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Old 02-23-2020, 06:28 PM
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How would President Bernie deal with a Republican Congress?


One of the likeliest outcomes this November appears to be that Bernie will capture the presidency, Democrats will keep the House, but Republicans will maintain a razor-thin Senate majority (perhaps just 51-49. This would be all the likelier if Doug Jones goes down in Alabama.)

In addition, the 2022 midterms may very well result in both the House and Senate turning red, should Bernie be president. And even if Republicans don't have a majority in Congress, there are still a substantial number of moderate red-state Democrats who might reject Bernie socialism.

So what approach is President Bernie likely to employ against a hostile Congress? Centrists like Clinton and Obama compromised but Bernie's very M.O. is that he is different. Would it just be non-stop non-caving brinksmanship and mutual obstruction?
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Old 02-23-2020, 06:34 PM
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According to the Washington Post, Bernie doesn't plan to ask Congress for anything. He's simply going to govern by executive order:

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is considering dozens of executive orders he could unilaterally enact on a wide range of domestic policy issues if elected president, including immigration, the environment and prescription drugs, according to two people familiar with the campaignís planning and an internal document reviewed by The Washington Post.

... The list of potential executive orders includes unilaterally allowing the United States to import prescription drugs from Canada, directing the Justice Department to legalize marijuana, and declaring climate change a national emergency while banning the exportation of crude oil. Other options cited in the document include canceling federal contracts for firms paying workers less than $15 an hour and reversing federal rules blocking U.S. funding to organizations that provide abortion counseling.

... The unilateral actions considered by Sandersís campaign are likely to be fiercely opposed by conservatives and even moderate liberals. Sanders could face criticism for moving to take more power away from the legislative branch amid ever-expanding executive authority ...
https://www.washingtonpost.com/polit...cutive-orders/
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Old 02-23-2020, 07:26 PM
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To me, one of his big advantages is that he's been dealing with a Republican senate for years now.

Also, I imagine he might veto a few things until they play nice.
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Old 02-23-2020, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Sherrerd View Post
According to the Washington Post, Bernie doesn't plan to ask Congress for anything. He's simply going to govern by executive order:
Once a country starts going down the road to dictatorship, it is hard to stop on a dime. Anyone who has read Philip Roth's The Plot Against America should ponder how unrealistic was the ending where everything snaps back after one terrible presidential term.

I'd vote for Sanders over Trump, in part, because I think Sanders, unlike Trump, would, after exercising any recount rights, concede. Sanders, like Trump, has a weakness for dictators for life, but I think Sanders has no drive to create a family dynasty.

For someone like myself, for whom the future of American democracy is the biggest issue, Sanders is a step in the right direction.
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Old 02-23-2020, 08:18 PM
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Also, I imagine he might veto a few things until they play nice.
I imagine the GOP Senate would not play nice with any Democratic President. The days when a Democratic president can nominate a Supreme Court justice who then gets confirmed by a GOP Senate are, for the foreseeable future, over.
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Old 02-23-2020, 09:25 PM
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It won't matter how Sanders works with a Republican Congress, because a Republican Congress will vote in lock-step against anything proposed by any Democratic president.
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Old 02-23-2020, 09:35 PM
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. Sanders, like Trump, has a weakness for dictators for life
As evidenced by . . . ?
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Old 02-23-2020, 09:38 PM
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It should also be noted that, as an independent, Sanders would have little leverage over Congressional Dems either.
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Old 02-24-2020, 07:54 AM
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Most of Bernie's agenda will be dead on arrival in Congress. He probably doesn't have 50 voters to abolish the filibuster and he certainly won't have the 60 votes he will need to pass anything meaningful. He will try to use executive orders but at least some of it will be blocked by the Supreme Court.

Actually that could be an argument to moderate voters: that socialist stuff you are scared of, almost none of it will happen and meanwhile you will at least get an honest President who isn't a threat to liberal democracy.

Last edited by Lantern; 02-24-2020 at 07:57 AM.
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Old 02-24-2020, 08:10 AM
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that socialist stuff you are scared of, almost none of it will happen and meanwhile you will at least get an honest President who isn't a threat to liberal democracy.
I go with that.
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Old 02-24-2020, 08:15 AM
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Actually that could be an argument to moderate voters: that socialist stuff you are scared of, almost none of it will happen and meanwhile you will at least get an honest President who isn't a threat to liberal democracy.
Sanders surrogates are basically already saying this.
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Old 02-24-2020, 08:54 AM
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To me, one of his big advantages is that he's been dealing with a Republican senate for years now.
And how has he used that advantage. That is, what are the legislative proposals he has managed to get passed?
Quote:
Frank, former chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, offered an unblinking assessment.

“His legislative record was to state the ideological position he took on the left, but with the exception of a few small things, he never got anything done,” said Frank, who has endorsed Clinton.
Cite.

He's been in the Senate for thirty years, when both the Republicans and the Democrats were in control.

Regards,
Shodan

Last edited by Shodan; 02-24-2020 at 08:55 AM.
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Old 02-24-2020, 09:45 AM
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He's been in the Senate for thirty years, when both the Republicans and the Democrats were in control.
He's only been in the Senate for 13 years: he spent 16 years as Vermont's House Rep.

As far as his legislative accomplishments, you can see all the bills he's sponsored here.

The only bills he's been the primary sponsor of have been renaming Vermont public buildings, and one military COLA increase. From a cursory look at the bilsl he's consponsored, it seems like most of them were equally weighty matters of state. It's part of why he's proven so difficult for his primary opponents to attack: he's got no record of any note other than his rhetoric. People joke about Buttgieg's most notable accomplishment being cleaning up dog feces on South Bend sidewalks, but Sanders has really done little more for the state of Vermont or the country beyond changing a few Post Office signs.
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Old 02-24-2020, 10:50 AM
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Not really. She is saying that if Medicare for All fails they will get maybe public option as a backup. Based on the collapse of Hillarycare I think it's more likely they get nothing at all. Besides the real downside isn't Bernie getting elected and failing to pass anything; it's that he loses the election because Medicare for All is unpopular.
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Old 02-24-2020, 10:52 AM
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AOC is likelier to dampen the enthusiasm of Bernie supporters by saying this, than she is to win over moderates/swing voters. Saying "Yes, Bernie is promising many progressive ideas, such as Medicare for All, but we actually won't get most or much of it at all, so don't worry" is throwing a wet blanket on the Bernie movement.
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Old 02-24-2020, 10:58 AM
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It won't matter how Sanders works with a Republican Congress, because a Republican Congress will vote in lock-step against anything proposed by any Democratic president.
Yeah. A more interesting question is how he would deal with a Senate with with Dem majority that kills the filibuster. Could he even get 50 votes for any of his policies? Can he get the least progressive Democrats on board? And it's not like he has a history of playing nice with the Democrats.
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Old 02-24-2020, 11:09 AM
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So what approach is President Bernie likely to employ against a hostile Congress? Centrists like Clinton and Obama compromised but Bernie's very M.O. is that he is different. Would it just be non-stop non-caving brinksmanship and mutual obstruction?
It will be 4 years of scolding and spit speckled belligerence. Full of sound and fury...
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Old 02-24-2020, 11:42 AM
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He's 79 and he's had a heart attack - it might not be the full four.

Regards,
Shodan
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Old 02-24-2020, 01:17 PM
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He's in better shape than Bill Clinton, who had three stents and a quadruple bypass by the time he was sixty.

As for what he's gonna do with a Republican Congress, perhaps this would shed some light.
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Old 02-24-2020, 01:40 PM
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Once a country starts going down the road to dictatorship, it is hard to stop on a dime.
I like a little irony in my life. The thought that Trump would start this journey by cynically pulling the teeth out of the very structures meant to check the POTUS, and that Bernie could use the freshly empowered office of the presidency to effect, erm, beneficent dictation(?) warms my tiny little heart. And frankly, if we're going to go bankrupt as a nation I'd rather it happen because we were trying too hard to be kind to one another, rather than because a handful of people had figured out how to scale up corporate asset stripping to work on an entire country. I have no idea how he'll get anything done according to traditional government process, but it won't matter anyhow because no matter how the people vote, the DNC will give us Mayor Pete (who isn't terrible by any means, but I don't think he's who we are going to ask for).
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Old 02-25-2020, 10:25 AM
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He's in better shape than Bill Clinton, who had three stents and a quadruple bypass by the time he was sixty.
Not when he was running for President he didn't.

Regards,
Shodan
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