Bernie’s Angry Bros

The Sanders online army resembles President Trump’s most ardent supporters in more ways than either side might care to admit.

Comments: 290

  1. I volunteered fervently for Bernie for 8 months in 2015 and 2016. But the people I volunteered with have not even considered realistically that his time came and went. Not even considering another viable candidate in today's troubled political and social climate. He would have beaten Trump in 2016. Now? Impossible. Our country is damaged. We are lost. I love Pete, but the Times is actively diminishing his candidacy on a daily basis. No charisma? He is Hot! hello? Astute intelligence and elocution equal charisma in this woman's book. Plus he he knew and wrote about revealing him better than Biden and Hillary back at Harvard, (amongst criticism) that the Iraq War was a huge mistake! JUDGEMENT counts folks.

  2. I was there at the Nevada Democratic State Convention. I saw what happened. Yes, she got the shout down. But, unreported here were rule changes that were rammed through the committee and other problems. And it was obvious the fix was in, and Bernie Sanders was out. What did I do, went to work after the convention to elect a Corporate Democrat who in her past voted for the Iraq war and for the last change in the bankruptcy laws for the little people. What will I do, caucus for Bernie Sanders.

  3. @Jim I hope you'll do the same for Warren.

  4. @Jim No kidding. Thank you for your comment. This is yet another one of those Times op-eds where after reading the head and lede, you go to the Reader Comments for some insight -- in your case from someone who was there.

  5. @Jim As I recall, there was also a last minute call put out by the Harry Reid office to bring in more "Clinton supporters" from the hotel and restaurant workers to upend the count. I was a Sanders delegate in Montana and it was not much better here either.

  6. @Michael Denvir I am not a Bernie-o-phile, but I agree that it is time to stop rehashing old narratives of what various people thought happened in 2016. There was plenty of blame to go around for the loss. In 2020, everyone wants a candidate who can beat Trump, and the primaries will decide who gets put forward. There will be a ticket that brings both factions of the party together. People seem to be getting ready to put the primaries in the rear view mirror and get the ticket elected, along with taking the senate.

  7. @Michael Denvir Right. I'm an older woman and Bernie supporter. Hardly a "bro."

  8. @Michael Denvir the term was coined to describe an online Bernie fan, distinct in character from the supporters of other candidates. In this race some of those types have been distributed to Warren, but most remain with Bernie. Is this played up by the media? Of course. It’s clear as day the liberal elite despises Bernie for reasons fair and unfair. But the liberal elite is so ridden with phoniness that of course Bernie’s nonsense sounds more authentic. If the liberal elite got over identity politics, we wouldn’t have Trump or Bernie. They are the answers to a public crying out for authentic voices. No matter where they might lead.

  9. How obvious can you guys make your bias against Sanders? There are idiots on the internet, from every walk of life. This kind of bad faith argument is antithetical to the goal of unifying to defeat Trump. It's comical, donating more because of this article Bret.

  10. @Jarrod Ditto. Another $50 to Act Blue for Bernie. If I keep doing this for every hatchet job the Times does on him this year, he's probably going to get the max $2,850 from me.

  11. @dwalker Nah. It’s a real thing. There are partisans for all; that’s true. But only Bernie has the Bros. The “Yang Gang,” by contrast, is far more genteel.

  12. @Jarrod Agreed. Keep in mind that the NYT tries to offer balanced viewpoints in opinions, which even includes conservatives like Bret Stephens, George Will, Jeff Flake, George Conway, which I applaud in theory (independent media, actual balance) but I get angry when I read such biased portrayals nonetheless. At least we get a taste of their talking points.

  13. How long is the media going to keep running this debunked idea?

  14. @John Smith Every day between now and the Democratic Convention?

  15. @John Smith I'd hardly say that has been debunked. I encounter this sort of zealotry at least weekly.

  16. @John Smith Get used to it. It's all they've got at this point. It's sad and desperate.

  17. So a fan of Donald Trump thinks another candidate's supporters behave badly? Listened to a Trump rally lately, Mr. Stephens?

  18. @Marlow You are 100% wrong about Stephens being a fan of Trump. Read his columns. He's not. He's stated that he'll vote for anyone but Trump. But he won't vote for Sanders.

  19. @Mad Moderate Does Stephens take responsibility for his participation in the evolution of disinformation that can be traced at least as far back as Newt Gingrich? Because it seems that he's continuing it in this very column. It's not so useful or valiant for the architects of the contemporary Republican ideology to wrinkle their noses at what their Frankenstein is doing.

  20. @Mad Moderate The whole wording he will vote for "anyone" but Trump, should indicate he WILL vote for Sanders. right? Or, are you are saying he will vote for Trump, if Sanders is Democratic nominee? Or are you saying he will NOT vote at all if Trump and Sanders are the candidates? Wait..what?

  21. Rather amusing, an angry Republican complaining about angry Sanders supporters. OK, so Stephens is a Never-Trumper, but Stephens has been angry long before Trump or Sanders.

  22. @Donna Stephens also seems to speak exclusively to those who were either born with a silver spoon in their mouth, or who count the silverware twice after every dinner party.

  23. @Donna Stephens is a Faux never-Trumper. Publicly he gets to complain about Trump while privately he is fine with Trump's policies. The man can not be trusted.

  24. @Donna An angry Trumper unless Sanders is the nominee

  25. Bernie Sanders himself is pretty mild-mannered and respectful, so it doesn’t seem like he personally attracts or encourages bad behavior. His platform is pretty rigid, though, so maybe an inflexible political agenda just draws in extreme supporters.

  26. @NM He's the only one who has any platform to speak of, aside from Warren, who is unelectable.

  27. @Dan It is just this sort of comment that Bret was talking about. I hope you realize how unhelpful this is to Bernie’s cause.

  28. @NM Since Sanders has positions but no plans his supporters adherence to him is based on button issues just like Trump. He split the left wing of the Democratic Party to help Trump in 2016. He is driving that successful wedge again. Russian targeted Bernie Bots cross voted for Trump or stayed home to the tune of 8-12%. He stayed in primaries after Super Tuesday to drive up Hillary's negatives. Democrats should not aid Socialist/Independents who are counter productive to our parties endeavors. Bottom line.

  29. Oh look. Another many times debunked Sanders smear! I’m SHOCKED! A Republican doesn’t like Sanders!? What?!

  30. @Jeffrey K Just because you say debunked every time the topic comes up doesn’t make it so. Another example that makes Stephens’ point about the similarities between Sanders’ core and Trump’s?

  31. Employer: Here's a $1000 bonus: Sanders: "We're going to Disneyland!" Warren: "We're going to Disneyland but staying off site" Klobuchar: "We're going to Duluth for the weekend" Buttigieg: "We're going to Duluth for the weekend but using my award miles to upgrade our room" Biden: "We're going to buy a new TV and have Saturday supper at Olive Garden" Bloomberg: "We're going to buy a new TV"

  32. Krugman, Goldberg, Collins, Egan now Stevens - the hits just keep on comin'.

  33. @Patrick McGuffin It's almost like they think we're not actually reading these columns, so two a day is cool. I read all of them, and their anti-Sanders rhetoric invariably rings hollow.

  34. @Patrick McGuffin they don’t like him personally. So they are letting their personal biases getting in the way of their objective coverage of Bernie. Trump let his personal agenda ahead of the country’s. See the parallels? The group of columnists you mentioned are like Trump, putting their own personal bias ahead of what the people want. They did it 2016 and they are doing it now. Our kids can see through this bias. PS. Michele we expected better from you even though your husband consults for Liz. We love both Bernie and Liz, do you hear us?

  35. @Patrick McGuffin Deep in their hearts, they actually want Biden. Secretly, I believe, because he will lose and press is really bubbling up under Trump insanity.

  36. Love to see the more conservative [white] pundits out there clutch pearls over a progressive candidate's "bros". It is reaching self parody at this point.

  37. Okay, I have come across some fanaticism and condescension from a few Sanders supporters. However, I have never seen from the Senator’s camp neither the ugly chanting like ‘Send them back!’ and ‘Lock her up!,’ nor the threat of outright violence to demonstrators and others which are routine with Trump rallies - and with Trump himself egging it on, no less.

  38. @NM Apples and oranges. But part of both sectors enamored with ideologues/demagogues. Easy as can be to stir up their rage. Why the rage -- no idea.

  39. @Gordon Jones People are rightly angry. Sometimes it is justified and we need more of it pointed directly at the republican party through the political system.

  40. @NM Mr. Stephens seems to be engaging in typical "both sides do it" and "what about ism" that conservatives are prone to. His fears about Sanders are, of course, purely ideological. He refuses to acknowledge the failures of capitalism and wants to convince us that any movement toward social democracy is the end of the world. He has said repeatedly that he would not vote for Sanders against Trump. It seems his ideology is more important that the future of our democracy.

  41. Bernie and his "bros" are an incredibly destructive movement in American politics. They are the left wing version of the Trump cult. I have had enough of this toxic, aggressive, us/them mentality. I'm an anyone but Bernie liberal. If he does win - I will vote for him - because I'm not a bro. And I won't whine that he cheated to win.

  42. Indeed they would make great followers of a dictator. But Sanders is no dictator.

  43. He accuses Sanders of implicitly condoning goon tactics among his followers. What is much more in evidence is this paper’s onslaught of negative pieces about Sanders, now that it is recognized he is a real contender. He’s a socialist, he’s too old, he’s unelectable, he’s supported by the Bernie bros..... Yes, keep up the impartial analysis.

  44. “ a subset of Bernie Sanders supporters who hope to take over the Democratic Party and remake it in their image. “There is so much negative energy; it’s so angry,” ” Remaking the party in their image, while maybe not to your liking, is constructive. It’s the opposite of negative. Negative energy would be simply smashing the thing with which you disagree. But as you write they have a vision of what they want to build with the shards.

  45. I disagree with the Bernie bro’s. But they are right that ordinary civility has become a fool’s errand or a con game, with a fool on one side of the civil exchange and a con man on the other. What could be more civil than the statements issued by Lamar Alexander and Lisa Murkowski explaining their refusal to vote for witnesses to be called in the impeachment trial? But what could have been more destructive to the future of democracy in America? Murkowski was deeply disturbed by Adam Schiff’s quoting of a CBS report of a threat issued by the Trump administration. She apparently found that uncivil. But with utmost dignity today, she helped set fire to the constitution. It’s that sort of thing that has the Bernie Bros in a rage. I certainly do not endorse their nastiness, and I certainly don’t support Bernie. But civility right now is a mask the Republicans wear as they back the nastiest man ever elected to the presidency. The message of that sort of civility is: This is a Republic. Why should we be so impolite as to try to keep it?

  46. Anger, yes, but for the correct reasons - a Libertarian corporate takeover of everything in America for 40 years including our medical care, hospitals and nursing homes. That's the difference from Trump supporters. It's not the immigrants, it's the corporations. False equivalencies like these from professional journalists are getting old.

  47. @Gustav "Anger, yes, but for the correct reasons ..." You nailed it. Bret, please commit this to memory, as I have: "To be angry, that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, To the right degree, At the right time, For the right reason, And in the right way -- This is not easy." --Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics If you do this, you will understand that the anger of Sanders' supporters is warranted and, on the whole thus far, appropriately directed.

  48. Oh Please, the real hate is coming from the media and establishment Dems toward the Sanders campaign. His supporters are the most diverse of any candidate but yes, they are angry, at the state of the country, the current administration and the lack of fairness being practiced by the DNC and the rules committee. But the reality is, no Democrat is going to win in 2020 without them - play fair and this country can turn the current horror around in 2020.

  49. If someone could teach Mike Bloomberg to whip up a crowd like Bernie does -- with loud, inspring enthusiasm, not just good ideas -- we just might get a real fix to our sadly splintering society and government.

  50. @Randallbird Yeah, what we really need is another New York billionaire businessman president who is cozy with Wall Street. Thanks but no thanks.

  51. I'm a centrist Democrat who is slowly coming to the conclusion that Bernie may be able to win a general election against Trump. He appeals to the working class by addressing their frustrations without wading too deep into the cultural issues. He has an enthusiastic online base who can wage battle against Trump's enthusiastic online base. Moreover, like Trump Bernie is Teflon. Scandals don't stick to him.

  52. @Murad I know his rivals have tried to pin "scandals" on him over the years, but I'd be genuinely interested in hearing about his "scandals," especially when propped up against others'. What some people consider "scandals," Bernie has always supported, so trying to frame them as news stories doesn't really work. If the guy is saying the same thing today that he said 30 years ago, how is that actually a "scandal?" IMO, that's what's called "being genuine," and I KNOW it's a completely foreign idea to most of today's politicians, but that's what the populace CRAVES. It's why Trump won, (although Trump was full of it. Bernie isn't.)

  53. No. Just No. This piece traffics in a warmed over techy frat boy stereotype. Sanders supporters are not all "Bro"s, whatever that slang term really means I don't know but I know 1 out of 4 Iowa voters isn't a "Bro", which is where the last poll placed him. Angry? Well honestly look at what happened in the Senate today. Do you read the papers? People are angry and angry for the right reasons — they want a return to the rule of law and constitutional order. There are talented women in the field and no doubt that has made a lot of women voters over look Bernie. But when he's the nominee I think they aren't going to sit out the election or vote for Trump. They'll see that Bernie offers a compassionate vision for an American future with women's rights front and center as he's always supported them.

  54. @Arthur And if Senator Kloubachur joined him as V.P., they would be formidable team. I am inspired by Sanders and support him, but his age is of concern. With Kloubachur as VP, that would not be as big a concern. If its a concern of mine, it has to be of others, and someone like Kloubachur could provide strength and perhaps longevity to Democratic leadership years to come.

  55. @Cliff You mean Klobuchar, a staunch moderate who is able to work across the aisle to pass legislation, would balance out Bernie, who is not.

  56. @Cliff Klobuchar would hurt him because of the over-zealous prosecution of a 16 year-old black man in a murder... I have major doubts he' come anywhere near giving her a Justice cabinet spot, much less a VP nod after that kind of scrutiny. I honestly think Klobuchar's political career is cooked at this point. Watch for a HUGE drop in support in the near future.

  57. I'm just so, so tired of this out of touch Bernie Bro narrative. At this point the relentless focus on it demeans the huge array of people, with all their different perspectives, identities and life experiences, that make up the actual Sanders base.

  58. @Emily yet the fact remains that 1 of 8 sanders supporters in 2016 did NOT vote for the party nominee and it cost the party the white house and the supreme court for a generation.

  59. @Emily And the BB trope is the very least interesting, most superficial and gossipy, thing that can be written about a candidacy, which if it is nothing else, is deeply interesting. True National Enquirer style coverage.

  60. @wenzel dehn Depending on the news source, somewhere between 1 in 4 to 1 in 7 Hillary Clinton supporters voted for McCain instead of Obama in '08. NPR put it at one in 4 and pointed out that 12% of Sanders supporters not voting for Clinton in '16 is within historical norms in the sense that primary voters statistically tend to be quite changeable. Clinton '08 supporters were less loyal to the Dem candidate than Sanders supporters would be 8 years later, but Obama won despite that fact by inspiring newly engaged voters. And Bernie certainly campaigned hard for Clinton: whereas Clinton made about 15 campaign appearances for Obama once he was the nominee in '08, Sanders made 40 appearances campaigning for Clinton during the '16 general campaign, including in swing states where she did not appear enough in person nor develop a sufficient ground game. Sanders got people who usually stay home to show up and vote for him and then got most of them to vote for Clinton. A good portion of the 12% who didn't simply reverted to their stay-home default because Clinton did not campaign enough in person in vulnerable states and failed to engage these newcomers in the way Obama did. Blaming Sanders for Clinton's blunders and uninspiring campaign is getting a little tired.

  61. The closer we get to real voting with no Biden/Bloomberg surges, the more biased the reporting will get. This is what power in the hands of the masses looks like. Let's make them all as scared as Bret is. And yes, Mr. Stephens is terrified of a progressive nominee.

  62. @SteveH How many negatives articles have the NYT and WaPo run about Sanders in the last 3 days? Are they trying to inspire his supporters to make more campaign donations?

  63. @Laurabat That's a good point. Yes, it does indicate this pseudo-liberal paper I've enjoyed off & on for 45 years is terrified. Which means Bernie has an excellent chance of winning now.

  64. @SteveH It really more and more looks like we will have to wait for the Boomer generation (my generation) to die out before we can recover from the damage they have created, if that is still possible at all.

  65. I supported Bernie in 2016. I wrote many comments to Krugman's columns complaining about the data free smears Krugman flogged at the time. But when Bernie lost the primaries by 4 million votes, I wrote many time that I was glad to be able to vote for a candidate as intelligent, experienced & compassionate as Hillary Clinton. I still support Bernie, BUT I will vote for the Democratic candidate even if it is Attila the Hun. I support Bernie because: 1. He does not deny reality. He does not deny that the countries whose governments work the best, whose citizens are the happiest are those whose policies resemble his and those of FDR. 2. The data consistently support his positions. Take health care. Here is a simple calculation. The CBO says we spent $3.65 TRILLION last year for healthcare. Long term medical inflation is 5.25%. That means in the next 10 years, we will spend in excess of $50 TRILLION if nothing changes. NONE of the estimates of the costs of M4A comes anywhere near $50 TRILLION. What about the public option and other plans? All of the plans are so vague there has been no estimate of their costs by experts, just wild guess by the candidates. 3. Bernie is the only candidate that knows that kitchen table economics do not work for the federal government. He knows that the federal gov can create as much money as it wants out of thin air and that if this money is spent wisely, it will not cause excessive inflation. Why not go for the best candidate?

  66. @Len Charlap please get some of the other bernie bros who did NOT vote for the nominee to commit to the nominee, bernie or other.. or we will all reap the whirlwind

  67. @Len Charlap I agree with many of Bernie’s policy ideas. But I do not like or trust the man himself. I do not want to elect a loner or maverick to be president. I do not think that Bernie’s life experience is appropriate for the White House. I am getting truly annoyed at the Bernie supporters who talk only about issues. This is my tenth presidential election. I have never once voted primarily on issues. I vote for the whole person. If absolutely necessary I will cast a ballot for Bernie Sanders in the general, but it would be the toughest vote I have ever cast.

  68. Krugman really had it in for Bernie in 2016. Now, he seems to have accepted the need for some of the policies Bernie was/is advocating for.

  69. I don't watch or listen to what the bros have to say. I watch and listen to Bernie, Elizabeth, Amy, Joe, Pete, and Tom. That's what counts. Those bros are everywhere, we used to call them bullies. And the worse one of all resides in the Oval Office.

  70. @cherrylog754 Amen. And just try being a Woman that posts anything negative about Brother Bernie. Seriously.

  71. They can't get Bernie on his record, his authenticity, or the issues. They just keep clutching at this false "Bernie Bros" media trope, hoping they can stop his momentum. Hasn't worked so far. Bernie speaks to the real issues that affect working people, something the corporate media just can't wrap their heads around.

  72. @Ren Marie you mean the 12% of sanders backers who did not vote for the party nominee? those folks, most of whom helped put trump in the white house? its not a trope when the numbers back it up. you "bernie bros" have reaped the whirlwind of your folly and all of suffer for your intransigence

  73. Stop blaming supporters of Bernie Sanders for Hillary's loss. I supported Bernie in the Democratic primary and voted for Hillary in the general. So did everybody else I know. We voted for her because we could see the horror to come with Trump. Bernie is not the one you should be worried about. Vote for the Democratic nominee, Enough of the shortsighted debate.

  74. @wenzel dehn Clinton was smug going into the election--as most of us were. She did this to herself. One of the great disappointments of my life.

  75. The vitriol from these folks is remarkable, especially because the task at hand for every candidate is attracting more supporters. It has gotten to the point where people won’t consider Sanders because they find his supporters embarrassing or unpleasant. (Just like people who voted for Trump but won’t admit it because they don’t want to be one of “those people”. ) My daughter came home from school talking about an annoying boy at school who was shouting down other kids in class. She said he was acting like a Bernie supporter.

  76. Stephens, having nothing to answer for in the current state of the Republican party, or in the person of Donald Trump -- he only spent his adult life promoting the party -- has nothing better or more useful to do than repeat slanders about the "Bernie Bros"? Who would ever have guessed that the liberal political program which built American prosperity is so very terrifying to the American right-wing? OTOH, if melting glaciers, Australia burning and once in a century storms running three year in a row can't convince this man that global temperatures are rising, perhaps he's just a lost cause?

  77. @jrd On Australia, perhaps you could start with Australians first. They fairly recently elected a conservative PM who is a climate change denier and continues to be one.

  78. As a moderate Democrat, I fear a Tea Party-like/populist takeover of the Democratic Party as much as another 4 years of Trump. The Sanders campaign is fueled by outrage and anger and targets a group of Americans for retribution. Demagoguery is still ugly even when coming from the left.

  79. @TT Imagine if the left breaks off and forms it's own party. Where will the (D)s be then?

  80. @TT I am not supporting Sanders because I am angry or seek retribution. I see him as the ONLY politician who would/is willing to fight to the political death for Climate Change action. He can't be bought. His positions have not changed. Sad to read all the vitriol swirling around Sanders.

  81. @TT "The Sanders campaign is fueled by outrage and anger and targets a group of Americans for retribution." Where on earth did that absurd canard get launched from? Two remarkable things about this hysteria over Sanders are its intellectual shallowness and its willingness to smear the man without any evidence.

  82. Bernie is not the candidate to unite the Democratic party or the country. His policies are unrealistic and not fiscally sound. Those internet trolls just might end up ensuring Trump's reelection. Will they really end up happy with that?

  83. Bernie is not the candidate to unite the party, he is the candidate to move it forward

  84. @js The country can no longer be united. Republicans have made it crystal clear they want to take over instead of compromise. It's a political war for the foreseeable future, and to move back left after Trump's brutal extreme right policies we need to vote left, not center. Bernies Bros are an asset, not a liability. You don't bring a knife to a gun fight. Are you ready to do what it takes to win?

  85. How the Centrists are going to unite the party, when Bernie Bros want the changes that the Centrists could not deliver? Why the Bernie Bros should quit their dreams to satisfy status quo of the Centrists.

  86. the "bernie bros" put trump in the white house and those same folks will return him.. happily cutting off their nose to spite their face

  87. It was Clinton who lost. She could not get Bernie Bros in her fold, and if the Dems do not learn from the past mistakes they will lose again.

  88. @wenzel dehn No... Cambridge Analytic shenanigans and a weak candidate who ignored the woes of working class Americans put Trump into the White House. Youthful enthusiasm for sensible policies of Sanders that help the working class -- which boomer voters and conservative pundits label "Bernie Bros" ----will put Democrats back in the White House. Comfortable boomers haven't yet figured out that they are voting against their own best interest by supporting centrist candidates.

  89. @wenzel dehn Hillary Clinton put Trump in the White House. It shouldn't have even been close, and you can't hide from that reality. I'm sorry she lost to Trump, but she has no one to blame but herself and her team. That should have been the easiest presidential election in recent history to win and you can't shift blame for that no matter how hard you try.

  90. Two hit pieces on Bernie in one day by New York Times columnists. And the DNC changing the debate qualification rules to push Bloomberg on us. It seems, the establishment is worried about our choice and trying to push us in the right direction, in all senses. Sorry, but your choice didn't work out in 2000, 2004 and 2016. It's time to change the game on Republicans, even if you don't like the remedy.

  91. Yes, written by two Times columnists who couldn’t be further apart in their politics yet they’ve both said the same thing but in different ways. And I’ll say something that neither one of them said: there’s but a dime’s worth of difference between the supporters of Sanders and Trump. Among other things, neither camp will acknowledge the fact that in order to govern this country successfully it must be governed from the center and not from the left or right fringe.

  92. @John That's wishful thinking. The past two presidents were change candidates. Voters, on the left and the right, are in no mood for same old same old and haven't been for years. Who in Washington has been getting anything done from the center? If you see no difference between Sanders supporters and Trump supporters, you're not looking very hard.

  93. @J.C. I agree. And those rare Sanders voters who voted for trump when Sanders lost didn't support Sanders either. They just supported the perceived bombast. If you voted for Sanders then voted for trump you truly were not listening to anything Bernie had to say. The diametric opposition could not be more stark.

  94. This is a complete myth perpetuated by centrist Clintonite Democrats. I have never seen any evidence whatsoever of the existence of this phantom. I have seen evidence all over the place of angry Trump supporters. There simply is no angry Bernie army.

  95. @Josh - You've obviously never been a woman on social media. The Bernie army exists. Check out shows on Twitch, where his supporters are instructed to "annihilate" (that's a quote) Dem supporters of other candidates, especially Biden.

  96. I have yet to meet one of these supposed "Bernie Bros" in person, though I have seen plenty of very poor behavior from Trump supporters. As for Clinton, just listen to her smear Sanders over the past two weeks while simultaneously describing how divisive Sanders is, listen to how she uses insulting labels like "Bernie Bros" while complaining about his supporters' poor behavior and name-calling. The absence of self-awareness is on full display. As for the Nevada convention, watch the actual video footage of what happened. Maybe you'll see for yourself why Sanders' supporters were upset.

  97. @Mel Farrell I hope for systemic change, though as I've said before, at this point I will vote for a hard-boiled egg before I will vote for Trump.

  98. @Nic "The absence of self-awareness is on full display." Hillary Rodham Clinton is simply not a nice person, and her anger at her loss in 2016 consumes her. If Bernie had been nominated, which would have occurred if the Clintons and the wholly corrupt DNC hadn't rigged the outcome, Trump would never have stood a chance and we would now be looking at a certain second term for President Bernie Sanders. The Clinton gang were having none it; better a Trump win so they both could continue the rape and pillage of America's poor and middle-class. Change is coming in Iowa next week; Bernie Sanders is its champion and I predict he will be the Democratic nominee in spite of the obstacles the Republican-Lite Pelosi Schumer Biden democrats will deploy to stop him.

  99. @Mel Farrell , I think he was the only person who could have beat Trump in 2016 because people had had it!

  100. How interesting that in the photo you use to show Barbara Boxer being shouted down by so-called "Bernie Bros," most of the people shouting her down are women. And of course they had good reason to be angry -- the rules were being changed without their input, to rig the primary against Sanders.

  101. @rsmith : I know, right? That crowd is *young* and more female than male. They are angry. They are saddled with student loan debt. They are unable to get affordable healthcare; even if they get on the state exchange with subsidies, the deductibles are prohibitive. If they want to move for a job mid calendar year, their deductible resets. There are few "real" jobs any more. It's all unstable, unreliable "gigs". And their futures are the most likely to be negatively impacted by the climate crisis. They want real change, but the deck is stacked against them. No one should be surprised by their anger.

  102. @rsmith umm not women. Middle class white women. The same group that voted for Roy Moore and Donald trump and killed the equal rights amendment and is trying to kill title IX. Middle class white women is not the same as women. Bernie has very little support from non white women. Like trump his support is almost exclusively white. And his support among women even more so. So let’s make that clear.

  103. So the big guns are going out after not just Bernie now, but his supporters? I was a strong supporter of Sanders in 2016, and am the first to admit that I didn't care for some of what I saw behind the scenes. But I also saw all the dirty work the Clinton campaign did in that campaign in my state, laundering money for the campaign and even voting in a Clinton supporter (Carol Williams) to represent the state delegation at the national convention. Michael Moore has a great snippet of Williams speaking on behalf of Montana -- a state Sanders won! I am working for Elizabeth Warren this time out, but I think Sanders supporters have a right to be angry. I certainly am, and I'm no "Bernie Bro."

  104. @avrds I’m never going to forgive those snake emojis they posted attacking Warren. Never. Not to my dying day... Hope you’re doing well.

  105. Truly, Bret Stephens is not the guy we need to hear this from. But still, the angry comments here from Bernie supporters really emphasize the core story. The reality is that Sanders supporters have an image problem. The Bernie Bro phenomenon is definitely not a “tired trope”.

  106. @Cousy nope. It is tired. I certainly don't qualify for "Bro" status. 63. female. mom. professional. You would think a Warren supporter. Sadly, I think she has proven to be less then deft with the politics of this all.

  107. I haven't experience the Bernie Bros, but I did see Clinton twice going after Bernie very publicly. Sorry, but I do not believe That Bernie Bros are worse than the Centrists.

  108. @Cousy Bernie Bros are tired of the corruption which denies Sanders his opportunity to correct the power plays of the Oligarchy who want every nickel for themselves. We are angry at all the lies we have been told by such esteemed publications as the New York Times which intentionally censored his campaign and now writes negative articles about him. How about a decent article talking about the real help his changes would bring to the 99% who are suffering from the Oligarchy and are now being criticized for being angry because we don't like being enslaved. We are Americans after all.

  109. The Bernie Bros smear is getting weaker and weaker weekly as the polls show the surge. The REAL issue is the fact that politicians are generally more like Clinton (either one) and Obama where they have their public position and their private position. Once elected,they generally tend to forget the movement and support the established system. Bernie has always been different. His consistent views and policies have been on record from public access TV to local TV interviews, to C-Span and the list goes on. What your facile observation fails to grasp is that it's not what Bernie can do, he's just the vessel. In order for the movement to work it will take the passion and work of those who are committed to remaking a government of, by and for the people, and especially the working class, who outnumber all other groups by leaps and bounds, but are never heard.

  110. @Hritz Well put. Thank you, in the thick of political battle, people often forget the established record, and Bernie has consistent. He may not align with your political beliefs, but he's pretty much always said the same thing. Here's a bonus: Trump may hit the guy with all he has, but he can't weather an impeachment trial where the ENTIRE SENATE is afraid of raining questions about Hunter Biden. Just sayin'.

  111. Wow, two articles in one day, attacking Sanders "Bernie Sanders Can’t Win" Timothy Egan NYT Jan 31, 2020 "Bernie’s Angry Bros" Bret Stephens NYT Jan 31, 2020 Why does this remind me of something ? Ah! "Health Wonks and Bernie Bros" Paul Krugman , NYT Jan 27, 2016 Time to move on.

  112. @Woof I am definitely not a "Bro". I am 63yr old female--mom, pharmacist, westerner, have voted Republican, live with a Trump supporter. Yet, I fully support Senator Sanders. Integrity. Big ideas. The courage to take on the moribund political world of US.

  113. Moderates unite! There are far more of us than there are of the extremes. Let's take our country back. Joe Biden isn't exciting. Bloomberg is a yawn. Amy Klobuchar is totally ok. Michael Bennett is weak tea. Buttigieg is reasonable. So is Yang. Bore me with one of them. Please.

  114. @Mad Moderate I do believe support of Senator Sanders does not automatically disqualify one from being a moderate. My overriding concern is Climate Change, and I do not believe the current list of "moderate" candidates have the courage to truly take on.

  115. The hardest core Trump supporters are hardest on Never Trumpers???? That makes many laugh.... Apparently you missed the wonderful video of Trumpers hurling epithets at people they assumed were immigrants, telling them to “cook me a taco!” Charlottesville? Sorry, you trying to level the playing field here would be more laughable if it wasn’t so sad that many Americans still agree with the KKK and opinion writers somehow miss the news. I guess we’ll always have that loser Robert E Lee on a horse....

  116. It’s a false comparison, Bret. Sure, some Bernie supporters are jerks. But he isn’t. That’s the difference with Trump. The MAGA hat people aren’t the problem— Trump himself is. He’s a bully and a troll. Bernie isn’t.

  117. Very much considering unsubscribing from the NYT for this constant bashing of Sanders. Sometimes I forget who and what the NYT really stands for, but it’s increasingly apparent.

  118. @Elle It can feel that way. BUT, ...seems like the best news I can find. And ,you can look for reasonable the comments sections.

  119. @Elle I thought the same thing yesterday, and here I am 12 hours later, thinking it again.

  120. If what Mr. Stephens writes is true, there is no hope of ousting The Leader, for Sanders himself can't win and many of his disgruntled supporters won't vote at all.

  121. @Martin Daly I wrote in Sanders in 2016 out of frustration with DNC. Disgruntled then, but pleased with attempt to level the playing field this go around. I will vote for Democratic nominee.

  122. @Martin Daly How do you square your opinion with polls showing Sanders coming in first or second among all dems in head to head match ups against trump? In a poll this month he did 5 points better than Biden. Keep in mind Bernie won 23 contests in 2016; most were rust belt states that flipped to Trump in the GE. He won every county in WV!

  123. Coincidently, Tuesday morning, I retrieved my copy of Hoffer's True Believer in an effort to understand the Trump mass movement and curiously one of the introduction quotes in that excellent book is Genesis II. "And slime had they for mortar." That's a fitting tag for the recent NYT opinion columns from Krugman, Goldberg, Collins, Egan and now Stevens.

  124. Yes, anyone who has doubts about Bernie is “slime”. And you don’t see how reprehensible such language is, and how common it is among his supporters, such as yourself? You are going to smooth Trump’s re-election path with all that sliming. Decent folks everywhere will not thank you.

  125. Every candidate has toxic online supporters. You yourself have generalized all toxic Bernie supporters as Bros who prey on women. While I have no doubt that happens (it is the internet sadly), that is not unique to Bernie or politics. They are a sad, loud minority in the world. Bernie is a populist, no doubt. He also has a passionate following. But he is not Trump, or anything like him. Trump fuels the flames of white nationalism and is nothing more than a gangster. Stop trying to draw false equivalencies when you know full well there is no comparison between the men or their supporters.

  126. I have my doubts about the feasibility of some of Sanders' programs, as I do about some of Warren's, and I also have some doubts about the middle-of-the-road approaches of Biden and Klobuchar. (In fact, lately I've been giving Andrew Yang a good close look.) But that doesn't mean I won't vote for whomever of these candidates make it past what may very well be a brokered convention. And yes, there have been some obnoxious Bernie supporters--but there have been some obnoxious supporters of other candidates, too, and it would be the height of unfair stereotyping to paint all with the same brush. And I have noticed that the more progressive candidates do seem to draw more ire from the middle and right of the punditocracy than do the moderates. Must be making said pundits a little nervous.

  127. Methinks, Brett, thou protests too much. Our Democratic Party is no longer Democratic, hasn't been for well nigh 40 years, having sold itself lock stock and barrel to corporate America, slowly and surely selling out the future of the poor and the middle-class, disenfranchising generations, seeking to insure that corporate America and the wealthiest Americans rule forevermore, intent on creating a kind of modern-day Feudalism of our dying Democratic Republic. In truth there is no longer a Democratic Party; its been replaced with the bought and paid for representatives of corporate America, the slightly less onerous side of Trumps Republican Party, the traitorous pack we know as the Republican-Lite Pelosi Schumer democrats and their annointed candidate Joe Biden. There are no Bernie Bros, they are in fact true blue Democrats seeking to show the American people that they have been used, abused, and misled by the Trump Republicans and the Republican-Lite Republicans for the last 40 years, and sensing the danger of the wide-ranging campaign being waged against our Democracy, some become righteously incensed at the various and nefarious tactics used by the protectors of the status quo. It is crystal clear to all decent Americans that we are embroiled in a class war with corporate America and the wealthiest .01 and 1%ters, insatiable wholly avaricious creatures, who have spent decades reducing us to penury and economic slavery. This election will ressurect or bury America.

  128. There are Bernie bros. You suggesting they’re the beaters of truth for the rest of us pretty much demonstrates that.

  129. Not so, AnnaT, Should one go quietly and succumb to the artful perception management techniques of those who have spent decades trying to blind us to truth, the intent of this report and several others; the status quo protectors are running scared, having waking nightmares at the now likelihood of a Sanders Presidency. Look around you, look at the inequality created by the abusive protectors of the status quo; take a trip throughout America, look at the devastation wrought on tens of millions of Americans by heartless soulless corporations, the same corporations which now own our government; to remain silent is cowardly and an invitation to accept further abuse. Speaking loudly and carrying a big stick is sometimes called for.

  130. I am a suburban mom and a Democrat in PA and the only hope I see for our party is Michael Bloomberg. I can't stomach Bernie Sander's supporters. The two worse people in charge of his campaign besides Bernie and his wife are Nina Turner and Jeff Weaver.

  131. @Julie Amen!

  132. You'd rather have Trump in the WH, than Sanders. Have the honesty to say that bluntly.

  133. The democrats are better of without these "supporters", yes they will lose some votes which is OK, better these unreliable "bros" than the moderates who really form the backbone of the party.

  134. Non stop smears. Sanders is a man of integrity... he’s nothing like trump. His supporters believe that the dem party has veered so hard to the right, that they are now economic repubs... I stood with sanders and still voted for Hill. I don’t know any sanders supporters who won’t vote for whichever dem gets the nomination... but it doesn’t mean we don’t see the whole apparatus continuously working to squash him. Oh... and we are not socialists unless you mean in the same way as the Scandinavian countries... the ones that always rank at the top of the happiness scales.

  135. It is not surprising that there is similarity between strong Trump supporters and the Bernie Bros. The former are furious at what they call "coastal elites" and the latter are furious at what they call "corporate elites." The Trump supporters believe the coastal elites which includes mainstream media controls society and the Bernie Bros believe the corporate elites control the politicians including center-left Democrats.The Trump supporters were very angry at the Republican establishment which they have now outed from power and the Bernie Bros are very angry at the Democratic establishment which still holds power. Both sides are following cult-like leaders who hold large rallies. The Trump followers want fascism in the form of a white Christian society and the Bernie Bros want socialism which is the main difference between these two groups of populists.

  136. If you are honest about this issue every single person who ever ran for president had a few persons supporting the candidate who overstepped bounds. Hillary supporters had and continue to say plenty to me about my dislike of her policies and choices starting with her support of Goldwater in 1964 through her support of Wall Street. Singling out some supporters of Sanders demonstrates bias, especially when their actions have been disavowed by Sanders. us army 1969-1971/california jd

  137. Well just like the oh so marginalization oh the poor forgotten never been loved or told he was pretty rural male of lore. There too is this VERY upset generation of people who know just how rigged this country and it's systems are corrupt, and that they have to work and pay taxes to it. They want economic freedom from forced capitalism. You are also asking them to subsidize the ineptitude of the cooperate over lords and their purchased representatives who gave us things like the opioid epidemic and things like covert target surveillance. Which is used to sell plastics in all forms bought with plastic in all forms. People are angry and they have a right don't they? Sorry but anger is on the rise and I doubt it will stop anytime soon and I don't think it should frankly.

  138. The centrists hate it, but there's a real possibility that Bernie is the one Democratic candidate most likely to beat Trump. He has an enthusiastic base, he turns out young voters, he appeals to elements of the white working class, he's increasingly popular with the crucial black vote, and, most important, he stands clearly for his policies and doesn't waver. He's not afraid of anyone. I prefer Warren, but I admit, I'm warming up to Bernie.

  139. @617to416 He will turn off more voters than he will energize; it's merely swapping older voters for younger ones. Not a winning strategy. Dems need ALL Democrats to vote. That is, if Trump doesn't declare himself King for the good of the country, the position Mitch McConnell and senate Republicans have taken.

  140. @617to4red of commenters presuming that older voters are turned off by Bernie. I see multiple comments from people over 60 (I myself am in my 70's) who support Bernie -- he is, after all, one of us. Please do not use your assumptions about the voting preferences of older Americans as an excuse for your own failure to support a candidate who is courageous and consistent in his advocacy for a return to the American ideals that we older boomers grew up with and the progressive laws for which we fought in the 60's and 70's.

  141. Bernie also has the highest support among Hispanic voters.

  142. I am a never trump voter. If Bernie is nominated, trump will be the president for four more years. That's it in a nutshell. Let's have Bernie and a Trump debate if he is an independent running for president. The Democratic Party for this election cycle in 2020 needs a Biden and Klobuchar ticket. They will take Pa, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and Illinois. I live here, trust me.

  143. @PRB Sorry, but I don't. I went to school in Pittsburgh in the early 2000's and traveled around Western PA more than most students at the time. Sanders has the single best shot to win a substantial number of Trump voters back to the party of the working class. After all of the 23 contests Sanders won in 2016, most were rust belt states that flipped to Trump in the general election. He won every county in WV!

  144. Since 1960, a number of people have been elected President who were viewed as outlandish, improbable and/or a menace: John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bush 43, Obama, Trump. What they had in common was a very strong core of support.

  145. @MKR FDR. JFK and MLK all supported single payer/medicare for all. That's a history corporate media doesn't like to revisit.

  146. @DJ Even Nixon!!! supported a national healthcare plan. NIXON!!! Just proves how far the republican party has fallen.

  147. I’m tired of corporate approved centrist politics. I’m tired of this illusion of choice that Democrats and Republicans represent. They’re both 2 sides of the same coin. Neither party represents the interests of the people. They represent the interests of those who make my yearly income in 3-4 seconds. Democrats lost because they put forward a bland milquetoast candidate in 2016. They will lose again with anyone other than Bernie/Warren.

  148. @AU : I love Bernie and Liz. I caucused for Bernie in 2016. Liz is my current fave in the primary. Your assertion that the choice between D and R is illusory is complete nonsense. You may not care for the style or policy of the D establishment, but there is no comparison between the parties. Republican control of government is destroying our country. Please fight to diminish it.

  149. @AU Bernie or Warren will win; I'll be content with either, but I do favor Bernie. With Bernie as the nominee Trump will lose, in his own word, "bigly".

  150. @AU , But, she did win the popular vote but not the electoral college.

  151. Mr Stephens is going after Bernie in many of his recent columns. The reason is that he is frightened that Bernie might win the Democratic nomination. What are his motives?They have to do with Bernie saying that he would cut or trim the billions that the U.S. gives to Israel every year, even though per capita, it is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. As the Times says, he was previously the editor in chief of the Jerusalem Post, a conservative Israeli newspaper that supports the Likhud Party. Mr. Stephens also wrote editorials for the conservative Wall Street Journal. He doesn't like the fact that Bernie would try to raise taxes on wealthy people and trim their power. Bernie's supporters are indeed worked up. They consider themselves part of a movement that wants to bring real change to this country, not just piecemeal adjustments to the status quo.

  152. @Diogenes You nailed it. Stephens has very frightening motives.

  153. Comparing Bernie's ardent supporters to Trump's is absurd. Yes, every inspiring political figure will have some loonies as fans--people who are prone to extremes to begin with. But most of Bernie's supporters admire the patient, unwavering, grassroots movement he has built in the pursuit of highly compassionate (and yes, often unrealistic) policy goals. But most of Trump's supporters admire his bullying take-no-prisoners approach to politics, which they believe is protecting them from various threats (immigrants, gun control, etc.) while protecting their wealth and status. Bernie appeals to people's highest ideals (again, often impractically) while Trump appeals to people's darkest impulses and normalizes those impulses. Bernie's moral idealism aligns almost completely with The New Testament (ironically) while Trump's moral relativism derives from Machiavelli and Ayn Rand.

  154. @J. L. Weaver Wanting to take other people’s property for yourself is not a high ideal and it isn’t in the New Testament. If Bernie were aligned completely with the New Testament he would give at least two of his three houses to the homeless. No, at root he is aligned with the rest of his ilk.

  155. @KBronson Who wants to "take other people's property"? By the way, the early apostles lived as communitarians and did not believe in private property. Jesus said a camel could sooner go through the eye of a needle than a rich man go to heaven (if we're arguing New Testament content anyway). You can't possibly believe someone with Christ's philosophy would back Trump, or at this point, the thoroughly corrupted GOP.

  156. There's a need to be fair here. I agree with the cause of the 'Bernie Bros,' and for good reason (more on that below). But I also believe in civility - being loud and rude is counterproductive. That's what I don't like about a good chunk of the #MeToo movement, which can be more extreme. Sanders' cause is right. Income inequality has risen from the low 30s to about 47 today since Reagan. The top 1% saw their incomes triple. Median income hasn't changed much. Much of this income at the top has gone into buying our politicians and bidding up the price of land - the real cause of our housing crisis. Michael Bloomberg just got the DNC to change rules to favor him in return for a large donation. I remember that back in the 1960s, we had a Democratic Party that looked out for most people; now the party is preoccupied with issues only the affluent care about. That's corruption of a sort. The thing to admire about Sanders is that he appears to be incorruptible.

  157. @Kevin Blankinship He is "incorruptible", always was; an honorable human being.

  158. @Mel Farrell Not wholly incorruptible; he gave in to the NRA in Vermont. No candidate is incorruptible, it's just a matter of degrees. Bernie may be 5% corruptible, compared to Trump who is 99% corruptible.

  159. I certainly agree that no one should be rude to others, whether online or in person. But I have never met any Bernie bros, and I am confident that most Sanders supporters are well-intentioned people who simply want to see more economic fairness and equality. I am tired of the Times's columnists drawing parallels between Sen. Sanders and President Trump, and between their supporters.

  160. I am a 71 year old woman for Bernie. I was for Bernie in 2016. I voted for Clinton. I will vote for whomever the nominee is. Please stop ranting about “Bernie Bros”. And for the record, I don’t “need” Bernie to win. I’m very comfortable thank you, but I am also concerned for my fellow citizens and deeply concerned about the state of the biosphere. We cannot afford Trump-style destruction of our air, water and fellow sentient beings. Spend my taxes on helping and conservation, not on war. Go Bernie!

  161. @Samantha Kelly Ditto here. I am a bit younger than you, 67 to be exact but I feel the same way you do

  162. @Samantha Kelly Beautifully articulated -- thank you!

  163. @Samantha Kelly Ditto. Also a bro without the parts here. Much younger but financially also more than comfortable. Perhaps because I grew up in Europe I feel it's my duty to give to people who don't have the opportunities and genetic luck I have. If we take care of the people who are struggling in the heartland instead of calling them deplorable, perhaps they will stop voting for people like Trump.

  164. Bernie and his Bros cost Hillary the election in 2016 and I fear they will cost Democrats the election in 2020.

  165. @Philip Nah, that was then, this is now. The DNC rules have changed, the playing field leveled and this supporter of Senator Sanders will vote for the 2020 Democratic nominee.

  166. @Philip There is no evidence to support this. 95% of Sanders voters held their noses for Hilary without expecting their lives to improve under her potential administration. Meanwhile, Clinton lost white women to Trump days after the Access Hollywood tape came out. Get real. Clinton lost because she had no vision and no policies to solve the problems working Americans were facing. She had the total backing of the DNC and beltway insiders, but tepid support among the young. She actually sounds a bit like a former senator from Delaware...

  167. @DJ , I'll never forget her deplorables comment. When she started citing her husband and Kissinger as marvelous resources and examples of leadership as she campaigned, meh... I don't want those guys all over again. Except for advocacy on behalf of women and children, I never heard her say anything original to her that was more inspiring than the previous presidents.

  168. Let me think: what is worse, a gang of Bernie Bros supporting their candidate with guerilla tactics OR corporate fossil fuel titans waging war on the truth of climate change with lies to CONGRESS all the way back to the Reagan era, when their own scientists knew global warming was reaching a crisis level- and aided by WSJ writers such as Bret Stephens as recently as 2012-13?? You decide...

  169. I pick neither.

  170. I find it very interesting that columnists who are known conservatives have been writing an awfully a lot about the Democratic candidates. Perhaps, they're trying to frame or seize the narrative as one can imagine that they are not doing this for the love of America.

  171. Bernie's strongest supporters may not always be good at compromise or listening to someone else's reasoning. But at base they believe, even obnoxiously, in love. A great number of Trump's "ardent supporters" are haters.

  172. I'm not buying this one bit, it's old hat, we've seen it before. Seeing Trump supporters carrying torches, chanting "JEWS WILL NOT REPLACE US!" can never be compared to healthy debate boiling over. The monolithic nature of the Republican party is what Sanders supports hate the most, and vigorous debate and discussion about how to make improvements to the country, rather than transfer wealth to the rich, is of paramount importance. Mr. Stephens reads like a student of Soviet-era Pravda.

  173. Oh my goodness! Angry people on the left! What shall we do? As sure as the sun rises in the east, the American elite will tolerate anger on the right with a wink and nod, while considering any wanton display of genuine emotion on the left side of the political spectrum as beyond the pale. I mean, why on earth would we be angry, just because our biosphere is nearing collapse, or because our democracy is being eviscerated by big corporations, or because of the endless spilling of blood and treasure by the military-industrial complex (a favorite of Mr. Stephens)? Such intemperance! We'll never get invited to swank Beltway parties if we keep acting this way. But hey, mainstream media, keep those Bernie smears coming. Every silly hit piece like this is readily converted into ever more campaign donations, and that much more fire in the belly of the progressive movement. Clearly, the elite is getting nervous. And they should be.

  174. Sanders and the other Democratic candidates are irrelevant. Trump just got the go-ahead from the U.S. Senate to solicit foreign assistance in his campaign, even to bargain with promised aid. He's also teamed with Zuckerberg, and, so far, it doesn't seem the collaboration is to bring truth to Facebook. Good luck to the Democratic candidate against those strategies.

  175. I love reading and contributing to the comments sections of many online media sites. However, I wish I had known about the online Bernie Bros phenomenon about ten months ago when I started following the Democratic primary. This is why. I consider myself to be "liberal," "progressive," and "moderate." However, I was regularly getting responses to my posts in the comments sections that my favored candidates were "Republicans," "corporate plants," "corporate shills," "soul-less," "frauds," "liars who couldn't be trusted," "owned by big money," "working for Wall Street," "had absolutely no policies," "policies are prove not a real Democrat," "elitist," "unqualified," "career politicians," "corrupt," "only serves corporate masters," "political puppet," "doesn't care about the poor," "only serves the top 1%," "racist," "wants to protect a broken system that is killing people," "war monger," "blood-lust," and many, many, other awful things. The more I engaged with the comments sections, the more I started to notice that the aforementioned slanders were lobbed against my favored candidates no matter what I wrote. Then it occurred to me that I was getting gas-lighted when I noticed Sanders supporters were hyper sensitive to any criticism of Sen. Sanders in the comments forums. They even post very aggrieved complaints in articles that have nothing to do with Sanders --that he's not getting enough coverage. Sadly, I gave up conversing in good faith because I'd get slandered too.

  176. @C.S. Don't give up ! At least you participated in this comments sections. Support your candidate! But if Sanders wins the nomination, I hope you support him.

  177. @C.S. This is exactly the tactics of Sanders supporters. Look at who Bernie’s campaign manager is and you will see that it is all out war with anyone that dare point out any flaw s. Bernie is the leader who condones the hate spit tactics which says so much about who he really is. An angry old white socialist, who will be painted as such in the main election.

  178. The Democrats went centrist in 2016 and lost. We need the enthusiasm of Sanders' supporters in 2020. We need a proudly progressive alternative to business as usual and its attendant crises of income inequality and climate change. I will vote for whoever the Democrats nominate--our very democracy depends upon driving Trump out of office in a decisive Democratic victory--but unless voters are enthused about the Democratic candidate, Trump will win again. Props to Bernie's supporters for their commitment to their candidate.

  179. @Pucifer - We "lost" because of Russian interference, which is EXTREMELY likely to happen again.

  180. Bret S is writing exaggerated Reality TV politics. Bret has long been part of the on line army for the Republicans in his NYT on line column. He had a past WSJ column for this. Voter opposition to the GOP---who obviously cling to the criminal president Trump--- is essential for standing up for our rights in a democracy. The GOP pushback is fierce and entrenched and well financed.

  181. The main difference between Trump supporters and Sanders supporters (besides the former favoring the rich and the white nationalist racists while the latter favor ordinary people and liberty and justice for all) is that Trump's supporters support and justify tens of thousands of his lies and his denial of the conclusions of science. Nobody on the Democratic side supports continual lying, whether it's about people or the planet.

  182. @Howard Agreed. Bernie has a big tent. Personally I support nuclear power and don't support a total ban on fraking. But Medicare for all is my litmus test - we pay far too much compared to every other industrialized nation and its obvious that capitalism has failed as a method to control healthcare costs and cover everyone. Our for profit healthcare system is a joke to Western Europeans, Canadians and even American doctors...

  183. I wish Brett Stephens had sought to include statements from Bernie supporters to balance out this piece. As it is his main evidence comes from a former senator and an older philosopher. I'm not about to troll anyone for their political opinion, but it'd be awfully tempting to boo Barbara Boxer.

  184. Bernie IS trump. And so are his supporters.

  185. It’s time for Bernie’s Bros to grow up and recognize that ANY Democratic candidate is a million times better than Donald Trump. Period.

  186. @Blue Northwest No. This is a fight for the soul of the Democratic party. And a fight for the future. We can't afford to elect a fiscally conservative "centrist" Democrat. We tried that plenty of times already. At times the Democrats just lose the election, and other times we get Bill Clinton and Obama implementing the Republicans own bad policies. That's how we got Trump in the first place. We got excited about Obama talking about "Hope and Change" and then nothing changed. We can't just keep voting for "the lesser of two evils" or "vote Blue no matter who". We do need to nominate a good candidate who will change things this time. I'm serious. I am voting for Bernie in the primaries (Yang is my second pick). You nominate Buttigieg or Klobuchar and I will vote for Trump. You are more than welcome to vote your conscience. That's your right, and I won't question your moral character or maturity for that. But I ask for you to respect my right to vote as well. And you should be aware that some people won't just vote for any Democratic candidate. When I say I want Bernie or Yang, I really thought it through and I really do mean it.

  187. @Blue Northwest I don't know any Bernie supporters who think that Trump is better than a single Dem. But if you think that we should all come together around Biden who has promised the very rich that "nothing will fundamentally change" I should warn you that he inspires no one. I'll hold my nose and vote blue in November (as I did in 2016), but I wouldn't expect my life to meaningfully improve unless Bernie or Elizabeth were the nominee.

  188. @DJ I don't think Trump is better. Trump is unpresidential and a national embarrassment. But I held my nose voting for Clinton in 2016. Even after she insulted Bernie voters regularly throughout the campaign. Even though he was clear she wouldn't change anything, despite the need for change. I'm getting tired of having to hold my nose when I vote for President. Holding my nose for Hillary gave the party the wrong idea that Hillary won the popular vote. Um, no, I voted for Hillary mainly to support other Democrats (not her) and also because I don't think Trump would be a good president. I honestly want better options than neoliberal Democrats and Trump. If the Democrats don't start giving me better options, I do not have to give them my vote. No matter how bad the guy on the other side is.

  189. Sanders is not a Democrat. Nobody has yet gone negative on him. If Trump has the good fortune of getting Bernie as his adversary we will find out what going full animal negative on Bernie looks like. Bernie could lose in an electoral landslide, and probably the popular vote.Bernie would be making an early election night concession speech.

  190. @Bananahead "Sanders is not a Democrat."... Right. A 'real' Democrat (like Sen Joe Manchin) would vote to confirm Kavanaugh, and will vote (along with 'real' Republicans) to aquit Trump. Some real Democrats behave more like real Republicans.

  191. Bernie Sanders will never be President; there I said it. I shudder to think what the Bernie Bros will do once it hits home. Sanders' campaign message is still a mystery beyond "...millionaires and billionaires..." Yes, you can visit his campaign website so read some very polished policy viewpoints written by paid consultants. But why do we not hear Bernie himself talk about any of those policies other than income inequality. Does Bernie talk about NATO in interviews? No Does Bernie mention North Korea at rallies? No Brexit? No China? No Race relations? No Artificial intelligence? No Supreme Court? No Illegal immigration? No It's always "...millionaires and billionaires" with Bernie and independent voters have more on their mind than just that. Bernie is broken record, looping the same lines. This voter is tired of it.

  192. @Jason W I see thousands upon thousands of unhoused — resident veterans, throw away teens, elderly, parents and children, addicts and individuals suffering from severe brain disorders. Cities are filled with tent cities. The Republican mantra is American billionaires and millionaires are the real “job creators” and they need big tax breaks as “incentives to “invest” their fortunes to create jobs. Well, they got huge tax breaks with this President. And the numbers unhoused residents keep increasing.

  193. Regardless of whoever the nominee is, I’d imagine (if elected) they would actually read intelligence briefings, unlike our current command in chief.

  194. @Jason W You're bashing Bernie for not mentioning Brexit??? Bernie just came out for a ban on facial recognition, has the most diverse following of any candidate, wants to renegotiate the China and neo-nafta trade deals and is against open borders. Done. Young people are done with identity politics and Dem politicians who care more about Delaware credit card companies than working people (like Biden who started his campaign in the home of a Comcast Exec). People under 40 don't care about kum-ba-yah politics. Show me the policies that will improve our lives and the way to pay for it? Medicare for all and a big tax hike on those making more than $400K/year and worth more than $50M.

  195. Bret, we have enough to worry about with Mr. Trump. Personally, I have met many Bernie supporters, and I believe the last thing they would want is to be compared with the MAGA family. And frankly, I am really tired of reading well-meaning but nevertheless hurtful advice from political pundits. Please let us decide for ourselves whom we want as our nominee without all this background noise. I trust that Democrats will come together when push comes to shove, keeping in mind that it is imperative that we shove Trump out the door.

  196. The insistent bashing of Bernie by all of these media sources is getting obnoxious. All of the candidates are stressing the need for unity and collaboration to defeat Trump come November. Yet, here we are in January with all of these “feuds”. Funny thing is, it seems to me that so far the only issues between candidates are being manufactured in columns like this one and throughout the news cycle. Yes, there are disagreements, but that is to be expected. What purpose does this column serve? Is it helping unite the deeply fractured state of the Democratic Party? Progressives have a lot reasons to be leery of the moderate folks after 2016 and columns like this are not helping.

  197. @Moe "Progressives have a lot reasons to be leery of the moderate folks after 2016 and columns like this are not helping." That is the exact intent of this columnist. He claims he doesn't like Trump but he doesn't want to see a Democrat in The White House. So he is spreading innuendo, repeating lies, and fomenting anger in order to get Trump re-elected.

  198. So easy to draw the wrong lesson from 2016. Clinton didn’t lose because she was a moderate. She lost because she had truly terrible political skills and a shady background.

  199. @Moe I remember the non-stop vitriolic hate-filled columns coming from the Bernie supporters back in 2016 attacking Clinton nearly every single day leading up to the election... and not a word from Bernie asking his supporters to stop. When asked by a reporter in late September 2016 about how he planned to convince his more die-hard supporters to back Clinton, Bernie said that it wasn't "his job to convince HIS supporters to back Clinton". And now Bernie is upset that Clinton said that he didn't have many friends (backed up by the fact that only one Senator endorsed him in 2016) and that she wouldn't be supporting him now. Poor snowflake. Last time around Bernie's entire campaign was attacking Clinton and the DNC, while Clinton was trying to focus on attacking Trump and the Republicans. This time he's... attacking Biden, Warren, and the DNC, while they also are trying to focus on Trump and the Republicans. There aren't nearly enough columns being critical of him.

  200. In 1972, Sen. George McGovern, a liberal, anti-Vietnam war presidential candidate, got the Democratic nod. He had an unpopular incumbent president to run against, the paranoid Richard M. Nixon, who seemed to be cynically dragging out the unwinnable Vietnam war for the benefit of "the military-industrial complex." McGovern had a young army of enthusiastic, vocal and socially concerned supporters, mainly centered on college campuses. McGovern's young supporters, however, would have much preferred the worries of Bernie's army (e.g., paying off college loans) to their own (e.g., being/seeing friends drafted for 2 years and possibly killed or injured in a never-ending war which seemed to be converting returning veterans into somewhat mentally disturbed versions of their former selfs). Not having Twitter and on-line forums in which to educate each other and vent their spleen, McGovern's army was out on the street getting tear gassed in various places. There was, to say the least, much generational vituperation between the kids and their parents, who, in total fairness, had shouldered far greater loss and suffering in WWII, not to mention the Korean war. McGovern ultimately got the Democratic party's nomination. Despite his floridly obvious character flaws, Nixon won 49 of 50 states in the 1972 election, and got 18 million more votes than McGovern, mainly because McGovern was widely seen as too far "left." Sorry, but Bernie's trolls are not the problem.

  201. @ Carl I campaigned for George McGovern and got elected to the County Convention. At the time, I was told by many who voted for Tricky Dick that McGovern was “ahead of his time.” Never understood that one. McGovern was called “too far left” at the time precisely because he had the audacity to call the Vietnam war “immoral” and solemnly pledged to bring all US troops home. A few years, later Saigon fell and our US troops quickly evacuated from the country.

  202. @Carl 1972 tax brackets went up to 70% and people didn't have computers. Please, explain to me how the 1972 election is somehow more relevant than the 2016 one against the same candidate, lost by a centrist?

  203. @Carl Oh my gosh, please stop with the McGovern references. It's not even remotely relevant, despite all of the misguided efforts to make it so. The much more relevant comparison is 2016, when a bad Democratic candidate lost to a deeply flawed and unpopular Republican. Let's not repeat that, please. In 2020, Sanders isn't McGovern. Biden is. He's the one who doesn't stand a chance.

  204. Nothing you say now will erase the moment of honesty in which you wrote Bernie could win. As a moderate Republican, you may be scared of him. But a lot of people are hurting out there and they're ready to take a healthy dose of Europe.

  205. @Bill Not sure what your point is. They're two separate thoughts: 1) Bernie could win the nomination 2) His ardent supporters can be just as blind as Trump's in following their prophet Both can we be true at the same time. I don't think Bret is trying to "erase" anything.

  206. I hear this argument a lot. I lived in the Netherlands for years and I loved it. But they have about 20 million people compared to our 330 million. They didn’t arrive at their present system of capitalism balanced with social welfare overnight. It took many years of incremental changes. The idea that a country of 330 million can achieve a European-style social democracy in a short period of time seems ludicrous to me, and I’ve yet to hear a detailed explanation of how it will happen from either Sanders or his supporters. Yes, raise taxes on the wealthy. Yes, spend less on the military. That will not be enough to fund the massive revolution Sanders supporters are hoping for.

  207. Vote Blue, No matter who. The primary candidates should pledge to support whoever wins the nomination, and try to get their supporters to do so also.

  208. I was at the Colorado statewide Democratic convention when the crowd booed Michael Bennet when he took the stage because he was a super-delegate who was going to vote for Clinton at the national Dem convention while Colorado had overwhelmingly supported Bernie. I'm not a Bro - I'm an introverted middle-aged spinster librarian - but I joined in the chanting of (if I remember correctly) "change your vote" because I think super-delegates are supremely unfair.

  209. @A Stor mo Chroi Thank you for breaking through the barrier and letting us all know your thoughts. I, personally, know how hard it can be, even in text, online. "I believe librarians are are our future... Teach them well and let them lead the way, Show them all the beauty they possess inside... Give them a sense of pride, To make it easier... Let the children's laughter remind us how we used to be..." I bet you get me here. I mean it. Not condescending here at all. Love all you librarians.

  210. Why all this wailing and gnashing of teeth about Bernie? He will not make it in the South, he does not resonate with black women and therefore will not get the nomination. Sorry Bernie Bro’s, stifled by women once again.

  211. @Cassandra B However, you could change that and make the difference. I hope you give Senator Sanders another look and consideration. In the 1960's, Sanders marched for civil rights and supported the movement of Martin Luther King. Sander opposed the Vietnam war and did not flee or hide behind a false 4F classification. Sanders sought openly and honestly the classification of Conscientious Objector. Sander opposed the Iraq War not believing that Iraq was behind 9/11, nor that they had weapons of mass destruction ,...and he was right. Sanders goals are to provide universal health care, provide access to higher education and scale back the military industrial complex and meet the constraints of a budget like each of us is expected Sanders supported and campaigned incessantly for a woman to become President in 2016. Check out youtube videos on him, he has been remarkably consistent.

  212. @Cassandra B A vote for Joe Biden is a vote for medicare and medicaid cuts, no infrastructure bill and nothing fundamentally changing for the wealthiest among us. Bernie is polling number 1 among African Americans under 40. Its only the older African Americans who have a false idea why Obama chose him for his running mate that still support him (Biden brought the wealthy Dem donors and those close with Clinton and the DNC). Obama didn't pick Biden because he was a good person, he picked him because he was an insider who knew how to make it look like he actually cared about working people.

  213. I like the idea of white men being angry about Americans not having health insurance, or a secure retirement, or affordable housing, or good-paying jobs. We need more Bernie Bros, not less.

  214. @Nell The point is that they are targeting that anger at other people who largely agree with them. I too am angry about our rigged system. But Bernie supporters are acting like a circular firing squad.

  215. @Nell : Or having health insurance but not being able to afford the massive deductibles on the state exchange. Or sacrificing homeownership and a retirement fund to pay the premiums. Or not being able to move to a new state mid-year to take a much-needed job because the deductible resets and so very jobs have health insurance these days ...

  216. @Cousy Gee I would love to meet an angry Bernie Bro. I'm surrounded by angry hate-filled trumpers. You should be counting your blessings!

  217. I am 81 and my wife is a few years younger. We would be flattered to be bros if we knew what that meant. Neither of us have a twitter account but both of us spent our lives in health care. This past week we heard that a colleague of mine who has a band was playing in a benefit at the local lElks' club to help a family who has a son with autism. That is far too often an event like that in this part of the state and that is one of the many reasons why we support candidates that will guarantee health insurance for everyone. Stephens like far too many pundits are using despicable canards and scare tactics in the hope that Democrats will nominate someone who is leas likely to disrupt their little, safe establishment worlds. They are frightened because they know who ever the Democratic nominee is that person is going to win and be the next president. They are frantically doing everything they can to get safe Old Joe across the finish line.

  218. @Edward B. Blau Great post. I hadn't thought about what you say at the end before, but I think you're right. I think it's not just fear of having a candidate that is truly for all of the people that is frightening the (im)moderates, but it's the knowledge that Bernie, if nominated, will win.

  219. @Edward B. Blau Thanks, great to know there is still some hope for Wisconsin. Wow, really surprised to hear that Elks clubs still exist.

  220. Spot on.

  221. How many of the worst offenders in Bernie’s camp are actually Russian trolls? The Mueller investigation revealed that Russian trolls ardently supported Bernie in the 2016 primaries. Most of their focus was on building resentment of Bernie supporters towards Clinton, the DNC, and centrists/moderates. It seems like the same thing is happening now. Ever article about Biden or Buttigieg is swarmed by Bernie supporters going on and on about corporate moderate Dems and how stupid/privileged/wrong they are. They even did it to Warren, trolling her as a former Republican. Bernie supporters attack any critics as supporting the “status quo.” They hardly ever address any details critics bring up. It is almost always an ad hominem attack. Guess what? The status quo is Trump. Other Democrats do not support Trump. It all seems too familiar.

  222. I didn’t mean this only as a slam against Bernie. I offer it as an explanation of why some of Bernie’s seeming devotees are so divisive.

  223. What you blind neo liberals fail to see is how the American system is literally killing the working class. That is why we are angry. We can't afford our medicine and health care, so we suffer and die. We are working 2 to 3 minimum wage jobs, no benefits, we can't afford food and rent. We are homeless, we die. We are depressed from a system that is crushing us, we can't get counseling and anti depressants because of lack of affordable healthcare, so we turn to opiods and heroine, we overdose, we die. The system is producing terrible jobs, there is a lack of opportunity due to corruption and nepotism. America is literally killing the working poor, it's not an exaggeration, excuse us for feeling angry, we are suffering tremendously. Bernie is our only beacon of hope, no other politician cares about us. people are being murdered by a corrupt rigged system. Life expectancy has been plummeting until recently. We are dying, establishment politicians will not save us, it is a matter of life and death. Bernie is life, the rest is a vote for more death

  224. @NicK I understand that you and millions of others are in pain and suffering and something must be done. I agree and so do millions of good hearted Americans. The main difference in choices of candidates is who can help change this. Bernie talks, hollers and beats the drum on these critical issues, but he cannot get it done. His Senate record speaks to his inabilities, the majority of Democrats in the key swing states and the Independents will not vote for him. who can win these voters is actually what matters. Bernie’s voters, many of whom stayed home in 2016 out of disgust for Clinton or voted for Stein we’re more interested in being pure, angry and right....and look at the devastation that has wrought.

  225. @Rails , Actually, I looked his congressional record and he accomplished alot and collaborated with a wide range of senators.

  226. Read what you wrote and substitute Trumps name and you hear an echo of some of Trumps supporters. Its an infatuation with the “great leader” or messiah complex driving Trump and Sanders more reactionary supporters. I don’t need to be reminded of how inequality and plutocracy has crippled the working class. I’m one of those workers and have been 45 adult years. But don’t come to me for support for any messiah, liberal or otherwise. Its a delusion, in fact a very dangerous delusion to think some leader is going to solve all our problems. Sanders isn’t the answer, no one person ever is. Go ahead and vote for him if you must, if he’s the Democratic nominee I will join you in that vote. But don’t expect any miracles, we will still be the country we are now & being Bernie won’t change that reality one little bit.

  227. To decide to write and publish this column today seems about as tone deaf as to have composed a bravo to conservatism on November 23, 1963. A history is being written and its a sad one, being ignored by those enable the course of it, including writers for this paper, like Bret Stephens and David Brooks. Having a column in the NYT brings with it certain expectations of responsibility, self awareness, originality, thoughtfulness. What a fail on all counts this is, on the day that the Republican Senate, whose members and policies Stephens has supported, refuses to hold a fair trial of the president. What the Republicans are attempting, in refusing to have witnesses testify, is mass confusion, that nobody understand our political crisis. This wasn't useful information for tonight, but just a feeble try at changing the subject from the shadow enveloping us.

  228. This column crosses the line from opinion to propaganda. Although I seldom agree with Mr. Stephens I enjoy his style and presentation. This one is beneath him not because he is a better person but because he is a better writer.

  229. It is difficult to check if that was indeed the Sanders fan, but it was undeniable when Clinton criticized Sanders. Talking about civility.

  230. Are you certain these outliers aren’t saboteurs from another campaign? From what I saw of Hillary supporters last election, and her continued destructive denigration of more than half of this country’s citizens, I wouldn’t be surprised.

  231. @reader The problem isn't Sanders supporters, it's reactionary people who are somehow able to find comparisons between snake emojis and the Chinese cultural revolution.

  232. The chair story in Las Vegas is FAKE. Someone was MOVING a chair, NOT trying to throw it. Rachel Maddow idolized the reporter from Vegas who pedaled that story AND HE WASN'T even there.

  233. Is this Republican Party the one that Republicans want, Bret? I reject your baseless smear of Americans who support the ideas Bernie has been talking about for decades. I am also unsure what you mean by 'play by the rules of civility and bipartisanship'. Please elaborate.

  234. @Riley C Let me explain the Bret Stephens Rule of Civility and Bipartisanship: Democrats have to do it, Republicans don't.

  235. @JC: You’re right, actually. Unfortunately most people hold Democrats to a higher standard than Republicans, even Republicans themselves.

  236. Repeat after me - Bernie's support is majority female. "Bernie Bro" is a slur that erasures their participation in the Democratic process. Stop using it.

  237. @Shane LOL, good luck with that. I appreciate what you're doing, but the media narrative is the media narrative. I'm w/you 100% though, and I'll keep repeating it too. Not sure the comments of a Brett Stephens piece is the best place for your effort, tho.

  238. @Shane wrong. Bernie has almost no support among women of color. Bernie just has sooo much white women support. But middle class white women is not the same as women. Stop saying he has the support of “women” that’s false. He has the support of middle class white women. (Also a group that swung for Roy Moore and trump. But I’m just that’s not related).

  239. @MP - Bernie's main issue for me (and I'm a white woman) is that he and his supporters think racism is a purely economic phenomenon. It's not. His discounting of people of color and women is deeply disturbing to me now and I voted for him in the primary in 2016.

  240. It is strange that on every article about Democratic candidates the Bernie supporters relentlessly trash every other candidate. But on articles criticizing Bernie, they whine and cry about how it is unfair and Democrats who dare to criticize Bernie want to lose the election because they are corporate/privileged/Republican Lite/afraid of real change. It’s boring and hypocritical.

  241. It is funny how every article in the centrist media criticizes (bushes) Sanders, but when the supporters of Bernie criticize the other candidates, the Centrists moaning and crying how unfair it is.

  242. This is not strange at all. They want their candidate to win. The question you should be asking is why your favorite candidate fails to inspire enthusiastic support

  243. @Ben Apparently you haven't been paying close attention. EVERY op-ed piece about Bernie Sanders in this paper is critical of Bernie Sanders. He has zero supporters among this staff. If that was happening to your candidate, you'd be the first to "whine and cry" about it.

  244. I'm pretty far off from a Bernie supporter but this is quite a hit job. It reads like high school gossip and is about as accurate. In our era of identity politics and circular firing squads, Bernie and his supporters have been labeled misogynists despite any evidence to back that up. Its just treated like common knowledge that these people hate women. Bernie's supporters are hostile to the Democratic establishment. That does not make them sexist.

  245. @Jordan The "evidence" is that they didn't support the woman candidate in 2016. That's all it takes, apparently.

  246. Those in possession of absolute power can not only prophesy and make their prophecies come true, but they can also lie and make their lies come true. - Eric Hoffer

  247. I will never forget the surly,nasty,angry,uncivil Sanders supporters at the Democratic Convention. Shouting down the speakers and showing us what they really stand for and who they are. Sanders will never be the Democrat nominee.

  248. And I will never forget Hillary Clinton proclaiming on TV that 'nobody likes' Sanders. I guess that is a standard of great effort to unify the party.

  249. @Maylan I'll never forget Debbie Wasserman-Shultz, Mike Podesta, and Donna Brazile. Bernie Sanders might not be "Democratic" enough for their ilk, but they are not democrats.

  250. @Maylan , Your comment fails to describe the source of that anger which was the hijacking of the democratic run and nomination process by Wasserman-Schultz and her ilk right up to the convention. They earned every shout.

  251. Bernie and his supporters are angry, and want to fight for working people, the poor, and middle class. Trump and his supporters are angry and want to keep brown and black people out of the country, and lower taxes for millionaires and billionaires. And prop up Russia and other dictators. Yes, Bret - both are angry.

  252. The establishment is scared, very scared, based on the number of negative Bernie stories lately.

  253. @JJ Maybe. But maybe not so nefarious or complicated. Ask Trump who he prefers to run against. Some Americans (like me) are frightened that nominating Bernie may not be putting our strongest candidate forward to defeat Trump. I'll absolutely vote for him, though I think some of his policies are not good. Policies ain't the point for me in 2020. I want a decent person in office and an end to McConnell. Sanders' policies are just slogans until they have a path to enactment. Doubtful he'll cobble a medicare 4 all bill with Repubs in the senate or raise the taxes he needs. I suspect Biden might be able to enact a public option that creates a path to universal coverage. I don't understand why idealists are not drawn more to Yang than Sanders. I fear it's more because Sanders offers an easy enemy- "billionaires" and has a long and consistent history, which usually means getting little done in a mixed political body. Yang deals in solutions that have a path toward incremental enactment and target the actual problems. Obviously, my opinion, but I am curious. And Yang is obviously a good and kind man- and smart.

  254. @JT - John Tucker , I think Yang is exceptional, but too green to take on the presidency yet. I'm looking for a war horse who can endure. Sanders may be it.

  255. @JT - John Tucker I volunteered for Bernie in 2016 and this time around have donated to Yang in Bernie. I love Yang and he’s my number one choice. It’s been frustrating to see the media erase him over and over. Could be why he’s not caught on more?

  256. The establishment and the DNC blackballed Bernie in 2016 and nothing he said or did since was ever good enough.

  257. This is one of two things I worry about if Sanders is our candidate. He really doesn't make it clear that the behavior of Bernie Bros is unacceptable. Of course, the vast majority of his supporters are not Bernie Bros. Also, the majority of Trump supporters are not the equivalent. But if not reined in, they poison the political climate, as we have seen. The second worry is that he underestimates the kind of attacks that can be made of him because of his Democratic Socialist label. Is that legitimate - of course not. But a lot of illegitimate things were said about Clinton in 2016, and they worked.

  258. Par. 5: The anecdote about the chair-throwing has been debunked so many times I'm surprised anyone can even refer to it with a straight face. It's all abundantly documented, there's ample video of the incident in question. Go see for yourself. Par 9: It's manifestly untrue that supporters of other candidates-who-aren't-Sanders are civil, respectful, etc. If the only abuse the writer has seen has been Sanders supporters cracking on people from "other teams," there's a reason for that, and it has something to do with confirmation bias. Do you expect Warren people to voice their disagreement with a pro-Warren thread? As a Sanders supporter sharing ideas civilly on other-than-Sanders pages, I've been called names, told to 'go back to where I came from," told my ESL was inadequate, etc... A certain percentage of internet users are just RUDE, it has nothing to do with their pro-Sanders orientation.

  259. Exactly right. I can recall a Clinton supporter and frequent commenter here in 2016 who was beyond anything I’ve seen from the Bernie supporter here. Couldn’t acknowledge that Clinton harbored a sexual harasser in her campaign (protected him!), but went on and on about the Bernie Bros. It was unbelievable.

  260. Inigo Montoya? Mistake or deliberate?

  261. Democrats are divided seemingly with animosity toward those they disagree with. Republicans are united as the vote against witnesses in the impeachment trial shows. This state of affairs does not bode well for the Democrats. "A house divided against itself cannot stand."

  262. @Robert Well, sure, the Steppford wives were so united too, much like the current Republican senators

  263. I am a high income 50 plus white male. I also have eyes. I see how fortunate I have been relative to most other Americans. Yes, I got an education. Yes, I work hard. But so do a lot of other people who have not been as fortunate as me. I don't support Bernie for what he can do for me. I support Bernie because I care for people. Everyone deserves health care. Everyone deserves education. I will gladly pay more in taxes to make those things a reality. I truly believe that Bernie is the candidate that WILL defeat Trump. This reported behavior by Bernie Bros, whom I have never personally encountered in real life or online, is wrong, but do not paint all Bernie supporters with the same brush. I will vote for Democratic nominee whoever it may be.

  264. I didn't know any Bernie supporters that acted like this in 2016 and I don't know any that are acting like this now and I live in NH where we live and breath this political circus 24/7. Seems like this Stevens character is just throwing red meat out there for people that are scared of the term "socialism" even though Bernie is just really advocating for a more democratic society.

  265. Let’s be honest here: Stevens is partially right—as a supporter of another Democratic candidate, I have personally seen the negativity of Bernie Bros. There is something not just about Bernie’s platform (which I largely agree with) but about his lifelong separation from Party which I think has attracted quite a number of those who don’t just want change, they want to DESTROY the status quo. Their anger is very similar to MAGA followers. This is worrisome, and Bernie’s seeming non-chalant way of handling them doesn’t inspire confidence, neither as a presidential candidate, nor especially as president. That’s a big reason I support the other truly progressive candidate, Elizabeth Warren, whose leadership has been strong, inspirational, and followed by those who recognize the need for change but want to work within the system, not blow it up.

  266. I think Bernie is an honorable and sincere public servant but his rigidity and obvious distaste for collaboration and dialogue presents a type of political ideological fundamentalism which is not healthy in terribly divisive and increasingly uncivil culture. While I don't care for the "Bernie bros" stereotype, Mr. Stephens makes some good points. Especially in light of what just happened in the Senate, Democrats need to unite around the eventual nominee. Ideological rigidity will only help Trump.

  267. Behind the table at a farmers market was an old friend, she was supporting Bernie in the primary. Beside her was a gentleman I didn’t know. Perhaps it’s my fault that I asked why not Warren? The man was very aggressive and said “Warren used to be a Republican.” I was astounded by the strange put down but then they handed me a paper contrasting Warren and Sanders and it appeared on their list. Based on previous conversations with my friend I supported Bernie against Hillary but I was happy to get behind her eventual nomination. With Warren supporters I have never heard similar negativity just questions about electability. The encounter left me a bit stunned. I had previously felt a linkage between the two progressives but now I wonder if Bernie supporters would be ready and more importantly enthusiastic about any Democratic nominee. Do they really feel the Democratic tent is too big? Until the Republican Party regains it’s sanity the Democratic Party needs to manage the difficult tasks of moving the country toward a united progressive future.

  268. As a recent high school graduate who went to school with such "Bernie Bros," I agree that this mentality is dangerous, divisive, and exclusive. These "bros" (because they are often young and male) shut people out of reasonable conversation and debate, and aggressively attack those who even moderately disagree with them. I am liberal and agree with Sanders on many things, but we have to call this out for what it is. Their tactics leave women, minorities, and religious people out of the conversation and debase their opinions, and even ridicule more moderate liberals for not fully embracing Sanders. They claim that they know best, but refuse to compromise or even consider other points of view other than becoming a democratic socialist government (in a country that has never been particularly apt to it). It's not so much an issue with Bernie, but many of his supporters are taking on dangerous mindsets and degrading the humanity of those who disagree with him. It's sad to see that so many people who claim to be "progressive", are still sexist and brash. Empathy is needed on both sides if we are ever to become a stronger nation, and it scares me to see the left even begin to take on the extremist mindsets. I know my generation will play a large part in shaping the political future, but we have to move forward with respect for one another and at the very least, listen, and see the humanity in those who disagree with us.

  269. @CG Well said.

  270. I don't know about the bros, but virtually every Bernie supporter I know said they couldn't bring themselves to vote for Clinton in 2016. That was and perhaps remains a problem.

  271. Most of the people I work with every day are women and a good 2/5 are in my age bracket - I have volunteered full-time for BernieSanders since July 29, 2015. Including OurRevolution between campaigns. Many are, like me disabled. We can manage to work online aiding or doing the calling, texting, planning, drawing, video creation, whatever our talents are, and do them in what time we have. It is all a labor of love as we are mothers or grandmothers and we're worried about our kids' lives, given the Climate Crisis. This is my truth. The campaign has more women than men and women leaders than men, too. Bernie took the criticism in, and fires for bad behaviours. I would like to send a printed copy of our campaign rules: Where would I send that? You'll want to apologise, I hope, when seeing it.

  272. Had a taste here a few months ago when I offered that the Warren/Sanders Medicare for All bit might make a lot of people uneasy. Described myself as 75, life long leftist Dem who ran in a Congressional Primary in 1974 proposing national health insurance, and now am in the midst of on-going treatment for aggressive prostate cancer. Offered that I and others in serious medical situations might have pause at seeing our existing supports swept away at a stroke. Suggested more graduated approaches might be more practical and actually politically possible. What I got was ad hominem responses. One guy offered I had no right to call myself a Democrat, another calculated that I had lived long enough anyway. None responded to my point that wiping out every medical plan in the country might be unsettling to more than a few voters. I understand Senator Boxer’s observation that some people cannot stand one word of deviation from what they want to hear. The closed mind is always terrifying. And oh by the way, I will vote for Bernie. I think he can generate turnout in under 35 group, and is best positioned to defuse the threat of the Green Party in battleground states. I think he has a path to victory.

  273. All of those worried that Sanders will trash their diversified investment portfolios that may include links to the fossil fuel industry, private "health" insurers, world wide arms merchants & banks & lenders funding student loans are distraught that Sanders might make some waves. If Stephens wants to talk about 'those resembling Trump's most ardent supporters' he might start with this set of sterling bi-partisans.

  274. People on Twitter and other internet sites are not a good reflection of the populace at large. More extreme and partisan speech and behavior, anonymous often, can be found online from nearly any quarter. It’s true that candidates should refuse to encourage or condone it, though. And we’ll need unity whoever the candidate is this time.

  275. How about Barbara Boxer not mincing words and speaking out about the vicious comments Hillary Clinton is making about Sanders. Unlike with Sanders, the vicious comments are coming out of Clinton's mouth so she can't claim they just from her supporters. Ever since 2016, The Times in its news coverage and many of its columnist have been calling Sanders the Democratic Trump. Trump has a lifetime of criminal behavior and greed. Sanders has a lifetime of working for the disadvantaged both in the U.S. and throughout the world. Does Mr. Stephens or anyone else really consider they and their supporters should be described as anywhere near equivalent in anyway, shape or form?

  276. @Steve While I agree that Hillary should just go away already that doesn’t make her comments untrue

  277. Barbara Boxer doesn’t realize that the people have moved past her and those of her ilk. We have no interest in her platitudes and eager for her to retire. Bring it home Bernie.

  278. @Mike O’Connell Viz.: "The Sanders online army resembles President Trump’s most ardent supporters in more ways than either side might care to admit." "Surrender to a leader is not a means to an end but a fulfillment, ..."

  279. Um... she has?

  280. Bernie supporter. Not a bro, not on FB, but definitely angry -- angry enough that I am going to lay out some home truths. If you are not angry, then you are either not paying attention or someone is paying you well to not be angry, i.e. you are comfortable and the system is working for you personally (thought it won't be in about 1.5 degrees). I get particularly riled because to me Mr. Stephens in particular epitomizes the wages of nepotism and privilege. As most of us regular commenters know, many if not most of the comments here are usually are far more insightful and interesting than Mr. Stephens's pieces, which so often radiate a kind of smugness that is in no way justified by the level of intelligence and understanding he displays. It make me angry that he and so many like him have a platform through which so much could be done to benefit the civic discourse of our countryand they use it to mouth the platitudes and unsupported assertions of their corporate masters. I am beginning to see that Mr. Stephens's intellectual mediocrity is probably not even a bug but a feature. Yeah, I'm angry, dude.

  281. @Parapraxis My husband earns a low six figure income. Even though blue collar, he has always earned a decent wage. We are angry too. We are angry at the destruction of our environment, the lies, the hatred, the racism. We are angry at the loss of our democracy to a despot with a complicit republican controlled government. I'm not a Bernie Bro, per se, but I'm a patriot and a progressive. I will vote for the Democratic nominee, period. I will vote for my country, my democracy, society and for my children. I will do everything in my power to remove the present dangerous menace from the White House and his sycophants in Congress. As many need to be defeated as humanly possible. Our country is being destroyed from with in. It needs to be stopped. Financially support, volunteer, vote. Do whatever is in our power to save our country.

  282. I doubt Mr. Stephens has ever talked to a so-called Bernie bro, since it is a figment of the establishment's imagination. But if you are talking about Democratic voters who question why their establishment leaders have ignored them and will of the people in pursuit of endless wars, destructive milquetoast climate-change policies, and propping up a right-wing healthcare policy dreamed up in the Heritage Foundation, then yeah, THEY exist. In the millions. I realize they are terrified of what is coming their way but here's a suggestion. Leave. Go to the Republican Party where you and your neoliberalism belongs and let the rest of us rebuild the Democratic Party back into a viable, functional political party that represents and fights for the middle-class, working people, the young, the poor, and those that desire peace and a healthy environment.

  283. Good luck. To build a coalition, you can’t tell people to leave. You’ve got to get them to join you. Convince them you’re right. Btw I will enthusiastically knock on doors for Bernie if he’s the nominee. But there is some truth to this column, and you can see it in the comments.

  284. @Kathy @T You don't invite people into your tent who are going to be working, often surreptitiously, weakening the foundation that your tent is sitting on. And you especially don't give them leadership positions or pay them to give you advice. Case in point: The DNC leadership just stacked the platform committee with corporatists who will work to undermine a progressive agenda. Those are the people I'm showing the tent door. Go. Leave. They do more harm and destruction than the Republicans in many cases because they actively work to undermine your agenda as they purport to have your best interest at heart. We've seen it, from the Hillary campaign rigging the 2016 primary with the DNC to this latest move by the DNC. Is it any wonder why only 27% of Americans call themselves Democrats and the party has been wiped out at every level of government, barely winning the House in an off year? These people you have blindly embraced into your party have corruptly rotted it out from the inside. Show them the door. Rebuild your party with broad, grassroots support and have standards that those within your party must adhere to, like rejecting the corrupting influence of corporate money.

  285. @Kathy You do not invite people into your party who, at their core, do not believe in the basic mission of the party and worse, actively and surreptitiously try to undermine your efforts while looking you directly in the face while they stick the knife in your back. Do you not know what the DNC just did? Tom Perez and the officers stacked the DNC convention platform committee with corporatists to undermine any hope of progressives having a say, should they win. This is the same DNC who conspired with the Hillary Clinton campaign to rig the 2016 primary. It's those people I'm referring to. Leave. Go. You are destructive to our party. You cause us to lose and when we do manage to eke out a win, you give us Republican-lite, corporate-donor friendly policies. I am encouraged by your commitment to the party and ideas for which it should stand for and are expressed in the Sander's campaign, but please, open your eyes to who is supporting and funding the leadership in our party. They are funding our leadership for a reason. It's called a bribe. The establishment, corporatists and oligarchs, long Republicans, have wised up and learned to hedge their bets. They bought BOTH political parties. Oh sure, they'll let us bicker over the low hanging fruit of identity police, guns, abortion, etc. The real goal is to keep the military-intelligence complex fed and to continue siphoning the trillions of dollars of wealth (wealth that the American people generate) right into their pockets.

  286. I wish I lived in a country where someone like Bernie could be elected president. I don’t - that’s reality, and I’m not going there. That said, I see the vast majority of his supporters as idealistic rather than vindictive. I wonder how much of the outré behavior observed at events and on line is a product of trolls and plants. The Russians and Trumpians are certainly capable of all that.

  287. I thought I lived in a country where someone like Trump could never be elected.