Bernie wins, and the Dems control Senate and House

What could we expect?

Strong social programs?

Changes in foreign policy?

Is this a recipe for a better America?

Its a dream thread, or nightmare?

I’ll be in my bunk.

To be serious, it’d depend on a variety of factors. Is there a veto-proof majority? Are the Democrats in office of Sanders’s calibre, or are they more conservative? What’s the militia movement up to?

Set up two different scenarios, both very unlikely, but the first one unlikelier:

  1. Somehow a bunch of Democratic Socialists win a popular election with a clear mandate, and pass the programs that we desperately need, defined as “Dorkness’s dream program.” We see a drastic cut to the US military over ten years, to the point that we can participate in foreign ventures but not play an overwhelming leadership role. We invest the dividend in domestic programs until people call us the Fourth Scandinavian Country. We end the war on drugs, treating addiction as a medical problem and not a criminal problem. We license and register guns more strictly than automobiles, without confiscating them.

We drastically reduce standardized testing in schools, and require by law that students have frequent outdoor recess breaks, and increase funding both for teacher education programs and teacher pay. Teachers have significant planning time and are expected to use it for crafting quality instruction; assessment is evaluated not by its objectivity, but by its utility for shaping future instruction.

  1. Sanders has a slim Democratic majority, as least two thirds of whom are career politicians afraid to rock the boat. We make modest progress on expanding domestic programs, and things don’t get actively worse with educational policy. The Supreme Court bench doesn’t go actively to the right. Whee.

I know the first scenario is not going to be flowers and candy for everyone, but if we’re imagining, I’m going big.

Well, it would be, for everyone but the 1%.

According to his official platform, you should expect:

A substantial increase in the minimum wage.
Infrastructure repair.
A reduction of college expenses.
A universal healthcare program.
Promotion of employee benefits.
Reform on campaign donations.
Increased Social Security and military pensions.
Increased funding for Veterans Affairs programs.
Promotion of equal rights.
Regulation of the financial industry.

How would the Tea Party and Trumpers react?

Important paragraph about military spending, from his website:


Except insert U.S. everywhere you read Greece.

Except there wouldn’t be anyone to bail us out.


I imagine they’d be unhappy until they see how great everything turns out.

(oh, wait, they didn’t come around during the last 8 years despite significant progress)

:slight_smile: I should have been clearer. I meant, seeing as they tell themselves the Republicans lost to Obama twice because McCain and Romney weren’t True Conservatives, how would they explain Trump being roundly beaten?

I think you meant this link, and you meant Sweden, not Greece, and the bailout talk is nonsense.

Remember very early in Obama’s first term when the Dems controlled both the Senate and the House?

Remember how much got done then?


It’s my second scenario: modest movement to the left, no awful movement to the right. In my second scenario, Republicans will make their behavior under Obama’s first term look like a model of civility and decorum.

At some point, we’ll wake up. There is zero chance of the Democratic Party retaking control of both chambers, even if Sanders wins the election.

:eek: Sheesh, how would the Pubs act under your first scenario?!

I’d expect they’d continue the tradition, calling Trump a New York Elite RINO. They wouldn’t be altogether wrong, either.

Yes. Trump is not the most conservative in the race, by a long shot. In fact, he is probably the least conservative on many issues.

I wouldn’t expect much. Mainly I’d expect Republicans to take over the Senate and the House in 2018, and a Republican president in 2020.

I think you’re overestimating backlash effects . . . which are all you’ve got in support of that scenario.

The Dems had a filibuster proof majority in the Senate for just about 7 months, from the swearing in of Al Franken on July 7 after months of recounts in Minnesota, until February 4, when Scott Brown won the seat previously occupied by the late Ted Kennedy. Those 7 months included the summer recess and the winter holidays. Given the relatively slow pace of the Senate in the best of times, that’s not a lot of time for anything to get done.

If, by some miracle, Sanders gets elected, I think it likely that the Senate majority will change, but unlikely to the 60 seats necessary for cloture. The House is a much heavier lift for the Dems. If it did flip, Speaker Pelosi would likely get a bunch of potentially useful things passed, but the Republican minority in the Senate would probably be able to block quite a bit of it.

In the most optimistic scenario for the Democrats with Sanders as POTUS, I’d expect only a very modest progressive agenda would get through. And I don’t think it would be much different if Clinton is elected–she’ll have the same problems with only slim majorities (at best) in Congress.