Bernie Sanders, the so-called “Democratic Socialist” senator from Vermont cannot be faulted for having entertaining policy proposals.
From proposing “Medicare for All” to championing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal,” the white haired, septuagenarian has attempted to push the boundaries of what can come out of the mouths of politicians who are running for president.
Sanders’ latest idea, as USA Today notes, is giving even some of his fellow leftists pause.
He wants felons, while in prison, to be able to vote. He made this remarkable proposal at a recent CNN town-hall.
Even the convicted Boston Marathon bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, would be allowed to vote for office holders from president down to whomever is running for city council near the prison where he is now languishing.
Separately, a couple of the other Democratic presidential candidates were a bit less bold in addressing the sudden issue of votes for felons. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California suggested that Americans might like to have a “conversation” about the prisoner’s franchise, a cute politician’s answer if ever there was one. Mayor Pete Buttigieg was a little more succinct in his answer.
He said, “No.”
The reason that Sanders wants convicted felons who are still behind bars to vote is not altogether obvious.
He says that he doesn’t think that just because one explodes a bomb on a crowed street or shoot up an African American church, as Dylann Roof did, that one should lose one’s right to vote.
The idea is more than a little crazy.
People who are convicted of felonies and who go to prison lose quite a few rights. American jurisprudence has adhered to the principle that felons place themselves outside of the norms of civil society and ought not to help make decisions on how it is governed for the past 150 years or so.
The suspicion arises that Sanders thinks that most of America’s criminal class would vote Democrat, hence his proposal would add several million people to that party’s column.
Hot Air is speculating that Sanders is making a play for the African American vote, a demographic that he has had trouble with in the past. The theory is that denying felons the vote is racist since many prisoners happen to be African American.
The far-left wing of the Democratic Party is certainly all in on the idea as it is for every form of craziness that has invaded the American political battlespace.
The problem is while proposing votes for felons may play well in Democratic primaries, the idea is absolutely toxic in the general election.
One can just imagine how President Trump will deal with the matter with a few choice tweets and sound bites at his monster rallies. “Crazy Bernie wants terrorists and child molesters to choose who gets the be president.
I don’t think so!” Que the roars of approval from the crowd and people nodding in agreement at home, watching the event on Fox News.
Bernie Sanders is one of the front runners for the Democratic nomination for president. The other front runner, especially when he gets around to announcing, which he may well have by the time the gentle reader sees this, is former Vice President Joe Biden.
There’s the rub for Crazy Bernie being nominated and then going on to a 1972-style Nixon vs McGovern drubbing.
Biden may not be the sharpest person in public life and his handsiness with the ladies is pretty creepy.
But likely even “Slow Joe” is intelligent enough not to endorse votes for terrorists and child molesters.
Biden is likely to run as the sensible, non-scary Democrat.
He has the name recognition, garnered from being in public life since the Nixon presidency. Biden was Barack Obama’s vice president, an advantage for Democratic voters who still remember the first black president with fondness.
Biden is not a sure shot to win. He ran twice before, in 1988 and 2008, and did not do very well.
His current campaign is said to be a study in disorganization. Biden is also a gaffe machine and may not have gotten his tendency to sneak up on women from behind and start sniffing their hair.
The base of the Democratic Party seems to prefer far-left ideas rather than experience and relative gravitas.
The Democratic primary season is likely to be an entertaining one. Votes for felons will not be the last craziness to be proposed. Let the games begin.