The New York Times:
Mr. Sanders is starting to sound like his worst followers. Bernie is becoming a Bernie Bro.
Let me illustrate the point about issues by talking about bank reform.
The easy slogan here is “Break up the big banks.” It’s obvious why this slogan is appealing from a political point of view: Wall Street supplies an excellent cast of villains. But were big banks really at the heart of the financial crisis, and would breaking them up protect us from future crises?
Many analysts concluded years ago that the answers to both questions were no. Predatory lending was largely carried out by smaller, non-Wall Street institutions like Countrywide Financial; the crisis itself was centered not on big banks but on “shadow banks” like Lehman Brothers that weren’t necessarily that big. And the financial reform that President Obama signed in 2010 made a real effort to address these problems. It could and should be made stronger, but pounding the table about big banks misses the point.
Yet going on about big banks is pretty much all Mr. Sanders has done. On the rare occasions on which he was asked for more detail, he didn’t seem to have anything more to offer. And this absence of substance beyond the slogans seems to be true of his positions across the board.
I think Krugman has a point here.
Sanders likes to use bumper sticker ready slogans to make his arguments, which sound good when shouted out at rallies, but are much trickier to rationalize when confronted with just how they would translate into actual policy, and who he would find to support him in creating those policies.
And as we learned by reading that New York Daily News interview Sanders does not have a clear idea himself of how to accomplish what he promises, if elected, to accomplish.
Remember if your only tool is a hammer then every problem you see is a nail.
But what happens if your hammer is non-existent?
Speaking of non-existent that seems to be the definition for Sanders' invitation from the Vatican as well.
Courtesy of The Hill:
Sanders earlier on Friday had said the Vatican had invited him to attend a conference on social and economic issues to be held on April 15, just days before the New York primary.
The Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences is hosting the event.
"It was an invitation from the Vatican," Sanders said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "I was very moved by the invitation."
Invitation from the Vatican, during a contentious American election season? Why would the Pope interfere like that?
The short answer is that he wouldn't.
This from US News:
Margaret Archer, president of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, blasted the Vermont senator for "monumental discourtesy," suggesting he wrangled a back-door invitation that kept her in the dark, according to Bloomberg Politics.
"Sanders made the first move, for the obvious reasons," Archer said. "I think in a sense he may be going for the Catholic vote but this is not the Catholic vote and he should remember that and act accordingly – not that he will."
This was further corroborated by the Pope's spokesperson:
Father Federico Lombardi, the Pope's spokesman told the Italian news agency Ansa that the Academy of Social Sciences invited Sanders, not Pope Francis, and that His Holiness doesn't plan to give the senator an audience.
"For the moment there is no expectation that there will also be a meeting with the pope," Lombardi said.
You know when your brand is that of a truth teller you might want to make sure that the truth is what you are telling.
Update: To be fair it appears that Vatican politics are playing a role in this little drama, and in fact Bernie may not be the one who is failing to tell the truth.
It is still accurate to say that Sanders was not invited by the Pope, but not accurate to say he was not invited by the Vatican.