April 30, 2005
Stepping Back for Bernie
David Sirota's wholly right. Now that Bernie Sanders has scared Vt. Gov. Jim Douglas from the race and proven himself able to raise funds, there's no comprehensible reason for Democrats not to unite behind him. I recognize that he's an independent, but he's our independent, and as a lone wolf is able to tackle progressive issues and Republican misdeeds that our party, for reasons of legitimacy and comity, can't. That makes him a huge asset for Democrats who occasionally need a uber-progressive attack dog but don't have anyone willing to do it themselves.
If the party is concerned about the precedent of supporting an independent, they can simply pull out because he's "too strong to beat" and it's not worth wasting money trying to stop Bernie's juggernaut. That'll not only give them an exit strategy, but it'll also make Sanders look unstoppable, and help ensure no serious Republican dares waste his political capital on the seat.
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We shouldn't back Representative Sanders -- it's bad precedent. But pulling out because "He's too strong to beat" preserves the integrity of the Party as an institution and makes good sense.
Posted by: Kimmitt | Apr 30, 2005 4:48:18 PM
Educate me on this:
Is Congressman Sanders running for an open seat, against an incumbent republican or a democrat incumbent?
Posted by: harv | Apr 30, 2005 5:46:29 PM
Oops--nevermind, just went to the link above. I have admired Congressman Sanders work and would be glad to see him in the Senate. Will send some of my personal discrectionary funds his way if the Democrats don't form a circular firing squad and run someone against him. It would seem that if the D's did run someone against Bernie it would be the kiss of death for both candidates and another pickup for the R's.
Posted by: harv | Apr 30, 2005 5:54:04 PM
I don't think I agree. Doesn't Sanders "caucus" with Democrats, as in votes for Nancy Pelosi for speaker and is assigned committee seats that would otherwise be Democratic. If so, that's rather like Jeffords, who we would undoubtedly have defended with Democratic money had he run for reelection.
Posted by: Marshall | Apr 30, 2005 6:16:46 PM
Marshall's right on all that, though so's Kimmitt. Which is why we should support Sanders, but no too overtly.
Posted by: Ezra | Apr 30, 2005 6:52:35 PM
I think you're on to something here, Ezra...
Posted by: tony | Apr 30, 2005 8:13:06 PM
I would hope this wouldn't be something Dems would have to discuss. Would Dems have run someone against Jeffords had he run for re-election as an independent? No. Will they run someone against Sanders? No.
Is anyone suggesting otherwise?
Posted by: P.M.Bryant | Apr 30, 2005 9:51:16 PM
Posted by: peter.w | Sep 15, 2007 7:07:40 AM
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