Most of us not among the Socialists can easily identify the Socialists in the U.S. Senate; this article identifies most of them by their voting histories.
“Sen. Bernie Sanders wants Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) to start naming names.” So reports Politico‘s Glenn Thrush.
He was referring to the “usually soft-spoken” senior Republican on the House Financial Services Committee, who had told a Birmingham reporter that there are 17 “socialists” in Congress…
Over one-third of the Senate — 35 senators, all of them Democrats — have voted the Sanders line 90 percent of the time or more. Since that’s more than twice the number we need to fill out Bachus’s list, let’s restrict membership in the “Sanders Socialist Society” to just those senators voting with him at least 95 percent of the time. They number 15: Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio), John Kerry (D., Mass.), Jack Reed (D., R.I.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D., R.I.), Patrick Leahy (D., Vt.), Tom Harkin (D., Ia.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.), Richard Durbin (D., Ill.), Jeanne Shaheen (D., N.H.), Ben Cardin (D., Md.), Frank Lautenberg (D., N.J.), Jeff Merkley (D., Ore.), Barbara Mikulski (D., Md.), Roland Burris (D., Ill.), and Ted Kaufman (D., Del.).
Falling just shy of the cut-off — at 94 percent agreement with Sanders — are Sens. Daniel Akaka (D., Hawaii.), Chris Dodd (D., Conn.), Daniel Inouye (D., Hawaii), Carl Levin (D., Mich.), Robert Menendez (D., N.J.), Jay Rockefeller (D., W.Va.), Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.), and Ron Wyden (D., Ore.), along with Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.).
The sameness of voting records holds up when you exclude about 50 votes — cloture motions, votes to confirm nominees to various executive-branch positions, and so on — that shed little light on one’s philosophical disposition.
Politico’s appeasing story attempting to frame “Reds (in the Senate)” as something akin to Teddy Bears among a collection of stuffed animals.
From that article, interesting and astute comments from user, “Wodheila”:
POLITICO: Apr. 14, 2009 – 4:17 AM EST
“I think at the very least he has to tell people what his definition of socialism is…”
Definition is where lies the difficulty. The blurring of distinctions at the edges between socialism, democratic socialism, fascism and communism, have led to unproductive arguments about who’s what.
Everyone has an opinion or even a belief in what each of these (as well as other peripheral versions) models entails. Personally, I think that the model, initiated by FDR and growing ever since, now on an even faster track with Obama is basically fascistic. But I’m sure it’s easily arguable that it’s something else.
This is the corner from which people like Sanders will make their stand. They believe that using the term “progressive” somehow frees them from the baggage of the above mentioned terms but most see through that.
Suffice it to say that the folks of which Bachus is speaking are, to some degree, one of the above. Sanders knows this but wants to play games with words.
The only thing missing in “Progressivism” are the swell uniforms.