The Most Disingenuous Attack on Bernie Yet

If you watched Sunday’s Democratic debate, you learned something interesting about Bernie Sanders: he voted for the Commodities Futures Modernization Act, something Hillary Clinton was all too eager to point out when the two of them got to talking about Wall Street reform.

Sounds pretty bad, right?

The guy who goes on and on about how bad Wall Street is actually voted for the bill that crashed economy.

So much for all that “political revolution” stuff…

But here’s the thing: Hillary Clinton isn’t telling a true story about Bernie Sanders and his vote for the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, or CFMA.

As Robert Scheer has pointed over at TruthDig, then-Congressman Sanders voted for the CFMA not because he wanted to, but because he had to.

The CFMA had been shoved into an omnibus spending bill at the last minute as part of a deal between Republicans and President Bill Clinton, and because this was a time when, you know, Congress actually did its job, Sanders bit the bullet and voted for the whole package -- CFMA included -- to keep the government open.

Only four Members of Congress ended up opposing the final spending bill that included the CFMA, and one of them was Ron Paul, who opposed pretty much every spending bill.

But that’s just of the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how dishonest Clinton was being when she called Bernie out for voting for the CFMA.

Even if Bernie had a good reason to vote for that omnibus spending bill - like preventing a government shutdown - Sanders was angry that he been forced, essentially at the legislative version of gunpoint, into deregulating Wall Street.

And so he struck back hard in 2008 when President-elect Obama picked former Treasury official and Goldman Sachs bankster Gary Gensler to head up the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, or CFTC.

During his time at the Treasury, Gensler had pushed hard for Wall Street deregulation and even helped write the CFMA, something now-Senator Bernie Sanders found unacceptable.

And so Bernie moved to block Gensler’s nomination.

Senator Sanders explained his actions during an appearance on Democracy Now:

Although Sanders did succeed in blocking Gensler’s nomination, the victory was short-lived: the hold was only temporary, and the Senate ended up approving Gensler as head of the CFTC on March 16, 2009.

He held that post until 2014, when he was succeeded by Timothy Massad.

So what’s Gary Gensler - the guy who promoted the CFMA - up to today?

Oh, you know; nothing big.

He’s just the Chief Financial Officer of the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Yep, that’s right, the CFO of the Hillary Clinton Campaign!

“Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa,” you might be thinking to yourself, “didn’t Hillary Clinton just attack Bernie Sanders for voting for the Commodity Futures Modernization Act? Can she seriously go after him for that when her CFO is the guy who helped write it?”

Well, she did and she can.

This is what the Clintons do: they play dirty.

But that doesn’t make it right, and it doesn’t make it good for the Democratic Party.

One of the really admirable things about the Democratic race for president so far has been the absence of the kind of nasty, dirty politics that we see all too often on the other side of the aisle among Republicans.

We Democrats actually have real debates about real issues, and we should keep it that way.

As a candidate running for major office, Hillary Clinton has every right to point out her opponent’s track record on key issues.

But she should do it honestly.

She should do so in a way that enlightens the public instead of confusing it.

If her dishonest attack on Bernie Sanders’s CFMA vote is just a preview of where the Clinton campaign intends to take this race, we’re in for a long and very distressing primary season.


w1ders's picture
w1ders 4 years 35 weeks ago

During Clinton's whole campaign people have avoided her because they don't trust her. Her dirty tricks against Sanders is just her m.o. She will continue with her best in lies and misrepresentation to come out on top of Sanders. Some of her unwavering backers will believe her. A large percentage of people already know what she is and a lot more will be disgusted and back Senator Sanders with even more support, money, and backing. If the msm was not bought and paid for the publicity would destroy Clinton in short order. Bernie's fight is twice the fight of any other candidate considering so many of the power players against his every move. Clinton should win hands down considering her backing but she won't. Senator Sanders will win with the backing of the working, and unemployed, masses that will back him and his honesty in bringing a political revolution. Keep up with the truth Thom Hartmann!

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 4 years 35 weeks ago

I expect a Republican Fascist like Trump to use the weapon of misinformation to attack a Democratic Socialist like Bernie, however I find it very disturbing that the Clinton campaign has brought itself down to this anti- American level of Fox News like conduct.

Wealth certainly fosters a supercilious attitude in many, Trump being a great example, he has a relaxed arrogance with a false sense of self importance only a taste of poverty could ever remedy. It appears that Clinton has this same sense of, my turn to hold the sceptor pomposity, and will go to any length to achieve it.

Strange how the corpse media keeps comparing Trump with Bernie as outsiders with the same type of extreme malcontent supporters as their base. I see no such comparison, but I do see similarity in those who have massive wealth and thus think this arbitrary power qualifys them to sit in the White House, as if royalty.

I'm willing to bet the Fascists are blowing out a nut over the very real possibility that an honest individual, a truth teller, a man who will represent the 99.9%, a man not impressed with wealth and the arbitrary power that comes with it, is likely to become the next leader of the free world. I'm certain they'd much rather have Clinton in the White House.....which tells me everything.

Comfort Myrtlebank's picture
Comfort Myrtlebank 4 years 35 weeks ago

I am glad you are being more critical of Hillary and/or the Clintons for now. She's making it very hard not to be. I guess I can understand you not wanting it on record that you were for Bernie if she were the nominee, but think of it this way, if she were the nominee (she's not going to be because we need Bernie and I believe he can acheive something magical, but let's just say for the sake of argument...) it would be easier for you to really have a chance in hell of persuading Bernie supporters that they had to hold their noses, HARD, and vote Hillary because she's a few degrees better than a Republican I guess--we the Bernie supporters would be more likely to be swayed by that logic if we felt like you were one of us, that you had really supported him all out too.

I don't want to think about all this scenario too much though because when I learned to ride a horse I was told not to look down or that's where you'll end up. You look, instead, in the direction you really want to go. So, I'm so glad you are asking Hillary supporters what exactly they are voting FOR! The only answer I've ever gotten on the rare occasion I have met a Hillary supporter is that it's because she's a woman.

Anwits, keep up the good work!

Willie W's picture
Willie W 4 years 35 weeks ago

I'm getting tired of the Clintons. All of them. All the generic promises made by both sides is so insulting to me. Save Social Security and Medicare. Create good paying jobs. Build a wall. Fight for me. Make America great ​again. There's the key word. "Again." They promise to give us back what was once ours. How generous. Explain why you took it in the first place. Bernie Sanders is the only candidate that comes across as truly sincere. Trump is starting to criticize him. A good sign.

bobbler's picture
bobbler 4 years 35 weeks ago

This duplicity I'm Hillary's part is why many of us feel that there's not a hell of a lot of difference between Republicans and conservative Democrats. I am not motivated to vote for Hillary if she wins the nomination, because it would be like voting for Republican in either case.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 4 years 35 weeks ago

Bernie and Martin O'Malley should have their own debates, sponsored by the League of Women Voters or whoever,and boycott the DNC ones. Let Hillary talk to herself.
Course, DWS wants more debates now that Hillary's behind.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 4 years 35 weeks ago

Hillary CLinton does not deserve to call herself a Democrat.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 4 years 35 weeks ago

Nor does Diabolical Debbie.

Can Trump get away with normalizing a coup?

Thom plus logo One of the big lessons that Donald Trump has learned through his years at the center of the New York tabloid media is that he can normalize just about anything.

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to understand how to respond when they’re talking about public issues with coworkers, neighbors, and friends. This book explores some of the key perspectives behind his approach, teaching us not just how to find the facts, but to talk about what they mean in a way that people will hear."