Bernie's 'billionaires' rally against Johnson to push millennials to Clinton
© Getty Images

A subject, a verb and "billionaires." That sums up a Bernie SandersBernie SandersWarren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is 'on the table' Warren says she will unveil plan to finance 'Medicare for All' Ocasio-Cortez says endorsing Sanders early is 'the most authentic decision' she could make MORE speech. He's now employing the "B" word in a disingenuous attempt to direct former millennial supporters to the ultimate establishment candidate, Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonClinton trolls Trump with mock letter from JFK to Khrushchev Trump-Graham relationship tested by week of public sparring Sunday shows — Mulvaney seeks to tamp down firestorm over quid pro quo comments, Doral decision MORE.

A recent tweet reflects Sanders’ concerned millennials are deserting his "revolution” and supporting third party candidates, especially former New Mexico Governor Gary JohnsonGary Earl JohnsonThe Trump strategy: Dare the Democrats to win Trump challenger: 'All bets are off' if I win New Hampshire primary Scaramucci assembling team of former Cabinet members to speak out against Trump MORE, Libertarian nominee for president, who at times has polled more than a fifth of voters 18-to-34 years old.

ADVERTISEMENT

During the primaries, Sanders touted decades of consistency, contrasting disdain for crony capitalists with big speech money that flowed to the Clintons personally, plus hundreds of millions collected for their foundation from Big Banks, Big War and Big Pharma, along with foreign governments, like Saudi Arabia.

Bernie is using his billionaires bluster to assist the woman he once attacked as a tool of Big Banksters (rhymes with "gangsters.")

Many millennials believed "honest politician" was not an oxymoron when applied to Sanders. They liked his individual liberty instincts on social, foreign and even some fiscal issues. Sanders' standard speech attacked the crony capitalist banking oligarchy that owns so many members of Congress, Democrats and Republicans, and which has had inordinate influence on all recent presidents, including Mr. Hillary Clinton, whose Treasury Secretary was Bob Rubin, former Chairman of Goldman Sachs, a frequent bête noire of Sanders. 

As a libertarian Democrat, I even wrote a piece back in September 2015 suggesting Bernie might be the original libertarian socialist, for his social, foreign and anti-crony capitalist policy positions. But the faux socialist has proved himself an ersatz reformer, now more like a toadie to the golden girl of Goldman Sachs, Mrs. Clinton, who accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars from the bank for speeches.

While millennials think Trump is simply nuts, most question Clinton’s honesty, and many are considering Johnson, a former two-term Republican governor in heavily Democratic New Mexico. In fact, results of a University of Massachusetts-Lowell/Odyssey poll released October 18 revealed a quarter of Americans 18 to 35 would rather see a giant meteor strike the Earth than either Clinton or Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Trump leaning toward keeping a couple hundred troops in eastern Syria: report Warren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is 'on the table' MORE in The White House.

A tweet by Sanders was quoted recently by Politico, the day before the last presidential debate. Their story began: "Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday said Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson's campaign finance plan would let "billionaires" use their wealth to "buy elections."

Politico explained: "Sanders' tweet suggests ongoing fear among Democrats and campaign officials that former Sanders supporters, as well as younger voters, could drop Hillary Clinton in favor of a third party candidate."

Politico noted that Johnson's latest campaign video was released four days before Sanders' tweet. It compared individual liberty positions Sanders expressed in opposing Clinton in the primaries with Johnson's similar beliefs, focusing on opposition to military interventionism, eschewing crony capitalism, and calling for ending excesses of the drug war.

Yes, Johnson definitely opposes Sanders' attempts to suppress free political speech with more campaign finance regulation, including a draconian Constitutional Amendment that would trash the First Amendment. But what Sanders didn't tweet is that Gary Johnson favors rules that require total transparency. Johnson believes every donation, including by often secretive "independent expenditure" committees, should be disclosed so voters can decide for themselves the influence of money--without prior restraint of political speech.

Attacking Johnson, Sanders willfully averts his eyes from mega-donations Clinton has received from those millionaires and billionaires, against whom he inveighs.

If he seeks re-election to the Senate in 2018, the New Bernie's campaign slogan might be: "I'm just another politician. Vote for me anyway." At least that would be honest for a man who apparently forgot what the Old Bernie was saying before he endorsed Clinton.

Michael is senior media advisor for Gary Johnson, and founder of the Washington Center for Politics & Journalism (www.wcpj.org ). He is a former press secretary for the Democratic National Committee (1983-87). Contact: terrymichael@terrymichael.net


The views of Contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill