Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.
Last year, Bernie Sanders was fuming about Trump, “You can’t go around treating women as if they were objects.”
But Bernie had his own history of creepy behavior with women. It was a history that largely stayed buried by a protective media that saw the short fuming radical as a progressive messiah. His comments about women enjoying rape and the accusations of sexism in his campaign were quickly explained away.
But now as he continues to be the face of a progressive “revolution” to shift the Democrats further to the left, the accusations have returned and this time they are coming from inside his own campaign.
The first phase of the Bernie revolution crashed and burned as Clinton insiders like Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Donna Brazile rigged the process to keep him out. The second phase of the revolution isn’t going any better as Obama’s people are picking up where the Clintons left off. Keith Ellison did manage to receive the second spot at the DNC despite his history of anti-Semitism. But many of the other Sandernistas flying the red flag haven’t even managed to score a consolation prize.
One of Bernie’s best bets seemed to be Arturo Carmona. Carmona had headed up Latino Outreach for Bernie and then served as his deputy political director. California's 34th Congressional District was suddenly wide open with a special election to replace Congressman Xavier Becerra. Sanders had beaten Hillary there and Latino Decisions had suggested that Carmona was ahead because of the Bernie magic.
Everyone in 34 wanted socialized medicine, free college and no more corporations.
With Jimmy Gomez as the establishment choice, Sandernistas touted Carmona as carrying forward Bernie’s revolution. Carmona assembled a six figure war chest and the backing of left-wing celebs associated with Bernie Sanders. George Lopez and Danny Glover both came out for Carmona.
The Political Revolution, a network of Sanders volunteers, backed him. More importantly a key part of the Sanders machine, National Nurses United, the powerful socialized medicine lobby that poured millions into his campaign, came out for Arturo Carmona. Their activists in Soviet flag red who had been a ubiquitous presence at Sanders rallies showed up because of Carmona’s backing for their pet cause, single payer socialized medicine, first in California and then across the country.
Everything seemed to be looking up for Bernie’s former deputy political director.
"I have been inspired by Arturo’s conviction to stand up to the political establishment," Glover glowed. "As I got to know Arturo, I was constantly impressed with his intelligence, moral fortitude, progressive political values."
The women who had worked with Carmona however were far less impressed with his moral fortitude.
Shortly before the special election they began coming forward and their stories shed light not only on Carmona, but on the Bernie Sanders campaign.
The floodgates opened when it was revealed that six senior staffers from the Bernie campaign had complained about Carmona’s behavior. Instead of disciplining him, the Sanders campaign promoted their Latino Outreach man even higher in the campaign. The scandalous revelations soon dragged in Rich Pelletier, Bernie’s national field director, who was accused of covering up for Carmona.
Bernie’s national field director and deputy political director were in the middle of a political firestorm. Masha Mendieta, the California outreach director for the Sanders campaign, reported that in Chicago, “men and women were made to sleep together in open rooms on mattresses with no privacy or safety locks.”
"I remember feeling physically unsafe at that point. I sat on the stairs in that drab house being told I’d have to sleep in a room with three other men and felt nauseous," she wrote.
But this was the campaign of a candidate who had once written, "A woman enjoys intercourse with her man as she fantasizes being raped by 3 men simultaneously.”
This was the ugly underside of the Revolution. Bernie’s Latino Outreach female staffers were allegedly hired for their looks by Carmona. Erika Andiola, a prominent illegal alien activist who had served as Sanders’ Latino press secretary, complained of “a HUGE culture of sexism.”
While Bernie has bemoaned a gender wage gap, she noted that, “Every single man in the department made more than ALL the women. Most of the women were hired as interns.”
Giulianna Di Lauro, a national Bernie campaign strategist, discussed feeling “fearful of reprisal for ‘derailing’ a powerful man’s high profile political campaign” and fearful of “having my traumatic experiences dismissed.”
Lucy Flores, a former Nevada assemblywoman and Congressional candidate, complained that Carmona was “allowed to move on, job to job, harassing and demeaning women.”
“I didn’t stop to think of the misery he had already caused for so many other women and the misery he would cause in the future. I didn’t stop to think that it wasn’t enough to just speak privately, but to also speak openly,” she wrote.
The Political Revolution pulled its endorsement after the revelations, but National Nurses United, despite its heavily female membership, put socialized medicine ahead of sexism. The group had allegedly poured $45,000 into the Carmona campaign. It wasn’t about to back down now.
As Walter Duranty liked to say of Stalin’s atrocities, "You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs.” And you can’t make socialized medicine without some sexual harassment.
Arturo Carmona did not deny that the Sanders campaign had serious issues with women. “There were definitely some entrenched issues around sexism in the broader campaign,” he conceded. He denied however that he was responsible for it.
The resulting civil war among the Sandernistas was ugly. Muddying the waters further was the role of Our Revolution, the shadowy Sanders organization linked to a number of the accusers. Susan Sarandon urged left-wing groups to end their support for Carmona. But Bernie does not appear to have spoken out. Maybe he couldn’t find the time in between tweeting accusations of sexism at President Trump.
The election came and went. And Arturo Carmona finished in fifth place with 5% of the vote. Right behind was Wendy Carrillo, the other Sanders candidate. Voters in California's 34th Congressional District had ultimately shown very little interest in socialized medicine or other Sanders gimmicks. Instead the election split down traditionally multicultural urban political lines in a tussle between Jmmy Gomez, the Latino candidate backed by Democrats and SEIU, and Korean-American Robert Lee Ahn.
The story is over, but not quite over.
Every so often a story like Carmona’s explodes. The outlines are familiar. The progressive at the center of it has a long history with groups and campaigns that studiously ignore his misdeeds. Two years ago it was Trevor FitzGibbon of FitzGibbon Media who had worked for Obama and whose clients had included Planned Parenthood, MoveOn.org, the ACLU, the Ford Foundation and the Nation. Among many others.
Last year it was J Street and Ari Shavit. And Students for Justice in Palestine.
Next year it will be some other progressive group and some other progressive hero. Despite the left’s attacks on FOX News, their ranks are rotten with this stuff. And it isn’t going anywhere.
The left operates like a cult. It builds its infrastructure around culture heroes like Bernie. Unpaid labor is commonplace. Dissent and independent thinking are treated like acts of disloyalty in a collectivist system. Abuses flourish in this environment as they have always done in left-wing systems.
Even now the key Bernie people accusing higher level Bernie people insist that the Socialist at the top knew nothing. There are echoes of, “If only Stalin knew” in “If only Bernie knew.”
Delusions flourish under collectivism. As does hypocrisy.
One of the most memorable accusations against Arturo Carmona had nothing to do with sexism. Instead back during his days with Presente, which bills itself as, “the largest online advocacy group for Latin American immigrants in the United States,” he had allegedly put forward a unique notion of the best way to advocate for illegal aliens.
According to Erica Scott, a Senior Campaign Advisor at the group, Carmona had said that, "we needed to hire undocumented DREAMers with DACA because we could pay them less than documented immigrants or US citizens."
Arturo Carmona kept rising because he was the real face of the left’s attitude toward women. Just as he was the real face of its attitude toward illegal aliens. The left is here to use anyone and everyone.
Carmona’s only crime was that he did individually what the left does collectively.