Once Again, Bernie Sanders Struggles with the Concept of a Majority

Sen. Bernie Sanders, (D., Vt.) questions former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm during a hearing to examine her nomination to be Secretary of Energy on Capitol Hill, January 27, 2021. (Graeme Jennings/Pool via Reuters)

I can comprehend why Bernie Sanders is stressed out. The Biden agenda — which is really the Bernie agenda now — probably represents Sanders’s last chance to vote for a slew of big government programs. After this year, we’ll likely get divided government for a while, and by the time the Democrats are back in power, Bernie will have retired.

But goodness me is he embarrassing himself in his desperation.

Yesterday, Sanders tweeted this.

The “American people” have “expressed” no such thing. Per NPR:

Democrats have staked their political future on enacting President Biden’s plans for trillions in social spending, but a new NPR/Marist poll shows that most voters are skeptical of the party’s proposals.

Just 41% of the survey’s respondents said they support the Build Back Better bill, the roughly $2 trillion bill currently being negotiated in Congress. Nearly three-quarters of all Democrats said the support the bill but only 36% of independents and 13% of Republicans agreed.


The survey respondents were less optimistic about the in-process Build Back Better legislation. Just 42% said they thought it would help people like them.

This is not “support.” And it is certainly not “overwhelming support.”

Bernie seems to have a real problem grasping concepts such as “support” and “majorities.” As the Washington Post’s Aaron Blake has pointed out, Bernie frequently argues that Senators Sinema and Manchin “shouldn’t be able to thwart what 48 of 50 Democratic and independent senators support,” as if the only majorities that matter in the Senate are those within the Democrats’ caucus. But they’re not. Indeed, as Blake notes,

it’s not just two senators standing in the way, but in fact 52 — a majority that includes those two Democrats and all 50 Republicans. Bills passed via reconciliation require a majority (in this case, 50 votes plus a tiebreaker from Vice President Harris), and a majority of the Senate does not presently support this one.

Taken together, Sanders’s position is that “democracy” requires a minority of the U.S. Senate to pass a bill that a minority of Americans supports, and that its failure to do so reflects a preference for “voter suppression.” Do they not teach math in Burlington?