Bernie’s Q&A: Pardons, Vaccinations, TIME, Senate Control, and more! (12/25) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)
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Now, let’s get to your questions (and my answers):
Bernie, great job on the Real Sports year end show. I felt like you were the lone voice of reason in a 6-on-1 discussion. Can you elaborate a bit on your relationship with the other correspondents on that program? You obviously have been at the game a lot longer than most of your colleagues on the show. Especially curious about the relationship with Mr. Gumbel, as you certainly would seem to have vastly differing views. I think the stories are so excellent and really well done by all, make no mistake. I've been watching since RS came on the air and never get disappointed by the outstanding content and quality of the product. Kudos to you and HBO for continuing the show under challenging circumstances. -- Thanks, Mark H.
I see Bryant and the others as colleagues -- we're not pals. We don't socialize, though Bryant usually throws a Christmas party each year that I don't attend -- because of geography more than anything else. As for differing opinions, I have said -- out loud -- that I AM diversity on the show. I'm not thrilled about that.
Dennis Prager writes often about the differences between the right and the left. Not just the obvious politics, but our paradigms and the way we see the world. We saw contrasting examples of this on display very recently. The left demands purity of their leadership and of the world as they attempt to create a government-mandated utopia. On display in San Francisco (shock!) is the name cancellation of two schools: One named after Abraham Lincoln for "not caring enough about black lives," and the other named for Diane Feinstein for allegedly being sympathetic to the flying of a Confederate flag back in the 80's. I won't waste your space in describing how ridiculous this is to the rest of us. The religious right, on the other hand, has been criticized for backing Trump despite his personal and moral failings. The right's reasoning was that Trump was a bulwark in support of their Constitutional rights to freedom of religion and free assembly. Indeed, Trump nominated three Supreme Court justices who two weeks ago upheld this very right and ruled unconstitutional the authoritarian shutdowns of religious gatherings in California and New York. You have written extensively about Trump's sycophantic followers. However can you make a case that the right was rewarded for their lack of purity in a nod to pragmatism? -- Steve R.
Isn't it possible, Steve, to support Trump policies and still find him to be a man of very low character? I have no problem supporting Trump's tax cuts, his thinking on overzealous regulation, his picks for the federal bench ... and still be convinced that he's a chronic liar who would throw even his most passionate supporters over the side if it suited his purposes. As a thoughtful friend of mine puts it, "The problem isn't with people supporting Trump on initiatives when he's right. It's with the unconditional defenses of anything and everything he does, often at the cost of forfeited principles." My friend is right. You can detest liberals all you want, you can think they'll wreck the country ... but that doesn't make Donald Trump a good person. Because he's not.
All that said, I understand the essence of your question: that we live in a real world and so sometimes it makes sense to be pragmatic and support people we don't admire. You're right. Sometimes it does make sense. But it's never an easy decision. And Donald Trump makes a difficult decision even more difficult. That's how toxic the man is to many Americans. And while we're at it, that's a big reason he lost the election.
I live in a very Red county in GA. I voted early the other day for the two Senate Run-offs. I didn’t see one MAGA hat, not one American flag t-shirt, not one pick up truck with a Trump 2020 flag waiving. Nor did I see more than five “persons of diversity” on a line of over 200. So I’m confused at what I saw and I’m now concerned that my once conservative neighbors are going to vote for left leaning & eroding American values. I’m afraid the Anti-Trump sentiment vote is bleeding over into the Senate run-offs. We could be doomed. So what’s your one biggest fear if the Dems win the Senate? Or is one too difficult to single out? --ScottyG
My single biggest concern, Scotty, is that they MAY try to eliminate the filibuster rule. IF they succeed, that mans they'd need only 50 votes (plus the VP in case of a tie) to do whatever they want. And that includes adding blue states, lowering the voting age, allowing convicted felons still in prison the right to vote -- and more. That's my biggest concern but it won't be easy to accomplish since ALL Republicans would be against such a move and I suspect a few Democrats also would be against it. But it could happen.
What are you thoughts so far on Trump's end-of-term pardons? All within his legal right, of course, but a pretty disgusting group of characters so far, and I expect by the time you answer this, they'll be even worse people added to the list. -- Ben G.
I'm with you, Ben. Donald Trump isn't the first president to pardon political allies. But as with everything else about our current president, he's worse.
Members of the U.S. House and Senate have been posting smiling pictures of themselves getting the new COVID-19 vaccine on their social media accounts. I get that they're our elected leaders, and so they're setting a good example by demonstrating to their constituents that the vaccine is safe. But there's something VERY irritating about seeing certain members of congress, who'd for months and months followed Trump's lead by publicly downplaying the severity of the pandemic (including scoffing at mitigation efforts like wearing masks and no large groups), be among the VERY FIRST to be granted safe, medical immunity to this virus. If these politicians would have been more responsible with their rhetoric in the first place, who knows how many fewer infections (and even deaths) there would have been among their constituents. Again, I get the current public awareness message, and I want EVERYONE eventually vaccinated, but the optics here are pretty irritating. Let me know what you think. -- Jen R.
Once again, we're on the same page, Jen. That Donald Trump has no shame -- about anything -- is one thing. But that his sycophants join in just adds to the irritation.
When will people finally realize that TIME Magazine's "Person of the Year" issue is an absolute joke? Rather than recognize and honor medical workers and scientists who've been dealing first-hand with the pandemic for a close to a year (to do their best to keep the rest of us healthy and alive), the magazine chooses Joe Biden and Kamala Harris who basically just campaigned? Like I said, an absolute joke. -- Mary R.
Whoever does NOT understand that Time magazine's Person of the Year is a joke ... is a joke him or herself. Once Time was a serious news magazine. Not any more.
The very expensive and posh Dalton private school in NYC has presented a list of woke demands from faculty members of color for the very progressive liberals who pay high end dollar to send their children there to learn all those wonderful leftist values that the uneducated masses and rubes in flyover country shun. About 100 faculty members signed onto the list. Here are some of the demands.
The requirements could, no doubt, cost millions — a cost that will likely be passed on to parents through tuition hikes. Ironically, Dalton is one of the city’s most progressive schools, leaving progressives — not conservatives — ultimately responsible for the school’s pervasive climate of systemic racism.
Care to bet that these same dunderheads would be shouting accusations of racism if parents who sent their children to a public school in Brightville, Tennessee raised a fuss over such demands? Now there is a backlash from several parents who are threatening to remove their children from the Dalton School. Now that there is a backlash, maybe the left wingers will say "Hey, maybe we were wrong all this time for pushing this agenda. It never actually helped minorities, and now it's making hypocritical fools out of all of us." Fat Chance, I know.
How is it that so many liberals are so clueless to the fact that, like Dr. Frankenstein, THEY themselves have CREATED THIS MONSTER woke culture of appeasing the perpetually aggrieved, and now that there is starting to be a backlash against this woke nonsense, do you think this asininity will eventually go away? At least Dr. Frankenstein admitted he was wrong, once the angry villagers showed up with the torches and pitchforks. --Torches & Pitchforks Regards From The Emperor
I keep hoping for a great big backlash against this left wing progressive woke bull crap. A great big nationwide backlash. Some parents are threatening to leave, you say. And many are staying, right? They deserve what they get ... just as Portland, Seattle, LA, NY and other cities run by progressives deserve what they get. This is their problem, not yours, Your Worship and certainly not mine.
Bernie, Do you plan on using your secret network of elite "deep state" insiders to secure early VIP access to the coronavirus vaccine? If so, could you do me a solid and send some of it my way? I feel like the anti-maskers in my town have been trying to cough on me since March, and could use a break. -- John D.
I've already received the vaccine from my friends in the deep state. I drank it. It tasted good. It came in a soda can and tasted like root beer but I was told it was the vaccine so I must have been, right? I can't figure out why all those "regular" non-elite people are getting shots in the arm. Drinking the vaccine is much easier and less painful.
As for doing you a solid -- nice street talk, by the way Homey -- that would be wrong. If I help you out what about my million other close friends? What about them?
Regarding the anti-maskers in your town who have been coughing on you: How do we know you're not antagonizing them somehow? How do any of us know that you're not wearing a sign when you stroll the streets that says: "Sneeze or Cough on me."
And, for the record, just because someone walks up to you and sneezes or coughs on you doesn't make them a bad person. A little understanding wouldn't kill you, John D. But that sneeze might, I guess. So good luck.
Thanks, everyone! You can send me questions for next week using the form below! You can also read previous Q&A sessions by clicking here.