Romper

Bernie Sanders' Comments About Hillary Clinton After The Election Are So Not OK

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Throughout the 2016 campaign, the hate-filled, misogynistic rhetoric toward former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was near-constant. Despite the fact that she lost to Donald Trump and she has since gone about her business and isn't particularly bothering anybody, conservatives' obsession with bashing her has continued. Now, it's not even just the so-called "alt-right" that's giving her grief — she's getting it from plenty of liberals, too: Bernie Sanders' comments about Hillary Clinton after the election are so not OK, and his conversations about "identity politics" remain hard to understand.

Politics is a game, but up until recently, it was one that Bernie Sanders seemed to consider himself above. As a candidate, Sanders' socialist ideals didn't exactly make him appealing to conservatives, but from the get-go he was the favorite of young liberals. When he lost the nomination to Hillary Clinton, he fully endorsed her and pleaded with his supporters to do the same, if anything, so that they could keep Donald Trump from the White House.

The vitriol from both sides against Clinton, however, combined with the apparently desirable racist overtones of Trump's campaign, was enough to ensure Trump's win. Now that Trump's president-elect, Sanders seems to have changed his tone in some respects, making it appear as though he's pandering to Trump.

AFP/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOT - Presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders waves after speaking at a rally in Portsmouth, New Hampshire where she received Sanders' endorsement. After months of bitter campaigning, Bernie Sanders on July 12 offered his long-awaited endorsement for Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, saying he would work hard to help his former rival win the White House. The joint appearance at a high school in Portsmouth, New Hampshire was the culmination of weeks of talks between the two campaigns aimed at unifying the party in preparation for taking on Republican Donald Trump in November. / AFP / Justin SAGLIO (Photo credit should read JUSTIN SAGLIO/AFP/Getty Images)

On Sunday, Sanders gave a speech at the Berklee Performance Center in Boston and then took questions. When a young, female supporter asked him how she could become the next Latina U.S. senator, Sanders gave a rather lengthy response that turned into yet another critique of the Democratic Party:

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
A supporter of US Senator Bernie Sanders(I-VT), holds up a 'Bernie 2020' sign as he speaks during a rally to stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) organized by National Nurses United and the People for Bernie Sanders, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, November 17, 2016. / AFP / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

He then added a thinly veiled jab at Clinton:

He continued with saying that, as far as he's concerned, a leader's race and gender ceases to matter if they aren't working for "all Americans," — by which he usually means the working class:

Sanders then went on to say that Trump's win was a direct result of the failings of the Democratic Party to recognize the struggles of the American working class:

Sanders' response was criticized by some as being not just a scathing critique of the Democratic Party, but a denouncement of "identity politics." He actually spoke to some extent about identity politics last week on CBS This Morning, when he shared his regret that the Democratic Party can't seem to talk to the "white working class" (which is Sanders' heritage).

Many also came to his defense, however, and pointed out that Sanders' remarks in full context are often ambiguous, and the "identity politics" commentary is perhaps not what it seems.

While he might remain vague about exactly what he means by identity politics, and go back and forth on his feelings about the Democratic Party, his remarks in Boston made one thing pretty clear: he didn't approve of Clinton's use of the "woman card," and he doesn't approve of anyone else playing it either.