Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.
Forget the Clintons and the Bushes, there’s a new political dynasty: the Sanderses.
Bernie may have been born a few months before Pearl Harbor, but the socialist proponent of the estate tax is trying to leave an untaxable inheritance to his next of kin. The inheritance of political power.
It never fails. Give a socialist power, and he becomes a monarchist and founds his own dynasty.
Levi Sanders, Bernie's son, wants to run for Congress in New Hampshire on his dad's old inherited platform of free health care and free college. While Bernie claims to be an independent, Levi has been consulting with him about his potential race.
Levi doesn't actually live in the district, but Hillary Clinton didn't really live in New York until she decided to run for the Senate. What matters is that like Hillary, the Sanders scion has the right last name.
And Bernie’s stepdaughter is running for his old job as mayor of Burlington.
Carina Driscoll, the daughter of Bernie’s wife, Jane Sanders, will run as an independent. It’s an ironic designation considering that running for your stepdad’s old job is about as independent as Jeb Bush and Chelsea Clinton. Her office is two doors down from her mom’s Sanders Institute operation.
Our Revolution, Bernie’s dark money fake social welfare organization, has endorsed her and sent out a fundraising email for her. People for Bernie also endorsed Carina. Her brother, who runs the Sanders Institute, used his Twitter account to promote her campaign. She’s even reusing her stepdad’s slogan.
Bernie’s stepdaughter declares, “It is time to bring the people back to the table.” As long as they’re part of the Sanders clan.
Carina promises to “foster the best schools” and cites her experience running “the Vermont Woodworking School”. That’s bad news for Burlington schools just as it was for Burlington College.
Burlington College was raided by the Sanders clan. Jane Sanders, Bernie’s wife, is under FBI investigation for allegedly lying about the school’s finances on a bank loan application. The debt broke the college, which had to shut down under the crushing burden of the loan, while Jane walked away with $200K.
Some call it “federal loan fraud”, but, socialists call it wealth redistribution. Bernie and Jane have hired Rep. “Cold Cash” Jefferson’s lawyer while hoping he keeps her from following Cold Cash to a cold cell.
Carina did pretty well during her mother’s mismanagement of Burlington College. The Vermont Woodworking School got $500K from Burlington College. It was among the college’s most expensive programs with a budget over 10% that of Burlington. That’s some rather pricey woodworking.
Why did a struggling college need to spend all that money on a woodworking school?
“This was a sweetheart deal for Carina Driscoll, Jane Sanders’ daughter,” Carol Moore, Burlington's final president, said. She accused Carina's school of “gouging the college.”
Will the wonders of crony socialism never cease?
Bernie had paid his wife, $80,000 for “consulting and ad placement” in his congressional campaign. What’s her expertise in ad placement? Jane was a community organizer with a degree in social work who married Bernie and honeymooned with him in the USSR.
The degree was from Goddard College, a “holistic” alternative school where students design their own curriculum. Sixteen years later, Sanders was its new provost. What qualified her for the job? The Burlington Free Press stated that she had, "progressive credentials . . . above question."
Carina’s progressive credentials are also above question. That’s why she got $65,000 from the campaign.
Mother and daughter had teamed up for a series of ad buying firms, including, Sanders & Driscoll, Leadership Strategies, which listed two of Jane’s kids, and handled ads for her husband’s campaign.
These days, Jane Sanders has branched out into founding the Sanders Institute whose mission is to “revitalize democracy by actively engaging individuals.”
As long as those individuals are members of the Sanders family.
The executive director of the Sanders Institute is Dave Driscoll, Carina’s brother, and Jane’s son. Before that, Dave had been working at Burton Snowboards.
When Mayor Bill de Blasio, the progressive icon also under FBI investigation, whose donors have pleaded guilty to trying to bribe him, was sworn in by Bernie, observers noted that the socialist senator was wearing a $689 down jacket. That’s a pricey piece of gear for the leftist who once ranted that, “You don't necessarily need a choice of 23 underarm spray deodorants or of 18 different pairs of sneakers when children are hungry in this country.” But Bernie needs a $689 jacket and a $600K summer home.
And the jacket was a Burton parka. Burton’s CEO sent its employees to the anti-Trump “Women’s March” and two dozen of them volunteered for Bernie’s campaign. Burton’s bosses are among Vermont’s most prominent political donors. And the beneficiaries include Bernie.
During the 2016 race, $82 million dollars poured through Old Towne Media, a mysterious company run by two of Jane’s old pals, that got most of its business from Bernie. And the Bernie campaign put no caps on commissions. So the sky was the limit. The more Bernie campaigned, the more money they made.
Throughout all this, Bernie avoided disclosing his personal finances by filing for two extensions and then refusing to actually make the information public. Since then he’s come into a $600K summer home.
"Wall Street and the billionaire class has rigged the rules to redistribute wealth and income to the wealthiest and most powerful people," Bernie's site still declares.
Bernie knows all about rigging the rules. And now the Sanders dynasty can inherit his power.
The old leftist critique is that the wealthy hoard money, power and privilege, and then pass it on their kids. The most vocal critic of wealth is the newly minted socialist 1 percenter whose stepdaughter seeks to inherit his old job and whose son wants to run for Congress. And the Bernie machine has the connections to make it all happen while demanding a higher death tax on the 1 percent.
But don’t blame Bernie. He’s doing what all the lefties do.
When Bill Clinton first ran, Dem voters thought they were voting for a fresh new voice who would challenge establishment politics, not create a political dynasty. It took a generation to get rid of them. By then they had stolen everything from the White House furniture to the nation’s uranium. And the Clintons are pikers compared to the Kennedys who 65 years later inflicted Rep. Joe Kennedy III on us.
At this rate, it’ll outlast some English royal dynasties.
And a generation from now, descendants of the Sanders clan and stepclan will be clogging up public offices and wetting their beaks across Vermont. That’s how the Bernie “Revolution” will end.
The left claims that it’s on the right side of history. But it never actually goes anywhere. Instead it plays out the doomed cycle of Animal Farm’s bitterly satirical rendering of Soviet history. And when all is said and done, no one can tell the socialist pigs from the crony capitalist pigs. Just ask the Sanders porkers.
There’s an old Soviet anecdote about Brezhnev, the Soviet boss, showing off his wealth to his family.
“But Lyonya," his concerned mother asked, "what will you do if the Communists return to power?”
But what will he do if the socialists come to power?