Bernie Sanders, the Independent Senator of Vermont, made his views crystal clear this past Sunday when he stated that he thinks that their method of publicly shaming any members of the Democratic Party, with whom he caucuses, is the inherently correct and most effective method to use when in an evenly-divided Senate where he cannot strong-arm his policies through without their votes.
Sanders took part in a small segment on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” in which he told Chuck Todd, the anchor of the show, that the Arizona Democratic Party was “exactly right” to try and censure Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) for stalwart refusal to throw her support behind the proposed changes to the filibuster, a stance that is also held by Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), which effectively put a stop on the possible passage of two Democrat-backed bills seeking a federal overhaul of election laws.
Sanders started out by stating that he thinks that it was well past time to get out of the back rooms and out onto the proper Senate floor, going on to argue that they should start all voting on various topics so that the American people could see with their own eyes where the senators stood.
“Look, as a tactical issue, you have been around long enough to know that funny things happen when a bill gets to the floor. Clearly, we have got to deal with the enormous crisis of climate. Let’s put a strong bill on the floor. If Mr. Manchin and Ms. Sinema want to vote against it, Republicans want to vote against it, we can go from there,” stated Sanders. “What we can’t continue to do is these endless backroom negotiations. The American people have to see where we are, and after that happens, we’ll do the best we possibly can.”
“Do you think, though, it’s been healthy for the Democratic Party to highlight the division the party?” questioned Todd. “You look at Senator Sinema, she was censured by the Arizona Democratic Party —”
“Good,” interrupted Sanders.
“— Over what some would look at as a disagreement over tactics. Not substance, but over tactics. Do you think that was an appropriate action?”
“Yeah, I do. I think it’s exactly right,” Sanders stated harshly, making the argument that because “voting rights” were the issue to talk about, the overall situation had to be handled quite differently.
.@chucktodd: "Sen. Sinema, she was censured by the Arizona Democratic Party."
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT): "Good." pic.twitter.com/wAnhGQe4N1
— The Recount (@therecount) January 23, 2022
“Right now you have a Republican Party under Trump’s leadership that is perpetuating this big lie that Trump actually won the election, and, therefore, you have 19 Republican states that are moving very aggressively into voter suppression, into extreme gerrymandering, some of these states are doing away with the powers of election officials,” Sanders went on. “They are moving in a very anti, anti-democratic way. It was absolutely imperative that we change the rules so we could pass voting rights legislation. All Republicans voted against us, two Democrats voted against us. That was a terrible, terrible vote, and I think what the Arizona Democratic Party did was exactly right.”
Attempting to try and strongarm other members of the Democratic Party is not a new tactic at all for Sanders. Just prior to Christmas, he tried to get a public vote out on the new massive spending package from the Democrats, Build Back Better, stating that he just wanted the people of America to understand that Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) would vote against it.
“Let him vote ‘No’ in front of the entire world,” concluded Sanders