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“He is no longer on the fringe of the party. He is mainstream”

The next time you’re mocked for raising the alarm about how far left the Democratic Party has moved since Barack Obama led the party, remind your critics of this scary headline about Sen. Bernie Sanders and his role in today’s Democratic Party:

No, it’s not a conservative analyst who acknowledges that Sanders’ time has come, thanks to the Biden/Harris administration. It’s an analyst from the left-of-center Brookings Institution. (emphasis is mine)

“Sanders is right in the middle of the action. He is no longer on the fringe of the party. He is mainstream,he is a committee chair and his views have gotten very significant representation in this budget package,” said Darrell West, the director of governance studies at the Brookings Institution, a center-left think tank.

Sanders has leveraged his seniority, which gives him control of the Budget Committee, as well as his relationship with President Biden, with whom he served for two years in the Senate and forged a relationship on the 2020 campaign trail.

Sanders’ goal – and that of the Democrats – is to pile on government entitlements so that Americans become dependent on them and feel entitled to them. The result they hope for? Huge government, huge entitlement programs, and a populace unwilling to stop taking other people’s money (emphasis is mine).

West, of Brookings, said front-loading the cost of programs in the Democratic budget plan is a smart strategy because it will be difficult for a future Congress, even one with split party control, to turn off popular benefits.

“It’s a good bet. Once people get certain benefits, they want to keep them. It builds a constituency for a program and makes it very difficult to eliminate,” he said. 

“It builds a constituency for a program” is a euphemism for cementing a voting bloc that will keep big-government Democrats in power. And it’s thanks, in part, to the fact that Bernie Sanders is now mainstream.

Never has it been more important for conservatives to restore fiscal sanity to federal policy and budgeting.

Donna Martinez / Senior Writer and Editor

Donna came to the John Locke Foundation in January 2003 after freelance writing for Carolina Journal and contributing to projects for the North Carolina Education Alliance. He...