At one level, it’s thrilling for the left: If the self-proclaimed democratic socialist were elected president in 2020, it would represent a truly historic swing in the country’s political orientation. No one would be as committed to the party’s new, socialist-inflected policy agenda than the guy who came up with much of it in the first place.

But among the flaws on Sanders’ résumé for many progressives is one that he can do nothing about—he is a white male, and an old one. In the language of the modern left, the straight, cisgendered Sanders is burdened by his utter lack of intersectionality.

It’s a symptom of the delicacy of the situation that in attempting to talk his way around this gross status offense, he has caused even more offense.