With Bernie Sanders, as expected, taking the lead in the New Hampshire primary and (most likely) being the true winner of the botched Iowa caucus, it’s time to ask: do we really have anything to fear should the Senate’s most radical member be elected president?
One thing we know about Sanders, he has almost no skin in any fight. Look how easily he rolled over and leapt to endorse Hillary when the DNC stole the nomination from him in 2016. He’s a pontificator and a dreamer, not a legislator or brawler.
Sanders has been in Congress since 1991 and was the primary sponsor on only seven bills that were enacted. Those seven bills included two that renamed federal post offices in Vermont for 19th-century politicians and a third designating March 4, 1991 ‘Vermont Bicentennial Day’. Sanders also has a shockingly terrible record of missing votes. Since he joined the Senate in 2007, despite currently sitting on several committees, he’s missed 512 roll calls, which is an absentee rate of nearly 13 percent (the Senate average is 1.5 percent). Every bill Sanders is currently co-sponsoring — from the Green New Deal for Public Housing Act, the Tax Excessive CEO Pay Act of 2019, the Fracking Ban Act, and the Universal School Meals Program Act of 2019 — has between a 1 and 6 percent chance of passing, according to policy analysts from Skopos Labs.
That’s been his entire political career. Bernie likes to attach his name to fruitless endeavors. GovTrack’s ‘Ideology-Leadership Chart’ for the Senate places Sanders the furthest left on ideology and near the absolute bottom in leadership ability. Simply put, he’s all ideas and zero action, which seems to be his comfort zone. Perhaps he’s addicted to the struggle. Like many communists, Sanders appears to find romance in failure.
Yet the Sanders campaign has a plan for that: executive orders. Each president since Bill Clinton left the office more empowered for unilateral action than when they entered it. The only chance Sanders has to accomplish any of his radical agenda would be to seize upon this trend. A document leaked ahead of the Iowa caucuses showed the Sanders camp planning multiple executive orders from day one, with none all that transformative. They included allowing prescription drugs imported from Canada (not a bad idea), legalization of marijuana, declaring global warming a national emergency, and allocating federal funds for abortion counseling. Gulag construction has not yet been proposed.
Sanders has yet to sign off on this list, and campaign chiefs have not commented on it. But these items hardly represent the radical social transformation and economic overhaul his extreme far-left base is banking on. It’s the same mosquito-bite socialism that’s swarmed our politics since the 1960s. Socialized healthcare, taxpayer-funded college tuition, and a ‘Green New Deal’ will require monumental congressional action. Merely writing the law will be a helluva feat for someone of Sanders’s temperament. Look no further than his stance on the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, Trump’s trade deal to replace the reviled NAFTA. While Sanders praised the new trade deal — he and Trump remain very much aligned on trade — Sanders ultimately could not vote for it. Why? Because it didn’t mention global warming. It’s easy to imagine the nervous, neurotic academic from Vermont spending four years crafting his perfect healthcare overhaul only to realize, once he’s got the language just right, that he’s no longer in office.
Lately, I ask myself, does Bernie really want to be president? Or does he realize, in the White House, he’d be completely out of his element and the lovable, old communist persona he’s developed over decades will rapidly melt away? Sanders isn’t Stalin. He’s a storyteller, a traveling carnival barker selling fantasies of the socialist utopia. He wouldn’t have the first idea what to do if given any real power. In fact, he appears to be solely motivated by trying to relive one really fun, drunken night while on holiday in the Soviet Union in the 1970s.
He’s like the communist equivalent of that girl who spent a semester abroad in France and returned to campus three months later eating baguettes, pensively smoking cigarettes, and muttering about the uncouth American experiment. The difference being, that girl usually grows out of it. Sanders never did. He has a sort of arrested development, much like his biggest fans.
To be fair, ideologically, he’s not as terrible as those awful Squad women. Like his sister from another mister, Jeremy Corbyn, Sanders is an old school socialist barely keeping pace with this new crowd of intersectional cultural Marxists. In 2016, he barely jumped on the racism bandwagon, instead he focused on trade and domestic social programs. Sanders is so old and stubborn, it’s difficult to imagine him transforming into one of the globalist, Davos elites like our last Democrat president, either, merely to get support from the Democrat party’s cabal of corporatists and technocrats. And although he won’t admit it now, like Corbyn, Bernie’s not an open borders guy, realizing his massive government programs would collapse quicker than usual with unchecked, Third World immigration.
A Sanders presidency might accomplish little else than placating the emotional fits of his violent base of shrieking babies, who threaten never to stop crying until they get their way. In fact, feeling good about the man in office, whether or not he accomplishes anything at all, appears to be all they need.