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Citing Concerns About Corporate Power, Bernie Sanders Votes Against Biden's Choice for USDA Chief

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/02/23/citing-concerns-about-corporate-power-bernie-sanders-votes-against-bidens-choice


Another Fox guarding the henhouse.
The Biden doctrine is coming together nicely. Lower your expectations and you’ll never be disappointed.


As one who grew up on a Midwestern farm, I am grateful for Bernie’s vote. It is distressing that he only had such bad company in doing this. (Hawley, Cruz, Paul…)

Food and Water Watch is right about doing our best to pressure Vilsack to work for sustainable farming and not for corporate agriculture.


In about ten years, more warming and less gasoline will cause us all to try our hands at subsistence farming. Of course if you don’t have a back yard, or a few million bucks, the next ten years may be your last


Another sad sack of corporate shit with a bloated face and a profile in cowardice, obsequiousness, sycophancy. And yes quite obviously Biden and his team of beardless neoliberals want to augment the already overwhelming power and wealth of the corporate agribusiness latifundios that wiped out family farms the world over.

Just as quite obviously Biden and his team want to augment the power of those who profit from punishment, those who profit from suffering, those who profit from cannibalizing public schools and generally FUBARing the common good beyond all recognition. Excuse the redundancy. But folks are damn sure tired of being lied to and strung along.


This was a safe vote for Bernie in opposition to Secretary Vilsack, as Vilsack had 92 votes in favor. Bernie is right to spotlight this cabinet spot, as it is a critical position in Biden’s administration, and Jessica’s news feature spells this out.

It surprises me that Vilsack is pursuing this position, as he and his wife are comfortable in retirement in Des Moines. Who wants to live in DC? seriously. Vilsack campaigned with Biden in Iowa. Perhaps he means to make amends from his first tenure under Obama.

It’s incumbent on Vilsack, as Shirly Sherrod said, “he should be ready to get on the ground to make real change this time around.” As Jaydee Hanson also notes, circumstances demand it, as there is “our urgent need to support agricultural systems that protect public health, the environment, and mitigate the ongoing climate crisis.”

Make no mistake, this cabinet position requires dramatic change, and I’m pinning my hopes on Vilsack.


Bernie Sanders, “Rebel with a cause.”


The only REAL opponents of Korporate Power are the Oligarchs and Dictators who don’t want to bother answering
to Boards of Directors.

biden. a trump under a “democrat” label. an elephant in a donkey costume.


Making GOOD trouble


So, he votes nay on a nominee that is sure to win anyway, but yea on a nominee he’s against where his vote could sink the nomination. His bravery is outstanding. This is the best the “left” has to offer?


Do you really have a belief that that this man is looking for redemption of his past actions?

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A very bad choice at a time when species are exiting at warp speed.


I’ve read enough of what you have to say on this topic to not ask @Mary_Grayeske 's same question (I know you are sincere - see bottom), but I’m curious to hear what you have to say on the ethics of voting:

Do you think if Sanders is the only vote that matters (everything is tied before he votes) or if his vote is irrelevant (as it is here), that this should affect how he votes? I’m not saying you are saying this, but it isn’t obvious to me that you aren’t saying it either and I want to understand your point of view on this.

A related vote is of course Neera Tanden. It would really annoy me if I found out Sanders would vote one way if Joe B could twist Joe M’s arm and another way if she’s going down anyway.

I hope you are right about Vilsack, but I don’t have my hopes up very high. I’m barely hanging on to much hope at all for the Biden admin after what looks like a $15 min wage failure and poor Iran Deal movement. If he does very well on Covid, he’s safe of course, but it would be nice to see that and a few other things.


I dunno. Seems to me like a stupid vote from Bernie. For one and another thing, Vilsack is approved, the protest vote is meaningless, maybe it’s possible for some people to improve, for humanity to survive, etc.

But we’re also immersed in a complicated context where there’s a principle of executive discretion involved in the vote to approve Haaland as Interior Secretary, for instance. Sanders undermines this principle with his pettiness, and thereby idiotically hurts Haaland’s chances. Counterproductive grandstanding, imho.

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Vilsack is the proof of the corporate domination of the Democratic party–want something different?? stop voting for the lessor of two evils for surely if you do vote for them you are guaranteed to be governed by evil


It is not in Bernie’s control how many senators voted in favor. But since you think his “bravely” is simply casting a safe anti-vote. True cowardice has you voting with the super majority. So he’s certainly more courageous than your QPublican pals.

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So Bernie should vote lockstep with Democrats on all the neo-lib Biden picks so that one progressive choice gets through? Sounds like a losing strategy in the long term.


Maybe you’re the one who can explain precisely what Bernie, or anyone else, won from this protest vote of his. I honestly don’t get it. Maybe Bernie is playing some kind of three dimensional chessgame which is too sophisticated for simple minds such as my own. Strategically, it absolutely baffles me.

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Through this whole cabinet process, with all of the appointees, the amount of power exerted by any one senator in a 50-50 senate is in theory greatly magnified. Indeed, their power in any simple majority vote (reconciliation, for instance) is above average.

Now, note how much more power has been projected by, say, Manchin than Sanders. Sanders by leaps and bounds is the more popular politician with the more popular cause, but in terms of power projection Manchin completely outclasses him for some reason.

Just contemplate that for a bit.