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When the Women’s March announced on Twitter that failed Democratic presidential candidate and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) would headline its “Women’s Convention” in Detroit later in October, I’m sure it expected the inclusion of “the most popular politician in the history of the world” (thoroughly debunked here) would boost sagging ticket sales. But 24 hours later, organizers are facing a PR debacle of their own making that threatens to derail the event completely.

The tone-deaf announcement has been met with incredulity:

Outrage:

And well-deserved ridicule:

At press time, the original tweet has almost 9,000 negative responses. The Women’s March Facebook page has 5,700 dissenting comments, with 700 more on the Event page, and I’m told thousands more were deleted Thursday afternoon. They are 99.99 percent negative  —  it’s hard to find any legitimate messages of support, and I have tried.

Hundreds of registrants are backing out of the conference, saying they want no part of this blatant attempt to prop up Sanders. The announcement conveniently came after the deadline to request a refund passed, but many are seeking redress through credit card companies, since the organizers blatantly misrepresented what the event was all about:

Instead of listening (there’s a pattern here), organizers ignored the comments and THREE Change.org petitions (Sign all three!) with 10,000 signatures and counting. Instead, they doubled down with a patronizing statement that completely missed the point and a lame attempt to blame the “mainstream media.” Neither was well received:

When that didn’t fly, they resorted to deleting comments on Facebook, and when they kept coming, they attacked their detractors:

Including invited speakers who voiced objections:

Then, Bernie acolyte Nina Turner took to Twitter and compared Bernie to Jesus Christ:

To be clear, there are countless men in public service who, unlike Bernie, respect their wives and daughters and fight tirelessly for the interests of women everywhere. Actual Democrats like Joe Biden, Gavin Newsom, Tim Kaine, Al Franken, Sherrod Brown, even former President Barack Obama. But why would an event billed as “a political groundswell showing that the rise of the woman IS the rise of the nation” have any man as a headliner?

Especially this particular man. Sanders has proven time and time again he is no ally. Writing and publishing rape fantasies, per Snopes. Treating discussion of women's concerns as a distraction. Attacking Planned Parenthood and Human Rights Campaign as “establishment,” per The Washington Post. Deriding women’s rights and civil rights issues as “identity politics” that we should move beyond, according to Politico. Claiming cervical cancer is caused by lack of orgasms, per Mediaite. And especially, unforgivably, calling Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, a former senator and secretary of state, “unqualified” for the presidency.

The inclusion of Sanders is a slap in the face to women everywhere who overwhelmingly preferred Clinton. As women, we resent his campaign of character assassination and lies. We resent he claims he only lost because the system was rigged against him. We resent the brutal harassment we face regularly from Sanders’s minions. And we resent the elevation of Sanders above the 60-plus women on the program, including keynote speaker Rep. Maxine Waters:

This conference is a blatant attempt to capitalize on the passion and momentum of the largest protest in history last January to prop up the perpetual grift machine of Sanders.

The organizers are the same ones who co-opted the January march from the women who originally planned it, then told Clinton she wasn’t welcome. Didn’t stop them from using her quotes without attribution though.

Their agenda was obvious to those of us following closely, but now it’s clear to everyone this conference is a nothing but a money-making venture to promote Sanders and further denigrate the Democratic party. It’s no surprise a Sanders-affiliated organization is raising money under false pretenses  —  that’s what his 2016 campaign was all about.

Sanders’s “popularity” has always been a myth. He lost the primary in a landslide, by 4 million votes and by every possible measure: open primaries, closed primaries, big states, small states, red states, blue states, early states, later states, and states in every region.

The polls Berners cling to are total BS (see here), and the much vaunted “enthusiasm” for his campaign was generated online by Russian bots (which explains why it never translated into actual votes.)

Emperor High Sparrow has no clothes, and we finally have, as they say, the receipts. It’s time to push back against the “most popular” fantasy buttressed by fawning media like Mika, Matt Yglesias, and Chris Hayes. The Democratic Party must disassociate from Sanders and Linda Sarsour so its radical far left agenda doesn't burden our 2018 candidates and diminish our chances of regaining any power. When Democrats win, women win.

Action Items:

  • If you choose to #BoycottBernie, demand your money back and tweet/post any response you get, then file a fraud claim with your bank.
  • If you choose to attend, vote with your feet. Skip Sanders’s speech and support women on the program. Apparently, there are some.
  • Contact the women on the program, tell them you plan to #BoycottBernie and ask them to protest Sanders’s appearance to the organizers.
  • Message Tom Perez, the DNC, and other party leaders and urge them to disavow Sanders and refocus on the Obama coalition, 66 million strong. (Need talking points? See here)
  • UNFOLLOW all social media associated with the Women's March and the “Women's Convention.”
  • Support organizations that ACTUALLY support women and are as disgusted with Sanders as we all are:

Please note: This is a commentary piece. The views and opinions expressed within it are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of IJR.

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