|Sen. Bernie Sanders|
Whatever its technical challenges, the F-35 is a triumph of political engineering, and on a global scale. For a piquant illustration of the difference that political engineering can make, consider the case of Bernie Sanders—former Socialist mayor of Burlington, current Independent senator from Vermont, possible candidate from the left in the next presidential race. In principle, he thinks the F-35 is a bad choice. After one of the planes caught fire last summer on a runway in Florida, Sanders told a reporter that the program had been “incredibly wasteful.” Yet Sanders, with the rest of Vermont’s mainly left-leaning political establishment, has fought hard to get an F-35 unit assigned to the Vermont Air National Guard in Burlington, and to dissuade neighborhood groups there who think the planes will be too noisy and dangerous. “For better or worse, [the F-35] is the plane of record right now,” Sanders told a local reporter after the runway fire last year, “and it is not gonna be discarded. That’s the reality.” It’s going to be somewhere, so why not here? As Vermont goes, so goes the nation.So, Bernie, really? Ohh, it's bad, but I"m not going to oppose out-of-control military spending that makes Ike's "military-industrial complex" that much, because I want Vermont on the gravy train, even if it's a war weapon, even if it's a bloated one.
And, beyond that, Vermonters didn't WANT the F-35. They became more and more adamant about that. Result? Bernie pushed harder and harder to land it.
And, it's not just warhawking. It's warhawking for a plane that sucks. No other word for it:
(And, maybe it's connected to Israel wanting to upgrade F-16s to F-35s.)
Speaking of guns, Bernie is also some kind of gun nut.
And, then, fight to kill all funding, period, for the F-35.
And, on military-related issues, I'm right. Counterpunch was raking him over the coals four years ago.
Senator Sanders rarely misses a photo opportunity with Vermont National Guard troops when they are being deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq. He’s always at the Burlington International Airport when they return. If Sanders truly supported the Vermont troops, he would vote to end all of the wars posthaste.
Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Bernie Sanders, and Congressman Peter Welch could hardly contain their enthusiasm over the news that Burlington International Airport had been named as a possible site to house the Air Force’s new F-35 fighter jet scheduled to replace the Vermont Air National Guard’s aging fleet of F-16s.
And, a libertarian online mag, gathering a variety of links and sources, argues that Sanders might almost be a warhawk lite.
And, he was a war lover ever since the original Gulf War. Read that piece. Substitute the n-word into Bernie's take, and he sounds like George Wallace or other White South politicos saying in the 1960s that nobody was going to out-n them. Plus, part of why he probably doesn't like to talk about foreign policy issues a lot is that he's illiberal in general on them.
In other words, Bernie already is a Democrat, and has been for 20 years. Thank doorknob he's not running Green; the myth might quash a more legitimate candidate, like Dr. Jill Stein, the 2012 nominee, who's thrown her hat in the ring again.
The first link is a great read in general. James Fallows goes in depth about the separation of the military from the general public, the shallowness of "thank you for your service," the greater shallowness of continuing to feed the beast of the military-industrial complex and more.
And, I'm by no means alone. Here's another blogger calling out Sanders as a warhawk. So does friend Brains, who also tags him as a panderer on gun issues, which he is.