Still feeling the Bern? Then let us be perfectly clear: a President Trump would be disastrous for Senator Sanders.
I love Bernie Sanders. I think he’s the candidate of a lifetime. I co-founded Writers for Bernie, and wrote pieces supporting him throughout the primary. I desperately wish he were the Democratic nominee, and I believe he would have been, if not for the near-complete media bias against him and the documented favoritism of the DNC.
But he’s not. He is, however, poised to have tremendous power in the Senate, if Hillary Clinton becomes president.
Some people, even though they, too, love Bernie, or because they love Bernie, think they can’t bring themselves to vote for Hillary. They’re voting third party, sitting the election out — or, amazingly, voting for Trump, enamored of the idea that he’s a disrupter. Many think that even if Trump is elected, Bernie will still be their champion.
I’m astonished at the number of people I’ve encountered who think progressive policies have any chance of being enacted under a President Trump. They don’t. This isn’t defeatist thinking.
It’s simply civics and math.
Here’s what would, and wouldn’t, happen in a Trump administration:
— Bernie would not be a committee chair. There’s much excitement about the prospect of Bernie heading either Budget or HELP (Health, Education, Labor and Pensions), two powerful committees. (The right, in fact, is freaking out at the prospect.) But that’ll happen only if the Democrats win back the Senate. At present, most projections make it a 50–50 split — which means if we have a Democratic president, we have a Democratic Senate majority, since the Vice President is the tiebreaker vote.
And if we have a Republican president, we don’t.
Further, the Vice President is also the tiebreaker vote for chairmanships. So: if Mike Pence is VP, no chair for Bernie.
All the talk of Dems taking the Senate, and Bernie being a committee chair, is dependent on Clinton winning the White House.
— It will be virtually impossible for progressive legislation to reach the President’s desk for final approval. The House will be held by Republicans. The Senate will be held by Republicans (given the VP tiebreaker). There will be no Democratic committee chairs to push legislation through. There will be no Democratic president to do backroom deals or twist arms (legislation is won vote by agonizing vote: watch Lincoln).
— If, by some miracle, a progressive bill makes it to President Trump’s desk, he’ll veto it. Self-explanatory.
— Progressives would not have the votes to override a veto. You need 60 Senate votes to override a presidential veto. There won’t be 10 Republicans who’ll break ranks to vote with the Democrats.
A President Trump would torpedo Bernie’s chances of enacting any of the progressive policies we care about.