“I think I'll probably vote for Bernie... He’s been insanely consistent his entire life. He’s basically been saying the same thing, been for the same thing his whole life. And that in and of itself is a very powerful structure to operate from.”The Sanders campaign put out a video touting Rogan's rather tepid endorsement, only to receive heated demands from fellow progressives from MoveOn.org to the Human Rights Campaign to apologize.
“It's one thing for Joe Rogan to endorse a candidate. It's another for @BernieSanders’ campaign to produce a video bolstering the endorsement of someone known for promoting transphobia, homophobia, Islamophobia, racism and misogyny,” MoveOn tweeted Saturday.
“We urge Sen. Sanders and his campaign to apologize and stop elevating this endorsement. We stand in solidarity with folks hurt by this.”
“Bernie Sanders has run a campaign unabashedly supportive of the rights of LGBTQ people. Rogan, however, has attacked transgender people, gay men, women, people of color and countless marginalized groups at every opportunity,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “Given Rogan’s comments, it is disappointing that the Sanders campaign has accepted and promoted the endorsement.”Rogan's fans enjoy his coarse, politically incorrect, blunt, no-holds-barred brand of humor, I presume. I've seen Rogan described as libertarian, which makes his endorsement of a card-carrying socialist all the more bizarre. But he has had a wide variety of guests on his podcast, including Sanders, during which episode I assume Rogan refrained from deliberately misgendering transgender persons, or talking about "walking into Africa" in New York City, or sharing his insights on the history of Islam.
To his credit, Sanders has a history of reaching out to people in settings that most Democrats view as enemy territory, to wit his address to the students of Liberty University in 2015. For that matter, how ballsy is it for a guy to mount a credible run for the Democratic presidential nomination — twice — when he isn't even a Democrat?
In the end, candidates know that there is a risk to associating with others who may support them but may have said or done things with which one might be uncomfortable, whether it's Joe Rogan, or Jane Fonda, or Alec Baldwin, or Bill Maher. It's a question of how publicly and closely one wants to be associated with them. There's no hard and fast rule to this; one can't expect to accept support only from sainted souls pure as the driven snow.
Somewhere between one and thirty-six, however, there is a number of photographs one can be in with Lev Parnas after which one cannot credibly claim not to know him.