One of the things that is often overlooked about Sanders is that, along with Elizabeth Warren, he is a sharp debater. This is because they both have key facts at their fingertips and use them effectively, and also because they do not pull their punches. This, along with his policies, is another reason why I think Sanders is the best person to challenge Donald Trump. His relentless focus on the important issues means he will not be distracted by Trump’s clownish antics and name-calling. But most importantly, he quickly recognizes bullshit and calls it out in no uncertain terms, which will be very effective in countering Trump who as we have seen is full of it.
Here is Bernie Sanders during the last debate rebutting Pete Buttigieg’s repeated assertions that he is a ‘polarizing’ figure.
— Abshir I’m Freezing in MN Omar (@AbshirDSM) February 21, 2020
Buttigieg has also been called out for using Fox News propaganda tactics in ominously referring to the grassroots organizations supporting Sanders as ‘dark money’ groups, without naming them.
“With Michael Bloomberg in the race, and with nine dark money groups supporting Bernie Sanders, the goal posts have changed,” Buttigieg said of his campaign’s need to raise more money.
The nine groups, as the Democratic Socialists of America pointed out in a tweet, are grassroots organizations powered by “POC, immigrants, youth, working class people, and democracy defenders.”
Buttigieg’s comments came in for harsh criticism online, with activists, advocates, and journalists calling the Democratic candidate out for his dishonesty.
“This tweet is disingenuous and you know it,” said journalist Michael Salamone. “Groups like the Sunrise Movement and National Nurses United are not dark money and you know it. You put your greedy aspirations for power above integrity and that’s why you will never secure our party’s nomination.”
Political activist Ryan Knight accused Buttigieg of parroting right-wing talking points.
“Calling groups like the the Sunrise Movement and National Nurses United ‘dark money groups’ is Fox News type propaganda, but I expect no less from Pete Buttigieg,” tweeted Knight.
After getting his ass kicked in Nevada and coming in third, Buttigeig has upped his rhetoric, increasingly revealing his establishment-protecting bias.
Buttigieg, who is currently in fourth place with 8.82% of the vote and 4% of precincts reporting, is attacking Sanders as supporting “an inflexible, ideological revolution that leaves out most Democrats, not to mention most Americans”.
CNN just cut away from the speech, but according to prepared remarks provided by the campaign, Buttigieg will go on to accuse Sanders’ campaign of having “the tenor of combat, division, and polarization, a vision where whoever wins the day, nothing will change the toxic tone of our politics”.
“That is the choice before us. We can prioritize either ideological purity or inclusive victory. We can either call people names online or we can call them into our movement. We can either tighten a narrow and hardcore base or open the tent to a new, broad, big-hearted American coalition.”
Others are noting how Buttigieg is trying to have to both ways, harshly attacking Sanders and his supporters, while claiming to be a unifying figure.
And hey @PeteButtigieg, try to not be so smug when you just got your ass kicked. You know how we form a winning coalition to beat Trump? With a true multi-racial coalition of working Americans: something @BernieSanders has proven he can do + you haven’t. Dude, show some humility
— Bill de Blasio (@BilldeBlasio) February 23, 2020
Buttigieg’s shtick is that he is the nice, gentle, centrist who will bring people together unlike the others who are either extremists or polarizing or otherwise unelectable, even though his policies are vague and he attacks others. His vacuous assertions that he is the only unity candidate is becoming laughable and is quickly devolving into caricature, and cartoonists are noticing.