SocraticGadfly: Family ties and Bernie exceptionalism

September 09, 2019

Family ties and Bernie exceptionalism

Ahh, ahh, Liza Featherstone, and ahh, ahh, Jacobin.

The magazine is determined to counterweight much of the mainstream media's apparent antagonism to Bernie Sanders by doing a full 180 of puff pieces.

Liza Featherstone is the latest, claiming that it's OK to bring up family and friends ties of political candidates, and starting with Elizabeth Warren's daughter, then turd-polishing Bernie's own problems and issues by silence and omerta.

The reality, as I tweeted back to her, is that there's nepotism a-plenty at both the Sanders Institute (where Featherstone mentioned  and Our Revolution HQ.

Liza then went on to talk about Jane Sanders as "a former college president" without mentioning either her real-estate speculator role in causing its closure (indeed, the closure isn't mentioned at all) or the fact that nepotism played a role there, too. (It can be added that Jane's daughter tried to follow stepdaddy as Burlington mayor.)

Bernie himself, in some of his real estate peculations as Burlington mayor, has his own partial connection to the college closing.

Beyond THAT, Liza didn't even mention Jane's name as part of the omerta. In a petard-hoisting moment, I could also argue that comes off as looking potentially sexist, too.

She also doesn't note Our Revolution being a 501(c)4 and opacity / lack of transparency issues related to that.

Bernie himself, also presumably under the influence of Jane, had IRS transparency issues in 2016.

We can discuss whether or not nepotism is by its very nature a class-based issue, as Featherstone has said her piece was about class based issues.

We can also ask whether or not Featherstone was implying Sanders had some monopoly on family values among top Democratic contenders:
We can’t expect everyone affiliated with a presidential candidate to make a virtuous living. We live, after all, in a rapacious, dirty system. (Though it’s worth noting Bernie Sanders’s children include an advocate for the disabled, a progressive politician, and a yoga studio owner, while his wife is a former college president who currently runs a left-wing think tank with the help of another of their sons.)

I say that's exactly what Featherstone was intending.

Featherstone could probably counter, if she wanted, that this is Jane's daughter by a previous marriage. I'd fire back that Bernie named Jane to run Our Revolution already knowing about the nepotism at Burlington College.

And, on classism, I'd also bring up the 501(c)4 issue.

Bernie has gotten better on some things in 2020 vs 2016, like some aspects of foreign policy. On the other hand, IMO, on all the above and more, he's gotten worse, or more just another Democrat, on personal life issues. What hasn't changed is that Berners in both election cycles will try to talk away or talk around his shortcomings.

Finally, and I don't care if some SJWer think it's sexist, as one did three years ago, I have long thought that Jane wears the pants in that family.

Speaking of family ties, Featherstone and her hubby, Doug Henwood, appear to remain good Nation-reading, Nation-writing, so-called leftist Democrat duopolists.

Bye, Liz. On my previous main Twitter account, I said bye to Henwood long ago, after he repeated Adolph Reed BS claiming New Mexico was one of the whitest states in the union, among other things. (Before that, Henwood, economics writer and all, got the Gini coefficient rankings of American states backward in a "gotcha" attempt to claim that Utah was the most unequal state in the union.


Not the only recent Jacobin turd-polishing. Seth Ackerman a few days ago claimed the New Deal really was socialism of a sort.

Sorry, Seth, but I'm going to refudiate you by repeating an anecdote Howie Hawkins related.

FDR reportedly told Socialist presidential candidate Norman Thomas that he should like how the New Deal was carrying out Socialist platform ideas. Thomas reportedly replied: "You're carrying them out on a stretcher."


Jacobin is fairly useful for kicking mainstream Democrats. Other than that, and beyond the Bernie fellating, it's hit and miss on a lot of stuff.

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