Independent In Name Only

It’s officially time for U.S. Representative Bernie Sanders (DI-Vt.) to admit what the rest of us—even the Vermont Democratic Party—already know: he’s a Democrat in Socialist clothing:

Vermont’s Democratic Party is maneuvering to keep the Democratic candidates for the state’s open US Senate seat off the November ballot, as party leaders seek to clear the way for independent Representative Bernard Sanders in his bid for the Senate.

State Democratic leaders are spearheading efforts to gather signatures to put Sanders on the ballot as a Democrat, even though Sanders has repeatedly said he would turn down the party’s nomination if he wins the primary. At least three other candidates have announced their intention to run for the Democratic nomination in the Sept. 12 primary, but party leaders prefer Sanders to any of them. …

If Sanders wins the Democratic nomination but declines it, he will go head-to-head with the Republican candidate. Since the Democrats technically won’t have a candidate on the ballot, Sanders won’t have to contend with a third candidate who could siphon votes away from him. Sanders, a self-described “democratic socialist,” has typically voted with Democrats during his eight terms as Vermont’s sole House member.

Here’s a free hint: if you’re running in the Democratic primary, and caucus with the Democrats in the House of Representatives, no matter what you tell yourself in the mirror every morning, you’re a Democrat.

I have to say, though, that there’s something amusing about the fact that even (arguably) the most popular elected official in one of America’s most liberal-leaning states doesn’t want to be identified with the contemporary Democratic Party. Perhaps there’s a lesson in that somewhere for fellow Vermonter Howard Dean.

þ: VikingPundit.

FILED UNDER: 2006 Election, Blogosphere, US Politics, , , , , , , ,
Chris Lawrence
About Chris Lawrence
Chris teaches political science at Middle Georgia State University in Macon, Georgia. He has a Ph.D. in political science (with concentrations in American politics and political methodology) from the University of Mississippi. He began writing for OTB in June 2006. Follow him on Twitter @lordsutch.


  1. Bithead says:

    Well, his problem was they didn’t lane far enough left.

  2. Fanny Allen says:
  3. floyd says:

    a road apple by any other name……..

  4. Everything I know about this race says that no matter how many names are on the ballot, Bernie is going to win the seat. Now given that, why would the state democratic party be doing something to keep other democrats to run?

    Are we going to see a net roots campaign to tally up the democrats who will support the winner of the democratic primary in Vermont? Or can we just all acknowledge that Bernie is far enough left (especially on the war) for the net roots so we shouldn’t expect consistency.