A top adviser to Bernie Sanders says former congressman Barney Frank shouldn’t have a leadership role in the 2016 Democratic convention after carrying out an ageist attack against Sanders.Barney Frank is, in fact, two years older than Bernie Sanders. His response:
Tad Devine, Sanders’ senior adviser, said Frank is among surrogates for Hillary Clinton who used Sanders’ remarks to a NY Daily News editorial board on April 1 to promote a story line that questions Sanders’ capacity to be president.
Devine pointed to Frank’s April 6 statements on MSNBC that Sanders “confused several things” in his responses to questions about his core issue of breaking up big banks. Frank also said Sanders’ responses to the editorial board were not “coherent.”
“These are remarks that do not speak merely to the substance of policy proposals but speak to his capacity and obviously his age,” Devine said Monday of Sanders. “I think they’re trying to suggest that he does not have the capacity to be president of the United States. That is part of their attack on his qualifications."
“How many 76-year-olds do you know who would like to imply that a 74-year-old is too old to do something?” he asked. “I’m two years older than Senator Sanders! That would lead me to question Mr. Devine’s qualifications for having a rational debate.”Saying that a politician "confused several things" and made remarks that aren't "coherent" is now ageist? In that case, I've been guilty of anti-elderly bigotry for years with regard to Sarah Palin, whom I've accused of being confused and incoherent since 2008, when she was 44.
I used to think Dan Quayle was incoherent as well -- he was 41 when he became VP, 45 when we booted him out of office. And George W. Bush didn't seem like the sharpest knife in the drawer when he was president -- he was elected at age 54.
Sanders, in that Daily News interview, wasn't quite in the same category as the folks I've named, who all seem to have struggled with the capacity to attain coherence. (Sanders just needs to do more boning up; he ought to have done a while ago; but it certainly doesn't seem beyond him, as it does for, say, Palin.) In any case, I'm getting away from the main point: Barney Frank is right. Incoherence knows no age.