Centrist Democrats love to pillory Bernie for not being on their Team. This particular “attack” is so stupid that I resisted writing an answer to it for a long time, thinking that it would go away. Alas, there seems to be mo end to the stupidity of the centrist CorpDems and #StillWithering Hive Queen Holdovers that are still out there.
Sigh. OK, let’s begin:
Firstly, THERE IS NO PARTY REGISTRATION IN VERMONT. Vermont is unique in that Vermonters do not register or affiliate with a party. So every voter and every politician in Vermont is by definition a “registered independent”.
Secondly, THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY FORCED BERNIE TO RUN AS AN INDEPENDENT. When Bernie first ran for Mayor, he had to run as an independent because the incumbent was a corrupt DINO (Democrat In Name Only). Indeed, in the 1980 Mayoral Election in Burlington, the Republicans did not even field a candidate, because they were so happy with the incumbent “Democrat.” Bernie refused to run as a Republican, so his only option was to run as an Independent.
Thirdly, BERNIE GETS MORE VOTES AS AN INDEPENDENT. Vermont is traditionally a conservative state, with no gun laws and a large streak of libertarianism. When Bernie ran for Congress in 1990, the seat he was trying to win had been help by a Republican for 56 of the previous 58 years, and had been solidly Republican for the previous 15 election cycles. In short, the only way for Bernie to win was by running as an Independent. Even today, Bernie still owes his massive electoral victories (often with more than 70% of the vote) to the fact that as an Independent, he regularly receives 25% of the Republican vote.
Fourthly, THE VERMONT DEMOCRATIC PARTY HAS ENDORSED BERNIE AS A DEMOCRAT. They understand that because of Vermont’s unique history and political demography, Bernie does better running as an Independent, even though his politics and positions are decidedly Progressive. They even passed a special resolution endorsing Bernie as a Democrat:
The Vermont Democratic Party passed a resolution over the weekend supporting Sanders’ move, proclaiming that he could still be considered a member of the party “for all purposes and entitled to all the rights and privileges that come with such membership at the state and federal level.”
“It’s hard to explain to people from out of state how we’ve made peace with it as a party, how Bernie’s made peace with it. We’re on board,” said Vermont state chairman Terje Anderson.
Anderson pointed out that Sanders appears at party fundraisers, and participates in the coordinated campaign efforts with other Democrats.
So to anyone who screams “Bernie is not a Democrat” I would say that he is indeed a Democrat as far as the Vermont Democratic Party is concerned.
Finally, BERNIE IS A MEMBER OF THE SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer named Bernie to the Senate Leadership in 2016, Indeed, Bernie was named Chairman of Outreach during a closed-door Senate Democratic caucus meeting.
In addition, in 2015 Bernie had already been given the “plum” assignment as the Senior Minority Member of the Senate Budget Committee, a position he continues to hold, with the obvious and full backing of the Democratic Senate Leadership, and a position he is already using to great effectiveness.
So to anyone who screams “Bernie is not a Democrat” I would say, that he is indeed a Democrat as far as the Democratic Senate Leadership is concerned.
In short, if he walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and gets endorsed by the Democratic Party leadership on both national and state levels, then Bernie Sanders is definitely a Democratic duck.
EuroYankee is a dual citizen, US-EU. He travels around Europe, writing on politics, culture and such. He pays his US taxes so he gets to weigh in on what is happening in the States.