Bernie Sanders appoints yet another anti-Semite as a campaign “surrogate”

The Jerusalem Post and other outlets, as well as Amer Zahr himself, have reported that Zahr, described by Wikipedia as “a Palestinian-American comedian, writer, filmmaker, political activist, and adjunct professor at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law”, has been appointed as a “campaign surrogate” for Bernie Sanders. A surrogate is someone officially allowed to campaign on the candidate’s behalf. Sadly, Zahr is a BDS supporter, and, as seen from other actions, apparently an anti-Semite.  Zahr thus joins Linda Sarsour as yet another anti-Semitic surrogate for a secular Jewish candidate.

Zahr’s Big Announcement:

As the Post notes:

Zahr is a staunch advocate of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, and has campaigned against Israeli businesses in the US.

On Twitter, the comedian has made no secret his views on Israel, tweeting statements such as “American Jews are starting to realize that Israel is their ISIS,” “Israel has a prime minister with an American accent and a spokesman with an Australian one. Foreign colonist settlers,” and also added that “Describing defenders of Israel as ‘scumbags,’ ‘pigs,’ and ‘bastards’ is not necessary. ‘Zionist’ is sufficiently insulting.”

However, while Israelis may hold him with disdain, Palestinians hold Zahr in high esteem.

“He represents our culture and holds on to our Palestinian heritage in exile,” says Silvia al-Bina, a Jerusalem resident, who attended one of his comedy shows in Ramallah in 2016.

This is not a good choice for Sanders, whose views on Israel are dicey at best. Not only is BDS an anti-Semitic organization, whose founders and supporters tacitly approve of the disappearance of Israel, but Zahr was the one who covered up the state of Israel (replacing it with a Post-It that said “Palestine”) on a map in Rashida Tlaib’s office on the day Congresswoman started her job, and laughed about it (see tweet and video below). BDS, of course, wants Israel gone and replaced with a Palestine “from the river to the sea”.

Want more? First, two lies:

A call for the disappearance of Israel:

And a slur:


Seriously, Bernie, is this a guy you want representing you on the campaign trail? Or, as Zahr’s female equivalent, this one?

If forced to choose between Sanders and Trump, I would of course vote for Sanders, as I did in the Democratic primary in the last election. Next year, however, I don’t think Bernie will be a serious candidate for President (his recent heart attack, for one thing, will give Americans pause), and I’ll be glad to vote for Elizabeth Warren in the primary and final election, though of course we’re not sure she’ll be the Democratic candidate. (I’m pretty sure that by November of next year she’ll have “modified” her view on eliminating all private healthcare in favor of mandatory government healthcare for all.)

119 Comments

  1. Posted October 11, 2019 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Hopefully Sanders will soon give up his campaign. The Dems seem not to understand that if they nominate any middle-aged moderate, they will win.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted October 11, 2019 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      Except it’s not that simple(when is anything to do with politics today ever simple?).

      In the latest poll, people were asked who they would vote for between Trump and the Dem candidates. Warren had a ten percent lead over Trump, as did Biden.

      Sanders? Who’s tailed off, and been written off as behind the times, and who’s made dodgy appointments like this, and who’s been pretty poor in the debates(and who had some kind of health scare recently too, although I’m not sure if this poll was taken before or after that)?

      …He’s still got a nine percent lead over Trump. That’s a touch less electable than Biden and Warren, but probably not by a statistically significant margin, and there’s more than enough time for him to get himself back in the race.

      • W.Benson
        Posted October 11, 2019 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

        I’ll put my money on Sanders. I feel rather confident, if elected, he will not throw Israel in the garbage can.

      • Posted October 11, 2019 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

        9 or 10% leads are not good enough. Not nearly good enough. Frankly that scares me that we will have another #%*@!?!! electoral college victory with the Orange One.

        • Posted October 12, 2019 at 5:53 am | Permalink

          I’m pretty sure Hillary Clinton had a 9% or 10% over Trump at times. In the end she had a 2% lead and still lost.

          Bernie Sanders is too old and too far to the left. For balance, I think the age criticism applies to Joe Biden and, for some Dems, he might be too far to the right. I would worry that during the campaign, if either of them were the candidate, there might be some health scare that scuppers their chances. I’m not overly happy about Elizabeth Warren’s age either, but she is, at least, younger than Trump.

          Anyway, my theory, which is mine is that American politics is now so polarised that it is not really about changing people’s minds but about getting them into the polling booths. For example, you are probably never going to persuade a Republican voter, even one who hates Trump, to vote for the Democrat candidate whoever it is, but there is every possibility that they won’t vote at all. That is, unless the Democratic candidate is perceived as an existential threat to their way of life in some way.

          Similarly, no Democrat is going to vote for Trump, but if they don’t like their own candidate, they might not vote at all.

          • Posted October 12, 2019 at 5:57 am | Permalink

            Sorry, forgot to draw a conclusion.

            I think that Sanders is far enough to the left that he might galvanise Republican voters and may be turn some moderate Democrats off voting.

            Similarly Joe Biden may turn some progressive Democrats off, but he is at least less likely to get more Republicans out.

            Anyway, that’s my theory based only on speculation. In reality, they’re both too old and should not be running.

  2. Randall Schenck
    Posted October 11, 2019 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    So maybe it will be Warren against Pelosi by sometime next year. No wait, that won’t work, maybe Warren against Romney? Seriously though, Bernie is not helping his already declining chances. He said, people have these procedures all the time. Yes they do Bernie, but not necessarily after a heart attack at 78 years old. And how many get nominated to be the candidate after that?

    • Posted October 12, 2019 at 6:00 am | Permalink

      I know several people in their late 70’s who have had similar procedures, some have even had heart attacks. However, all of those people have been retired for more than ten years.

  3. Posted October 11, 2019 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    WordPress is being disagreeable today and will not let me login so here is my comment

    I post under *Sandi Shores*, because it is dangerous to use my real name due to a stalker

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Being against Israels politics and inhumane treatment of any humans is not antisemitism

    Israel hides behind the with antisemitism to get avoid blame for their treatment of anyone not Jewish.

    And your constant rallying against the best man for the job is ridiculous

    Bernie is the ONLY person who can beat trump, if you want more of trump then vote for whatever “blue”, just like last time and trump will win again.

    A vote for anyone but Bernie is a vote for more of the same corporate slaves beholden to their corporate masters, there isn’t ONE candidate that hasn’t taken money from corporations and super PAC’s except Bernie.

    On Fri, Oct 11, 2019 at 8:31 AM Why Evolution Is True wrote:

    > whyevolutionistrue posted: “The Jerusalem Post and other outlets, as well > as Amer Zahr himself, have reported that Zahr, described by Wikipedia as “a > Palestinian-American comedian, writer, filmmaker, political activist, and > adjunct professor at the University of Detroit Mercy School” >

    • Posted October 11, 2019 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      Thanks for calling me ridiculous, which of course is a Roolz violation.

      What is ridiculous is your comments about Bernie being the only person who can win, and your claim that favoring BDS and favoring the elimination of Israel is simply “being against Israel’s politics.”

      • dabertini
        Posted October 11, 2019 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

        Call them mush-brained squared. On the other hand don’t you have to have a brain in order to be mush-brained?

      • Posted October 12, 2019 at 6:11 am | Permalink

        To be completely fair, the “ridiculous” adjective was applied to “your constant rallying” against Bernie sanders i.e. doragonmama’s perception of your opinion on Bernie Sanders, not against you.

        FTR I think constant rallying against Sanders is justified (although I don’t think you do constantly rally against Sanders) because Sanders is, I think, the candidate most likely to lose against Trump (see my post above for why).

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted October 11, 2019 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      And thank you Bernie for that outstanding and objective view of politics.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted October 11, 2019 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      This is the typical absolutist bullshit I hear from Sanders supporters so often. Most of the time they spend attacking other Democrats, the rest of the time threatening not to vote if their candidate doesn’t get in.

      Recently they’ve started going after Warren, calling her a corporate stooge, etc. Predictable, nasty, and exactly the kind of stuff that Trump must be lapping up.

      As for this commenter’s claim that PCC has constantly rallied against Sanders…I must’ve blinked and missed that.

      I can only remember one WEIT article in recent times about Bernie, and that was about the terrible decision to appoint Linda Sarsour. That’s been about it. This is another bewildering decision, and makes him some small but definite fraction less electable than he was before.

      He’s too likable and decent to be America’s Corbyn…but his supporters are definitely America’s Corbynites.

  4. pablo
    Posted October 11, 2019 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    I don’t support BDS, but how is a two state solution possible with the annexations and illegal(but tolerated)settlements?

    • Malgorzata
      Posted October 11, 2019 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      Two states solution is quite possible even with settlements but Palestinians would have to agree to have Jewish citizens in their country exactly as Israel has Arab population in their country. And, of course, there would have to be guarantees that they would not massacre all their Jewish citizens the day after they got their own country. The real obstacle to two state solution are not settlements but the hatred towards everything Jewish and Israeli which Palestinians are raised on, generation after generation. This year Palestinian children in schools got new schoolbooks. All mention of any agreement between Israel and Palestinian Authority has been removed. The day Palestinians agree to live in peace side by side with a Jewish state the two state solution will be possible.

      • Saul Sorrell-Till
        Posted October 11, 2019 at 11:29 am | Permalink

        Settlements are still a huge, unnecessary impediment. To start building new ones, indeed to start increasing the numbers of settlements being constructed, and use them as a political football, is a sign of contempt for the peace process from Netanyahu’s administration.

        So it’s not as entirely one-sided as you imply.

        Netanyahu seems to get away with a great deal of corruption, lies and demagoguery simply by pointing at the Palestinians and saying ‘but they’re worse’.

        • Malgorzata
          Posted October 11, 2019 at 11:40 am | Permalink

          Everything Abbas and his Palestinian Authority says in Arabic in political speeches, TV, radio, mosques, schools and universities is against Israel. Children are taught about “Palestinian towns of Acco, Jaffa, Haifa etc.” Even in English he never said that he accepts “two states for two people”. Without constant refusal to agree to a peace agreement there would be no settlements. And what about Hamas? Is the idea a third Palestinian state there? Or should Israel withdraw, like it did from Gaza, and have its population and industrial centra in the range of missiles – like “Gaza envelope” is in the range of missiles from Gaza? Settlements, no matter how you interpret the law, whether they are legal or not, is the last problem on the road to peace.

          • Saul Sorrell-Till
            Posted October 11, 2019 at 11:54 am | Permalink

            That’s whataboutery. Settlements are a huge impediment, not because of their physical impact but because of their symbolic power. They are a signal of contempt for the other side.

            They are obviously not as horrific and violent as the things that Palestinians do to signal their contempt, but they’re still a giant, raised finger in the air towards those Palestinians who might be looking for some signal that the Israeli administration is acting in good faith and looking for a peaceful solution.

            • Malgorzata
              Posted October 11, 2019 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

              Whateaboutery? If the side you are supposed to make peace with time after time rejects your peace proposals, time after time rejects your good will gestures (release of prisoners – many with blood on their hands, freezing construction inside settlements for months so that your opponent possibly will deign to come to the negotiation table, removal of not only your army but of all Jewish residents from Gaza, helping with your opponents agriculture, industry, medical care etc.) and your opponent answers with call to murder Jews (Million martyrs march on Jerusalem! “Pay-for slay” scheme etc) and telling your people that becoming a martyr by killing Jews is the highest aspiration a Palestinian can have, you still think that the greatest obstacle for peace are “settlements” and everything else is “whataboutery”? Interesting.

              • Saul Sorrell-Till
                Posted October 11, 2019 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

                “you still think that the greatest obstacle for peace are “settlements” and everything else is “whataboutery”? Interesting”

                Of course I didn’t say anything like that, in fact I was very careful not to.

                And you don’t seem to see how much of a signal of contempt building new settlements is. Surely you at least agree that they’re an impediment to the peace process, no?

                Or is the current Israel administration completely, uniquely, spotlessly blameless for the failure of any kind of peaceful solution?

              • Malgorzata
                Posted October 11, 2019 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

                This post is not about Israel but about Bernie Sanders. But I will answer your question. I do not judge politician according to their being “completely, uniquely, spotlessly blameless” about anything but about their effectivity. It’s easy from the comfort of an armchair sitting thousands of miles away to apportion blame and to say what should’ve been done. I don’t know what more Israel could’ve done to achieve peace with Palestinians. I know that after Second Intifada where over a thousand Israelis were killed and many more gravely injured Netanyahu (and others) managed to stop the carnage. I know that the he inherited the disastrous situation in Gaza and that he tried to manage this impossible situation as best he could. I know that for many years he had an unofficial stop on settlements, hoping that it would give some chance for negotiations with Palestinians. When it didn’t he lately gave a green light to growth. So, yes, Nethanyahu was effective in the most important area a Prime minister of any country has to be effective: in giving as much security to his citizens as possible. He is not a magician. He cannot charm Abbas to come to the negotiation table and be ready to compromise. BTW, not so long time ago Abbas bragged that his position didn’t change since the day he became president and that he never agreed to any comprimise and never will agree. Try to negotiate with such a person when the initial position was to destroy the Jewish state by flooding it with millions descendants of 1948 refugees.

              • Saul Sorrell-Till
                Posted October 11, 2019 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

                The original post is not about Bernie Sanders, and neither is your reply to it. And I think it’s entirely reasonable to ask the question I asked, and which you still haven’t answered, in spite of your long last comment.

                But you’re clearly not going to reply no matter how many times I ask you whether settlements harm the peace process.

              • Malgorzata Koraszews
                Posted October 11, 2019 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

                Oh, but I did answer. Even if it can be perceived by Palestinians as an impediment to a peace process it’s long, long after all the other impediments. I can’t understand why it’s OK for Palestinians to demand Judenrein state, I’m all for diversity. Many Jews living in Judea and Samaria have excellent relation with their Arab neighbours and if not politics they could live side by side. And here is Yitzhac Rabins answer:

                “Until 1967, Israel did not hold an inch of the Sinai Peninsula, West Bank, Gaza Strip or Golan Heights…Year after year Israel called for …peace. The answer was a blank refusal and more war” – Yitzhak Rabin, 1976.

            • Posted October 12, 2019 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

              If Israelis do not show contempt to the power denying their right to exist, they would have been despised as doormats.

  5. Steve Gerrard
    Posted October 11, 2019 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    “(I’m pretty sure that by November of next year she’ll have “modified” her view on eliminating all private healthcare in favor of mandatory government healthcare for all.)”

    Warren understands the basics of negotiating and bargaining: you don’t start off at the spot you want to end up.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted October 11, 2019 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      Yeah, you need some room to negotiate down to a “public option,” which is the near-ineluctable next step, I think.

      I’m pretty sure Liz understands that at least as well as anyone else.

  6. Malgorzata
    Posted October 11, 2019 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    sub.

  7. Posted October 11, 2019 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Quite frankly, if Sanders is the Democratic nominee, I will simply not vote.

    • Posted October 11, 2019 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      That’s what the Orange Draft Dodger is hoping for.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted October 11, 2019 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      Seriously? It’s none of my business, but Sanders would have to appoint someone a hell of a lot worse than Sarsour and this prick to get me to essentially cast a vote for Trump.

      Sanders seems to have some daft, dodgy moments but given a choice between him and Trump I’d crawl over broken glass to vote for him.

      Can’t you allow us to vote in your elections by the way? You are ‘leaders of the free world’, shouldn’t we get a say too*? 🙂

      *Only half joking.

      • Posted October 11, 2019 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

        One vote out of 140 million isn’t going to make a difference, so I vote because I *want* to support someone, no other reason. If there is no one I want to support, I don’t vote. Selfish you say? Yes, but my vote is spit in the ocean in determining the outcome, so why not?

        • Roger Lambert
          Posted October 11, 2019 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

          So why not?

          Because you are not the only person who finds some reason to not vote out of spite. Too many people do that, in fact, which is why people like Trump get elected.

          All you need to do is look at voting turnout stats to confirm this. If every Democrat, for example, who stayed home because they didn’t like Hillary had instead gone to the polls, held their nose, and voted, Trump would not be President.

          Please – won’t go to the polls, hold your nose, and vote to help keep Republicans out of office?

          • Roger Lambert
            Posted October 11, 2019 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

            Sorry – Please – won’t you go to the polls, hold your nose, and vote to help keep Republicans out of office?

            If you do, I will bake you cookies and send them to you. 🙂

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted October 11, 2019 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

            I’d’ve hoped anyone who lived through Al Gore’s 2000 loss in Florida would have taken this lesson to heart.

            You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the chads blow.

            • Posted October 11, 2019 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

              As I know you know, Gore’s loss in FL had nothing to do with people not voting. It had to do with an antiquated voting system that left the intention of some voters uncertain, plus an unwarranted intervention by the Supreme Court.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted October 11, 2019 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

                Sure, the 2000 fiasco had something to do with elderly Jews in Palm Beach County being confused by the butterfly ballot into voting for an anti-Semite like Pat Buchanan.

                But it had at least as much to do with people voting for third-party candidates, especially Ralph Nader, and with would-be Gore voters sitting on their ass on election day.

                The 2000 election should’ve never been as close as it ended up being in the first place.

        • Saul Sorrell-Till
          Posted October 11, 2019 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

          It’s your country, so I guess you can do what you want with it.

          But I had a conversation right here, on WEIT, with a self-proclaimed anarchist who used literally the exact argument you use to justify not voting.

          My response was that there’s a value to voting, beyond just that single check in ballot. It’s symbolic. There are ethical considerations, questions of principles, and I cannot see any way in which Sanders ends up being in the same universe of awfulness as Trump.

          And Sanders has appointed a couple of nasty ideologues, sure, but think of the people Trump’s appointed, the people he’s had in his admin or campaign who’ve gone to jail – the people he’s let OUT of jail on pardons, like Dinesh D’Souza – think of the effect this guy has had not just on America but on everywhere else in the western world, including my own country, where we have a rancid little mini-me version of him running around shamelessly trolling the concept of decency in just the same way Trump does…think of all that, and then compare him to Sanders.

          • Posted October 11, 2019 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

            Of course there is value to voting. I get value from voting for someone I support. I usually support that person in other ways too. I can’t be shamed into voting for someone I neither support nor like.

            • Roger Lambert
              Posted October 11, 2019 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

              OK, you are shameless. And evidently, feeling some pride about it.

              The question is then whether you are blameless. I don’t think you can let yourself off the hook on that one. You uphold your ‘principle’, that you refuse to vote for someone you do not like. But, by doing so, you also ineluctably help the election of someone you like less. Someone who, in this case, will do a lot of harm to a lot of people.

              Your ‘principle’ does not bear a lot of ethical scrutiny, imho. It generates a lot less good in the world than a batch of cookies would provide. Just sayin’.

              • Posted October 11, 2019 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

                So you think I should vote for someone I do not support (even though I know my vote will not make a whit of difference to the outcome) because YOU think Sanders is the lesser evil. Well, golly whiz. First I am not a socialist. Second, I do not like the company Sanders has decided to keep. For all I know, if Sanders were to become President, he’d choose the squad and Sarsour as cabinet officers. Third, I do not think Sanders is up to the job physically. If Sanders is nominated (hopefully not) I will be quite happy to sit it out and know if Trump wins that my vote would not have changed that.

            • Posted October 12, 2019 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

              Well said!

          • Posted October 11, 2019 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

            For example, if I were in your country (I am assuming you live in the UK) I would happily support and vote for Jo Swinson. There is no force on earth that would get me to vote for Corbyn, Brexit or not.

            • Saul Sorrell-Till
              Posted October 11, 2019 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

              I’d vote, with bile rising to my mouth, for Corbyn over Trump. I’d hate to do it, but I’d do it, no doubt about it.

              • BJ
                Posted October 11, 2019 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

                Wow, I never thought of that one. As a Jew with family that died in the Holocaust, I couldn’t vote for a man who calls people who fund terrorism against Jews “friend,” shakes the hands and speaks on a stage and at events with such people, supports the overrunning of Israel, and was part of a Facebook Holocaust denial group — among many other antisemitic things. I just couldn’t do it.

              • Saul Sorrell-Till
                Posted October 12, 2019 at 5:08 am | Permalink

                When the alternative is a guy who threatens civil war if he’s impeached…

                then yeah, I stand by that.

                Besides, I think we have different political priorities. I wouldn’t expect you to agree with me.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted October 12, 2019 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

                @BJ:

                As a Jew with family that died in the Holocaust, I couldn’t vote for a man who calls people who fund terrorism against Jews “friend” …

                Isn’t that “identity” politics of a sort? I mean that as no criticism, BJ, merely as a recognition that not everything that falls under that rubric is deserving of universal condemnation.

                I think many black, Hispanic, and gay people (among others) could make nearly identical arguments.

              • Posted October 12, 2019 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

                If not being willing to vote for someone who is friends with and supports terrorists who want kill your kin and kind, then I guess we all engage in identity politics.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted October 13, 2019 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

                @darwinwins:

                Sure. Point is, it’s not necessary to hold that view “[a]s a Jew, who had family that died in the Holocaust.”

                That seems to me to be not much different from political arguments based on the “lived experience” of various minority groups that’s frequently criticized around here as a form of “identity” politics.

        • Saul Sorrell-Till
          Posted October 11, 2019 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

          …Also, as much as you might want it not to be the case, not voting for the Democratic candidate IS effectively some portion of a vote for Trump.

          For that reason alone I’d hold my nose and vote for pretty much anyone else if I were American.

          • BJ
            Posted October 11, 2019 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

            It’s not a vote for Trump if you live in, say, California, or NY, etc. I live in NY and didn’t vote for President in 2016. I already knew it was going to Hillary; she didn’t need my vote.

            If I lived in Wisconsin, for example, I easily would have held my nose and voted for Hillary.

            And that’s all darwinwins is saying here, so I don’t understand why everyone is so up in arms about it.

            • Saul Sorrell-Till
              Posted October 12, 2019 at 5:13 am | Permalink

              I think a lot of people here think there’s more value to a vote than a single check in a ballot.

              Also, it’s a public forum; there’s a great deal of use in pointing out for neutral onlookers, lurkers, the importance of getting out and voting.

              • BJ
                Posted October 12, 2019 at 7:14 am | Permalink

                But I don’t think people have been fair to darwinwins. He specifically said he would only not vote if he lived in a state where it was an absolute surety that the Dem candidate would win.

                Also, I didn’t expect you to agree with me on Corbyn. I was just giving you my opinion. I thought it was a very interesting hypothetical that never occurred to me: could the Dems run someone as odious to me as Trump? Not in their current field of candidates, but if Corbyn was one, they could.

        • Nicolaas Stempels
          Posted October 11, 2019 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

          Darwinwins, that is not how a two party system works. You do not vote for the one that shares your ideas (well you would if a certain candidate would), but if nobody really ‘satifies’ you, you vote for the lesser evil. If you don’t vote -or vote for an odd 3rd candidate- you vote for the eventual winner, which might well be the worst option. As illustrated by 2016.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted October 11, 2019 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      Sitting out the election (or voting for a third-party candidate) is equivalent to casting half a vote for Trump.

      There isn’t a Democrat alive — and almost no Republicans — who are so bad they’d warrant doing that. And we don’t need to consider policy positions to come to that conclusion — just character, competence, temperament, and over-all fitness for office.

      The man is a mendacious menace.

      • Posted October 11, 2019 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

        As I explain above, that argument makes no sense. My single vote cannot defeat Trump. It’s like thinking you’ll win the lottery. Also, I live in a state that will go overwhelming against Trump anyway. If I lived in Wisconsin, I might think differently, but not much. So, no, I won’t get off my butt to vote for that old fool.

        • Posted October 11, 2019 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

          However, I think that such an attitude is malignant and capable of metastasizing to others. Gotta go with KK, and hopefully most of the other 61,000+ denizens of this site – get out and vote for anybody other than Trump, and also vote every Trump-enabling Republican out of office. Follow Colorado’s lead of 2018 – every top elected position is filled with a Democrat.

          • Saul Sorrell-Till
            Posted October 12, 2019 at 5:17 am | Permalink

            “I think that such an attitude is malignant and capable of metastasizing to others. Gotta go with KK, and hopefully most of the other 61,000+ denizens of this site – get out and vote”

            This. I remember thinking ‘what an absolute twat’ when Russell Brand started preaching his dimbulb-zen-guru mantra about not voting. He had so much influence on young people and his solution was ‘don’t vote for anyone’.

        • Steve Gerrard
          Posted October 11, 2019 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

          I would hope you still vote, and leave the presidential block blank if you must. There will be lots of other races down ballot where your vote will matter.

          • Posted October 11, 2019 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

            Of course. There are local and state candidates I support. I wish election rules allowed one to vote AGAINST a candidate. I would love to vote against Trump without being forced to vote for someone I don’t support.

            • Nicolaas Stempels
              Posted October 11, 2019 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

              But you know you can’t. Not voting -or voting for a candidate without chance of winning- is voting for Mr Trump. That is how a 2 party system works, like it or not (I do not like a 2 party system, not at all, for all clarity).

        • Mark R.
          Posted October 11, 2019 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

          From your avatar, I surmise you live in Washington. I do too. They send you a ballot in the mail. If you won’t vote in a state where it’s easier to vote than pay a bill, I’ll just say, must be nice to have such privilege.

          • Posted October 11, 2019 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

            For the umpteenth time, I vote! I just don’t vote for people I cannot support. What part of that is so hard to understand?

            • Mark R.
              Posted October 11, 2019 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

              Alright, alright, I apologize. I hadn’t read all the comments before posting this.

      • Curtis
        Posted October 11, 2019 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

        Voting for someone I abhor would be equivalent to showing support for someone I abhor. Voting for a third party candidate is exactly equivalent to voting for a third party candidate. It is not a vote for anything else.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted October 11, 2019 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

          When it comes to US presidential elections, if you live in a state that’s not in play, then do what you will — don’t vote, vote for a third party, flush your ballot down the toilet if that’s your choice. It matters not under our electoral-college system.

          But if you live in a state that’s in play, it’s worse than senseless to do anything other than vote for the lesser evil as between the two major-party candidates. To do otherwise simply increases the likelihood that the greater evil will win. That is inherent to our two-party system.

          • Curtis
            Posted October 11, 2019 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

            Voting for someone you abhor because you they are the lesser of two evils show supports for a two party system. I do not care to do that. It is ineffective only because other people have chosen to vote for people who they dislike.

            I understand your viewpoint but it does not work for me. To change the system, someone must start protesting it. That’s me. It’s not you and that’s fine.

            • Murali
              Posted October 11, 2019 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

              You are looking at a longer term scenario — that you are contributing toward changing the system. That is fine. However, you have to have a way of measuring the efficacy of your protest against the greater of the two evils winning the election. I don’t know about you, but many people I know do not. For them, a vote is more of a personal statement.

              • Curtis
                Posted October 11, 2019 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

                There is nothing wrong with your view but voting for someone that I dislike is not a personal statement I care to make.

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted October 11, 2019 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

              Protest away, Curtis; I’m all ears if you’ve got a prescription for a more efficacious system.

              But in the meantime, vote for the lesser of two evils unless you want to be governed by the greater.

    • Murali
      Posted October 11, 2019 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      In a two-party system, or one that is effectively so, and if you think that both parties are as good or as bad, then it would make sense not to vote. It means that you don’t care which side wins. However, if you think that one side is better than the other, then it is better to vote.

    • Posted October 12, 2019 at 6:21 am | Permalink

      I beg you, as a non American and therefore unable to vote myself, to vote for whoever is running against Trump.

      Please don’t put us through four more years of this.

  8. Ken Kukec
    Posted October 11, 2019 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Bernie was never gonna be the Democratic Party presidential nominee anyway. But now it’s time for him to take up residence with the other alter kockers on a park bench feeding the pigeons.

    I seriously doubt any doctor’s advice to a 78-year-old who’s just survived a heart attack is to spend the next year engaged in noshing on state-fair food, non-stop travel, and the unrelenting day-to-day stress of a national campaign.

    I wish The Bern (whom I voted for in the 2016 Democratic primary, too) a long and happy life and five more years as Vermont’s senior senator. But it’s time for him to bid adieu to his presidential aspirations.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted October 11, 2019 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      Agreed. But I’d say the same for Biden. He can sit on the park bench with Bernie and reminisce about the old times.

      I genuinely wonder what’s going on in Bernie’s head that would prompt him to make Sarsour and Amer Zahar his surrogates.

      • Nicolaas Stempels
        Posted October 11, 2019 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

        I agree, but I’d say the same for Mr Trump.

        Mr Sander’s head? Some mild dementia, and an idea that being ‘woke’ is cute.

        • Jenny Haniver
          Posted October 11, 2019 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

          As for your first sentence, that goes without saying.

          I should say that I certainly don’t think that just because someone is of advanced years, that person is ipso facto too old to run for political office; however, both Biden and Trump (and probably Bernie, to a lesser extent) exhibit manifestations of age-related diminished cognitive capacity that in my estimation would have a negative impact on their ability to serve. I say that being an older person.

          However, with Trump, there’s a lot going on that isn’t age-related, though surely enhanced by his age-related cognitive problems. So many of his worst traits and psychopathologies have been there from an early age, nurtured by his environment, and grew as he grew.

      • darrelle
        Posted October 11, 2019 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

        It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Bernie did not have much or anything at all to do with the selection of these folks. It may be that Bernie’s campaign is holding the reigns more so than Bernie.

      • Posted October 12, 2019 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

        Maybe he secretly hopes Trump to win?

    • Historian
      Posted October 11, 2019 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      I agree that Bernie should pack it in for no other reason than his age and health. But, I doubt that he will do this barring a heart attack that doesn’t allow him to get out of bed. Bernie is an ideologue of the Left and is very unlikely to change his views on policy. He will be cheered on by his Trump-like cult and will probably stay in the race right through the Democratic convention. I agree with many of his views such as the need to rein in big business and reduce income inequality. But, he is no longer the person to carry on the fight. By the way, I also thing Biden is too old to be president. Barring a surprise emergence of another candidate to challenge her, things look promising for Elizabeth Warren. I think she will be able to withstand the incessant attacks of the right wing and be able to give as good as she gets.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted October 11, 2019 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

        Agree with that. However, I believe they could run a flower plant against this cretin at this time and win. Once removed from office one way or the other, the legal system will have a field day. The southern district of New York seems to be the center of justice at this time.

        • Saul Sorrell-Till
          Posted October 11, 2019 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

          “However, I believe they could run a flower plant against this cretin at this time and win.”

          I’m thinking you saw this video Randall, in which Norm Ornstein wonders the same thing, at 5:30:

          • Randall Schenck
            Posted October 11, 2019 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

            Ha, I did. I don’t think they used the word cretin and that helps.

      • Nicolaas Stempels
        Posted October 11, 2019 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

        I also note that Ms Warren is not exactly a green spring leaf either. But she still is fully compos mentis, contrary to Mrs Biden, Trump or Sanders.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted October 11, 2019 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

          I think that would be “Messrs.”, Nicky, unless the thee have recently come out as transgender, gotten remarried, and kept their maiden names 🙂

    • Harrison
      Posted October 11, 2019 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

      I’m more than a little tired of people speaking with certitude about events that have yet come to pass. Bernie’s not my pick, but the constant refrain that he can’t win and should stop trying is an attempt at a self-fulfilling prophecy made by people who think polls are prescriptive rather than merely descriptive. And after 2016 people ought to know better but somehow don’t.

    • denise
      Posted October 11, 2019 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

      You have to give him some time, to haggle with the other candidates over concessions in return for his backing. I don’t see him dropping out without doing that.

  9. Saul Sorrell-Till
    Posted October 11, 2019 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    “I seriously doubt any doctor’s advice to a 78-year-old who’s just survived a heart attack is to spend the next year engaged in noshing on state-fair food, non-stop travel, and the unrelenting day-to-day stress of a national campaign.”

    Maybe he should hire the imperishable Harold Bornstein to be his private doc.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted October 11, 2019 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      …that was meant to reply to Ken’s comment above. Annoying that I keep doing that.

  10. JezGrove
    Posted October 11, 2019 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Apologies in advance for my ignorance, as a Brit with an imperfect understanding of US electoral party politics. Doesn’t Sanders sit as an independent in Congress? How does he run for the Dems’ nomination?

    • Historian
      Posted October 11, 2019 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      Any person can attempt to get the nomination of a particular party for a particular office. The person need not declare membership in that party.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted October 11, 2019 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

      Plus, Bernie caucuses with the Democrats in the US senate, as does the senate’s other nominal Independent, Angus King of Maine.

      • JezGrove
        Posted October 11, 2019 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

        So if he votes with the Dems, why does Bernie choose to be an Independent – what advantage does it give him? Why would Dems choose him as their presidential candidate over an actual member of their own party? Given the two party system, why would Ross Perot, say, run as an Independent rather than joining a caucus? Sorry if these are stupid questions – I just can’t imagine what the equivalent situation would be in the UK’s (largely) bipolar party set-up.

        • Roger Lambert
          Posted October 11, 2019 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

          He is running as a Democrat in the primary (remember), because IF he ran as an Independent, he would not be eliminated by the Democratic primary.

          And therefore, would resemble the candidacy of Ralph Nader, who ran as an Independent and was accused as diluting the vote for the Democrat ( Who lost).

          What he is doing, then, is being extremely ethical by running as a Democrat, although technically he does not have to.

          • JezGrove
            Posted October 11, 2019 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

            Thanks, I get it now.

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted October 11, 2019 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

              I’d simply add that the late Ross Perot never held any elective office, so never had any fellow officeholders he could caucus with.

  11. KD33
    Posted October 11, 2019 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Very disappointing. It will be interesting to see if this gets wider comment. As for Warren, I’m becoming more optimistic that she’d do all right against Trump. She’s been on point responding to criticism and is making an effort to engage with African Americans, a needed demographic. Also entertaining is her response to recent pro-Trump goons claiming she had a “cougar” tryst with an ex-marine. Worth a google …

  12. Jon Gallant
    Posted October 11, 2019 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Bernie seems to have been pulled into the pop-Left orbit in which Israel, and everything about it, is deemed “colonialist” and “conservative”. This outlook depends on a use of words that George Orwell would have recognized. For example, in this form of Newspeak, the presence of Jews in Judea and in Jerusalem is termed “colonialism”. A country with 13 Palestinian Arab members of the parliament and two Palestinian Arab members of the Supreme Court, at different times, is described as practicing “Apartheid”. And a society in which socialist, worker-owned cooperatives, the kibbutzim, comprise a larger part of the economy than in any other country on earth (9% of Israel’s industrial output and 40% of its agriculture, according to Wiki), is deemed “conservative”, if not a version of the “alt-Right”.

    This idiosyncratic misuse of words brings us to the Gibson’s v. Oberlin case, in which the critical issue was Oberlin’s defamation of a local business as “racist”, which was shown to be false. Maybe the college continues to contest the case in the hope of safeguarding the privilege of pop-Left communicants, such as its Dean of Students, to use terms like “racist”, “fascist”, and who knows what other slanders, against anyone they choose, regardless of fact.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted October 11, 2019 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      Yes, Israel started as a fully ‘socialist’ state. The kibbutzim (failed in their original way) being the strongest vertebra in their spinal cord, as it were.. Over the last decades that has changed a bit, but still I’d consider Israel the only social democracy (or even democracy tout court) in the Near East.

      • Roger Lambert
        Posted October 11, 2019 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

        Surely you must mean the kibbutzim was a quasi-socialist ideal, not the Jewish state?

        Because there is nothing about socialism in the declaration of independence of Israel, nor in what passes for its “Constitution”, let alone for its economic engine for the past 70 years of existence.

        • Jon Gallant
          Posted October 11, 2019 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

          The Kibbutzim had an outsized influence on Israeli culture, and kibbutzniks were present in disproportionate numbers for some time in the Knesset and among IDF leaders. However, this occurred by free choice of individuals, such as voters for Knesset lists and members of the IDF. It did not reflect any coerced institutional association of the kibbutz movement with the state. In short, it was without the merging of economic enterprise with the party-state and the organs of state security, that arrangement so adored by a large part of the Old Left, and once again in vogue, it seems, among our current pop-Left.

  13. Mark R.
    Posted October 11, 2019 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    I wonder how self-conscious Bernie is. In other words, I wonder if he understands how ‘bad’ it looks for the prospects of his Presidency that he had this heart attack. He was never my first choice in this race, but after the heart attack, I pretty much wrote him off. I doubt I’m alone in that. Either way, if he won the nomination, I’d still vote for him. I very much doubt he’ll get the nod though. I very much doubt that Biden will either. Which makes this Ukrainian Trump scandal even crazier…trying to get dirt on someone who won’t be an opponent. I love the irony.

    I agree with Jerry and other readers here that his choice of surrogates is surprisingly awful.

    • Posted October 12, 2019 at 6:35 am | Permalink

      I very much doubt that Biden will [get the nomination]. Which makes this Ukrainian Trump scandal even crazier…trying to get dirt on someone who won’t be an opponent. I love the irony.

      Isn’t Biden still the Dem front runner in the polls?

      Due respect and all that, but I think Trump will take notice of the polls before he checks out your opinion.

      It’s all part of Trump’s MO. He locks onto one rival until that rival is utterly destroyed and then he goes for the next one in line and so on until there’s only him left.

      • Mark R.
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

        Depending on the poll, Biden and Warren are the front runners. Biden has lost a lot of ground and much of his support relies on name recognition. When Trump was trying to get the Ukrainian government to investigate Biden, Biden was definitely the front runner.

        Regarding Trump’s MO, yes, I agree.

  14. Dave
    Posted October 11, 2019 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    “Israel has a prime minister with an American accent and a spokesman with an Australian one. Foreign colonist settlers,”

    I’d love to ask Mr Zahr why a person of Palestinian arab descent living in North America is not just as much a “foreign colonist settler” as the Israeli politicians he so detests.

  15. Curtis
    Posted October 11, 2019 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    I would rather have a second term of Trump than one of Sanders. Trump has already done about 90% of the damage he can do. But Sanders economic policies will cause new and different types of damage to the US.

    • Mark R.
      Posted October 11, 2019 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

      Already done 90% of the damage? Don’t fool yourself.

      No, Trump’s second term will most likely create a super majority on SCOTUS of far-far right theocratic justices. That to me is far worse than anything Sanders could or would do. At this point in American politics, the Judicial branch (which legislates now, something that wasn’t a part of the founders’ plan) is more powerful than the Executive, or actually under Trump, just another arm of the Executive. And the justices Trump appoints are “his”. Time will tell if it actually plays out that way. I’m not very optimistic about it at this point.

    • mfdempsey1946
      Posted October 11, 2019 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

      I would suggest…

      …that the Trump creature has thus far done nowhere near the damage…

      …extensive and downright evil as this damage has been…

      …that it will be able to do if this despicable creature and its crime family…

      …gets to squat in the White House for four more years.

      • Saul Sorrell-Till
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 5:50 am | Permalink

        Beautifully and mordantly put

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted October 11, 2019 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

      “Trump has already done about 90% of the damage he can do.”

      How in the world did you arrive at THAT calculation?

      Tell it to the Kurds. Also, Trump has thoughtlessly put himself in a box w/r/t Iran that he has no earthly idea how to get out of. Plus, he’s regularly getting rolled by Kim Jong-un, MBS and the Saudis, Recep Erdoğan, and probably (at this very moment) Xi Jinping. And at every turn, he’s intent to do the bidding of Vladimir Putin, whose monomaniacal goals are the the lifting of the crippling international economic sanctions imposed on him because of the murder of Sergei Magnitsky, his unlawful invasion of Crimea, and his fuckery in our 2016 election (while still being allowed to hang onto Crimea and Eastern Ukraine).

      Much worse, Trump has surrounded himself with obsequious incompetents and is psychologically incapable of putting the interests of the United States above his own. A second Trump term, untethered from even the need to run for reelection, would be an orgy of greed, self-dealing, and the selling off of American interests overseas that would make Teapot Dome, Watergate, and the depredations of Ulysses Grant’s cabinet — combined — pale by comparison.

      Bernie, OTOH, isn’t going to be nominated, much less elected. And were he elected, he wouldn’t be able to get even 10% of the economic platform you apparently find so odious through congress (and nowhere near even that absent a Democratic sweep of congress of epic proportions). Plus, his election would at least mean a return to some semblance of respect for constitutional norms and honest government.

      • max blancke
        Posted October 11, 2019 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

        The best argument I heard for voting Trump in the last election was that if one were to begin with the assumption that both Trump and Clinton were equally evil, Clinton’s election to president would be more dangerous, because she already had a large number of appointed bureaucrats in every level and department of government who owed the Clintons, and would do their bidding, and she knew how to work the system. She had great potential to make big changes.
        At the same time, Trump did not even have the approval of the majority of his party, much less a cadre of minions in place to grease the wheels. And in a way, that part has partly come to pass. He faces obstruction and leaks from all areas of the federal government.

        I was never a fan of Trump. But for many of my peers out here in the sticks, we primarily want government to do two things: First, Keep Al-Qaeda off of our doorsteps, and second, leave us alone. I know that view is probably very different from the urban one, but so be it.
        I would personally add strong but fair environmental laws to keep the water and skies clean. Not everyone here trusts a bureaucracy to do that, as there have been abuses.

        I voted Sanders last time, even though I am a firm anti-communist, from a family of rabid anti-communists. He at least seemed sincere in his claims that he wanted to “serve” in the traditional sense of public service.
        The choice from my perspective was the old bolschevik, The loudmouth NY real estate guy, or the final step in implementing the Clinton Dynasty.

        • Mark R.
          Posted October 11, 2019 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

          OK, you’re in the sticks, but you’re #1 afraid of Al-Qaeda on your doorstep. You think that Al-Qaeda is stalking people in the sticks? I don’t understand this type of paranoia. Big cities are and will always be the targets of terrorists, but white nationalists are still the biggest problem here. Especially when it comes to the sticks. What the hell are you afraid of? I fear the irrational fear of people like you more than I fear Al-Qaeda. Fear for Al-Qaeda is fear of driving a car on the freeway. I hope you don’t own a bunch of loaded guns. Sounds like you do…not safe.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted October 12, 2019 at 10:10 am | Permalink

            According to FBI director Christopher Wray, far right-wing white supremacists now pose a greater threat of domestic terrorism than overseas groups like Al-Queda.

            • Mark R.
              Posted October 12, 2019 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

              Thanks for the link. Did you know that the Trump administration stopped funding the federal program which was charged with the de-radicalization of white nationalists? I wonder why? Oh yeah, that other POTUS started it…President Petty strikes again.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted October 12, 2019 at 9:56 am | Permalink

          Trump did not even have the approval of the majority of his party, much less a cadre of minions in place to grease the wheels. And in a way, that part has partly come to pass.

          Since taking office, despite his egregious misdeeds, Donald Trump has steadfastly clung to the support of over 90% of the Republican Party (although virtually no one else). And Trump has now rid the executive branch of all but sycophants who lack the spine to tell him when he’s wrong or to act as any type of internal check on his abuses of power.

          He has also gutted the State Department (the salient for the exercise of American soft power overseas), shredded the morale of the US intelligence agencies, and endeavored to corrupt the US Justice Department into acting as his personal enforcers.

          So in that major way, the opposite of what you believed would happen has come to pass.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted October 11, 2019 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

      Please don’t take this the wrong way but are you nuts. Cannot believe anyone would say that except someone in the Trump cult.

      • Murali
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

        ‘Please don’t take this the wrong way but are you nuts’

        🙂 Absolutely no danger of that being taken the wrong way. It is an emotional response, and that is how it will be taken.

    • Posted October 12, 2019 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

      Besides, Trump can have only 1 new term while Sanders could have 2.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

        Trump is capable of wreaking more damage upon this nation (and the world) in the next year alone than Bernie could manage even were he permitted the same (pre-22nd Amendment) four terms as Franklin Delano Roosevelt.


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