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.