A little over a week after one of his supporters attempted to assassinate GOP members of Congress, Senator Bernie Sanders, who apparently read a 142 page bill in less than 5 minutes, greeted the release of the Senate GOP’s health care bill with some ridiculously over-heated tweets.
Republicans want to throw millions of Americans off of health insurance while providing over $200 billion in tax breaks to the top 2%.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) June 22, 2017
First, its a minor surprise that Sanders, an avowed socialist, went with the 2017 senate draft of the AHCA over the “Communist Control Act of 1954” as the most harmful bill in his lifetime. But Sanders twitter feed lives in the moment, I guess.
Of course the Senator isn’t endorsing violence, (Sanders was quick to condemn the shooter) but one would think that in the wake of the Scalise shooting, he might be more guarded in his language.
As Erick tweeted earlier today:
Bernie says this is the most harmful piece of legislation in his lifetime. What are you Dems going to do? Shall we ask Mr. Hodgkinson? https://t.co/9X8AZQcDRu
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) June 22, 2017
Some of you may think its unfair, holding Sanders accountable for this. Well, here is an excerpt from a fundraising email the Vermont Senator sent in the wake of the Gabby Giffords shooting:
In light of all of this violence – both actual and threatened – is Arizona a state in which people who are not Republicans are able to participate freely and fully in the democratic process? Have right-wing reactionaries, through threats and acts of violence, intimidated people with different points of view from expressing their political positions? My colleague, Senator John McCain, issued a very strong statement after the shooting in which he condemned the perpetrator of the attack. I commend him for that. But I believe Senator McCain and other Arizona Republicans need to do more. As the elder statesman of Arizona politics McCain needs to stand up and denounce the increasingly violent rhetoric coming from the right-wing and exert his influence to create a civil political environment in his state.
As it turned out, the Giffords shooting was not politically motivated, but the act of a lunatic who believed that grammar is a government conspiracy. Meanwhile, back in 2017, does Senator Sanders follow his own advice? Does claiming your opponent’s health care bill is literally the most harmful legislation in your lifetime, and that your opponents WANT to throw millions off of insurance to give tax cuts to the rich, fall in line with Sanders’ call to Senator McCain to denounce violent rhetoric, and create a more civil political environment?
We need more civil political discussions, on both sides. We need to be able to critique policies and results without assuming our opponents have malevolent intentions. But for Bernie Sanders, at least so far, he isn’t heeding his own advice.