Sanders Joins Trump in Telling the Media to Go to Hell

Source: Politico | February 13, 2020 | John F. Harris

Democrat’s reversal on medical records follows Trump’s precedent on obfuscation.

Where are those medical records you promised to show us, asked NBC News’ Chuck Todd last weekend on “Meet the Press.“ Sen. Bernie Sanders sounded polite enough, as he exhaled a puffy cloud of obfuscation.

It was not hard to translate Sanders’ word cloud: Go to hell, Chuck.

A lot of that going around these days. Go to hell is what Trump said in response to his own reneged pledge to release his tax records, to inquiries about the details of his own health records, to criticism to this week’s decision by the leadership of his Justice Department to intervene in sentencing recommendations by line prosecutors in the case of Trump friend Roger Stone.

The narrow question is whether the public needs to see full health records of a 78-year-old man who recently suffered a heart attack and now hopes to be commander in chief, or whether his physicians’ letters of reassurance (not accompanied by a news conference or interviews) that he is in satisfactory health are sufficient.

A much larger question is raised by Sanders’ willingness to tell Chuck Todd—and the rest of us—to pound sand, seemingly confident in his belief that there is not much price to be paid for doing so.

Sanders’ reversal on health records — just last fall he had pledged that he would “certainly” release “comprehensive” health information before votes were cast — is notable in at least three respects.

One, it shows how pervasive the Trump precedent is. Even politicians who stand against him on every issue, and who speak solemnly about the need to restore norms shattered during this presidency, are ready to follow trails he has blazed in taking flight from public accountability.

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“What are the chances that what he is hiding shows him to be unusually healthy and ready to go four or eight years at top speed? “ Kaiser asked. “I’d say, in logic, they are zero. He’s holding stuff back because it will cause him political problems — isn’t that by far the safest presumption? The most logical?”

He agrees that institutional media power has been diminished, but cautions against “exaggerating our power in the ‘good old days.’” But he said there is no doubt the Trump precedent is spreading: “To a much greater extent than I would like, he has changed the standards of the culture — very much for the worse.”

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