There are several attacks of this genre. Let’s address them one by one:
- Bernie railed against superdelegates, but then tried to court their votes.
This argument is almost too stupid to bother rebutting. Superdelegates were always a part of the Democratic Primary process, but SDs don‘t get to cast their vote until the Convention. What Bernie and his supporters “railed against” were what they perceived to be two unfair circumstances:
- The vast majority of superdelegates had declared for Hillary before Bernie had even announced his candidacy;
- The media continuously counted the presumed (but unconfirmed) superdelegate count in all their reporting on the state of the race.
Bernie, like many in the Democratic Party, does not support the idea of superdelegates, but no one was ever suggesting that the superdelegates were not going to be part of the primary process. Bernie was simply calling for a bit of fairness to be applied to how the superdelegates acted, and how they were treated in the media.
As the race wore on, Bernie then tried to exhort the superdelegates to:
- Vote for the candidate who stood the best chance against Trump, which he believed himself to be, and which is the stated purpose and raison d’être for superdelegates in the first place;
- At the very least, vote in accordance with the majority of the Primary participants in their State — which should already be policy for a Party that calls itself “democratic”.
These are not unreasonable requests, and cannot be construed as a reversal of position or a cynical backtracking or betrayal. It is called “campaigning.”
- Bernie attacked others for having a SuperPAC, but then took PAC money himself.
These PAC attacks refer to National Nurses United, the nation’s largest nurses union, with over 155,000 members. The union has a SuperPAC, called Fund for a Healthy America, whose express mission is to support candidates who promote “Medicare for All” and “Holding Wall Street accountable”(you can read their full mission objectives here).
In addition to Bernie Sanders, the NNU PAC during the 2015/16 cycle contributed to 16 other candidates, as well as other Democratic causes and organisations, including a $1,000,000 donation to the Senate Majority Fund. They even gave to the Democratic Party in Illinois and Nevada, as well as Democrat-led campaigns such as Million Hoodies, Reclaim Chicago and Color of Change.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the NNU PAC does not take money from millionaires or from corporations or industry groups. The PAC is 100% funded by the nurses themselves. Obviously this makes it a very different animal from the “Ready for Hillary” PAC or the “Hillary Victory Fund,” which took in money almost exclusively from corporations, industry groups and especially from wealthy millionaires and billionaires.
- Bernie is a hypocrite because he won’t release his tax returns
This one really is too silly to answer. I will simply say that Bernie did release tax returns in April 2016 and they showed he made just $205,000 in income.
I never understood this line of attack. All Bernie’s official Senate disclosures and other financial records shows him to be one of the poorest people in Congress, with a Net Worth equal to about 10% that of the average US Senator. I mean, what do they hope to find?
Also, he could not even be a hypocrite in this case because he never called for Hillary to release her tax returns.
I think it is also important to know why the Clinton campaign started calling for the returns — it was a direct response to the Sanders campaign calling on Hillary to release the transcripts of her speeches to the Wall Street banks. During 2012 to 2014, Hillary Clinton made $13 MILLION giving speeches to Goldman Sachs and other banks. Bernie called on her to release the transcripts. Clinton refused, and that’s when her campaign started demanding to see the Sanders’s tax returns.
As if it were somehow justified to compare asking about $13,000,000 in services rendered with demanding to see how Bernie spent his $205,000 a year.