Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Bernie Fucks Over a Friend (Again)

Fuck. I hate when I agree with Republicans. But here it goes: Why is the mainstream Vermont media letting Bernie Sanders completely off the hook when it comes to the fact that his leading national spokesperson, Willie Nelson, was just busted for possession of pot and ‘shrooms? Please, don’t get me wrong, I love the altered state more than most, but the hypocrisy of letting Bernie walk scott-free on this one is beyond ridiculous. It’s another reason why I want to be a Vermont incumbent politician when I grow up, mostly because the watchdogs of democracy – the media – in this state seems to think their job is to make icons out of our elected officials rather than covering their dastardly deeds and poking around in their nefarious affairs.

Imagine, for example, if Tarrant, Rainville, Welch, Parker or Dunne were found to be running commercials that featured a recently arrested pot-possessor? The shit would be hitting the fan and their campaigns would be spiraling into the realm of the McMullen zone. But not with incumbents. And, please, spare me the “Bernie’s not the Senate incumbent” crap. He’s the one running with the nice federal paycheck and, thus, he’s considered the incumbent. And if incumbent is too strong a word for you, try this instead: power elite. Yep, swallow that one, Bernie’s a member of the power elite, mostly because he’s been a federally elected politician for eons and he’s worth ten times the rest of us average folk. Deal with it.

If Bernie had balls, he’d come out right now and declare his support for Willie, the guy who came to Vermont to lend his support for Bernie. But Bernie ain’t that kind of a guy. Instead, Bernie will ignore Willie and probably pull the commercials featuring him faster than you can say “fair-weather friend.” And that’s the Bernie that Vermonters should know more about before we stumble into the voting booth in November.

Bernie could also stand up now and talk about the ridiculous nature of the drug laws his friend Willie was just busted under. But that’s not what Bernie’s about, either. That would be truly alternative. And that would mean sticking to his principles when his principles might endanger his political career – a place Bernie’s never, ever gone before.

The Bernie Show is about one man and one man only: Bernie. He won’t go to the mat for anyone unless he knows the cameras are rolling and it’s going to benefit his angry-ass more than anyone else in the room. And he won’t stand by a friend when a friend needs his support most.

Don’t believe me? Just try to find a word of support or concern for the man standing next to him in his commercials.

As a working painter to the left of Bernie’s nonsense, I think his political career can be summed up quite simply this way: Bernie hates people but loves himself. And we, as Vermonters, are stuck with his charade of care until the Vermont media wakes up, realizes what they’re supposed to be doing, and provides the same kind of coverage for incumbents that it provides for challengers to high elected office.

Hey Vermont media – especially Fryene – stop kissing Bernie’s ass and start kicking it once in awhile. It’s called democracy. And if it’s good enough to export to Iraq, it should be good enough to be practiced here in Vermont.