The Pretenders: Bernie Cult's Seething Contempt for the Working Class

Bernie Sanders’ most rabid backers are back, and they have evidently decided that Beto O’Rourke, who held Ted Cruz to a less than two-point margin in what we often imagine is a ruby red state, Texas, is the most pressing threat to the 2020 Democratic primary prospects of their cult leader (who is not a Democrat).

Let me say at the outset that I am not sold on an O’Rourke candidacy in 2020, and were he to run, O’Rourke would certainly not be my first choice. Let me also say that the fact that Bernie’s defenders see a white man, as opposed to others in what is likely to be a field made up of highly successful women and people of color, speaks volume about what kind of individuals Bernie Sanders and his cult see as legitimate candidates, and by extension, legitimate voters.

Do I digress? Maybe not. Whether or not one gives Bernie Sanders and his media lieutenants the benefit of the doubt that he and they are maybe not overt racists, another reason for their attack on Beto comes to the fore when you really think about it: Beto would in fact be a significant threat to Bernie among the only group of voters who have ever supported Bernie in large numbers: white voters. Like Bernie, Beto is white and male and therefore unlikely to elicit fear among white Bernie voters. Unlike Bernie, Beto is young, charismatic, and energetic, giving him more of the Eurocentric qualities of “excitement” than their false idol. I would say that given the wide gulf between Sanders’ image as an “outsider” and his actual record of an ineffectual career politician, Sanders backers, who count on male-Eurocentrism to float their Dear Leader have good cause to worry about Beto.

But it would be one thing if this were just a political skirmish between the backers of Bernie and the possibility of a Beto O’Rourke presidential run. It is not. The Bernie cult and its particularly visible generals in the media are not merely attacking Beto O’Rourke; they are attacking working people, and even more perniciously, they are attacking the idea that non-white working people should count as working people at all.

Allow me to explain.

Media figures like Zaid Jalani - who was forced to resign from the Center for American Progress after being panned for antisemitism by the Anti-Defamation League - and David Sirota - who hid his own financial relationship with Sanders while advocating for Bernie’s 2016 campaign - have primarily focused on two points: that O’Rourke, in his three terms in Congress, was not a particularly accomplished legislator, and the thing that is really sticking in fauxgressive craw: some of the individual donors to Beto’s Senate campaign happen to work for the dreaded oil industry.

The attack on Beto on legislative accomplishments coming from the backers of a man who has been in elected office since the late 1980s and has not passed into law a single significant piece of legislation doesn’t even pass the laugh test, so I’m not even going to try to address that.

But the more titillating attack, that O’Rourke took money from the oil industry, is a flat out lie. This perverse mental masturbation from Bernie cultists was led by David Sirota. Sirota posted a tweet with data from Open Secrets that appeared to show that O’Rourke was the second largest beneficiary of oil industry money, behind only his Texas Republican competitor, Ted Cruz. Predictably, this caused an uproar among Bernie’s social media cult as well as generated widespread “news” coverage.

On the non-hair-on-fire side of things, The Daily Banter pointed out that this is these contributions came from individuals, not oil companies or PACs. During the campaign O’Rourke rejected all corporate and PAC contributions. What’s more, of O’Rourke’s impressive $8.7 million haul, only $429,000 came from individuals who work for oil and gas companies, amounting to about 5%.

There is no special reason why American citizens who work for a oil company should not be able to participate in the political process by making contributions just like those who work in the medical industry or Hollywood, from whom Bernie got millions. An average worker for an oil company is no more responsible for the oil company’s underhadned business practices any more than the average nurse is responsible for a hospital’s systematic overcharging for patient care. People who work in the oil fields of Texas need health care for their families just like retirees on Bernie’s donor list do.

So why suddenly do individuals contributing to O’Rourke’s find themselves in the crosshairs of fire from Sanders cultists? The answer is simple: Bernie Sanders and his cheerleading team captains do not care about working people. They are willing to play working people for their gain whey they find it convenient, and they are equally willing to viciously attack working people’s right to participate in the political process when they believe that support threatens the coronation of Saint Sanders.

Bernie Sanders and his passionate cult followers - affectionately referred to as Berniebros - are not actually concerned about working people, unless it involves a good deal of poverty pimping. They couldn’t care less about the plight of the working class if it didn’t fill the anointed one’s campaign coffers. If Bernie Sanders or his media lackeys care about working people, they wouldn’t deride the Affordable Care Act as a corporate giveaway. If they cared about working people, they would actually demand to see Dear Leader’s record on legislating for the working class (the problem of course is that all of that record could fit on a blank piece of paper). If they cared about working people, they wouldn’t attack people who are working hard to take care of their families. If they cared about working people, they wouldn’t demand that working people be tarred and feathered by association with their employers.

With their attack on Beto O’Rourke campaign donors - who are all individuals - Bernie cultists are displaying their contempt for working people. They have one goal - a free ride to the Democratic nomination by capitalizing on white complaints for perceived loss of privilege. If you as an working individual do not fit their mold - whether you are black and live in the “deep South”, you’re Latino and poor and happen to live in a community Bernie likes for dumping ground of Vermont’s nuclear waste, or whether you are trying to make a living in one of the largest industries in your state, they will have no problem viciously attacking you.

They cannot get away with this.

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