Bernie Sanders, Jordan Klepper
Screenshot: The Opposition With Jordan Klepper

Having outspoken socialist Senator Bernie Sanders as a guest was the perfect opportunity for The Opposition host and comically phony conservative blowhard Jordan Klepper to take some sly potshots. As ever with the cleverly ironic Klepper, there was some truth poking its way through his boorish bro badgering of Sanders. Responding to Sanders’ signature talking points about healthcare for all, economic inequality, and how imperative it is for Democrats to take back control of congress this November, Klepper asked if that means voters should support establishment Dems with a better chance of winning than more progressive Bernie supporter longshots. Sanders was forced to dodge, shifting to talk about the growing engagement of younger voters and candidates in the wake of Donald Trump’s election. Throughout, Sanders stayed focused on his messaging (like the fact that there are three individuals in the country who have more money than fully half of Americans), ignoring Klepper’s question as to whether a “tactical” voting strategy will be more effective in getting Democrats into power—and Donald Trump and the Republicans out.

Sanders, sounding more like professional Bernie Sanders impersonator Larry David by the day, raged in mock irritation at the badgering Klepper. (“Jesus,” answered Klepper, taken aback at his guest’s “irate old guy yelling at kids to get off his lawn” impression.) Still, while he called Trump “the worst president in the history of the United States,” Sanders noted that simply being “anti-Trump” wasn’t enough for Democrats to win back control of the House or Senate. To shore up his point, Sanders pointed to a host of issues (like gun control, equal pay, and healthcare being a right, not a privilege) that he claimed unite a lot more Americans than the current polarized public discourse would suggest. But, Klepper being his kidding-on-the-square self, the counterfeit conservative continued to tease Sanders that it’s that polarization within the Democratic Party between Sanders supporters and others that might deliver the Republican victory Klepper’s asshole alter ego so desperately desires. Holding up a trio of proposed “Bernie 2020" yard signs for the game Sanders’ approval, Klepper got the most tight-lipped response to one reading “Bernie Sanders: Aligned More With Trump Than You’d Think.”