No, this sourpuss isn't me!

No, that's not me. Thank God. This is Congressman Bernie Sanders of 
Vermont. He is a self-described 'Independent', the only such member of
the U.S. House of Representatives. 

Now -- Bernie is a Socialist, and has made no secret of the fact. Okay. 
If he wants to be a Socialist, that's his right. 

But - I wrote to his office via the Web and asked "Why, if Bernie is
a Socialist, does he describe himself as an 'Independent'? Could not a
Communist, or Marxist, or KKK member, also hide behind such a vague and
nondescriptive 'affiliation'? I received no reply to my inquiry. But, a
few years earlier, I had a letter published in the Burlington VT Free 
Press, in which I stated I had written Sanders' office and received no reply.
I got action that time! His Washington DC office called me at my home
perhaps to call my bluff - fortunately I had documentation of the letter
I had written.

Bernie held a "News Conference" a few years ago, in which he trotted out
a guest speaker who told of an elderly ("el-dah-ly", in Bernie-speak) 
Vermont couple who had been afraid of the terrible things the new Republican
Congress was going to do to the old folks. Thus frightened, they killed
themselves by sitting in their car with the engine running, in the garage.
The next day some reporters, wondering why this sad story hadn't made the news
previously, checked into it. It turned out this never happened. It was,
in the belated words of Bernie's press conference guest, "a parable." This is
what news conferences are for? Telling parables to the press? And not
even bothering to identify them thusly? Confronted by this, Bernie refused
to apologize for the blatant misinformation, saying he did not tell these
people what to say. Never mind that it was fiction presented as fact by
a person he invited to speak... never mind that it was slanderous, after
all, it was only slanderous to his political opponents. No apology of any
form would be made.

Socialists. Liberals. The end justifies the means.

Vermont is totally taken with Mr. Sanders. I find this very hard to 
understand, as there is a very deep-rooted sentiment among Vermonters
that "out of staters" and "flatlanders" are ruining the place. Bernie
is about as much a Vermonter as he is a Chinaman. Yet, he is worshipped 
as some sort of icon there. Totally puzzling... in many (if not most) 
places, I don't suppose he could get elected to run the Sewer Department.
Mr. Sanders knows there is a heavily liberal population in Vermont, 
partly because of the large college student / faculty communities, so 
he has the heavily-off-center-to-the-left voting block he needs to stay
in office.

People say 'Look at all the wonderful things he did for Burlington, Vermont.'
Okay. Look at the city's level of bonded debt before he took office, and 
how astronomically it had ballooned by the time he left as mayor of Burlington.
I think anyone can buy massive improvements for their city, if they can
pass the cost along to future generations through a multi-multi-fold
increase in the city's debt. 

Now Bernie is thinking about running for the position of James Jeffords, 
Vermont's sole high-level Republican (who is more a Democrat than a Republican
in my opinion anyhow). What the heck, get the only Republican with any
rank out of the place. So what if the relatively-few conservatives in Vermont
have no representation in their government whatsoever.

Bernie is concerned with 'groups'. The poo-ah, the el-dah-ly, the wook-ing
class, awganized laybuh... any place he can secure as many votes as possible
by courting a cohesive group. If you're in a union, Bernie is your man.
If you're NOT in a union, you ought to be, because you are interfering 
with the right of his chosen group. You see, union members are likely to 
vote as a block... independent (non unionized) working people are not of
concern to him. Got to support those unions!

Where does his money come from? I was very displeased to find out that 
Norman Lear and Barbara Streisand (two noted Vermont citizens - NOT) had 
kicked in thousands of dollars to his campaign. I called his office to 
complain about that - how can ordinary working people, who actually LIVE 
in Vermont, compete with huge contributions made by guilt-ridden limousine
liberals in Hollywood? What interest do they have in Vermont? Little or
none so far as I know. They can drop a check for ten grand like it was petty
cash... how can working taxpayers, who HAVE a vested interest in the state's 
politics, compete with that? But Bernie will tell you why he needs this
money, so it's rationalized and the case is closed. The bulk of his 
contributions actually flow to him from out of state. Why are people in 
other states so interested in keeping him in office, for a state in which 
they don't live? Who is he supposed to be representing? Vermont, or the 
liberal / socialist US population at large?

There's a sticker, still attached to the back of my vehicle. It says "Bye
Bye Bernie". If the people of Vermont are going to be taken in by this
person, then fine - but when I relocated out of Vermont, one of the biggest
benefits was being able to fire Bernie Sanders as my "representative" 
in the U.S. House. Bye Bye Bernie. Maybe you can run for governor of
Vermont and give those fine folks a concentrated dose of your wisdom. I 
have to admit, I'd like to see it, to see what would happen...