Bernie Sanders, the 76-year-old socialist senator from Vermont, looks and sounds more like a candidate for president in 2020 than a protester against Trump’s tax-reform law. On a 100-day-long “protest tour” opposing the new law that has put millions of dollars into the paychecks and pockets of tens of thousands of working Americans, Bernie’s supporters are selling “Bernie 2020” t-shirts and signs touting him for president in 2020.
His message is the same one he promoted when he was really running for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination back in 2016 against Hillary Clinton: free tuition, free healthcare, legalized marijuana, $15 minimum wage, and so on. What he has done is add his opposition to the Trump tax-reform law to the mix: “Tax breaks for the rich, raise the deficit, and then you go to the American people and say “oh my God, the deficit is going up, we’ve got to cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, education and nutrition programs. That is what their agenda is.”
But the folks, for some reason, just aren’t turning out in the same numbers. Generous estimates by the mainstream media are coming in at barely 1,000 supporters along his whistle-stop tour. This compares to the tens of thousands hooting and hollering as the left-wing independent was giving Hillary Clinton a run for her money back in 2016. And everywhere he shows up, Republicans are ready to make fun of his complaints. After he spoke in Lansing, Michigan, on Sunday, Republican National Spokesperson Ellie Hockenbury laughed it off: “Deception is the name of the game today as Socialist Sanders tries to convince Michiganders that they’d be better off without the pay raises, bonuses, and new jobs that came courtesy of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Too bad for Bernie. Michiganders see through these lies.… Even worse for these liberal Democrats: Voters will remember who really fought for their higher paychecks at the polls this November.”
Deputy chief of staff for the Michigan Republican Party Sarah Anderson added: “Instead of supporting reforms that help Americans keep more of their hard-earned money, Senator Sanders is calling for higher taxes and the implementation of his socialist agenda.”
Bernie’s tour that began last month is being sponsored by the leftist group Not One Penny in hopes of turning the tide that is clearly flowing against the Democrats and causing them no end of serious heartburn over what might happen in November. As the stock market continues to roar ahead, fueled by expectations that the economy will continue its remarkable recovery since Trump’s inauguration last January, polls are clearly moving toward Trump and the Republicans. It’s making them so nervous that even Eric Bradner, writing for far-left CNN, said that Trump’s improved ratings have “caught [Democrats] flat-footed by the suddenly increasing popularity of the GOP tax plan … that is now seen favorably by about half of voters.… [This comes] as Democrats fear that their chances of claiming House and Senato majorities in November’s elections are slipping.”
Slipping? How about disappearing? How would any Democrat running for reelection in November respond positively to taxpayers’ questions about why he or she didn’t vote to allow them to keep more of their income? Not One Penny has been joined by another far-left group, Priorities USA, which just issued a memo warning that the debate over tax reform “has been relatively one-sided recently and voters have not heard nearly as much from Democrats.”
Bradner added, “[That] heightened concern comes as polls show Republicans improving their standing in several key indicators of the political environment heading into November’s midterm elections. Trump’s approval rating, once stuck in the low 30s, has now topped 40% in several polls — largely due to a strong economy. With it, the Democratic advantage in a generic congressional poll — once in the mid-teens — is now in single digits.”
Remember that this is coming from CNN, the news outlet most determinedly socialist and progressive in its outlook and ideology. When it expresses concern over the coming midterms, it’s clear that the Democrats are in real trouble.
And their predicament isn’t being helped any by far-left Maryland Democratic Senator Chris van Hollen. Van Hollen doesn’t like Trump’s tax reform either, but hasn’t got anything in mind to replace it. He told RollCall.com’s Niels Lesniewski that “we would certainly support repealing [part of it but] we don’t have a specific plan at this point. “
No plan, no message, no strategy except to complain. That’s sure to be a winning strategy for Democrats come November. Especially with that old tired plough horse Sanders leading the parade.
Photo: AP Images