The Vermont Senator rues the failure to pass Biden’s big social spending bill. “That was transformational. And we came within two votes of doing that.”

By Grace Segers, The New Republic

“The world today faces enormous crises,” Senator Bernie Sanders began. I had asked the Vermont independent how he would characterize two years of the razor-thin 50-seat Democratic majority.

My question was broad. Sanders went even broader in his response, outlining the various emergencies facing the general public: climate change, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, assaults on democracy, even the risk of nuclear war with the escalating threats from Russian President Vladimir Putin. “Other than that, everything is really, really good,” Sanders concluded sarcastically.

Bernie Sanders looks off into the distance at an outdoor rally

He pivoted then to the argument he is best known for, the struggle that he insists is overlooked by the corporate-owned media, what he sees as the taboo in national conversation nonetheless defining modern politics: the plight of the American worker. Ahead of critical midterm elections, Sanders says he will continue to prod the Democratic Party to connect with working-class voters—even as he believes the party may not be up to the task of defending their interests.

We spoke in his office on the day before senators left Washington for a month, not scheduled to return until mid-November. So when I asked about the two years in the majority, it was characteristic for Sanders to respond on the macro scale, stretching his theory of structural problems in American society over the framework of congressional politics.

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