Who says Bernie Sanders can't dish it out on social media? The Vermont senator did just that on Saturday, shooting off a quick barb directly into the soft underbelly of President Donald Trump's notoriously consequential ego. Namely, Sanders taunted Trump's sparse inauguration crowd, hitting the president on a subject that's clearly preoccupied him throughout the first several weeks of his administration.
It wasn't an unprovoked crack, to be clear. Early Saturday morning, perhaps beleaguered by the countless swells of protest that have risen up in opposition since he became commander-in-chief, Trump tweeted out that the "millions of people who voted to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN" ought to hold a rally of their own, to demonstrate the size and strength of their coalition. And he was bullish on what such a rally would look like, claiming that it would be "the biggest of them all!"
Sanders' reply was appropriately dry and withering, complete with comparison photos of Trump's inauguration last month and President Barack Obama's ― a point of comparison that Trump seems pretty obviously insecure about, judging by how frequently he continues to mention it, despite now having all that massively important president stuff to focus his attention on instead.
Trump has harped on the size of his inauguration crowd ― or rather, his belief that it was given short-shrift in the media, despite the existence of a wealth of blatantly clear images like the one above ― in various venues, including standing in front of the star-covered memorial wall at CIA headquarters, a revered space for the agency which honors employees who lost their lives in service.
He also circled back to the subject at the conclusion of a major interview with ABC News' David Muir, pointing out how much more robust the crowd looked in a photo taken from the capitol building which currently hangs in the White House. That is to say, a photo taken from the opposite end of all that wide-open, empty space on the National Mall.
To say it's a sore subject for Trump might be something of an understatement, which is surely why Sanders decided to needle him over it. It's an unusual bit of trolling for the Vermont senator and progression icon, who typically eschews attention-grabbing Twitter taunts in favor of straightforward, concise declarations of ideals and policy, and lamented the personality-driven state of presidential campaign coverage leading up to Election Day.
But you'd be hard-pressed to say he's only challenging Trump in more jokey, trivial ways ― Sanders has also been holding the president to public account for his frequent campaign promises to protect Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, issues that have deep important to those working-class voters who ultimately broke for him. In that light, it's fair to say he deserves to have a little fun now and then, too, of the stinging Twitter reply variety.