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Bernie Sanders Voted Republican
September 27, 2015
by William P. Meyers

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Bernie Sanders is running for the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party. That is part and parcel of a wacky political year, because Bernie Sanders had never in his long life been a member of the Democratic Party.

His run is crass opportunism, yet his mainly left-wing admirers go to extraordinary measures to paint him as a man of principle. It is one thing to claim Independent status and run as a Democrat. But as a Senator, Bernie Sanders gambled with the very existence of the United States of America, and joined Republicans in trying to destroy our country.

I am talking about the most important vote of Sanders' career, on H.R. 1424. How did this independent line up? He voted with the Senate Republicans:

H.R. 1424
Bernie Sanders

It is clear from the table that H.R. 1424 was not an entirely partisan vote. But it was mostly Republicans that Bernie Sanders joined to vote against it.

What was he voting against? Saving the financial system by allowing the Federal Government to buy troubled assets "for the purposes of providing stability to and preventing disruption in the economy and financial system."

Bernie Sanders voted for turning the financial meltdown of 2008 into another Great Depression. The Republicans who voted against the bill believed it gave the Federal Government too much power over banks and stock brokers. Sanders now claims his vote shows he can "stand up to Wall Street." In fact, looking at the company he was keeping, it showed the opposite.

The results of the program, known as TARP, were very good. Despite a major recession, the government was paid back over time for its investments. More importantly, without TARP the recession would have been much, much worse.

Bernie Sanders makes nice speeches. I agree with much of what he says. Yet I don't believe he has good judgment. He is the left-wing mirror image of a Republican Tea Party candidate.

Equally troublesome are some of his followers. Aside from the usual lack of critical thinking and fact checking we typically see in America and particularly in Internet-social sharing campaigns, they seem to spend most of their time attacking Hillary Clinton. After 30 years of Republicans attacking Hillary Clinton, and given her record of helping children, seniors, and minorities (a record Bernie lacks), you would think they could show a bit more sense and humanity.

Hillary Clinton vote for H.R. 1424. If she had not voted Yes, if more Tea Party Republicans and Democrats had killed the bill, when Barack Obama assumed office in January 2009 he would have been in much deeper trouble.

Sure, America is a mess. Sure, ideally 1424 should have been unnecessary. Idiots should not have bought outrageously priced houses with loans from other idiots that were in turn backed by both Wall Street and quasi-federal finance organizations.

But given the real situation, Hillary Clinton did the right thing and Bernie Sanders did the wrong thing. (In fairness, in some of the few other cases where their votes differed, I prefer the way Sanders voted).

Fortunately, on 1424 sense prevailed in the U.S. Senate. Bipartisan sense.

Vote details on H.R. 1424

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