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Hullabaloo


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

 

By their enemies ye shall know them

by Tom Sullivan

Just as tall trees are known by their shadows, so are good men known by their enemies. - Chinese proverb

By all accounts I've seen, Britain's new Labour Party leader is further to the left than Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. What they may have more in common than politics are the kinds of attacks they suffer at the hands of their adversaries. Sanders this week faces attacks that try to tie him to Corbin:

WASHINGTON -- A super PAC backing Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is going negative, circulating an email that yokes her chief rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to some of the more controversial remarks made by Jeremy Corbyn, the United Kingdom's new Labour Party leader, including his praise for the late Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan leader who provided discounted fuel to Vermont in a deal supported by Sanders.

Clinton's camp has long said it has no plans to attack Sanders. But the super PAC, called Correct the Record, departed from its defense of Clinton's record as a former secretary of state in an email Monday that compares Sanders with Corbyn. Correct the Record, led by Clinton ally David Brock, also has sent trackers after Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley.

The Guardian reports:

According to journalists who received an email from the group, it attacked Sanders for congratulating Corbyn on winning the Labour leadership election and drew attention to the British politician’s “most extreme comments” on foreign policy.

Many of the alleged comments, such as remarks referring to Hamas and Hezbollah as “friends” and the death of Osama bin Laden as a “tragedy” are similar to attacks on Corbyn from rightwing critics in Britain that his supporters say are based on distortions of his positions.

Already Corbyn's opponents have trotted out the kind of attack with which President Obama is well familiar. On the basis of a still photo, Corbyn is accused of not singing the national anthem. On both sides of the Atlantic, this is what passes for a contest of ideas, the kind of propaganda found in pass-it-on emails from your wingnut uncle.

The report continues:

Sanders campaign insiders say they have no desire to escalate any tension with Clinton but felt it necessary to respond to the attack when questioned on it by journalists.

Nevertheless the comparison with Corbyn could raise problems in future for Sanders, who is generally less radical than his leftwing British counterpart, particularly on foreign policy, and is seeking to find out more about his positions.

Coming off his Monday appearance at Liberty University in Virginia, Sanders compared the assault to tactics from the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson. The campaign responded in an email to the super PAC ad, saying, "If we stand together to fight back against these ugly attacks, we can ensure this election is about who has the best ideas, and not who has the biggest donors."