In my 30+ years of following politics both inside the Beltway and out I have never seen such a craven, shameful display as this weekend when comic relief candidate Bernie Sanders refused to release his tax returns.
Sanders, whose electoral success has thus far been entirely powered by white male misogynists, of course blamed his wife, whom he forces to do his taxes in what we pundits can only presume is some sort of cruel domination ritual.
His rival Hillary Clinton, who for all her faults has always been the more discourse-respecting candidate, pounced on Bernie’s casual misogynoir attitude by pointing out that it’s unfair for women to do all the work in a relationship. She and her husband provided the perfect clapback by bragging about how they’ve released decades of IRS filings compiled by high-paid Swiss accountants, and not some poor gaslit housewife.
It is in the public interest that we know all about our candidates’ sources of income. In the Clintons’ case, we are familiar through their many federal filings, Congressional subpoenas, and Wikileaks databases that they paid their fair taxes on income from the King Salman Sword Foundation and Committee To Restore Order In Honduras. But so long as Mr. and Mrs. Sanders hide from public scrutiny, we will have no way of knowing about such crucial issues as whether they took the Earned Interest Bicycle Deduction or wrote off the space heater on their Montpelier loft.
Let it be said that he who lives in glass houses must cast the first stone. And for me and my fellow political journalists, our entire lives are glass houses. And so, I, Carl Diggler, am releasing my tax forms to the public in the interest of complete disclosure. Here is my 1040 for fiscal year 2015:
As you can plainly see, as a servant of the public interest, I have nothing to hide. It is said that courage is contagious, so let’s hope I infected Senator Sanders.
Carl “The Dig” Diggler has covered national politics for 30 years, and is the author of “Think-ocracy: The Rise Of The Brainy Congressman”. Got a question for the Dig? E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet to @carl_diggler.
To try CAFE’s Morning Shot email, sign up here.