Friday, September 18, 2015

What I Didn't Know About Bernie...

I'm going to start this post off with an admission of guilt. I was watching friends debate back and forth this morning about the possibility of a Republican win next November and the pros and cons of the two leading candidates on the Democratic side. Inevitably, the conversation devolved into ad hominem attacks and bold statements like "the Old Grumpy Guy" cannot possibly win. When one friend mentioned that Senator Sanders has been highly attractive to young voters, another friend asked the following:
"What has he accomplished while in the senate for our country? What bill of his has passed EVER? Why are you such a supporter with no data?"
Upon reading that, I realized that I had really never researched the long-term legislative efficacy of either Senator Clinton or Sanders. My face flushed red with guilt, and my head hung low in shame. He wasn't directing his ire my way, but his words had struck a chord. After a few moments of silent personal admonishment for ignoring this glaringly important piece of information in my candidate research, I decided now was the time.

It was time for me to find out the truth about Senator Sanders.

(Photo courtesy of
One of the most common critiques of Senator Sanders as a presidential candidate is that his combative nature would severely hinder any hope of him actually passing any legislation based on his ideas. Supporters of Senator Clinton have often stated that while he was fighting with both Democrats and Republicans in Congress, she was busy passing legislation.

(Photo courtesy of

So I did a little digging in the database to find out more, and what I found was nothing less than astonishing.

Throughout almost a decade in Congress, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton either sponsored or cosponsored over 2,160 bills in policy areas spanning from Health and International Affairs to Housing & Community Development. After a great deal of hard work, negotiation and compromise, 77 of those bills found their way to the president's desk and became law.

Then I looked up Bernie.

As a member of Congress from 1991 all the way through 2014 (over two decades!!!) he only sponsored or cosponsored a measly 5,292 bills. All of that fighting with Democrats and Republicans must have really hurt his efforts, because out of those, only 206 were signed into law.

Wait a second. That can't be right...

If we were to divide the number of bills they successfully turned into laws by the number of years they were in office...

(Mashes Keys on Calculator...)

Senator Clinton                          Senator Sanders
7.7 successful bills/year              8.5 successful bills/year

Well, gee whiz, Wally. Do you mean to tell me that the Independent Senator from Vermont with all of those crazy ideas about income inequality and social justice passed more legislation not only across his entire congressional career but also per year??? Next you'll be telling me that democratic socialism doesn't mean the end of capitalism and that the vast majority of programs that our parents relied on to earn their way into the middle class are quickly being defunded and privatized at the expense of future generations.

Yeah, Beav. That's what we're telling you.

Special thanks today to my friend, George, whose attempt to paint all supporters of Senator Sanders' candidacy as blind supporters led me to finally do the research I should have done so many months ago. I couldn't have done it without you, buddy.

Your friend,

Michael Messer
Friendly Neighborhood Democrats

No comments:

Post a Comment