It's Bernie Who Actually Won: His Socialist Ideas Have Taken Over the Democrat Party — and Joe Biden’s Campaign

Don’t Believe The Hype: Bernie didn’t need to win the nomination to win the war for the party's future

By John Daniel Davidson

Make no mistake about it: Bernie Sanders might've lost the battle for the Democrat nomination, but he won the war for the future of the party. In less than four years Sanders and his "Socialist-Democrat" allies on the far-far-left have transformed the Democrat Party beyond recognition from what it was when Joe Biden served as Barack Obama’s vice president.

In fact, since his insurgent challenge to Hillary Clinton in 2016 — and especially over the past year of campaigning — there’s no better evidence of this transformation than Joe Biden himself.

Once considered (somewhat of) a moderate, Biden has gradually embraced almost every aspect of Sanders’s left-wing populist "Socialist-Democrat" agenda:
  • A $15-an-hour Minimum Wage
  • Tax Hikes for "The Rich"
  • The "Green New Deal"
  • Open Borders and
  • Taxpayer-Funded "Free" Healthcare for Illegal Immigrants
  • A complete Ban on Oil & Gas Exploration, or fracking — an issue that'll be key to winning the battleground states of Pennsylvania & Ohio
  • Abortion Up to & During Delivery
  • "Free" College
  • And Sanders's trademark "Medicare for All" became the defining leftist issue of the campaign...
  • Biden's endorsement of it, in everything but name only, might well be around the corner
Perhaps most telling sign was Biden’s embrace of the "Green New Deal" last summer, an obvious sop to the sensibilities of Sanders surrogates like Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar who've made it pretty clear that the "Green New Deal" isn’t really about climate change, but re-ordering the entire U.S. Economy along Socialist lines.

Biden has pitched himself as a return to normalcy, as if 2016 and the Trump presidency had never happened. But the party can't just go back to those halcyon days of Obama, when all was good and right in Washington, D.C.
 
Eliminating the use of fossil fuels is not a return to normalcy.

In fact, Biden supports a slew of policies that Obama never did — policies that bear the indelible mark of Sanders-style Socialism.

On health care, for instance, Biden's even endorsed a "public option" for Obamacare and taxpayer-funded healthcare for illegal immigrants.

Speaking of immigration, Biden now supports a sharp increase in refugee admissions and citizenship for all illegal immigrants. 

The truth is, a Biden presidency would be anything but normal. At this point, it’s not too much to say that Biden will be the farthest-left Democrat ever nominated for president.

This is Not the Joe Biden from Times Past

It’s hard to understand the out-sized impact of Sanders on the Democrat Party — and on Biden — without looking at Biden’s outrageous flip-flopping.

Facing a younger and more leftist field of primary challengers, Biden took stock of his political record and decided to chuck most of it out the window.

Probably the most often cited example of this came about a month after Biden launched his campaign last April, when he changed his mind about federal funding for abortion. For three decades, as both a U.S. Senator and even a Barack Obama's Vice President, Biden had opposed repealing the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits the use of taxpayer's dollar to fund abortions. All it took was a phone call from Alyssa Milano, and a stern talking-to from some woke campaign aides, and Biden caved.

He came around just in time, as Sanders (and Democrat Party Chair Tom Perez) made it clear in February that there’s no room in the Democrat Party for pro-lifers — or anyone, apparently, who opposes taxpayer-funded abortions.

Biden’s got a habit of this.

Take his views on China. Biden has long held soft views on China and encouraged closer ties with the Communist State. And as recently as last May, he scoffed at the idea that the United States should worry about China as a competitor. “China is going to eat our lunch? Come on, man,” he said at a campaign rally in Iowa. “China’s not our competitor.”

Then, fast forward one short month, and Biden's declaring that China is a major threat. “We're in a competition with China. We need to get tough with China,” he said. “They are a serious challenge to us, and in some areas a real threat.” No surprise, he added that, “every single step that Donald Trump is taking is only exacerbating the challenge.”

Over at Vox, Matt Yglesias writes:
 
“While Sanders himself (has said he) will most likely support the ticket, if Biden loses it will be seen as a semi-vindication of Sanders’s ideas about politics.

"And if he wins, it'll be a refutation of them.”

 
This analysis might sound straightforward enough, but it badly underestimates how much Sanders’s leftist ideas have already been absorbed into the Biden campaign and the Democrat Party at large. At this point, defeating Biden means defeating those ideas, and by extension discrediting the leftward march of the Democrat Party — ed not by Biden, but Sanders.

Sen. Sanders suspended his campaign Wednesday, ending what has turned out to be one of the strangest and most unpredictable presidential primary contests in modern history — one that essentially ground to a halt in mid-March because of the CoronaVirus.

And at long last, Joe Biden is now the presumptive Democrat nominee.

John Daniel Davidson is the Political Editor at The Federalist. His writings have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, National Review, Texas Monthly, The Guardian, First Things, the Claremont Review of Books, The LA Review of Books, and elsewhere. Follow him on Twitter @johnddavidson.
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