The Sanders-Warren woman electability flap

It’s not believable that Bernie Sanders ever said that a woman couldn’t be elected President.  The only explanations for Elizabeth Warren saying otherwise are (1) she misunderstood what he said, (2) she misremembered what he said or (3) she is lying.


The Credibility Gap: It’s difficult to believe Elizabeth Warren’s claim that Bernie Sanders thinks a woman can’t win by Nathan J. Robinson.

CNN Debate Performance Was Villainous and Shameful by Matt Taibbi for Rolling Stone.

Thoughts on Warren, Sanders and the Convention by Thomas Neuberger for Down With Tyranny! [Added 1/21/2020]

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17 Responses to “The Sanders-Warren woman electability flap”

  1. Ruth Hoffman Says:

    Bernie is not infallible. Remove me from your blog list!


    • philebersole Says:

      Bernie Sanders is most certainly not infallible. Neither am I.

      But it is inconceivable that he would say that a woman can’t be elected President, just as it is inconceivable that Elizabeth Warren would say (for example) that a New York Jew can’t be elected President. In both cases, it would be too out of character to be believable.

      Bernie Sanders has a record of supporting women in politics that goes back to the 1980s, when Elizabeth Warren was still a right-wing Republican.

      He urged her to run for President in the 2016 Democratic primary and only ran himself when it became apparent she would not. After he lost, he worked his heart out campaigning for Hillary Clinton.

      If you wish to stop receiving notifications of my posts, remove yourself from my “follower” list by clicking on the appropriate button.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Anon for this one Says:

    I don’t know enough about Bernie Sanders as an individual to judge what he would or wouldn’t say, and (all politician jokes aside) I don’t know whether Warren would intentionally misrepresent a conversation. What I do know is that I have progressive, feminist friends (many of them women) who say that America is too sexist to vote for a woman. Some of them have become quite angry with me on the handful of occasions when I’ve suggested that a woman can win, because I’m implicitly questioning their claims about the magnitude of America’s sexism. Sometimes they make this about their experiences as women in male-dominated professions. On one occasion a woman quit the conversation and started loudly telling her daughter about how important it is to get women into science. That’s a signal that I’ve stepped on the most perilous of tripwires.

    So, I don’t know what Sanders did or didn’t say, but I don’t want to choose between saying that women can’t win or questioning a progressive woman’s observations on the magnitude of America’s sexism. Either approach seems bad, and I don’t really see much of a middle ground, aside from some bland statement about how “I think she has the brains and determination to win, but in order for that to happen America needs to get over its sexism.”

    But I will say this: A white male hasn’t won the popular vote since 2004. Americans have to improve on a lot of things, but I think there are more open-minded voters out there than people give credit for.

    Then again, maybe that’s just my privilege showing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philebersole Says:

      Well, of course a woman can be elected president and of course women should be taken seriously when they talk about the magnitude of America’s sexism.

      As to the specific issue at hand, I strongly recommend you read the Nathan J. Robinson article.


  3. whungerford Says:

    Why is it not believable that Bernie Sanders ever said that a woman couldn’t be elected President. I believe many share that view.


  4. Fred (Au Natural) Says:

    It would be especially odd, given that a woman DID win the popular vote in the 2016 election and lost the electoral college only because of bad tactical decisions. Being a woman had nothing to do with it.


    • whungerford Says:

      What evidence is there that being a woman had nothing to do with it?


      • Fred (Au Natural) Says:

        The people who are so socially conservative as to refuse to vote for a woman are largely a subset of those likely to refuse to vote for someone they identified as a liberal. Those voters would be lost to her even if she were male.

        A far more important factor were her tactical errors on the campaign trail. The biggest of this by far was her failure to fight for the midwestern states she lost. (Even my son, a local city council campaign manager at the time, was shaking his head at this.) She took the labor vote there for granted while Trump promised them the sun the moon and the stars.

        I grew up there. The midwestern labor vote is not as strong as it once was and has never been reliably Democrat. Not only did she not pitch a message of hope to them, but she was also perceived as having shunned them. They can switch (as Jimmy Carter learned to his chagrin) and will vote for whoever seems to care about them.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Philip Ebersole Says:

      My interpretation of what Fred meant was that being a woman had nothing to do with Hillary Clinton’s bad tactical decisions.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Nikolai Vladivostok Says:

    I ran a Twitter poll and 100% of participants were more inclined to believe Bernie. This was interesting because my followers are mostly right-wing and would greatly prefer Warren over Sanders as president because of the latter’s strong socialist policies.
    Most pointed to Warren’s track record – the Indian thing, saying she got fired for being pregnant, etc. The consensus was she’s not evil, she just has a creative understanding of the truth.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. silverapplequeen Says:

    I personally think Warren created a situation to make herself a victim. It’s too bad, because Sanders could & would be an important ally & she blew that one big time. Sanders is probably the most feminist candidate out there. He’s the only one with policies that actually help women of all classes. Warren is still a Wall Street warrior.


  7. Word from the Dark Side: lying ladies, calcified candidates, and disobedient wives. | SovietMen Says:

    […] important news, there is a beautiful he-said she-said dispute going on between Lizzie and Bernie.  Phil Ebersole took Bernie’s side, and it was interesting to see many of his left-wing commenters take him to task for it.  In terms […]


  8. paintedjaguar Says:

    Do I believe that Bernie said what Warren claims? No, not at all.
    Do I believe that Warren is lying about what happened? Possibly, she’s been known to, but it could be an honest mis-remembering.
    Do I believe that this whole flap was a deliberate ploy by Warren and that Warren is following Hillary’s playbook of media collusion, smears, false narratives, and total fabrications? Abso-f’n-lutely.


  9. philebersole Says:

    In fairness, Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg, not to mention Donald Trump, also have records of low-grade deceit and/or faulty memory.


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