The contest for the soul of the Democratic Party between Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders has really started to heat up in recent months. Both candidates are trying to “out-liberal” each other in a race to see who will end up farther left than Karl Marx.
The tit for tat between the two campaigns is almost comical. It’s like high-stakes poker, with trillion-dollar stakes.
When Bernie Sanders unveiled his education plan a few months ago, he proposed tripling so-called Title I funding for schools. No top Democrat offered anything more generous — until Elizabeth Warren this week called for quadrupling the spending.
That’s just a taste of the tit-for-tat between the two: In August, Warren unveiled a plan calling for 40 percent of corporate board members to be elected by rank-and-file workers. Last week, Sanders raised her, saying it should be 45 percent.
Of course, the farther left they go, the farther away from the political mainstream they get. This is especially true on taxes.
In February, Sanders reiterated his proposal to increase Social Security benefits by about $110 a month for low-income seniors and boost cost-of-living adjustments for all recipients. To which Warren countered: No, it should be $200 a month — for everyone. And after Warren unveiled her signature wealth tax for fortunes over $50 million and estimated it would raise $2.75 trillion over the next decade, Sanders, not to be outdone, proposed a wealth tax that he said would bring in $4.35 trillion partly by lowering the threshold to $32 million.
Social Security is a basket case, but why should anyone care about that when the president will have virtual control over the printing of money? Relax and let the socialists run things.
Sanders, the bitter, angry old socialist and Warren, a more cerebral but still angry Harvard professor, are competing to see which candidate can claim bragging rights to being the craziest. It’s close, at the moment, but Bernie Sanders has a slight edge given his ability to hide the most radical proposals behind populist rhetoric.
Meanwhile, the skirmishes between the two haven’t yet led to an open break. But it may just be a matter of time.
From criminal justice to campaign finance to foreign affairs, the policy skirmishes between Sanders and Warren have touched on nearly every big topic in the primary and broadened the debate among Democrats. For instance, along with Sanders, several candidates endorsed the idea of a wealth tax or said they were open to it after Warren rolled out hers.
Sanders and Warren have largely avoided direct conflict on the campaign trail, and neither campaign provided a comment for this story. But the policy feuds speak to growing tension between the two candidates below the surface.
The more radical and crazy their ideas get, the more excited their base of loonies gets. Too bad for them that their radical, far-left supporters make up less than 25 percent of the party. They may be the activist wing of Democrats and they may be generous in opening their wallets to candidates that want to turn the U.S. into a commie paradise, but the programs they are espousing will frighten the American people and result in a total blowout by Trump next year.