As socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) continued to build momentum over the weekend by grabbing up yet more Democratic delegates, this time in Nevada, self-styled “center-left” political think tank Third Way posted an urgent open memo to the more moderate Democratic candidates still vying for the nomination. The memo, co-authored by the organization’s president, details Sanders’ “stunningly radical political history,” his “outrageous support for our enemies,” “hopelessly out of touch views on taxes,” “preposterous spending plans,” and willingness to burn down the party for his own agenda.
The memo which was posted on Third Way’s website and written by Third Way President Jonathan Cowan and Executive VP for Public Affairs Matt Bennett, warns the Democratic candidates that they must “stand up to Bernie” or find not only that they have lost the race but the country has lost in the process. The warning begins:
Memo to Vice President Biden; Mayor Bloomberg; Mayor Buttigieg; Senator Klobuchar; and Senator Warren
At the Las Vegas debate, each of you took aim at one another, often to withering effect. But with few exceptions, you declined to really challenge Senator Sanders. If you repeat this strategy at the South Carolina debate this week, you could hand the nomination to Sanders, likely dooming the Democratic Party – and the nation – to Trump and sweeping down-ballot Republican victories in November.
Why the “dire prediction”? Because, Cowan and Bennett explain, “Bernie Sanders is a socialist, and the political toxicity of his self-selected brand cannot be overstated.”
“As recent polling from Gallup shows, 53% of voters, including 51% of Independents, say they would not vote for ‘an otherwise well-qualified candidate for president’ if that candidate is a socialist,” they write. “That’s game over.”
The memo goes on to highlight why Sanders is such a “toxic” candidate, including “His Stunningly Radical Political History”:
In the early 1980s, Sanders campaigned for candidates from the Socialist Workers Party.
- The stated goal of the SWP was “the abolition of capitalism.”
- That party called for “the destruction of the bourgeois state,” arguing such an act ‘is a necessary prerequisite for the conquest of state power by the working class.”
- Sanders was twice an elector for an SWP candidate for president who once said that American soldiers should “take up their guns and shoot their officers.”
- That candidate called for the abolition of the US military.
- Even in Congress, Sanders proposed slashing the military budget by half.
And “His Outrageous Support for our Enemies,”: “In the middle of the Iran hostage crisis, Sanders’ party ‘called for…’solidarity’ with the revolutionary regimes in Iran…’ How is such an attack in the hands of Trump not disqualifying for many voters?”
“His Hopelessly Out of Touch Views on Taxes“: “On CNN last year, Sanders said that Americans would be ‘delighted to pay more in taxes’ to fund his huge new programs. How can he propose a huge new tax increase without saying how much it would be?”
And “His Preposterous Spending Plans“: “Experts estimate that Sanders’ major proposals would cost a staggering $60 trillion and would double the size of the government (while his tax plans fall $27 trillion short of paying for it). There’s a reason that, when pressed on the cost of his plans, Sanders simply refuses to answer, saying he actually has no idea and ‘no one does.'”
Cowan and Bennett conclude by warning that for Sanders, “his party is himself”:
- Sanders has called the Democratic Party “intellectually and spiritually bankrupt,” so it is no surprise that he routinely has declined the Democratic endorsement for Senate in VT.
- In 2011, he suggested it might be a “good idea” to primary President Obama in 2012. He had brought up a potential primary challenge to Obama several times that summer.
- After 2016, he worked on the committee to change the DNC rules and now has said (in Las Vegas) that he won’t follow those rules.