Bernie Sanders

Of Course Bernie Sanders is Part of the Establishment Too

Super PACs have spent more in support of Sanders than any other Democratic candidate.



At tonight's MSNBC debate, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) responded to Hillary Clinton boasting about Vermont Democratic officeholders and ex-officeholders endorsing her by saying it was "a fact" that Clinton had "the entire establishment or almost the entire establishment behind her," while he had a million people giving "27 bucks apiece."

But Sanders shouldn't kid himself or his supporters. He has the support of the Democratic establishment as well. While nominally an Independent, Sanders caucuses with the Democrats and has not faced a Democratic opponent in a general election since Larry Drown in 2004. Sanders and Clinton voted the same way 93 percent of the time.

More importantly, as The New York Times noted, despite Sanders' rhetoric, he has had more money spent on him by Super PACs than any other Democratic candidate this cycle, with the super PAC for just one labor union spending nearly $1 million so far. These unions represent part of the Democratic establishment as much as any of the endorsers Clinton has collected. The Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling permitted labor unions as well as companies to spend on political campaigning.

Sanders blasts one form of spending but not the other. Later in the debate, he said not all corporations were bad, because some were willing to work with the government on its agenda. There's a word for a political system where the government controls business and labor and clamps down on opposition—fascism. There's nothing anti-establishmentarian about it.

Not to be outdone on incredulous attempts to disown the establishment, Clinton also denied she was part of the establishment. In fact she said she couldn't think of anyone else who had called her that. Now she has me. And Google. Her argument against being part of the establishment? She's a woman, as if it were impossible for a woman to be a part of the establishment. It's 2016, not 1956. Such an argument could just be a shade of things to come.

NEXT: Reason Live Tweets the Democratic Debate

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    1. Who was debating?

      1. An in the closet Marxist and future felon vs. an out of the closet Marxist coconut. Or so I’ve heard.

        1. an out of the closet Marxist corporatist coconut


      2. “Who was debating?”

        Nobody was debating; they were offering alternative sales pitches,

      3. A couple of masters…

        IOW a circle jerk

      4. “Who was debating?”

        Poontank vs. Abacus Rekt.

  1. It’s 2016

    Oh, that makes sense.

  2. Bernie Sanders is a lot of things, most of them no good, but it’s ridiculous to call him a member of the “establishment” oif a party he isn’t even a member of. The Democrat party establishment doesn’t want Sanders as the nominee even if he could win in a landslide.

    1. So… You didn’t read the article

      1. Every word, actually.

        1. So your reading skills suck? Or your not real bright? Or what?

          1. I tend to agree with you, until you mock the reading skills….. And brightness…. You mistakenly put “your” where “you’re” should be. Twice. It makes me shy away from your opinion. Amateur. Really really make sure your grammar is intact before attacking one for their grammatical mistakes. Let it be known I’m only a grammatical stickler when abusers use it as their foil. Ok, now is the time when the Ph.D. puts ME in my place.

            1. Thank you. Pedantry and grammar correction are highly sought-after skills.

    2. What else to call a reliably Democratic Senator?

      1. Seriously. Since 1981 he’s spent all but about two years as a Mayor, Representative or Senator. He’s been part of the establishment for as long as I’ve been alive.

      2. Ron Paul was a pretty reliable Republican congressman. Had a nice long career serving in Washington too.
        Just another “establishment” pol I guess.

        1. SIV|2.5.16 @ 1:00AM|#
          “Ron Paul was a pretty reliable Republican congressman. Had a nice long career serving in Washington too.
          Just another “establishment” pol I guess.”

          Yeah, someone known as “Doctor No” is the equivalent of Sanders.
          SIV, you need to FO.

          1. Really I want to agree but what is SIV? I assume FO is fuck off.

    3. Well, part of the Washington establishment, yes? He’s no outsider.

      1. Bernie Sanders isn’t a Washington-outsider like say, Donald Trump (who I understand from Reason and other Republican operatives and pundits is the consummate “insider”). Is he staffed up with CFR members?
        CFR is the “gold standard” of what the establishment is (I believe Ron Bailey is a member in good standing). Surely an establishment pol is deeper into the mix than some radical “outsider” publication like Reason .

    4. SIV|2.5.16 @ 12:25AM|#
      “Bernie Sanders is a lot of things, most of them no good, but it’s ridiculous to call him a member of the “establishment” ‘

      Yeah, a congress-critter is really a REBEL, right?

      1. Sanders is socialist scum but he only holds a token and tangential relationship to the ruling class.

  3. Shrillary is trying to pretend she is not part of the establishment because she has a vagina? Is there any lie she wouldn’t broadcast so shamelessly?

  4. How’s Sanders doing on contributions from insurance companies, Wall Street, and defense contractors ? Is he rakin’ it in from alt-energy firms, public employee unions and, especially, trial lawyers? The first three are a good measure of the bipartisan establishment while the latter three are markers of the Democrat Party establishment. I honestly don’;t know (even though I could quickly look it up). What about foreign policy advisers? I’ve read Rubio, Clinton and Cruz all take education and advice from the same established DC consulting firm. Is Bernie a client too?

    1. SIV, before I waste time working through that word salad, what is your point?

      1. I like you Sevo. My point is there is a broad effort to paint ” the establishment” as a meaningless term that encompasses all politicians (even if they’ve never sought or held elective office) and everyone who has ever tried to influence said persons. I disagree and believe the term only applies to the permanent ruling class which is bureaucratic and bipartisan.

  5. “Sanders and Clinton voted the same way 93 percent of the time.”

    By the way, with the latest buzz I’m hearing, this is the argument older Clinton supporters are using to justify themselves. Clinton’s “establishment” bona fides are merely proof of her experience, and look, she voted with Sanders 93% of the time,so quit kidding yourselves with the crazy old guy and come on in for the big win with the strong woman.

  6. just before I saw the receipt that said $7527 , I accept that my mom in-law woz like actualey making money in there spare time from there pretty old laptop. . there aunt had bean doing this for less than twentey months and at present cleared the depts on there appartment and bourt a great new Citro?n 2CV . look here…….
    Clik This Link inYour Browser.

  7. Clinton also denied she was part of the establishment.

    It’s almost as if she lies every time she opens her mouth. Who could honestly believe that?

    Also, of course BERN is part of the establishment. So far as I know, he has always been on the public dole.

  8. There’s a word for a political system where the government controls business and labor and clamps down on opposition?fascism.

    Technically it’s corporatism until you throw in the hyper-nationalism and totalitarianism. Just a niggling detail, but one that matters since there have been a lot of corporatist countries (FDR’s America for one), but not all of them have progressed to full-blown fascism.

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