Say what you will about the socialist Brooklynite Senator from Vermont, but Bernie Sanders gives a pretty great quote.
Perhaps no topic gives Sanders' listeners a better chance to "Feel the Bern" than when he is asked about Wall Street. On Sunday morning's episode of CNN's "State of the Union," Bernie was thrown yet another meaty fastball by host Jake Tapper, and he swung... hard.
TAPPER: You also talk about taking on the billionaire class. And you have said to Hillary Clinton you're not sure whether or not she will take on the billionaire class. Give us some specifics where you think you would and she might not.
SANDERS: I think that the business model of Wall Street is fraud. And I think these guys drove us into the worst economic downturn into the modern history of America. I think they're at it again. I believe that, when you have so few banks with so much power, you have to not only reestablish Glass-Steagall, but you have got to break them up. That is not Hillary Clinton's position. I believe that our trade policies, NAFTA, CAFTA, PNTR with China, have been a disaster. I am helping to lead the effort against the Trans-Pacific Partnership. That is not Hillary Clinton's position.
Blanketing the entire financial sector under a vague fraud allegation and calling for the reimplementation of Glass-Steagall as a first step in your plan to regulate banks is indeed not part of the Hillary platform, but only because Hillary likes fundraising...and being taken seriously by Democratic delegates.
But perhaps the person Bernie should be comparing/contrasting himself with isn't Hillary after all. In fact, when you take his aforementioned thoughts on China and combine them with this numerous hot takes on evil hedge fund managers, another campaign character leaps to mind.
Bernie and The Donald are (outside their thickly-worn outer borough accents) polar opposites who sound (like their thickly-worn outer borough accents) increasingly similar.
They’re paying nothing and it’s ridiculous. I want to save the middle class,” Trump said. “The hedge fund guys didn’t build this country. These are guys that shift paper around and they get lucky.
And here's Bernie from yesterday agreeing with America's favorite venal, New York City-based contractor.
TAPPER: I know you have not been a particular fan of Donald Trump or his campaign rhetoric. He has called recently, however, for raising taxes on those who run hedge funds. Is that an issue where you two agree?
SANDERS: Absolutely. But, even more importantly, look, let's be clear. We have a situation where major corporations in this country make billions of dollars in profit. They stash their money in the Cayman Islands. They don't pay a nickel in taxes. I am funding my plan to make public colleges and universities tuition-free by a tax on Wall Street speculation. When you have hedge fund managers, as Warren Buffett reminds us, paying an effective tax rate lower than firemen or police officers, that's got to change.
The rich are getting richer. They're going to have to start paying their fair share of taxes, as do major corporations.
Two men who are not welcome in their own parties, causing a stir and talking sh!t with total clarity, minimal evidence and absolutely no fear are usually seen as radical nuts, but Bernie and The Donald are real-deal players in this election cycle.
And why not? With the boogeyman ideas of "hedge funds" and "evil billionaires" so readily available for Bernie and The Donald to use as populist cudgels against opponents who are allowing themselves to be painted as "too close to Wall Street," neither man needs to accurately explain or even understand Wall Street regulation. By getting up in New Hampshire diners or Iowa barns and demonizing an industry that - for the people in attendance - might as well be located on Mars, Bernie and The Donald are becoming the Wonder Twins of fuzzy fact populist outrage.
And it's working so well that they're now borrowing each other's material.
Now if only they agreed on literally anything else...