Pundits Gone Mad: Incivility and Latent Antisemitism – Kevin Drum Edition | Blog#42

Some pundits really can’t stand Bernie Sanders. If anything, this election season, as covered by the mainstream media, has been all about the anti-Sanders vibe. Now that we are almost at the Democratic finish line, however, the vibe has turned into out and out hate, and some of it comes with what can only be described as a distinctly antisemitic bent.

Donald Trump half-joked about debating Bernie Sanders while on a late-night talk show. Sanders jumped on the half-offer and a debate is being negotiated.

Bernie Sanders is still one of two remaining Democratic candidates for their party’s nomination. While a cross-party debate is not a part of the usual primary cycle, there is nothing in the rules that says it can’t or shouldn’t be done. As the last of the states and territories prepare to vote, why not see one Democrat go up against the GOP’s nominee? Wouldn’t that be a great debate to watch? Wouldn’t it be an interesting preview of what’s to come?

Mother Jones’ Kevin Drum, who has been quite overt about his antipathy toward Sanders, had this to write about the possibility of a debate:

Bernie Sanders Is Switching Teams


“… he knows perfectly well that a debate like this would (a) help Trump and (b) hurt Hillary. That’s it. That’s all it would do. And Bernie is all in.”

Bernie is doing what any candidate who is serious about winning his primary would do. Hillary would do well to sit down in front of a TV and study any Trump-Sanders debate that might take place.  Such a debate would be yet another thing Clinton will have Sanders to thank for, as it will give her a blue print to her own future debates against Trump. Every bit will help.

As for the title Kevin Drum chose, whether he knows it or not, it is despicable use of the dirtiest trick in the book: using racial dog-whistles. Calling a Jew a traitor is an age-old racist stereotyping tool racists have used to vilify their Jewish targets.  Maybe Drum isn’t much into introspection. That said, it seems unlikely that the connection between the kind of othering he’s been engaging in and known racist stereotypes didn’t occur to him. Drum is very highly knowledgeable about a whole lot of things. So, if anything is sad, it is that, of all people, in these polarized times, Drum would engage in the very behavior he’s criticized in others.

Don’t like it that Sanders might score an early debate against Trump? Say so, but don’t go making up some kind of treachery out of thin air in an attempt to poison California voters right before the primary, and on the day that Sanders announced that he has endorsed Russ Feingold, and is fundraising for him in Wisconsin.

I used to love clicking on Drum’s new pieces. Over the last few months, I’ve noticed how biased, to the point of professional malpractice, Kevin’s work has become. I now rarely read Mother Jones anymore. It has fallen victim to these polarized times we live in and stopped being a progressive publication. Maybe Drum is blind to the dog-whistling in his last piece. But, don’t they have editors at Mother Jones anymore?

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