Why Should Bernie Sanders Vote For Neera Tanden?
I hope the Vermont Senator votes against Biden’s nominee to head the Office of Management and Budget.
Out of a number of controversial picks to join his administration, (a Raytheon Board member for Defense Secretary certainly being among them) Joe Biden’s choice of Neera Tanden to head his Office of Management and Budget is certainly up there among the top. The director of the center right think tank, Center For American Progress has garnered a considerable amount of attention among the left for her inflammatory social media presence directed at not just at Republicans, but Bernie Sanders and the left in particular. Tanden’s remarks on social media caused enough of a stir to be brought up on numerous occasions, with Republican Senator John Kennedy on the record with accusing her of calling Sanders “everything but an ignorant sl*t”.
With opposition continuing to grow towards her confirmation and Joe Manchin joining a number of Republicans in stating that he will not vote to confirm her, Tanden’s chances of heading the Office of management and Budget have grown considerably slimmer. As happy as I am that she is unlikely to fill this seat, it’s worth noting it seems likely Joe Manchin’s only true reason for his hesitancy to confirm her has nothing to do with her inflammatory remarks towards Republicans or Bernie Sanders, but rather her incredibly mild criticism directed towards his daughter’s role in the price gouging of EpiPens.
At the end of the day, if anyone should refuse to vote to confirm Neera Tanden as head of the OMB, it should be Senator Bernie Sanders.
“Mean tweets” aside, over the years Neera Tanden’s career has given Bernie enough of a reason to vote against her. The personal animus she has so clearly felt towards him means nothing when considering she has pushed for cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. In 2012, Tanden was on television arguing that entitlements such as social security, medicare, and medicaid need to be “put on the table”, sounding like a stereotypical Republican with her arguments concerning deficit reduction. While the nation finds itself in the midst of one of the greatest public health and economic crisis’ we have ever faced, is this really the type of mindset we need in such a crucial leadership role?
It’s easy to see that regardless of their differences in policy, Bernie Sanders genuinely likes Joe Biden and does not want to muddy the nomination process only to have the media that already dislikes claiming his decision was purely personal in nature, and that there was no real reason to vote against someone so “qualified”. In all likelihood, Bernie has come to the decision that we must all pick our battles, and this was not one he felt was worth fighting.
The thing is, even if that was the case, Joe Manchin and a number of Republicans have already given him an out.
This is bigger than Neera Tanden’s social media presence. There was a time when Bernie Sanders was considering mounting a primary challenge to Barack Obama over cuts to social security, medicare, and medicaid. The same cuts that Tanden was on television arguing for. With it already being so unlikely that she’s going to have the votes to get confirmed, one can only hope Bernie takes this opportunity to vote against someone who is the antithesis of his vision for the future of the Democratic party.
All that being said, it really is fascinating to see what the Democratic party will fight for, and what they‘re more than willing to let go. Even with it being all but guaranteed that Tanden is not going to have the votes for confirmation, Biden is still in her corner. And yet, his administration has no problem waving off $2000 checks, the cancellation of student loan debt, or a $15 minimum wage. Interesting, isn’t it, how the political ambitions of a think tank director with strong ties to the Clinton machine are worth the fight, but policy is not?