Like the stodgiest rappers on Earth arguing about who’s more legit, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have been engaged this week in a slow-motion beef over who, precisely, belongs to the “political establishment.” You may be surprised to learn Hillary Clinton does not think seem to think she is in that club.
This fight began, you’ll recall, with an argument over whether it was appropriate for Sanders to dismiss endorsements of Clinton by Planned Parenthood and the Human Rights Campaign by saying those groups are “part of the establishment.” The Clinton camp hit that one fast, as did Planned Parenthood and Emily’s List, both of whom have sent out statements saying they’re disappointed in how Sanders talks about issues like abortion.
Emily’s List, in fact, sent out a release likening Sanders to GOP politicians, pointing out a quote from his Rolling Stone interview: “Once you get off of the social issues—abortion, gay rights, guns—and into the economic issues, there is a lot more agreement than the pundits understand.”
Emily’s List communications director Marcy Stech wrote that Sanders’ “attacks on Planned Parenthood are rooted in the same exact type of political calculation Republicans make when advancing their extreme agenda.” She added:
Women are not political pundits and we understand abortion rights are central to our economic well-being.
Planned Parenthood is not “establishment,” it is a vital service under constant attack.
True, but placing Sanders in the same moldy boat as the GOP is a little much. And we received a further indication that this controversy has reached its logical breaking point when Clinton told CNN’s head beard Wolf Blitzer that she “didn’t understand” why Sanders would claim that she’s part of said establishment either.
“Are you the establishment?” Blitzer asked the former First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State on Thursday.
“I just don’t understand what that means,” Clinton responded. “He’s been in Congress, he’s been elected to office a lot longer than I have. I was in the Senate for eight wonderful years representing New York. He’s been in the Congress for 25. So I’ll let your viewers make their own judgment.”
For God’s sake.