February 9, 2016

Where did it come from — this myth of "Bernie bros"?

I'm seeing articles like "Bill Clinton Accuses Bernie Bros of Sexism." But what are "Bernie Bros"?
Fully committing to the patently false idea that Sanders’ supporters are uniquely nasty, TIME reported on Clinton’s recent New Hampshire speech thusly:
Clinton also called attention to a collection of male Sanders supporters dubbed ‘Bernie bros’ who launch vitriolic attacks on Clinton supporters online in solidarity with the Senator’s cause. Though the Sanders campaign has distanced itself from the “bros,” Clinton suggested that Sanders supporters made it difficult for women to speak freely about his wife’s campaign online.

Bloggers “who have gone online to defend Hillary, to explain why they supported her, have been subject to vicious trolling and attacks that are literally too profane often, not to mention sexist, to repeat,” Clinton said Sunday.
Dubbed? Who dubbed? Are there guys who've adopted that term for themselves or is this the way Clinton supporters have decided to collectively insult male Sanders supporters? It's weird to be reading this so soon after Gloria Steinem — in her ham-handed effort to help Hillary — said that young women who are for Bernie are going where the boys are.

My ancient ear isn't well-tuned to the nuance of "bro," but to me it feels like a sexist insult, perhaps a mild one, like calling young women, "chicks." But I sense that "bro" refers to a particular type of man, and yet, I'm not picturing the type of man who'd be hanging out in a left-wing political campaign (which is another reason why Steinem's remark didn't work very well).

I'm seeing at ThinkProgress: "Bernie Sanders Tells Berniebros To Knock It Off — ‘We Don’t Want That Crap.'" Does that mean Sanders acknowledges the existence of a cadre called "Berniebros" (or Bernie Bros)?
He told CNN on Sunday that the so-called “Berniebro” phenomenon is “disgusting” and that “anybody who is supporting me that is doing the sexist things — we don’t want them.” The “Berniebro” phenomenon, where a mob of online Sanders supporters attack politicians and writers who express views critical of the Vermont senator or supportive of his Democratic rival Secretary Hilary Clinton, launched numerous thinkpieces from journalists unfortunate enough to encounter them online. At their worst, Berniebros have accused Clinton supporters of voting “based on who had the vagina” and have invented novel sexist terms such as “clitrash.”
Did Sanders use the term? Did he reject supporters who converge on his critics and defend him vigorously or just the pricks who transgress by indulging in genital metaphor? Here's the transcript from the CNN show, "State of the Nation," boldface added:
TAPPER: Have you heard about this phenomenon the Bernie bros, people who support you, and sometimes attack in very crude and sexist ways Clinton supporters?

SANDERS: Yes, I have heard about it. It's disgusting. Look, we don't want that crap. We can -- and we will do everything we can, and I think we have tried.  Look, anybody who is supporting me, is doing sexist things is -- we don't want them. I don't want them. That is not what this campaign is about.
Tapper does say "Bernie bros," but he then gives a particular description of behavior, so when Sanders says "Yes, I have heard about it," I'm not sure if Bernie is just talking about the behavior, rather than acknowledging the term.

I'm still trying to get to the origin of the term. Are there men who embrace the term, who proudly call themselves Bernie bros, or is that what their opponents say? If the latter, it's a sexist insult, and I'm disappointed in Bernie for not resisting it. Also, why should Bernie play into Hillary's game of broadly characterizing all criticism of her as sexist? He should have been specific, denouncing only the crude insults. I guess he sort of gets to that when he says he doesn't want anybody "doing sexist things."

I see back on January 28th, there was a BBC piece that said: "Some say Sanders is the symptom, not the cause - the 'Bernie bro' is just an old troll with a new name." That doesn't answer my question. A Slate piece by Amanda Hess on February 3d — "Everyone Is Wrong About the Bernie Bros/How a necessary critique of leftist sexism deteriorated into a dumb flame war" — goes into a lot of detail:
Over the past few weeks, the political press has been following an elusive campaign animal. Known as the “Bernie Bro,” he typically presents as a white, male Bernie Sanders supporter who haunts Internet comment sections....
"Known as" — see what I mean?! Who is lumping these people together and naming them? Unless these men group together on their own, how does it make sense to say how he "typically presents"?
Or maybe the Bernie Bro is just a fantasy. On Sunday, the Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald diagnosed the Bro talk as a “cheap,” “false,” “handy, all-purpose pro-Clinton smear” meant to "inherently delegitimize all critics of Hillary Clinton by accusing them of, or at least associating them with, sexism.”...
That's the most accurate-sounding thing I've read yet. Back to Hess:
The Bernie Bro first emerged in a lark of an Atlantic piece published last October. Robinson Meyer's short and sweet portrait identified a particular strain of Sanders supporter, an individual who is so obsessive about his candidate that he has lost all self-awareness—the type of dude who rants about his relationship with feminism and writes on Facebook as if he is “declaiming in the Roman forum.”
Aha! The origin. It's Robinson Meyers: "Here Comes the Berniebro/Look, there is a systemic crisis occurring. On Facebook." Meyers seems to have come up with this term as an insult. Let's see how sexist it may be:
The Berniebro is not every Bernie Sanders supporter. Sanders’s support skews young, but not particularly male. The Berniebro is male, though. Very male.

The Berniebro is someone you may only have encountered if you’re somewhat similar to him: white; well-educated; middle-class (or, delicately, “upper middle-class”); and aware of NPR podcasts and jangly bearded bands....
Meyers proceeds mostly to mock Bernie's political positions, through the rhetorical device of putting the ideas into the head of a man you're nudged not to respect.
The Berniebro really isn’t that bad, though. I mean, you maybe support many of Bernie’s policies, and you’re glad he’s pressing Hillary. But why oh why are the Berniebro’s posts always at the top of your Facebook timeline? And why is he writing in that tone? Is the Berniebro talking to his friends or is he declaiming in the Roman forum?
Now, Meyers is just bitching about Facebook. Does that make him a Facebookbro? Look at your own problem, man.
The Berniebro, now that you think about it, was the kind of person who’d show up to a college party in a toga. 
Aha! Here's where the "bro" suggested itself to Meyers. Are we talking about intra-male anxieties related to fraternities?

Back to Amanda Hess:
As the meme gained momentum...
Presumably with those who were using it as an anti-male insult...
... some popularizers stopped bothering to marshal any kind of evidence that Sanders supporters were sexist. The argument bottomed out with a Mashable article branding Sanders supporters as “a sexist mob” while doing little to justify the claim beyond conjuring the word “Reddit.” On the other side, Greenwald centered his debunking of the Bernie Bro narrative on the shakiest specimens of the genre. He chose to ignore the most substantive accounts of Bernie Bro behavior, like this piece from Sanders supporter Kathleen Geier, who says that a fellow #Berner accused her of “angling for a job in the Clinton administration” when she took note of anti-Clinton sexism online.
The Geier piece is: "A plea to my fellow Bernie comrades: It’s time to start taking left-wing sexism seriously/I'm a pro-Sanders feminist, but I'm dismayed at the sneering condescension shown toward Clinton supporters." I'm fine with calling out anti-female sexism within the left-wing crowd. In fact, I'm been very fine with this for over 40 years.

Geier does say "Bernie bros" (all the way back in November), but she also says "Hillarybots." She's upset that Hillary supporters are attacking her as anti-feminist. She co-wrote an anti-Hillary book that Garance Franke-Ruta said was written by “feminists against women in power.”

Geier says that both sides of the Hillary vs. Bernie fight want gender justice and only disagree about how to get there. She criticizes "pro-Bernie knuckleheads" ("a distinct minority of Bernie supporters") for "their haughty dismissals of the value of the first woman president as 'mere' symbolism, and their portrayal of feminist Clinton supporters as dumb, shallow chicks who care only about dumb, shallow chick stuff."

And she turns around and criticizes Hillary supporters who "impugn the feminism of women who support Bernie": "that is gross and completely unacceptable."

She invites everyone to tone it down.
For those of us who back Bernie, a debate about whether (some) Bernie supporters are sexist or not is absolutely not the one we want to be having. The first rule of advocating for any cause is “don’t be an asshole to potential converts,” but unfortunately a few pro-Bernie types are gleefully abandoning this principle... When you’re arguing the case for Bernie, lay off the petulant sniping and ugly personal attacks, and stick to policy and ideas.
So, her use of the "Bernie bro" meme is pro-Bernie. She's afraid of the vigor of male Bernie supporters. Back off on criticizing Hillary or it will hurt us. I think maybe Bernie himself thinks this. I have been puzzling over why he pulls his punches. In the debate last Saturday, there were a few points where he could have gone in for the kill and he wouldn't do it.

Back to Amanda Hess:
One persistent critique of the Bernie Bro phenomenon is that it’s unfair to single out Sanders supporters when Clintonistas are just as obnoxious.... The problem here, as one Sanders supporter put it, is that “there’s just more of us on the internet in general so it probably just seems like we’re disproportionately trollish.”... Is the Democratic Party’s primary flame war the Internet’s fault?...
And that's how Hess brings it in for a landing. There's some vigorous speech on the internet. Some of it is comically or passionately mean and veers into insults and sexual banter that's excluded from traditional political discourse. Noted.

I don't support Clinton or Sanders, so I have some distance from this. I'm not drawn into the anguishing over what works and what backfires. It's interesting to see people try to wrangle others on the internet and get them to behave. That's an old topic that I'm not going to rehash here.

I wanted to know where "Bernie bros" came from, how prevalent it is, what it means, and whether it is a sexist insult.

I think Robinson Meyers started it and used it with a comically anti-male edge. Not a terribly sharp edge, but it became a meme, useful as a way for Bernie supporters (and, it seems, Bernie himself) to try to tame and control other Bernie supporters and, obviously, useful for Clinton supporters as well.

Clinton would love you to think that any stepped-up, impassioned attack on her will only reflect badly on you.

69 comments:

traditionalguy said...

Hillary and Brock always portray her as the victim...of something, anything. The Vast Bernie Bros Conspiracy is after the Damsel in distress this time.After all, she is a woman. Now be respectful and rescue her, or be damned to Hell.

Mean while, Bill Clinton is standing there depressed and wondering how he ever married such a stupid person.

Limited blogger said...

Professor, if you were male I would have called you bro-fessor. Bro' is a term of endearment, and a designation that you are in an exclusive club - you are a man. But of course the MSM and Bill Clinton are using it derisively. I don't think the term bro' works in a negative fashion.

tim maguire said...

While I'm absolutely certain the BernieBro does not exist in the sense in which the term is being used, I'm only mildly certain that Sanders accepts that they exist because he's been told by the media that they exist. He hasn't checked. Nobody's checked. And nobody will because there are no BernieBros to call them out.

Brando said...

First, it's nice to see Bill Clinton take a break from groping and raping to knock imaginary men who are being sexist towards his wife and her supporters. I'll give his comments the weight they deserve.

Second, this is perfectly Clintonian--delegitimize any criticism of their flawed, corrupt candidate. When "right wing smear" doesn't work, invent the Bernie Bro! The theory that there's this prevalent cadre of aggressive leftist males using sexist attacks to silence Clinton's supporters is pure hogwash, and of course it cows Bernie himself because he has no fighting instinct and somehow does not realize just how nasty his opponents really are. His "high road" stuff might win a few admirers, but it'll be his downfall in this primary.

Obviously if you scan all comment boards on political posts you will find some nasty trolling and unhinged commentary coming from any political direction. This commentary can be sexist, racist, and just plain vulgar. But we have no way of knowing whether any of this is real, or just trolling by people who want attention, or planted there in a "Moby" like way to make the other side look nasty (do you think for a minute a Clintonite wouldn't plant some anti-Clinton sexist stuff online to give them some victim points?). So yes, this perfectly fits into Clinton's plan. She cannot win Democrats with charisma (she has none) and has tried pandering, but can't convince people she believes in anything. So what's left? Time to delegitimize the Sanders movement as some sexist bullying--which is laughable on its face--to scare women into voting for Hillary.

The Clintons can only win on fear. It's all they have left.

Henry said...

Hess, quoting anonymous: The problem here, as one Sanders supporter put it, is that “there’s just more of us on the internet in general...

The boring FiveThirtyEight-bro makes this point pretty convincingly -- at least if you map youth to internet activity:

According to the Iowa entrance poll, Sanders beat Hillary Clinton 84 percent to 14 percent among Democrats aged 171 to 29. He also won voters aged 30 to 44 by a 21 percentage point margin.

It is indicative of the panic in the Clinton campaign that they've embraced this idiot meme. The Man From Hope is followed by the Woman from Paranoia.

Ann Althouse said...

"Professor, if you were male I would have called you bro-fessor. Bro' is a term of endearment, and a designation that you are in an exclusive club - you are a man."

I understand this, which is why I was so interested in who started it. If someone affectionately says that toward a friend, it's understood in a good way. But from a disapproving outsider, it works as an insult... I think!

Brando said...

"While I'm absolutely certain the BernieBro does not exist in the sense in which the term is being used, I'm only mildly certain that Sanders accepts that they exist because he's been told by the media that they exist. He hasn't checked. Nobody's checked. And nobody will because there are no BernieBros to call them out."

How can they prove they don't exist? I guarantee the Clinton camp has supporters out there posting that stuff themselves (like the fake staffer for a GOP congressman) just so they can trot it out as proof.

I hope the female Bernie fans have enough self-respect to be insulted by all this and reject Hillary wholeheartedly. I don't think too much of Sanders fans though so maybe this sneaky crap will work.

Titus said...

When I communicate on Grindr they call me bro and introduce themselves by saying, "sup"-hot.

Brando said...

If Bernie weren't such a dupe, he'd challenge the Clintons to prove the existence of one of these sexist Bernie Bros. He'd also ask Hillary to show solidarity with women who claim to have been raped, starting with Juanita Broaddrick.

Ann Althouse said...

The top definition for "bro" at Urban Dictionary is:

"Obnoxious partying males who are often seen at college parties. When they aren’t making an ass of themselves they usually just stand around holding a red plastic cup waiting for something exciting to happen so they can scream something that demonstrates how much they enjoy partying. Nearly everyone in a fraternity is a bro but there are also many bros who are not in a fraternity. They often wear a rugby shirt and a baseball cap. It is not uncommon for them to have spiked hair with frosted tips.  Bros actually chose this name for themselves as they often refer to each other as "bro" even though they are not related."

Second highest:

"1. Friend; commonly used in greetings.... 2. An alpha male idiot. This is the derogatory sense of the word (common usage in the western US): white, 16-25 years old, inarticulate, belligerent, talks about nothing but chicks and beer, drives a jacked up truck that’s plastered with stickers, has rich dad that owns a dealership or construction business and constantly tells this to chicks at parties, is into extreme sports that might be fun to do but are uncool to claim (wakeboarding, dirt biking, lacrosse), identifies excessively with brand names, spends a female amount of money on clothes and obsesses over his appearance to a degree that is not socially acceptable for a heterosexual male."

(I'm amused by the phrase "a female amount of money.")

Ignorance is Bliss said...

BernieBros before HillaryHos

tim in vermont said...

"You may not care about Gamergate, but Gamergate cares about you!"

tim in vermont said...

If Hillary is taking a lot of sexual crapola on line Bill, I think you only have to look at your own zipper to find the well spring.

The latest "bimbo eruption" is girls who like boys who like Bernie.

I have to admit it, I am sort of getting swept up in this whole Bernie thing.

tim in vermont said...

Candidate's spouse comes out and says "It's a vast, left wing conspiracy." I think we may have finally discovered super symmatry!

Paddy O said...

Bros is the American version of lads.

rhhardin said...

It's a move based on women always going for the fainting-couch, which itself is a move women make for their advantage in the war of the sexes.

Go back further and ask how a claim of insult works on women.

For guys it's just fun.

rhhardin said...

Hillary is running for vagina regina.

Pookie Number 2 said...

It's a vast left-wing conspiracy!

Rocketeer said...

When I hear the term "bro", I immediately think of the "Don't Taze me, bro!" guy of John Kerry/University of Florida infamy. That guy was most definitely derided, and his use of "bro" was a huge part of that. In my mind it carries with it the connotation of a slightly dumb young man, given to conspiracy theories, susceptible to being overcome with passion about trivial issues, harmlessly and evenly laughably belligerent, uncool, and straining unsuccessfully to come across as cool nonetheless.

Bob Ellison said...

"Bro" derives from "brother", of course, a standard word in the African-American community.

"Bro" has also been used among frat guys and among gays.

Peter said...

Can we even talk about white, well-educated, middle-class men calling each other "bro" without entering into the quagmire of cultural appropriation?

How is it possible to discuss "leftist sexism" without bringing up the sexism inherent in that other candidate's "vote for me because I'm female" meme?

Karen of Texas said...

Berniebro is to Hillary as rascist is to Obama?

This has a similar feel to me. Lump them together, assign a derogatory feel to a 'tag' and then beat them down with it anytime they question your positions/stances/beliefs. Redefine that word - or use it incorrectly sometimes. Rascist and bigot both come to mind in the incorrect usage arena.

Alinsky is in the Democrat big tent it would seem.

Mark Caplan said...

Appropriating African American speech is cool. "Bro'" is simply a white affection of "soul brother" or "brotha" from African American dialect.

Amexpat said...

Do Trolls always support the views they assert online? What's to stop HRC supporters from making grossly offensive comments disguised as a Bernie Bro in order to create sympathy for HRC? Or a GOP right winger that wants to join the fracas and create dissension in the opposing camp?

Bob Ellison said...

When does a term of endearment become a term of exclusion? Sometimes they go back and forth.

Bro, dude, sis, n*****...running out of ideas, I am.

virgil xenophon said...

Like so much else of what passes for our current "culture" the term "bro" started out as a "black thang" derived from "bruther" (as in "whas up my bruther?" "He's a bruther/ we got eight bruthers on the BB team, etc., or "Hey Bro!") Wiggers took it from there and now it's spread throughout the white community in general by young whites trying to be seen as "cool." Yet another example of the triumph of black slang/culture over that of white culture. Only a few years ago (a) only lower class blacks used the term and (b) any whites who did use the term were thought of as low-class white trailer-park trash...now it's "cool" for everybody from wealthy, well educated white stock-bockers to white fraternity brothers in the top-ranked fraternities (based on the wealth, educational background, leadership qualities, etc. of their members) to use the term.

PS: Since when is lacross seen as "uncool?" It is basically played only at the toniest east-coast prep schools and at the collegiate level at the ivies plus by players from the upper-caste fraternities at schools like Duke, UNC, etc., and by the cadets at Annapolis and West Point. "UNCOOL" MY ASS!!!

Todd said...

BernieBro came from the same place as "The Vast Right-wing Conspiracy" i.e. HRC invented it (or one of her henchmen did).

P.S. Don't you think she looks tired? I mean really, REALLY tired?

Limited blogger said...

I wasn't following this very closely. So Bernie-bro is an entirely negative construct? All Bernie-bros are male supporters of Sanders, but not all male supporters of Sanders are Bernie-bros? Bernie-bros are those engaging in sexist attacks against Hillary and her supporters? Bernie-bros are bad. Ok, I'm all caught up.

Bob Ellison said...

"BernieBro". That seems like a giant mistake. She's saying Bernie-supporting men are gay black men.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

virgil xenophon said...

PS: Since when is lacross seen as "uncool?"

Since when is it an extreme sport?

Bay Area Guy said...

I'm still trying to get to the origin of the term. Are there men who embrace the term, who proudly call themselves Bernie bros, or is that what their opponents say?

Two words: David Brock

Brando said...

"When I hear the term "bro", I immediately think of the "Don't Taze me, bro!" guy of John Kerry/University of Florida infamy. That guy was most definitely derided, and his use of "bro" was a huge part of that."

That's true--had he just yelled "don't taze me!" it would not have been funny. The "bro" made it douche.

When I hear "bro" I usually think semi-jock, semi-dumb guy fond of keg stands. But apparently it is now a leftist racialist stand-in for white guys (they don't call black guys "bro" even though it derives from the black patois for "brother") who assert male privilege over women. Another reminder that we are past trying for equality, and now measuring payback.

"Do Trolls always support the views they assert online? What's to stop HRC supporters from making grossly offensive comments disguised as a Bernie Bro in order to create sympathy for HRC? Or a GOP right winger that wants to join the fracas and create dissension in the opposing camp?"

Technically, a troll doesn't care whether they agree with what they post, they are just trying to get a rise out of others. And considering their track record of dirty politics, I am assuming these are pro-Hillary trolls until proven otherwise.

virgil xenophon said...

I see Mark Caplan, above, has put his finger on it. Whereas in my antediluvian days whites avoided associating with anything culturally "black" as Dracula avoids the cross, todays whites instead think it "cool" to appropriate even the lowest, most thuggish aspects of black culture--the triumph of hollywood, tv and the music industry and the lefties who inhabit those industries who actively push such things on society, while implying that anything culturally "white" is "square" if not outright racist. I don't know what blacks are complaining about in terms of academy awards, etc., ...culturally in terms of dress, music, language, deportment, etc. they've already won.

elkh1 said...

Berniebros for Bernie, Clintonchicks for Hillary.

Problem is Clintonchicks, all two of them: Albright and Stiemnum, are as ancient and cantankerous as Hillary.

Btw, Bros is a term used by black young men to show solidarity with other black men. Was calling Berniebros rapist Bill's Willy Horton moment to scare off young chicks who are not into the Cantankerous Chick?

CWJ said...

The quotes marshalled by Althouse are a hoot. It's the internet. Impersonation and sock puppets are hardly rare. Even if the BernieBros exist, how can anyone authoritatively declare their sex, much less their race, social class or education level.

That they do says more about the motives of the speaker than anything else.

tim in vermont said...

"Hillary Cliton." You gotta love the left sometimes. That's good.

Sal said...

"BernieBros before HillaryHos"

Ok, now we're on to something. And both "bros" and "hos" come from black culture so the minorities aren't being left out by the totally non-racist white liberals.

samanthasmom said...

The "Bros before Hos" meme was popular in the 2008 election on tee shirts worn by young male Obama supporters. Along with the ever popular derogatory sexist slur against Sarah Palin. Whether there's an official club of BernieBros or not, the term implies the same demographic who wore the 2008 tee shirts is behaving in the same manner this time. We banned political tee shirts all together from the high school where I taught so we didn't get caught up in the "this one is OK, but not this one" battle, but neither of those two shirts would have been allowed in any event.

Brando said...

"Problem is Clintonchicks, all two of them: Albright and Stiemnum, are as ancient and cantankerous as Hillary."

Good point--is trotting out Albright and Steinem supposed to appeal to young women, most of whom were not born when they were last in the news? Why not reanimate Bella Abzug while they're at it?

tim in vermont said...

I knew I remembered those three from somewhere.

Steinum: Thrice the brinded cat hath mew'd.
Albright: Thrice and once, the hedge-pig whin'd.
Clinton: Harpier cries:—'tis time! 'tis time!

ALL. Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.

jaydub said...

The BRO in Berniebros is an acronym for Bolshevik Revolutionary Operatives. The Sanders campaign adopted that acronym because it polled better than "Berniecommies."

Matthew Sablan said...

Much like the birtherism against Obama, if Sanders is the nominee, you'll quickly learn it was actually Republicans who started this Bernie Bro smear.

Gahrie said...

Bernie Bros is a response to the whole "if you have a vagina you have to vote for Hillary" thing.

Could you imagine the outrage if someone said all men should vote for a man?

Rick said...

Last cycle Hillary supporters experienced the joy of being called racist for disagreeing with the anointed so this cycle she's using the tactic. Since pretty much everyone has now experienced unfounded accusations of x-isms you have to suspect the tactic will become less effective.

It won't effect the nuts of course, but nothing ever does.

Chip said...

Ann,

Thank you for this thoughtful and well-researched analysis.

robother said...

Drag a hunnerd dollar bill through Facebook, and Berniebros're what you'll get.

Bob Ellison said...

Gahrie said, "Could you imagine the outrage if someone said all men should vote for a man?"

All men should vote for a man. If you're a man, vote for a man. Not for Hillary, not for Carly, not for any woman. Vote for a man. Any man. Doesn't matter whether he thinks he's a woman. Vote for it. If you don't, you're a horror.

fivewheels said...

A bro is a young, masculine guy despised by feminists because his sexual options are not so limited that he has to consider campus feminists.

Thorley Winston said...

How can they prove they don't exist? I guarantee the Clinton camp has supporters out there posting that stuff themselves (like the fake staffer for a GOP congressman) just so they can trot it out as proof.

Whenever I hear of allegations like this, my first thought is cui bono? (who profits?). There’s no upside for Sanders or any male candidate in making “sexist” comments about Hillary Clinton as it could lead to a backlash against their campaign. But as we’ve seen from Madeline Albright’s comments that any woman who doesn’t support Hillary Clinton has a special place in hell reserved from them, her campaign is definitely trying to push the victimhood mantle. To the extent that this isn’t just people on the internet behaving like idiots because they’re semi-anonymous, if there’ s a campaign behind it or encouraging it, it’s probably Clinton’s.

mccullough said...

The image conjured up by the term BernieBro is this

Smilin' Jack said...

But I sense that "bro" refers to a particular type of man...

"Bro" refers to the brohole, a subspecies of jackhole that can only be distinguished from the dudehole by its characteristic cry--i.e. "Bro!!" rather than "Dude!!"

traditionalguy said...

Bros is being used here as an Anti Semitic attack on bad Jews like Bernie. When they are seen as conspiring together to survive, Jews are often said to be members of The Tribe

Gabriel said...

@Ann:Where did it come from?

A game of telephone; writers copying other writers copying other writers who quoted a fake Twitter account.

UPDATE: Turns out one the Republican Congressman who called Emily Nussbaum a "psycho" doesn't even exist. So just to clarify: this Berniebro story exists because

1) Wonkette's Kaili Joy Gray is citing
2) The New Republic's Jamil Smith, who cited
3) Mashable's Emily Cohn, who cited
4) New Yorker TV critic Emily Nussbaum, who credited to a Berniebro a quote from
5) A Republican Congressman's Twitter account, who turns out to not even be a Congressman, but rather
6) A random troll who created a character "based on J.D. 'Boss' Hogg from the classic TV show, 'The Dukes of Hazzard'".

Browndog said...

When I hear "Berniebros" I immediately think of the Obamacare ad campaign:

Brosurance

Krumhorn said...

But I sense that "bro" refers to a particular type of man, and yet, I'm not picturing the type of man who'd be hanging out in a left-wing political campaign (which is another reason why Steinem's remark didn't work very well).

Right on, Ann! I'm picturing your usual leftie vegan beta male who still has his collection of Birkenstocks neatly stacked in the closet.

- Krumhorn

David said...

Real Bros revel in "Bro" just as Real Chicks revel in "Chick."

The rest are insulted.

FullMoon said...

Virgil says it all. Fist bump to ya' you got a lot of soul, brother.


And, creating a gang of internet attackers? Easy peasy. Shit, I got about 12 alias email address's myself!

David said...

Then there are the Hispanic Bernie Bros: ""Bernardinos"

I think there are 77 of them nationwide, but the internet has power to magnify.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

OH boo-fucking-hoo, some people on the Left are being subjected to a mild version of the type of accusations of sexism (and racism, and homophobia) that anyone with an R after their name is subject to 24/7. It's so unfair, suddenly!

Wait, you mean the Media is ridiculously biased, and the Left (with Media help) uses accusations of sexism for their own political ends/gain even when the accusation is untrue and without merit? Geez, when did that start?!

Just Mike said...

They who...ummm...smelt it , dealt it.

Gabriel said...

@Just Mike: They who...ummm...smelt it , dealt it

But whoever says the rhyme did the crime.

Mike said...

Excellent work Gabriel at 10:56!

Of course the meme is living on its own now wreaking havoc along the way, providing the necessary distraction from the Hindenburg-like fall to ground of the Dowager Empress of Chappaqua. It will just be a faint memory by the time the Bernster locks up enough delegates to put an end to The Clinton Era.

tim in vermont said...

Then there are the Hispanic Bernie Bros: ""Bernardinos"

Known to insiders as "Sanders Berdoos."

Francisco D said...

When I first heard of BernieBros, I thought it was a take-off on a bakery (Burny Brothers) where we used to buy our bread. It was pretty well known in Chicago in the 1960's but it's unlikely that a non-Chicagoan would get that reference.

Hillary does.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Drag a pair of Oakleys and a backwards baseball hat through the quad....

Bruce Hayden said...

I think that the Hillary people should ignore this at their peril. For one thing, the opposite of a BernieBro is a HillaryHo, and being a Bro is much better than being a Ho. They may try to switch things to HillaryChick, but that is not the opposite of a BernieBro. And, BernieBro would seem to involve a lot more male bonding than either of those two names for Hillary's minions does for females. And, male bonding is one of the last things that the Hillary people want, because they would be bonding against her. And, I suspect that the women are going to be a less bonded here than the guys are. After all, on a big group level, males seem to bond better than females do (for example, apparently female inmates almost never riot, whereas it is somewhat common for male inmates, and when they do, most of the guys get involved - it was explained to me that females just don't do group action as well as males do, and too many sell out the conspiracy to make a riot work).

I have never had a problem with being a "bro". A fraternity brother of mine has been calling groups of us that for probably better than 40 years now, and having been implicitly included on multiple occasions, "bros" just seems like a nice term to cover multiple males in a group. Nothing really derogative in my mind. Not like "hos", or even "chicks". Besides, "chicks" somewhat implies that the females are at least somewhat good looking, and, since many/most of the women jumping in with Hillary are anything but good looking, I just don't see it taking off.

Bruce Hayden said...

How do people group bond for Hillary in the first place? As I have pointed out repeatedly, she is one of the most corrupt major party candidates of the last century or so. She has been corrupt since at least her cattle futures and Whitewater land company. If anything, her greed has just kept growing, as she and her husband took well over a hundred million for speaking fees (to groups such as Goldman Sachs), and a billion or so for her family's foundation (that now includes her name). Older people can be much more accepting of this sort of greed and corruption. But, the young adults, the ones that are likely to use "Bro" and "Ho", are far more idealistic, and how can anyone be idealistic with someone so corrupt and greedy? Bernie, at least, seems to a lot of them to be far more authentic. Maybe stupid and naïve some times, but authentic and not hypocritical to the extreme that Hillary is (note the newer post by Ann about her Goldman Sachs speech).

Gahrie said...

Known to insiders as "Sanders Berdoos."

I don't care who you are, that's funny.

(I live in San Berdoo....but I am the only one I know who calls it that)

Perry Logan said...

I will add this article to my growing bibliography of Berniebros, angrily denying their own existence. ;)