Feel the Bern!

Senator Sanders, the Vermont social-democrat is up over Hillary Clinton in a recent New Hampshire primary poll. Since he leads the former Secretary of State 44-37, it’s time we give him the credit he deserves. Clearly, the man is more than just a simple protest candidate for the hard left. He is a true representative of one of America’s two major political parties.

That’s a very painful truth to realize. American politics has fallen so far to the left that one of its wings is trying to emulate the European Union openly. Much of this leftward shift has to do with false populist myths that get shared without a second thought among American progressives. Take for example the notion that the Federal government is doing less for the poor, taking in less tax revenue, spending more resources on the military, and regulating the economy less than before. As we’ve demonstrated already, this is all just factually inaccurate. Most of the Federal government is already a transfer payment clearing house, and it didn’t used to be. The left is increasingly dissatisfied with American economics even though Americans economics have been drifting ever further left, away from capitalism.

Nominating Bernie in 2016 would be sad for symbolic reasons, and it would a big wake up call to the right, showing us just how much ground we have lost. But as far as the immediate practical effects of such a nomination, it would be a huge give away to the Republican Party.

No, not just because he would be easy to beat. Although that is certainly half of it. It’s also true that if he somehow won the general election, he would destroy the Democratic Party, and the liberal image generally.

First, sorry Bernie but you aren’t going to be dealing with a progressive Congress. Political experts agree that because of the way congressional district are drawn, the next 3 election cycles (’16, ’18, ’20) are almost a lock for House Republicans. In other words, they will maintain their majority for the first six years of his 8 year limit. Second, even if the GOP loses the Senate in 2016, which is about a 50-50 proposition now, they will win it back no question in 2018. That Senate map is a repeat of the 2012 Obama victory, and it is strikingly similar to the situation the Democrats faced in 2014. The Democrats are defending seats in Montana, North Dakota, Missouri, Indiana and West Virginia. All red states, and they are also defending seats in the swing states of Ohio, Virginia, and Florida, as well as Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, all of which are also possible pick ups given the fact it will be a midterm election which has a baked in GOP turnout advantage. Conversely, every seat the GOP is defending, which is only 8, is in a red state with the one exception of Nevada. Does anyone honestly think two years of a Bernie Presidency wouldn’t give the GOP plenty to play off of, and drive out their base and frustrated moderates?

I only bring this up to show progressives the downside of electing Sanders. Unless Bernie compromises and signs into law GOP agenda items, nothing will get done in Washington except marginal executive advances, half of which will be struck down in the courts. In other words, Bernie will sell out to unpopular GOP agenda items (unpopular with the left to be specific), or nothing will get done and the left will lose motivation to show up in 2020. Poor performances in 2018 (when most governors will be elected) and 2020 would destroy the Democratic Party, because that would give another round of redistricting to Republicans after the 2020 census, further compounding leftist problems. However mean they think it is for Republicans to do so, Republicans just don’t care. Gerrymandering is part of American politics. It’s how the system works. It’s been done by both parties for decades. 

A Sanders presidency could look a lot like Carter. Sadness sweeps the land, foreign affairs continue to get out of whack, a depressing and uninteresting old white President gets on TV to tell America how bad things are, and a Republican landslide would likely follow after one term. Along with another decade of built in GOP House majorities. But 2032 isn’t that far away right?

Seriously, do Sanders supporters expect the likes of House republicans to go along with single payer, free higher education, higher taxes, and more conservative untouchables? If you go with a more moderate candidate, the long term damage to the party wouldn’t be as bad. But that’s just my opinion.

  • metronomic1

    If you think the democratic party has moved left, you are completely clueless. It has in fact moved right in all but social issues. Capitalism is the worlds biggest and most successful pyramid scheme that has raped the American middle class far too long. Socialist ideas are the ONLY way forward and back to the left.

  • Could Sanders’ supporters explain whether states with income taxes, say New York’s 12.9% will be handled in Bernie Sanders’ tax plans?

    The 12.9% is for local/state income tax so, do we add Bernie’s taxes for medicare for all, social security, parental leave, free state education, etc. to that New York tax or is he eliminating state income tax revenues altogether?

    If the state/local taxes will not be eliminated, then where is the equality for tax payers who will have to pay for the states having no local/state taxes, like Florida with a population of about 19.89 million, New Hampshire with a population of 1.3 million, and Vermont with a population of 626,562.

    If he does eliminate the state/local taxes then who pays the so-called civil servants, like the police, fire, and local governments like EPA, street clearing, garbage pickup, recycling, etc.? Does Bernie Sanders’ have a plan for smaller state/local government, like privatization of those local services?

  • dbloch

    lol what is this bullshit

  • I wish this spoke more about his policies and the problems with them. All I got from this is that there will be a Republican congress that won’t let him pass anything. I’m a liberal who has been doubting a lot of his beliefs lately, and Sanders, who is uncovering bailed out CEOs, promising single payer health care like many developed countries have, among other programs, does seem a little too good to be true. I just don’t understand *how* he is too good to be true. Is it true that “the problem with socialism is that you run out of other people’s money” when the wealth disparity is so large? Don’t societies generally crumble or restart once the wealth gap is enlarged to an unreal extent?

    • cinnamoninit

      My main issue with Sanders, is that he would expand the power and scope of the federal government. He speaks of the wealthy being too rich and many praise his robbinhood approach of “take from the rich to give to the poor.”

      Now, that sounds alright, especially if you are not part of the “rich.” However, this isn’t as simple as robbinhood, and what would happen is more people giving more money to federal gov on the good faith that they would “give it back to the poor” through social institutions (welfare etc).

      Interesting side note, robbinhood actually took from the *government* to give to the poor. The government, or King John, was the richest guy in town due to his corruption. So, in essence, what many coin as robbinhood, in reference to Sanders’ ideas, are actually the opposite. The exact opposite!

      This sort of turned into into a little rant, but at least it’s one thing to think about if you are questioning Sanders.

  • EuroYankee

    Nick, you seem to be among those who say that America would never elect a Socialist. And I say, they already did: they elected FDR three times! That’s right, the “New Deal” was the largest bundle of socialist programs the world had ever seen, establishing, to name just a few, Social Security, the FDIC, the FHA and the SEC.
    The socialist trend continued with Lyndon Johnson in the late 60’s. He established Medicaid and Medicare, which is still the largest “socialist” medical scheme on earth, in terms of people who get free health insurance from the Government. And what does Bernie want to do? He wants “Medicare for all” – and you think that is such a hard pill to swallow?
    Universal Daycare and Family Leave were both passed on a bipartisan basis in 1971, but got vetoed by Richard Nixon.
    Free tuition at public colleges and universities was THE NORM in the US until the mid 60’s, when Reagan lead a movement to stop it.
    Indeed, Reagan got elected President but he was also the head of a movement – what was
    called the “Reagan Revolution.” I am old enough to remember it, having voted in that election as a liberal – and I remember how shocked everyone was that he won, because he was thought to be too “radical”. Remember, Medicare and Medicaid had only been passed 12 years earlier, and the socialist streak in the American consciousness was still thought to be strong. Reagan had to fight for the nomination against the “establishment” GOP, and the RNC limited the primary debates to only 6 because they were so afraid he would get the nomination (sound familiar?).

    But Reagan did win. And he won BIG. If anyone had told me in 1980 that a far-right cowboy B-movie actor who was against social security and against Medicare and against unions and against civil rights would win in Michigan, Massachusetts, New York, and yes, even Vermont, I would have told them they were CRAZY.
    So go ahead. Call me crazy. I am just old enough to know better than you.

    • cinnamoninit

      Finally! Someone with common sense. I’ve mentioned my disdain for FDR and his new deal to many people, but it is usually met with raised eyebrows and comments like, “but… the economy got so much better!” Sigh.