Politico, fresh from being outed for its incestuous relationship with a political campaign and its dubious journalistic practices, has published an opinion piece on Bernie Sanders. What’s odd about Nancy Cook’s piece is that it claims that Sanders is just another run of the mill Democrat masquerading as a revolutionary. Here, she minimizes his famous 8-hour filibuster on the Senate floor:
While he is prone to grand speeches — monopolizing the Senate floor for nine hours in 2010 to deliver an apoplectic diatribe against extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, for instance — he votes regularly for standard Democratic fare and has fallen in line with the party on everything from a major tax-and-budget deal to health care reform and bank regulation.
Yes, Sanders spoke for eight hours straight and, by definition, a filibuster is as long a diatribe as a senator can muster. Rand Paul did his own shorter version. Ted Cruz famously read us Green Eggs And Ham.
Sanders’ speech was meaningful in that it was about tax cuts for people who need them the least, at a time when the economy hadn’t yet recovered from the Great Recession and the GOP was beginning to demand cuts in food stamps and unemployment benefits and eventually tried to take the nation’s budget and debt ceiling hostage.
So, depending on who you read in a particular publication, Bernie Sanders is either, or both, Che Guevara and a run of the mill, plain vanilla… Democrat! More from this Politico piece:
He campaigns as an independent who describes himself as a Democratic socialist, but Sanders voted with Democrats 95 percent to 99 percent of the time from 2001 to 2010, according to CQ Vote Studies. The member with whom he most often votes is Sen. Maria Cantwell, a liberal former business executive from Washington state, according to the congressional tracking website OpenCongress.
Bernie Sanders has always caucused with Democrats in both houses of Congress, just as right-leaning independents caucus with either one party or the other. Senator Angus King of Maine is an independent who caucuses with Democrats. Bills are written jointly and sponsored. Committees and sub-committees are chaired by ranking members. One cannot effectively function, in either house of Congress, without caucusing with either Republicans or Democrats. That is how the system is set up to work and for this writer to make it sound as if it’s abnormal is disingenuous.
About the revolutionary part… Sanders has never claimed to be a revolutionary in the Maoist or Sandinista sense of the term. Rather, the revolution Sanders wants to bring is in the level of participation by America’s voting public to end the plutocratic choke-hold of money in politics. That’s not a Che Guevara thing, it’s a “Democracy” thing.
As for Sanders’ outsider status… He has said that he has run as an independent not to be tied down on crucial votes. Then, one must consider what the Democratic party
is used to be: a huge tent of political ideas.
One can come at facts from differing points of view, and that is perfectly valid. What shouldn’t be acceptable, however, is how facts are skewed and the shrill tones that have become common place in virtually all of the media. It is nauseating!
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