Chris Matthews Comparing Bernie Sanders to Nazis Embodies the Problem with the Democratic Establishment
The establishment is afraid of Bernie Sanders.
The Nevada caucus seems to have been a major wake-up call for centrist Democrats, who are collectively losing their minds.
Just prior to the Nevada caucus, Bernie Sanders tweeted, "I've got news for the Republican establishment. I've got news for the Democratic establishment. They can't stop us."
I've got news for the Republican establishment. I've got news for the Democratic establishment. They can't stop us.— Bernie Sanders (@Bernie Sanders) 1582333360.0
The comments were expectedly full of other, more centrist Democratic candidates' prominent supporters, including Rosie O'Donnell and Jane Lynch, denouncing Sanders alongside the usual slew of Trump enthusiasts. With the leadership of Nevada's largest union, the Culinary Workers Union, actively criticizing Sanders, many of them undoubtedly held out hope that Sanders would underperform at a critical point in his campaign.
But Nevada was a Bernie landslide, with many union workers defying their leadership and Sanders claiming an overwhelming 46% of the vote. Now, after the past month of mainstream media attempting to minimize Sanders' victories in Iowa and New Hampshire, the truth has become undeniable: Support for Sanders is surging, with especially strong showings among working class voters, POC voters, and younger voters. Pundits are quickly being forced to come to terms with the reality that Sanders winning a plurality of delegates––at the very least–– is all but certain.
Naturally, the mainstream media is taking a prospective Bernie victory very well. Just kidding.
CNN is touting a pipe-fantasy in which Obama comes out and publicly denounces Bernie Sanders. The Washington Post is running a Max Boot-penned op-ed about how voting for Bernie is really voting for Trump. And over at MSNBC, Hardball's Chris Matthews is actively comparing Bernie Sanders' Nevada Democratic caucus victory to the Nazi invasion of France in 1940.
If that sounds like a headline from The Onion, it's not.
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews likens Sanders victory in Nevada to Nazi Germany overrunning France in 1940: “It’s too late… https://t.co/G9VUmtvXRE— Tom Elliott (@Tom Elliott) 1582412513.0
"I was reading last night about the fall of France in the summer of 1940," said Matthews to Brian Williams during MSNBC's live Nevada coverage. "And the general, Reynaud, calls up Churchill and says, 'It's over.' And Churchill says, 'How can that be? You've got the greatest army in Europe. How can it be over?' He said, 'It's over.'"
Some people have different candidate preferences. That's fine. But at the point where you can look at a candidate whose entire campaign revolves around universal healthcare, workers' rights, and stopping global warming, and compare their victory to a Nazi invasion––a Jewish candidate who lost family in the Holocaust, no less––we are no longer on the same side.
never thought part of my job would be pleading with a national news network to stop likening the campaign of a jewi… https://t.co/xEJyxWaFoA— mike casca (@mike casca) 1582411937.0
This isn't even the first time that an MSNBC anchor has made Nazi comparisons to Bernie's campaign. Just prior to co-hosting a Democratic Primary Debate, Chuck Todd recited a quote comparing Sanders' supporters to "Brownshirts," the paramilitary wing of the Nazi Party.
Here is a higher quality and more complete video of @chucktodd comparing supporters of the Jewish frontrunner to Na… https://t.co/DRB9PCvcpR— 29 U.S.C. § 157 (@29 U.S.C. § 157) 1581374734.0
Meanwhile, we have a president in office who is literally putting children in cages on the US-Mexico border, rounding up immigrants with ICE, and breaking down the very tenets of American democracy by using the US Justice Department as his personal enforcer. But sure, Chris Matthews, the Jewish guy who wants to give everybody healthcare is the real Nazi.
TIME editor and MSNBC political analyst Anand Giridharadas put it well in his own critique of the mainstream media's response:
This is a wake-up moment for the American power establishment. Many in this elite are behaving like aristocrats in… https://t.co/pAQ0HsjIw0— Anand Giridharadas (@Anand Giridharadas) 1582476658.0
"I think this a wakeup moment for the American power establishment, from Michael Bloomberg to those of us in the media to the Democratic party to donors to CEOs. Many in this establishment are behaving, in my view, as they face the prospect of a Bernie Sanders nomination, like out-of-touch aristocrats in a dying aristocracy. Just sort of 'How do we stop this? How do we block this?' And there is no curiosity."
Of course, a lot of people are calling for Chris Matthew's resignation.
Chris Matthews just compared Bernie Sanders, a Jewish man whose relatives were killed by the Nazis, to the Nazi arm… https://t.co/yf9VDlgZuz— Krishan Patel (@Krishan Patel) 1582410805.0
For once, I'm not being sarcastic here. I'm dead serious. I'm really, really insulted by a major pundit on an all… https://t.co/Avc7uDrrvG— Alex Kotch (@Alex Kotch) 1582412714.0
Chris Mathews has been generous to me on a number of occasions, even blurbing my book. However, his constant refere… https://t.co/VS0zSe1k4X— Arun Chaudhary (@Arun Chaudhary) 1582413863.0
After all, Chris Matthew's Nazi comparison (along with Chuck Todd's similar expression) are deeply offensive and insensitive, especially to people of Jewish ancestry whose families were exterminated by actual fascism. But the rot runs much deeper than one or two men and their disturbing comments.
The scariest aspect of the mainstream Democratic party's response to Sanders, from the Nazi comparisons to the fact that no other candidate currently running for president believes that the the person with the most delegates (corresponding to people's individual votes) should receive the nomination, is that the Democratic Establishment is completely out of touch with their constituency. They shout #BlueNoMatterWho while doing everything in their power to sabotage the candidate who seems most likely to win––the same candidate who appreciates the most support among the working class, people of color, and young people. In doing so, they suggest that any other candidate would be representative of their few voices, but not the majority.
The establishment is scared. Their hegemony is being threatened like never before by a leftist candidate who is achieving overwhelming support from the American people. What other excuse could there be for the high levels of vitriol against a grassroots campaign centered around diversity, equality, and the effort to value the lives of all Americans? At what point do we recognize that when the DNC and the party establishment have such a vested interest in knocking down such a campaign, their goals can't possibly align with the goals of the people who support it?
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