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Old 02-11-2020, 11:47 AM
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Questions about hypothetical Bernie presidency


Bernie is leading in many polls and if he does become the (D) nominee he has a decent shot at taking down Trump.

With that in mind:
  • Wouldn't a Bernie presidency potentially lead to big Republican wins in 2022 and 2024? He would likely be paralyzed by staunch Republican resistance in Congress, even stiffer than what Obama faced (aided by some moderate D's who would also oppose some of his policies) and get little done. In addition, socialism, even the "democratic" variety, is still unpalatable to many. In other words, electing him could get actually relatively little done for the D's, but lead to big benefits for the R's.


  • Does Bernie draw a distinction between "good wars" and "bad wars?" Good wars would be those that are needed and/or justified - wars like WWII, maybe the Persian Gulf War (first one) Bad wars would be the war in Iraq, etc. In addition to being pacifist, Bernie also hates the military-industrial complex, and I have a sneaking worry that if, say, Russia were to invade the Baltic NATO states or North Korea were to go all 1950 again on South Korea, that Bernie would think "all wars are bad, period" and say something like "war is never the answer, we call on all combatants to negotiate and talk instead of fighting" or, at the least, mount only an anemic response.
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Old 02-11-2020, 11:57 AM
Sinaptics is offline
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My .02:

1. The only way anything gets done is if Dems win a senate majority and change filibuster rules. Otherwise, everything is getting filibustered (or outright ignored if an R majority).

2. I know Bernie voted to invade Afghanistan but opposed Iraq, so he does seem to make a distinction between "good" and "bad" wars.

Last edited by Sinaptics; 02-11-2020 at 12:00 PM.
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Old 02-11-2020, 12:07 PM
Wesley Clark is offline
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1. This is my big fear. Sanders won't be able to accomplish anything even with a democratic congress. So then people may say 'that was all fluff' and go back to apathy. The president has very little power without a cooperative congress and even if the senate goes blue, there is no way they pass Sander's agenda.

2. Sanders did vote for the Afghanistan war in 2001, but I believe he regrets it now. I'm not sure how he would handle foreign policy issues. I disagree with Sanders stance on Guaido, I think he is the only candidate that doens't recognize him as the legitimate ruler of Venezuela. Even without war, there are other forms of pressure. I think/assume Sanders would probably prefer economic sanctions, diplomatic pressure, etc. rather than war in most situations.

I did find this

https://www.ontheissues.org/internat...ar_+_Peace.htm
Quote:
When President Clinton said, "let's stop ethnic cleansing in Kosovo," I voted for that. I voted to make sure that Osama bin Laden was held accountable in Afghanistan. When our country is threatened, or when our allies are threatened, I believe that we need coalitions to come together to address the major crises of this country. I do not support the United States getting involved in unilateral action.
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Old 02-11-2020, 01:36 PM
Shodan is offline
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For Bernie to get much done, he would not merely need a Democratic majority in Congress. He would need a democratic socialist majority in Congress. He won't get that.
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Wouldn't a Bernie presidency potentially lead to big Republican wins in 2022 and 2024?
Probably. The President's party traditionally loses seats in an off-year election, although I think there are more GOP Senators up in 2022 than Democrats. But yes, realistically Bernie's got two years to make major changes to the US economy, in the teeth of resistance from the GOP and moderates.

His foreign policy sounds unpleasantly like Jimmy Carter back in the day. Jimmy was going to make human rights the centerpiece of his foreign policy, and he got the Camp David accords out of it. Also the invasion of Afghanistan, the Iranian hostage crisis, the Sandinistas, the Marielitos, and assorted debacles.

One of Bernie's ideas is to go back to the Iran nuclear treaty. Iran is already violating it - it will be an uphill slog to get them to go back, even in return for lifting sanctions.

I suspect a Sanders election will cause the markets to tank, and how he will deal with a recession is going to be interesting. Probably another massive stimulus package. But massively increasing taxes to pay for M4A is probably a no-go during a recession.

Regards,
Shodan
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Old 02-11-2020, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wesley Clark View Post
1. This is my big fear. Sanders won't be able to accomplish anything even with a democratic congress. So then people may say 'that was all fluff' and go back to apathy. The president has very little power without a cooperative congress and even if the senate goes blue, there is no way they pass Sander's agenda.
Along with what Shodan mentioned, a recession is likely to kick in in 2021. Bernie's big tax hikes and reforms could only pass in an economic boom. During a recession, there would be adamant opposition to tax hikes, even if they technically save money in the long run (mfA, etc.) Plus, President Bernie would be blamed for the recession, because it's on his watch, even if not his fault.
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Old 02-11-2020, 01:47 PM
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The first step in treatment is to stop the injury from getting worse. If all that a Sanders presidency accomplishes in four years is putting an end to the Trump presidency, it would still be a step forward. Doing nothing is better than sliding downward.

That said, I wouldn't expect a lot from President Sanders. I don't think he'll be entering office with a large mandate calling for change. This isn't 1932.
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Old 02-11-2020, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sinaptics View Post
1. The only way anything gets done is if Dems win a senate majority and change filibuster rules. Otherwise, everything is getting filibustered (or outright ignored if an R majority).
This is true for any Dem president. I remember when Obama supported a Republican sponsored bill (sponsored by John McCain) the Republicans stopped supporting the bill (including John McCain).

Republicans cannot abide letting it be seen that Democrats can do anything good for the country no matter who that Democrat is.

In the end, Trump has shown the way with executive orders. That will be about the only avenue any Democratic president will have to do anything.
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Last edited by Whack-a-Mole; 02-11-2020 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 02-11-2020, 02:02 PM
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Great questions. I'll address myself to #1 here.

It's certainly true that, even in the best case scenario where the Dems take the Senate, the next Congress isn't going to pass Bernie's agenda. But is this a problem? The implication is that then the Dems will have no accomplishments to take credit for in subsequent elections. But Congress is perfectly capable of writing and passing legislation on its own.

Take health care, for example. If elected, Bernie will send Congress a bill enacting Medicare for All, and he will fight like hell to get it passed. And, in the short term, he will lose. Once Congressional Democrats have rejected his plan, nothing prevents them from writing and passing their own. If they can come up with some reforms that will improve access and contain costs, even marginally, Bernie certainly isn't going to refuse to sign it!

So there is no difficulty:

If you support Medicare for All, can you think that having a President going full bully pulpit on the issue for four years will make it less likely that it will pass at some point in the relatively near future?

If you support more modest reforms to the ACA, you will get what you want under a Sanders administration (always assuming a Dem Senate). And if those reforms work as well as you believe they will, they will be popular and the momentum of the single payer movement will slow.

If we don't end up getting anything passed due to the GOP controlling the Senate or conservative Democrats defecting, I think Sanders will be much better placed to win the next election than someone who campaigned on being able to "work across the aisle" and "get things done". After all, he hasn't gotten any of his big ticket agenda items passed in the last thirty years, but the voters in Vermont don't seem to hold it against him!
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Old 02-11-2020, 02:44 PM
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Obviously, I despise Bernie. But the number one thing Bernie or Biden has to worry about is that almost every Senator is going to have their eyes on 2024 because of incumbent age/health. So, it might be difficult to get Democratic allies since so many of them anticipate an open contest in 2024.

The Bernie agenda is dead on arrival . Schumer and Durbin will laugh at it and neither of them are going anywhere.

Bernie doesn’t have many friends in Congress so at best he can hope to be Jimmy Carter. Oh, and no doubt Pelosi sticks around as Speaker for another term.
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Old 02-11-2020, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thing Fish View Post
Take health care, for example. If elected, Bernie will send Congress a bill enacting Medicare for All, and he will fight like hell to get it passed. And, in the short term, he will lose. Once Congressional Democrats have rejected his plan, nothing prevents them from writing and passing their own. If they can come up with some reforms that will improve access and contain costs, even marginally, Bernie certainly isn't going to refuse to sign it!
If.

Also, you said "once Congressional Democrats have rejected his plan". Did you mean "once Congressional Democrats and Republicans have rejected his plan"? Because they are going to have considerable say in whether anything gets passed, or not.
Quote:
If we don't end up getting anything passed due to the GOP controlling the Senate or conservative Democrats defecting, I think Sanders will be much better placed to win the next election than someone who campaigned on being able to "work across the aisle" and "get things done".
When was the last time a President was re-elected because he didn't accomplish anything of what he said he would?

Regards,
Shodan
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Old 02-11-2020, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by dalej42 View Post
The Bernie agenda is dead on arrival . Schumer and Durbin will laugh at it and neither of them are going anywhere.
If the country reverts back to Clinton-centrists in 2022 then yeah. We'll keep doing what we are doing now. Which clearly sucks but some of you seem to like it.

If Sanders can energize a new wave of young voters to get active in politics, and the older boomers dwindle, then maybe they can primary the hell out of "moderates" who obstruct any progress akin to what the Tea Party does to republicans. It worked for them so clearly it is possible. AOC drummed out one of the most powerful congressmen in congress so it can happen.

Long shot I admit but not impossible.
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