As if Bernie Bros were not bad enough, Berners are taking it to a new low, and not surprisingly, some of them are fanatical anti-Israel activists schooled in disruption and harassment.
Over the last month or so, momentum has shifted to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
SANDERS: We have over 10.6 million people on Twitter, and 99.9 percent of them are decent human beings, are working people, are people who believe in justice, compassion, and love. And if there are a few people who make ugly remarks, who attack trade union leaders, I disown those people. They are not part of our movement.
But let me also say what I hope my friends up here will agree with is that if you look at the wild west of the internet, talk to some of the African-American women on my campaign. Talk to Senator Nina Turner. Talk to others and find the vicious, racist, sexist attacks that are coming their way, as well.
So I would hope that all of us understand that we should do everything we possibly can to end the viciousness and ugliness on the internet. Our campaign is about issues. It’s about fighting for the working families and the middle class. It is not about vicious attacks on other people.
The problem with Sanders’ answer is that it’s a complete whitewash of how his more militant supporters act on his behalf. The issues do not just happen on Twitter and other social media platforms. It happens offline and in real life. On the streets – including at the homes of DNC officials.
Politico reported several recent incidents on Wednesday. These obsessive supporters of Sanders have shown up at the private homes of DNC officials in the middle of the night. They showed up with bullhorns, blinding flashlights, and cellphone video cameras rolling, to confront them and warn them that they do not want another 2016:
The night before the Nevada caucuses, the chairman of the state’s Democratic Party called police after several supporters of Bernie Sanders gathered outside his home at 11 p.m. with a bullhorn to issue a warning about the next day’s election.
“I want assurances that there isn’t going to be any shenanigans going on tomorrow. The Democratic Party does not control what happens,” Maria Estrada, a self-described “Berner” from Los Angeles, said into the bullhorn, according to a Facebook Live video she streamed on her personal page. She repeatedly said she didn’t want to see a repeat of the 2016 election, which she insinuated was rigged against Sanders.
At least three other times in recent days, Estrada led a group of Sanders supporters who gathered late at night outside the homes of Democratic Party officials and California lawmakers, including those of Secretary of State Alex Padilla and state Democratic Party Chairman Rusty Hicks. Police were called at least twice.
Watch videos of two separate instances below. The first one is from Nevada, and the second is from California:
Scoop w/ @hollyotterbein
NV Dem party chair & CA SoS called the police this wknd after svrl Bernie supporters came to their homes w/ bullhorns late at night to warn abt elections/2016
They FB live’d it
Jeff Weaver condemned the tacticshttps://t.co/BxJPlm9Zn2 pic.twitter.com/xAnyVcKzO7
— Alex Thompson (@AlexThomp) February 27, 2020
Maria Estrada, a self-described “Berner” from CA who went to NV and helped lead the actions (NV at after 11pm), defended them: “Protesting is our right — whether they called the police or not is irrelevant.”
1st video was from NV. This is from Padilla’s home in LA after 9pm pic.twitter.com/P5QY32geez
— Alex Thompson (@AlxThomp) February 27, 2020
When asked about the incidents, Estrada told Politico, “Protesting is our right — whether they called the police or not is irrelevant.” She stated that she nor those involved with these incidents are not working in any official capacity for the Sanders campaign.
Nevada party chairman William McCurdy confronted Estrada and others who showed up at his home, according to Politico, telling them they had “crossed a line.” Estrada, who is a candidate for the California state assembly, reportedly told McCurdy that “If any bullshit happens tomorrow the only person who crossed the line is you.”
For the record, Estrada also happens to be an anti-Semite:
Unfun fact: The woman who led the late night pro-Bernie people harassing the chair of the Nevada Democratic party outside their home was Maria Estrada.
— Yair Rosenberg (@Yair_Rosenberg) February 27, 2020
As annoying as Pete Buttigieg can often be, he had an excellent response to Sanders on the issue of the “Bernie Bros” from that Nevada debate:
But leadership is about what you draw out of people. It’s what — it’s about how you inspire people to act.
And right now, we’re in this toxic political environment. Leadership isn’t just about policy. I think at least in broad terms, we’re largely pulling in the same direction on policy, but leadership is also about how you motivate people to treat other people.
I think you have to accept some responsibility and ask yourself what it is about your campaign in particular that seems to be motivating this behavior more than others …
To be sure, Estrada and those who have marched with her are personally responsible for their own actions. But look at the people in the Democratic party. Some people encourage confrontations. They have an angry socialist candidate like Bernie Sanders who animatedly preaches about “revolutions” in the streets and praises murderous dictators like Fidel Castro. Therefore, attempting to intimidate and terrorize people at their homes to get their way comes with the territory in the minds of Resistance types.
Politico also reported that the Sanders campaign condemned reports of the Nevada and California incidents, but don’t expect Estrada and company to back off of their tactics any time soon, mainly if the delegate race stays close and the primary process continues for months. As one analyst predicted the night of the South Carolina debate, if Bernie Sanders’ supporters don’t ultimately get their way, they might “burn this party to the ground”:
Terry Sullivan (@OnBackground): “If somehow Bernie Sanders does not get the nomination, his supporters might burn this party to the ground.” #DemDebate https://t.co/TWrF1x62ZI pic.twitter.com/eSQxQb5ilf
— CBS News (@CBSNews) February 25, 2020
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