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Outsiders vs. Insiders: If GOP tax reform fails, prepare the way for President Bernie in 2020

Bernie Sanders for president in 2020?

The notion is preposterous for so many reasons it’s impossible to know where to begin dissecting them. Aside from the fact Sanders will turn 79 on September 8, 2020, it’s highly unlikely the Democrat establishment would ever opt for the sharp-tongued near octogenarian over their own preference for a slightly younger but equally Bernie Sandersloud-talking socialistic white man in his late 70’s -- Joe Biden (who will “only” be 78 on Election Day of that year).

Even three years’ hence it’s not difficult to see how it would all play out in what promises to be a very contentious Democrat primary season; but that’s not stopping Sanders from moving forward with overtures to some of the party’s ruling class poohbahs, apparently.

Gabriel Debenedetti of Politico reported, “From forging closer ties to the labor movement to shoring up his once-flimsy foreign policy credentials, the moves have provided the senator inroads into party power structures that largely shunned him in favor of Hillary Clinton last year. They've also empowered the progressive icon to harness his newfound political power and help Democrats fight President Donald Trump's administration.

“Sanders has been working closely with figures who are close to the party establishment he's long railed against, like American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten. And he's been meeting with international affairs experts such as Bill Perry, a defense secretary in the administration of President Bill Clinton, around a series of speeches designed to define his international vision, one year after running a campaign heavy on domestic policy and light on the rest of the world.”

Bernie claims he hasn’t yet made up his mind on what he’ll do 2020, but if Sanders weren’t planning another run why would he bother trying to establish a niche in issue subjects where he has little or no influence as a minority party senator? Almost as surprising is the impression Democrat elites are now taking Sanders seriously.

It all goes to show Bernie isn’t moving closer to the Democrat ruling class; the Democrat ruling class is gravitating towards him. Twenty years ago Democrat higher-ups wouldn’t have even given someone like Sanders or Dennis Kucinich the time of day; now, however, the off-the-wall socialist nutcases constitute the heart of the party, which certainly includes the likes of Senators Al Franken, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren.

The Democrats’ ideological migration is due in large part to Crooked Hillary, Donna Brazile, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi turning off large swaths of persuadable voters. All that’s left are those who let ideology rule their existence -- you know, the Antifa “resistance” crowd.

It used to be political observers claimed Democrats were controlled by the limousine liberals in Hollywood, New York City and Washington, people who promised a better standard of living for the common folk; now, however, Democrats are being led around by the flea collar by the Sanders-loving crazier-than-all-get-out millennial generation. Why? Because the kids are the ones who are actually stupid and inexperienced enough to buy into Sanders’ wild boasts of free healthcare for all and state sponsored universal college tuition.

The white working class (a.k.a Reagan Democrats) that largely dumped the Democrats to vote for Trump last year doesn’t care about free tuition for wealthy elitist snowflake-sensitive college kids; it’s yet another example of the Democrats alienating themselves from the very voters who used to make up their base.

Granted Sanders comes from the other end of the ideological spectrum but his continuing popularity with a significant but narrow swath of party voters reminds me a little of Ron Paul’s cult-like following within the Republican Party. Paul rode the enthusiasm of his youngish backers to respectable primary finishes in 2008 and 2012 when it seemed clear from the outset that the Texas congressman didn’t have a realistic chance to win in either election cycle.

Paul never did endorse nominees John McCain or Mitt Romney in those years. One would think Sanders would likely endorse whomever the Democrats end up with in 2020, but if the campaign gets personal and nasty enough – which it almost certainly will – who knows what could happen.

Paul’s son Rand ran for the GOP nomination last year and maintained the loyalty of some of his dad’s hardcore supporters though the competition for libertarian-leaning voters was greater than in previous years and the younger Paul was largely smothered by the populist wave leaning towards Donald Trump.

Despite the loss Rand continues to carve out his own space on the Republican side, often serving as the lead spokesman for conservatives on issues the party establishment doesn’t appear to care about such as restraining government power/privacy and non-interventionist foreign policy.

On taxes, Paul is all-in with the mainstream of the GOP, even if it means not getting everything he’d like to see from the bill. Paul wrote at Fox News on Monday, “This tax bill is a true test for my colleagues. I’m not getting everything I want — far from it. But I’ve been immersed in this process. I’ve fought for and received major changes for the better — and I plan to vote for this bill as it stands right now.

“I urge my colleagues to do the same. I urge you, their constituents, to make sure they hear from you.

“The next few weeks in Washington will be important. Will we keep our word and cut taxes? Will we do what we campaigned on and repeal the ObamaCare mandate? I will fight for both, and I look forward to ending the year keeping these important promises to the American people.”

Paul’s common sense stance is very important, one that hopefully will be mirrored by the more difficult mushy-“moderate” senators who were instrumental in killing the Republicans’ multiple tries at dealing with Obamacare earlier this year (namely, “traitor” John McCain, Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski and Maine’s Susan Collins). Unlike his father, Sen. Rand leans more towards the practical side of governing, no doubt because of a pragmatic necessity to compromise that comes along with being a senator.

Rand also appears to acknowledge current political realities a lot more than his dad ever did. Ron, somewhat akin to Bernie Sanders, felt empowered to take many positions he knew would never be favored by a majority of legislators in either house of Congress. During his years in Washington Ron Paul was known as a fierce defender of the Constitution and it freed him to build a devoted following among conservative/libertarian purists – including myself.

The cause of limited government would surely have been better off if Ron Paul had ascended to the Oval Office – but he didn’t.

For the years when Republicans were in the minority in Congress or served under Democrat presidents such uncompromising postures were acceptable and sometimes even necessary to prevent the inevitable ill consequences that ensue whenever government bloats. Ted Cruz’s government shutdown inducing holdout over Obamacare funding in 2013 is a shining example of a legislator doing everything in his authority to stave off a disastrous result (one which, I might add, we’re suffering under right now).

Needless to say the GOP’s current momentum could easily be upset by a couple grandstanding senators bent on increasing their own influence (and reputations with the media) at the expense of their country and party. Time will reveal who might be the turncoats who cause the whole house of cards to crumble at Christmas time.

Maybe it will be the two “retiring” Republicans, Senators Bob Corker (of Tennessee) or Jeff Flake (of Arizona). Neither is a principled conservative and both are the type of petulant vindictive people who might sabotage the entire deal just to spite President Trump. Perhaps for that reason Corker and Flake are favorites among the liberal commenting class.

Liberal Juan Williams wrote at The Hill about Flake and his fellow Arizonan, McCain, “Trump has historically low approval numbers for a first-year president. Still, most Republicans on Capitol Hill took no stand against his bad behavior. They feared he would turn his dwindling base of supporters against them with a tweet.

“But the two senators from the Grand Canyon State took the risk of speaking out forcefully for political decency and against their own party’s president...

“McCain and Flake have risen above name-calling and bitter self-interest by speaking out against the dark forces that are taking over their party and threatening the nation.”

Dark forces? The way Williams writes it’s almost as though a Trump-commanded death star is hovering menacingly above the earth primed to turn the planet into a mass of shattered rocks if the president doesn’t get his way. For a man who often decries the negative tone in politics, Williams sure makes the president (and his backers) sound like a collection of scurrilous creatures.

But such is the Democrat mindset. The fact Williams makes heroes out of GOP establishment Trump-bashers like McCain and Flake fits the minority party’s ever-pathetic depiction of the president as illegitimate and unfit to serve in the White House. It’s also part of the Democrat elites’ contempt for the “deplorables” who voted for Trump. At least Crooked Hillary had the guts to say out loud what the rest of them think.

It’s also an intentional strategy to portray Trump as a failure when most objective signs point to the economy improving, the judiciary issuing fewer extra-constitutional rulings and the executive agencies functioning in a less ideologically-driven fashion.

The “Russian collusion” investigation has gone nowhere despite over a year’s worth of Democrat hysteria and accusations. Crooked Hillary has been exposed as the corrupt truth-challenged weasel that she is. Bill Clinton is no longer getting a pass for his history of sexual deviancy. The list of disgraced Democrats keeps growing and all the media wants to talk about is Roy Moore’s dating habits from the 70’s.

It’s fair to surmise Bernie Sanders will never be president. With that being said, the GOP still has a long way to go in selling its tax plan and the benefits of the Trump agenda to the public. It could begin with passing a tax cut/reform bill by Christmas. As for the rest, wait and see.

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