The Berniementum express stopped in Maine last night, drawing thousands of supporters eager to hear medieval economic pronouncements from the earnest, disheveled Socialist challenging The Queen:
Another gigantic crowd! This time in Portland, Maine, where more than 7,500 came out tonight for our rally. pic.twitter.com/qEtrh54pIg— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) July 7, 2015
Bernie Sanders believes that the failing, corrupt VA healthcare system ought to be foisted upon the entire country, that the government should confiscate up to 90 percent of people's incomes, and that American consumers have too many choices when it comes to purchasing deodorant and footwear. In the past, he's written of The Revolution being a "life and death" struggle, raised eyebrows by asserting that many women fantasize about being raped (my response to which was here and here)...and then there's, um, this:
Mr. Sanders contributed only sporadically… [H]e cited studies claiming that cancer could be caused by psychological factors such as unresolved hostility toward one’s mother, a tendency to bury aggression beneath a “facade of pleasantness” and having too few orgasms. “Sexual adjustment seemed to be very poor in those with cancer of the cervix,” he wrote, quoting a study in a journal called Psychosomatic Medicine.
That's straight-up, Todd Akinesque pseudo-science, folks. Will he be pressed on this point? Will every Democratic candidate in America be asked to respond to it? Might Hillary Clinton emerge to fact-check ole Bernie's mystical dabbling regarding the female anatomy? Or does the "emblematic" standard only apply to Republicans? Given much of the media's breathless and myopic reporting about the crowds he's attracting, rather than the rather extreme content of his worldview, I think we have our answer. One trope we often hear from media bias deniers is that the press is, if anything, biased toward conflict -- which helps explain the copious attention being paid to the escalating immigration-related war of words between Donald Trump and the actual Republicans running for president. But if the political media is keen on intra-party squabbles, disagreements and conflicting narratives, why aren't they focusing on the glaring disconnect between the Obama White House's sunny economic talking points and Sanders' dour campaign rhetoric? Good catch by Stephen Miller:
Two term democrat president - Economy is growing Democrat presidential candidate - No it's not it's worse. Nothing to see here media.— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) July 7, 2015
Another point from an exasperated Miller: Even if the torpid mainstream media is asleep at the switch on this, why aren't Republicans aggressively exploiting the emerging schism? Team Obama is citing the so-called 'U3' unemployment statistic, which has indisputably improved since its post-crisis spike. Sanders is employing a broader measure of US unemployment, which paints a bleaker picture. In prosecuting his case against the failures of Obamanomics -- which is exactly what he's doing, intentionally or otherwise -- Sanders could also point to sluggish GDP growth and a workforce participation rate that sunk to a 38-year low last month. What we have here are competing narratives at the highest levels of the Democratic Party. The sitting president is telling Americans that the country's fortunes are dramatically improving, while one of the top candidates within his own party is spinning a contradictory story, marshaling plenty of evidence while he's at it. Where does Hillary Clinton come down on this? Perhaps she'll answer that question when she finally sits down for an interview, which comes a few short days after her team literally corralled the traveling press corps in a roped-off pen. Stay tuned.