Veste .

          There’s been a lot of analysis of this, and it turns out that honesty isn’t the best policy. One guy decided to run a computer tournament; people were permitted to create algorithms in a synthetic language which would have the ability to keep track of previous exchanges and make a decision on each new exchange whether to be honest or to cheat. He challenged them to see who could come up with the one which did the best in a long series of matches against various opponents. It turned out that the best anyone could find, and the best anyone has ever found, was known as “Tit-for-tat”.

          On the first round, it plays fair. On each successive round, it does to the other guy what he did the last time.

          When Tit-for-tat plays against itself, it plays fair for the entire game and maximizes output. When it plays against anyone who tosses in some cheating, it punishes it by cheating back and reduces the other guys unfair winnings.

          No-one has ever found a way of defeating it.

          Now let’s analyze two different and even more simplistic approaches; we’ll call them “saint” and “sinner”. The saint plays fair every single round, irrespective of what the other guy does. The sinner always cheats.

          When a saint plays against another saint, or against tit-for-tat, the result is optimum but more important is that everyone gets the same result. When a sinner plays against another sinner, or against tit-for-tat, everyone cheats and the result is still even, though less than optimal.

          But when a sinner plays against a saint, the sinner wins and the saint loses.

          Which brings me back to the point of all this: Is there anything I would rule out in war? Nothing I’d care to admit to my enemies, because ruling out anything is a “saint” tactic. The Tit-for-tat tactic is to be prepared to do anything, but not to do so spontaneously. In other words, if the other guy threatens to use poison gas, you make sure you have some of your own and let him know that you’ll retaliate with it. That means that he has nothing to win by using it, and he won’t. (A war is a sequence game and not a single transaction because each day is a new exchange. If you gassed my guys yesterday, I can gas yours today.)

          I chose that example carefully because that’s actually what happened in WWII in Europe. After the horror of poison gas in WWI, the world agreed to ban its use in one of the Geneva Conventions, and in fact no-one did use poison gas in Europe in WWII. Not even Hitler, who apparently knew no bounds at all, was willing to. Because he was following international law? Hell no. It was because the Americans and British maintained stocks of poison gas in Europe and were ready to retaliate in kind. (In fact, an American ship carrying 100 tons of mustard gas was sunk by a German air attack in the Italian harbor of Bari in December of 1943.)

          The Geneva Convention is deliberately constructed to be tit-for-tat. It says explicitly that a nation is obligated to follow the convention only if the other nation is also a signatory and is also following it. If the Geneva Convention was binding on signatory nations even against non-signatory nations, it would be a “saint” tactic. But since you follow the convention with others who also do, and don’t against those who don’t, that makes it “tit for tat”.

          The only agency that could enforce “good faith” in politics is the electorate, and the electorate does not enforce good faith. Indeed, it rewards cheating.

    • How is it you manage to turn the _insinuation_ that Clinton did it into _the fact_ that she did it?

      Don’t you think you need a little more to go on besides ‘she’s the kind of person who would do this’ into a fact? I do not think that word means what you think it means.

      • Quite right. Though in politics, the likely suspect is usually guilty. The Gore camp denied like crazy that it had dug up and strategically dropped W.’s DWI arrest. Naturally, it came out that it was indeed a Gore operative.

        • …after the election of course, just like they were hoping the National Guard service lies would hold until after Lurch was secure in the White House.

  5. If you can’t tell the difference between us and the bad guys, haven’t we become them? Pogo had it right. “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

    • Nope. Of course not. I expect patriotic Americans of either party to corner their idiotic and intellectually lazy friends and family members and pummel them with the facts about this dangerous and awful women until she is bad memory and nothing more.

      • You have way high expectations. The minute most friends or family members say “this is a discussion I can’t have” or “we just have to disagree” most folks will shut up to protect the friendship or keep peace in the family.

          • I don’t know about that. It might well be the mark of fragile relationships. I’ve lost online friends as a result of my sometimes blunt criticism of the current administration or its policies, but if someone’s going to sever their relationship with you because you spoke the truth as you saw it, then that was never a very strong relationship to begin with. Those are people you can usually afford to let go. Not so the friends you actually value or familly members, who may include dyed in the wool Democrats, third generation feminists who already have their minds made up to “vote with their vaginas,” or just plain curmudgeons who are wrong about everything like Bob (the dopehead) Beckel. These are people immune to logic and facts, and if you try to lose them you’ll just break a friendship you might need later or disrupt Thanksgiving dinner. Immature? You bet your boots, but you can’t fix entrenched immaturity.

  6. Maybe, Jack. But these are not the words of a high school kid. Sanders was a “mature” man writing in a post for a newspaper… and a lengthy one at that. It was also a rambling, disjointed and somewhat disturbing article that makes you stop and wonder. By that point in someone’s life, their attitudes are pretty well set… if not their sense of discretion!

    • I think digging up something that old is valid if you show a continuity. of thought or belief. For example, if you dig up Hillary Clinton’s gushing approval of Saul Alinsky in college and show that she continued to hold those ideals decade after decade, you can demonstrate pretty conclusively that those are ideals that she has long-supported and is likely to continue to support.

      • In both cases you cite, I think a good case can be made that these attitudes of their early adulthood have remained relatively unaltered. In Hillary’s case, in particular. With Sanders’ profile, one has to doubt his morals or his sanity when he wrote that piece in Vermont. I don’t know if any public revelation has since brought his (once?) unwholesome attitude toward women into focus, but no one who has committed himself to such policies as he espouses for America can be wholly sane.

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