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Sat Nov 28, 2015, 12:00 AM

Are movement politicians like Bernie tone deaf? [View all]

http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_28818555/harrop-intolerance-bernie-sanders

That's the problem with movement politics, no matter what end of the political spectrum they occupy. Movement politics tend to be narcissistic and dictatorial. They allow dissent only within a narrow philosophical band. That constrains the ability to hear through others' ears.

SNIP

Sanders has much mellowed since then, but he still inhabits a self-righteous cocoon that has made him an ineffective and marginal figure in the Senate.

Even Democrats express frustration at working with Sanders, an independent who caucuses with them. Moderates bristle at his moralizing and refusal to make compromises required to pass needed legislation. The undeniably liberal Barney Frank, former rep from Massachusetts, complained of Sanders' "holier-than-thou attitude."

Bernie's positions on civil rights have been close to impeccable, but his history with nonwhites is more complicated.

Back in 1960s New York, black radicals weren't keen to sit at the knees of white intellectuals and be told what's what. The ensuing tensions prompted many white radicals to flee to the more accommodating hills of Vermont. Sanders was one. There's no gentler way to put this, but they were part of the era's white flight.

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