Reported By Jared Harris | Published March 21, 2019 at 7:44am
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders recently added some new personalities to his presidential campaign, and somehow he’s found someone just as crazy as he is. The newest player on Comrade Sanders’ team is David Sirota, a man who has been called a “Twitter attack dog” for his vicious assaults on Sanders’ Democratic rivals.
And although Sirota was officially hired on as a speechwriter on Tuesday after advising the Sanders campaign for months, according to The Washington Post, his past behavior is putting him in a position that he may not be able to insult his way out of.
In an article for Salon published March 6, 2013, Sirota gave a full and enthusiastic defense of Venezuela’s then-recently deceased President Hugo Chavez. American criticism of Chavez was, according to Sirota, simply a knee-jerk reaction to Chavez’s harmless socialist leanings.
Sirota lamented the way Chavez had been transformed into a “boogeyman synonymous with extremism,” and touted the leader’s so-called economic miracle.
“No, Chavez became the bugaboo of American politics because his full-throated advocacy of socialism and redistributionism at once represented a fundamental critique of neoliberal economics,” Sirota wrote, “and also delivered some indisputably positive results.”
The article didn’t age well. Six short years later, the only “miracle” people see in Venezuela is turning on a tap and getting a rare spout of running water.
Sirota’s love of Hugo Chavez and Venezuelan socialism is certainly misguided, but forgivable. Most people who are interested in socialism usually give it up by the end of high school. It just takes some people longer to figure out the system is simply not rooted in reality.
What is not as forgivable is Sirota’s ugly take on the Boston Marathon bombing of April 15, 2013.
In an article for Salon dated April 17, 2013, titled “Let’s hope the Boston Marathon bomber is a white American,” Sirota was already hard at work stoking racial animosity and division while the nation was still reeling from a devastating terror attack.
“If recent history is any guide, if the bomber ends up being a white anti-government extremist, white privilege will likely mean the attack is portrayed as just an isolated incident,” Sirota wrote, “one that has no bearing on any larger policy debates.”
Of course, Sirota also prophesied what would happen if the attack turned out to be Islamic terrorism.
“It will probably be much different if the bomber ends up being a Muslim and/or a foreigner from the developing world. As we know from our own history, when those kind of individuals break laws in such a high-profile way, America often cites them as both proof that entire demographic groups must be targeted, and that therefore a more systemic response is warranted.”
In a twist of fate, the bombers were both white and Muslim, a contingency that was apparently not even on Sirota’s radar.
If you thought Sirota was done making a fool of himself after a single article dragging race into the Boston Marathon bombing, you’d be dead wrong.
Later that same day, he published another article with the in-your-face title of “I still hope the bomber is a white American.”
Explaining himself, Sirota wrote “the reason, then, to hope that the bomber ends up being a white American is because the double standard may prevent an overreaction to the heinous attacks in Boston.”
An overreaction like, say, a commentator salivating at the chance to blame white Americans for a terror attack before the smoke has even cleared?
While Sirota’s past writings may be extreme to everyday Americans, they seem to fit right in with Bernie Sanders’ insane rhetoric.
If this is the troupe Bernie is assembling for his circus of a presidential run, we’re in for an entertaining election cycle.
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