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Democratic Elites Take on Bernie at Their Own Peril | The American Conservative

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.

Nominating him could destroy the Democrats come November. But intervening against him could cause damage too.

Can a septuagenarian socialist who just survived a heart attack and would be 80 years old in his first year in office be elected president of the United States? It’s hard to believe but not impossible.

As of today, Bernie Sanders looks like one of the better, if not best, bets for the nomination. Polls have him running first or second in the first three contests: Iowa on Monday and then New Hampshire and Nevada.

If Bernie can best main rival Joe Biden in Iowa, he will likely thump Joe in New Hampshire. Biden’s campaign, built around “electability,” could suffer a credibility collapse before he reaches South Carolina, where Joe is banking on his African-American base to rescue him if necessary and give him a send-off victory straight into Super Tuesday.

If Sanders can beat Biden two or three times in the first four primaries in February, the last remaining roadblock on Sanders’ path to the nomination could be Mike Bloomberg’s billions.

Hillary Clinton may sneer, “Nobody likes him,” but Bernie has a large, dedicated, loyal following, especially among Millennials, and tens of thousands more small-dollar donors than any other Democratic candidate.

He is flush with cash. He has a radical agenda that appeals to the ideological left and the idealistic young. The rising star of the party, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is campaigning alongside him.

And say what you will, Sanders is no trimmer or time-server. He has consistently voted his values and views. He voted no to Bush 41’s Gulf War, no to Bush 43’s Iraq War, no to NAFTA, no to GATT. In the ’80s, when President Reagan battled the Marxist Sandinistas in Nicaragua, Sanders was on the other side.

But what makes Sanders an appealing candidate for the Democratic nomination may prove poisonous to him as a party nominee in the fall.

For what does Bernie promise?

Free tuition at public colleges and forgiveness of all student debt. “Medicare for All,” a single-payer government-run health care system that would require a huge hike in middle-class taxes and abolish private health insurance for the 160 million Americans currently enrolled.

He would break up the big banks, go after Wall Street, add $60 trillion of federal spending in the next decade, and raise income, corporate, capital gains, estate, and inheritance taxes.

He would expand the government’s share of the U.S. economy to levels rivaling that of France, the highest in the free world.

Bernie was first to back the Green New Deal and pledges to reach carbon neutrality in 10 years in energy and transportation. As for our oil, gas, and coal producers, says Sanders, they “have evaded taxes, desecrated tribal lands, exploited workers and poisoned communities.”

How would Sanders deal with the millions of illegal migrants now within the country? He’d welcome them all in.

Bernie has proposed the abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection and wants to provide a pathway to citizenship for the 11 to 22 million illegal migrants already here. He would decriminalize border jumping and give health and welfare benefits to the invaders.

He would decriminalize the breaching of America’s borders.

“My first executive orders,” tweeted Bernie last week, “will be to reverse every single thing President Trump has done to demonize and harm immigrants, including his racist and disgusting Muslim ban.”

Leaders of the center-left think tank Third Way warn that a Sanders nomination risks a Democratic rout of the magnitude of the 49-state losses of George McGovern in 1972 and of Walter Mondale in 1984.

Vulnerable Democrats in moderate and swing districts would have to jump ship, abandoning the ticket to survive the slaughter.

Fearful of such an outcome, super PACs run by moderate Democrats have begun to dump hundreds of thousands of dollars into attack ads to blunt his momentum in Iowa.

What socialist Jeremy Corbyn did to Britain’s Labour party—leading it to the worst defeat since the 1930s—Sanders could do to the Democratic Party, write Jon Cowan and Jim Kessler of Third Way.

In 2016, Sanders ran a surprisingly strong race for the nomination, and it was later learned that a supposedly neutral DNC had been in the tank for Hillary Clinton. The Democratic establishment, the party elite, had collaborated to put the fix in against Bernie.

Yet Sanders supported Clinton that fall. If, however, Bernie’s last chance at the nomination is aborted by an establishment piling on, party super PACs running attack ads against him, and major media taking time out from trashing Trump to break Sanders, the Democratic Party will have the devil’s time of it bringing Bernie’s backers home in the fall.

Bernie’s believers might just conclude that the real obstacle to their dream of remaking America is neither the radical right nor Donald Trump, but the elites within their own party.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever. To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at


The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.

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Society's Foibles
Society's Foibles
February 2, 2020

America’s number one export product: Dystopia. It’s in such surplus at home, no one can compete.

William H Warrick III MD
William H Warrick III MD
February 2, 2020

Health insurance premiums are TAXES. Therefore taxes won’t change. The only thing that changes is the revenue stream, insurance premiums are replaced by what you call taxes but both of them are taxes. Auto insurance, other types of insurance like liability for slip and fall, Malpractice insurance won’t have to pay for healthcare anymore so those premiums will go DOWN. Health insurance company profits and administrative costs will disappear and that will instead pay for coverage of ALL of those uninsured who don’t have insurance now.

Tony Sustak
Tony Sustak
February 2, 2020

Some of the immigration numbers are due to “push” factors, never or very rarely mentioned: The brutal US neoliberal/neoconservative wars against the working and peasant class peoples of Central and South America. Where ever US backed regimes have a toehold, or more, there is mass misery. Policies that stop the arming of Neo-fascist regimes, that put out the red carpet for Western and especially, US capital, would make tens of millions of dollars, now spent on immiseration of other peoples, available for domestic spending. Escaping brutal US trained and armed fascist militaries, would subside as a “push” factor. Labor, US… Read more »

February 2, 2020

Extremely sad the best politics has to offer is 2 very old, very close to dying candidates. From dementia to too stubborn to retire to shutting out and blackballing there young healthy inspired multi cultural active veteran candidate Gabbard. This party and its lemmings are so unwoke it scares me. Could you imagine if the young actually got what they wanted, imagine these kids having to wait for weeks and months or even years to get critical medical care. Not that I am against health care for all, but it should have happened in early 70s, before Nixon chose Kaiser… Read more »

February 3, 2020

“Bernie’s believers might just conclude that the real obstacle to their dream of remaking America is neither the radical right nor Donald Trump, but the elites within their own party.”


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