Berning through other people's money
As has often been pointed out, like attracts like. And in the case of spoiler Bernie Sanders, the pseudo-Democrat running for that party's nomination for president while serving as an independent who by necessity caucuses with the Democrats although he is really a Socialist, this is true. Bernie talks much – hot air – and has a track record of living off other people's money – for instance, his wife, who also has a questionable background – but accomplishing little.
Let's look at his Senate record. According to GovTrack.us:
From Jan 2007 to May 2016, Sanders missed 189 of 2,923 roll call votes, which is 6.5%. This is much worse than the median of 1.6% among the lifetime records of senators currently serving.
Granted, for part of this period he was a presidential candidate, but even prior to that, his record on a simple task was poor.
Meanwhile, according to Jeffrey Lazarus of the Washington Post:
Hillary Clinton was a more effective lawmaker than Bernie Sanders
During her eight years in the Senate, Hillary Clinton sponsored 10 bills that passed the chamber. The mean senator passes 1.4 bills a year, so Clinton’s 1.25 bills per year is approximately in line with the chamber average. By contrast, Bernie Sanders has been in the Senate nine years and has sponsored only one bill that passed.
Sanders’s legislative effectiveness score was below the House median in seven of the eight Congresses in which he served.
this particular evidence does suggest that Sanders has been less effective than Clinton, and the average member of Congress, at getting his legislation through Congress.
Given his agenda, perhaps we should all be grateful for the small things.
And so it should not come as a surprise to learn, from an extremely important and informative investigative article in the Los Angeles Times that those berning and yearning for Bernie are among the largest single group of Sanders’ donors — those who don’t have a job. Of the $209 million given to the Vermont senator’s campaign, about one out of every four dollars came from those not in the workforce, who include the unemployed or retired.
Caution: this is not to imply that they are necessarily on welfare – they could be severely handicapped or retired or stay-at-home mothers. As Jerry Seinfeld of the show bearing his name and Larry David, the show's creator and Sanders's doppleganger, astutely observed, "[n]ot that there's anything wrong with that." (Full disclosure: As a devoted fan, I believe that that program was full of life's wisdom buried in its comedy.)
But separation from the day-to-day constraints, problems, joys, and realities of work and all it entails does alter one's perception of money and taxes and other people's money.
Sanders donors tend to live in the most liberal parts of the United States -- New England, the Pacific Northwest and California -- and in the ZIP Codes with a high proportion of college graduates. With the exception of urban areas such as Austin, Texas, and Santa Fe, N.M., he draws far fewer donations in the redder parts of the nation -- the South, the Sunbelt and the Midwest.
Well that certainly is not a surprise. And neither are those who do work and still support him.
After the jobless, people who work in the healthcare, education and technology fields are the next largest sources of Sanders’ funds.
Not surprisingly, Sanders gets very little money — 2% of his overall haul — from Wall Street, which he frequently criticizes as “corrupt” and responsible for creating a “rigged economy.” Students, who are vocal Sanders’ supporters, gave even less.
"Wall Street," an overarching term for those who provide the financing and know-how for business and government to function, obviously returns the contempt to Sanders. And students, mostly young naifs with minimal real-life experience though knowing it all, who live off their parents or college money available from other people, are Sanders's supporters. Yeah, that fits.
But students grow up, and most of them get a job. And so their outlook evolves. Except, of course, Sanders, who is in his 70s but hasn't learned much and still retains his childish beliefs. So yes, like attracts like. And those who rely on other people's money are attracted to those who will provide other people's money.